MTV EMAs 2014 - A Full Report from Glasgow

ema logo 2014
ema logo 2014

Biffy Clyro have just vainly strode off stage, ashes from the indoor fire display still crisp on the wooden surface, hits played, crowd appreciation set to deafening. #BiffyClyro being scrolled down mobile devices sharing short reviews on the way home, but tonight it’s far from over. Backstage at Glasgow’s O2 Academy a dressing room door is reserved for Slash. In thirty minutes the ex-Guns ‘N’ Roses guitarist will perform with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, his current offering to the music industry following his time fronting Velvet Revolver.

Friday’s double headline gig was just one of the numerous events leading up to these years MTV EMAs which celebrates its 20th at the SECC Arena. A map of the city found on the centre pages of a pocket sized programme indicates when and where MTV activity can be found during the next few days. Up and left a bit from the staple sits Saint Judes, sold as a ‘Glasgow Bar, Club & Function Room the venue’s basement plays host to a series of sessions going under the banner ‘MTV Breaks’. Over the weekend a workshop introduced by newsreader Becca Dudley offers advice to budding anchormen.

Those wishing to follow in the footsteps of Davina McCall, Nick Grimshaw and Russell Brand and start their careers on MTV are advised to just be themselves and edgy. Or, in the case of Grimmy - be crap at your job (in his case overlooking the ticker tape) so you are offered a presenting role instead.

Also popping up Saint Joe’s lower ground floor on Saturday afternoon was Labrinth, the singer-songwriter was on hand to play a few acoustic numbers which included Let the Sun Shine and Express Yourself as well as participating in a Q & A session. After the musical interlude we heard how Head of MTV UK, Kerry Taylor travelled to Hong Kong for a job interview and refused to leave the room until she was offered a new career path. Her persuasion paid off, she now has one of the respected television roles in the country and went on to commission one of the channels most successful shows, Geordie Shore.

In two days time Vicky Pattison will find herself being snapped stumbling out of the awards after party at Glasgow’s Arches barefoot and looking worse for wear. Fortunately for the audience gathered at Saturday’s MTV Breaks session the reality form is on top form alongside Dan Thomas and the person who gave Vicky her TV breakthrough, Geordie Shore’s Craig Orr. The team reveal cast members are given at least one ‘down day’ during the recording period where they are allowed home to visit their families providing they ‘lay low’ for twenty four hours while the take a rest.

One person who is resting this weekend is Calvin Harris, as the answers were being given to the questions for MTV Breaks explaining was being done to the award producers. The award winning DJ was part of the global line-up booked to play Sunday’s show, but due to ‘heart problems’ the artist revealed he was too ill to attend. With just hours to go would this fuel a gaping hole in Sunday’s two-hour schedule?

Despite the question being unanswered at Saint Joes the solution was professionally solved at the SECC on Sunday night. Calvin’s no-show may had left a blank sheet on a papered script, but it went unnoticed when the cameras started to role. It’s time for the MTV European Music Awards 2014 and this when the fun really begins...

This year’s theme is Time Travel. Purchase a travelling machine from eBay, select 1994 and you can relive George Michael performing ‘Jesus To A Child’, Naomi Campbell in her prime and Bono making a drawn out political speech (some things never change) when he was presented the Free Your Mind Award. Back then a new game console called a ‘Playstation’ was launched in Japan, most of us couldn’t afford a bloody huge satellite dish and had to make do with four TV channels and Justin Bieber was acting like a little baby crawling around, whining his eyes out and causing mischief (some things never change).

As for Ariana Grande, she was one year-old in 1994. Tonight, thanks to her hit chart topping single, EMAs producers have one less problem figuring out who will open their show this year. As the American star glides over the stage in a flying chair performing ‘Break Free’ it’s obvious this time next year the winner for Best Song (‘Problem’) and for Best Female will join the ranks of female singers who no longer require a mention of their surname to sell their releases.

ariana grande with here ema

Keisza has launched her career by doing away with second names altogether (her full name is Kiesa Rae Ellestad, if you must know!). Dialling in the opening notes of ‘Hideaway’ inside a old style phonebox Canada’s latest star makes the most of her hide and seek game racing into the crowd on a temporary dance floor before peeking up on the award podium to finish off her debut at the EMAs.

When the Head of Music for BBC Radio 1, George Ergatoudis said Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher’s music career wouldn’t progress to a global success in the infant months of 2014, he probably didn’t bet on half a billion people watching Royal Blood ‘figuring it out’ at one of the most prestigious award ceremonies in front of a packed arena.

Another rising artist which slipped through the Beeb’s fingers when they compiled the Sound of 2014 was Charlie XCX. This evening Charlotte Emma Aitchison dazzles the crowd breaking standard stage performance rules as she is hoisted up to the first tier playing her most recent track.

Blimey, we are creeping up to our thousandth word on our annual EMAs review and we haven’t even mentioned this year’s host, Niki Minaj. Being passed the baton from the shows usual host Katy Perry she sends Elizabeth a kiss before welcoming Jourdan Dunn from the Hunger Games trilogy who read out the nominees for Best Hip Hop. The winner emerging from the MC battleground didn’t have far to travel to collect their prize as this year’s champion was Minaj herself.

Right, let us be honest with you...Ever since 9 September we have been desperate to write the following witty sentence and now, thanks to MTV we’ve been given the golden opportunity... Next up was U2 who cropped up on millions of TV sets free of charge regardless if the viewers wanted it or not to play their forthcoming single, Every Breaking Wave. The song was originally intended to be the first track off the band’s latest album, Songs of Innocence, but was overridden by The Miracle (of Joey Ramone). Just as the record received mixed views whispers from the crowd implied it wasn’t an appropriate number for the upbeat award ceremony – the song itself is said to relate to depression, but it was sung beautifully and regardless of the naysayers it was one of the evening’s highlights.

bono close to the edge (see what we did there?) at the ema 2014

With press tickets for Bono’s next world tour now cemented in our back pocket let’s focus on the throne which has just been placed on the arena stage during the commercial break. Queen Minaj will fill the seat in a matter of moments wowing Scotland with a performance of ‘Anaconda’ upping the atmosphere in the SECC up to Hogmanay status.

Next up is the ideal person who could highlight the dangers of knocking back one too many Buckfast’s in an advertisement campaign. It’s this year Global Icon...Ozzy Osbourne who collects his kudos from Slash.

From the Prince of Darkness to King of the Charts ™; It’s Ed Sheeran thinking out loud that he may have found love right where he is. Earlier on tonight everybody’s favourite ginger haired guitarist featured an humorous clip when he teamed up with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. 

As Calvin Harris battles his heart condition Afrojack collects his award for Best Electronic Act on his behalf. One person who was fighting fit and managed to pick up their award (for Best World Stage) was Enrique Iglesias. Taking a leaf out of Coldplay’s notebook on how to stage a galvanising, invigorate performance fans were handed out wristbands which came to life when the Spanish phenomenon cascaded two of his hits (I’m A Freak and Bailando) into a six minute masterpiece.

In a paradox universe (don’t forget this year’s theme is Time Travel) Alicia Keys is playing a live version of ‘We Are Here’ over at the ABC Academy, the celebrations will continue over at the venue when Trevor Nelson takes to the decks for an after party but the official send off will take place at The Arches, according to Niki Minaj we are all invited!

We need a time travelling machine ourselves now, so we can transport you back to our opening paragraph and reunite Biffy’s Simon Neil and Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators featuring Slash as the close the one of the most prestigious award ceremonies in Europe. The MTV EMAs may live for another twenty more years, but you know what? The 2014 show will never seem dated.

EMAs 2014 – The Winners.


Best Song:

Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea - 'Problem'



Best Pop:

One Direction



Best Female:

Ariana Grande



Best Male:

Justin Bieber



Best Live:

One Direction



Best New:

5 Seconds Of Summer



Best Video:

Katy Perry feat. Juicy J - 'Dark Horse'



Best Rock:

Linkin Park



Best Alternative:

Thirty Seconds To Mars



Best Hip-Hop:

Nicki Minaj



Best Electronic:

Calvin Harris



Biggest Fans:

One Direction



Best Look:

Katy Perry



Best Push:

5 Seconds Of Summer



Best World Stage:

Enrique Iglesias, MTV World Stage, Isle of MTV Malta



Worldwide Act

Bibi Zhou



Global Icon

Ozzy Osbourne



Best Song With A Message

Beyonce  - Pretty Hurts