MTV EMAs – SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Sun 9 Nov (4 stars)

MTV EMAs – SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Sun 9 Nov

Host Nicki Minaj

Slick awards ceremony hosted by Nicki Minaj with performances from Ariana Grande and Alicia Keys

Watching the MTV EMAs live in the Hydro is to witness not just the graceful, if loudly honking swan the worldwide audience will have seen on their home viewing screen of choice, but also a frantic scrabble under the smooth, shiny surface. And whatever one might think of the ragbag performances – each too frantic and gimmicky to really stick – it has to be said that these guys are utter professionals when it comes to putting on a circus performance.

Sadly there was no equivalent to the Kanye West stage-invasion moment nor a twerking Miley comic nightmare, just a well-drilled glossy machine with barely enough time for Ariana Grande to gush about her awards haul (for which we are truly thankful). Royal Blood rocked it in their efficient, economical way, U2 were surprisingly subdued, Ozzy O was Ozzy O Global Icon, and Alicia Keys plus unborn child were pure class at the piano.

Hostess Nicki Minaj had been well-drilled in the usual Scottish clichés and managed to chuck in a few cultural references – including a well-aimed putt into a hole shaped like her ample buttocks – while jumping in and out of a succession of sculptural outfits.

SSE Hydro, Glasgow, Sun 9 Nov.

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