Mercury Prize 2017

The shortlist for this is being announced tomorrow morning, I just put a tenner on Kelly Lee Owens at 40/1 although I suspect Kate Tempest may win it.

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KLO’s album is excellent. Worth an outside punt.

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God help us if Kate Tempest wins it.

Laura Marling to be shortlisted again maybe. Stormzy seems a shoe-in for the shortlist.

Can the Mercury really risk a winner whose acceptance speech would likely be 20 minutes of walking up to the mic, breathing nervously, and then stepping away again?


Cue folks laying into kate tempest who haven’t even listened to the album… Please just refer back to the other 10 times you’ve laid into her for being an earnest woman for my thoughts.

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I both hate and like the mercury prize. It’s obviously agenda-ridden, with the shortlist and winner picked on a number of extra criteria aside from quality. But it does a lot for exposure…and personally I always discover/revisit something from the list (last year’s Comet is Coming album is now a firm favourite).

Currently the betting forerunners appear to be Kate Tempest, Sampha, Rag’N’Bone man and the XX. Only Sampha is actually any good though.

Surely Slowdive are up for a place? One thing I think the Mercury does get wrong is over-valuing debut albums…Speech Debelle, Klaxons and alt-j have all gone on to achieve little…and Young Father’s second album is far superior.

Alt-J went on to have a no. 1 album and sell out big venues didn’t they? Seems like their new one hasn’t done as well though.

I’d like Marika Hackman to get on the shortlist but think it’s unlikely.

Actually, here’s an idea: based upon this:

Who would your winners from each shortlist be, from the year 2000? (*denotes actual winner)

2000 - Coldplay - Parachutes
2001 - PJ Harvey - Stories from the City…* (really strong year though)
2002 - Doves - The Last Broadcast
2003 - Dizzee Rascal - Boy in da Corner* (poor year)
2004 - Franz Ferdinand - s/t*
2005 - Antony & The Johnson’s - I am a Bird Now*
2006 - Hot Chip - The Warning
2007 - Bat for Lashes - Fur and Gold
2008 - Burial - Untrue/Radiohead - In Rainbows (outstanding year…Elbow shouldn’t have won)
2009 - The Horrors - Primary Colours
2010 - Wild Beasts - Two Dancers
2011 - King Creosote & Jon Hopkins - Diamond Mine
2012 - Jessie Ware - Devotion
2013 - Jon Hopkins - Immunity
2014 - Nick Mulvey - First Mind/FKA Twigs - LP1
2015 - Wolf Alice - My Love is Cool
2016 - David Bowie - Blackstar

It was more a comment on Alt-J being a terrible band…rather than their popularity

Big fan of the Keane typo in 2004


And finally…looked at all the UK releases in the time frame and it’d be good if some, if not all, of these albums are included:

Kelly Lee Owens
Laura Marling
Blanck Mass
Forest Swords
Jane Weaver

Man that blanck mass record is a beast. Be fucking brilliant for it to make the shortlist but don’t the label have to put them forward for nomination or something? I doubt that’d be the case with them.

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Ah right, it’s sacred bones if I’m not mistaken? Absolutely fantastic label…but yeah, you’re probably right

2005 - Antony & The Johnson’s - I am a Bird Now*
2006 - Hot Chip - The Warning
2007 - Klaxons - Myths Of The Near Future*
2008 - British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music (only one I really like tbh)
2009 - La Roux - La Roux
2010 - Foals - Total Life Forever
2011 - Metronomy - The English Riviera
2012 - Jessie Ware - Devotion
2013 - Laura Marling - Once I Was An Eagle
2014 - Young Fathers - Dead*
2015 - fuck em all, don’t particularly like any of them
2016 - see above

Barely ever shortlist anything good ever

got to pay quite a bit of money and all I think. Winning seems to be a combination of judges wanting to look on-trend and their label putting up serious pesos

Young Father and Skepta don’t seem to be on labels with wads of cash. I think the entry fee thing is overstated.

2000: The Delgados - The Great Eastern
2001: Super Furry Animals - Rings Around the World (great year though)
2002: The Streets - Original Pirate Material
2003: Radiohead - Hail to the Thief (shut up)
2004: Belle and Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress
2005: The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike
2006: Guillemots - Through the Windowpane
2007: No real standout this year
2008: Radiohead - In Rainbows
2009: The Horrors - Primary Colours
2010: Wild Beasts - Two Dancers
2011: PJ Harvey - Let England Shake*
2012: Django Django - Django Django
2013: No real standout this year
2014: Young Fathers - Dead*
2015: Wolf Alice - My Love is Cool (shut up)
2016: Skepta - Konnichiwa*

2000 - Death In Vegas - The Contino Sessions. I played that one to death.
2001 - either PJ Harvey or Elbow’s debut. Not in love with anything on that one.
2002 - I dunno. The Streets, maybe? I’m beginning to think I’m not cut out for this, but I will plow on regardless
2003 - Lordy. I’m going with The Darkness. That album is at least entertainingly stupid, and most other things from that list aren’t even entertainingly entertaining.
2004 - Has the Mercury always been this bad? I’ll stick with Franz Ferdinand, the actual winner. I quite liked it at the time, but I’d be surprised if I’d listened to it in the last ten years. On reflection, I think I would support an option for taking all the nominees round the back and shooting them. Is that a goer?
2005 - Oooh, there’s actually four here I could pick. I’ll go with Maximo Park on the grounds that they’ve lasted longer for me than Go Team, Seth Lakeman (saw him play a few years ago and it was awful) or Bloc Party
2006 - I liked The Guillemots. Whatever happened to them? Did they just pack it in in the end? They never seemed to really get anywhere.
2007 - I see the panel chose The Klaxons over Amy Winehouse’s Back In Black. On the right side of history there. Not that fussed about any of these though.
2008 - Burial for me, with BSP as a strong runner up
2009 - Sweet Billy Pilgrim. I really liked that album
2010 - Probably Foals. Not keen on anything before or since, but they got it right on that record.
2011 - Hmmm. I liked the Anna Calvi at the time, but per the comment about over-valuing debuts above, she’s not exactly set the world on fire since, has she?
2012 - Richard Hawley. So disappointed he went back to the balladeer schtick afterwards.
2013 - Savages. Or maybe Jon Hopkins.
2014 - GoGo Penguin
2015 - Christ. No award.
2016 - The Comet Is Coming.

Tbf to @Twinkletoes rag n bone man is comfortably worse than ol’ tempest. Haven’t heard the sampha album but the marika Hackman one is my favourite of a pretty poor bunch

Guillemots - tried to go bombastic pop on their second album, didn’t work. Tried to go back to how their debut album sounded, still didn’t work. Then promised four albums in the space of a year back in 2012 or so, managed one (which was actually pretty good) and disappeared.

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