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Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Mercury Music Prize

Congratulations to Elbow on their win last night, for the album The Seldom Seen Kid. I know a couple of people from their label Polydor who were sitting with them at the ceremony last night, so for that reason alone it's great that they won.

Out of the twelve nominees though, I would have loved to see Neon Neon win, for Stainless Style. A great idea for a record (a concept album on the life of John DeLorean, he of the car in Back To The Future), but also just a brilliant pop record - familiar due to its many 80s nods, but thoroughly modern and smart. Shame it didn't win. I've played both Racquel and Dream Cars from Stainless Style at the Young Offenders Institute, and if you haven't heard them, seek them out.

That would have been my pick, but my money was (metaphorically) on Burial. I reckoned that a win for him would give the Mercurys more press, and cynically thought that could be a factor (not that he wouldn't have deserved it - it's a great record). With all the mystery surrounding who he is, there's a real aura surrounding the whole thing. By the way, on that last point, did you hear that after being nominated for the Mercury he apparently decided that the whole anonymity thing could be seen as courting more publicity so he offered up his real name, William Bevan (after tabloid guesses that Burial was in fact either Norman Cook or Richard D. James). Seems our man William Bevan just didn't want all the stuff that surrounds making music these days. As one magazine pointed out though, the name William Bevan is also that of a funeral parlour in Ross-On-Wye. Burial / funeral parlour - geddit?

Problem with that theory though is that William Bevan also comes up on the most basic google search as a Duke Provost, a Californian private chef and an American orthopedic surgeon, so it seems the funeral parlour conspiracy theory could just be nonsense. Pity.

Anyway, congratulations Elbow. Time to dig out the record and see if I missed the point first time round.

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