Mercury Prize 2017

Well, the interesting thing about the Mercury Prize really tends to be the nominees, so finding out who actually won is often a bit anticlimactic. So here’s where we were a couple of months ago…

  • Alt-J – Relaxer
  • The Big Moon – Love in the 4th Dimension
  • Blossoms – Blossoms
  • Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone
  • Dinosaur – Together, As One
  • Glass Animals – How to Be a Human Being
  • J Hus – Common Sense
  • Sampha – Process
  • Ed Sheeran – ÷
  • Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer
  • Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos
  • The xx – I See You

This year’s winner is: Sampha. Congratulations to him!

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Mercury Prize 2017 – Nominations

The timing of the Mercury Prize seems to be very unpredictable these days, but they’re slowly edging themselves back to the summer time. This year’s nominees appeared last week, and look a lot like this:

  • Alt-J – Relaxer
  • The Big Moon – Love in the 4th Dimension
  • Blossoms – Blossoms
  • Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone
  • Dinosaur – Together, As One
  • Glass Animals – How to Be a Human Being
  • J Hus – Common Sense
  • Sampha – Process
  • Ed Sheeran – ÷
  • Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer
  • Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos
  • The xx – I See You

The BRIT Awards 2011

For the first time, the BRIT Awards took place at The O2 Arena on 15th February 2011, now, according to the official website, with more live music than ever before. James Corden was the host, and the award was designed by Vivienne Westwood.

This post is part of a series about the history of the BRIT Awards. You can read about the 2010 ceremony here, and the 2012 ceremony next time.

MasterCard British Album of the Year

Presented by Roger Daltrey from The Who. Nominees:

  • Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More
  • Plan B – The Defamation of Strickland Banks
  • Take That – Progress
  • Tinie Tempah – Disc-Overy
  • The xx – xx

Winner: Mumford & Sons

British Single

Voted for by listeners of Capital Radio and users of iTunes, and presented by Alan Carr. Nominees:

  • Alexandra Burke feat. Pitbull – All Night Long
  • Matt Cardle – When We Collide
  • Cheryl Cole – Parachute
  • Taio Cruz – Dynamite
  • Florence + The Machine – You Got the Love
  • Olly Murs – Please Don’t Let Me Go
  • Plan B – She Said
  • Scouting for Girls – This Ain’t a Love Song
  • Tinie Tempah – Pass Out
  • The Wanted – All Time Low

Winner: Tinie Tempah

British Male Solo Artist

Presented by Dizzee Rascal. Nominees:

  • Plan B
  • Robert Plant
  • Mark Ronson
  • Tinie Tempah
  • Paul Weller

Winner: Plan B

British Female Solo Artist

Presented by Boy George. Nominees:

  • Cheryl Cole
  • Paloma Faith
  • Ellie Goulding
  • Laura Marling
  • Rumer

Winner: Laura Marling

British Group

Voted for by listeners of BBC Radio 2, and presented by Dermot O’Leary. Nominees:

  • Biffy Clyro
  • Gorillaz
  • Mumford & Sons
  • Take That
  • The xx

Winner: Take That

British Breakthrough Act

Voted for by listeners of BBC Radio 1, and presented by Fearne Cotton. Nominees:

  • Ellie Goulding
  • Mumford & Sons
  • Rumer
  • Tinie Tempah
  • The xx

Winner: Tinie Tempah

British Producer

Awarded alongside a couple of other producer awards at the Music Producers Guild Awards the week before the main ceremony. Nominees:

  • Markus Dravs
  • Ethan Johns
  • John Leckie
  • Mike Pela
  • Stuart Price

Winner: Markus Dravs

International Album

Presented by Boris Becker. Nominees:

  • Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
  • Eminem – Recovery
  • Cee Lo Green – The Lady Killer
  • Kings of Leon – Come Around Sundown
  • Katy Perry – Teenage Dream

Winner: Arcade Fire

International Male Solo Artist

Presented by Lewis Hamilton. Nominees:

  • Eminem
  • Cee Lo Green
  • David Guetta
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Kanye West

Winner: Cee Lo Green

International Female Solo Artist

Presented by Cheryl Cole. Nominees:

  • Alicia Keys
  • Kylie Minogue
  • Katy Perry
  • Rihanna
  • Robyn

Winner: Rihanna

International Group

Presented by Simon Le Bon and John Taylor from Duran Duran. Nominees:

  • Arcade Fire
  • The Black Eyed Peas
  • Kings of Leon
  • The Script
  • Vampire Weekend

Winner: Arcade Fire

International Breakthrough Act

Voted for by viewers of MTV, and presented by Avril Lavigne and Will Young. Nominees:

  • Justin Bieber
  • Glee Cast
  • Bruno Mars
  • The National
  • The Temper Trap

Winner: Justin Bieber

Critics’ Choice

In association with War Child, and presented by Mark Ronson and Ellie Goulding. Nominees:

  • James Blake
  • Jessie J
  • The Vaccines

Winner: Jessie J

Outstanding Contribution

The BBC’s coverage (linked below) of the previous week’s Music Producers Guild Awards is a little confusing, as the entire event must have been. Was the Outstanding Contribution award part of the BRITs or of the Music Producers Guild event? Wikipedia thinks it was part of the BRITs…

My own interpretation of the situation is that there was no outstanding contribution award at the BRITs this year, but either way, the entirely justified winner was the founder of Mute Records, Daniel Miller, presented by Alison Goldfrapp, while Tony Visconti won the Innovation in Production award.

Performances

Further Reading / Viewing

Mercury Prize Winners 1992-2013

Last year, we looked at the nominees of the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize in excruciating detail (you can find the links below). This year, let’s just take a very quick browse through the list of winners!

  • 1992 – Primal Scream – Screamadelica
  • 1993 – Suede – Suede
  • 1994 – M People – Elegant Slumming
  • 1995 – Portishead – Dummy
  • 1996 – Pulp – Different Class
  • 1997 – Roni Size / Reprazent – New Forms
  • 1998 – Gomez – Bring it On
  • 1999 – Talvin Singh – Ok
  • 2000 – Badly Drawn Boy – The Hour of Bewilderbeast
  • 2001 – PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea
  • 2002 – Ms. Dynamite – A Little Deeper
  • 2003 – Dizzee Rascal – Boy in da Corner
  • 2004 – Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
  • 2005 – Antony and the Johnsons – I Am a Bird Now
  • 2006 – Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
  • 2007 – Klaxons – Myths of the Near Future
  • 2008 – Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
  • 2009 – Speech Debelle – Speech Therapy
  • 2010 – The XX – XX
  • 2011 – PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
  • 2012 – Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
  • 2013 – James Blake – Overgrown

Which does make for a slightly odd list when you see it all together – it’s a mix of legends and total drivel… but who are we to judge? That’s the job of the judging committee.

If you want to delve into the gory details of previous years, you can find them here: 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. The nominees for 2014 can be found here, and we’ll take a look at the winners next week.

Mercury Music Prize 2010-2012

With the Barclaycard Mercury Prize winner being announced this evening it’s high time that we caught up to the modern day and looked at the last three prize winners. This was a period in which many fans started to suggest the committee might have lost it, and PJ Harvey became the first artist ever to win the coveted award twice.

Barclaycard Mercury Prize 2010

The 2010 award took place on 7th September 2010, at the Grosvenor House hotel, in central London.

Nominees:

  • Biffy Clyro – Only Revolutions
  • Corinne Bailey Rae – The Sea
  • Dizzee Rascal – Tongue ‘n’ Cheek
  • Foals – Total Life Forever
  • I Am Kloot – Sky at Night
  • Kit Downes Trio – Golden
  • Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can
  • Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More
  • Villagers – Becoming a Jackal
  • Paul Weller – Wake Up the Nation
  • Wild Beasts – Two Dancers
  • The XX – XX

Winner: The XX

Barclaycard Mercury Prize 2011

Presented by Jools Holland on the 6th September 2011, at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Nominees:

  • Adele – 21
  • Katy B – On a Mission
  • James Blake – James Blake
  • Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
  • Elbow – Build a Rocket Boys!
  • Everything Everything – Man Alive
  • Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam
  • PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
  • King Creosote and Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine
  • Metronomy – The English Riviera
  • Gwilym Simcock – Good Days at Schloss Elmau
  • Tinie Tempah – Disc-Overy

Winner: PJ Harvey

Barclaycard Mercury Prize 2012

As part of the new format, the award shifted back a couple of months and took place on 1st November 2012, at The Roundhouse, Camden.

Nominees:

  • Alt-J – An Awesome Wave
  • Django Django – Django Django
  • Field Music – Plumb
  • Richard Hawley – Standing at the Sky’s Edge
  • Ben Howard – Every Kingdom
  • Michael Kiwanuka – Home Again
  • Lianne La Havas – Is Your Love Big Enough?
  • Sam Lee – Ground of Its Own
  • The Maccabees – Given to the Wild
  • Plan B – Ill Manors
  • Roller Trio – Roller Trio
  • Jessie Ware – Devotion

Winner: Alt-J

Further information

Record Store Day 2013

There’s something rather exciting about Record Store Day – loads of your favourite bands start throwing out obscure releases on bizarre formats. Not downloads, but real, tangible formats.

There’s also something rather disappointing about the whole thing. Of all of the releases I’ve heard about and wanted on Record Store Day, I’ve never actually seen a single one of them. Partly because I’ve always been out of the country every year so far, but partly also because I have a sneaking suspicion that what happens is that it’s actually a day for private dealers and too-keen collectors to swamp record shops and buy all the good stuff out. Anything worth having will be up on eBay within the day. Which seems to slightly defeat the object to me.

In fact, the only release from previous years that I remember having seen is the cassette version of Goldfrapp‘s last album Head First – which is a brilliant idea, but the knowledge that I’d never actually listen to it was what stopped me from buying it at that point.

Anyway, this year’s Record Store Day is this Saturday, and I’m actually going to be in the UK this time, so we’ll see if I can keep hold of my wallet while it happens. Here are some of the highlights of the releases that I spotted:

  • Bent – From the Vaults 1998-2007 (unknown format, 500 copies)
  • Booka Shade – Black Out: White Noise EP (12″)
  • David Bowie – Drive-In Saturday Night (7″ picture disc, 3000 copies), The Stars Are Out Tonight (7″ white vinyl, 5000 copies) and 1965 (7″)
  • Calexico – Spiritoso (LP, 2200 copies)
  • CaribouStart Breaking My Heart (LP), Up in Flames (LP) and The Milk of Human Kindness (LP)
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Animal X (7″ picture disc, 2500 copies)
  • Cut Copy – Bright Like Neon Love (12″, 4000 copies)
  • Duran Duran – Is There Something I Should Know? (7″)
  • Brian EnoNicholas Jaar x Grizzly Bear (10″, 2000 copies)
  • Frankie Goes to HollywoodThe Eye Has It (7″ shaped picture disc)
  • Garbage – Because the Night (10″, 5000 copies)
  • The Human League – Don’t You Want Me (12″)
  • Inspiral Carpets – Fix Your Smile (7″)
  • Junior Boys – Even Truer Remix EP (12″, 400 copies, “regional”)
  • MGMT – Alien Days (cassette single, 2000 copies)
  • Moby feat. Mark Lanegan – The Lonely Night (7″)
  • Mike Oldfield – Theme from Tubular Bells (7″)
  • Pink Floyd – See Emily Play (7″, 5000 copies)
  • Röyksopp – Ice Machine (10″)
  • Sigur Rós – Ágætis byrjun (12″, 982 copies, “regional”) and Hvarf / Heim (double LP)
  • The XX – Jamie XX Edits (12″, 1600 copies)
  • Various Artists – Astralwerks 20/20 (seven 7″ box set, including rare and unreleased tracks by KraftwerkAirThe Chemical Brothers and others, 100 copies, “regional”)
  • Various Artists – Factory Records – Communications 1978-1992 (10″ or 12″ including tracks by Joy DivisionNew OrderDurutti Column and Happy Mondays, 1000 copies)
  • Various Artists – Music from the Motion Picture Drive (LP picture disc of the excellent album with tracks by Kavinsky and Cliff Martinez, 1000 copies, US only)

Which should be more than enough to keep you busy. I’ve no idea what “regional” means. Thanks to the New Vinyl blog for helping with information about the releases. The full list is here for the USA and here for the UK.