The list of bands who'll be playing the little event prior to Jools Holland announcing the winner of the Mercury Music Prize has been published. The Guardian's got the latest odds:
Dizzee Rascal – Tongue N' Cheek (4/1)
The xx – xx (4/1)
Paul Weller – Wake Up the Nation (6/1)
Corinne Bailey Rae – The Sea (6/1)
Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More (6/1)
Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can (6/1)
Foals – Total Life Forever (8/1)
Wild Beasts – Two Dancers (8/1)
Biffy Clyro – Only Revolutions (8/1)
Villagers – Becoming a Jackal (10/1)
Kit Downes Trio – Golden (10/1)
I Am Kloot – Sky at Night (10/1)
The subtle shift from throwing a spotlight on overlooked acts, into being an echo chamber for the broadsheet reviews pages, seems to have been completed.
It's a list without very much that you can say about it - and that's just the sort of vacuum that Gennaro Castaldo exists to fill:
Gennaro Castaldo, of entertainment retailer HMV, said: "If you look back at the Mercury awards over the years, the most successful nominated and winning albums tend to be the ones that have been 'bubbling under' for a while and building great word of mouth and critical acclaim, so that, when the judges do shine the spotlight on them, sales can take off in a very significant way.
"If the winner is a little too obscure or their music a bit too left field, as was arguably the case last year with Speech Debelle, then it may prove difficult to make that all-important connection with a wider, more mainstream audience.
"Equally, if the winner is already very well-known and has already enjoyed substantial sales, then any increase in sales and interest may also be more modest.
"It's really about finding just the right balance - so that an album is chosen both because it's a truly outstanding recording, but also because, in being selected, it has the potential to 'cross over' and go on to reach a much wider audience - as we saw with the 2008 winners Elbow."
If you nodded off during that, allow me to summarise: on behalf of people who sell records, Gennaro Castaldo stared madly at them and growled through unsmiling teeth "if you pick someone like Speech Debelle this year, we will hunt you down and pelt you with boxes of unsold copies of Speech Therapy - got it?"