Tuesday, July 19, 2005


It's not going to be Coldplay, is it? Not a bleedin' chance. But here are the records all - right now - with an equal chance of lifting the prize which almost guarantees that even if nobody can think of a thing to say about you, they'll always be able to call you Mercury Award-Winners:

· Antony and the Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now
· Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
· Coldplay - X&Y
· The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike
· Hard-Fi - Stars of CCTV
· KT Tunstall - Eye to the Telescope
· Kaiser Chiefs - Employment
· The Magic Numbers - The Magic Numbers
· Maximo Park - A Certain Trigger
· M.I.A. - Arular
· Polar Bear - Held on the Tips of Fingers
· Seth Lakeman - Kitty Jay

The surprising thing is that there are some halfway decent albums up for consideration - the Park, the Part, and the Fi; and it's nice to see that the Mercury Judges have behaved like everyone else in the world by treating the MIA album as a lot better than it actually is - it's a good piece of work but it's not historically important. KT Tunstall is there to show what happens if you let people bring bottled cider into the judging room.

Of course, when you want to throw your weight behind a band to win the award, you have to consider your own motivation, and for that reason we're hoping the Kaiser Chiefs win. They would almost certainly be crushed under the weight of raised expectations suggested by such a prize, which would mean they'd split up while they're still an amusing distraction and nobody would have to develop a pathological hatred of Ricky Wilson. Bloc Part and Hard-Fi are better, but don't deserve the punishment of the wrong sort of success; Maximo Park are nominated two years too soon, so must be preserved.

The sort of people who are actually impressed by a Mercury Prize, though, are the sort of people who like Tunstall.


Unknown said...

Is that Antony and the Johnsons the same Antony and the Johnsons who are a New York band?

So much for being UK/Irish acts...

Anonymous said...

Antony is British, though based in NY.

Magic Numbers are clearly going to win..

Anonymous said...

The loophole here being that Ant was born in Chichester. If only they could have found more such loopholes in time...

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

So are the rules like with National football teams? Somebody's gran was born in the Scilly Isles, and so that's them in...

I do wonder if it might be more fun to copy the rules from the Booker and allow Commonwealth acts to enter...

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