Tuesday, September 06, 2005


We're not entirely sure that it makes the greatest sense to hold the Mercury prize giving at some sort of dinner party event - it hardly creates a sense of atmosphere having your audience sat down tucking into soup and lobster while the supposed most shiny lights of the record industry are doing their thing; even the Brits organisers realised quite quickly that that didn't really work.

There's been nothing much to make people drop their bread rolls, either - KT Tunstall did nothing to stop that popular Google search term - "KT Tunstall gay?" - cropping up; she really is worried about being mistaken for Dido, isn't she?

A couple of the artists get away without doing a song - most notably MIA, who is merely left to make a speech as she accepts her shortlist prize. Curiously for the quick-witted communicator she's meant to be, she seems unable to string a coherent thought together; in the little film they showed of her, even with the aid of editing she wasn't really able to offer very much, apart from how much she loves herself and how absolutely real she is.

Coldplay don't even have to turn up for their little prize, but they get a bunch 18Wheelers to make a film to accept it on their behalf. We imagine this is meant to be showing their contempt for a whole process they really don't expect to come out on top of.

The Go Team kick some life into the event, but it's probably a bit too late as they're the final act, and Jools sends us over to watch Jo Whiley, Conor McNicholas and Mark Radcliffe to do some chat up on the balcony to fill in while - well, we're not sure quite what the gap is for; perhaps the judges are still deliberating.

Ach, the judges say it's not been easy to come up with a decision - they always say that, don't they? And, after Jools has been padding and overpadding his part, we finally get a decision - Antony and The Johnsons. Seconds before they went back to the prize giving, Jo and Conor were discussing how people don't like it when she plays his music on the radio, but to be honest, we suspect there was an inevitablity about this decision. It might have been more radical, and certainly surprising, to give it to Coldplay.

In his victory speech, Antony points out that the whole concept is like a competition between an "orange and a spaceship and a spoon" - which is a criticism you often hear of the Mercury, but seldom from someone picking up the sponsor's cheque.

We're not sure MIA's going to take being told she isn't the best album of the year that well; and, in the traditional post-award slot, Simon Frith reveals that, ooh, it went right down to the wire, you know - it so nearly could have been the Kaiser Chiefs. But then again, he also believes that there's no reason why the A&TJ album couldn't be the biggest selling album of the year - which suggests he might not know that much about music after all.

Conor McNicholas, meanwhile, suggests that Antony is "too weird" for the readers to be on the cover of the NME. Well, that'll be good news for Liam and Noel there, anyway.


Anonymous said...

Erm, that wasn't Simon Frith at the end. Not sure who it was mind but he didn't half talk a load of bollocks. To describe the winning album as weird and strange and the lyrical content as disturbing was a bit off as well.

Anonymous said...

The mercury is the kiss off death (see analysis in recent issue of Word). A&the Js will vanish without trace. the Kaisers should be thankful they didn't win.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

Wasn't Frith? Damn, I missed the bit where Jo was introducing him, and she didn't thank him at the end...

Bridgey O said...

This week's NME: Ian Brown.

I bet Conor was one of those "individual" kids who hung around with other "individuals".

ian said...

I suspect the KT Tunstall gay thing is just people mistaking her for KD Lang. It'd be worse if she forsook capital letters.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

Although she also has something of the AA Milne about her...

Anonymous said...

you know it *was* Coldplay in their hilarious video though don't ya?


"Coldplay don't even have to turn up for their little prize, but they get a bunch 18Wheelers to make a film to accept it on their behalf. We imagine this is meant to be showing their contempt for a whole process they really don't expect to come out on top of."

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