I really don't like awards and award ceremonies. And I particularly despise music awards. So what to make of British Sea Power being nominated for the Mercury Music Prize? Sorry - the Nationwide Mercury Music Prize (so good they had to sponsor it twice?).
The full short list is here. For the last couple of years, when I have bothered to pay the Mercurys any attention at short-list stage, there's always been a moment when I got excited about someone on that list and thought "now THEY would be a worthy winner" - see The Go! Team in 2005, Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan in 2006, The Young Knives in 2007 etc.
But nothing too interesting ever wins: the Mercurys (or any mainstream music awards) either appear to reward mediocrity and middle-of-the-road-ness (M People's 'Elegant Slumming' anyone?) or go for the 'popular-at-the-time-supposedly-alternative' option (Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys) .
Now wouldn't it be good to see this performed live at the awards ceremony as worthy winners?
Yes?! Well I don't think it is going to happen. There's some concern on the BSP forum that such awards = success = playing arenas = not being the band we loved in the first place. Well BSP are too interesting (read 'niche', 'cult') to play arenas or to win an award like this. And I don't think the short-list necessarily helps with acclaim, recognition or sales. What did it do for The Delgados and 'The Great Eastern' in 2000? Now THAT would have been a worthy winner ...
See what I mean?
Anyway to show my loyalty(?!) I think I will have a tenner on BSP at 12/1, publicly predict Laura Marling but fully accept that The Last Shadow Puppets have it sewn up.
Graham Parker & The Rumour
Squeezing out Sparks [BUY]
The Great Eastern [BUY]