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The Mercury Prize is a barometer of British Music. A looking glass into the musical trends of any one time so to speak. Taking place at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, it promises to be 2019s musical climax.
Tonight, we’re covering the event. Giving the thoughts and opinions of Click HQ and key updates throughout the night. Want to air your opinion? Contact us via the form at the bottom of this page:
22:15: DAVE DAVE DAVE
Santan Dave has changed the game this year. With grime more popular than ever, he has emerged as a true great. Emotive, raw, inspiring, humble. We cannot think of a more deserved winner!
21:25: More Performances
Foals had the pleasure of opening the night, notice Felix White taking up guitar duties. Yannis had an encounter with a sharp knife, oops!
And then came Fontaines D.C. who are absolutely unstoppable right now. Believe it or not, they’re playing in Canada tomorrow night!
21:15: Twitter awaits
How’s everyone feeling? Not long to go now. Here’s what some of our favourite twitter users are saying:
T-minus 45 minutes until we’ll know our winner!
21:00: Mesmeric Anna Calvi
Anna Calvi has just blown everyone out of the water!
20:15: Red Carpet Protest
Talk about using the platform for good, big up Foals!
19:45: The Click Music Exit Poll
Now the previews are over, let’s take a look at some figures. We’ve been running a poll over on our twitter feed this afternoon (@clickmusicuk).
Looks like our followers believe Idles will take victory tonight!
19:23: The 1975 – ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’
The 1975 are perhaps the most established band on the list, their previous three records have all hit number 1 in the charts. The Dirty Hit outfit claim they wish to be ‘every band,’ and A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’ submerging genres proves this.
The critical acclaim which followed its release is entirely justified, pushing boundaries seem second nature for the Manchester formed outfit.
19:10: Slowthai – ‘Nothing Great About Britain’
The Northampton born musician merges elements of numerous genres to create perhaps the most politically fuelled LP on the nominations list. With absorbing guest appearances, Slowthai creates an album which explores counterculture and underclass.
19:00: SEED Ensemble – ‘Driftglass’
The London collective released Driftglass in February 2019. Since then it has grown into somewhat of a refreshed jazz masterpiece. The ten-piece project is led by composer, arranger and saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi.
18:50: NAO – ‘Saturn’
Nottingham born NAO has crafted an album both elegant and beautiful. It channels impeccable soul through themes of romance and escapism.
18:10: Little Simz – ‘GREY Area’
GREY Area was released in March 2019 and represents Little Simz’ third body of work. It build on a concept of rap which is more self reflective than many, with a tonne of special collaborations to match.
Cleo Sol, Chronixx, Little Dragon and Michael Kiwanuka all feature.
17.55: Idles – ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’
Idles boast arguably the greatest fan community in the world. The AF Gang, no doubt cheering them on tonight, is a hive of positivity and love.
Idles’ brand of politically fuelled post punk comes in defiance of the country’s political downfalls. Combat austerity with tracks such as ‘Never Fight A Man With A Perm’ and ‘Great’ and you’re onto a winner!
17:48: Fontaines D.C. – ‘Dogrel’
Reaching just number 9 in the UK Album Chart, it is one of the lower performing albums on the shortlist. However, what it likes in chart positioning (who cares anyway) it makes up for in musical ferocity.
Singles like ‘Big’, ‘Hurricane Laughter’ and ‘Too Real’ are, quite frankly, immense.
17.35: Foals – ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1′
The band’s fifth album and the first of two to be released in this fruitful period for the band. It is ominous and at times dark.
The first of a double album, it has truly elevated them to the position of arena filling, potential festival headliners.
17.22: Dave – ‘Psychodrama’
Psychodrama is as much a memoir as it is a body of music. Dave is at the forefront of UK grime, redefining a genre which slows no signs of slowing down.
His Reading & Leeds headline sets proved this, a tent filled to the brim. Tracks such as ‘Black’, ‘Streatham’, ‘Location’ and ‘Disaster’ are powerful and intriguing.
17.01: Cate Le Bon – ‘Reward’
At the Mercury’s, Cate Le Bon is representing the entirety of musical Wales. ‘Reward’ was released in May 2019 and discovers themes of loneliness and isolation. It seemingly explores numerous genres without being too ‘out-there.’
16:50: Black Midi – ‘Schlagenheim’
Black Midi come from a fruitful South London scene centring around the musical hotbeds of New Cross, Peckham and Brixton. Schlagenheim was released in June 2019 and is their debut album.
Their sound is grimy, hair-raising to say the least. It is truly representative of a counter culture who has lost its faith in traditional indie/guitar music. Guitar pedals and effects mean that this album is erratic, in quite a beautiful way.
16:35: Anna Calvi – ‘Hunter’
Anna Calvi is an inquisitive artist, ‘Hunter is the epitome if this. Released in August 2018 on Domino Records, it represents Calvi’s third body of work. It explores key themes of gender, sexuality, and identity.
These messages are respondent in every track on the album. Singles such as ‘Don’t Beat The Girl Out of My Body’ stand out, powerful and well thought out!
With the big event just hours away, here’s some words on this year’s twelve nominations.
For more details on selection, have a gander at the information provided by the organising body:
15:21: A haiku…
A big day of music is not complete without a haiku offering from the amazing Idles. They’re highly tipped to come away victorious tonight.
What’s your opinion on Joy as an Act of Resistance?
14:09: Who, What, Why, Where?
The Mercury Prize lists some important details, including entry cost and judging processes. Here’s some key details:
- The Mercury Prize is a celebration of British Music, providing a snapshot of the year in question via 12 nominations.
- There are no categories, just one prize. This isn’t a money making exercise, just music.
- It is the music equivalent to the Booker Prize for literature and the Turner Prize for art.
- Primal Scream’ ‘Screamadelica’ was awarded the first Mercury Prize in 1992. (We’ll look into more past winners later this afternoon!)
- An independent panel chooses the nominations, the same panel reconvene on ceremony night to decide the winner. We hear things can get pretty heated!
- The judging panel includes musicians, music journalists, music presenters, music producers and heads of music.
- Around 220 albums are often nominated.
- The entry fee is £190 + VAT.
So…. who’s excited? Tell us your thoughts via the contact form at the bottom of the live feed!
13:36: But first… Who’s missing?
With only 12 nominations on offer (and some political contentiousness) some artists do not feature. Here are three who, quite frankly, should be on the list.
Fat White Family – ‘Serfs Up’
Quite frankly, one of the year’s stand out releases. Fat White Family have, historically, set the scene for some of this year’s nominations. Is Serfs Up their best release to date? No. Is it musically forward thinking, politically relevant and genre bending? Of course it is!
Sleaford Mods – ‘Eton Alive’
Sleaford Mods’ Jason Williamson is one of the Mercury’s biggest critics. “We didn’t enter the mercury,” he said in a now-deleted tweet. “You have to enter it with a pile of dough. That’s how all award ceremonies work.”
Eton Alive is captivating. As were their previous two releases. The fact Sleaford Mods have never had a look in is, in truth, soul destroying.
Self Esteem – ‘Compliments Please’
The Guardian take some pleasing. In their review of Compliments Please, Self Esteem took 4 stars out of 5. Wildly ambitious pop not afraid to be outspoken. Music needs more of Rebecca Taylor, as does the Mercury Award.
It’s not all doom and gloom… The list below is, in truth, a dynamic and diverse representation of British Music. But hey, why not have 15 nominations? cc: @MercuryPrize
12:50: Who’s who?
Below are tonight’s 12 nominations. We’ll be previewing each throughout the day, how exciting!
Anna Calvi – ‘Hunter’
Black Midi – ‘Schlagenheim’
Cate Le Bon – ‘Reward’
Dave – ‘Psychodrama’
Foals – ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1’
Fontaines D.C. – ‘Dogrel’
Idles – ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’
Little Simz – ‘Grey’
NAO – ‘Saturn’
SEED Ensemble – ‘Driftglass’
Slowthai – ‘Nothing Great About Britain’
The 1975 – ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’
12 artists, some household names, some not. That’s the beauty of the Mercury Prize, it rewards artistry, talent and sound.
This year is being touted as the most political yet, and so it should be. Music and politics go hand in hand, a powerful tool to hold those in power accountable. This will become a trend throughout the night, no doubt!
12:25: The Nominees