The Mercury Prize Nominees – By Someone Who Hasn’t Heard The Albums


I’m not going to bullshit you. I don’t care about the Mercury Prize. The bands involved have never appealed and it just seems like a circle-jerk celebration of obscurity, just slightly out-there indie and men who can both have a beard and simultaneously be amazingly effeminate. Apparently this year quite a few of the nominated albums are by women, which is unusual.

So less beards then.

Bearing this in mind, I shall now give a rundown of the nominees based on what little I know of the bands, based on half watched videos, posters and, in some cases, just their name.

Florence and the Machine – Lungs

Twee indie delivered by someone who is more fringe than musician.

Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum

Angry northern types – sound like the Stone Roses, but not as good. At least one song will be about a slutty girl.

Bat for Lashes – Two Suns

Fringe-based indie, again. I reckon this one will be more Hawkwind than Kate Bush though. Not sure if that’s a good thing.

La Roux – La Roux

The 80s made flesh, doing things with keyboards so cliched even Dave Stewart would blush.

Glasvegas – Glasvegas

Angry Scottish types sounding like Joy Division but not as good. At least one song will be about drinking.

Speech Debelle – Speech Therapy

Sounds French. After a tiny bit of research – She’s not French. She’s an MC.

Friendly Fires – Friendly Fires

I bet this band have lots of piano. And checked shirts. And tight jeans. Like EVERYBODY ELSE.

The Horrors – Primary Colours

I honestly thought this lot were a joke dreamed up by The Mighty Boosh.

Lisa Hannigan – Sea Sew

Twee songs played on an acoustic guitar? Again? Really?

The Invisible – The Invisible

Something to do with electronica. Probably enjoyed by men who wear waistcoats.

Led Bib – Sensible Shoes

Jazz! Seriously! Token act? Of course! Better than the other acts on the list? Strangely, I expect so.

Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Twice Born Men

Any band with ‘Billy’ in the name will be men with beards making things people call soundscapes. Cos they can’t write songs.

Good luck, you lot!

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  • The Justice Factor
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    The best album almost never wins this award. It’s always either the hippest (and I realize using the word “hippest” is, rather ironically, not particularly hip) or the most obscure.

    Elbow (obscure), Klaxons (hip), Arctic Monkeys (hip), Antony & the Johnsons (obscure), Franz Ferdinand (hip), Dizzee Rascal (obscure back then), Ms Dynamite (hip).

    I think there may be a mathematical pattern to getting the winner. Or it might be like the number pi, where there is no repeating pattern, just random nonchalance by lazy judges. There’s maths here somewhere…

  • joewhitenoise
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Glasvegas sound pish all like Joy Division. If you listened to their album you’d know that.

    In fact, you’re wide of the mark with pretty much everything you’ve writen.

    A suggestion: howze about you listen to the albums and then write something? Just a thought.

  • Posted July 23, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Joe – I found it quite funny.

    Glasvegas sound terrible to the human ear.

  • joewhitenoise
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I thought it was a bit pointless. The Horrors one was funny. I can’t STAND Glasvegas but even I know they sound like Jesus and Mary Chain, not Joy Division.

    A smidgen of research and it could have been funnier.

    Must try harder.*

    (* I know this is ironic coming from someone who promised to write something every week and is failing miserably to deliver, but that doesn’t stop me from having an opinion on the quality of what goes up)

  • Posted July 23, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Permalink


    The clue to the amount of research I had done was in the title. If I’d listend to the albums the title would have been a lie!

    I don’t really care about the prize, or the bands involved – and the post reflects that.

    Now write something, so I can complain to you in the comments! :)

  • joewhitenoise
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Fairnuff Vonesy. I guess my point was that your lack of care/interest in the artists and the prize reflected itself in the writing and if you had just given each act the most cursory of listens you could have written something slightly better informed and therefore funnier and not had to put up with my moaning.

    I will write something soon, promise. In fact, had I known listening to something wasn’t a pre-requisite in forming an opinion I would have been shitting out pieces on an hourly basis.

  • Posted July 23, 2009 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    You’re not allowed to do that. That’s my trick.

    It wouln’t have been any better. I would have just sounded like every other half hearted music journo this week. I’d rather sound like a no hearted journo.

  • Michael
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Not necessarily a fan of any of these bands, but i am of some bands for whom your comments might also apply. It’s refreshing to read your criticisms both so that the ridiculous hype that seems to pervade through the underground these days might be dispelled somewhat in my mind but also to see, likewise electric roulette, that no matter how in touch you are you will always grow to dislike and dismiss modern music at some point in your life

  • Posted July 23, 2009 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Appreciate the compasson to ER!

    Bloody kids and their music…

  • Michael
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    me again. Lisa hannigan. WTF. I’m so sick of over polished meaningless and emotionless folk that is somehow hip. How is it hip? I was at alela diane the other night, dont know why really. She had a full and very enthusiastic audience. I was instantly cynical when i saw this considering that white denim only just pulled a similar if not smaller sized crowd a few weeks back, and they’re amazing. As usual it was the bearded skinny jeans effeminate types you described above. Oh and the ’shushers’. I hate them. They distract me from criticising the act to my friend or random person beside me.

  • Posted July 23, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Just did a cursory search for Lisa Hannigan on Spotify. She has something to do with Damien Rice.

    That guy wasn’t hip was he? I worked in a music shop when his album came out and I mostly peddled it to middle aged men who looked like Clarkeson, and rugger bugger wankers who no doubt used it as seduction music…


  • Posted July 23, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t listen to any of this crap if you paid me-and you do. Bloody Camden/Hoxton leisure pirates and their wanky died-hair bow-tie shite.

  • Posted July 23, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I’ve only heard of Batfer Lashes. How big are her knockers?

  • Michael
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    he probably was in some way, credible in some circles at least. Went out with yer one from the diary movie. I cant stand his pseudo deep/hearty rubbish.
    Lisa is well appreciated in all the right circles, at least over here (in ireland). heard her interviewed after this nomination, she was attmepting to be self deprecating by saying that she felt out of place with all the well dressed people whilst she was there in her ’second hand dress..’. Ya right, she loves that, it’s all part of the scene.

  • Posted July 23, 2009 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Michael – How big are this Lisa’s knockers? Are they Lisa Scott Lee-sized? Or Jordan Price-Andre-sized?

    And I’m still waiting on news of Batfer’s tits, by the way.

  • Posted July 23, 2009 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Lisa Hannigan is brilliant – been listening to her and Camera Obscura today.

    Who sung the twee acoustic song about seeing old people in a house, drinking whiskey, covering people in ink blankets and leading them up the stairs???

    I can’t find the song and it’s driving me up the wall.

  • Posted July 23, 2009 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    You’ll get no help from me…

    *Goes back to listening to Norwegian Black Metal*

  • Posted July 23, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Vones – Who’ll get no help? That shitebag Dave, or muggins ‘ere?

  • Posted July 23, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Permalink


    As for boob comparasson – Google images are worth more than the words I can provide.

  • Posted July 23, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I’ll get no help because I sometimes listen to musicians that aren’t dressed as Scandinavian cave trolls, or Finntrolls to Vones and his ilk.

  • Posted July 23, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    In that case, bear with me …

  • Posted July 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Exactly. Unless someone in the bad is dresed as a fictional beast, I just DON’T CARE.

  • Posted July 23, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Right! I’ve had a look, and neither of ‘em have got much to write home about in the tits department. Lisa looks to have a couple of small oranges stuffed down her dress, and Batfer’s disappointing duo barely pass muster as a pair of knockers at all.

    Don’t think I’ll be buying their albums.

  • Fiona Mayhem
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Nappers, I am delighted to see that you choose your music on the same basis as you choose your films

    *cough* While you were Sleeping *cough*

  • Posted July 23, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Sorry NC, but Batfer’s knockers are merely regular sized, although she does have a lot of people with boob-shaped hats on in the video for ‘Daniel’,does that make up for it?

  • Posted July 24, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Batfer’s knockers didn’t look all that regular in the photos I saw, Interceptor. They looked decidedly small and unimpressive.

    She should get ‘er udders Titmussed.

  • Posted July 24, 2009 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    That’s the song about ink and stuff (Edward is Deadward), just been played on 6music! That’s a relief.

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