With The Mercury only a few days away here’s my form guide to the shortlist..
Alt-J – ‘An Awesome Wave’
Odds on favourite; surprisingly. It’s a good record but a bit geeky so I don’t think it will win. And anyway Django Django’s the better of the geek stuff.
Richard Hawley – ‘Standing On The Sky’s Edge’
Hawley’s best yet and a strong contender. Love it.
Plan B – ‘Ill Manors’
Not a favourite with the bookies but I think it has a real chance.
Sam Lee – ‘Ground Of Its Own’
Folking no chance.
Lianne La Havas – ‘Is Your Love Big Enough?’
A really nice soul record, but released on Nonesuch records in the US does not sound like a Mercury Prize winning combination to me.
Django Django – ‘Django Django’
The years best reciord and should win. I think it will.
The Maccabees – ‘Given To The Wild’
Much loved by Radio 6 but not the record buying public. I think not.
Ben Howard – ‘Every Kingdom’
Cack. Won’t win.
Jessie Ware – ‘Devotion’
A genuine outsider. Lovely record, consistent throughout. I give it a chance.
Roller Trio – ‘Roller Trio’
It’s Jazz. Need I say any more. I have nothing against jazz but the Mercury Prize does. Tokenism.
Field Music – ‘Plumb’
Not as good as their earlier work. I’d be surprised if this won.
Michael Kiwanuka – ‘Home Again’
Better than Ben Howard but pretty bland. I doubt very much if this will win.
So my shortlist is Django Django, Plan B, Richard Hawley and Jessie Ware. My money’s on the Djangoes with a touch on Hawley and Jessie.