Category: Mercury Prize

CATE LE BON interview – Evening Standard, 13 Sept 2019

When Cate Le Bon glides up the red carpet at the Mercury Prize ceremony next Thursday, few will remember the first time the Welsh singer-songwriter attended. In 2008, a year before she released her debut album, she was there as a guest singer with Neon Neon, the electronic side-project of American producer Boom Bip and Gruff Rhys from Super Furry… Read more →

MERCURY PRIZE 2017 commentary – Evening Standard, 15 Sept 2017

The Mercury Prize is the most subjective of awards – no counting of sales figures, no academy or fan votes – just 12 people in a room arguing. For every supporter of whatever the judges name the album of the year, there will be an equal and opposite detractor. I’m with them this time. Process, the debut album by 28-year-old… Read more →

ALT-J interview – Evening Standard, 8 Sept 2017

Back in 2011, when Alt-J were recording their debut album, singer-guitarist Joe Newman’s father popped down to the recording studio. He was so inspired by what he heard that he went straight to the nearest bookies, where he tried to put money on them to win the Mercury Prize the following year. “This would be a much better story if… Read more →

WOLF ALICE interview – Evening Standard, 16 Oct 2015

Leaping out among the 12 albums on today’s Mercury Prize shortlist is Wolf Alice’s My Love is Cool, a bright, swaggering collection that makes indie rock sound cool again at a time when the style is far from dominant. I caught up with the band earlier this week in the middle of a US tour, arranging an interview on the… Read more →

MERCURY PRIZE 2014 commentary – Evening Standard, 30 Oct 2014

“It’s positive,” said Graham Hastings of Young Fathers when asked how the trio felt about their Mercury Prize victory. You might not have guessed it from their grim faces, buried in coats as though they weren’t staying, when making the world’s shortest acceptance speech last night. This indefinable band, a multiracial hip hop group based in the rap wasteland of… Read more →

MERCURY PRIZE 2013 commentary – Evening Standard, 31 Oct 2013

After giving the prize to the bookies’ favourite three years running, then facing criticism this year for a safe shortlist that featured five number one albums, the Mercury judges proved they are still capable of springing a surprise when it comes to the big moment. James Blake had been nominated before for his debut album and come away trophy-less, so… Read more →


The 2013 Mercury Prize shortlist is revealed this evening, firing the starting pistol on the 20,000 arguments that will take place before the £20,000 cheque is awarded to the winning album at the end of next month. Judging on artistic merit rather than the sales success criterion of the Brit Awards, the Mercury always prompts music fan uproar because there… Read more →

MERCURY PRIZE/ALT-J – Evening Standard, 2 Nov 2012

For the third year running, the bookies’ favourite has won the Mercury Prize. Alt-J’s debut album An Awesome Wave was on short odds even before the 12-strong shortlist was announced in September. Perhaps we should have let Paddy Power give the £20,000 cheque out back then and saved ourselves a lot of fancy puddings. This might be a sign that… Read more →