So the annual Mercury Prize was awarded to Elbow last night, which was a slight outsider, but couldn't have gone to a nicer bunch of people. Apparently a lot of smart money from the industry was on Elbow. Although I don't think Elbow are that special a band, they do come across as genuinely lovely blokes with whom it would be nice to share a pint with. The Seldom Seen Kid, an album which I don't own, and haven't heard, except the rather good singles, seems like a culmination of everything they've been trying to achieve since the opening bars of 'Any Day Now' on debut 'Asleep in the Back'.
The Mercury itself is a strange institution. An award ceremony all about the music, but picked by a selected panel of judges. No public input. It's one of those totally elitist things that has become rather predictable in the music world. The nominees this year was fairly predictable, with innovative albums (Radiohead, Burial) mixed with up and coming indie acts (Laura Marling, The Last Shadow Puppets), old timers (Robert Plant and Alison Krauss) and something from the folk and Jazz worlds (Rachel Unthank and Portico Quartet respectively). A lot of really good albums seemed to have been overlooked this year though, mainly M.I.A but there are others that should have perhaps been included. Much as I love the Plant and Krauss album, I don't really see it as anything spectacular. It's just a very satisfying listen. Where is the nod to the Fall? They have really hit a good run of form of late, and the last three albums have all been worthy of a nod. Wouldn't that be great? Let's get Mark E. Smith a Mercury Prize.
Anyway Mothers, here is Elbow doing 'One Day Like This' at Glastonbury this year.
Currently listening to Hip Hop. Roots Manuva right now, but had a lot on shuffle. I recently bought 'Fear of Music', Gary Mulholland's music book, and his enthusiasm for hip-hop is infectious. My shopping list has grown.