The Mercury Music Prize nominees have been announced, among a pretty predictable list (we predicted eight of the eventual 12 correctly if you’re interested), we are doffing our caps to Sunderland lads Field Music, whose album Plumb was most excellent this year. In fairness there’s a few Contact-praised records among the 12, with Jessie Ware also on the list for her debut album Devotion. She joins a host of artists on their debut LPs who’ve made the list, including Lianne La Havas, BBC Sound of 2012 winner Michael Kiwanuka , Django Django and Alt-J. Sam Lee is another full-length debutant, as are Roller Trio – they’re the two token acts that no one’s heard of by the way. It’s a traditional thing. Rounding out those on their first album is folkie troubadour Ben Howard.
Over 250 albums were entered into the competition, which sounds a lot, but we wager quite a few more were put out during the qualification period, the fact that you have to pay a not inconsiderable sum to enter the contest most likely driving a lot of the genuinely independent labels away. Rounding out the list was Plan B and his album Ill Manors, and The Maccabees’ Given To The Wild.
In the run up to the awards show itself on November 1st, a series of one-off gigs are going to take place for each of the final candidates in the build-up, for which entry will be free.