British rockers The Darkness have slammed the "tepid" audience at this Tuesday's (09SEP03) MERCURY MUSIC PRIZE AWARDS in London - because they didn't react well to their performance.

Singer Justin Hawkins and his spandex-clad bandmates took to the stage for a raucous performance of their single I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE but failed to excite the unimpressed onlookers.

Hawkins says of the crowd, "They were tepid. Tepid to warm I think. More of the tepid to cold then really, weak on many levels.

"It wasn't really a gig going crowd, they were diners - they were vol-au-vent scoffers. They weren't fists in the air, they were knives and forks, poised above some melon and parma ham or something, they weren't ready for us I don't think."

Guitarist brother Dan Hawkins adds, "We're glad we didn't win. We respect the Mercury Prize but it would not have been right for us to win it so early in our career."

British rapper Dizzee Rascal took home the coveted prize and $32,000 (GBP20,000) award money.

11/09/2003 17:20