Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Mercury Prize winner to be revealed

Richard Hawley is one of 12 acts shortlisted for the prestigious Mercury Prize

Richard Hawley is among the favourites to win the Mercury Prize six years after he was "robbed" of the award.

The singer-songwriter is one of 12 acts shortlisted for the prestigious prize, with the winner revealed at a music industry bash at the Roundhouse in Camden, north London.

Hawley is 4-1 second favourite to win, with only genre-hopping electronic quartet Alt-J ahead of him, according to bookmakers William Hill, who have them as 6-5 favourites.

Also in the running is rapper-turned-actor and film-maker Plan B - real name Ben Drew - who makes the shortlist for Ill Manors, the soundtrack for the gritty film of the same name which he directed.

Established acts such as The Maccabees and Field Music will also battle it out against lesser known names and emerging acts such as Django Django.

Hawley, at 45 the oldest artist on the shortlist, was previously nominated in 2006 for Coles Corner and had been a hot contender, although he lost out to Arctic Monkeys.

When Monkeys frontman Alex Turner collected the prize, formally known as The Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize, for his album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not, he announced: "Someone call 999 - Richard Hawley's been robbed."

The list fails to recognise notable commercial successes such as Coldplay and Florence + The Machine, as well as Emeli Sande who landed the Critics Choice award at the Brits and has had acclaim and huge sales following her performances at the Olympic ceremonies.

Django Django and Alt-J have built a huge buzz around their debut albums earlier this year, as has Ware. Field Music, featuring Sunderland brothers David and Peter Brewis, are nominated for their album Plumb. As well as their releases together, the pair also each released albums of their own in 2008.

Michael Kiwanuka finds himself on the shortlist after being given a boost by topping the BBC's Sound of 2012 list at the start of the year. The nominations almost invariably include a nod to the worlds of jazz and folk and this year is no exception. Folk is represented by both Sam Lee and Ben Howard, while drum, guitar and sax act the Roller Trio fly the flag for jazz.

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