The Mercury Music Prize announcement draws ever closer. Tonight all eyes (well more than took notice of the Q Awards) will be on the Roundhouse in Camden to see who gets the 300% spike in sales during the build up to Christmas, the £20,000 cash prize and maybe even a cheeky little advertising tie-in.
Hosted by Lauren Laverne and Nick Grimshaw, the awards will be beamed out live via 4Music from 9:45pm, with the winner being announced on Channel 4 at 10pm. Unlike the MOBO's all the nominees will be in attendance, and a mutual appreciation of each others work is guaranteed amongst the big guns; expect to hear the winner doff their caps to the other contenders and maybe even proclaim, à la Alex Turner, that someone else truely deserved to win. Then watch them weep with joy walking off as they realise they can now keep up with their mortgage repayments.
The Mercury Music Prize judging panel has hurled many a curveball at the unsuspecting public over the years so popular opinion can't really be trusted to count for much, but if it can be relied upon to provide any insight then Alt-J will win. William Hill had them at 6/5 favourites before the market closed, Amazon have released figures stating they've accounted for 25% of all the contenders sales since the shortlist was announced and Spotify have said it's the 'An Awesome Wave' boys who have topped their streaming charts over the same period of time. Perusing the same set of Amazon figures it should also be noted that Roller Trio's album sales have jumped an almighty 357% since the nominations were announced; for a Jazz trio to sell close to 500 copies of their album in 2012 is an honourable feat so sticking a quid on them might not be as ridiculous as it sounds. Remember Speech Debelle?