Shortlist unveiled

The shortlist for the Barclaycard-sponsored Mercury Prize has been unveiled, and as usual it contains a host of surprises.

Often the centre of controversy, the Mercury Music Prize began life way back in 1992. Intended as a celebration of new British music, Primal Scream got the first nod amid debauched scenes, with their winner's cheque being misplaced within hours of 'Screamadelica' claiming the award.

Since then the award has had its up and downs. Notable winners - for varying reasons - include M People (will they ever live this down?), Klaxons, Portishead, PJ Harvey, Pulp, Gomez and, of course, Elbow.

The Bury boys won the prize last year in emotional circumstances, with their album 'The Seldom Seen Kid' being dedicated to a deceased friend. Since then the band have become household names with their record going on to claim a Brit award.

The Mercury nominations bring with them an annual bout of controversy, with fans debating the merits of those involved. This year will prove to be no exception with a number of shock entries and omissions.

Without further ado, here are the nominations with William Hill odds in brackets:

Glasvegas - 'Glasvegas' (6/1)
Bat For Lashes - 'Fur And Gold' (6/1)
Lisa Hannigan - 'Sea Sew' (8/1)
The Horrors - 'Primary Colours' (8/1)
Kasabian - 'West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum' (5/1)
Led Bib - 'Sensible Shoes' (10/1)
The Invisible - 'The Invisible' (10/1)
La Roux - 'La Roux' (6/1)
Friendly Fires - 'Friendly Fires' (8/1)
Sweet Billy Pilgrim - 'Twice Born Men' (10/1)
Speech Debelle - 'Speech Therapy' (8/1)
Florence & The Machine - 'Lungs' (5/1)

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