So there you have it, another year, another Mercury Prize winner, what have we learnt?
Firstly, we’ve a deserved winner in the form of day-glo posh chimps Klaxons.
Personally I think their debut is hugely hit-and-miss; a set of deeply unforgettable filler wrapped around bonza singles and one classic – Atlantis To Interzone.
But the reasons Myths of the Near Future is so deserving of recognition is that it perfectly encapsulates 2007’s spirit of dance. A year when guitars have primarily taken a backseat (can you honestly name a British guitar record which will be held up in a decade, nay five years, as a classic) and the beat has comprehensively conquered all.
While a certain music weekly would love to lay claim to coining the much-maligned nu-rave tag, it was Klaxons’ Jamie Reynolds that originated the term for their brand of post-punk scuzz meets dancefloor sonics. And so it was that a rag-tag bunch of fluorescent chancers followed suit and a ‘scene’ was born.
But this isn’t the only reason why I am pleased Klaxons have won, no they also represent the kind of glorious chaos that’s great about new music. From their thrift-store hand me down get up, to their bed hair and the chance that their live set could implode at any minute, they’re guaranteed to invoke derision from the purists and backhanded compliments from the cooler-than-thou. Oh and they love to get fucked.
Watching their two sets at Glastonbury I was staggered by the lustful young fervour they’d created. Something completely absent from many of their contemporaries on the bill. Further proof was delivered later on the Saturday night at Pilton when bumping into Jamie Klaxon outside the Chapel of Love & Loathing, here was a man covered in all manner of shit – purple liquid, chewing his face off, hair plastered to his face, talking in riddles – and next to Carl ‘who are Led Zeppelin’ Barat, a genuine charmer and the very epitome of a rock star with enough individuality to escape stereotypical pitfalls.
Anyways, enough on the winners. Other points for consideration…
A) How good is Amy Winehouse? Not only is she a diamond singer, she’s living breathing proof that getting totalled mullered on a diet of red wine, ketamine, crack and hair extensions is the way forward. She looked and sounded utterly ace.
B) Bat For Lashes should have won. Natasha Khan’s record was clearly the finest on the list and she also gave, hands down, the best live showing. Robbed. The only saving grace is that she will hopefully not suffer a massive dip into the abyss which has fallen previous winners. All bow down to the golden headbanded one.
C) Why were the Arctics and Dizzee nominated? Everyone from JoWhiley to Ade Edmondson were gegging on about how the Mercury is the last bastion of supporting new talent – and yet neither were new, neither need the exposure and neither were ever going to win. Pointless.
D) Basquiet Strings, ever heard of ’em, no. Into them, yes. On the ‘must getintothis’ list.
E) Jools Holland (this is a multi-parter): i) Cannot read an autocue. ii) Wears a suit like a trannie wears an implant; utterly disgraceful. iii) Cannot improv, except on the piano. iv) is the luckiest bastard in the music industry.
F) Despite me saying so this year’s prize was actually a bit of alright. See you next year, when the winner will be a jazz-tinged wierdo junkie that plays the nose-flute in the key of wrong. C’mon the token ‘WTF’ has to win some year, right?