The Mercury Prize 2019 shortlist is revealed tomorrow, Getintothis’ Peter Guy offers his annual predictions.
Back once again like a broken boiler in winter, it’s that time if year when the Mercury Prize rattles into your consciousness conking and spluttering spurious debris before fucking off for another 12 months.
In a tame attempt to drum up relative enthusiasm the judges were revealed yesterday and among the usual faces of DJ Annie Mac, head of 6 Music Jeff Smith, serial killer John Wayne Gacy and piano wanker Jamie Cullum were intriguing additions in the shape of game show host Michael Barrymore, Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce and somewhat controversially glove puppet Sweep, of popular children’s TV show Sooty.
As is always the case, record labels have to send lots of cash and about 275 compact discs to the extensive judging panel before the 12 nominees are decided.
Then Lauren Laverne picks the winner out of The Crystal Dome.
As is customary, and down to the sheer fact we couldn’t be arsed to go and watch Everton play a pre-season game at Wigan, here’s the annual Getintothis Mercury Prize Predictometer with a list of the artists and bands we think will – not should! – make up the final 12 of the Hyundai Mercury Prize 2019.
We had our second worst ever year on the Predictometer stakes last year, here’s hoping for better results. How will we sleep.
Once again, join in the customary fun by selecting your 12 picks on our Facebook page.
The Big Indie Two:
Indie has had a bit of crap time with the Prize of late.
Sure Wolf Alice kinda tick that box – an albeit vastly hyped crud one – but you have to go all the way back to alt-J in 2012 for a more characteristically ‘indie’ victor. And we’d be surprised if anyone from this pigsty of a category will be in the final shake up.
That said, it’s hard to see passed the all conquering 1975. And probably joining them is any one from Foals, Fat White Family and Spiritualized. We’ll go with Fat Whites. For no reason whatsoever.
The Old Bastard:
There’s been daft conversation in some quarters of The Specials being nominated – but that’s frankly off the scale farcical.
Jamie Cullum wasn’t even born when they started making music. Nope, this is the Thom Yorke part of the pie as Radiohead haven’t released an album this year. And thank fuck neither have Elbow.
The Critical Fave:
Black Midi are the obvious choice for this slice of pie but we’re gonna with something a little safer and more in keeping with the judges and that’s Anna Calvi.
Near ubiquitous on radio and the festival circuit her talent is redoubtable. She won’t win. Obviously.
The Electronic Corner:
This category could in future years be rechristened the James Blake category. He’s won the Mercury, and had a further nomination and we can’t see his run ending this year.
He positively ooooozes Mercury Prize credentials. If the judges had bollocks they’d nominate Gazelle Twin. They should. They won’t.
The MASSIVE Chart Sensation:
We’ve never knowingly heard anything by Lewis Capaldi but he’s everywhere and if a cynic like me thinks the Mercury Prize wants to curry favour with the mainstream media – then they’re gonna nominate him.
I know he’s had a spat with Noel Gallagher – and seen as though we’ve no pictures of this Capaldi fella, Noel will have to do.
If there’s one certainty in this year’s shortlist it’s Idles.
There’s simply no mistaking them – and they’re our tip to win. It’d be a statement for the state of Shit Britain and who more obviously Mercury Prize than this lot to shout it loud.
There’s many more we could add to this category, the aforementioned Fat Whites could sneak in, but we’re gonna go for Fontaines D.C. because they’d be our winners. They won’t win.
The Grime/Hip-Hop/We’re Not All Middle Class Guardian Readers Don’t You Know?
There was a time – nearly the entire 90s – when the Mercury barely represented any artists of colour. All that changed in 2002 with Ms Dynamite scooping the prize followed by Dizzee Rascal in 2003 and Speech Debelle in 2009.
With Skepta finally representing UK garage with the 2016 win the doors have been blown wide open and this year we’re predicting a fair few in this category.
Shoe-ins are album chart topping Dave and man of the moment slowtai who’s crossing over big time with those recent Liam Gallagher supports in the bag.
Add in the superlative Little Simz and suddenly the Mercury Prize is looking not just forward looking but actually rather tasty. Let’s hope it happens.
The Token Folk, Jazz, World Music Also-Ran:
This is another category which in past Mercury Prizes was a tokenistic box ticking exercise.
BUT now, new weird Britain is fizzing with contemporary rock acts which bring jazz well and truly to the fore. Will this year’s Prize reflect it? We’re not wholly convinced.
Ezra Collective are an outside pick but we’re thinking the more widely known Comet Is Coming will get the nod. After all they’ve been all over 6 Music.
So here’s the Getintothis Predictometer Mercury Prize 2019 predictions:
The 1975: A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
James Blake: Assume Form
Anna Calvi: Hunter
Lewis Capaldi: Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent
Comet Is Coming:Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery
Fat White Family: Serf’s Up
Fontaines D.C.: Dogrel
Idles: Joy As An Act Of Resistance
Little Simz: Grey Area
slowtai: Nothing Great About Britain
SOAK: Grim Town
Thom Yorke: Anima