COLDPLAY LEAD RACE FOR THE PRIZE

The sensitive rockers edge ahead of Leftfield and Richard Ashcroft as the nominations are announced...

Coldplay have emerged as the bookmakers’ favourite with this afternoon’s (July 25) announcement of the TECHNICS MERCURY MUSIC PRIZE nominations. Their chart-topping ‘PARACHUTES’ album comes in at 3/1 to scoop the award.

The critically-acclaimed Number One album heads a list of ten guitar-orientated nominations that, as in past years, has seen some surprise omissions.

Whispers that flavour of the month David Gray was going to steal in with ‘White Ladder’ proved unfounded, while former Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft took what is essentially the singer-songwriter nod for debut solo ‘Alone With Everybody’. According to bookmakers William Hill, it is joint second-favourite with Leftfield‘s second album ‘Rhythm & Stealth’ at 4/1.

Former winners Primal Scream, widely tipped for critical and commercial hit ‘Exterminator’, were overlooked. Death In Vegas took the vote instead with ‘The Contino Sessions’. Both ‘The Contino Sessions’ and two-step garage mainplayer MJ Cole sit at 7/1.

Another surprise was the inclusion of The Delgados’ ‘The Great Eastern’, the Chemikal Underground label bosses the preferred ‘indie’ hit ahead of fellow Scots Belle & Sebastian, whose ‘Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant’ did not, as expected, feature.

Both Doves, with ‘Lost Souls’ and Badly Drawn Boy with ‘The Hour Of Bewilderbeast’ have come in as wild-card bets at 10/1 while Kathryn Williams has become the new favourite folk female singer/songwriter, replacing the perennial Beth Orton.

Nitin Sawhney with ‘Beyond Skin’, Helicopter Girl with ‘How To Steal The World’ and token classical nominee Nicholas Maw with ‘Violin Concerto’ make up the rest of the field.

The nominations in full are as follows:

Coldplay ‘Parachutes’ (3/1), Leftfield ‘Rhythm & Stealth’ (4/1), Richard Ashcroft ‘Alone With Everybody’ (4/1), MJ Cole ‘Sincere’ (7/1), Death In Vegas ‘The Contino Sessions’ (7/1), Doves ‘Lost Souls’ (10/1), Badly Drawn Boy ‘The Hour Of Bewilderbeast’ (10/1), Nitin Sawhney ‘Beyond Skin’ (14/1), The Delgados ‘The Great Eastern’ (16/1), Helicopter Girl ‘How To Steal The World’ (16/1), Kathryn Williams ‘Little Black Numbers’ (20/1) and Nicholas Maw ‘Violin Concerto’(20/1).

The winner will be announced on September 12.