PRIZE FIGHTING!

Lots of complaints about the absence of the likes of Spiritualized, Idlewild and The Cooper Temple Clause...

COM readers who also believe STARSAILOR and Soulfly

should have been shortlisted for the prestigous award.

While many readers welcomed the inclusion of Idlewild, installed as early joint favourites (at 4/1) to scoop the award for debut album ‘Original Pirate Material’, the majority were critical of the arbitrary nature of the 12-strong shortlist, announced last week.

“In response to your question about whether the shortlist focuses on the best of British music, in short I’d have to say ‘no’,” said Ed Matley. “I don’t think the shortlist focuses on the best, but it does focus on British music.”

Myles Oldwood was less diplomatic. “With one or two exceptions, this list is a fucking disgrace. What message does this send out. That Spiritualized can make a great record, or Starsailor

for that matter but forget that because The Bees have made a pile of honk that needs to be looked at. And

Beth Orton. That poor sod needs a leg-up at this point of his career. I mean come on. And what about So Solid Crew? They made one of the most important albums of last year and they made huge impact on contemporary culture in this country.”

So Solid Crew have brushed off the snub, telling NME.COM: “Having won three MOBO awards, a Brit award and an Ethnic Multicultural Media award, So Solid Crew are not concerned that they have not been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.”

Readers have been less forgiving. “I actually forgot that the Spiritualized album was eligible for this year’s Mercury Music Prize. Perhaps the judges forgot this also as it was the best album of last year,” said Sean Holmes. “If the [/a] album got nominated it’s surely a fucking tragedy that [a]has not been. And Beverly Knight but no[/a].”

“[a] got nominated because [/a] had no album out,” explained Henning Furbach. “But my god, she’s so boring. There are no words for the eternal boredom only a few seconds of a song of hers induces. [a]: Come off it. The album isn’t good. [/a]: No, really. Are they boring? Quite. The best British album of the last twelve months is [[a]’s] ‘See This Through And Leave’. No Contest.”

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in central London on September 17. PJ Harvey won last year.

The full list of nominees is

Doves ‘The Last Broadcast’

The Streets ‘Original Pirate Material’

Miss Dynamite ‘A Little Deeper’

David Bowie ‘Heathen’

Beverley Knight ‘Who I Am’

Roots Manuva ‘Run Come Save Me’

The Coral ‘The Coral’

Electric Soft Parade ‘Holes In The Wall’

The Bees ‘Sunshine Hit Me’

Gemma Hayes ‘Night On My Side’

Joanna MacGregor ‘Play’

Guy Barker ‘Soundtrack’