The Icelandic band beat nine other finalists to claim the US equivalent of the Mercury Music Prize...

SIGUR ROS were announced as winners of the inaugural US SHORTLIST MUSIC PRIZE last night (November 19) an award designed to mirror the UK’s MERCURY MUSIC PRIZE

The ceremony, which took place at the Knitting Factory nightclub in Los Angeles, was founded to recognise the most creative albums of the year, focusing on emerging artists rather than established hitmakers

The Icelandic band beat out nine other finalists, including Air, the Dandy Warhols, Gorillaz, PJ Harvey, Ryan Adams and Talib Kweli for the prize. Sigur Ros, who had flown in from Iceland for the ceremony, won the $10,000 award for their album ‘Agaetis Byrjun’.

The winner was chosen by a panel of judges that included Beck, Macy Gray, Trent Reznor, Mos Def, Dave Grohl, Dan The Automator and producer Ross Robinson. Four of the finalists for the prize – Nikka Costa, the Dandy Warhols, Talib Kweli and Sigur Ros, all played live sets during the evening as part of the event.

A number of the judging panel, including Beck, Mos Def and Ross Robinson appeared on stage to introduce the bands. The Dandy Warhols provided light-hearted relief from the self important tone of the night by playing acoustically, with keyboardist Zia McCabe standing Mo Tucker-style playing drums, and performing covers of The Beatles‘ ‘Eight Days a Week’, The Rolling Stones ‘The Last Time’ and an obscure Brian Jonestown Massacre tune.

East Coast rapper Talib Kweli stole the show with a hard-hitting hiphop set, highlighted by a guest appearance by Mos Def.