The Divine Comedy has won the Choice Music Prize – Irish Album of The Year 2006 for the album ‘Victory For The Comic Muse’.
Ireland’s equivalent to the Mercury Music Prize,Neil Hannon fought off competition from nine other nominees to pick up the award and a cash prize of €10,000 at the event in Vicar St, Dublin on Wednesday night (February 28).
A surprise winner, The Divine Comedy had at one stage been rank outsiders at 60-1 to pick up the prize. The favourites had been Dubliners The Immediate for their acclaimed debut ‘In Towers And Clouds’, Si Schroeder for ‘Coping Mechanisms’ and Belfast’s Duke Special for ‘Songs From The Deep Forest’.
The other nominated acts and albums were:
Director – ‘We Thrive on Big Cities’
David Kitt – ‘Not Fade Away’
Messiah J & The Expert – ‘Now This I Have To Hear’
Fionn Regan – ‘The End of History’
Republic of Loose – ‘Aaagh!’
Snow Patrol – ‘Eyes Open’
Having earlier commented that he had a “snowball in hell’s chance” of winning, Hannon was visibly shocked when accepting the award. The Northern Irish star, who was dropped by EMI last month, then said he intended to “buy a new kitchen” with the €10,000 prize money.
Earlier in the evening eight of the 10 nominees performed two-song sets to the capacity crowd with Director and Republic of Loose proving the highlights. Snow Patrol and Fionn Regan were unable to attend due to tour commitments.
The inaugural Choice Music Prize – Irish Album of the Year 2005 was won by Julie Feeney for her self-released ‘13 Songs’ debut. She has since signed a worldwide recording contract with Sony-BMG.