All the artists nominated for the Hyundai Mercury Prize were represented by performances last night (September 15).
Skepta, who won for his album ‘Konnichiwa’, performed its single ‘Shutdown’ before Mercury judge Jarvis Cocker announced his victory at the ceremony at London’s Hammersmith Eventim Apollo. He then played ‘Man’ following his win.
David Bowie was represented by Michael C Hall, who is starring in the late singer’s musical ‘Lazarus’ when it opens at London’s Kings Cross Theatre on October 25. Hall, star of Fox drama Dexter, sang the title track from ‘Lazarus’, which also features on Bowie’s Mercury-nominated album ‘Blackstar’.
The only other nominees not to play live in person on the night were Radiohead and Anohni. Radiohead sent a video of Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood playing ‘Present Tense’ in a performance directed by filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson.
Anohni was represented by a singer covered in body paint performing ‘Drone Bomb Me’ from Anohni’s album ‘Hopelessness’.
First to perform was Bat For Lashes, who sang ‘Sunday Love’ from ‘The Bride’. Admitting she was nervous at opening the ceremony, Natasha Khan told NME before the show: “I’m really scared. It’s quite daunting, but I want to give a suitably dramatic moment and I think I can do that.”
The 1975 played ‘Love Me’ from their album ‘I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’, which saw singer Matt Healy yell “Now play a fucking guitar solo”, while standing on the band’s table.
In awarding the prize to Skepta, Cocker said the award came down to “two black stars”. It’s thought that Michael Kiwanuka was the other artist in contention. He played the title track from his No 1 album ‘Love And Hate’.
Kano missed out on the final shortlist of six albums, despite a performance of ‘3 Wheel-Ups’ from his ‘Made In The Manor’ album which drew one of the loudest responses from the crowd at the event.
Jazz trio The Comet Is Coming played ‘Space Carnival’ from their album ‘Channel The Spirits’. Betamax Killer told NME: “We were told to play ‘Space Carnival’ by the organisers. It’s a terrible song title, we’d meant to change it. We definitely would have if we’d known it was going to be seen by so many people.”
Other performances from Savages, Laura Mvula and Jamie Woon can be seen below.