Wolf Alice win the 2018 Mercury Music Prize

Earlier in the day, Nadine Shah was the bookies favourite to win the award ahead of Lily Allen, Noel Gallagher and others

Wolf Alice have won the 2018 Mercury Music Prize for their second album, 2017’s ‘Visions Of A Life’.

The most coveted prize in music was awarded to Wolf Alice in a ceremony at the Eventim Apollo at Hammersmith tonight (Thursday September 20).

Receiving the award, singer and guitarist Ellie Rowsell said: “This means so much to pick this up with my three best friends.”

Guitarist Theo Ellis, meanwhile, recounted when the band were rejected by a record label boss because of their image. Ellis added: “But here we are, so fuck you!”

Forming in 2010, Wolf Alice were originally a duo made up of Roswell and guitarist Joff Oddie. Joel Amey later joined on drums, followed by Theo Ellis in 2010. Their debut album ‘My Love Is Cool’ was nominated for the 2015 Mercury Music Prize but they lost out to Benjamin Clementine.

Earlier in the day, Nadine Shah was leading as the bookies favourite with her acclaimed 2017 album ‘Holiday Destination’ receiving odds of 9/4 from William Hill.  Jorja Smith, Sons Of Kemet, King Krule, Wolf Alice and Arctic Monkeys all trailing Shah.

Speaking to NME ahead of the ceremony, the band spoke about what the £25,000 prize money would mean to them.

Joel Amey said: “It’s a huge amount of money. I think in the right hands with bands and stuff you could do a lot of good and a lot of productive work with it…We are based in London so it would be great to get a space in London…[or] maybe go back into the studio whilst we’re having some time off maybe.”

He continued: “There’s endless possibilities with a sum of money that big and if we were to win it we would definitely take a long hard think about using it responsibly and creatively.”

The band collected the winner’s trophy and cheque for £25,000, and then performed a song from the winning album ‘Don’t Delete the Kisses’ to a standing ovation from the audience.

The judging panel said: “From an incredibly broad list of remarkable music, Wolf Alice emerged as the overall winner due to their ability to deliver an album that combines the epic and intimate in equal measure. It is a journey of a record – with euphoric festival anthems and moments of subtle beauty – it is an album articulated with confidence and adventure. For them, the world awaits!”

Sign outside the Eventim Apollo – Credit: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images

Wolf Alice

Wolf Alice – Getty

Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac hosted the ceremony, which featured performances from many of the 12 nominees including Wolf Alice.

Other artists performing included Everything Everything, Lily AllenFlorence + The MachineJorja SmithKing KruleNadine ShahNovelist,  jazz group Sons Of Kemet, and Everything Is Recorded – the project by XL Recordings boss Richard Russell each played one track from their shortlisted album.

Whilst the Artic Monkeys didn’t attend the ceremony, they did send exclusive footage of a performance to the awards. You can watch that and clips from other performances here:

Speaking about the nominated artists earlier this year, the judges said: “This year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize celebrates albums by musicians at all stages of their careers, but with a shared belief in the importance of music for navigating life’s challenges – whether personal or political, falling in or out of love, growing up or looking back, angry or ecstatic. The music here is funny and inspiring, smart and moving. 12 amazing albums!”

Meanwhile, reaction to Wolf Alice’s win is appearing on social media:

In 2017, Sampha took home the award for his album ‘Process’.

This is a developing story with more to follow