UK & World News
Alt-J Win Mercury Prize For An Awesome Wave
The Mercury Prize has gone to the hotly tipped indie quartet Alt-J for their album An Awesome Wave.
Joe Newman, Thom Green, Gus Unger-Hamilton and Gwil Sainsbury, who met at Leeds University in 2007, looked stunned as they collected the award - despite long being the bookies' favourites.
The genre-hopping electronic quartet beat acts such as rapper Plan B, real name Ben Drew, to win the £20,000 award at the Roundhouse in Camden, north London.
Singer-songwriter Richard Hawley, who was nominated for his album Standing At The Sky's Edge, narrowly missed out again - six years after claiming he was controversially "robbed" by the Arctic Monkeys.
Hawley, the oldest nominee, was also one of the favourites to win.
The singer-songwriter was one of 12 acts shortlisted for the prestigious prize.
But Alt-J beat established acts such as The Maccabees and Field Music, lesser known names and emerging acts such as Django Django.
The prize gives a huge sales boost to the winners, and all nominees benefit from the publicity surrounding their albums.
Judging panel chair Simon Frith said the shortlist "showcases a wonderful variety of musical voices, emotions and ambitions".
He went on: "There are eight debut albums on the list and four albums from more established artists.
"The sheer range of music here celebrates the abiding ability of British musicians to find new ways to explore traditional themes of love and loss while making an exhilarating soundtrack for life in 2012."
Past winners include Dizzee Rascal, Pulp and Klaxons plus PJ Harvey who has won twice.
The Barclaycard-sponsored prize is open to UK and Irish acts who have released albums over the past year.