JAMES BLAKE, the 25-year-old Londonder whose spectral, soulful second album, Overgrown was the surprise winner at last night’s Barclaycard Mercury Prize award-giving, was interviewed pre-ceremony by our colleagues at Absolute Radio. Watch him accept compliments on a very smart tweed jacket and share his conviction that Laura Marling would win it. How wrong he was.
Oh, and if you’re still a tiny bit confused by the Mercury Prize methodology, join the club, and check out this article by Vice’s Phil Hebblethwaite and Alex Marshall, which may be the most sensible thing ever written about the “coveted award”™.
Of a strong 2013 nominations list featuring big hairy challenges from Arctic Monkeys’ AM and David Bowie’s The Next Day, Laura Mvula was the overwhelming pre-show favourite – commentators and betting shop habitués appearing to agree that she fit the profile, whatever that might be. Dark horse Blake came late on the inside rails, making MOJO ponder that this might partly be the judges’ unconscious mitigation for the failure of his magical eponymous 2011 debut album to overcome to the irresistible force that was PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake.
Here’s Blake with a performance of Overgrown’s Retrograde from the Barclaycard Mercury Prize launch event in September.