Now in its 13th year the Mercury Music prize celebrates the best of the
years music from across the UK and Eire. Since 1997, the Mercury Music
Prize has been the UK's number one arts prize in terms of media
coverage. A sort of credible Brits in a way, largely distancing itself
from manufactured pop glamour seen in other ceremonies. With previous
winners including Badly Drawn Boy, Pulp and Suede the standard has been
set for todays acts.

The Band in Full

It was
with no great surprise then that Glasgow based Franz Ferdinand was
awarded the prize in the ceremony earlier this month. With their fresh
retro-art rock as well as a sizzling performance at Glastonbury earlier
this year, they have truly emerged as the brightest musical hope of

This year's shortlist has been particularly welcomed by
the independent labels, with five of the nominated acts signed on indie
labels, including the winners Franz Ferdinand, along with Basement Jaxx, Belle & Sebastian, Ty and Robert Wyatt. As Simon Frith of the Chair
of Judges explains, "This is an exceptional year, most dramatically
illustrated by the emergence of several new and varied bands together
with outstanding work by three powerful female singers. The shortlist
also recognises the continued good health of the gloriously eclectic
world that is British and Irish music." Alison Wenham, Chairman &
Chief Executive of the Association of Independent Music continues,
"Once again the independent record sector in the UK has demonstrated
the vital role it plays in discovering, nurturing and promoting new
music. The impressive representation of the Indies at this years
Mercury Prize highlights the sectors continuing success in breaking new

Band Logo

Franz Ferdinand has said their success in the
Mercury Music Prize represents a resurgence of "real" rock music over
"despicable" reality pop. "What this signifies... is an end to this
despicable era we've gone through of manufactured pop music," singer
Alex Kapranos said after their win. After criticising reality pop TV
shows such as Pop Idol and Fame Academy, Kapranos claims that great
bands were always made up of "ordinary guys from anywhere" writing
their own music and lyrics as well as using their own creativity and
talent. Such creativity and talent seems to be paying off for the boys;
with two million albums sold worldwide, they are expected to make a
real name for themselves in the coming years.

However, previous
winners have had varying degrees of success after winning the Mercury
Music Prize. The award helped recent winners like Ms Dynamite reach
mainstream appeal, but earlier winners such as Talvin Singh and Roni
Size didnt quite manage to cross over in the same way. Sales of Dizzee
Rascal's victorious Boy In Da Corner album went up 150% the day after
he won last year but for others the prize remains an albatross.

This doesnt seem to faze the band who, while working on their next
album, plan to donate the 20,000 prize money to an inner city music
centre for Glasgows youth, to maintain the growth in Glasgows music
scene through future generations. As for Kapranos himself, he only had
one thing to say after the ceremony - "I'm off to phone me ma!!!