Every year twelve albums are shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, a prestigious and frequently controversial quest for the best British album of the moment. Winners have ranged from the sublime [Primal SCream] to the ridiculous [M People, anybody?], and the variety of choices in any given year sprawls across most known genres of music.
The winner gets a cash prize of £20,000 [not to be sniffed at], but also gets a massive sales boost from the exposure. For more obscure winners, like 2005's Antony and the Johnson's, the Mercury can see their sales surge by close to 1000%. Best of luck to Scritti Politti, though I don't fancy the chances of White Bread, Black Beer winning. Media pundits are tipping the Arctic Monkeys or Radiohead frotnman Thom Yorke's albums as likely winners. Personally, I think This Is My Demo by Sway might win.
In the meantime, it's only 19 days until I go to see Scritti performing live in Edinburgh. Never thought that'd happen!