Mercury Music Prize 2011

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

No, us Neither.

Good evening music lovers, and welcome to the Mercury Music Prize for the best British album. And although we may share a sponsor with the elite division of English football, the winners are not as predictable.

PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake is the bookies’ favourite, (15/8 with Blue Square) and if she does win, she would become the first artist to win the coveted award twice (following her 2001 triumph with ‘Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea’).

Elbow are also looking for the double, having won in 2008 with ‘The Seldom Seen Kid.’ ‘Build a Rocket Boys!’ is available at a massive 50/1 with Bet365, even though many critics believe the album is just as good as their effort that won three years ago.

The obvious choice for many laymen would be Adele (9.4 on Betfair) – who has had a storming 2011, her album ‘21’ selling more than eight million copies. However, we may be about to see a repeat of Amy Winehouse’s failure in 2007 to win with ‘Back to Black’, when the little-known Klaxons came through to triumph. Simply put, Adele is too popular to win this award.

James Blake (not that one) makes the shortlist with his debut album, and given four of the last five winners have also been debutants, it would be foolish to write him off at a tempting 8.4 on Betfair.

Katy B told the Daily Star this week that her mother put £20 on her at 14/1 a few weeks ago, which is a shame because she could get 22/1 at Bet365 right now. However, if there is a value bet then we think it is her. She may be 20 years younger than the favourite, but her story of hopes and aspirations in the capital city may have extra piquancy in this summer of London youth riots.

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