Gary Flockhart: Bluntly, Mercury win is no shock

James Blake. Pic: Comp
James Blake. Pic: Comp
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THE Mercury Music Prize, eh. There was another one handed out last week. It’s rarer than a Royal baby that the judges go for who I want them to go for, so I told myself not to pay any attention to it; that it would only annoy me when the stupendously talented Laura Marling was overlooked for what seems like the millionth time. So, of course, I tuned in...

“And the winner is... James Blunt”. What? Blunty? Surely not? Oh, James Blake! That’s not so bad, then.

Not that I expected Marling to win. I wrote in a column a while back that neither the elfin songstress nor Arctic Monkeys would win, even if both deserved to. I also didn’t expect David Bowie to win, nor saw the point in giving the prize to a man who needs the extra attention like he needs the attendant £20,000 cheque.

Laura Mvula’s excellent debut, Sing To The Moon, was talked-up as a potential Mercury-winner from the moment it was released and I agreed that she looked like a decent shout. Alas, it wasn’t to be.

So what of actual winner James Blunt... sorry, Blake? Well, first off, it wasn’t exactly a surprise. This year’s shortlist was dominated by dance acts and it was probably due for another one to triumph, given that the last time was 2007 when Klaxons won.

Secondly, it’s hard to argue with James Blake’s award for Overgrown. There’s no denying how inventive the 25-year-old is, and his album ticks all the right boxes.

The best bit about this year’s Mercury wasn’t seeing the prize going to a deserved winner. No, it was the aforementioned Mr Blunt for his humorous tweet after host Lauren Laverne had introduced Blake as the You’re Beautiful singer.

Shortly after the gaffe, Blunt took to Twitter: ‘So did I win!?,’ he enquired.

I’ve never been much of a fan of the ex-army toff, but I like him that little bit more now. #giveitsomeBlunty