Well now there's a surprise. After two whole weeks of us painstakingly listing and comparing the chances of the 2006 Mercury Prize contenders, Arctic Monkeys – the favourites – have only gone and won it.
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not by Arctic Monkeys ended up winning the Mercury Prize, just like everyone thought they would, and how were we rewarded? By listening to a bunch of mumbled Northern half-sentences that lasted for about two and a half minutes. Still, at least by winning the Mercury Prize, Arctic Monkeys have ensured that they'll never sell another record for the rest of their careers.
If there's one thing we've learnt from watching the Mercury Prize these last few years, it's that the favourite never wins. Last year, for example, everyone assumed that the Kaiser Chiefs would walk it, but in the end the Mercury Prize went to miserable old Antony And The Johnsons. Antony And The Whatnow? Yes, exactly. But, never ones to adhere to a trend when they could studiously double-bluff everyone with an interest in their little competition, the Mercury Prize panel this year bucked the trend and gave the award to Mercury Prize favourites Arctic Monkeys and their album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not.
Arctic Monkeys, who have already gained a UK number one and a bunch of NME awards as well as having NME readers vote Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not the Music That Sounds The Most Like The Voice Of God Himself, beat other Mercury Prize contenders like Hot Chip, Muse and Sway to the trophy and £20,000 cheque before pretty much echoing the sentiments of everyone in the room while accepting the prize from Jools Holland by declaring:
"Someone call 999. Richard Hawley's been robbed."
Before mumbling a bunch of stuff that nobody really understood. OK, we'll admit it – we were too busy swearing at ourselves for putting a fiver on Richard Hawley to win to really listen to what was going on.
[story by Stuart Heritage]