Thursday, September 24, 2020

The light fantastic

Speaking to the Guardian's Dave Simpson ahead of this evening's Mercury Prize announcement, Hazel Wilde was cautiously optimistic about Lanterns On The Lakes' chances: "If we win, it would be for all the artists who have been plugging away for ages without recognition. And we're in unprecedented times, so for an unknown, long-serving indie band to win it with their fourth album might actually happen."

Sadly, it turned out that times aren't quite THAT unprecedented - Michael Kiwanuka was named the winner (to the audience of The One Show, bizarrely), so it's commiserations to my fellow North Easterners. Of course, the judges' verdict doesn't change the fact that Spook The Herd is a very good album, a career high and a worthy nominee - and this brief stint in the spotlight will hopefully have brought these hitherto unsung heroes to wider attention, deservedly so.

Beyond the reflections on their nomination and general underdog status, the interview with Simpson was notable chiefly for Wilde's surprising admission that her musical ambitions were inspired and emboldened by Oasis. It seems that the Gallagher brothers were Wilde's punk, proving that music was actually accessible to all. So there's something to be grateful to them for, after all.

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