The shortlist for the Mercury Music prize was announced today, with both bands from the Wirral and UCL in with a shout
The massively talented jazz boys Portico Quartet are thoroughly deserving nominees. If you've never heard of them, let this be your excuse to be bewitched by their Knee Deep in the North Sea album. It's jazz, but not as you know it.
They're a UCL group who were knocking around Russel Sq at the same time as me. I'd seen them play before, but had never had a proper chat with them until I interviewed them for The Journal in Newcastle when they played a gig at the Sage. It's funny how things work out.
Here's my interview: http://tinyurl.com/5pzuxs
Not to be outdone Wirral's own Miles Kane is in the running as one half of the shortlisted duo The Last Shadow Puppets. Miles who hails from Hoylake, teams up with Alex Turner of The Arctic Monkeys on nominated album The Age of The Understatement but still also plays with homegrown indie kids The Rascals.
I know a few guys who are in with The Rascals, so the first thing on my to do list tomorrow is to ask nicely for an interview with Miles for The News. Watch this space.
And the odds? Portico are the rank outsiders at 16/1 while The Last Shadow Puppets are a safer bet at 7/1.
I'd love to see one of them pull it off.
Adele - 19
British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music?
Burial - Untrue
Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid
Estelle - Shine
Laura Marling - Alas I Cannot Swim
Neon Neon - Stainless Style
Portico Quartet - Knee-Deep In the North Sea
Rachel Unthank & The Winterset - The Bairns
Radiohead - In Rainbows
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raising Sand
The Last Shadow Puppets - The Age of The Understatement