The winner of the 2012 Mercury Music Prize will be announced tonight at the London bash, with a host of brilliant British talent pretending not to mind whether they win or not. The award is one of the most prestigious honours in the British music industry, and speculation is high over whether Richard Hawley will take the award - or whether he will be passed over once again in favour of younger, fresher artists.
Ahead of tonight's award ceremony, we pick our personal favourites from the nominated albums and why we want them to win the award.
The Maccabees - Given To The Wild (chosen by Michael Baggs)
The UK is in need of a new 'big' band and a Mercury Music Prize win could be exactly what The Maccabees need to get that extra push into that territory - and eventual stadium sized success. The band face stiff competition from younger, fresher indie bands such as Alt-J and Django Django, but the UK is never in short supply of eager young guitar bands. What we do need is a new headliner, a new band to stand shoulder to shoulder with Coldplay, Mumford & Sons and that rare ilk that achieve huge (and rare) success.
Of course, it helps that Given To The Wild is an incredible record - and despite being the band's third release, shows they have no signs of slowing. The Mercury should this year acknowledge a band set for huge success - we're sure Alt-J will be overwhelmed in trophies before too long. They'll understand.
Field Music - Plumb (chosen by Grace Carroll)
Field Music have finally managed to hit the mainstream (or as close as they've got so far) with latest album Plumb, and the attention they've been getting is well deserved. The Mercury Prize is known for favouring outsiders and there's no doubt that Field Music retain that label - they do everything themselves, able to exist independently of the music industry if they need to. And Plumb could also exist independently - the album is a law unto itself, a constantly shifting collage of tempos and genres.
With Plumb, as with all of their albums, Field Music continue to do things their own way - a different way from every other band around.
Richard Hawley - Standing At The Sky's Edge (chosen by Patrick Davies)
Richard Hawley's seventh solo album Standing At the Sky's Edge sees him continue the craft that earned him a reputation as one of the country's most underrated song-writers. The record takes on a slightly rockier sound than past efforts in places- but retains his trademarks of unrivalled lyrical prowess and an eeie yet beautiful atmosphere.
The bookies fancy Hawley too. At 4/1, Paddy Power have made the ex Pulp and Longpigs guitarist second favourite behind Alt-J's 'An Awesome Wave'. When Arctic Monkeys won the Mercurys in 2006, Alex Turner modestly admitted: "Somebody call 999, Richard Hawley's been robbed!"
Perhaps 2012 will be the year that he finally takes his rightful place as a Mercury Prize winner.
Alt-J - A Different Wave (chosen by Ryan Crittenden)
Marked as the favourites for the prize when the nominations were first revealed, it is for good reason that Alt-J find themselves there.
The former students from Leeds have formed a band (or a triangular symbol on a Mac) that are making alternative guitar music cool again. The album is full of catchy tunes as lead singer Joe Newman excels with his superb vocals. Songs like 'Tesselate', 'Breezeblocks' and 'Something Good' are just a few tracks on an album full of infectiously gems. They deserve to win the Mercury Prize because they have excited so many festival crowds over the summer and seen to have taken it all in their stride.
Photos: all the nominees on the Mercury Prize red carpet