Wolf Alice have scooped the 2018 Mercury Prize. The London-based quartet won the prestigious accolade for their second album Visions Of A Life, throwing a big, indie curveball into the evening’s proceedings.
Playing a shimmering version of the heartfelt track ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’, Hammersmith Apollo was instantly immersed into Wolf Alice’s world before they were awarded with the trophy and £25k prize money later in the evening.
The judging panel said of the winning album, “From an incredibly broad list of remarkable music, Wolf Alice emerged as the overall winner due to their ability to deliver an album that combines the epic and intimate in equal measure. It is a journey of a record – with euphoric festival anthems and moments of subtle beauty – it is an album articulated with confidence and adventure. For them, the world awaits!”
In a recent interview on Gigwise, it’s noted that the album - which reached number two in the UK Albums Chart - is, “vindication for a band whose stick-to-your-guns mantra since their 2010 formation has seen them creep through the cultural ranks - and end up the focus of a Michael Winterbottom cinema documentary On The Road – and this at a time when guitar music has been deemed retrogressive, unfashionable and even dead in the water.”
Meanwhile, performances on the night came from most of the nominated bands and artists, including a gripping rendition of ‘Out The Way’ by Nadine Shah and Sons Of Kemet’s gloriously cacophonous performance of ‘My Queen Is Harriet Tubman’. Garnering some of the biggest cheers of the evening, Lily Allen showcased the most stripped back performance, singing ‘Apples’ from her fourth studio album No Shame alone on stage.
Unable to make the event due to the small matter of playing another sold out arena show in their native Sheffield, Arctic Monkeys recorded a special performance of ‘One Point Perspective’ which was broadcast inside the Apollo whilst Noel Gallagher was in attendance without his High Flying Birds and did not perform.
While Wolf Alice may not have been the name on everyone’s lips in the lead up to the Mercury’s, this unpredictable nature of the awards keeps the process exciting. Same time again next year?