James Blake’s second album Overgrown has won this year’s prestigious Barclaycard Mercury Prize, writes Piers Barber.
The winner, which is chosen by a panel of music critics and industry figures, beat off the challenge of albums by the Arctic Monkeys, David Bowie and bookies favourite Laura Mvula, amongst others. Blake joins artists such as Portishead, Pulp and the xx as a winner of the award and £20,000 cash prize. Before last night’s ceremony, Overgrown was considered a 25-1 outsider to win.
In a moment which prompted widespread Twitter hilarity, Blake was accidentally introduced as James Blunt by host Lauren Laverne just before he took to the stage to perform album highlight ‘Retrograde’. Each nominee performed a song at the event, with the exception of Laura Marling and David Bowie, who were unable to attend.
When accepting the award, Blake thanked his parents for teaching him about self sufficiency and said he was “jubilant and confused” about his victory. Overgrown peaked at No.8 in the UK chart following its release in April. Blake was nominated for his debut album in 2011 but lost out to PJ Harvey.
Catch up on our coverage of the 2013 Mercury Prize by following the links below:
Who should take gold in the Mercury?
The Mercury Prize: Stick or twist?
Album Review: Jon Hopkins – Immunity
Album Review: Foals – Holy Fire