Scottish alternative rock act Franz Ferdinand has won the 2004 Nationwide Mercury Prize with its eponymous debut album.
The annual music-industry award, recognizing the U.K. or Irish album of the year, was presented tonight (Sept. 7) at the Grosvenor House hotel in Central London.
“We didn’t expect to win this,” said lead vocalist Alex Kapranos upon accepting the honor. “The bands [nominated] this year reflect a trend in the U.K. toward fantastic music.”
Franz Ferdinand and U.K. garage act the Streets had been 3/1 joint favorites to win the award, according to bookmaker William Hill.
The winner was chosen from a shortlist of 12 albums by a 11-strong panel comprising media representatives and artists, headed by academic Simon Frith. The shortlist was announced July 20, selected from a pool of 180 nominated albums.
The prize ceremony was broadcast live nationally by Top 40 station BBC Radio 1 and on digital TV channel BBC 4.
The award was established as the Mercury Music Prize in 1992 by labels body the British Phonographic Industry and the British Association of Record Dealers. It is sponsored by the Nationwide Building Society.
The full shortlist was: Basement Jaxx, “Kish Kash”; Belle & Sebastian, “Dear Catastrophe Waitress” (Rough Trade); Franz Ferdinand “Franz Ferdinand” (Domino); Jamelia, “Thank You”; Keane, “Hopes and Fears” (Island); Snow Patrol, “Final Straw” (Fiction); The Streets, “A Grand Don’t Come for Free” (Locked On/679); Joss Stone, “The Soul Sessions” (Relentless); Ty “Upwards” (Big Dada); Amy Winehouse, “Frank” (Island); Robert Wyatt, “Cuckooland”; The Zutons, “Who Killed … The Zutons” (Deltasonic).