Let England Shake by PJ Harvey has become the 20th album to win the Mercury Music Prize beating out Adele, James Blake and Elbow among others, to become the first two time winner in Prize history, having one in 2001 for Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea.
Let England Shake is an incredible record, that documents the British at war, juxtaposing flighty folk beauty with the hideous, brutal and disgusting imagery of war. It’s heartbreaking and beautiful, one of the most deserving winners in Mercury Music Prize history. Praise must also go to Flood and John Parish, but this is PJ Harvey’s moment.
In a thoughtful speech Harvey thanked her contributors and reflected on her long journey since 2001.
The Evening: Adele was unable to perform due a chest infection, but all other eleven nominees gave genuinely stunning performances including chilling offerings from James Blake and Everything Everything, who opted for softer fare, while Elbow recreated the glory of their Reading and Leeds performance with a sensational reading of “Lippy Kids”.
Not to be outdone King Creosote brought the night’s sharpest falsetto during his staggering performance with John Hopkins. While Katy B and Metronomy kept things up beat with some sexy dance floor flair.