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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 September, 2004, 08:36 GMT 09:36 UK
Ferdinand win Mercury Music Prize
Franz Ferdinand
Franz Ferdinand won for their self-titled debut album
Glasgow band Franz Ferdinand have won this year's Mercury Music Prize for their self-titled debut album.

They fended off competition from acts including The Streets, Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse and The Zutons to take the prestigious award.

The 20,000 award is for the best album of the year by a British or Irish act.

It is voted for by a panel of industry experts, journalists and artists, and is said to reward originality and creativity rather than sales success.

Frontman Alex Kapranos told the audience at the central London ceremony that he and his bandmates were "truly gobsmacked - very chuffed and very honoured".

"This is coming in a year when we're surrounded by such fantastic bands," he said.

"Everyone else deserves it more than we do. They reflect a trend in the UK at the moment for fantastic music so we're living in pretty good times at the moment."

Later, he told reporters he wanted to use the prize money to set up a centre in Glasgow to help young people get started in the music industry.


"We're going to try to work out who deserves it more than us," he said.

Kapranos added the band's win signified "an end to the despicable era we've gone through of manufactured pop music".

Franz Ferdinand's nomination followed well-received performances at this summer's Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds and T in the Park festivals.

Going into the ceremony, the four-piece were 9/4 favourites to win with bookmaker Ladbrokes.

R&B star Jamelia was nominated for her album Thank You

Mercury judge Ian Parkinson said the band drew their influence from the past "but make it sound like 2004".

He said: "You can listen to the album and think bits of that sound like the 70s, bits of that sound like the 80s.

"But actually they could not have made that album in any other year than 2004."

It was their second award in one night after picking up the band of the year honour at the GQ magazine awards earlier in the evening.

The band performed live at the Mercury ceremony, as did fellow nominees Amy Winehouse, Ty, Jamelia, Belle & Sebastian, The Zutons and Basement Jaxx.

Teenage soul star Joss Stone performed by satellite from the US, where she is currently touring.

Rap artist Mike Skinner - the man behind The Streets - sent in his thanks for the nomination using a video filmed outside the hotel.

Also shortlisted in 2002 for Original Pirate Material, he declined his second invitation to attend the ceremony.

Scottish success

Franz Ferdinand were one of a number of bands with Glasgow connections to be nominated for the award, and remain proud of their roots.

Earlier in their career, the band took over a disused art-deco warehouse in the city and renamed it The Chateau - resulting in a police raid and Kapranos' arrest.

Belle & Sebastian
Fellow Scots Belle & Sebastian also played at the ceremony
Fellow Scots Belle & Sebastian also hail from the city, while Snow Patrol - who are from Belfast, but are now based in Glasgow - were another nominated act.

Scottish culture minister Frank McAveety said the group's success "reinforces the recent claim that Glasgow is one of the most exciting music cities in the world".

Scottish National Party culture spokesman Pete Wishart, who attended the ceremony, said: "Scottish music is very much on the up just now and it was great seeing Snow Patrol and Belle & Sebastian joining Franz Ferdinand on the shortlist.

"I very much hope that Scottish popular music is given a further lift by this victory."

Previous winners of the Mercury Prize include Primal Scream, PJ Harvey, Roni Size, Gomez and last year's victor, London hip-hop artist Dizzee Rascal, who joined host Jools Holland to present the award.

Mercury Music Prize 2004 nominees

  • Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
  • The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free
  • The Zutons - Who Killed... The Zutons
  • Amy Winehouse - Frank
  • Keane - Hopes and Fears
  • Snow Patrol - Final Straw
  • Basement Jaxx - Kish Kash
  • Joss Stone - The Soul Sessions
  • Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress
  • Jamelia - Thank You
  • Robert Wyatt - Cuckooland
  • Ty - Upwards

The BBC's Jenny McCudden
"Franz Ferdinand were firm favourites"


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