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Nitin Sawhney on the Mercury Prize
"It's a really nice compliment"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 12 September, 2000, 11:27 GMT 12:27 UK
Badly Drawn Boy award favourite
Damon Gough aka Badly Drawn Boy
Damon Gough: The Hour Of Bewilderbeast has been a critical favourite
Musician Badly Drawn Boy is favourite to win the respected Mercury Music Prize at a ceremony in London.

The acclaimed performer, whose real name is Damon Gough, is tipped at 2-1 by William Hill to win with his eclectic The Hour Of Bewilderbeast album, which started off at 7-1.

Coldplay: Also hotly-tipped for success
Hot on his heels are rock band Coldplay, who are 3-1 to win the 20,000 prize for their album Parachutes.

This year's event, the ninth, will be held on Tuesday evening at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. The prize - which is now sponsored by Technics, but still carries the name of its original backer - seeks to recognise the best in music from the UK and Ireland.

Past Mercury winners have included Primal Scream, Portishead, Pulp and Suede, who all saw record sales rise as a result of their success.

The Delgados
The Delgados run their own label in Glasgow
More leftfield acts, including drum 'n' bass pioneer Roni Size and ambient performer Talvin Singh - last year's winner - have also triumphed in the awards.

The Verve's former lead singer, Richard Ashcroft, is nominated for his solo debut Alone With Everybody, as are Doves with Lost Souls.

Club act Death In Vegas are nominated for The Contino Sessions, alongside Leftfield, for Rhythm And Stealth. Garage performer MJ Cole is also in the running with Sincere.

The list sees plenty of contrasts. Cult Glasgow band The Delgados - signed to their own fiercely independent label, Chemikal Underground - feature on the shortlist for The Great Eastern.

Helicopter Girl, aka Jackie Joyce
Industry favourite: Helicopter Girl is on the BPI chairman's label
They are up against Helicopter Girl - Dundee-born Jackie Joyce - who is signed to the Instant Karma label, run by the British Phonographic Industry's chairman Rob Dickins. She is nominated for her debut album, How To Steal The World.

Folk singer Kathryn Williams has received much attention for her nomination for Little Black Nimbers, and composer Nicholas Maw will be hoping his Violin Concerto's mention does not prove to be just a token nomination.

Many feel the judges - who this year include leading composers Anne Dudley and David Arnold - are under pressure to mark trends in music rather than simply recognise the best album.

Nitin Sawhney
Nitin Sawhney: Beyond Skin gets a nomination
British Asian performer Nitin Sawnhey is another nominee for Beyond Skin, but Chris Woehrle, A&R manager of his record label, Outcaste, feels his chances could be limited after Talvin Singh's victory last year.

"The judges may think, 'we already gave the Asian underground award last year, so why don't we focus on some new area?'," he told BBC News Online.

"Not to claim racism, but Talvin Singh and Nitin are two people working in what's perceived to be the same genre.

"We all feel strongly he deserves to win it, but we may have to wait a bit for the next one."

There is live coverage of the Mercury Music Prize on BBC Radio 1's Evening Session with Steve Lamacq from 2000 BST, and a special programme on BBC Two at 2320 BST.

Full list of nominations:

Coldplay - Parachutes

Death In Vegas - The Contino Sessions

The Delgados -The Great Eastern

Doves - Lost Souls

Leftfield - Rhythm and Stealth

Kathryn Williams - Little Black Numbers

Helicopter Girl - How To Steal The World

MJ Cole - Sincere

Richard Ashcroft - Alone With Everybody

Nitin Sawnhey - Beyond Skin

Nicholas Maw - Violin Concerto

Badly Drawn Boy - The Hour of Bewilderbeast

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See also:

25 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Coldplay head Mercury list
17 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Nitin's subversive sounds
09 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Newcomer wins top music prize
09 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Talvin Singh: Closing the divide
05 Aug 00 | New Music Releases
CD Review: MJ Cole
09 Jul 00 | New Music Releases
CD Review: Coldplay
16 Apr 00 | New Music Releases
CD Review: The Delgados
25 Jun 00 | New Music Releases
CD Review: Richard Ashcroft
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