Winners Arctic Monkeys were tipped as favourites before the ceremony for their hit debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not.
Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke was nominated for his introspective solo album The Eraser.
Quirky band Guillemots have had the music world buzzing this year with their album Through The Window Pane.
Richard Hawley, whose album Coles Corner has been described as "melancholy, subtle and deeply romantic", last performed at the Mercury ceremony with Pulp in 1996.
Electronic dance/pop band Hot Chip performed a track from their album The Warning.
Scritti Politti performed Sun In Snow from their album White Bread, Black Beer. The band had not performed together since the 1980s.
Songs such as Munich and Bullets helped make Editors' album The Back Room a Mercury Prize contender.
Lou Rhodes said being nominated for Beloved One was an "extra, extra bonus".
Muse, who were nominated for their album Black Holes and Revelations, celebrated their album of the year award, which is given to all Mercury contenders.
London-born rapper Sway was included in the 12-strong shortlist for his album This Is My Demo.
Isobel Campbell, the former singer and cellist with indie pop band Belle & Sebastian, recorded her Mercury-nominated album Ballad of The Broken Seas with Mark Lanegan.
Jazz pianist Zoe Rahman performed a track from her acclaimed album Melting Pot.