Manchester Confidential Archive

Mercury Prize Nominations


THE annual Mercury award shortlist for the album of year has been unveiled. Nominations were chosen by a selected panel of musicians, music executives, journalists and other figures in the music industry in the UK and Ireland.

The awards celebrate recorded music of all genres by British or Irish artists. The music on the album is the only thing taken into account by the judges. With the winner due to be announced on 6 September, who is your prediction for the album of the year? Laura Scott shares hers…

Adele – With a fan base as big as her vocal chords Adele looks set to be well in the running for the award, even more so since her album re-entered the charts this week. Majority of the tracks are belters. Certainly one to watch

Anna Calvi – The list of her tour dates is hefty if that’s anything to go by. Her individuality could work against her in this case as she isn’t as well known compared with the other contenders, but her creative flare is very inspiring.

Elbow – Their fifth studio album with the highest percentage of sales in the first week, Elbow rarely leave room to disappoint, and once more, they haven’t. Their age could be their Achilles heel as they’ve not done anything very contemporary.

Everything Everything – These guys break the barrier when it comes to music, going against many indie/rock clichés using an eclectic mix of musical techniques and never trying to be something they’re not. Admirable, but that’s not enough to steal the award.

Ghostpoet – Some gritty lyrics that appeal to his audience, the synth featured in a lot of his songs adds a lot of depth so it’s not just rap. An ordinary guy who hasn’t let fame get to his head, maybe because he’s not that famous.

Gwilym Simcock – The most talented of the bunch and the bulge of awards he has up his sleeve prove that. A concoction of jazz and classical instrumentals, very impressive but equally very unlikely.

James Blake – Mellow tones with an electric beat go hand in hand on the tracks. He’s been around since 2009 but has only recently had plays on radio stations and TV shows which is a shame. Maybe next year.

Katy B – She’s done some noteworthy collaborations with the likes of Magnetic Man and even filled The Dance East Tent at Glastonbury this year.  She supported Tinie Tempah on his last tour – but the closest thing Katy has to getting the award will be supporting her pal Tinie to carry it.

King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – While they may have been branded with the ‘folk’ label, their music is a must-hear and stretches way further than ‘just’ folk. Every track is empowering with a
Coldplay-esque twist. They’d be well deserved winners.

Metronomy – Upbeat with a slight tinge of 80s drumming. Makes for easy listening and an ideal festival watch, but nothing show stopping.

PJ Harvey – Meaningful anti-war lyrics, some good foot tappers. A doubtful winner, sadly, against contemporary artists who are more current and generic.

Tinie Tempah – Supporting the likes of Rihanna and headlining Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage have stood him in good stead for this prize. Another huge fan base who will be rapturously applauding when he wins (which is very likely.)

City News in 250 Words: Thursday July 21, 2011

REBECCA LEIGHTON, the nurse being questioned over the Stepping Hill saline scandal has been described by friends as a “lovely and happy” person following her arrest yesterday after her home in Heaviley was searched. One friend said: “Rebecca is just a nice girl, she’s great.” No charges have been made.

MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY claims builders are nine times more likely to develop skin cancer. Builders are more exposed to UV rays bouncing off surfaces due to their working outdoors. Officials now want builders to wear long-sleeved shirts and sun cream. Dr Henry Goodall, chairman of the society of occupational medicine at the University, said ignoring this would be “as risky as not wearing a hard hat.” He added, “We need to send a clear message that the days of the topless builder are over.”

A GUN WAS FIRED in Moss Side yesterday at around 6.30pm on Cadogen Street, during a row between two men. The incident isn’t thought to be gang-related but is believed to be over a disagreement about a woman. Nobody was injured. Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson said: “This incident could cause some concern among the community. However I want to offer some reassurance straight away.”

MANCHESTER UNITED’S Ravel Morrison has been questioned by police over an alleged case of harassment. The talented youth player from Timperley has been tipped to start at Old Trafford this season. This is his second conviction – he was spared jail time in May following similar allegations. Morrison has denied any improper behaviour.

Fact of the day (via @revealmcr): This week 1969, just before the first moon landing, Manchester’s Godlee Observatory warned NASA of volcanic activity in a crater on the moon.

Body Talk: 25/07/11

IT WAS UNDOUBTEDLY one of the best kept secrets of fashion. Yes – that wedding dress. The country was transfixed with fashion breaths baited; amid the rumours flying around the nation was left hanging right up to the end, before Kate stepped from the Phantom VI – a vision in McQueen.

If you thought when Kate and Wills disappeared behind the Palace doors that April afternoon it was the last you’d see of the £250,000 Sarah Burton beauty, think again. The dress along with all the other accompanying acts including the Cartier tiara and endless tiered cake, will now be displayed at Buckingham Palace.

The Duchess will join Her Majesty to officially open the exhibition. More than 600,000 are expected to cross the threshold of the Palace during the next ten weeks. Tickets are £17.50 and are available from

IT’S RELOCATION, RELOCATION, RELOCATION for Selfridges’ beauty hall at Manchester’s Exchange Square. The beauty department is moving down a level to the department stores lower ground floor. The move promises to double the current space to 20,000 square foot and will continue the legacy of Selfridge’s Beauty.

Opening in September 2011, the renovated hall aims to become the beauty destination of the North. The well-established area is renowned for its exclusive products and acclaimed expertise offering new brands such as, Crème de la Mer and Jo Malone not forgetting Chanel, Dior and such likes – the exclusive fragrance collections to Manchester. With the launch of the first and only Fake Bake salon in the UK, the new beauty hall is set to be the most impressive to date. A similar renovation will also be developed for the accessories hall which aims for completion in November.

TO CELEBRATE IT’S ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY, The Rock at Bury put together an extravaganza of style and live music on Saturday 16 July. Shoppers came out in the masses to see fashion showcases exhibiting new summer lines to a string of live sets.

Teaming up with the Ramsbottom Festival and with a floral theme, local schools, retailers and Manchester-based bands gathered with the likes of Kid British reeling in quite a crowd. Nikki Kitchen, marketing manager for The Rock said, “We would like to thank everyone who came along to celebrate our first birthday on Saturday. The day was a great success and, despite the weather, there was a fantastic turn out.”

IF STREET DANCE IS YOUR BAG, then free yourself up for the 6 August as The Printworks, Manchester has the perfect performance opportunity for you.

Auditions are to be judged by up and coming street dance group, Six D, who’ve recently supported JLS and The Saturdays, wowing audiences with slick moves and equally soulful voices. Acts can range from solo artists to groups up to sixteen, tracks should be on CD if possible and last no longer than three minutes. Under 16s require parental consent to compete. Those who get through the auditions will be entered into a live final, with Chris and Wes – winners of this years ‘Got To Dance’ – judging.

Along with being crowned Street Dance 2011 winner, there’s also a £1000 prize up for grabs. To enter you can email or for more information on Six D visit

RENEGADE MARMALADE, one of many hidden gems in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, has launched a sale with up to 50 per cent off many items. The upmarket boutique offers a range of designer brands from around the globe. Sale prices start from £10 and include a variety of dresses, skirts, vests and T-shirts. Purchases can be made in store or online at

NIGHT OWLS LISTEN UP, Thursday 4 August sees The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool hosting its monthly Late Night Vintage event. Avoid the hustle and bustle of Saturday shoppers and sample a chilled evening offering a concoction of independent vintage and retro stalls for men and women as well as a selection of drinks. Doors open from 5pm till late with free entry. For more information visit

‘LIVE LIKE A TOP MODEL’ for a weekend. Sky Living and MyMissSelfridge have collaborated to celebrate the launch of the new series of Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model. The ‘Strike a Pose’ team will upload your picture onto their Facebook site for your chance to bag this opportunity during weekend of 23 and 24 July.

The prize includes a two night stay at a top London hotel, a photo shoot, a personal shopping experience and more. The coveted first 150 customers to visit the Miss Selfridge store at the Trafford Centre will receive a goodie bag. For full terms and conditions go to or


About Laura Scott

I'm a 22 year old copywriter working for an ecommerce website based in Manchester.

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