Mercury Rising – a look forward to next week’s Hyundai Mercury Prize

It’s quite possible that this year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize has slipped under the radar. Never fear. Whilst there will be no live show this year (for the obvious reasons and not because last year’s event made the front pages thanks to Slowthai brandishing an effigy of Boris Johnson’s gory chops), the event will be broadcast as widely as usual.

The most important date to earmark in the diary is obviously the big reveal. This year that will take place on Thursday 24th September, when the overall winner will be announced on BBC One’s The One Show.

But there’s plenty more coverage to check out, including:

BBC Four, Wednesday 23rd September: featuring specially filmed live performances from many of the shortlisted artists. In a first for the prize, the show will be streamed to international audiences via the Hyundai Mercury Prize YouTube channel.

BBC Radio 6 Music will provide extensive coverage of the shortlisted artists and there will be a Hyundai Mercury Music Prize special, hosted by the brilliant Tom Ravenscroft, on 6 Music on Thursday 24th September at 7pm.

BBC Two, Friday 25th September: features a Later…with Jools Holland special, reviewing the 2020 Hyundai Mercury Prize and featuring an interview with the winning artist and performances.

Of course, we all love our water cooler arguments over who should win. And we, at Louder Than War, are no different. So, over the coming days we will be gathering in our virtual pub, The Louder Tavern, to argue the merits of all the shortlisted artists. Expect fireworks. You can read our deliberations before the big night, although we take no responsibility for anyone losing their shirt to the local turf accountants on the back of any particular tips.

Finally, as a reminder, shortlisted artists are: Anna Meredith, Charli XCX, Dua Lipa, Georgia, Kano, Lanterns on the Lake, Laura Marling, Michael Kiwanuka, Moses Boyd, Porridge Radio, Sports Team and Stormzy.


All words by Gordon Rutherford. More writing by Gordon can be found in his archive.

Gordon is also on twitter as @R11Gordon and has a website here:

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Author of Midnight at the Old Aces. Part time bassist, guitarist and synth noodler. Enthusiastic photographer.


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