I know, I know. Yesterday’s news. But here are today’s thoughts: “Great news!” Great news for Elbow, but also for the rest of us. Could this possibly dare to make me be optimistic about the future of music? Or at least about people’s attitude to music? Are we finally getting a wee bit tired of all these new, fluffy, dancey indie bands that tell us nothing about our lives? And that go away after two albums? Are we ready to hear music that speaks to our own feelings and experiences? Could we be entering an Age of Sincerity?
So I may be going too far. But I am encouraged that they don’t just put career bands on prize lists for credibility…that they actually consider those bands. One blogger at The Guardian puts it well:
It’s reassuring for bands out there who, like Elbow, might have been dropped (V2 gave them the push in 2006) or are facing the axe due to a failure to match critical acclaim with commercial appeal; and it’s reassuring for people like me who make a living making grand claims for bands like Elbow, only for them to disappear without trace after one or two albums. Elbow’s win last night is one small step towards re-establishing longevity as an achievable goal even in these fast-moving times. And it gives the lie to the idea that bands do their best work in their first couple of years before burning out and fading away. – Paul Lester, Guardian Music Blog
Irregardless, this decision adversely effects [or affects – Wotty?] my Polaris Music Prize prediction (that’s the Canadian version of the Mercury).
My Elbow Tour Story:
A couple years ago in Australia, we were touring the same festival as Elbow…they were headlining one day, and we headlined the next. So on our travels between Sydney and Melbourne, our paths crossed at the airport. Elbow was unloading their luggage from the very van that was scheduled to pick us up as we arrived. We have a lot in common – career wise – and we all shook hands and complimented each other’s work. Cheers to Elbow for their Mercury win!