Published: Friday November 2, 2012 MYT 8:28:00 AM
Rockers Alt-J scoop Britain's Mercury Prize
LONDON: Indie rock newcomers Alt-J won Britain's prestigious Mercury Prize on Thursday for their debut album, "An Awesome Wave".
The fourpiece, who formed in 2007 after meeting at Leeds University in northern England, looked stunned to be named winners at a star-studded ceremony in London, despite having been the bookmakers' favourites.
Accepting the 20,000 ($32,300, 24,900 euros) award onstage, the band thanked their parents for "not making us get jobs" and said that apart from this, there were too many people to thank.
"We might just thank everyone on team Alt-J who has ever made a difference," they said.
Speaking backstage, keyboards player Gus Unger-Hamilton said the money would not make too much difference to their lives.
"It won't nearly pay off our student loans," he said.
Simon Frith, chair of the judging panel, said there was a "hypnotic" quality to the winning album, which was released in May.
"One of the things the Mercury has always been about is sounding fresh," he added.
Other shortlisted artists for the prize, which covers music of all genres, included rapper Plan B and folk singer Lianne La Havas.
Previous winners include Pulp, Primal Scream, Franz Ferdinand and M People.
While albums nominated for the Mercury Prize typically enjoy a boost in sales, some critics have suggested it is "cursed" as previous winners have occasionally fallen back into obscurity. - AFP