Dork Radio
Now playing:
In the mag...
Featuring YUNGBLUD, Baby Queen, BENEE, Joe Keery and loads more.
Order a copy
December 2020 / January 2021
Live Blog

Dork does the Mercury Prize 2019

As music's biggest and brightest descend on Hammersmith, your favourite pop mag is up to its usual third person nonsense. Ferrero Rocher ahoy!
Sign up or log in to follow artists
Published: 2:26 pm, September 19, 2019Words: Jamie Muir.
Dork does the Mercury Prize 2019

Leaves begin to wilt, the world continues spinning, Liam Gallagher gets in yet another Twitter scrap - in many ways, September always stays the same. But the Mercury Prize keeps on bringing the fire.

Returning for 2019 with another cracking bunch of albums and artists all vying for British music's most coveted prize, the best and brightest (well, most of 'em) will descend on London's Eventim Apollo tonight for a corker of a night. There'll be live performances, enough alcohol to fill the English channel and your favourite pop magazine (that's us) making a fool out of ourselves. We wouldn't have it any other way.

After Wolf Alice scooped last year's prize (we had a good night after that), twelve more acts are chasing 2019's gong, looking to follow up on previous winners including Arctic Monkeys, The xx, alt-J, Skepta, Young Fathers, Sampha and - y'know - 'more'. It's kinda a big deal...

And let's be honest, Dearest Reader, there are some well-loved members of this parish amongst them. From The 1975 (heard of 'em?), Foals, IDLES, Fontaines D.C., Slowthai, Dave and Little Simz to storming records from Anna Calvi, Black Midi, Nao, Cate Le Bon and Seed Ensemble, there's one hell of a strong field in play. Things could get tense, some bread rolls may get thrown, warm 'the authorities' in advance.

As always, we'll be there to get to the bottom of all important matters. We're talking shady selections, the volume and flavours of crisps, and if we can get away with pretending to be Adam Hann, given he's not showing up. Anything for a free meal.

There'll be a 'Live Blog' running throughout the evening, as well as assorted daftness on our Twitter account. Some might call our commentary 'definitive'. Others may pray we don't start on about jazz and Ferrero Rocher again.

We're live right bloody now, so keep up with all the updates below (even the ones you never knew you needed - and also the ones you don't need to be fair...)

The 1975 - A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships
Fontaines D.C - Dogrel
Seed Ensemble - Driftglass
Foals - Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 1
Little Simz - Grey Area
Anna Calvi - Hunter
IDLES - Joy As An Act Of Resistance
Slowthai - Nothing Great About Britain
Dave - Psychodrama
Cate Le Bon - Reward
Nao - Saturn
Black Midi - Schlagenheim

10:27 pm

September 19, 2019

The lights have just gone out in the press area, so it must be time to hit the afterparty. Catch Dork opening the pit up to CHIC in about 20 minutes...

As always Dear Readers, it's been a delight. We do have fun here right?

Congrats to Dave and till next year xxx

10:14 pm

September 19, 2019

Dave's mum is here and she's having an absolute ball

10:13 pm

September 19, 2019

And the winner is……


WHAMMY! Scooping the award for ‘Psychodrama’ it’s gone down an absolute storm in the room

10:04 pm

September 19, 2019

People have been ushered to their seats - HERE WE GO GUYSSSSSS

(we've found some beer at last, thank christ)

9:45 pm

September 19, 2019

Now this really left a mark earlier - Black Midi truly turning the place up on its head

Still going to leave trying to spell the album...

9:43 pm

September 19, 2019

9:40 pm

September 19, 2019

We don't need to add anything else to this one... still waiting to hear on picking up that award though? We've got a speech ready and everything

9:37 pm

September 19, 2019

Tonight's award could very easily get picked up by Little Simz - with a storming performance earlier really laying that claim down

9:35 pm

September 19, 2019

9:33 pm

September 19, 2019

THIS from Fontaines D.C earlier went down an absolute treat. Good luck to 'em once again for that flight tomorrow

9:30 pm

September 19, 2019

Annnnddd, we're back! 

If you whack on the telly now, they're running through the performances from tonight - but you can also have a look at them all with those 'videos' we promised earlier.

We'll drop a few in here, starting with Foals opening the show

9:11 pm

September 19, 2019

Right, lets all have a moment - that was an absolutely cracking way to end the show. I'm going to have a sit down for a bit

What's clear though, is that was an absolute barnstormer of a ceremony. And we had doughnuts

Never forget the doughnuts

9:08 pm

September 19, 2019

How do you follow that? 

Well, you put IDLES on - who get everyone on their feet, have a boogie with Slowthai in the front row and basically take over the Mercurys

There's people bloody everywhere. What on earth is going on here. Someone call my Mum and let her know things are okay

9:01 pm

September 19, 2019

That was pretty ace from Nao, but Slowthai straight after has just stolen the whole blooming show

A Boris Johnson doll head, jumping on tables, pretending to erm *gyrate* with the prize and putting on the best performance this awards may have ever seen

Blimey that was good

8:52 pm

September 19, 2019

HERE COMES THE 1975 (via videolink)

Them lads are bloody busy, but they've sent us a lovely video saying cheers and all that so we can't be mad at them

And now we're getting a reminder of how good their Reading headline set was with 'It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)' 

Here's a video to 'People' from that bloody huge night. The single is out now in all good record shops*

*this post has been sponsored by us trying to persuade Dirty Hit to let us pick up the award if they do win tonight

8:50 pm

September 19, 2019

Black Midi on now, and they may have just ripped up the rulebook - 'bmbmbm' just sounded huge in the Hammersmith Apollo right now

One of the most memorable performances this awards may have seen for a while

8:42 pm

September 19, 2019

Cate Le Bon has just made xylophones cool again - and we're absolutely in for it.

Dave is on and the crowd is absolutely in awe. Both by his performance and the the stunning fluorescent outfit he's bringing to the fore

We couldn't get away with that - we're also nowhere near as talented as him

8:35 pm

September 19, 2019

We've got a little break going on (looking for the ice cream as we speak, don't worry we're on it guys)

Remember how ace Wolf Alice winning was last year?

They managed to get their flight to Australia the next day too (one to look into Fontaines D.C...)

8:27 pm

September 19, 2019

BIG BIG BIG reaction to Fontaines D.C right now in the room - jetlag be damned tomorrow morning!

'Boys In The Better Land' has definitely set the stall nicely. 

Must be said too, this crowd tonight are very much in for all the hijinks - predicting scenes later tonight. And that's not just us trying to make our way home with the doughnuts we've stolen from the press area

8:22 pm

September 19, 2019

Seed Ensemble now bringing some hypnotic jazz into the proceedings

If we have anymore of these doughnuts, we're going to be bouncing off the walls to this

8:14 pm

September 19, 2019

This feels like an appropriate moment to keep you updated on what's going on here - in particular the sensational cake selection knocking about.

Brownies and Doughnuts. Who says the music industry has no money anymore?

Dork does the Mercury Prize 2019

8:11 pm

September 19, 2019

Following Foals with 'On The Luna', we have Anna Calvi

Plenty of mentions of Peaky Blinders, but Anna's absolutely killing it at the moment with 'Don't Beat The Girl Out Of My Boy' - the bar has been set!

By the way, we'll talk about this all now - and then chuck over links to all the performances as they come later, we're here to help Dear Readers

8:06 pm

September 19, 2019

Some big 'ol cheers in the room as we go through the nominees this year - biggest at the moment are for IDLES, Fontaines D.C and Slowthai 

8:01 pm

September 19, 2019

Annnnnnnnnd we're off to the races here - and it just so happens Foals are first out the gates

As mentioned, Yannis has done himself a mischief with a knife, so we've got an added Felix White playing guitar for the chaps tonight

Sometimes you have to Maccabeelieve in yourself

7:58 pm

September 19, 2019

It's already KICKING OFF at The Mercurys - don't fear, there's plenty of champagne about for the rest of us to dive on into!

Tried a similar thing here with the canned water - it didn't go down well...

7:35 pm

September 19, 2019

Seed Ensemble - Driftglass

Any keen Live Blog followers here know how much we threw ourselves into Jazz at last year’s awards, and Seed Ensemble are here to bring that fevered fun in 2019! A celebration of the London Jazz Scene that is causing quite the stir at the moment, expect this to go down an absolute treat live in the room (we’ll throw some bread, it’ll be that nuts).

7:32 pm

September 19, 2019

Black Midi - Schlagenheim

South London’s best kept secret no longer, there may be nothing as wild as Black Midi on this year’s nominee list. Actually hold on, there DEFINITELY is nothing as wild as Black Midi on this year’s nominee list. Expect their live performance tonight to be a ‘talking point’

Also, and no offence to Black Midi, but a part of us is hoping they don’t scoop the prize tonight. Having to spell ‘Schlagenheim’ after all the shandys knocking about through the evening will be an absolute nightmare. Good luck to 'em though

We said: “Very good live band that, nothing quite like ‘em” (A Dork Writer Packed Into One Of Their Sweaty Shows, 2018-19)

7:30 pm

September 19, 2019

Cate Le Bon - Reward

Blimey there’s a lot of albums to go through right?

Anyway, Cate Le Bon’s fifth studio album ‘Reward’ brings art-pop back in spectacular fashion. Moving to a secluded cottage and learning how to carve wood (as you do), ‘Reward’ sees Cate Le Bon grabbing the plaudits rightly deserved.

7:28 pm

September 19, 2019

NAO - Saturn

There can be N(A)O arguments about this one. NAO followed up debut ‘For All We Know’ with another glorious record full of all-encompassing future-R&B - dipped in all sorts of magic. It’ll basically have us jumping on tables and throwing the sort of shapes that will have us kicked out of this ceremony in the quickest fashion possible.

We said: “Really good that” (Jamie Muir, Right Now)

7:26 pm

September 19, 2019

Anna Calvi - The Hunter

Turns out, Anna Calvi can do no wrong. At every turn, she’s serving up hot plates of cracking albums, and ‘The Hunter’ proves that. Exploring ideas of sexuality and gender conformity, it’s another stunning collection that rightfully sees Anna scooping another nomination.

We said: “’Hunter' is a staunchly feminist, unflinchingly queer album, powerful and bold but also intimate, tender. Possibly Anna Calvi’s most open work to date”

7:25 pm

September 19, 2019

Dave - Psychodrama

Weaving the sort of lyricism most artists search throughout their career for, Dave’s place here at the Mercurys feels like an inevitability. Hard-hitting messages of modern life and a record that has seen him soar to the top of festival stages with ease, here’s one to keep an eye out for when the big prize is announced tonight.

Also - look out for us asking Dave for a Wave later. We have fun y’know

We said: “2019’s hottest new act - a blistering debut”

7:22 pm

September 19, 2019

IDLES - Joy As An Act Of Resistance

Any IDLES t-shirts kicking about the room tonight? It’ll be a rare moment if there isn’t, that’s how jumbo IDLES influence has been over the past year. A towering album lasered on topics of toxic masculinity, equality and much more - if you weren’t singing along to Danny Nedelko then what on earth were you doing?

We said: “One of the most vital and important albums of 2018”

7:21 pm

September 19, 2019

Slowthai - Nothing Great About Britain

Here comes the bookmakers! No, a bunch of them didn’t play on Slowthai’s emphatic debut album, but if you’re following the odds on tonight’s prize then this guy is at the very top. It’s understandable why, a true sensation that’s owned the summer with his top-draw festival sets - he’ll be a very popular winner if his name is announced at the end of the night (and that’s not just because we’ll all be very tired and in a pickle by that point).

We said: “‘Nothing Great About Britain’ is a triumph of a debut, genre-straddling, quick-witted and, most importantly, very fun to listen to”

7:10 pm

September 19, 2019

Little Simz - Grey Area

It’s become an inevitability that Little Simz will be an artist we all look back on as one truly changing the game. An attention to detail to every project she approaches, ‘Grey Area’ is the moment the entire world stops to take notice - mixing styles with her distinctive voice to firmly plant her flag in the ground. No Grey Areas there - Simz is untouchable.

We said: “That might be the best festival set we’ve seen all summer!” (An Anonymous Dork Writer Having A Very Good Time In A Field, 2019)

7:08 pm

September 19, 2019

Foals - Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 1

Just when you think you know what Foals are all about, they punch back in knockout style. Serving up the first half of their 2019 game-plan, ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 1’ is drenched in the sort of numbers that make us whack out extravagant shirts and jump into the nearest swimming pool. It’s that bloody good - and sees the band scoop their third Mercury nomination.

Third time lucky?

We said: “The first part of the Oxfordian now-four-piece’s ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’ double-parter is positively huge in every dimension. Ice cold in focus, positively incendiary in raw heat, it’s quite possibly the most concentrated shot of liquid Foals to date”

7:05 pm

September 19, 2019

Fontaines D.C. - Dogrel

Storming in with a debut album that basically grabbed ya by the collars and forced you to scream along to every note, Fontaines D.C have had a cracking year so far. In ‘Dogrel’, they delivered on the hype with an album of infectious and hard-hitting post-punk cuts - a true love-letter to Dublin with an album full of heart.

“I”M GONNA BE BIG”? Naaah, they’re already there.

We said: “People going into ‘Dogrel’ may well be expecting punk-infused posturing on the state of society, and they certainly won’t be disappointed. But alongside this, there’s genuine heart in Fontaines D.C’s music – it’s a love letter to Dublin, and if we were Dublin, we’d be head over heels at the sentiment”

7:00 pm

September 19, 2019

The 1975 - A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships

Where do we begin with these lot. Already undeniably the band of the moment in 2019, following up ‘i like it when you sleep…’ was always going to have plenty of eyes on it. Then those eyes would of gone all over the shop, with ‘A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships’ packed with a serving platter of different sounds, unpredictable moments and vital messaging. Delicious. 

Now, they’re not here tonight… so if they win then we’ve agreed with Dirty Hit we’ll be going up to collect the trophy. It’s down on the Live Blog now so that means it has to happen…

We said: “It isn’t just a great album - it’s a generation-defining masterpiece” (yeah we liked it)

6:58 pm

September 19, 2019

Right, everyone settle down now. We’ve got a show to talk about here and what a blooming huge one it is. So we’re going to start off in a professional manner and then.. to be honest… things could get a bit hectic.

There’s a remarkable sense of calm here (for the moment), so with that in mind - let’s have a look at all these cracking albums. Think of it as a walk down memory lane of the past 12 months in British music.

We’ll start with a band called… *checks notes* The 1975?

6:52 pm

September 19, 2019


Another year, another Dork Live Blog from The Mercury Prize - the finest bash for all your music industry delights. Celebrating not only a wonderful year in British music, we're also celebrating the fact the world hasn't fallen apart into a crumbled mess (yet)

On that positive note, we've found the wine. 

Give all this a try

The Cribs: "The music industry is a business; our idealism worked against us"

The Cribs: "The music industry is a business; our idealism worked against us"

After nearly two decades in the biz, Wakefield trio - and indie legends - The Cribs have wrestled back control for their eighth album, 'Night Network'
What's next for live music in the UK?

What's next for live music in the UK?

With shows still unable to return as we know them, and a whole industry on its knees, we ask what happened, where are we now, and what’s next for live music in the UK.
Check out all of our Dork recommended tracks from Lorem, the coolest playlist on the planet - only on Spotify

Check out all of our Dork recommended tracks from Lorem, the coolest playlist on the planet - only on Spotify

We've been selecting some of our favourite tracks from our favourite list. You can check them all out here.
Fickle Friends: "Is this weird? Are people gonna get it?"

Fickle Friends: "Is this weird? Are people gonna get it?"

Yep - it seems the perfect time to have an EP called ‘Weird Years’ on the way. Let Natti from Fickle Friends explain.
Like this? Subscribe to Dork and get every issue delivered direct to your door anywhere on the planet.

© 2018 The Bunker Publishing