Arts: Britpop calls the tune in contest for the best songwriters

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Britpop songwriters look likely to dominate the Ivor Novello Awards for popular songwriting, which will be presented in London tomorrow.

The awards, in their 41st year, are internationally respected as Britain's major platform for recognising its songwriting talent. Last year's winners included Elton John, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello and Sir Tim Rice.

This year, a step down a generation to acclaim the renaissance in British songwriting looks inevitable.

It has already been announced that Damon Albarn of Blur and Noel Gallagher of Oasis will share the Songwriters Of The Year award.

But the awards shortlist shows that most of the other categories contain Britpop entries. "Wonderwall", by Oasis, is in the running for best contemporary song; "Common People", by Pulp, has been nominated for best song musically and lyrically. Supergrass's "Alright" is also nominated for best contemporary song.

Take That, despite their teenybop image, are on the shortlist for a number of categories. Their song "Back For Good" is on the shortlist for three categories: best song, international hit of the year, and for the Performing Rights Society's most performed work of the year.

Britpop also makes its presence felt in the initial entries for this year's pounds 25,000 Mercury Music Prize. The Oasis album (What's The Story) Morning Glory? and Blur's The Great Escape will both be competing against albums by veteran members of the musical establishment such as Bert Jansch, John McLaughlin and John Tavener.

Both the Ivor Novello Awards and the Mercury Music Prize reflect that other recent phenomenon, the Jane Austen boom. Carl Davis's score for the BBC's Pride and Prejudice is nominated for a Novello award for best television or radio score. And the entries for the Mercury Prize include the soundtrack to the film of Sense and Sensibility.

The Ivor Novello Awards are presented by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. The winner of the most awards is Paul McCartney, with 18, followed by John Lennon and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, both with 14.

A spokeswoman said: "This is the year that Britpop has made a real showing; and the nominations show the strength of the songwriting ability in the current crop of bands."