Mercury Prize 2014: Win win for nominees amid massive sales boost

All 12 nominees including Damon Albarn and Anna Calvi will perform at tonight's prize-giving ceremony in London

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The Independent Culture

Irrespective of who wins the gong this evening all the Mercury Prize hopefuls who have seen massive hikes in sales since they were shortlisted.

The bookies' favourite, FKA Twigs, whose real name is Tahliah Barnett saw her total sales increase by 83 per cent after being added to the 12-strong list.

Similarly poet and rapper Kate Tempest enjoyed a 124 per cent sales boost. However, the two acts have had fewer than 10,000 extra album sales between them.

Jazz trio GoGo Penguin also saw one of the biggest increases in sales (138 per cent), but they are unlikely to hit number one in the album charts as they sold only an extra 2,095 copies of their record V2.0

The Barclaycard Mercury Prize will be awarded for the best album of the year at a ceremony at the Roundhouse in London's Camden tonight.

The 12 acts in the running - who also include Damon Albarn and Royal Blood - will each perform for guests.

One of the more established nominees, Anna Calvi, who has been nominated once before, saw a rise in sales of just 6 per cent, which represented only an extra 800 copies if her album.

Similarly, Albarn, the frontman of Blur, doesn't seem to have benefited quite as much from the exposure, as sales for his debut solo release Everyday Robots wentup by just 8 per cent (although starting from a larger base that amounted to a further 3,615 albums).

Chart-topping duo Royal Blood have achieved the largest sales since the shortlist was announced on 10 September, according to figures from the Official Charts Company, although their self-titled album was already a major seller. It has shifted a further 59,000 copies - representing a 62 per cent rise - but had already been doing well, going straight to number one prior to its inclusion, and is the biggest-selling rock debut of the past three years.

Bookmaker William Hill makes FKA Twigs the favourite with LP1 after a rush of bets at the weekend, displacing Tempest, with Everybody Down.

Hill's spokesman Rupert Adams said: "It has been one way traffic all week - all the money has been for FKA Twigs, which is reminiscent of the gamble we saw in 2010 on The XX which ended up being one of our worst ever Mercury results."

Past victors have included acts such as Arctic Monkeys, Elbow, double winner PJ Harvey and last year's triumphant James Blake. Some have failed to capitalise on the exposure with 2009's Speech Debelle only making it to number 65 with her winning album, and failing to chart with her follow-up.

The event is being televised by More4 from 9.30pm.

Additional reporting by PA

 

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