The 20th Mercury Prize is awarded this week. To celebrate, Simmy Richman presents the greatest hits of the 'alternative to the Brits'
Portishead's 1994 debut, Dummy, was so perfect it almost instantly became a cliché, a cul de sac they only escaped with 2008's aptly titled Third. But on the first night of a festival the Bristol band curated and headline, they dig deeper into songs it had seemed would bury them, expanding their sonic terrain of scratched hip-hop, vintage vinyl spookiness and Cold War spy movie cool, Billie Holiday and John le Carré.
Record-breaking star Adele will battle it out with two previous winners PJ Harvey and Elbow for this year's Barclaycard Mercury Prize.
On Tuesday, the Barclaycard Mercury Prize judges reveal the 'Albums of the Year' from which they will choose their winner. Andy Gill presents the acts they should include
The word "Gallipoli" is, of course, one that still has the power to make Antipodeans flinch, even if to most Britons it vaguely summons an acclaimed film from the 1980s, if at all.
It is almost certainly for the best that, although longlisted for the BBC's Sound of 2011 confection, 28-year-old Londoner Anna Calvi did not make the top-five cut.
The Dickie Davies-haired queen of the rockabilly revival has already been number one in her native Ireland for most of the summer with her third album.
MGMT have sworn off writing songs with radio-friendly hooks, while NYPC just need to be a bit more friendly
It's more than 12 years since PJ Harvey and John Parish released Dance Hall at Louse Point, and while A Woman A Man Walked By constitutes an improvement of sorts, few will be disappointed if their ongoing alliance suffers another hiatus of similar duration.
On Takes, nu-folk philosopher Adem takes time out from the space metaphors and cosmic speculations of 2006's Love and Other Planets to offer covers of some of his favourite songs from the Nineties – a decade when he was immersed in largely fun-free indie music, judging by his choices.
The mum, label boss and former indie band member tells Elisa Bray about being in charge