Doing little to dispel their image as white, middle class indie kids, Alt-J pointed out in their acceptance speech at the 2012 Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize that the £20,000 that they won could go towards paying off their student loans. And taking their parents out to dinner. Somehow, you couldn’t imagine Plan B, or Richard Hawley making the same references if they’d won the title.
We’re not entirely convinced by the band’s assertion that they hadn’t thought to prepare for winning the award. As they took to the stage, they said “wow, we literally haven’t prepared for this.” Which shows a gross lack of time management skills, then, given that they have been hailed as the favourites for the award for weeks now and managed to fend of competition from Richard Hawley in the bookies’ odds. By their own admission, they had been tipped as favourites to win before the shortlist even came out. The band decided against naming the people that they wanted to thank, but chose to acknowledge everyone in “team Alt-J,” instead.
Whilst Alt-J are understandably revelling in the praise that has been heaped upon them, for fighting off competition from the likes of Jessie Ware, Plan B and Richard Hawley, one man has taken to Twitter to reveal how Alt-J allegedly tried to prevent him from reviewing their gig, to avoid him publishing a negative reaction. The latest post on the matter, from The Independent’s music critic Simon Price (@simon_price01) reads “Ironically, the call about being banned from the @Alt_J gig came just after I'd been lecturing Solent uni kids about editorial independence.”