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Klaxons Win U.K.’s 2007 Mercury Prize

The Klaxons’ “Myths of the Near Future” was awarded the U.K.’s Nationwide Mercury Prize today (Sept. 4) in London, beating out records by 11 others, including Amy Winehouse and Arctic Monkeys, to be celebrated as the best British or Irish album of the year.

“Myths” (Rinse/Polydor), the “nu rave” band’s debut set, was named the winner at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in central London. The event featured live performances from Klaxons, Winehouse, rapper Dizzee Rascal, Fionn Regan, New Young Pony Club, and all of the rest of 12 shortlisted acts except Arctic Monkeys, who are currently on tour in the United States.

The members of the Klaxons were clearly exhausted after their victory, with James Righton admitting later that he shed some tears on the podium. When asked how it felt beating out Winehouse, group members Jamie Reynolds later told the press, “Her record is a retro record, ours is the most forward thinking record of the year. We are moving forward.”

With 4/1 odds, Winehouse and last year’s winners Arctic Monkeys had been favored to win by William Hill bookmakers when the shortlist was announced July 17. But in the days leading up to the ceremony, Bat For Lashes’ “Fur and Gold” (Echo/EMI) jostled into position as bookies’ favorite’ while Winehouse — whose recent tour cancellations and “health issues” — saw her odds slip.

To arrive at a winner, Mercury’s panel of judges whittled down the nominees from a long-list of more than 230 contenders, entered by their respective record companies. The award was established as the Mercury Music Prize in 1992 by labels body the BPI and its counterpart retail association ERA (then known as BARD). The Nationwide Building Society took over as sponsor from Japanese-owned consumer electronics firm Panasonic in 2004. Previous winners include Franz Ferdinand, Gomez and P.J. Harvey.