Elbow were tonight named the winners of the Nationwide Mercury Prize 2008 for their album The Seldom Seen Kid.
They won the revered prize ahead of a shortlist of 11 other acts at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in central London and their victory sees them follow in the footsteps of acts such as last year's winner Klaxons.
The band had been nominated for their first album Asleep In The Back in 2001, but they lost out to PJ Harvey for Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea. The Seldom Seen Kid is the band's fourth album.
Elbow received a standing ovation from guests at the event. Collecting the prize, which is worth £20,000, singer Guy Garvey said: "This is quite literally the best thing that's ever happened to us. I know I'm supposed to say something cool, but it's literally the best thing that has happened."
And he dedicated the prize to the Manchester musician Bryan Glancy who died in 2006 at the age of 39. Garvey told guests: "He was one of the greatest men that ever lived." The band had dedicated the final track on The Seldom Seen Kid, Friend Of Ours, to Glancy who had been a key figure on the Mancunian music scene for many years playing with members of bands such as The Chameleons and I Am Kloot and he was also David Gray's best man.
Garvey later said he would be donating the award trophy to Glancy's mother: ""That very heavy trophy there is going to be sat on Mandy Glancy's mantelpiece, his mum, because she's a particularly amazing lady."
Broadcaster and conductor Charles Hazlewood, who was one of the judges on this year's Mercury panel said the band were an early frontrunner: "We were so passionate about them right from the start. We couldn't talk enough about what they'd done. There have obviously been a few albums before but this was to a whole new level."
The Mercury is designed to champion the best UK album releases of the past 12 months.
Winning the prize brings a guaranteed sales boost for the victorious act thanks to the increased exposure from their win.
Elbow beat acts such as Radiohead, Adele and The Last Shadow Puppets to win this year's Mercury. Past winners include Arctic Monkeys, Pulp and Badly Drawn Boy.
You can read about the other albums which were in contention for the prize here.
And you can let us know who YOU think should have won the Mercury by voting here
10:22 PM | 09/09/2008
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