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Barclaycard Mercury Prize Sessions

Story by Lizzie Guilfoyle

A NEW series of monthly live sessions, Barclaycard Mercury Prize Sessions with The Hospital Club, has been announced. The events will feature live performances by both new and more established acts from the UK and overseas.

Ladyhawke and Blood Red Shoes have been confirmed to play the first Session on Friday, May 29, 2009.

The Sessions, which are supported by the Prize’s sponsor, Barclaycard, will be held in The Hospital Club’s TV Studio and will be filmed in front of an audience of around 250 people, with the content initially made available exclusively through MySpace and on XFM.

Tickets to the events will not be going on public sale, but will instead be made available to music fans, competition winners, as well as The Hospital Club members. The live sessions are a new initiative for the Prize, which is best known for recognising the UK Album of the Year, which in 2008 was Elbow’s The Seldom Seen Kid.

The introduction of these new events reflects the expansion of the Mercury Prize’s recommendation into new areas. It also capitalises on The Hospital Club’s unique position as the club for the creative industries with an extensive network of members, many of who work in music.

Producer for the Mercury Prize, Dan Ford said: “It’s great news that the Barclaycard Mercury Prize is extending its recommendation into live music in this way. These events are going to help produce some truly unique performances that music fans are really going to love.”

And Head of Communication for The Hospital Club, Maria Nicholson said: “The best live music has always been at the core of our offering for our members, so we’re delighted to be collaborating with the Prize to showcase some of the industry’s most interesting talent in an intimate and unique way.”

The Mercury Prize champions all genres of music primarily through its celebration of the UK Albums of the Year. The Sessions are a stand-alone, new initiative and are not linked to the Albums of the Year competition.

The Hospital Club is unique because it’s the only club designed specifically for the creative industries. It caters for a mix of emerging and established talent, providing a place for them to both work and play. It’s also about discovering, producing and celebrating creative work.