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Franz Ferdinand scoop Mercury Music Prize (2004)

Story: Jack Foley

FRANZ Ferdinand, the band that everyone had tipped for success at this year's Mercury Music Prize, triumphed at this year's prestigious awards ceremony.

Despite having a reputation for throwing up the odd surprise, the Glasgow-based outfit took this year's prize for their self-titled debut album.

Competition had been particularly strong this year, with the likes of Keane, The Streets, Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse and late bookies favourites, The Zutons, all posing credible challenges.

The £20,000 award seeks to recognise the best album of the year by a British or Irish act, and is voted for by a panel of industry experts, journalists and artists.

It places its emphasis on originality and creativity rather than commercial success.

Franz Ferdinand lead singer, Alex Kapranos, said the band was '"truly gobsmacked' but 'very chuffed and very honoured' at receiving the prize.

The album in question has spawned the hit singles Take Me Out and Michael.

In what is proving to be a purple period for them, the band also scooped the band of the year award at the GQ magazine awards.

Ever modest, however, Kapranos said that the award came as even more of a surprise due to the strong level of competition they faced which, he hoped, signalled 'an end to the despicable era we've gone through of manufactured pop music'.

Later, he pledged that the prize money would be used to set up a centre, in Glasgow, to help young people get started in the music industry.

The Mercury Music Prize is often seen as the most prestigious accolade in the UK musical awards season.

It also boosts album sales of the artists who are nominated and win by a phenomenal amount.

Last year’s winner, Dizzee Rascal, is believed to have significantly boosted sales of his album, Boy In Da Corner, by 150 per cent on the day after his prize was announced; which means that any of this year’s potential winners stands to inherit a cash windfall from the publicity the award will attract.

Other nominees, this year, included Indie bands, Snow Patrol, Belle and Sebastian, R&B artist, Jamelia, and rap newcomer, Ty, who is signed to the Big Dada label.

Franz Ferdinand had been 9/4 favourites to win, with bookmaker Ladbrokes.

They are now due to fly out to America for a tour.

The full list of nominees was as follows...

Mercury Music Prize 2004 shortlist in full:

Basement Jaxx - Kish Kash

Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress

Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand

Jamelia - Thank You

Keane - Hopes and Fears

Snow Patrol - Final Straw

Joss Stone - The Soul Sessions

The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free

Ty - Upwards

Amy Winehouse - Frank

Robert Wyatt - Cuckooland

The Zutons - Who Killed The Zutons?

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