wed 12/08/2020

The xx win Mercury Prize, the oOoOO next year? | reviews, news & interviews

The xx win Mercury Prize, the oOoOO next year?

The xx win Mercury Prize, the oOoOO next year?

The Arts Desk has been in two minds about Mercury Award winners The xx, who picked up the £20,000 cheque last night. Joe Muggs loved them, Bruce Dessau was sceptical. Singer and bass player Oliver Sim told the audience at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London that they weren't expecting to win.

Explore topics

Share this article


Just a quick clarifying note to say that I always thought The xx's debut album was sinuous, soulful and frequently sublime. I simply thought that when I saw them at Somerset House earlier this year they were a bit of a pop bell jar, sucking the life out of a beautiful venue. And post-prize I'm not flip flopping on that opinion. I didn't see anything in their onstage performance at the Mercurys last night to change my mind. Though they were possibly the most polite band ever at the press call afterwards. Good manners in pop is a rare commodity indeed.

Quote: "Consider the time that went into coming up with these names, let alone any actual music." Well in the case of oOoOO possibly not very long! Yoshimi P-we of The Boredoms other band is called OOIOO and I have 4 CDs by them, so they've been around for a while! I mean I'm sorry, but that's a very, very similar name... As for The xx, it's not just the fact that some older listeners may have come across Young Marble Giants in the past, but in order to be "soulful", in my book, you need to be possessed of a certain level of singing ability, which to be frank the xx, rather lack...

And I should add that I can very well imagine that their sound could get lost in an open air venue, as compared to the beautifully dark and cavernous place where the gig I reviewed took place!

Also as we're mentioning the In The City events, it should be noted that *ahem* Theartsdesk's Joe Muggs is chairing a panel on the rise of dubstep in the industry conference part of proceedings...

Add comment


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters