The ink is barely dry on PJ Harvey's £20,000 Mercury Prize winning cheque, and the bookies have already started taking bets on who will take the crown next year. Here's the lowdown on the reprehensible gaggle of noise-mongers William Hill think we'll be talking about this time next year...
Kasabian are the musical equivalent of a Nick Love film, I get that. But no matter how much my lefty, Guardian-reading, Bon Iver-bumming Twitterers tell me they're shit, I really like them. They seem completely oblivious to just how absurd they actually are, and they make big, dumb, beautiful rock'n'roll music with daft titles and unintelligible lyrics. The world's a better place for them being around. However, they haven't got a cat in hell's chance of winning the MP – those lefty, Guardian-reading, Bon Iver-bumming judges wouldn't hear of it.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (8/1)
So, as expected, Beady Eye are shite. But what of Gallagher Snr. and his first post-Oasis release? If lead single The Death Of You And Me is anything to go by, it's looking like an equally bland affair. Instead of unleashing a record full of tracks on par with Falling Down, from the final Oasis album – and arguably the most accomplished song Noel's ever written – Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds looks set to be a big bag of plod-along, acoustic nowt. His following album with The Amorphous Androgynous, on the other hand...
Ed Sheeran (10/1)
If you're lucky enough to have never heard Ed Sheeran, let me save you some trouble: big-haired, Gap Yah goon combines unimaginably bad lyrics, beatboxing, rapping and folk music with catastrophic results. If Sheeran wins 2012's MP, I'll leave the country.
Florence and the Machine (10/1)
My mate – Rhodesy his name is – fancies Florence, but only dressed as a male chav, like she once was in the NME. That's pretty much the most interesting thing I've got say about her and the Machine. If an act whose most notable track is a cover wins the MP, something's gone horrifically wrong.
I'm not going to have a go at little Chrissy Martin, because I don't hate Coldplay. They're just sort of there, aren't they? The very definition of insipid. I mean, if they didn't exist, what would middle-class people pretending to like music listen to at dinner parties. No chance.
Mumford & Sons (16/1)
Rizzle Kicks (20/1)
Admittedly, I know very little about Rizzle Kicks beyond current single Down With The Trumpets – which isn't awful – and the fact that they attended the BRIT School – which makes me instantly sceptical of them. They can also be found dicking about on Olly Murs' latest noise-fest. I'm inclined to say your money would be safer on a three-legged rocking horse, but the Mercury judges are known for shortlisting substandard urban acts: Tinie Tempah, Speech Debelle, Sway...
I remember when Example was this mad, gurning wreck-head that hung around with Mike Skinner on Beat Stevie – producing fine, novelty hip-hop like I Don't Want To. Since then he's found commercial success with soul-blackening, rap-rave calamities like Changed The Way You Kiss Me. I can't see his new album being a winner.
Calvin Harris (20/1)
Lazy dance music for vodka Redbull-soaked orange people, that go to nightclubs with sticky carpets to share STDs. No joy.
Wretch 32 (25/1)
He defiled Fools Gold. For this, he must never be forgiven...
Laura Marling (25/1)
One of the most gifted and unique young songwriters in the UK today. It's not a question of if Laura Marling will win the MP, but when.
Miles Kane (25/1)
The former Rascals frontman does Music Machine-indebted psychedelic rock and Scott Walker-esque 60s pop very, very well; but I don't think he has what it takes to win over the MP judges.
If you say you don't like Elbow, you're lying. Whether the follow-up to Build a Rocket Boys! – which was nominated this year – will even be out in time for next year's prize is debatable, but I feel their victory in 2008 won't be repeated – that's not to say they wont continue making glorious, life-affirming, lyrically-gorgeous music for a long, long time.
All The Young (33/1)
Think Viva Brother, Britpop derived nonsense – but shitter. No hope.
Jessie J (33/1)
You'd be forgiven for thinking Jessie J is a transvestite, with a voice akin to a hoover having sex with a lathe, that needs to get over having no mates at school... Well, I'd forgive you for thinking that, anyway. No. All kinds of no.
Professor Green (50/1)
Stephen Manderson is a successful battle rapper who has struggled to translate his natural talent into anything more solid. If he was willing to take one eye off the charts, he could have a decent album in him. But an MP winning album? Probably not.
It's not 2005, is it? And the MP judges had a massive fucking whoopsie shortlisting them then.
Charlie Simpson (80/1)
People make mistakes when they're young. At 16, I ran over the top of an unmarked police car for a bet – hurling myself over it like the main character in a drunken, adolescent cop show. I reckon I look back on that incident in much the same way Charlie Simpson looks back on his time with Busted – except he made loads of dosh from it and didn't have to spend a night sleeping in a pissy police cell. I can't see the MP judges allowing the man behind What I Go to School For to claim this country's most prestigious music prize – just like I'll never live down my caution for “attempted criminal damage”.
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