When Lauren Laverne and the panel for this year’s Mercury Music Awards are all in Hell they will walk with their heads on backwards. For this year’s nominations are not a case of rewarding progress and innovation but are a case of rewarding fiscal success. We all know that awards ceremonies are self-serving, a shot in the arm for the industry, and are wholly redundant. However what is different about this years is that tastemaking is as high on the agenda as artistic merit. There are the usual anomalous entries, which are frankly ridiculous as this event is squared mainly at the mainstream Radio 1 market. Gone are the days when Roni Size or Talvin Singh could win it. Who decides these lists? Rather than judiciously root out the chaff and choose the most invidious and rewarding listens from the last year, they have more than half an eye on the mainstream and the rest on what will be popular over the rest of the year. Vested interests mean that this is no longer really an award that rewards artistic merit, or am I going to be really surprised? If any of the NME approved acts win, you know the answer...Mercifully they resisted the urge to include White Lies, but I think that excluding Doves was disingenuous. Because of Elbow's success last year they were proclaimed as favourites, but I believe the judges wanted to avoid falling into a trap of handing out awards due to sentiment. Kingdom Of Rust has its merits, but it falls short of the high watermark that their first two albums set and is simply not good enough to win this award.