here’s everything you missed at the 2017 mercury prize awards last night

From Sampha’s win to Idris Elba’s shirt.

by Shannon Mahanty
15 September 2017, 2:17pm

That's it! The 2017 Mercury Prize is over, and though there are definitely a lot of people left licking William Hill shaped wounds this morning, it's hard to argue that Sampha isn't a worthy and deserving winner. Process, which he can now describe as his 'Mercury winning album', is a rich and colourful soundscape, as muted and lyrically emotive (the death of his mother features heavily), as it is danceable and lifting. Plus, 28-year-old Sampha Sisay just seems like a nice guy, and who wouldn't want him to have an extra £25,000?

Having witnessed all two and a half hours of Mercury action, from the collective let's-have-a-cry moments, to the sharpest rap delivered with faultless precision (Stormzy's slick performance of First Things First and Blinded by Your Grace ticks both of these), here's everything you need to know about last night's 2017 Mercury Prize Award.

1. Mercury by Numbers
Last night's host Lauren Laverne kicked off the niceties by doing some fun Mercury-by-numbers trivia. Did you know the 2017 nominees comprised of: 'three friendship groups, five south Londoners and two previous Mercury prize-winners?' All well and good, but here's some more striking numbers: ten acts with men in them! Two acts without men in them!

Women really were noticeably under-represented in these years awards. Jorja Smith, Nadia Rose, Lady Leshurr, Charli XCX, Stefflon Don; if you're reading this, you have 365 days to drop an album, because this just won't do.

3. Onwards and upwards. If you do one thing today…
Watch Loyle Carner's performance of The Isle of Arran. The sixteen-piece gospel choir, the look of sheer gratitude on Carner's face, and the affectionate nod to the power of mums: it's the perfect antidote to being at work.

4. If this was X-Factor…
…then J-Hus would have won the popular vote. Every time the Stratford rapper was within metres of the stage, the Hammersmith Apollo erupted. Wearing a fisherman hat and slick all-white ensemble, his brash and beat laden performance of Friendly and Did You See felt unruly in all the right ways. He was undoubtedly the unsung hero of the night.

5. Ed Sheeran was the only nominee who didn't perform
But give the guy a break, he is on a world tour. Instead, a video montage appeared on not one, but six on-stage screens. It felt very Hunger Games and will be etched into our eyelids forever.

6. Idris Elba's jacket

7. White trousers, seemingly a thing
At least according to J-Hus, Glass Animals, this guy from Dinosaur and this girl from Kate Tempest's band. Speaking of Glass Animals, in the most millennial thing to happen in 2017, the Oxford four-piece performed a punchy version of Life Itself with not one, but two pineapples on stage. Perplexing.

8. Skepta came through
Last year's winner showed up for a fiery performance of Man, which he ended by bigging up nominees Stormzy and J-Hus. Joined on stage by a guitarist and a car (he performed the first 30 seconds from inside it), in hindsight, Skepta's set was a poignant reminder of the £25,000 about to line Sampha's pockets.

Ed Sheeran
Mercury Prize
idris elba