A Southampton musician last night scooped one of the music industry's most prestigious awards.

Despite being the bookie's favourite, Joe Newman looked stunned as his band Alt-J landed this year's prestigious Barclaycard Mercury Prize for their debut An Awesome Wave.

He is not on the way to fame and fortune following in the footsteps of previous winners Arctic Monkeys and Elbow.

Afterwards Joe said: “I am literally curdling with excitment - I am buzzing."

He also revealed his father had tried to cash in on the band's success but failed.

He said: ''My dad went to the bookies when the album was being made in January to try and put a bet on the Mercury Prize, but they didn't know what he was talking about''.

Joe and the band spent five years working on the album after meeting in 2007 at Leeds University where he attended after leaving Cantell Maths and Computing College in Southampton.

The band named themselves Alt-J after the command used on a Mac keyboard to create Greek letter Delta.

Despite rocketing to the top 20, the album did not employ an intensive marketing push, instead relying on word of mouth, becoming so popular they were favourites to win before being nominated.

The alternative-indie band follow in the footsteps of other musicians to be nominated at the awards - all from Cantell.

The Violet Road school, which this year is celebrating its 25 th birthday, has been added Joe's name to their wall of fame.

This includes drummer and Highfield boy. Will Champion, whose band Cold Play nominated for their X&Y album, two years after they were shortlisted for A Rush of Blood to the Head.

In 2008, former Cantell pupils Jack Wylie and Milo Fitzpatrick were shortlisted as part of the Portico Quartet, for their critically acclaimed debut album Knee Deep in the North Sea.

To read more about Alt-J and Cantell's famous pupils click here

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