Alt-J win Mercury Music Award with album An Awesome Wave

Daily Echo: Joe Newman on left is a former pupil of Cantell Maths and Computing College Joe Newman on left is a former pupil of Cantell Maths and Computing College

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

Have you voted for which famous Southampton celebrity deserves a statue? - click here to see the top ten and vote.

 

 

 

Comments (6)

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1:06am Fri 2 Nov 12

TheJoiners says...

Great news for Southampton Music, well done :-)
Great news for Southampton Music, well done :-) TheJoiners
  • Score: 0

7:40am Fri 2 Nov 12

FoysCornerBoy says...

There is a lot of creative talent here in Southampton and it would be good if local people - and the Council - was able to recognise this. The recent SO:FEST event in the Guildhall Square is an example of what we need to see more of in the City. I look forward to a strong Cantell school theme at next year's festival - featuring successes such as Coldplay, Portico and now Alt-J!
There is a lot of creative talent here in Southampton and it would be good if local people - and the Council - was able to recognise this. The recent SO:FEST event in the Guildhall Square is an example of what we need to see more of in the City. I look forward to a strong Cantell school theme at next year's festival - featuring successes such as Coldplay, Portico and now Alt-J! FoysCornerBoy
  • Score: 0

9:36am Fri 2 Nov 12

St Retford says...

I take everything back that I've said about Southampton's musical heritage.

Just a word of caution though: in the music industry there's a thing known as the Mercury Curse, in which a band wins the Mercury and is promptly crushed beneath the weight of expectations. Roni Size, Gomez, Talvin Singh, Badly Drawn Boy and Ms Dynamite all won it and promptly disappeared without trace, so it's not necessarily a key to fame and fortune.

Good luck to them, though.
I take everything back that I've said about Southampton's musical heritage. Just a word of caution though: in the music industry there's a thing known as the Mercury Curse, in which a band wins the Mercury and is promptly crushed beneath the weight of expectations. Roni Size, Gomez, Talvin Singh, Badly Drawn Boy and Ms Dynamite all won it and promptly disappeared without trace, so it's not necessarily a key to fame and fortune. Good luck to them, though. St Retford
  • Score: 0

12:26pm Fri 2 Nov 12

For pity sake says...

The summary of the item states that he is on his way to fam (sic) and fortune.
The article states "He is not on the way to fame and fortune following in the footsteps of previous winners Arctic Monkeys and Elbow."
So he's not getting fame but he will get fam.
Lucky chap.
(...and this is from a senior reporter - no wonder the junior reporters are cr*p too.)
The summary of the item states that he is on his way to fam (sic) and fortune. The article states "He is not on the way to fame and fortune following in the footsteps of previous winners Arctic Monkeys and Elbow." So he's not getting fame but he will get fam. Lucky chap. (...and this is from a senior reporter - no wonder the junior reporters are cr*p too.) For pity sake
  • Score: 0

6:14pm Fri 2 Nov 12

SOULJACKER says...

TheJoiners wrote:
Great news for Southampton Music, well done :-)
couldn't agree more some good talent in our town.
I see "Band of skulls" are doing pretty well having supported the "Black Keys" ......who I am going to see in December by the way.
Some good venues too, your namesake The Joiners, The Brook Talking Heads, The Cellar & not to mention the Guildhall to (Saw "Shinedown" there the other night.....Really Rocked).
So yes indeed well done to them.....keep music live :)
[quote][p][bold]TheJoiners[/bold] wrote: Great news for Southampton Music, well done :-)[/p][/quote]couldn't agree more some good talent in our town. I see "Band of skulls" are doing pretty well having supported the "Black Keys" ......who I am going to see in December by the way. Some good venues too, your namesake The Joiners, The Brook Talking Heads, The Cellar & not to mention the Guildhall to (Saw "Shinedown" there the other night.....Really Rocked). So yes indeed well done to them.....keep music live :) SOULJACKER
  • Score: 0

11:14am Sat 3 Nov 12

Chris storey says...

Saw them on TV today doing. Awesome wave. I think it was called, more like Awful noise! They call that music?
Saw them on TV today doing. Awesome wave. I think it was called, more like Awful noise! They call that music? Chris storey
  • Score: 0

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