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Former Cantell School boy Joe Newman's Alt-J to sweep the board at the Brit Awards
A SOUTHAMPTON musician is poised to win the music industry's top awards.
Joe Newman from Highfield, and his band Alt-J are leading the nominations for next month's Brit Award, competing for three trophies each.
But they also have the big award of the night in the sites - the Best Album for An Awesome Wave which clinched them Mercury Prize in November.
The award will be fought between Sande's Our Version Of Events, the Mumford release Babel and Plan B's Ill Manors. Paloma Faith is also up for the title for her second album Fall To Grace.
Joe and the band will then line up against Mumford And Sons for best British group, with The xx and Muse. Pop act One Direction - who will be performing on the night when the awards take place on February 20 - complete the category after a year which has seen them conquer the US.
For Best Breakthrough Act they will battle it out with Ben Howard, Jake Bugg, Jessie Ware and Rita Ora. Joe and the band spent five years working on the debut album after meeting in 2007.
The band named themselves Alt-J, which is 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.
One of the songs, Bloodfloods, is about being beaten up in Southampton.
The only track to includes the album title An Awesome Wave in its lyrics, it describes the rush of emotion and adrenaline during the attack as “a flood of blood to the heart and the fear slipstreams”.
The band have said in interviews that the track, which repeatedly has the word “common” spelled out in it, is about being the victim of an assault on the city parkland.
The alternative-indie band follow in the footsteps of other musicians to be nominated at top music awards - all from Cantell.
The Violet Road school, which this year is celebrating its 25 th birthday, has already added Joe's name to their wall of fame.
This includes drummer and Highfield boy Will Champion, whose band Cold Play nominated at the Mecury Awards 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.
Other UK names for nomination for next month's Brits include Richard Hawley go up against Murs, Calvin Harris, Plan B and Ben Howard for Best Male act.
The nominations were announced at a ceremony in London's Savoy Hotel this evening which saw the first 2012 Brit trophy - designed by artist Damien Hirst with his signature spot design - handed to critics' choice winner Tom Odell.
It was handed over by last year's recipient Sande
. Coldplay, Mumford And Sons, Muse and The Vaccines are the bands who will challenge the Stones - who performed two UK shows at London's O2 Arena to mark their 50th anniversary last year - for the best live act title.
The prize is making a comeback after being rested since 2009.
Stones frontman Mick Jagger welcomed the nomination and said: ''We all had such a blast, everyone was at the top of their game, and the hometown audiences at the O2 were just fantastic. It's great to be nominated.''
Guitarist Keith Richards said: ''On stage is where we belong. When I'm up there with Mick, Charlie and Ronnie, everything is rocking.''
Adele, a double winner last year who was famously cut off by host James Corden as she launched into her climactic acceptance speech, is among the acts who compete for best single, with her Oscar-nominated Bond single Skyfall.
Others in the category include Jessie J for Domino and X Factor winner James Arthur with his chart-topping single Impossible.
The 2011 X Factor winners Little Mix failed to get a single nomination for this year's Brits, despite releasing their debut album in the qualifying period.
Rihanna leads the field in the shortlist for international female act and stands a chance of becoming the first person to win the prize in three consecutive years.
She is against Alicia Keys, Cat Power, Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift, which raises the prospect that Swift may attend the event and bump into her One Direction star ex, Harry Styles.