Surprise Choice victory for Kildare band

Thu, Feb 28, 2008, 00:00

Kildare collective Super Extra Bonus Party has won the Choice Music Prize Irish Album of the Year for 2007 for their eponymous debut album.

The Newbridge band released their indie-electronica 13-track album last April, featuring collaborations with an eclectic mix of artists including singer Nina Hynes and Brazilian MC Rodrigo Teles.

They were chosen from a shortlist of 10 nominees, which included Cathy Davey, Adrian Crowley, Delorentos, The Flaws and Róisín Murphy, formerly of Moloko.

They describe themselves as "Cormac and Mike (beats, blips, synths, scratching, programming, production), Fatz (bass, guitars, trumpet) Gav (Guitars,drums), Rodrigo (MC), Steve (guitars), plus behind the scenes, Seán (production) and Nialler9 (visuals, design)." The members of Super Extra Bonus Party walked away with a cheque for €10,000 between them, after being awarded the prize by a panel of 12 media professionals at a ceremony in Dublin's Vicar Street.

All 10 nominees performed live to a packed venue of fans who were treated to electronica, indie, trad and rock tunes, with Super Extra Bonus taking the final slot.

This Choice Music Prize, now in its third year, is co-organised by music manager Dave Reid and Irish Times music critic Jim Carroll. With no commercial input or sponsorship, it is designed to highlight Irish albums released over the preceding year which, according to its website, "deserve some extra time in the spotlight."

At 12-1 odds going into the evening, Super Extra Bonus Party were an unexpected choice, beating favourite Cathy Davey for the prestigious prize, which has become renowned for being unpredictable.

Last year the Divine Comedy was the surprise winner of the prize for their album Victory for the Comic Muse, while Galway singer Julie Feeney won the first award for her album 13 Songs.

The judging panel, which this year included 2FM's Dan Hegarty, Anne Marie Kelly from Today FM and Sunday Tribunejournalist Una Mullally, debate the entries in a secluded room during the artists' performances, revealing their choice at the end of the night.