A shortlist of ten Irish bands has been announced for next month’s prestigious Meteor Choice Music Prize for best Irish album of 2013, highlights of which will be televised for the first time in the competition’s nine year history.
Several well known names including bookies' favourite My Bloody Valentine will feature among the contenders, alongside emerging artists Lisa O'Neill and Girls Names.
It is Ireland’s foremost award in the world of music and brings with it not just a €10,000 cash prize but exposure to movers and shakers in the industry outside of Irish shores, particularly through the attendance of several UK based promoters.
Whoever collects the gong at the February 27th event in Vicar Street, Dublin will join a list of previous winners that includes last year’s recipients Delorentos, two time winners Jape and The Divine Comedy who stole the show in 2006.
"The Meteor Choice Music Prize shines a light on some of our finest song-writing talents each year," said Victor Finn, chief executive of the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) which sponsors the event along with the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA).
“The prize has always represented the huge creativity and diversity found in Irish music and we are delighted to play our part in bringing this music to an even wider audience”.
Tonight, the bookmaker Paddy Power placed My Bloody Valentine’s ‘MBV’, Villagers’ ‘Awayland’ and Bell X1’s ‘Chop Chop’ as favourites.
For the first time the event will receive television coverage when RTÉ 2 broadcasts a special one hour highlights show, featuring several yet-to-be-announced performances, on March 2nd.
As well as being the premier award in Irish music, it also offers the opportunity for upcoming acts to perform in front of key members of the music industry, particularly from the UK.
Lisa Comerford, Meteor's consumer marketing director said: "As in previous years, the shortlist is a real spotlight on the kind of talent that we as a country produce. There is always a massive pool of talent for the judges to choose from, and I know fans really get behind their favourite."
The awards are also open to the public with tickets on sale from Friday.