Dance punk group the Klaxons beat out British pop powerhouse Arctic Monkeys and troubled diva Amy Winehouse to win Britain’s Mercury Prize on Tuesday for their debut album, “Myths of the Near Future.”
The Klaxons were awarded the prestigious $40,000 Nationwide Mercury Prize by a panel of judges who called their sound an “ecstatic musical adventure.”
Band member Jaime Reynolds, who was nursing a broken leg and ankle after diving off a stage in France, was overcome with emotion after the win.
“I’ve just been sitting here having the worst two hours of my entire life,” Reynolds said. “It just means so much to us.”
Judges of the prize, which has honored the best album of the year by a British or Irish band since 1992, have a reputation for overlooking populist choices in favor of obscure artists. The honor is awarded on the basis of innovation, rather than commercial sales.
This year’s shortlist was a typically eclectic mix, including nominees ranging from classical quintet Basquiat Strings to post-punk band the Young Knives.
Retro-soul singer Winehouse, whose success has been overshadowed by concerns over her well-being, was also in the running, and ended a run of cancellations by appearing at the ceremony.
The star drew a round of applause as she stepped to the stage to perform her new track, “Love Is a Losing Game.”
Previous winners include the Arctic Monkeys, London rapper Dizzee Rascal, Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand and Antony and the Johnsons, fronted by British-born but U.S.-raised Antony Hegarsty.