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Alt-J win the Mercury Prize

22:57 01 November 2012

(From left to right) Joe Newman, Thom Green, Gus Unger-Hamilton and Gwil Sainsbury of Alt-J after they were announced as winners of the Mercury Prize. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

(From left to right) Joe Newman, Thom Green, Gus Unger-Hamilton and Gwil Sainsbury of Alt-J after they were announced as winners of the Mercury Prize. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Indie quartet Alt-J have scooped the Barclaycard Mercury Prize tonight for their album An Awesome Wave.

The foursome, who met at Leeds University in 2007, looked stunned as they collected the £20,000 award at the Roundhouse in Camden - despite being favourites.

After five years of hard work, the band beat Forest Gate act Plan B.

Singer-songwriter Richard Hawley, who was nominated for his album Standing At The Sky’s Edge, missed out again - six years after claiming he was controversially “robbed”.

Simon Frith, chair of the judges, said the music had a “hypnotic” quality, adding: “One of the things the Mercury has always been about is sounding fresh.”

HMV’s Gennaro Castaldo said the win would likely result in a five or sixfold increase in sales.

He said: “Alt-J are one of a handful of nominated artists along with Django Django and Ben Howard who are reaching a tipping point in their careers.

“Winning the Mercury Prize, and the recognition and huge exposure it brings, is just the catalyst they need to connect with a much wider audience and step up to the next level, like Elbow did a few years back.”

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