Unless you’re Kanye West
, the customary acceptance speech for a top culture award is a combination of humble thanks and I-can’t-believe-it incredulity. For those 45 seconds on stage, you’re self-detractingly funny, in awe of your opponents’ talents and just so honored even to be there.
There are always those stragglers, though, who determinedly stay on stage and go through the heartfelt motions of their moment. That was the scene last week when Elbow finally won the Mercury Nationwide Prize, the top British music award. In response to the judges calling The Seldom Seen Kid “an epic rock record,” singer Guy Garvey, drink in hand, beamed as he spoke for the group: “This is quite literally the best thing that's ever happened to us.”
And on he went: “We really wanted it. I’m just so very proud that me and my mates have been working together for this end.” Of course, we probably would've gushed a bit too, considering the circumstances. The band, whose 18 years have produced four albums, had lost on a past nomination; the win this year was a surprise. Most pundits had favored a victory for Burial or Radiohead, who lost the award for the fourth time.
Watch the video of Elbow’s win:
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