The UK alternative rockers beat out some stiff competition, including King Krule’s The Ooz, Arctic Monkeys’ Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, Florence and the Machine’s High as Hope, Jorja Smith’s Lost and Found, Lily Allen’s No Shame, and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ Who Built the Moon?.
Last year’s Mercury Prize went to Sampha for his debut album, Process. Other notable past winners include Arctic Monkeys, The xx, Pulp, PJ Harvey, Portishead, James Blake, Primal Scream, and Antony and the Johnsons.
“This means so much to pick this up with my three best friends,” said frontwoman Ellie Rowsell while expecting the award. Admittedly nervous, she ceded the stage to guitarist Theo Ellis, who recalled the early days of the band:
“When we first started as a band, I remember the first label meeting we ever had, we walked into a room and a geezer said, ‘What the fuck? You lot don’t look like a band at all. What are you? What are you supposed to be? All your songs sound different, you don’t look like each other.’ We never really figured it out, but here we are. So fuck you! He also said he didn’t want to work for women who wore makeup because it was a bunch of fuss, but here we are.”