Gomez Predicts Talvin Singh For Mercury Music Prize Winner

The British newcomers of Gomez are getting ready to issue their second album in two years, as "Liquid Skin" is slated to drop in the States on September 21, a week after it's due to be released in the U.K. and Europe.

Gomez sold more than 400,000 copies of its 1998 debut, "Bring It On," in Great Britain, and the band's self-produced LP of psychedelic blues and experimental ditties caught audiences and critics completely off-guard and helped Gomez capture the 1998 Mercury Music Prize (see "Gomez Snags Mercury Prize, U.S. Tour").

A few days after opening for Robbie Williams at Slane Castle at Dublin, Ireland, MTV News caught up with Gomez guitarist Ben Ottewell and drummer Olly Peacock and asked them to predict the winner of this year's Prize.

"The only thing worthy I think is Talvin Singh, isn't it?" Peacock asked.

"Talvin Singh, yeah,"

chimed Ottewell, "but I've never heard of him."

"I haven't heard [his album]," Peacock answered, "but he seems to be the inside kind of favorite. It would be nice if it does go to somebody more obscure again. The Stereophonics and the likes of them are so big at the moment. It is slightly political, the way they actually do decide the winners, and to give it to somebody like that would be kind of pointless."

"I don't know what the award is for, really," confessed Ottewell. "I mean, it's supposed to be 'Best Album,' but the subtext is 'Best Album Innovation,' or most innovative new British album. But I don't know. I don't understand a lot of the selections this year." [RealAudio]

In addition to Talvin Singh's "OK" and the Stereophonics' "Performance

and Cocktails," other Mercury Music Prize nominees include the Manic Street Preachers' "This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours," Blur's "13," and Beth Orton's "Central Reservation," among others.

The 1999 Technics Mercury Music Prize will be handed out in London on September 7.

Gomez will launch a brief North American tour in support of "Liquid Skin" on September 21 in New York City (see "Gomez Brings It On For American Promo Tour").

-- David Basham