Conor J. O'Brien of the Villagers

Dublin band, The Villagers, have made it on the prestigious shortlist for this year’s Mercury Prize.
The annual music award was founded in 1992. It was established as an alternative to the more main stream music awards and has now become a by-word for good music as fans eagerly await the shortlist each year.
This year the Villagers, with front man Conor J. O’Brien, are the only Irish band to be shortlisted. In the past Van Morrison, U2, Therapy, Lisa Hannigan and Fion Regan have been nominated for the award. And big names such as Primal Scream, PJ Harvey, Antony and the Johnsons and Elbow have walked away with the prize.
Last year the Villagers shot to fame as the first Irish band to be signed with trendy independent label Domino Records. Ands already on the company’s books include the Arctic Monkey’s and Franz Ferdinand.
Last year the band appeared on the British show “Later with Jools Holland” while promoting their debut album “Becoming a Jackal”. The album went straight to number one in Ireland and remains in the top 40 chart.
Other bands on this years shortlist include the XX, Laura Marling, Mumford and Sons, Dizzee Rascal and Paul Weller.
Mercury Prize 2010 shortlist

Biffy Clyro -  Only Revolutions  (14th Floor)
Corinne Bailey Rae - The Sea  (EMI)
Dizzee Rascal - Tongue N’ Cheek  (Dirtee Stank)
Kit Downes - Trio Golden  (Basho)
Foals Total - Life Forever  (Transgressive)
I Am Kloot - Sky At Night  (Shepherd Moon/EMI)
Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can  (Virgin)
Mumford And Sons - Sigh No More  (Island)
Paul Weller - Wake Up The Nation  (Island)
Villagers - Becoming A Jackal  (Domino)
Wild Beasts Two Dancers  (Domino)
The XX xx  (XL)