You see that – now that’s how you make an impression!

“She moves with a purpose. It is oh, such a purpose, it is such a purpose.”

After watching the Hyundai Mercury Prize 2019 Ceremony recently, it’s never been clearer that the landscape of music is in very, very good hands. 

There were a number of crowdpleasing artists competing for the top spot – Album of the Year – with the likes of The 1975, Idles and Little Simz among the nominees. In the end, it was acclaimed UK rapper Dave who bagged the prize for his incredible debut album Psychodrama

It’s a terrific piece of work and the ceremony attendees appeared to be over the moon with the win. It’s sure to top many best-of lists at the end of the year, but arguably, the most exciting moment of the night was the performance from London experimental-rockers Black Midi. 

Geordie Greep of Black Midi performs on stage during End Of The Road Festival 2019 at Larmer Tree Gardens on August 31, 2019 in Salisbury, England.

Black Midi Mercury Prize performance

Bands likes Idles made a significant impression with lively performances, but Black Midi’s performance of the song ‘bmbmbm’ was something else – we couldn’t take our eyes off it. 

The band were nominated for their debut album Schlagenheim, which released on Friday, June 21st 2019. While many viewers watching the awards show were aware of the likes of The 1975 and beyond, there was a real sense of mystery when Black Midi took to the stage. 

Generally considered the most obscure nominee ahead of the show, they could’ve shown us anything, and they showed unsuspecting audiences that they’re totally electrifying. Racing through repetitive lyrics, the song builds towards a violent and nightmarish climax. “What did I just watch?” you may have been thinking. Well, we need more reactions like that. 

Who do they sound like?

Can’t put your finger on it? 

Well, obviously they sound like Black Midi. However, sitting there watching the performance of ‘bmbmbm’ play out, Geordie Greep’s vocals felt reminiscent of Les Claypool’s, the frontman from the legendary band Primus. 

That’s meant as a high compliment, of course. His delivery and unique vocal styles immediately pull you in, with viewers paying keen attention to decipher the lyrics as he threatens to slip into gibberish. In a song which appears to attack notions of entitlement, it escalates into a stand-offish climax which is face-melting and hypnotic.

Across the song – and indeed, cuts on their album – we’re definitely feeling a dose of stylistic influence from the likes of Swans, an experimental rock outfit renowned for their chaotic dives into the unknown (check out one of their tracks below).

As we say, Black Midi are doing their own thing, but we’re definitely feeling Primus and Swans vibes during their Mercury Prize performance. If you listen to Schlagenheim, you’ll definitely realise they’re very much their own entity though. Fan of the two aforementioned bands? Then it’s definitely worth checking out. 

What a night!

The group definitely have a bright future ahead of them and we can’t wait to see how their sophomore record will sound after such a strong debut. 

All in all, the Hyundai Mercury Prize 2019 was a ceremony to remember, with performances like this, Dave and Anna Calvi’s proving just how much varied talent is out there. 

Dave may have bagged the top prize that night, but they’re all winners – not to take away from his achievement! Psychodrama is astonishing. 

In other news, where are the cast of Rambo First Blood now?