Live blogging the Mercury prize

Amy Winehouse gave a heart-rending performance, but Klaxons snatched the prize away from her and Bat For Lashes.

Klaxons celebrate winning the Mercury. Photograph: Gareth Cattermole/Getty

10:55pm Klaxons are off their collective face. They just gave a press conference that was hilarious, where a stumbling Jamie Reynolds - the one with the cast on his leg - promised, "Next year: Newer rave."

Given the way he and his bandmates have been going after the Guardian tonight, I cornered James Righton, whose lips tell the tale of a night sipping red wine, to see if he wanted to gloat. But he didn't take the opportunity. "Wait, wait, wait," he told me. "I've got to excuse myself, because I slagged off the Guardian earlier. I slag off whoever wrote the review of our album [in Film & Music], because they didn't actually listen to the album. And that was so offensive... But we love the Guardian."

What a graceful winner, no? (Don't let that stop you going after them in the comments, of course...) To hear the rest of James's remarks, you'll have to tune into our Music Weekly podcast on Thursday.

Thanks for blogging along with me tonight everyone... It's been fun. Keep the discussion/Klaxons bashing going below all night if you like - I'm going to go dance. Cheers.

10:28pm Did I say Amy Winehouse was going to win? I meant Klaxons. (I'm too scrupulous to go back and change it.)

If you're just joining us, Klaxons have won the 2007 Mercury prize for their debut album, Myths of the Near Future. That is an album that the Guardian's Alex Macpherson gave one star back in January. Klaxons hate the Guardian now. And Dave Simpson hates Klaxons. Etc, etc.

They are quite congenial chaps, though, so congrats to them. Couldn't catch everything they said during that acceptance speech - did you get it at home? I believe James said, "This is really too much... This is a joke" and related an anecdote about this time last year they were watching Arctic Monkeys win. Then I believe one of them wore a red telephone on his head. Then, they howled like Chewbacca into the mikes. Then, they all tripped over Jamie's crutch and fell off the stage.

What you didn't see at home was James standing on the staircase on his way to the press room shouting, "We won!" Reminded me a bit of another James, Cameron, and his famous, "I'm the king of the world" Oscar acceptance speech.

So, New Rave - here to stay, or is this just the clincher that the genre is a flash in the pan? Discuss.

10:20pm Waiting for cue from BBC. The winner is: Klaxons! But they hate the Guardian!

10:18pm Jules says the judges have been debating down to the last minute. I'm going to throw my hat in for the obvious, or once obvious and say Amy. We'll find out in a second.

10:13pm They've led the photographers down to the stage... It's Ted Cummings soon!

10:11pm Here's what they (not I) have eaten this evening while we've waited (and waited) for the judges to announce the winner:

1. Caramelised radicchio and pear tart, lemon salad and asparagus with almond lavender dressing and pesto. 2. Grilled supreme of Atlantic halibut on lemon crushed potatoes with tarragon infused Riesling jus, served with French beans and grilled vine tomatoes. 3. A trio of desserts: gooseberry crème brulee, white chocolate and praline mouse with hazelnuts, cassis sorbet 4. Coffee and petit fours

I hope Lou from New Young Pony Club is no longer hungry.

10:05pm "Kindly take your seats. We are going live in five minutes. Five minutes." The moment of truth is upon us. I just passed Seb Rochford and his hair is standing on end with all the excitement.

9:50pm Dizzee Rascal is a refreshing change from most rappers - it's not all about the money with him. He'd like to win tonight - for a record second time - but not because of the £20,000. "Making history, winning twice, that'll mean more to me than any of that," he told me. Then he added, with a sly look: "I'll find something to do with the money."

Dizzee knows what a difference the Mercury can make to an artist, though. "It gave me a different kind of recognition, for innovation, credibility. Obviously, my sales went up. It made a lot of people take notice of me, who wouldn't before."

There are 11 other artists with their fingers crossed right now...

9:40pm We do, by the way, have an estimated time of arrival for the announcement of the winner. 10:15pm. So, if you're not scintillated by these dispatches, you now know when to come back.

9:30pm Not much to report. I followed a line of jazz/folk/new rave stars outside, thinking they were headed toward something exciting. Nah, they were just going outside for a fag. So, if you have any desire to chat with Seb Rochford, Fionn Regan or Jamie Reynolds of the Klaxons, they're all out smoking in front of the Grosvenor hotel on Park Lane right now. (Don't tell Fionn's mum - he must be, what, five years old?)

9:11pm For the record, Amy Winehouse is eating. From this distance, I cannot tell you what she is eating, but she is eating something. Oh no, I think she sees me staring at her from a distance... "Sorry! It's my job," I mouth.

What else can I tell you? She is sitting at table three with Mitch, Blake (who has kindly put his suit jacket over her bare shoulders), and a bunch of Island Records executives. Two of the executives are, according to the seating plan, named Ted Cockle and Ted Cummings. At first, I thought these were made-up names, placeholders for Amy and Blake... but no - they are real people. The Teds. Cockle and Cummings.

I am, as you have probably noticed from my picture, about 8 years old.

8:54pm Update from star reporter Helen Pidd: the Klaxons still hate the Guardian. (Clarification: the Film & Music people mainly; they like the website - ha!) Also, if they win the cash, they'll spend it on research into telepathy.

8:51pm Here's the deal: Basically all that's happening right now is that music industry people are eating. When you watch the Mercury prize gala on television, it will be a seamless show - performances, followed by the announcement of the winner. Here, however, the most exciting thing that has happened in the last 15 minutes was a search for a bottle opener by a guy from the Gigwise website

Of course, I'm up on the balcony. Hoping that something more exciting was happening on the main level, I just cornered Lou Hayter - she of New Young Pony Club and, this evening, a black cocktail dress with feather epaulets - on her way back down to the floor after powdering her nose. "Here's your hard news," she told me. "I'm hungry. I haven't eaten all day."

More as this story develops. How many more indie keyboardists must starve before we take notice?

8:40pm Natasha Khan was among those wowed by Amy Winehouse's performance. "I think she's amazing," the Bat For Lashes gal just told us. Of course, she uses the word "amazing" a lot and has crazy eye makeup, so take that with a pinch of salt.

Here's what Khan had to say about being the bookie's favourite: "I don't even know what 10 to one means." To be honest, I missed that day in math class, too. I thought 10 to one meant the late liquor license was about to expire...

Thank you, thank you! I'll be here all night. At least until 10:15pm, anyway.

8:24pm While we wait for either the winner or for someone to start trashing the place, here is what Jo Whiley has to say about this year's Mercury prize: Amy Winehouse is miles ahead of everyone else. That said, she loves Jamie T and the View.

Now you know.

8:13pm The Klaxons play Golden Skans and... we're at the judging break. Back "soon" (Jools) with the winner.

Joe Mott uses the loo. I guess he got in.

8:10pm I say "Poor Basquiat Strings," but cellist Ben Davis told me earlier that Amy Winehouse was the one he'd like to win if they don't. I think that's what he said; I was distracted by Seb Rochfords INSANE head of hair.

Meanwhile, in Amy news, she hasn't left - she's sat herself down at a table to the left of the main stage with Blake and her dad, Mitch. Her father is beaming - she went straight to him after playing and received a big hug.

8:02pm More on Winehouse: Wearing a blue, green, pink strapless dress, she arrived in the backstage area a few minutes ago with her husband Blake and a huge entourage. She performed a heart-breaking rendition of Love Is A Losing Game (start analysing the choice of song... now!) with a guitarist, who played acoustically. Says someone who saw her up close, "No visible scars." No... but audible ones.

Huge applause. Poor Basquiat Strings, following that.

8:00pm Amy performed. She was amazing. Easy to forget that with all the furour. She'd be a deserving winner.

7:53pm Oh, by the way, since we're in another break, I should tell you that the Klaxons hate me. Well, the Guardian. That's what they told me on the red carpet earlier. It's all because of this one-star review. Simon Taylor-Davis said we lost four readers that day... That's the four of them. I guess their mums read the Telegraph or the Daily Sport or something. Or agree with our reviewer.

Dizzee is on!

7:46pm What's the opposite of a frontrunner? Backrunner? Frontcrawler? Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that Irish singer-songwriter Fionn Regan is on stage. We (the royal we) spoke to him on the red carpet earlier and couldn't understand a word that the little devil was saying. He was using metaphor or something.

7:44pm Frontrunner Natasha Khan - aka Bat for Lashes - just got one of the best receptions, playing her song Horse and I. Everyone likes to back a winner. Jools called her "wonderful". He just wants her to come on his show.

No live Arctic Monkeys, says Jools. But here they are backstage in Tokyo. "Whoever wins deserves it," says Matt Helders, hedging his bets.

7:30pm We're in a break right now, which gives me a chance to tell you that apparently Joe Mott had no ticket to this show at 6:30pm. Did he get in? Anyone know?

Nice to see you all jumping in the comments below. JohnnyVodka: You may think nobody cares when we write about Amy Winehouse, but if I gave you a peek at our user stats, you'd know the truth (the sad, sad truth) is that our hits go through the roof when we write about her. If it wasn't for her, frankly, half of the Guardian Unlimited Music staff would be out on the street. That would be another 1.5 people on the street.

The "sensibly dressed" (Jules words) Young Knives have taken the stage.

7:25pm Jamie T says a few more words than Maps - he thanks his fans, which is nice - and he's off, too. Ah! Here's New York Pony Club playing their new hit, The Bomb. And it sets off the crowd gathered here in the ballroom... Why no dance floor?

Earlier, non-bopping keyboardist Lou Hayter told me she thinks the Horrors were cheated out of a Mercury nomination. Agree/disagree?

7:18pm Maps - James Chapman (no relation to Mark, we think) and his four mates - have finished playing and Chapman just accepted his award with a brief "Thank you." Says Jools, "a brilliantly talented man of few words".

I meant "Jools" all along, of course. Ah, live blogging.

Now here's Jamie T. They're just whizzing through this.

7:12pm Jools Holland has just introduced clips that introduce the 12 "albums of the year". (This is what you'll see on TV later this evening; the internet trumps TV big-time, no?) Basquiat Strings got the most applause, likely because there are the most of them here at the gala. Plus, Seb Rochford.

Earlier on the red carpet, Jules kept name-checking Bat For Lashes. Does he know something we don't know and want to appear ahead of the curve?

Here comes Maps.

7:10pm The unbelievable has just become, uh, believable. A PR just told me: "Amy is playing."

Not at this exact moment, of course. At this exact moment, the View are playing. Superstar Tradesman to be even more exact.

7:00pm Ladies and gentlemen, Amy Winehouse is in the building. A mole just told us that her hairdresser was just summoned over the walkie-talkies. I suppose that only confirms that her hairdresser is here, truthfully, but we'll assume the rest. The PRs will not confirm if she's going to perform, though.

6:55pm Hey! We're here in the glamorous Grosvenor Hotel next to glamorous High Park in glamorous London, reporting live from the - yes - glamorous Mercury prize. And the question on everyone's lips is: "Where's the free champagne?" No, sorry, that's the question on every hack's lips. This press room is depressing and they're only offering water.

The actual question on everyone's lips is: "Will Amy Winehouse show?" We didn't see her on the red carpet, but rumour has it that she's booked a room at the hotel and will chose a quieter entrance.

We hope she makes it. We don't want to let down James Righton from the Klaxons. On the red carpet, he said the part of the evening he was most looking forward to was watching the Rehab girl perform... We'll keep you abreast until 10:30pm, so keep refreshing!


Kelly Nestruck

The GuardianTramp

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