Django’s Mercury Prize nomination ‘a bit surreal’

Derry’s Vincent Neff, guitarist and vocalist with the band Django Django, has spoken of his surprise at learning that the band were nominated for this year’s Mercury Music Prize - one of the most prestigious awards in modern music.

“It’s all a bit surreal really,” Vincent said of the nomination. “I woke up the morning after and it felt like the nomination ceremony had all been a strange dream. Meeting loads of bands and artists who we really respect, having loads of journalists ask us questions about it and being connected with something like the Mercurys that you’ve watched on TV for years as a kid is pretty strange.”

The four-piece band, who formed while Vincent and his bandmates were studying in Edinburgh, had already built up a massive following through countless live shows, including an appearance on BBC’s ‘Later... with Jools Holland’. By the time their self-titled debut album was finally released in January this year, they were swiftly catapulted to international stardom - hence their Mercury nomination alongside the likes of Plan B and Richard Hawley.

Vincent, originally from Templegrove in the city, is well aware of how important an accolade the Mercury Music Prize is - especially considering the band recorded their hugely successful debut album in a bedroom!

Describing the band’s recent successes as “an amazing feeling”, Vincent went on: “We came from a place in which we recorded the album in a bedroom on an absolute shoestring budget in our spare time, whilst we all had day jobs, so it was quite a private endeavour.

And for it now to be on this kind of platform is a lot for us to get our heads around, but totally great at the same time.”

With rave reviews pouring in, packed-out festival tents across Europe and a rapidly expanding audience base, the band are on the crest of a wave.

“Selling out gigs in places like Australia and the US, where hadn’t been before, now is an amazing feeling.

“ We’re just looking forward to playing places we’ve never been before till early next year, when we’ll get on to album two, and in the short term, choosing bad-tasting suits for the Mercury ceremony!”