The XX rated the best - Mercury Music Prize 2010 winners announced

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Well, after considerable speculation amongst the music press, industry and fans alike, the winning spoils of the 2010 Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize went to The xx last night, a not-altogether huge surprise, given the attentions the trio have been getting from pretty-much all corners of the business.

The winning combination of electro-beats and emotional pop was enough to convince the judges that THIS should be their year, after all. Late betting seemed to suggest the walking pair of sunglasses that is Paul Weller might pip them to the post, but it wasn't to be. 2010 opted for relative safety but at least it's a new act with a competent debut. And it isn't Dizzee Rascal or Foals either, two acts who fielded the weakest albums for sure.

Strangely, The XX are about the only Mercury act not to have any live dates lined up for the UK, except for a slot at Bestival. Romy, Oliver and Jamie will head to the States in a fortnight, surely an exciting enough time which might just pull in bigger audiences Stateside. But, with regards to UK dates, you never know - keep em peeled!

Other Mercury nominees' full gig details can be viewed below - meanwhile, in the words of a certain feisty female quizmaster, The XX win the £10,000 prize and trophy - the others leave with nothing [apart from a healthy slice of PR and humble pie, that is! - Ed].

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