Sunday 18 November 2018

Just don't call him Dylan

IRISH SINGER-songwriter Fionn Regan has been nominated for this year's prestigious Mercury Music Prize in the UK.

The Bray native - also up for the Choice Music Prize in February - was chosen for his acclaimed debut album 'The End of History'.

But he will face big-league competition from last year's winners Arctic Monkeys and London songstress Amy Winehouse.

Fionn said last night: "It's an amazing feeling. It feels a bit like someone's come into a cave with a big flashlight and shone it on me."

The singer-songwriter has recently scored major successes landing a record deal with the Lost Highway label in the US after one of his songs featured on the hit hospital drama 'Grey's Anatomy'.

After playing the recent Glastonbury festival, Fionn is set to kick off a tour of the US on July 20 in Boston. Irish Independent rock critic John Meagher said Regan's inclusion was deserved.

"He's an outstanding talent and 'The End of History' is one of the finest Irish albums in years. In the US, they're comparing him to Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen but Regan is his own man. His songs betray a maturity far beyond his years," said Meagher.

"Ireland has produced some very boring singer-songwriters in the past 10 years, but Regan is a class apart. It's telling that he made his name in the UK first and has largely avoided the incestuous and self-congratulatory domestic scene here."

Bookies are offering long-shot odds on Fionn pipping favourites Arctic Monkeys to take the sought-after award.

Cautious bookies have placed last year's winners, Arctic Monkeys, as favourites at 4/1.

Last year, bookmakers lost over €75,000 on the prize, generally given to obscure acts, after punters put their money on the Sheffield group.

Bookmakers William Hill have offered 10/1 odds on Fionn Regan, The Young Knives or Bat For Lashes taking the prize.

In the running at 5/1 is award-winning Amy Winehouse, while odds of 8/1 are being given on The View and the Klaxons.

The prize is open to British and Irish acts who have released an album in the past year and covers all genres of music.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony on September 4.

Our picture shows Regan performing during the Mercury Prize Albums of the Year nominations, at The Hospital in Covent Garden, London.

LOUISE HOGAN

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