(Editor’s Note: This write up by Grumpy Pete does not reflect the views of rest of the Freaky Trigger gang, who enjoyed it enormously, shambles or no, but were too bone idle to blog about it – NYLPM Ed.)

The gang from Freakytrigger went and participated (perhaps too much) in this now pop institution last night. We were initially worried that we went a bit too mob handed, all eleven of us, but later inspection showed our hands did not resemble large crowds and were let in to the basement of a posho bar. Which I think was not quite sure what it had let itself in for.

The stated aim is to give the Mercury Music Prize a wedgie and find the best single of the year from a shortlist of twelve picked by, well someone who got it a bit wrong (not arguing about the caliber of the best tracks, but the also-rans were just that). Given ballot papers which seemed to do nothing, we busied ourselves getting drunk, drawing Kylie and later drawing The Emo Adventures of Charlie From Busted! (This may be coming to a Freakytrigger near you soon.)

Things took an age to get going, and we were presented with the old duel format of two tunes being paired and fighting off. The pairings were as follows:
Jamelia vs Javine
Will Young vs Sugababes
McFly vs Busted
Emma Bunton vs Shaznay Lewis
Girls Aloud vs Keane
Rachel Stevens vs Rachel Stevens
These pairing were on the whole amusingly set-up, though did leave Rachel Stevens with a bye pretty much. Between each pairing we were told to talk about the singles for three minutes, which generally turned into us slagging off Keane. The voting took place at the end, was done in the wrong order, our vote counter was not really counting and the whole thing became a bit of a farce.

As proved by McFly beating Busted. (Jamelia, Will Young, Gurls Aloud, Bunton and Some Girls made it through).

We were drunk at this point and started to get rowdy
a) about this fix
b) about the poor organisation (phrases like “Even Tom Ewing could do this better” were bandied around
c) near Cheryl Tweedy who found one FT writers surprisingly deep voice a little bit disconcerting. She probably used this as an excuse to scarper, after getting bored of the adulation only a proper pop star can get. I think she was also worried that ver Aloud were about to be knocked out.

Round two, and many of us who had put money of Busted had already resigned it to being a fix. The pairings were equally poorly arranged, in an order which meant the final three would contain at least one song well out of its depth. That song turned out to be Bunton’s Maybe, which beat Will Young to join Superstar and Some Girls (which put paid to The Show, so Tweedy was right to hoof it). After a very long protracted count I must say.

Now a ballot paper came out to get rid of the dead weight in this threesome, which took about half an hour despite everyone man jack to a toddler knew it would be the ex-Spice Girl. At which point this had been going on for three hours and a new rule was invented where each song required some advocates to big them up. Myself and Alan of this parish went over to champion Some Girls, though they were short of Jamelia big uppers, so I swopped sides. After some very inept speeches which added nothing to the power of the original songs expect a short fat sweaty bloke trying to sing like Jamelia, the final vote happened. And Rachel Stevens won.

At which point the London Bootleg Orchestra quit singing Rush Hour and Relax and went home, muttering that it was all a good bit of fun, but it was a fix.