The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards celebrated their 15th year in style (Saturday 2nd December) by bringing the biggest and best names in trad to a glitzy award ceremony in Paisley.
Broadcast live on BBC ALBA, BBC Radio Scotland and globally through the BBC ALBA website, the prestigious awards – organised by Hands Up for Trad – saw stars of the Scottish music scene take to Paisley’s Lagoon Centre to celebrate and honour the very best of traditional talent. With performances from The Shee Big Band, Elephant Sessions, Siobhan Miller and many more, the event proved why it’s hailed as one of the biggest events in Scotland’s cultural calendar, helping Paisley continue to shine as it bids for UK City of Culture 2021.
This year’s notable winners include Elephant Sessions, who clinched the coveted Album of the Year award, sponsored by Birnam CD, for their second album ‘All We Have is Now’ which pushes the edge of their folk-rock sound. This year has been a busy one for the band, having toured the UK and Europe promoting their album to mass critical acclaim.
Newly crowned World Pipe Band Champions for 2017, Inveraray & District Pipe Band celebrated another victory as they fought off stiff competition to scoop the Scottish Pipe Band of the Year sponsored by The Glenturret Single Malt Whisky.
Greentrax Recording’s Live Act of the Year went to trad heavyweights Skipinnish. The band kicked 2017 off with a bang, releasing the hugely popular single, “Alive”, reaching number 26 in the UK music charts, followed by a new album “The Seventh Wave” and a sold-out album launch tour. Skipinnish are sponsors of the Trad Music in the Media category, which was won by BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
Other winners of the raft of prestigious prizes handed out on the night included Gaelic Singer of the Year winner, Robert Robertson, who beat off stiff competition from Mary Ann Kennedy, Alasdair MacIlleBhàin and Calum Alex MacMillan. Talisk – one of the fastest rising bands in UK Folk scene – clinched the Scottish Folk Band of the Year award sponsored by Threads of Sound.
Hands Up for Trad, which is supported by Creative Scotland, exists to promote Scottish traditional music through education, information and advocacy to artists, audiences and participants throughout Scotland and beyond.
Hands Up for Trad’s Creative Director Simon Thoumire, said: “Every year we welcome some of the best talent in the world to these awards, and we are honoured to see our 15th year one of the biggest and best yet. We’ve had an outstanding evening with immense talent being showcased and celebrated, so congratulations once again to all of tonight’s nominees and worthy winners.
“We would also like to thank the Paisley 2021 Bid team, for being such warm hosts, Renfrewshire Council for their overwhelming support this year and finally, huge thanks to MG ALBA for their continued contribution to the awards and for allowing the entire world that chance to tune in and enjoy the evening with us – we can’t thank you enough for your support.
“We’re thrilled to announce that in 2018 the Scots Trad Awards are headed to Perth Concert Hall on Saturday 1st December – stay tuned for all our exciting news.”
Murdo MacSween, Communications Manager for the event’s title sponsor, MG ALBA, said: “We at MG ALBA are delighted to support the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards and we’re proud to be able to showcase on BBC ALBA the wealth of trad talent this country has to offer.”
Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “It’s been great to host the event for the first time and I’d like to issue a hearty congratulations to all the worthy winners.
“There’s been some incredible talent on show tonight and Paisley is proud of its great links with trad through our annual arts festival the Spree and also through hosting the Royal National Mòd, which we will welcome back again in 2021 or 2022.
“This year’s MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards has been a special event, made even more significant as a decision on the UK City of Culture 2021 title is expected soon.”
Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland, said: “Every single category at this year’s MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards was bursting with talent, so it’s plain to see why 2017 has been such an amazing year for Scotland’s folk and trad music. Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees for taking this scene to a higher level at home and abroad. It’s great to see the likes of Talisk, Elephant Sessions, Siobhan Miller, Robert Robertson and Ho-ro carry our traditional heritage on their young shoulders, championing Scottish culture around the world and into the future.”