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Shortlists Announced for MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2018

6 September 2018

Organizing body, Hands Up for Trad have announced the artists shortlisted for this year’s MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards.

The prestigious MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards is a staple in the traditional music calendar with an astounding seventeen categories this year. Winners will be revealed exclusively to a live audience of music fans and industry at Perth Concert Hall on Saturday 1st December. The event will be broadcast live on BBC ALBA, BBC Radio Scotland and globally through the BBC ALBA website and will be presented by Mary Ann Kennedy and Kim Carnie.

The full shortlist is below; among them Neo-trad quintet Elephant Sessions who are in the running for Live Act of The Year. Their history with the awards stretches back to 2014 when they won Up and Coming Artist of the Year in 2014, Best Live Act in 2016 and the astonishing Belhaven Bursary for Innovation in Music Award last year. Also competing for the crown are BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winners Talisk and Isle of Skye’s, Niteworks.

Elephant Session’s band member Alasdair Taylor has received his first solo nomination for Composer of the Year sponsored by PRS for Music.

Nominees for the prestigious Trad Album of the Year features a handful of works including Alterum by Julie Fowlis, EVO by Skerryvore & The Seer by Lauren MacColl. This year marks the second Trad Album of The Year nomination for Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton for their second album ‘Symbiosis II’.

Names for the most sought-after Gaelic Singer of the Year include Josie Duncan and Maeve MackinnonMàrtainn Skene Highland Dance Band are vying for Scottish Dance Band of the Year whilst The Arc Sessions, who bring some of Scotland’s best live music acts to Fochabers, Moray are up for Club of The Year.

Folk Band of the Year sees a nomination for Glasgow-based five-piece Ímar, who’s accolades include several BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, the BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award and were shortlisted for MG ALBA Album of The Year back in 2017.

The Belhaven Bursary for Innovation in Music returns this year, with the shortlist of ten released later this week.

Murdo MacSween, Communications Manager for the event’s title sponsor, MG ALBA, said: “We at MG ALBA are immensely proud to support Scotland’s world-class musical talent and we’re delighted to give the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards a global platform on BBC ALBA, through our online stream on the BBC iPlayer.”

Alan Morrison, Head of Music, Creative Scotland, said: “From the standard bearers who keep our traditions alive to the grassroots organisations who inspire communities across all of Scotland, from the international stars of today to the emerging stars of tomorrow, there’s nothing quite like Na Trads when it comes to celebrating the sheer depth and breadth of our folk heritage. Scotland’s music flows through the heart of our culture, and the very best of it is on display in every one of these categories.

Congratulations to all of the nominees and also to sector champions Hands Up for Trad, whom Creative Scotland is proud to support as a Regularly Funded Organisation.”

Provost of Perth and Kinross Dennis Melloy said: “As someone who has enjoyed and supported Scottish Traditional music most of my adult life, I am very much looking forward to welcoming the finalists of the 2018 MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards. The shortlist for this event is fantastic and I am sure we are all in for a treat!

These Awards feature leading Scottish musicians and singers. Known as the Folk Oscars, they are returning to Perth once again to put traditional Scottish music including Gaelic Song, Folk, Scottish Dance music, to Pipe Bands into the spotlight.”

Stuart Fleming, PRS for Music Senior Manager, Scotland & Northern Ireland, said: “From the folk clubs bringing some of Scotland’s best live music acts to the stage, to the composers writing the music we all love to hear, it is great to see so much talent recognised by the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards. Congratulations to all of those nominated – these shortlists showcase the truly excellent culture of Scotland’s traditional music scene, which continues to go from strength to strength.”

The shortlists are as follows:

Album of the Year sponsored by Birnam CD

  • Alterum by Julie Fowlis
  • EVO by Skerryvore
  • Punch by The Poozies
  • Sanctuary by Ross Ainslie
  • Sandwood by Duncan Chisholm
  • Some Other Land by Adam Sutherland
  • Symbiosis II by Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton
  • The Key by Blazin’ Fiddes
  • The Railway by Hamish Napier
  • The Seer by Lauren MacColl

Club of the Year Sponsored by Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland (Tracs)

  • Craigie Folk Club
  • Arc Sessions
  • Partick Folk Club
  • Shetland Accordion and Fiddle Club

Composer of the Year Sponsored by PRS for Music

  • Alasdair Taylor (Elephant Sessions)
  • Duncan Chisholm
  • Jenny Sturgeon
  • Sileas Sinclair

Community Project of the Year Sponsored by Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust

  • Taynuilt Ceilidhs
  • Care for a Ceilidh
  • Fèis Gleann Albainn
  • Ceilidh Makers

Event of the Year Sponsored by VisitScotland

  • Far Far from Ypres
  • Bothy Culture and Beyond, Celtic Connections
  • Findhorn Bay Arts Festival
  • Mull Traditional Music Festival

Gaelic Singer of the Year Sponsored by Macmeanmna

  • Josie Duncan
  • Maeve Mackinnon
  • Eilidh Cormack
  • Ruairidh Cormack

Instrumentalist of the Year Sponsored by Royal Scottish Country Dance Society

  • Mike Vass
  • Laura Wilkie
  • Patsy Reid
  • Calum Stewart

Live Act of the Year Sponsored by Greentrax Recordings

  • Karine Polwart
  • Findlay Napier
  • Niteworks
  • Elephant Sessions
  • Talisk

Citty Finlayson Scots Singer of the Year Sponsored by Traditional Music and Song Association

  • Iona Fyfe
  • George Duff
  • Hannah Rarity
  • Christine Kydd

Scottish Dance Band of the Year Sponsored by National Association of Accordion and Fiddle Clubs

  • David Kennedy SDB
  • Susan MacFadyen SDB
  • Martainn Skene Highland Dance Band
  • Iain MacPhail SDB

Scottish Folk Band of the Year Sponsored by Threads of Sound

  • Paul McKenna Band
  • Ímar
  • Daimh
  • Ryan Young and Jenn Butterworth
  • Kinnaris

Scottish Pipe Band of the Year

  • North Lanarkshire Schools
  • Inverary and District
  • Preston Lodge Novice B Pipe Band
  • Scottish Power Pipe Band

Trad Music in the Media Sponsored by Skipinnish

  • The Groove is Not Trivial (Film)
  • Scots Radio
  • Pipeline, BBC Radio Scotland
  • The National

Music Tutor of the Year Sponsored by Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative

  • Anna Wendy Stevenson
  • Grant McFarlane
  • Heather Anderson
  • Mhairi Marwick

Up and Coming Artist of the Year Sponsored by Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

  • Heisk
  • Assynt
  • Project Smok
  • Eabhal

Venue of the Year Award Sponsored by Musicians’ Union

  • Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock
  • Crafts and Things, Glencoe
  • Glenbuchat Hall, Aberdeenshire
  • Drygate Brewery, Glasgow