The Tartan Clef awards have grown from being a relatively small ceremony into, some would claim, a genuine competitor with the Brit Awards – the Scots, if you will.
Held each year to raise funds for the Nordoff-Robbins trust (a charity that mixes music with therapy for the disabled) its profile has risen to attract the cream of Scotland’s music and business sectors. Although the night is a celebration of Scottish talent the charity is never forgotten, with all the artists present being humbled by their work. If music can truly change people’s lives then hopefully it can change the lives of the men and women currently aided by the Nordoff-Robbins trust.
The event kicked off with an almighty roar, then the most primitive of drumbeats. Guests were welcomed by a mass of drummers, pipers and dancers, all dressed in Celtic regalia. The ferocious drumming and skirling pipes appealed to the Braveheart in all present, the sort of music that James McFadden scores goals to.
After a typically heartfelt introduction by Nordoff-Robbins chairman Donald Cameron MacLeod, compere Jay Crawford held sway over a night which mixed charity auctions with music. This year’s Tartan Clef awards were opened by Wet Wet Wet with a spectacular fireworks show. The band are apparently long-term supporters of the charitable trust, so their musical misdeeds can be safely ignored on this occasion.
The awards themselves reached across generations to showcase a very diverse Scottish music scene. Any event that boasts Aly Bain and Biffy Clyro sharing a stage must surely be taken seriously. Dundee band The Law won the XFM Rising Talent award, and weren’t afraid to make their ambitions known. “The new album”, they told Clash backstage, “will be the biggest selling British album since – at least – Definitely Maybe”. Alas however, this talent hasn’t been rewarded yet, with The Law proclaiming themselves to be both “busy and skint” – “Jimmy Shand won one of these awards, but he’s got a pub in Menzieshill so he’s got it covered!”
Elsewhere on the night Idlewild were presented with the Visit Scotland Best Festival Act award, much to the band’s delight. “To be honest this is one of the few awards we’ve ever won so this is a new experience for us”, gushed the band. After reminiscing about their career via their new ‘Best Of’ collection they promised that their new DVD will “dispel a few of the myths about how rock bands are supposed to act”. The group weren’t quite sure about a Scottish music awards, though, arguing that “there just wouldn’t be room in one awards ceremony to recognise the rich mine of talent that’s in Scotland”.
Franz Ferdinand were awarded the Optical Express Tartan Clef award, and were clearly touched by both the occasion and the work of the charity. Backstage they stopped to chat about the new album, with Alex Kapranos revealing it is to take a more dance-rock direction, with the re-appearance of synthesisers. The lead singer claimed the band wanted to write with “a singles attitude, where each song is something you would listen to in its own right,” before adding that “ideally we want to write a Best Of”. The band were keen to talk about up and coming Scottish talent, citing Sexy Kids and Isoceles as current favourites. The band summed up the night by saying that “it’s a great charity and as musicians it’s close to our hearts”.
This year’s Tartan Clef awards raised a staggering £144,000 for the Nordoff-Robbins trust, as well as showcasing the important work they do. To find out more about the Nordoff-Robbins trust, please visit their website here: http://www.tartanclef.org/index.php
Here is a full run-down of the award winners from this year’s Tartan Clef ceremony:
Guitar Guitar Best Traditional Act Award
Phil Cunningham & Aly Bain
96.3 Rock Radio Scottish Rock Award
XFM Scotland New Music Rising Award
Sunday Mail Industry Award
Peter Irvine & Barry White
VisitScotland Best Festival Act Award
Ticket Master Band of the Year Award
Forty Two Financial Planning Songwriter Award
Reo Stakis Lifetime Achievement Award
Optical Express Tartan Clef Award
Glasgow: Scotland with style Best Newcomer Award