Acts behind lockdown gigs and videos are in contention for 'trad music Oscars'

Musicians and bands who dreamt up projects to entertain their fans after being forced to call of live shows and tours are in the running for honours at Scotland’s traditional music Oscars.

The winners of the 2020 Scots Trad Music Awards will be revealed next month.
The winners of the 2020 Scots Trad Music Awards will be revealed next month.

Live shows and broadcasts from gardens, sheds, an empty pub and a distillery have made the shortlists for the annual Scots Trad Music Awards, which will go ahead without a live audience next month.

Virtual ceilidhs, choir singing and music sessions are in contention, along with music videos which were created during lockdown restrictions, which led to the almost overnight cancellation of concerts, festivals and tours overnight in March.

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The first indoor live events since the introduction of social distancing restrictions are still to be staged in Scotland.

Among the projects in contention are fiddler Duncan Chisholm’s daily Covid Ceilidh videos filmed outside his home in the Highlands, which sparked a global movement from musicians and filmed themselves performing their favourite tune.

Skerryvore are shortlisted in the same category for best online performance for a live broadcast of their first live show together for six months, which was made at the Clydeside Distillery in Glasgow.

Other nominees include Perthshire fiddler Pete Clark, for his show “Tunes from the Shed” and accordionist Sandy Brechin for his Sandy on Sunday broadcast from his home in South Queensferry.

Skerryvore are also in the running for best original work for their charity single and video Everyday Hero, a tribute to NHS staff and other key workers, which featured former Downing Street Alastair Campbell on the pipes.

Festival favourites Tide Lines are in the running for best video for the film of their song Taste the Rain, which feature a mass virtual choir of their fans.

Highland musician Anna Massie’s spoof news broadcast Black Isle Correspondent is up for the “trad music in the media award.”

Tional, the first ever online Gaelic festival, is in the running in the event of the year category, alongside a virtual incarnation of the Edinburgh International Harp Festival, one of the first events in the traditional music calendar to fall victim to the pandemic.

Contenders for community project of the year include Gaelic singer Joy Dunlop’s “Covid Choir” classes and Blazin’ Fiddles star Bruce MacGregor’s “Live at Five” show, which was broadcast live from his empty pub in Inverness.

The acts in the running for the coveted album of the year are Siobhan Miller, Ciaran Ryan, Project Smok, Tide Lines, Peat & Diesel, Innes Watson, Ewen Henderson, Hamish Napier, Ross Miller, and Gillian Frame, Findlay Napier and Mike Vass.

Although the planned awards ceremony at the Caird Hall in Dundee has been called off this year, BBC Alba will be broadcasting a special online version of the event on 12 December.

A host of leading acts will be filming special sets for the run-up to the live ceremony, including the Kinnaris Quintet, Dallahan, Inyal, Paul McKenna Band, and Ryan Young and Jenn Butterworth.

Simon Thoumire, founder of the Scots Trad Music Awards, which were first staged in 2003, said: “Since lockdown, it’s been a huge team effort to process everything that’s happening with Covid-19, and provide musicians and crew with the support needed due to cancelled launches, gigs and tours, as well as provide audiences with entertainment and culture, which have been much-needed during these troubled times.”

Skerryvore reunited for their first live gig in six months, which was broadcast online from the Clydeside Distillery in Glasgow.

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