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Tattie Bogle Scots Trad Awards 2021 (33) RE: Scots Trad Awards 2021 11 Dec 21


Well, like it or not, the Scots Trad Awards have become part of the Scots trad (or modern quasi-trad!) musical year, and hats off to Simon Thoumire for starting them. In the early years it was "just" a concert in the Queen's Hall Edinburgh, but exciting nonetheless for those who could attend. Then it started going around various cities and towns in Scotland - Glasgow, Aberdeen, Perth, Dumfries, Fort William, etc, and I went to all of them up until about 4 years ago. I stopped going after my last trip to Aberdeen was spoiled by the incredible noise level generated by all those hyper-excited people on the posh tables who talked our shouted at each other throughout the music on stage: by some miracle the TV engineers filtered all this mingin hubbub out, so it was actually better to stay at home and watch it on TV!
It only started to be televised after the first few years, and then only usually the second half, so some of the awards announced in the first half of the evening never got a mention on TV, although this year they did manage to show them very briefly, including yes, Sheila Sapkota - well done, Sheila!
There has always been some doubt about HOW people get to be award winners: any followers of the Hands Up for Trad website get invited to nominate our favourites, then it goes to a vote. Somewhere in the system is a panel of professional musician advisers who go through all the nominations and whittle it down to 4 or 5 in each category, but there used to be/still is? a lot of canvassing for votes, so it's maybe those with the biggest fan base/social media links who actually get the awards. Sorry, am I being too cynical?
There is no doubt that being a winner - or even a nominee - is a good thing to have on your CV and may help to secure future gigs (Covid allowing!) But having said that, I would rarely quarrel with the decisions on who gets the award - I'd prefer to use the phrase Liz Clark uses for the Danny Kyle Awards at Celtic Connections - "There are no losers - you're all winners".


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