Tonight, the best of Scotlands music industry came together to celebrate another incredible year in the countrys music scene whilst raising incredible amounts for Nordoff Robbins on Scotlands celebrated St Andrews Day.
With performances from the epic Simple Minds, Twin Atlantic, Tom Walker and The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Be Charlotte, Tide Lines, Fat Cops and more, 2019s Specsavers Scottish Music Awards was quite simply one for the history books. Stars came together to celebrate Scotlands music scene on St Andrews Day, whilst raising vital funds for Nordoff Robbins music therapy.
The Specsavers Scottish Music Awards have been the main fundraising event for music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins for over 20 years. Funds raised on the night are a vital part of the charitys ability to provide music therapy to vulnerable and isolated people with a range of challenges, and tonights attendees heard just how important the work Nordoff Robbins is to recipients and their families.
Donald MacLeod, Chairman of the Fundraising Committee: "Were delighted that yet another fantastic milestone has been reached in the journey of the Specsavers Scottish Music Awards, which have grown in importance and stature over the past 21 years. We feel very proud that our annual night of music and cultural celebration also raises vital funds for Nordoff Robbins whilst celebrating the living legends and rising stars of the Scottish music scene. From Simple Minds to Joesef, Twin Atlantic to Tom Walker and more, we really cant thank all the artists who have come together to support Nordoff Robbins enough. Their support ensures we can provide music therapy to those who need it most across the country and it is truly enriching lives. Thank you once again to all of our outstanding partners and friends who come together to celebrate the biggest night in the Scottish music industry."
Jill McArthur, Chair of Specsavers in Scotland, said: "Specsavers was delighted to be involved with the Scottish Music Awards 2019 – in particular the Outstanding Achievement in Music award category.
"We would like to commend the organisers for the fantastic work and fundraising efforts for music therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins on the night and congratulate Simple Minds on scooping the prestigious title."
After a star-studded red carpet, Fat Cops opened proceedings followed by Dundee singer-songwriter Be Charlotte who deservedly won the Evolution Award Sponsored by Assai UK. A true shining star, Charlotte brought her poptastic, upbeat sounds to the stage and her incredible voice, addressing the audience Be Charlotte said, "When I was in high school I wrote an essay about Nordoff Robbins and even then, its always inspired me. For me, I write songs that can help me and help other people so I love the idea of music being able to help people no matter what situation theyre in." Affirming herself as one to watch, Be Charlotte ensured the night started with a bang.
Next, BRIT Award winner Tom Walker brought his massive heartfelt, singalong tunes Leave A Light On and Just You and I to the Specsavers Scottish Music Awards, joined by global phenomenon Red Hot Chilli Pipers for easily one of the most memorable moments of the night. Tom Walker picked up his second ever Scottish Music Award, for Best Album Sponsored by The Barrowlands. The singer-songwriter, who was born in Kilsyth, said "Its a pleasure to be here back in Scotland, amongst many talented people and to be nominated is absolutely amazing, its just lovely to be here. Music is therapy for me, any time Ive felt sad, depressed, upset or unable to process something, Ive written about it and its made me see the importance of what Nordoff Robbins are doing. And I think it is an incredible charity."
Jake Duncan picked up the Music Business Award Sponsored by the Sunday Mail, while this years SAY Award winner Auntie Flo collected Sub Clubs Electronic Music Award.
It came as no surprise that one of the biggest rising stars in Scotland today, Joesef, collected the Breakthrough Artist Award Sponsored by Coors Light. The artist from Glasgows East End performed his huge tune Loverboy and has already sold out three nights at the citys iconic King Tuts and with an upcoming date at SWG3, its clear Joesefs unique, carefully crafted sound is here to stay.
The unparalleled The Cuban Brothers picked up Best International Award Sponsored by ROX - Diamonds & Thrills while their comedy act Bridge & Allan also made a hilarious appearance at the ceremony. Celtic folk band Tide Lines brought a rousing performance to the Specsavers Scottish Music Awards, after picking up the Rising Sound of Scotland Award Sponsored by Gael Signature Scottish Gin. Since releasing their debut single Far Side of the World, the band have rocketed to stardom, selling out shows across the land, from Glasgow to John OGroats.
New for 2019, the awards were hosted by none other than Edith Bowman. Nobody knows the Scottish music scene better than the Scots DJ and Presenter, so it was befitting that she joined Nordoff Robbins and sponsors Specsavers to honour some of the countrys standout musicians.
One of the most heartwarming moments of the night came from Laura, whose son Jay takes part in music therapy with Nordoff Robbins. Laura told the crowd how music therapy has helped her son and her heartfelt speech was met with a standing ovation: "Jay would become overwhelmed by people around him and he preferred to be on his own all the time. His world became very small and for a parent to watch that was heart breaking. One thing I noticed was that music was still a part of his life. Jays school has a music therapist called Janet and when we saw what happened over the following weeks it was incredible. My little boy was happy, he was free and he was expressing himself through music – it was an absolute joy to see. He has since become more tolerant of the world around him and his confidence has grown in abundance. Music was his remedy. It breaks down the barriers and I will be forever grateful for what music therapy has given us. I want to thank Janet for her patience and for giving my little boy the chance to find himself again.
One of the highlights of the night came from Glasgow band Twin Atlantic, who have just been announced for TRNSMT Festival and made an epic return to the award ceremony, performing Novocaine and Heart and Soul. Set to release their highly-anticipated fourth album POWER in January next year, the band also collected the Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow Best Band Award. Huge supporters of Nordoff Robbins, frontman Sam McTrusty said, "We want to use this platform to give back to Nordoff Robbins who have supported us and wed like to invite Jay and his mum to come and stand on stage at TRNSMT, and come and record a song with us in our studio. These two songs are for him!"
Debbie McWilliams picked up the Women in Music Sponsored by Kimpton Blysthwood while Mike Heron of The Incredible String Band collected the Living Legend Award Sponsored by Sir Reo Stakis Foundation on behalf of the band.
After a huge week in which he was announced as a headliner for TRNSMT Festival, the Scottish Beyoncé Lewis Capaldi made an appearance at the ceremony via video link, met with one of the biggest cheers of the night. The young singer-songwriter from Bathgate has had an outstanding year which has recently seen him Grammy nominated. Rounding off 2019 perfectly, Lewis Capaldi won the Song Writing Award Sponsored by King Tuts Wah Wah Hut. Accepting on his behalf, Luke La Volpe, who supported Lewis at Edinburgh Summer Sessions said, "I grew up with Lewis and he used to talk about how much of a dream it would be to headline King Tuts one day!"
Best UK Artist Award Sponsored by Raymond Weil went to the one and only Liam Gallagher, who sent a personalised video message saying: "Scotland, you dont have to give me awards, you know I love you unconditionally – but thank you anyway! Maybe Ill see you next year!"
When it came time for the final performance of the night, it could only be one band. With more than four decades in the music industry under their belts, more than 70 million records sold and six Number One albums to their name, it was time for Simple Minds to come home. One of Scotlands biggest exports to the international music scene, the band were overjoyed to collect the coveted Specsavers Outstanding Contribution to Music Award. Iconic frontman Jim Kerr said, "It feels great to be here. Its always nice to be recognised, especially by Nordoff Robbins because throughout our career its been synonymous with music – its a fantastic charity. We were first recognised by Nordoff Robbins 20 years ago, so its really generous of them to have us here again. So much great music has come out of Scotland. When we started there wasnt so much a local scene, we had to go down to London but thats changed now, obviously Glasgow particularly has a great vibrant scene." Of course, the night had to end with Simple Minds everlasting song Dont You (Forget About Me), rounding an epic night off in spectacular fashion.
Another year celebrating the biggest and best in the Scottish music industry came to an outstanding end, simultaneously honouring some of the most revered legends in music whilst putting the spotlight on rising stars and showing exactly why Scotlands music scene is famous around the world.