Singer Michael Marra to be honoured in his home city four years after he died

The late Michael Marra will be honoured four years after his death.
The late Michael Marra will be honoured four years after his death.
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The late Michael Marra, one of Scotland’s leading singer-songwriters of modern times, is to get a major music industry honour - four years after he passed away.

The “Bard of Dundee” - whose songs were covered by the likes of Leo Sayer, Kiki Dee, Fairport Convention and Frankie Miller - will be posthumously recognised in his native city when he is inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame in November.

Marra, best known for songs like Mother Glasgow and Hermless, lost a battle with cancer in October 2012 at the age of 60.

He played with the bands Hen’s Teeth and Skeets Boliver in the 1970s and later performed with the likes of Liz Lochhead, Eddi Reader, Patti Smith, Karen Mathieson and Karine Polwart, as well as the BBC SSO and the RSNO.

Marra, who also supported Van Morrison, The Proclaimers, Deacon Blue and Barbara Dickson, worked on a number of theatrical productions in the latter stages of his career.

His family have instrumental in a successful bid to bring the “El Sistema” movement, which sees children’s orchestras set up in disadvantaged communities, to Dundee.

Simon Thoumire, founder of the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame, which was launched 11 years ago, said: “Michael Marra was the bard of Lochee, Dundee’s gravel-voiced chronicler of improbable encounters and real human truths, whose most gloriously surreal imaginings were inevitably tempered with immense warmth and compassion.”

Marra will be recognised at an awards dinner on 11 November at the Caird Hall, along with singer Barbara Dickson, BBC presenter Iain Anderson, Billy Kay, the writer and broadcaster, who is the first inductee to be honoured for services to the Scots language, and actress and Gaelic singer Dolina Maclennan, one of the original stars of the groundbreaking play The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil.

The Caird Hall will also be hosting the annual Scots Trad Music Awards in December. Nominations will open next week for the various categories, apart from the album of the year, 20 contenders for which will be unveiled on Monday. The awards ceremony, which will feature an appearance from BBC Scotland Young Musician of the Year Mohen Amini, will be screened live on BBC Alba.