Singing stars Amy Macdonald and KT Tunstall were among the big-name winners as the nation’s flagship music industry awards celebrated its 18th birthday in style in Glasgow.
Macdonald, who was honoured for her overseas success, and Tunstall, who was recognised for her songwriting, both performed at the annual fundraiser for music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins Scotland.
The 600-strong audience at the Scottish Music Awards in the Old Fruitmarket were also treated to performances from festival favourites Travis, who received a “People Make Glasgow “special recognition award” honour in their home city, and indie outfit Twin Atlantic, who were named best artist.
Another leading indie band, Biffy Clyro, were named best live act in recognition of their epic outdoor gig at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow in August, while rising Dundonian star Charlotte Brimner is heading for New York after winning the “Big Apple Award.”
Other highlights of the night included a reunion for 1980s indie-pop outfit The Bluebells and a special tribute to Glasgow-born singer-songwriter Jim Diamond, who was best known for the hits I Won’t Let You Down, I Should Have Known Better, just over a year after his death at the age of 64.
The climax of the event saw Middle of the Road, who sold over four million singles in the 1970s, perform after being recognised as “living legends” before Travis closed the night with a run-through of some of their classic hits.
KT Tunstall said: “It depends what kind of music you make but, for me, songwriting is the heart and soul of music. It’s got to be about the song.
“I was classically trained in piano for many years and it just wasn’t the instrument for me.
“As soon as I found a guitar and taught myself that was what I wanted to do, I was in and I knew what I wanted to do.
“To get up on your own to get a songwriting award for music you’ve writing about your life and your experiences is just a wonderful thing.”
More than £150,000 was generated for Nordoff Robbins Scotland from its biggest annual fundraising event, which was hosted by Still Game star Sanjeev Kohli and also celebrated the charity’s 20th anniversary.
It works with more than 500 people with a range of health challenges including autistic spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, mental health problems, life limiting illnesses and dementia.
The charity’s therapists work from four dedicated clinics in West Lothian, Glasgow, Fife and Dundee, as well as in schools, hospitals, and day and residential centres.
Amy Macdonald said: “When I was just started out I got asked if I wanted to go down to Craigentinny Primary School in Edinburgh to see some of the music therapists in action.
"I got to do a little bit myself and it was amazing seeing all the kids come to life when you start singing. It was so amazing to see first hand what kind of things the charity does.
"There are kids who are very into themselves and very quiet when you are chatting to them but then they come to life as soon as you start playing. It is really hard to describe but it really shows you the power of music.”
Dave McCluskey, drummer with The Bluebells, who performed their hit I’m Falling at the ceremony, has been working in the music therapy field for the last 17 years.
He said: “You are learning in the job all the time. You never think you’re an expert because every person you work with has really specific, unique needs.”
Travis frontman Fran Healy said: “We’re really excited to perform at this year’s awards and be apart of the 20th anniversary celebration of Nordoff Robbins Scotland. It is an important charity that provides an incredible amount of support through music therapy to vulnerable children and adults.”
Donald MacLeod, chair of Nordoff Robbins Scotland, said: “This is now one of the biggest and best music moments on the Scottish event calendar. Not only is it a chance to celebrate some of our most accomplished musicians, but it also presents the perfect occasion to recognise the power of music and music therapy.”
FULL LIST OF WINNERS
• Travis, People Make Glasgow Special Recognition Award
• Fatboy Slim, SSE Outstanding Contribution to Music Award
• Biffy Clyro, Ticketmaster Best Live Act Award
• Amy McDonald, Hard Rock Café Heals International Artist Award
• The Lapelle’s, Jack Daniel’s Best Breakthrough Act Award
• Twin Atlantic, Raymond Weil Best UK Band Award
• KT Tunstall, King Tut’s Songwriting Award
• Jackmaster, Sub Club Electronic Music Award
• Be Charlotte, Rekordelig Big Apple Award
• Jim Diamond (posthumous), Royal Highland Centre ‘Hall of Fame’ Award
• Middle of the Road, Sir Reo Stakis Living Legend Award
• RED, Capital One to Watch Award