The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards have become a celebration and focal point for the folk world. For the last two years the event has been opened up to the public and this year the ceremony was held in Glasgow as part of the Celtic Connections Festival.
The 2000-plus seats of the Royal Concert Hall were easily sold out and an enthusiastic crowd particularly enjoyed the large proportion of Scottish performers and guests.
The new host of the BBC Radio 2 folk show Mark Radcliffe presented the ceremony along with Scottish folk singer Julie Fowlis. A diverse range of guests were called upon to give out the awards including Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson, musician Green Gartside, DJ and musician Ricky Ross, ex-footballer Pat Nevin, Cerys Matthews, Claire Grogan and Alex Salmond.
There was an emphasis on the youthful side of the genre this year with all but one of the nominees being less than 46 years old. But there were a number of special awards that evened the balance on the veterans’ side.
The Awards also included a number of superb performances from nominees and winners including Treacherous Orchestra, Karine Polwart, Billy Bragg, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Roy Harper and Aly Bain with Phil Cunningham.
The best Folk Awards show in the fourteen year history of the event ended with an astonishing array of folk talent assembled on stage to give a very special performance of Dougie MacLean’s Caledonia. Maclean shared the lead vocal with Kris Drever, Karine Polwart, Barbara Dickson and Eddi Reader and a mass of prestigious folk musicians provided instrumental accompaniment and a large choir of backing singers.
Award winners in full:
Best Duo: Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman
Horizon Award: Blair Dunlop
Best Traditional Track: Lord Douglas – Jim Moray
Musician Of The Year: Kathryn Tickell
Best Group: Lau
BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award: Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar
Best Original Song: Hatchlings – Emily Portman
Best Album: Broadside – Bellowhead
Folk Singer Of The Year: Nic Jones
Roots Award: Billy Bragg
Lifetime Achievement Award: Roy Harper
Lifetime Achievement Award: Aly Bain
Lifetime Achievement Award for Contribution To Songwriting: Dougie MacLean
Words by Michael Hingston, Member Services, PRS for Music