Article Source: Specsavers Scottish Music Awards
Last Updated: 2 November 2023 13:46
Local and international talent from across the industry will be recognised, and organisers today announced that music legend Sir Elton John, his long-time guitarist and collaborator Davey Johnstone, veteran Scots singer Barbara Dickson, indie favourites The Snuts, up-and-comers Dead Pony, and europop royalty Middle of the Road will complete the line-up of winners for the ceremony’s bumper 25th edition.
The Specsavers Scottish Music Awards is a flagship fundraiser in aid of the UK’s largest music therapy charity, Nordoff and Robbins, helping them to harness the power of music to break through the barriers caused by life-limiting illness, disability and social isolation, creating space for people to express themselves and find connection in society. From adults with dementia reconnecting with their family, to children with autism finding their voice, Nordoff and Robbins believes that everyone who needs it should have access to music therapy, because it can, quite simply, transform people’s lives.
The ceremony will showcase the emerging and established talent coming from Scotland with Dead Pony and Middle of the Road set to perform alongside rapper Bemz, singer-songwriter Callum Beattie, social media sensation Katie Gregson-MacLeod and homegrown popstar Joesef, culminating in an exclusive performance by Bay City Roller Stuart ‘Woody’ Wood.
Global music icon Sir Elton John will receive the Specsavers Global Artist Award following his recent retirement from almost 50 years of performing live around the world. He concluded his Farewell Yellow Brick Road UK arena tour at Scotland’s home of live entertainment, OVO Hydro, this summer where Scots fans said an emotional goodbye to the star; now, he is being honoured by headline sponsors Specsavers with a Scottish Music Award.
Sir Elton John said: “Thank you for honouring me with the Specsavers Global Artist Award. I’ve always loved coming to Scotland and playing for all of you. It’s one of my favourite places and one of the most beautiful countries to visit, so I’m extremely touched.”
Arlene Stephenson, Specsavers’ Scottish divisional chair, said: “Elton John is an iconic musician and showman whose work has had, and will continue to have a lasting impact on the music industry. I would like to congratulate him on behalf of Specsavers on this much-deserved win.”
By his side throughout that time on tour, Edinburgh-born Davey Johnstone – long-time member of the Elton John band – is also set to receive the Sir Reo Stakis Foundation Special Recognition Award on the night. Johnstone has been a constant in John’s band for almost half a century, rising from session guitarist to musical director during their more than 3000 shows together.
Davey Johnstone said: “I’m so grateful to come home to Scotland to receive this award, and I’m humbled and amazed by the work of Nordoff and Robbins in their music therapy program which gives joy and healing to those in need. The healing powers of music have always been evident, but the Scottish Music Awards are bringing awareness to this issue on the contemporary stage.”
Hailing from Dunfermline, Barbara Dickson OBE will be recognised by the SWG3 Outstanding Achievement Award that honours her incredible singing and acting career first established in the 70s. The ‘I Know Him So Well’ singer is also an Alzheimer's Ambassador for Nordoff and Robbins Scotland, so the award win is a connection close to her heart.
Barbara Dickson OBE said: “I am so honoured to be recognised for my long career by the Scottish Music Awards, 2023. I’m sorry not to be able to attend, but I send love to all who thought of me and good wishes for a successful evening. Love and thanks.”
Hailing from Lothian, festival favourites The Snuts have bagged the Ticketmaster Tour Master Award following a busy summer of appearances including Reading and Leeds and two of their biggest headline gigs to date in Glasgow’s SWG3. Latest track ‘Gloria’ was the band’s first release on their own label Happy Artist Records signalling an exciting new direction for the dedicated Nordoff and Robbins supporters.
The Snuts said: “Live music is a place where you can still be truly creative as an artist and we’re grateful to have our two sold out shows at SWG3 this year, recognised by the Scottish Music Awards.”
Glasgow post-punk band Dead Pony have won the P&J Live Spotlight Award, coinciding with the beginning of their first UK headline tour and an exciting new chapter for the four-piece. Led by singer Anna Shields, the band released their debut single during lockdown and have since gone from strength to strength even gracing the stages of Glastonbury and TRNSMT.
Dead Pony said: “It is such an honour and a privilege to be picking up the P&J Live Spotlight award at this year’s Scottish Music Awards. We have been working so hard over past couple of years and moments of recognition like receiving this award make the grafting all worth it. We wouldn’t be able to do any of this without the continued support from our fans so thank you for everything, this means the world to us.”
Scottish platinum-selling pop group Middle of the Road have been awarded the Raymond Weil Heritage Award recognising their distinct brand of europop that paved the way for the likes of ABBA in the 70s. Fronted by Sally Carr, Middle of the Road’s number one debut single ‘Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep’ catapulted them to overnight success and, with a new forthcoming single, they’re set to return to stages across Europe in 2024.
Stuart McCredie, son of original founding guitarist Ian McCredie, who also performs with the band, said: “We’re naturally thrilled to receive a Scottish Music Award this year, it means so much and everyone in the band is really looking forward to performing in Glasgow’s famous Barrowland Ballroom this weekend. My dad is currently unwell, so it’s my honour to be collecting this award on his behalf, and all of the brilliant musicians past and present, who have performed with Middle Of The Road.”
As well as performances and awards, the evening will also include a charity auction. Amongst the prizes, Scotland’s home of live entertainment, OVO Hydro, have donated a ‘Golden Ticket’ with the highest bidder winning a ticket to every show at the venue over the next 12 months. Those who aren’t attending the event that would like to bid for the OVO Hydro Golden Ticket can do so by contacting Simon Foy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last year’s Specsavers Scottish Music Awards was its most successful edition yet, featuring performances from honorary Scot Rod Stewart, the newly revived Altered Images and Hebridean hot-tickets Peat and Diesel. Hosted by long-time Nordoff and Robbins supporter Edith Bowman – who is returning to present this year’s edition - it celebrated big-names and up-and-comers alike, all in the name of raising funds for the UK’s largest independent music therapy charity.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the awards, long-time supporter ROX have crafted a bespoke Scottish Music Award’s broach which will be gifted to all winners on the night.
The Specsavers Scottish Music Awards have also joined forces with Go Radio as their official radio partner for 2023. Tune into Go Radio this week for exclusive interviews and build up to the ceremony.
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