Glasgow Letter – week 49

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Care for a Cèilidh Takes Home a Trad Award!

Last weekend, Perth hosted the MG Alba Scots Trad Awards and there were many Glasgow-based winners returning trophies to Glasgow in the days that followed.

The result that pleased me most was the bestowing of the Community Project of the Year upon Care for a Cèilidh. I always think this is a particularly nice category because it does what it says on the tin by focusing on projects that give back to their local communities and, therefore, gives us all time to reflect on the power of traditional music to make a positive difference in people’s lives.

Care for a Cèilidh is such a perfect example of that, which is why I write so often in this letter about the great work Donnie Maroot does in regularly organising cèilidhs in care homes throughout Glasgow and beyond – even from his current base in the Isle of Man.

The award came on the same week that Donnie received photographs from Cuba of children dressed proudly in the various Scottish football tops that were donated to them through Donnie’s recent Fitba 4 Cuba charity idea.

I am sure the evidence of his charity work helping the people it was designed to help (whether youngsters in Cuba, or old folk in Glasgow) means more to Donnie than any award or trophy ever could; but it is lovely, nevertheless, to see Care for a Cèilidh getting the recognition from the folk music community that it deserves.

Glasgow Winners Galore!

Other winners who made a triumphant return to Glasgow included the Partick Folk Club for Club of the Year, Iona Fyfe for Scots Singer of the Year, Assynt for Up and Coming Artist of the Year, and Drygate Brewery for Venue of the Year.

The Belhaven Bursary for Innovation in Scottish Music was deservedly won by the brilliant Talisk, a three-piece band featuring concertina, fiddle, and guitar, who also spend a lot of their time playing in the vibrant session scene around Glasgow.

Duncan Chisolm had an extremely succesful night – claiming both the prestigious Album of the Year award and being named Composer of the Year.

Live Act of the Year was won by my good friends, The Elephant Sessions, while Scottish Dance Band of the Year was won by Susan MacFadyen who plays regularly at cèilidhs and dances around Glasgow and also in the Park Bar.

Dàimh were named Scottish Folk Band of the Year and Inveraray and District Pipe Band are the Scottish Pipe Band of the Year.

Finally, and perhaps most deserving of all, Runrig were given an award for Services to Gaelic and (after they called it a day on a 45-year career back in August) I imagine it would be difficult to find anybody who would disagree with that award!

What’s On

Friday December 7: Glasgow Skye Association Annual Concert and Dance at 7.30pm in the Glasgow University Union.

Friday December 7: Vatersay Boys Christmas Cèilidh in the Barrowland Ballroom.

Saturday December 15: Highlanders’ Club Ceilidh Dance in Partick Burgh Hall at 8pm.


Perth Concert Hall was the scene for this year’s MG Alba Scots Trad Awards which saw lots of worthy winners returning to Glasgow in the days that followed.