Fergus McCreadie’s ‘Forest Floor’ has been selected as winner of the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award at a ceremony at the Albert Halls in Stirling.
The winner of the coveted title and £20,000 prize was unfortunately unable to collect his prize in person – Seonaid Aitken accepting the prize on his’ behalf – as he was at the Jazz FM awards in London, taking place at the same time.
It’s third time lucky for McCreadie, having been Longlisted for a SAY Award in 2021 and shortlisted under Fergus McCreadie Trio in 2019.
The 25-year-old Scottish pianist was also shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, won by Little Simz on Tuesday night.
Speaking later, the winner of the SAY Award for 20202 said: “I’m absolutely honoured and thrilled that Forest floor has been selected as this year’s Scottish Album of the Year. I’m really proud of how the trio comes across on the record and it’s such a privilege for us to have that recognised by the SAY award panel. I’m also so excited by what this can do for Scottish Jazz – we’re the first jazz act to win the prize and I really hope we won’t be the last.
“Scottish jazz is full of incredible musicians and bands that I respect so much, and I really hope this will be only one step of an incredible journey for a scene which truly punches above its weight.”
The Awards, now in their 11th year, also recognised the Cocteau Twins album ‘Heaven and Las Vegas’ as the Modern Scottish Class.
Accepting the award remotely, founding member Robin Guthrie said: “Some 40 years ago, Cocteau Twins played our first ever show in what was then a nightclub called Le Clique, just 500m down the road [from Albert Halls].
“We were teenagers, we had six songs, we didn’t know much. There wasn’t the type of support the Scottish music industry now brings – but we stuck at it. Fast forward to 1989 and the stars aligned with a new studio, Elizabeth was a wee bit pregnant, and we were very slowly becoming adults.
“The soundtrack to this time we recorded as ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’. I’m really pleased to accept the Modern Scottish Classic Award on behalf of myself, Elizabeth and Simon. We’d like to thank the award’s Longlist who chose to recognise that this album should become a Scottish icon.”
And Berta Kenedy won the Sound of Young Scotland Award and a funding package worth up to £5,000 to support the creation of her debut album.
The ceremony also boasted a host of performances on the night included Shortlisted artists Stirling’s own Constant Follower, and Glasgow indie band The Just Joans, as well as the Seonaid Aitken Ensemble, who paid homage to the 2022 Modern Scottish Classic Award Winner – Cocteau Twins’ ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’ – with a specially curated reimagined set.
Sound of Young Scotland Winner Berta Kennedy also performed her debut single ‘Free-Swimming’, and previous SAY Award Winner Kathryn Joseph sang her cover of ‘A Way From Rage’ in a touching tribute to Beldina Odenyo Onassis, also known by her artist name ‘Heir of the Cursed’. Kathryn pronounced “We fucking miss you, Belinda” before signing while footage of Belinda’s performance from last year’s SAY Award Ceremony played behind her.
In alphabetical order, 2022’s The SAY Award Shortlist:
AiiTee – ‘Better Days’
Constant Follower – ‘Neither Is, Nor Ever Was’
Fergus McCreadie – ‘Forest Floor’
Hamish Hawk – ‘Heavy Elevator’
Hen Hoose – ‘Equaliser’
Kathryn Joseph – ‘for you who are the wronged’
Kobi Onyame – ‘Don’t Drink The Poison’
Niteworks – ‘A’Ghrian’
Proc Fiskal – ‘Siren Spine Sysex’
Walt Disco – ‘Unlearning’
More at www.sayaard.com.