Guest blog: Paisley has a rich and diverse musical heritage

I’m delighted that Paisley’s beautiful town hall was the venue for the fifth Scottish Album of the Year Award ceremony. Paisley is a fitting home for The SAY Award as it moves out of Glasgow for the first time and joins Renfrewshire Council in supporting Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, a status which it richly deserves and has a great chance of winning. Culture is woven into the fabric of Paisley and it also boasts a rich and diverse musical heritage encompassing folk, punk, pop, soul, indie and techno.

This year’s SAY Award Longlist was as strong and diverse as ever and while the awards are a celebration of the ten albums that made it onto our Shortlist – congratulations to all of them - the unenviable task of selecting an overall winner fell to our judging panel: we waited with baited breath for the ‘big reveal’ last night (Wednesday 29 June). 

The SAY Award couldn’t happen without the generous mixture of public and private funding support bestowed upon it by our hosts this year Renfrewshire Council, Creative Scotland who have supported the project since it began, PPL for their continued commitment and new partners TicketWeb. We also thank our media partners, The List and The Skinny, and to the many music journalists and bloggers who cover the albums we celebrate through The SAY Award. 

While we can only accommodate a relatively small amount of the people who share our passion for Scottish music at the ceremony, it was amazing to see around 25,000 people watch the event through our live stream - making the evening accessible to as wide an audience as possible. We were also delighted that BBC Radio Scotland joined us to broadcast live Vic Galloway and Janice Forsyth announced the winner. And congratulations to the winner of this year’s Scottish Album of the Year Award, Anna Meredith, for her striking album Varmints.

Scottish music is our passion and we were lucky to have four fantastic Scottish artists playing live on the night – last year’s winner Kathryn Joseph, plus Bossy Love, White and Treacherous Orchestra. 

I’d like to thank everyone who joined us – both at the event and watching online. Already we are looking forward to next year’s awards in Paisley and continuing to showcase the strength and diversity of our country’s world-renowned and much loved music scene.

Dougal Perman (Chair, Scottish Music Industry Association)