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Sacred Paws Win The Scottish Album of the Year Award

Published: 29 Jun 2017

Sacred Paws win the SAY Award 2017

The 2017 winner of the most coveted music prize in Scotland was tonight (Wednesday 28 June) announced as Sacred Paws with their album Strike A Match.

At a ceremony presented by co-hosts Vic Galloway and Nicola Meighan at Paisley Town Hall, an audience of industry insiders, avid music fans and some of Scotland’s best and brightest creative talent watched as Sacred Paws emerged as the winner from a fiercely competitive shortlist, winning the £20,000 first prize.

The band also received a unique Paisley-inspired winners trophy, created by local jeweller Lisa Crockard, winner of the The Say Design Commission.

Band member, Rachel Aggs was overwhelmed by their win, saying: “I just want to say thank you so much, thanks to the SAY Award, thanks to the judges, thanks to everyone at Rock Action and I can’t believe it! I’m trying really hard not to swear! We are not always the most confident people and I think playing music has a lot to do with confidence so this is completely overwhelming and we don’t feel like we belong here but at the same time we feel validated for what we do. Thank you.”

Formed in 2014, Sacred Paws, comprised of vocalist and guitarist Rachel Aggs and drummer Eilidh Rodgers, released their debut album, Strike A Match on 27 January on Glasgow label Rock Action Records. The duo, based between Glasgow and London, received critical acclaim from the likes of Clash Magazine, Pitchfork, Q Magazine, DIY Magazine, amongst other titles and can now include Scottish Album of the Year to their repertoire. 

"Strike A Match is such a warm, energetic record, full to the brim with musical influences from all over the world."- Alan Morrison, Head of Music

Produced by The Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), and now in its sixth year, The SAY Award has grown to become the most prestigious music prize in Scotland. For the past two years, the award has teamed up Renfrewshire Council, supporting the Paisley bid for UK City of Culture 2021. The shortlist served to highlight the very best in Scottish music, spanning a range of genres and audiences (see notes to editors).

The winner of this year’s public vote was the poignant Future Echoes by Pictish Trail, which won an automatic place on the shortlist after a 72-hour public vote. The remaining nine slots were awarded by The SAY Award’s panel of independent judges (see notes to editors for full details).  Each of shortlisted bands won a £1,000 prize, and all ten received a 3D printed plate produced by Glasgow School of Art graduate and Paisley jeweller, Lisa Crockard. 

Throughout the night guests were treated to outstanding live sets from Scottish acts including boundary-breaking The Spook School, folk quintet Elephant Sessions, vivacious Be Charlotte plus last year’s SAY Award winner, Anna Meredith. Presenters also paid tribute to the late Gary Wilson of Scottish indie-rock band The Lapelles, who tragically died on Sunday 14 August.  

The SAY Award’s chosen charity this year was Help Musicians UK. It is their mission to create a sustainable future for all musicians and the industry, and is looking to create innovative opportunities for Scottish musicians and the music sector to develop their talent, skills and experience.

Robert Kilpatrick, Projects and Operations Manager, Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), said: “On behalf of the Scottish Music Industry Association, I’d like to say a huge congratulations to Sacred Paws for winning this year’s Scottish Album of the Year Award. ‘Strike A Match’ is a beautiful, joyful record and a very worthy winner. Commiserations to the other 9 Shortlisted albums, but what an outstanding Shortlist and incredible year for Scottish music.”

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland, said: “Massive congratulations to Sacred Paws for their SAY Award win. Strike A Match is such a warm, energetic record, full to the brim with musical influences from all over the world. Yet again a SAY Award jury has decided that a debut release is a worthy winner – proof that there’s always exciting new talent ready to be discovered on the Scottish music scene.”

Jean Cameron, project director of Paisley's bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, said: "We were delighted to host the Scottish Album of the Year Award ceremony here in Paisley for another year - Paisley Town Hall again made a striking venue for a really memorable night.

"Having been a judge at a previous award I know how hard it is to pick a winner - this year's award was another wonderful showcase of the great strength and diversity in Scotland's music scene. My congratulations go to the winner and everybody who made the shortlist."

Emma Casey, Global Marketing Manager for Black Bottle, said: “Congratulations to Sacred Paws and all the bands on the shortlist. We’ve been very proud to be involved in the SAY Awards this year, from creating special cocktails for the Award Ceremony which were inspired by the acts performing, to helping support an event which celebrates the wonderfully eclectic landscape of Scotland’s music scene."

Jonathan West, Director of Marketing & Artist Services, TicketWeb, said: “It's been another stellar year in Scottish music and once again the SAY Awards has played a magnificent role in showcasing that talent to the world. Congratulations to the winners, we can't wait to catch each of the shortlisted artist s playing live very soon.”

Peter Leathem, Chief Executive, PPL, said: “For decades, Scotland has been a thriving hotbed of musical talent, nurturing artists as diverse and varied as Orange Juice, Belle & Sebastian and Camera Obscura right through to Biffy Clyro, CHVRCHES and Young Fathers.  This is why, at PPL, we think it is vitally important to continue our partnership supporting the SAY Awards, an event that recognises and puts on a spotlight on some of the best music coming out of Scotland.”

Notes to Editors

Media contact: Shauna McGregor, Genuine PR shauna@genuinepr.com 0141 243 2621

The SAY Award is a Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) production, in partnership with the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund, Renfrewshire Council, Black Bottle, TicketWeb and PPL. The SAY Award is delighted to support Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

Judges Included: Caroline Winn (Glasgow International), Roland Gulliver (Edinburgh International Book Festival), Amy Liptrot (Writer), Claire Gevaux (Help Musicians UK), Tallah Brash (The Skinny), Lauren Martin (Music Journalist), Stuart Cosgrove (Writer/Broadcaster), Andy Hannah (Line Of Best Fit), David Scott (University of the West of Scotland), Barry Price (Sub Club), Stephanie McWhinnie (TV Producer), John Williamson [Chair] (Glasgow University).

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SAYaward #SAYAward

The Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA)is a trade body based in Glasgow that was set up in 2008 to foster, promote and serve the best interests of Scotland’s music industry. Their membership encompasses individuals and organisations working across all sectors of Scotland’s music industry, including artist managers, promoters, record labels, studios, artists, distributors and more. The SMIA has two core objectives, to both strengthen and champion Scotland’s music industry, and they do this through a variety of projects each year. These projects include training events such as workshops and master classes, sector meet-ups, and their biggest project, The SAY (Scottish Album of the Year)

Award, Scotland’s national music prize. The SMIA also lobby government on behalf of its members, as well as offer informal support, such as by doing introductions to new contacts and companies. 

Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 will use the town's unique and fascinating story to transform its future — by putting the town in the international spotlight, attracting visitors, creating jobs and using culture to make people's lives better.

The one-time global textile hub and birthplace of the Paisley Pattern is also home to stunning architecture, an internationally-significant museum collection, Glasgow Airport, University of the West of Scotland, West College Scotland, PACE Theatre Company and a thriving contemporary cultural scene.

The UK City of Culture competition is run by the UK Government. The shortlisted cities will be announced in summer 2017, and the winner at the end of the year. Find out more about our story at www.paisley2021.co.uk

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. 

Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

Black Bottle is an official partner of The SAY award. The blended Scotch was created in Aberdeen in 1879 by former tea blender Gordon Graham, and has always done things a bit differently. In addition to its iconic black glass bottle, its use in cocktails has always been encouraged. Black Bottle drinks will be served at the SAY Award Ceremony, including four unique cocktails each one carefully created to be paired with one of the live performances. www.blackbottle.com

TicketWeb started in 1995 as small group of music fans who wanted to build a truly DIY ticket site dedicated to shining a light on the freshest new acts. After launching in the U.S., Canada, the UK & Ireland we soon became the go-to ticket seller for independent promoters and venues on both sides of the Atlantic. Two decades later and we’re still proud to be part of that scene but now we also work directly with the artists who fill those venues to make it even easier for real fans to get into their shows. Find out more at http://www.ticketweb.co.uk.

Founded in 1934, PPL is the UK music industry’s collective management organisation (CMO) for tens of thousands of performers and record companies.  We license recorded music in the UK when it is played in public (shops, bars, nightclubs, offices etc.) or broadcast (BBC, commercial radio, commercial TV etc.) and ensure that revenue flows back to our members.  These include both independent and major record companies, together with performers ranging from emerging grassroots artists through to established session musicians and influential festival headliners.  

PPL has a market-leading international collections business, with 83 agreements in place across 39 countries, helping members to maximise their revenue when their repertoire is played overseas.  We collected £212.1 million in the UK and internationally in 2015 and paid over 92,000 performers and record companies. http://www.ppluk.com/