At the Usher Hall on Saturday night, Scottish band Mogwai won the Scottish Album of the Year Award 2021 with As The Love Continues.

On a night when established names in the music industry came to the fore – with Frightened Rabbit winning the first Modern Scottish Classic Award, Edinburgh artist LVRA was recognised as the Sound of Young Scotland.

‘As The Love Continues’ is Mogwai’s tenth studio album and the band’s first SAY Award win, although they were shortlisted four times previously and longlisted in 2015. It is their third UK Top 10 charting album and reached Number 1 in the UK album charts within the first week of its release in February 2021 amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

The album was nominated for a Mercury Prize in 2021 and now holds the title of Scottish Album of the Year, with the band collecting a £20,000 prize and bespoke trophy.

Listen to 2021’s Scottish Album of the Year HERE.

Collecting the prize, Stuart Braithwaite said, “I really was not expecting this, I have not thought of anything to say other than thank you and I wish I’d got steaming! This has been a really mental year for the band and this is just another thing we never thought would happen. I want to thank everyone who has bought and played the album, I’d like to dedicate this to Mick our booking agent who passed away last week. I’d like to thank everyone,  the SMIA and you all for being here. This is nuts!”

Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai on stage at Usher Hall to receive the SAY Award

The SAY Award has now been running for ten years and Frightened Rabbit – The Midnight Organ Fight won the Modern Scottish Classic Award.

Performances from the 2020 winner, Nova, Sacred Paws, Hamish Hawk, Bemz and others looked back on the past winners.

Grant Hutchison of Scottish band Frightened Rabbit on stage at podium with microphones
Grant Hutchison said his late brother Scott wrote all the words on the album which won the SAY Modern Scottish Classic album award. He urged everyone in the audience to text someone in their phone book who might need to hear from someone as it “might change their path”.

Receiving their award Grant Hutchison from Frightened Rabbit said: “How brilliant is this – Scotland has a music award ceremony that can fill the Usher Hall! Ten years ago I was at the first one in Govan and everyone was like ‘what even is this? we’re being told we’re good at what we do?!’ which in Scotland we’re not used to! SAY Award – well done and thank you for everything that you have done for Scottish music and artists, especially after the year that we’ve all just had.”

LVRA will receive up to £5,000 to facilitate the creation of her debut album as well as 500 vinyl pressings of the finished release. Speaking before a breathtaking live performance, LVRA said, “This is amazing! Thank you so much to everyone who’s been supporting my music, it’s so awesome to win this in my home town of Edinburgh! I hope you listen to and enjoy my music – please support Scottish music because these other nominees were amazing and we all support each other.”

Robert Kilpatrick, Creative Projects and Communications Director at the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA)said, “It couldn’t be more fitting – or more deserved – for Mogwai to win The SAY Award 2021 for ‘As The Love Continues’.

“Winning the award with their tenth studio album, and on SAY’s 10th year, is a special moment for a band who have contributed so much to Scotland’s cultural identity, and for SAY which has celebrated, promoted and rewarded outstanding Scottish records since 2012. 

“As The Love Continues is a record that we’re incredibly proud to see recognised as Scottish Album of the Year tonight, and one which has rightly seen both commercial success and critical acclaim. Massive congratulations to the band, to Rock Action Records and to all involved in what is a genuinely incredible body of work. This win is so well deserved. 

“Tonight we also got to celebrate the winners of our two new awards, with LVRA claiming the Sound of Young Scotland Award, and Frightened Rabbit’s ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’ receiving the inaugural Modern Scottish Classic for a body of work that will be cherished for many years to come. 

“In a room full of artists, music industry professionals and music fans, after such a tough and turbulent 18 months, tonight we have truly felt the power, importance and impact of Scottish music at a time it’s never been more needed. Scottish music has never felt stronger, more exciting and more diverse. We have a lot to be proud of.” 

Held for the first time in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, with music fans able to purchase tickets and join the celebrations, the ceremony was co-hosted by BBC Radio Scotland presenters Nicola Meighan and Vic Galloway, and was truly a night to remember as artists, fans and industry figureheads were once again reunited following last year’s digital campaign. With the biggest and best from Scotland’s music industry back under the same roof, the ceremony celebrated 2021’s Shortlist with all nine runners up collecting £1,000 and their own bespoke commemorative trophy, with this year’s design focused around sustainability. The SAY Award Design Commission, in association with OVO Energy and curated by Local Heroes, saw Glasgow based design duo Still Life create striking recycled plastic vases and engraved trays made using 21kg of waste plastic including bottle tops and bleach bottles.

In alphabetical order, 2021’s The SAY Award Shortlist; 
AiiTee – ‘Love Don’t Fall’
Arab Strap – ‘As Days Get Dark’
Biffy Clyro – ‘A Celebration of Endings’
Joesef – ‘Does It Make You Feel Good?’
Lizzie Reid – ‘Cubicle’
Mogwai – ‘As The Love Continues’
Rachel Newton – ‘To The Awe’
Stanley Odd – ‘STAY ODD’
The Ninth Wave – ‘Happy Days!’
The Snuts – ‘W.L.’

2021’s Judging Panel included a range of influential tastemakers from across the creative spheres who debated the Shortlist and crowned Mogwai’s ‘As The Love Continues’ the ultimate winner. The 11-strong panel included; Angela Dorgan (CEO, First Music Contact),  Ashley Storrie(Comedian), Daniel Portman (Actor), Etienne Kubwabo (Filmmaker/DJ/Writer), Ian Rankin (Author), Jackie Kay(Poet), Phoebe Inglis-Holmes (Broadcaster/Writer/DJ), Sandra Gordon (Fundraising Officer, Tiny Changes), Shannon Carragher (Editor, Spotify), Sheniece Charway (Artist Relations Manager, YouTube Music) and Tim Burgess (Musician/Author).

Previous winners of The SAY Award include Nova ‘Re-Up’ (2020), Auntie Flo ‘Radio Highlife’ (2019), Young Fathers ‘Cocoa Sugar’ (2018), Sacred Paws ‘Strike A Match’ (2017), Anna Meredith ‘Varmints’ (2016), Kathryn Joseph ‘Bones You Have Thrown Me And Blood I’ve Spilled’ (2015), Young Fathers ‘Tape Two’ (2014), RM Hubbert ‘Thirteen Lost & Found’ (2013) and the inaugural winner Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat ‘Everything’s Getting Older’ (2012).

Vic Galloway and Nicola Meighan pictured with microphones on stage at Usher Hall SAY Award 2021
Vic Galloway and Nicola Meighan presented the SAY Award