Sunday, 7 December 2008

Scottish Trad Awards, Glasgow’s Old Fruitmarket

Having got back from Brussels late on Friday night it was straight to Perth yesterday morning for National Council. A number of motions were passed not least on trade justice and on the ongoing and worsening humanitarian crisis in Palestine, especially Gaza. I’m pleased to say that MEPs earlier this week had voted to postpone voting on the EU-Israel Association Agreement (essentially the Memorandum of Understanding on Israel’s increased involvement in EU funding programmes) given the escalation of the crisis. Our Group in the Parliament had requested it be removed from the agenda for the time being along with the Socialists and the Group of the United European Left.

At the end of National Council I took part in the European hustings with our other candidates for the EP elections next June chaired by Angus Robertson MP. With the party’s hustings not til February this was a good opportunity for members to see who we all are and to hear from each of us.

Thereafter it was straight down the road to Glasgow with Rob Gibson MSP to the 6th Scottish Traditional music awards taking place that evening in Glasgow’s Old Fruitmarket for the first time. Once again it was a fabulous night – this was my third Trad awards with the last two years held in Fort William’s Nevis Centre. Tonight was being televised by MG Alba for the first time. Rob had booked a table for us all.

It was great to see and hear so much of Scotland’s own talent and to be part of this cultural experience. The music was as ever just stunning. Tonight was opened by Capercaillie with performances from Lau, Karine Polwart, Session A9, Breabach and Jeana Leslie and Siobhan Miller. The Trad Awards was where I first heard our Gaelic Ambassador, Julie Fowlis, and it certainly opened my mind to learning more about my own cultural heritage which is played out in so many of the Gaelic songs which are just simply beautiful.

Already I am looking forward to 7th annual awards in Dumfries in November 2009 which will also conclude the Scottish Homecoming celebrations in 2009.

Above: With Linda Fabiani at the Trad Awards after a fantastic evening of music.

No comments: