Their album, Everything’s Getting Older, was selected by a group of 100 industry experts, beating off stiff competition from the nine other finalists. The glitzy event saw performances from a plethora of nominees ranging from jazz to post-rock.
They received their award from Culture Secretary Fiona Hislop along with a £20,000 winners-cheque, a sum equal to that of the Mercury Prize.
Moffat seemed shocked to have triumphed, declaring that, “I didn’t think we’d win – our songs are about going grey and bald.”
The album, which took around eight years to complete, was clearly a labour of love for the former Arab Strap man, “You don’t make records to win awards, you do it because you love what you’re doing and want to express something.”
Moffat was also full of praise for the idea behind a Scottish only competition, “I don’t know why no-one has never thought of it before, but Scotland has always needed an award like this.
“As the long-list proves, we have an over abundance of great stuff. There’s just not enough room anywhere else, not in the Mercury awards for enough Scottish artists because they only have 10 spaces.”
The award, which is funded by Creative Scotland, is intended to showcase the country’s diverse music scene, with one of last night’s presenter Janice Forsyth declaring it, “the most democratic selection process of any awards show.”
Initially a 20 band longlist was compiled by music professionals before a joint public vote and judges panel whittled the acts down to the ten finalists. Each band which made the shortlist will receive a £1,000 runners-up prize.
Beating finalists included King Creosote and Jon Hopkins’ Mercury-nominated Diamond Mine as well as Twin Atlantic’s Free, which had come out top in the public vote.
The SAY Shortlist in full:
- Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat – Everything’s Getting Older
- Conquering Animal Sound – Kammerspiel
- Happy Particles – Under Sleeping Waves
- King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine
- Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
- Mungo’s Hi Fi – Forward Ever
- Remember Remember – The Quickening
- Rustie – Glass Swords
- Tommy Smith – Karma
- Twin Atlantic – Free