BBC Folk Awards 2000

At long last the folk music industry has its own "Oscars" ceremony. On Monday 7th February 2000, the great and the good - artists, agents, festival and club organisers, record companies and the media, foregathered at the Waldorf Hotel in London, for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Organiser of the event, John Leonard - who himself is no mean performer - said, "I'm delighted that folk music has at last been recognised and honoured in this way". More than 300 people met in the Palm Court for a 7pm reception, before moving into the grand Aldwych Room for a meal at 7.30pm.

Finally it was time for the awards to be given out, hosted by the presenter of Folk on 2, Mike Harding. As far as we at Folk North West are concerned, the highlight of the night was the Best Folk Club Award, going to one of our Federation members, Westhoughton Folk Club, run by the resident group, Auld Triangle. The trophy was presented to Pat Batty, the club organiser, by a regular guest at the club, Vin Garbutt. In her acceptance speech, Pat thanked all the artists who have appeared over the last twenty six years, for providing so many memorable nights and she also thanked the club members, regulars and helpers, for their unfailing support.

All the trophies were made in Yorkshire, in a contemporary style, from welded steel on wooden plinths. They are all unique, with each design reflecting its category, Westhoughton's being made out of, amongst other things, horseshoe nails and a tyre inflation gauge, moulded into the shape of a guitar, fiddle and concertina. The cabaret interspersed throughout the evening consisted of a cross section of winners displaying their talents. The band 442 were presented with the trophy they had won some weeks before as recipients of the "BBC Young Tradition Award", they performed the number, "Le Bateau".

Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson sang "Raggle Taggle Gypsies", voted "Track of the Year". A real treat next as American country blues legend, eric Bibb played "Don't Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down". From the "Album of the Year" - "Sleepless", Kate Rusby sand "Wild Goose". Senegal born, Youssou N'Dour performed "My Hope Is In You", he collected the "Special Roots Award".

Joan Baez, winner of the "Lifetime Achievement Award", teamed up with Eliza Carthy, ahead of their U.S. tour to duet on "Lily of the West", The evening was taken out by the band who were voted "Best Live Act", La Bottine Souriante, who flew over from Canada especially for the event. They had the room bouncing with their rendition of "Reel Du Forgeron".

It was a most memorable evening and the start of what many hope will be an annual ceremony, to celebrate all that is best on the folk music scene.

David Jones
(Taken from Folk North West Spring 2000)


Presented by Ralph McTell
Winner: A PLACE CALLED ENGLAND - Maggie Holland

TRACK OF THE YEAR Presented by Ashley Hutchings
Winner: Raggle Taggle Gypsies - Waterson/Carthy
ANDY KERSHAW ROOTS AWARD Presented by Andy Kershaw
Winner: Joe Boyd & Lucy Duran
HORIZON AWARD Presented by Eric Bibb
Winner: Nancy Kerr & James Fagan
BEST ALBUM Presented by Johnny Walker
Winner: Sleepless - Kate Rusby
BEST DUO/GROUP Presented by Dave Swarbrick
Winner: Waterson/Carthy
RADIO 2 SPECIAL ROOTS AWARD Presented by Bob Harris
Winner: Youssou N'Dour
FOLK CLUB AWARD Presented by Vin Garbutt
Winner: Westhoughton Folk Club
BEST INSTRUMENTALIST Presented by Mike Harding
Winner: Martin Hayes
Winner: Joan Baez
BEST LIVE ACT Presented by Eddi Reader
Winner: La Bottine Souriante
FOLK SINGER OF THE YEAR Presented by Graham Coxson
Winner: Kate Rusby
GOOD TRADITION AWARD Presented by Maddy Prior
Winner: Topic