Stars pack Usher Hall for annual Radio Forth Awards

Simple Minds performing at the Radio Forth Awards. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Simple Minds performing at the Radio Forth Awards. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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Surprise performances by pop and rock icons Simple Minds and Paul Young were among the highlights as Radio Forth staged its annual awards ceremony in the Capital.

The chart-topping legends had the audience at the Usher Hall on their feet as they were took to the stage at the 13th annual event.

Winner Paul Young presented with his award by Craig Hill and Grant Stott. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Winner Paul Young presented with his award by Craig Hill and Grant Stott. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Kevin Simm, winner of The Voice TV series this year, was among the guest performers at the glittering event, which also featured excerpts from two musicals about to launch in the city, Five Guys Named Moe and Wonderland.

There was a mixture of raucous cheering and good-­natured jeering as Hibernian’s history-making Scottish Cup triumph was honoured. Diehard Hibs fan Grant Stott took great delight in introducing Paul Hanlon, Liam Fontaine and David Gray with the trophy.

Fontaine told the Evening News: “There was obviously a lot of cheering going on when we first went on and as we were walking off a few boo-boys started, but it was all good fun.

“Even now we’re still getting so much reaction from the fans, particularly with the DVD coming out. You see people tweeting saying they are sitting watching it with tears in their eyes. It was huge for the club and everyone involved.”

Simple Minds – who paid tribute to their long-time manager Bruce Findlay, who was in the audience – were honoured for best performance of the year for their show in the same venue, as they prepare to celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2017.

Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr said: “We’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to still be performing. If you’d asked us 40 years ago what we would want to do we’d have said be in a band and take it around the world. We’re still enjoying it and putting in the time and dedication.

“We’ve got a plans for our 40th anniversary, but we can’t divulge them yet as we’ve not made up our mind, but it would need to be special and something we’ve never done before.”

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Paul Young, who had the audience swaying in the VIP stalls as he revived his hits, was honoured as a music industry “icon” months after turning 60.

Young, who said he had never stopped touring since his days in 1970s bands Kat Kool and the Kool Kats and Q-Tips, credited the “gung-ho nature” of the 1980s music scene and the distinctive sound of major acts was responsible for their enduring popularity.

He said: “A lot of the bands were very individual sounding. You knew when a Culture Club, Simply Red and Duran Duran record came on. You also felt anything was achievable. Music meant so much more to people in those days. The overall sound of music these days is very generic.”

Matt Mills, who plays the lead role of Nomax in Five Guys Named Moe, which opens in a temporary arena in Festival Square this weekend, said of the show: “People can expect all the fun, good time and energy of Louis Jordan, as well as crazy dance routines, fantastic close-knit harmonies, audience participationg, energy, colour and vibrancy. The story is all about the redemption of a man who has lost his way.”

The event was rounded off by singer-songwriter Paul Carrack, who played some of his best-known hits with Squeeze and Mike and the Mechanics after receiving an “outstanding contribution” honour.

The prestigious “local hero” award, sponsored by the Evening News, went to Scott Glynn, who launched a new sporting memories group for dementia and stroke sufferers.

Cathy Kirk, commercial director of Radio Forth, said: ”We had a fantastic mix of legendary acts and new talent and there was an incredible atmosphere in the Usher Hall.”

Full list of winners:

BEST ARTIST

Olly Murs

BEST PERFORMANCE

Simple Minds

ICON AWARD – PAUL YOUNG

Paul Young

CONTRIBUTION TO MUSIC AWARD

Paul Carrack

CONTRIBUTION TO SPORT AWARD

Hibernian Football Club

FORTH FRINGE AWARD

Kai Humphries

COMMUNITY VENTURE AWARD

Autism Rocks

VISITOR ATTRACTION AWARD

East Links Family Park

BEST BAR

Sygn Bar

BEST TEACHER AWARD

Debra-Ann Waugh

CASH FOR KIDS AWARD

Tyler Moffatt

LOCAL HERO AWARD WITH THE EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS

Scott Glynn