Tomorrow night (Tuesday) sees the announcement of the winner of the Scottish Album of the Year award.

The original 20 album shortlist has been whittled down to the following 10 records:

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 (public vote winners)

Who’s going to win the £20,000 first prize? I’ve no idea and can’t find any odds out there either to help guide me. So here’s the MPT Very Rough Guide to how I see it.

Two of the strongest contenders would look to be the two duos – King Creosote &  Jon Hopkins and Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat. The former of course were  nominated for the Mercury music prize earlier this year whilst the latter were the blogs’ choice of 2012 as the third winners of the annual BAMS award.

Both acts feature celebrated figures in Scottish music over the last decade or more and would be worthy winners of the award. Yet, based on absolutely nothing, I’ve got a sneaky feeling that we may get an unexpected winner.

Another band that fit in the ‘long serving’ category would be Mogwai who at #4 are the highest placed contenders in my end of year list still in contention.  Their longevity may count in their favour but is ‘Hardcore …’ their best album? Other people are better placed to comment on that.

But what if a fresh(er) face is desired to launch the inaugural award? I’m pretty clueless as to how that might go. I’ve heard three of the remaining 7 shortlisted LPs but, good as they are, none of Conquering Animal Sound, Happy Particles or Remember Remember jump out at me as clear winners. The other four remaining nominees remain something of a closed book to me. So one of them will probably win!

And winning (particularly since it has a £20,000 prize attached to it) is going to mean an awful lot to the winner(s). But, perhaps more important than that, are the wider benefits that the award will have for the Scottish music industry.

There’s a widespread belief that the Scottish music scene is particularly vibrant at the moment but the level of creativity hasn’t been matched with equivalent commercial rewards.

The hope, therefore, is that the spotlight over the last couple of months on the SAY award, through first, the long list and latterly the short list, will turn into sales not just for the winner but for all of the 20 longlisted LPs. Here’s hoping.

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