June Tabor Wins Big at UK BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards
June Tabor Wins Big at UK BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards

Folk veteran and erstwhile performer June Tabor was queen of the scene at the U.K's 13th annual BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards last night in Salford.

The 64-year-old English singer-turned-librarian-turned-singer waltzed away with Folk Singer Of The Year and Best Album Award for Ragged Kingdom (Topic), her collaboration with folk-rockers The Oyster Band. She also got Best Traditional Track for "Bonny Bunch of Roses" and Best Group (with The Oyster Band), a long-awaited follow-up to 1990's successful "Freedom and Rain" (Topic) collaboration.

New stars heralded at the awards included the suddenly-everywhere guitarist and button accordion player Tim Edey, who picked up two awards - Musician of the Year and with New Zealand harmonica player Brendan Power the Best Duo gong, and Bella Hardy, who jointly won Best Original Song (with Steve Tilson) for "Herring Girl" on her "Songs Lost And Stolen" album (Navigator). Ioscaid (pronounced iss-kidge), a promising six-piece band from Northern Ireland picked up the Young Folk Award.

Presented by BBC Radio 2 DJ Mike Harding and Scottish singer Julie Fowlis, the awards took place outside London for the first time close to the heart of Salford's new MediaCity complex, home to the BBC. They were also broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 for the first time and the show is also available on the BBC Red Button for seven days.

The careers of singer-songwriter Don McLean (who didn't play "Vincent" or "American Pie") and Irish folk legends The Dubliners, who celebrate an astonishing 50 years together (and who did play "Whisky In The Jar"), were also celebrated with Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Bob Shennan, Controller, Radio 2 and 6 Music said:
"Folk music is enjoying a fantastic resurgence in popularity in the UK with a vibrant and varied scene. More than 920,00 listeners tune in to our weekly folk show."

One of the night's oddments was The Home Service, whose Live 1986 album was released in 2011 on Fledg'Ling Records, following the discovery of a 25-year old tape. The duo were named as Best Live Act and as they collected their award they quipped that they might even consider doing another performance.

BBC RADIO 2 FOLK AWARDS 2012 - WINNERS

FOLK SINGER OF THE YEAR
June Tabor

BEST DUO
Tim Edey & Brendan Power

BEST GROUP
June Tabor & Oysterband

BEST ALBUM
Ragged Kingdom - June Tabor & Oysterband

BEST ORIGINAL SONG (JOINT WINNERS)
The Herring Girl - Bella Hardy
The Reckoning - Steve Tilston

BEST TRADITIONAL TRACK
Bonny Bunch of Roses - June Tabor & Oysterband

HORIZON AWARD
Lucy Ward

MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
Tim Edey

BEST LIVE ACT
The Home Service

BBC RADIO 2 YOUNG FOLK AWARD
Ioscaid

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The Dubliners

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Don McLean

GOOD TRADITION AWARD
Ian Campbell

GOOD TRADITION AWARD
Bill Leader

ROOTS AWARD
Malcolm Taylor