Glasgow artists pull through at the 25th Specsavers Scottish Music Awards

Glasgow acts including Joesef, Bemz, Dead Pony and Rebecca Vasmant were recognised for their contributions to Scottish music.

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Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom played host to the 25th Specsavers Scottish Music Awards last weekend (Saturday 4 November), celebrating the artistic efforts of the country’s top talent as well as raising thousands of pounds for charity.

The event included performances by local acts including East End soul singer Joesef, the South Side-based rapper Bemz, rock quartet Dead Pony, and a sensational closing set by Bay City Roller Stuart ‘Woody’ Wood.

All funds raised were donated to Nordoff and Robbins - the UK’s largest music therapy charity - who use the sensation of sound to break through the barriers caused by life-limiting illnesses, disabilities and social isolation by creating a space for people to express themselves and find connection in society.

Winners of the 2023 Specsavers Scottish Music Awards are as follows:

Barbara Dickson - SWG3 Outstanding Achievement Award 

Bemz – Blur 69 Vodka Sound of Scotland Award 

Middle of the Road – Raymond Weil Heritage Award

Callum Beattie – Hard Rock Cafe Breakthrough Award

Davey Johnstone - Sir Reo Stakis Foundation Special Recognition Award 

Dead Pony - P&J Live Spotlight Award 

Sir Elton John - Specsavers Global Artist Award 

Joesef – PizzaExpress Best Album Award

Katie Gregson-MacLeod – VEGA Breakthrough Award 

Stuart Wood – Royal Highland Centre Legend Award

Rebecca Vasmant – Ballantine’s x Sub Club Electronic Music Award

The Snuts – Ticketmaster Tourmaster Award 

The Who – ROX - Diamonds & Thrills Icon Award

In response to his prize, Bemz said: “It’s surreal that I’m collecting the Sound of Scotland Award. If you’d told me when I first started rapping in Stranraer that my music would be recognised on such a crazy platform, I’d have bit your hand off. It means so much to represent the genre in Scotland”.

Joesef said: “For a guy who knows how to talk a lot of sh***...I’m speechless.”

Glasgow-based DJ and producer Rebecca Vasmant who was awarded the Ballantines x Sub Club Electronic Music Award said: “This is for anyone like me who might face challenges in accessing the music industry, be it gender or coming from a working-class background. It’s an honour”.