Unthanks and Oysterband set to go head to head at 2012 Radio 2 folk awards

Both bands will be vying for the best group and best album gongs in Salford

Northumberland sister act The Unthanks will be squaring off against re-formed troubadours June Tabor & Oysterband in February as both bands have been nominated in the best group and best album categories at the BBC Radio 2 folk awards.


The ceremony will take place outside London for the first time in the event’s history, at The Lowry in Salford on Wednesday 8 February 2012, and will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2.

In another first, folk fans will be admitted to next year’s awards, though tickets for the show have already sold out.

Besides their conflicting award nominations, both bands have scored another two nods apiece, the Unthanks being nominated for best live act and best original song, while Oysterband are in the running for best traditional track and folk singer of the year.

2011 awards winners Bellowhead are also back in the running at this year’s event, being tipped for both the best group and live act awards.

Radio 2 DJ Mike Harding is set to host the ceremony alongside an unnamed special guest, and here’s the full list of nominations:


Folk singer of the year

Jon Boden
Jackie Oates
Emily Smith
June Tabor
Best duo
Tim Edey & Brendan Power
Jonny Kearney & Lucy Farrell
Spiers & Boden
Marry Waterson & Oliver Knight
Best group
The Home Service
June Tabor & Oysterband
The Unthanks
Best album
Last – The Unthanks
Purpose & Grace – Martin Simpson
Ragged Kingdom – June Tabor & Oysterband
Saturnine – Jackie Oates
Best original song
The Herring Girl – Bella Hardy
Last – Adrian McNally (performed by The Unthanks)
On Morecambe Bay – Kevin Littlewood (performed by Christy Moore)
The Reckoning – Steve Tilston
Best traditional track
Bonny Bunch of Roses – June Tabor & Oysterband
Lakes of Ponchartrain – Martin Simpson
Maids When You’re Young – Lucy Ward
Sweet Lover of Mine – Emily Smith
Horizon Award
Megan Henwood
Lady Maisery
Pilgrims’ Way
Lucy Ward
Musician of the year
Andy Cutting
Tim Edey
Will Pound
Martin Simpson
Best live act
The Home Service
Peatbog Faeries
The Unthanks
BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award
Sunjay Brayne
Blair Dunlop
Graham Mackenzie
For more information about the awards, visit the Radio 2 website.