Chirnside accordionist up for Scottish music award

Chirnside accordionist Andrew Waite.
Chirnside accordionist Andrew Waite.

A young Berwickshire musician is in the running for a prestigious national award and he is hoping his local fans will vote for him.

Accordionist Andrew Waite, from Chirnside, who honed his skills in gigs in the Borders and Northumberland, has been nominated for Up and Coming Artist of the Year in the Scots Trad Music Awards. The winner is decided by public vote and the 21-year-old is hoping his local fan base will support him.

Exposed to Scottish music from a young age – his grandfather John Hamilton was a gifted accordion player – Waite began lessons at the age of eight with Ian Lothian. He was further encouraged by teachers like John and Cameron Mabon and Harris Playfair at Berwickshire High School and was part of the Small Hall Band before auditioning for and winning a place in youth ensemble Folkestra run by Kathryn Tickell.

With the ensemble he performed at the Royal Albert Hall for the first ever BBC Folk Proms and played with Sting, of hit band The Police.

Before he was 18-years-old, Waite had started his own band, Tyde, which won through to the finals of the BBC2 Young Folk Awards in 2008.

Tyde proceeded to tour every summer at all the well known English folk festivals when Waite was on his school holidays and played weekend gigs during term time. The band has recorded two albums; the first was self titled Tyde and the second was The Hidden Spoon. Tyde are currently in the process of making a third album named Synapse which will be launched early in 2016.

In 2011, Waite reached the finals of the BBC Young Trad Musician of the Year then joined the folk big band, Unusual Suspects for part of a tour.

After studying maths and physics at Glasgow University for a year he left on being asked to join the English folk star Eliza Carthy’s Wayward Band. He has been performing at festivals and touring with them for the last two and a half years. Waite has recently been asked to join the Irish and Hungarian trad band Dallahan who are releasing their new album in April 2016.

He is hoping that a win in the awards on December 5 would enable him to launch a solo career and produce his first solo album.

He said: “If I win Up and Coming Artist it would give my profile a huge boost. I’ve always enjoyed playing for people whether it was in my kitchen at home in the Borders to my family, a gig in a tiny village hall or at folk festivals, so being a professional musician has always been what I wanted to do.”

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