IT’S a tale of two prizes. One is a prestigious London-based music award which again has no Scottish artists on the short list – the other appears to show a wealth of Scots talent in every genre.

Eyebrows were raised when the Mercury list was announced on Thursday, particularly as it omitted Scot Lewis Capaldi, whose album is the biggest seller of the year. If Capaldi is perhaps too mainstream for the Mercury then where were any of the names on the longlist for the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY)?

On Twitter, Stuart Braithwaite of Scottish band Mogwai called the absence of Scots on the Mercury Prize shortlist “sadly predictable”.

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Another Twitter user pointed out that the last time a Scot was on the list was in 2015 when C Duncan was nominated. Primal Scream won the prize the year it launched in 1992. In contrast, the SAY longlist was praised for its inclusiveness which music industry experts say is a reflection of how Scottish arts and culture is generally more open and accessible to all. While there is no fee for entry into the SAY awards there is a charge for applications for the Mercury Prize.

Emma Pollock, who won the Mercury as part of the Delgados in 2000, said the prize was now “off the radar” of musicians in Scotland, although she added that she would have expected artists like Kathryn Joseph, Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert to be contenders.

“There are high quality, fantastic artists coming out of Scotland all the time but the economic reality is that they won’t be entered for the Mercury,” said Pollock, who co-founded the Chemikal Underground label.

“The first hurdle is that unlike SAY there has to be an active application and it costs money. Most recording companies these days are running as independents so they have to make a decision over whether it is worth it.

“Unfortunately, geographically, the record companies with the most ability to invest now are in London once again. There is an economic split between London and the rest of the UK. There are areas where independent record companies are striving to exist but are under huge economic pressure.”

Pollock said she didn’t think the lack of Scots in the Mercury was as simple as London parochialism.

“I think it is an economic problem as it is only the big record companies who have enough money to make a judgment on whether it is worth paying for an application,” she said.

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“The real irony is that there are a lot of independent records being made so does the Mercury even represent what is actually happening?” Pollock added that the Scottish music industry was “incredibly lucky” to have the support given by the SAY Awards.

“It is wonderful that they are inclusive,” she said.

“I don’t think the Mercury is meaningless but I do think it is the preserve of the London-based music industry. It’s just simple economics.”

Alan Morrison, the head of music at Creative Scotland, agreed it was difficult for Scottish acts “to grab the attention” of the Mercury Prize.

“That’s definitely got nothing to do with lack of talent on this side of the Border,” he said. “Because so many Scottish musicians are on small local labels or self-release their material, perhaps the fee required to enter their album for the Mercury Prize is a genuine obstacle.

“Also, things have shifted in the UK music industry as income has decreased and album sales have dropped. London-based record labels just aren’t nurturing bands or seeking out new talent like they used to. This means that the core of the music industry doesn’t look beyond the M25 anymore and isn’t willing to send people north to check out what’s happening up here.”

Morrison said the longlist proved “just how diverse and dynamic” Scotland’s music scene is.

“It doesn’t cost anything to enter the SAY Award, and so the longlist is more reflective of the depth and width of music-making here.

“I think it’s also reflective of the way Scotland’s arts and culture are generally more open and accessible to all, and not as driven by industry and commerce as elsewhere.

“That, in itself, partly explains the difference between who’s on the Mercury Prize shortlist and who’s on the SAY Award longlist.”

The SAY longlist, run by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), was announced just after the Mercury Prize list last week.

SMIA general manager Robert Kilpatrick said the awards were launched in 2012 as Scotland lacked a platform to celebrate outstanding albums of all genres.

“Our ambition was to create a bold, unifying platform which allowed a level playing field for all albums, regardless of sales, genre or record label affiliation,”

he said. “The SAY Award is a celebration of all that is great, special, diverse and inspiring about Scottish music.”

The Mercury Prize list includes Little Simz’s Grey Area and Anna Calvi’s Hunter.

Kathryn Joseph, Aidan Moffat, RM Hubbert, Chvrches and Edwyn Collins are among the names on the SAY longlist.