LADS and lasses, welcome to Celtstars: The Rivals. Representing the girls, Macmeanmna recording artistes Dochas, five women with links to the founding years of the traditional music course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow and facility on an impressive range of instruments. At the still centre of all this are the heart-melting vocals of Julie Fowlis and the very fine fiddling of Shetlander Jenna Reid.

Fiddle fans had the best of nights, because Adam Sutherland is one of the assets of Croft No5, who are fast establishing themselves as cultural ambassadors of new Scotland. Pardon the stereotyping, but where the girl group is gentle, embracing, and inclusive, the Croftin' outfit is a testosterone-fuelled funk machine replete with Bernard Purdie drum licks, guitar-playing in the style of Average White Band's Onnie McIntyre, and a bassist who think's he's Flea. The whole band's sound, in fact, explores that pretty well uncharted common ground between The Whistlebinkies and Red Hot Chilli Peppers and effectively annexes the territory.

So much for the music. On deportment and grooming, the contest is also too close to call. The pulchritude of Donegal and the Highlands and Islands present in Dochas might have been expected to run away with the victory here, but at least half of the Croft No5 line-up could easily be imagined gracing the cover of Smash Hits, and the others were wearing pretty cool hats. An evening of pan-Celtic cultural diversity and cuteness, comprehensively checked out by a healthy house, including a senior member of the SNP among the appreciative throng.