Biffy Clyro's Simon Neil has been announced as the first ever recipient of the Fender Play Award at this year's Q Awards 2018 in association with Absolute Radio.

Biffy Clyro's Simon Neil

Biffy Clyro's Simon Neil

The new prize has been created to celebrate an artist at the forefront of guitar music today who have used their ability with the instrument to make innovative music and inspire the next generation.

Scottish rocker Simon has been chosen to get the award - which is named after Fender's digital tool Fender Play, a learning app guitar, bass and ukulele - for his guitar skills and incredible achievements with hard rock band Biffy Clyro who have released seven studio albums during their two decade spanning career and become one of the must-watch live bands in the world.

Speaking about Simon and Biffy Clyro's impact on guitar music, Ted Kessler - Editor of Q Magazine - said: "Biffy Clyro are one of rock's most compelling groups and Q has been there every step of the way as they've turned into one of the UK's biggest bands. At their core is Simon Neil, a frontman who possesses the perfect blend of raw emotion and rock'n'roll charisma, the sort of figurehead who inspires the next generation to pick up a guitar. We're very excited that Simon is the first recipient of our inaugural Fender Play award, a prize that will be reserved for only the most trailblazing talents in modern guitar music."

And Andy Mooney - Fender CEO - added: "Simon Neil represents the very definition of a contemporary guitar hero - someone who's equally at ease playing his road worn Strat on a major arena stage as he is playing an intimate acoustic set to Biffy Clyro's devoted fan base. Simon's guitar is part of him and fundamental to how he composes in-studio and performs live. The Fender Play Q Award has been created to honour musicians like Simon who continue to push the creative limits of guitar driven music and inspire all of us to pick one up and begin our own musical journey. We are proud to celebrate his achievements at the Q Awards, where guitar legends have been celebrated in all of their glory for nearly three decades."

The Q Awards, now in their 28th year, take place on October 17 at The Roundhouse in Camden, London, and The 1975, Christine and the Queens and the Arctic Monkeys lead the nominations.

Q Awards 2018 full list of nominations:

Q Breakthrough Act presented by Red Stripe

Amyl & The Sniffers

Goat Girl

Tom Grennan

The Magic Gang


Bugzy Malone



Nadine Shah

Jorja Smith

Rejjie Snow

Q Best Track presented by Firestone

'Love It If We Made It' - The 1975

'This Is America' - Childish Gambino

'Girlfriend' - Christine & The Queens

'The Man' - Goat Girl

'Make Me Feel' - Janelle Monae

'Bells & Circles' - Underworld & Iggy Pop

Q Best Album

'Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino' - Arctic Monkeys

'Hunter' - Anna Calvi

'Who Built The Moon?' - Noel Gallagher

'Joy As An Act Of Resistance' - IDLES

'Marauder' - Interpol

'I'm All Ears' - Let's Eat Grandma

Q Best Live Act presented by The Cavern Club

David Byrne

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Liam Gallagher

Stefflon Don

Taylor Swift

Wolf Alice

Q Best Solo Artist presented by Absolute Radio

Christine & The Queens


Noel Gallagher

Janelle Monae

Ed Sheeran


Q Best Act In The World Today presented by Rocksteady Music School

The 1975

Arctic Monkeys

Florence & The Machine

Kendrick Lamar

St Vincent

Paul Weller

Q Best Festival/Event presented by Pretty Green Clothing

All Points East

British Summertime

Isle Of Wight Festival

Latitude Festival

RIZE Festival

Spotify Presents: Who We Be