New Talent Showcase

On 22nd May in Perth Theatre Studio, we are hosting the first showcase concert between Perth College UHI Popular Music department and the Festival. This special concert gives a platform to the writing and performance talents of 7 musicians from across Scotland – from the Outer Herbrides to Clydebank – and the Czech Republic.
This unmissable event will feature singer-songwriters, vocalists and multi-instrumentalists and even the delight of clarsach-playing. Audiences will share in the personal lives and inspirations of our artists and hear excerpts from creative honours projects, EPs and albums.
We caught up with the seven musicians to hear more about their backgrounds, inspirations and what audiences can expect on the night. 

Erin Ponsonby is a 20-year old singer-songwriter from Clydebank in her 3rd Year BA Honours in Popular Music and is excited to be playing her first solo event in Perth. Erin is a well-known face in Perth High Street as a regular busker and talented vocalist and guitarist. Her stripped back acoustic set takes an autobiographic style and invites the audience into her personal life in love and heartbreak.  While experimenting with her sound, Erin’s music is based around acoustic pop/folk. Her debut single Want Me Too was released in 2017. She has played gigs in iconic venues such as King Tuts and The Barrowlands and has supported Hue and Cry and The Voice’s UK’s 2017 runner-up The Ark last year.

Erin Ponsonby

1 Erin Ponsonby

You can follow Erin on:

Facebook Erin Ponsonby Music

Twitter @erin_ponsonby

Instagram erinponsonbymusic

Lora MacLeod

1 Lora MacLeod

As a 21-year old singer/song-writer, originally from Oban, Lora MacLeod is studying and enjoying a music career in Perth, taking inspiration from acoustic, folk, Scottish traditional music, country folk and pop music. 

Lora has crafted together a set-list full of both original material and acoustic covers she has made her own. Lora’s Festival programme presents her recently written and released music as part of her Creative Honours project. Lora has dedicated her time to creating an album of 6 original songs, called “EVOLVE”, inspired by her personal experiences and that of other’s within motherhood and maternal relationships.

Lora also sings with other bands – Katie and Lora, an acoustic female duo, and Bears with Feathers, a funk inspired indie/pop/rock band. 

Jakub Pesek is a 23-year-old singer-songwriter, originally from the Czech Republic and now based in Dundee. Jakub is a 3rd year BA Popular Music student focusing on guitar, piano, song-writing and live performance.  Jakub plays mostly acoustic music with a looping station and has busked across Europe with his band. 

Jakub will perform songs from his debut EP Far Away which will be released later this year.  The EP is about feeling disconnected and trying to figure out the right place in life. One of the songs Focus is about struggling to find this place because we are staring at our screens too much and spending a lot of time on social media. 

Jakub Pesek

1 Jakub Pesek

Jakub took his inspiration for the EP from Scotland’s beautiful and wild nature and spends a lot of time in the highlands hiking and exploring. His goal is to be a successful singer-songwriter and music producer. 

Duo Eleanor Hickey and Andrew McAllister
Eleanor is a 20-year-old singer-songwriter who has recently been performing her own original material to an audience with Andrew McAllister playing acoustic and electric guitar.

Eleanor Hickey has been writing songs she was about 12 years old and has dabbled in many genres, with her style reflecting R&B and Pop influences.  Originally from the South Uist in the Outer Hebrides, Eleanor is now in her third year of Popular Music studies. Eleanor finds writing songs therapeutic and necessary for expressing her thoughts, opinions and experiences. She describes herself as a stripped back performer when performing her own material and is looking forward to presenting all original songs on 22nd May.

Andrew McAllister is a fourth year student at Perth College UHI, originally from Campbeltown. During his time on the course, he has immersed himself in as many different projects as he can and notes that he has developed a lot as a musician in these years. Andrew aims to make composing music his profession, whether that be songwriting for other people or composing and arranging for film and TV.  He also has a newfound passion for teaching and finds it extremely rewarding to help pupils progress in music.

Nadia French

1 Nadia French

Nadia French is a Year 2 student in Popular Music and a clarsach player and teacher. Nadia began learning clarsach at Feis Fhoirt workshops seven years ago and instantly fell in love with the instrument. Begging her parents to take lessons, she started learning age 13 and kept her promises of daily practice without struggle. Nadia is now the Clarsach tutor at Feis Fhiort in Stirling and teaches privately.

Nadia believes that a love of making music and playing an instrument is key to your progress and inspiration explaining “Someone can technically be the best player in the world… but if they hated every second of playing it – nobody is going to want to listen to them... It is so important to play and listen to music that you love. Music that makes you feel something, that inspires you and can inspire others”.

Nadia has chosen her favourite tunes to play at the Festival showcase. She hopes that they can mean something to you too. 

Katie Mackie

Hailing from the north east of Scotland, Katie is an electronic-pop singer and songwriter and has been writing since she was 12. Following a remix made in 2017 by a producer called Magnus, Katie has continued writing songs with a synth-pop personality with her current producer. Katie released a single called Speak early last year and followed this with an album called Kick It in the Head in September.


Two of the songs – The Shade and Wiser - featuring on 22nd May are taken from Katie’s recent album and explore the concepts of self-doubt and self-consciousness, alongside a different take on life by the 'wider, wider-eyed self'.

Katie has a single due for release in the next few months and some upcoming gigs in Sneaky Pete’s, the Music Hall and The Lemon Tree.

For full details of the event and ticket link, click here.