Semi-final Young Folk Awards for island ladies

Miss Irenie Rose
Miss Irenie Rose

Two island music talents are in the running to scoop the title of BBC Young Folk Awards 2014!

The Mischa MacPherson Trio – Mischa being from Lewis – and Lewis songstress Miss Irenie Rose were two of ten successful entries which enjoyed taking part in the Young Folk Award Weekend in Kendal last weekend (October 18th to 20th).

But the wait is on to find out if either act is one of the four finalist in the prestigious competition – with finalist announced on BBC Radio 2, the Mark Radcliffe show, on November 23rd, and the winner selected in February next year at the Young Folk Awards show held in The Royal Albert Hall.

“I think we’re just absolutely shocked to be in the top 10, let alone think about winning it,” laughed 20 year old Mischa MacPherson, from Sandwick, who performs with former Back resident Innes White (guitar) and Conal Mcdonagh (pipes and whistles) in the Trio.

“There were 95 band entries into the competition – the most ever received – and the other bands were all much more contemporary than us,” she continued. “We just think it’s amazing that a Gaelic group got into the top 10 and we kept it very simple and true to the traditional. I sang a song from Barra, a song from Lewis and a puirt-a-beul.”

Speaking from Helsinki – on a one year exchange from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – Mischa also detailed how the Young Folk Award Weekend, which included sessions and workshops, as well as a finale concert, went.

She said: “It was really, really great fun and great to see the boys and be a trio again.

There were loads of interesting workshops, but it was a crazy day with loads of workshops and sessions, then in between running around to soundchecks.

“The awards are also being filmed for a documentary, so we’re cameras in our faces all the time and had to do interviews for that as well.

“I didn’t sing throughout the whole day though as I’ve had a cough for the past couple weeks, so I wanted to save my voice for the evening concert.”

Vocal troubles didn’t just hit Mischa however, as second Lewis talent in the Young Folk Awards, Miss Irenie Rose, also lost her voice on the day!

“I’m pretty positive I won’t be in the finalists as my voice just disappeared on the day,” Irenie chuckled. “I had had a tickle the night before and it got worse, very quickly. I think it’s the worst I’ve ever sung, but these things happen I suppose!”

Yet despite her troubles, Miss Irenie Rose still took a great deal from the day, which included tuition and guidance from respected musicians John Spiers and Rachael McShane from Bellowhead.

“The tutors were all full time musicians and talked about various aspects of the music business and gave us guidance industry wise and music wise,” she said.

“The best thing for me though was meeting the other musicians. It was lovely to spend time with and chat to them all.”

Miss Irenie Rose added: “I don’t know how they [the judges] are going to chose a winner, everyone was really fantastic, it was just amazing!”

Keep your ears open and tuned to the Mark Radcliffe show on November 23rd to find out if Lewis talents will make it to the final four of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards!