Students prepare for Paxton House gig

Hannah Tennant and Kirsty Ellison
Hannah Tennant and Kirsty Ellison

HAVING visited Paxton House as guests on a number of occasions, Berwickshire High School pupils Kirsty Ellison and Hannah Tennant will be the ones doing the entertaining on Saturday, when they perform at a concert alongside Yorkshire singer Annie Drury.

Annie’s performance of her song ‘Tattoos & Brass Shoes’ has become a big hit on You Tube and both High School pupils are excited to be sharing the stage with her.

Kirsty is used to playing alongside her Soul Stone Tavern band mates but she said she was looking forward into stepping into the spotlight on her own at the weekend.

She told ‘The Berwickshire News’: “I’ve been singing since I was 12 and I’ve done music to the highest possible level at school; it’s my big passion.

“I also play the flute and I love playing in Soul Stone Tavern. Being in the band has given me the confidence to sing on my own and after watching ‘Tattoos & Brass Shoes’, I’m really looking forward to playing alongside Annie.”

Although a few years younger than Kirsty, fourth year student Hannah has also been into music in a big way from a young age.

“I’ve been singing since I was in primary school and I’ve had lots of support from my youth club at Duns Youth Centre who have given me the opportunity to record in a proper recording studio.

“This will be my first time performing at Paxton House; I’ve never performed anywhere like it, it’s an amazing venue.”

The girls had a few interesting ideas about what to throw into their repertoire for Saturday evening’s gig and admitted they were trying to stay away from the more predictable tracks.

Kirsty continued: “I’m singing one song with Annie I think and then a few solo ones and a few with Hannah.

“I really want to do something that might shock people a bit. People will probably be expecting more traditional songs or something by Adele but the ones I’ve got in mind at the moment include ‘I’m Yours’ by Jason Mraz, ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ by Foster The People and maybe even ‘Love The Way You Lie’ by Eminem and Rihanna- I was thinking we could maybe sing the rap parts!”

As well as coming up with songs for her Paxton House performance, Kirsty is also wittling down possible song choice for an important audition that awaits her in a few weeks time.

Kirsty has applied for ‘The Voice’, a new talent show due to be broadcast by the BBC in the spring. The programme has already been a big hit in America and involves hopefuls auditioning for a panel of celebrity judges, with the catch being that the judges are turned away from them so they are judged on voice alone.

Saturday’s concert came to fruition after Duns’ Coleen Henderson Haywood approached Paxton House’s director Claire McDade.

“I saw the article on Claire in ‘The Berwickshire News’ when she first arrived and I thought there’s a woman who is wanting to make an impact,” she explained.

“I’ve got a particular interest in music and fashion and I’ve been busy brainstorming ideas for the past eight months as to how to use Paxton House.

“I’m from Howarth originally, where I had my own creative business, and I’ve been coaching Annie since she was at school. She has never performed in the Borders before and I really wanted to bring her music to the area.

“She is also really excited to be coming up and is bringing some of her friends and family with her.

“Once we had Annie confirmed I thought it would be great to get some local talent on the bill too. Kirsty is amazing, I’d seen her perform with her band before and I saw Hannah on Facebook after Duns Youth Centre uploaded a video of her singing along to an iPod. I was blown away by her voice!

“The acoustics here at Paxton are amazing so it should be a good night.”

Joining the girls and Annie on Saturday is Edinburgh musician Jason Kyrone. He has just released his music video ‘Counting Raindrops’ and hot to follow is performance video, ‘Wisdom’ featuring stunning Borders locations.

The music gets going at Paxton at 7.30pm on Saturday and tickets are £10.