BANDS BATTLE: Skye showcase as young musicians compete for sought-after festival slot

The contenders are Bow Reel; Rachel and Rianna; Ape House; Falasgair and Kristen MacBeth

The public vote is in, the stage is set and five contenders will head towards Sligachan tonight (Friday 4th) to take part in Seall’s very first Na Fir-chlis, battle of the bands contest.

Last month, the public voted in their hundreds to choose their favourite act from 11 contenders.

The top five are Skye trad band Falasgair; singer songwriter from Kyle, Kristen MacBeth; Knoydart trio Ape House; fiddle duo Rachel and Rianna from Skye; and Plockton band Bow Reel. They will pit their talents against one another in a friendly battle in Seumas’ Bar on Friday 4th November at 7.30pm.

Judges on the evening are former Q and Kerrang Magazine editor, Paul Rees; Skye Live founder and director Niall Munro; and Skye Gaelic singer Anne Martin.

They will cast the final vote for the winning act on the night.

The prize is an opportunity to play at some of Scotland’s best festivals in 2023, including Skye Live, Knockengorroch and Doon the Rabbit Hole.

Seall director, Sara Bain, said: “We decided to put on a friendly battle to see how we could support the young emerging talent in the Highlands.

“We were completely astonished by the level of musicianship from all the contenders. Each one of them could have been a winner, but in the end it was down to the public to decide.

“Over 620 votes were cast, which exceeded all our expectations.

“Now it is up to our three judges to decide who will prevail in battle and be our first Na Fir-chlis winners.

“There are still some tickets available for the event which is bound to be a highly entertaining night, full of light-hearted fun and great music.

“We wish our contenders the very best of luck and may the best act win on the night.”

Tickets and further information from