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Ones to watch 2023: Arts and entertainment

By Margaret Chrystall

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With a new year, always comes new hope but who are likely to be among the individuals to keep tabs on in 2023? Here are our ones to watch in arts and entertainment.

Hamish MacDonald. Picture: Paul Campbell
Hamish MacDonald. Picture: Paul Campbell

Hamish MacDonald

Inverness-based writer and poet Hamish MacDonald will head to Rio de Janeiro in 2023 for the World Slam Poetry finals in September.

Hamish has always performed poetry alongside writing plays for the Dogstar Theatre Company, was Scots Scriever (writing in Scots) based at the National Library of Scotland and his own books include his poetry collection Wilson’s Ornithology & Burds in Scots.

Hamish has also become Scottish Slam Poetry Champion and second in the Poesie Coupe du Monde et Slam Final (Poetry World Cup and Slam Poetry Final) in Paris.

In October, Hamish heard he had qualified for the European Slam Poetry finals in Rome in December, and will now represent Europe with others in the World Slam Poetry finals in Rio in September 2023.

And Hamish reveals that Loud Poets will bring slam to Inverness in May, where slam hopefuls can compete for a cash prize.

Katie Gregson-MacLeod, pictured for video White Lies. Picture: Megan Henderson
Katie Gregson-MacLeod, pictured for video White Lies. Picture: Megan Henderson

Katie Gregson-Macleod

You don’t need to be a genius to work out that 2023 is going to catapult Inverness singer-songwriter Katie Gregson-Macleod further into the top flight of new talents, after the success of her 2022 TikTok viral hit Complex.

It was quickly championed by fans of the song about heartbreak by people like Camila Cabello, King Princess, Madison Beer, Tom Walker and others, with their TikTok duets. The fortnight after the TikTok exposure was pretty crazy, she later revealed to the Courier.

But now signed to Columbia Records, Katie also released the song as a single before completing a crazy year with an American tour and the release of a new EP – Songs Written for Piano. Now at least 70 million people have heard Complex and Katie talks in a recent NME music website interview about people even getting tattoos of the lyrics!

And next? “I’m really excited to see where this goes. I made music for a few years on the small budget I had, but now the world has opened up so much for me. I want to maintain what makes my music unique to me, but also take advantage of all the new doors being opened.”

Kieran JE Lochore. Picture: Michael Carver
Kieran JE Lochore. Picture: Michael Carver

Kieran JE Lochore

Inverness stand-up Kieran JE Lochore is a regular face on the comedy circuit in the city, but branched out this year – to write a panto! Though it’s as a comedian he will be appearing at Inverness venues, the glowing reviews for his panto have definitely whetted his appetite to get back into writing for the stage, which he enjoyed when he was younger.

“Now there are plans to do a summer production,” he said.

Multi-talented Kieran can also be found on guitar in city band The Signal. And he added some of his other interests into the script for the panto, such as James Bond and a TV classic: “I’d paraphrased The Sopranos for the forest animals, but the director felt we should change that!”

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