Methil teen catches Teenstar judge’s eye

13-year-old Harley Coote who is performing at the regional finals of the Teenstar competition in Manchester next month. Picture by George McLuskie.

13-year-old Harley Coote who is performing at the regional finals of the Teenstar competition in Manchester next month. Picture by George McLuskie.

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A Buckhaven High School pupil has been wowing London record company executives, and is due to play to thousands in Manchester next month.

Harley Coote, from Methil, who turned 13 last week, beat out competition from over 9000 people to win a place at the first stage of auditions for the Teenstar competition in Glasgow earlier this month.

After catching the eye of judges there, she was put straight through to the regional finals in Manchester – and plucked from the masses for an exclusive showcase with representatives from SyCo Records, owned by XFactor mogul Simon Cowell.

Jacquie, Harley’s mum, explained: “One of the judges on the Teenstar panel, Angela McCallum, is the director of a school of music in Glasgow, and she handpicked Harley to perform.

“I was meant to pick her up at 9.00 p.m., but they called me at 6.30 p.m. and said she had blown them away. They can’t sign her until she’s 16, but they want to manage her.”

In Manchester, Harley will accompany herself on guitar after teaching herself the instrument from a computer programme.

One of the judges on the Teenstar panel, Angela McCallum, is the director of a school of music in Glasgow, and she handpicked Harley to perform.

Jacquie, Harley’s mum

“She has a raw talent,” said Jacquie. “She can even play things by ear now.”

Jacquie, a singer herself, said she was “really proud” of Harley, adding: “Nothing fazes her. She will go down Leven High Street with her wee speaker and guitar, and she gets a wee crowd round about her. It’s really good for her confidence.”

The Teenstar competition has been running all across the UK for the last few years and has produced some well-known faces which have gone on to much better things, including Luke Friend, X Factor contestant in 2013. Harley will be competing against fellow youngsters in Manchester with a view to getting through to the big final in London. Jacquie said: “There’s a big crowd going down to Manchester and I would like to say huge thanks to Taxi Centre, which has stepped in to provide a bus at a reduced rate.”