The Voice’s Anna McLuckie helps footwear appeal

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MUSIC sensation Anna McLuckie will put her harp and sole into performances at the Fringe – to buy shoes.

But The Voice finalist isn’t feeding an addiction to shopping.

Anna McLuckie will be performing alongside the Dloko High School Choir. Picture: Scott Taylor

Anna McLuckie will be performing alongside the Dloko High School Choir. Picture: Scott Taylor

For when she plays alongside the Dloko High School Choir, she will be raising crucial funds for a charity in South Africa.

The 30-strong outfit – which hails from an impoverished village – has been flown over especially to make its international debut at the Assembly Rooms.

Festival revellers are now being urged to snap up tickets to boost Shoes for Dloko, which provides footwear to youngsters in the Umlazi township, where they are seen as a luxury.

And 17-year-old Anna has vowed to donate a few pairs herself.

She said: “Seeing what they have makes you realise what you’ve got and how lucky we are. I felt guilty when I heard about the shoes and saw how many pairs I’ve got, so I’m going to see if I can donate some if it will help.

“They are a brilliant choir, they are so raw and it is completely different to anything you get over here.

“I’m really looking forward to playing with them. It will be a completely different gig to what I’m used to but I’m sure it will be incredible. They’re all about the rhythms and, being a harpist, I’m all about the 
melodies so it will be interesting to bring them together.”

Anna’s harp-based cover of Daft Punk’s monster hit Get Lucky became an instant internet sensation after she appeared on the BBC talent show and has now been viewed more than four million times on YouTube.

By coincidence, one choir member is set to appear on the South African version of the show so Anna, from Stockbridge, will be able to offer her expert guidance.

She said: “It will be really nice to chat to him and tell him about my experiences. Hopefully I’ll be able to give him an idea of what it’s like and I’m sure he’ll be great.”

Efforts to bring the choir to Scotland were launched by charity the Iris Initiative, which runs the John Byrne Award (JBA) in Edinburgh and Umlazi.

JBA chairman Alex Wallace started a project with schools in South Africa more than a decade ago while he was headteacher at James Gillespie’s High School.

The team of volunteers had to overcome a number of challenges such as getting visas for the children – many of whom are orphaned and had no form of identification – so they could showcase their talents on a world stage.

He said: “None of them have been on an aeroplane, many haven’t been out of the township so they are completely overwhelmed by it.

“A lot of the children live in corrugated iron shacks, many will have to use standpipes to wash their school uniforms because they don’t have running water.

“The Assembly Rooms has said they can take home any money they make to help fund their local community which is a wonderful gesture.”

Township Voices will run in The Music Hall at the Assembly Rooms from August 12 to 14.