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Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Finalists Revealed

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Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Finalists Revealed

Posted on 03 April 2019 by Joe

We are delighted to announce that Roma Palace, one of our three long list entries for the Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent competition, has made it through to this month’s finals.

“Brighton based Roma Palace impressed us with their fresh take on indie pop and rock, with a slice of blues thrown into the mix,” said Neonfiller co-editor Joe Lepper, who is one of 30 music writers to help compile the 90-strong longlist for this year’s competition.

Roma Palace

Roma Palace

“The band’s strong vocals and a pop sensibility, reminiscent of the likes of Phoenix, further add to their appeal.”

Commiserations to our other two choices, Saachi and Laura Goldthorpe, who also submitted very strong entries, as well as the other long-listers who missed out.

Roma Palace will now compete with Che Lingo, iiola, LIINES, Marie White, Shunaji, Swimming Girls and YAMAYA in a live finals on April 27.

A playlist of tracks from all the finalists can be found here

The winner will earn a main stage slot at this year’s Glastonbury Festival a well as a £5,000 Talent Development prize from PRS Foundation.

Two runners up will also each be awarded a £2,5000 PRS Foundation prize.

by Joe Lepper

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Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition 2019 long list revealed

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Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition 2019 long list revealed

Posted on 21 March 2019 by Joe

The 90 acts vying for a main stage slot and a £5,000 prize in the Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition 2019 have been revealed.

The successful acts were chosen by 30 music online music writers, including Neonfiller’s Joe Lepper. Each writer selected three acts, with Joe picking singer-songwriter Laura Goldthorp, Brighton band Roma Palace and London jazz pop act Saachi.

GLAST EETC PIC 1

Songs submitted by the acts can be found via the Glastonbury Festival website.

The acts will now be whittled down to an eight-strong shortlist, who will compete in a live finals next month in Pilton, near to the festival site.

Main stage prize

The winners will earn a main stage slot as well as a £5,000 PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development prize. Two runners up will also each be awarded a £2,500 from PRS for Music Foundation.

ETC 2016 winners She Drew The Gun

ETC 2016 winners She Drew The Gun

Previous winners have included She Drew the Gun, who scooped the prize in 2016 and impressed recently during their UK tour. Declan McKenna is another notable winner, signing for Columbia shortly after winning in 2015.

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Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent – Acts to impress so far

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Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent – Acts to impress so far

Posted on 21 February 2019 by Joe

Once again I’m spending an enjoyable February helping to judge the prestigious Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition.

GLAST ETC

Along with 29 other music writers, my task is to help whittle down 5,500 entries to a 90 strong long list from which eight acts will be chosen to compete in a battle of the bands contest in April.

With a main stage slot and a £5,000 PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development prize up for grabs this is one the best talent competitions around for aspiring artists.

As with previous three years I like to focus on some of the acts that have caught my attention so far during judging and are in contention to earn a chance to appear at the Glastonbury Festival.

Here are some that have grabbed my attention so far:

 

Laura Goldthorp – Candy Shops

Laura Goldthorp entered the competition as a singer/songwriter and she has nailed it on both counts. Her song Candy Shops is a ready made pop classic, with instant radioplay appeal. Her vocals are superb too with this fine song delivered beautifully in the live clip she submitted. Why is she not already a household name? She very well may be if she makes my final three and can progress all the way to a main stage slot at the Glastonbury Festival.

Roma Palace – Take My Heart Away

I’m a sucker for some funky guitar playing in my pop music, which meant Roma Palace from Brighton instantly made an impression on me. Smart harmonies at the start of this track also impressed.

Saachi – Raw

This London based jazz/pop group’s lead singer Saachi Sen is enfused with the spirit of the late great Laura Nyro. This clip also shows that sometimes clips filmed in a living room can be the most attention grabbing. Their recent single Redcoat is also worth watching.

by Joe Lepper

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Glastonbury Festival Announces 2019 Emerging Talent Competition

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Glastonbury Festival Announces 2019 Emerging Talent Competition

Posted on 22 January 2019 by Joe

Glastonbury Festival has announced details of its 2019 Emerging Talent Competition, which offers aspiring acts the chance to compete for a main stage slot at this year’s event.

The competition is free to enter and the winner also receives a £5,000 talent development prize from the PRS Foundation. Two runners-up prizes from the PRS Foundation of £2,500 will also be made available.

GLAST ETC

The competition opens for one week only, from 9am Monday 28 January to 5pm Monday 4th February, via the Glastonbury Festivals website.

To enter, acts will need to supply a link to one original song on SoundCloud, plus a link to a video of themselves performing live (even if it’s only recorded in a bedroom).

Neonfiller.com is delighted to also announce that our co-editor Joe Lepper will once again be a long list judge for the competition. Each of these 30 judges will whittle down entries to a longlist of 90 acts from which eight finalists will be chosen to compete in a battle of the bands contest in April in Pilton, which is near to the festival’s Somerset site.

In the last four competitions all eight finalists have been offered slots at that year’s festival.

Previous winners

Recent winners have included She Drew the Gun, which scooped the prize in 2016 and saw their latest album Revolution of the Mind named among BBC 6 Music’s Top 10 albums of 2018.

ETC 2016 winners She Drew The Gun

ETC 2016 winners She Drew The Gun, pic by Joe Lepper

In 2015 it was won by Declan McKenna, who signed with Columbia shortly afterwards. Last year the competition as won by soul singer Josh Barry.

The competition also provides valuable publicity to the long list entries, such as Nadine Shah, who was named as one of our three entries in 2013.

Declan McKenna performing at Glastonbury 2015

Declan McKenna performing at Glastonbury 2015, pic by Joe Lepper

“After our year off, we can’t wait to hear the latest crop of undiscovered music that’s out there,” said Glastonbury co-organiser Emily Eavis.

“New music is hugely important to what this Festival is about, and the Emerging Talent Competition has helped us to unearth so many incredible artists from across the genres.”

Vanessa Reed, chief executive of PRS Foundation, added: “The Emerging Talent Competition is an incredibly exciting opportunity for talented up and coming artists to receive vital support to develop their careers and perform at the legendary Glastonbury Festival.”

by Joe Lepper

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Green Man Festival 2018 Preview

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Green Man Festival 2018 Preview

Posted on 03 May 2018 by John Haylock

We’ve been regular visitors to the Green Man Festival over the years. Nestled in the Brecon Beacons it’s line up is always one of the best in the festival calendar and this time around is no exception.

Among the many highlights are Australian psychedelic rockers King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. After seeing them twice at Glastonbury we can confirm their live shows are not to be missed.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

John Grant, another we have seen live on a number of occasions, is also an essential act to catch, as are Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors and Fleet Foxes.

Further down the bill Teenage Fanclub are a welcome addition to any festival line up. We have being watching them at venues across the UK for nearly 30 years and they always delight us.

John Grant

John Grant

New bands also feature strongly, with Atlanta act Omni’s jerky pop and Amber Arcades among our top picks.

Big Jeff is there too DJing! Jeff has been a regular gig-goer in Bristol for the last 15 years and will be drawing on that vast array of experience to delight you. If Jeff’s there you know it’s the best gig in town.

Greenman2

For more information about Green Man, which takes place August 16-19, visit their website here.

by John Haylock

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Blast Off Festival Preview

Blast Off Festival Preview

Posted on 13 October 2017 by John Haylock

Next month Nottingham will once again host the Blast Off Festival, a showcase of garage, surf, beat and rock and roll acts.

Taking place over four days (November 9-12) the line up includes home town band Thee Eviltones, 1960s legends The Pretty Things as well as Neonfiller favourites Kalidoscope, who will be bringing their own brand of mind melting psych sounds.

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There is also a rare appearance from 1980s garage rock legends The Fuzztones as well as a full supporting cast of dropouts, guitar abusers and hip-shaking hipsters.

Bands will be playing at Rough Trade and The I Club in the city and in addition the event will feature two all nighters, a vintage-retro market as well as a rock ‘n’ roll jumble sale.

For more information visit their website here.

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Preview: Indietracks 2017

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Preview: Indietracks 2017

Posted on 05 June 2017 by Dorian

Indietracks is one of the highlights of our musical calendar, and 2017 doesn’t look like it is going to buck the trend of friendly vibes, steam trains, owls and great music that we have come to expect over the years.

We have written about the festival many times in the past, so go here if you want a flavour of what to expect.

Indietracks 2017

The bands on the bill this year are the typical mix of new and old with some familiar faces alongside festival debutantes offering up a really strong line-up across the three days. The Tuts, The Wave Pictures and Endersbys Room have all been Neon Filler favourites at previous festivals, and there are dozens of acts we are less familiar with playing over the weekend.

Darren Hayman played a great set here last year and he is back again with Emma Kupa playing as the Hayman Kupa Band. Kupa is very busy over the weekend also appearing in Mammoth Penguins and Friends as well as being one of the festival organisers.

There are plenty of new bands to discover over the weekend with Luby Sparks, ME REX and Milk Crimes all having formed in the last couple of years. There are veterans playing too, with The Orchids and Milky Wimpshake adding a few years to the bill and Monkey Swallows The Universe reuniting 10 years since they last released an album.

Indietracks 2017 line up

(Clockwise) Cate Le Bon, The Tuts, The Wave Pictures, Monkey Swallows The Universe

The headliners are strong this with Martha bringing some lively North East power-pop to the stage on the Friday night, and Cate Le Bon closing the festival on the Sunday night with her distinctive “Television meets John Cale”  approach to songwriting.

It is The Wedding Present on the Saturday night that are the pick of the bunch for me, even though they are a band I get the opportunity to see in my home town several times a year. I remember picking up their debut album, George Best, 30 years ago aged just 15 and it remains one of my favourite records to this day. This is a band that, with their appearance on the legendary C86 cassette, helped to define what indie-guitar-pop was. David Gedge may be the only consistent member of the band, but his weary tales sound pretty good to this day, and their most recent release Going Going was one of their best.

Me and Gedge

Me and David Gedge in 2012

We spoke to some of the Indietracks team (Nat Hudson, Beck Conway, Jasmine Allen, Andy Hudson and Emma Kupa) to find out a bit more detail on what makes the festival tick.

Lots of festivals have come and gone over the years, with small festivals often disappearing. Indietracks is in its 11th year. What do you think is the secret to the festival’s success?

Beck: Without a doubt, I think it’s the atmosphere and community spirit. The festival has such a lovely, relaxed and friendly vibe and I’ve made so many friends there over the years. I can’t wait until July to catch up with everybody again!

Nat: I think it’s the friendly, relaxed atmosphere and the sense of community. A lot of Indietracks goers come back every year, and it’s always wonderful to see so many friendly, familiar faces as well as new ones. I also think our mix of established and up and coming bands also attracts people – Indietracks is always a good opportunity to discover your next favourite band!

The Wedding Present were my introduction to indie pop 30 years ago. What was the point that you realised your love of the music?

Beck: I was a big fan of indiepop bands before I really knew what indiepop was! I found a couple of Field Mice records in a charity shop when I was about 15 and started to realise the wonders of Fortuna Pop after getting into Bearsuit and The Aisler’s Set. I used to run a clubnight in Manchester years ago where we’d play those bands alongside stuff like Dressy Bessy, Helen Love and Hefner. I don’t think I ever really understood that all these seemingly disparate bands fitted together under the umbrella of ‘indiepop’ before I started coming to Indietracks!

Nat: Like Beck, I was a fan of indiepop before I really knew what it was! As a student I was a huge fan of Hefner, Stars of Aviation, Marine Research, Belle and Sebastian and similar bands. I moved to London in 2004, met friends who were into similar music and ended up going to the How Does It Feel To Be Loved? club night. Through that I ended up discovering lots of new and old indiepop bands and eventually became involved with Indietracks.

Jas: Although music was always a big part of my life, I first discovered ‘indiepop’ by attending DIY clubnights and gigs at University. A bunch of my friends were involved with a society called Burn the Jukebox – which encompassed a variety of genres. I was always drawn to the more indie, electro, pop end of this. After University I ended up dating someone in a band, and that has been a great way of discovering bands by attending gigs, and of course that’s how I also discovered Indietracks.

You have some new faces on the Indietracks team this year. What are they bringing to the festival?

Nat: Myself, Andy and Emma Cooper are still part of the organising team, but this year we’ve also welcomed new members Beck Conway, Jasmine Allen and Emma Kupa. They’ve been in bands and have also been involved with organising the Sweet Revenge club night in Manchester and the Cambridge indiepop all-dayer, so have loads of experience of putting on indiepop events! They’re also all regular Indietracks goers, so know the festival and are really keen to help make it the best it can possibly be. We’re so lucky they volunteered to get involved – they’ve done so much of the work this year, and have brought lots of energy and enthusiasm to the team too!

Beck: Along with Jas and Emma, I’ve been a massive fan of Indietracks for years and I think that’s a really useful perspective that we bring to the organising team. We have a good sense of what people really love most about the festival and what new ideas might work well.

If you were put on the spot and had to pick your one must watch act this year who would that be?

Emma: Frankie Cosmos

Nat: Lucky Soul

Andy: Cate Le Bon

Beck: I think I’ll have to pick one of our international bands because you never know when they’ll be back in the UK – I’m really looking forward to Luby Sparks who are travelling all the way from Japan to play for us!

Jas: It’s difficult to pick one, and I often enjoy the smaller bands the most. However, The Wave Pictures have a lot to offer – they are an incredibly versatile band with lots of talent and a large back catalogue.

Words and interview by Dorian Rogers

Indietracks is on from the 28th to the 30th July at the Midlands railway Centre in Derbyshire. Go to www.indietracks.co.uk for more details and to buy tickets.

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Preview: The Flaming Lips – Birmingham (August 12, 2017)

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Preview: The Flaming Lips – Birmingham (August 12, 2017)

Posted on 08 May 2017 by John Haylock

Pump up the giant pysche-bubble, saddle up the unicorns and set the controls for Birmingham on August 12 when The Flaming Lips will be beaming down.

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These Oklahoma aliens have selected the Arena, one of 11 The Rainbow Venues located in diverse, industrial spaces in the Midland’s city’s Digbeth area. There they will  play a set that is expected to contain a fair amount of classics from their long career as well as highlights from their latest album, Oczy Mlody.

As we can testify, having dropped down to see them in Manchester earlier this year, they have taken their animal themed live shows to new extremes with a unicorn joining their stage throng.

unicorn

Mind expanding visuals and musical mayhem awaits in a show that should not be missed, especially as support is provided by the equally adventurous Public Service Broadcasting.

For more information and how to buy tickets visit The Rainbow Venues site here.

By John Haylock

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Tallinn Music Week Preview (March 27 – April 2, 2017)

Tallinn Music Week Preview (March 27 – April 2, 2017)

Posted on 22 March 2017 by Marc Argent

We are taking a detour east for our next festival review when we drop by to visit Tallinn Music Week, the annual event held in venues across the Estonian capital.

Now in it’s ninth year, TMW offers a mixture of established artists and emerging talent from Europe and beyond. Here’s a look at five of the acts we are particularly looking forward to seeing.

C Duncan

C Duncan

Mercury nominated Christopher Duncan has already made great strides since his 2015 debut album Architect. We are looking forward to finding out how his lush lo-fi bedroom recordings sound in Tallinn’s Hall of Cauldrons – stripped down piano performance or full ensemble? We shall see.

HOPING TO HEAR: Say

Albert af Ekenstam

Albert af Ekenstam

Swedish singer songwriter Albert af Ekenstam will no doubt pull in the crowds for two performances during TMW. If you were describing his sound to a stranger you’d probably name-drop M.Ward, Mark Kozelek, Bon Iver and Phosphorescent. Fans of Estonian indie favourites Ewert and the Two Dragons will be out in force, hoping Albert will perform Falling, which was co-written by the Swedish singer and features on their album Good Man Down.

HOPING TO HEAR: Walking

DAGAMBA

DAGAMBA

Latvian band DAGAMBA will be making the short trip north to Estonia to blow away audiences with their unique ‘power strings’ performance. Classical instrumentation clashes beautifully with rock, pop and world music.  Discovering DAGAMBA is like discovering you have a third ear.

HOPING TO HEAR: Prokofiev the Knightrider

Flamingods

Flamingods

Flamingods are a five-piece multi-instrumental band from Bahrain and the UK. Their live shows are reknowned for their experimentation and exploration, encompassing a variety of world music styles and cultures. One of their two performances will be at Tallinn’s busy central shopping centre Viru Keskus, where we hope to witness the place come to a standstill and attempt to identify some of the instruments on show.

HOPING TO HEAR: Anya

Mart Avi

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There’s no shortage of exciting new Estonian artists at TMW with over 100 homegrown artists performing during the event. Mart Avi’s experimental electronica has already received critical acclaim in his homeland, with his third album sandwiched in second place between David Bowie and Nick Cave releases in last year’s Eesti Ekspress albums of the year. The album Rogue Wave is expected to be showcased on the opening night of Tallinn Music Week. Avi’s eery baritone voice will provide the focal point to Eno-esque soundscapes filled with chopped up samples, horns and droning sirens.

HOPING TO HEAR: Seasons have changed

For more information about Tallinn Music Week visit their website here.

Preview by Marc Argent

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Bearded Theory 2017 Preview

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Bearded Theory 2017 Preview

Posted on 07 March 2017 by John Haylock

Bearded Theory returns to the festival calendar this year with The Fall, Seasick Steve and Madness among the acts performing.

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Taking place in the grounds of Catton Hall, near Burton on Trent this four day festival is staged between May 25 and 28.

Now in its tenth year the main Pallet stage features Skunk Annansie alongside Seasick Steve and Madness as headliners.

Others performing include Welsh rockers The Alarm, New Model Army and Alabama 3.

Ska legends The Selector, as well as Glasvegas also appear on this main stage,

The Fall are among the pick of the other stages. Mark E Smith’s troops perform on Saturday on The Woodland Stage.

The Fall's Mark E Smith

The Fall’s Mark E Smith, pic by Joe Lepper

The Magical Sounds stage features Megadog Soundsystem on the Friday and on Saturday Transglobal Underground will headline.

In addition, there’s a large kids’ area and a cabaret stage.

For those arriving on the opening Thursday Dreadzone and Don Letts are among those playing.

For the fifth year running we will once again be visiting the event, which last year featured an excellent set from Public Image Limited.

The year before The Buzzcocks were among many highlights.

For more information, including ticket details, visit the Bearded Theory website here.

by John Haylock

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