For the third year running I’m spending February helping the Glastonbury Festival organisers unearth some new talent as one of 40 music writer judges involved in the event’s Emerging Talent Competition.
Over this month I’ll be sifting through around 150 tracks and video clips of UK and Irish acts to find three to put through to the next stage in the competition – a place on a 120 strong long list. This will then be whittled down further to a short list of eight acts who will compete at a live final at Pilton Working Men’s Club in April to win the top prize of a main stage slot at this year’s festival.
The winner also receives a £5,000 PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development prize to help develop their career and two runners up will receive £2,500 from PRS.
As with the previous two years I like to focus on some of the acts that have caught my ear so far during judging and are in contention to become one of my three.
For the final three acts I’ll put through I’m looking for a strong live performance in their clip and being able to offer something different. Here are some that have grabbed my attention so far. I’ll post again over the next week or so with another batch of bands to impress.
New Opera Hero
New Opera Hero look like they could be incredible live, combining indie rock with 3D holographic effects and dance. If they were to make an appearance at the live finals it would test the Pilton Working Men’s Club’s lighting and sound engineers to their very limits.
The second act to spark my interest so far is Miss Halliwell from Birmingham. According to their Wikipedia page, so it has been taken with a punch of salt, this act have been going on and off and in various guises since 2007. Now sounding something like a cross between The Fall and that Phil Daniels bit on Parklife they have a ramshackle feel and stand apart from other indie rock acts I’ve heard so far. At this stage I can’t tell whether they are the best band ever or the worst, another trait that reminded me of The Fall. To make us work hard they don’t appear in this clip until just after the one minute mark.
The final act to grab my attention during the first 40 or songs I’ve listened to so far is Moonlands who combine 1950s guitar twang, with songs about proms and moody indie-chic. Reminiscent of Beach House and Frankie Rose they show real promise.
by Joe Lepper