Once again I’m spending February helping the Glastonbury Festival organisers unearth some new talent, as one of a number of music writer judges involved in the Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition.
Over this month I’ll be sifting through around 200 tracks and video clips to find three acts to put through to the next stage in the competition – a place on a 90-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.
Last year one of my long list acts Roma Palace made it through to the final eight. I’ll be hoping this year’s selection can achieve the same feat.
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 three years I like to focus on some of the acts that have caught my ear so far during judging.
After hitting the half way point today this seemed a good time to showcase some of the competition entries that have grabbed my attention so far.
I’m looking forward to watching and listening to the remaining tracks as well, as my judging continues.
Looking back on my notes this is what I wrote about Maphe. “Nice production. Builds up well. Good song. Good live clip. Can’t find anything to dislike” . Looking back again I find something else to like – her delivery of tongue in cheek meanness sung with a smile. Her Facebook biography tells me little only that she is a “small mammal in a world of reptiles”. Intriguing.
Cut them and they bleed indie. Their track Top Drawer delivers with a punch. They look like they can handle a Glastonbury Festival crowd too. Based in Manchester they list Nirvana and The Killers among their influences.
A cut above most other indie rock acts thanks to a nice link up with drums and bass and strong vocals from singer Luke Kordyl. While based in London The Bloom are originally from Fremantle in Western Australia.
I’m a sucker for a good guitar delay peddle. Step forward The Curious with If She Only Knew. This London based act list David Bowie, Johnny Marr and The Beatles among their influences which immediately warms them to me. Shouty vocals from singer Dominic Smith is another plus.
My Crooked Teeth
A song about parenthood always appeals, especially when sung well with a great Americana backing band. Oxford based My Crooked Teeth is the moniker of songwriter Jack Olchawski. His biography tells me that he’s shared a stage with Lemonheads frontman Evan Dando, which impresses us after seeing that seminal punk band many times live.
And within seconds I was transported back to the 1990s thanks to Sweet Sound from Birmingham’s The Borgias. Primal Scream and The Charlatans are among their influences and it shows. Strong vocals from KaYc Mundee help.
Great voice and knows her way around a loop or two. This Birmingham singer songwriter describes herself as Folk Grunge and equipped with “pedal board and passion”.
By Joe Lepper