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Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent finalists revealed

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Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent finalists revealed

Posted on 22 May 2020 by Joe

The final acts vying for a main stage slot at Glastonbury Festival 2021 as well as a £5,000 prize have been announced.

The eight finalists in the Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent 2020 competition have been revealed.

The eight acts were to have battled it out in a live finals last month with the winner set for a main stage slot at this year’s event.

But then COVID-19 struck and Glastonbury Festival had to be cancelled this year.

Instead, the judges will pick a winner without a live finals. Their top choice will earn a main stage slot at the 2021 festival. The winner also nets a £5,000 PRS for Music prize, while two runners up will receive £2,500 each.

The winner is set to be announced in June.

Eight finalists

In the meantime good luck to the eight finalists: Ajimal, Courting, Frankie Beetlestone, Hannie, Joshua Burnside, Kathleen Frances, RAE and Matilda Mann.

More details about the finalists can be found here.

Festival organiser Emily Eavis said: “There were so many great acts on the longlist, and narrowing it down from 90 acts to eight certainly wasn’t an easy task.

“But I’m really happy with the finalists we have, and I very much hope that people will take the time to check them all out.”

Becci Scotcher, PRS Foundation senior grants & programmes manager, added: “Congratulations to all the finalists of this year’s Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition.

“Yet again the standard of the shortlisted music creators is incredibly high and it will be an exciting and lively judging panel to decide the winners and runners-up.”

Also good luck for the future for all the remaining 90 longlisters who didn’t make it to the shortlist stage this time.

This includes The Covasettes, Maphe and The Elephant Trees, the three selected by Neonfiller.com long list judge Joe Lepper.

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Glastonbury Festival 2021 Emerging Talent Longlist Revealed

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Glastonbury Festival 2021 Emerging Talent Longlist Revealed

Posted on 29 April 2020 by Joe

The Covid-19 pandemic saw this year’s Glastonbury Festival, like so many other major events, cancelled.

Nevertheless the event’s Emerging Talent Competition is continuing, with this year’s top prize of a main stage slot instead transferred to next year’s event.

Earlier this year music writers, including Neonfiller co-editor Joe Lepper, had selected three acts each for the 90-strong long list for Glastonbury 2020 before lockdown was announced.

Now the Glastonbury Festival has revealed details of how this year’s competition will pan out mid-lockdown, with Glastonbury Festival 2021 in mind.

As usual, this year’s 90-strong longlist will be whittled down further to a shortlist of eight acts. But due to social distancing measures there will be no live finals at Pilton, near to the event site, ahead of the festival.

Instead the judges will select a winner and two runners up from the eight shortlisted acts, based on the videos and music links they have provided. The shortlist will be announced in the week commencing May 18th.

Festival organisers have confirmed that the winner will be given a main stage slot at Glastonbury Festival 2021, which will take place in June 2021. In addition, they will receive £5,000 Talent Development prize from the PRS Foundation. The two runners up will receive £2,500 PRS Foundation prizes.

“At a time when the live music industry is on hold, and upcoming artists are not able to get out there and showcase their talents, I’m so pleased that we’re still able to shine a light on the best new acts in the UK and Ireland through the Emerging Talent Competition,” said Festival organiser Emily Eavis.

“I’m hugely looking forward to hearing the 90 acts on the longlist – and I really hope that lots of others will listen and choose their favourites too.”

Listen to all 90 longlist artists.

Neonfiller.com’s three selections

Good luck to all those longlisted acts especially the three artists chosen by Neonfiller.com.

These are:

The Covasettes, who pack a punch, drawing you immediately into their catchy melodies and unique take on guitar pop. Live they look they can more than handle a Glastonbury main stage crowd too.

Maphe was picked by us for her ability to perfectly build up her music, which is full of soaring, catchy choruses. Her track Fire instantly appeals and she also impressed with her live clip submission, for I’ll Break Your Heart (Nicely) – a mean song delivered with a wicked smile. A star in the making?

North of England trio The Elephant Trees are full of infectious energy, especially with their submitted track Idiot. They are more than a little reminiscent of the Go Team!, producing indie pop you can dance to. They already look like they would feel right at home on a Glastonbury main stage.

by Joe Lepper

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Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent 2020 – Acts to Impress so far

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Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent 2020 – Acts to Impress so far

Posted on 14 February 2020 by Joe

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.

ETC2020Judge

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.

Maphe

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.

Covasettes

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.

The Bloom

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.

The Curious

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.

The Borgias

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.

Jessie Dipper

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

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Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition 2020 Details Revealed

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Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition 2020 Details Revealed

Posted on 22 January 2020 by Joe

Details of the Glastonbury Festival 2020 Emerging Talent Competition, which offers acts the chance to appear on the main stage at the iconic event, have been announced.

The competition is open for entries between 9am Monday 27 January until 5pm Monday February 2020 via the official festival website.

Those entering need to supply one of their original songs on Soundcloud and a video of themselves playing live. This can be at a venue, studio or even in their front room.

As well as a main stage slot the winner is handed a £5,000 talent development prize from the PRS Foundation and two runners up will receive £2,500.

Neonfiller among the judges

This year Neonfiller.com’s Joe Lepper is once again among the longlist judges. Our job is to whittle down the entries to a longlist of 90 acts.

ETC2020Judge

A panel of judges, including Glastonbury Festival organisers Michael and Emily Eavis, will then select eight of these long listed acts to appear at a live finals in Pilton, which is near the Somerset based festival site.

For the last five competitions all eight finalists have appeared at the festival. See last year’s live finals review here.

Last year’s eight finalists included Roma Palace, one of Joe’s three longlist entries for 2019. We caught up with them in August last year to review their follow up single You.

In October, we also checked in with Saachi and Laura Goldthorp, who also made our long list selection on the back of their impressive Soundcloud and video clips.

Roma Palace

Roma Palace performinh at the Glastonbury ETC 2019 finals (pic by Matt Turner)

As with previous years Neonfiller.com will be posting regular updates of the acts that are impressing us during judging and the eventual winners.

Previous winners

Previous winners have included She Drew the Gun, who have gone from strength to strength after winning in 2016. Another notable winner is Declan McKenna, who signed for Columbia shortly after picking up the top prize in 2015.

ETC 2016 winners She Drew The Gun (pic by Joe Lepper)

ETC 2016 winners She Drew The Gun (pic by Joe Lepper)

Last year’s winner Marie White has since signed with Decca Records and Universal Music Publishing Group. As well as performing at Glastonbury she also supported Keane at the Royal Albert Hall last year.

“It’s always such a pleasure to hear the latest crop of amazing, undiscovered music that’s out there,” said Emily Eavis.

“Over the years, the Emerging Talent Competition has helped us to unearth so many incredible artists from across the genres – dozens of whom have been given slots at the Festival. I can’t wait to hear this year’s entries.”

Inspired by the Emerging Talent Competition Neonfiller.com reviews the small stages each year at the Glastonbury Festival with a focus on new and emerging acts. We are looking forward to visiting these lesser known venues at the festival again this year for its 50th anniversary.

By Joe Lepper, pictures by Joe Lepper and Matt Turner

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Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition 2019 Finals

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Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition 2019 Finals

Posted on 29 April 2019 by Dorian

After a two-year gap to let the fields and staff re-energise, Glastonbury Festival is stretching its legs and travelling its unhurried route towards the end of June. The Pyramid stage is clad; resale tickets have sold out (in the customary few minutes);  and the live finals of  the Emerging Talent Competition has awarded its £5,000 PRS Foundation grant and its coveted main stage slot at arguably the world’s most famous music festival.

Roma Palace

Roma Palace

The Emerging Talent line-up is always diverse and rarely puts a foot wrong providing great performances.  The variety makes getting into the judges heads tricky, but if there is a trend in recent years we have seen more MCs in the final, without any yet breaking through to win top spot.

Like the last event, in 2017, when Josh Barry’s vocal performance enticed the judges’ ears, this year they went for another stand-out singer. However the judges: Michael and Emily Eavis, representatives from the PRS, Glastonbury’s seasoned bookers, plus BBC Radio’s Huw Stephens – favoured a more melodic voice this time around, with Marie White clinching enough votes to take top spot with her two bitter-sweet compositions.

Aided by songs that suited the slightly subdued crowd that comes with an early start, Marie coped well with being first up. Tracey Chapman comparisons were made as part of her introduction, and her performance was authentic and moving. The tone and delivery of the second song ‘Out of time’ bears comparison with one of Adele’s tales of heartache and longing.

My personal on-the-night favourites were LIINES and Che Lingo. LIINES are in the middle of supporting Sleaford Mods, and are surely making fans with their challenging post-punk bursts. Extra points to them for rocking the “double-black Gene Vincent for the new millennium” look.  Che LIngo didn’t disappoint, he was charismatic and confidently owned that stage. At times he picked up the baton that Dizzy Rascal dropped a while back, and “Same Energy” had attitude to spare and unexpected layers that touched on A Tribe Called Quest.

The two representatives from the West Country are both well equipped to fill bigger venues. Iiola followed Marie White with another powerful vocal performance. The song ‘Sickly Sweet’ has a chorus to stick in the head and got the crowd bobbing; whilst Bristol’s Swimming Girls – the first band to fill the stage – added some polish and indie pop/rock to the night. They have some Simple Minds pomp and singer / bassist Vanessa has a distinctive delivery, a healthy sneer, and a hint of Ciccone. Clearly experienced and gig-ready, their sound is waiting for an anthem to take hold.

Whilst remaining totally unbiased, the first Neon Filler pick to make it through the final – Roma Palace – did themselves enormous credit. Their infectious guitar-led indie had echoes of Blossoms early outings, and entwined influences from beyond the shores of their current Brighton home.

Everyone is a winner on a night like this so Yamaya and Shunaji – get honourable mentions for their respective afrobeat fusion and jazz-influenced hip-hop outings. Both these acts chose to showcase just one song in their sets which left me, and possibly the judges, wanting to hear more to get a more rounded view of their repertoire.

Another good night to see some of the musical talent from across the nation and I for one will look up at least four of the acts at the main festival in June. Still no Hip Hop / MC winner though, but Flohio from the 2017 final is proving that just getting to the final can be enough to herald a growing career.

Words and pictures by Matt Turner

For more information about the competition and live final click here.

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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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Top Ten Glastonbury Festival Gigs (2011-2016)

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Top Ten Glastonbury Festival Gigs (2011-2016)

Posted on 19 June 2017 by Joe

With five Glastonbury Festivals, from 2011 to 2016, under our belt we decided to have a look back at some of our favourite gigs over that time. Feel free to mention your favourite Glastonbury performance in the comment section below or let us know if you also saw any of these acts.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Pyramid Stage 2013

Cave and co were scheduled before trustafarian folksters Mumford and Sons on the Pyramid Stage. The Bad Seeds promptly took ownership of the iconic main stage and presented the waistcoat wearing fops with one of the festival’s greatest ever ‘follow that, arseholes’ sets.

Resplendent in silk black suit and paisley shirt Cave provided a master class in how to perform at a festival. Each soft moment perfectly placed among the dangerous, violent lyrics and tales of murder that Cave has excelled at throughout his career. The brooding epic Jubilee Street became an instant live favourite, as were older classics such as Mercy Seat and a spellbinding encore of Red Right Hand.

The real highpoint though was Stagger Lee, as Cave embarked on one of two attempts to crowd surf/schmooze. As he screamed at those he made contact with about all the things he was going to do to poor Billy Dilly in the song suddenly this pre-Raphaelite looking women appeared. She kept resolute eye contact with Cave throughout as he ended up singing directly to her. This kind of thing is cheesy when someone like Bono does it, but not when Cave gives it a go. As far as I’m aware the U2 singer has never looked into an audience member’s eyes, held her hands and screamed “I’m going to fuck Billy Dilly up his motherfucking ass.”

Billy Bragg

Leftfield Stage 2016

Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg, Glastonbury 2016

I often go to Bragg’s regular Friday night set at this stage that he helps curate but this set, just hours after the shocking Brexit vote outcome was announced, was by far the best.

The crowd’s roar after hits like Milkman of Human Kindness and Sexuality was “just what I needed”, he said, after the day’s testing events. We needed it too. Even Bragg admitted towards the end that this had been one of his best ever gigs and certainly it was the busiest I’ve ever seen the Leftfield in five years as a regular.

There Is A Power In A Union sing-a-long was intense with its added topicality and New England was dutifully rousing. Activism was duly recharged.

St Vincent

Park Stage, 2014

St Vincent

St Vincent, Glastonbury 2016

St Vincent provided one of the most astounding show of 2014’s event. Dressed in gold and black she moved around the stage like a android doll who has just discovered rebellion. Coordinated dancing, theatrics and two of the most insane crowd surfing moments I’ve witnessed were incredible on their own and that’s without mentioning the superb music and her sensational guitar playing.

Your Lips Are Red and a tender version of Prince Johnny were among many highlights of an incredible masterclass in performance and music.

John Grant

John Peel Stage 2016

John Grant

John Grant, Glastonbury 2016

Poor John had flu but this somehow made his performance at the John Peel stage better, with the crowd urged to sing-along and wave their arms around to keep him going. He has come along way as a performer since I last saw him at Glastonbury at the Park Stage in 2014 and he is now a proper diva, albeit one in a country and western shirt and a massive beard.

Queen of Denmark, Greatest Mother Fucker were highlights but Glacier blew the whole gig apart with its emotional brilliance.

Pentangle

Acoustic Stage 2011

Bert Jansch (centre) performing with Pentangle at Glastonbury 2011

Pentangle, Glastonbury 2011

Reformed for this special gig at the Acoustic stage, folk super group Pentangle excelled during a set that  featured the full original line up of guitarists Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, singer Jacqui McShee, drummer Terry Cox and bassist Danny Thompson. For a folk fan like me this was a very special occasion.

Even though they’d barely rehearsed together the old magic was still there. Watching Renbourn weave his intricate guitar playing around Jansch’s riffs and Thompson and Cox’s jazz folk rhythms was one of my favourite musical moments at the 2011 festival. They seemed delighted to be there as they swept though tracks such as ‘Hunting Song’, ‘Bruton Town’, ‘House Carpenter’ and ‘Cruel Sister’. This was an experience to cherish.

Tragically it was also the last chance to see Jansch, who sadly passed away just two months later. Renbourne is also no longer with us and the loss of these two pioneers of British folk music makes this chance to have seen them even more special.

Ron Sexsmith

Acoustic Stage 2015

Ron Sexsmith

Ron Sexsmith, Glastonbury 2015

Ron Sexsmith appeared in 2015 to celebrate two decades of music, but up until his engaging set his music had completely evaded me somehow. Through a career spanning set, including Strawberry Blonde and There’s a Rhythm to the more recent Getaway Car, he had me hooked. For a week later I was still humming these tracks, that I had only heard once – that’s how good a song writer he is.

La Femme

William’s Green Stage 2015

La Femme

La Femme, Glastonbury 2015

Another sensational performance at the 2015 event was Parisian eccentric surf-dance-you name it-pop act La Femme. At their William’s Green set there was crowd surfing, crazy dancing and wonderful banter. This is a fun party band who were on top form as they showcased tracks from their just released debut album Psycho Tropical Brazil.

Wilko Johnson

Acoustic Stage 2015

Wilko Johnson

Wilko Johnson, Glastonbury 2015

Like a crazed bird Johnson made a mockery of the cancer that the previous year threatened to take his life, as he weaved around stage, machine gun-chording the audience with his trademark Fender telecaster. He and his regular bassist Norman Watt-Roy are a sheer joy to watch.

Franz Ferdinand and Sparks

John Peel Stage 2015

FFS

FFS, Glastonbury 2015

For my final act of Glastonbury 2015 I ventured over to the half full John Peel Stage to see Franz Ferdinand with Sparks, who were competing with the Chemical Brothers and The Who. This didn’t stop them putting on one of this year’s best sets as they ripped through each other’s hits and showcased their remarkable and fun joint album from 2015.

Highlights included Alex Kapranos and Russell Mael’s endearing acting during the splendidly ironic Collaborations Don’t Work. Top moment though was the surprise sight of Ron Mael emerging from behind his keyboard to laugh and dance for a quick 30 second mesmerising burst of pop history. Not bad dancing skills for a man for whom John Lennon once said “bloody hell, its Hitler on TV.

Ok Go

John Peel Stage 2011

Ok Go

Ok Go, Glastonbury 2011

I love a band that makes a bit of an effort and Ok Go certainly do that. Known for their inventive videos this US pop rock are equally impressive live. With each member dressed in a bright coloured suit,  I was left impressed with both their showmanship and song writing.

Squeeze are the nearest comparison as OK Go  as put in for me the performance of the 2011 festival, featuring great versions of ‘Here it Goes Again’ (the one with the treadmill video) as well as ‘This Too Shall Pass’ and ‘Sky Scrapers’ from their then most recent album Of The Blue Colour of the Sky. It was a masterclass in audience engagement too, with a member of the crowd joining them on guitar duty.

Words and photos by Joe Lepper

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