Archive | May, 2020

Glastonbury venues fundraiser album launches

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Glastonbury venues fundraiser album launches

Posted on 28 May 2020 by Joe

Artists from across the South West of England have come together to raise funds for venues in Glastonbury affected by COVID-19.

Music venues across the UK have understandably had to close their doors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Running a venue can be a precarious business. The current slashing of income adds to their challenges.

To help venues in Glastonbury, the town that lends its name to the more famous festival down the road at Pilton, a mammoth 91- track fundraising album has been released.

Imprints performing at Glastonbury Calling, February 2020. Pic by Joe Lepper

The album has been created by the organisers of the Glastonbury Calling festival, which takes place at venues across the town each February.

It features those that have played or simply want their tracks on to help venues across Glastonbury.

“Mainly these artists are based in the West Country and we can’t thank them enough for contributing a track on this epic sprawling album,” say festival organisers.

“Thanks to everyone who contributed their help by buying, promoting and putting this beast together.”

The album is called Now That’s What I Call Glastonbury Calling and is available on June 12.

The Legendary Snake, Snake, Snake at Glastonbury Calling, February 2020. Pic by Joe Lepper

The album is split into two ‘sides’ costing £10 each, or £15 if you buy both. Side one includes 48 tracks from local acts such as Craig & Alex Priddice, The Legendary Snake, Snake, Snake. A cover of Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine’s The Only Living Boy in New Cross by Nick Parker and Les Carter himself also features.

Meanwhile, side two features 43 tracks so far, with more to be added. This includes tracks from among others: Imprints, Lonely Tourist, Liam Howard, Steve Henderson, Flipron and Zion Train.

By Joe Lepper


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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 long list judge Joe Lepper.


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Covid-19 lockdown songs and videos to impress

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Covid-19 lockdown songs and videos to impress

Posted on 15 May 2020 by Joe

A perfect turn of phrase and video collaborations are among the innovative ways musicians are tackling Covid-19 lockdown.

No gigs, no recording studio dates. Covid-19 lockdown has pretty much killed off much of music industry.

Well, so we thought.

Nick Parker is among musicians being creative online amid lockdown

Being creative types, musicians have been busy being innovative at home and using tools like Zoom in new ways. Online gigs are now commonplace. Some you pay for to watch. Some free but with donations asked for. Others are for charity.

Among the most innovative we’ve spotted is Somerset songwriter Nick Parker’s Stranger Tunes series of online collaborations. Here he teams up with a bunch of musicians online and they perform some interesting cover versions. Mostly they are complete strangers. Nick and co’s take on Midlake’s Roscoe has been a particular highlight for us.

Meanwhile, musicians have been busy putting the whole, crazy mess of our pandemic world into song.

John Howard’s Stillbeat of A Silent Day,  is particularly poignant. The fiercely independent singer songwriter’s renaissance in recent years was recorded from his home in Spain and sums up how the world is so very, very different.

Using Howard’s multi-vocals on the tracking and backed by percussion and accordion its sound is still fundamentally what he does best – a bloke with a good voice playing the piano.

It’s lyrically though that its particularly impressive.

There’s some nice turns of phrases, with the title itself summing it all up so well. The “stillbeat of a silent day” indeed.

Other lyrics here that impress include “Smiles beneath the masks where no party plays. Joining gloved hands for the angels care. Cheers from the balconies’ grateful gaze”.

No, its ok, (dabs tissue to face), I’ve just got something in my eye.

Elsewhere, John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats has also summed up the current craziness well in verse, on Exegetic Chains from his lockdown home produced album Songs for Pierre Chuvin.

“Keep the chains tight. Make it through this year….if it kills you outright.” It’s a nod to one of his most well known tracks This Year but like Howard has managed to put our feeling perfectly in song.

What other lockdown songs or virtual gigs have impressed you? Let us know in the comments below.

By Joe Lepper


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