On Tuesday the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition Longlist was announced. It consists of 120 artists, filtered down from 8000 entrees, by 40 UK music bloggers, including myself.
Unfortunately I don’t have the time to go through and listen to every artist in detail, but Glastonbury have put a Soundcloud playlist of around 70 of those artists, which makes it easy to go through and listen to around 5-10 seconds of each song. There was also quite a few names I recognized.
So this is a very vague and inconclusive list of some of the best of the longlist. It is likely that the actual list, which will be chosen by Michael and Emily Eavis among other Glastonbury stage programmers, will feature less electronic artists and they only choose 8, I picked 10. We should find out the short list sometime later this week.
This year I am once again a judge in the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition. In short, this involves me listening to around 200 artists and choosing my favourite three, who then go into a long list to be sorted through my some of the people who programme the music line-up at Glastonbury. I have already been through my list and have found five artists who I think are all very good.
Please note that just because an artist is listed here, it does not mean that they are through to the long list.
Bridie Jackson & The Arbour
Hailing from Newcastle, Bridie Jackson was the first band on my list to make me very excited. Her music sits somewhere between the mellow jazz of Norah Jones and the strangeness of Joanna Newsom but it’s the lush arrangements that get me the most. They melt your ears, the melodies circling your mind.
The Bronze Medal
I’ve actually seen The Bronze Medal live before, when I was working at Barn on the Farm they performed on the stage I was working on. Their beautifully subtle music builds from gentle folk to explosive sound. Fans of Mumford & Sons, Dry the River and Arcade Fire will probably like this.
Feldspar is the project of London based Will Green. The band create music which has wide popular appeal. It’s simple, catchy and accessible. The band have already released several EP’s and have lots of professional looking videos which you can view here.
You might not recognise the name Farao but you will recognise the name Like Spinning, the project of Kari Jahnsen who I have been supporting on the blog for ages and also had play at my summer showcases in August. Kari has ended Like Spinning and is now known as Farao. She is currently recording her debut EP with Mike Lindsey from Tunng in Iceland. But for now, we still have the gorgeous Forces to listen to.
Gaze is Ghost
Gaze is Ghost is Laura McGarrigle, a Irish singer-songwriter who currently lives in a convent in Paris (for monetary reasons she assures us). Her music is delicate folk-jazz. Lush and heavenly in places and quirky and experimental in others. The track below, ‘Invisible Cities’ melts my heart. She has already self-released a record, Plume, which you can listen to and download from her Bandcamp page.
Glastonbury Festival is my favorite place on earth. There is no where else which condenses an amazing atmosphere, great music, and a positive spirit quite as well as that place. As Jarvis Cocker said ‘Glastonbury is more than just a festival, its a feeling’, and he couldn’t be more spot on. This year of Glastonbury was my forth year, for me each year gets better, and that was defintely the case this time. Despite the terrible weather of the first few days, we got through and I think everyone their would agree, we had a blast!
I started writing a Glastonbury review, but found I had far too much to say and too many bands to write about! So I have decided to simmer it down and just write about my 10 favorite performances of the weekend. So here goes…
Undoubtedly my favorite performance of the weekend was Coldplay. I had never seen them before, but am a big fan of their first two albums, so they were a must see for me. However they managed to far exceed my expectations. Everything about the performance was perfect, an abundance of hits, a fantastic performance from the band and the most incredible atmosphere. I have never been in a crowd quite like it, and I think it is obvious how much everyone is loving it from watching the footage back. Hearing the sing-a-long and seeing every single persons arms in the air for ‘In My Place’, ‘Viva La Vida’ and ‘Fix You’ among many others, created a moment I will never forget. A proper Glastonbury performance.
Pulp were the secret, or not-so-secret, special guests in the Park on Saturday. Jarvis and co completely stormed the farm showing they would have been more than capable of headlining the bash (maybe in 2013 they will?). They rolled through hits, ending, of course with ‘Common People’. Jarvis’ rather hilarious banter filled in between the songs, and he expressed his love for the festival which transformed Pulp’s career when they headlined in 1995.
I went to see Beyonce partly for curiosity, partly because there was nothing else I really wanted to see, and partly because I knew I would probably never get the opportunity to see her again. And I am so glad I went as I thought she was amazing! There had been some controversy surrounding her performance, does pop belong in Pilton? But I didn’t really see the issue since Lady Gaga, Scissor Sisters and Black Eyed Peas have also been given major slots in the last few years. As Jay-Z did back in 2008, she completely ruled the farm, bringing her big tunes, diva moves and flawless voice to the festival. She too, like so many performers this year, expressed her love for the festival, and said she was living her dream by playing at the farm. Aww!
Back in 1971 Melanie wowed a crowd of hippies with her stunning voice and flower child songs. And in 2011, I think she did exactly the same. The Spirit of ’71 stage was a new addition to this years festival, hosting many acts who played the original festival as well as other oldies. I also saw the Crazy World of Arthur Brown there, but Melanie stole the show. Her voice is still so radiant, but its her songs and love of life and humanity which came across the best. ‘Look What They’ve done to my Song’ was a highlight and she said that if there was to be a film made of her life, that song would be the soundtrack. If only more artists nowadays had that kind of sensibility.
5. Mumford and Sons
In 2009 I saw Mumford and Sons play the Greenpeace stage, on a bill which also included Laura Marling and King Charles. I would guess the capacity was under 300. Two years later, the same band play the Other Stage in front of one of the biggest crowds of the weekend. And they have only released one album. That’s incredible. But from watching their performance its clear to see why. They have so much raw energy, and really brought the folk hoedown to Glastonbury. I predict future headliners for sure.
6. Laura Marling
And following on from the Mumford comment, Laura Marling played the Pyramid Stage. There were concerns that the stage would swamp her but I knew her voice would manage to fill the space and it did. She put on a wonderful show, all songs with a band unlike normally when she plays a solo set in the middle, but the addition of lots of new songs made up for it. ‘A Creature I Don’t Know’, out September 12th, is going to be very special.
I love this band at the moment! So great live and such a fantastic way to start my weekend. They played at 12pm on Friday and attracted a surprisingly large crowd for so early in the day.Being billed so early didn’t stop them from producing the same wild energetic show they normally do. So great!
8. Fleet Foxes
Last time I saw Fleet Foxes at Glastonbury I was rather disappointed. They played the Pyramid Stage but their sound just didn’t fill the space and many punters were left bored. I was disappointed to see that they had been placed on the Other Stage, another whopper, but this year it was a totally different story. They were wonderful, playing a mixture of new songs from ‘Helplessness Blues’ and tracks from the debut. Robin also managed to sneak in ‘Blue Spotted Tail’, my favorite from the new album, so I was very pleased about that!
9. Summer Camp
Since last summer I have seen Summer Camp countless numbers of times in different situations and atmospheres. This was by far my favorite, perhaps since the first time I ever saw them. They played the Crow’s Nest, a tiny tent at the top of the Park with a semi-secret but absolutely excellent line-up and a stunning view of the entire site. Summer Camp played an acoustic set which worked wonderfully in the setting and their pop songs translated brilliantly to the audience. An album should be out soon and I am very much looking forward to it!
Summer Camp- I Want You
10. Emily and the Woods
Emily was one of the finalists of the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition which I helped to judge. Treetop Flyers were the eventual winners, and well deserved, but this lady also turned a lot of heads through the competition and the audience in her set in the acoustic tent was surprisingly numerous. I’m hoping that through her sweet attire and stunning set, she managed to gain many more fans on the day too. Get her newest EP ‘Eye to Eye’, its wonderful!
Emily and the Woods- Eye to Eye
Also worth a mention: Sea of Bees and Sweet Baboo in the Crow’s Nest, the Crows Nest in general and Caitlin Rose at the Park. The tipi field, Shangri La, and the wonderful events at the Stone Circle.
Thank you to Michael and Emily Eavis for such a wonderful festival! See you in 2013!
I am going to do a couple of posts giving you the low down of some of the best festival around the UK this summer. This is part 1!
The Daddy of all festivals. And the best. Glastonbury has of course, sold out, but for those with tickets you are for sure in for a real treat. So much more than a music festival, and with an atmosphere which you cannot recreate anywhere else. In my opinion it is one of the most wonderful places on earth, it completely changed my life and long my it carry on doing so. Theres no Glastonbury for 2012, so 2011 is set to be a big one!
Tickets: SOLD OUT!
Dates: 22-26th June
Headliners: U2, Coldplay, Beyonce
I recommend: Paul Simon, Bright Eyes, Laura Marling, Mumford and Sons, Fleet Foxes, Anna Calvi, Caitlin Rose, Treetop Flyers, The Spirit of 71 stage and the Park special guests.
T in the Park
I’ve never been to T but it boasts a pretty impressive line-up this year with 6 massive headliners.
Tickets: SOLD OUT
Dates: 8-10th July
Headliners: Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, The Strokes, Beyonce, Pulp
I Recommend: Bright Eyes, Villagers, Eels, Noah and the Whale, Grouplove, Blondie.
The Big Chill
A wonderful festival, with a great atmosphere and really eclectic line-up. Big Chill is about so much more than the music though, its about the lifestyle and the incredible night life!
Dates: 4-7th August
Headliners: The Chemical Brothers, Kanye West, Rodrigo Y Gabrielle
I Recommend: Robert Plant, Warpaint, Janelle Monae, Wild Beasts
Last year Latitude boasted one of the best line-ups of the summer, and this year I think it has done it again! I’ve been told the atmosphere is great too, and the site looks beautiful.
Dates: 14-17th July
Headliners: The National, Suede, Paulo Nutini
I Recommend: Bright Eyes, Iron and Wine, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Bombay Bicycle Club, Cloud Control, Anna Calvi, Dry the River and so much more!
A brand new festival for 2011, organised by the folk at Communion. Bushstock is taking over Shepherds Bush for one day, June 4th, and its wonderfully folky line-up gives us a taster of how great its going to be! A Flying with Anna guide of who to see at the festival will be coming very soon!
Dates: 4th June
Headliners: Fink, Peggy Sue, Foy Vance and Guillemots
I Recommend: Cloud Control, Sarah Blasko, Daughter, Treetop Flyers, Lucy Rose, King Charles, Louise and the Pins and almost everything else!
For the past few months I have been involved in judging a competition run by Glastonbury Festival, if your not up to date on what its about you can click the icon to the right which says Judge.
The finals happened last night in Pilton and I was lucky enough to go along and see the final 8 bands, chosen by bloggers and judges out of around 7,500. I have to say, all of the final 8 were stunning, really great high quality performances and they all received a slot at the festival in the end. Treetop Flyers picked up the topped prize and will get a slot on a main stage (which could be the Pyramid, Other, John Peel, Acoustic or Avalon- I think thats them!). And they truly were a well deserved winner! They mix country, folk, and rock to make a sound resembling Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Fleet Foxes or Midlake. I think they could be a big hit at the festival with performances from Mumford & Sons and Fleet Foxes already confirmed, this year could be dominated by a rootsy sound. Their performance was so great, they started with ‘Is It All Worth It?’, a quieter number than their other songs, featuring some beautiful harmonies and instantly proving them to be incredibly capable musicians, particularly the lead guitarist who shone throughout the set. The songwriting is very strong in all the songs, which was definitely one of the things that made them stand out in the competition.
Out of the other finalists, my two personal favourites were Emily and the Woods who was my New Treat back in September. Her set was stunning, her voice flawless and her quirky performance really shining through. She started with a little acapella number, leaving the room in awe of her rich bluesy voice and setting the scene for the rest of her set. Louise and the Pins were really great too, also my New Treat not long ago. Their songs with a full band are wonderful, something truly unique to the music scene at the moment, reminds me a lot of Johnny Cash. Their quieter songs are gorgeous too, Christopher and I being a highlight.
The other bands in the competition were My Tiger My Timing, My First Tooth, Tristam, Twin Brother, and J Treole, and all were great and truly deserved that slot at the festival they all received. Overall its been great being involved in the competition and last night has made me even more excited for this years festival!
Have a listen to ‘Mountain Song’ by Treetop Flyers and watch the Bandstand Busking video of my personal favourite ‘Is It All Worth It?’
This year, 2011, I am going to be one of the 40 UK bloggers who will be judging the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition! I am incredibly excited about this, it was wonderful to be asked and I can’t wait to get started. It will involve me listening to lots of the acts that enter the competition and then choosing my favourites who will then be wittled down by a panel of judges including Michael and Emily Eavis and the top 10 will play at the Pilton Working Men’s club in April, before the final winner is announced. That winner will then get the opportunity to play one of the main stages at Glastonbury- a fantastic opportunity for an emerging band. Past winners include The Subways, Stornoway, Scouting for Girls, We have Band and last years winners Ellen and the Escapades.
How to start?! Well, this weekend was simply the best of my life. Glastonbury is the most amazing, magical and brilliant place in the world. This year was the 40th anniversary and there was such a wonderful feeling of celebration about. I hope that if you have never been before you will go sometime, it simply changed my life. This is going to be pretty hard to review, so much to talk about but lets give it ago! Most of the photos are either my own, from the official Glastonbury website or from the BBC Glastonbury website.
I arrived at about 6pm on Friday night as I had my music exam on Friday morning and so the first band I saw were Vampire Weekend. I’ve seen them live before and they have a really wonderful energy. I wasn’t that near the front but everyone was still dancing along. Unfortunately, some silly person decided to put Vampire Weekend, Florence and the Machine and Mumford and Sons on all at the same time, so we left and headed to the Other Stage to see Florence.
I simply love Mumford and Sons, they are my all time favourite live band but I choose to go and see Florence because I thought the chance to see her again might be pretty rare whereas I have already got 3 Mumford gigs planned for the next few months. If you haven’t see Florence live, she too is incredible. Sometimes she’s better than others but her voice never fails to amaze me and she has so much charisma and passion for what she’s doing, its a really wonderful thing to watch. She also never fails to wear something pretty amazing, this time a leotard/frilly wedding dress was the chosen frock.
Next up was Dizzee Rascel. He has pretty much taken over radio for the last year, his songs being incredibly catchy and creating a perfect mixture between dance and hip-hop music. The highlight of his set was when he was joined by Florence for a rendition of ‘You’ve Got the Dirtee Love’ and then obviously the crowds reaction to Bonkers was pretty much what the title says.
Gorillaz were the Friday night headliners and after stepping in for U2 who dropped out there was a lot of expectations for Damon Albarn and his crew. I was quite disappointed. Yeah, there was some pretty good special guests and the graphics were great but they mostly played new material which only the proper fans knew and when it came to the hits like ‘Feel Good Inc’, I was a bit bored.
The Saturday music began with I Blame Coco who I ended up watching mostly from the top of the tower in the Park. She’s got good things to come this girl, she’s a bit Marina and the Diamonds-ish but a bit cooler! I then headed up to the Acoustic stage for Ellen and the Escapades, one of the bands I had been most looking forward to seeing at the festival. If you follow this blog you will know that I pretty much LOVE Ellen and the Escapades and as they are Leeds based I felt very proud when they won the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition and got the opportunity to perform on some of the main stages at the festival. They were brilliant as usual! Same energy and a flawless performance. Everybody around me seemed really impressed too so hopefully they will have made lots of new fans.
Next up was Lissie, one of my favourite albums of the year so far and also one of my favourite new live performers. Her voice is stunning and she seems lovely and friendly on stage too. I would definitely recommend checking out Lissie if you can as I can only see her getting bigger!
Beach House next back at the Park and another of my favourite albums of the year. I really really like the sound Beach House create, dreamy but dark and I think that definitely came across live. They are possibly a little better on record because of the production on the album but still a wonderful performance.
Then headed across to the John Peel tent to find we couldn’t even get in the packed out tent for Marina and the Diamonds. Marina is a very eccentric performer but as I couldn’t really see her that was lost, but I’m sure people at the front enjoyed it!
Headed back up to the Park to get a good spot for Laura Marling (ended up on the front row!) but also managed to catch Candi Staton which was pretty ace to be truthful! It was a bit of a weird set, mostly covers of old karaoke classics but everyone was having a good dance including a rather wild Marcus Mumford backstage.
Then for Laura. She is stunning, just stunning live. She gets better and better everytime I see her, her development as a performer since the first time I saw her at Glastonbury 2008 has been incredible. The audience was particularity lovely in this one, although someone did appear to be holding up a blow up naked doll with a picture of Marcus Mumford on the face, sending Laura into embarrassing laughter every time she looked up. Very amusing!
If anyone was present at the performance in 2008 you might remember someone throwing a rubber hoop at Laura which she just managed to dodge, well the guy that threw the hoop (not on purpose I must add) also met his girlfriend that day and then at Laura’s set on Saturday he proposed to her and she said yes! Really lovely story, showing both the magic of Glastonbury and Laura Marling too.
After her set the whole audience wanting more but alas, it was then time for Midlake. I like Midlake and some of their older stuff is really good. I watched a bit of their set and then went and sat on the top of the hill, the view up there is stunning.
Sunday arose and the final day of Glastonbury begun. Went to see Ellen and the Escapades in the morning again which was lovely and then Villagers. Avi Buffalo were a band I wanted to see so managed to catch them in the Park. Some of there songs were a bit limp live but I only know a few and those were really good. I might invest in their album as I think they are a good band to watch for the future. Headed down to the Pyramid for the first time since Friday to see Ray Davies. He played lots of old Kinks songs evoking sing-a-long from all the people who decided not to go and watch the football. Sunny Afternoon was particularity appropriate as the heat all weekend had been gorgeous!
After a bit of Jack Johnson, my evening concluded with The Middle East before Stevie Wonder. The Middle East are a wonderful band and ‘Blood’ which is defintely there best song, was also their best live. What was pretty special about this set was the audience also consisted of Laura Marling, Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett and King Charles. It was pretty incredible to be sharing new music with so many people that have inspired me. I know the Mumford boys have had a big part to play in the Middle East’s success over here too.
My Glastonbury Experience ended with Stevie Wonder, also my highlight of the festival. The set was full of classics and the massive audience were all singing along to the hits. At the end of the set Michael Eavis joined Stevie on stage and the whole festival sang ‘Happy Birthday to You’. It was a truly magical Glastonbury moment and one I will never forget. You could tell everybody there was totally in the moment and everybody has so much appreciation for what Michael Eavis has created. Glastonbury has changed lives and I hope it will continue to do so. A place of magic, a place of music and a place of love.
Its around 18 hours till the gates open and I’m sure everyone is excited! I sure am! I decided to create a little list of things you should do at Glastonbury that you otherwise might not. So here goes…
Go to the Stone Circle at Sunrise
I’ve never done this before, mostly because I’m usually too sleepy but I’ve heard its a must-do so this year I’m planning to go up on Sunday morning. From the stone circle you can see the whole site and its incredibly beautiful when the sun is coming up. If the weather is good as its supposed to be then it will be a stunning sight!
Visit the Green Fields
From The Healing Field to Greenpeace Field, all the Green Fields are really magical places. They all try to encourage green living and the atmosphere is always much calmer than the rest of the site. They have some great Veggie and Vegan food places placing a wish on the wishing tree is another lovely thing to do!
Go to Strummerville Campfire
One of Glastonbury’s best kept secrets is the Strummerville Campfire. It runs from midnight to 3am and this year includes acoustic performances from Lissie, The Drums, Fionn Regan and I Blame Coco to name a few. It is situated by the entrance to Shangri-La so drop by during the day to find out who is playing that night. You can join the facebook event page here.
Go to Shangri-La at night
There is plenty of the weird and wonderful at Glastonbury and Shangri-La is one of the places to find them. I don’t even know how to describe it. Just go, one of the best party places at Glastonbury and just a weird experience.
Go see the Park Special Guests
Those of you that have examined the line-up will know that there are several spots that say ‘Special Guests’, two of the places are on the Park. There are several rumours flying about of who it could be, and although last year rumours were very wrong (Muse and Radiohead rumoured, Klaxons and Dead Weather turned up), as it is the 40th anniversary, there could be something very special pulled out the bag. In 2008 it was Franz Ferdinand and so big names can happen. This year rumours include Arcade Fire, The Strokes, Bob Dylan, but we shall see!
Get some Strawberry Cider at the Brothers Bar
It’s pretty much buzzing all the time but this is where you can get the famous Strawberry Cider. Its situated next to the West Holts Stage (formally Jazz World) and at night they play music too, perfect place to start a crazy Glastonbury night out!
If anyone has any other things they think you should do, leave me a comment! Still got the top 3 bands to do for my top 10 bands to see at Glastonbury so one coming later today. Enjoy the Sunshine!
Glastonbury begins in 2 weeks and I am very very excited. The line-up as usual is brilliant and even if you don’t like the headliners there is always something to see with over 25 stages on offer. I’m going to do a list of the top 10 bands I think you should go and see at Glastonbury. There will be one ever day or so until its time to go. If people have any recommendations that would be great too! Lets begin with number 10…
The Middle East were my New Treat a few months ago, read it here and now this Australian band are taking a short trip to the UK to play Glastonbury and a few other dates around the country. They have also recently been supporting Mumford and Sons and Laura Marling in America. They make the most beautiful music on record so I am really intrigued to see whether they can create the same effect live. As they are Australian, this is a good opportunity to see a band who might not be touring the UK that much in the future.