11 Aug 2020

This rather dumb headline, channelling as it does a Star Trek misquote – I blame The Firm – heralds a rather splendid event curated by the wonderfully resourceful Cressida Ford who hosts the first hour of the Almost Acoustic Show on Radio Scarborough every week; a must-listen between bouts of hair washing. So, camp...

7 Aug 2020

Local lockdowns and concerns about a second wave of coronavirus have scuppered plans to slowly reintroduce live music in front of physical audiences. Last month Live Nation cancelled its innovative drive-in tours planned for the UK and while a few socially-distanced gigs may still be on the summer calendar, each da...

31 Jul 2020

As one with an innate suspicion about algorithms and their effects on modern living, I usually don’t pay too much attention to ‘recommended for you’ internet prompts. Like much of the advertising that pops up unrequested as you browse, these are often wildly off the mark, commonly insensitive and even bizarre. To q...

24 Jul 2020

The Hyundai Mercury Prize ‘Albums of the Year’ proudly set out to ‘celebrate and promote the best of British music, recognising artistic achievement across a range of contemporary music genres.’ These are noble intentions though no doubt the sponsor also wishes to flog a few cars. This year’s shortlist of 12 top al...

23 Jul 2020

Hopefuls is the keenly awaited debut long player from Leeds four-piece, The Harriets. As regular readers will know, I first encountered The Harriets when they entered the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition last year and I chose the band as one of just three acts I could put through to the longlist. I am especi...

17 Jul 2020

‘Highly anticipated’ might easily rank alongside ‘critically acclaimed’ in the lexicon of over-used music PR phrases. However, both seem appropriate when considering the new single, “We the People”, from Kristina Train and then her fine debut album back in 2009, Spilt Milk. I recall reviewing that album for Consequ...

10 Jul 2020

You stop and give a homeless man a fiver. Does he: a). thank you kindly. b). appreciate it but ask if you could run to a tenner. c). say it’s way too little and anyhow he could have really done with it last month. Music venues have a similar dilemma over the Government’s £1.57bn support package for the Arts. Who wi...

3 Jul 2020

One of the privileges of having a platform on which to write about music is the thrill of show and tell. New artistes can come seemingly out of nowhere and so amaze you with what they’ve got that you simply have to pass on the lead. A.A. Williams was pretty much unknown, only making her stage debut in April last ye...

26 Jun 2020

According to CNN, the organisers of a Wisconsin music festival scheduled for July with the Trumpian title of the COVID Herd Immunity Fest has changed its name this week to the innocuous, though scarcely inoculated, July Mini Fest after a social media backlash. Back here in Blighty, while we can each enjoy safe, soc...

19 Jun 2020

Next weekend would have marked a true cultural milestone; the 50th anniversary of the Glastonbury Festival. There might be no camping this year, other than in your own socially distanced back garden, but the BBC has come to the virtual rescue by hosting a number of classic sets across TV, radio and online. Among th...

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FIFTY3 champions

outstanding contemporary music through news, album and live reviews, features and interviews. 


Music is a great passion of mine. In my teenage years I was an avid record collector and concert goer. Stints as a booking agent, running folk clubs, promoting gigs and even a crack at artiste management followed. While it never became my main occupation, music was always on my personal radar.


During the past 10 years I have written for the leading US music website Consequence of Sound and breakthrough act site, BestNewBands. I am a judge for Glastonbury Festival's Emerging Talent Competition and have reviewed the festival for both the above sites.


Nothing gives me more pleasure than unearthing good, original new music and championing independent musicians. You’ll find many of them on this site alongside some legends of times past and I hope they will bring  you as much joy as they give me.


Tony Hardy



Covid-19 has rather put paid to them but may I commend:

Mondays at 8pm: Cressida Ford's Almost Acoustic Show on Radio Scarborough


Wednesdays at 6pm: Hattie Briggs - live stream on FB & Insta


Daily on Twitter: Tim Burgess' Listening Party

Anytime for great live sets: KEXP's YouTube channel 

banquetrecords.com: Kingston store may be physically closed but please support online. Check out live streaming shows too!

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