I received the announcement of who has made the final cut in this year’s Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition with the usual mix of pleasure and trepidation. Sadly, there was no room at the inn for the three wonderful acts – Sophie Morgan, The Harriets and Truly Ford - I chose from the 172 I listened to but all three can take real pride in their work. I hope and believe they will all go on to have great careers in the music industry. Labels and booking agents, please take note!

So, who did make it from the long list of 90 chosen from the several thousand entries this year?

The eight acts through to the Final are: Che Lingo, iiola, LIINES, Marie White, Roma Palace, Shunaji, Swimming Girls and YAMAYA. You can listen to their entries here.

As ever, there’s a fairly broad church represented from rap to post punk to world music and more. Double i’s seem to be in vogue while LIINES also appear to have access to the Tardis for the evening of the Final as the trio is billed to be supporting Sleaford Mods in Oxford at the same time.

One on the final list that impressed me much is dream pop quartet Swimming Girls, who I think David Lynch might have found space for at the Roadhouse, aka the Bang Bang Bar.

The winners of Glastonbury’s free-to-enter competition will also be awarded a £5,000 Talent Development prize from PRS Foundation to help take their songwriting and performing to the next level. Two runners-up will also each be awarded a £2,500 PRS Foundation Talent Development prize. This year’s invite-only final will take place in Pilton on Saturday 27 April, 2019.

Glastonbury should be lauded for giving unsigned artistes, largely unknown outside their immediate circle, the chance to reach out to a wider audience through the Emerging Talent competition. As a reminder of the kind of quality the competition can unearth, here’s a reminder of a past worthy winner, She Drew the Gun.

FIFTY3 champions

outstanding new music through Fifty3 Fridays and occasional features. 


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 11 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 the occasional legend of times past and I hope they will bring  you as much joy as they give me.

Tony Hardy



Selected dates in the London area:

Thurs 5 Aug: Flo Perlin, Green Note, London NW1

Tues 17 Aug: Nicky Phillips, The Bedford, Balham, London SW12


Wed 18 Aug: Trust the Doc Live, Amersham Arms, London SE14


Tues 28 Sept: Kings of Convenience, St John's Church, Kingston

Thurs 30 Sept: The Lunar Keys + Alex Hall + Denney, The Bedford, Balham Check out the Events page for all live shows in Kingston, Surrey

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