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This week Fifty3 Fridays arrives early in the shape of a brief selection of acts I am most looking forward to seeing at the Glastonbury Festival this weekend. Like any list, you could assign the same task to a host of others and get a plethora of different names; I guess one person’s Kneecap is another’s Sugarbabe. Perhaps it is telling that I could scarcely contain my excitement when I learned that Haircut 100 were playing the Avalon Stage on Friday evening but the beauty of Glastonbury is that there really is something for everyone, musically and artistically.

Photo from today at Glastonbury by Andrew Alcock


Thursday is a reminder that Glastonbury is not only about massive Pyramid Stage crowds. While things kick off quietly on Wednesday with some live music mainly in the Green Fields, this area really comes into its own on Thursday. It is a great chance for emerging and grassroots acts to draw decent sized crowds to the smaller stages before the main ones come into play on Friday lunchtime. Full programmes on Thursday can be found in the Green Fields on Toad Hall, Small World and Mandala Stage. Elsewhere, Bread and Roses offers plenty of choice with BBC Music Introducing, Strummerville, Croissant Neuf and Greenpeace among other stages kicking into gear.

Glastonbury perennial Andrew Maxwell Morris and his fine band light up the Mandala Stage at lunchtime while in the afternoon Cerian and Gecko are reliable choices on Toad Hall. I also picked out Guise (Strummerville), Lambrini Girls (Greenpeace), Heard Collective (Mandala) and Doreen Doreen (Circus Big Top) among names worthy of attention. The evening looks more for one to have a wander and discover people maybe you have not heard of before. That said Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition winner Jayahadadream can be spotted at West Holts Bar and later at Wishing Well among the five shows she will be playing over the weekend.


There could be few better ways in my book to start Friday at noon than with a set by pop songwriting legends Squeeze on the Pyramid Stage, though sadly this would mean missing ETC 2024 Finalist Olivia Nelson who has the same timed date at Lonely Hearts Club. By-passing Lambrini Girls (Woodsies), it will then be a trek to Small World to catch Andrew Maxwell Morris as I am fairly sure I won’t be in time for his Thursday show. Then it’s the only chance to see The Deep Blue on the Avalon Stage followed by Sam Scherdel on Bread and Roses. Sore feet permitting, I would then head to the distant Park Stage for This Is The Kit followed by Dexys. Having set out my stall earlier, the evening clearly belongs to Haircut 100 on Avalon Stage although, aided by interstage travel, I will be interested to catch a bit of both Dua Lipa (Pyramid) and Idles (Other Stage) who close the respective main stages.


My Saturday is likely to start with a lengthy walk up to the Acoustic Stage; a trip I frequently undertake while managing to get lost en route. Making her Glastonbury debut in the big tent at 1pm is Shropshire native Jessie Reid who we featured last month. By mid pm there are all kinds of artistes I would really love to see performing within an hour of each other. Firstly, Britain’s Caity Baser at Lonely Hearts Club up against Soccer Mommy from the USA on Woodsies. Before either finishes their set, The Last Dinner Party hit the Other Stage while Corinne Bailey Rae starts soon after on West Holts. The Tardis may have to be summoned. Another afternoon of delights also awaits on the Pyramid Stage with the run of Cyndi Lauper, Keane and Michael Kiwanuka. There is also an intriguing TBA spot on Woodsies at 6pm which may signify a secret set coming. This is unlikely to be Taylor Swift though. English Teacher on Left Field and Enjoyable Listens at Wishing Well also caught my eye. Then, of course, there is Saturday’s Pyramid headliner in the shape of Coldplay who have form here to say the least.



At 11:30 I am booked for the Avalon Stage and The Ayoub Sisters who created such a great impression at the Emerging Talent Final in April. It is tempting to stick around there for sets by Kingfishr and Toyah & Robert. That run of three however would entail missing Park Stage openers and ETC 2024 finalists Problem Patterns followed by Lime Garden while in a parallel universe I would also love to see both The Zutons and Rachel Chinouriri on the Other Stage. Indie afternoon choices range from Jenny Colquitt on Toad Hall to Paris Paloma on BBC Introducing and the marvellous prospect of Toronto’s Alvvays on Woodsies. It is also hard to pass up the opportunity to see Alvvays’ fellow Canadian Shania Twain impressing you much in the Pyramid Legends spot. To close the festival there is the usual eclectic range of acts bidding au revoir to festival goers on the main stages – from SZA to The National to London Grammar and more, the choice is yours on the ground. Then there is always BBC iPlayer which will probably have the lot available for the next month. Have a good one.

Glastonbury Festival opened on Wednesday 26 and closes on Sunday 30 June. You’ll find the staggeringly long full line-up on the Glastonbury website while, if you’re not lucky enough to have a ticket, the BBC offers tons of coverage across its TV channels, iPlayer, BBC Radio and Sounds.


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.


In the past 15 years I have written for leading US music website  Consequence and breakthrough  site, BestNewBands. I am a judge for Glastonbury Festival's Emerging Talent Competition and have reviewed the festival for both sites. I am now pleased to curate my very own music site.


Nothing gives me greater pleasure than unearthing great, 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:

Tue 16 July: Griff, St John's Church, Kingston upon Thames

Wed 17 Jul: Squirrel Flower, The Lexington, London N1

Tue 23 July: Sabina Chantouria, The Bedford, Balham, London SW!`2

Wed 24 Jul: Coming Up Roses, The Social, London W1

Thu 1 Aug: 86TVs, St John's Church, Kingston upon Thames See the Events page for all live shows in Kingston


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