27 Mar 2019

While the 90 acts remaining in this year’s Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition chew nails as they await news of the eight who will appear at the live final, it’s an opportune time to think back to some of the other entries that caught my ear while judging Round One. I had a list of over 170 acts to hear and wat...

21 Mar 2019

The annual Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition offers unsigned artistes based in the UK or Ireland a more even playing field in their quest to reach a wider audience. Only a handful of the several thousand acts who compete to play on one of the main stages at the iconic festival in June will make it to the fina...

4 Feb 2019

Albeit too late for Christmas, snow was coming to London. Without quite the intensity faced by The Night’s Watch, it came briefly towards the end of a bubbly set by New Zealand’s The Beths at the intriguingly named Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen. The venue name sounds foodie-friendly but, with the likes of Florence &...

28 Jan 2019

Glastonbury Festival has launched its Emerging Talent Competition 2019, once again generously supported by PRS for Music and PRS Foundation. The free-to-enter contest offers new UK and ROI-based acts of any musical genre the opportunity to compete to play on one of the main stages at this summer’s Festival. The out...

14 Dec 2018

Years ago, when major record labels were signing acts based on longer term potential rather than on the back of a ready-made social media universe, there was a tradition of bands getting it together in the country. A rented cottage away from the big city, time to write songs and refine arrangements, bond, go to the...

1 Nov 2018

Ah, 1968. I remember it well… well, I recollect interviewing, if you can call it that, the Incredible String Band for our School Magazine. Not the actual School Magazine but, like, an alternative one, man. Archer was a rather pale version of Oz which all too briefly became the subversive vehicle of the Lower Sixth.


29 Jun 2018

However often you visit, you sense you’re taking a step back in time when you land on the Isle of Wight. The small, picturesque island harbours the gentle charm of British holiday resorts of yore, fundamentally with little change since the heady days of 1968 when it played host to its first rock festival. That year...

21 Apr 2018

Sandy Denny died 40 years ago this day and the memory of her inspired me to dust off this short piece and share it with you. Some years back ConsequenceofSound ran a feature about suitable songs for a funeral. A number of writers dug deep and made their contributions. This was mine.

What song would you like to be pl...

23 Feb 2018

I had an unexpected treat yesterday! I was interviewed on the Turkish television station TRT World about the Brit Awards, which I have to admit I watched on ITV rather than live (next year - PRs please note). Other than forgetting Ed Sheeran and much of what I was going to say, and blinking rather a lot, I did mana...

1 Aug 2017

Outrageous in their time or just plain silly, this opening salvo of five infamous album covers might present a compelling argument for rebuilding your vinyl collection in themselves; mild apologies for anything that might be considered un-PC today. Readers are warmly invited to suggest further titles to extend this...

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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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