Each year thousands of new acts throw their hats Soundcloud links into the Pyramid shaped ring that is the venerable Glasto Fest’s talent competition. We’ve now reached the longlist stage where thousands become 120.

Head to the Glastonbury site for a mammoth 120 song playlist featuring the top three picks by forty music writers and bloggers.

Eight of these artists will make it to the shortlist and next month’s live finals. For the last couple of years all of the final eight have been invited to play the festival while the winner secures a slot on a main stage £5,000 from PRS. Two runners-up will also each be awarded a £2,500 PRS Foundation Talent Development prize.

Here are my three selections, picked out after much gnashing of teeth, repeated listens and several changes of mind. Last year one of my three made it to the live finals so the best of luck to Denton Thrift, Della Lupa and Declan Welsh and the Decadent West.

Denton Thrift – ‘Foreign fire’

“There are obvious comparisons to The XX in Denton Thrift’s wonderfully sparse sound but the combination of Xylophone, lush harmonies and a guitar seemingly pilfered from a Whitesnake power ballad lifts them up above the many soundalikes.”

Declan Welsh & the Decadent West – ‘No Pasaran’

“You’ll need a cloth to wipe the spittle from your face after listening to Declan Welsh’s three minute rage against the prevailing political tides. Punk rock at its finest angry agitating best.”

Della Lupa – ‘Closed Borders’

“Arty theatricality abounds in English-Italian-Vietnamese singer songwriter Steph Brown’s Della Lupa ‘project’. At heart though ‘Closed Borders’ is simply good songwriting and it never harms to sound the spit of national treasure Kate Bush.”

And there’s more

The competition organisers are very insistent that the good fortune of being asked to help judge the competition carries an obligation to listen to every track IN FULL at least once as well as watching the live videos submitted by all entrants. A chance to play Glastonbury, along with the publicity and financial backing from PRS is a fantastic leg up for any winner and frankly it’s a bit of a nightmare trying to lose excellent acts to trim your selection to three.
This year I had my own longlist of around twenty tracks, there are a few standouts below along with a playlist most of the others.

Did I get my final three about right or would you have selected differently..?
Unfortunately it comes down to opinion in the end as evidenced by bands like The Slaves who I put through a few years ago but who failed to even make the longlist. Things turned out for them in the end!

Deltorers – I Guess We’ll Wait & See

Doeray- Leather Jacket

Dead Circus – Scuttle ft Matt Wood