Thousands entered Glastonbury’s free emerging talent competition, and now the 90 acts on the longlist have been announced. From this eight artists will compete in a live final (and all of those will probably play Glasto in some form) but who would you send through??

As one of the thirty judges of the initial part of the competition, I can now publish the three artists I put forward to the longlist. As in previous years, it was a nightmare getting the hundreds I listened to down to just three and my ‘top’ three changed many times, so apologies to those that just missed out. What the hell do I know anyway!?

The full longlist can be listened to via Glastonbury’s Soundcloud playlist here.


Eyesore & the Jinx – On an Island

Two and a half years of Brexit distilled into two and a half minutes of punk-ish rage and exasperation.

We live, as the chorus bellows, ’On an Island’ and the band, echoing the 70% of under 24’s that wanted no part of this isolationism, sound like they’re close to the edge of Blighty’s cliffs.

Fake Turins – Afterwards

Post-punk disco funk that wears its David Byrne influence with pride. Dominic Boren’s staccato ruminations on ‘immorality & a cultural possessiveness’ punctuate a lolloping funk groove. They look like a ‘must see’ live with the six-strong band expanding tracks out, going where the groove takes them and building to a noisy climax.

Ex-Isles – The Visitor

Ex-Isles’s Pete Devlin has a gloriously deep, rich voice, that immediately brings to mind John Grant and Rufus Wainwright. Thankfully his coconspirator James Joys has an innate ability to dream up the perfect, minimal but evocative arrangements to let the listener bathe in that baritone.

🤞Good luck to Eyesore & The Jinx, Fake Turins & Ex-Isles for the rest of the competition!🤞


Here are a handful of brilliant artists that were more than ‘worthy’ of going through to the next round but for various reasons including not submitting a live video and in most likelihood my own shoddy judgement. All of these were in my top three at one point as I deliberated and procrastinated.

Everyday People

Everyday People (pictured above) are a 5 piece New Wave Funk and Soul band from Leeds, UK. Formed from their old school funk influences and modern technique, the band have been making a name for themselves in their local music scene.

Faith Elliot

‘Lilith’ is the first single from Faith Eliott’s forthcoming debut album ‘Impossible Bodies’, which will be released on OK Pal Records April 19th, 2019.

The concept behind the record came about via their interest in medieval bestiaries, which are illustrated compendiums of animals. Each entry in a bestiary depicts an animal and is accompanied by a meaning or a lesson that it represents. The album is based on the same framework, so each song is symbolised by a different creature.

According to folklore, Lilith is the first wife of Adam before Eve. The story goes that she refuses to be subservient to Adam and is banished from the garden of Eden, returning later as the snake who tempts Eve. Faith explains: “I was inspired to write the song after a visit to a reptile petting zoo… seeing all the snakes in glass boxes. The lyrics chronicle an explosive escape in which the snake I call Lilith breaks free from the petting zoo and spirals off into space as the world crumbles and burns behind her. It’s a song about feeling captive in an identity, specifically as a woman, but also more generally as a body.”


FARE is the solo project of Christina Smith, (of the 5-piece, Milo Gore) and is currently based in Falmouth, Cornwall. She began making music in 2016 and, inspired by musicians such as Grouper, Told Slant, Soccer Mommy and Keaton Henson, her lyrics are delicate and honest, revealing the timid approach to her music making. Accompaniment is simple, showcasing her ambient guitar loops, and FARE brings out a certain vulnerability when performing her music live, immersed in emotion through her thoughtful and reflective lyrics and dreamy atmosphere.

Ese & The Vooduu People

Graduating from London’s most demanding performing arts school — the streets, as a busker — singer-songwriter Ese (vox, guitar) is backed by the incendiary Vooduu People.

Fergus Daly

Unique and unmistakable, Daly’s music has been variously described as a mixture between The Waterboys, Velvet Underground & U2.


We are FINNO. This song is about nuclear destruction, fascist scum and daily injustices. We are sick of this and this song goes out to those sick of it too, and to those who aren’t then you will be soon…