new talent abounds at opening night of competition

Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition 2009

published: Fri 3rd Apr 2009

Micheal & Emily

Saturday 28th to Sunday 29th March 2009
Worthy Farm, Pilton, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 4AZ, England MAP
last updated: Mon 30th Mar 2009

Tonight is the first night of the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition. There was a high standard of also rans in the acts that appeared last night at the quirky entertainment show for locals. These included a wealth of really good talent including Yes Sir Boss, Smerins Anti-Social Club, The She Creatures, Dubblehead, The Mandibles, and The Fortunate Sons all provided a great night of entertainment.

Stornoway
As the anticipation grows in the crowd, I'm looking forward to an evening of acts of the same high calibre. First up is Stornoway, I'd already seen the acoustic driven band at Wychwood last summer, and knew they would be good opener. Then they started energetically, here tonight, they highlight their mellower side showcasing instead the lead singer and acoustic guitarist Brian Briggs' vocal talents. There guanty sound is fairly distinct, with songs that evoke memories and feelings. 'Fuel Up' is the highlight of the set, and set closer 'We Are The Battery Human' showcases the band's harmonies, it's a good beginning to the competition, and they are one of my band's of the night.

Charlene Soraia
Charlene Soraia is back, the only artist to return to the competition for a second bite of the cherry, having played here last year. She still mesmerises again with her clever well composed musical pieces, and laid back style, her guitar work is light and complex and Charlene seems to have developed her vocal range even more, as she delivers 'Daffodils' again. I'm sure she's singing notes that only dolphins could properly hear. I quite like her delivery, lyrics, guitar and mandolin playing, it really suits this intimate venue.

CityStereo are up next, it's clich├ęd indie landfill by numbers, they have the well designed songs, the sounds, and no spark, it's just bland, very accomplished blandness, but it does absolutely nothing for me.

Maura Kincaid
Maura Kincaid might not look like much as they take to the stage, but the five piece give us a very big full sound. They're tonight's competition's wild card, and were chosen by the general public. The band deliver an accomplished performance and yes it's derivitve, but I quite like it. It's almost as though they've made this sound with well worked guitar and keyboards just to deliver it on a big outdoor stage. Their music draws on a lot of influences, but for me it reminds me a lot of early U2 with added keyboards, although this could be the 'I'm Wide Awake' lyric. They're my band of the night, and I'm not surprised they got the public vote.
The Slips

The Slips on the other hand aren't one of my favourites, playing what appears to be electronica by numbers, to the point that I'm not convinced they were even singing live. This duo for me are grating. The douff, douff, douff, douff, pounding on my ears makes me wish they'd been around yesterday to get some tips from Dubblehead whose electronica I liked much more.

Dead Like Harry

The pleasing pop rock of six piece Dead Like Harry are on the other hand quite entertaining. It's their friendly energetic rock fused with that big showtime feel. Think Meatloaf style songs but only the parts where Meat isn't singing. Singer Alice's vocal is impressive, and it's all quite polished, melodic and very MOR.

And so the first night draws to a close, festival organiser Michael Eavis thanks the bands, and I put my watch forward ready for day two. As I leave I see Emily Eavis, who has the hard job of being one of the judges at the competition, I ask her if she enjoyed the performances. She's bouyant, agreeing that the night has showcased a wealth of good acts.
review by: Scott Williams

photos by: Karen Williams

Saturday 28th to Sunday 29th March 2009
Worthy Farm, Pilton, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 4AZ, England MAP
last updated: Mon 30th Mar 2009


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