Rather like the festival itself, the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition is on a scale that dwarfs any other ‘submit your music for a chance to play the festival’ contest, with 1000’s of acts entering in the one week gateway period in January. Yet once the masses have been whittled down to the final 8 (a process which for the last three years Breaking More Waves has been involved in – see here) the live final, whilst being slickly and professionally run with great live sound quality, isn’t a gigantic show. Instead it locates itself in the relatively small confines of Pilton Working Men’s Club just a few minutes from the festival site itself.
This year’s event followed a slightly different format from the previous years, with each act performing just a two song maximum ten minutes set, keeping the event to a somewhat more manageable length than the previous year’s marathons. The 2014 judging panel included amongst its number the likes of Huw Stephens from Radio 1, music journalist Chris Salmon from The Guardian, a representative from The Great Escape Festival and of course Michael and Emily Eavis from Glastonbury.
The 8 shortlisted acts that played were of consistently high quality but rather like the two previous years where Bridie Jackson & The Arbour and Treetop Flyers won, there was one performance that stood out. M+A transformed the room into a sea of smiles by delivering a fantastic multi-whistling, percussive banging, electronic sampling, vocal warping set of experimental pop that brought on waves of spontaneous dancing in the audience, an impressive feat considering their relatively early third placement on the bill. It came as no surprise when they were announced as the winners, bagging them a guaranteed slot on one of the main stages of the festival and a £5,000 PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development prize, to help take their songwriting and performing to the next level. Two runners up, golden voiced fresh soul / pop star in the making Izzy Bizu and energetic punk upstarts The Black Tambourines also took away a £2,500 Talent Development Prize.
Above : M+A at the 2014 Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition
See and hear M+A below, with the ultra-catchy tune Down The West Side and also watch a live video clip (not filmed at the Emerging Talent competition) of a song that they’ve not yet released, suitably named Festival, which was one of the two tracks they played last night to come out winners.
M+A - Festival (Live)
M+A - Down The West Side