The unassuming schoolboy seemed a little overawed by the live finals of Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition, keeping himself to the fringes of the crowded room. This was until it was his opportunity and Declan McKenna stepped out on to the stage and unleashed his one-man show that was full of power and commercial possibilities.
McKenna’s smart combination of Jake Bugg and Ed Sheeran is sure to win him many admirers, with ‘Brazil’ a particularly infectious pop tune. Armed with a guitar, synth and a box of electronic tricks, it was enough to persuade the judges including the Eavis’s that the Emerging Talent competition should embrace an act at its earliest point. They may have just unleashed a star on an unsuspecting nation and with the £5,000 cheque for PRS funding in his back pocket, Declan McKenna is a name that could bother the charts for some years to come. With McKenna overwhelmed with his slot on a main stage, the quality of the seven other acts that he beat were of such a high standard that Michael Eavis declared that all of them had secured a place on the bill.
Runners-up and taking home £2,500 of PRS funding each were the infectious African grooves of Ghanaian K.O.G. and his Zongo Brigade and Geordie outfit Shields who have fused keyboards and guitars to perfection on ‘Mezzanine’ and look to be a group that’ll go down a storm.
The big reveal of full festival stage times will highlight where Princess Slayer, MoD Music and Lucy Kitchen are performing as they were all unlucky not to take the main prize on a live finals not that confirmed that there’s a heap of unsigned talent waiting to be unearthed.
Check out the winning performance right here: