Every year, from thousands of hopefuls Glastonbury, whittles the competetive field of emerging new bands down to just eight.
These finalists play live at a gig in Pilton in April and the winners of the free-to-enter competition will not only get a coverted main stage show, but also be awarded a £5,000 talent development prize from PRS Foundation to help take their songwriting and performing to the next level.
Two runners-up will also each be awarded a £2,500 PRS Foundation Talent Development prize.
In recent years every one of the eight finalists has been given a slot to play somewhere at the festival – so we have been catching up with all of them to get a flavour of what might be in store.
Keep coming back as we add more interviews over the next few days…
Roma Palace are a tight unit of three best friends who share a passion for music that “makes you wanna move“. Featuring two Essex boys, David Ngochinya (Austrian-born and part-Nigerian) on drums and Craig Glynn on bass, the group is rounded off by French native, Pol Mira – who brings his unique vocals and blues driven guitar style to the table, having honed his craft playing with bands in France. With a foundation based on fat steady beats, they have a love for melody and creating memorable music that “stays with you way after they’ve left the stage.”
- When you first entered what chance did you think you would have of reaching the first shortlist of bands?
I reckoned we would have had as much chance of a fish doing a backflip onto a London bus…
- If you were a music journalist writing a review of your last live show what would be your headline and opening sentence?
Roma Palace bring the smile to your face like payday…
- Who and what would you say your music is for?
For people who like to dance and singalong to catchy tunes, but with lyrics that often leave you thinking.
- Of the songs you’ve written, which is your favourite and what was it about?
‘Tell Me’ because it is our debut single and incorporates everything we want to display with our songwriting. It is based on the concept that companionship can be faked to fit into societal standards and just for the sake of having someone. “Tell me what you want me to be” is the defining lyric.”
- Which song do your fans keep asking you to play and why do you think they like it so much?
A song we wrote while in France last summer. It was written in a small shed in Pols back garden and people seem to like the story we tell before we play it and the concept of a cabin filled with groove (us playing)
- Describe in 30 words or less what it would mean for you to win this competition?
It would be a great accomplishment for us to win. We’ve only been active for a small amount of time, so winning would be a huge push towards our future plans.
- Of the bands announced to play at Glastonbury so far which three will you be down at the front for?
Vampire Weekend, Michael Kiwanuka and Jungle
You can catch the band at the Tooting Tram and Social on 19 April.