As we discover the INDIE50 awards, one of its judges shows us the new artists you need to know about. 

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It’s a given that we all love live music, but do you ever spare a thought to everyone that makes it happen around, below, and behind the scenes? Enter INDIE50: a new grassroots music award from online ticketing brand WeGotTickets that looks to champion the individuals propping up the UK’s live music circuit. Whether it’s celebrating promoters, zine writers, venue owners, sound engineers or photographers, the award was created to shine a light on some of the characters that may be lurking in the shadows of the live circuit (not in a creepy way, obviously).

Nominations for the award are open to the public until 31st May, before an expert panel whittles it down to the final 50. The panel boasts industry heavyweights and insiders, including 6 Music presenter Tom Ravenscroft, Stephen Bass – owner of Moshi Moshi Records, Kevin Moore the GM at the Great Escape, and Jason Edwards – agent at Coda to the likes of Grimes, Years & Years.

Indie50 judge and co-founder of trail blazing UK indie label Moshi Moshi Records, Stephen Bass has overseen the release of early singles by the likes of Florence & The Machine, Disclosure, Hot Chip, Bloc Party, and Kate Nash, making his label one of UK music’s most active tastemakers of the last 15 years. On top of this he’s somehow found time to manage Metronomy’s career, who have a new LP due this summer – the appropriately named Summer 08. Oh, and he’s done Wonderland the honour of compiling us a list of artists that we should be looking out for this year: guys with great records out (or on the way) as well as careers just beginning to develop. So, tune in and get voting for your live music hero!

Moses Boyd

Moses Boyd is a London based drummer who is coming up from the jazzier side of the world but spreading his sound to a much more psychedelic and spiritual place. His recent Rye Lane Shuffle is one of my favourite pieces of music this year. Someone that I think will surprise people as he continues to progress.

Meilyr Jones

If you have the chance to catch Meilyr Jones live over the summer then do it. A genuinely thrilling performer with a collection of unique songs strong on emotion and a gentle powerhouse. Ex-Racehorses frontman Meilyr takes his Royal Academy of Music drop-out’s musical sophistication to a celebratory pop world all of his own.

Anna Meredith

Composer Anna Meredith’s first foray into recording with her album Varmints has been a critical success and she has started to draw real crowds to her shows – to huge effect at the Great Escape in Brighton this year. Coming out as close to Aphex Twin and Goat as anything else the album is a challenge worth taking up.

Kiran Leonard

A musician so ambitious with his writing that one song often has more ideas that most albums, yet never sounds forced or contrived, always just brave and exciting. This year’s Grapefruit is one of the releases we are proudest of.


Newly signed to Columbia records, Nimmo have a fresh take on pop music that satisfies whilst being a lot of fun. Having worked with Oli Bayston from Boxed In their live show is a full on rave with a definite character of its own.

Oliver Coates

Sinfini – Oliver Coates from Greg Grzegorz Krzeszowiec on Vimeo.

Cellist Oliver Coates’ second release for PRAH Recordings is the sound of a man experimenting with his instrument to take it as far as he can. With 90% of the sounds on the record made entirely from recording or manipulating his cello this ranges from Four Tet/Floating Points friendly house and almost two-step inspired “drum” patterns to intense beauty across 8 tracks.

Girl Ray

Sounding as much like the Go Go’s as Electrelane this London three piece have a subtle pop sensibility to their songs and are charming people everywhere they play. I think its going to be fun to watch their development over the next year or two.

Rozi Plain

Rozi Plain’s latest album Friend for Lost Map has recently been augmented by an accompanying disc cutely named Friend of a Friend. The original set of songs is turning into something of a sleeper record and every time she plays I am amazed by how she gets such beauty out of a revolving cast of musicians.

Tom Demac

Tom Demac is working on an artist album which we have heard a few tracks of. His production shows a real understanding of the dancefloor and this married  to his ear for melody makes for something that I think will cross him out of the DJ underground to a wider audience in the same way that Todd Terje has done in recent years.

The results of the INDIE50 will be announced in August, with the final INDIE50 honoured in a photographic exhibition. 


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