We meet the Winner of the Merseyrail Sound Station Prize 2016 – Astles
Astles was crowned the winner of the coveted Merseyrail Sound Station Prize last week after a hotly contested battle of the bands-style competition at Moorfields Station.
Ten bands played to a panel of music industry judges and a crowd of fans in the concourse of the city centre train station in the culmination of a year-long competition. After impressing with his set of ambient finger-picked acoustic songs, Astles will now receive a year of mentoring, recording time in a studio and a year of free train travel.
We met him a few days after his win to find out about his music and what the next twelve months hold for him. Watch the video above.
Listen to the latest Merseyrail Sound Station podcast which features Astles live in session. merseyrailsoundstation.com
The winner of the competition was unveiled by head judge and editor of music magazine Bido Lito! Christopher Torpey at new Tithebarn Street venue HUS last weekend.
Christopher Torpey: “The final was, yet again, another fiercely competitive affair, and all of the judges remarked on how high the standard of performances was. Which, of course, made our job of choosing a clear winner all the more difficult. Overall, Astles impressed us all with a really accomplished set and the huge amount of potential he possesses. I’m looking forward to seeing what he/she/they achieve in the future!”
Merseyrail Sound Station is a new music platform which encompasses a monthly podcast, the prize and regular pop-up performances at festivals. Previous winners include Katy Alex, Blue Saint and Soho Riots.
Last years prize winner Katy Alex performed at HUS before the winner was announced. Katy – whose band Halem have performed at some of the region’s top festivals and released a clutch of well received singles – was also on the judging panel along with representatives from Arts Council England, Merseyrail, Sentric Music, GetIntoThis and Tankfield Studio.
Jan Chaudry-Van der Velde, Merseyrail’s Manageing Director, said: “I listened to all the bands and I think Astles was the bravest performer.
“I think he’s really going to really benefit from the music industry mentoring he will received as part of the prize. He captivated that audience at Moorfields today, which is difficult to do if you are only one person singing with a guitar. The way he did that was absolutely magical”
Also performing at the Merseyrail Sound Station Festival were Gazelle, The Jjohns, A Lovely War, Deliah, Fay Moore, Stillia, Jo Mary, Katie Mac and Cave Party. Now in it’s forth year, the Merseyrail Sound Station festival has proved to be a fantastic showcase of new musical talent from Merseyside and as well as an incubator for that talent.
Astles will appear on the November edition of the Merseyrail Sound Station podcast set for release later this month.