Quick Q&A with Glastonbury 2023 Pilton Stage joint winners The Scribes

Quick Q&A with Glastonbury 2023 Pilton Stage joint winners The Scribes

By GFF
The Scribes
The Scribes • Credit: The Scribes Press

The Bristol-based hip-hop band will play at Glastonbury Festival this summer after winning the coveted slot at The Pilton Stage competition earlier this year

We caught up with Shaun Amos and Jonny Steele of hip-hop three-piece The Scribes for a quick Q&A about their music and winning a slot to perform at this year’s Glastonbury Festival.

*J = Jonny Steele / S = Shaun Amos

How would you describe yourselves and what you do to those who don’t know anything about you?

S: Genre-bending high-energy hip hop that’s a lot of fun live!

J: I’d describe us as a blending the old-school freestyling craft with new-wave lyricism, cynicism and relentless energy.

When was the first time you ever heard about Glastonbury – what was the context, and then when was the first year you actually attended the Festival?

J: I’d heard about Glastonbury Festival from friends but really had no context as it was the first big festival I’d been to. I first went to Glastonbury back in 2004 and was hilariously underprepared, we’re talking no coat, blank bin liner filled with clothes and drink and possibly the world’s thinnest sleeping bag. It was… Memorable.

S: My great-grandmother was born and raised in Glastonbury, so the first I heard about it was probably from her mentioning how busy the town gets in the lead-up to the festival! The first time I actually attended was the first time we played which was so long back I can’t even remember! Maybe 2010? 

Earlier this year, you won the first (of two) finals of the 2023 Pilton Stage competition – congratulations! For those who aren’t familiar with the Pilton Stage, can you please explain what is it all about, who runs it, and how is it connected to Glastonbury Festival?

S: The Pilton Stage is a competition run by a wonderful fella called Neil Templar. Groups from around the world apply and finalists are hand-picked to go through a series of live heats in Pilton, with heat winners going on to play again at one of two finals. Then, the winners of each final are awarded a slot at Glastonbury by Michael Eavis himself. Would highly recommend any group out there who wants to play at Glastonbury to get involved!

The Scribes alongside Pilton Stages’ Neil Templar and judges Gina Akers, Adam Crowther, and Lisa Pickering
The Scribes alongside Pilton Stages’ Neil Templar and judges Gina Akers, Adam Crowther, and Lisa Pickering • Credit: @PiltonParty

Now that you’ve won a performance slot at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, can you share with us the stage and day you’re going to be playing on?

S: With pleasure! You can catch us live on;

  • Thursday, Avalon Cafe Stage, 24:00
  • Friday, Avalon Cafe Stage, 16;35
  • Friday, Mandala Stage, 21:00
  • Saturday, Bimble Inn, 15:45
  • Sunday, Strummerville, 16:15

Although trying to describe Glastonbury to someone who’s never been is nigh impossible – If you had to describe Glastonbury to an alien visiting Earth from outer space, what would you say?

J: Glastonbury is the largest hub of creative expression in the UK, where artists of all crafts are celebrated and put on full display for entertainment and inspiration.

S: Huge. Like sooooo HUGE. I don’t know if they have festivals on this Alien’s planet, but if they do, I’d be stunned if they came close to the sheer scale, spectacle and scope of Glastonbury. It has EVERYTHING. Indescribable is the best description of it – which is no help at all!

What is your favourite area and/or stage at the Festival?

J: Arcadia’s always a spectacle, as is Block 9. I really like the West Holts and Park stages or the line-ups but love exploring the smaller stages also, to try and find something different.

S: I really like wandering, finding little nooks with strange stuff going on! Stage wise Croissant Neuf and Bimble Inn are both awesome!

What is your favourite food stall and bar at the Festival?

J: Wherever the noodles are, count me in! You can usually find me clamouring around the West Holts area food stalls, there’s a lot of choice around the festival, however, I pick the food over the bar every time!

S: I try to come fully stocked, but this year is the first time in a long time we’ll be staying for the duration, so I’ll likely go on whatever food is generating a buzz!

Looking back; Glastonbury has seen some seminal performances throughout its 50+ years of existence – If you had the chance of going back in time to ONLY ONE performance, which would it be and why?

J: I think maybe Curtis Mayfield, having seen Stevie Wonder and Parliament at Glastonbury – I would have loved to see that calibre of artist live on stage.

S: Rage Against The Machine maybe? Feel like them in front of a huge crowd full of awesome people would be quite an experience!

Looking forward; As you probably know, the full line-up was revealed last month, looking at the bill, who are you most looking forward to seeing at Glastonbury 2023?

J: For me, I’m looking forward to Queens of the Stone Age, Joey Badass, Ezra Collective, and Alt J, from first glance, but I’m also looking forward to stumbling across a new favourite band to impress me so I can listen again once the Festival is over.

S: I’ve still not had a chance to do a proper deep dive on the entire lineup, but as it stands, I’ll definitely be checking out Early Sweatshirt and Lil Nas X. Probably Barrington Levy as that Broadway song was a bit of anthem for our smoky afters back in the day. Oh, and Sudan Archives, I love Stones Throw Records stuff! Though I do keep getting them mixed up with Nia Archives so will have to be sure I catch the right one! Or maybe both!

Is there anything that we’ve missed that you would like to add?

S: Ummm… If you’re reading this and you’re going to Glastonbury this year, it would be great to see you at one of our sets – we promise a genuinely enjoyable live show that you’ll certainly remember! Either way, come say hello on our social bits – Facebook, Instagram and TikTok – where we’ll be showing our whole Glasto journey! And always check out Glasto Fest Feed, obviously!

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