Announcing our judges

This year, as well as the public vote, we have enlisted the help of a selection of local luminaries to be on our panel of judges. The public vote will go towards 50% of the final scores, with votes from the judges deciding the other 50%.

Our judges are people who we know to be impartial, fair and knowledgeable about music – and we’re delighted that they have agreed to help out!

Uta Baldauf

Uta is an artist and poet who used to host a regular show on Stroud FM. She is the lead singer of Stroud-based band, Square Bomb, and also performs with the Cheltenham Improvisers Orchestra. In 2016, her art installation ‘Lost in Translation, Lost in Time’ was shown at the Brunel Good Shed and she has performed on stage on a number of occasions with fellow judge, Jonny Fluffypunk. Uta is currently in a new music performance collaboration with Sean Roe From Sound Records Called Wooolheads.

Chris Baxter

You may know Chris as the voice of “Late Night West” on four BBC radio stations: Bristol, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset. I once attempted a quiz where the music round was set by Chris. Usually my best round, my score was miserably low, due to his impressive knowledge of popular music across the decades. This, coupled with his long experience selecting the best tunes for radio, tell me that we’re lucky to have his help selecting our winner!

Tom Berry and Sean Roe

Tom and Sean are well known in Stroud as the owners of Sound Records on the High Street, where everyone is made to feel welcome. Hailing from London via South Africa and Japan, Sean honours us with the benefit of his worldwide DJ and events experience. Tom, aka DJ Tom Monobrow, can be credited for helping keep Stroud sane during lockdown via a series of live DJ sets on YouTube. Tom and Sean are avid supporters of local music. From holding gigs in-store with local bands to chatting with customers about the music they love and the music they are making, Sound Records a creative place for musicians and music lovers to make connections.

Jonny Fluffypunk

Jon Seagrave, AKA Jonny Fluffypunk, is a much-loved local and national stand up poet and writer, easily recognisable for his handlebar moustache and various knitted hats. He has had two volumes of poetry published – ‘The Sustainable Nihilist’s Handbook’ and ‘Poundland Rimbaud’ and he has performed to great acclaim at both the Edinburgh and Brighton Fringe Festivals. He runs poetry and performance workshops, loiters in cafes, and is the creator and host of Stroud’s very own occasional eclectic art event, Mr. Fluffypunk’s Penny Gaff.

Emily Hall

Emily Hall is a composer, a violinist and a producer. Much of Emily Hall’s music is formed from close creative relationships with singers, instrumentalists and writers and finding her own ways of using technology and live performance. Emily is a member of Bedroom Community, the Icelandic record label. She has written for the London Sinfonietta, LSO, BBC NOW, the Brodsky Quartet, Opera North, LCO, Mahogany Opera, Hungarian Radio Choir, Aldeburgh Music, Streetwise Opera, Lady Maisery, Allan Clayton, Jodie Landau, Olivia Chaney. Her music is frequently broadcast on BBC Radio 2, 3, 4 and 6 Music. Emily Hall is the recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists, the Genesis Opera Prize, the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Award and the Corinthia AIR.

Lotte Lyster Connolly

Lotte is a huge fan of music and has enjoyed both bringing new artists to Stroud as well as helping nurture local talent. Having started as a barmaid at the infamous music pub the Pelican in the eighties she has run the Prince Albert for almost 25 years. With her husband Miles Connolly they hope to bring live music back to their popular pub soon. Until then she loves listening to new music as well as digging out their old vinyl. She delighted to be a judge in this years Stroud Song Competition.

Rodda Thomas

Rodda is Landlord at the Crown & Sceptre pub on Horns Road, one of Stroud’s foremost music venues, which even hosted last year’s inaugural Stroud Song Contest! The pub enjoys monthly open mic nights as well as ‘Rodda’s Hairy Craic’, a regular Irish music shindig. Hailing from Minchinhampton, Rodda is a big Everton fan and is quietly hopeful of an upturn in the club’s fortunes.

Simon Vincent

As proprietor of Gloucestershire’s longest established independent record shop, Simon knows a thing or two about music. Trading Post on Kendrick Street stocks over 50,000 pieces of vinyl and CDs, both new and second hand. If you’re passing, make time to explore the shelves. And while you’re there, enjoy Simon’s musical recommendations and wry insights on life!