Friday, 1 July 2011

T In The Park - Preview


Right that's enough of that, thank you very much! This year's annual Balado bash, takes place next weekend between Friday 8th July and Sunday 10th July, with headliners Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay and Foo Fighters playing to an estimated 85,000 music fans. It's the 18th year of the festival, and on a personal note, the first since 2004 that I'm missing (for reasons which I'll touch on).

Sold out a long time ago, for those of you who have tickets, and for those of you who will haggle with touts to get one, here's Scottish Fiction's guide on who will have T In The Park down to a T.


In true Scottish Fiction spirit, I'll start with the T-Break stage and work upwards.

Hailing from Ayrshire, rockers Sucioperro have got three albums to their name, the latest 'The Heart String & How To Pull It' released in March. Expect a performance with a punch, as through out their years together they've honed their live shows in the presence of some of rock's greats.

Also on the T-Break stage on Friday are Aerials Up. Having recently released their 'Superglue' EP, the 7-piece ensemble been on the road constantly, so getting a slot at T, is well deserved. Check out a snippet of 'Superglue' below:

Superglue Preview by AerialsUp

 Over on the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Transmission stage former Rascal's frontman and sometime Alex Turner collaborator Miles Kane brings his latest solo album 'Colour Of The Trap' to the stage. Nothing new from him, however still a fine offering of solid British indie rock.

Having played in the Slam Tent last year, 2manydjs headline the King Tuts Wah Wah Hut Tent this time round. Imagine a show combining house, rock, jazz, funk, dance and hip hop with almost 10,000 fans high on life and more gyrating to the pounding beat with a barrage of lights and strobes outlining their every move. Then condense that times ten, and you'll have an idea of what this should be like.

If that's not your bag though, the Main Stage offers the weekends first big hitter, Arctic Monkeys. With their fourth album 'Suck It And See' fresh out, songs from the album, such as 'Brick By Brick' and 'Don't Sit Don't...' are likely to feature heavily in their set. I still find it hard to picture Arctic Monkey's as big show headliners, believing that their strengths lie in smaller and to a certain extent more intimate affairs. Long term fans can also expect crowd favourites such as 'I Bet That You Look Good...' and 'Brianstorm' to get a well deserved airing.


The T-Break stage on Saturday is probably where it is at for the majority of the day. Things kick off with Glasgow band PAWS. If you're still suffering from too much liquor on Friday, the noise from PAWS will cure that.

Later in the day Scottish Fiction favourites Woodenbox With A Fistful Of Fivers bring their brand of toe-tapping, raucous, brass filled rock to the stage. Woodenbox are making their debut at T this year, so be sure to catch them as they'll be bound to leave an impression.

Must Be The Music winner Emma's Imagination is singer/songwriter Emma Gillespie's alias. Her music is lush and layered, yet delicate, influenced by artists such as Bat For Lashes and PJ Harvey. Debut album 'Stand Still' will provide a set worth seeing.

The penultimate act on the T-Break stage are Conquering Animal Sound, a Glasgow two-piece who revel in creating ambient music, using a variety of instruments, pedals and electronics. Released to critical acclaim in February, debut album 'Kammerspiel' was also remixed by artists including Errors. They've also recently released single 'Tracer' which you can hear here.

Elsewhere the best offerings of the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Transmission Stage come later on. Connor O'Brien, a.k.a. Villagers is a must see. Debut album 'Becoming A Jackal' was nominated for 2010's Mercury Music Award, and is a soft folk inspried wonder of a listen. Villagers will be a treat for your ears, heart and soul.

Following Villagers, is one of my all time favourite artists Bright Eyes, lead by Connor Oberst. Oberst's output over the last decade has been so dense and varied, that there will be so much to chose from to fill their set. Expect stripped down hits such as 'Lua' and 'First Day Of My Life' to be interwoven with electronica offerings such as 'Down In A Rabbit Hole' and tracks from March's newly released 'The People's Key' album.

The King Tut's Wah Wah Hut Tent resemble a very un-King Tut's line-up. With no disrespect intended, acts like Devlin, The Saturday's and Chipmunk do little to grab my attention. It's something which I feel the festival as a whole is guilty off, as the amount of chart friendly mainstream acts on this year's line-up is one of the biggest turn offs for me.

However, indie popsters Everything Everything will provide a slice of art rock much needed within this tent. Tracks from debut album 'Man Alive' will make you dance like you know you want to.

Fed up of new music? Want to remember a time by-gone where bucket hats were all the rage? Then go see Ocean Colour Scene who are T favourites, and are always receptive to a Scottish crowd. Whilst they might have well retired after 'One From The Modern', OCS are Brit-Pop's underdogs. They may not have the swagger of Oasis, the inventiveness of Blur, or the insight of Pulp, but if you leave the tent without a smile on your coupon, then just top yourself.

Headlining the King Tut's tent are stalwarts Primal Scream bringing their Screamadelia 20th anniversary tour home. T and Primal Scream have history, and whilst it's 20 years old, Screamdelia still packs a punch. It will be difficult to contain the excitement from this show within the King Tut's tent, but it's much better that way as the atmosphere would be lost on a stage.

Away from the tents, and off to the Radio 1/NME Stage. Nothing grabs me until St Alban's Friendly Fires. Their new album 'Pala' might not break new ground, but it still provokes involuntary spasmic movements, which you may call dance, when I hear it.

And then the biggie. Would you rather see bootylicious Beyonce, or the band who kick started the music scene at the turn of the decade by ripping off The Cars? Yes, it has to be The Strokes. Let's be honest, they'll never top 'Is This It?', but they have got tunes to rival many. Why they aren't headliners instead of Arctic Monkeys puzzles me.

The main stage on Saturday bores me. If however you are stuck between waiting for the next band on the T-Break stage, going for a piss, getting ripped off at the bar, and eating a potential life threatening burger, then you could catch Fun Lovin' Criminals who never seem to want to grow up.

Manic Street Preachers deserve a mention due to their back catalouge, so let's hope they do the sensible thing and stick to the old favourites. And lastly headliners Coldplay will no doubt put on a show, with hits mixed with the six new songs they debuted at Glastonbury. I still love 'Parachutes', but since last I saw them at Bellahouston Park six years ago, they haven't tempted me back.


The T-Break stage is where it's at on Sunday. Packed full of Scottish talent, I'd be there if I had the money. Kicking things off are Reverieme, the stage personna of 21 year old Louise Connell. Debut album was called 'Melodies' and fans who make it up in time will be treated to acoustic delights.

If, like yesterday, you need some musical carnage then United Fruit will be happy to oblige. The racket created though is constructed in a way that you can't help appreciate. Influences are worn on sleeves here, but that's no bad thing.

The wonderful innovators of the chocolate 7" FOUND take to the stage later on in the afternoon. Their latest album 'factorycraft' is a well crafted (pun fully intended) dish, with cracking tunes such as 'You're No Vincent Gallo' and 'Anti-Climb Paint' showcasing their talent.

Rachel Sermanni is pretty dreamy. Her music is too. Acoustic stylings in the form of mentor's and label bosses Mumford & Sons, Rachel Sermanni's set fits perfectly into that slot where you need to chill the fuck out.

Grabbing the penultimate slot of the stage are Killie's own Fatherson. Having toured with bands such as Idlewild, The Xcerts, and Twin Atlantic, it's safe to assume these guys can put on a show.

Over to the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Transmission Stage and what can you expect to see there? First tip is Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble, who has struck it on his own of late. Bringing tales stepped in a distinct Scottish flavour, and I suppose if you're lucky he might throw in an Idlewild number or two.

With their recent album 'English Riverera' gaining widespread acclaim, Metronomy will be a breath of fresh air to Balado. Stylish, art rock they are worth checking out if you can.

A band who commanded a slot on the legendary John Peel Stage at Glastonbury really should be on a bigger stage than this. No doubt those fans who flock to the Main Stage / NME Stage regardless of who is playing would have lapped up Noah And The Whale's flowery sunshine kissed indie pop. However, beggars can't be choosers, but you should choose to see Noah And The Whale, if only for the best song involving whistling ever, '5 Years Time'.

Headliners on the Red Bull stage are 90's survivors, Eels. Join Mr E and the gang for a hit packed set.

Only one pick from the King Tut's Wah Wah Hut tent on Sunday, and that is New Zealand band The Naked And Famous who have been tipped for big things in 2011. Go along and see if they are worth the fuss. They are by the way.

Glasgow sextet The Phantom Band open on the Radio 1 / NME Stage. Second album 'The Wants' was released last October, and it mixes different genres and styles like a blender. The end result is a belter of an album, and with a completed tour just under their belts, make sure you head along to catch them.

So to the main stage to finish our recommendations. And it's not until the headliners that any great interest is sparked. But legends Pulp deserve to be seen by as many people as possible. They were always the 'strange' ones of Brit-Pop, but Jarvis Cocker and the boys reunion has been well receieved. Here's hoping they bring the hits.

And to bring in the obligatory fireworks and piper is American rockers Foo Fighters. I have a saying that each new Foo Fighters album contains one great song, i.e. 'The Pretender', 'Rope'. So luckily their older albums have more than that. If you've never seen the Foo's live before, then expect a raucously rowdy show which will leave you sweating and quite possibly bleeding. If you have seen them before, then I honestly don't see how this performance will enhance that experience. The choice, of course, is yours.

So that's the weekend and that's my choices. Head over to the T In The Park website for full information, and here's the line up in full. As you'll probably notice, the website is soundtracked by the wonderful Song Of Return, 'Trajectory' who strangely aren't playing. Nevermind, have a listen below.

No comments:

Post a Comment