Tuesday, 8 July 2014

T in the Park - 12 acts to see

With the news that this year's T in the Park would be the last to grace the hallowed Balado turf, the festival is set for a bittersweet party from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th July, before it moves to Strathallan Castle for 2015's festival.  It's perhaps fitting that this year's festival marks the 21st year of T in the Park, with 21 traditionally being the age at which young adults go out and seek their place in the world.  The festival, for my tastes, has lost its way a little over the last few years, and one wonders if a new site can let it find its feet a little bit.

That all being said, those heading up this weekend will not be thinking of the future, but of the three days of great music that lay ahead of them.  So if you're will be one of the 100,000 joining in the last Balado cries of "T IN THE PARK", here are Scottish Fiction's tips for the weekend.

The Twilight Sad

The Sad at Balado.  Oooh baby!  The Twilight Sad are undoubtedly one of Scotland's best live bands, as proven by their 10th anniversary shows last year.  Unknown to some, cult following to others, and post-punk/indie Gods to others, The Twilight Sad play early doors on Sunday in the King Tut's Tent, right after Earl Sweatshirt (so head along early to catch him as well).  Prepare for ear-grinding, face-dissolving, heart stopping noise, with some of the best penned lyrics this side of Frabbit.

Atom Tree

If you like your electro chilled out and spacious, a la Jon Hopkins, then Atom Tree is tip for you.  Producer/musician Shaun Canning, has padded out his project with the addition of Julie Knox on vocals and Michael Robertson providing the drums, lifting the band from Canning's bedroom to the clubs and venues of Scotland and beyond.  Recent release See The Light,  turned heads and made many do just that.  Join the following and catch the band playing Saturday evening on T-Break Stage.

Call To Mind

What do the Highlands sound like?  You'll not get a better answer to that question than Call To Mind, who play T on the BBC Introducing Stage.  Atmospheric, rich and poignant, the four piece swell and swoop in live shows, their instrumental moments engulfing the crowd in one big hug.  Be warned, if you are looking for guitars and quiffs look elsewhere.  If however you're open to music from the most beautiful album this year so far, then Call To Mind are a must see.


Last year's T saw Lauren Mayberry and co. played to a heavy crowd on the Transmission Stage.  With the festival taking place before their album, The Bones Of What You Believe  dropped on 20 September, their ample crowd was based on buzz and hype.  Now the goods are out there, and their top 10 and 20 placings in the UK and US album  charts respectively means the masses will be out in force this time.  Personally I don't think CHVRCHES are as good a live band as they could  be, but there's no doubting the crowd love them, and their set this year could prove a real highlight.


We've blogged about Deathcats extensively for the last few months, and with good cause too.  They've spread faster than ebola, and are a lot more fun too, rapidly gaining a reputation across the country as an incredible prospect live.  Grungy, garage rock guitars, layers of fuzz and reverb, youthful lyrics and ultimately not giving one iota of a fuck, Deathcats' set at the T-Break Stage on Friday is the let loose rock out you need to complete your weekend.


Headliners Biffy know all about plugging away and building success, and fellow Ayrshire boys Fatherson have paid attention and taken notes.  Fatherson have been around the Glasgow/Scottish music scene for years, gigging relentlessly, and taking their time with releases in a build up to their album I Am An Island,  another nod, intentional or not, in Biffy's direction.  Fatherson are their own band however, and they switch with ease from ear bursting guitar rock, to stripped back melancholic indie anthems.  Catch them playing in the King Tut's Tent on Saturday.

Blood Relatives

Previous session guests on Scottish Fiction, Blood Relatives have an ear for a catchy melody and witty lyrics.  Unashamedly pop, they splice in influence from the likes of Camera Obsura, Phoenix and elements of Belle And Sebastian, to present a more intelligent package, which knows how to dance.  With tracks like Dead Hip,  Duck,  and Deerheart,  all taken from their 2013 debut album, you'll be leaving the T-Break Stage on Sunday evening with sore cheeks from smiling and sore ankles from dancing.


Medals is the side project/part time hobby/alternative band of JP Reid, him of Sucioperro and Marmaduke Duke fame.  Whatever the aim is, Medals has proved a worthy outlet, with album Disguises  gaining plaudits last year for it's rock/pop uplifting sound.  Medals play on the BBC Introducing Stage, and which hopefully will see them play to a plentiful crowd.


Perth four piece wecamefromwolves have pop punk vibe, with elements of Biffy whizzed in there too, able to craft rock songs with teeth and pop sensibilities.  Fresh from releasing their Paradise Place EP  in April this year, the band have been edging down into the central belt with a handful of gigs now clocked up.  I've not yet seen them live, but on the strength of the tracks on their EP, you can bet their set on the T-Break Stage will be one to catch.  Set your alarms for early doors on Saturday morning.

Biffy Clyro

Hail the conquering heroes!  Biffy Clyro and T in the Park are like Frodo and Sam; always together, and relying on each other.  In the past Biffy have used T to build their profile, fanbase, and live shows but you get the feeling this year T are using Biffy as their trump card to sell tickets.  Arguments will rage whether 'old school' Biffy were better, but bearing in mind that latest album Opposites  topped the charts and was short listed for the Scottish Album of the Year Awards, they ain't doing to bad these days either.  Fans from back in the day will also have the pleasure of rocking out to back catalogue favourites, as the band don't shy away from dropping their early work into festival sets.  Headliners on Friday night, you can't say they won't put on a great show.


All girl harmonies and dreamy pop hooks?  Check.  It must be TeenCanteen, who pretty much capture that summer feeling with their sound.  Another band who have previously appeared as Scottish Fiction session guests, their whimsical everyday dreams, and tales of love lost and found, all backed up by cheery melodies will perk up any festival goer who is in need of it.  Check them out in the T-Break Stage on Friday night.

Fat Goth

Dundee trio Fat Goth cannot be explained.  They cannot be described, nor can you prepare yourself for them.  Fat Goth can only be experienced, in pure visceral, unadulterated, unfiltered and uncensored glory.   T-Break Stage, Saturday night.  Be there.

Other selected highlights, including non-Scottish artists, across the weekend would include; Pixies, Slaves, Earl Sweatshirt, We Are Scientists, Tame Impala, The Amazing Snakeheads, Eilidh Hadden, Tuff Love, Birdhead, Kill The Waves, Secret Motorbikes and The LaFontaines.

For full line up, and more information about T in the Park, check out the official T in the Park website.


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