Sunday, 20 July 2014

T in the Park Diaries - wecamefromwolves

T in the Park bid #byebyebalado last weekend, as the festival moves to it's new home of Strathallan Castle in 2015.  To help us at Scottish Fiction document the last ever T at Balado, and to capture the experience of playing, we asked a number of bands to keep a T diary.  Next up letting us read all their sordid secrets, have a rummage through wecamefromwolves' T diary...

The guys in the band took a day each.  First up it's guitarist Taylor White:

We were already excited about T by Thursday but before we hit the T Break stage we had a chance to warm up with our home crowd in Perth at The Green Rooms.  It would be a good chance to dial in our set and give non festival-goers a chance to see it. 

Support at the gig came from our good friend John Harkus, and the expansive sounds of Return To The Sun.  Their sets were great and we were glad to see a large turnout.  Soon the crowd was roaring and we were eager to play.  I entered the stage and as soon as I laid a finger on my pedal board my tuner fell apart.  Admittedly it was held together with masking tape, so I had it coming.  The set went well despite technical difficulties and there was a fantastic energy in the room.  The crowd singing Bastard Son was a highlight.  It wasn’t the smoothest, due to sharing tuners and an amp failure, but at least we got our bad luck out of the way before T! 

Unfortunately / fortunately we had been being plied with beer and were up for a final jaunt before T.  We were Loft bound!   Excessive consumption of alcohol probably wasn’t the best idea before an early start the next morning but fun times were had by all and the weekend was off to a good start.

Documenting Friday's antics, it's bassist Rob Whytock:

Friday was an absolute scorcher!  28 degrees on the mercury at 10am.  We woke with heavy heads after partying at salubrious Perth nightspot The Loft after our packed out TITP warm-up show the night before at Perth's Green Room.  Harrison, Taylor and I left Perth (city of dreams) to head to Glenfarg to meet Kyle, his girlfriend Nic and our manager Andrew. 

From there we headed to Artist Accreditation at the Festival site.  We collected our performer wrist bands and headed into the site to check out our venue, the T Break Stage.  One thing that struck us was the size of the tent, much bigger than it had been the last time I was at the festival as a punter!  In the delay to get in we had missed Vladimir's set which was a shame as I had been looking forward to hearing them on the big stage after catching them play before ourselves at GoNorth.  We grabbed a beer and settled in to watch the next band, Lyger and to get an idea of what the venue sounded like.  Pretty loud was the answer!  Lyger sounded great, a tight three piece that had the sparse crowd rocking.  We couldn't wait to get on stage due to how great the rig sounded!  We bumped into some of the Fatherson boys and Bruce Rintoul at the end of Lyger's set.  Bruce was doing the sound for Lonely The Brave who were the next band up.  Bruce produced Fatherson's amazing album I Am An Island  as well as being their live engineer.  He was also responsible for our last EP Paradise Place  and we're heading into the studio with him this side of winter to record our debut LP.   He is an incredible engineer and we were in for an aural treat as he had Lonely The Brave sounding huge!  They are a no nonsense rock band who sound like they are influenced by Pearl Jam amongst others.  Singer Dave Jakes sounds like a modern day Eddie Vedder with powerful baritone vocals and eschews convention by taking up position at the back of the stage. 

After this auditory treat we headed over the main stage to check out Haim.  They have some great songs but the main attraction for me was the weird and wonderful faces they pull as they play.  Bassist Este is the undisputed Queen of this!  Let's hope the wind doesn't change when they play!  After watching Haim, we all headed to check out the artist village and backstage areas.  On the way we bumped into Greg and Ross from Fatherson, they wanted to catch CHVRCHES who were playing in the King Tut's Tent so we tagged along.  CHVRCHES are a great band and the sound was quality, but I wish they had a live drummer.  We left near the end of their set to catch a bit of Ellie Goulding who is a guilty pleasure of mine.  After that we had some time to chill before Biffy so we went to check out the other stages as well as the VIP area and media compound.  After a few beers we took our place in between the middle barrier and control tower.

This was my 14th time seeing Biffy going back as far as the 2003 Leeds Festival.  The lads came out to a riot of shouting and cheers and an intro track which sounded like the three of them taking it in turns to scream.  They opened up with Different People, which along with Spanish Radio is in my opinion the best track from latest album Opposites.  They played a good mix of older songs and particular highlights were Questions and Answers (my all time favourite Biffy track) and 57.  They absolutely smashed it!  After Biffy we called it a night and headed back to Perth via Glenfarg for a triumphant nuggy sharebox and toffee sundae and to try and get some sleep before our early start and T in the Park debut!

Onto Saturday's diary, and it's the turn of lead vocalist and guitarist Kyle Burgess:

On the day of our show I woke up bright and early expecting to be hit by a wave of nerves.  Thankfully the nerves didn’t arrive but unfortunately neither did my voice as I struggled through my vocal warm up.  To my relief, with copious amounts of ginger tea with lemon and honey and an old friend from my metal band days, Difflam spray, my voice was improving.  I was SAVED!  After a quick shower and shave, I got dressed and was good to go.  This was all accompanied by a pre-made playlist of tunes, selected specifically for their vibe capabilities. 

We then got all the gear loaded into the van and waited for our friends to arrive to give them their guest passes, we were delighted we got given a bunch of passes from T to bring the people who have helped us every step of the way to our first appearance at T and they seemed to be pretty chuffed also! 

We got to T and headed through to the artist entrance to wait for our shuttle bus to the T Break tent.  When we got there, it was strange seeing the whole grounds of the festival empty - like some sort of ghost town - but it gave me a buzz in a 'calm before the storm' kind of way.  We then headed to the tent to load our gear on stage and were met by the warmest stage crew I’ve ever encountered at any show or on any tour.

Immediately we were made to feel at ease by the stage manager Chris and his assistant Mike helping us get everything in place and secure, the monitor engineer Adam checking all of our preferences for our mix and the front of house engineer Rob ensuring everything was sounding great out front.  With all the bands they service throughout the day, it would be easy to forget the niceties but we had great banter and it helped us slip right into a comfort zone and a mindset that where we were comfortable on the stage, in the big (at that time) empty tent. 

After checking and setting everything up, we headed to our trailer to sink a few early morning beers (to follow on from a couple of cheeky gins in the van on the way there) and put on some tunes to start getting vibes up…  We then did a warm up together and tried to relax as much as possible before show time. 

At around 12:00 (20 minutes before stage time) I went up to give my guitar one final tune before we took to the stage proper and was slightly disheartened by the lack of bodies in the tent…  We knew it was early, and opening up the day was always gonna be a challenge, so I tried to remind myself this was nothing personal and dusted it of, vowing to give it just as much of a performance in appreciation for those who did make it down.  I went back to the trailer and we all had a wee chat about just that and all decided we were gonna enjoy this experience regardless of the crowd size. 

Show time.

We headed from the trailer to the ramp at the back of the stage, the crowd hidden by the curtain and had a little pre-show huddle.  We usually keep it simple and remind ourselves to enjoy it and give it our all.  We then ascended the ramp and were met by a crowd bigger than we had ever expected.  I won't embellish and tell you that the tent was rammed, that no one could move; it wasn’t, but it was a great attendance - hundreds had made it, there were no large areas of space - all bases were covered and it was a full feeling due to the energy of all those who had made the effort to be there.  We were later told by one of the T Break organisers John-Paul that the tent hadn’t been that full, or active the whole of the day before, so for opening things up we were really chuffed  We also found out from lots of people in the crowd throughout the day and texts from friends that there had been many more trying to get in to see our set but stringent security checks had meant some people had been queuing for hours to get in, missing our set.  Regardless, we were blown away by the crowd size and most importantly, their energy.  Clapping along, jumping, singing our songs back to us, bouncing in time to our breakdowns and having a proper dance at the end of the set to our final number… it was a joy for us to play for them all and we came off the stage knowing the job was a good ‘un! 

After the set we had a quick dry off and change, before we headed to see a small crowd of people who had waited to speak to us and some who wanted some pictures, it’s always bizarre when this happens to be honest, but I appreciate the support of anyone who enjoys our music and its a pleasure and a privilege to oblige.  We then did some interviews backstage, before packing up our gear and getting back on the shuttle bus to our van to drop off our stuff.
  We then headed to the media village to do a few interviews for some UK press and one Australian journalist, we hung there for a while then caught the end of a fantastic set by our pals Fatherson, in a rammed King Tut’s Tent before meeting up with all our friends to enjoy the day.  

We didn’t catch much more music due to buzzing from our set and tearing in about some well earned free beers but did see Twin Atlantic smash their set, The La Fontaines tear up the T Break tent and caught a little bit from The 1975.  We had hoped to see Bombay Bicycle Club’s performance as we are all fans however the heavens properly opened up and we all decided to make the most of our VIP access for us and all our friends by hitting the VIP bar which was like a big nightclub, covering you from the rain but with open sides to still see all the goings on outside, we had a few drinks and decided, with a house full of food, beer and warmth waiting for us (and with the rain unrelenting) we would get ourselves home and properly toast the day.

We headed home in our van and, followed by our friends in their cars (thanks to all the girls for driving all the drunkards!) headed back to the house to kick things off.  For thirteen people, the amount of booze was crazy, but in order to give us any chance of attending the next day at the festival, we didn’t quite finish it all and saved some for Wickerman!  We had some good food and we able to toast to an enjoyable milestone in the road for our band, thanking everyone of our team of friends and family who have helped us in various, invaluable ways along the way so far.  It was great to cap off such a brilliant day with people who mean so much to us, and honestly topped off a perfect day.

Back to Taylor White for Sunday's diary:

I think it’s fair to say that we all woke up feeling far from fresh following Saturday night’s celebration.  After a soothing snooze on the grass in the garden and a fantastic breakfast courtesy of Kyle’s girlfriend, Nic, we headed to T.  We had planned to get there early and catch as much as possible but the way we were feeling we were lucky to make it there at all!  I don’t think it was until we arrived back at Balado that day that the events of the previous day had begun to sunk in – we were all still on a high despite our hangovers! 

On arrival, we headed straight back to the T Break stage to catch our buddies Model Aeroplanes, who smashed their set as always.  Having done gigs with these guys years ago is it great to see them doing so well for themselves in the scene!

We then headed to the media village.  I would be easy to lie and say that this was for a never-ending stream of interviews but in actual fact we had, over the course of the weekend, discovered that it was by far the best place to grab a wee comfort break.  The phrase "I’m away for a quick media pee" is one that we were all familiar with at this stage! 

Rob and I also managed to head back to T Break to see Catfish and the Bottlemen play a rocking set – we had seen them at Stag & Dagger in Glasgow and couldn’t wait to see them again.  We were not disappointed. 

Next up on the agenda for us was heading to the King Tut's Tent to watch Tame Impala with our pal (not really) Newton Faulkner.  They were the only other band from Perth playing the festival, albeit on the other side of the world, so it was a pleasure to catch their set!

After their show we were all feeling fragile and a little bit broken so headed to the VIP area for a breather and a lie down.  We all really needed it! 

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