T in the Park 2013: A guide to the T-break tent
Unsure which of the unsigned bands to check out on the T-break stage? Chris Cope offers up that thing feared by all musicians - some handy pigeon-holing
For something soft and gentle
There's a slew of sensitive singer-songwriters currently peddling their wares, but Cassidy is up there with the best of them. There's enough effervescent melody and oaky guitar work - matured through supporting Ben Howard on a UK tour - to please both pop fans and fiddly acoustic guitar aficionados.
Some optimists reckon death isn't the end, it's just the beginning - and this seems true for Fake Major, who were formed from the well-respected ashes of Endor. This two-piece were snapped up by burgeoning indie label Comets and Cartwheels and their warm sound - complemented by top harmonies - goes down a treat.
Two-piece Honeyblood bring the female lo-fi pop-rock sound to Scotland, echoing the likes of surfy US act Best Coast. These girls have warmed up for Sleigh Bells, Palma Violets and Deap Vally in the past and they go one further by chucking grunge, slacker-rock hints into the mix..
Dundee is famed for jute, jam and journalism, but alt-pop? Not quite but Seams are making a good fist of it. Their sound benefits from some sharp-as-a-tack female lead vocals, which float above smoothed-out rock/indie rhythms. Try stripped-back track 'Fall Over' for something a bit more angelic.
On first consumption, it seems this hotly-tipped six-piece indie-pop collective from Glasgow would be in with an excellent chance of winning a Frightened Rabbit soundalike contest, with throaty Scotsman vocal attack and jingle-jangle guitar work. Dig deeper, however, and there's more than meets the eye, with extensive instrumentation and stellar melody.
For something to dance to
Throwing electronic shapes in the same vein as the likes of fellow Scots Fridge Magnets, this quartet from Auld Reekie mix uplifting and euphoric synth-dance vibes with intense, juddering breakdowns. Perfect for ravers and dance cravers looking for some beats away from the Slam Tent.
Rock 'n' roll is dead, they say. But if you touch base with Blindfolds, then, well, long live rock 'n' roll. These guys crank out rootsy blues-rock, with the vocals throaty and the guitar tone sounding like it's been sifted through dirt. It's fun, it works and they seem to look the part too.
T in the Park thrives on a bit of indie and the Central Belt's Merrylees are one of Scotland's top purveyors of the stuff. Sneaking away from bog-standard rock fare, however, the quintet evoke the likes of master composer Ennio Morricone with some grandiose Western-influenced swagger.
Waiting For Go
With a Samuel Beckett fan presumably in their ranks, Waiting For Go are a five-piece pop-glazed indie outfit from Clydebank who create a salacious cocktail of summery Bwani Junction-esque vocal melodies, big choruses and driving rhythms that's sure to be washed down happily by the T faithful.
Machines in Heaven
US music bible Billboard reckon this four-piece are the next Glasgow act in line to follow Scotland's greatest hope, CHVRCHES, into the electronic big time. It's quite some tag, but they've got enough bleeps and blips and ups and downs to create absorbing, Errors-like beats that rarely let up.
Poor Things' Facebook cover photo sees the Glasgow trio grasping balloons and primary-coloured bunting, and their music seems similarly bright, with pop-rock glazed in Vitamin D-boosting sunshine. There's also nods to their crunching grunge roots and US alt vibes too, creating some alluring dynamics.
For something a bit different
Championed by the likes of BBC Radio 1's new music guru Ally McCrae, Hector Bizerk consist purely of a lone MC and a drummer. Sound a bit weird? Nope. It works, and there's plenty of clever lyrical content for non-rap fans to chew upon.
Expansive post-rock isn't exactly T in the Park's forte, but instrumental Glasgow quartet Vasa impress with the tried and trusted loud and quiet dichotomy; beautiful when on their clean, plinky-plonky downtime, but brash and bold when the distortion pedal is hammered down to the floor.
This band -- wait for it -- describe themselves as a 'six piece progressive indie math pop alternative stadium rock punk band -- we think'. It's a lot to take in, but their music has enough melody and hook to appeal to the masses. It's a mature sound, meanwhile, that belies their age.
The Velveteen Saints
This Glasgow act's online blurb simply says: 'We are a band. We make music'. Whilst this may, in essence, be one of the truest statements you'll ever hear, the Velveteen Saints are more than just that, their sound is a vibrant stramash of The Clash's punk energy and garage rock 'n' roll.