T in the Park 2013: The guide to the best pop
Emeli, RiRi, Rita, Ke$ha… Malcolm Jack guides you through the best pop acts at this year’s T
A list in no particular order of things that would appear not to be complete without Emeli Sandé: the British album chart (her debut Our Version of Events broke The Beatles’ record for most consecutive weeks in the top 10), The Brit Awards, any kind of emotional/triumphant montage in a TV talent show, The Olympics (torch relay, opening and closing ceremonies), Glee - deep breath - British Sports Personality of the Year, ad campaigns for everything from O2 to HTC, any song by a British rapper requiring ‘a soulful bit’.
Oh, and T in the Park 2013. For it is there that the peroxide bequiffed Aberdonian science nerd-turned-celebrity Zelig will cap a comprehensively rum old year, with her biggest ever show on home soil, enshrining the festival’s status as the place to be these days, not just to catch unwashed rock/dance/indie musicians, but also the beautiful, shiny people of pop, whom we can only assume arrive late, leave early and never, ever use the loos.
Seriously, who can imagine Rihanna using a porta-crapper? The dance-pop Barbadian is one of the least likely headliners T has named in its 20 years, but 100-million sales worldwide don’t lie, and if she comes in full rude girl force - hopefully sans eminently punchable BF Chris Brown (pantomime boos ahoy) - she’ll surely conquer the sceptics. Though Rihanna will have to share joint custody of her biggest hit ‘We Found Love’ over the weekend with Calvin Harris (the collaboration klaxon soundeth). The current master of the dance-pop banger had a major hand in crafting said global chart-topper, just one among several on the Dumfries-born ex-M&S shelf-stacker-turned-superstar DJ/producer’s latest set 318 Months, home to a British record-breaking eight top five hits.
London drum’n’bass ensemble Rudimental come to T flexing some considerable chart muscle of their own, having topped the UK singles run-down twice in the last year with ‘Feel The Love’ and ‘Waiting All Night’ - big hands-in-the-air moments guaranteed each. Emeli Sandé’s mate Labrinth (there goes the collaboration klaxon again) will set a more sober tone, as he croons grammatically confusing power-ballad ‘Beneath Your Beautiful’, possibly into the eyes of a certain fellow ubiquitous feat. creditor.
Two girls of a less squeaky-clean disposition who’ll get right into the debauched festival spirit, perhaps too much so, are Rita Ora and Ke$ha - party-rappers with a death-wish, judging by signature-hits respectively titled ‘R.I.P’ and ‘Die Young’. The former is a Serbian-British three-times UK singles-chart topper, the latter a similarly high-flying US controversy-hound - think the pound store Lady Gaga - who favours a trashy aesthetic of a sort that typically makes her look like she needs a good bath, so she should fit right in at Balado.
Lastly, it’s this year’s Band Most Likely To Be Bombarded With Bottles of Suspiciously Yellow-y Looking Liquid – X Factor winners Little Mix, who have arguably the hardest job of the lot here in convincing people that pure pop belongs at a big, loud, messy music festival. We wish them all the best of course and implore spectators to shower the girls only with adoration. Even if it may open the gates to untold fresh hell next year. 1D at T? Who can say.