T in the Park 2014: Your guide to the T Break stage
Listen to a sample of Scotland's unsigned talent, including Atom Tree, Fat Goth, Tuff Love and more
Your guide to the unsigned Scottish bands playing this year’s T-Break stage. Who knows where it’ll take them? Both Paolo and Biffy started off playing there, and now they’re back headlining TITP …
If you love guitars...
‘Sunny pop from a rainy city’ is how Glasgow’s Blood Relatives bill themselves, and we wouldn’t disagree. Last year’s debut album on Comets & Cartwheels Deerheart revealed a group whose revelling in the jangly C86 sound is tempered by some urgent rhythms and a strong Caledonian voice from singer Anna Meldrum.
The only group who appear to have no public online profile to speak of, certainly in so much as we can hear their music, Glasgow’s Medicine Men are described by T-Break themselves as a fusion between LCD Soundsystem, Death in Vegas and the Chemical Brothers. Which sounds great if true.
The quartet from Dundee have past form for getting into these kind of things, having impressed the right people with their demo last year and earned a place on the BBC Introducing stage. Here they return with more hook-laden, rhythm-heavy indie-pop in the vein of Vampire Weekend.
Based in Edinburgh, all-female indie quartet TeenCanteen have mustered some amount of goodwill locally in the last few months, not least on the back of a strong and varied sound which accumulates the apparent influences of the Go-Gos, C86 indie-pop and 1960s ‘girl groups’.
Straight outta Dunfermline, psych-pop quartet the Moon Kids bow to a familiar set of influences, but they do so in the right manner at least, writing compelling hooks and songs which go places rather than mooching around the same old ground. As far as listening to the internet tells us, they’re big fans of the La’s.
One of Scotland’s ‘bands most likely to’ should be a highlight of the T-Break stage this July, as the two-girl, one-boy contingent of Lost Map signees Tuff Love wonderfully recreate the dreamy shoegaze meets indie-rock sound of the late 80s. The Caledonian Warpaint? No, much better than that.
For something to rock out to...
Racketous Glasgow trio whose sound – pure pop choruses, lo-fi punk clatter – recalls a kind of Scots Ramones, even as they write frantic tributes to the clod-hopping merits of ’Enders wide-boy Danny Dyer and proudly announce on Facebook that Fugazi are the only band they like.
Three albums into their career and already approved by the likes of Kerrang and The Guardian, Dundonian trio Fat Goth (not fat, possibly goths in a past life) are satisfyingly shrieky rockers. Fun fact: the artwork for their last album was created by the Jesus Lizard’s David Yow.
Five Dundonians formed around the duo of sometime-tour techs Ross Farquhar and Scott Anderson, who got together so they could support the View in their shared home city. Loud, fuzzy and equipped with a certain gothic edge, file them alongside Queens of the Stone Age or thereabouts.
This Dundonian quartet come with the View’s seal of approval, and in this instance it’s not hard to guess what they sound like. Thumping drums, jagged edge guitars and a love of loud noise all figure, although in this case lead singer Ross Murray’s vocals lend a sense of Echo and the Bunnymen or Editors.
Formed in Perth and based in Glasgow, WCFW are the band whose sound most heavily echoes that of fellow Scots success stories Biffy Clyro and Frightened Rabbit, which is only a surprise if you think that’s all the judges wanted to hear. It sounds staid, but good musicianship and strong pop hooks play a big part in their success.
The ones you don't know you love... yet
Epic post-dance bleepery from synthy Glasgow trio Atom Tree: two boys, a girl and we suspect either a wall of synths or a wee petite laptop. Founder Shaun Canning counts Radiohead and Atoms For Peace among his biggest influences, and has already earned a seal of collaborative approval from Fergus Cook of Edinburgh’s Discopolis.
Mighty and occasionally mental post-rock duo Stephen Donkin and David Nicklen, whose sound at its very best could have come straight out of Cologne in the early 70s. Last year’s debut album Pleasure Centre was an excellent first effort from a band who will appeal to the hipster with taste in the crowd.
Formed in Sweden and based in Edinburgh, NAKED have given us plenty to get excited about in their young life as a band. Namely, listen out for the debut single on Song, By Toad ‘Lie Follows Lie’, a heart-swelling surge of pealing female vocals and churning guitars.
A departure from T Break’s usual style, the Edinburgh-based Londoner known as Tisoki produces big and utterly contemporary bass music centred on raw, serrated synths and a party-friendly undercurrent of beats which draw from acid house, hip hop and dubstep. Go expecting to dance.
We’ll commandeer Secret Motorbikes’ own description of themelves as ‘Glasgow’s most effeminate punk band’ because it sounds good, and then we’ll deny its truth. The punk thing’s kind of passing us by: this actually really good group combine lo-fi Factory indie-rock with the noisy exuberance of early Chemikal Underground.