Day two and the bus issues don’t reoccur, we are however met with a rather more rain soaked affair after torrential rains last night hit the festival site hard, still the news that Tom Odell and Bay City Rollers have switched sets, meaning I get to see some our local heroes for a fun time later on, sets my spirits that little bit higher.
Over at T Break Domiciles are already in action and the Fife based five-piece deliver a powerful garage tinged psych rock sound that sets the early mood and gets a few heads nodding, while also bringing a few familiar faces as it seems a large portion of Glasgow’s music scene has descended on Strathallan Castle.
There’s a hypnotic feel to Domiciles’ set that you would imagine would mesmerise in a packed venue, still the band adapt to the big stage admirably and play a set as loud as anything I’ve heard on T Break so far.
My first trip to the BBC Introducing stage is for the act that opens it, and it turns out to be the set of the weekend as CABBAGE open things in rip-roaring fashion; screeching guitars collide with powerful rhythms and an in your face sneery chanted vocal that serves up an attitude packed set from the Manchester five-piece.
Their vocalists’ look comes across a little John Cooper Clark dressed as the cast of Friends, with the baggy trousers, shirt and shades get up, still he possesses bags presence and it’s hard to take your eyes off him as he spouts highly satirical attacks on the flaws of the country right now.
There’s a distinct punk vibe to the whole set, from delivery down to lyrical content, and it’s a refreshing thing to see this kind music taking a stand on a stage at one of the UK’s biggest festivals.
A frontman switch and removal of the shades doesn’t quell the energy, and the alternative vocalist goes taps aff and delivers an almost half spoken half screeched track, before rocking on a jaunting rockabilly sounding track about “death to Donald Trump” that culminates in the singer rolling around screaming; enthralling stuff.
Back over at T Break and Redolent is already on, allowing their bizarrely sunny sounding, despite the overriding emo feel, tracks to float effortlessly across the crowd.
The Edinburgh four-piece seem comfortable on the bigger stage as twinkling guitars and bleepy synth loops build huge sounding instrumental tracks that sees the band at their upbeat, expansive post rock best.
Following Redolent, other Edinburgh residents Mt. Doubt open their set with quite possibly their best track to date in the encapsulating, huge sounding ‘SOAK’ and it does the trick, engrossing the T Break crowd as the band, playing today as a full six-piece, sound massive and fill the tent with soaring synths and Leo Bargery’s enchanting bellow, which is complimented perfectly by Annie Booth’s dimension creating floaty vocal input.
Recent single ‘Afterglow’ follows in the same pop edged indie rock glory, it’s a real testament to Bargery’s songwriting that having only listened to their debut album, In Awe of Nothing, a handful of times that the words already seem to be sticking.
With a bit of luck these guys will continue to progress and could easily make the next step up at a festival like this.
At BBC Introducing I catch a flamboyant burst of The Mirror Trap, the show is full of flailing hands and camp hip shakes and while explosive at points, it does seem a bit too cheesy on the whole, so I head back over to T Break for JR Green’s guitar/accordion led set.
The Highlands based brother have a real modern take on what is essentially tradition music and chants of “my youth is on fire” have the potential to be a real festival staple.
The Green brothers possess a real likable quality that’s driven on by the addition of percussion that adds another bow to their already engaging quality, ‘Nigerian Princess’, from their debut EP Bring The Witch Doctor, is the set standout, but unfortunately the set is severely disturbed by the chatter of a Main Stage crowd sheltering from the rain; apparently Jess Glyne ain’t worth getting wet for.
Back at BBC Introducing and HQFU is blasting us with clattering, glitchy electronics and it would be a real defining set had the outside clatter not been more audible than the quieter portions of the set, as a result it feels like a constant fight for audibility between the promising producer and a set of dodgems; sad reality of playing a smaller stage at a big festival.
It’s a shame as this disturbance seems to really affect the set, which is full of blindingly glimmering beats that would ordinarily see many a dance floor filled, but today, well it’s ruined simply by proximity and despite a number of signs being handed out encouraging people further forward and perks things up a little, but this is one set we’ll have to put down for another day.
Be Charlotte’s set on the same stage suffers a similar fate and for a set that hosts a series of impressive acapella sections, it’s hard for the brash sounds of the shows not to disturb.
Shame because young Charlotte Brimner’s voice is spectacular, still it’s credit to her that she manages to raise her set above it and the dancier numbers shimmer above the mire.
The set itself is full of the ever impressive and chart teasing delights we’ve become accustomed to; go see her in a better setting, you will not be let down.
The Van T’s seem to do no wrong these days, well drummer Shaun Hood’s hair and get up today is pretty questionable, but tonight they headline the BBC Introducing Stage and raise the volume up to levels that any outside disturbances are drowned out in fuzzy glory.
The four-piece has the same bounce they possessed when they played T Break last year and with impressive new EP, A Coming Of Age, in the bag, along with a couple of banging surfy garage tinged anthem singles this year is looking pretty rosy.
Tonight their set reflects exactly this as addictive harmonies and pounding rhythms punctuate reverberated guitars to produce a set that grasps your attention and never lets go.
And as the three glittered girls up front look as much the part as they sound it, and their drummer maybe even more so, it seems the only way is up.
Following this I drift off over to the King Tut’s Tent for a bit if the Rollers, get taught The Slosh and have a wonderful time; I also get pulled along to The 1975 and Catfish and Bottlemen but neither set catches me as anything of real note.
Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Cameron Brisbane