Tag Archives: Atom Tree

Tenement Trail, 3/10/15

Sauchiehall Street on the day of Tenement TV’s annual Tenement Trail is always packed with musicians and gig goers alike, with an unashamed buzz in the atmosphere.

Often regarded as Glasgow’s best music festival, I start a promising day at Broadcast to see the bluesy folk styling’s of Dundonian band Sinderins.

They kick their set off to a packed venue and without any doubt they deliver a superb and transcendent performance with a certain jazz feel to it.

Having seen them play King Tut’s only a few weeks ago, they are on an even better form, with of course David Webster holding a note to an impressive amount of time much to the crowd’s delight.

The guys definitely set me up for the day and with much optimism the next stop is The Art School to see Be Charlotte, another Dundonian who has had quite an impressive year so far.

This is my second time seeing Charlotte; the first was with her laptop, but today she has her band with her, and by the end of her performance I don’t think much can top today.

Her vocals are splendidly executed with her band creating a buoyant and upbeat vibe that Charlotte can jump about the stage to.

With dignified spoken words and a hip hop and pop feel, Be Charlotte can hold a crowd and make it her own; she’s entirely authentic and shows the crowd exactly what music has been missing.

The band has excellent musicianship and we are consistently blown away when both band mates are on percussion.

Like I said Be Charlotte is hands down my favourite of the day, and later we get to hear some damn good vibes yet again when she collaborates with Crash Club.

The Art School’s line up is incredible; it only seems right to stay here for the next couple of acts.

Pronto Mama take to the stage with a dedicated swarm of fans moving right to the front with a completely full room behind them.
Pronto Mama never fails and is considered one of the best live acts in the country with their unique and enthralling sound.

With songs from their EPs, Lickety Split and Niche Market, played they introduce us to a new one, giving the demand for new material from fans and with an album hopefully to be released soon this goes down greatly.

A Big crowd turn up to see Holy Esque, they have established themselves well and were recently Radio 1 play listed and after this performance it’s easy to see why there star is rising.

They blast through tracks from their Submission EP and the crowd favourite ‘Rose’.

Broadcast seems rather quiet as Other Humans begin their set, but with some classy vocals and synth their sound soon draws people from upstairs to witness something entirely new and fresh.

The band as a whole is solid and has fantastic stage presence, the kind where you are completely in tune with them, while the songs are well written and refined; expect big things from these guys!

Acting Strange take to the stage at King Tut’s too Little Richard’s ‘Keep On Knocking’ and kick things of with the lead single ‘RUMBLE’, from their recently released EP Night On The Tiles, followed by the Dylan esc ‘Oh No’.

With just two guitars, vocals and a stomp box it’s easy to see why these two have created such a buzz in a short space of time.

They power through the rest of the set fusing the best of 60’s pop with a rock ‘n’ roll bluesy swagger; the futures bright, or should I say Strange.

I manage to catch the start of Atom Tree and then am just in time for the end of Young Aviators set – both bands have been gaining a lot of attention lately and Young Aviators in particular put on a good show before the last band of the day take the stage.

As Flat 0/1 fills up you can feel something special is about to happen and Crash Club don’t disappoint.

The place erupts as they begin their set, a mix of euphoria and adrenaline; sweat and bodies are flying everywhere, and the atmosphere can only be described as “pure mental”.

They are joined on the stage by Medicine Men’s Ian Mackinnon to perform the anthemic ‘Recondition’; Mackinnon has the crowd in the palm of his hand and again the place just explodes.

Crash Club also show off new tracks featuring Be Charlotte and storm through the rest of the set showing why they are the band to close the festival.

With Scotland in the bag the sky’s limits for Scotland’s (not for much longer) best kept secret.

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Words: Olivia Campbell

WHITE, Atom Tree at Stereo, 17/7/15

With the entrance to the downstairs bar covered in fairy lights and gold balloons spelling out the name of tonight’s headliner, Stereo is as electric as it has ever felt.

After all, the four guys and one girl who make up WHITE have every reason to be pleased with themselves.

Following a barnstorming performance at Live at Glasgow festival, the Guardian dubbed their first single ‘Future Pleasures’ “one of the finest debuts from a Glaswegian outfit since Franz Ferdinand’s Take Me Out” and tonight’s show must be close to a sell-out.

First though, it’s up to Atom Tree to prepare the audience for the evening’s entertainment.

The attractive boy-girl duo hit like a harder Purity Ring or Beach House if they completed the transition to full-on pop missionaries, with Julie’s widescreen vocals reverberating over beats that range from clipped and electronic to effervescent and shimmering.

In particular, the enormous ‘Go’s heavy bass recalls the poppiest work of Moby or Massive Attack, leaving the audience swimming in a sea of electronic sounds.

Similarly stylish, tonight’s headliners are on blistering form.

Drawing on spiritual forebears like Franz Ferdinand and Pulp, they make stylish, slightly camp and sardonically sharp indie-rock with a silver salver of Duran Duran on the side and this evening they’re out to throw a party.

‘Future Pleasures’ is a white-funk blast that seems to be about 80% chorus, piling hook on hook, while ‘Infatuation’ draws an impressive vocal from the wonderful Leo Condie.

Condie has served his time in Glaswegian indie troop The Low Miffs as well as performing the songs of Brel and Brecht in an acclaimed stage show and his penchant for drama is perfect for a group who mix flamboyant excess with arch wit.

Entering in a stylish red mackintosh, he throws himself into every song, draping himself across the mic stand and strutting across the front of stage.

Though there’s a little of Orange Juice in the mix too, WHITE aren’t considering ripping it up and starting again.

Instead their music serves as a carefully constructed banquet of lush sounds from years past, delivered with just enough intensity to escape the realm of pastiche.

And for that WHITE are perfect.

More Photos

Words: Max Sefton
Photos: Derek Robertson

EPs of 2014

Daniel Mutch – Remedy & Therapy18 Daniel Mutch – Remedy & Therapy

With Remedy & Therapy, Mutch has managed to present us with five remarkable tracks well worth spilling out of any speaker or set of headphones over the winter period and we’d be fools not to oblige.

[review]

So Many Animal Calls – Burden18 So Many Animal Calls – Burden [Bloc+]

So Many Animal Calls are most definitely back, and they state their intent from the off on Burden, with huge sounding guitars and some well thought out, melodic bridge sections. This is a coming of age of So Many Animal Calls, who’s first EP since 2011’s Eulogy is a fine showing of the unique brand of Scottish indie they’re trying to create.

[review]

Foreign Skies – This Human Error18 Foreign Skies – This Human Error

This Human Error is a fierce and talented post-rock torrent that will not leave anyone indifferent. Foreign Skies is one of the best new bands that could be added to this already massive musical Scottish layer’s cake.

[review]

The Great Albatross – Roots14 The Great Albatross – Roots [Count Your Lucky Stars]

Originally from the USA, Wesley Chung of The Great Albatross has been seen bringing his fantastic acoustic music round Glasgow over the last year or so. His debut EP is something that not enough people are talking about; featuring some the of the most fantastic acoustic tracks, with great songwriting and a great voice, The Great Albatross is really something to check out. (Iain Gillon)

Happy Meals – Apero14 Happy Meals – Apero [Night School]

Where Happy Meals’ debut release Apéro differs from their kid targeting meal namesake by providing all the fun and colour without any nastiness. From first listen the organic natural vibe stands out, distinguishing Happy Meals from a majority of lo-fi electronic acts, whose identities often feel too contrived to have any soul.

[review]

Bellow Below – BIG WHOOP14 Bellow Below – Big Whoop[Good Grief]

Following a brief absence, Bellow Below return with a second serving of atmospheric math-rock, in the guise of Big Whoop. Continuing the themes of previous EP, Hooks, in less immediate terms, the band expertly weaves intricate rhythms and melodies with floating vocals throughout. (Kyle McCormick)

[review]

The Monty Hall Problem – Holy14 The Monty Hall Problem – Holy

Holy continued the Glasgow four-piece’s reverberated rock n’ roll momentum, while a couple of high profile support slots will have done their popularity no harm at all.

 

Machines In Heaven – Hindu Milk10 Machines In Heaven – Hindu Milk [Hotgem]

Hindu Milk is a clutter of weird bleeps and bloops tidied into the shape of an awesome electronic EP. While label mates Atom Tree took a more commercial route for their own latest release, Machines in Heaven went in the opposite direction and created something that sounds like a particularly melodic and rhythm-heavy 90’s Gameboy game dipped in production knowledge and a songwriter’s imagination; strange and joyous. (Greg Murray)

[review]

Skinny Dipper – Masks10 Skinny Dipper – Masks [Olive Grove]

Skinny Dipper are “Almost a girl band” because eight of their nine members are female, including their incredible vocalists who supply harmonies in abundance on this EP. In terms of composition you could draw similarities with the traditional aspect of Fat-Suit, this being owed to the jubilant and emotional sounding strings which contribute to an EP that is everything you could want from a Scottish indie-folk-almost-girl-band; really, really beautiful. (Greg Murray)

[review]

Cara Mitchell – Afraid of the Dark10 Cara Mitchell – Afraid of the Dark [AGP]

Folk tales that occupy a sparse and beautiful landscape; Mitchell’s hushed vocals and expressive lyrics combine to enchanting effect. (Brendan Sloan)

[review]

Hector Bizerk – The Fish That Never Swam10 Hector Bizerk – The Fish That Never Swam

From supporting Public Enemy to putting on their own club night, Hector Bizerk have always blazed a trail for Scottish hip hop and now with added bass and horns they might just be the soundtrack to its Saturday night out.

[review]

Polarnecks – Never Heard of Sports9 Polarnecks – Never Heard of Sports

I feel like the title might be a play on words/reference to Modern Baseball, although I can’t be sure; if it is, then it works. They do share a sound, although Polarnecks are heavier and less whiney. Polarnecks sound like everyone’s first favourite band; it’ll be interesting to see how they progress next year. (Alisa Wylie)

[review]

Poor Frisco – Poor Frisco8 Poor Frisco – Poor Frisco

On their eponymous EP, Poor Frisco find themselves channeling classic era Guided By Voices, commendable indeed; a tight and melodious band set firmly in the classic indie rock mold. (Brendan Sloan)

[review]

Nieves – Nieves7 Nieves – Nieves

Nieves first self-titled EP offers listeners a beautifully simple and stripped back record with mature honest lyrics sung in a warm authentic Scottish accent alongside an enchanting piano and softly plucked guitar. The simplicity of this record is what makes it so captivating allowing Brendan Dafters beautiful vocals and heartfelt lyrics get the attention they deserve. (Jess Lavin)

[review]

SHARPTOOTH – Come Cut Me Open4 SHARPTOOTH – Come Cut Me Open [NUMBER4DOOR]

Come Cut Me Open has most of the things I love about music in it: slow guitars, haunting vocals and a hell of an atmosphere. The pace of the album is also a big selling point, if most bands were to write songs like these they’d probably try to speed them up, the fact SHARPTOOTH haven’t done this adds to the EP and makes them stand out from the crowd a bit. (Phil Allen)

[review]

Atom Tree – Clouds4 Atom Tree – Clouds [Hotgem]

A classy and assured young act, producing sounds that are both intimate and expansive. (Brendan Sloan)

[review]

Great Cop – Stay Human4 Great Cop – Stay Human [Struggletown]

I had heard about these guys for a while and I’d always meant to check them out; listening to Stay Human makes me wish I’d done so sooner. It’s a great introduction to the band and pulls you in right away. Though there are only three songs, it’s rammed full of big riffs and staunch vocals; cathartic, obviously Scottish, grimey – but not dirty – punk; also fucking great. (Alisa Wylie)

[review]

Cutty’s Gym – Sick Glass3 Cutty’s Gym – Sick Glass [Bloc+]

Without uttering a word, Cutty’s Gym portrays an unavoidable air of immediacy and anger in their debut EP. Building a following from a string of sweaty live shows, these four tracks present the band as a more exciting, yet wordless, Royal Blood, set to blister into the instrumental big leagues. (Kyle McCormick)

[review]

Tuff Love – Junk2 Tuff Love – Junk [Lost Map]

Junk is a masterpiece of pop and sublime vocal harmonies; the tracks are sparse but everything about every track is memorable. Everything holds together so well and Tuff Love have crafted one of the finest EPs to come from Scotland this year, let’s hope the follow up is just as good. (Phil Allen)

[review]

Pronto Mama – Niche Market1 Pronto Mama – Niche Market [Instinctive Racoon]

Pronto Mama is a band capable of leaving great mood. Niche Market is packed full of charming harmonies, hearty melodies and cheerful brass sure to warm your heart and leave with a smile on your face. (Jess Lavin)

[review]

Tracks of 2014

Atom Tree – ‘Sinner’19 Atom Tree – ‘Sinner’ [Hotgem]

The opening track of the Glasgow electronic trio’s latest EP, Clouds, introduced us to vocalist Julie Knox, who’s powerful and emotive voice slides brilliantly into Atom Tree’s deep synthpop, alerting people the trio on a much bigger scale than before, and rightfully so.

Call To Mind – ‘Breathe’19 Call To Mind – ‘Breathe’ [Olive Grove]

Beautiful and euphoric, Call To Mind’s musical masterpiece is the crowning jewel of their debut album, and with accenting piano and sultry vocals, it is everything that Coldplay think they are, but infinitely better. (Kyle McCormick)

The Duke, Detriot – ‘Accerate’19 The Duke, Detroit – ‘Accelerate’ [Deaf By Stereo]

The Duke, Detroit’s sleek and stylish single threw us, spinning and stumbling back in time to the mid-80s, but they managed to bring it back to life without sounding like poor mimics of the past.

[review]

Owl John__Frightened_Rabbit_Side__Project-750x018 Owl John – ‘Los Angeles, Be Kind’ [Atlantic]

Drawing from Scott Hutchison’s emigration to California, the video starts with footage of Scotland, which slowly blends into the bright, optimistic lights of L.A, and probably says more of this achingly melancholy song than a simple review could. (Greg Murray)

Hudson Mohawke – ‘Chimes’16 Hudson Mohawke – ‘Chimes’ [Warp]

HuMo keeps getting bigger and bigger and with a glorious homecoming at East End Social’s Last Big Weekend and this release on Warp it seems his momentum is still building.

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Mogwai-Rave-Tapes-608x60816 Mogwai – ‘Remurdered’ [Rock Action]

2014 saw Glasgow’s post rock behemoths shift away their meatier riffage of recent years and move towards a chilling atmospheric vive, they’re still loud though and the asphyxiating ‘Remurdered’ is one of the best examples of their recent work.

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Vasa – ‘Not A Cop’13 Vasa – ‘Not A Cop’

Intricate and captivating, Vasa’s stand-alone single has an unrelenting urgency at its core, but with layers of percussion and masterful guitars cleverly bolted on, ‘Not A Cop’ shines a light on a promising future. (Kyle McCormick)

[review]

The Twilight Sad – ‘Last January’13 The Twilight Sad – ‘Last January’ [FatCat]

Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave was heralded as a return to form for one of Scotland’s most powerful yet emotionally draining live acts and ‘Last January’ was the pick of bunch.

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Jonnie Common – ‘Shark’13 Jonnie Common – ‘Shark’ [Song, By Toad]

Burning slowly, ‘Shark’ sees Jonnie Common’s songwriting at a conversational high, built on a foundation of electronics and ingenuity, the canned laughter at the end knows how good it is. (Kyle McCormick)

PAWS – ‘Owl Talons Clenching My Heart’12 PAWS – ‘Owls Talons Clenching My Heart’ [FatCat]

A prime example of PAWS expanded song writing, the cello-laced ‘Owls Talons Clenching My Heart’ pulses solidly along on to Phillip Taylor’s stories of heartache. (Greg Murray)

King Creosote – ‘Something To Believe In’10 King Creosote – ‘Something To Believe In’ [Domino]

The pinnacle of the From Scotland with Love record (no mean feat), ‘Something To Believe In’ combines true and traditional folk with honest lyrics and a painful poignancy. (Ellen Renton)

Skinny Dipper – ‘Hospital Bed’10 Skinny Dipper – ‘Hospital Bed’ [Olive Grove]

Haunting and heart breaking, ‘Hospital Bed’ might just be one of the most beautiful vocals of the year, never mind just in Scotland. (Ellen Renton)

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TeenCanteen – ‘You’re Still Mine’9 TeenCanteen – ‘You’re Still Mine’ [S.W.A.L.K]

Sickly sweet vocals and throbbing synths add playful finger-clicking and loving harmonies to make TeenCanteen’s single a loveable release and introduction to the gifted quartet. (Kyle McCormick)

[review]

Owl John__Frightened_Rabbit_Side__Project-750x08 Owl John – ‘Hate Music’ [Atlantic]

‘Hate Music’ is a cathartic, slide-guitar-and-overdrive pedaled song, which Scott Hutchison claims Frightened Rabbit wouldn’t get away with, about the strains and the bitter tastes left by his revered band and the industry they operated in consistently for ten years. (Greg Murray)

John Knox Sex Club – ‘Minotaur’7 John Knox Sex Club – ‘Minotaur’ [Instinctive Racoon]

Primal and raucous, John Knox Sex Club captures everything they are infamous for in this track, with measured execution descending into enjoyable chaos. (Kyle McCormick)

Tijuana Bibles-500x3726 Tijuana Bibles – ‘Crucifixion’ [Dead Beet]

Tijuana Bibles continue to prove that few bands can write snarling rock classics as well as them. ‘Crucifixion’ has a southern rock swagger that you can’t help bob your head along to, the chorus hook is sublime and the guitar solo is a piece of melodic genius. (Phil Allen)

[review]

Tuff Love – ‘Sweet Discontent’5 Tuff Love – ‘Sweet Discontent’ [Lost Map]

This track was almost everyone’s first introduction to Tuff Love and we immediately fell for the vocal harmonies and that breakneck drumming. It’s no wonder this track garnered them a lot of attention it sounds like effortless genius in the form of a song. (Phil Allen)

Deathcats – ‘Saturday Night Golden Retriever’4 Deathcats – ‘Saturday Night Golden Retriever’ [Fuzzkill]

Sure the bassline sounds like Black Flag but what an intro. Taken from the bands only debut, and looking likely to be only, length album this cut is perhaps one of their most exciting punk throw downs, however it’s given Deathcats patented surf rock treatment with plenty of great backing vocals. (Phil Allen)

Stanley Odd – ‘Son, I Voted Yes’3 Stanley Odd – ‘Son, I Voted Yes’ [A Modern Way]

Stanley Odd’s endearing referendum anthem is made bittersweet given the eventual outcome, but its message of hope and positivity still rings true in a country forging towards a better future. (Kyle McCormick)

unknown2 APACHE DARLING – ‘More Than Me’

The comparisons to CHVRCHES must get tiresome, but one thing that APACHE DARLING does share with the band is their potential for success. ‘More Than Me’ is cool, catchy and clever, and undoubtedly one of Glasgow’s best exports of 2014. (Ellen Renton)

[review]

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Honeyblood – ‘Killer Bangs’1 Honeyblood – ‘Killer Bangs’ [FatCat]

Sweet melodies and some of the crunchiest guitars recorded are staples of ‘Killer Bangs’. It’s hard to believe a two-piece can sound this massive even if it is a studio recording. (Phil Allen)

[review]

Atom Tree – Clouds [Hot Gem]

With their second EP Atom Tree produce pleasant and sentimental melodies that swim gently through a ton of shimmering synth and show that the attention they’ve so far garnered is definitely justified.

The main difference between Clouds and their debut is the addition of vocalist Julie Knox, who we’re introduced to straight away on opening track ‘Sinner’.

Her voice is powerful and emotive as it slides in very well to Atom Tree’s deep-synth pop, resulting in something that drips commercial potential.

Although the lyrics are aggressively average, lead producer Sean Canning makes sure this doesn’t matter by carving them splendidly into his songs.

Because of this, Knox’s voice is allowed to be both an instrument in itself, which holds attention and an instrument laden with effects, adding yet more consistency to a sound that is already pretty immersive.

‘Hearts’ features a lush sounding acoustic piano and drums that pulse throughout, supporting a song with a short sampled hook vocal and a dramatic overall feeling, ‘Hold on’ follows in similar fashion with quite an intense, cymbal-heavy climax.

With this release, Atom Tree has clearly steered with intention towards the current appeal of female fronted synth-pop, you can absolutely imagine SoundCloud surfers stumbling on any of these songs and immediately telling their friends about them.

The quality of song-writing alone is high-enough to set Atom Tree apart, but there are a few synth bursts that sound just a little bit samey, having said this, Clouds is an extremely strong EP that flows well and one which will almost certainly turn many heads and gain Atom Tree new fans.

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Words: Greg Murray

T in the Park, Saturday, 12/7/14

Day two of the final weekend in Balado is more typical fair, in terms of Scottish weather at least, as the drizzly conditions descend over the well loved fields latest chart sensation Kiesza treats those early risers to a catchy synchronised dance filled rendition of number one single ‘Hideaway’, I wander past on route to T Break to catch the end Glasgow based Perth boys We Came From Wolves.

When I get there, arriving early today still doesn’t quite cut it for getting in on time due to the overwhelming popularity of Saturday day tickets, it doesn’t surprise to find a bigger than usual crowd sheltering from the rain, regardless the band seem to be hitting a chord with their fast paced, clap along, pop tinged jaggy rock sound.

I only get to see around one and a half songs but it’s certainly enough to peak my attention for the next time they’re playing back home; it’s then time to head back over to the media tent to gage the days events after early rush.

In the midst of the confusion I manage to somehow miss bolshy funfair popsters The Moon Kids, but do manage to at least see the second half of The Stranglers, or one half of The Stranglers depending on how you see it, and although the veteran rockers may not be the best choice for the youngsters they go down well with the Balado regulars and ‘No More Heroes’ ticks another big track of the ‘seen live’ list.

Over at Radio One Sophie Ellis-Bextor gives us a few disco tinged pop numbers spaced out by some rather whimsical newer efforts, while making us feel old by stating this is her first T in the Park since 1998, when you take a glance at her back catalogue this is pretty hard to believe since her rise to fame through Spiller number one single ‘Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)’ was only in 2000.

Still wether Sophie thinks she’s older than she actually is, 35 incidentally and looking good for it, it’s a fun filled set, but her dancing in a pretty much see through negligee, albeit a little more tasteful that Charli XCX yesterday, feels a touch inappropriate.

Still the afore mention Spiller single, a cover of Moloko’s ‘Sing It Back’ and her best known solo effort ‘Murder On The Dance Floor’ boost up the disco vibes and get the good times feeling flowing before as and Sophie herself puts it: “like Mary Poppins I fly away”.

Back over at the Main Stage the dubstep infected pop of Katy B is a graspingly infectious follow up, as the Londoner’s distinct accent washes over gathering crowd, who’re enjoying a rare dry spell.

B is joined by four black and white clad dancers and puts on a very active display, strutting and skipping around the stage while giving us her enjoyable pop tinged spin on many London based dance movements.

Her more urban effected tracks get the biggest reaction this afternoon, as break out 2010 singles ‘Katy On A Mission’ and ‘Lights On’ spark a massive reaction from the ever growing Main Stage audience.

Over at T Break I catch two non ‘T Break’ acts back to back, the first of which is Berkshire raised, pixie cropped teenager Chloe Howl who twitches around the stage in almost hyperactive fashion, while delivering some shimmering electronic pop in her distinct southern English accent.

She’s certainly not off putting for those sheltering from the weather and with a major label behind her it wouldn’t be a surprise if this girl was massive in years in come.

The infectious pop rock of Aussie’s The Jezabels follows at the same stage, and the band who have been making waves on touring with Depeche Mode and the Pixies do themselves no harm today as singer Hayley Mary flows across the stage delivering powerful vocals akin to Stevie Nicks in delivery, while also managing to hit high notes Kate Bush would be proud of.

Chants of “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” from the crowd are shunned by the band not wanting to stereotyped like their countrymen in the crowd, instead they move through a set of building rockers that would have people of all ages hooked.

Mary gives her fellow Aussie’s a slightly back handed nod by saying “thanks for the flag but put it down now”, before giving a nod to September’s referendum and then finishing on the soaring ‘A Little Piece’.

It’s then time to play count the bucket hats as Manchester Britpop forerunners and T in the Park regulars James deliver the typical fun filled singalong as hits like ‘Sit Down’ and ‘Laid’ ring around the festival well after the set is done.

Over at BBC Introducing, a stage featuring less Scottish acts than it did last year, possibly down to the acts that got a shot at Big Weekend in Glasgow back in May, Dundee’s Copper Lungs play to a mobbed tent and look like they’re in their element.

The four-piece’s pop edged post-hardcore sounds perfectly at home in these surroundings and with room to spare, live all the whiney edges of the records that make them somewhat of a acquired taste are shaved off and the raw energetic performance is a joy to behold, enough to convince anyone that if they continue on the same projectory they’ll get to play bigger stages than this in years to come.

The Amazing Snakeheads close off Introducing tonight and the band that are so often given the Marmite description prove that whether you love them or hate them they’re certainly not dull with performance that riles the crowd into sheer frenzy.

It’s high octane stuff from start to finish as Dale Barclay’s sneery punk delivery and maddened grin are offset perfectly by William Coombe’s bouncing bass and slithering movements, it’s in your face psychedelic rock that moves from rockabilly to punk in the blink of an eye and would scare many watching Rudimental over at the Main Stage.

But as Barclay swigs a bottle of Buckfast and passes to along the front row and mosh pits break loose, these Glasgow boys prove they are anything but boring.

Next up is the most difficult choice of the evening as Pharrell Williams and The Human League’s set run into one another, but as Pharrell has a good 20-minute start on the Sheffield new wavers we start off at the Main Stage and see how it goes.

As you would expect it’s infectious stuff and Pharrell in that now iconic hat struts around the stage knowing just how cool he is opening with Daft Punk’s ‘Lose Yourself To Dance’; it’s amazing to consider Pharrell’s back catalogue and still hard to believe that he’s in his 40s, but as the torrential rain blasts down Pharrell’s funk filled festival friendly set is exactly what is needed.

A quick rendition of Nelly’s ‘Hot In Herre’ from his production back catalogue heats things up before the man of the moment lifts the crowd again, recognising the horrid condition and shouting “you are officially here to party” before introducing a couple of N.E.R.D numbers.

Giving a nod to the crowd’s “relentless Scottish energy” Pharrell introducing his dance crew, The Babes, who break loose as we get a run through or some of Pharrell’s biggest production hits, including Gwen Stefani’s ‘Hollerback Girl’ and Snoop Dogg’s ‘Drop Like It’s Hot’, before performing Robin Thicke’s anthem ‘Blurred Lines’.

As I make my way over towards the King Tut’s Tent Pharrell brings Pinkie on stage, a girl who he announces “beat cancer” and as she receives a tearful hug from Virginia born superstar it’s a moment to step back to take check of what happening before ‘Happy’ launches the crowd to feverous joy once again.

Still as good as Pharrell is, nothing could quite prepare you for the glory of The Human League, who stamp their mark on the festival and leave the Arctic Monkeys with a lot to do if they want the glory of being Yorkshire’s favourite sons in Balado this weekend.

After getting a touch carried away with the hit after hit of Pharrell I arrive a good portion into their set, something instantly regreted as I arrive to the new wave glory of ‘(Keep Feeling) Fascination’, which proves just how good Phil Oakey and co are some 37-years in their career.

The packed tent is electric and the crowd are hanging off every word in a sheer party atmosphere, the huge cheer for “this is a song by my friend Giorgio Moroder” is glorious as Oakey’s track with the Italo disco legend ‘Together In Electric Dreams’ produces an emphatic dance along that is only topped by the the crowd singing every word to iconic hit ‘Don’t You Want Me’ before Oakey had even picked up the mike again.

The singalong continues long after the band have left the stage, but leaves a somewhat odd feeling that the should be headliners have already happened.

Like last night I end my night on a triple bill of T Break, starting with the glitchy electronic of Glasgow trio Atom Tree, and after only forming a year ago their beautiful soundscapes are getting the justification they deserve much sooner than expected.

It’s a somewhat no frills live performance as the band let their haunting pulses do the talking, vocalist Julie Knox is almost stranded behind a table as she takes to synth duties when she could provide the act with a focal point that would add that extra element.

Still, after a hesitant start Knox’s sultry vocals are as captivating as the electronics, at time channeling Beach House’s Victoria Legrand as you lose yourself in a glistening electro daze.

It’s a whole different escape as Dundee’s Fat Goth prepare to take their stage, their press shot appearing on the screens looking much like something Dick Valentine would come away with; yes it’s brash, hilarious and rock ‘n’ roll, everything that the band themselves portray in vast quantities, they must not take themselves too seriously with a moniker such as Fat Goth, right?

They even have their own entrance music, it’s wonderfully theatrical stuff even before the band start blasting their heavy metal riffs and infectiously urgent delivery as their tongue in cheek attitude makes them all the more likeable as people show face that wouldn’t necessarily listen to a band with such a heavy sound.

They don’t quite have the stage banter that you would expect from other bands of their ilk, but hilarity aside there’s distinct quality to these Dundonian’s output that would hook any adamant heavy metal fans as easily as it would someone looking for something a little more jovial than Elbow’s rather dull alt rock seemingly as performed by the cast of Shameless just outside.

Edinburgh’s guitar-laptop/drums duo Birdhead close off T Break on Saturday night with some pulsing bolshie krautrock inspired grooves and sparing but hooky shouted vocals from engaging frontman Stephen Donkin.

These guys manage to pull a bigger crowd than Tuff Love did last night, but it’s still not enough to do them justice as they sound massive for a duo and their uptempo sound in entrancing and much better than anything else on offer at the three big stages.

It is worth noting that as the rain hits us at it’s heaviest Calvin Harris brings Will Smith on stage to introduce him, not something that I manage to see but the Fresh Prince doesn’t perform any of his own hits so we’re putting that down as a let down avoided rather than some missed fun.

Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Bill Gray

T Break: Find Your T Highlight Here

It’s another year, it’s another summer and here’s hoping it’ll be as nice last year, yes the blistering heat of T last year left a few people a little worse for wear, staggering about looking for the next luke warm lager, but we can have no argument that’d it’s more fun in the sun.

However we also know that it’s nice to wander into a wee tent get some shade, or possibly shelter from the rain, and stumble upon your next favourite band, whether that’s cos the likes of Calvin, Biffy et al don’t quite float your boat or cos you’re actively seeking it T Break always holds some hidden charms for those Saturday afternoon where you don’t quite no what to do.

This year we’ve gone and done a wee bit of ground work for you and given you a guide to all the acts playing T Break this year giving you something to listen to, a wee bio and a quote about being able to play the famous stage, and needless to say there’s some belters on there.

So, if you’re hunting out the next T Break to Main Stage behemoths or just seeking a wee gem to surprise you’re pals with have a look through, you’ll be presently surprised.

Atom Tree

Atom Tree

Glasgow’s Atom Tree transcends genres, blending organic tones with electronic pulses, submerging the listener in beautifully haunting soundscapes.

“T in the Park is one of the biggest festivals in Scotland and to be considered for it let alone playing it at this stage of our careers is a huge privilege.”

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BirdheadBirdhead

Intense dentist-drill synths and sharp, cyclical guitar patterns make out with perky motorik drums and probing bass to produce a prog/post-punk metronomic groove rock thing with plenty of intensity.

They are reminiscent of Nought, Public Service Broadcasting or Plank! with some unhinged, sparse, yelpy vocals; Krautrock reborn with balls.

“We are absolutely over the moon to be picked for T-Break.

“T in the Park is a festival I’ve been to more times than I can count, and to be able to be part of it from the other side of the fence is amazing.

“I can’t wait to give a performance as memorable as the ones I’ve seen down the years!”

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10309563_254873318033802_5278610803308943612_nBlood Relatives

Blood Relatives who met through Glasgow’s gigging circuit, and bonded over Lidl’s Western Gold Bourbon share no DNA, but they do share an aim of making quality pop music, with a bit of depth to it.

“We are really chuffed to be playing T Break, because it’s a little validation that we’re doing something right, and I’m really self-doubting and easily discouraged.

“It’s lovely to have a vote of confidence, and be part of a line up of quality acts.”

10367141_658568437531805_435630975785025987_nDeathcats

Deathcats is a fuzz pop trio based in Glasgow who formed in the summer of 2012 based on a mutual love of noisy guitar bands and cats.

Since then the band have gigged non-stop all over the UK, from London to Lerwick, and have supported a number of touring acts such as Drenge, Splashh, Hooded Fang and Mazes.

“We’re really stoked to be playing T Break this year; we’ve worked pretty hard over the last year and to be asked to play at Scotland’s biggest festival makes it feel worth it.

“Also, our new album will have just dropped so hopefully we can sell loads to steaming wee bams.”

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10372556_785692311455188_2496077165768542007_nFat Goth

Dundee based three-piece Fat Goth have successfully risen from local underdogs to rock fan favourites appealing to those looking for proper meaty, old fashioned rock music.

Recently, they’ve found themselves the subject of Kerrang’s legendary Pandora strip twice, featuring in the magazine and receiving stellar reviews for their humorous and brazen style.

“Playing TITP on the BBC Introducing Stage last year was definitely one of our major 2013 highlights.

“To have the opportunity to play again the following year on the T Break stage is incredible so we’re very much looking to adding some weird to the line-up.”

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10013299_1418670885055418_493068720_nMedicine Men

Psychedelic music for the dancefloor, Glasgow’s Medicine Men are already causing quite a stir after just a handful of live shows, drawing excited comparisons with bands such as LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala, The Chemical Brothers and Death In Vegas, the band mix soaring synths with kinetic breakbeats and bruising basslines, creating a glorious fusion of styles from sublime psychedelic rock to pumping dance music and everything in between.

“To be chosen for T Break is massive for us, we thank the judges for the opportunity and intend to put on the show of our lives.”

10418143_397514107053209_4798724912313766410_nModel Aeroplanes

Fresh and fun pop music, Model Aeroplanes are young and have the world at their feet.

“T Break is a platform for new music which started out many of our favourite bands and after playing T in the Park last year, it is a great honour to have been invited back to perform on the T Break stage this year.

“T in the Park is a great festival with one of the best crowds in the world and it means so much to us that four friends making music can be part of it at such an early stage in our career”

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1488284_340955432712407_2080174541_nNAKED

NAKED is like walking through Japan at night; neon-lit, hard punching beats filtered under dissonant guitar sculptures and hypnotising vocals.

The sound explores the novel condition of physicality and sensory experiences – tied to the technological advancement, it’s about the interaction between the accelerating technology and a classical notion of humanity, between synthetic and organic, future and tradition.

It speaks to non-belonging inspired by a fictional Japan, viewed as a signifier of post-millennial, post-digital urban ennui and the pure absolute loneliness of crowds.

“As the late, great Chic Murray might’ve said: This is a red letter day for the group. The letter being T. “

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1507066_238271506365899_5317352052050645099_nScary People

Born from the partnership between two tour technicians, Scary People had only one week to form a band and rehearse a set before their first gig at a sold out show in Dundee.

Rising to the task, Dan Forouhar and Scott Anderson called upon friends, Steven Anderson, Jamie Brown and Troy Lynch to join them to prepare for a show that would immediately gain them an impressive crowd response and, since then, a dedicated following.

“Having been a band for just over a year, it’s incredible to be playing this year’s T; it’s encouraging for new acts all over Scotland.”

1932258_589416391154641_401537262_nSecret Motorbikes

“We initially met at the auditions for Britain’s Got Talent in 2010; Tino and Paul were a vocal harmony duo, Gordon was part of a ventriloquism act (he was the dummy) and Iain had a sheep herding act.

“The judges put us together as a group because of our looks, things have been blowing up ever since!

“Different day, same shit.”

10246856_701551333242852_8887027978736676709_nTeenCanteen

TeenCanteen are four-girls split between Glasgow and Edinburgh who, since their formation in 2012, have played some of Scotland’s key festivals as well as supporting The Pastels, Wave Pictures, Evan Dando & Juliana Hatfield and Stealing Sheep.

“We are really excited to have been selected to play this year’s T Break Stage and to be part of a great and diverse line-up.

“T in The Park is a big event for a lot of people who attend – for some it might be the only live music they see all year – and so for a new band it gives us the opportunity to perform in front of an entirely new audience that might not even be aware of us.”

10341644_436891056448565_4137251139114951103_nThe Moon Kids

Fuelled by powerful pop hooks and chiming six-strings, The Moon Kids are shooting for the stars.

Bright lights, big tunes, funfair love affairs and dizzy, dizzy days; a carnival of pulse-quickening anthems and heart-stopping thrills where space is the place and the place is wherever you want it to be.

It’s how The Small Faces might have sounded if they’d starred in A Clockwork Orange; 21st century pop shot through with shades of The Beatles, The La’s and Mark Rothko.

Music made to blast out through the tannoy of the waltzers or maybe the PA in a nightclub owned by Billy Fury and Ringo Starr.

Five-star hooks, king-size choruses and big, big melodies.

“If you’re from Scotland, the festival season is all about T In The Park – it’s the biggest, the brightest and the best.

“We’re thrilled to be added to a line-up that features acts like Arctic Monkeys, Paul Weller and Bombay Bicycle Club.

“In fact, you could say we’re over the moon …”

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10171713_789917444366481_6315117863527779249_nTisoki

An electronic producer who makes bass heavy dance music

“It means a lot to be chosen for T Break because it’s a brilliant platform for smaller acts to gain more recognition and a wider fanbase.”

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10177499_765731573460290_8377689270503180587_nTuff Love

Tuff Love are Julie, Suse and Michael – two girls and a dude from Glasgow who cut beautifully distorted guitar gems.

Their debut, Junk EP, is the sound of pure summer; dazzling, sun-streaked fuzz pop, with soft, burning melodies, and big smiling harmonies.

They’re like a DIY version of all the best bits of Electrelane crossed with early-MBV and a bit of Breeders swagger – and they’re gonna make your year a whole lot brighter.

“T in The Park was the first festival we went to when we were teenagers, and I never thought I’d play in a band that played at big events like that.

“It’s daunting because the T Break line up is really good this year and we’re in there with some bands who are killer live, but it’s very very exciting for us to have been picked and to be playing! Yahoooo!”

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1234366_620761931309792_1410196545_nVladimir

Rising out of the depths of Dundee and describing their sound as simply ‘bleak’, Vladimir burst onto the scene late last year and have quickly won themselves a reputation as one of Scotland’s most exciting new acts.

Emotionally heavy and sonically dense the four piece have become masters at crafting tightly wound layered fuzz and raw Dengler-era Interpol-esque rhythms.

“Its Great to be asked to play a festival we all grew up going to and watching on TV. “When we started this band we were playing to nobody in small pubs now we are going to be playing one of the biggest festivals in the UK.

“It’s not totally sunk in yet.”

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1489268_612992008748115_1061074658_nWe Came From Wolves

Jaggy rock/bastard pop from Perth, now based in Glasgow, We Came From Wolves have just returned from a UK tour, dates in France and Germany and sold out release shows supporting their EP Paradise Place.

“As T is in our home county of Perthshire, we have loads of memories of summers spent and bands watched at T.

“It has always felt like our home festival.

“We are so excited and can’t wait for the opportunity to play our music, on home soil for our first major festival appearance”