Tag Archives: The Van T’s

The Van T’s – Fun Garcon [Shoot The Moon]

I first had the pleasure of stumbling across The Van T’s two years ago when they supported Motherwell’s the Banter Thiefs in the ABC – the twins bringing to the stage what I described at the time as an emotive brand of indie folk – and so as I disappeared into my headphones to give the duo’s latest release Fun Garcon a listen, I could have been forgiven for expecting more of the same; I was a bit wrong.

As the EP tears into ‘Fun Garcon’ it becomes instantaneously clear this is an act who have spent the months following that Glasgow support slot growing and redefining their sound for the better; distortion and reverb underpin the track as the soaring vocals from the Van Thompson sisters compliment a stunning assault on the senses.

‘Growler’ follows ferociously purveying The Van T’s impressive sound through outstanding riffs and atmospheric lyrics; at times the song’s sheer consuming quality takes hold, pouring out of the headphones like an unstoppable force.

The EP’s fantastic hat-trick finishes on ‘Whale’ with a great burst of energy; the duo rip through another track laden with sublime harmonies, grunge attitude, and dazzling riffs, drawing to a close a record that nods towards the likes of the Pixies and the Raveonettes, while still managing to remain truly unique.

This is a remarkable EP; who knows exactly what happened to the acoustic-folk duo of two years ago, but when the new Van T’s sound is this good who the fuck even cares?

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Words: Jason Henderson

Weekend Wars, FOREIGNFOX, Indigo Velvet, The Van T’s at Tut’s, 9/1/15

Tonight’s New Year’s Revolution gig starts with 90s sounding female-fronted Glaswegian grunge dream The Van T’s.

Tut’s is already filling up with people excited for tonight’s amazing line-up of new Scottish talent, but the atmosphere in the venue remains relaxed as the band treat the crowd a number of passionate and heartfelt songs.

The vocals between twin sisters Chloe and Hannah Thompson are incredible, their immaculate harmonies making you wonder if twin telepathy is really a possibility.

The Van T’s speed things up during ‘Daisy’ and the majority of the songs follow suit, shaking the crowd awake and warming them up for tonight’s remaining acts.

The instrumental breaks are what stands out during the band’s performance, with each member complimenting one another nicely; ruling out twin telepathy since the whole band shares this tight connection.

They close their set by slowing down with ‘Growler’, an interesting choice as the band’s faster stuff is clearly stronger and this choice denies them the big finish they deserve.

Indigo Velvet offer an alternative sound from The Van T’s; in fact every band on tonight’s bill show an extremely different sound from the one before, but it works.

The indie pop quartet treat the crowd to a number of upbeat and catchy tunes, encouraging them to dance along and leave everyone grinning from ear to ear.

Tonight’s highlight is, the currently unreleased, ‘Print’, its slight jazz influence is what makes it stand out and the homage to Michael Jackson’s ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’’ using the lyrics “Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Coo Sa” is a nice touch.

Like The Van T’s the band share a strong connection between members, great stage presence and are obviously enjoying themselves – making their set an incredibly fun one to watch.

The turnout is impressive, especially for a young Edinburgh based band’s first Glasgow show, and the involvement from the crowd, who dance, sing and clap along makes it clear we will being hearing much more about Indigo Velvet in the upcoming months.

FOREIGNFOX are next and they grab the crowd’s attention the moment they step on stage; there is a clearly a loyal fanbase for them tonight as the audience sing and dance along to Jonny Watt’s sublime vocals.

FOREIGNFOX have picked up an extra member during tonight’s set, Fraser MacIntyre, who brings an acoustic guitar and buckets of passion make him a welcome addition to the line-up.

The band only really slow down during the heartfelt ‘Yogurt’, causing the crowd to stop dancing to listen to its deeply personal lyrics, which refuse to go unheard.

The crowd moves forward towards the end of the set, as FOREIGNFOX give it their all one last time; the harmonies between all members creating an echoing wall of sound, providing a fantastic ending.

Final act Weekend Wars are the only band on tonight’s line-up that I haven’t heard much about before, and therefore I am eager to see what they have to offer.

They start their set loudly and encourage the crowd to get involved, however sadly only few take them up on this offer despite talented frontman Andy Black giving it his all; it seems like this crowd prefer to show their gratitude by clapping and cheering loudly at the end of each song.

A unique ‘Blank Space’ cover featuring a synth and some charming harmonies is a highlight and reminds me of Prides’ end of year mixtape; a nice addition even though it’s always best headliners stick to their own material.

I’ll cut Weekend Wars some slack as they seem a little bit nervous and relatively new to the scene (only releasing their first EP earlier today) and are constantly stating their amazement that a crowd this size has turned up to see them play.

The band power through the nerves to give the best performance they can but are maybe not quite at headliner level just yet.

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Words: Jess Lavin
Photos: Tim J Gray

Medals, Echo Valley, The Van T’s at Stereo, 30/10/14

The first of two support acts are twin sisters Chloe and Hannah Thompson of The Van T’s, who usually have a band in tow, but play on their own tonight due to their bassist being stranded in Ireland.

The idea of twin telepathy is often spoken about, but it would be a good explanation of the sisters’ harmonies, which are note-perfect.

Both playing amped up electric guitars with effects makes for an interesting sound, however, without the backbone of the drums and bass, a more stripped down may have suited this set.

Last song ‘California’ grasps the crowd and is an excellently executed and well-chosen set closer for the girls.

Next up is Echo Valley, who have a vibe which screams psychedelia around them, they’ve got the look with the long hair and (strangely) no shoes or sock on, in reality, however, most of the set is more indie rock than anything else.

The Ayrshire four-piece is very tight as a band, and has evidently been playing together for a while.

Just as you’re thinking the Stereo audience are going to be left without a song that really captivates, they play last song ‘I Wish I Was Someone Else’, which sounds huge and shows the band’s potential.

JP Reid (of Sucioperro/Marmaduke Duke fame) and his most recent project Medals then take to the stage, and the venue has filled a lot more by now.

The band seem to really be enjoying playing together, with a sound which uniquely lies somewhere between post-punk and synth pop.

Medals play songs from debut album Disguises as well as from Reid’s back catalogue.

The real highlight of the evening comes in the form of the unreleased ‘Sit Back Down Judas’, which includes some stunning harmonies between Reid and guitarist Marianne Fraser.

Recent single ‘I Used To Be A Dancer’ concludes the upbeat, jovial set from a band that may well be playing to much bigger audiences in the not-so-distant future.

Words: Neil Hayton
Photos: Kyle Burgess

Medicine Men, The Moon Kids, Ewan Butler, The Van T’s at Tut’s, 4/7/14

This evening in Tut’s serves as a T-Break warm-up for headliners Medicine Men as well as The Moon Kids, while local acts The Van T’s and Ewan Butler also support.

The Van T’s come stage, first playing ‘Trip’ from their debut EP, and the band all take turns in urging the crowd forward, which spurs them on through a set that’s highlights include ‘Daisy’ and ‘California’.

After a well received and well put together set, it’s obvious The Van T’s are an act who have a great grasp on songwriting and vocal harmonies and many would argue that they should’ve been higher up the bill than they were this evening.

Second up is West Lothian singer-songwriter Ewan Butler playing a solo acoustic set, he has a soulful voice and plays some well crafted songs with several interesting falsetto vocal parts.

Although the Friday night crowd are a little too loud and talkative for the brand of music Butler plays, he’s definitely one to try and catch in a more intimate venue.

The Moon Kids draw the biggest crowd of the night, many of whom appear to have travelled from their native Fife, and play a set which gets the crowd dancing.

The band’s modern take on Britpop is melodic, and they have a big presence on stage, tonight’s performance certainly justifies their inclusion on the lineups for T In The Park and Wickerman this month.

The keyboard player from tonight’s headliners is first on stage, building up an atmospheric synth sound before the rest of the Medicine Men join him to play set-opener ‘Lowlands’.

With musical proficiency from all five members, the real high points of the set are ‘Cuts’n’Corner’ and ’Show What You’re Made Of’, Medicine Men are a band with a swagger about them, with sideburns and bongo-drums galore they put on a tight show, and the reasons for their headlining this evening’s gig became apparent very quickly.

Four very good acts on at Tut’s this evening, and the night proves a good TITP warm-up for the two bands playing Balado next week, while also showing the strength-in-depth of the Scottish music scene.

More Photos

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Words: Neil Hayton
Photos: Neil Donaldson