Tag Archives: Tongues

T in the Park, 10/7/16

Day three arrives and there’s no reprieve on the weather, meaning not only is the arena the muddiest I can remember attending, but that we’re a good half hour late on the gates as flooding has caused health and safety concerns.

These precautions seem more than granted, but unfortunately it does mean I only get to catch a small portion of Tongues.’s set, and hold ups do sadly affect the size of crowd the Glasgow four-piece could potentially have pulled

Still, what I do catch of their set is the band’s now familiar huge, bursting synth sound; singles ‘Religion’ and ‘Heartbeat’ sound like they would be equally at home on the bigger stages with thousands dancing along, while the rest of the set touches on Hot Chip tinged twinkling synth ballads that move into sky soaring electronics.

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Following Tongues. on T Break is Glasgow based producer Edwin Organ and he keeps up the electronic vibe, with an array of head nodding organic synth sounding synth tones.

Playing as a trio the set comes as a welcoming hug for you to pick yourself up to for the final day of music, the band combine elements of soul and jazz with the singer’s melodic warbled tones; this is a set you can really get lost in, there’s certainly something special on the horizon.

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Edinburgh ‘tropical pop’ foursome Indigo Velvet continue my streak at T Break and they’ve amassed quite a following; their sunshine kissed indie rock is a real foot stomping fare that more than leaves the large turnout happy.

The band possess a real confident swagger and a more than unique look, two of them have the hair of lions for god sake, and this along with some solid, fun filled tunes sets them apart comfortably from a lot of their contemporaries.

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The fourth band I catch are at T Break again, and it’s at this stage that I should note there are a number of acts I would have liked to have caught at other stages; FIDLAR, John Grant, Maximo Park etc., however conditions under feet have quadrupled the time it takes to get from A to B so I’m back at the festival’s local act showcasing tent for one of Scotland’s most hyped up and comers, The Lapelles.

The East Kilbride five-piece are baby-faced to say the least, but woah does their live set pack a punch, these are indie rock anthems that really could hit the stratosphere.

On the road these guys are on they appear to have been earmarked to make it to the top, and judging by the crowd reaction they could be well on their way; they’re young, enthusiastic and have enough potential to see it through too, all the best to them.

A quick jaunt over to BBC Introducing and WOMPS are midway through single ‘Live A Little Less’ and are pounding out their lo-fi grunge tinged sound with a knowing presence.

Ewan Grant’s engaging songwriting sits at the centre of their sound, and while his material as Algernon Doll is still missed, WOMPS more than pack enough energy and craft into their set to keep your eyes peeled for; dingy the hair though… and maybe the shout outs to Bathgate too (it appears all drummer Owen Wicksted’s school pals have made it along).

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Dunfermline’s FOREIGNFOX keep everyone partying back at T Break as the five-piece is perfecting the soaring, post rock indie anthem a la Jetpacks, and seem to be pretty much hitting the nail on the head.

Jonny Watt’s heavily Scottish tones are emphatic and the band’s soundscape filled sound is engulfing; it’s easy to see them emulating their heroes pretty soon.

ISLE, grown out of the ashes of Monogram, are an alt pop duo with a real punch of a sound; a pounding array of effects, welcoming twinkled samples and a whole cacophony of other things going on are all placed into a remarkably catchy composition that settles into simple but effective sections before letting go once more.

Musically it’s a real master class from the Borders duo, with this kind of sound it’s easy to go over the top, but what ISLE do produce is slick and hugely entertaining.

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Declan Welsh has drawn a solid crowd at T Break and the young man seems to be revelling in it.

His spoken word/poetry sections are enchanting and the songs come with plenty of attitude as Welsh delivers with a real conviction; the sound and overall message in his music is emphatic and well worth believing in, this boy deserves to have more folk listening to him and he will have very soon.

Waiting it out at T Break for the last band of the night we see a big criticism of the stage; the band that plays last very rarely plays to anyone at all due to clashes with the festival headliners.

This is true for Sweaty Palms as the Glasgow five-piece fight for prominence with Jeff Mills, LCD Soundsystem and the Chilli Peppers; perhaps you would have thought T in the Park would take a lesson from the BBC Introducing showcase stage, which finishes much earlier in the night.

Still there’s no humour lost in the situation from the Palms with singer Robbie Houston snidely thanking DF Concerts for putting them on, who seem in no way deluded that this set is a big deal for the band in any way at all.

Their set is the same all encompassing dark, sneery post punk frenzy that you get from these guys every day of the week, but this could well be one of the smallest audiences they’ve played to this year.

Sweaty Palms may be the best act on the T Break list, but you can’t blame the punters for catching the some of the biggest names in music just ten minutes away.

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Following this I head over to catch all but the first few songs of LCD Soundsystem’s set and despite nearly everyone I’ve spoken to today saying they’re going to end their night here, we find a crowd smaller that you could fit in the Barrowlands for what is for me the only big big draw of this year’s line up.

Whether the band care is questionable, but what they do deliver is a set full of forward thinking, encapsulating disco tinged anthems that get the hairs on the back of your neck standing up and you belting the lyrics back out to your pals.

By the time the set ends on one of the most defining songs of recent times, ‘All My Friends’, you’ve forgotten how quiet the sound is or how few people are actually here, you’re stuck in the moment celebrating that the band’s short-lived hiatus has ended.

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Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Cameron Brisbane

Wide Days Showcases ft. Be Charlotte, Best Girl Athlete, Elle Exxe, Tongues, The Van T’s, Scumpulse

Having not made the conferences during the day due to work commitment I arrived at Wide Days for, well, the best bit.

Let’s face it people talking about the music industry can be very interesting and entertaining, and there were some topics on this year’s agenda which I would have very much like to have seen discussed, but it doesn’t beat seeing a top live act and this year there’s six on the bill across three venues and all for the wonderful price of nothing.

Arriving at The Pleasance just as one of Wide Days’ founders, Olaf Furniss, is finishing introducing the wonderful Be Charlotte; I’m equally as relieved not to miss her as I am surprised to see the act that I considered to have the most commercial potential on the bill on so early.

From the start young Charlotte Brimner possess a likeable swagger and her output oozes quality, whether it’s smashing a glimmeringly modern take on the pop song or mesmerising the crowd with a breath-taking accapella cut.

Granted the all-seated venue doesn’t suit the Be Charlotte sound, but she does herself more than justice, and had she been placed in a more fitting venue this set would be a real showstopper.

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Following on from Charlotte is another impressive young talent in Aberdeen’s Best Girl Athlete; last year’s Carve Every Word album was a beautiful crafted, emotionally powerful piece of work that elevated it to number two in our end of year lists, so finally seeing these songs live is a treat.

Fronted by Katie Buchan would teams up with a full band, including her father, Scottish folk musician CS Buchan, who helped compose the album, Best Girl Athlete sound pretty emphatic, despite Katie looking a touch on the nervous side, but for the teenager, who’s dad just bought her her first pint in a pub today, this will come as she grows into her live show.

All in all she deals with the set brilliantly, sounding much more composed than I could imagine many high schoolers would in her position; she even deals admirably with some awkward, yet amusing dad chat.

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A short jaunt over to La Belle Angele for London based popstress Elle Exxe, the third of four female fronted acts on the bill, something which has been made quite a lot of, and while admirable for giving a spotlight to some of the many great female fronted acts in Scotland stating you’re doing it does dim it somewhat; regardless, I can vouch that girls on this bill are here on merit and not just a token gesture.

One thing’s for sure Elle Exxe doesn’t hold back on her performance, at points her vocals seem to get lost in the mix, but so full on is this girl’s spiralling, riotous presence that you can’t tell if it’s intentional, just a poor mix or that she’s that into the performance that the mic isn’t quite making it to her mouth properly.

A London based musician, who already seems to have a solid footing in the industry seems an odd choice for Wide Days, but regardless of this Exxe, who seems much more genuine and lovely than her onstage pop diva persona may hint at, gives a performance that’s pure in-your-face theatre, over the top dancing and dirty pop beats that could be huge with the right breaks.

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Next up are Tongues who certainly have the knack for a catchy synth hook, they also deliver their material with such an engaging pop tinged attitude that they have the potential to skyrocket.

If this Glasgow-based four-piece can muster enough songs to match the best they deliver tonight then there will be no stopping them; there’s enough soaring “woahs” to keep the chart touting indie fans howling along and plenty of interesting touches to their song-writing and arrangements, who knows where they’ll end up next.

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Things start to blur into one once we arrive at Electric Circus, people have by now had enough beers to make the networking flow that much easier, still I’m delighted that The Van T’s are only just getting started when we arrive.

The band, we have been championing since very early on, show just why they’re getting all the attention, with a full on rock show filled with surfy goodness and the ever impressive harmonies of the Van Thompson twins, despite being severely dulled by the murky sound of Electric Circus.

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It’s safe to say that Scumpulse are the showcase wildcard and the black metal act soon have the younger, hipper members of the crowd heading towards the exit, or at least the bar.

That’s not to say they’re not good, they technically are excellent delivering easily the most complex set of the day with ounces of punk energy that goes down as well with their diehard fan as it does those that give into their relentless power for the evening; I resisted the urge to mosh or buy a t-shirt… quite a few didn’t.

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Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Jannica Honey

Tongues – ‘Religion’

If you sometimes find yourself trawling the internet in attempts to find new music, you’ll be well versed in the fact that there truly are unfathomable quantities of disappointingly bland and unambitious musical creations out there in the nether.

Thankfully, love or hate the results, the work of Glasgow based electronic artist-come-producer Tongues can’t be accused of any such things.

With attitude and confidence abounding, ‘Religion’ is the latest punch-you-in-the-solar-plexus offering that provides a little over four minutes of unexpectedly thrilling entertainment.

From soaring anthemic choral sections, to playful electronic organ riffs and a bold synth melody, with a character more typical of wailing guitar solos; ‘Religion’ impresses and surprises in equal measure.

While it remains to be seen whether Tongues’ sizable initial popularity in the digital space can be converted into substantive success, ‘Religion’ is undoubtedly an invigorating and energetic contribution to the genre that signifies a promising coalescing of talent and ability.

With a debut EP due in September, one hopes that said promise can be fulfilled.

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Words: Michael Mavor

T in the Park 2015 (Sunday)

Sunday morning; we’re a couple of bodies light from last night, as a couple of my pals feel the excesses of yesterday a bit much to raise themselves from their bed, regardless those of us with a job to do make the trip up following the daily Greggs cure and the trip up is relatively easy going.

Opting to park near where we parked the first night, meant no issues with muddy hills tonight, but we were anticipating a reasonable amount of traffic tonight as people head home rather than camp another night another, plus there wouldn’t be any excessive head starts are one of the closers tonight is real attention grabber.

I arrive at T Break in time to catch the last part of Be Charlotte’s set; having given them a quick listen prior and having Louie from Hector Bizerk singing their praises at me the previous night, had me intrigued to see what they had to offer live.

Indeed Hector’s Audrey Tait is delivering some powerful rhythms for the innovative Charlotte; all the while sky-teasing synths come in behind a vocal that carries as much gritty attitude as it does technical brilliance.

In the short space of time I see them, she raps and sings with precision and struts the stage with a confident urban swagger and bags of gutsiness; plenty to look out for I reckon.

Wandering over to BBC Introducing and Tongues are already in full flow with powerfully backed tracks full of soaring synths and the occasional captivating harmony.

There’s some nice ideas here from the Glasgow boys, certainly enough to suggest they could be higher up the bill in years to come.

Next up is potentially my clash of the weekend as the chirpy fussy brilliance of The Van T’s at T Break crosses over with the wonderful Bdy_Prts’ set at BBC Introducing for all but five-minutes either side.

So, I start at T Break and it appears the Thompson twins have come a long way since I put them on at Broadcast over a year ago; they have acquired a shit load more presence, yet that fun filled surfy energy still emits from their set.

There’s even corners of their set that angle into full on riot grrrl power as there ‘boyfriends’ dance taps aff down the front; these girls have been coming to T for the last few years and they seem in their element a week or so after their 21st birthday’s.

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Having to miss the end of the set to catch the end of Bdy_Prts I’m severely hoping I haven’t made the wrong choice, but Jen and Jill never seem to let down.

The crowd is pretty sparse, but the duo is engaging as ever as they syncronise up, clad in the same pink and yellow skintight outfits they sported at The Hug and Pint launch a wee bit ago.

Indeed, each time I see these guys they seem to get more impressive, their set has gone from stripped back quirky harmonics to full on aural assault, all the while the girl’s impressive voices remain rightfully the focal point.

Even their banter is in sync as the duo, who seem clear as day to be best pals just having fun, deliver new single ‘Cold Shoulder’, which floats and weaves with their angelic vocals, backed with that extra push from a rhythm section that enhances their live set considerably; can’t wait to hear more.

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Next stop is the Tut’s Tent for Admiral Fallow, admittedly I’m not the best guy to be reviewing them as I’ve grown tired of this Scottish singer-songwriter, gone full blown big sounding indie folk band, still Louis Abbott and co. seem as strong as ever and their new material sounds comfortable in the set.

I don’t have to particular like it to say that they are fully entitled to the stature they have achieved in this ‘uplifting indie folk’ bracket, they do it as well as anyone else out there and will rightfully come away with plenty of praise.

After cutting about the press area for longer than anticipated I ample over for the latter stages of Idlewild’s set, and while admittedly they kind of bypassed my musical intake first time around, what I have heard of them has always been of considerable quality.

What the set does lack for me personally, which sadly is pretty essential during a festival like this, is a familiarity; for a band that hold this level of popularity you’d expect to recognise a few numbers, however the set passes by without much of an inkling.

Still, the set is solid and quashes and doubts about Idlewild’s live quality, with Roddy Woomble looking to have not aged a day in the afternoon sunshine of Strathallan.

At T Break Benjamin Booker pulls a fair crowd, and there’s plenty of snarly, guttural energy to them too, it’s deep south rock with plenty of twang and load of drive, that injects a level of power into proceedings before Modest Mouse’s airing over a Tut’s.

These guys have quite a formidable reputation and attract a much larger crowd than anticipated.

Still, despite the large crowd and Isaac Brock and co.’s powered, but disappointingly quiet, performance, this is a festival crowd and one that are hard to tap into unless you play the hits; ‘Float On’ predictably gets the biggest reaction, but this is another example of a band you need to see on a venue tour, on their own terms, rather than at a huge festival.

Cassels are couple of young boys, but their sound seems to pack a fair punch over at BBC Introducing as a cacophony of pummeling drums and crunching guitar form a formidable sound that could easily blast them into the public eye before long.

Indeed youth is their benefit, but admitting you’re in a “shitty mood” when on stage at T in the Park probably isn’t the best way to warm yourself to an audience mainly full of people chancing upon you.

Stumbling into T Break for a bit of Crash Club’s blasting electronics, which sounds massive and draws a big crowd, but still somehow feels like 90s lads throw back and being relatively underwhelmed by the over the top quirkiness of Spring Break it was time for The Prodigy.

By this time the weekend is taking affect, and the sleep deprivation isn’t helping the alcohol tolerance, but this is the kind of situation that is specifically designed for T in the Park.

We don’t manage to really get close enough to enjoy the full effects of the legendary dance aficionados, but still it’s powerful stuff that erupts with hits that you’d forgotten about, alongside ones you were waiting for; no wonder big Geoff Ellis made them the centre-piece of his speech at the line up launch all those months ago.

We have to dash 10-minutes from the end, some of us have work in the morning, but that’s not enough to miss the rush and we end up caught in traffic for what seems like forever; still it’s another enjoyable year.

Granted I didn’t see the campsite, but a few slight alterations in traffic organisation, parking and layout and things should be going swimmingly next year.

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Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Bill Gray