T in the Park 2010: The New Blood
As T in the Park enters its seventeenth year, the balancing act of alternative rockers for the traditional festival-goer and the more commercially viable pop upstarts for the new burgeoning demographic becomes an increasingly thorny issue. But wherever you lay your comical festival headwear, the granddaddy of Scottish festivals shows no sign of slackening its commitment to spotlighting new acts.
Alongside the Futures and T-Break tents, last year marked the introduction of the BBC Introducing stage which saw The Twilight Sad, Dananananaykroyd and Broken Records, amongst many others, peddling their wares. Quite what the stage set up will be like this year remains to be seen, but the slew of acts currently under the ‘Also appearing across the weekend...’ banner is certainly enticing.
This month’s cover stars Mitchell Museum kick off the first of several festival slots on the eve of their debut album’s release. With their upbeat carnival vibe, and songs such as previous single Warning Bells that can embed themselves in your psyche after one listen, they have a recipe for being a quintessential festival discovery.
Talk of sunshine may be jinxing things where T in the Park is concerned, but whatever the weather, Stornoway native Colin MacLeod will bring a glow to the heart as The Boy Who Trapped The Sun. Delicate folk melodies with orchestral underpinnings are what afternoons lazing in a big field were made for, right?
Teetering on the verge of bigger things, Pearl and the Puppets play the T-Break stage on Saturday, giving you the distinct possibility of casually bragging to the Johnny-come-latelies that you enjoyed their toe-tapping, brass-tinged pastoral pop when they played in front of six people and a dog (not sure if dogs are allowed in at T, mind you).
Next up, another ‘someone and the somethings’ type band, this time Sparrow and the Workshop. But fret not, as this transatlantic trio are no half-baked, lazy PR push clinging on the coat-tails of Florence and the Machine. We’ve been banging on about the Workshop for some time now and if you go expecting timeless all-country perfection, you will be too.
The glittering electro-cabaret pop of A Band Called Quinn seems sure to pique the interest of anyone casually sauntering among the up and coming stages. The most obvious parallel is with Goldfrapp, who play King Tut’s Tent on the same day, so if you miss the latter then Quinn and co. are definitely the place to be.
Edinburgh’s Unicorn Kid AKA Oliver Sabin seems a divisive little chap. If you grew up hunched over a games console, then tracks like Dream Catcher will take you right back there. If you did other things like talk to girls and smoke cigarettes then you might want to move along.
Astral Planes sound like Karen O fronting The Cramps and if enough people have heard of them before their Saturday slot, tracks like Doris Day’s stop-start chant of “How absurd, how obscene!” could invoke the sort of crowd participation that you secretly enjoy and just might join in with because, you know, it’s in the festival spirit.
There’s plenty to catch elsewhere over the weekend of course, but if big pimpin’ with Hova isn't your steez, take a gamble and we’ll see you down the front at Unicorn Kid.