Over the last few years I’ve become a big fan of music festivals. Belladrum, a local and folksy festival, has become a staple of my summers and the Rockness I attended 2 years ago was easily one of the best weekends of a great year. With Rockness increasingly likely to be canned for this year, and Belladrum likely to bring in only mediocre acts, I decided to take a punt and go for the big one in 2014: T in the Park.
It is easily Scotland’s biggest festival, and always ranks among one of the best in the world in artists’ interviews. This year’s line-up, while others have called it safe, is very good in my eyes – at least compared to the usual offerings of Rockness and Belladrum anyway. Here are the bands I’ll be hoping to check out at T in the Park this year; with an indication of how likely it is I’ll see them, assuming I am better motivated to leave the campsite and my drinks behind than I am at other festivals…:
The Manic Street Preachers are an older band, older than the current T in the Park venue itself – but a good one. Their newer albums haven’t been quite as good as their classics, but as far as 90s music goes they are at the pinnacle of people’s nostalgia. Seeing them in their natural habitat of a festival would be an experience, but I think that they would be one of the acts to take a backseat for me. Likely to see? Unlikely.
Steve Angello, one of the members of the defunct DJ supergroup Swedish House Mafia, will be an interesting act at T in the Park this year. Apart from his 2008 hit “Show Me Love”, that still ranks as one of the most popular dance songs around, he hasn’t really much to his name other than the works with SHM. However, with songs lined up with some EDM heavyweights this year – this could be one of the most crowded gigs in the dance tent that weekend. Likely to see? Maybe.
One of the break-out acts of 2013 were Bastille, an English indie pop band that did big folksy songs better than anyone else. “Pompeii” was easily one the best chart songs of last year and many of their other songs on their album were good too. Hopefully they’ll be playing in a tent to add to the great atmosphere in their songs – and if they are, they’ll be a must see. Likely to see? Likely.
Ellie Goulding has one of the best voices in music, and although her newer songs have come with a hint of electronic flair, it’s that soft, soothing, raspyness that makes her songs beautiful and great. Couple her voice with good songs, stage presence and a killer figure – and I’d be amiss to miss Ellie Goulding’s set at T. Likely to see? More than likely.
The headline act of Friday is Biffy Clyro. Probably the most successful current Scottish rock act, they’ve gone on to great success in the last few years – with more than reasonable sales in America. I’m not really a big fan of theirs – something about their songs seem a little contrived – but seeing them at Rockness a few years ago convinced me that they put on a good show. At a festival you should try to see at least the headliners, so chances are I’ll be in the throng in front of the main stage to see Biffy on the Friday night. Likely to see? Almost definitely.
My absolute highlight of Friday, though, will be seeing CHVRCHES. I’ve already written about how good their debut album is, and I’ve listened to their songs over and over again since then. They are without a doubt my band of the moment. With a lower key billing, they’ll probably be in a tent – which will suit their more intimate electronic act better. This is probably the act I’m most excited to see at T in the Park this year, and I hope that it lives up to my expectations. Likely to see? Definitely.
Drum and bass quartet Rudimental have put out quite a few good songs over the last few years, and should be able to get the T in the Park crowd moving – even if they’re a little worse for wear from the night before. “Feel the Love” is one of their best, and is a great summery festival song and “Waiting All Night” is the sort of song that will get crowds bobbing along quite nicely. They put on a good show, being named BBC’s band of the summer last year, so they’ll be well worth seeing. Likely to see? Likely.
Pharrell has owned the charts for the last year, singing or producing hit albums for Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean and Daft Punk and songs like “Get Lucky”, “Blurred Lines” and his own single, “Happy” – so it was a given that he’d make an appearance at T in the Park this year. How he does on his own without the support of Daft Punk and Robin Thicke, I’m not sure, but being a nice crowd-pleasing kind of guy – I’m sure the crowd will warm to him no matter what he’s singing on stage. Likely to see? Maybe.