Jim kept a note of what he got up to at this year’s T In The Park festival, highlights of which appeared in the Scottish Sun on July 12… but here’s the full thing.
Episode 92 of Jim Gellatly’s New Music, recorded at T In The Park, can be accessed at www.radiomagnetic.com
Set off for the festival site with my wife Candy and daughter Jasmine (12). For Candy and I this is our 17th T in the Park. It’s Jasmine’s 2nd. My in-laws live in Kinross, so making use of the free shuttle bus it’s just a matter of minutes from comfy bed to festival!
The arena hasn’t actually opened yet, so head for the Media Village to kook up with the gang from The Scottish Sun and Radio Clyde. As well as writing this, I’m doing regular reports on Romeo‘s show on commercial radio across Scotland. I call my Mum to let her know I might be on her local station Tay FM.
Bump into a couple of the guys from Australian band The Temper Trap as they are about to do a radio interview. I tell them that I first saw them when they played King Tut’s. It may have sounded like I was trying to gain brownie points, but was just trying to convey that I’d been into them for a while.
My progress towards the arena is slower than anticipated, as I keep meeting folk. Say a quick hi to Glasgow-based Ghanaian rapper Kobi Onyame who’ll be playing the T Break Stage, and also French Wives who are set to close that stage tonight. They have stiff competition with Calvin Harris, Black Eyed Peas and Muse performing on the other stages. The new band stages are great source for uncovering new talent, so T Break, BBC Introducing and the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Futures Stage are usually my first port of call.
Watching Glasgow noise merchants Sacred Betrayal in the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Futures Stage. I’m quite proud of myself that I’ve managed to catch the very first band of 2010! This stage seems to have opened 15 minutes before the others, though I hear Stevie and The Moon played a secret gig here last night (does that count?).
Having grabbed a quick interview with Sacred Betrayal singer Will for my podcast, it’s time for the first band on the T Break Stage. I’ve got a particular interest in the line-up here, as I’m one of the panel of industry insiders responsible for filtering all the T Break entries. It’s quite a task, with pretty much every unsigned act in Scotland aspiring to play T Break. In addition to the 16 acts we selected, guest acts also appear in the tent, so it’s a great mix of brand new and newly signed buzz acts. The Big Pink who opened the Main Stage earlier, actually played T Break last year, so it’s not even exclusively Scottish (the “new Lily Allen”, Eliza Doolittle will be playing this stage on Sunday). Seventeenth Century are perfect openers to T Break this year, with their epic indie folk sound, which has hints of Arcade Fire.
The weather forecast had been a bit miserable, but my decision to wear shorts seems to have paid off, as it starts to clear up. Not quite the washout anticipated, and Candy finally removes her waterproofs (and to think, she was mocking me for wearing shorts!). A guy comes up to me as says “You’re him aren’t you?” I proceed to confuse him by claiming that I am indeed my former BBC Scotland colleague Vic Galloway. Squirrel from a band called This Silent Forest approaches me. He has promised to get me a T Shirt to wear at the festival this year, but sadly couldn’t get my size. He gives Jasmine one of the band T Shirts though, and a picture of us endorsing This Silent Forest is soon posted on Twitter. It’s back to the Media Village next, where I record an interview with Welsh band Jklmno, who play the BBC Introducing Stage tomorrow.
After a bit of The Temper Trap on the Radio 1/NME Stage, and then Kobi Onyame showing that urban music is a relevant force in the Scottish scene with a cracking T Break set, I’m back in the Media Village for a live insert into Romeo’s In:Demand radio show. I tell him that The Temper Trap’s Sweet Disposition has probably been the anthem of the festival so far, and he gives a rather good verbal description of my current hairstyle.
Despite apologising for having a sore throat, La Roux‘s Elly Jackson is in fine form in the King Tut’s Tent with a fantastic cover of the Rolling Stones’ Under My Thumb being a highlight. As we leave the tent we meet Scots songwriter & producer John McLaughlin (Busted, Blue, Westlife etc), who introduces me to Echo & The Bunnymen‘s Scots guitarist Gordy Goudie, who strangely, I’ve never met before. The Bunnymen headline the Red Bull Tent tonight.
Need to shoot backstage again for another slot with Romeo, but just enough time to get a flavour of Florence & The Machine‘s set on the Radio 1/NME Stage. She has the crowd in the palm of her hand, even conducting the applause with a baton! Heading back to radio studios, Faithless start to play their dancefloor epic Insomnia on the Main Stage, prompting fans to run towards the stage and soak up the atmosphere.
Kieren Webster from The View spots me and comes over. Always get on well with him as he’s a fellow Dundee supporter. Sense of déjà vu as he says one of the band’s mates has lost his ticket, and they are trying to sort him out. I’m convinced this happens at every festival these guys play. Really looking forward to The View’s set on the Main Stage on Sunday. Nobody around to take a picture of Kieren and I, so I take one with my Blackberry and post it to Facebook and Twitter (I’m a bit sad when it comes to social networking!)
Black Eyed Peas look great visually, but the sound doesn’t seem to be that great where we’re standing. Jasmine points out that her toothbrush plays the opening son Let’s Get It Started. Says it all really, and I leave Candy and Jasmine, while I go to checkout out Forres band Be Like Pablo on the T Break Stage.
A few folk seem surprised that I’ve bypassed Muse‘s headline set. I do like them, but I’ve seen Muse many times, so that’s why I sampled Black Eyed Peas. Having ditched out of that earlier, I was gutted get only the last song from Be Like Pablo. It was worth hanging around though, and within a couple of songs from French Wives, I’d made up my mind that the Glasgow band were my top act of day 1 at T in the Park. Not the first time I’d seen them, but playing through a big sound system, it sounded epic… much more power than the twee indie folk I think I was expecting. A glorious end to the day.
Arrived on site later than planned, having just missed a shuttle bus from Kinross. Gutted as I wanted to see Lou Hickey (Codeine Velvet Club) open the BBC Introducing Stage. I have an interview lined-up with rising Scots stars Kid Adrift at 1:30, but while I’m waiting I grab a quick word with The Proclaimers. I’m a massive fan, so certainly want to see their set on the Main Stage.
There’s a country kitchen style bar setup in the Media Village (including lager on tap). It’s actually there as a set for interviewing artists, but seems to have been commandeered by my buddies from Radio Magnetic, who host my weekly Jim Gellatly’s New Music podcast. They’re recording an acoustic session with T Break band Mitchell Museum for a new series of new band recordings in conjunction with the Skinny events guide. The Glasgow band are this month’s Skinny cover stars, but have the unenviable task of playing at the same time as Eminem tonight.
Got a great chat with Kid Adrift for my unsigned band showcase on DAB Digital Radio station Amazing Radio. Kid Adrift are actually signed to Island Records, but I try and interview signed acts and music industry insiders for the show, which airs Sundays 3pm, Tuesdays 6pm and Thursdays 1pm. It’s also available online at www.amazingradio.co.uk. A lot of folk have been telling me that they miss the station I used to work for, Xfm Scotland, so it’s great to be able to tell them that I’m now doing a programme for new acts on a UK wide platform, but with a Scottish bias.
Went out into the area to catch a bit of live music before my next guest spot with Romeo. I was standing in the King Tut’s Tent waiting for the Sunshine Underground to appear, before it dawns on me that I’m at the wrong stage! They are in fact playing the Radio 1/NME Stage at the other end of the area, so return to the radio compound having still to see a band today. As I’m waiting to speak to Romeo I am able to peak through the blinds of the Clyde 1 sessions portacabin and watch a bit of US folk rocker Lissie performing a set that seems to be far more rock than folk. Really need to check out more of her stuff.
After a quick chat with Romeo on his show that’s going out on Clyde 1, Forth 1 and Radio Borders, I’ve rejoined Candy and Jasmine by the Main Stage, where Newton Falkner is coming to the end of his set with a rousing cover of Bohemian Rhapsody.
A guy just asked me if this was my first T In The Park. He seemed somewhat surprised when I revealed it was my 17th! Just been over to the BBC Introducing Stage and watched a bit of English folkies Cattle and Cane, no doubt not the first band I’ll come across this weekend who sound a bit like Mumford & Sons (though it’s more than likely that Mumford & Sons will sound like themselves!). I was actually as school with Gordon who looks after the sound at the BBC Introducing stage, so good to see him again. He tells me that Lou Hickey has been one of the highlights so far on his stage. Great.
The Proclaimers were awesome on the Main Stage. Just as well they never played Cap In Hand, as that usually has me in tears, though I did feel myself welling up during Sunshine On Leith. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) is a perfect ending to the set from one of the best Scottish bands ever.
Further nostalgia with a bit of Shed Seven on the Radio 1/NME Stage, then bang up to date with Kid Adrift in the T Break tent. Best band of the festival so far and future headliners. It’s such an interesting sound with elements of rock, dance and even opera. Need to get back and do another link with Romeo, but manage to get the end of Frightened Rabbit‘s set in the King Tut’s Tent. Triumph would be an understatement, as they have the sizable ground in the palms of their hands. As they launch into their final song Keep Yourself Warm, singer Scott Hutchison proclaims it “the best day ever”.
Heading back out of the Media Area after doing my bit with Romeo, I recorded a quick interview with Rosyth lads The Draymin. They set themselves up perfectly for me to knock them down when they said they were looking forward to seeing Kasabian tomorrow, as a lot of folk think they sound a bit like the Leicester heroes. I turned that around by introducing The Draymin track that the end of the interview as one from “Scotland’s top Kasabian tribute band”. It was them that put the idea in my head, but I think they may have been a bit offended, so that part of the interview may end up getting binned.
We hung around watching Paolo Nutini for a while, and Candy was particularly happy that she got to see him sing the song Candy. With the wife now satisfied, it’s Jasmine’s turn to see one of the acts she’s a big fan of, Pearl And The Puppets. She’s seen them a few times now, and despite starting to get a bit weary after a long day tramping around a muddy field, she lasts the set. Jasmine does look a bit drained though, and the girls decide to call it a day after Pearl. It’s possible her state may also be down to the disappointment at missing Diana Vickers earlier on. She need only have said, so hopefully next time she really wants to see an act she’ll speak up!
At Candy’s recommendation I went for something to eat in the Healthy Eating area… and what choice! From fresh fruit to Loch Fyne Oysters to stovies. I decided to go for a lamb kebab from Johnny Baghdad’s. £6 well spent, and I predict a return visit tomorrow. Bump into Petra from the West Brewery in Glasgow who kindly takes a picture of me outside the foodstall.
Pop Idol winner turned TV host Michelle McManus catches my eye as I head back towards the T Break tent. She’s in two minds whether to round off the evening with Eminem or Mumford & Sons. I ask if she doesn’t fancy doing a turn on one of the stages, and she jokes that she’d probably get bottled off!
Another amazing discovery in the T Break Tent, with Mopp joining my growing list of T In The Park highlights. I’ve been enjoying Mopp’s music for a while now, but it’s even better live. Maybe it’s something they put in the water in Clackmannanshire these days, because 2 of my favourites hail from that part of the world. Barry Mopp’s from Alloa, while Kid Adrift’s roots are in Dollar (both towns within a 20 mile radius of the T In The Park site at Balado). Like Kid Adrift, Mopp’s sound is difficult to classify, with a mix of beats and indie. Jen Anderson who manages the band suggests “trindie”… a hybrid of trance and indie. I think she just made that up on the spot! One of her other acts Unicorn Kid performs tomorrow, and she hints that there may be a rather special light show.
It really is humbling, the number of folk that have approached me over the weekend, telling me what a good job I do for new bands in Scotland. It makes be all the more determined to secure another new music platform on terrestrial radio. I think I’ve had my photo taken with T in the Parkers about a hundred times so far, and it’s great to be asks. Makes me feel really special. It’s weird as well hearing people say my name as I pass by… and pronounce it right! I girl just stopped me to say how much she loves listening to me on Clyde 1 on Saturday afternoons. She says she particularly likes the Wrong To Be Right quiz. That brings me back down to earth, as it’s Boogie and Dingo that do that!
Eminem finally appeared more than 30 minutes late. I really did fear that he was going to be a no show! It’s one of the busiest crowds I’ve ever seen in front of the Main Stage, but I’m so far back I decide to sample Mumford & Sons in the King Tut’s Tent. I really never knew they were this popular! No wonder there are so many sound alike bands these days! The 8000 capacity tent is pretty packed and it seems that everybody knows all the words.
Enter the area to the sound of The Stranglers playing Peaches on the Main Stage. Unfortunately the wind means the sound is swirling all over the place.
Just done another live link with Romeo, and then had a chat with fellow Dundonians The View for my podcast. They seem remarkably fresh considering they’ve been at the festival all weekend.
Bumped into radio pals Tom Russell and Father Ted from Rock Radio. Aside from the great bands, T In The Park is one of the few times I get the chance to catch up with colleagues past and present. Back in King Tut’s Tent now for Scots band Kassidy. I was a bit worried about them pulling a crowd in an 8000 capacity tent, but it’s a great turn out for their acoustic led rock. Spotless harmonies from the boys as always, and they seem to have a new image which matches the sound perfectly. Dressed like long haired southern preachers, they spread the Kassidy gospel. This could well be the performance that takes them to the next level.
Back in the Media Village for a final chat with Romeo. Just met folk punk troubadour Frank Turner. He was sure we’d met before. I think I interviewed him in London at the Xfm New Music Awards on London a few years ago, where he’d been nominated for best debut album. Hopefully get out to the arena again soon to see Ellie Goulding, another of Jasmine’s favourites.
Hooked up with Candy and Jasmine again. Louise from Radio Tay is there too, and she’s just interviewed Candy. You can’t keep us Gellatlys off the radio! Big crowd on the Main Stage for The View, but the sound’s not great because of the wind. It’s made worse because the speakers in the middle of the arena have been lowered for safety reasons. The big TV screens either side of the stage have been taken down as well.
Kassidy greet me like a long lost brothers in the Media Area, and are so thankful for the past support I’ve given them. It’s all quite embarrassing really as I know I’ve only played a small part, but very much appreciated. Lots of man hugs all round!
After a bit of Ellie Goulding we try to catch some Dizzee Rascal, but the sound’s still a nightmare with the wind. We give up on Dizzee for Eliza Doolittle in the T Break tent.
Pretty much one song into Eliza I get a call to say that my interview with New York band The Drums has been brought forward, so we need to trek back to the other side of the site! I drop Kobi Onyame a quick text so that we can hook up for a chat just before I do The Drums.
Text from Candy to say she’s just arrived at the T Break tent. Woops! Adam and Jacob from The Drums provide a perfect final interview for my podcast, revealing a passion for Scottish bands including cult 80s acts The Wake and Orange Juice. Saying that though, they admit that they could be at any festival, as they are all much the same from a band’s point of view. Of course they haven’t actually performed their T In The Park set yet!
Keep meeting people as I try to head back to the arena, and s bit of a bottleneck evolves around me. With every step towards the exit of the hospitality there seems to be someone else, and I’m greeted by various members of The Proclaimers‘ band, The Law, Young Fathers and Luva Anna. Singer songwriter Tommy Reilly and I manage to break from the throng, and along with Jasmine we head for Biffy Clyro.
Still the same problems with the wind on the Main Stage… so give up yet again for the cover of a tent, though rather disappointed with the turn out for Midnight Lion in the T Break Tent. With a major record deal now in the can, I’m pretty sure it’ll be a different story the next time they appear here.
Another vintage T In The Park, so just contemplating which acts to round off my day… I do fancy a cocktail of Jay-Z, Madness and Kasabian.
Already looking forward to next year and this one isn’t even over yet! I do hope I’m recognised as much at my 18th T In The Park, as I do love it when folk recognise me. Of course it’s probably split with folk who know who I am and people who just want a picture with the big fat freak with the funny hair!
Roll on 2010!
Hear Jim’s T In The Park podcast at www.radiomagnetic.com or click the banner below to access via iTunes.