In just a few days the biggest bands will be belting out their best tunes at Balado for another mammoth T in the Park. They've expanded to three days with ten stages but you needn't worry because we've selected who to 'See in the Park'...
[r-zone1] From its humble beginnings in 1994 T in the Park has grown unsurprisingly swiftly and has picked up the UK’s ‘Best Major Festival’ award for the last two years. Then The Killers went and declared it their favourite festival which may be why they’ve been asked to be Saturday’s headliner. This year, the event will celebrate a decade of festivals at its current location at Balado, near Kinross, by expanding to three days of music. But with Glastonbury back, will it be enough to secure the coveted award again?
Scotland’s biggest festival constantly attracts the leading acts from around the globe with previous line-ups including Rage Against The Machine, Radiohead and, erm, Kylie Minogue. This year tickets sold out in a record 40 minutes as you lot jammed phone lines to see the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The Killers and Snow Patrol. With the masses once again pouring into Balado, T in the Park will become Scotland’s 6th biggest city for one weekend.
The festival is fast becoming a serious competitor to the almighty Glastonbury and with the extension to three days they may now be able to put up a proper fight. It's not just more days on offer, there are loads more attractions to keep you occupied, in addition to the main stages. The Bacardi B-Bar looks to be one of the funkiest places to hang out on site, boasting an ever funky lineup of DJs, while the Duracell Powerhouse will keep the party rocking long into the night. Plus T has gone all Jamie Oliver and opened an area dedicated to healthy eating, but for those with a sweet tooth here are 20 treats you must get your teeth into this weekend…
Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars – Pet Sounds Arena – Saturday
The members of Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars all fled Freetown, Sierra Leone during the country’s civil war. The Reggae and Afrobeat outfit met after a mass exodus of the country saw them forced to live in a Guinean Refugee Camp. They’re set to bring the heartache of Bob Marley mixed with the gentle throbbings of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
[r-zone2]Dizzee Rascal – Slam Tent – Saturday
Dylan Mills aka Dizzee Rascal’s first album put grime on the map with its esteemed critical claim, now the London rapper is back on top form with his third offering ‘Maths + Englsih’. Dizzee helped Arctic Monkeys during their Glastonbury set, will the Sheffield lads repay the favour here? Probably not, but well worth watching anyway.
Kings Of Leon – Main Stage – Sunday
The bands third studio album, ‘Because Of The Times’, is arguably one of the best albums so far this year. It was followed by a sell-out UK tour and a string of festival dates around the world. Live the band are a institution with a back catalogue of indie thumpers – perfect for that Saturday hangover.
[r-zone3] The Gossip – Radio 1/NME Stage – Saturday
For a while The Gossip were untouchable with Beth Ditto at number one in this year’s NME Cool List. After breathtaking performances around the world including a ‘stripped down’ performance at SXSW, it all went a little quiet until a riotous Glastonbury set reminded us all why we must see The Gossip live.
The Cider Spiders – T Break Stage – Friday
Minx, the lead singer sounds like an apple cheeked version of Kings Of Leon singer, Caleb Followill but with a bouncy and infectious indie backing. It’s not that we just love their name…
Mark Lanegan and the Soulsavers – Pet Sounds Arena – Sunday
Mark Lanegan’s whisky soaked voice is similar to Tom Waits and with Soulsavers’ earning Giles Peterson’s approval the paring are set to impress. Lanegan’s voice drenches over eight of the eleven tracks of the Soulsavers’ album with a more gentle voice much removed from his Screaming Trees’ days.
Malcolm Middleton – Pet Sounds Arena – Sunday
The Arab Strap multi-instrumentalist has years of experience and last year’s cult folk single ‘Beep Beep I Love You’ received radio play and earned the Scot some solo bragging rights – a gentle start for a Sunday.
[r-zone4] The Sunshine Underground – Futures Stage – Sunday
Quite what they’re doing on the Futures Stage is a mystery but the Leeds quartet are very worthy of your attention. They were pioneers in the ‘nu rave’ scene when they released ‘Put You In Your Place’ two years ago and they hold more substance and better tunes then most of the ‘nu rave’ cavalry which exhaustingly gallops behind them.
Camera Obscura – King Tut’s Tent – Saturday
Glaswegian six-piece are seasoned songwriters with an impeccable live delivery who were invited by John Peel to play at his 65th birthday party. ‘Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken’ was an underground hit last year with haunting organs and a deep message for those going through a break-up.
[r-zone5] Cold War Kids – Pet Sounds Arena – Saturday
The Californian indie rock band are one of the better bands to emerge with the ‘indie’ tag in recent times. They’ve pushed aside the sellable and predictable three chord pop indie and replaced it with poignant lyrics and a mature sound that's lacking from some of the younger bands.
Kate Nash – Futures Stage – Sunday
The kooky Londoner sets a precedent for her contemporaries with her skilled musicianship and addictive but simple melodic pop songs. Her single ‘Foundations’ just reached number two in the UK charts, which shows the strength of her songs, but it's her onstage banter and live performance that will convert the so-called unconvertible. You have been warned.
Gogol Bordello – Radio 1/NME Stage – Saturday
The punk gypsies are back and sure to put on another live performance that belittles most of the bill. Their chaotic and seemingly shambolic stage show got the band the legion of fans they deserve, but couple it with ‘Start Wearing Purple’, their tavern anthem big enough to out-sing Oktoberfest, and ladies and gentleman you have a show!
[r-zone6] Arctic Monkeys – Main Stage – Friday
T in the Park’s first ever Friday headliners and an industry buzz word, but it is easy to see why. "Don’t believe the hype," Turner had said on the band’s first video, ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ but it’s hard not to. An army of fans will already be preparing to belt back the band’s lyrics and with only three stages open on Friday few will avoid the Arctic avalanche. Get along and sing-a-long…
Jamie T – King Tut’s Tent – Saturday
The outright star of the Thames Beat scene will outshine the weekend's copycats like Just Jack with witty lyrics, catchy melodies and big breakbeats. The youngster is likely to tackle each song faster than Lewis Hamilton but an exhausted audience leaving a Jamie T gig is always a rewarded one.
[r-zone7] The Arcade Fire – Main Stage – Saturday
Their epic orchestral anthems embedded within a rock exterior make The Arcade Fire as intriguing as they are elegantly brilliant. A cacophony of instruments inter-sewn with wall of sound melodies and dressed up as the most Victorian of industrialists, Arcade Fire ride a platform nobody can come close to. Oh, and their live show is nothing short of sophisticated perfection.
Air Traffic – Futures Stage – Saturday
Air Traffic is clean indie pop which is as moreish as fizzy cola to a five year old. Plodding piano hooks hammering over a simple guitar work even allows most five year olds to sing-a-long. Keane for the kids but without the alcohol (obviously)!
Wu-Tang Clan – Slam Tent – Sunday
A bunch of bad boys who make Pete Doherty look like he’s been stashing marmite, the Wu-Tang Clan roll into Balado to reignite your belief in hip hop. While Westwood will turn you off the genre, Wu-Tang Clan’s ‘Gravel Pit’ will have you remembering why you loved it so much in the first place.
[r-zone8] Lily Allen – Main Stage – Friday
This girl follows around the sun as if she’s got it on a lead. So if it does decide to turn out bright, as it often does in Scotland, then skank on down to watch the Chav princess echo out her sun-kissed anthems to take your mind off the recent downpours.
James – Main Stage – Saturday
Naughty 90’s band James have reformed so get ready to belt out ‘Sit Down’ and that cheeky ‘Laid’ number. But don’t forget to look over your shoulder in case one of your parents catch you singing that risky, “She only comes when she’s on top" line.
Anyone – Celidh Tent – Saturday or Sunday
As much as they love a battered Mars bar and a beer the Scots also love to dance. The traditional Celtic dances, mainly found at weddings, are ready for you to try all weekend. So what you waiting for? Grab your mate and jig along to the ‘Gay Gordon’.
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