July is proving to be a busy month for Scotland's sensational Amy MacDonald.
With the release of her latest single ‘Mr Rock and Roll’, her debut album plus a slot at her local festival T In The Park, it looks like she’s going to be a busy girl. Fortunately she put aside some time to give Virtual Festival the insider track on attending Scotland’s premiere outdoor event.
Virtual Festival: You're playing at T In The Park. What are your first thoughts, nervous or excited?
Amy: "T In The Park is the festival I go to every year, but this is the first time I’ll get to play there, so it’s quite exciting. But it’ll be a bit strange because I’m still doing the whole camping thing this year. I’ve managed to get the whole weekend off except for my half-hour slot. So, I’ll be going up on Thursday morning with all my friends, with a tent and the multiple bottles of vodka."
VF: So, it’ll be like the normal T experience..
AMY: "It’ll be the normal experience, except the Saturday evening when I’ll be like “Right guys, see you later” and I’ll be making the trek to the stage, and then playing my half hour."
VF: For the last two years it’s been voted Best Festival in the UK. So, as a regular, what do you think it is that makes it so special?
AMY: "I think that there’s a difference in atmosphere between gigs down south and in Scotland. I think people are just generally up for a lot more and want to just let go a bit. As a nation, we don’t really get embarrassed that easily. I think when I come down here, people, they want to dance, but they think “oh, everyone’s looking at me.” I have got that impression when I’ve been at gigs here. But in Scotland and in Glasgow and at T In The Park nobody cares. If T In The Park was in London, I don’t think it would be quite as good. It’s just we’re in a field, you can see the mountains in the background, it’s beautiful and everyone has a great time and a great laugh. And it’s obviously great music as well."
VF: Have you a favourite year or a favourite memory from when you’ve been.
AMY: "The first time I went, actually, because it’s the first time that I thought to myself “I want to play music.” Travis were the headline act and my mum took me and I remember watching them thinking “I want to play guitar.” After that I went home and taught myself to play Travis songs on the guitar. So, that’s always going to be my favourite one."
VF: Who are you going to watch when you’re not playing?
AMY: "There’s such a great line-up this year. I’d love to see Arcade Fire and The Killers. But the one I’m really excited about is Brian Wilson because I love the Beach Boys, to have an opportunity to see the man singing all those songs would just be absolutely amazing. I’m so excited about that. I can’t wait."
VF: For anybody out there who is visiting T In The Park for the first time do you have any tips?
AMY: "I think the best thing to do is find the little vendors right at the start of the weekend and buy the little passes, and that way you kind of plan your weekend out before you get too drunk to even read. I always try and plan what I’m going to see, so that I don’t end up seeing nothing, which has happened to me a couple of times."
VF: And have you got anything that you think they should definitely pack and take with them?
AMY: "You need to take the whole spectrum. There’s not one thing you can pack!"
VF: You mentioned Travis before. You’ve supported them this year, what was that like?
AMY: "Oh, it was just mad. I played with them at Edinburgh, in the Liquid Rooms. I’d met them as a fan, but never as a fellow musician. Before I spoke to them I was just doing my soundcheck and all their gear was lying around. I’ve seen them about 15 or 16 times so I even know the gear they use back to front. I was like “Oh, there’s Andy’s amp, there’s Fran’s guitar”. Just seeing all their stuff on stage and seeing their set list was just really strange."
VF: You have a song that’s a tribute to the Barrowlands, a famous Glasgow venue, is that somewhere you would like to play?
AMY: "I hope so, I hope so. When I played it at King Tut’s, I did my introduction, “I don’t know if you know, just down the road, they’ve got another lovely venue…” and everyone went nuts for it. Everyone was jumping about and going mental, which was amazing. So, yes that’s one of my ambitions. To get to play the Barrowlands and to play that song would just be amazing. I can’t wait for that, really, fingers crossed I will get that opportunity."
VF: I take it that your song 'Footballer’s Wife', which is about the current trend of 20 year olds writing autobiographies, means we won’t expect one of them from you soon?
AMY: "No. Even if I had the best story to tell, which I don’t, I still wouldn’t do it because I’m far too lazy. I’m a musician, not an author, so I don’t think you’ll ever see an autobiography of me."
Find out more for yourself at Amy Macdonald's MySpace.