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T In The Park: 20 of the best acts

Electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk. Picture: PA

Electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk. Picture: PA

  • by Fiona Shepherd
 

T in the Park celebrates its 20th annual shindig next weekend and is still looking pretty fresh-faced – though we might not be saying that come next Monday morning. In honour of this milestone year, we present 20 acts who will make it the place to party once again

The Proclaimers

Main Stage, Friday
Could there be a better band to get this party started? The Proclaimers throw down the gauntlet, in the nicest possible way, for every act following them over the weekend with a set that is sure to get the crowds jigging and their hearts swelling. Let’s just hope for some sunshine on Balado to match the warmth of their songs.

Jake Bugg

Radio 1 Stage, Friday

Expect a heaving crowd for one of the biggest breakthrough successes of the past year. Although this Nottingham teenager is still finding his feet as a live performer, he already has a strong set of winning singalong numbers drawing on classic folk, blues and indie influences.

Hacktivist

T Break Stage, Friday

Remember rock? Remember rap? Remember when bands shamelessly mixed the two and threw in some political ire for good measure? Hacktivist, a fivesome from the mean streets of Milton Keynes, put a post-riots, 21st-century dubstep spin on that potent cocktail and call it “djent”. Mm, catchy.

Steve Mason

Transmissions Stage, Friday

Stick around the Transmissions tent for the dubby, soulful psych sounds of Steve Mason. The former Beta Band frontman has just released the album of his career, Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time – a personal, political and philosophical opus which looks inwards, outwards and upwards, making his a set to engage the brain as well as the heart.

Green Velvet

Slam Tent, Friday

The man with the green mohawk is a Slam Tent favourite who spices up his house anthems with some Prince/Sly Stone-influenced funk and a bit of industrial punk attitude, though he has headed into the light in recent years, converting to Christianity after a serious drug overdose.

Laura Mvula

Transmissions Stage, Sunday

If you prefer a gentler start to your Sunday, this mellow soul-jazz chanteuse could be your ticket. Mvula stands out in this year’s line-up for being a performer who doesn’t have to try too hard to capture your attention, instead drawing her audience in with the classy warmth of her voice.

Kraftwerk

King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent, Friday

Unless your T experience goes off at the deep end, it’s unlikely you’re only going to see one band at the festival… but if you only see one band at the festival, make it these Teutonic electronic behemoths. Who knew that four men-machines standing in a row pressing buttons could be so riveting?

The Strypes

Transmissions Stage, Saturday

Expect sunglasses indoors and bags of attitude from this rampaging Irish teen quartet who have raided their grandparents’ record collections and come up top trumps with a blazing 
set of yer actual old-school rhythm ’n’ blues. Harmonica-playing this demonic shouldn’t be allowed.

Willy Mason

Transmissions Stage, Saturday

In the pantheon of “T in the Park artists called Mason”, Willy stands shoulder to shoulder with Steve. His style is somewhat more traditional and rootsy than his Scottish namesake – unsurprisingly, as this young troubadour from Martha’s Vineyard is the son of two folk singers.

My Bloody Valentine

Transmissions Stage, Saturday

Earplugs at the ready for another sonic onslaught from the mildest-mannered wrecking crew in rockdom, who caused an interweb meltdown earlier this year when they released their new album mbv online. Given the relatively compact proportions of the tent, it might be an idea to get along early and start queuing for this one…

Snoop Dogg

Main Stage, Saturday

Will the Dogg turn up, or will his latest alter ego Snoop Lion appear in his place to send some reggae vibrations across Balado? Either way, expect some laidback but catchy Californian/Jamaican shizzle from the man born Calvin Broadus, all the better to be appreciated if the sun decides to shine.

Laurent Garnier

Slam Tent, Saturday

This suave Frenchman has been DJing for longer than most Slam Tent revellers have been alive. Expect the best of Chicago house and Detroit techno from his set, with a dash of everything from dubstep to disco folded in.

Travis

King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent, Saturday

T historians will be aware that Travis have headlined this whole fandango in the past, before things went a bit quiet and third-top-of-the-bill in the King Tut’s Tent. But don’t underestimate the affection for this band and their unofficial festival anthem Why Does It Always Rain On Me? Taking no chances, the organisers have installed them safely under canvas.

Earth, Wind & Fire

Main Stage, Sunday

Anyone for a surprise veteran soul-funk booking? Yes please. Fronted by the heavenly falsetto vocals of Philip Bailey, Earth, Wind & Fire have more than 40 years’ experience of bringing the party, so get out your scratcher early and get down to the evergreen likes of Boogie Wonderland, September and Fantasy, all guaranteed to blow away those Sunday morning cobwebs.

James Skelly 
& The Intenders

Transmissions Stage, Friday

Scouse musical alchemists The Coral are on hiatus, but their frontman James Skelly plus three members of the group and a couple of other Liverpudlian likely lads have formed this rhythm ’n’ blues-flavoured outfit with the intention (geddit) of rocking out rather than blissing out.

Deap Vally

King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent, Sunday

Did you know that you can make an unholy rock ’n’ roll racket with just guitar and drums? Okay, so you did. Deap Vally are the latest righteous duo bidding to fill that White Stripes-shaped hole in our lives. True fact: they met in crochet class. Just as well it wasn’t spelling class.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent, Sunday

All hail Karen O, the reigning 
queen of art rock. How cool is 
she? Well, the last time Yeah Yeah Yeahs played at T in the Park, she brought a pipe band with her, to absolutely no loss of hipster cred. That’s how cool.

Johnny Marr

King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent, Sunday

Apparently Johnny Marr used 
to be in some important band called The Smiths. Grown men 
still cry themselves to sleep at night at the very thought of his six-string genius. He is also a very nice man. Put all that together and you’ve got a crowd-pleasing set from the least egotistical guitar hero on site.

Little Mix

Radio 1 Stage, Sunday

There are a number of X Factor/The Voice alumni scattered across the T bill this year, but this feisty girl group are the ones to keep your eye on: great vocals, natural harmonies and, unlike Saturday headliner Rihanna, lashings of positive reinforcement for teenage girls.

Frank Ocean

Main Stage, Sunday

His potty-mouthed buddy Tyler, the Creator, is rapping in the Slam Tent around about the same time, but the smoothie modern soul sound of Frank Ocean, as heard on his head-turning, homophobia-busting debut album Channel Orange, is a safer bet for both quality and decorum.

• T in the Park, Balado, Kinross, Friday until Sunday. www.tinthepark.com

 

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