Growing up with T in the Park

T in the Park

By Sarah McMullan

After a run of 18 years, T in the Park has bid farewell to Balado in Kinross-shire and will next year welcome the Perthshire pastures of Strathallan Castle as its new stomping ground.

It’s hard for my nostalgia about Balado to be entirely rose-tinted. I once watched a woman take an outdoor shit then light a cigarette. There can be no sentiment in faeces.

What I can say, however, is that I have never forgotten that moment, nor many others. T in the Park is a maker of memories and tales, a place of character and of extremes. It is where people come together in song and friendship, and over the years this well-trodden-on festival has hosted some of the world’s best musicians, some of the world’s worst haircuts. In its own way it is very special.

I am ages with T in the Park, both in our 21st year, so I have quite literally grown up with it. It has become a milestone in the life of every Scottish teenager to make their first pilgrimage. It would be no more out of the ordinary to be quizzed, “Is that you away tae T in the Park?” as it would for your granny to ask, “Is that you going aff to the big school?”. In saying that, if you were allowed to attend TITP at the age of 13 then your parents are probably a bit mental. They’d definitely know where the Slam Tent is (Limmy joke).

T in the Park 2009

T in the Park, 2009

I was not 13 on my first visit to Balado but the tender age of 16. It was 2009 and I remember being total buzzed to see The Killers and falling out with my mum in the Asda booze aisle because she wouldn’t buy me a bottle of Mickey Finn’s. I wore a pair of Scotland pants over my shorts and teamed the ensemble with rainbow knee-high socks. I thought I looked the tits.

As the years have progressed I am now able to buy my own booze, my fashion choices have improved (arguably) and my musical preferences have changed. Last weekend I veered away from the main stages and sought out what else T in the Park has to offer, such as the BBC Introducing Stage and the T Break tent: watching the good guys before they become the big guys and sympathising with the young birds in rainbow socks who truly believe they are the tits.

So, whilst we may change, T in the Park has remained reliably familiar and catered for its audience: the teenage, the twenties, the veterans. Upon us is simply one more change.

When I inevitably find myself drawn to Strathallan in 2015, I’m sure it will soon be forgotten that it’s not Balado. Among the chancers, the campers, the banter and the chanters, it will simply feel like we are at T in the Park. A bacon roll is HOW MUCH?

T in the Park 2015 tickets are on sale via Ticketmaster.

T in the Park 2014

T in the Park, 2014

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Music Alliance Pact – July 2014


From Dunfermline we present Foreignfox. If they’re new to you, imagine the pop-noir bombast of, say, The Twilight Sad or Glasvegas, doused with some towering choruses and gritty lyrics. Hearts are stirred, chests are beaten. You know how it goes. Discover for yourself with the Music Alliance Pact exclusive download below, along with the rest of the world’s offerings for this month.

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 24-track compilation through Dropbox here.

No matter how much you think you’re ready for it, the song Foreignfox introduced themselves to the world with, Yoghurt, still knocks you sideways. The raw, stomach-knotting emotion of Jonny Watt’s struggle to come to terms with his father’s cancer diagnosis is unravelled in lyrics of rare candour, backed with some sweeping guitar work and a suitably tear-inducing promo video. Foreignfox’s debut EP, We Float Like Sinking Ships, is available on Bandcamp.
July 26, The Wickerman Festival, Dumfries & Galloway
August 8, Belladrum, Inverness
August 15, PJ Molloys, Dunfermline
August 29, King Tut’s, Glasgow

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Live blog: SAY Award 2014

SAY Award 2014

Hello, you beautiful human. Welcome to The Pop Cop’s live blog from this year’s SAY Award ceremony at the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow, which celebrates Scottish albums which were released in 2013.

There are 10 contenders in the shortlist, each artist bidding to scoop the first prize of £20,000. Not sure whether you are required to declare those winnings on your self assessment tax return, must ask RM Hubbert about that later…

If the URL at the top of your browser does not read http://thepopcop.co.uk/2014/06/live-blog-say-award-2014/ then you’ll want to click here to take you to our dedicated live blogging page, which will automatically refresh whenever there is a new entry.

First things first, let’s have your thoughts, please:

Which album do you want to win the 2014 SAY Award?

  • Chvrches - The Bones of What You Believe (31%, 19 Votes)
  • Young Fathers - Tape Two (15%, 9 Votes)
  • Hector Bizerk - Nobody Seen Nothing (13%, 8 Votes)
  • not fussed (11%, 7 Votes)
  • The Pastels - Slow Summits (8%, 5 Votes)
  • Biffy Clyro - Opposites (5%, 3 Votes)
  • Edwyn Collins - Understated (5%, 3 Votes)
  • RM Hubbert - Breaks & Bone (3%, 2 Votes)
  • Steve Mason - Monkey Minds in the Devil's Time (3%, 2 Votes)
  • Mogwai - Les Revenants (3%, 2 Votes)
  • Boards Of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest (3%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 61

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