T Break 2011: The chosen ones

Sifting through more than 1,000 demos of unsigned Scottish acts and whittling them down to just 16… that really is a job I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

So all credit to the T Break judges for coming up with a pretty decent shortlist of artists who will play at this summer’s T in the Park festival alongside (sort of, but not really) Beyoncé, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, The Foo Fighters, Pulp and The Strokes on July 8-10.

Here’s The Pop Cop’s guide to the runners and riders…

Base: Glasgow
CV: Arcade Fire-infused orchestral bluster from the first T Break band ever to have previously played T in the Park (they were on the BBC Introducing Stage in 2010). One of their members – Debbie Morton (the blonde one) – also has a solo career under the name of Debbie Kate.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Aerialsup
Twitter: http://twitter.com/aerialsup
Audio: Aerials Up – All Your Mothers Daughters

Base: Glasgow/Edinburgh
CV: Feisty guitar-pop with champion cheekbones, Boycotts recently played their biggest gig to date, at a sell-out Glasgow Barrowland in March as support to Two Door Cinema Club.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Boycotts
Twitter: http://twitter.com/boycotts
Audio: Boycotts – Press Play

Base: Edinburgh
CV: Old-fashioned indie-pop with more than its fair share of weedy synth sounds.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cancel-the-Astronauts/9549742151
Twitter: http://twitter.com/canceltheastros
Audio: Cancel The Astronauts – Late In The City

Base: Paisley
CV: Big-riffed headbanging rock from two young men and one man who looks old enough to be their dad.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carnivores/113628385672
Twitter: http://twitter.com/carnivores_
Audio: Carnivores – Black Rain / Purple Sabbath

Base: Edinburgh
CV: Politically-aware hip-hop with Harlequinade on vocal duty and beats from Asthmatic Astronaut (real name: Gareth).
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Harlequinade/159500400736973 and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Asthmatic-Astronaut/277314640405
Twitter: http://twitter.com/parsonharlequin and http://twitter.com/asthmatic_ast
Audio: Church Of When The Shit Hits The Fan – Locust Ritual

Base: Glasgow
CV: Intricate, ambient and otherworldy songcraft with Björk-esque vocals. Their debut album Kammerspiel came out in February.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Conquering-Animal-Sound/205594179060
Twitter: http://twitter.com/yourfriendscas
Audio: Conquering Animal Sound – Wildthings

Base: Dunfermline
CV: Lovingly-crafted tropical pop melodies with a plentiful dollop of likeability.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/crayons/110242854524
Twitter: http://twitter.com/crayyyons
Audio: Crayons – Belle Laide

Base: Edinburgh
CV: Slick, polished electro from the most talked-about new discovery from this year’s T Break submissions according to those I spoke to who were on the judging panel. Nobody is quite sure whether their named is pronounced Disco-Polis or as in the word that rhymes with necropolis.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/discopolismusic
Twitter: http://twitter.com/discopolisuk
Audio: Discopolis – Timber Merchants

Base: Kilmarnock
CV: Fatherson make earnest, fairly derivative rock and aren’t too dissimilar to their Killie cousins Biffy Clyro. They used to go by the name of Energy!
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fathersonband
Twitter: http://twitter.com/fathersonband
Audio: Fatherson – Town For Tourists

Base: Edinburgh
CV: When the band had a singer, nobody paid them much attention. But since ditching him and going instrumental they’ve won plenty of admirers for their pretentious mathematical rock. I’m not one of them, to be honest. Guitarist Scott Bullen is also a member of Scottish supergroup Hairy Area.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/weareladynorth
Twitter: n/a
Audio: Lady North – Ali, The Pig Opera And The Helicopter

Base: Glasgow
CV: Confrontational, angry MCing backed by dark, sparse digital beats.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Marrik.Layden.Deft.Shearer
Twitter: http://twitter.com/_MLDmusic
Audio: Marrik Layden Deft & Scatabrainz – I Show My Teeth

Base: Glasgow
CV: Competent indie fare with tinges of Guided By Voices. Bassist Dave Reekie also plays in Song Of Return.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/otherpeopleloveyou
Twitter: http://twitter.com/loveotherpeople
Audio: Otherpeople – Hello

Base: Glasgow
CV: Fun, slacker garage-rock. Guitarist/vocalist Phillip Taylor is dating Stina Twee, the singer of fellow T Breakers Boycotts. Hang on a minute – a love story centred around two bands at T in the Park? They could make a crap movie about that…
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/PAWS/127773603912825
Twitter: http://twitter.com/wehavepaws
Audio: PAWS – Violent Vicky Violet

Base: Airdrie
CV: Behind the bashful exterior of Louise Connell lies a lyricist of rare fortitude and an acoustic guitarist with an acutely honed sense of melody, both of which make Get To Know Me the best song I’ve heard all year. The most talented artist in this year’s T Break. No contest.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Reverieme
Twitter: http://twitter.com/reverieme
Audio: Reverieme – Get To Know Me

Base: Motherwell
CV: They’ve made a name for themselves parodying Biffy Clyro on YouTube and being ambushed by a stripper (NSFW!) during a gig organised by Detour. At long last, though, rap-rock combo The LaFontaines are finally writing songs to match their profile – Light Up The Background is the best thing they’ve done by some distance.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-LaFontaines/23617180546
Twitter: http://twitter.com/thelafontaines
Audio: The LaFontaines – Light Up The Background

Base: Glasgow
CV: Remember the fuzzy, whirlwind swagger of Trail of Dead’s early albums? That’s what this lot sound like.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/United-Fruit/73080356257
Twitter: http://twitter.com/unitedfruitband
Audio: United Fruit – Wrecking Ball

163 Responses to “T Break 2011: The chosen ones”

  1. Jim Gellatly Says:

    May 21st, 2011 at 11:07

    @chops “…personally I’ve always thought they were nothing special – this is an opinion built on me having bought all their records and not enjoyed any of them, but wanted to give them a chance anyway. I’ve also seen them four times, and was bored shitless every time.” Huh? Sucker! Surely after at least 3 gigs you’d have realised they weren’t your thing.

  2. Chops Says:

    May 21st, 2011 at 11:09

    Fair enough, if you don’t think it’s worth it, but what is worth it? Playing in “shit little bars” over and over again in Scotland where it’s clear if you don’t conform to one of just three fashionable styles you’ll be totally ignored? Going outside Scotland and experiencing true diversity is something bands should want to do. And while a booking agent helps, it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Promoters and venues in England won’t take a chance on an unsigned band without any form of representation from Scotland unless they think the music is worth trying to promote.

    I can’t think of any Scottish bands who have recently been signed without ever having played a gig, though I do know of a band who were signed to a very big label off the back of some demos which never saw the light of day in Scotland.

  3. Chops Says:

    May 21st, 2011 at 11:12

    @Jim “Sucker! Surely after at least 3 gigs you’d have realised they weren’t your thing”

    After the second time I saw them I knew I didn’t want to see them again, but hey that’s what happens when you go to festivals – you go with mates to see bands they like and vice versa. I guess being a patient friend makes me a sucker.

  4. fin Says:

    May 21st, 2011 at 18:07

    I can think of at least two bands that have been signed without playing any gigs from Scotland Chops, I won’t name them though because I wouldn’t ever bitch about bands over the internet…

  5. fin Says:

    May 21st, 2011 at 18:10

    oh aye also, from my experience it’s probably easier to book tours off your own back as a metal band or something with a more unusual ‘scene’. The promoters seem more ready to give unheard of bands a shot outside of where they’re from.

  6. FatDaddyLovesYou Says:

    May 21st, 2011 at 20:45

    @Chops. who are you? what is your vested interest in the selection process? Are you in a band? are you a writer? or are you someone that has nothing better to do than type pish into this pish blog all day long? Why do you care? if all new music in scotland is pish then why rabbit on about it|? just stop listening and read a book or something. can you read? You are privy to specific information about each band and all the judges, i think it only fair we know a little about you so we can feel more justified in forming opinions about you. I want to know you, to feel you, to love you? But mainly i want to not be exposed to your jaded mind constantly, please for the love of jesus do something in the music world. so i can respect you a bit, or fuck off. Preferably fuck off though. Fuck Fuckity Fuck Fuck Fuck

  7. Chops Says:

    May 21st, 2011 at 22:37

    @FatDaddyLovesYou Thank you for that scintillating nugget of literary gold. To answer you, I have no vested interest in the selection process, I really don’t care at all, I also have no desire to watch Beyonce shake her arse at Scotland’s equivalent of Easter weekend at Alton Towers. So none of this means anything to me.

    The reason I’ve rabbited on, as you so eloquently put it, is pretty much just for the sake of it. I enjoy being able to express my opinion and engage in a little heated back and forth. It tickles me. Does that make me a troll? Jesting aside, as I said previously, not everyone is pleased with the line-up or the selection process and want something to change – I believe debate is a healthy way to discuss and encourage change.

    I certainly didn’t say that all new music in Scotland is pish, far from it, all I feel is that some fantastic bands are totally ignored by the Scottish music industry and I can’t understand why.

    It’s as though the industry has some self-destructive predilection to encourage only proven winners or fashion compliant acts to flourish, thereby dejecting and stifling the true wealth of talent across Scotland. Geographic disparity is also a massive issue. What I have come to understand, after engaging in this debate, is that my questions are unlikely to ever be answered.

    Now, you’ve said you’d like to know more about me, but just a few sentences later you request I fuckity fuck off, so which is it, you ferociously uncouth, but admittedly humorous heathen?

  8. fin Says:

    May 22nd, 2011 at 14:35

    I can’t believe you’ve just said you have no interest in something you’ve just written about 3000 words about. That is actually mental.

  9. watergate Says:

    May 23rd, 2011 at 01:00

    i’m in a band that’s playing t-break. and have been in bands that have applied to play for about 6/7 years.

    over the last 18 months, we’ve actually made the effort to let people hear our music and because of that, we’ve got gigs, been played on the radio and been picked to play T in the Park.

    now, we don’t have an agent/manager/label/finances/buzz that some bands have but we work fucking hard and have to juggle our jobs and family lives (even our youngest member is still about 5 years older than some bands playing Tbreak) to make a go of playing music – like most bands on the bill have.

    Playing T might not lead to us getting big and selling records, but we’re going to enjoy it as it’s a nice way to celebrate 3 years hard work.

    If anyone begrudges any band playing that, go sober up you fucking killjoy.

  10. Jim Gellatly Says:

    May 24th, 2011 at 11:02

    My next podcast shall be dedicated to @chops.

  11. Just a thought! Says:

    May 25th, 2011 at 08:52

    Came via DIS to this site

    Chops or whatever his name is?? does have some valid points about the current state of the music scene in Scotland.

    Personally I blame the Franz/Sebastian tastemakers of weedgieland

    You have a lot to answer for with your “influence”

    Gutted Urbnri are not on the bill (LOLCOPOLCO)

  12. Me Says:

    June 29th, 2011 at 20:31

    OH LOOK!


    Sucio are playing Tbreak and this announced well after the competition results. Of course it helps if their manager’s husband is a stage manager for DF!

  13. Alex Botton Says:

    April 8th, 2012 at 01:40

    The Glasgow music “scene” is a pretentious pile of steaming
    dog shite. Gave up on it years ago

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