Meet the emerging artists set to play T In The Park festival
Blog by Roanne Wood under Live
Every year Tennent’s Lager host the T Break competition, calling out to emerging and unsigned Scottish bands and artists performing original music. The final 16 winners are chosen by an extensive panel of industry experts, including the likes of DJs Vic Galloway and Jim Gellatly and DF Concert’s Chris Beltran to name a few, and gain the fantastic opportunity to play at T In The Park. Currently in its 21st year, the competition is going from strength to strength with previous bands to have won a presitigous T Break slot over the years including Biffy Clyro, Twin Atlantic and Snow Patrol.
This year two of the lucky finalists to play the festival in July are Declan Welsh and Redolent. Declan mixes spoken word with tunes and as he likes to word it: “often at the same time” and Redolent are a 4 piece who describe their sound as an “aesthetic, sentimental expression of juvenility”. We had a little chat with the two to find out what being championed by T Break means to them, and their views on the Scottish music scene.
We also grabbed a chat with Nicola Cooper, the Sponsorship Executive who looks after the T Break initiative every year. Nicola tells us: “It is hugely important to Tennent’s to support new Scottish talent. We’re extremely proud of the great music that comes out of Scotland.”
So how does T Break work with emerging talent? Nicola explains: “T Break aims to give artists the opportunity to showcase their music to fans, industry experts, other musicians and music label A&Rs at the biggest music festival in Scotland.”
“The great thing about T Break is that parts of it have evolved along with T In The Park. The T Break stage is much bigger now than it was back in the early days, the bands get great media exposure and the live sets are professionally recorded.”
Although the competition has been running for 21 years now, the heart of T Break remains the same. ‘It’s still a grassroots initiative that we passionately believe in at Tennent’s. It’s in place to support Scotland’s unsigned musicians and since day one, we have been blown away by the huge wealth of talent and high standard of entries we receive every year.”
Moving on to Declan Welsh, he tells us how it feels to be in the final 16 after being selected from thousands of application. ”It’s still a bit surreal. If only my 19 year old self (who was down the front for Pulp in 2011) could see me now! It’s just amazing to know that out of the thousands of bands who applied, my tunes are appreciated by the folk on the panel and it restores the faith that you must be barking up the right tree. I’ve just finished my Law degree, and while my mates are all getting traineeships, I’m giving the music a go.”
Declan has been lucky enough to have supported the likes of The Proclaimers, Glasvegas and Echo & The Bunnymen but says this opportunity to play at T In The Park as his biggest slot to yet. “T In The Park is the one your Gran has heard of…doubt she’ll be there this year though.”
And on Declan’s opinion of the Scottish music scene he says “It's pretty astounding the amount of amazing acts that are coming out just now. I won't name names because I'll definitely forget someone and will feel horrible when this comes out, but I'm lucky enough to have plenty of close friends who I admire and learn from watching. There's something for everyone and every week I stumble across a new favourite band.”
Although starting out as an acoustic act 2 years ago, Declan is currently the most excited he has ever been about a musical project. Expect a double A-Side single released on Dead Beet Records in the next coming months.
Similarly to Declan, Robin of Redolent has fond memories of going to T in the Park when he was younger. “The festival means a lot to me. It’s great to be given the chance to return to the scene of much adolescent mischief as an artist. It’s our biggest slot to date absolutely, in terms of both prestige and sentiment.”
Robin has been writing songs since his early teens and has been slowly building on and improving his style since then. “When I met Andy and Robbie things clicked and we’ve spent the last 4 years or so developing music, ideas and images until they make sense. We’re proud to put or names on them.”
Whilst being appreciated by their local music scene isn’t the band’s main priority, Robin says “It’s quite validating. It feels good to have some recognition from such a respected group of people and we’re really grateful for that.”
Redolent are anything but short of material, with a debut album recently released at the end of May and a second album already in the pipeline.
The remaining 14 shortlisted artists are Bloodlines, Domiciles, Edwin Organ, ForeignFox, Forever, Indigo Velvet, Miracle Glass Company, Mt Doubt, Scholesy, Scope, Sweaty Palms, The Ninth Wave, The Vegan Leather and Tongues. Check out more info about them all here.
T Break opens for entries in March each year and acts can apply at www.tennents.com/tbreak
emerging bands artists playing t in the park festival after winning t break competition