10 July 2014 (gig)
10 July 2014
You know you're getting old when you observe the line ups for the numerous major summer music festivals and fail to recognise or have any affiliation with the majority of artists listed. Back in my teenage years I was a well-informed and enthusiastic music scenester thanks to my Q Magazine and NME subscriptions and I could easily name check the most hip and relevant bands around. Nowadays at the ripe old age of 31 I look at what's on offer for the Saturday T In The Park punters and I'm at a complete loss: I have no idea who Rudimental, Katy B, The 1975, John Newman, Clean Bandit, Ben Howard or George Erza are or what any of them sound like. Mind you, I suppose that's the point of festivals. You go along and witness stuff you otherwise would have never heard and potentially end up enjoying.
However, that's where my cynicism gets the better of me and I show my true colours as an out-of-touch music curmudgeon. I doubt the names I mentioned there are going to float my metaphorical boat because the kind of stuff I like never gets played on daytime radio, is regularly plastered all over mainstream media or ever graces the stages of the big summer festivals. I play in a band that specialises in abrasive rock music, so you would be forgiven in assuming I prefer the 'heavier' festivals like Download or Sonisphere, etc. However, I think I would feel even more out of place at those events - being subjected to extremely mediocre and identikit black-clad, skinny jean-wearing, auto-tuned screamy monstrosities whilst surrounded by legions of emo fringes and unimpressive self-harm scars.
So do I think the major music festivals are all evil and have nothing to offer to antisocial, bitter old hacks like myself? Far from it! The reason for this is the ever-increasing presence of 'break out' stages at these events, platforms for new artists who perhaps don't have the financial might of a major label and/or management behind them but are every bit as relevant as any other established name on the line-up you'd care to mention, sometimes even more so! The likes of the T Break stage and the BBC Introducing stage at T in The Park are truly indispensable and excellent opportunities for real talent to be showcased and for audiences to be exposed to music that deserves to be heard.
My band, Fat Goth, was fortunate enough to get picked for the BBC stage last year and we're delighted the judges for this year's T Break line up have deemed us worthy and allowed us to return. It should be fun and I certainly will be spending most of my time checking out what's on offer between the two aforementioned stages. I would advise everyone else to do the same!
One Hundred Percent Suave is out now.