Friday, 11 July 2008

T in the Park: and a chat with Los Campesinos!

It's Friday evening and The Skinny is at T in the Park, along with 70,000 or so Scottish music fans. The bars are just opening, but there's a mile-long queue outside of late arrivals still hoping to set up camp. They'll have to hurry because the bands are about to start. On tonight's half-length line-up we're looking forward to reformed headliners The Verve, and veteran headliners The Chemical Brothers; but that's a direct clash, so it'll be a tough choice. Elsewhere there's the Stereophonics and the Wombats, the second coming of The Music, local hero KT Tunstall, and festival favourites Feeder. The Kaiser Chiefs' Ricky Wilson has been hanging around, and we just spotted a steamin' Eddie Jordan stoating about in hospitality.

The site's been mostly dry all day so far, but the rain has just come on and The Skinny blames Rain Wizard Gareth, Los Campesinos! lead singer, who we've just been talking to. "The rain is a good thing to us because we're playing in a tent. I think we probably share a similar fan base to The Wombats," he cackled, "but if it rains, we have shelter on our side": and with that, Gareth clapped his hands and unleashed hell. Well, a small downpour. Luckily, the Welsh indie-popsters are only here for tonight, so we should be able to avoid a mudbath. They have three other festivals to attend this weekend, but that means gutted Gareth won't be around to see Will Young here on Saturday. "I would genuinely like to see Will Young," he said. "I think he's a brilliant pop artist, and he seems such a charming, genuine guy. I think it's brave of him to play here, a lot of people won't like him. It's nice when people put pop bands on rather than the same guitar bands. Festivals are so much fun, we play 30 minute sets of our fastest, most upbeat songs, we can exhaust ourselves, we don't have long tedious soundchecks, we just do it and then get off and watch other bands, and there's lots of free beer!" But for Gareth, the main clash tonight isn't between Richard Ashcroft's return and the Ed & Tom Big Beat spectacular, but between The Futureheads and Blood Red Shoes. "We're going to see Blood Red Shoes, they're our mates, but Futureheads are on at the same time. I've not listened to their new record but their first was a big favourite of ours at Uni. Neil's got a really funny photograph on his computer of when we met the Futureheads when we were about 18, and we've both got ludicrous hair and we just look so much younger. We want to show them that and say - look how we've grown!" We've no doubt the Futureheads would be delighted to get a copy of that photograph themselves. "Look, that was us meeting Los Campesinos!" they'd say, "well before they were big!"

We also managed to get a Los Campesinos! update, of sorts. "There is a lot of news coming soon, but I'm not at liberty to mention it now," Gareth said. Any clues? "It's a tour and a release before the end of the year" he added. So you mean a UK tour and an EP release? "I can't possibly say!" But you're winking aren't you? "I was squinting!" That's enough for us.

The Skinny will be reporting from T in the Park all weekend, so keep your eyes on the blog for more updates!

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