THIS weekend marks the return of one of Scotland’s most treasured music festivals, the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival. Now in its 15th year, the event has established itself as one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the Scottish festival calendar, attracting thousands of music fans each year with its eclectic line-ups and carnival atmosphere. Situated in the idyllic surroundings of Beauly in the Highlands, organisers are once again celebrating a sold-out event with heir biggest line-up to date; featuring appearances from none other than Primal Scream, Paloma Faith, The Charlatans, The LaFontaines and You Me At Six alongside an array of breakthrough acts and burgeoning local talent. With that in mind, TTV have compiled a list of the acts you won’t want to miss this weekend.
Saturday night headliners Primal Scream are undoubtedly the main attraction of this year’s Belladrum. From acid house hedonists to indie rock’n’rollers to krautrock politicos; the band have built a career on reinvention and are widely regarded as one of Scotland’s most iconic outfits. Fronted by the unparalleled Bobby Gillespie, expect a hit-packed set worthy of headlining any festival.
Returning for an astounding fifteenth appearance, The LaFontaines will hit up Belladrum’s main stage on Friday night. With one of the best frontmen the country has to offer in Kerr Okan, the band’s visceral alt-rock anthems pack a punch in the live environment. Clearly inspired and rejuvenated following the release of their second record Common Problem last year, recent single ‘Up’ is a festival anthem in waiting; fuelled by ambition with its eyes firmly set on the big stages.
Glasgow band Fauves will make their Belladrum debut this weekend when they open the Seedlings Stage on Saturday. A breath of fresh air in a music scene overwrought with punk bands, the inventive five-piece are developing a sound that is as bright and breezy as it is deliriously infectious; bringing together cool lounge vibes and vibrant indie-pop in a wholly unique style. Debut EP ‘Les Fauves’ is all the proof you need that this band are going places.
The Van T’s
Also making their Belladrum debut this weekend, The Van T’s are set to heat up the Seedlings Stage with their raucous guitar tunes and bewitching harmonies. Loud, grungy and packed with massive riffs, this could be a chance to hear new material from the outfit who have been gradually refining their sound with each release. After witnessing them rise through the ranks of the nation’s music scene over the past couple of years, we’re excited to see what comes next from this talented group.
Taking influence from the likes of Tame Impala and MGMT, Dundee duo Beta Waves have blown us away with each release to date. Currently in the midst of a busy festival season, the band’s newest single ‘Lovelovelove’ arrived last week and it confirmed all our suspicions that they’re ones to watch for the future. They may not have arrived as the full package but the potential here is massive; and their whirlwind 2018 continues in earnest.
Undoubtedly one of Glasgow’s finest up and coming songwriting talents, Zoe Graham is a name you are likely to hear a lot more of over in the forthcoming months. With a beautiful voice that makes you stop and listen, Graham is blessed with a striking attention to detail and understated charm. Known to perform with either a band or looping pedal, check out ‘Hacket and Knackered’ below.
A spellbinding performer and powerful songwriter, Siobhan Wilson unveiled the brilliant There Are No Saints last year to critical acclaim. Intelligent in instrumentation and poetic in expression, Wilson draws from a multitude of influences to create music that plays with sound as much as it plays with feelings. With her otherworldly voice and shape-shifting arrangements, the singer is known to hold a room to reverential silence and we expect her to deliver one of the most enchanting performances of the weekend.
Since their debut in 2015, Malian guitar group Songhoy Blue have wowed international audiences with their eclectic combination of desert blues, rock, funk and whatever else takes their fancy. Brimming with tight riffs, brass, jangling funk guitar and keyboards, their live shows are known to be vibrant and joyous occasions. A must-see on any festival lineup.
One of the first touring acts confirmed for this year’s Tenement Trail, YONAKA will hope to win over more Scottish fans when they grace the Hothouse Stage this weekend. Fronted by the inimitable Theresa Jarvis, the Brighton four-piece have garnered a fierce live reputation in their three years together; blending juggernaut riffs, slick hip-hop beats and the head-banging pop sensibilities of No Doubt to create a volcanic listening experience
A band we’ve covered many times here on TTV, The Dunts return to Inverness to unleash punk-laden chaos at this year’s Belladrum. Having pretty much conquered their native Glasgow with one incendiary live show after another, it’s no surprise to see them spread their appeal much further afield. The band have been teasing the prospect of new material so this could be an opportunity to catch some of it in action.
Retro Video Club
Edinburgh outfit Retro Video Club have emerged as one of the country’s hottest prospects in recent months. Cultivating a dedicated fanbase on both sides of the M8, the band followed up their sold-out show at Liquid Rooms with another sold-out headline gig at King Tut’s as part of the venue’s Summer Nights festival and are all set to make an eagerly anticipated appearance at the huge Edinburgh Summer Sessions alongside Bastille. With a number of rollicking indie-rock anthems in their arsenal, their finest moment so far has undoubtedly been ‘Chemistry’; a track that has seen them gain over 100,000 streams on Spotify.
Fresh from a memorable appearance at Benicassim festival, The Snuts are back in Scotland to take their incendiary live show up north. One of the country’s fastest-rising outfits, the four-piece are evidence that dogged determination and a tireless work ethic will still get you far in today’s fickle industry; a fact made all the more clear when Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn recently described them as “one of the best guitar bands he’s ever seen”. Despite only having one single out in the world, the band continue to cultivate a massive word-of-mouth following and sell out shows around the country so now is the time to catch them.