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 a wide range of art forms and mediums, Inverness-based conference Xponorth will no doubt be familiar to many due to its excellently curated music showcases.

Providing bands from throughout the country with a chance to play in front of an audience of informed audience members and industry leaders, it’s an invaluable component of the modern day scene and one which continues to go from strength to strength.

Set to kick off later today, here’s our recommendations for the must-see acts that are set to bring their original compositions to the event.

American Clay 

Immediately becoming revered as a band on the ascendancy as soon as we heard their inventive yet 90’s indebted debut single ‘Talk’ last year. Beginning life as a humble side project of Pronto Mama’s Martin Johnson, it has since evolved into a fully fledged group that are known for turning in performances filled with  thrillingly unrefined and inviting alt-rock. Accumulating a considerable amount of hype within both Scotland and Ireland and with an arsenal of great songs in tow, Xponorth is a perfect opportunity to catch them in all their hard-edged glory.

The Van T’s 

As we’ve previously remarked, The Van T’s have became synonymous with the next crop of Glasgow bands that are set to break out and hear the ovation of the wider world. Expanding upon their sibling dynamic in recent years to incorporate Joanne Forbes on bass and Shaun Hood on drumming duties, Chloe and Hannah Van Thompson have found the perfect alchemy that has made their songwriting endeavours a massively enriching experience for the listener. This is no more evidenced than on ‘Blood Orange’, the latest single from their forthcoming EP A Coming Of Age and one which sees them take their established sound to a grander, more rewarding scale. We’d advise getting down early as it’s sure to be a busy one.

Crash Club 

Scotland’s leading purveyors of dance-rock mayhem, Kilwinning/Glasgow based outfit Crash Club have became a staple of any festival within the nation and rightly so. Known for infusing the sounds of hedonistic 90’s dance with the strutting, anthemic riffs of Britain’s foremost guitar bands, their upcoming EP sees them add healthy helpings of the New York forged sound that made DFA Records a worldwide phenomenon into the mix and it’s safe to say that it’s helped them produce some of the finest material of their career. Taking place mere days before they head to the legendary Isle Of Wight Festival, there’s very few live shows that can match the sheer ferocity and overwhelming elation of Crash Club in full flow.

Catholic Action 

Packed to the rafters alongside throngs of excitable audience members within Brighton’s Green Door Store, it was magnificent to see those that had never bore witness to Catholic Action’s highly spirited and often hard-hitting brand of rock ‘n’ roll. A band that we’ve been staunchly behind ever since their tape launch at Glasgow’s The Old Hairdressers in November 2014, the band’s grasp of everything from slacker rock and indie to the decadence of 70’s glam has the depth to leave even the biggest skeptic awestruck and has saw them championed by all manner of media outlets.


Possessing a rugged, relentless and fearlessly energetic sound that jolts you into life from the first chord, it’s not hard to see why Bloodlines found themselves with a place on the bill of this year’s T Break Stage. Teaming the well orchestrated chaos of bands such as Million Dead, Reuben and Hundred Reasons with the songwriting chops of Biffy Clyro at their rawest, there’s something about the band’s sound which has led many people to gravitate towards them in recent years and you’re certain to fall under the spell at Xponorth.


Another band that has found themselves presented with the golden opportunity that is T Break, Domiciles are a group that have been on many radars in recent times. Hailing from Fife, the four piece have became widely known for their dizzying, kaleidoscopic and inventive psychedelia that invigorates the senses. Tracks such as the recent ‘In Indra’ have demonstrated why they’ve became such a hotly tipped prospect in recent months and have found a creative lane which they can excavate for years to come.


A band that’s picking up steam on both sides of the Atlantic, every indication suggests that the boys behind alt-rock outfit WOMPS have a glaringly bright future ahead of them. Proprietors of a slick yet confrontational style that is inundated with poppy hooks amid the dissonance, the band’s debut album Our Fertile Forever is an excellent first foray into the world of the full length project and is sure to be well received in the live arena.

Other Humans 

Armed ith a penchant for awe-inspiring choruses, exquisitely crafted synth pop and a healthy dose of new wave romanticism, Other Humans have spent their relatively short time together ensuring that anyone who has the pleasure of crossing paths with their musical wares are unlikely to forget them in a hurry. Be sure to check them out at this year’s showcase to uncover what all the fuss is about.

Indigo Velvet

Also making the journey to Strathallan Castle in order to stride across the T Break Stage towards further acclaim, Edinburgh’s Indigo Velvet have built their name from an shimmering indie rock sound that seems tailor made to the care-free days of the summer. Featuring intricate guitar work that has allusions towards Total Life Forever era Foals and the kind of rich textures that are regularly associated with afrobeat, the band’s refreshingly exuberant sound, lack of pretension and embracing of a joyous pop sound have marked them out as a group to watch in the coming years.

Medicine Men 

Combining the tantalising energy of rock ‘n’ roll with the more considered and elevating aspects of 60’s pysch, Glasgow’s Medicine Men have built a reputation for sound that can flit from spacious and ethereal to unrestrained and impassioned at the drop of a hat. Led by the instantly recognisable vocal work of Ian Mackinnon, Medicine Men are previous T Break alumni and have even turned in sets at The Isle Of Wight Festival among many others. Staying fervently in their own lane and unfazed by trends or fads, those that like their music to go beyond simplistic and arbitrary structures to liaise with the more mind-expanding would be advised to check them out.

Breakfast Muff

Aligned with the ever-wonderful Fuzzkill Records, Breakfast Muff radiate a riotous and liberated spirit that is almost infectious and comes leaping at you through your speakers or headphones with reckless abandon. Clearly relishing the fact that they’re capable of making music that not only captures their imagination but that of those that come into contact with it, last year’s Rainbow Yawn EP saw them come into their own and now it’s time for you to get yourself acquainted with their lovingly created sound.