Highlands & Islands

Q and A: Meet the Bella-bound The Van T's

The Van T's Image copyright The Van T's
Image caption The Van T's have close links to Dundee and Glasgow

Ahead of their first appearance at the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, singer and guitarist Hannah Van Thompson provides the music event's fans an introduction to the Glasgow-based alt-rock band The Van T's.

"Myself and [twin sister] Chloe were born in Dundee and our Mum's family are from there," says Hannah.

"We're proud of that and are Dundee United fans."

"We were raised near Glasgow though," she adds.

"Joanne [Forbes] is from Broughty Ferry and is probably the most Dundonian of all of us. Shaun [Hood] is from Duntocher, near Clydebank."

'Fondest memories'

While The Van T's, whose tracks include Blood Orange, Fresh Meat and Mind Sung, will be making their first appearance at Bella, the long-established festival held in August near Beauly, Hannah is already familiar with the festival.

She says: "I tagged along to Belladrum with my friends The Lappelles in 2016 and it remains one of my fondest memories.

"When we are up we hope to catch some new bands, have a good time with our pals and mostly play to new people."

Image caption Smashing Pumpkins are among the band's influences

There will be music fans in the Scottish Highlands already well acquainted with The Van T's sound having seen them play at Loopallu, in Ullapool in the north west Highlands, two years ago.

Hannah and Chloe were driven to festival by their Dad in his taxi.

"He loved it, the drive was beautiful," says Hannah. "I think it's the furthest north we've ever been. The gig was awesome."

'Powerful women'

For those who have not come across The Van T's before, Hannah says: "Our interests differ but we all love a lot of 90s bands and artists such as The Pixies, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins.

"That's only one essence of it and we gain influences elsewhere.

"We love a lot of Fuzz/Garage/Shoe-gaze which our writing was directed towards, but on the other hand we love 80s Pop/Post-Punk/New Wave which our new music favours."

Image copyright The Van T's
Image caption The Van T's are preparing for their first appearance at Belladrum

She adds: "There are a lot of powerful people, especially women, inside and outside music which influence us daily too."

Meanwhile, The Van T's also have some advice for any emerging young artists and bands.

Hannah says: "Nothing comes easy. Be true to yourself and what makes you unique.

"Work hard but take care of your mental health - don't over stretch yourselves."