Community Festival - Home Crystal Palace Park 7 July 2023

The Van T’s: Interview

We spoke to Chloe from The Van T’s about their upcoming Community performance and the band’s they’re going to be watching in Finsbury Park.

Glasgow’s The Van T’s will be rocking up to the N4 Stage at Community next month with big choruses, serious reverb and bucket loads of glitter. The band’s infectious harmonies and meaty riffs caught the attention of Festival Republic’s ReBalance industry panel who handpicked them to join the Community line up.

In an interview with The Van T’s guitarist Chloe Thompson she revealed what you can expect from their show at Community, what their wildest night out was on tour and which 80s pop idol they look to for career inspo.

How did you get together as a band?

Me and Hannah [Van Thompson, guitarist] are sisters, so I guess that comes without question. Shaun [Hood, drummer] joined through Hannah and we acquired Joanne [Forbes, bassist] when she moved down from Dundee to the Glasgow music scene.

Where did the name of the band come from?

Well,  it’s short for ‘Van Thompson’ or ‘The Van Twins’ – we usually just go with whatever. It’s been confused a few times as The Van Keys, which can get confusing we we actually lose the van keys.

How would you describe your live shows in three words for someone who hasn’t seen you?


The last single you released was ‘Bittersweet’. What’s the story behind the song?

It’s all about the bittersweet things that happen in life.

When will you be releasing new music?

Very soon. KEEP those eye peeled.


You’re compared to 90s bands a lot, but who would you say your influences are?

I think for each member of the band our influences differ. Mostly Pearl Jam, The Doors, Car Seat Headrest, R.E.M, The Smashing Pumpkins,TY Segall, Best Coast, Fleetwood Mac, My Bloody Valentine, Alice In Chains, Snarky Puppy, Prince, Wolf Alice, Nick Cave and most importantly Cher.

What’s your favourite guitar effects pedal and why?

For me personally it will always be the Boss Super Feedbacker, which I bought off of my friend; it can deliver that sweet natural sounding feedback. Also, the Cathedral Pedal from Electro Harmonix – most Sound Engineers nightmare.

How did you feel when you heard you’d been picked for ReBalance – a pioneering 3 year programme which provides one week’s studio recording time to a core female band?

Very, very excited and honoured. It’s something we never thought we be would picked for. So at first was a little shocked but cannot be more thankful. So THANKS.

How are you hoping the programme will help you?

We definitely know financially that this program will help us with pre-production and upcoming recordings. It will also enhance our creativity by working closely with a female producer which is very exciting for us all.

Why do you think initiatives like ReBalance are important?

I think its important because it helps us to act as advocates for female musicians in the music industry. It gives opportunities that may take some musicians a little bit longer to achieve.


What do you want the crowd to get out of your show at Community?

A fun and energetic experience. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and obviously to go check out our music afterwards… Always a good sign.

Who are you looking forward to seeing on the Community line up?

The line up is very good this year. We would love to see Bad Sounds, King Nunn, Belako, The Vaccines, Yungblood and Circa Waves.

You’ve toured with Rat Boy, Sunflower Bean, Wolf Alice and The Jesus And The Mary Chain. What’s your best on tour story?

Amsterdam with The Jesus And The Mary Chain was really fun. We played with Wolf Alice in Dundee in Fat Sams, which is also has a club named Club Tropicana. After the show, we ended up going to it to realise it was just us and Wolf Alice so we joined forces and had the club to ourselves. We ended up dad dancing to 80s/90s with lots of Jäger.

What are your three essentials for a one day festivals?

Glitter, shoes and one of those hand bags which is actually turns out to be a bag of wine.

What do you like most about playing shows in London?

The crowds different every time we have played London. We just love playing to new people. Hopefully there shall be some sunshine.

Who’s career do you look up to as a band?

Cher, always.


Don’t miss The Van T’s when they join Tom Grennan, Pale Waves, Sam Fender and more on the N4 Stage at Community Festival.