Clash went along to the 20th T In The Park. Like we wouldn't...
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We’re at a sunny T In The Park to celebrate 20 years of festival fun...
First stop is the King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent which provides a treat in the guise of Phoenix. Having witnessed them at their inception in the confines of the tiny King Tut’s venue, they have come a long way, both musically and in terms of stage presence, since then. They’ve always been a tight little band, and delight the young crowd with tracks from new album 'Bankrupt!', as well as drawing from their career-spanning catalogue. Tracks from 2009's ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’ are well received. Indeed, judging by the audience’s reaction, it’s surprising this band isn't playing a bigger stage by now.
Forget Mumford & Sons: the legendary Kraftwerk just beamed down from planet Düsseldorf. Dressed in neon, wire-framed neoprene suits and standing beside minimal consoles, Ralf Hütter and company present their three-dimensional, multimedia extravaganza.
From the opening bleeps of the ‘The Robots’, robotic doppelgängers reach out towards the audience, displaying both dry humour and melodic muscle. Kraftwerk provide a flawless set, ranging from the electronic tone poem of ‘Autobahn’ to ‘Tour De France’ and ‘Trans-Europe Express’; the audience is taken on a mind-blowing journey in retro-futurism, merging electro art with sonic perfection.
Words: John MacNeil
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It only takes half an hour for it to happen. We're relaxing on the grass, enjoying our first beer in glorious sunshine, taking in our surroundings and plotting who to go and see. Just a few yards away, people are enjoying all the fun of the fair, up and down on a log flume, water splashing all over them and soaking their clothing. So much so that one cheeky reveller has decided to ride the log completely naked, and upon disembarking, runs to the edge of the railing shouting sexual profanities, grabs his penis in a fist, and proceeds to simulate masturbation.
Ah, now I remember why I haven't been here for some years. What has been seen cannot be unseen.
That aside, you can't help but admire the tenacity of T In The Park organisers. They've shifted, they've adapted, they've grown, and there genuinely is something for every one. On Saturday, it's pop day it seems, and there's a lot of it. Rita Ora, Noah And The Whale, all topped off by teenage role model Rihanna.
But not for us, as we're old bastards who can remember the first T 20 years ago, so we spend the day in the company of aural delights such as Daughter, Willy Mason, Laurent Garnier, British Sea Power, and a wonderful My Bloody Valentine.
MBV drown us in a cosmic sea, wave after wave of sweetly abrasive noise, a shuddering cacophony that feels drunk with melody. We wander to our cars with it still ringing in our ears, as elsewhere for some, the night no doubt turns to chaos. And that's just in the campsite.
Words: Mark Millar
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It’s nostalgia Sunday at T In The Park with the likes of Earth, Wind & Fire, Johnny Marr and Ocean Colour Scene cranking up the stages, blasting out tunes from the last decade or four.
Birmingham’s Ocean Colour Scene take to the main stage and the crowd erupts with their first number ‘The Riverboat Song’. This Led Zeppelin-inspired classic is still as annoyingly contagious as it first was all those years ago. They save the best until last, with the deliriously trippy ‘The Day We Caught The Train’.
The Killers close T In The Park on the main stage, opening their set with ‘Somebody Told Me’ which instantly gets the crowd going, as does their absolute cult classic ‘Mr Brightside’. They finish with covers: ‘Shadowplay' by Joy Division and ‘Side’ by Travis.
It’s fair to say that T In The Park’s 20th anniversary goes out on an all-time high – there's a mish-mash of musical genres for everyone. You can’t get a clearer polar opposite situation in the music spectrum than young whippersnapper Tom Odell and funk favourites Earth, Wind & Fire. T, we salute you.
Words: Morven MacNeil
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