T in the park has proved, for another year, to be one of the most versatile, wild and successful festivals in the UK. Three days of the best in established and new music, soaked in booze, debauchery and Scottish spirit.
The Maccabees kicked off proceedings with a performance that was nearly mired by a wounded Hugo (a cricket injury – not as rock ‘n’ roll as thought). Their fourth performance at T, the festival has watched them evolve from young boys who sang sweet guitar songs about toothpaste to the British princes of indie-pop – with heartfelt lyrics and a finely tuned set. They set the standard for the King Tuts Tent, which was later headlined by home-grown talent, The View, who declared T in the Park “The best festival in the fucking world.” They might just be right.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs gave an emotive punk-rock performance on the NME stage. Karen O is a riotous vision of vigour and attitude, and marked the beginning of a weekend of extravagant females. Kitted out in feather and leather, she commanded the stage, while large, inflatable eyeballs bounced over the crowd. The New York art-rock trio were joined during ‘Skeletons’ by East Kilbride bagpipers for a transatlantic twist and closed on ‘Date With the Night’, accompanied by a shower of red confetti bombs and a momentous cheer.
Kings of Leon should have easily matched their American comrades in terms of musical performance. However, they appeared tired; a muted stage presence, more was expected from the once explosive band of fuzz and facial hair. Amid murmurs of sold-out and worn out, they performed a selection of hits from their four albums. Their material is brilliant enough that it easily stands up on its own, however a little crowd interaction wouldn’t have gone amiss
A far more exciting performance was given by Nick Cave, who proved that the elder of rock still had it; the long-haired pirate-lookalike bellowed about the stage brandishing a glow stick sword hurled from the crowd, backed by his galleon of bad seeds. Playing to a modest but loyal crowd, they were a spectacle of iconic punk-rock, despite fears that gaunt Cave’s jiving legs might snap beneath him as he broke it down.
The techno-electro quota was filled by Crystal Castles in the Red Bull tent. The usually disorderly Canadians met their match with a crazed crowd of riotous digi-dancers, altering the distinguished ‘here we fucking go’ chant to ‘crystal, crystal, crystal fucking castles,” as the duo powered out a electronic splurge of fuzz and distortion, fused with Alice Grass’ emotive howls and the beeps of a broken Tamagotchi.
Friday in photos: