T in the Park 2005 - day 1

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Day Two
"Good morning T In The Paaaark!" is belted out from a recovering severely burnt comatose man, as we find our way towards the main stage to begin yet another day. The place today feels like a musical heaven, albeit heaven seems to have moved into hell for the weekend, whilst its usual home gets fumigated – because man is this place hot!
I head over to the main stage – picking up my much-needed free samples of NHS sun block – to catch the 1st band on my wish list for the day – Biffy Clyro. Now, I am not really an emo fan, but since it was T in the Park, I went against my rules for musical taste, and to my surprise, I actually enjoyed them. The busted-breakers from yesterday should have taken more notes from their heroes, as this is how emo is done. The hardened fans in the crowd, lapped up every minute of the performance like a dog to its master. It felt like being in a cult, beside these benign rock fans. Shouts of “BIFFY, BIFFY” were screamed at the band after every song, especially after best song “Just Boy”. But unfortunately, the curse from the day before had infected today’s bands. “This is the best T In The Park yet!” explains singer Simon Neil. The crowd loves him even more now though - lets sign up for cult Biffy.
After rocking out hard to Biffy Clyro, some much needed Sunday morning music was needed to cure the hangover, luckily My Latest Novel were taking to the King Tut’s tent. They sound like a cross between new Canadian heroes the Arcade Fire and Joy Division. A folk Joy division to be precise.
However, the band get off to a bad start by announcing that they were from Greenock, only to hear the St.Mirren faithful shout drunkenly; “soap-dodging bastards.” Although, no matter how hygienic the band really are, they play some really good folk songs, which get the disappointingly dismal crowd swaying in motion to the heartbreaking sounds of My Latest Novel. New single “Hope Edition” receives the biggest applause from the small crowd, the violin and glockenspiel makes the heart go ahhhhh.
Staying with the folk theme, next up in the sweltering hot King Tut’s tent was the usally fantastic Sons & Daughters , unfortunately fantastic is not the best word to describe the band going by today’s performance – awfully poor may be a better correlation. Bands before and after, sounded good on the stage. But I am afraid Sons & Daughters sound was dredful, it flutulated like a ned of ecstasy, going from good to really bad in a matter of seconds and quite frankly ruined the gig for the band and the large crowd they attracted. Even normally ball-kickingly-finger-clickingly good “Johnny Cash” sounded dull and boring. Och, well you can’t have it good all the time, at least the bassist still looked stunning as ever.
The curse of the festival had been brooding underground all day since Biffy Clyro’s outburst, waiting for the precise moment to pounce on an unsuspecting international act. The next victim was 80’s throwbacks The Bravery, who were playing on the NME stage.
After being 10 minutes late, the band appear on stage behind Vale of Athol pipers, playing a very patriotic rendition of “Scotland the brave”, before launching into a new version of “Give In” – which understandably sounded awful with the added help from our piping friends. The band fails to move the audience, in any way of form. Singer Sam comments on the accuracy of the bottle throwers, which to no surprise gave the throwers fuel to pelt the band with bottles for the remainder of their set. “Honest Mistake” did manage to finally get the crowd going, however, this was to be the last song as after two seconds into “Unconditional” the plug was pulled on the band for over-running. Rock ‘n’ Roll? Yeah, but not a very good punctual record for when applying for a job after the rock career is over.
So, up next at the old T-Break stage we stumble across a band who should be destined for some great things in the coming years. The Cinematics sound like some 80’s-90’s hybrid of art-Brit-pop musings. They have the epic, swooping guitars of U2 mixed with jaggy Television guitar thrusts. They are in all essence of the phrase, a great rock band. From Reports I heard they were one of the best bands who played the much-maligned T-Break stage, and I for one won’t doubt that statement, as they were excellent.
“ Na na na na NAA”, an explosion of sound comes crashing out from the near by NME stage. If it wasn’t for the fact that “Everyday I love you less and less” and “ I Predict a riot” becoming modern day classic pop songs, I would be scratching my head wondering who was on the stage, as it was impossible to get even near our young Leeds born world-takers. The crowd was ten times over what should have been at the stage, Kaiser Chiefs could and should be high up on the main stage bill, instead they are teatime second stage. One more album and this band could be headlining. The only down point from the Kaisers' set is the only one album factor, they played practically the whole album which does include some howlers of songs like “Time Honoured Tradition” but who am I to complain everyone altogether “Oh My God I Can’t Believe it…”
I leave before the end of Kaiser Chiefs set in order to get in prime position for the Travis set, and boy what a set that was. Now I know I have been prattling on about the curse of the festival as if its been a bad thing, but in the case of Travis, they are let off a bit – even though they are the worst offenders for “We Love Scotland!” shouts. Fran Healy even goes overboard with patriotism, by announcing that this is the best festival in Britain, and with no Glastonbury next year it could overtake it in wonder status. Maybe Fran is a part-time fortune-teller and has foreseen this unlikely event. But then again, it’s possible.
The packed-in crowd are treated to what is essentially a best-of Travis set and even become critics for the evening, after being ask to give thumbs up or down for new song ‘Closer’. The response was mostly thumbs up from the crowd, but then no one was really going to give them an NME style review where they? The highlight of the patriotic performance was the bee gee’s interlude during ‘side’, Fran Healy could become the 4th bee gee, his voice was ball-hidingly high.
As Travis leave the stage, a sense of sadness slowly descends over the inebriated crowd, only one band to go on the main stage – the closing hours on this sun drenched, music haven of a weekend. But then Green Day took to the stage and all sadness was quickly forgotten. And yes the curse was in full power over the bands – “We Love You SCOOTLANND” screams Billie Joe as he meets his audience for this evening. “Are you ready?” The crowd goes mental, the American Idiot tour has now descended on Kinross.
Green day do know how to put on a show, unfortunately, their music is shit – with the exception of songs from most recent album “American Idiot”. They play a 2 hour set, packed to the brim with shouts of “are you ready” and “you are the best Scooootland”, which do numb the head for any decent music that may or may not follow. However, the one clever part of the show is when they invite members of the crowd up on stage to become “the band” for Operation Ivy’s ‘Knowledge. It is clever but also a bit overdone - they have been playing this trick for years.
Green day were the best ‘joke’ band of the weekend – playing Lulu’s ‘Shout’ was a clever touch that did get even those who don’t like the American bush-bashers singing. But the constant jazz interlude before, during and after songs does become a bit tedious, but then am I being biased?
One thing for sure though is they are a great band for ending festivals, finishing their set with Billie Joe’s unaccompanied version of ‘Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) – it puts a seal of approval on the great weekend us T-goers had.
As the Fireworks light up the sky and lone piper eerily plays out “Flower of Scotland” it marks an end to another T in The Park. To next year then, the year T will take over the world of festivals. (Jamie Crossan)