T in the Park, 8-9th July 2000, Babado by Kinross Day 2 - Dumping the car in a swamp and running full-tilt to the PRS stage we catch Magnetic North Pole removing the chill with their warm'n'fuzzy guitar sound. They perform the trick of mixing 'lo-fi' / indie weirdness - 'December 45' lasts a mere 30 seconds - with genuine songwriting sensibilities, as evidenced on 'Trees'. The large early crowd seem well impressed with what is the top performance of the day - so far.  

We remain in the relative comfort of the tent for Macrocosmica, who have thrown off any last vestiges of their Mogwai connection and now have the phrase 'very metal' stenciled across their black, black hearts. Speculation is rife as to the father of the forthcoming 4th member of the band - Brendan and Cerwyss may be married, but the smart money's on Satan.

Possibly planing a pact with the horned one, My Vitriol play a set of deceptively catchy set of their near-misses, but sudden;y get all rock'n'roll on us, as Som trashes his guitar, drumkit, and possibly hotel room. We scurry from the Evening Session tent and, bottles and rotten fruit in hand we make for the main stage again, ever mindful of the welcome expected by returning exiled Glaswegian divas. (we're talking Sheena Easton here, youngsters). Happily, Lulu endears herself to the audience, partly by not having developed an American accent, and also by running through her considerable back-catalogue. 'From To Sir With Love' to 'Relight My Fire', she is truly the star of the day. She's at once your auntie and your wee sister, rabbiting away to the audience and belting out hit after hit.

Back to the drymess of the Talent Tent, where we only catch 10 minutes of the Cosmic Rough Riders' bright guitar pop, but console ourselves with the likelihood that we'll be hearing more of them soon. Swiftly following are Stapleton - their sound is more Chicago than Fife, their tight time sigs reminding us of Shellac, a little. Peeps into Fairyland meanwhile coudn't be more of a contrast, though their countryish vibe hides a band just dying to rock out. ...............................................................

Comparative youngsters in King Tut's Tent, where Urusei Yatsura have also come home. New haircuts, but same old songs. It's like the Hits collection, if you consider the 61-in-97 'Strategic Hamlets' a hit. Reliably reassured, we move to the day's first piece of crap scheduling, with another big local act, Idlewild, battling the elements on the main stage. While it's great to see them reach these heights, they're better suited to the confines of a smoky club. Their undoubtedly great tunes carry - just - across the field in the wind and rain. The band are undeterred by all this, they and the moshpit are happy.
The big question of the day - will Iggy Pop's much-rumoured collaboration with Death in Vegas actually happen? Our mad dash is fruitless as Iggy, sadly, doesn't appear to be onstage. Mind you, the 4 figures in the distance could be Peters and Lee, Mark E. Smith and the Pope for all I can tell, such is the scale of the packed tent.
Decision time. Coldplay or Iggy Pop? Well, Coldplay are out, as people are 30-deep at the exits of the Tut's tent, trying to get even a glimpse of this week's chart heroes. So it's IGGY! Is he too old to rock and roll? No, and he's even shirtless. Paying tribute to the home of "Irvine Welsh and Sickboy" he endears himself to the crowd with an, erm, 'energetic' performance - crowdsurfing during 'I Wanna Be Your Dog', then returning the compliment during 'The Passenger' by inviting a sizable portion of the audience onstage and giving the security guards nightmares. He seemingly closes with 'No Fun' but, as the curtain comes down, sneaks in an encore, much to the confusion of all concerned. Still the anarchist, and at his age too!

It was said by someone that Eastenders star Sid Owen could charm the birds out of the trees. The same has been said of Macy Gray. Ok, we're talking tree-dwelling DUCKS, but anyway... Macy is actually a disappointment, at least for reporters - she's coherent (well, as much as usual), she makes no odd pronouncements, even the famous fright-wig is tucked away under a headscarf. She looks like someone's granny singing some very ordinary songs. Bong!
Playing to a mix of bedraggled punters and record company execs, The Zephyrs are Edinburgh's latest lo-fi country sensations play a plaintive set of world-weary songs that somehow fit the mood of the festival at this time. The moothie and squeezebox are cool again.

Travis take to the gloomy night and build to 'Why Does it Always Sleet On Me' with a few golden oldies from their less-than-salubrious back catalogue. Even 'U16 Girls' is aired, presumably as a test of the loyal audience. The crowd stretches back to the top of the hill and out of the main stage area and binoculars are required to even see the jumbo TV screen. Travis are now too big for stadium rock.
It's during the quieter passages of 'Writing to Reach You' that they're drowned out by the Flaming Lips in the tent down the hill. On record they seldom reach the heights that they do tonight, but with an elaborately synchronised stageshow they justify their headliner tag. And centre stage, among the fake blood, flashlights, artificial snow and elaborate back projections, there it is - Wayne Coyne is beating the hell out of a GONG.
Bong! Time's up, for another year...

Decent photos (Macy, Lips, Iggy, My Vitriol) © Walter Image 2000 - email walter.image@virgin.net for commissions etc

<...back to day 1