London lads The Rifles open proceedings on Saturday, their pithy melodies and majestic vocals paying homage to The Jam - the vocals in particular a wink to tonight's NME headliner Paul Weller.
Clever singles 'Local Boy' and 'Repeat Offender' spark a real eyebrow-raising crowd reaction and showcase a band destined for bigger things than opening slots…
Wacky avant-garde pop quartet Guillemots maintain the standard, with band members Fyfe Dangerfield, MC Lord Magrao, Aristazabal Hawkes and Grieg Stewart exploring new grounds of kooky jazz-rock. The King Tut's stage has a history of diverse and peculiar bookings, and this certainly typifies that – 'Who Left The Lights Off Baby?' and single 'Made Up Love Song #' are the highlights of an interesting set.
American singer Greg Dulli has solidified his legendary status in all but mainstream circles. It's a shame that the ex-Afghan Whigs man – creator of comic punk rock, notorious for half-hour mid-set cigarette breaks and the only (other) musician to appear on Dave Grohl's first solo Foo Fighters record – never really made it big, but that's not the point this afternoon. Those of us here do love him, and along with touring band The Twilight Singers he knocks out a moody performance of gritty, gripping rock that clocks in at just less than an hour.
Caught up in their own indie-rock majesty, Hope Of The States ply their trade to the Tut's crowd with deadly seriousness. Violinist Mike Siddell shifts gears expertly, moving from mournful meanderings to frantic fits of shaky seizures. Haunting bedtime lullabies with sobering rock jams and a healthy dose of keyboards – classy respite from the depressingly temperamental Scottish weather. A half-filled tent offers respectful applause, while the roused barrier-crew shout back the uplifting songs to mainman Sam Herlihy.
Fame and fortune found psychedelic rockers Kula Shaker during the Britpop 90s, but it all ended at the turn of the century amid disappointing sales and controversial rumours of Nazi-sympathising. Time heals, though, and in 2006 they find themselves playing a King Tut's tent full of Scots singing back the 'NA NA NA!' refrain of classic 'Hush'. Airing new material is all well and good, but it's old favourites like 'Hey Dude' and 'Tattva' that send us all into rapture. Held aloft, the crowd's Mr and Mrs Inflatable Doll are clearly enjoying themselves too, him especially. The party has started.
And Orson don't want to gatecrash. "We've been trying out our Scots dancing," says Jason Pebworth, seemingly in festive spirits. Encouraging the mostly-girl crowd, he announces "Let's sing it together" – and the fully-charged pop number 'Bright Idea' is inevitably mass karaoke, a solid slab of fun singalong.
Musical DNA doesn't come any better than that of Bob Marley's little swimmers, so offspring Damian "Jr Gong" Marley sets out from the off to prove that his surname is no meal ticket. Big, worldly rap-reggae anthems with an appropriately decorated set – five Jamaican musicians, two gorgeous chorus girls and a man whose sole job is to proudly wave a "Lion of Judah"-style Ethiopian flag, one of the strongest symbols of Rastafarians. Marley asks for lighters to be held aloft for a slower number, and it's definitely not a problem for a capacity tent full of, umm, smoke. An empowering party of cracking tunes and a merging of cultures – one of the festival's undeniable highlights.
There's not an awful lot to like about Ordinary Boys' frontman Preston. Apart from the fact that he's dating vapid faux-celeb nothing Paris Travelodge, aka Chantelle Houghton, he frowns when the Scots crowd cheer in reply to his asking "Who's glad England went out of the World Cup?" – then has the cheek to whinge "We're all on the same side. This next song is about being British and part of a multi-cultural society – it's called On An Island." This is met by a chorus of boos. Of course, there's always the music – which lucky for the Worthing ska-pop band is bloody infectious and goes down a treat. Super-thrilling tunes 'Boys Will Be Boys' and 'Over The Counter Culture' are remarkable, stonking bursts that nod towards 80s bands like The Specials and The Smiths. For an hour or so, they entertain a crowd comprised largely of "The Ordinary Army". All's well that ends well, but maybe next time Preston should borrow Chili Flea's style. Over on the main stage, he later tells the crowd he thinks "Scotland should be in the World Cup final – they should be in every final."
Once riding an early '90s Madchester wave with The Stone Roses, Tim Burgess and his band The Charlatans have fused into country-rock, falsetto funk, and now reggae. In a line-up littered with nostalgia, their inclusion is one of the best bookings for a certain generation of TITP-goers – whether it be material from one-time chart-topper 'Some Friendly' or cuts from mellow new effort 'Simpatico', it's a performance that delights those gathered. The tent is fairly quiet all things considered – but then The Charlatans are competing with the Chili Peppers, who were also fairly popular with early 90s music lovers. Shame, 'cause this is a competent, well-rounded performance.