T In The Park 2006: NME/R1 Stage Saturday

T In The Park 2006: NME/R1 Stage Saturday

11 July 2006

The Dublin rockers do a good job of showing the crowd that they’re alive and kicking and ready for a festival to remember. Just as well really that they do give us something to get hot under the collar about, as fellow Irishmen Bell Xl are nothing to write home about. They barely have time to perfect a chord formation before their 10-minute set is up. Disappointingly, Damien Rice’s old band mates play just three songs before their brief encounter with the spotlight is over.

Over the past few months Aussie three-piece Wolfmother have grabbed the UK by the balls and refused to let go. Their energy, power and passion for all things Led Zep is an indication that this is just the start of their world domination and their big-budget advertising campaign across the Balado airfield is the other sign that these guys are here to stay. Adding a rare touch of power riffing to the Radio1/NME stage, singer Andrew Stockdale revs up the crowd before spitting them back out. Air guitarists from all walks of life wet themselves when they hear 'Woman' and 'White Unicorn'. Rock on!

Brothers Ross, Gary and Ryan Jarman – aka The Cribs – have a tough act to follow but they certainly earn their stripes. Despite anti-climatic opener 'You Were Always The One' due to the obligatory festival sound problems, The Cribs confidently arm themselves with what has quickly emerged as a back catalogue of hits. Faced with such powerful pop ammunition, the crowd simply surrenders. Last year Futures Stage, this year Radio 1/NME Stage, next year, Main Stage?

The Feeling follow in the footsteps of The Cribs, but crank up the soft rock action. After Wolfmother’s earlier 35 minute set, everyone is now ready for a little bit of ear massage. You half expect their uber choruses and lazy day melodies to force the grey clouds away as the infectious sunshine songs take hold. Pulling us in with the ridiculously catchy 'Sewn', singer Dan Gillespie-Sells then quickly shatters the romance by announcing that most of debut album Twelve Stops and Home was written when they were very drunk, with some being “fundamentally about alcohol”. But after an injection of 'Fill My Little World' all is forgiven.

The Kooks are in full festival mode as they tease us with a slowed-down 'Seaside' before kick-starting the crowd with 'See The World'. Donning Pete Doherty-patented straw boaters, they fire through their air-punchingly anthemic hits including 'Naïve' and 'She Moves In Her Own Way'. These new kids on the indie block are guaranteed to star in everyone’s T In The Park memories.

Introduced by Radio 1 DJ and fan Colin Murray, The Zutons infiltrate the minds, bodies and souls of the thousands of dancing droves who flock to the stage. Gems such as 'Why Won’t You Give Me Your Love?' spark dancing that would put Peter Crouch to shame. After dedicating a song to a toilet, David McCabe decides to go for the easy cheer – a dedication to the people of Greenock. What more could you ask for at a Zutons gig? A naked crowd surfer? Oh, go on then.

The last time Goldfrapp graced the stage at T In The Park they were still relatively obscure and low-key. But, fresh from an amazing mainstream success, they are promoted to supporting the legend that is Paul Weller. Alison Goldfrapp’s sultry vocals almost make you forget that it’s pissing down, especially when faced with several bikini-clad dancers and a shade-wearing Alison. There’s something entrancing about Goldfrapp and it doesn’t matter if they’re in haunting electronica mode or pumping out a bit of glam pop, they still manage to alight an overwhelming urge inside of you to hug everyone and try your hand at a bit of dirty dancing. Not surprisingly, songs from Supernature dominate the set, but with hits like the infectious 'Ooh La La' and 'Ride A White Horse', that can only be a good thing.

There’s not much that can be said about Paul Weller that hasn’t already been said a million times before. He is an idol, legend and hero to troupes of loyal fans, and a generation-shaping genius to those who just want to be able to say they saw him. For an old geezer, he’s certainly still got what it takes to draw them in. Sporting a youthful denim jacket, The Modfather pulls out all the stops to show the thousands of people why missing the Chilis is a good idea. Interspersing songs from new album As Is Now, like 'From The Floorboards Up' and 'Come On/Let’s Go' with old solo material and The Jam tracks, Weller is really pulling out all the stops. A sporadic jamming session shows him for the king of cool he is and even when his fag falls out of his mouth as the big screens zoom in on his face, he doesn’t flinch. Thirty years of history is wrapped up in just over an hour, but there’s time for one last memento in the form of an encore – a rare treat for TITP audiences. 'A Town Called Malice' - and it’s all over.    

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