T In The Park 2007 - Sunday Main Stage
08 July 2007
With her bright pink stage decking, little tartan skirt and synchronised dancers, Avril Lavigne is about as punk rock as cricket these days, but the devil horns go up regardless as she takes prepares the stage for another day of diverse talent. Just like her albums, the sublime, mature and almost moving numbers are punctuated with the ridiculously cheesy pop tunes which rocketed the pint-sized Canadian to stardom. Soul searching slow burner 'I'm With You' is sandwiched by 'Sk8ter Boi' and 'Girlfriend' before the contemplative 'My Happy Ending' gives way to 'Complicated'. But it's Blink 182's fantastically stupid hit 'All The Small Things' that really gets the crowd going with Avril handling the vocals perfect: "Works sucks, I know." Thousands of fans agree.
There must be a factory somewhere in middle America which builds bands
like the Goo Goo Dolls.
Only a couple of weeks previous, Download Festival was infected by the middle-of-the-road, stars and stripes radio rock when Hinder and Buck Cherry hung around the Main Stage like unwanted guests. Today we have these boys, who could as well be Staind, Nickleback or Creed for all anyone would notice. To be fair to them, everyone does want to hear 'Iris' and of course we do, which is a light relief from the tedium of mainstream America.
If you're going to play light, tap your foot along indie/rock tunes, you have to do it with a touch of class, almost indifferent arrogance and Paolo Nutini has it in spades. More popular in Scotland than baggage-handler come anti terrorism Kingpin John Smeaton, they say the Paisley boy can ask for a Big Mac in Woolworths - and get it! Today he seems less pissed on stage than usual, which is disappointing, but the young crooner is still on top form with 'Jenny Don't Be Hasty', 'These Streets' and Moby cover 'Natural Blues' all resounding across Balado's airfield. A year after The Sun newspaper dubbed the young Buddie "Wasted Talent" after he admitted he liked to smoke dope, he dedicated a new track to the hacks at the paper: "The Sun Can Kiss My Ass". One each, round three.
In keeping with all things Scottish, everyone's favourite party band, The Fratellis pick up the Tennents and the tempo with an unashamedly carefree, balls to the wall explosion of infectious songs. From last year's T Break stage to the Main Stage is quite a jump, but with diamonds like 'Chelsea Dagger' and 'Henrietta' up their sleeves the trio could have played anywhere and pulled it off. "It's a pleasure to be here today," proclaims Jon. The pleasure is all ours sir, now get back to the singing!
Kings Of Leon and their southern soaked American accents are like a funeral procession in comparison to their Scottish counterparts' joyous spirit, but they have the swagger and material to pull off the show without killing the party. With a gritty mix of garage rock, bourbon drenched melodies and Caleb Followill's unique vocals the strum out their finest hits including 'The Bucket', 'Four Kicks' and 'Molly's Chamber'.
Why are Scissor Sisters still here? Why won't they just go away the
same way The Darkness did when the novelty value wore off? Obviously they wear tartan, predictably Jake Shears strips during
'Filthy' and tells us "you are a dream come true". 'I Don't Feel Like Dancing' is followed
by 'Laura', which is followed by another generic party pop tune and they flirt a lot with any camera, or cameraman
who is passing. There's no doubt there is fun to be had but it's hard to accept that the second top slot on the final
day of the UK's best major festival is filled by an act full of style and severely lacking substance.
"This is the best festival line-up I have ever seen in my life," Jake tells us, obviously lying. It would be a whole lot better if Radiohead replaced you mate.
And with a casual saunter on to the stage and a wee wave, we have our headliners
ladies and gentlemen; Snow Patrol. Understated does not
do these power ballad masters justice, they appear for the biggest show of their lives as if it's band practice of a wet
Wednesday night; no fancy suits or costumes, a minimalist backdrop of screens and the posture of a bunch of cheeky roadies
who've blagged it onto stage. Fortunately Snow Patrol do have bags of substance, and penning a few life-changing songs which everyone from Kevin Costner
to Spiderman seems to endorse always helps.
When the Glasgow-based boys orchestrate a field of 60,000 fans singing in unison, it's enough to give you erect nipples. T In The Park anthems 'Run', 'Chasing Cars' and 'Signal Fire' unite a chunk of Scotland for a spectacular finale and just for a second or two, the thought of some nut ramming a packed jeep into an airport is almost like another country's problem.