T In The Park: Rated!
T In The Park, Balado Airfield, Kinross-shire, Scotland. 11-13 July 2008.
Overall - 8.5/10
2008's great and diverse line-up coupled with T's trademark buzzing atmosphere meant another blinding chapter was written in the T In The Park history book. Although the sun was reluctant to shine, any pale-skinned Scot will tell you that any overcast weather that doesn't soak you to your pants deserves a thumbs up! This year was a resounding success for all concerned.
Getting There And Back - 8/10
Compared to last year's seven-hour tailbacks, this felt like Ryan Air's direct service to the Main Stage. To be fair, 2007's drastic flooding never helped anyone but this year the parking and entrances were much more accessible. Other than the 10k hike to get around the site, there were little grumbles for the beer-laden masses.
The Site - 8/10
With more tents housing music than tents pitched in the campsite, T really does occupy a frightening amount of land mass, but organisers are managing the lay out better each year. As a result of selling out faster than you can say "The Verve", the vast Main Stage area was never fully packed over the weekend. However side shows had 'STAGE FULL!' signs flashing throughout the day, which proved depressing for hundreds of fans who heard little more than a muffled bass line from their heroes through the thick canvases.
Atmosphere - 8.5/10
Fancy dress Friday kicked it off in great fashion as the Spidermen and Catwomen of Balado set the tone for the weekend. Worryingly, the same superheroes were still bulging at the crotch of their lycra pants come the Sunday night. Hygiene issues aside, the expected blend of indie kids, rockers and Neds stirred up high fives, group hugs and nods of approval regardless of the background music.
Rage Against The Machine - 10/10
No black on white characters will do their set justice. If you were at Reading the last time they played the UK - you know. If you weren't, be there in August! Four men tore a Scottish field in half, nothing else even dared to come close.
Chemical Brothers - 8.5/10
These boys could have beamed their tunes in over the internet and it wouldn't have mattered. Even hiding behind huge decks they managed a massive backdrop of jaw dropping graphics and beats that sent your hands into the most ridiculous of shapes. There weren't enough 'hits' to be keep the intensity for an entire headline set, but when the likes of 'Push The Button' landed, it was incredible.
The Prodigy - 9/10
The Prodigy were the reason no one was watching R.E.M.. They closed T In The Park with an aural assault that even fireworks couldn't contend with. It was just a pity that only the determined raver or early bird could get within ear shot of the English dance legends.
The lack of toilets - 0/10
The lack and poor state of toilets is the staple of festival complaints, but this year's scenes of hundreds upon hundreds of women crouching against urine soaked fences because they couldn't face the mammoth queues was disgusting. For a festival which has reaped the praise for organisation and facilities in the past, a few rows of cubicles by the main stage simply weren't close to enough and the only stark memory for many will be trying to relieve themselves with the aid of a poncho for dignity.
The Kooks - 4/10
Crammed between the home heroes of Biffy Clyro and The Fratellis, England's favourite student bum look-a-likes were a bit, well, dull. They weren't bad, but they certainly weren’t good. When the conversation turned to who has the biggest feet, the word captivating certainly disappeared from the head. They would have been much better in a tent with the fans who choose to be there.
R.E.M. - 5/10
Why, oh why? Such a great band with a back catalogue that most writers would give a left nut for yet… yet… nothing?! The band only had half the crowd that The Enemy had attracted much earlier in the day and a monotonous set that gently crept out of the pitifully quiet Main Stage PA system made their closing headline show no more interesting than a day at work.
A complete 'you had to be there' moment during Rage Against The Machine's 'Wake Up'. One fan decided a Slipknot style mass sit-down was required and without a word uttered, several thousand fans followed suit and the resulting carnage the ensued will never be witnessed at T In The Park again. Ever. Unless RATM come back... Please?
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