T In The Park 2009: King Tut's Wah Wah Tent
The top ten bands from the weekend reviewed
Manic Street Preachers - 9/10
The first time they’ve been here for a decade? Bloody hell. Considering we’ve had Snow Patrol going through the motions across the field for six out of T’s 15 year history it's an absolute travesty.
Their ridiculous and lengthy ban for swearing – according to singer James Dean Bradford anyway – made their headlining slot at this year’s TITP King Tut’s Tent all the more appealing for the thousands who ran in their droves. For many it would have been no contest to swap The Killers and Nine Inch Nails for the Welsh wonders.
And their stomping set which was more or less a ‘best of’ – albeit ‘Australia’ – gave the festival possibly one of this year’s biggest talking points among the heaving crowds. Bradford’s acoustic go at ‘The Everlasting’ will live with some forever. JO
Glasvegas - 9/10
After all the hype that has engulfed hometown boys Glasvegas during their meteoric rise to rock stardom, it was time to see what all the fuss was about. Critics of the Glasgow-based four-piece say they don’t have enough stage presence or that singer James Allen lacks some much needed charisma during his shows.
But they blasted those perceptions clean out of the water with – quite literally – a blinding set thanks to their 12ft bulb-filled Glasvegas sign behind the band. They clearly enjoyed themselves and it must have been one date in their diary they’d been looking forward to with it being in front of the biggest Scottish crowd of the year. The King Tut’s tent was packed to bursting point with ‘Vegas fans singing along to every word in their own little accents. It’s now much easier to see why they are where they are in such a short space of time. JO
Mogwai - 8/10
A shockingly poor turnout couldn't take anything away from a majestic set from these Glaswegian post-rock kings. Unperturbed with the numbers, the quintet put the expensive PA to the test with post-rock gem ‘Glasgow Mega-Snake’.
Never a band to pander to trends, expectations or traditions, Mogwai tested the patience of some fans with a slow, complex instrumental offering as chants of “Blur are shite” ruined the subtlety of the performance’s quieter moments. Thankfully the crowd doubleed to a handful of folk by the time the majestic ‘I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead’ piano loop echoed out. Stunning. GM
Mumford and Sons – 8/10
Don of the anti-folk scene, Marcus Mumford is the engine behind Laura Marling’s elegant nuances and the leader of Mumford and Sons – his own troupe famed for some glorious songwriting. The set was untouchable, it’s just a shame there weren’t more people there to see it. Mumford, who happily slides between drums and guitar and any other instrument he can find lying around, proved encapsulating throughout with an absolutely infallible version of ‘The Cave And The Sea’ capping a faultless set. DF
Jamie T - 8/10
You’d be hard pushed to find another artist who can cram in as much energy into their tiny little frames as Jamie T does. That is what’s so good to watch when he performs; there’s always 100 per cent there – if not more. Jamie T is loved at TITP and he clearly loves his fans back as he’s left in a puddle of sweat by the time he troops off stage. Bounding around from each corner of the Tuts’ stage he showed why he is so highly regarded in the industry and among his followers.
He’ll probably never headline the Main Stage, but the Tut’s suits him down to a T (pardon the pun). Plus being trapped inside a giant blue canvas probably added to the atmosphere as Jamie roared his way through the set. JO
Friendly Fires – 8/10
Possibly one of the best live bands kicking the circuit at the moment, a joyous Friendly Fires showed the TITP exactly how to put on a performance. With jellies legs, twisting his hips like Mick Jagger, singer Ed Macfarlane stretched his vocals for early crowd-pleaser ‘Jump In The Pool’ which ran back-to-back with ‘Skeleton Boy’, much to the delight of the healthy-sized crowd. Newbie ‘Kiss Of Life’ gets a samba beat make over, but it’s a luminous rendition of ‘Paris’ that gives fans of the cow bell their chance to move. DF
Regina Spektor - 7/10
The New York songstress orchestrated a dreamy early evening set on her grand piano, which suited the Sunday mood just perfectly. With surely what must be the largest piano to feature at T, Spektor treated the crowd with her haunting vocals and dreamy melodies. 'Laughing With' is a goosebump-inducing highlight but it’s funk pop number ‘Fidelity’ that proved the favourite among the fans. GM
Peter Doherty – 7/10
Much like the bottles and glow-sticks raining down of erstwhile Libertine Peter Doherty, the man’s sets can be hit and miss. By far this wasn’t a classic, it wasn’t even close, but a coherent and more rounded show pleased the thousands that crammed into the tent on Sunday afternoon. Babyshambles number ‘Albion’ was a favourite, while more obscure tracks like ‘Ballard Of Grimaldi’ gave super fans something to write home about. It was the climax of trusty Libs’ song ‘Time For Heroes’ that really showed his broader appeal though, as fans bopped and crashed into one another for a hectic three minutes. DF
Edwyn Collins – 7/10
Following a stroke a few years back, the mere fact that Mr Edwyn Collins is still on the stage is a miracle in itself, but, at his own admission, it was “good to be back.” ‘Rolling And Rocking’ opened the set and it was Collins’ Orange Juice days that had the crowd bopping from side-to-side. ‘Rip it Up and Start Again’ sounded great but classic ‘Never Met A Girl Like You Before’ is the one the crowd want and Collins’ delivered it with passion for his home fans. JO
The Maccabees – 7/10
Being the first band of the weekend, The Maccabees had it easy, really, but that doesn’t take away anything from their stunning performance. A well-lubricated crowd gave the Brighton boys the response they’ve deserved all summer as they sang, danced and cheered through the entire set. Newer material like ‘No Kind Words’ showed how far they’ve come in regards to the depth of their songwriting ability, but it’s ‘First Love’ and ‘Love You Better’ than really geed up the fans. If they’d managed to slip ‘Toothpaste Kisses’ into their 25 minute set it would have been a full five star show, but as it stood it was still pretty special. DF