Saturday, July 23, 2005

T in the Park 2005

We were a bit delicate after the wedding the night previous, so perhaps enthusiasm wasn’t as high as it should have been. But hey - it’s T!

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Leaves - Melodic Icelandic epic rock. Or something. I managed to find a spot on the grass to catch this set. Good stuff.

- British radio-friendly, inoffensive rock. Apparently they’ve been around since the Britpop days, but I’d never heard of them until recently. I won’t be rushing out to buy their albums, but the singalong choruses and enthusiastic crowd made this an enjoyable set.

The Killers - The band is certainly a polished live act. Great songs. But against my better judgement I was coerced to make my way right up close to the stage. And as much as I tried to enjoy myself, I found I was more concerned with trying to stay vertical and avoid the combination of flying half-full beer cups and the limbs of overly enthusiastic drunken people.

Doves - Just the remedy I needed. A crowd that was more enthusiastic about the music rather than the need to get pissed and mug for the BBC cameras. I think Doves are one of those bands you need to see live to fully appreciate their music. Brilliant sound, and the band seemed legitimately pleased with the rapturous crowd reaction. I got the shivers when they played the superb “Black and White Town”. Easily the highlight of the day, and among the best of the festival.

James Brown - A half-hour delay in a far too overstuffed King Tuts tent at the end of the night when the punters are drunk and/or tired is not a way to start your set. People were booing loudly before the MC finally came out - who proceeds to introduce the guitarist, then the brass section, then the background singers. People were getting angry now. Our man James finally comes out, sings a few lines, then starts dancing and playing the keyboard while the background singers take lead. I was far too tired to bother. I'll be honest - I only wanted to hear “Sex Machine“, and it didn‘t appear to be forthcoming. Save the energy for tomorrow!


Athlete - After a proper sleep, I was feeling so much better and well up for the day. And what a better way to kick it off? Hot sun, the first cold pint in hand, an appreciative crowd, and a brilliant band with their killer tunes. Lovely.

Sons & Daughters - Fun homegrown country-flavoured indie rock. And who knew the singer was so hot? Bonus.

Snoop Dogg - Thoroughly enjoyable, but couldn’t possibly be taken too seriously. We got all the requisite hip-hop stage banter (“Everybody say hooo - say ho-ho - now scream!”). My personal favourite - “Let’s hear some noise Edinburgh!” - which was funny considering we weren’t anywhere near Edinburgh. The image of thousands of pink sunburned Scottish arms waving their arms to Gin and Juice was the keeper though. My ass did shake, and I couldn’t help but do the ascending “Snoooooo-oop!” bit from “Drop It Like It’s Hot”. Fo’ shizzle.

The Dears - Made me proud to be Canadian. They sounded fantastic, and the live version of “22: The Death of All the Romance” had me buzzing for the rest of the day. The tent was criminally under populated though - for shame Scotland!

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Bloc Party - One of this year’s buzz bands to be sure, but rightfully so. Their debut album “Silent Alarm” has been one of those albums that sounds better with every listen. Their live act was good and will only get better in time. One of the best rhythm sections of any band I’ve ever heard.

Travis - What can I say? Classic festival stuff. They've got the tunes and the stage presence. Fran was as entertaining as ever, and all their stuff went down a treat. Nothing beats hearing "Why Does It Always Rain On Me" live with a Scottish crowd singing along.

The Go! Team - Unadulterated glee! Never has a band more justified having an exclamation mark in their name. Have loved their sound ever since Mike included some of their stuff on a mix CD he sent. Who’d of thought it would translate so well live? Pure fun, and the energy from vocalist Ninja was infectious. The whole tent was dancing enough to do any nightclub proud.

Green Day - We caught part of their set while wolfing down some dodgy food. OK I suppose.

Art Brut - Have been hooked ever since I heard “Formed A Band” (Mike - thanks again!). Some of the best lyrics this side of Morrissey. Sound mix was terrible though. Would love to see them in a club gig.

And so ends another year of T. Glastonbury is taking a hiatus next year so T will be the festival of choice for a lot more people. Should be interesting to see how they handle it.

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Monday, July 11, 2005

Piper Down

Pretty crazy weekend starting with two nights up in Aberdeen for the wedding of Alison (whom some of you may know as one of the Scottish Girls from Rouen) and Campbell. The brilliant weather continues, so we were sipping champagne outside before the reception (as one does). The evening was a Ceilidh, and I was up Highland dancing with the best of them despite not having a clue what I was doing. Kind of like square dancing with more jumping and yelling. And how better to show of the kilt? I went with the Modern Douglas tartan this time.

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After such a brilliant (late) night, it was tough to get up and head directly down to Kinross for this year's T in the Park. Saturday was a bit of write-off, but Sunday was absolutely fantastic. Full review to follow!