T In The Park, Balado, Kinross <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar -->

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The Independent Culture

"It looks like we're bringing down a storm," mused Wolfmother's extravagantly Afro-permed lead singer, Andrew Stockdale, as the clouds gathered around the Sydney band. "It must be the powers of rock doing it."

In the event, the powers of rock won out over the storm and T in the Park put in a great showing. Wolfmother were one of the highlights of a bill which toploaded dependable, big-name bands and fluently filled the lower stages with many exciting new acts.

Cut Copy, Wolfmother's former label-mates, are ostensibly a guitar rock band, yet the skinny Melbourne boys deserved their placing at the Slam tent (the dance arena) with a fluent understanding of house music's dynamics. Much of the weekend's best entertainment was to be found in this tent, including Belgium's genre-clashing 2 Many DJs and their less-heralded but equally talented Glaswegian counterparts Optimo.

Another constant pleasure was the new Futures Stage, a platform for short sets by many fast-rising talents. This stage's pick of Saturday was Giant Drag, the Californian duo Annie Hardy and Micah Calabrese, who blend the laid-back, non-attitude of Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine into a charged sonic wave.

Sunday saw the Futures Stage welcome debonair French indie-poppers Phoenix and Scotland's crowd-pleasing Ramones-wannabes The Fratellis, both arriving to warm receptions. But for sheer good-timing - having just found out her single, "Smile", had charted at number one - Lily Allen's cheerful reggae-pop proved hard to resist.

By and large, the headline acts were also a success. Franz Ferdinand would have to try to fail in front of such a partisan crowd, although the Red Hot Chili Peppers might almost have been accused of doing just that, and we were left hoping that Sunday might offer a more spectacular sign-off.

Of course it did, as The Who can't bury a legacy as strong as their own. And with Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie, on a nearby stage, screaming the lyric of "Swastika Eyes" as "American Eyes", and rapping the mantra "USA is a fascist stage", there was further proof that this festival held all things for all people.

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