In T in the Park's 17th year, it was Eminem, making his only UK festival appearance of the year, who gave the three-day event its centrepiece. Despite taking to the stage around 40 minutes late, Marshall Mathers gave those who had paid his fee their money's worth, more or less. It felt like all 80,000 festival-goers were squeezed into a packed-to- the-burger-vans main arena on Saturday to see him perform a set that included hits like "The Real Slim Shady", "Stan", "Lose Yourself" and "The Way I Am", albeit some of them only in medley format, while the appearance of his mob-handed entourage D12 for a guest spot was welcome but – considering they played elsewhere on the bill –not a surprise.
Some eyebrows were raised at the decision to relegate Jay-Z, arguably as big an international star as Eminem, to second place behind Kasabian on Sunday night's bill, although perhaps the decision was made in order not to veer too wildly off course from T's traditional role as a heartland of boisterous guitar rock. The Leicester contingent were winningly noisy, as was the non-stop guitar bombast of Friday night's headliners Muse, but Jay-Z's set suggested real star quality deprived of the billing it deserved. "99 Problems", "Hard Knock Life" and "Empire State of Mind", particularly the huge sing-along that greeted it, were among the weekend's highlights.
Elsewhere, local-ish duo The Proclaimers always excite a partisan crowd, although their set has gone a bit cabaret, while Hot Chip, despite a mid-set power cut, provided some of the most pristine pop moments of the festival. Empire of the Sun and particularly Goldfrapp provided a winningly fabulous double bill of synthetic Eighties synth-pop under canvas on Sunday night, while Brooklyn's quirky electronic pop group Yeasayer played the kind of set on the intimate Futures Stage that suggests they'll rocket up the bill in time for next year's festival season.