T in the Park, Balado, Near Kinross
Monday 09 July 2012
When Glastonbury takes a year off, smaller festivals have a chance to mark out for themselves as much of the massive void left behind as possible.
In the case of T in the Park, the largest in Scotland and one of the nation’s top five, two areas were decisively claimed ownership of this year. Firstly, an enviable position as the first UK festival to play host to the revived Stone Roses since the Reading appearance which killed them off in 1996; and secondly, as the scene of some all but catastrophic rain, the resulting soup of mud-sliding desperadoes broadcast to the nation as some manner of cautionary parable.
This year the flipside of having one segment of most average festivalgoers' dream festival headlining on the Saturday appeared to mean there was only enough left in the kitty for dependable but slightly uninspiring bill-topping performances from Snow Patrol and Kasabian on the other evenings. In fact the highlight of a Friday which saw the audience exploring an expanded line-up and a completely redesigned site came with Florence Welch and her Machine's otherworldly set of hits, the singer showing off a voice of heart-tingling maturity and a truly stunning black and gold ballgown amidst mild weather. Across the arena, New Order would provide the first part of a Manchester revivalist triptych.
In contrast to the downpours, which unleashed themselves until early evening, Saturday was the day filled with the biggest musical highlights: a full-scale and defiant singalong of "Three Little Birds" alongside bassist Aston Barrett’s reconvened Wailers; two great performances by certain future stars in Brooklyn’s Here We Go Magic, an eclectic update on Talking Heads for the 21st century, and the spaghetti indie-pop of Django Django, local boys with members from nearby Edinburgh and Tayport; and a perfect and nostalgia-infused support for the main act in Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.
By the time the Stone Roses took to the stage shortly after 10pm, the slog through the day was starting to look something like a pilgrimage, with a devotional response to a set (a well-played one, with robust vocals from Ian Brown) which climaxed in mass singalongs to "Made of Stone", "This is the One", "She Bangs the Drums" and "I Am the Resurrection" - and the sense that it had gone every bit as well as can be expected when longed-for fantasy and gritty reality collide.
Everything else was an anti-climax, although Sunday’s sets from fellow Manchester returnees the Happy Mondays and bass-addled pop princess Nicki Minaj were very different rays of sunshine.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens trailer: The most extreme fan reactions on Twitter
Doctor Who film will definitely happen, leaked Sony emails reveal
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling