Fiona Shepherd: T in the Park line-up plays it safe

Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown. Picture: Robert Perry
Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown. Picture: Robert Perry
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No-one needs to tell the T In The Park organisers that 2016 is the year to pull their socks up following a move to their new site at Strathallan Park which was fraught with difficulty.

Can this year’s line-up go some of the way to repairing the relationship with the festival’s loyal fanbase? The early announcement of The Stone Roses’ booking was a shrewd move. The Roses are both popular and influential, a band of a generation like no other on the bill.

Their fellow headliners offer contrasting attractions. US rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers are of a similar vintage and can turn out a solid festival set in their sleep – for good or ill. They fulfil T’s unofficial bloke rock brief, along with the likes of The Courteeners, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, The Temperance Movement and Shed Seven.

The other traditional T strand is banging tunes. The last time home-grown superstar DJ Calvin Harris headlined T, he brought his chum Will Smith with him. Might girlfriend Taylor Swift tag along on this occasion?

Harris will have clubby competition from two epic veteran outfits – LCD Soundsystem and Faithless – plus younger bucks Major Lazer and blast-from-the-past Craig David with his TS5 house party.

Scratch the surface, however, and there is greater variety to be found, from rocking acoustic guitar duo Rodrigo Y Gabriela to grime upstarts Krept & Konan, the return of The Last Shadow Puppets and former headliners Travis, punk’s past and present in the shape of Stiff Little Fingers and Fidlar, and a couple of effortlessly class acts in the shape of modern crooner John Grant and rhythm’n’blues rabble rousers Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.

Clearly this is no time for risk-taking – the 2016 T line-up is (so far) about consolidation rather than curveballs.

• Fiona Shepherd is The Scotsman’s pop and rock critic

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