MY Bloody Valentine must rank among one of the most overwhelming sensory experiences at T In The Park, and perhaps one of the more incongruous ones too.
Perched on the festival’s edges at the Transmission Stage to make way for Rihanna’s extraordinarily well-attended Main Stage set, their oft-described wall of sound was treated more like a garden feature, albeit a defiantly unkempt one.
I Only Said’s whale song riff, audible even amid the droning and hissing of the distortion pedals, was one of several songs plucked from their much-loved album Loveless. New songs from their comeback record m b v featured prominently too, though at times they were difficult to discern with Bilinda Butcher and Kevin Shields’ vocals buried so far beneath everything else.
In a live setting, these songs take on a brutish quality, but that doesn’t necessarily make for an unpleasant experience. A largely attentive crowd was only jolted out of its mesmerised state during the short, chatterless interludes - during one brief lull, a somewhat disengaged gig-goer shouted a request for Umbrella before buffing his brass neck.
There were others who undoubtedly found the experience too much, with more than a few evacuating before the customary jet engine shred of their last five minutes. Nevertheless, if T In The Park is a festival sometimes characterised by excess, then My Bloody Valentine aren’t entirely out of place at Balado.