Crowd left in the Pink ... despite the clouds
DAVID BOWIE may have been unavoidably detained, but at least the weather didn’t rain on the T in the Park parade.
Despite the omnipresent clouds there was only the faintest sprinkle of rain all weekend - most of the liquid that descended from the sky was the main sponsor’s product, thrown by fools.
The acts on the main stage managed to work up a fair old storm, though, from the Beta Band’s triumphant set to The Strokes’ feelgood finale.
The Black Eyed Peas delivered a stridently funky set, frontman will.i.am confidently declaring that Scotland rocked harder than any other place on the planet, and the hordes of bouncing bodies so early on a Saturday afternoon gave weight to his claim.
When Pink’s backing band first took the stage the star took her time appearing, and a camera operator zoomed in on her backing singer - who, it must be said, did look a little similar. While she left her best-known song, Get the Party Started, till last, she’s obviously keen to outgrow it with more serious numbers - but some of these put a damper on festivities.
Charlatans fans were overjoyed at the return of their heroes, but Tim Burgess and co’s new material doesn’t sound like it’s about to win too many more listeners.
The crowd were polarised by The Darkness - those who consider them gimmicky magpies plundering the hard rock vaults and those who consider them retro-loving rockers with a cunning sense of humour. There’s no denying The Darkness’s mastery of stage craft, and their backdrop had all the bangs and whistles even if not all of their songs did.
On Sunday, Franz Ferdinand received a tumultuous welcome, and their edgy old-wave set certainly displayed enough songwriting chops to justify the hype. They look and sound like 1982, but they manage to avoid Darkness-style retro jibes by simply having some real knockout songs like Take Me Out and Matinee.
PJ Harvey then turned the afternoon on its ear with a magnificent set, by turns playful and intense.
"These guys are going to steal the show," one punter confidently predicted when the Pixies took the stage. In many respects, it already belonged to them - most of the other main stage performers gathered at the side of the stage to watch this enormously influential band, and they lived up to their reputation and then some. A storming set ranged from the eerie aggression of Wave of Mutilation to a mass singalong on Where is My Mind, and they ended in rampant fashion with guitarist Joey Santiago unleashing a tempest of sound.
The Strokes finished off the evening in some style, even if they had a hard time following the Pixies’ incendiary effort.
More 90s than newcomers - The NME stage/King Tut's tent
THE NME Stage represented the weekend in microcosm - a reasonably entertaining Saturday which flattered to deceive slightly, followed by a truly incredible Sunday.
The first day saw worthy sets by talented up-and-comers like Dogs Die In Hot Cars, but the real story was in two headliners battling back from the depths. The Libertines - without troubled guitarist Pete Doherty - lacked fire, yet Muse (whose drummer’s father died recently) struck a suitably bombastic final note.
On Sunday, The Rapture and Goldfrapp proved their worth, while Badly Drawn Boy and N*E*R*D were ever-dependable festival draws. Yet Massive Attack stole the show - cataclysmic and heart-wrenching, they more than measured up to the poppier acts closing the other stages.
King Tut’s Tent used to be the place for new talent to get noticed. This year, with a line-up dominated by bands who had their heyday back in the 90s, it was lacking that usual buzz of anticipation.
Saturday saw aging mod-rockers Ocean Colour Scene churn out all their old favourites. On Sunday, electro-giants Orbital played their last ever gig. With even more nostalgia from The Complete Stone Roses and Ash, there was more than just a hint of deja-vu.
Sunday headliners Snow Patrol managed to inject some life, although their rendition of Beyonc’s Crazy In Love was a little lacking in the booty shaking department.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: East