Radar’s T in the Park review: Sunday
Having braved the elements on Saturday, Bryan Duncan joined the hardy T in the Park crowds on Sunday to witness a wide range of Scottish talent, including Capitals, Admiral Fallow, Miaoux Miaoux, TeKlo and Open Swimmer.
Kudos to the revellers deciding to brave another day of mud and optional alcoholic beverages. Usually, the third and last day of T in the Park saps the energy of every human being on the site. Legs are fatigued, faces are caked with mud, and ankles are chafed by wellies. By Sunday night, some people don’t even know they’re in Scotland, let alone Balado. But it’s only the start of the afternoon - man up, grab a drink and hear some exciting music.
T Break is the first destination, just in time for Open Swimmer. They’re a fuzzily warm Glasgow act who conjure up beautiful melodic folk pop, but there’s that certain edge which differentiates them from other Scottish folk acts. The brilliant ‘Sugar Bowl’ almost creates a mini mosh-pit at the front. It’s a tad unfortunate that some carnival rides near the tent belt out awful hardcore dance tunes. Anyone who’s been to the Links Market in Kirkcaldy will realise it’s unnecessary noise. Singer Ben Talbot acknowledges the unwelcome drum‘n’bass element to their set, but it doesn’t detract his band from performing lush songs to the crowd.
Glasgow-based four-piece Chris Devotion and the Expectations crank up the volume with their melodic yet no-nonsense punk. It brings to mind that band Paul Weller used to front in the late 1970s, and those guys who did ‘London Calling’. To be honest, those comparisons get tiresome, because seeing these blokes live makes you want to join a band. Devotion and his troops pump out raw but sweet guitar pop songs - the addictive chants of tunes like ‘A Modest Refusal’ makes it joyful to bask in their presence.
Lurking away at the BBC Introducing stage is Laki Mera, whose presence is equally welcome. Opener ‘Pollok Park’ sounds like Vangelis getting his mitts on the Drive soundtrack - imagine Ryan Gosling swapping his 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle for the Starship Enterprise. Laura Donnelly’s floating vocals glides along a backdrop of pulsing synths and pastoral acoustic guitar. It could be coined as sci-fi folk - or sci-folk, if you will. Dreamy, atmospheric, but with a pulsating groove, it’s a bold discovery for mankind.
At the T Break stage, fellow Glasgow dwellers and starts of US TV The Imagineers sound like their feet are firmly on planet Earth. With songs like ‘Mariana’, they sound like Duane Eddy getting drunk with The Last Shadow Puppets and The Cramps. Which isn’t a bad thing. ‘Imagineer’ sends their fans into a suitable frenzy, with its Proclaimer-esque pop. It’s a slow-burning set, but the twangy guitars and solid songwriting make for an impressive showcase.
No stranger to penning a good song, Julian Corrie, aka Miaoux Miaoux, plays the BBC Introducing stage with much anticipation. But where’s the crowd? That cheeky Manc Shaun Ryder has nicked some punters, as Happy Mondays groove away on the Radio 1/NME stage. Jovial radio DJ Ally McCrae proclaims onstage that ‘Light of the North’ is one of 2012’s best albums so far - and he’s right. But, with such a small number of people, the following performance is a bit subdued. Edinburgh-based MC Profisee’s appearance is restrained due to sound issues and unwanted feedback on ‘Virtua Fighter’, and the live setup overall is not as punchy as hoped. It’s far from awful though, and closer ‘Hey Sound’ is a thumping dance treat that would fit snugly in the Slam tent. But it’s not enough to salvage an otherwise underwhelming festival appearance. Like tennis ace Andy Murray losing to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, there’s always another time for this brilliant artist to shine at T.
A larger crowd appears for headliners Admiral Fallow. No surprises, since they make anthemic Scottish folk that tugs the heartstrings of every man, dog and drunkard. “Why aren’t you watching Nicki Minaj?” questions singer Louis Abbott to a sweating crowd. “Cos she’s s****!” answers an enthusiastic punter. The flamboyant singer’s abysmally late performance at the Radio 1/NME stage might have evoked the same eloquent response amongst her spectators. But Admiral Fallow are here, right on time - albeit without skimpy and colourful outfits - thundering effortlessly through the best of their back catalogue. ‘Squealing Pigs’ and ‘Old Balloons’ are staple favourites in a slick set. Unfortunately, it heralds the end of BBC Introducing for this year.
The party ain’t over though at T Break. While Anderson, McGinty, Webster, Ward and Fisher may sound like a nautical lawyer’s firm in Stornoway, these Dundee boys brew up a fiery folk-fest in a packed T Break tent. Veering more towards Americana than Admiral Fallow, they move between heartfelt Band-esque ditties, to tongue-in-cheek songs that see them dip into genres as diverse as hip-hop. The latter is demonstrated in ‘Michael’s Temptress’. Gavin McGinty’s Scottish half-rap may evoke glee or grimace on people’s faces, but it’s still fun stuff.
Edinburgh-based Capitals are a little more sombre, but their intelligent electronic pop pleases and moves the feet. t certainly moves the few Sunday night ravers clinging to the front stage fence. But the revelries of the weekend have taken their toll on one spectator - he’s so spaced out that he even dances in song intervals. An early night and a cup of Earl Grey beckons. But the thumping synth beats of ‘Moon’ denies that right just now, drowning out the grooves of Leicester gargantuans Kasabian across at the Main Stage.
The next act hate Kasabian - well, one of their guests does anyway. Silvertongue lends his MC skills to Scottish electronic wizard TeKlo, promising the crowd they’ll put on a show to make those ‘silly people’ (a more polite way of describing what he actually said) regret watching the main headliners.
Those silly Kasabian fans certainly missed a treat. TeKlo’s set is like a wrecking ball to the loins, a punch-in-the-face techno frenzy which makes you feel... a bit used. Supported by friends from Scots talent such as The LaFontaines, Xavia and Miniature Dinosaurs, TeKlo certainly stays true to his pre-show Facebook message: “More insane than a human centipede with chainsaw antennas made out of 3 Christian Bales from American Psycho”.
Describing some of TeKlo’s fans as ‘insane’ is an understatement - one, attired in TeKlo t-shirt, dangerously moshes around like he’s watching a Sum 41 gig. He clumsily makes contact with a woman near him. She’s thankfully OK, but her friend is less than impressed, storming off in protest. No-one else seems to mind, as TeKlo gets closer to finishing his set.
T Break is finally over, and it can pat itself on the back knowing it’s done a good job this year. At the Main Stage, Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan chants “She Loves You” by the Beatles in front of adoring thousands. Afterwards, the tartan-clad bagpiper plays his annual round of ‘Flower of Scotland’, and fireworks burst into the blackened sky. Hazy heads float back into their tents, cars, buses and cardboard boxes. Next year marks the twentieth anniversary of T in the Park. Will we see the best in Scottish talent take it up a notch next July? We’ll just have to wait.
RADAR: SHOWCASING THE BEST NEW MUSIC IN SCOTLAND
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
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