T in the Park review: Travis, King Tut’s Tent

Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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AS grey clouds settled over Balado, threatening to put an end to the now infamous blazing heat, one thought prevailed. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain on Travis.

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Not that a little precipitation would have affected Healy and the boys, as they were controversially put in King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent for their rambunctious hour long set.

The crowd they commanded more than merited a spot on one of the bigger outdoor stages, but a little boisterous bustle did nothing to kill the mood.

After kicking off with Selfish Jean, the crowd were all ready to shout, scream and sing along with whatever the band could throw at them, when Healy suddenly stops proceedings, announcing a problem with his guitar.

It seems that even a dud instrument couldn’t kill the atmosphere, as the front man laughed off the mishap with the same ‘why does it always break on me’ humour that earned the crowd’s love in the first place.

Instruments all saddled up and ready to go, they move on from the setback and launch in to one of the most atmospheric sets of the festival so far.

Four songs in, Healy announces that he needs his adoring mass to become their metronome, and as they kick off Love Will Come Through with that famous that riff, a sea of waving arms happily keep the time.

“You’re the best singers in the world” says Healy, and when they play Sing, his theory is well and truly put to the test.

King Tut’s Wah Wah tent becomes a roaring mass of people eager to do as the song commands, and when the delightful din is done, the front man simply smiles, and shouts a happy birthday to T.

For Flowers in the Window, the band attempts ‘a little busk’. Loosely translated, they crowd around one mic, and rely on an acoustic guitar and their adoring moving metronome to keep the background noise ticking over. It is rustic, relevant and extremely well received.

Before their time is up, Travis take a moment to reflect on their time at T, telling their swaying crowd how they played here for the very first time exactly twenty years ago.

“It was the beginning of something special” Healy says, and as they bow out with Why Does It Always Rain On Me, his closing sentiment resonates.

“No matter how big this festival has become, it’s still maintained that thing that makes it so special.”

And with that, the crowd pogo along to their final chorus, keeping T traditions alive, and ensuring that no matter what, some customs will always remain conclusively special.


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