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Music Madness at T in the Park

A number of reviews haven’t been favourable about T in the Park and with good reason, the security, the facilities and the hoards of drunk 15 year old's did not always make it a nice place to be, but the music - ah the music...

Festivals are about music and one thing is for sure – the musical line up at T in the Park was second to none!
Getting there just in time to watch Muse close the main stage on Friday night, I knew the weekend was going to be full of treats for the ears!
Starting the Saturday with a personal favourite of mine, Sunshine Underground, who despite a small crowd made a huge impact on fans old and new. My festival buddy for the weekend has since downloaded their album – always a sign of a fantastic performance!    

Next we moved on to We are Scientists, a band who I have seen several times and would go and watch their mix of electrifying indie pop and stand up comedy any time. As usual the New Yorkers had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands with hits such as' Nobody move, Nobody get Hurt', 'It’s a Hit' and 'The Great Escape', as well as knew songs such as 'Nice Guy'.

Only in Scotland could the next band draw such a huge crowd. The Proclaimers took to the main stage and had the Scots singing along to every song! I admit that I only recognised '500 Miles', but hey 'when in Rome' or in this case Kinross I felt  it was only right to see them.

The next band I saw was due to my hip hop loving festival partner. I am a fully fledged indie cindy, I love guitar bands with front men in skinny jeans, therefore D12 were not top of my must see list. But thank god I did! They were probably one of the highlights of my festival! I followed their constant instructions of “Get your fucking hands in the air” and was bouncing along to each and everyone of their songs – not that I recognised any of them. D12 were the perfect example of how a performance can often be more important than the music.
Stereophonics were next on the schedule – taking to the main stage. This is the first time I have seen the Welsh trio and I feel that it has been an important part of my musical education. Thanks to my older brother, I got into Stereophonics at a young age, they were the first guitar band that I really got into, with their album taking pride of place alongside my Backstreet Boys and Boyzone CDs. Somewhere between their first song of 'Bartender and The Thief' and their last song, 'Dakota', they won over a tough crowd, reminding me of why I loved them so much in the first place.

Closing the Saturday in style was Eminem. Despite coming on 40 minutes late and repeatedly addressing the crowd as Edinburgh, he blew me and everyone else away, with his first UK performance in five years.  He got D12 on stage, part way through his set, to share the headliner limelight for three songs, including 'My Band' and 'Purple Pills', the crowd continued to sing and bounce along to his iconic hits.
Coming back on to an encore of Lose Yourself, Eminem made sure everyone knew exactly why he was headline material and one of the most successful rap artists of his time.


After a Saturday full of hip hop beats and getting down with my gangster self we brought the tempo down on Sunday morning with Frank Turner. I am a big fan of the little known folk punk act, but it wasn’t until 'Long Live the Queen' that I realised how powerful his performances could be, as he brought a tear to my eye.  I recommend everyone reading this review to get his album!
Staying with the more unknown bands we went to see Detroit Social Club, a band that I had heard a lot about but had never had chance to investigate. I am thankful that T in the Park gave me the opportunity to see the Geordie band, as they really blew me away. The arrogant front man captivated the audience and had everyone bouncing and some loyal fans singing along to their future hits! I see big things for Detroit Social Club and expect to see them on bigger stages at festivals next year.

He may be 'jus’ a Rascal' but he doesn’t like to disappoint
Next onto festival veteran, Dizzee Rascal, who has probably performed at more festivals than I’ve had warm ciders! But there is a reason crowds flock to see him again and again, it’s because he doesn’t disappoint. With stacks of energy and even more hits the crowd can’t help to sing, dance, cheer, crowd surf and this time even start a mosh pit! With the sun finally shining on T in the Park he played 'Holiday', which really got the crowd whooping for joy! He may be 'jus’ a Rascal' but he doesn’t like to disappoint and came back on to perform his biggest hit 'Bonkers', when the crowd took the title literally and went bonkers!

Nearing the end of our music filled weekend we fought our way to the front to watch probably the most talked about act of the festival, Jay Z. The crowd were desperate to see if he had any special guests come on stage with him, Alicia Keys? Mrs Jay Z – Beyonce? Kanye West? Mr Hudson? Turns out he doesn’t need any of his famous friends to pull out a show stopping performance. The Jigga Man only got the little known Bridget Kelly out on stage to sing Alicia Keys’ part in 'Empire State of Mind', which in my opinion was the song of the festival.

After individually thanking members of the crowd for giving their time to come and see his set, he performed ‘Thank you’, from his latest album ‘The Blueprint 3’, a song that includes the lyrics “please don’t bow in my presence, how am I a legend, I only got 10 number 1 albums maybe now 11!” This last lyric is exactly the reason that I feel Jay Z should have taken the headliner slot above Kasabian.
In no way am I saying that Kasabian didn’t impress, but they aren’t headline material at a festival this big. However the indie band did finish off the festival with a bang, belting out their hits to a tired, drunk, but still excitable crowd. Finishing the festival in style to an encore that included 'Fire' and 'LSF'.

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Caroline Gibson
20th July 2010
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