T in the Park 2014 – Saturday Review

So, I’m not taking the blame for jinxing the weather because I’m sure a few people are grateful for the rain to cool down their sunburn from yesterday but armed with a waterproof jacket down to my knees with rain inconveniently dripping in to my wellies, it wasn’t the best atmosphere to start the day off.

So setting the scene of thousands of grumpy, hung-over festival goers Clean Bandit definitely had their work cut out for them which made their set that much more impressive. Made up of Jack Patterson on bass guitar/keyboard, Luke Patterson on drums, Grace Chatto on Cello and Milan Neil Amin-Smith on Violin, Clean Bandit are the new twist on Pop/Dance music. I’ve never thought their songs have been breath taking but seeing them live has put me in a completely different prospective. Mixing classical instruments with deep dance beats should be a recipe for disaster but each members input merges perfectly with the next and creates an impressive basis for all their guest vocalists. Don’t just take my word for it, they have several tour dates over the UK this year. Their fearless take on dance music means they are definitely a live act you have to see this year!

Soggy yet cheerful I went to watch John Newman’s set. The only word I can use to describe that man is sass. So much sass. I don’t know if my eyes were more drawn to his fancy footwork or his jazzy jacket but it’s safe to say his voice stole the show. John Newman is the full package and watching him, with a smile on his face, enjoying every minute makes him that much more enjoyable to watch.

Now forget about the stigma The View left for Dundonian bands, with harmonised, vocally driven rock pop Copper Lungs have the perfect formula for amazing music. Now you may have never heard of them before but a packed tent full of festival goers chose to watch these four guys over the likes of Nina Nesbit and John Newman which says a lot. Comparable with the likes of Twin Atlantic, Don Broco and Biffy Clyro, Copper Lungs are setting the standard high for under the radar, undiscovered bands, so if you haven’t yet, take two minutes out of your day to listen to a few tracks on their SoundCloud and if you like what you hear, there’s a link to their Big Cartel page where you can buy their self titled EP. https://soundcloud.com/copperlungs.

Elliphant is a Swedish pop artist with a twist, I’m so thankful for the organisers of T in the Park for bringing her to Scotland as I’ve been a crazy fan girl of hers for a few months and having been touring around Europe recently and soon to be supporting Charlie XCX on her North America tour this Autumn she’s a busy girl. Elliphant is fearless and bold with her music, rapping over Dubstep it’s not hard to see why she caught Skrillex’s attention. Having worked with him on “Only getting younger” off her Look At Me Now EP it won’t be long until she’s a name on everybody’s lips.

Any N.E.R.D fans out there? Still patiently waiting on that N.E.R.D album Pharrell promised us in 2013? Me too. It was an issue I was going to raise with him but after his unbelievable set on Saturday night, I’m going to let it slide for now. Joined on stage with a group of dancers, Pharrell put on an unforgettable show, performing a selection of songs off his current album G I R L and a few N.E.R.D songs including “Lapdance” and “She wants to move”. Pharrell also did a few covers including Snoop Dogg’s “Drop it like it’s hot” and Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback girl”. Pharrell is the perfect choice for a big festival like T in the Park, even if you have never heard of him, he has been such a consistent and constant talent over the years that everyone will know some of his work which ensured some of the most impressive sing alongs of this weekend.

Continuing on with the Scottish theme, an act everyone will know, Calvin Harris.

Not only did Will Smith introduce him but he absolutely nailed his closing slot on the main stage on Saturday night. With an extended license for a longer set, Calvin Harris put on an unforgettable set. Now Scottish crowds have been praised every year from some of the biggest acts and I urge you to take a look at this clip from Calvin Harris’ set to see why. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doYBd6yTn4g 

Photo courtesy of T in the Park

If you would like to be part of one of the best crowds in the world early bird tickets are already for sale for T in the Park 2015, but get them quick, because next year T in the Park is moving site to Strathallan Castle and with everyone’s curiosity for the new site, tickets are bound to go fast!http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/T-in-the-Park-tickets/artist/28658


T in the Park 20th Anniversary Launch Event Review

Swap the wellies for high heels and replace the poncho's for shirts and you have the launch night of T in the Park. With artificial grass, wooden picnic tables and fairy lights the venue had been turned in to T in the Park, with a roof. The opening act was Fatherson (http://www.facebook.com/fathersonband ) who have played at T in the Park the last two years and opened for the likes of Panic! at the Disco, Feeder and Twin Atlantic. Ross Leighton, vocals of the band has a soft controlled voice that captures the room and with songs that don't contain awful cliché lyrics like a lot of bands, it was a pleasant breath of fresh air.

The next band on the stage were Vigo Thieves who were gracefully in sync with one another and had such an effortless presence that demanded your attention. After listening to some of their songs on their Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/vigothieves) I would say their recorded tracks do their live performance no justice. After selling out one of their dates for their ep launch in King Tuts Glasgow I can tell they'll definitely have a warm welcome from their fan base at this years T in the Park.

Geoff Ellis, one of the founders of T in the Park explained that last year when many UK festivals were shut down due to bad weather conditions, that T in the Park was never at such a risk thanks to the hard work and determination of all staff sorting out the grounds. It's possible for this reason, among the amazing line ups and crowds that gather year after year that T in the Park for crowned "International festival of the year" at the Pollstar Awards in LA earlier this month. With 2013 being T in the Park's 20th anniversary you can expect it to be even bigger than last, but will you be there? Tickets go on sale on Friday 22nd of February at 9am. Make sure you don't miss out.

T in the Park 2012 – Sunday Review

Arriving at the car park on Sunday, I was grateful it wasn't raining again, but by the time I reached the main arena, that gratitude was slowly sinking, much like the festival goers. The mud was ankle deep and if you went down to flat land, you were lucky if the pools of mucky water wasn't 12 inches high. All of this aside, the Scottish crowd seemed to be enthusiastic for the day ahead. Wandering around the arena people were, throwing mud, sliding face first in it, one guy even dived off a picnic table in to it. Safe to say, no spirits were dampened by the ground conditions.

Chase and Status were definitely one of my highlights of Sunday, the two DJ's joined on stage by their drummer Andy Gangadeen and vocalist MC Rage put on an amazing show. With special guests Maverick Sabre and Liam Bailey, Chase and Status certainly pulled out all the stops and provided a memorable performance. The crowd for Chase and Status was certainly a rowdy one, several mosh pits were started and crowd surfers had to be pulled out by security.

Elbow's crowd wasn't quite as energetic, but they were not any less committed, singing along to all of their hit songs providing a classic, chilled out festival atmosphere.

Going over to the Radio 1/ NME Stage the atmosphere changed completely, Nicki Minaj, being 55 minutes late, ran on stage, with no explanation as to why she made her fans wait so long. Scotland's crowds are well known for being enthusiastic and energetic and were complimented by bands and artists over the weekend, but when Nicki Minaj kept them waiting, they were anything but forgiving, in between tracks, you could hear heavy booing and insults being thrown at her from all directions. Cutting her set short, I doubt she'll be rushing back to Scotland anytime soon and if she does, she better at least bring an apology back with her.

Nicki Minaj

I've never really been a huge fan of Kasabian, I've always seen them as just another band, lacking anything extra special, but seeing them at T in the Park I was very wrong, delivering a lot more grit and character than I ever expected. Unlike a lot of bands, you weren't just drawn to the singer but you found yourself watching the whole band. Their song Velociraptor off their new album is definitely worth a listen.

After announcing they will be splitting after completing already confirmed gigs for this year Swedish House Mafia's set was set to be a sort of, farewell performance, and they didn't disappoint. Having preformed at T in the Park last year they had set themselves a standard barrier, which they smashed to smithereens. I can't explain it in words, you will have to watch the multiple videos on YouTube to fully understand where I'm coming from. Absolute madness.

Even if the weather was horrific this year, the Scottish crowds were still in full force and didn't let it dampen their spirits over the weekend. T in the Park is an amazing festival, with brilliant characters and a phenomenal atmosphere. I would recommend everyone get tickets for next year, as it is T in the Park's 20th anniversary and it'll be even bigger.

Check out photos from Friday @ T in the Park
Check out photos from Saturday @ T in the Park
Check out photos from Sunday @ T in the Park


T in the Park 2012 – Saturday Review

Waking up to pouring rain I was not discouraged for the day ahead, driving through the rain I was not discouraged, but sitting in the car park, putting on layers upon layers of waterproofs, waiting hopelessly for the rain to stop I will admit, I was not feeling awfully enthusiastic. Today, Scotland was living up to it's reputation for hideous weather. Prepared with two jumpers, a water proof jacket and the infamous waterproof poncho, I felt I could conquer this rain. Oh how wrong I was.

I'm only grateful that the first act I saw was worth standing in the rain for. Enter Shikari will smash, trample and burn on any genre you place them in. They have a unique sound that intertwines upbeat dance samples and post-hardcore metal breakdowns which leaves you with a sort of happy-hardcore. Front man Rou Reynolds is not only a great vocalist but has a sense of humour when performing by dancing along to the upbeat parts. Their "Sorry you're not a winner" single from their debut studio album Take To The Skies is still a favourite with fans, the song features three claps at the beginning which the crowd took full responsibility for. They then continued to sing along with vocalist Rou Reynolds during their set. Enter Shikari have transformed and improved since their first album, continuing to surprise and impress years on and with live performances like this it is no wonder why they had such an impressive and committed crowd. They give it their all, providing an unforgettable high energy show.

Walking around the arena there was definitely a buzz for Jessie J's performance hours before it had even started and her performance displayed why. Not only did she display her vocal range remarkably but interacting with her band, the crowd and the television cameras made her performance that much more entertaining, she knows exactly how to please an audience whether they be in the crowd or watching from home. Jessie J has such a powerful voice, even when experimenting with different pitches she always stays in tune offering a startling performance. Shouting "I'm going to make you really warm" Jessie with all her smash hits and a rendition of Luther Vandross "Never Too Much" definitely gave the crowd something to dance along to. Closing with "Domino" the crowd certainly made Scotland proud, fighting through the awful weather and enjoying her performance fully.

The Stone Roses were headlining the Main Stage to T in the Park's Saturday evening and rightfully so. Although being in their peek in the early 90's songs from all of their albums have continued to circulate over the years, even after they split up, meaning that the crowd was not just full of Mum and Dad's reminiscing their wild years but contained younger generations there to celebrate their music. This band do not need to have dancers in skimpy outfits or huge laser lights cutting through the night sky, them playing in front of a backdrop showing all their old music videos was enough to capture the attention of the huge crowd. They were chilled, laid back and let their music do the talking. As it should be some may argue? I'll let you decide.

T in the Park

David Guetta returned to T in the Park this year after an explosive set two years ago, now given a larger stage area and more room for the crowd to dance it was already sounding promising. You could see David Guetta's lights from the other side of the arena, drawing crowds in to see him perform. Having seen him two years previous, for me he had set himself a standard bar and the question was, would he surpass it? Unfortunately I would say no, although his set was phenomenal and the atmosphere in the crowd was overwhelming I was let down by the lack of his own material. However I would say, his set is worth a watch on the BBC Highlights.

Leaving David Guetta's set early I stumbled across Sub Focus's set on the Transmissions stage, still of a similar genre to David Guetta, he offered something less commercialised with a lot more bass, and this is how I ended my Saturday T in the Park 2012 experience, with ears pounding, how it should be done.

Check out photos from Friday @ T in the Park
Check out photos from Saturday @ T in the Park
Check out photos from Sunday @ T in the Park


T in the Park 2012 – Friday Review

Walking in to the main arena the Kaleidoscope Club is the first tent to be seen, inside I found a group of street dancers performing to a small crowd. A crowd of ten men spinning on their heads later joined by the DJ, was definitely not the welcome I was expecting from T in the Park this year. Within five minutes of entering the site I find something new and exciting that had never been done in previous years and with only one reported arresting so far, that too was surprising. It seem T in the park is on the up, I just hope I'm continued to be surprised over the weekend.

I will admit, singing along to "I predict a riot" always made me feel that little bit cool, as if somewhere, deep, deep down I had a dangerous hidden streak but apart from that, I never have been that great a fan of the Kaiser Chiefs, that is until I heard them live. Oh, those boys can play, and can vocalist Ricky Wilson sing (probably why he was offered a coaching job on hit show "The Voice"!). At one point I also thought Ricky Wilson may have been a good contender for the GB team in this years Olympics judging by the amount of running back and forward he was doing. Putting aside the impressive stamina displayed by Ricky Wilson during the band's performance I believe the band's recorded songs play down how good they really are, I was extremely impressed by their live performance.

I did take time to celebrate the T, to the T in the Park (Tennents). Having a wee wander around the arena I saw the usual festival sights; collapsed drunk persons, noodles in mud, 6ft Smurfs, chips in mud, men urinating with poise and delicacy against peeling advertisement boards, all in all Scotland's finest!

Now, it is not because I had a cup of Tennents or because this gentleman is in fact VERY good looking in person, but Labrinth's set was brilliant. In between jumping around the stage and singing I lost count how many instruments he played. Album songs are not usually the highlight to anyone's performance but Labrinth's certainly made his more atmospheric, holding the standard of quality, very high, throughout every song he played. It was refreshing to see that an artist in the charts today, actually has his level of talent.

Labrinth @ T in the Park

I did go see Example but well, he really is not worth the time I'm taking to type out this small review of his performance, he already stole precious minutes of my life I will never get back. He's well known for mocking artists that mime, but maybe he should follow in their footsteps because he really was awful.

Now, Florence and the Machine, I'm sure everyone has watched her perform live at some point, therefore there is not much I can say that hasn't already been said. Her angelic voice drew in one of the largest crowds of today so far, and it is no surprise why. She captured the crowd with her stunning voice and put on, as always, a phenomenal show.

Florence & The Machine @ T in the Park

Professor Green, having been delayed getting to T in the park apologised profusely to the crowd in his own witty way, the T in the park crowd held no grudges after he followed his apology with "there will be plenty more flights to Glasgow but only one T in the park 2012". He then proceeded to blow the crowd away. You could see when singing his songs, he was singing you the words, his performance seemed more personal than other artists I had seen so far (how you can do "personal" with lyrics like "Saw a chick walk in with a big behind, Now I'm stalking my victim out" I will never know, but he managed it.) An amazing performer, one I would not hesitate to go see again!

Having Tinie Tempah on after Professor Green, on the same stage was awfully nice of the organizers, no trekking to the other side of the arena! You could tell from Tinie's entrance that he was ready to put on a good performance, and that he did. He seemed impressed with the Scottish crowd, grinning as they sang all his songs back to him. His pretty sparkly microphone and cool patchwork leather jacket certainly took no attention away from his performance, he held the stage well with his presence alone, playing hit after hit pleasing the huge crowd that had come to see him.

Finally I sneaked away early to catch the end of The Blackout's set and I'm glad I did. Those Welsh men can put on a performance! Possibly not to everyone's music taste, which is okay but if  you were to see them live you would undoubtedly have to appreciate their showmanship, in between their songs they communicated with the crowd like no other artist I had seen today had done, they thanked the crowd for coming, and it seemed more sincere than the odd "cheers for coming" you seem to get from some of the bigger artists. The two vocalists Sean Smith and Gavin Butler meshed well together, especially when they suggested to the crowd they make the most of the heavy security they were given. Without further hesitation the crowd turned in to a whirlpool of mosh pits and I counted at least 16 of the audience crowd surfing and having to be pulled out by security. Revealing new songs they have been working on over the last few months, The Blackout have the capability to go far, and I really hope they do. Their high energy performance gave the perfect ending to my Friday of T in the Park 2012.

Check out photos from Friday @ T in the Park
Check out photos from Saturday @ T in the Park
Check out photos from Sunday @ T in the Park