Eminem keeps the Saturday night T party waiting

T in the Park 2010 review

published: Thu 15th Jul 2010

around the festival site

Friday 9th to Sunday 11th July 2010
Balado, nr Kinross. Scotland, KY13 0NJ, Scotland MAP
£180 for weekend with camping - SOLD OUT
daily capacity: 80000
last updated: Tue 6th Jul 2010

It's safe to say that where the Balado revellers were lucky the rain cooled off in the evening on Friday, we are paying for it on Saturday - and this is not the day to learn that water resistant is a whole different thing from waterproof. Walking onto site today is a soggier affair - the sticky mud from yesterday has turned into a mud bath, stirring up smells from the ground that hint at ghosts from T in the Parks of the past. As I slip and slide into the main arena, the well-trodden paths of yesterday have made way to large pools of mud, and there's no sign of the rain stopping at all this afternoon.

Scouting For Girls
Watching Scouting For Girls on the main stage, through the slick of the rain, it's clear they're here to cheer us sodden lot up - and 'I Wish I Was James Bond' and 'Elvis Isn't Dead' prove that they have an arsenal of top hits in store to do just that. The set doesn't take any huge risks and there are no great surprises but it was a great ease in to what looks to be good day for the main stage.

I watch Newton Faulkner as he heads on to the main stage, and I can't help but wish that there was some dry ground, because listening to the Surrey guitar player, for me, has always been a chilled out experience. But he doesn't disappoint, mud or no mud. As well as old favourites he plays what he describes as his "party trick" - a cover of Queen's epic 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. It sounds unusual with a lone guitar as background but works perfectly with a choir of backing singers in the form of the crowd. And as the set ends and the crowd filter away, there are echoes of Queen still being belted out.

The Proclaimers are veterans of the T in the Park circuit - and a firm favourite for Scottish events. While nobody really ever lists them as one of their top live bands, nobody seems to hate them and the same goes for this weekend. They hit out with all the top hits we would expect, 'Sunshine on Leith' provides a sing-a-long helping the soaked and soggy crowd forget temporarily about the rain and '500 Miles' predictably elicits the usual reaction we have come to know and love from the duo's most infamous ditty.

Vampire Weekend
Following such a crowd pleaser is no mean feat but Vampire Weekend bounce onto the main stage making geek chic the ultimate in cool, and looking around it's clear this look has been predominant over the weekend with the over-sized ray-bans, wellies and shorts combo, topped off with a bright plastic poncho. And the bright upbeat melodies such as 'Oxford Comma' have everyone bouncing and cheering along. While they encourage revellers to "loosen up and dance a little bit", the four-some belt out 'A-Punk' full of cheery riffs and catchy lyrics.

Paisley boy Paolo Nutini is always going to be a favourite - and this year's T in the Park is no different. Starting with '10/10' he gets everyone singing along before popping into 'Pencil Full Of Lead' - a true hit from the new album and one which has us all singing and bouncing along. If there's ever a man who can make us forget about the rain, Paolo is that man and his live backing band keep the spirits high - even with the more melancholy vibe of 'Candy'. If it wasn't so wet, I'd have the lighter out. As it is, the crowd make do with splashing about in the mud while he does a great cover of MGMT's 'Time to Pretend'.

As we all crowd around waiting for Welsh warblers Stereophonics to appear on stage we're treated to an air raid signal before they bash out expected tunes such as 'The Bartender and the Thief', fully customised with some 'Ace of Spaces' thrown in for good measure. Hits such as 'A Thousand Trees' and 'Have A Nice Day' are a huge success - but none so much as 'Dakota' which was held out until the encore. After the chilled out feel of the main stage, it's good to get some rock out there before headliner Eminem, and Kelly's boys prove just the trick.

At this stage, the crowd are positively tingling waiting to see the only UK festival performance from Eminem - amid rumours that he wasn't going to turn up. And he does nothing to dispel the rumours by making us wait for almost 45 minutes, reports suggest this is due to wanting to keep his trainers clean but the waiting crowd are kept in the dark, slow clapping and barely holding back their frustration. The wait manages to annoy the few who weren't overly interested in the headliner, but builds anticipation in the die-hard fans - so much so that as Eminem erupts through a trap door in the main stage, the ground shakes with the ferocity of the cheering roars from a crowd so large it rivals that of Blur's swansong performance last year.

However, although 'Slim Shady' has an undeniable charisma in stage, and fans can barely contain their excitement, the sound is unbalanced while his backing tracks belt louder than his live participation in tracks such as 'Stan'. For those with only a passing interest in the rapper, the beginning tracks (spoken mostly by his MC) are disappointing, but the old favourites such as 'Cleaning Out My Closet' and 'The Way I Am' please most. It's at this stage, I take a wander out of curiosity to the Slam Tent to check out a bit of Carl Cox, and I am sorely disappointed to see the emptiest tent of the weekend so far, although he is giving his all to the sparse yet energetic crowd. The NME stage is not much different with The Prodigy, where most of the Saturday night T party is taking place in front of Eminem - even when he does address us as Edinburgh!

Thankfully, the rain has given way to a clear night, and I can't help but think that Stereophonics deserved the top spot for this evening. However there's no denying the electricity in the crowd following Eminem as the arena clears.

around the festival site
review by: Clare Sinclair

photos by: Louise Davidson / Nicki Innes

Friday 9th to Sunday 11th July 2010
Balado, nr Kinross. Scotland, KY13 0NJ, Scotland MAP
£180 for weekend with camping - SOLD OUT
daily capacity: 80000
last updated: Tue 6th Jul 2010

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