Sunday night this year at T in the Park proved a musical treat

T in the Park 2011 review

published: Thu 14th Jul 2011

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Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July 2011
Balado, nr Kinross. Scotland, KY13 0NJ, Scotland MAP
£195 full weekend with Thursday camping - sold out
daily capacity: 80000
last updated: Thu 30th Jun 2011

The Balado site, by Sunday, was expectedly looking – and smelling – a bit worse for wear. The dredged-up and sticky mud mixed with countless spilled pints of beer, cider and god-knows what else served to add a sickly smell to the air while the green grass of yesterday had finally given up the ghost subjected to thousands of wellies and a beating from the sun.

However, while the weather did hold out – even for a short while – Sunday didn't run as smoothly for T in the Park as it had in the days before. Where the theme last year had been a startling amount of acts running late, this year it was quite the opposite as the main stage ran early for most of the day starting with Cast – a number of disgruntled punters unhappy as they'd missed them during their worse-for-wear ambles from the campsite, blissfully unaware they were missing the show. Those who did see them were lucky enough to get to join in with a 'Walkaway' sing-song in the almost blistering sunshine as the Liverpudlian boys opened the final day of this year.

Professor Green
But it was Professor Green who got the best of the sunshine of the day. Sitting by the Radio 1/NME stage, the building crowd enjoyed the best of the heat yet – many not believing their luck that the projected rain had turned out to be mere myth. And when Professor Green hit out with classic remixes of 'I Need You Tonight' and 'Just Be Good to Green', it was impossible for the party feeling not to build as everyone got to their feet; hangovers and tiredness of the past 2 days lifting through his beats.

It wasn't to last, however. We should have known, but there was an air of sheer panic as one of the heaviest downpours T in the Park has ever seen blasted down – sending crowds running for cover from every angle; some even seeming to brave the portaloos for just a few minutes of respite from the opening heavens. It even took Blondie some coaxing to brave the thundering elements onto the main stage, but with a soggy and hardcore audience waiting they joined the soaking throng. Although they played favourites 'Atomic', 'Call Me' and 'One Way or Another' – predictably with the crowd chanting along Karaoke-style – Debbie Harry looked as though the wet weather had washed away some of her attitude and fight, leaving a slightly damp feeling in the air as the rain subsided.

Fenech Soler
And with the ground now well and truly mashed up into a muddy, watery mess it was time to take solace in the Red Bull Bedroom Transmissions Stage to check out electro-pop group Fenech-Soler. Playing to a rapidly filling tent (with the rain back on again) they give it their all with 'Demons' and 'Stop and Stare' proving that their quirky style has a place at T.

Braving the elements for a mud soaked wander to the Radio 1/NME stage, ponchos in full force, Bruno Mars was sure to lift the spirits of a rather soggy and deflated audience. Starting with 'The Lazy Song' and moving into 'Money/Billionaire' as crowd favourites, the light and uptempo pop tunes couldn't fail to get everyone smiling again, even inciting some splashing in the mud as the hardy Scottish festival-goers resigned themselves to the mudfest.

The one thing about T in the Park 2011 which was evident was the huge diversity of the line-up, and the appearance of My Chemical Romance on the main stage cemented this. Traditionally lambasted for leaning towards emo, and blamed for many a teenagers' sullen strop, the American group had quite a reputation to blast with this appearance. And blast it they certainly did. 'Teenagers' was the expected hit of the set, along with 'Welcome to the Black Parade' as the two most recognisable hits to the uninitiated. They also threw in a tribute to close friend Grant Morrison, the Scottish comic book writer before launching into 'DESTROYA' – the New Jersey foursome throwing off their (incorrectly) morose reputation as front-man Gerard Way paid tribute to the upcoming acts of the main stage.

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Hanging around the main stage, in a well settled muddy patch, the crowd geared up for the return of Pulp to T in the Park – starting with 'Do You Remember the First Time', a question throwing back to thoughts of the first time Pulp played T in 1994. 'Disco 2000' proved popular, as did Jarvis Cocker's brandishing of a final copy of News of The World before proceeding to wipe his backside with it; a move indicative of Cocker's – and the T audience's – thoughts on the recent demise of the publication. Full of the charisma we would expect from a power-group like Pulp, and ending with 'Common People' it was easy to see why they do – and will hopefully continue to pull huge crowds.

Noah And The Whale
The end of Sunday night this year proved a musical treat, but like a kid at a pick 'n' mix was almost impossible to choose between favourites to end the evening. Nipping into the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Transmissions Stage (with sore legs by now with nowhere dry to sit all day) Noah and the Whale kept up the preppy indie-pop theme of the tent, playing to a packed out audience who relished the chance to join in with 'L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.' and the incomparable '5 Years Time' but the pull of the main stage proved too hard to resist. Foo Fighters were already playing a powerhouse of hits, old and new, kicking off their mammoth 2 hour set with Grohl's screaming vocals over strong guitar riffs. 'Bridges Burning' and 'Rope' featuring from their new album, although it's 'Monkey Wrench' which set the crowd alight before the distinguished riff of 'All My Life' set them apart as a force to be reckoned with.

The eye-catching light of the Radio 1/NME stage heralded the presence of Deadmau5 and sidling over there (as easy as one can sidle in a mudpit with a burst wellie) proved a good move as laser shows and SOFI join Joel Zimmerman in his trademark mask as 'One Trick Pony' blasts out; the crowd only propelled on at this late stage of the weekend by his beats, and a staggering concoction of alcohol.

Once away from the stage, having attempted to beat the zombie-like queues of party-goers, the official fireworks of T in the Park blasted over Balado, signalling the end for another year, punctuated by the lone piper as the lights and sounds of the stages all switched off for the last time. It gets bigger and better every year. Bring on 2012 – but let's get dried off first.
review by: Clare Sinclair

photos by: Clare Sinclair

Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July 2011
Balado, nr Kinross. Scotland, KY13 0NJ, Scotland MAP
£195 full weekend with Thursday camping - sold out
daily capacity: 80000
last updated: Thu 30th Jun 2011


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