Wednesday, 15 July 2009

More T, Vicar?

Twas with a shooge amount of trepidation that i was anticipating last weekend's T in the Park. The weather's been pish, the line up wisnae the greatest and, bein kinda long in the tooth, the thought of 3 nights in a muddy field full o buckied up nippers and boomin shcemie techno beatboxes was nane too appealin. However, C Mitchell and Acky were gonna be around and we were campin next to Jules (carriageway) and Nobby so some barry patter was bounty be on the cards. Plus the Specials were due to play and i couldnae miss them. Oh and, ticket was free so there was nowt much to lose.

First impression was that the event's mushroomed significantly since my last trip to T in 2006 (daily capacity's now 85,000). On the way into the campsite i was truly freaked by the level of wobbly pishedness on display. How grim was it gonna get by Monday morn? We did however, meet a Hare Krishna gadge whom i managed to get to shout "Awkuntzbarry" in return for me goin "Gouranga". He asked if it was Gaelic and we told him it's Embrese for "Everyone is good". Beautiful.

Having entered the arena, i spent 2 hours locating then queueing for beer tokens. Well pissed off to be stuck in a queue while my chums grooved out to Camera Obscura. Still, the site's surrounded by decent wee hills and a big big sky so i contented masel checkin the changing colours as the sun sunk gently in the west. Right pretty.
On finally obtaining said tokens and exchanging them for actual lager (£3.50 a pint, bitto a scandal but the Tennents was much tastier than that Carling keech at RockNess), i grabbed a snatch o some very jump abooty Pearl and the Puppets then rejoined ma pals for the last 45 mins o the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Tunes were tops and the singer looked fab - there's no such thing as too much lipstick and i'm always game for pvc and buckles.

By now it was late and we had to decide tween Kings of Leon (been there, bored by that) or Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (never seen, always been intrigued, featured in the second rubbish pic). Seemed like 84,750 peeps took the Kings' shilling cos the crowd for NC and the BS was paltry in extemis. But who cared about that? The Bad Seeds sure didnae cos they fair battered out some filthy, malevolent, sleazebag rock, gobbed a lot, pulled great shapes and looked like they enjoyed it as much as the paltry group o punters. Well chuffed Copie and Scottie B had plugged them so heavily. Thank you, geezers - king cheeseburger really was born in Tupelo.
Back at the campsite, punters were pleasantly chatty, chilled and even keen to kip. Me, Nob and Mand were the last peeps in earshot to hit the sack and managed to grab a few happily zonked hours before waking in our sauna tent. The sun was up and we had toasty weather. Nobby had a stove and made cups o coffee wi veggie sausages on a roll and squeezy cream cheese. Jules crashed choccy bics. Mand crashed apples and oranges. Flippin magic.

So we hit the arena with a spring in the step plus gin and vodka in our bags. First sight of note was some tasty Elph graffiti on big cement bollards (3rd rubbish pic above). Later on i met Elph himself. For such a skilled sprayer, he's a right decent gadge (if i had any talent other than makin soup, i'd probs be a big heided twat). Anyway, we checked out Beardyman in the Slam tent (sweaty as fuck and too many beats), Unicorn Kid (17 years old, enthusiastic, talented, no really ma thing) then soaked up some rays wi beers, chat, laughter and James playin away in the background.

This was all a warm up for the one, the only, the truly magnificent Specials (top dodgy pic). Even without the toothless Jerry Dammers, the Specials brewed up a storm for the large 30 and 40 something crowd they pulled to the sunny main stage. The Specials have, for many years, been my favourite unseen band and i was almost in tears as they rattled out Ghost Town then left the stage. Trouble wi festivals is that non-headlining acts get noe more than an hour in the spotlight and it was all over much too soon. Oh well.

There was very little of interest to me on the rest of Saturday's bill and i'd happily have jumped a bus back to Embra for Headspin. Thank the sweet baba Jesus, i heard 2 great tunes from the 1990's and then was huckled by Jules into seein Florence and the Machine. I'd seen this mob on the tellybox at Glasto and thought they were fairly gash. How wrong i was. Florence can really leap aboot, isnae scared to down plastic bottles o vodka flung on stage and can sing like an angel on acid. She had a hoachin wee tent in the palm of her hand throughout and for me, this was by a mile the most pleasantly surprising band of the weekend.
The long feared rain rolled in on Saturday night and was still tumblin down come Sunday mornin. Urgh...this is what festy nightmare are made of. But miraculously, by midday the rain had eased and the sun poked through the cloudy murk. We still missed Squeeze and Seasick Steve due to a reluctance to venture far from our tents but by the time we did hit the arena, the weather was decent enough to wish i hadnae stuffed my daypack with every bitto waterproof clothing in Scotland.

VV Brown cheered up my hangovery mood with some happy happy tunes. Pete Doherty was right on top of his game and put me in mind of Joe Strummer (but better at guitar and no quite as angry). Lily Allen was cack as expected, Hockey disappointed, Shnaw Patrol were like pouring a pint o ditchwater down yer lug, Pendulum sounded great but i couldnae get near their stage and neither could i get in to see Tommy Reilly, of whom everyone sang massive praise.

So it was left to Blur to round things off. Another band i'd never seen before. You just cannae argue wi a proper band with great tunes and, what i imagine to have been the biggest crowd of the weekend went bonkers, singin every word from start to finish. Tender was possibly the greatest live song i've ever heard and the crowd forced a reprise from the band 3 or 4 times. Precisely what it's all about for the likes o me. Was also good to see that Damon Albarn looked rough as fuck (nae offence Damon, rock and roll eh?)

So all in all, a great weekend away and, if the line up's any good next year, i'm gonna do my best to hit it again. Organisation was spot on, the security and polis were happy and helpful and the punters were in great form - met some barry randoms including wheens o English cats who rate T as their favourite festy. There are signs of me ageing though - feel completely done in today, actually ate some food over the weekend and even had 2 jobbies, which is certainly a first for me at T. I think the presence of those big shite tankers (4th crappy pic) had somethin to do with the genuine cleanliness of the bogs. Or maybe my standards are slipping.

Anyway, my main point is, stick 85,000 people together and, in general, they're fab.


  1. Saw the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on the telly a while ago on Jools BBC2 but just downloaded their new album this week, saw some of their TITP bit on the telly the other night as well, likin' them a lot.

    At least you got TITP without having to put up wi' Edith Bowman and her bunch o' BBC egotistical cliche spoutin' gadge halfwits, unlike us losers who had to watch it on the telly

  2. sounds good, almost enough to tempt me north of the border next year. ;)

  3. Sounds a no bad weekend, glad you enjoyed Mt Cave. However, I still think you got lucky not having any bother. I've been reading the TITP forum and its anything but happy reading. 200 pickpocket thefts at the View, 200 more at Jamie T and a similar amount at the Specials. Organised gangs from Liverpool to blame. Then you read about all the fights, heavy handed security and canpsite shananigans. I know its a risk you take and arseholes are everywhere but just to put into context, 5 thefts were reported at Rockness. Yeah if you keep your wits about you have a better chance of avoiding bother but when I go to Festivals I like to leave my wits at the front door for a few days. Maybe I've just got sour grapes. TITP was the first festival I attended and I loved it for many a year (11 if my memory serves me correct). Nowadays I just see it as an overcrowded commercial ned zone with not vey much imagination going into the line up. Each to their own tho.

  4. Dougie, i always have a wee list of must gets after a music festival (unless it was shite) and Yeah Yeah Yeah are right up the top o mine this year.

    Edith Bowman and Radio 1 etc......what a nightmare. They always annoy me at Glasto - i just wanna hear the music not listen to some overpaid egoheid, namedropping spraff about their trip to Sonar or New York or some such pish. Yer no a loser for watchin on telly though, you had a bed to go to and real bogs to use (i assume).

  5. J, well worth a trip up from the South Coast to catch T. We camped next to an older couple from Weymouth (older than me anyway and that's sayin something). They had a great time and said T was far friendlier and easier to cope with than Glastonbury. I couldnae comment, having never been there.

    You should also bear in mind comments above from Scottie B. As with every huge crowd, there will be idiots and some people will have bad experiences.

    And it might be best to combine any trip to T with a wee tour of the Highlands and/or the cities of Scotland if you don't just wanna confirm all those (not entirely inaccurate) images of Scots as loud, drunken oafs. Cos almost everyone at T gets loud, drunken and oafish. Generally in a nice way though.

  6. Scottie, you taught me all i ken about campin at TITP so your chat on the subject is taken right seriously. Was kinda weird wi you no bein there but i totally understand why you watched it on telly.

    We camped in a whole new area for me - Yellow 1, right next to the bus drop off perimeter fence. Punters in that area were really friendly, stoatin from tent to tent, chattin bout music, weather, other festivals, where they came from, all that sorta nonsense. I didnae hear a single voice raised in anger all weekend.

    There was a heavy security presence where we were, due to its proximity to the fence and easy jumpin access. Apart from goin round sayin hiya, handin out bin bags and being generally chummy, we had 2 main security related incidents:

    1. lookin for a water point on the Sat morn, i asked a security boy pokin his heid over tother side o the fence who didnae ken where i could get water and told me to fling my 3 bottles over the fence so he could fill them from a staff tap on his side o the fence. Barry as fuck.

    2. Sun morn a very young security lass came up and told Nobby to put his stove out. She was tryin to confiscate it when half a dozen other yellow jaikets arrived and asked what we were up to. Nobby said he was makin coffee and the main gadge laughed and said, nae worries, mine's black wi one sugar. The young lass was clearly gonna be a jobsworth and the others typified our experience by realising we were no threat to anyone and letting it slide.

    The security staff were from G4S and mainly English. I didnae notice any bad attitude towards the Scots at all. The seemed to dig their experience and were keen to learn such phrases as "Awkuntzbarry", "Bawdeep", "Fannybaws" etc.

    I was right at the front at the Specials and saw and heard of no thefts. Did see about 10 trampled mobies on the deck after their set though, presumably havin fallen out the pockets of over enthusiastic skankers. Sun afternoon we saw a group of 5 peeps find a wallet stuffed wi notes and cards go straight up and hand it to a polisman. Spot on behaviour.

    I'm wi ye on RockNess and Connect. I prefer the intimacy of a wee festy over the gargantuan beast that TITP has become and will try to go to both Highland extravaganzas next year no matter the line up.

    Our TITP was great this year: good peeps, well organised, better than expected music and decent weather. Even the food was good. But that was only our experience and maybe we got very very lucky. Jase the Race texted to say he'd noticed a reduction in the Ned count but he was only there for one full day. I'll only go back next year if the line up's a cracker cos its size really does make it awfy hard work for an auld James Hunt like me.

    You up for Loopaloo this year? Also a proper Teuchter music festy at Glenelg in late September? Really fancy that but reckon it'll be a b&b in case of extreme weather - always a possibility in the heelans at that time o year.

  7. Hey Naldo, interesting read; happy to hear that you had a good time. :-)

  8. It was absolutely galdie, Ms TB. Main regret is i made no effort to see Nine Inch Nails. Always just thought they were a horrible, screeching pile of feaky metal but loadsa peeps whose taste i appreciate have asked if i saw them.

    Apparently they're about to split as well. Acht well, i'll survive.

  9. sounds like a good time. nifty pictures.

  10. Nice you had a guid time, still would not catch me at titp! But free tkts could bend any kuntz arm. Watched a bit on telly, looked sunny and busy with nothing to do apart from watch bands. With 3 days of it where you gonna get involved with nonsence of the sitting around fires, make things out of wicker, catch a movie, a bit of painting, little bit of craft? These are the things titp should address as it would be nicer with more areas for hanging around, not shutting the site at closing time and sending you to your tent .. come on no one is ready fir sleep are you??
    Any who i had a barry time at Sara's 40th down the beach along the coast, shame you were ill you would have enjoyed the shenanigans.
    A K B