T in the Park 2010: Silver Columns, Yeasayer and Empire of the Sun
T in the Park blog
Sunday 11 Jul
Why the long face, T in the Park goer? Trench foot and tent sores getting you down? That growing campsite/cat litter smell of ammonia making your eyes water? Still not quite recovered from the concussion of that flying bottle? (One of Team List got dizzier than we'd hoped during Dizzee Rascal's otherwise bold and brilliant, hit-heavy set (●●●●) on Sunday afternoon...)
In that case, it's probably time for some late-afternoon falsetto techno-pop to perk you up. Playing the BBC Introducing Stage, Silver Columns resolutely delivered (●●●●), as has fast become their norm over a summer of festival and club performances, where they've done Ibiza, KOKO and Glasto on the back of their dancefloor-killer debut album, Yes, And Dance. Johnny Lynch and Adem's euphoric set fizzed like a Mentos in a can of Coke, fusing throbbing Donna Summer beats, shrill Bronski Beat vocals and Hot Chip-echoing electro.
A short welly-sucking sludge across the airfield to the Red Bull Stage, and it was time for Brooklyn's Yeasayer (●●●●), slotting in another Scottish gig between January's high-energy Oran Mor show and an August date in Edinburgh. Stood behind glowing podiums, singer Chris Keating thanked the Scottish crowd for another arms-wide-open welcome as they power-balladed through recent synthpop hits, 'O.N.E.', 'Madder Red' and 'Ambling Alp'.
While bassist Ira Wolf Tuton rocked his trademark wife-beater and now moustacheless upper lip, singer/keyboardist/guitarist Anand Wilder bounced on the left, proving yes, it is still possible to inspire a pop-crush while wearing a red vest and those elastic waist-banded, patterned 'Action Trousers' beloved of weightlifters.
Detouring via the King Tut's tent for some epic space-disco from Empire of the Sun (●●●), the crowd boomed back lyrics to their camp Abba meets Prince indie-funk. Spiked gold-headdresses, red Lycra bodysuits and Bigfoot fur boots added theatrical dazzle to their poppy, if still not overly exciting show, and also warmed the crowd for Goldfrapp (●●●●) who strutted onstage afterwards. Twinkling like a night sky in a black-glitter cape dress, the icy-cool Alison Goldfrapp ended on a crowd-lifting high with 'Strict Machine'.
The sub-headline, but still biggest star of the night, Jay-Z (●●●●) played to a swaying field of outstretched arms. Thankfully Saturday's rain stayed away, meaning hands were free from umbrellas, and busy bobbing their diamonds in the air instead. (One of Team List has self-diagnosed herself with a dose of 'hip-hop shoulder' this morning.)
Confident patter is something the empire-owning businessman/rapper excels at, and Jay-Z's warm banter and perma-grin buoyed the Sunday night set. 'We're about to turn it up to 99!', he bellowed, before dropping the singalong-demanding '99 Problems'. Later he thanked the (correctly pronounced) 'Glasgow' crowd for welcoming him, and making him feel at home. And then he took us to his home, for the excellent 'Empire State of Mind'. (Bouncy Beyoncé was sadly a no-show in the end, although she'd been rumoured to be coming.)
Ducking out to the Slam tent, you'd be hard-pushed to find a jollier looking DJ than German trance/techno powerhouse Sven Väth (●●●●●). With a grin as wide as a letterbox, he jumped up on the tabletop, tiptoeing over his decks to do some careful lunges in his black MC Hammer pants. When the cameras weren't on his ecstatic mug, they were scanning the equally amped-up crowd, with girls on shoulders dutifully flashing upshirt shots for the mega-big screens behind the blonde viking-club-lord. As the Slam DJs (●●●●) took over, the sun set over T in the Park for another year.
Not wanting to taint my festival high with the anthemic roar of Kasabian, I left with a techno buzz in my ears, while the sky burned a spectacular peach melba shade of pink and orange behind me.