T in the Park 2014 - Friday review and photo gallery
Biffy Clyro, Chvrches and Manic Street Preachers among highlights at festival's final Balado edition
For T in the Park's final year at its current home in Balado, Perthshire, we sent three of our music critics to deliver their verdict on each of the three days. Once you're finished reading up on Friday's review below, feel free to see what we had to say about Saturday and Sunday.
‘Welcome to the end of T as we know it’ was the message being spread around the T site on Friday, and it was the Scottish bands on the bill who were heading it up. Not least headliners Biffy Clyro, who informed us (it still doesn’t seem true) that they’ve played at ten Ts now, although this was their highest billing yet, and probably higher than they ever expected when they started out way back when on the T-Break stage.
Perhaps the perennially taps-aff Ayrshire trio are a bigger draw here than on most other festival stages, but they’re in perfect synchronicity with their crowd of countrypeople, all fire and excited energy in the receding sunshine. 'Yes T in the Park, that’s what I’m fuckin' talkin’ about,’ barked Simon after the furiously-received riffing of ‘Black Chandelier’, nestled amidst an epic set which included favourites like ‘The Captain’ and ‘Many of Horror’.
The irony is that T’s being forced to move from its long-running Balado site to a new home at Strathallan Castle just as the bill has become more packed than usual. Friday afternoon saw upcoming pop successes like Neon Jungle and Foxes take to the bigger stages, while the Slam Tent hosted Factory Floor and Glasgow’s Jackmaster. The catholic taste of the event was exposed by an evening which saw old stagers like Maximo Park and the Manic Street Preachers – the latter a fiery live proposition showing off a strong new album in Futurology – placed alongside the bland but cheery Ellie Goulding and Ed Sheeran’s pluckily crowd-pleasing campfire folk-garage.
Yet, perhaps thanks to occasion, Chvrches stayed longest in the memory, partly for the icy-cool synth pop epics which packed their set, and partly because of Lauren Mayberry’s warm memories of this festival as a fan and a musician. Although the story about struggling through T-Break knockback after knockback was more edifying than the one about being showered with a cup of urine while watching Green Day.
All of the following T in the Park 2014 pics were taken by Duncan Bryceland. You can check out more of his work at duncanbryceland.com.