T in the Park 2014 - Saturday review and photo gallery
- Henry Northmore
- 15 July 2014
Katy B, Pharrell, Bombay Bicycle Club and Calvin Harris with Will Smith bid farewell to Balado
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 Saturday's review below, feel free to see what we had to say about Friday and Sunday.
It might be grey and drizzly but for anyone who survived the monsoons of 2012's T this is literally a walk in the park. Katy B ●●● impresses early doors with a mix of R&B, pop and dubstep. Backed by four dancers and some rumbling beats there's an authenticity that marks her out from the crowd. A club kid who started out supplying vocals on the underground dance circuit, her early cuts 'Perfect Stranger' and 'Katy on a Mission' being a set highlight.
Glasgow's Twin Atlantic ●●● add some rock to proceedings. They might lack aggression but are now a polished pop rock act and it looks like they might finally be breaking into the next level with tunes like 'Heart and Soul' in their arsenal. James ●●●● frontman Tim Booth might apologise for his vocals today as he's just recovering from 'man-flu' but there's an emotional honesty to his delivery that wins over the crowd with their passion. Classics like 'Getting Away With It (All Messed Up)', 'Sit Down' (sung back in unison by the thousands gathered at the Main Stage) and 'Laid' instantly connect, especially when coupled with Booth's snake hip dancing, but even new material such as 'Curse Curse' effortlessly slot into their setlist.
Rudimental ●●● have perfected the big dancey/housey/jazzy party thing. DJ Locksmith is the perfect MC and front man constantly ratcheting up the energy levels which hit fever pitch when vocalist John Newman joins them for 'Feel the Love'. However the weather isn't on their side with the rain dampening the volume from the speakers. Over in the King Tut's tent Soul II Soul ●●●● prove Rudimental aren't the first to occupy this particular musical territory. Jazzie B leads the expedition through jazz, funk, hip hop, reggae and house with considerable help from MC Chickaboo and Caron Wheeler. 'Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)' being a life affirming slice of feel-good nostalgia.
Pharrell ●●● is effortlessly cool with a vocal range reminiscent of early Prince. Dipping into his back catalogue for N*E*R*D tracks 'Rockstar' and 'Lapdance' as well as his collaborations with Robin Thicke ('Blurred Lines') and Daft Punk ('Get Lucky'), the energy dips while the dancers take to the fore as Pharrell produced tracks by Justin Timberlake, Ed Sheeran and more play over the PA. However it's impossible not to bounce, smile and sing along to set closer, the instantly infectious 'Happy'.
On the Radio 1 stage Bombay Bicycle Club ●●●● mix up Afrobeat and indie. Bassist Ed Nash attacking his instrument as though he's playing in Led Zeppelin rather than tacking the plinky plonky 'Shuffle' or the quirky rhythms of 'How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep'. Meanwhile over in the King Tut's Tent Embrace ●● show why they were always Britpop also-rans with some lumpen indie by numbers.
Calvin Harris ●●● has a lot to prove as the first DJ to headline the Main Stage at T in the Park. It starts on a slightly surreal note as Hollywood A-lister Will Smith (?!) takes to the stage to introduce the Dumfries disc jockey. Harris hits the ground running pummelling the crowd into submission with his EDM beats. It's not clever but it is big. An absolutely enormous production as lazers cut through the sky, strobes pulse, fireworks flash and pop, confetti canons explode and blue pyro erupts Harris manages to turn a DJ set into an event.
And for those who didn’t want to stop the Lucozade Energy Arena kept the party going. Even after all these years it’s still a bizarre sight to witness a Silent Disco as the headphone clad heads bob and whoops punctuate the air as the crowds get down to an unheard soundtrack provided by DJ Gary Coates and Kieran Molloy.
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.