Review: Friday at T in the Park 2015 (3 stars)

Review: Friday at T in the Park 2015

David Guetta on the BBC Three / Radio 1 stage

Scotland’s definitive music festival christens its new home, with help from Kasabian, David Guetta and Hot Chip

For T in the Park’s first year at its new venue, we sent three of our music critics to see how the move panned out. Once you’re done with Friday’s review, check out what we had to say about Saturday and Sunday.

A weird kind of ‘same but different’ feel permeated this very first night of T in the Park’s new life in a new location, following the well-documented move from Balado a few miles down the road. On approach to the site it was very much not the same, hidden in a forested glade at the foot of a shallow valley in the grounds of Strathallan Castle, rather than on the wide open plains of Balado airfield.

In practice, however, T v22.0 was just as it’s always been, if anything even more so. Ahead of none-more-familiar whitebread guitar rockers the Libertines and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds on the following evenings, swaggering Leicester geezers Kasabian held sway here, in a booking move surely designed to swaddle the crowd in a fog of familiarity. Against a backdrop of nonsensical black on pink slogans and phrases potentially written after one bong too many, lairy Harry Brown villain Tom Meighan spat out a sneery take on Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust For Life’, because, you know, Scotland, junkies, Trainspotting – right?

He also, apparently, later took on Fatboy Slim’s ‘Praise You’ in tribute to the ageing Brightonian DJ’s set elsewhere in the arena, but by this point we were experiencing David Guetta on the BBC Three / Radio 1 stage – and yes, it was corny as hell, but with a blazing lightshow and the gratifying sound of a bass so loud it grates across your breastbone, it felt like the future had arrived to brush men with guitars firmly aside.

Despite the ‘90s bands or EDM’ dynamic of the weekend’s headliners, however, Friday showed a bit of variety further down the line-up, including Hot Chip’s nerd-disco thrill and The War On Drugs’ sparsely-populated but epic live set. If you’ve gone near social media, you may have read the tumult from those for whom the work-in-progress traffic management caused delays, but take it from us: the festival itself worked as before.

Seen at Strathallan Castle, Auchterarder, Fri 10 Jul.

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