Review: Friday at T in the Park 2016 (3 stars)

Review: Friday at T in the Park 2016

The Stone Roses

T in the Park kicks off the weekend with performances from Gerry Cinnamon, Fun Lovin' Criminals and The Stone Roses

We sent three of our music critics along to T in the Park to see how the weekend went down. Once you're done with Friday's review, check out what we thought of Saturday and Sunday.

Mud churned up by innumerable wellie boots, hollow-eyed campers staggering about and pounding EDM rhythms beating out from fairground ride PA systems; T in the Park’s second year at Strathallan looked like a proper festival ground, regardless of last year’s teething troubles.

Opening the day’s festivities on the main stage, The Temperance Movement leapt and pranced about the stage to a still-arriving audience. Sounding and looking like the sort of band that might soundtrack a Jack Daniels commercial, they were left to fill the hole left by a non-raucous crowd with their own valiant stage antics.

Over in King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent, Gerry Cinnamon was received as a homecoming king, the crowd joining in on every chorus. His ode to the ‘Yes’ movement, ‘Hope Over Fear’ had the fans in near ecstasy, and there was an acoustic cover of Fatboy Slim’s ‘Praise You' dedicated to a young boy involved with the rollercoaster crash at M&D's theme park in North Lanarkshire in June.

Augustines’ spirited indie rock would probably have been a hit at T, but their presence in King Tut’s went unnoticed as punters pulled away to the dance-orientated Radio 1 Stage in the middle of the park or to watch Fun Lovin’ Criminals lay down easy-going funk rock hits. Impressively for a late-night Radio 2 DJ, frontman Huey Morgan still manages to seem cool – their rendition of ‘Scooby Snacks’ sent the few festival goers who actually experienced the 1990’s (either they’re back in fashion as part of the general reverence for all things pre-2000, or it was a mass tribute to the Stone Roses headline gig, but there were hundreds of bucket hats on top of heads that were born after the millennium) into nostalgic bliss.

Over the lunchtime lull, I managed to see earnest pop trio Oh Wonder debut over on the Radio 1 stage via song introductions that sounded like the kind of self-confidence boosting tips your mum shares on Facebook, whilst unsigned soul acolyte Izzy Bizu impressed on the T Break stage, pulling in audience members by the chorus line and gaining confidence with every second. She could be one to watch, providing she manages to avoid the radio friendly limbo occupied by Eliza Doolitte and Pixie Lott.

Still plating up bangers, the Courteeners seem to have missed out on the irony of making ‘Acetate’ a central number on their festival set, given that it rails against MOR indie chorus lines, yet gives its audience at T exactly that.

At the same time Rodrigo y Gabriela fought for their audience with a series of blistering Spanish guitar covers of heavy metal songs mixed in with their usual set. One of the braver bookings by festival organisers, it was a shame that King Tut’s tent was practically deserted while Annie Mac was in full flow on the Radio 1 stage.

Frightened Rabbit followed, spouting frisson-raising anthems to an adoring audience through a set featuring the classics in favour of new tracks from their most recent records; ‘Old Fashioned,’ ‘Fast Blood,’ and bankable closer ‘Keep Yourself Warm’ drew some of the loudest cheers of the day, even if thoughts of an encore were curtailed by a mass exodus towards the main stage in time for a timely resurrection.

The Stone Roses – epoch-defining, youth-moulding gods of the 90s – may have joined the undying ranks of rock history alongside the Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac and The Who, but there was no complaint from the massed thousands that had travelled to Strathallan to see them play. Even for this cynical Mancunian, it was truly something to hear the opening bars to ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ shimmer out over a festival ground.

Seen at Strathallan Castle, Auchterarder, Fri 8 Jul.

**EDIT: article has been updated to reflect Gerry Cinnamon's 'Praise You' dedication.**

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