So that was T in the Park and I'll come straight out and say that for a festival with so many amazing bands playing, it's a shame that my most immediate thought is about piss. I've never seen so many people piss in so many ways across such a wide area. Unchecked pissing. Pissing like the day they were born, if they were babies that loved pissing a lot. It was piss central. Piss City. It was like visiting Pissopolis.
A calm T before the pissing storm.
I know this is a music blog but really, it was hard not to focus on the pissing. I still can't shake it. It really was mind-boggling. The best one (if that's the right phrase) was the guy in the pink lycra body suit and blonde wig (it was fancy-dress Friday) who just lopped his wee man out (pun intended) in the middle of watching Kings Of Leon and just stood there (well, wobbled there) and pissed, hands free, right were he stood, or swayed. He could barely focus so I suppose we can't be too harsh on him, but it's funny, because no matter how wasted I've ever got, it never once crossed my mind that it was okay to just piss where I stood, especially not RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A CROWD OF 80,000 PEOPLE. Some things you just know aren't alright. Not him though.
A nice picture of T's famous Giant Wheel before it got pissed all over (probably)
But I'll try to move on and remember the music, because T In The Park has got one of the best line-ups of any of the UK festivals, and with six (I think) stages, it's got more bands than you can shake a stick at. I could never hope to see them all though because I was tied backstage with Global Cool trying to bag a load of artist interviews, which we (the royal we that is - there was a whole team on it) managed to do very successfully.
The Global Cool bus, hopefully looking extremely enticing in its bucolic surroundings.
The Global Cool t-shirt that we got all the bands we met to sign.
So I got to meet, and in some cases have a bit of a chat with all manner of acts, including Florence & The Machine, Mogwai, Tommy Reilly, Gary Go, My Luminaries, VV Brown, Pendulum and a host of others. Chat was minimal though because they were in the media area to work, and so was I, so it meant that my actual audience time was pretty limited. In fact, I think I only got to see about half a dozen bands all weekend.
Kings Of Leon were okay - their good songs (mostly the singles) are brilliant, but they have an air of one-dimensionality about them, and their stage manner is what you could describe as stately at best, and downright boring at worst. TV On The Radio were brilliant, but played to a mostly empty tent due to being up against Elbow and Doves on other stages. Jamie T went down a treat, as did the Pet Shop Boys (though to be fair I walked in right when they struck up with Always On My Mind so it's not surprising that I got a favourable impression). Yeah Yeah Yeahs were unexpectedly dull, but Franz Ferdinand appeared to be putting in a good shift, though I only saw them as I was walking past.
TV On The Radio in a criminally under-populated King Tut's Wah Wah tent.
And then finally there was Blur. They didn't come on until about 10.30pm, and the curfew was meant to be 11pm, and rumours were rife as to what the problem was, including one hilarious suggestion that they had a fight with Snow Patrol. It turns out that Graham Coxon had been in hospital with food poisoning and literally walked out of hospital to come to the gig, which is admirable if true. So, rather then the two hours that the schedule said, we only got an hour of what Damon Albarn described as "our last show" (ever?), but it may have turned into a blessing in disguise because the set they put in was absolutely brilliant. I can't remember if I saw them a few years ago, but having seen them now I have a new found respect for them. They have a surprising amount of bona fide hits in their arsenal and all of them went down as well as you'd expect to an audience of very drunk Scots. Rather than the likely Girls & Boys or Park Life providing the highlights, for me Tender Is The Night was the hands down winner, with multiple choruses being sung by what felt like millions of people. I'm afraid to say it was probably a "you needed to be there" moment, but trust me, it was great.
You won't be able to tell in this fuzzy pic but Damon Albarn looked just like the kid from MAD magazine.
So that's the third of the four festivals with Global Cool done. You can read about us being at Download and Wireless if you missed them. I was a bit nervous about it T truth, in the sense that I wasn't really expecting it be much fun, what with the crowd's exuberance sometimes spilling over into out and out aggro, but we avoided any trouble that there might have been and apart from the pissing it was a great weekend for a lot of the right reasons. Next up, the final festival of the summer for GC, V. Oh, and I'll be at Field Day too in a purely non-working capacity. Excellent.