Because It's Never Just About the Music
Monday, July 14, 2003
This Is How It Fields
- The Darkness // A fantastic way to start another sunny day at T in the Park. The Darkness, quite simply, rock, and no amount of over-analysis can detract from the simple pleasures of watching a group of grown men acting like teenagers playing air-guitar, and any man that can get away with wearing a leopard-skin catsuit deserves some sort of respect, even if it is only the grudging kind. In keeping with the Queen referencing, Justin even indulged in a bit of call and response with the crowd, although I think it’s safe to say that Freddie Mercury never got the crowd to sing “Motherfucker” back at them but, on the other hand, he has snorted cocaine from the head of a dwarf, so I think is place in the pantheon of rock greats is safe.
They didn’t play their cover of Street Spirit though. Bastards!
- Echo and the Bunnymen // Despite looking identical to how he did in the eighties, Ian McCulloch still manages to look effortlessly cool. They played a perfect set for lazing on a sunny afternoon and closed with the magnificence of Nothing Lasts Forever, Killing Moon, and The Cutter. Excellent.
They didn’t do any of Ian McCulloch’s solo stuff though. Bastards!
- The Sugababes // The girls made a big mistake initially by starting the set with them singing offstage, presumably the intention was to make a big entrance, but merely served to make it look like they were singing to a backing tape which had started too early. They also made the mistake later of introducing the band. We don’t care who’s playing guitar, it doesn’t interest us in any way shape or form.
Other than that though, they were fantastic, Although they did use up their really great songs far too early by doing Overload followed by Run For Cover, but then, the majority of the crowd didn’t really care about the Sugababes when they were really good, as opposed to just being good. They went wild for Freak Like Me and Round, Round when they were played, and fully appreciated the girls pelvic thrusts round the mic stand in the latter. Lovely, irrepressibly happy Heidi smiled and enjoyed herself all the way through the set, blissfully ignorant of the fact that the other two clearly hate her, which is clearly why she’s the most loved member of the group and the one that had some sweaty underpants thrown at her. The lucky girl.
They didn’t play New Year though. Bastards!
- Inspiral Carpets // The scallies were out in force for Madchesters, if not finest, then certainly most consistent band. Pure greatest hits nostalgia for everyone there, even if the ‘new’ single sounds exactly like Step Into Christmas, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Clint Boon is still a god, but his solo stuff was so much better than anything the Inspirals did. Apart from This is How it Feels and Saturn 5. Obviously.
They didn’t do their cover of Paranoid though. Bastards!
- Mull Historical Society // The second best band of the weekend. If you have yet to experience the wonders of MHS then go get Loss straight away as it’s genius, don’t rush out and buy the second album as it’s nowhere near as good, but never mind. The fact that they’re not a rock band didn’t stop Colin throwing a number of rock poses and jumping around the stage like a man on drugs. But given that he’s from a small island he probably wasn’t on drugs, but was simply over-awed by the concept of electricity and metal boxes on wheels which move really fast.
They didn’t do Barcode Bypass though. Bastards!
- Feeder // Um yeah, well Feeder were alright.They did Buck Rodgers, everyone cheered, they dedicated a song to Jon Lee, (the dead drummer, rather than the dead in the water Ex-Club 7 member) and people applauded, they did what they were expected to, and did it in a workmanlike manner, I’m sure they’ll do it all over again at a festival near you soon.
They didn’t do anything vaguely exciting though. Bastards!
- OK GO // They were excellent for 3 reasons. Firstly for giving respect to The Darkness, secondly for Get Over It, which has the greatest “Hey”s in pop history ever (NOTE: Writer has not fully researched Exclamations and Their use in Pop Music so this claim may not be fully accurate), and thirdly because for their last song, they mimed, did a synchronised dance routine and made more of a lasting impression than most of the bands over the weekend.
They didn’t do anything nearly as good as Get Over It though. Bastards!
- The Charlatans // They’re good if you like that kinda thing, but they did make the fatal mistake of uttering the words that no-one ever wants to hear at a festival – “We’re gonna try a new song now”, almost as dreaded a phrase as “We’re gonna introduce the band now”, “Here’s an old B-Side”, and “And now, our surprise special guests, the Stereophonics”.
They didn’t play Can’t Get Out Of Bed though. Bastards!
- Coldplay // While waiting for Coldplay to come on, I briefly entered my own private hell, when the DJ played Oasis, Little By Little to the crowd. While you or I, as decent right thinking people, would have sworn inwardly and started muttering the closing refrain from Panic by the Smiths to ourselves, the crowd started cheering and singing along. Fools that they were, this only encouraged him, as he then proceeded to play Stereophonics and Reef. Where’s the humanity!
Anyway, Coldplay came on, Chris played his usual humble, self-effacing rock star role, despite the fact he’s a multi-millionaire and is shagging Gwyneth Paltrow. No-one was particularly convinced. We got all the usual slightly dull anthems which middle-aged men think are some of the most beautiful things ever written and the punishment of a cover of an Oasis song. They weren’t particularly bad, but they’re not a headlining act, and someone really needs to let them know that turning all the lights yellow during a song called Yellow does not count as entertaining and imaginative stagecraft.
They didn’t play Shiver though. Bastards!