T in the Park, 8-9th July 2000, Babado by Kinross Remember the Gong Show? An American programme where hopeful and hapless contestants performed until they were 'gonged' off by an unsympathetic audience. And that's what T in the Park is like. With 6 simultaneous stages hosting more than 100 acts over 2 days, sometimes it's necessary to up and move on, particularly when things get a bit Ocean Colour Scene.

Thanks to a 2-hour wait for our free tickets, we arrive just in time to catch the tail-end of Aereogramme's set. Despite this, the new Chemikal Underground signings' veer between anger and angst is already the festival's high-point.
Up on the Main Stage, 4 tiny dots in coordinated rainwear are performing. They are All Saints and they are rotten. To be fair, opener 'Lady Marmalade' sounds ok i.e. a precise facsimile of the recorded version, but for their slaughter of 'Walk This Way' it's only the ambulance chaser in us that keeps us. A tuneless 'Bootie Call' eventually sends us running for cover, to The Wannadies, a band who have recently acquired the disease that all Scandinavian bands eventually succumb to - Roxette-itis. The applause for 'You and Me Song' greatly outweighs that for the dumb glam metal of 'Hey' and should act as some sort of clue for future reference. The gong propels us from Sweden back to Scotland again.
Biffy Clyro are an odd mix, emulating Fugazi and Shellac. They need a decent producer - is there an Albini in the house? Chop their act down to 4 songs, write 4 more as good, and we could have something special.

We remain briefly for the post-Britpop of Midas whose guitar jangle now sounds like the finished article before venturing out in the rain and the Bluetones, the band it's not ok to like. However, it's a crowd-pleasing and workmanlike performance where 'Bluetonic' and 'Slight Return' look as likely as anything to bring the sun out.
Looper are almost the exact opposite - hardly natural live performers. Indeed, 'Burning Flies' doesn't bode well - bass-heavy and a bit ropey. The crowd's Belle and Sebastian contingent are, however ,very forgiving and Stuart David pulls things round - they actually start to look like a bona fide live act and tracks from 'The Geometrid' plus newie 'Peacock Johnston' are simply perfect pop.
Another surefire hit on the main stage are the Fun Loving Criminals. Previous T stars, they start with their 'signature tune' and the crowd immediately take them to their hearts. In truth much of the Crim's material is plodding metal-lite, but such is Huey's charisma that it seems they could perform 'Agadoo' and still get the freedom of Kinross.

Damon Gough aka Badly Drawn Boy isn't quite au fait with how the live spectacle works yet. An overnight sensation, the instrumentation is iffy and the band under-rehearsed. As for the set - disjointed and ragged, but the songs from the hit album 'Bewilderbeast' shine through. He even insists on doing one more - "they can pull me off if they like" - and the set is dismantled around him, much to the audience's delight. The Boy done good.
Moby point out that The Hits should always be saved for the climax of a show. He then proceeds to kick off with 'Porcelain', 'Go', 'Why Does My Heart...' Moved up the bill for safety reasons, but bringing his recorded sound to the stage he unites pop, indie and dance fans. A true star, a true headliner.


All photos © Walter Image 2000 - email walter.image@virgin.net for commissions etc

...on to day 2 >