Friday, July 10, 2009

Time For T

In the next few hours, I'll be setting off, via Falkirk, for T In The Park.

By my own reckoning, this will be my ninth T In The Park, but my first since 2006. While my brain remains free of the imminent alcoholic fug, here are my thoughts on each of the previous eight I've attended.

1997: My first festival, and T In The Park's first at Balado, near Kinross. My two friends and I take scandalously little drink and are generally unprepared for what awaits us. Highlights include Saturday headliners Kula Shaker and The Charlatans, while the weekend ends with a second tent jam-packed for John Squire's post-Roses band The Seahorses.

1998: Saturday's highlights include Audioweb and Super Furry Animals, who are so good that instead of going to see headliners The Prodigy, I instead go to the CD tent, buy a Super Furry Animals bootleg and return to my tent to listen to it. The rain came in the middle of the night and never stopped. My two friends bailed for home mid-afternoon on the Sunday, but I was determined to stick it out, despite the thigh-high mud, just to see Ian Brown. I cadge a lift home from two girls from school and get home around 2am, having been mesmerised by Brown's fantastic performance.

1999: This was my first year attending with folks from uni, one of whom I'll be sharing a tent with this weekend. I can't actually remember too much about what bands I saw, although I do remember Nicky Wire trashing the stage and giving away James Dean Bradfield's white fender guitar after the Manic Street Preachers' headline set.

2000: Mrs Wife (then known as Miss Girlfriend) and one of her friends accompany me to Balado to see Travis, Moby, Ocean Colour Scene and Beth Orton. I have no recollection of rain, but that line-up is hardly the most rock'n'roll, is it? Although I've just looked up the full line-up online and it seems we chose not to see Muse or The Flaming Lips....

2001: The first year in which the three of attending this year went together. Again, my overall recollections are hazy, but I do remember seeing Paul Weller's acoustic set. Having suffered through the whole of Wheatus' horror show, Weller promptly came on stage and started flexing his ego, playing Style Council songs and little-known solo work. Then Noel Gallagher joined in, they played That's Entertainment and everything was right with the world. Stereo MC's were also among the surprisingly fantastic acts.

2002: I left for T In The Park 2002 immediately after graduating, eschewing a night on the piss with my fellow graduands for a night eating cold food in a muddy field. The sound quality at the main stage was woeful, turning Oasis' headline set into a faint swirling noise. It also had the same effect on Primal Scream. Doves and The Cooper Temple Clause were both brilliant though.

By 2003, Mrs Wife and I were saving hard for a trip around the world. And by 2004, we were in Australia.

So by 2005, having returned from foreign climes, I was ready for a return to T In The Park. A huge group of us from Brechin set off together and turned a large part of the campsite into our own compound, cordoned off with yellow and black police tape. One of the most enjoyable Ts in terms of the pre-festival banter, plus the weather held out, which is always a bonus. Yet again, Super Furry Animals and Ian Brown are amongst the bands I see, although Ian Brown throws a strop early on during his set and storms off, having played a few Stone Roses songs. Still a great weekend though.

2006: Mrs Wife (who by this time is the newly-appointed Mrs Wife) again accompanies me, and I'm lucky enough to have a free press pass this time. Sound quality at the main stage again plays an unwelcome part, ruining the Arctic Monkeys and Hard-Fi sets, but The Who more than make up for it.

And, for a variety of reasons (primarily the £200 cost of a ticket and the number of neds) I've not been since.

Who knows what T In The Park 2009 will bring? I'm hoping to see Nick Cave, Jane's Addiction and Blur, but aside from that, the weekend is a blank canvas.


kenfitlike said...

'I'm too old for that sh*t'
my son took me back a Who t-shirt from when they played. I pointed out that it was only Half of The Who he saw..... minus Moon and The Ox.

Enjoy the Event!

Pee in the Dark!

Magners said...

Super Furry Animals are one of my fave groups too and they are playing tomorrow (on the 18th July) at Somerset house. By becoming a fan of the MagnersPear facebook page you will be put in the draw to win tickets. There are 2 VIP tickets, so well worth a go!