Today however does seem to be the best attended of the weekend and the sun is out to greet us yet again.
On first glance today’s line up might seem a bit weak compared to previous days, nothing quite Kraftwerk or Rihanna standards today, but on closer inspection today is filled with hidden gems and with The Killers set to have the T20 masses ending the night on massive sing-along there’s no real complaints.
I start my day down at T-Break with the warm alt rock of Glasgow boys Poor Things, who kick things off in a wonderful fashion despite the chilly breeze blowing in from the entrance; the only time I felt cold all day.
Their set seems to go by in a flash but the upbeat joy of the oh so fitting ‘Festival’ proves a highlight before I skip back up to the Media Tent to find out what’s happening.
After something to eat and bumping into a few friends that are up for the day I end up being taken over to catch Ocean Colour Scene at the Main Stage, but while Birmingham’s seemingly T ever presents provide a good couple of sing-alongs, they don’t quite have as many hits as you’d think.
It’s a solid no frills set and despite by slight disappointment it’s one that goes down well with sea of bucket hats down the front.
Before heading over to BBC Introducing to catch more local talent I pop my head in at the Transmission Stage to see what all the hype surrounding Laura Mvula is all about.
After a few minutes it’s safe to say it’s justified, the Birmingham born soul singers’ voice washing over the tent as people stand gobsmacked at her vocal skills.
Still, without a listen to her critically acclaimed debut Sing to the Moon the set soon meshes into itself or maybe it’s the anticipation of the sensual assault of Fat Goth to come.
Yes, the band with the best name in music are on at BBC Introducing and they tear apart the tent with loud, snarling rock which hits the boundaries of metal in the best way possible.
There’s a reason why the Dundonian trio are being touted as Scotland’s next big rock act, their killer riffs and ability to capture a crowd are a scintillating experience, just a wee look over your shoulder to see Uncle Vic nodding along is testament to this band’s abilities and potential.
Given an hour to regroup and contemplate which of the aforementioned clash to go for, then deciding to go for the furthest away one and the unforgiving trek down to the sauna like conditions of the Slam Tent see me greeted by a hardcore hip-hop assault courtesy of Tyler, the Creator.
The leader and co-founder of the phenomenal California hip-hop collective Odd Future sends the tent usually full of pilled up dancing into a ball of hip-hip fury.
Spitting “this is the worst stage I’ve ever played on” is no disrespect to the T crowd, Tyler’s full on energetic performance is all on a thin boards covered with wire, he’s basically playing on top of a mixing desk, but the young rapper doesn’t let that effect his set as he flies into the air and powers through an aggressive, fist pumping set of raw hip-hip with some masterful MCing.
Following that there’s really only one choice and that’s Tyler’s Odd Future partner in crime and all round RnB smooth customer Frank Ocean over at the Main Stage.
This is guy set for big things, he’s got all the ears of every big name in the hip-hop and RnB movements latching on for the ride and two brilliant album’s at his back in Nostalgia, Ultra and Channel Orange, not to mention he’s got one of the smoothest voices you’ll here in the charts.
An early outing for breakthrough hit ‘Novocaine’ gets things going and from then on in Ocean has the small but majority loyal crowd (there’s a few pitching their spot for Welsh bore rock behemoths Stereophonics here who don’t quite get into the vibe) in the palm of his hand.
There’s no doubt this will be spat at by many indie rock loyists but as Ocean heralds a glorious sing-along in his ancient Egypt referencing pimp/prostitute love story ‘Pyramids’ it’s safe to say the next time he’s here he’ll be taking a good step up the roster.
Another act that seems to have being absolutely massive on their doorstep are CHVRCHES, hard to imagine they only played their first gig a year ago this weekend.
Since the Glasgow trio’s early recordings went viral across the world’s blogging network they’ve been shrouded in hype, but they’re not letting that get to their heads and they’re clearly over the moon to be playing here.
A big “T in the Park” shout from Martin Doherty mid song wins him £100 from his fellow band members and lead vocalist Lauren Mayberry reassures us they know exactly where they are after Snoop’s, and no doubt many others, “Glasgow” shouts over the course of the weekend.
Singles ‘Recover’ and ‘Gun’ bring the biggest responses but not by much, it appears the debut album is not far away and then these guys will hit the stratosphere, check them at the ABC in October.
Afterwards I hang around to catch the start of Local Natives and while the groove filled indie rock from the LA four-piece charms and delights it’s just not what you want following CHVRCHES massive electronic bliss.
So, I take a wander over to T-Break to catch the end of instrumental math rockers Vasa whose big sound more than makes up for their lack of vocals and despite only catching the tail end of their set they’re definitely a band I’ll be checking out live in future.
Hanging around T-Break for the time being me and the lovely Neil Wilson, the guy you’ll know as Scottish Fiction, were captured on camera by Tenement TV saying a few things about T-Break, unbeknown to the Tenement guys they’d stumbled upon a couple of Scottish music bloggers and got as they put it “the best interview of the weekend”.
We catch the start of Blindfolds who can’t really be faulted for attitude, but I’ve never been one for the whole leather jacket, biker gang thing, they give the impression they’re trying a bit too hard.
So, over to the Tut’s Tent for a bit of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs a healthy choice over nonsensical sing-along merchants The Killers and mainstream dance haircut David Guetta.
From the very start Karen O and co tear things up, they’re always an astounding live experience, O is effortlessly cool dressed in god knows what in front of some massive Ys.
The new album may not be all that good but as a live show these guys deliver exactly what you want from a headline festival slot, and with tracks still prominent from 2003’s debut full length Fever To Tell, most notably closers ‘Maps’ and ‘Date With The Night’, these guys still have plenty to offer.
A wee mid set jaunt over to T-Break and seemingly witnessing The Killers playing that “human… dancer” song twice, see us catch Machines In Heaven facing difficult circumstances competing with the headliners over at T-Break.
The disappointment of a small crowd is written all over their faces, but they don’t fail to deliver with hi-octane techno touching bleeps getting the small collection buzzing and one particular girl flailing around on her back in a combination of drunken mess or maybe just sheer joy; possible more the former as we pass her in similar mess up capacity when walking through The Killers masses later on.
We finish up the night at the Main Stage, with the headliners playing that “soul…soldier” one, in anticipation of a secret headliner, obviously it doesn’t come but the rumour of a potential Fleetwood Mac set was possibly the most exciting thing I’ve heard all weekend.
Regardless of that, this year, as always T is a resounding success, it’s a festival filled with fun and good time vibes, say what you want but I challenge you to go and not have a good time.
Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Vito Andreoni