THE SUNSHINE UNDERGROUND
The Sunshine Underground certainly didn’t bring any sunshine with them on Day 2 of T in the Park. It was just rain, rain and more rain all day and night. My heart sunk for those who hadn’t packed their wellies and were quite literally drowning in mud.
The Leeds-based band did however manage to distract the crowd from the pitiable weather with some uplifting indie rock tunes. The Sunshine Underground played a selection of songs from their debut album ‘Raise The Alarm’ as well as their latest release ‘Nobodys Coming To Save You’. It was no extraordinary performance, but it certainly did the trick.
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There was a little bit of magic oozing from the walls of the main stage as I walked across the muddy fields of the festival and the music hit my ears. As I looked up towards the stage I saw a long dreadlocked man tranquilly sitting on a chair strumming his guitar and singing. Who would of thought that little bit of magic could come from Newton Faulkner himself? To my surprise, he was brilliant.
From ‘Dream Catch Me’ to ‘Gone in the Morning’ to a cover of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ he had the audience completely captivated.. and all with a guitar and a few vocal chords! Faulkner appears to be a genuine character on stage and interacted constantly with his audience, taking them on a journey and telling them anecdotes and jokes along the way.
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Under the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Futures is where I later discovered a hidden gem. It came in the form of a young, blonde lady carrying a red chequered flannelette shirt and jeans and firmly grasping an acoustic guitar. Her name was Lissie. My entourage and I were simply dazed and overwhelmed when we heard this folk songstress sing and cast her innocent magic over the crowd.
Hailing from Rock Island, Illinois, Lissie has received rave reviews, being compared to the likes of Stevie Nicks and the Grateful Dead. It’s just a bit of simple country folk that she sings, but it is so effective. Being inside the warm, dry, illuminated tent also contributed to the amazing atmosphere I suppose.
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In the late afternoon, just as the rain began to temporarily clear, the NME stage was graced with the presence of indie Britpop veterans Shed Seven who drew in a considerably large crowd.
Lead singer Rick Witter bellowed out a string of indie classics such as ‘Going For Gold’ and ‘Chasing Rainbows,’ treating the audience to a ‘greatest hits’ set rather than a selection of obscure album tracks. The English rockers from York appeared to be very much still intact, despite a previous four-year hiatus, and were revelling in their recent return to the big stage.
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Shed Seven's bassist Tom Baldwin modelling his new shoes backstage!
Shed Seven getting ready to take the stage!
Shed Seven's set list.
Vampire Weekend took to the main stage next and boosted the audiences’ spirits with their typically cheerful, sun-drenched tunes. A giant, attractive blonde woman with devilishly illuminated red eyes glared out at the crowd from the main stage, as the New Yorkers delivered a choice selection of songs from their two studio albums. Opening with ‘Holiday,’ the band managed to maintain a consistent sing along with their crowd, particularly inviting them to scream the lyrics ‘Blake’s got a new face’ with pure passion and angst. Despite the barrenness in the lyrics “Look outside the rain has gone,” the former single ‘A-punk’ was certainly a well-received and standout song of the affable set.
Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
One (Blake's Got A New Face)
Giving Up the Gun
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THE BLACK KEYS
Here is the ‘all the rage’ blues-rock duo The Black Keys rocking it out on the NME Stage. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney pulled in a rightfully curious crowd and belted out a fervent set that entailed predominantly new music from the latest release ‘Brothers’. For diehard fans of 2008’s album ‘Attack and Release,’ like myself, this didn’t quite suit me as I was yearning to hear ‘Psychotic Girl’ and ‘So She Won’t Break’, but settled with ‘I Got Mine’.
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You could hear the high-pitched, love struck shrieks from the other side of the park as Scottish heart throb Paolo Nutini took to the main stage on Saturday evening. Paolo wooed his primarily female crowd with an array of up tempo pop melodies and gritty blues, inciting epic karaoke sessions with crowd pleasers ‘Jenny Don’t Be Hasty’ and ‘New Shoes’. He has a genuinely amiable stage presence when performing live, which was only accentuated by his vivacious backing band.
The young Scotsman was all smiles throughout the entire performance, but that beam quickly vanished when his head catapulted into a massive spotlight as he confidently strutted off stage. Nice one Paolo!
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MUMFORD & SONS
One of the highlights of T in the Park was certainly Mumford & Sons who put on an amazingly intricate and elevating show underneath the King Tut’s Wah Wah tent. Regardless of the fact that international rap star Eminem was busting rhymes and whipping up a frenzy on the main stage outside, a plethora of folk rock fans flowed into the dark, smoky tent for a taste of Mumford & Sons. The energy that bursts out from this London four-piece is indescribable. They delivered an ace assortment of songs, demonstrating their instrumental skill and were even called back on stage for an encore with ‘The Cave’.
Sigh No More
Awake My Soul
Roll Away Your Stone
Nothing Is Written
Little Lion Man
Lover Of The Light
Thistle & Weeds
White Blank Page
Dust Bowl Dance
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When a little birdy from backstage told me that Eminem had lost his luggage on the way to Scotland, I wasn’t at all surprised when he was 50mins late to come on stage. It didn’t seem to faze the crowd either, and even those who grew frustrated and disappointed, would have been instantly diverted and enlivened by the American rap superstar who blasted through an epic 29-song set.
This was a significant performance for Eminem as it was his first show in five years and his only UK festival appearance for this year. It’s a shame there are claims circulating that he was lip-synching the entire time, but despite this it was certainly enjoyable for fans to bop around to much-loved tunes ‘The Real Slim Shady’ and ‘Without Me’. Marshall Mathers was accompanied by rap group D12 on stage for songs such as; ‘Purple Pills’ and ‘My Band’ and kept energy levels up for the two hour performance.
The Detroit rapper blasted through a showcase of new material from his latest album ‘Recovery’ and with D12 shouted “Free Lil Wayne” – who is serving eight months in prison - during the song ‘No Love’.
One member from D12 encouraged all the men in the crowd to put one hand on their private parts and the other in the air to scream, ‘F**k you bitch!” Following this, Eminem asked all the ladies to place their hand over their private area and their rude fingers in the air to reply, “Fuck you asshole!” The obliging crowd naturally obeyed his request with joy.
During the gig, Eminem thanked his loyal fans for their dedication to him. "Everybody who's an Eminem fan, I just wanna say thank you so much for the support you've shown over the years, for not giving up on me," he said. "I hope you enjoyed the show as much as we did tonight. Peace."
Won't Back Down
Cleanin Out My Closet
The Way I Am
When The Music Stops
Under The Influence
Airplanes [Part 2]
Sing For The Moment
Like Toy Soldiers
'Till I Collapse
Love the Way You Lie
Crack A Bottle
My Name Is…
The Real Slim Shady
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