Stone Roses vs Nicki Minaj: Two tribes swim together at T in the Park
It was a meeting of old-school icons and starlets with tween appeal as a pop-takeover was attempted at T In The Park 2012 – with a little bit of mud thrown in to give Scotland's biggest festival a true hotchpotch vibe.
The veritable panoply of acts being offered in this year's line-up meant that, in the absence of Glastonbury, Scotland's biggest music event was laying its claim as the daddy of UK festivals in 2012, and it didn't disappoint.
Newly reformed and apparently good friends again (we probably shouldn't talk about Amsterdam), The Stone Roses were Saturday's Main Stage headliners, and the band most anticipated by the majority of the Balado crowd.
Taking a certain generation of festival goers back to glory days of yesteryear, when three-day festivals probably didn't take their toll on weather-beaten bodies as much, and appealing to the more youthful in the audience, people who probably hadn't mastered the ability to walk before the Madchester lads split first time round – The Stone Roses packed the main stage out as far as Ian Brown's unflinching eyes could see.
They kicked off a set, heavily laden with classics from their much revered first album, with foot-stomping I Wanna Be Adored. The hyped-up crowd danced and sang every word to favourites – including (Song For My) Sugar Spun Sister, Sally Cinnamon, Waterfall, and an epic,extended version of Fools Gold.
At points their success rendered Brown's role to that of backing singer, as guitarist John Squire, bassist Mani and drummer Reni led the Main Stage Crowd Choir in a sing-along-to-Roses songs – which culminated in a raucous rendition of final song, or anthem, I Am The Resurrection.
To be fair, the majority of 30/40-somethings enjoying the chance to see a band which inspired so many top-class bands - including Noel Gallagher, who led his own sing-along with his High Flying Birds in the spot preceding his icons – were probably just happy to hear the music live, and so didn't really mind the fact the band didn't really seem to interact with each other or the crowd that much.
They have a cult-like following who were there to enjoy an opportunity they didn't think they would get. This was the band's first appearance at the festival, having split two years after the first T In The Park, and did enough to leave the faithful followers hungry for more.
One band who did interact were Sunday's headliners, Kasabian. T in the Park veterans and well deserved of their position as the band to play before the piper on the final night, they launched into a crowd-pleasing set with Days Are Forgotten then whipped the masses into a frenzy – with hits including Shoot The Runner, Where Did All the Love Go?, and Vlad The Impaler. Singer Tom Meighan praised the crowd, still valiantly jumping when told to despite the worst weather conditions ever seen at T, and said: "Thank you for bearing the weather, it's been awful, well done!" while lead guitarist Serge concurred, "You survived!"
The Leicester band then cemented their place in T in the Park hearts and history by leading the crowd in a solo-trumpet rendition of Flower of Scotland.
Other big-name acts to pull big crowds at the mud-marred festival included Florence and The Machine, Calvin Harris, James Morrison and Elbow – with Snow Patrol headlining the main stage on Friday night. Or, 'the night before the mud arrived', as it shall be known herewith.
Less usual festival fare was served up this year, ensuring the tastes of all festival goers were catered for – a good move considering the foot-deep quagmire of mud that threatened to spill over the top of the mass of uniform Hunter wellies, was getting some of the 85,000 strong crowd a bit down.
The teen massive and twitter generation – a force to be reckoned with as The Big Issue has learned – was treated to acts including warbler Jessie Jay (who was unused to the Scottish accents and asked, somewhat fearfully, if the crowd were chanting for her to get off the stage – they weren't) Emeli Sande, Olly Murs and McFly.
Barmy, bloomer wearing, Barbie-on-acid with a potty mouth Nicki Minaj arrived 50 minutes late for her Radio1/NME Stage appearance on Sunday night, but still delighted the hordes of glow-in-dark painted faces who waited one hour to see a 30-minute set.
There were rumours of booing, but Minaj commanded the biggest crowd at the Radio1/NME stage all weekend and her performance of slightly insane, euphoric house-pop favourite Starships set the crowd on fire.
The pop takeover at T was declared by the American bubblegum-rap star's set and cemented by similar mass hysteria at David Guetta on Saturday night, and Chase and Status on Sunday.
And, thanking The Big Issue for our compliments as we tweeted live from the festival, Tom Parker from The Wanted then got a little got a bit confused. We were being complimentary, honest! But their set – including All Time Low, Lightening and, bizarrely, THREE Coldplay covers – ensured the tent was so busy it had to be shut and hordes of disappointed fans were left locked out.
T In The Park is, at the end of the day, a friendly place to be, and the two tribes of 2012 got along swimmingly – literally. Pop music and more traditional festival tunes did not mean the anomaly that some may have feared.
Rivers of mud and relentless rain on Saturday threatened to ruin the easy-going vibes of a festival which is famous for its hospitality and atmosphere. But those who experienced 2012 were a hardy bunch who pulled up their wellies, got on with it and ensured the 19th outing for T In The Park was one of the best yet. You can only wonder what's in store for the 20th...
Photo credit: Daniel Gilfeather/Rex Features