On Saturday morning we awoke to yet more rain and found that the entire campsite had been turned into one massive mudbath! The friend I was sharing a tent with decided that she couldn’t bear to face the weather so I made my way down to the arena alone to catch one of my current favourite bands, The Sunshine Underground, play the NME stage. I couldn’t help but feel they would have been much more suited to playing one of the tents as their sound seemed a little bit lost on the big stage. After all, they are more accustomed to a dark club than an outdoor field. Nonetheless they put in an uplifting performance that managed distract the crowd from the horrific Scottish weather we had been burdened with. Craig Wellington’s voice honestly has to be one of the most impressive things I’ve ever heard, his vocals are simply stunning (and, with the blonde hair and cheeky smile, he’s pretty easy on the eye too!). If ever a song was written for a festival, it’s “Borders” which was, of course, the pinnacle moment of the set. I’m happy to report that braving the rain and wind was a gratifying decision!
After meeting up with some friends again, my next stop was the King Tuts tent for Frightened Rabbit. For me, this was a bit surreal. The first time I ever seen Frightened Rabbit live it was in a tiny pub in front of 100 or so people, to see them play in front of thousands of highly appreciating fans was just something special. It seemed the entire crowd was singing out as Frabbit ripped through a heartfelt set which consisted mainly of their more cheerful songs and put in one of the most memorable performances of the weekend. Frontman Scott Hutchison was completely overwhelmed by the reception his band were greeted with and seemed visibly moved at points. The final singalong of “Keep Yourself Warm” was a triumphant finish to, what could prove to be, a determining moment for Frightened Rabbit. It’s awesome to see Frabbit finally getting the attention they deserve, albeit a few albums too late! (I realise this made me sound like one of those “I saw them at the beginning therefore I am a better fan” people, I’m really not. Although I’ve liked Frabbit since the Sing The Greys days, I didn’t have the privilege of seeing them live until last summer. Thought I’d clear that up!)
It took all I had to drag myself away from the King Tuts tent once Frightened Rabbit had finished. The knowledge that We Are Scientists, and then The Coral, would be playing next made it almost agonising to leave. But The Courteeners would be playing the NME stage soon and I knew I’d never forgive myself for passing up any chance to see them! The Black Keys were already on stage when I arrived. Unfortunately my enjoyment of their set was marred by a typical drunk Scottish bloke that refused to leave me alone for any amount of time. However, their dirty blues and funky rhythms seemed to get a large portion of the crowd moving and they’re definitely a band I’d like to see more of in the future.
As I had arrived at the stage so early I managed to get a decent spot for The Courteeners, I was determined not to have a repeat of Jamie T! I quickly made friends with a few guys from Manchester who decided they were going to “look after me”. The Courteeners were, as always, fantastic. I won’t say much because I know myself that I’m far too biased when it comes to this band! They did get one of the best crowd reactions of the weekend though and I was proclaimed to be a “genius” for being the only female to survive down the front for the entire set. This achievement came at a price: I walked away from the stage with a ripped shirt, drenched in beer, covered in polystyrene balls and missing a hair bobble. It seems, as well as being born in the wrong era, I was born the wrong gender!
Obviously, due to the state I was in, I couldn’t join everyone else watching 30 Seconds To Mars and had to head back to the tent to get changed. As my luck would have it, my phone battery ran out at this point, leaving me alone for the rest of the night. Well, I say alone, I was befriended by an Irish man who got lost on his way to see Mumford and Sons and decided to join me watching Eminem instead. I wasn’t planning on seeing Eminem initially but, in the end, it was an opportunity I couldn’t deny myself! Despite arriving an hour or so late on stage, he was absolutely brilliant! He unleashed a career spanning set on the adoring crowd and was joined on stage by D12, which only made things even more entertaining. I was also massively impressed with the amount of Scottish people that could rap along perfectly to each song. My only complaint would be his constant references to “Edin-burg”, surely, haven gotten the place completely wrong, he could have at least pronounced it correctly! Back at the campsite, everyone was buzzing with the comprehension that we had all witnessed a truly unique T in the Park moment.