In more ways than one, this year’s ‘T’ was ascorcher. The organisers had outdone themselves with astring of top American bands, the sun shone and theweather was sweet.
An enlarged festival site meant an extra 6,000people each day, and it was noticeable as we rubbedshoulders rather more aggressively than we would haveliked at times!
The festival’s increasing profileshowed in side attractions too, with the upliftingvocal house of the Bacardi tent playing to an audiencedouble the size of last year.
Huge crowds flocked toward the main stage for oneof the first day’s big draws, The Killers. Theyweren’t disappointed, as Brandon Flowers led thousands ofexultant Scots through Somebody Told Me, Mr.Brightside and a majestic All These Things That I’veDone, introducing a promising new track All The PrettyFaces along the way.
Also on the main stage, Audioslave rockedthe afternoon with their meaty riffs, ChrisCornell‘s extraordinary vocals seemingly requiringno effort at all, his cracked delivery of Show Me HowTo Live a highlight until he treated us to a soloacoustic version of Black Hole Sun, the band thenreturning for a full blooded Killing In The Name.
Over on the NME stage there was more rock to befound from Death From Above 1979, who set afiercesome tempo before the altogether more ebullientMaximo Park who delighted with their jauntyrendition of I Want You To Stay before the sing-alongGoing Missing, which stayed in the head for hours.
Choosing the main act was a difficult task, so weopted for a game of two halves. First up in the KingTut’s tent was James Brown, with the addedbonus of a triumphant set from Dovesbeforehand. The Mancunians provided a formidable hourof hits, with heady renditions of Snowden and TheCedar Room paving the way for the euphoria of ThereGoes The Fear.
The Godfather of Soul, meanwhile, hadthousands chanting his name in the twenty minutes hekept us waiting, finally appearing for a showstoppingperformance of soul and funk, ably abetted by threeass-shaking backing singers and some extraordinaryperformances on trumpet, guitar and saxophone.
Just time, then, to catch the end of a manic FooFighters slot, where Dave Grohl could be foundbehind the drumkit for Cold Day In The Sun, coming outto lead the crowd in a raucous, stop-start version ofBreakout. An eclectic first day, then, with fireworkspromised for the second!