Following the disappointment of main stage on Saturday, we were back there on Sunday ready to hear Newton Faulkner, Kodaline, Kaiser Chiefs, Bastille and Arctic Monkeys. Throw in Franz Ferdinand to the mix and you had a line-up that closely resembled our perfect music day. The hardest decision was Franz over Jake Bugg but seeing as we knew Franz better and already knew what a good live act they were, there was only one logical decision. That being said, we would both go and see Jake Bugg at a later date.
Newton Faulkner – Main Stage, 13:05 – 13:50:
Reviewed by Emma
Newton’s fourth album, Studio Zoo, is how I first started listening to his incredible songs as I saw it in the charts at number 10 on iTunes and decided to listen to a few of his songs. It is strange to think this is the first time I had heard of him considering his first album, Hand Built by Robots, and his third album, Write It On Your Skin, both reached number 1 in the album charts whilst his second album, Rebuilt by Humans, found its way to number three. However, it is safe to say I fell in love with Newton’s songs with his complicated acoustic guitar riffs, catchy melodies and beautiful voice. I was looking forward to seeing him live as he clearly is a live artist and even though I had only listened to Studio Zoo at that point I was interested to see whether his other albums were worth a buy.
As I don’t know all of his songs it is difficult to work out which songs he played and we also missed his opening song, as we were buying some lunch, so I cannot comment which it was. From his latest album Newton played Indecisive which is a fairly upbeat song and it does not disappoint live as it is clear Newton was born to perform on stage, especially at festivals. I would say this lunchtime slot on main stage is perfect for him because he is a bit of a laugh. Chatty, friendly and easy to listen to he was popular amongst the crowd he attracted. Often joking with the crowd, asking if they wanted a cup of tea or a quiche and asking if they were his friends he is a true people person and very down to earth. He played I Need Something and Teardrop from his first album which were very well received especially Teardrop which is a beautiful cover of the Massive Attack song (I would say it is better than the original). Clouds, from Write It On Your Skin, sounded nice live and is one of the reasons for going to buy the rest of his three albums as well as his final song Dream Catch Me which he introduced by saying “I have four minutes left. Have I played Dream Catch Me yet?” showing his laid back, friendly attitude which entices the crowd. Also, he responded to the crowds jokes that he looked like Ed Sheeran (they sung the chorus of Sing) by doing a cover of Justin Timberlake’s Like I Love You, which again I prefer to original because it truly showed his talent whilst playing the guitar.
I would love to see Newton again because he was great fun and his songs are wonderful however I need to listen to his other albums more before doing so. He seems like a genuine guy and I would recommend him to anyone who just wants some easy listening and a laugh.
Emma’s rating: 7/10. Favourite song: Dream Catch Me
Having seen little of Newton Faulkner but knowing he exists, I was very impressed by Studio Zoo and even more impressed when I saw him. He doesn’t take his music seriously, likes to interact with the crowd and comes out with brilliant lines such as “I know I’m mainly an acoustic act but that does not mean there cannot be jumping!”. Go see him, you won’t regret it.
Gareth’s rating: 6/10. Favourite song: Like I Love You
Kodaline – Main Stage, 14:20 – 15:05:
Reviewed by Emma
Kodaline are a band I decided to buy whilst looking around HMV because I had heard of them and that apparently they were meant to be good. I agree with those who say they are a good band because their songs are catchy, easy to listen to and great to sing along to. There isn’t a song on their album, In a Perfect World, that I don’t like and enjoy listening to and as well as Imagine Dragons my mum decided they were a band to constantly play in the car. So, the idea of seeing them live was one I was definitely excited for although, for some reason, I didn’t have high hopes for the band being good live as they didn’t seem like a live band but I was proven wrong.
They began their set with After the Fall one of their album tracks which was the first song which surprised me as it showed me just how wrong I was because it was a great opening. The next two songs were very popular within the crowd as they are two of their singles, One Day and Love Like This, and demonstrated the band’s ability with instruments especially the lead singer who can play the harmonica, the mandolin, the piano and the guitar showing that these are in fact a good live band. My favourite song of Kodaline’s was played next. Way Back When was just as wonderful live as it is on the CD with the upbeat feeling that you can dance and sing along to. Their two singles High Hopes and Brand New Day were received well with the crowd singing along throughout although unlike other bands they didn’t communicate with the crowd much showing that they are new to the scene and not experienced enough like artists such as Ed Sheeran and Kaiser Chiefs. All Comes Down was their penultimate song which is one of their album tracks and again performed very well live with no faults on their behalf because the mood of the song was conveyed perfectly. To end the set Kodaline played All I Want which I would describe as a great ending to a good set as it is a popular catchy song meaning the crowd were content after watching the performance.
I would say that Kodaline are definitely worth seeing live because they are very good and their songs sound pretty much like they do in the studio. The only criticism I would have is that they don’t interact with the crowd enough yet but that is something that comes with experience so it’ll come with time. I recommend them and I want to see them again one day in the future.
Emma’s rating: 7/10. Favourite song: All I Want
I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to A Perfect World and Kodaline didn’t disappoint with a set which covered all of the high points of that album. Good live, clearly enjoying each other’s company and having a big fan base, Kodaline could go far. It all comes down to whether they can keep writing catchy songs.
Gareth’s rating: 6/10. Favourite song: All I Want
Kaiser Chiefs – Main Stage, 15:35 – 16:25:
Reviewed by Gareth
Kaiser Chiefs are one of my favourite bands. Having stuck with them throughout the dark days of their fourth album and losing the majority of their fans, I was concerned when Nick Hodgson left the band. But, looking back upon this, it appears that that moment was a blessing for the Leeds band. It allowed Ricky Wilson to have greater overall control, and saw the other members come to the fore – especially during song writing. The result is an album which is the best since Yours Truly, The Angry Mob. In fact, Education, Education, Education and War is easily my favourite album of 2014. The lyrics are as clever as ever, the songs all tell stories and the chorus’ retain the catchy spirit of past Kaisers songs. For various reasons, I have never been able to seem them live and since we bought tickets they had been the band I was most excited for.
Opening with crowd favourite Everyday I Love you Less and Less and then following it with hit upon hit, this was a performance to remember. Referencing the departure from Balado, before Coming Home, Ricky declared that this “wasn’t just a goodbye, it was a new fucking beginning”, the only band we saw not to dwell on the sadness of leaving. Controlling the crowd better than anyone we saw, Ricky pulled out all of his usual tricks. He ran from side to side, patted a security guard on the back and played sing-a-long I Predict A Riot in the crowd. The biggest receptions from the crowd came for Never Miss A Beat, Ruby, The Angry Mob and show closer Oh My God. The Arctic’s AM artwork sign had been unveiled before the gig and Ricky joked that Kaisers had no big sign to show who they are but did have a drum kit with the album artwork from Education… on it. Ruffians on Parade and Meanwhile Up In Heaven got played from that work while Employment’s lesser known hit Modern Way was also played. The ten songs played saw the crowd jumping and singing to almost every note. Complete with Ricky’s antics, the crowd were sure to never miss a beat.
The Kaiser Chiefs are a safe bet for any festival, you know they will attract people and deliver a perfect set which everyone can enjoy. But, I can’t help but feel T missed a trick with them. Attracting the second largest crowd of the weekend, a middle afternoon set seems too low. Kaiser Chiefs have hit rock bottom, and they know it, but are starting to crawl back into the public’s consciousness. It shouldn’t be too long before a festival takes a risk and gives them a higher billing.
Gareth’s rating: 10/10. Favourite song: Meanwhile Up In Heaven
Personally, I think that Kaiser Chiefs are perfect for headlining any festival and I believe that they will in the near future. Without a doubt, I want to see them again hopefully on their next tour because their set and songs were flawless live with Ricky being an excellent front man with a talent a controlling a crowd (even as massive as theirs was).
Emma’s rating: 10/10. Favourite song: Coming Home
Bastille – Main Stage, 16:55 – 17:45:
Reviewed by Gareth
Bastille are the London pop band taking the world by storm. Boasting the greatest quiff in music, wonderfully catchy tunes and a geeky charm the Twin Peaks obsessed four piece have played almost every country in the world. I wasn’t convinced at first, brushing them off as another industry puppet however seeing them support Two Door in Manchester completely changed my opinion and they have since become one of my favourite bands. T was to be the third time I have seen them.
Opening, unsurprisingly, with their album’s title track Bad Blood, Dan Smith and co got the crowd singing with Weight Of Living, Pt II and Laura Palmer. It says a lot about Bastille’s popularity that despite none of those songs made it into the UK Top 40 they were still known by practically the whole crowd. The beautiful Overjoyed followed (which Dan announced as “the most inappropriately named song of all time”) and then popular single Things We Lost In The Fire. With the crowd eating out of their hands, they burst into three album tracks These Streets, Oblivion (what will soon be the next single) and Icarus. Icarus sums Bastille up perfectly. A catchy chorus is the basis for their songs and one of the reasons they have become so popular, so quickly. When discussing the tricky second album, they have been toying between going more electronic or trying out a harder, rockier sound. Their attempt at the latter, The Draw, is a very noble attempt to add guitars to their music and is definitely an avenue worth exploring in my view. There was only time for three more songs, although Bastille were going to please everyone by starting that with Flaws, which saw Dan run along the front row of the packed crowd. Going into possibly the most famous cover (/mash up?) of the past few years, Of The Night received a very rousing reception. Of course, there was only one song they were going to end with and Pompeii was probably the best sang along to song of the weekend.
One can only hope that Bastille aren’t a flash in the pan for they have infectious energy, a togetherness on stage and seem genuinely down to earth nice guys. Every time I see them they seem better than they did and new songs I’ve heard are promising enough to suggest the second album will continue their success. Definitely the most exciting new band out there.
Gareth’s rating: 10/10. Favourite song: Icarus
Bastille were who I was most looking forward to seeing over the weekend and they didn’t disappoint. They are truly wonderful live, I definitely want to see them again soon and I can’t wait for their next album. For me, this set was perfect with my favourite song from their album being played, Oblivion, so I was more than happy as they rarely play it. Dan is great a controlling a crowd and I believe that in a few years they’ll be headlining festivals.
Emma’s rating: 10/10. Favourite song: Oblivion
Franz Ferdinand – King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent, 20:00 – 21:00:
Reviewed by Gareth
Ah, Franz Ferdinand. We booked the T tickets around a similar time to seeing them live for the first time and immediately said we would see them again if we could. Franz are a band with four great albums, an incredible amount of hits and a loyal fan base which mean they will always be in around the public eye, even if they don’t reach the heights of their debut album. In Scotland, at the festival where they are heroes – this was going to be a gig to remember.
Boy, do Franz know how to do a gig. It’s hard to explain how good they are if you’ve never seen Franz live because they don’t do a lot different to their studio songs, except for play the remixed version of Can’t Stop Feeling and extend This Fire. Trust me though, these are a band you don’t want to pass the chance to see live. Even though we were now tired, bored of all the pre-gig waiting and desperate for a wash they delivered a set as good as any we had seen all weekend. Perhaps, for those reasons listed above, this was the most enjoyable. The only songs the crowd didn’t know as well were the unreleased song Auf Asche (my original favourite Franz song so I wasn’t complaining!), as well as the lesser known singles Stand On The Horizon, Love Illumination, Bullet and The Fallen. The best receptions came for Do You Want To, The Dark of the Matinée and the classic Take Me Out. Mixed in among the set were songs such as No You Girls, Right Action, Ulysees and Walk Away. The other song played was the openly gay anthem Michael, and all songs proved that Franz can still control a crowd and have a good time.
A gig full of so many hits will always be pleasing for fans but Franz go further than that. They make every chord enjoyable and every beat stunning. Every song is a spectacle and they do it all with smiles on their faces. They are good at making music, seem to enjoy doing it and will hopefully be around for a very long time.
Gareth’s rating: 10/10. Favourite song: Walk Away
Of course, Franz Ferdinand were as good as always and I cannot say I regret seeing them over Jake Bugg because they are truly sensational live and not many people could match their standard. I seriously recommend seeing them live and especially at T in the Park because the Scottish crowd could not have appreciated their songs more.
Emma’s rating: 10/10. Favourite song: No You Girls
Arctic Monkeys – Main Stage, 21:20 – 22:50:
Reviewed by both
“And just cause he’s had a couple of cans, he thinks it’s alright to act like a dickhead”. Lines from A Certain Romance, from a band which Gareth has followed for so many years without seeing them live (yeah, another one). Excitement for Arctics had been building for months, and there are occasions when such excitement can get the better of you, times when no matter what happens, the reality will always be a let down. Despite the fact Gareth hadn’t liked Arctic Monkeys as much since the crap that was Humbug, AM had restored his faith in the Sheffield lad and their growing popularity meant this came at the right time. Emma, on the other hand, had heard AM, liked it and was optimistic for this gig.
Don’t get me wrong, we knew what a horrible person Alex Turner has turned into before this, but what we didn’t realise was just how much he controlled the band. In fact, we’d argue they are no longer a band but an Alex Turner ego fest. From the stupid quiff to the ridiculous jacket and the unfunny lines he would spill out occasionally, he made himself look like an idiot and we can’t believe that some people actually like that. Oh how fame has ruined him. But we’d forgive all that if the music was good, which it wasn’t. Again, we both think AM is a terrific record and songs such as One For The Road, Snap Out of It, Knee Socks and Do I Wanna Know? are wonderful tunes but boy do they make them sound atrocious live. Knee Socks for example, dragged on so long I swear people were falling asleep and Snap Out of It had lost all of its catchy nature. That brings us on another point, this is a festival so why play 9 songs from your latest album? Album tracks such as I Wanna Be Yours have no place in a festival encore (especially when When The Sun Goes Down, Teddy Picker, Mardy Bum and Fake Tales are all ignored) and I’m glad Disclosure drowned out the dreadful acoustic version of A Certain Romance. By the encore, we had lost almost all our interest in the set, following the terribly dull segment of No.1 Party Anthem (another strange festival choice), She’s Thunderstorms, Fluorescent Adolescent and 505. That wasn’t the only boring part of the gig, with Dancing Shoes, Crying Lightening, even the wonderful Arabella and Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair seemingly merging into one long Alex Turner quiff obsession fest. On that subject, he had the equaliser for his guitar turned up way too loud, meaning that the chorus riffs for Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High? and R U Mine? sounded almost identical. On the plus side, Fireside sounded really good as guitarist Jamie Cook (heard of him? You’re not alone if you haven’t) changed to an acoustic and old favourites Brianstorm and I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor were truly brilliant. Overall though, the set was a massive disappointment with even good songs such as My Propeller and Library Pictures sounded frankly average.
We’d heard that Arctic Monkeys were good live. We’d heard that they had energy, kick ass tunes and the ability to control a crowd. By all means, go and experience it for yourselves but don’t just blindly believe the hype. A great studio band, but certainly not one I would pay to see live again. It left a bitter taste in Gareth’s mouth that the moment he had been waiting for for so long was such a damp squib and leaving the festival after that was like enjoying a party until your ex-girlfriend shows up. In fact, it was hard not to vomit after watching a man with such talent but no humanity parade himself around on stage for an hour and a half making out like he was a God, when instead he is nothing special. He’s turned into something resembling the man he depicted in A Certain Romance.
Our rating: 2/10. Favourite song: I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
The only other act we caught on Sunday were the Red Hot Chilli Pipers – a Scottish bagpipe band who play covers, like Avcii’s Wake Me Up. Something you’d only see in a Scottish festival but still worth going to see should the opportunity arise.