T in the Park 2013: A Retrospective

Two weeks ago today, myself and several friends were gathered in the sweeping dustbowl of Balado Airfield in deepest Kinross-shire, in attendance of the first day of T in the Park’s 20th anniversary weekend. The ensuing festival was a three-day smorgasbord of musical sumptuousness, ranging from the indie-upstart stylings of Haim and CHVRCHES to Main Stage players such as The Killers and Earth, Wind & Fire.

A wonderful time was had by all, and my attempt at a full-scale review of the weekend has been uploaded to the Music section of The Boar. You can catch that here if you’d like to read a more general overview of the event, but to go alongside that, I’ve arranged a snappy platter of ‘Best Of…’ lists, simply to provide a whistle-stop of the weekend’s assorted highlights. This is partly because I’m currently obsessed with Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, but besides that, lists are just good wholesome fun.

Please remember that these lists are only based on the artists and bands that I personally got to see. This does mean that a couple of big names have been left out, but check out the “Five I Wish I Had Time For” list to see the names I most regret missing out on. Without further ado, then, I give you the (highly unofficial) Quotesponge T20 Awards Ceremony. Here we go:

Best Live Acts

1. Frightened Rabbit

Being on native soil was a huge help in bolstering a ravenous crowd, and the resultant experience was simultaneously communal, euphoric, and incredibly catchy. Scott Hutchison’s crowd interactions felt totally ingenuous and heartfelt, and the music itself was never less than soaring. A mighty, mighty homecoming.

2. Of Monsters And Men

Performing to an overspilling crowd at King Tut’s Wah-Wah Tent, the Icelandic troupe delivered smash after smash in an anthemic set which could have given the likes of The Killers and Foals a run for their money. In fact, in my book, it did. Dirty Paws has never sounded quite so menacingly magnificent.

3. Disclosure

Given that I’ve only heard Latch and White Noise thus far out of everything from Settle, it speaks volumes about the two-piece’s maniacal live prowess that their set has had such a lasting effect.

4. Phoenix

They opened with Entertainment. From that moment on, I was lost.

5. AlunaGeorge

So much more than a dusting-off of the mega-singles they’ve spawned so far. AlunaGeorge‘s set displayed both magnificently glossy musical foundations, as well as a tantalising glimpse at the star potential of Aluna Francis, who owned the Transmissions Tent like a pro.

1 Hutchison

Best Surprises

1. Alt-J‘s a cappella cover of College‘s A Real Hero. Tastefully done!

2. Mumford & Sons‘ treat of Flower Of Scotland, moments before bowing out with The Cave on Friday night.

3. Getting to hear two incarnations of White Noise in a single afternoon: first, AlunaGeorge‘s own rendition in the Transmissions Tent, and then Disclosure‘s towering signature version in King Tut’s.

4. Earth, Wind & Fire breaking out The Beatles Got To Get You Into My Life, with added swaggle.

5. Ostrich burgers are really tasty.

1 Ostriches

Worst Disappointments

1. Yannis Philippakis’ sour, diva-esque stage antics marring an otherwise solid set from Foals. Smiling never hurt anybody, bro.

2. Absolutely wasted middle-aged women swarming our spot in the crowd during The Killers‘ performance. No, I don’t want more warm Strongbow down my back. Please go away.

3. Sound issues onstage during DIIV‘s set in the T Break Tent. Made Zachary Cole Smith cross, too.

4. The failure to whip The Waves up into a frenzy during Villagers‘ set. No-one in particular is to blame for this; it’s just a shame the final minute didn’t pack the explosion I was hoping for.


1 Foals

Best Onstage Banter

1. “How d’you like our giant cross? We have finally disappeared up our own arses… Hopefully by the end of this [set], you will have too.” – Scott Hutchison (Frightened Rabbit)

2. “It’s nice to be back in Scotland, where people understand sarcasm.” – Lauren Mayberry (CHVRCHES)

3. “Some of you are here because you know us. Some of you are here because your parents know us. Some of you were probably conceived to our music, which is why you’re here.” – Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind & Fire)

1 Mayberry

Five I Wish I’d Had Time For

1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs

OhmyGod they played Skeletons. I want to cry.

2. My Bloody Valentine

I must admit, I’ve still yet to clamp my ears over Loveless. And perhaps their headline slot in the Transmissions Tent would have been a fiery introduction.

3. Frank Ocean

Despite catching a whiff of Super Rich Kids as I crossed the park to my next destination, I sadly had to forego much of the R&B legend’s set.

4. Local Natives

Colombia is one of my favourite songs of the year, and I really did want to hear it live. However, we wanted to bagsy a decent spot for The Killers, so we had to give 80% of the Natives’ set a miss.

5. Everything Everything

If only for MY KZ YR BF, and seeing whether or not it’s even remotely possible to sing along to it in a live environment.

Firefly Music Festival - Day 2

The Weekend’s Playlist

The fifteen tunes which best represent the thrills and trills of T in the Park 2013. Until next summer, this is where the memories will stem from. Thanks for reading, and happy festival season!

1. Entertainment (Phoenix)

2. Mountain Sound (Of Monsters And Men)

3. Forever (Haim)

4. Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe (Kendrick Lamar)

5. Milk (Theme Park)

6. Heart Of Nowhere (Noah And The Whale)

7. The Woodpile (Frightened Rabbit)

8. Bonkers (Dizzee Rascal)

9. Buffalo (Alt-J)

10. White Noise (ft. AlunaGeorge) (Disclosure)

11. September (Earth, Wind & Fire)

12. Set The Tigers Free (Villagers)

13. Gun (CHRVCHES)

14. The Cave (Mumford & Sons)

15. Mr. Brightside (The Killers)


Posted on July 26, 2013, in The Music World and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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