I was ready for TITP 2011; in fact I was very excited about it! We were camping in style, gazebo, bbqs; you name it, we had it packed.
I have to be honest: the line up this year didn’t blow me away. I could see some times on the schedule where there may have been no bands for me to see. Not that there wasn’t anything on, just nothing that interested me. But my positive side said this would allow me to discover new bands, so off to Balado we went.
The Friday night last year was packed with great names where I had seen about 4 or 5 acts that night, but this year’s Friday night was a poor show. We opted for Plan B and it started with a bang. He had a dub step beat boxer who churned out hit after hit like ‘Duck Sauce Barbra Streisand’. The crowd was going wild singing along and dancing. I turned to my friend and said “this is going to be brilliant” but then Plan B came on and the whole set took a nose dive. His soulful style just didn’t fit in with the beat boxer. Don’t get me wrong: Plan B is a talented guy whose lyrics are raw and real and his silky smooth voice was pitch perfect, but he couldn’t sustain the excitement the beat boxer had created. The set picked up as he performed hits such as ‘Love goes down’ and ‘Prayin’ and then he made a very sensible choice to bring the beat boxer back out on stage to finish the set and again the energy of the crowd picked up. I think Plan B would be better suited in a tent rather than the main stage and it clarified that I’m not a huge fan.
We finished our Friday night off with 2manydjs in the King Tuts Wah Wah Hut and it was banging!! I love the concept of their work to create mash up’s of other peoples tunes. I read an article that described 2manydjs as ‘a team of DJs who are leaders in the world of mash-ups and bastard pop’ – I love that description. The set took some unexpected turns from Zombie Nation, Duck Sauce to Donna Summers ‘I feel love’ and you never got bored as you were always anticipating the next track.
We headed in on Saturday to watch Chipmunk. To be honest, we only went to see him as we wanted to guarantee our place in the King Tuts tent to see Ocean Colour Scene. I am glad we went in though as Chipmunk put on a great set, pure poppy grime! Not someone I am into but nonetheless I danced away and we actually had a fun time. That is how I would sum his set up: young and fun.
After this we were ready for some musical genius to take the stage in the form of Ocean Colour Scene. Their Moseley Shoals album is one of the best albums ever written in my opinion. They have been around so long and are slightly underrated. They are one of these bands that everyone knows about without them being completely in the limelight which I think has stood them in good stead to last as long as they have. They have a cult following and speaking with people round about us I felt like I’d been missing out. They had brilliant stories to tell about gigs from years ago. This made me even more excited to see them. They started their set with ‘Riverboat’ absolute classic – OMG! It sounded even better than on CD, I got chills! The guitar riff from this song bellowing out within the tent was electrifying. Then it was followed by ‘Circle’ and then just hit after hit, I danced from start to finish and the friends I was with who didn’t know much about OCS loved the set as well. The band finished with ‘Train’ which was amazing. I have nothing but praise for this band and will be sure to go and see them again. Seeing them live made me appreciate their music all over again. They are fantastic!
After OCS I could have gone back to the tent because I was completely satisfied, but we had to stay and watch Beyonce. I mean, when else will I get to see her live? She didn’t disappoint. Clean, flawless vocals, and there is no doubt she can sing. In fact, she is way better live than I ever thought she would be – the woman can hold a tune!! A mix of solo material, Destiny’s Child songs and a few covers, Kings of Leon ‘Sex on Fire’ and Eta James ‘At Last’, gave her set the excitement and energy the crowd was looking for. I caught one glimpse of her during her hour set. The crowd was unbelievable, jam packed together but what do you expect when a global superstar is on stage?
The Saturday night concluded with Coldplay, who always put on a good set. Not much to say about them. You know what you’re going to get when you see Coldplay: professional, enjoyable, good music!
Sunday kicked off with lots and lots of rain, which wasn’t good. But hey, we are at a festival, so no complaining! I made my way to the main stage to see Blondie and was utterly disappointed. Debbie Harry didn’t look like a rock chick; she looked like an old hen!!! I’d seen her about 3 years ago in Glasgow and she was amazing, taking the stage by storm. But at T she was out of tune, moving gingerly and had a face on her like fizz. She looked annoyed it was raining and annoyed that she didn’t have a large crowd. She called us Edinburgh during ‘Call Me’ and couldn’t hit the high notes of ‘Maria’. Out of respect and my love for Blondie I stayed till the end of her set, but if it had been anyone else I’d have left within the first 10 minutes.
The rain kept coming so we made our way into the King Tuts tent to see The Vaccines. I missed out seeing the band a few months back due to illness so I was determined to see them this time. Their album ‘What did you expect from the Vaccines’ it’s brilliant British indie guitar music. It’s nothing new but lead singer Justin Young has a confidence to his voice when he sings and I love the tone and quality of it. ‘Post Break-Up Sex’ and ‘If You Wanna’ got the crowd at T going mental, and from the amount of people in the tent they definitely have their own cult following. I look forward to seeing more of this band.
Being honest, after the Vaccines things started to fizz out for me. The atmosphere was tense in the arena. I think the amount of rain, mud and cider had got to everyone a little too much and the cheeky faces started to appear. People were snapping at one another for trying to get through the crowd. I had seen some of Tinie Tempah and again feel, like Plan B, he should have been in a tent, then went and saw a little of Brandon Flowers and who can deny what a front man he is – charismatic, energetic, amazing vocals – a joy to watch. He concentrated on his solo work but threw a couple of Killers classics in for good measure. After Brandon it was Calvin Harris, but I bowed out before seeing him. I had seen Calvin Harris twice before and he has never disappointed, but for me T 2011 was finished.
Was it the best year? No. But have I already got my ticket for next year? Of course! I’m a gluten for punishment!!