“Happy T in the Park, everyone,” Fatherson’s frontman Ross Leighton toasted to the crowd during their triumphant slot in the King Tut’s Tent. Day 2 at the Scottish festival saw the weather return to its usual muddy self, but none of that seemed to deter neither the campers nor the bands.
The aforementioned Fatherson were one of the day’s biggest highlights. They’re no strangers to the festival – this year was their third time playing – and they seemed ecstatic to be back, especially bass player Marc Strain who several times jumped to the front of the stage in awe to take in the sheer adoration from the crowd.
Jack Garratt was just as enthusiastic. Despite the rain, the crowd were having a full on dance party to Garratt’s most popular tracks from his debut album, one of which included singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to a young girl in the crowd as well as a cover of the Fresh Prince theme tune. It’s one thing to hear him on record, but it’s something else entirely to see him actually performing the entire set by himself.
Later on in the day, The Last Shadow Puppets took to the Main Stage to deliver a dazzlingly stimulating set complete with weird dancing, sensual crooning and hugs galore – and even a cover of David Bowie’s ‘Moonage Daydream’.
Meanwhile, where the Radio 1 Stage was taken over by dance acts on Friday, today it was pretty much indie heaven. Teenage newcomer Rat Boy drew a small but eager crowd, while Kaiser Chiefs managed to conjure an enraptured atmosphere despite the massive downpour thanks to beloved hits such as ‘Oh My God’ and ‘I Predict A Riot’ as well as Ricky Wilson’s endearing passion for the crowd (the final chorus of ‘Oh My God’ saw him running about the stage like a kid on Christmas).
It was Catfish and the Bottlemen who most were there to see, though. The Welsh four-piece may as well have been headlining the stage given how fervent and massive the crowd was. The set mainly relied on their tracks from The Balcony, though new singles such as ‘7’ and ‘Twice’ were just as relished in. Say what you will about their music, but the atmosphere they bring to the stage alone makes them well worth checking out, particularly in a festival setting.
Despite the renowned size of their fanbase, however, the Llandudno lads had to settle for opening for the headlining act, this year being other indie favourites The 1975 in what was their first ever headline slot at any festival. Sure, the Main Stage’s Calvin Harris knows how to draw a crowd on hype alone, but the finale The 1975 put on was a real spectacle, filled in equal portions between old and new hits from both of their albums in front of a sea of monochrome and neon backdrops. Every track elicited mass screaming sing-alongs, whether it was their traditional closer of ‘Sex’ or a more subtle recent track like ‘A Change of Heart’. Either way, everyone was loving it.
Near the end of their set, frontman Matty Healy let the crowd know that they “have a reputation for being mental”. No matter which crowds you found yourself in today, pretty much everyone proved him right.
Words by Samantha King, pictures courtesy of Andy Buchanan