Slam Tent 2009 - Sunday

Joe Wilson rejoices as the godfather of Glaswegian drug user slang, Jeff Mills, makes an appearance at T in the Park

Feature by Joe Wilson | 22 Jul 2009

Funk d’Void opened early on Sunday morning at T in the Park, remaining, to his credit, apparently very upbeat and full of enthusiasm as he gazed out across the 20 or so people dotted around the behemoth that is the Slam Tent, only a handful of which appeared to be having fun. His good spirits were rewarded however as the onset of rain forced people into the tent and the quality of his performance quickly had smiles back on the faces of the crowd of soggy revellers.

The afternoon pressed on with solid sets from Joris Voorn and Ben Sims before the numbers in the tent swelled in anticipation for Tiga, one of the forerunning DJs of the electro scene and head of the widely respected Turbo Records label. He quickly whipped the crowd into a frenzy, delivering an eclectic set swinging violently between strong techno beats and punchy electro. It was a showcase of his own productions and the cream of his Turbo label, from which standout track, the ever-popular “Raven” by the The Proxy, was his closing track. He successfully managed to set the tent alight and coursing with adrenaline as it filled to capacity in anticipation for The Streets.

With the ominous “Tent Full” sign flashing outside the tent, many were left queuing outside, missing much of the beginning of The Streets set. Mike Skinner was on top form as usual, putting aside all doubt as to his band’s credentials to be appearing in the Slam Tent, with a charismatic performance that kept the crowd going at every turn. The early part of the set was packed with upbeat hits spanning all five of their albums, before the tone became dark after a performance of fan favourite Dry Your Eyes, which was accompanied by the unpopular news that this was likely to be The Street’s last T appearance, something that a Saltire-waving Skinner and a resounding rendition of Blinded By The Lights couldn’t quite make up for. Regardless, it was a captivating performance and there could be few who would feel let down by what may be the last performance they'll witness from such an important act.

Electro’s man of the moment, Boys Noize, was next up, opening with new track Come With Me, which provided a gradual build-up to a thumping set of fan-favourites peppered with material from his new album “Power.” Obviously keen to test out new tracks, Boys was clearly wise to the festival protocol of ensuring the crowd hear what they want to hear, and provided a well-balanced set that included the popular & Down and Phantom Part II Remix. The crowd even heard Lava Lava twice in an uncharacteristic error from the man, but it proved to be in the crowd’s favour as, clearly unfazed, the rest of his set was flawless, closing with both tracks from his new EP.

Also trying out new material were Simian Mobile Disco, however they appeared to be less well-received, especially with the bizarre Audacity of Huge. Some of the smaller-than-anticipated crowd was regularly brought round by tracks from the outstanding “Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release”, especially those punters who managed not to miss their favourite tune by nipping out to the toilet. Standout tracks of the past few years I Believe and the ever popular Hustler received their worthy airtime, proving that if your brand of electronica isn't broken, it doesn't need fixed.

Next up and fairing better was Dave Clarke, who had the Slam Tent bouncing from start to finish before being followed headline act Jeff Mills, charged with the task of making up for his disappointing no-show the previous year. It was task he took to with relative ease, producing an awe-inspiring hour-and-a-half of deep techno beats which firmly cemented his position as one of the world’s greatest DJs. The perfect way to end the Slam Tent’s Sunday spectacle, a riotous party from start to finish and one which would assure Mills that he had no reason to take the looks of disappointment on the faces of many as the lights came on at the end in any way personally.