T in the Park 2006 (Day Two)
Who's better? Who's best?
First up to bat for a spot of lunchtime gigging and migrating themselves over to the Pet Sounds Arena since their performance on the Futures stage last year, My Latest Novel conjure up a few lush narratives (that really do sound bugger all like The Arcade Fire, by the way) enticing varying levels of fervour and reminding us why, as far as Scottish music goes, this should really be their year.
Like David Bellamy on Safari, The Skinny cautiously slips in to the Slam tent where Coldcut are making Mylo look like a kid who sat on his keyboard at Christmas. As mesmerising at the sounds from these high priests of the remix are, this world frightens and confuses. Retreat! The Skinny's Beats crew have this covered.
The murkiness of the morning is finally beginning to clear and correspondingly The Magic Numbers endeavour to resurrect some good cheer from their perch on the main stage. They do their job well, if a little quietly. Alas, their brand of joyous twee soon collides with a certain Southport quintet and so we make the pilgrimage through a sea of discarded burger buns and emo haircuts for Gomez over at King Tut's.
Gomez prove they've still got the prerequisite magnetism to attract a huge draw as they shape shift their way through an hour riddled with classics as well as more recent efforts from new record 'How We Operate'. It's a conundrum whether they'll ever step out of the shadow of Get Myself Arrested's blues-drenched beauty but it's clear they've got the keys to Balado to try it out any time they like as they prove to be one of the highlights of the weekend so far.
Disappointingly, Zero 7 have bailed on us, and so the running of the Pet Sounds arena becomes more relaxed than an afternoon with Cheech and Chong as we wait for what turns out to be a delayed and uncharacteristically heavy rock n' roll set from the Eels. If you came here looking for a melancholic breeze through Susan's House you're in the wrong tent - Mr Everett's got something else in mind. Kung Fu dancing security guards and dishevelled flowerpot men stomp on stage like militia and tear the house down, this is the Jekyll to E's more renowned Hyde side.
So which idiot decided to put The Strokes on at the same time as The Go! Team? New York's trendiest Stooge-loving sons win the toss and flaunt just a smidgeon of versatility with a surprisingly livelier stage show than they used to. A punchy rendition of Juicebox singlehandedly renders the sleepy tones of Is This It? and its brethren near verveless by comparison.
Now The Strokes have vacated and we've definitely missed these Found lads, Who can captivate the masses one last time this weekend? Who's better? Who's best? There's no denying that even with the ever notable absence of the legendary manic rhythm section comprised by Moony and The Ox, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey still keep a tight house. Touchstones like Pinball Wizard, Baba O' Riley and Won't Get Fooled Again make appearances via a seasoned variant of Daltrey's piercing howl and Townshend's inimitable windmill arm tactics. For a set which was quite dependably wedged in the past, The Who easily succeeded in recollecting an era of non-generic rock and roll at a time when music, at least in the popular realm, sorely misses the bands of this breed.
So was 2006 "The best T in the Park yet"? Well in 1994 an intrepid Rage Against The Machine faced off with Cypress Hill while Bjork bounced up and down on top of a van. That's all I'm saying.