Review: T in the Park Festival 2016

This year Impact headed to the highlands of Scotland for annual music event, T in the Park. Here are our thoughts on 5 of the most impressive bands from across the weekend…


Considering an early stage time and impending storms, Blossoms did well to attract such a large crowd during their Sunday set at T in the Park’s Radio 1 stage. Since their mass exposure in 2015, this year has been quite successful for the Stockport band.
Kicking off with ‘Cut Me and I’ll Bleed’, it was obvious that their mix of synths and guitar solos were a favourite of the Scottish crowd. Lead singer Tom Ogden seemed at ease as both a frontman and guitarist, with many referencing similarities to a Humbug era Alex Turner.
‘At Most a Kiss’ gave the Scottish crowd a glimpse of their debut album, released in August (read Impact‘s review here). The repetitive but intriguing chorus stays true to the stereotypical sound of the band. They clearly rely upon synths to give them a new wave of differentiation from other indie bands.
“Blossoms have great potential to elevate themselves up the T in the Park line up in years to come”
 After introducing the rest of the band, Charlie, Josh, Joe and Myles, Ogden stormed through a semi acoustic version of ‘My Favourite Room’. ‘Charlemagne’ drew the biggest response from the famous T in the Park crowd, a song which arguably enabled them to be so highly placed on the BBC’s sound of 2016 shortlist.
 With such a grand following already, and their debut album set for release in August, it is clear that Blossoms have great potential to elevate themselves up the T in the Park line up in years to come.
Rat Boy

Jordan Cardy, otherwise known as Rat Boy, centres his musical approach upon a DIY nature. His lyricism relates highly to the younger generations. With this in mind it is no wonder that he amassed one of the youngest crowds of the weekend. Despite this, his sound is raw and edgy and this was clear when he opened with ‘Splendid Young Man’ and ‘Knock Knock’.
“Incredible lyricism”
 Much like Blossoms, Rat Boy is still yet to release a debut album, which makes his sudden rise even more impressive. ‘Sign On’ and ‘Fake ID’ provided the greatest response of the afternoon, two songs which are by far the most well-known.
 It is easy to compare Rat Boy to other artists, most notably Jamie T. However, with such incredible lyricism and the ability to draw large crowds like at T in the Park, it would be unsurprising if the Chelmsford youngster could climb his way to the top of festival line ups across the country.

The Courteeners

It is amazing to think that the Manchester-based band have never been able to make the jump to headlining festivals, especially after performing arguably the most atmospheric gig at this year’s T in the Park festival.
“The obvious highlight was ‘Not Nineteen Forever’…”
 The opening of their set was met with a huge influx of flares with many comparing it to the colourful atmosphere of a ‘colour run’.  They opened with fan favourites ‘Are You In Love With A Notion?’ and ‘Cavorting’ before a rare festival outing of ‘Acrylic’. The obvious highlight was ‘Not Nineteen Forever’, by far their most famous song.
Despite a fading voice, lead singer Liam Fray not only managed to close with ‘What Took You So Long?’, but also announced the completion of their upcoming fifth album. After such an incredible performance which generated an equally incredible crowd, one can only wonder how much higher The Courteeners will be placed when they next visit the Scottish festival.

In terms of festivals, it has been quite a couple of summers for Slaves. 2015 saw them play extensively across UK and European festivals following the release of second album Are You Satisfied. Though 2016 has been a somewhat less intense affair, it is a year which has seen the Kent-based band break through to main stages with T in the Park being their first.
“‘Beauty Quest’ and ‘The Hunter’ seemed to produce a frenzy of mosh pits and relentless crowd movement”
 Opening with ‘Ninety Nine’ it was clear that Slaves faced a lively, rapturous crowd with ease. It is the simplicity of a drum/guitar duo which is most interesting, especially considering the intensity of their sound. Songs such as ‘Beauty Quest’ and ‘The Hunter’ seemed to produce a frenzy of mosh pits and relentless crowd movement, so much so that lead singer Isaac Holman even had to ask the crowd to “look out for one another”. Such seems to be the norm at a Slaves gig, whether it is in a small venue or a large festival field such as at T in the Park.
With a third album on the way and so much more potential to fulfil, Slaves really are a band who have the ability to climb way up the festival bill in years to come.

Jake Bugg

Jake Bugg has seemingly been playing festivals for what feels like an eternity, his performance of songs new and old at T in the Park proving this. Opening with ‘On My One’ and ‘Two Fingers’, it is obvious that the Nottingham artist still has the ability to draw in huge crowds, despite a somewhat subdued third album.
“In the live setting [Jake Bugg] sounded almost similar to the Stone Roses”
 The clear highlight of the set was when Bugg was joined by Red Hot Chilli Peppers guitarist Chad Smith. The pair worked together on Bugg’s second album Shangri La including songs such as ‘Slumville Sunrise’, the song which Smith joined for.
 Most interesting was ‘Gimme The Love’ from his latest album On My One, released earlier this year. Not only does he approach a new sound but he has an effortless ability to work in faster-paced tones to his music. In the live setting he sounded almost similar to the Stone Roses, who headlined a few nights previously.
 Charlie Barnes
Image courtesy of T in the Park via Facebook
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