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T in The Park, Pish On the Telly

Ah, festivals. There’s nothing like being there to soak up the atmosphere. And frankly, the TV coverage provided on them recently has been ABSOLUTELY nothing like being there. ITV’s coverage of The Isle of Wight Festival was as toe-curlingly awful as you would have expected from a corporation seemingly determined to be seen as the idiot dwarf half-brother of a respectable Broadcaster. It was shallow, plastic and horrible The BBC reverted to type with its coverage of Glastonbury, throwing a huge production budget at it, seemingly engaging a in a presenter to act ratio of 1:1 and ignoring all that weird shit in the fields in favour of extended sessions with James Blunt and Neil Diamond. They had an exclusive acoustic track from Will Young. Seriously. I felt sorry for Mark Radcliffe, who looked as embarrassed as a man catching his child masturbating vigorously. And so now on to the BBC’s coverage of T in the Park, Scotland’s annual gathering of neds and students.

The Beeb, possibly feeling they’d spoiled us a little the other week, elected on a rather different course of action this time. Deeming TITP a local affair for local people, most coverage went out on the Scottish Network only. Of course it did – I mean, you might be a huge fan of Amy Winehouse and R.E.M., but if you live in London you certainly wouldn’t be interested in watching them if they are playing North of the Watford gap. And worse than that, they’d gone for regional presenters. Now, this is laudable, if they can present, but if not, well, it looks like faintly disagreeable tokenism. And when they are trying to outdo each other in the ‘Most Scottish Scottish Accent Without Becoming Indecipherable To English People’ stakes, it really is like watching River City Does Indie. Main mucker was Radio 1’s Edith Bowman, of whom it could kindly be said ‘not as bad as Whiley’. She was joined by Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway, a strangely feminine presence beset by a haircut that he’s really too old for and a creepy, camp lethargy which seemed set to culminate in him playing with the hair of an aspiring indie band. He reminds me of Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Boogie Nights. Lastly, and also bestly and worstly frankly, was Laura Marks. She apparently is a musician who played with shite and thankfully defunct Glaswegian talent black hole El Presidenté. After watching her attempts at presenting, it sadly looks like that sojourn may be her career high point. ‘Amaayzzzin’, that was her catchphrase. Everything was ‘amaayzzzin’. The Prodigy were ‘amaayzzzin’. Rage against the Machine? ‘Amaayzzzin’. The crowd? Yes indeedy, they too were ‘amaayzzzin’. Even the Kaiser Chiefs were ‘ amaayzzzin” despite one of them pointing out – accurately – that in her terribly trendy haircut she resembled Noel Fielding.

Then on to the acts themselves. A bit heavy on the Tesco music – lots of Fratellis, Kaiser Chiefs and Miss Winehouse – but to be honest, TITP (and Scots in general) crowds love that gear, so it was only fair. Their craven cocksucking of the Prodigy – a novelty band beloved by idiots last vaguely relevant when Chris Evans was- was rather laughable, and to label the pretentious and self-obsessed Rage Against the Machine as trailblazing showstoppers seems a bit of a jump. Especially as the Mighty Butch let it slip that no-one was moshing to them because ‘they were just agog at their power’. Aye, right you are love. And I throw bottles of piss at Scouting for Girls because I love them. Glasvegas frontman Jamesie Cotter then did an acoustic version of his hit ‘Blanket on the Ground (Gonnae No Spill Mah Buckie Oan It, Maaaan)’ whilst acting out every Weegie cliché in the book. I honestly think that man would eat his grandma’s withered clitoris if he thought he’d get in the paper about it. Still, he won’t be bothered, as his performance was judged to be ‘amaayzzzin’, so what do I know?

Two final gripes; Firstly, the usual ignorance of the best stuff – would have been great to see The National, Band of Horses or The Hold Steady – and more sinisterly, the judicious pan-away from obvious scenes of trouble during some of the headliners. Protecting the festival’s reputation is not the job of the Beeb, it is down to DFC Promotions. It could be argued that DFC have ignored the burgeoning ned culture at TITP for too long, and by ignoring the violence the BBC bottled what is surely part of their public service remit. Having your presenters raving about how fantastic it is while wilfully ignoring gangs of pissed-up thugs in baseball caps and sunburn is deeply unbecoming for an institution of the BBC’s status. But overall, the Beeb got out of Dodge with what it wanted – hours and hours of cheaply taken footage they’ll be loading the Saturday night schedules with for months. Never mind the quality, feel the width.

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17 Responses

  1. It’s a cunts cavalcade at T in the Park these, days which is why i never bothered going this time round.
    The last two years were pretty good, but when you spend all your time in the wee tents watching bands you could be seeing 5 mins from home for £8 in a decent venue without the mud and hooligans you quickly realise it’s probably not worth the hassle.

    I fear for Connect this year, as they seem hell bent on dragging the “T in the Parkers” into it as well with dodgy acts like Kasabian and Franz Ferdindand (although i will admit i quite liked some of their first album) , which will no doubt make them more money, but at the expense of fucking up the laid back atmosphere of last year.

  2. I don’t think Connect will make year 3 – the line up is neither eclectic enough to appeal to the leftfield crowd or mainstream enough for the TITP crowd. it’s neither fish nor fowl, frankly.

  3. I can’t hack gigs these days, let alone festivals. The crowd are either violent or poseur kids – or beard stroking oldies like me (at 29 I’m bizarrely qualified to say that now)

    Like Alan Partridge, I just hate the general public.

  4. It just struck me that have never met a man of 29 with a beard. Never. You’re one of a kind then. Where on the scale between George Michael and Gandalf is it Swineshead.? 😀

  5. Swineshead, you young turk, you are barely old enough to qualify to read this blog frankly! Big tip – brace yourself for 30 – it comes like a train!

  6. BTW, I fear it is only Scottish viewers who were subjected to, erm, I mean enjoyed, the full-on T coverage – the lucky muthafuckas down south just got a couple of highlight shows and possibly the red button.

    Bastards bumped back Top Gear up here, and for that alone they will not be forgiven.

  7. I’ve nothing against beards though I don’t have one myself…!

    I didn’t realise I was in such senior company – I’d better watch my lip.

  8. ahahah. You’re not the youngest though… lol.

    But yeah – you do need to watch your lip. ahaha. Why don’t people in their 20’s have beards? Are men follicly challenged at this age or is just not cool?

    😛

  9. If it’s any consolation I have enormous sideburns.

  10. Thank God you said sideburns. 🙂

    My wife doesn’t trust men who don’t have sideburns. Says it is unnatural.

    And lack of facial hair is why this country has gone to hell in a handbasin or something.

  11. LOL.. Right then. Can honestly say I’ve never noticed sideburns – unless they have been as you say – enormous.

    I haven’t noticed a lack of them in men – I’ll keep an eye out. I agree with your wife ELM, with the exception of the monobrow – you can’t trust a man with a monobrow. Look at the Gallagher brothers…

  12. Monobrows are evil.

  13. I go through a beard/no-beard cycle every 6 weeks or so.

  14. You’ll never guess how Laura Marks got her job? Well, if you know the BBC you’ll be able to guess: her daddy was one of the cameramen at TitP.

    hilarious post btw

  15. How very Beeb! And thanks Broon, much appreciated!

  16. and some fucker got stabbed at P in The Dark this year too. Just goes to show, festivals are, and always will be, second prize compared to actually making the effort and going to see a band YOU LIKE at a venue, not a gathering of trash and detritus like T In The Park.
    And I include the presenters and performers in that, too.
    Festivals are the Aldi of music. No, make that the TK Maxx of music. A jumble sale of what’s been fashionable that year, all in the one weekend.
    They deserve each other, indie kids and indie bands.

  17. ” T in the park , pish on the telly…and you on my mind ” ( sing along y`all)

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