nam— Sparks in the Park

They came, they saw, they got covered in dust. Fiona Shepherd pinpoints the highlights and lowlifes of this year’s T in the Park.

If there's one thing to take to the grave from T in The Park '96 it‘s the knowledge that you shared a tent with Keanu Reeves. The fact that a few thousand other people shared that distinction can always be downplayed.

So it was that one young man of native American descent playing lumpy grunge in a lack-of-power trio provided this year's Kylie factor. liogstar may have been greeted like Take That. but if it was genuine power trios‘ you were after. 60“ Dolls were happy to oblige with oikish punk pop and falling over drumkits antics. Punk spirit was more alive and well than at any Sex Pistols reunion concert when Compulsion psyched up the King Tut's Tent. and the matching orange bonces and Persil- white stage costumes were a nice comedy touch.

Still at the more vociferous end of the scale. llrusei Yatsura blasted the loft slacker cliches out the NME Tent with one of the most wired sets of the

weekend and official best use of

screaming mid-song at the festival. Fluffy took the booby prize in that category. although closely contested by the brutal Shakespear’s Sister.

Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci confused much of their audience. who looked like they‘d stumbled upon them unintentionally. with their highly imaginative remashing of the best bits of Pink Floyd and other weirdbeards. which brings us nicely on to Kula Shaker who wowed the crowd (those who could get in the tent. that is) with

‘- Beck: ‘ass-kicklng excitement’

their highly-unimaginative remashing of the most tedious bits of. . . blah. blah. The words ‘no‘ and ‘justice' belong together at this point.

Also in the ‘don't get it‘ category Pulp and more disappointingly Goldie. Admittedly it was the end of the set. but if this is how the jungle maestro chooses to close (with ‘diva’ Lorna singing little more than cod-operatic voice exercises). the build-up tnust have been worthy of a quick snooze under the guy ropes. Not quite the

anticipated triumphant Scottish debut. It was up to The Chemical Brothers to truly vibe up the Dance Tent with their bangin' choons. Leittield played it cooler. which really isn't the idea at an event of this scale. iiadiohead understood this principle over on the main stage and still look like the band most liker to give stadium rock a good name. while The Prodigy 7- well. who knows what their performance was like‘.’ Everyone was too busy dancing like Sunday would bring a national ban on hopping.

Space demonstrated that they have two singles of the year but sadly not a lot else when they shuffled on to the main stage. The Supernaturals occupied the area much more effectively when they got their first taste ofdispensing goodtime melodies to a field of happy campers. For inventive guitar pop. hooks and general mania it had to be Super Furry Animals though.

Which leaves the principal golden moments . . .Octopus‘s performance artist who made sparks lly with the application of a chainsaw to her metal breastplate and chastity belt; Manic Street Preachers‘ James Dean Bradfleld's and Divine Comedy‘s Neil Hannon‘s amaaazing vocal chords (their respective bands know how to deliver an emotional classic with passion and panache too); Lionrock‘s melting pot groovy danceability; and everything about Beck. who was a revelation in karate~kicking. smart suit- wearing. inventive-sampling. ass- kicking excitement and gets my T in the Park gold star any day.



3500, Glasgow, Sat 20 July The godfather oi grunge? No question about it, and it took all or ten seconds or the opening ‘Out or The Blue’ to establish just why every anti- establishment movement trom punk onwards has exempted lleil Young trom their general contempt tor 70s rock behernoths (although the ironies or his extolling Johnny Rotten’s ‘better to burn out’ integrity tour days alter the Filthy lucre gig also demonstrate that history can play dirty tricks).

Kula Shaker had set the tone with their own take on the Seattle sound, but they seemed a little pallid alongside the monstrous guitar tury generated by Young and his long-time compadres. The downside was that the sheer unrelenting density or it all made one song sound a little too much like any other, but some it ot was tearsome in its intensity, and at least one dense, extended, spacey guitar lam made some sense or his avowed liking tor John coltrane.

The set was largely drawn from Young’s back catalogue, with hardly a nod to the new album along the way. The traditional show-stoppers like ‘cortez The Killer, like A llurrlcane’ and ‘0innanton cirl’ were interspersed with a couple or solo acoustic interludes in his lolksy country mode on the likes oi ‘Four Strong Winds,


llell Young: ‘ultlmately a shade wearing’

Long May You llun’, and ‘The lleedle And The Damage llone’, although the audience did most or the vocal work for him on that one.

By the time he launched into a protracted encore, however, these ears at least had had enough. The corny stonn-ettects on the closing ‘like A llurrlcane’ served to detlect trom - rather than add to - the impact or that masterpiece, and the relentless nature oi most or the music was ultimately a shade wearing. A good lleil Young gig, then, rather than a great one, but one thing is tor sure ~ they threw away the mould when they made this particular rock icon. (Kenny Mathleson)


55cc Glasgow 16 Jul.

Belore they appear, a tape echoes through the arena. ‘Save All Your Kisses For Me’ and the like. The intention, one gathers, is to point out just how chronically lame British music was till the Pistols appeared. It’s a pretty Stalanist revision - no Bowie, no Bolan, no iloxy. And this trom a band who were originally called the Strand. Still, the past is there to be used by us tor our own ends.

Since their semi-successiul london show, the Pistols revival seems to have run aground somewhat, amid mass inditterence. Shows cancelled in Spain due to poor ticket sales, shows cancelled in Ireland, due to, ahem, the controversial nature or the material, and so on. So, by now, the band may be beginning to wonder, along with the rest oi us, just why they bothered.

To the mass ol black leather pouring into the secc, however, it’s less about why they’re here than the simple tact that they are - which seems the right tact to take. It’s all a cartoon anyway, and bending yoursell double in an attempt to trace a subtext is a waste oi time. It’s called The Filthy lucre Tour which, to me, seems in keeping with the spirit oi waving cheques outside Buckingham Palace anyway.

lip. llere comes She was a girl from Blmlnglran . . . Pow. There goes You’re only twenty-nine . . . Steve

The Sex Pistols: lust why did they bother?

Jones is caught in mid-transmutation between session muso and Great Train Robber. Matiock seems happy just to be on stage. Cook is head down and eyes wide behind the drumkit, and llotten stalks and gargles and howls and sneers out yellowing photocopies ot the lyrics. Sporadic is-this-how- they-used-to-do-it attempts at pogoing break out. We applaud politely, as this seems like the right thing to do. It tinishes and they go away. We stand around tor a bit, and then they come back on to do a couple more. Then they go away again. We tollow suit. (Johnny logan)

44 The List 26 Jul-8 Aug I996