Main Stage, Sun 11 Jul.
James are a superstitious bunch. At least as far as naming their albums is concerned. 'We called one Laid and we all got laid.. recalls violinst-percussionist—guitarist Saul Davis. 'Then there was ll’lii'p/us/i and that happened. too. Then we were going to call
the next one Crush but we thought “better not".' And so now. in a glorious piece of
wishful thinking. Millionaires marks the next stage in the James canon.
Davis (who almost unbelievably is now a resident of Dollar) is quick to point out that neither crime nor a phone call to Chris Tarrant is on the agenda. so selling cartfttls of albums is the only way forward to reach that financial status.
The Manchester band haven't done too badly on that front since their emergence on
Tony Wilson‘s Factory label in l983. Their
indie darling status carried them along on the fringes until their first liab Forty hit
arrived in 1990 with ‘How Was It For You'.". A year later. a place in the hearts of the nation‘s student population was secured with the anthemic standard ‘Sit Down‘. :\ song which can be varioUsly seen as their breakthrough or the placing of a sonic albatross round their collective neck.
‘We're not sure what to do with it anymore. whether to play it live or not.‘ Davis insists. ‘l’eople are out there at a festival. in the mud probably. and they want to hear stuff they can relate to. Stuff they know.‘ Raw experience has taught the band that very valuable lesson. ‘We once played a gig in France and jtist did songs that the audience hadn‘t heard before. The press lauded us and said we were brave. The audience just stared and thought we’d gone mad.‘
And with a half-promise that James won't repeat last year‘s late cancellation to Balado. Davis exits. being extra careful not to drop any mirrors onto black cats who have just chanced to stroll under a ladder. (Brian Donaldson)
Slam Tent, Sun 11 Jul.
‘The idea of a festival is that it is a celebration of being all! of
a club.' starts Carl Cox. one of the headlining DJs at this year‘s T in the Park. ‘There are no boundaries or dress codes or doormen looking over your shoulder. You're in this nice. free environment to do whatever you want to do.’
And he should know. Veteran of more festivals and clubs around the world than there are glowsticks at Gatecrasher. Carl Cox is beyond the normal realm of DJs. liveryone's loathe to use the term. but he is truely a superstar.
‘l am leftfield to a point.' he says of his musical style. ’but people can still understand what I am trying to achieve. I‘m there for people to enjoy themselves. If the room’s going crazy. there‘s no point in me just standing there with my headphones on and my face in the mixer. I‘m in the room with everyone else. so I‘ll be clapping. screaming and going mad myself. People like it that way. and I am going to treat them with the respect that they deserve. After all. they've paid to come and see me play and enjoy myself.'
Whether it's two hours in a club or at a festival. a DJ‘s ability to respond to a crowd is an essential ingredient to the success of the set. ‘What I do. really. is create a completely spontaneous adventure] laughs Cox. tongue firmly in cheek. ‘Seriously though. I have no idea what I am going to play. I know what type of records I have with me. with the elements of breakbeat. house. underground techno. but how I put it together I never know.
'lt's kind of like Jimi Hendrix when he used to set his guitars alight and get feedback against the amplifiers or whatever — all these things he created spontaneously. He never thought about it. just pushed the boundaries of what he could do and became a legend because of it. And that‘s how I like to treat myself as a DJ.‘ (Simone Baird)