Born Of Frustration, Tomorrow, Sit Down, She’s A Star, Out To Get You, Getting Away With It (All Messed Up), Upside, Laid, Ring The Bells, Sometimes, Gold Mother.
This wasn’t maybe a good idea. I’d seen the pictures of the mud, the water and the rain. I’d been to T before and realised that it was likely to be full of pissed up people by mid afternoon. But this was James’ first go at proving to the wider populus that they are still a force to be reckoned with, that time hasn’t taken away what made them the best live band in Britain and win over a festival crowd that had just gone mental to the rather different talents of the Lostprophets.
Born Of Frustration is beset with problems. Tim’s ear mics don’t work properly throughout and he makes constant visits to the side of the stage to try and get it fixed. Andy’s equipment seems to only work sporadically and there’s a few instances of feedback on stage. But hey, would it be James without technical difficulties. Born Of Frustration sounds perfect for the wide open expanses of the festival. The front area is already a mudpit so it’s amazing people can stand let alone dance, but they do. Tomorrow gets the crowd moving faster, losing very little in the wider expanses of the fields.
Sit Down is sort of half started while Tim goes off to get his box fixed, but once Larry leads in with 1-2-3-4, the crowd go wild. There’s no point in trying to avoid the mud at this point, although the sight of people diving headfirst into it is a little disturbing. Still, it’s a good sign that James are getting this type of response after so long away.
She’s A Star sounds so much better than the previous night in Glasgow with Larry’s slide guitar restored to the mix, but Out To Get You sees Kinross become a mass of swaying arms and calms the crowd down a little.
It’s a short respite as Getting Away With It receives as warm a response as anything else in the set. New song Upside follows, which Tim comments as being the only new song you’d be likely to hear on the main stage. Whether this is true or not, you’d be pushed to hear a better one. It’s got to be a contender for a single and a song to prove to this type of audience that James still have whatever it takes, despite what the NME says.
Laid is another crowd favourite. Mud is now being thrown around by some and those trying to dance around are being either very brave or very stupid. Ring The Bells converts effortlessly from last night’s small venue to the wider stages, allowing Andy to roam around menacingly, swop places with Saul and Larry to use the stage to maximum effect. The sound has been pretty much fixed by now, much to the relief of many of us.
Sometimes sees Tim contemplate coming down into the crowd. Probably quite wisely he decides against it, but then starts to invite people on stage for the closing track Gold Mother. The sight of the stage full of fans and friends of the band should go down as one of the moments of the festival, but will probably get ignored by the music press for the more fashionable bands on the bill.
So, James came and they won. As we departed the main stage area, there was a very definite buzz and a positive response to the set, which has hopefully reminded many how good James are and converted many a new fan.
Barry Nicholson (NME)
James were grown from the womb for days like these.
Terminally rubbish they may be, but you can’t deny the fact that songs like ‘Laid’ and ‘Getting Away With It (All Messed Up)’ make for prime festival merriment.
Guilty though the pleasure may be, it’s there all the same, and you can’t help but be dragged along in its summery wake.
Do we want them to release another album? Hell, no. Do we want them to play the next rain-sodden field we visit? Absolutely.
James frontman Tim Booth seemed to be bothered with sound problems but that didn’t stop him putting on a great show.
His trademark howl started off the huge hit Born of Frustration and it only took 2 bars of Sit Down to get the crowd jumping and singing to what became a huge T In The Park anthem.
After singing She’s A Star with his soaring vocals, he sang a new song Getting Away With It (All Messed Up) while reading from notes.
He did the huge crowd pleaser Ring The Bell which raised fever pitch and said “This song was inspired by the romantic notion o the desire to be struck by lightning.”