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EDITIONS
Monday, 15 July, 2002, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
T in the sun
Liam and Noel Gallagher of Oasis
Oasis headlined the main stage on Saturday

By Saturday afternoon the T In The Park party is reaching boiling point.

"I can't believe it," we overhear one woman telling her friend incredulously. "It's never usually sunny."

Obviously this year our luck is in. And with no-one seemingly too concerned about the lack of mud, punk/funk/ska stalwarts No Doubt kick off some hot fun in the summertime on the main stage.

T in the park
The view from the big wheel

Frontwoman Gwen Stefani cheerleads several thousand fans through a selection of songs from their bouncy back catalogue, as well as numbers from their recent return-to-form album, Rock Steady.

Dressed for the occasion in baggy tartan trousers, Stefani wins further brownie points among the partisan crowd by adding an accapella chorus of "I'm just a girl in Scotland" to their hit Just a Girl.

Rising stars

Over on the NME stage, local heroes Idlewild race onstage and tear through a stunning sequence of songs from new album The Remote Part, leaving their very large and very young crowd breathless with excitement.

Roddy Woomble
Idlewild's Roddy Woomble, could well find his band on the main stage next year

In place of the band's formerly slightly scratchy sound is a new confidence.

Lead singer Roddy Woomble is a perfect frontman, blessed with the presence, voice - and powerful songs - to carry his band a long way.

T In The Park has a reputation for breaking new acts - Oasis and Travis both appeared here before making it big - and on current form Idlewild could be the soundtrack of many more summers to come.

Most bands would love to boast a back catalogue of crowd pleasers like Primal Scream's.

The crowd is more than up for classics such as Higher Than The Sun, Loaded, Star, Come Together, and Movin' On Up too - but typically the Primals are having none of it.

Instead, they open their tea time slot on the main stage with three spiky tracks from their new - and unreleased - album, Evil Heat.

T in the park
Summertime and the living is easy

Slightly nonplussed, the crowd offers half-hearted applause - if nothing else perhaps - than for singer Bobby Gillespie's resplendent white tuxedo.

At this point we feel ourselves come under the magical pull of The Coral and head into the darkness of King Tut's Wah Wah tent.

Hype

This six-piece Liverpool band have been receiving acres of column space in the music press recently, and in the flesh it quickly becomes clear that this attention is richly deserved.

The Coral
The Coral: Psychedelic alchemists

Playing at a ferocious speed, The Coral operate under the rule that a song can never have too many ideas or, for that matter, time changes.

Veering from the frenetic former single Skeleton Key, to harmony-packed Dreaming Of You via the delightfully strange Calendars And Clocks, they pause only to allow singer James Skelly to take his coat off.

Back outside and with dusk falling over the park, excitement is building ahead of the arrival of Oasis. When they take the stage a little after half past nine, they are immense.

Liam Gallagher is in fine voice, his rasping snarl complemented perfectly by brother Noel's richer, softer tones.

T in the park
A young fan snaps Oasis triumphant return

Classics including Cigarettes and Alcohol, Live Forever, Hello, Acquiesce and Don't Look Back In Anger flow effortlessly by, each greeted like old friends by the by now really-quite-drunk crowd.

The older tunes sit well with new material from their Heathen Chemistry album, with The Hindu Times, Born On A Different Cloud and the already classic-sounding Stop Crying Your Heart Out all thunderously received.

The bucolic setting of Balado Park even seems to rub off on Liam, who dedicates a rip-roaring Some Might Say to "those beautiful hills", bringing Saturday to a suitably epic close.

Back down to earth

Sunday sees a small crowd gather for one of the UK's most underrated bands, Delta.

Simon Tong, The Shining
The Shining whip up a storm in the tent

Fronted by brothers James and Paul Roberts, Delta charm their way through an all-too-brief 20-minute set combining bittersweet gems from debut album Slippin' Out with punchier newer material.

With darkening skies outside, we remain safely under canvas to witness The Shining, another band currently tipped as ones to watch.

Their pedigree includes not one but two former members of The Verve, and singer Duncan Baxter certainly looks and sounds the part as he leads his troops through a muscular set of heavy rock sounds.

'You love us'

We head off back to the main stage to find five men dressed in matching Las Vegas lounge suits whipping the crowd into a frenzy.

Speeding through songs from album Your Favourite New Band, Sweden's hottest band The Hives fly past in a blur of synchronised jumps and twitches, a suitably berserk climax to our stay at the festival.

T in the park
More than 100,000 people packed into the festival site over two days

"You love the Hives!" screams singer Pelle Almqvist after a blistering rendition of classic single Hate To Say I Told You So - and as the crowd roars its approval, it would appear he has a point.

As we take a final big wheel ride over the park before heading for the long train ride south, down in the bar the party's just starting.

Our final image of a delirious two days are the lines of dancers crowding onto any available table top, oblivious to the effects to alcohol and sunburn and having a whale of a time.

Summer Festivals 2002

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12 Jul 02 | Scotland
08 Jul 01 | Scotland
14 Jul 02 | Scotland
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