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Last Updated: Monday, 14 July, 2003, 11:21 GMT 12:21 UK
T goes out with a bang
By Doug Kennedy
BBC News Online Scotland

Chris Martin, Coldplay
Coldplay's Chris Martin rounds off the day
T in the Park celebrated its tenth anniversary with a bang, ending the headlining Coldplay set with a birthday fireworks display.

Into the Sunday, the festival weather was just about a perfect 10, which certainly had a knock-on effect in helping the party.

A sunny day in the country and a reliable line-up of bands made for a good combination and produced a relaxed if somewhat subdued atmosphere on the whole.

There were a few niggles but most of the sell-out 55,000 crowd weren't going to let anything spoil the fun.

The Roots were brilliant, it's so good to see hip hop live, they were amazing and The Coral were pretty good
Stuart Donnelly
Edinburgh student

Echo and the Bunnymen helped get things going on the second day with an effortless set, their version of Lou Reed's Walk on the Wild Side going down well with the crowd.

The mid-afternoon dilemma was The Coral on the main stage or The Inspiral Carpets on the NME stage.

For those who chose the Inspirals because of their festival pedigree they got a storming performance let down by seemingly recurring problems with sound, which on the odd occasion was underwhelming on both the two main stages.

The classic Carpets' organ sound was sometimes lost as things seemed to drift in and out.

Back down in the Slam dance tent, the eponymous Glasgow DJing duo were stepping things up a gear, setting up the festival goers for the final evening.

Your views of T in the Park

It was rumoured that First Minister Jack McConnell, who was touring the festival site, planned to stop by to catch Grim Northern Social.

The band's Ewan McFarlane said: "We are constituents of his technically, but we're not from Wishaw. We did form in a freezing Wishaw garage though."

Stuart Donnelly, 20 a student from Edinburgh was enjoying his third T in the Park.

"The Roots were brilliant, it's so good to see hip hop live, they were amazing and The Coral were pretty good," he said.

The Coral had played an epic version of Goodbye as their last song.

Drummer Ian Skelly revealed it was something special for the crowd.

He said: "We get very bored on our tours, so at a festival it's just one gig, so you can go for it."

Michelle Munro, a radiographer from Aberdeen, was enjoying herself but the size of the crowd posed a bit of a problem.

Absolutely my highlight of the festival, they should have been top billing instead of Coldplay
Alison Carey
Charlatans fan
"This is my fifth year, it's good but I think it's a bit bigger, it's a bit harder to find your way about and I don't know if that's because it's the tenth year and there's more people," she said.

There had been whispers that Coldplay's Chris Martin might make an early appearance with Echo and the Bunnymen.

By early evening the question was whether Hollywood star Gwyneth Paltrow might join Martin himself on stage, after the pair had supposedly been spotted together at Dublin Airport.

Needing no support were The Streets, who took to the stage with a fair bit of bravado.

In between lazy, lyrical musings, Mike Skinner goaded the crowd with: "I'm more crazy than the Scottish."

Back on the main stage, The Charlatans certainly seemed pleased to be there.

Lead singer Tim Burgess appeared to be really enjoying every minute.

The band played just about a perfect set for a festival, mixing up lots of old favourites with some new material.

Tim Burgess of The Charlatans
Tim Burgess mixes old and new
They opened with Feel the Pressure, a track worked on with the Chemical Brothers, as well as dropping in numbers like The Only One I Know.

Charlatans fan Alison Carey, from Leeds, thought they were brilliant.

"Absolutely my highlight of the festival, they should have been top billing instead of Coldplay," she said.

As the final bands took to the stages the questions of gossip and rumour disappeared and the focus was on the entertainment.

Underworld launched a barrage of dance music, with crowd-pleasing anthems like Born Slippy, keeping the fans of Trainspotting happy, while Death in Vegas set about their epic guitar rhythms in the King Tut's Tent.

The crowds were easing by the late evening, some of the day trippers having headed home, some of the weekenders possibly running out of steam, but a large number stayed for Coldplay.

They got a big "thank you" as well as the set came to a dramatic end with the fireworks.


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