Live Review: The Strokes

T In The Park, Scotland, Saturday 9th July

Tonight doesn’t read like a moment for [a]The Strokes[/a]’ memoirs: they’re playing second fiddle to Swedish bloody House Mafia, as well as going up against [a]Beyoncé[/a] on the Main Stage. [b]‘Angles’[/b] wasn’t quite met with a ticker-tape parade, while rumours of band fights were rife. If there ever was a chance for a surprise reclamation of former glories – or even just muting babbling rumours – this, no pun intended, is it.

Swaggering on for [b]‘New York City Cops’[/b], they’re a bit stiff, but there’s no overt tension. Perhaps the biggest surprise is just how bloody happy [a]Julian Casablancas[/a] is. He’s still wearing shades and sloping around like a sullen kid in detention, but he’s practically glowing. “Thank you, thank you! Good morning Scotland, what’s up?!” Although legions bugger off after [b]‘Last Nite’[/b] thinking they’ve copped the money shot, it’s not until [b]‘Someday’[/b] that [a]The Strokes[/a] properly hit their stride. Maybe it’s the casual waltz of [b]‘Angles[/b]’’ closing track [b]‘Life Is Simple In The Moonlight’[/b], the enormous fat dude crowdsurfing or the ease of playing a comparatively low bill, but they’re larking about like [a]The Strokes[/a] of old.

After a storming, atonal [b]‘You’re So Right’[/b], Julian jokes, “Right guys, [b]‘Purple Haze’[/b] – you ready?” Instead it’s [b]‘Hard To Explain’[/b]. [b]‘Take It Or Leave It’[/b] is signed off with Nikolai teetering on a monitor, and Julian urging, “Have fun in those tents for us.” It’s nice to be reminded that, after all the enigma and tension, ‘fun’ is something [a]The Strokes[/a] can definitely still do.

Laura Snapes