The Last Big Weekend
Richmond Park, Glasgow
John Peel would have been 75 on Saturday. How fitting, then, that the East End Social - the community-engaged segment of the Glasgow 2014 cultural programme - climaxed that very day with so many direct links to the legendary DJ.
East End Social is the brainchild of Chemikal Underground, the record label created by Glasgow band The Delgados, who topped Peel's Festive 50 in 1998. They didn't perform, but curated - rather expertly - Saturday's single-stage line-up, an escalating all-day affair that played host to some of the country's most inventive and genre-eluding bands. A DJ and electronica themed programme followed yesterday.
When The Wedding Present jangled through My Favourite Dress and Swervedriver waded the grungy swamp of Son Of Mustang Ford, the spirit of classic Peel was tangible. Headliners Mogwai, who in their early days recorded a number of Peel Sessions, were monumental on their return to home turf, bringing the event to a definitive full stop with the explosion of Mogwai Fear Satan.
But Peel, if alive, would surely have been playlisting the other bands too: the bubblegum buzz of Honeyblood; the volcanic riffs of Holy Mountain; the global/urban coalescence of Scottish Album of the Year winners Young Fathers; the alienated indie of The Twilight Sad.
Electronica wasn't left out: James Holden delivered a hardcore futuristic freeform-sax jazz soundtrack, while F*** Buttons' synths moved with glacial slowness through colossal beats.
As a festival, The Last Big Weekend's bar and food needs were woefully underestimated. As a musical showcase, it was a bold and brilliant triumph.