Descending into Glasgow Green amidst a sea of neon buttcheeks and glorious sunshine on the first day of TRNSMT Festival, I was anticipating the acts I wanted to see but to also wanting to step out of my comfort zone and review the music as more than just a fan of the genre.
I had my eye on checking out the new Queen Tuts Stage from the start as this was a new addition to the festival resulting in 3 stages including Main and Tuts, and was also used to platform up and coming female acts.
First up was Scarlett Randle, Glasgow based musician with a backing band, who came striding out confidently in a bowie Esque velvet purple suit (courtesy of Kennedy Design) and moustache. Her set, like her patter in-between songs, was sharp and concise, a from the beautiful gentle acoustic sound in Berlin to a more electronic feel for falling.
I moved to King Tuts Stage to catch London quartet The Big Moon who gave us an energetic rendition of their hits ‘Cupid’ and then ‘Sucker’ with singalongs from the crowd to the chorus of ‘Sorry I’m Not Your Guy’.
I returned back to Queen Tuts to catch Cara Rose who played a stripped back set with only a piano, drawing all the attention to her soothing jazz sounding vocals for you to kick back and soak up the sun too.
Carly Connor followed and gave everyone a kick up the arse as she kicked off with a Motown sound from the backing band and those incredible Joplin style soulful vocals to take us through her hits including ‘Goldie Hawn Stole My Guitar’.
The headline act was Lauren Spiteri, niece of Sharleen from Texas, who was accompanied by the Bad Hombres Boys for her backing band and gave a versatile performance switching from acoustic to belting out hits like ‘Someone Else’s Dream’ and new song ‘Live Like New’.
Heading back over to the main stage to catch Gerry Cinnamon who already had the 40,000 strong crowd in the palm of his hand. Whipping everyone into a mad frenzy with endless foot-stomping to his infectious acoustic hits prompting fans to belt out every word at full volume including biggest song ‘Belter’ telling us ‘You’re all here for the best weekend ever’.
A hard act to follow with a hometown reaction like that but Stormzy held his own, despite having a police escort to the festival due to flight delays, he launched full pelt into his set which was brimming with confidence after that memorable Glastonbury set this year. Delivering pleasers ‘Shut Up’ and ‘Vossia’ to a mega-hyped crowd he then complimenting Lewis Capaldi as a bad boy he covered ‘Someone You Loved’ with a massive singalong from the crowd and closing with Gospel anthem ‘Blinded By Your Grace’.
Saturday’s line up was the undisputed king for me due to several favourite bands playing that day, Glasgow council punk legends The Dunts taking the King Tuts Stage by the scruff of the neck in the afternoon, drawing a huge crowd and wasting no time launching into their back catalogue of belters, making the crowd go absolutely mental to as ‘Hampden Cabs’, ‘Coalition of Chaos’, ‘Tommy’, ‘Birdz’ and ‘The Beez’ to new single released earlier on this year ‘Bad Decisions’. Heeds were flung in the air including my own when they did a screaming cover of Outkast ‘Hey Ya’ to a massive singalong from the crowd. Touring later this year, you can catch the dates and read the interview with Lora Donaghy and myself after their set here.
Fontaines DC wasted no time launching into their Irish doggrel punk style with lead singer Grian swaggering on stage from side to side anticipating the opening bars of ‘Hurricane Laughter’ which provoked pandemonium from the crowd as they swung from hits ‘Boys In The Better Land’, ‘Sha Na Na’, ‘The Lotts’, ‘Liberty Bell’ and finishing up with massive number ‘Big’, Grian’s vocals punching through every lyric with defiance.
Headed over to the main stage to catch Australian Britpop trio DMA’s whos blend of 60s psychedelia and 90s nostalgia was the perfect accompaniment to the blazing sunshine and pints with singer Tomy O’Dell showing off outstanding vocals with softer track ’In The Air’ and hits ‘Play It Out’ ‘Feels like 37’ and a massive crowd eruption for distinctive opening riffs to ‘Delete’.
Half frazzled from the set, sun and pints I staggered down past buttcheek ocean back to Queen Tuts to catch Glasgow favourites CRYSTAL who had already kicked off proceedings with lead singer Anna leading the crowd through their heavy grunge style with with classics ‘Heaven’ ‘Sugar Sweet’ jumping off stage to get stuck right into belting the vocals right into their faces with ‘Sex Rich’ much to the delight of us all to be fair.
Back over to the Main Stage to catch Richard Aschrofts set who was showing respect to the Glasgow music scene donning a Barrowlands t-shirt and launching into Verve classic ‘Sonnet’ much to the delight of everyone that’s ever lived. Going through his Verve and Solo back catalogue with ‘Music Is Power’ ‘Drugs Don’t Work’ he also commented on how proud he was being inducted into The Barrowlands Hall of Fame citing it as one of the greatest music cities in the world.
Waking up with a new haircut, skelped over to Glasgow Green for the final day glad of the slight overcast and heading to the Main Stage for Reading rock n rollers The Amazons who’s new album ‘Future Dust’ has produced a heavier 70’s sound which the band commented on making and the fans reaction to it which you can read all about in our upcoming interview next week.
A set which was played mostly from their new album kicking off with single released this year ‘Mother’ with a huge sound and riffs made for big arenas and festivals following with ‘Little Something’ and ’25’ setting the bar massively for the day ahead.
Back over at King Tuts, a crowd had gathered for Californian Punk Rockers SWMRS who I had caught earlier this year at St. Lukes and was blown away by the energy they had on set. They steamed straight in with hit ‘Trashbag Baby’ prompting an immediate bounce from the crowd following with songs ’ ‘Lose, Lose, Lose’ and ‘Miley’ lead singer Cole also had the crowd in his hands using the undeniable connection with the crowd to promote respect and love of each other at gigs to whipping them into an absolute frenzy for ‘Berkleys on Fire’.
Mystery Jets took us through their extensive back catalogue of hits as the indie band have been around since the early 2000s taking us through the opening riffs of ‘Telomere’, ‘Seratonin’ to new track ‘Hospital Radio’ a touching ode to the NHS and hospital radio drawing from Blair and others personal experiences, to massive crowd-pleasers ‘Two Doors Down’ and ‘Alice Springs’.
The biggest draw of the day was down to patter extraordinaire Lewis Capaldi who came on to ‘Bits and Pieces’ and wearing a Chewbacca mask much to the delight of the crowd as Noel Gallagher yells at a cloud in the sky somewhere. Backed by his band wearing ‘Merky’ t-shirts as a tribute to Stormzy who covered ‘Someone Like You’ in Fridays headline set, fired straight into his ballads provoking greeting lassies and singalongs from the crowd and topping off the banter with a cheeky cover of Oasis ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ Over to you Noel…
George Ezra closed the Main Stage Sunday night giving us a Ronseal of a set doing exactly what it says on the tin on day 3 of blistering sun and pints and we were grateful for it, lifting the crowd up for the final laldy with huge singalongs for ‘Shotgun’ and ‘Budapest’ as the sun shone down on some woman who was climbing up the side of a kebab van.