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The sun is shining in Glasgow for what we are reliably told is the fourth week straight, much to our taxi driver’s disbelief. It’s the perfect accompaniment to this year’s sophomore outing for TRNSMT Festival, deemed the replacement to Scotland’s sadly departed T In The Park. This year, the festival welcomes the likes of headliners Stereophonics, Liam Gallagher and a UK festival exclusive performance by Sheffield legends Arctic Monkeys.
It’s a heavy hitter of a top line, but only the tip of the iceberg as far as TRNSMT’s attractions are concerned. With two main stages, DJ spaces, and a particularly relaxing area for stripped back acoustic sessions on hand, Glasgow Green is transformed into a hub of bustling music and its fair share of partying.
With TRNSMT’s 2019 outing announced for 12-14 July, here are our highlights from TRNSMT 2018’s opening weekend for an idea of things to come.
Sunshine is life
Hosting its fair share of local revellers, many are simply soaking in the atypical rays beaming down on Glasgow Green. “Slap sunscreen on”, demands an illuminated customer service sign. It’s a truly glorious weekend, both in the sky and here on the ground.
Stereophonics have bangers for days
Headlining the Friday evening, Welsh rock veterans Stereophonics launch into their absolutely huge catalogue. The songs sound even bigger when belted back by the Scottish crowd, from the sunsoaked Have A Nice Day to the moody Mr Writer. Ultimately it’s set closer Dakota that pulls one of the weekend’s most euphoric moments.
Pale Waves are getting bigger by the second
Their Friday evening set on the King Tut’s Stage is one, if not the, most exciting of the weekend. Pale Waves‘ first time at TRNSMT Festival, the dark-synth heavy alt-pop is simply spot on. The ominous My Obsession strikes a chord with keen onlookers, and closer There’s A Honey offers a brilliantly fitting sunny soundtrack.
Britpop is back, or never went away
It’s no surprise that a day headlined by former Oasis co-founder Liam Gallagher attracts Britpop die-hards, and between the 90s inspired looks dotted around the Green are some true icons. Shed Seven take to the Main Stage to rapturous applause, and there’s a clear contingent of rising stars inspired by these early pioneers. King Tut’s Saturday headliners The Sherlocks are a prime example.
The sheer power of Gerry Cinnamon
Relatively unknown outside of Scotland, Gerry Cinnamon is treated like a hero when he takes to the Main Stage at TRNSMT on the Saturday. Celebrated as the country’s answer to punk-troubadour Billy Bragg, he clearly hits a note with his adoring fans. “I’m just here to see Gerry,” one reveller enthusiastically proclaims, mid-jog to the front of the crowd. He’s clearly going places.
Arctic Monkeys are legends
They truly are! Bringing pal, and fellow Main Stage act Miles Kane on for 505, it’s just one of many musical highlights in the Sheffield veterans’ triumphant headline set. Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner looks incredibly sharp as the crowd go mad for the likes of I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor and Crying Lightning as well as cuts from their acclaimed new album, Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino.
Tom Walker dominates with My Way
One of the rising star’s newest tracks, Tom Walker‘s thunderously empowering My Way cuts through the breezy Glasgow sun with some serious weight. It sounds absolutely huge; another gem from one of music’s most powerful voices.
Worshipping at the church of Gallagher
He may incite some boos from the crowd as he declares his love for Manchester City FC, but it’s a small moment of discontent in an otherwise electric set. Yes, the Oasis songs draw the biggest reaction, but there’s something incredibly special about hearing the sublime For What It’s Worth as the sun begins to set over Glasgow Green.
Miles Kane’s illuminated sign
There’s something oddly satisfying about Miles Kane‘s neon backdrop, depicting album title Coup De Grace with some serious Parisian influence. Playing the song of the same name, the words light up in time with his voice, and it’s a moment of pure, beautiful disco-infused showmanship.
Declan McKenna is on his way to becoming the new Bowie
It’s a bold claim, agreed, but there’s something very special about young star Declan McKenna. His stage presence is second-to-none, donning a yellow belted jacket he describes as “Primark Freddie Mercury”. His performance however is far from it, brimming with social and political commentary over his distinctive atypical indie-pop.
It’s not all rock and roll
Krept and Konan sit proudly on the Main Stage on Saturday, sandwiched between Shed Seven and Gerry Cinnamon. Their unique style is lapped up by revellers, and testament to TRNSMT’s broad appeal. Rising British soul-meets-RnB-meets-hip-hop star (and Ticketmaster New Music pick) IAMDDB tops the King Tut’s bill the same day, bringing an entirely different vibe to Glasgow Green.
Elsewhere the festival offers new and established DJs at both the Smirnoff House and the Utilita Power Tree, a jubilant home for the festival’s ravers. Those looking for something more chilled find relaxation at the Hotels.com Sessions and Lounge.
Fatherson are homecoming kings
On the back of new track Making Waves, Kilmarnock natives Fatherson take to the King Tut’s Stage declaring their love for Glasgow. A blue flare injects colour, as the band play their equally beautiful and powerful tracks from their most recent album Open Book, gearing up for a new record later in the summer.
Sigrid is pop perfection
The biggest pop moment of the weekend is reserved for the brilliant Sigrid, who draws the biggest crowd to the King Tut’s Stage as fans prepare for Arctic Monkeys to take to the Main Stage. Her vocals are spot on, as the pure joy of playing to such an enthusiastic crowd is written across the star’s face. Closing on the one-two of Don’t Kill My Vibe and Strangers, the Norwegian has undoubtedly secured a whole new fanbase in-amongst TRNSMT’s receptive crowd.
TRNSMT Festival returns in 2019, from the 12 – 14 July, with tickets available from 9:00 on Friday 13 July 2018 through Ticketmaster.co.uk.