As the clouds part, Griff warms up the main stage with her catalogue of perfect pop
It’s 23 degrees and sunny in Glasgow, and Griff is as surprised as any of us. “The sun’s come out for us,” she says, looking up at the unexpectedly blue sky. “That means that we have to dance together.”
Opening with the foot-tapping ‘Walk’, she bounces around behind her guitar, as excited as anyone in the crowd. When she takes it off and picks up a handheld mic for ‘Forgive Myself’, she’s unleashed, spinning across the stage in a long lace construction that lends a liquidity to her movements. A powerful vocalist and sharp songwriter, she may not have yet treated us to many releases, but two handfuls of perfect pop are more than enough for an excellent festival set. Highlights are hard to select, but an impassioned rendition of “Head On Fire” – her collaboration with fellow pop powerhouse Sigrid – and the tender “Shade Of Yellow” are probably among them.
The 21-year-old has played TRNSMT before, standing on the King Tut’s stage just a few months after her debut mixtape One Foot In Front Of The Other dropped. Now she’s a main stage artist, with a dedicated crowd of fans singing her lyrics back to her, and her performance is notably more confident. She conducts the crowd in a singalong to ‘Shade Of Yellow’, and when she tells them to “let everything go, dance with me and just have a good time,” it’s clear she’s taking her own advice. A cover of Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)’ sees her skipping along the front of the stage and punching the air at the song’s conclusion.
It’s a warm and welcoming set that draws in larger crowds as it continues, not just because the music is so listenable but because the woman singing it is having so much fun. Closing out the set with ‘Black Hole’, her debut single and biggest hit, she bounces around with the audience, waving her arms in the air. Her skill as a lyricist and lace-and-pearls ensemble project maturity, but Griff is joyfully young onstage, thrilled that the crowd are there to jump for her, thrilled that the sun is out, and just happy to be dancing.
Griff is playing Reading and Leeds festival in August, with tickets available here.