Scotland‘s first major music festival since the cancellation of T in the Park is over and it has already been deemed a success by the masses, prompting gig-goers to eagerly await news of TRNSMT 2018 on Glasgow Green next year.
With a line-up boasting RADIOHEAD, KASABIAN and BIFFY CLYRO headlining the maiden TRNSMT Festival, it was always going to draw in crowds from all over the UK, but it was only Kasabian who managed to sell out the 50,000 capacity. Obviously, their supporting line-up of Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Kooks and Stormzy and the fact that it was a blazing Saturday are factors that need considering before discarding Radiohead and Biffy Clyro as equally impressive bill-toppers.
After the cancellation of Radiohead‘s Manchester Arena gig on the Wednesday ahead of TRNSMT, they played a mesmerising two-and-a-half hours at Old Trafford Cricket Ground on the Tuesday, which proved to be a hint into what their set was going to consist of across the border. With Thom Yorke and co. dipping into their back catalogue and totally ignoring Burn The Witch, it was hard to pick faults at their visually stunning set.
With the anniversary of OK Computer came suggestions of the record dominating their set. Let Down kicked things off magically and the mellow tone came full circle as Karma Police closed what was nothing short of a gobsmacking opening headliner. The Bends‘ title track and Fake Plastic Trees, Hail to the Thief‘s Myxomatosis and In Rainbows‘ Reckoner were all nestled beautifully in between track one and track twenty five. The lack of Creep was mumbled on the way out of the festival, but given everything else Radiohead pulled out, it certainly was not missed by the purists.
Kasabian, as mentioned above, were preluded by The Kooks and Catfish and the Bottlemen, but not before man-of-the-moment Stormzy pulled in a massive afternoon crowd with his ‘merky’ grime anthems. Demanding moshpits and hands up throughout, it was refreshing to see a guy on stage with a DJ being able to generate so much energy with tracks from debut album Gang Signs and Prayers and also the infectiously catchy official remix of Ed Sheeran‘s Shape of You.
Rolling into TRNSMT on the back of a run of ‘Best of…’ tour, old skool indie-rockers The Kooks were in fine voice with debut single Eddie’s Gun, sing along anthems like She Moves in Her Own Way and Seaside coming before the evergreen Naive was a well spent Saturday in the blistering sun.
As the day progressed, as did the number of sunburnt faces of fans waiting to catch Catfish and the Bottlemen. Playing massive shows from Liverpool‘s Echo Arena to Community Festival in London were perfect preparation for the 50,000 or so fans rammed around the sound desk as they belted out Soundcheck, Rango and all the classics they have released since their big break in 2014. The highlight of their set, though, was hearing Glasgow in Glasgow – a cliche that would never have been forgiven if it was left off their setlist as it had been at Mad Cool Festival and Isle of Wight Festival. Great craic, greater set.
With indie-rock icons The Kooks and modern big-namers Catfish and the Bottlemen revving the crowd up, Kasabian certainly did not disappoint with what they brought to Glasgow. A set full of sing along classics, an eclectic mix of new and old bangers and a new lease of life given to the band via For Crying Out Loud they followed Radiohead‘s lead of being a great choice of headliner.
Anyone who has caught Kasabian before can tell you how wild the Leicester band are, but actually being in amongst it is the only way to truly experience first hand why they are arguably Britain‘s best live band right now. The likes of Club Foot sounding as good as it did ten years ago and Re-Wired getting the sold out crowd to scream choruses back at the main stage cemented, if it hadn’t already been, Kasabian as one of the most important bands of the past twenty years.
You’re in Love With a Psycho, Bless This Acid House and Comeback Kid were as funky live as they are on record and it just proves their ability to transfer ridiculously crafted singles from headphone to real life. Teasingly saying: “You know what is is,” while approaching their last song, every single person of Glasgow Green knew that Fire was about to spread throughout both the Green and the streets of Glasgow for the next few hours. They came, they played, they conquered.
The only negative of TRNSMT would be the Sunday. Not the music of course – that was, again, un-faultable. No, the heavy Scottish rain that was so unthinkable after Saturday lashed down constantly from morning to night, prompting some festival goers to leave half way through The 1975‘s packed set.
Before they left, though, Two Door Cinema Club would have wowed them with their indie-pop hooks and glittery visuals. The classics we all grew up with, e.g. Undercover Martyn and Cigarettes in the Theatre brought some sunshine to the otherwise miserable last day of TRNSMT. Subtly growing into one of the best live bands over the past seven years, Two Door Cinema Club are finally playing to the crowds they deserve and with sing along bops such as What You Know it really does not surprise me.
In between Two Door Cinema Club and headliners Biffy Clyro were “your favourite band,” (as Matty Healy called them) The 1975. As ever, their gorgeous aesthetic and shoulder dipping pop tunes gripped the crowd that endured the weather to see them. Healy was topless throughout while he swanned around the stage playing everything from Robbers to If I Believe You.
What I personally enjoyed most about their set was that they did not finish on Sex as they have done the last couple of times I have caught them. Instead, post-Sex they carried on to play a couple before finally ending on the annoyingly catchy The Sound. No matter where The 1975 go, no matter what the weather is; the fans will always be there and the tunes will always be ridiculously funky.
Closing TRNSMT was of course Scotland‘s very own Biffy Clyro, who like the other headliners have had a new LP out recently. This did not seem to matter to the die hard Biffy fans, though. They will be loved regardless of if they play a new album in full or dip their toe into a bit of everything. Biffy did actually nail a set which had tracks from seven of their records and it was the perfect ending for what had been a successful maiden TRNSMT.
Fireworks and cubed lighting joined the band on stage ahead of their million-mile-an-hour antics. The Captain was a personal highlight, as was the moody Black Chandelier; but really the highlight of the full set was being amongst folk chanting “Mon the Biff!” at every given opportunity. Playing after two indie-pop heavyweights it could have been difficult for Biffy to make an impact – but this was never going to be the case with the Scottish legends.
It has already been confirmed that TRNSMT will return in 2018 (6-8 July) but no clues have been given as to who will headline the festival. It will be difficult to match Radiohead, Kasabian and Biffy Clyro, but the rumours are making a lot of people excited a year before they play.
LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS OF TRNSMT ON TWITTER OR IN THE COMMENTS BELOW