TRNSMT MAIN STAGE REVIEW

Words by Innes Reid.

What a weekend. Glasgow once again proved that it knows how to throw a party by hosting TRNSMT. Some thought it was ludicrous to even think of throwing a full 3-day music festival in the city centre of Glasgow, but the organisers have major bragging rights after succeeding.

Doors opened on Friday with swarms of fans rushing to catch a glimpse of the first act of the weekend on the main stage, JP Cooper. For those of us that had not heard of Cooper previously, I think I speak for all of us when we were caught by surprise by being familiar with many of with catchy tunes. His sing along anthems like ‘September Song’ were a perfect opener for the weekend and secured the desired theme of the weekend, Glasgow’s tight knitted community welcoming in others and making them feel at home through music.

You could tell that the first day was set out to have a chilled atmosphere, acting as the calm before the storm brought by Saturday and Sunday. Friday’s laid back line up included the likes of Rag n Bone Man, London Grammar, Belle & Sebastian and headliners Radiohead.

Radiohead managed to bag themselves a set over 2 hours long and certainly didn’t disappoint their fans, producing hit after hit from their back catalogue. During the set, however, frontman Thom Yorke seemed to get a bit upset between songs due to members of the crowd holding up Palestinian flags in protest of the band performing a gig their in the near future. He was heard to say clearly through the microphone “some fucking people” over and over, clearly a bit pissed off at people having an opinion on the Israel gigs the band are due to put on.

PHOTOGRAPHY- CAMERON BRISBANE
PHOTOGRAPHY: CAMERON BRISBANE

After the people of Glasgow had some peace to sleep for a few hours, the second day got underway, with Cabbage keeping to a slightly tame set, obviously not looking for any trouble this time.

The sun then came out and suitably the day could be described as T-shirt weather as Circa Waves graced the stage, gearing up the crowd for what was set to be a messy day. This is when the smoke canisters made their first appearance.

The Liverpool group hand the crowd in the palm of their hands throughout their half hour set. It can safely be said that the boys could easily of been given a place higher up on the bill, but they definitely got the party started.

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There was time time for a breather and sing along, when George Ezra marched onto stage to deliver some sing along hits. He kept the crowd in check, making sure everyone was ready for what mayhem was ahead of them.

PHOTOGRAPHY- RYAN JOHNSTON
PHOTOGRAPHY: RYAN JOHNSTON

As the day continued and my sunburn got worse and worse, it was soon time for Kasabian to take charge. The highly anticipated performance had hearts racing from the first blip of the heart monitor the band came on to. And then they burst right into Ill Ray. What an opener. You could tell from the start that the band were right in their comfort zone, performing banger after banger. And the crowd were absolutely loving it.

They had fun throughout their set with the crowd, with Serge at points calming the crowd down, then instantly singling for them to go crazy. You could tell from the very back of the Green that he was about to wet himself with excitement.

Tonight’s the night, man! Tonight’s the night! We’ve had so many good nights in this town and this city. Thank you so much for everything!” – Serge

PHOTOGRAPHY- CAMERON BRISBANE
PHOTOGRAPHY: CAMERON BRISBANE

So then Sunday came around. The last bunch of the 120,000 strong festival goers attended the last day of the first ever TRNSMT. Being Scotland, the weather had of course change to the polar opposite of the day before. The clouds blocked out the sun and the rain showered on Glasgow Green all day.

 The day kicked off with Irish band The Strypes and Scottish favourites, The View. The two bands burst into their sets with vigour and ease, they were both at home on stage. Much like Circa Waves, both bands could comfortably be further up the bill with the energy they put into their performances. However they did an amazing job at hyping up the crowd for what was to come 

Next up was a hometown set for Glasgow lads Twin Atlantic. Lead Sam McTrusty told the crowd how special it was for them to be performing at the first ever TRNSMT, as it is a literal stones throw from where they recorded their album. This shows how central the festival was in the city.

McTrusty even managed to spend some time in the crowd during penultimate number ‘No Sleep’, as seen in the video below:

The weekend was coming to an end and it was time for Mr Marmite and his band to come on stage. There may have been a split in The 1975’s crowd between those genuinely there to see them and those waiting to get a good spot for Biffy Clyro, but its fair to say that Matthew Healy does know how to put on a show whether you like it or not. They opened with lead single “Love Me” from their 2nd album, with Healy pulling the camera man on stage to give the crowd and audience at home a first person stage experience.

PHOTOGRAPHY- CAMERON BRISBANE
PHOTOGRAPHY: CAMERON BRISBANE

And then the time came for Sunday night headliner Biffy Clyro to close the show. The Ayrshire trio were perhaps put in favour to headline the festival due to their local background, having grown up only 40 minutes away from Glasgow and proved they are worthy through headlining prior festival T in the Park. They slammed right into their set with solid opener Wolves of Winter, and continued to please the mixed crowd throughout the night.

They closed the evening with nostalgic ‘Stingin Belle’, accompanied with a chorus of bagpipes and humongous firework display. This epic finale really secured the festival a place in the hearts of thousands.

PHOTOGRAPHY- RYAN JOHNSTON
PHOTOGRAPHY: RYAN JOHNSTON

And that was it, the first ever TRNSMT festival. Glasgow proved itself of being the perfect location for a large scale festival, and the perfect alternative to sister weekender, T in the Park.

From the very start of the promotion stage when the organisers unveiled their plans, they said they wanted to attract a wider audience and please as many punters as possible. Having attended all 3 days, you could see a contrast in the crowds everyday.

Friday brought a older crowd, with more laid back experience for those who were just wanting to enjoy good music.

Saturday brought the classic atmosphere of T in the Park, with 50,000 (mostly young people) ascending on Glasgow Green to mosh the day away have a laugh with friends.

Sunday was a mix of both, appealing to a mix of people. It was also quite a patriotic day, with The View, Twin Atlantic and Biffy Clyro gracing the main stage in their homeland.

I myself would personally recommend anyone to attend the festival next year. There is something for everything. I have only shared my experience at the Main Stage, but I can guarantee that there is an even wider selection of talent on offer through the 3 other stages. From tomorrows big things on the King Tuts stage and Jack Rocks stage, or world renowned DJ’s at the Smirnoff House, there is so much choice.

Stay tuned for more updates on the festival from LFM in the near future and if you want to check out any sets from the weekend, you can choose between 40 sets over on BBC iPlayer by following the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/p04r9yt8 

Article written by Innes Reid, you can follow Innes on twitter here

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