Fans descended on Glasgow Green as cinch presents TRNSMT Festival made its glorious return, welcoming back 50,000 fans and reuniting some of the UK’s biggest artists with the best crowd in the world. With a weekend of celebrations which saw over 70 acts perform across 3 stages, fans' excitement and enthusiasm was palpable. After the culinary triumph of last year, TRNSMT Festival, partnered once again with Big Feed offering punters authentic Mexican to classic Fish and Chips, and everything in between. There was something for everyone to enjoy and indulge. The vibrant atmosphere continued at the Boogie Bar where the crowd could check out banging DJ sets, or for a more chilled out experience, the Wellbeing Area offered a relaxing vibe where folk could take a break and recharge.
The opening day of Scotland’s biggest music festival was packed with outstanding performances from the moment the gates opened until the sun set, with the likes of Ella Henderson, Callum Beattie, Tom Grennan, SAINT PHNX, Nile Rodgers, Sam Fender, Paolo Nutini and even more, all making it an exciting day for a sold-out crowd.
Ella Henderson, had the crowd dancing from the get-go, introducing herself to the crowd as ABBA’s iconic ‘Dancing Queen’ boomed, before jumping into a glorious pop rock infused set, which included her hit song ‘Ghost’ and a snippet of Gerry Cinammon’s ‘Belter’. No stranger to Scotland Ella said, “I gotta say I’ve got Scottish in me, my dad is Scottish and I love Scotland” before belting out new track ‘Crazy What Love Can Do’.
“Glasgow, it’s good to be home!”, Callum Beattie screamed to a buzzing audience as he guzzled his beer, pumping his fist in the air he shouted “come on!” before performing ‘Daddy’s Eyes’ and the absolute belter ‘Salamander Street. Brooke Combe followed, with Brooke sauntering on stage shouting “What’s happening Glasgow!”, she received a warm welcome from the cinch presents TRNSMT crowd, the Midlothian singer has had an incredible year and it all culminated in a white hot performance on the legendary King Tut’s Stage.
Local legends SAINT PHNX, who played to a hometown crowd, captivated audiences with their towering hooks, eloquent songcraft, and energetic instrumentation. “We are SAINT PHNX from Glasgow and we’re so happy to be among you sexy people!”. Fresh off their preshow party last night at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut - the brotherly duo shone on stage, loving what they do.
The Main Stage crowd experienced what is sure to be one of the more emotional moments of the three-day event as North Shields' own Sam Fender performed the breakout hit of last summer ‘Seventeen Going Under’, with backing vocals provided by 50,000 ecstatic festival fans. As the chant began to wind down, Fender played the opening note to ‘Angel In Lothian’ reminding everyone he’s only played it four times in the past - a real treat for those TRNSMT fans lucky enough to witness it. As the song continued he said, “I spent about half my life growing up in the borders of Scotland, so this song is about that.” As the rain came down, he thanked fans for sticking around, no thanks necessary Sam - it had to be seen to be believed.
Making his triumphant live return and TRNSMT debut no less, Paisley’s own Paolo Nutini performed to a sold-out audience, experiencing first-hand the magic only a Scottish crowd can bring as he performed classic hits as well as new single ‘Through The Echoes.’ Renowned for his brooding swagger and smoky vocals, the Paisley singer gave his all to the crowd. He also performed ‘Jenny Don’t Be Hasty’ mashed up with a cover of the angsty classic ‘Teenage Kicks’ followed by fan favourite ‘New Shoes’ - the crowd went wild for it. With a bittersweet cover of ‘Caledonia’ he had the audience in tears but ready for more. After a hiatus from music, it’s as if he never left.
Day one was a hard act to follow, but Saturday at cinch presents TRNSMT Festival was always guaranteed to be a memorable one, as revellers descended onto the Green for an unforgettable line-up of Example, The Strokes, The Snuts, Jimmy Eat World, and Wet Leg with their unique blend of bass heavy grooves and quirky lyricisms stunning audiences.
Up-and-comer DYLAN was first up on today’s bill, rocking up in a two piece black and red suit - she wears her influences on her sleeve, from Guns N’ Roses to Aerosmith, she is a rock star in her own right, shouting, “I heard Guns N’ Roses cancelled, so I’m going to play them!” delivering an electrifying cover of their classic hit ‘Paradise City’. “Glasgow! How we feelin’!”
Example got the crowd jumping with a mix of his freshest tunes and his biggest hits, including Calvin Harris’ mum’s favourite ‘We’ll Be Coming Back!” Announcing that he had been “in the biz” for 15 years, he declared Scottish fans, "the best crowd in the world" - and I have to agree.
The Snuts proved exactly why they’re one of Scotland’s hottest exports, performing the eponymous tune ‘Glasgow’ to an adoring audience. “What’s happenin’ here, we’re The Snuts!” said lead singer Jack Cochrane. It was no secret, that he was one day destined for the Main Stage, and this year was that year.
Wet Leg joined the Main Stage, gloriously infusing bass heavy grooves with irreverent lyrics as they performed viral hit ‘Chaise Lounge’ to an adoring audience, leading a mass singalong of ‘Excuse me?! What?!’ The pair laughed as they spotted some dedicated Wet Leg fanatics in the audience dressed in Lobster costumes, a clever nod to their ‘Wet Dream’ video.
The iconic King Tut’s Stage played host to a collective of rising superstars including
Pip Millett and KennyHoopla. Sheffield’s SELF ESTEEM performed tracks from her critically acclaimed 2021 album ‘Prioritise Pleasure’, dominating the stage she wore a black blazer and cycling shorts - reminiscent of pop Queen’s who came before her from Madonna, to Kylie and with her cool choreography and powerful stage presence, it’s clear contemporary pop is in safe hands. Heavyweights in the UK music scene, Maximo Park Official took the penultimate slot of the evening, opening with ‘Girls Who Play Guitars’ they joked, “Is anyone hot? I’m hot! Hotter than we expected in Glasgow, it’s time to get yer taps aff!”
As the sun set across the festival site, fans were ready for something special as cinch presents TRNSMT festival prepared to welcome The Strokes with the New York group making their long-awaited return to Glasgow. Swaggering on stage to classic hit ‘Is This It’, they quickly burst into ‘New York City Cops’. Performing hits from their iconic discography including ‘The Adults Are Talking’ and ‘Juicebox’. With a back catalogue tailor made for glorious festival moments - it was a set that had to be seen to be believed, a Glasgow send off for a legendary band.
As the sun shone on day three of cinch presents TRNSMT Festival for the final time this weekend - fans from across the country descended on Glasgow Green to catch the likes of Lewis Capaldi and his glorious hometown set on the Main Stage, Wolf Alice and their coy, indie rock swagger, to Norwegian pop sensation Sigrid and her awe inspiring set, fine tuned for stunning festival moments.
As the festival weekend began to wind down, it was finally time for Glasgow’s own Lewis Capaldi to make his TRNSMT Festival return. Walking out to Faithless’ ‘Insomnia’ the beat drove right into the heart of the crowd. The perfect choice to close Scotland’s biggest festival as the sun set across Glasgow Green with Scottish Saltires flying high he said, “Alright Glasgow let’s hear it!”. Swaggering across the stage before launching into an encore of ‘Before You Go’ and ‘Somebody You Love’, and, holding back tears as he sang, Capaldi looked across the Green before sitting on the centre of the stage, taking it all in, awestruck.
It was a day for national and international talent alike as Wolf Alice stormed the Main Stage, opening with the moody anthem ‘Smile’, offering a smorgasbord of glittery indie pop and hard rock anthems. Sydney, Australia’s DMA'S made a welcome return to TRNSMT, “It’s good to be back” said frontman Tommy O’Dell over chants of ‘No Scotland, No Party!”, Mimi Webb kept the crowd on their toes, saying “I wanna try something, let me hear this side!” gesturing to the left of the audience, “right side, where you at?!” she screamed. Nina Nesbitt completed the stellar Main Stage bill for the festival’s final day, was clearly ecstatic she said “Scot girl summer is here, how we doing everyone?” before leading the crowd in an iconic sing along of Britney Spears ‘Toxic’. Sigrid said, “On our way here we passed a venue called Saint Luke’s, I wrote this song about my experience there” - leading into the stellar anthem ‘Sucker Punch’.
Over on the King Tut’s Stage, “We are the CRAWLERS, let’s beat the hangover with this!” adorned all in black, the goth rock group stunned on track ‘Feminist Radical’ as their lead singer blew kisses to the crowd. Mae Muller amazed the lucky crowd with her feisty pop display, exclaiming fondly, “Oh Glasgow, you’re naughty! I knew I was gonna like you!” before performing a sizzlin’ hot mash up of ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme’ and ‘Hung Up’.
The River Stage is renowned for featuring the best up and coming artists, tipping the next big stars who are one day destined to appear on the Main Stage and this year was no exception. With performances from the likes of Luz Corrigan, Dylan Fraser, Alex Amor and Bonnie Kemplay Music. Connor Fyfe made his TRNSMT debut, and at just 15 years old he is the youngest act to ever grace the festival bill.
It was another incredible TRNSMT at the Green, with festival fans coming together once again, discovering new incredible acts over at the River Stage and King Tut’s Stage, dancing the night away at The Boogie Bar, and singing along to old favourites at The Main Stage. From homegrown heroes like Paolo Nutini, SAINT PHNX, Nina Nesbitt, Lewis Capaldi, Callum Beattie, Dylan John Thomas and Connor Fyfe to the UK’s most celebrated acts like Sam Fender, Ella Henderson, Example, Wolf Alice and Tom Grennan - TRNSMT was an absolute belter!
- Reported by Jenna Cockburn 8th, 9th, 10th July 2022.