No sesh is quite like a Scottish sesh, as TRNSMT festival in Glasgow proves. TRNSMT is a yearly festival held in July. Although it’s common to write off inner-city festivals as wannabe Glastonburys, full of has-been singers and local bands, TRNSMT disproves this notion with just a quick glance at its line-up, with headliners such as Liam Gallagher, Arctic Monkeys, The Killers and Queen & Adam Lambert. The organisers of TRNSMT have clearly worked hard to ensure that at least one icon will grace their stage. While the majority of artists were mainly geared towards the British indie/Britpop scene, DJ sets and artists such as Sigrid and Jessie J were woven into the schedule, meaning that everybody was catered for.
TRNSMT is held just south of the city centre at the historic Glasgow Green and in being so central, the festival was easily accessible. Flat grounds helped greatly in terms of accessibility too, though extra signage would have helped stop attendees getting lost.
Despite Glasgow’s well-earned reputation as the rainiest city, the skies were graced by a large yellow orb that made temperatures soar to 25˚C and the festival was sorely underprepared for this. Shade was hard to come by and queues for free water could take up to thirty minutes of precious dancing time. Likewise at times it felt as though more tickets had been sold than were fully expected, meaning that crowds for the headliners were so tightly packed that people could be seen having panic attacks.
Saturday’s headliner, Liam Gallagher, broke out his 90s swagger to perform a mix of his solo tunes and Oasis classics. Gallagher’s set hurtled along smoothly until it was stopped due to a drunken goblin of a man climbing the speaker stand. After 15 minutes, the man descended to shouts of “get down ya pure fanny!” and Gallagher resumed with a performance of ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’ before closing on ‘Wonderwall’. While the interlude, which was taken by all to be a total balls up, it did have the benefit of drawing an oddly withdrawn Gallagher out of his shell, saying that he had no time for his brother Noel ruining his show. Before Gallagher, the main stage drew a large crowd who flocked to see The Courteeners, the number doubled the second they began to play ‘Not Nineteen Forever’.
Down at King Tut’s smaller stage, Barnsley band The Sherlocks showed why their star is on the rise. That said, it was the main stage’s Gerry Cinnamon that really shone. A folk hero in Glasgow, Cinnamon sang in his wistful, earthy local patter about love, politics, and coke. He totally stole the show, so much so that the crowd was still chanting his name even after Liam Gallagher’s set.
Sunday proved a far more chilled day than Saturday, likely because most of the crowd had worked out how to sneak in booze. While artists such as Blossoms and Miles Kane were perfect for the more relaxed vibe, the main draw of the day was Arctic Monkeys and Alex Turner showed himself once again to be a mesmerising performer. The band wisely chose to limit the number of new album songs that they performed, perhaps sensing that the audience was craving something a little more upbeat. Hits such as “Do I Wanna Know” were belted out by the audience and Miles Kane returned to the stage from his earlier set to perform “505”. Confusingly, though, true favourites such as “Fluorescent Adolescent” were ignored and the set ended on such a sudden note that it took the audience several minutes to realise that it was over.
There were some amazing performances from the different acts, however, there are definitely some areas for the organisers to improve next year.