There’s no bigger headline act on the Scottish festival calendar than the appearance of the sunshine bursting through the sky. If there was some way to guarantee a weekend of sun, every festival in Scotland would sell out within minutes of going on sale. This year’s TRNSMT was blessed with nearly three days of great weather, great music, and generally a pretty great atmosphere.
Paolo Nutini is a true musical enigma of his generation, whether singing ‘Iron Sky’ as the rain cascaded, new album track ‘Acid Eyes’, showcasing the power of his acoustic voice with ‘These Streets’, or dipping into a medley that included ‘Teenage Kicks’ and ‘New Shoes’, he’s absolutely adored by every quadrant of Scottish society, yet still remains the most unassuming, shy of profiles. Only really living in the public consciousness through his timeless melody, and only when finally content to release new music, which in reflection, seems exactly how he prefers it.
Sam Fender is having his moment, from playing on a support stage in years gone past to channeling indie rock energy from the annals of musical historical icons. Music made to be played loud, and choruses built to reverberate from frontman to crowd and back again.
Nearly 50,000 people each day, a palpable sense of freedom, tens of thousands of music fans in attendance, who in addition to TRNSMT being their first festival, it would likely have been their first experience of live music ever. Music transcended from a weekend of moments to a lifetime of memories. Anthems being born shared amongst family members and never forgotten. Although the queues were tricky on Saturday, the weather, atmosphere, and jubilation of almost the entire 50,000 never really faltered.
Griff, with ‘Black Hole’ created an almost kinetic crackling of electricity amongst the crowd, The Snuts are festival-made, whether its anthemic singalong and never more apt anthem ‘Glasgow’, cherished by the home crowd, to ‘End of The Road’, ‘Somebody Loves You’ or ‘Maybe California’. There’s a true earnest quality to the band and the vocal talents of Jack Cochrane, a picture-perfect front man. It was great to see BEMZ join them on stage, too. May it be the first of many forays on to main stages across the land.
Shout out to the Wet Leg ladies who after playing an incredibly catchy afternoon set, casually mingled with the festival crowd while enjoying the rest of the TRNSMT Saturday lineup, charming and personable. Their upgrade to the main stage in light of Years & Years’ cancellation was perfect – though it could be argued that they should have been set for the main stage from the start.
Foals, ‘Spanish Sahara’ in the vibrant festival sunshine epitomised a Saturday moment, music which could only be described as wet electric guitar, immersing the crowd deep amongst their riffs and waves. Heavy on hits, their set was another notch in their ‘best rock-pop band in the UK column. Yannis’ afters on Twitter with one of The Strokes ‘5 unnecessary tour managers’ was just the garnish on the salad.
Rebecca Taylor, aka Self Esteem, and her exceptionally talented brand of experimental, anthemic, spoken word, punk pop resonates on a visceral level with her target audience, racking up nominations and award wins since the release of her 2021 album Prioritise Pleasure. Expect her stratospheric rise to continue.
baebadoobee impressed with her grunge-lite set on the King Tuts stage, while Pip Blom shone even in light of their set being situated within thumping distance of some afternoon techno.
There were more than a few cooked Scottish turkeys on Sunday, as the mercury bubbled somewhere in the region of 25+ degrees, creating a very mellow pleasant reception. You know it’s properly roasting outside when as many of the folk attending a festival in Glasgow are downing water as there are alcohol.
The DMA’s and their anthemic indie rock were outstanding, their track ‘Lay Down’, certainly inspiring a few weary bodies to heed sound advice from the charismatic Australian band. Sounding somewhere between The Lightning Seeds and Embrace, pure BritPop Revival, it’s a pleasure to know the iconic sound of the 90s is alive. ‘Silver’, ‘Timeless’, and ‘Hello Girlfriend’ were standout tracks amongst a weekend highlight set.
Wolf Alice also deserve credit for their rip-roaring alt-rock, a frontwoman for the generations, Ellie Rowson even paused mid-set to break up a fight taking place amongst the boisterous front crowd. Fontaines DC put up a decent fight against the hum of the blethering masses.
Lewis Capaldi, a true homegrown hero, was the perfect book-ending chapter of TRNSMT 2022. As the sun set on the horizon of Glasgow Green, Capaldi admonished himself for a lack of new tracks, the crowd forgiving in an instant. Every word of every track in his set sang in unison between himself and the crowd. Occasionally it seemed the moment might
overwhelm, as he simply smiled, drew breath, and absorbed the realisation of a life-long dream.
Closing his set with Abba’s ‘Dancing Queen’ & ‘Someone You Love’, fireworks lit up the dying embers of the Scottish sunset, as the fireworks faded into the darkening sky, the remnants of a weekend of unforgettable music and camaraderie kept the crowd warm, as they each made their way to the exit. Until next year, TRNSMT.
The SNACK editorial team attanded TRNSMT 2022 as guests of Fountain Hard Seltzer