TRNSMT @ Glasgow Green, 9 July
The final day of the inaugural TRNSMT festival sees local heroes Biffy Clyro headline, with impressive turns from The 1975 and Twin Atlantic
There seems to be a bit of a main stage love-in on the final day of Glasgow's inaugural TRNSMT festival. Despite the summer heat of Friday and Saturday giving way to more typical gloom and rain, the line-up at Glasgow Green are warm-hearted in their effusive praise for those they were sharing the stage with. Twin Atlantic give a big shout-out to The 1975 and Biffy Clyro, while Matty Healy reciprocates. Two Door Cinema Club must have annoyed everyone backstage to justify their omission from the back-slapping.
It's a convivial atmosphere that was present across the site all day. Lewis Capaldi's afternoon set at the King Tut's stage proves why he's being touted by many as one to watch for the future – his bellowing vocals and smooth radio-rock sound was matched by an excitement both on-stage and off. Capaldi ends his set with pared-back piano ballad Bruises, which definitely has floating listeners prick their ears up in an "oh I know this one" way. On record it feels tailormade for the emotional climax of an episode of Made In Chelsea, an advert for the range of Capaldi's voice; it's more impressive live, but a whole set of the like would be a bit much, the power-rock he was slinging before seeming to suit him better. Either way, on current form it's unlikely he'll remain on smaller stages for much longer.
Over in the smaller, grimier surroundings of the Jack Rocks stage, Brighton band White Room do their best in the face of mild technical difficulties to articulate a driving, Britpop-esque set – lead singer Jake Smallwood could do with less of the Gallagherisms, but their energy is infectious, and there are some nice flashes to what they're doing. Certainly a band to keep tabs on.
Twin Atlantic are on excellent form. The band point out they actually write and rehearse around 300m from the main stage, but it's clearly where they belong. Yes I Was Drunk is a highlight, a Hundred Reasons-esque guitar riff that builds at a steady pace and allows frontman Sam McTrusty to let his vocals soar and make the most of the twang in his accent. Closing out their set with Heart and Soul is particularly sweet, swaggering from grungey blues into a full-on stadium rock chorus that's impossible not to shout along to.
Two Door Cinema Club manage to keep the momentum with a set of songs you've definitely heard before, but can't remember where. Their rapport with the crowd isn't on the same level as Twin Atlantic; it didn't seem to matter to them as much. Perfectly enjoyable, but missing something.
By the time The 1975 take to the stage, Matty Healy swaggering typically through the opening bars to Love Me, the heavens open, but it sort of makes sense. Soaring, melancholic, John Hughes-esque guitar pop just feels right when rain is pouring down your face – it's hard to be mad about it.
The Manchester band caught everyone off guard with the scope and scale of their last album, but live, they more than justify their opulence. The presence of a dedicated saxophone player adds an extra lushness to their sound, and crowd favourites Chocolate, Girls, and She's American get the whole Green dancing. There's also another outing for the UK festival season's unofficial 2017 soundtrack – Oh Jeremy Corbyn – albeit sung not quite as loudly as it has been south of the border.
Judging by the t-shirt count around the site, Biffy Clyro are the band most people are here to see. They play a typically explosive set in keeping with how they've acquitted themselves over the festival season, but their warm-up acts were far from overawed, The 1975 in particular. Their lush, nostalgic, catchy-as-hell catalogues shine as brightly as the main stage lighting rigs – we're lucky to have the pair of them.
It's an impressive end to a festival that one hopes could end up becoming a regular fixture of the summer calendar. On this first showing, there's nothing to say TRNSMT can't replicate the success of London's city-based festivals like Field Day and Lovebox. The city-centre location does have some drawbacks, principally in the shape of noise regulations which were possibly the reason the volume of the main stage felt like it could have been dialled up a touch more.
But the pros outweigh the cons – the festival was laid back, well organised, easy to move around, and did what any good festival should do; put the exciting fringe acts shoulder to shoulder with marquee performers, ready and willing to deliver on a big stage. The carnage of T In The Park it was not, but if TRNSMT is to be T's permanent replacement, we doubt there'll be too many complaints.