Music: The rising stars appearing at TRNSMT festival

Indie rockers Sundara Karma
Indie rockers Sundara Karma
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Big name acts aboud at TRNSMT at Glasgow Green, but the event also ofers a platform for up-and-coming talent, writes Fiona Shepherd

While T in the Park takes a much-needed breather this year, its organizers have curated an urban non-camping festival with a slightly more leftfield line-up, shying away from the pop, R&B and superstar DJs which have come to define T in recent times. Having said that, all three main stage headliners – Radiohead, Kasabian and Biffy Clyro – are T veterans, and the likes of Rag’n’Bone Man and The 1975 would likely have received an invitation to Strathallan Castle if it wasn’t lying down in a darkened room this summer.

The Van T's are appearing at the TRNSMT festival in Glasgow

The Van T's are appearing at the TRNSMT festival in Glasgow

TRNSMT is more of a boutique offering but still manages to fit three smaller stages around its Glasgow Green site. The King Tut’s Stage carries the torch for T’s long-serving King Tut’s Tent, the Jack Rocks Stage provides a showcase for a variety of local and grassroots acts and Smirnoff House is happy to cater for your electronica and dance needs. Here is our pick of the acts to check out around the fringes of the site.

Declan McKenna: Boys with guitars at festivals – who’d have thought it? However, this precocious 18-year-old is something of a tonic to the braying busker boys clogging up the charts, falling somewhere between Jake Bugg’s retro troubadour schtick and Ezra Furman’s low-slung gonzo rock’n’roll approach on the freewheeling likes of The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home. McKenna has festival previous, having won Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent competition two years ago. His debut album What Do You Think About The Car? is out later this month.

King Tut’s Stage, Sunday 9 July

Lewis Capaldi: This young Bathgate singer-songwriter, who tested his chops on Scotland’s Hit the Road touring initiative, first headlined King Tut’s in May last year and sold out the venue this January. There are definite parallels with a certain other provincial pop star of Scots-Italian heritage in his accented delivery of current Spotify hit Bruises but otherwise Capaldi fits neatly into the current tradition for mildly angsty minstrelsy. Bruises is a clean-cut production with a raspy spirit straining to get out.

King Tut’s Stage, Sunday 9 July

The Van T’s: Like many festivals, TRNSMT’s bill is a male-dominated domain with a grand total of two woman (that we counted anyway) taking to the main stage over the weekend. Leading the charge for greater gender balance on the smaller stages are this ace Glasgow girl group, fronted by the Van Thompson sisters, Chloe and Hannah, with bassist Joanne Forbes and drummer Shaun Hood in tow. Think 90s melodic grunge bands such as Veruca Salt and The Breeders for a steer on their sound, mixed in with the new wave attitude of The Go-Gos and gothy guitar effects of Siouxsie & the Banshees.

King Tut’s Stage, Saturday 8 July

The Vegan Leather: This Paisley art pop quartet also have their roots in Hit the Road. They are named after a pair of trousers owned by singer Gianluca Bernacchi, cite Muse and Metronomy as influences on their cool yet playful electro pop, and pink as their colour scheme of choice.

King Tut’s Stage, Saturday 8 July

Vukovi: This melodic punky rock quartet from Glasgow are named after the Balkan term for wolves, and fronted by feral vocalist Janine Shilstone. Their influences range from Rage Against the Machine to Florence & the Machine, but it’s hard to avoid comparison with poppier rock acts such as Paramore. They’ve garnered support from BBC Introducing and their self-titled debut was recently longlisted for the Scottish Album of the Year Award.

King Tut’s Stage, Sunday 9 July

Be Charlotte: Be Charlotte, aka 20-year-old Charlotte Brimmer, started out in her mid-teens playing acoustic open mic slots in her native Dundee before developing her sound while she was studying on the music business course at Glasgow Kelvin College. Their in-house label Electric Honey Records picked up on her mix of funky electronica, quirky pop and rap/beatboxing, as has another local indie, Last Night From Glasgow. She also attracted the unexpected patronage of One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson, who tweeted about her T in the Park appearance last year, and netted the Best Electronic gong at last year’s Scottish Alternative Music Awards.

King Tut’s Stage, Friday 7 July

Silicone Soul: Local DJ/production duo Graeme Reedie and Craig Morrison are electronica veterans, well placed to rock the dance tent on the closing night of the festival. Described as Soma Records staples, they have produced five albums of fine Caledonian house music for the Glasgow label since 2000, including their most recent remix album in 2012, as well as helming their own Darkroom Dubs label.

Smirnoff House, Sunday 9 July

Sundara Karma: Summon the spirit of T in the Parks past – we’re thinking the mid-90s heyday of Kula Shaker – with this Reading indie band. Sundara Karma are fond of a patterned blouse and a Sanskrit reference. Their name means “beautiful karma”, though it remains to be seen how their pretty mainstream indie pop pans out in a park in the east end of Glasgow.

King Tut’s Stage, Saturday 8 July

The Wytches: Meanwhile, over on the Jack Rocks stage, there’s another bunch of what grandad might refer to as “longhairs”. Unlike Sundara Karma, Brighton’s The Wytches offer a more authentically underground garage sound, drawing equally on 60s psychedelia and 90s grunge as well as 70s DIY punk for their dayglo illustrated artwork. Their debut album Annabel Dream Reader was produced by former Coral guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones; the 2016 follow-up All Your Happy Life was recorded at the all-analogue Toerag Studios in London and inspired by “smalltown English life”.

Jack Rocks Stage, Saturday 8 July

Neon Waltz: Another blast of old school indie, but this one from the opposite end of the country – John O’Groats being the precise outpost which spawned Neon Waltz. This moptop six-piece first converged at Wick High School and, in the absence of big city venues or recording establishments, set up HQ in an abandoned croft and partied and played in their local castle at Freswick. After being picked up by Oasis manager Marcus Russell a couple of years ago, their debut album is finally out in August. ■

Jack Rocks Stage, Saturday 8 July

TRNSMIT is at Glasgow Green, 7-9 July, www.trnsmtfest.com