TRNSMT Review Sunday 1 July: ‘Muted Arctic Monkeys comeback’

Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys performs on the main stage during the TRNSMT festival on Glasgow Green in Glasgow. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys performs on the main stage during the TRNSMT festival on Glasgow Green in Glasgow. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
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Fiona Shepherd visits Glasgow Green for day three of the TRNSMT festival.

TRNSMT Sunday, Glasgow Green

Norwegian singer/songwriter Sigrid performs on day 3 of the 2018 TRNSMT festival at Glasgow Green. Picture: Andy BuchananAFP/Getty Images

Norwegian singer/songwriter Sigrid performs on day 3 of the 2018 TRNSMT festival at Glasgow Green. Picture: Andy BuchananAFP/Getty Images

* * * 3/5 stars

On the third sweltering day in a row at TRNSMT, the longest queues were for fresh drinking water and the most prized spots were in the shade by the pretty street food glade and the rowdier DJ shed. Not quite the right environment, therefore, for a number of the Main Stage acts for whom daylight, let alone sunlight, appeared to a foreign concept.

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The manicured Britrock of Nothing But Thieves chuntered along like an annoying but well-meaning friend intent on expending energy while the rest of the world relaxes. New York indie rockers Interpol, who generally wear any colour as long as it’s black and only come out after dark, were reliably driving and pseudo-intense if you like that sort of thing.

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Despite frontman Tom Ogden’s requests for some factor 50 suncream, Stockport quintet Blossoms’ inoffensive indie pop was reasonably well suited for a summer’s day, mildly recalling better bands from The Las to tonight’s masterful headliners.

Over on the King Tut’s Stage, there was enthusiastic home support for local indie rockers Fatherson, who got stuck into their moment with strong, controlled vocals from Ross Leighton, who was able to cut loose without resorting to the pained wailing of a number of his peers, and was rewarded with arms aloft in the crowd for the superficially stirring numbers.

Norwegian pop starlet Sigrid is the BBC’s Sound of 2018, which might go some way to explaining why a line-up so stuffed with supposedly bright young things could sound so uninspired. You can only work with what you’ve got, right?

In a set of perfunctory pop, the breakthrough hit Don’t Kill My Vibe passed for a stand-out track. Sigrid herself was confident and likeable but, through no fault of her own, suffered an Arctic Monkeys-induced exodus at the appointed hour.

TRNSMT have scored big in securing the only UK festival appearance this year by such a rightly revered band. Their new album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, has been a relatively divisive release though the fuzz guitar-infused loungecore of set opener Four out Of Five was happily devoured by the hungry masses before the band assuaged any concerns this might not be a “proper” festival set by ripping through a brace of their early funny ones from Brianstorm and Don’t Sit Down ’Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair to the headlong Teddy Picker.

Matt Helders provided a drumming masterclass on Pretty Visitors but inevitably most eyes were on magnetic frontman Alex Turner, who was at his most seductive when in pleading, interrogatory mode on Why Do You Only Call Me When You’re High?, Do I Wanna Know? and RU Mine?

However, the introspective falsetto croon of Star Treatment was not the most arresting way to retake the stage and, even with the frenzy of I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor and a guest appearance by Turner’s best bud Miles Kane on a climactic 505, this was overall a somewhat muted comeback by stellar Monkeys standards.