TRNSMT Saturday, Glasgow Green ***
Norwegian pop kid Sigrid celebrated her second consecutive year of TRNSMT with a promotion to the main stage where she wasted no time delivering one of her biggest hits Sucker Punch and her best track Don’t Kill My Vibe. Her lightweight but likeable processed pop was delivered with good cheer and received as the undemanding experience that it is.
There was a bit more latitude to shake it up on the smaller stages, not least the new Queen Tut’s Stage, conceived to address the relative lack of female artists elsewhere on the festival’s bill. Glasgow’s Wet Look invoked the spirit of The Fall meets The B-52s with frontman Michael McGaughran’s half-spoken invocations to party backed by pristine unison vocals and cheerleader catchiness from the rest of the band.
Their bouncy sunshine synth pop and self-declared summer anthems provided an oasis of good clean hipster fun in a desert of non-descript guitar slingers, such as mousy Youtube singer/songwriter Cavetown, who eventually got the crowd on side with a rendition of Randy Newman’s You Got a Friend in Me.
Little wonder that the turbo-charged Fontaines D.C., hailed as the latest saviours of rock’n’roll, were the hot ticket on a sweltering day. These Dublin punks packed a proper punch, struck the right balance between anarchic attitude and razor-sharp ability and delivered like a group on the verge of going nuclear.
Other acts took a more laid-back approach, catching the mellow mood of the late afternoon. Australian indie pop band DMAs offered tender tenor vocals and a softer, more acoustic approach than usual to their Britpop-inspired sounds, while Steve Mason brought the soothing soundtrack to a beautiful early evening, with burnished guitars, soulful vocals and bonus points for the use of melodica on the uplifting Alive.
There were fond tributes to the city from Richard Ashcroft in his Barrowland Hall of Fame t-shirt and headliners Catfish & the Bottlemen who are so enamoured with Glasgow that they have written a singalong song of that name. These run-of-the-mill indie rockers fancy themselves as a classic rock’n’roll outfit. To their credit, they succeeded in energising the whole field, which erupted in a rainbow of flares. - Fiona Shepherd