Review: Friday at TRNSMT 2017
- Craig Angus
- 10 July 2017
The new Scottish festival kicks off with Rag 'n' Bone Man, Belle & Sebastian and Radiohead
It's after midnight at Glasgow Green. Radiohead are long gone, but the final refrain of 'Karma Police' rings out across the darkness of the park, sung by tens of thousands of people who had waited nine years to see them in their city. It's an extraordinary thing to witness. Then again, Radiohead are no ordinary band.
But first up, there's an undercard which sees acts spread out across three stages. Opening up King Tuts is Wuh Oh, the electronic project of Peter Ferguson. It's a blissed out 30 minutes from the Glasgow-based producer, who dances merrily through the duration of his set. His creative sampling recalls The Go Team! and The Avalanches, and while the influence of Hudson Mohawke looms large, Wuh Oh is a pure pop artist, and the hooks are never far away. The excellent shuffle of the house piano-centred 'Stay Tuned' is a highlight of the whole day.
The Vegan Leather are on confident form, shouting out their hometown of Paisley and successfully getting a few hundred people to sit down during the final build up of closing track 'This House'. At the command of Marie Collins, everyone stands up at once, limbs akimbo. Collins and frontman Gianluca Bernacchi have chemistry and stage presence that money can't buy. Their next task is to capture the energy of an excellent live show on record.
'Do you guys wanna do some singing this Friday afternoon?' asks Jonathan Higgs of Everything Everything, as the Manchester group launch into standout track 'Regret', its 60s-style beat and booming backing vocals is the band at their best: intelligent, catchy and experimental. The only band of the day to commit wholeheartedly to a uniform, they soar on the fist-pumping 'Kemosabe' and while the quality of Higgs' vocal wildly fluctuates, they're not dull, which is the one word that springs to mind for Rag 'n' Bone Man, who is next up. He possesses a voice sent from the gods, and a collection of songs which are instantly forgettable. Spirits are lifted by London Grammar. Hannah Reid's stunning vocal is the obvious calling card, and the group are captivating in places – 'Strong' and 'Wasting My Young Years' are given the reverence they deserve – even if they rarely venture out behind their minimalist shell.