Review: Saturday at TRNSMT 2017 (3 stars)

Review: Saturday at TRNSMT 2017

Stormzy / Ryan Johnston

Stormzy and the Smirnoff House DJs save day two of TRNSMT from some uninspiring headliners

The weather has been kind to the folks here at Glasgow Green on day two of the inaugural TRNSMT Festival. Sunshine and blue skies illuminate the masses of glitter used on the faces of festival-goers along with the mushed up chips on the floor every metre or so and the brightly coloured bucket hats as far as the eye can see, as if we're suddenly back in 'Teenage Dirtbag' era 2000. There's certainly a T in the Park-esque vibe floating around the Green, but it feels as though the chilled atmosphere and jovial crowd of yesterday are long gone, replaced by rowdy teenagers and Brit rock fans.

Somehow appealing to both groups, the highlight of Saturday is south London grime superstar Stormzy who, despite playing at 3pm in the afternoon, manages to orchestrate possibly the biggest mosh pit of the day to familiar chants of 'here we fucking go!'. His energy is unrivalled as he rips through hits like 'Big For Your Boots' and slow jam 'Cigarettes and Cush'. It seems a shame then to hear someone as exciting as Stormzy perform a song by someone as dull as Ed Sheeran. But regardless, his remix of 'Shape of You' goes down well with the mostly under 18 audience, who similarly go insane when the familiar refrain of XTC's 'Functions on the Low' begins for Stormzy's signature track 'Shut Up'.

Next up on the main stage, The Kooks perform the same set they've probably been playing for years with 'She Moves in Her Own Way', 'You Don't Love Me' and 'Naïve' all making appearances. The same applies to headliners Kasabian, clearly a very popular choice amongst the Saturday crowd, who scream back the lyrics to classics like 'Club Foot' and 'Shoot the Runner' as well as new track 'Bless This Acid House' in the same loud and out-of tune fashion as the band itself.

In contrast, over on the Jack Rocks Stage, The Wytches hold their own, with their dark and melodic sound working in opposition to the summery ambience outside the tent. Drenched in feedback, the wonderfully lo-fi 'C-Side' and 'Wide at Midnight' are hard-hitters that benefit from the enthusiasm of the packed-in audience.

Elsewhere at TRNSMT, the Mixmag curated Smirnoff House is an excellent addition, with Mosteph, Rebecca Vasmant, Coldcut, Nightwave and Syreeta all playing storming sets. Special mention should be given to Nightwave, whose set is cut short by 'safety issues', which turn out to be problems getting the bar queuing system in order. She returns sometime later to finish her set with a colourful mix of styles from trap to house, and everything in between. Seeing the mostly female line-up of DJs together, enjoying the music on stage at the end is a hugely positive sight, differing greatly from the dude-fest everywhere else.

The best way to summarise Saturday's line-up is 1: music that your mum listens to and 2: lads, lads, lads. There are, of course, major exceptions to this but on the whole, the headliners chosen for day two are forgettable and largely uninspiring, with early 2000s guitar bands on the one hand and contemporary guitar bands on the other.

Guitar bands, in general, seem to be the main focus not just of the day, but of the weekend, which certainly may be a crowd pleaser but it's still disappointing to see such a huge lack of diversity on the bill both as far as artists and genres go. Had it not been for Stormzy and the great line-up of DJs, along with some interesting up-and-comers, Saturday would have been mediocre at best.

We sent three of our music critics along to TRNSMT to check out Scotland's newest city music festival. Check out what we thought of Friday and Sunday.

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