It’s one of the hottest days in living memory, and The Magic Gang are providing summery indie-pop vibes as people drift through the gates at TRNSMT, setting the scene perfectly for a laid-back day of music in the sun. A short set, taken mostly from their self-titled debut album, proves The Magic Gang are a live band to be reckoned with, leaving other bands a lot to live up to on the King Tut’s Stage.
Declan McKenna gets the Main Stage warmed up as the afternoon wears on. The teenager has clearly been watching Freddy Mercury and taking notes, even joking about how his jacket would have suited the late Queen frontman. He hooks the crowd in and doesn’t let them go, a ball of energy zinging from one end of the stage to the other, clearly delighted with the show.
Declan gets as close to the crowd as security will let him, even climbing the railings to shake hands with his fans. His breezy melodies hide lyrics of real substance that tackle social and political issues. At heart, however, McKenna is all about the fun – especially in this kind of setting with ‘The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home’ and ‘Why Do You Feel So Down?’ going down particularly well.
By the time Blossoms hit the Main Stage energy levels are growing and anticipation for the night ahead is palpable. The band ensure the crowd are hyped up, and the crowd respond by screaming the words back to them. They now have the rock with added synths down and are bringing it from Stockport to the masses. ‘Charlemagne’, saved for last, is greeted with a thunderous reaction.
From the second Arctic Monkeys burst onto the stage, it’s clear they are going to dominate. Alex Turner is a magnetic frontman, a born showman, and thousands of people turn their eyes to him and sing every word of his band’s hour and a half long set. Boring is one thing Arctic Monkeys have never been.
It’s not the most cohesive os sets, but no one really seems to notice or care tonight. ‘Brianstorm’ and the moody ‘Do I Wanna Know?’ have the crowd in raptures, while ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ would have raised the roof, had there been one. Miles Kane, who played the Main Stage earlier, joins the band for ‘505’, before they depart leaving the crowd desperate for more.
Words: Eala MacAlister