Lloyd Russell gives us a rundown of his top picks for Glasgow’s Tenement Trail 2019, as it’s move to East End broaches new territories for the acclaimed music fest.
Since its original inception six years ago, Tenement Trail has long established itself as one of the best festivals in Scotland for discovering new bands and music in Glasgow. Comparative only to other Glasgow festivals such as Stag and Dagger, Electric Fields, and Freakender, the festival is a great opportunity to discover new bands that often blow up in popularity in the years following. With notable previous acts including Lewis Capaldi (2016), Neon Waltz (2014), The Ninth Wave (2016) and The Dunts (2018), this year promises to uphold its long-standing tradition of a solid line up.
With the event being held on 12 October 2019 marks the first year of Tenement Trail’s move from the vibrant, neon drenched Sauchiehall Street to the grungier Barras area in the East. Usual Glaswegian night spots such as Nice N Sleazy's and King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut have been replaced by Saint Luke’s and the iconic Barrowlands Ballroom. The change in venue this year is sure to change the overall tone of the festival and should provide a fresh change of pace for an ever evolving and diverse music scene.
The line-up for this year features returning favourites, scene staples and plenty of new bands for the listener to ingest at their own pace. Here are my personal favourites for this year’s lineup.
Founders and organisers of perhaps the most important club night for the Glasgow alternative music scene: Club Sabbath at The Priory, Baby Strange are an immensely influential and energetic punk band. Considered by many to be the Godfathers of fast-paced Glaswegian indie-punk, the band have made a name for themselves with their sweat-drenching, crowd surfing live performances. This year the band will prove interesting to watch considering the last time they played Tenement Trail was six years ago; not long after releasing their very first single. Baby Strange have an energy that ascends beyond that of the Glasgow music scene. You can expect a surge in popularity within the next few years, so best to experience them live quickly before they blow up. Baby Strange will be headlining the BAaD stage from 10:45-11:30pm
For fans of: The Lapelles, The Reytons, AM era Arctic Monkeys, The Dunts
The Magic Gang
In contrast to many of the more riff-heavy bands of this year’s lineup, there are some more ‘wavy’ indie artists playing; among them being The Magic Gang. A band with a sound comparative to acts like The Wombats, Sundara Karma or The 1975, The Magic Gang produce poppy bubble-gum indie that appeals to a vast audience- pretentious art snobs and stoned teenagers alike. It’s a credit to the organisers that were able to book them considering their surge in popularity since their debut self-titled album last year. Nevertheless, I look forward to seeing them live and jumping around in indie-fuelled ecstasy. The Magic Gang will be playing the Barrowlands stage from 8-8:45pm
For fans of: The 1975, The Wombats, Sundara Karma, The Night Cafe
For the more hardcore music fans attending this year, Shredd are one of the most exciting and loud local bands Glasgow has to offer. Having absolutely smashed their sets at Freakender two years in a row in 2016 and 2017, the band have built a sturdy following with their exceptionally diverse discography. Their most popular song The Switch sounds like Glasgow’s own answer to the Australian punk scene and a loud answer at that. Shredd will be playing the Barrowland 2 stage from 7:30-8pm
For fans of: Skeggs, Royal Blood, The Chats, Deathcats
The word ‘Gallus’ is a Scottish colloquial term used to describe an individual of a daring or bold manner. It’s only appropriate that a band sharing the same name should not be exempt from labelling themselves and their music as being rather brave. Gallus are a Gallus band. They make Gallus music and they perform in a Gallus manner. They have plenty of reason to do so, considering that within a year of releasing their first single of Spotify; they had sold out Stereo, garnered a small cult music following and released some pretty class singles since then. Oh yes, you’d be "Gallus" to miss this band at this year’s Tenement Trail. Gallus will be playing the BAaD stage from 6:45-7:15pm
For fans of: Rascalton, Heavy Rapids, Voodoos, The Vanities
The Plastic Youth
The Plastic Youth are a band I’d personally known very little about a short while ago. It was only after hearing their single Comfort on Spotify that I began to gain interest. With vocals that resemble a young Thom Yorke, and a rhythm guitar that captivates with its soothing psychedelic trills, the listener is hooked instantly. They’re a band that are relatively new yet have a sound that manages to pull off "Pop-ability" without having to compromise their own unique and intricate attributes that distinguishes them. The Plastic Youth will be playing the Winged Ox stage from 3:45-4:15pm
For fans of: Feet, Current Joys, The Ninth Wave, Vistas