Culture Editors


 We caught up with some of Glasgow’s most exciting up-and-coming bands (Spyres, Gallus, and Voodoos) about their time at TRNSMT.

TRNSMT 2021 was a riot. Glasgow locals were technically granted a free show, with The Chemical Brothers’ pulsing bass thrums broadcasting all the way from Pollokshields to Partick. In the aftermath of TRNSMT fever, The Glasgow Guardian chatted with some of Glasgow’s homegrown talent after their stints playing the festival’s River and King Tut’s Stages. Vocalist and guitarists Emily Downie from Spyres, Piero Marcuccilli from Voodoos, and Barry Nolan from Gallus fill us in on the mayhem…

Spyres

The Glasgow Guardian: Was TRNSMT your first post-Covid-19 festival? If so, what was it like playing?

Spyres: TRNSMT was the second festival we played this year, the first being Neighbourhood Weekender. Playing TRNSMT has always been a bucket list gig for us as a band and to be involved this year was so special. We were nervous beforehand but as soon as we stepped on the stage that all went away and we just got right into it, feeding off the crowd’s energy the whole way through! 

GG: Did you play any new tracks throughout your set?

Spyres: We played a new, unreleased single for the first time as part of our set, so we were quite apprehensive as to how the crowd would react but we couldn’t have gotten a better response. I think there was even a mosh pit – what more could you ask for?

GG: Was there a favourite track you played live?

Spyres: I think we can all agree on saying [undisputed fan-favourite] Otherside was the highlight of the set. That was the last song we played and the crowd just went wild. It was a total pinch me moment seeing everyone singing the lyrics back to us from start to finish.

GG: What was the wildest thing you saw in the crowd? Or at TRNSMT in general for that matter.

Spyres: I think the wildest thing we saw was the crowd in general! Everyone was going mad, in the best way possible.

GG:Tell us about your first time at TRNSMT/T in the Park, both playing and/or attending it yourself.

Spyres: Me and Keira actually went to the first year of TRNSMT back in 2017 - we must have been around 15. We were still a duo at that time and I remember we were imagining how amazing it would be if we could play the festival in the future, ha! We even met Geoff Ellis and got a photo with him, captioning it “see you next time” ...  manifestation at its finest.

GG: What was your most surreal backstage moment when playing this year?

Spyres: Probably meeting Lewis Capaldi backstage. He appeared out of nowhere and we ended up getting a photo with him, now we’re besties!

GG: Who was your favourite act at TRNSMT this year and why (other than your own)?

Spyres: Primal Scream’s set was a stand out for us this year by far! It’s always been a dream to see them live as they have classic after classic and certainly didn’t disappoint.

GG: How does TRNSMT compare to other festivals across Scotland?

Spyres: I think TRNSMT is the most highly anticipated festival of the year in Scotland so the crowd just goes wild and really doesn't hold back. Everyone’s there for a good time, what else would you expect?

"I think TRNSMT is the most highly anticipated festival of the year in Scotland so the crowd just goes wild and really doesn't hold back."

GG: What life lesson would you give to students new to the city attending TRNSMT?

Spyres: You’re bound to meet tons of like-minded people into the same sort of music as you and you’ll make loads of new pals so just go and have fun, everyone’s there for a good time. Also… don’t bother using those portaloos.

GG: What are your plans for the future post-TRNSMT?

Spyres: With lockdown (hopefully) over for good, we have gigs lined up until the end of the year and into 2022 including headline shows in Newcastle, London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. Our new single will also be out before the end of the year. Finally the live scene is picking up again and we are loving it. 

GG: And the most important question of all… did any of you actually get a massage off that woman in the VIP section?

Spyres: WHAT? We must be the last people to find out about this, if we’re back next year we need her number.

Voodoos

GG: Was TRNSMT your first post-Covid-19 festival? What was it like playing? 

Voodoos: Yeah it was basically our first gig back which was a bit mental. We did a small warm up show in the Priory a few days before but it’s difficult to warm up for a show that big. It was a bit of a shock to the system but once we got into the swing of things it felt like we had never been away.

GG: Did you play any new tracks throughout your set?

Voodoos: We brought our EP and two other tracks out during lockdown so these would have been heard live for the first time since their release so I suppose you could count them as new. We also included an unreleased song in our set called Why’d You Still Come See Me? which is one of my favourites. I’m looking forward to getting that out for people to hear.

GG: Was there a favourite track you played live?

Voodoos: Do It to Myself is always my favourite. To hear the crowd sing the words back like they did was amazing. 

GG: What was the wildest thing you saw in the crowd? Or at TRNSMT in general for that matter.

Voodoos: Our crowd got a bit rowdy and I think a bunch of people all fell over at one point. Just watching people go mental for our songs at the festival we used to attend every year was wild enough for us. I also loved the video of that lad who dug up the bottle of Buckfast. If you listen carefully, you can actually hear us playing in the background!

"I also loved the video of that lad who dug up the bottle of Buckfast. If you listen carefully, you can actually hear us playing in the background!"

GG: Tell us about your first time at TRNSMT/T in the Park, both playing and/or attending it yourself.

Voodoos: We just managed to catch T in the Park before it was replaced by TRNSMT. We were only young boys so it was really just a weekend of us disgracing ourselves. Our first TRNSMT was when Arctic Monkeys played – they’re one of our favourite bands. I think that was their greatest performance, certainly from being there and then seeing the videos online compared to others. They played the perfect set and I’m pretty sure I shed a tear or two during Cornerstone

GG: What was your most surreal backstage moment when playing this year?

Voodoos: Marco beating every single challenger at table tennis. I didn’t know he had it in him. Scoobs (Lewis Grant, guitar) and Marc (Conte, drums) also met KSI which they were pretty happy about. 

GG: Who was your favourite act at TRNSMT this year and why (other than your own)?

Voodoos: The Chemical Brothers were a different class. We managed to make it on Sunday and it was good to not have the stress around playing a show. It was good to relax and then go wild watching them close the festival. 

GG: How does TRNSMT compare to other festivals across Scotland?

Voodoos: It’s the biggest and it attracts top acts. I don’t think anything really compares in Scotland but that’s not to say there aren’t other great events going on.

GG: What life lesson would you give to students new to the city attending TRNSMT? 

Voodoos: Be prepared to lose everything including your dignity. 

GG: What are your plans for the future post-TRNSMT?

Voodoos: More gigs and more releases. We have some things in the pipeline which will be with you all soon. 

GG: And the most important question of all… did any of you actually get a massage off that woman in the VIP section? 

Voodoos: Marc had himself booked in but I think he forgot to go. If I’d known I’d have taken his place but I only found out she was there once it was too late. Gutted.

Gallus

GG: Was TRNSMT your first post-Covid-19 festival? What was it like playing? 

Gallus: Yeah, this was our first festival in a world with Covid-19. We've not played many festivals to date to be honest so far. We have a few lined up so maybe we'll be better for comparisons in a year or so, but with it being a hometown festival it will probably always be one of the most special. It did feel normal quite quickly but I suppose what we consider normal will always be different now anyway. 

GG: Did you play any new tracks throughout your set?

Gallus: We did play a new track! Second in our set, it's called Fruitflies. It's new in that it's not released yet, but a lot of our set is new to the live environment so it was good to give them a run out in front of a crowd at last. We can't talk too much about it without giving the game away about plans further down the line but we're really excited about it. You'll be hearing a lot more of it soon hopefully!

GG: What was the wildest thing you saw in the crowd? Or at TRNSMT in general for that matter.

Gallus: Besides just the crowd itself, probably seeing our booking agent Stu, who doesn't drink and had travelled up from Nottingham, charging into a mosh-pit and causing it.

GG: Tell us about your first time at TRNSMT/T in the Park, both playing and/or attending it yourself.

Gallus: T in the Park was something different! For folk growing up in Scotland it was just something you had to do. It felt like once you went to T, that was you officially a teenager/young adult from Scotland. That’s how important it felt to attend at the time. I hope TRNSMT has that same effect on younger people these days. I have a lot of great memories from both. Playing TRNSMT almost felt like this full circle moment for us because of how massive a thing it was growing up to attend T in the Park every year which makes our set my fondest moment of both festivals.

"It felt like once you went to T, that was you officially a teenager/young adult from Scotland."

GG: What was your most surreal backstage moment when playing this year?

Gallus: I got to chat a bit with Little Simz after our set, which was very nice. I’m such a massive fan of her music and Top Boy, so the moment I saw her just cutting about backstage was very surreal. It was also surreal just to be able to go backstage at times. I always felt a bit surprised when stewards let me go in since being an actual artist at TRNSMT didn’t quite sink in at times.

GG: Who was your favourite act at TRNSMT this year and why (other than your own)?

Gallus: I’d have to say Walt Disco. The River stage was filled with immense talent on Friday and it was a pleasure to be a part of it. Everyone smashed their set. Walt Disco is always a delight to see. One of the most entertaining bands about and they always bring a smile to my face.

GG: How does TRNSMT compare to other festivals across Scotland?

Gallus: There’s a lot more going on at TRNSMT because of how popular it is. With other Scottish festivals it feels like you can let your hair down easier but because there is a bigger chance of bumping into someone you know at TRNSMT, you need to be a bit more well behaved. Which is probably a good thing. 

GG: What advice would you give to students new to the city attending TRNSMT? 

Gallus: Just take a lateral flow and have some bloody fun! Also make sure you’re always with your pals and don’t get lost. Always a nightmare when you lose your group as the day goes on.

GG: What are your plans for the future post-TRNSMT?

Gallus: We’re taking a wee break from gigs to focus on something very exciting. All will be revealed soon…

GG: And the most important question of all… did any of you actually get a massage off that woman in the VIP section? 

Gallus: I didn’t know that was a thing and I’m upset that I didn’t ask about it!


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