Circa Waves’ explosive set at TRNSMT Festival

I’m sure there’s a joke to be had somewhere about the ‘T-Shirt Weather’ in Glasgow on Saturday but with the sunburn I’m currently nursing four days on I just can’t seem to find it. It was a scorcher and Circa Waves used it to their advantage to really start pulling people to the Main Stage. The screeching opening riffs of ‘Wake Up’ introduce the Liverpool quartet and turns heads across the TRNSMT site.

Frontman Kieran Shudall holds his ground, trading off rocketing around the stage like Van McCann or brooding stares like Alex Turner  for his signature cheeky smile and wild eyes. While Young Chasers is sickly sweet indie pop that hits just the right spot, Different Creatures bites back although on the festival circuit the two albums blend together seamlessly. ‘Get Away’ slides by without a hitch and ‘Goodbye’ comes roaring in behind it, stirring a particularly lively audience reaction that then gets the band going too.

‘Fossils’ gets even rowdier but Shuddall barely bats at eyelid, ‘Fossils’ having always been a live favourite and one to stir up the crowds no matter their size. At the end of the song drummer, Colin Jones climbs briefly onto his drums to get a proper look at the crowd they’ve amassed. It only gets bigger and better during ‘Stuck’ which rouses a sing along that extends right through to the next song ‘Stuck In My Teeth’. This one’s good enough that it’s even got George Ezra bobbing his head along in the wings. The older songs prove themselves as indie classics, not a word going unsung by the adoring crowd and not foot placed wrong by the band, now bordering veteran status of festivals, even stating Glasgow as their most played city.

‘My Love’ goes off without a hitch, there’s clapping, singing, dancing, bouncing and of course plenty of arms in the air. During the bridge the band stop to take it in, Kieran Shuddall grinning and biting his lip in anticipation of the roaring chorus they rip through at the end of the song, the grinding guitars proving just as fresh as the years ago that the single was released.

‘Fire That Burns’ follows, the snarling chorus meeting the far more tender verse glaringly, guitarist Joe Falconer taking it all in his stride while Shudall’s eyes look set to bulge out of his head. Naturally they close on everyone’s favourite, ‘T-Shirt Weather’ but not without a chant of ‘Here We Fucking Go’ as standard for Glasgow. They tease a few chords and encourage everyone to get on their friends shoulders. A few flares come out and the party gets underway. Every word Shudall sings, the crowd sings louder.

It’s momentus and it’s glorious and most importantly it looks like they’re on a bit early, surely a band that gets that reaction should be on far later? Everyone loves it regardless. By the end of the set the crowd has doubled and then some, and the energy coming from them quadrupled. Everyone’s still fresh faced and jostling about, Circa Waves having kicked off the Saturday of TRNSMT properly.

Featured Image: Emma Swann

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