Radio 1 Big Weekend at Glasgow Green, 24/5/14

Feels like the eyes of the world have been beckoned on Glasgow this year, with the Commonwealth games coming up over summer and more imminently the big BBC Radio One Weekender featuring a plethora of the largest musical artists from both the United Kingdom and other far stretches of the world.

For those a little older, you may remember a time when Glasgow Green played host to Gig in the Green; the historic fields in the East End of the city would be transformed into a decadence of culture, colour and loud music every summer.


While those days disappeared almost a decade ago, it certainly brings back an airy assault of nostalgia as I approach the west entrance of the arena excited for the start of the weekend’s diligent shenanigans.

Upon entering the gates I quickly familiarize myself with the various stages and assemble towards the BBC Introducing tent via a sound blast of Bastille who for what it’s worth sound bang on the money this fine sunny Saturday afternoon as they close with rousing anthem ‘Pompeii’.

Saint Raymond have amassed quite a large crowd by the time I finally arrive at the BBC Introducing tent, so much so, that for the first part of the set I had to settle gleefully for a place just inside the far rim of the tent.

There is a charm and composure to the young Nottingham lad, a certain joust of unshakable confidence, perhaps attained from how quickly his career has taken off the past year, but with hip shaking pop grooves such as the delightful ‘Young Blood’ and mesmerizingly epic closer ‘Fall At Your Feet’, it will not be too long before he encapsulates past the shadows of supporting characterless musicians such as Ed Sheeran.

There is something to be quite humoured about watching Bombay Bicycle Club perform on a stage titled “In New Music We Trust” having released four albums and toured for more than double that number in years.

Bringing with them the full jazz and horn section, the band roll out all the classics with extra oomph, dedicating closer ‘Carry Me’ to those affected by The Art School fire, there is something incredibly sombre yet intense about the London quartet as they bulldoze through a exquisite rendition of ‘Shuffle’ – a definite contender for band of the day.

A quick top up of refreshment later and we are heading back towards the introducing tent to catch rising Polish songwriter Kari, currently at superstar level in her home country; that success is beginning to transcend to the rest of Europe having crossed paths with the rest of her band in Leeds.

With an original and authentic approach on creating cinematic electronic soundscapes, the band make use of their incredibly short set, leaving a lasting impression on choice cuts such as the beautifully harmonic ‘The One’ and the sauntering ‘Whispering Trees’.

First proper trip to the main stage today is to witness multi talented producer/musician Pharrell Williams, having grown up listening to the N.E.R.D classics, much smiles are brought upon this face as he launches into an emphatic flawless take on ‘Lapdance’, the rest of his set is pretty fun as well, reaching into a back catalogue far larger than anyone would dare give him credit for, was it just me who forgot he was involved with Daft Punk hit ‘Get Lucky’!?

Twin Atlantic are just kicking off their set as I enter the In New Music We Trust stage, it’s incredible witnessing just how much of a behemoth these boys have evolved into live, especially on a festival stage, deciding today to introduce new material at a cautious rate, despite the excitement etched on their faces about the incoming release of second album The Great Divide.

Having not been sold originally on the studio version of latest single ‘Heart and Soul’, thankfully live it comes across far more vigorously and aggressive, before closing with a spine chilling and earth shattering take on 2011 hit ‘Free’.

Thought I would have a nosey at Ed Sheeran, poor lad looks like he is having a sulk about Daz washing powder not taking the stains off his jeans, he does sing that mad song about being in the A Team or something, though, so it is not all bad, cheer up Mr. T loves you.

Glasgow hazy lo-fi indie punk duo Honeyblood are located absolutely ripping it up in the BBC Introducing stage, Jesus, with harmonious call backs to the likes of Blondie and more recently Best Coast, some of the melodies these girls are producing in 2014 are quite frankly fantastic.

‘Bud’ especially, rings out a sentimental nostalgic tone, made all the more homely by the fact that the girls are actually Glaswegian themselves, expect big things from this pair in the very near future with SXSW, The Great Escape and now an appearance at the BBC One Radio Weekender under their belts.

Only way to climax the night really is by checking out Coldplay one of those bands it’s astoundingly cool to dislike, having always been tagged as a bit of a “dad” band and tarnished with a reputation for producing dull as dishwater music, it might come to a surprise to some that tonight they completely kick the ball out the green so to speak with a set fitting of closing a day full of both terrific vibes and atmosphere.

As they chime out some of the timeless classics such as ‘Yellow’ and ‘Viva La Vida’ it’s hard to leave Glasgow Green with anything but a massive smile etched upon ones face.

Words: Chris Kelman


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