Live Review: Tenement Trail Festival

Amongst the wreckage of Sauchiehall Street, which is still reeling from the devastating effects of the Art School Fire and the ambitious renovation project taking up the roadway, the team behind Tenement Trail managed to pull off another successful outing of the cities multi-venue music extravaganza.

Tenement Trail is the best opportunity to see the best kept secrets of Glasgow’s music scene. It’s DIY to its core, bringing together more than 60 artists, primarily from the Scottish region, on one strong billing. With an extensive range of sets to choose from, the day really feels like a frantic race to tick off all the bands on your checklist. Albeit, you’re never going to catch everyone you want to see, but we managed to catch nine of them.

The day starts off strong, with unsigned pick Scarlett Randle’s mid-afternoon Broadcast set. She guides us through a series of tales of love and loss, set to sugar sweet vocals and her calming session band. Momentum is heightened by Falkirk punks Pleasure Heads; the bands Joe Strummer esque vocals and jarring riffs awakening the sober Nice n Sleazy’s crowd.

Moving onto The Priory, the grittiest underground venue of the festival had the most fitting band to venue match of the day. From Snash to Gallus, to The Murder Capital, the space felt as authentically punk as the raucous bands who played there. Snash are clearly one of the worst kept secrets of the Glasgow scene, as people flocked in their masses for thirty minutes of pure chaos from the unfiltered four piece. Following the noise, came a moment of psyche drenched rock from Quiche, as the venue cleared of laddish groupies.

On an organisational aside, Glasgow’s premier jazz bar The Blue Arrow, whilst a fitting setting for jazz musicians, could have better accounted for the crowds that are always anticipated from the all dayer by removing the intimate table settings which resulted in a lack of space to fully appreciate Beta Waves’ set. Nonetheless, their experimental synth infused pop carried well across the venue.

The Garage stepped up in all its glory with the loss of the O2 ABC, hosting the biggest bands of the festival. Walt Disco took to the G2 stage at 5.45, with a stimulating performance that brought eighties new romantic tropes into the 21st century and provided a real high point of the day. Doncaster’s The Blinders were next to take to Garage’s mainstage, their high-octane live performance providing all the evidence for why they’re one of the most hotly tipped touring bands of the minute. Followers YONAKA were a suitable support for headliners The Cribs, blending room shaking vocals, punchy riffs and dirty melodies.

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Walt Disco at G2 – Photo by Charlotte Winspear

Finally, The Cribs were warmly welcomed back onto the Garage stage for the first time in twelve years. The result, an unbreakable chain of the bands biggest hits, the lyrics affectionately hurled back at the band, alongside a surge of crowd surfing bodies. For what may be The Cribs last gig for a while, Tenement Trail certainly provided the perfect farewell to Wakefield’s scuzziest rockers.

Same again next year?


Words and Photos by Charlotte Winspear ( @charleewins )