THIS OCTOBER, Tenement Trail returns for another incredible day of live music in Glasgow’s East End. Taking over legendary venues like the Barrowlands, Saint Luke’s and popular spaces like BAaD and Van Winkle, 2023 promises to be a milestone year for the festival which will be hosting one of its freshest and most exciting line-ups to date, headed up by the likes of Circa Waves, Walt Disco, Bemz, Voodoos and more.
Since it first began in 2013, Tenement Trail has established itself as Scotland’s biggest and best festival for music discovery. Over the years, we’ve seen some of the finest talent in the UK take on Trail, from established veterans to hotly tipped artists to brand new local bands, and the festival now boasts a highly impressive alumni of acts who have gone onto great success. Whether you’re looking to check out the next big thing or support local talent, Tenement Trail is definitely the place to be.
Ahead of the festival’s return, we take a look back at some of the artists who have left a lasting impression on the Trail and secured their place in the upper echelons of its rich and storied history.
Get your tickets to TENEMENT TRAIL 2023 here.
Only a handful of people saw Lewis Capaldi play The Vic Bar on Sauchiehall Street back in 2016 but it’s a set that will always be remembered in the festival’s storied history. Since then, Capaldi has become one of the biggest popstars in the world and a social media phenomenon. With millions of streams on Spotify, two number one albums and huge army of diehard fans behind him, he’s headlined festivals all over the world and played iconic shows such as headlining TRNSMT, the OVO Hydro, Edinburgh Summer Sessions and more – a far cry from the small Vic Bar on Sauchiehall Street.
Sam Fender made the journey up to Glasgow back in 2014 when Tenement Trail was only in its second year. One of the first acts of the day at Flat 0/1 with a modest 3.30pm slot, he then returned three years later to play the festival in 2017 in Nice N Sleazy when the number of venues had increased from five to ten. Fender’s rise to the forefront of the UK music scene has been nothing short of stratospheric since those early days. Since last playing Trail, Fender has released two acclaimed albums ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ and ‘Seventeen Going Under’, headlined Reading & Leeds, TRNSMT and other festivals across the world, and also played two massive homecoming gigs at St James Park. The venues just keep getting bigger and bigger for the Geordie singer-songwriter.
Before Yungblud became one of the most talked-about acts in the UK, he played a modestly attended set at Tenement Trail back in 2017 in Flat 0/1. The Doncaster star, otherwise known as Dominic Harrison, has become a streaming sensation over the last few years with one of the most passionate fanbases in the UK. Showcasing a smorgasbord of styles from guitar-driven indie to trap-infused hip-hop, his astute lyrics have really struck a chord with a new generation of music fans and with three albums now to his name, he has worked with the likes of Travis Barker, Halsey and penned tracks for the star-studded 13 Reasons Why soundtrack. Having already spread his appeal from the US to Australia, Yungblud’s world domination is underway.
LUCIA & The Best Boys
Since first appearing at Tenement Trail in 2016, Lucia & The Boys have had a memorable few years – even returning in 2019 to play the infamous midnight slot at McChuills. With her long-awaited debut album ‘Burning Castles’ now on the way, slated for release on 29th September, the frontwoman and her band have toured relentlessly across the UK, joining the likes of Wolf Alice and Dream Wife on tour, playing in the US, appearing at TRNSMT, Reading & Leeds and much more. And along the way, the band’s sound has grown and matured – shifting from punchy indie-rock to a brooding, sweeping eighties-inspired alt-pop. With more big gigs on the horizon, including a hometown show at SWG3, the only way is up for the talented outfit.
Gallus first appeared at TENEMENT TRAIL back in 2018 when the festival’s home was on Sauchiehall Street. Those days in the Priory feel like a long time ago now though. With a recalibrated line-up, a record deal with Marshall Records and a debut album ‘We Don’t Like The People We’ve Become’ out in the world, the band spend most of their time gigging around Europe now – taking in the likes of Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and even Primavera Sound in Barcelona. They returned to Trail to headline BAaD last year and it’s a set that will go down in the upper echelons of the festival’s history – absolute chaos featuring a cover of Harry Styles’ ‘As It Was’.
Another band who made their TENEMENT TRAIL debut in the Priory back in 2018, Dead Pony have evolved into an entirely different beast since those early days. Now the band are more well-known for their pummelling riffs and furious punk rock sound – channelling the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, The Prodigy and Linkin Park. Full of fury and swaggering confidence, they’re an unmissable live act – so much so that their September UK tour is pretty much completely sold out.
Not just a place for emerging Scottish acts to make a name for themselves, Tenement Trail has also been known to welcome its fair share of touring acts from further afield. One of the hottest acts of the year in 2019 had to be Squid – the post-punk outfit arrived with a sterling reputation and they didn’t disappoint. Their second album ‘O Monolith’ was released earlier this year to widespread acclaim – full of writhing, wormy guitars, ambient synths and brass interludes.
VLURE well and truly made their presence known at TENEMENT TRAIL back in 2019. Despite playing a difficult early slot in The Winged Ox, it’s fair to say they woke everyone up with a staggering live performance that pulled no punches whatsoever. Nowadays, they represent the Glasgow music scene much further afield – touring across the UK, and even appearing at Glastonbury earlier this year.
The Big Moon
At the time of their Tenement Trail appearance in 2017, The Big Moon were one of the surprise nominees for that year’s Mercury Prize. The band attracted a massive crowd in The Garage where they performed one fizzing indie anthem after another from their critically acclaimed debut ‘Love in the 4th Dimension’ aswell as a memorable cover of ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’. With appearances at Glastonbury, TRNSMT, a US tour and more under their belt, the four-piece made a return last year with the announcement of their third album ‘Here Is Everything’.
The Blinders played TENEMENT TRAIL in 2018 off the back of their acclaimed debut album ‘Columbia’. The band quickly cultivated a reputation for their firebrand political righteousness, noir melodicism and fierce lyrical intelligence – drawing influence from the likes of Pink Floyd, Iggy Pop, the Amazing Snakeheads and Nick Cave as much as literary touchstones like George Orwell and Jack Kerouac. Since their burst onto the scene, the band shared their second studio album in 2020 and two-part EP in 2022. Having toured the UK and Europe alongside the likes of The Charlatans, The Cribs, The View and Blossoms to name a few, the band recently made a return to social media with the announcement of a flurry of live dates.
After seizing the attention of fans and tastemakers alike with their soaring, euphoric brand of indie-rock from the very formative stages of their career, Neon Waltz were one of the main attractions of Tenement Trail 2014. Since then they have cultivated an impressive following all over the UK, taking their stirring sound to venues and festivals far beyond their hometown Caithness. With two albums now out in the world, including ‘Honey Now’ which arrived just a couple of weeks ago, they’ve also supported the likes of Noel Gallagher, DMA’s and more.
2015 Tenement Trail favourites The Amazons have certainly made an impact on the UK music scene since they took the teatime slot at Nice n Sleazys. Undoubtedly a highlight of the 2015 festival, The Amazons’ rise to the top was easy to foresee. Since then, they have toured relentlessly, released two albums, played the TRNSMT Main Stage, secured regular Radio 1 airplay and filled venues up and down the country with their anthemic rock-driven sound.
The Murder Capital
Those who bore witness to The Murder Capital’s set in the Priory in 2018 will have known they were in the presence of a special band. Still only in their formative stages at that point, the Irish post-punk outfit have gone onto release two albums ‘When I Have Fear’ and ‘Gigi’s Recovery’. In fact, 2023 2023 has been something of a breakout year for the band. Following the second album, they played a 16-date US tour, as well as appearing at Coachella for the first time. The band recently headlined The Great Escape in Brighton, and this summer have had a packed schedule with over thirty festival performances including Glastonbury, Primavera, Reading and Leeds, Latitude, Electric Picnic and End Of The Road.
Edinburgh’s Vistas have certainly captured the imagination of the streaming generation with their exuberant, fiercely infectious indie pop anthems. With millions of streams to their name, it was easy to foresee their rapid ascendancy back in the day thanks to massive high-tempo, hook-laden hits like ‘Eighteen’, ‘Calm’ and ‘Like an American’. The past couple of years have seen them tour all over the UK, securing massive support slots with the likes of The Wombats, Fatherson, Circa Waves and more. What’s more, after appearing at Trail a couple of times over the years, they returned to headline in 2022 in front of a sold-out Barras. Having released two albums to widespread acclaim, they’re now about to embark on their biggest headline tour yet – which will include a date at Glasgow’s O2 Academy.
Declan Welsh & the Decadent West
Declan Welsh is a bonafide Trail veteran, having played twice as a solo artist and a third time in 2017 with his band the Decadent West. Known for his astute social commentary and melodic punk tunes, the festival has seen him go from humble acoustic beginnings to the formidable frontman he is today. This summer, you may have seen him take on the Main Stage at TRNSMT Festival, ahead of the release of his second album ‘2’ later this year. Meanwhile, its predecessor was shortlisted for the SAY Award back in 2020. It’s fair to say those small solo slots in Nice N Sleazys are a thing of the past for this ambitious outfit.
Get your tickets to TENEMENT TRAIL 2023 here.