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TRNSMT: Kickabouts to King Tut’s in Glasgow Green for rising star Dylan John Thomas

© Anthony MooneyDylan John Thomas on stage
Dylan John Thomas on stage

Glasgow Green was where Dylan John Thomas would go as a kid for a kickabout with his friends or a shot of the swings.

So to be playing one of his biggest sets yet at the TRNSMT festival is quite the moment.

The rising star’s talents have seen him support the likes of Gerry Cinnamon on tour and the festival’s Saturday night headliner Liam Gallagher at the Hydro.

And he was a big hit on the King Tut’s stage at the festival’s big return after lockdown.

“I grew up just down the road in the East End,” he said. “I’d come here every day playing football or going to the swing park. To be able to play somewhere like this is just bizarre.”

This is just the third show back after two warm-up gigs, one of which saw him play to a slightly different demographic – some “wee women drinking tea”.

But an appearance at Neighbourhood Festival in Warrington really brought back the energy.

“It was bouncing,” Thomas said. “It’s just beautiful to be back and in the festival atmosphere again. I’ve sat about for the last two years playing FIFA – I think I’ve won everything you can win in it.

“The TRNSMT set has been two years in the making. I keep saying the word bizarre, because I don’t really know how to put it into words. It feels real again.

“I remember I put up the announcement for the rescheduled TRNSMT a year ago and someone commented on it that it might not even happen. I wondered what I was going to do if that was true.

“Music is a coping mechanism, being in about it, it affects the artist, the crew, the people that go to see shows as a release. A lot of people’s personality is music, their full thing in life is just music. For people going to these shows, for it to be ripped out and not have it for two years… It’s affected everybody.”

Dylan John Thomas

It wasn’t just FIFA he was working on during lockdown, however, as he piled up recordings and demos.

“The only thing it stunted was the release of music because we didn’t want to put the tunes out if I couldn’t play them live,” he said.

“It was hard to gauge when everything was going to come back again. Now I’ve put out two tunes in the last couple of months, and I’ve got the EP coming out at the end of October. It’s dynamite to be back releasing tunes, playing live again. It’s a beautiful thing.”

Playing the King Tut’s stage is another milestone for Thomas, who has already sold out the venue of the same name quicker than any other debuting Scot.

He said: “Even just playing there, because it’s so well renowned, has opened up so many opportunities. Playing the stage is another milestone.

“Sometimes you can see milestones as not living in the moment, but it’s nice just to appreciate where you are and where you came from.”

TRNSMT festival continues until Sunday