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TRNSMT: Rising star Rianne Downey makes the most of late festival call-up

© Rianne Downey / FacebookRianne Downey at TRNSMT
Rianne Downey at TRNSMT

On Friday, Rianne Downey came to TRNSMT to soak in a day of live music on Glasgow Green.

Little did she know that she should’ve been using the trip as a scouting mission, as she received a late call-up to play a set on the River Stage on Sunday after another artist pulled out.

“It’s been a pretty surreal experience,” she said. “It was unbelievable, I’m still struggling to put words together. This is a dream of mine, so the fact that I’ve been asked to fill in for someone when I’ve only started gigging this year is brilliant.

“During lockdown I’ve been unable to play or show anybody what I’m made of. I’ve never played my own songs live before, so it’s great being able to do that here in Glasgow where there’s such a warm, welcoming crowd.

“I’m so excited for people to hear what I’ve got to say and hopefully they can take something from it as well.”

Oasis – Half The World Away

Posted by Rianne Downey on Thursday, 19 August 2021

The 21-year-old, from Bellshill, has built a fanbase through a selection of cover versions uploaded to social media throughout lockdown.

She’s also been writing her own music, with Fuel To The Flame getting airplay from the legendary Bob Harris on Radio 2.

“At first it was rock bottom, stuck in the house,” she recalled. “I wasn’t someone who was dead outgoing and gigging all the time. I had all this time with myself to do nothing.

“But then I thought, no I’m going to make something of myself when I’m stuck in the house. That’s when I started uploading covers to social media and turn my hand to writing.

“Things blew up from there. Lockdown ended up being a blessing in disguise for me to be honest.

“The covers have kept me going through a dark time but from reading the comments, I’ve kept a lot of other people going as well. It’s good to help lift each other up and its helped me actually kickstart my career.”

Downey’s debut EP is released in the coming weeks, and she’ll play to a sold out crowd at King Tut’s in Glasgow on September 24.

She’s also supporting The Lathums on their UK tour and The Snuts at their big Barrowlands show, as well as playing her own gig at Liverpool’s Sound City.

“I keep using the word surreal, but it absolutely is,” she said ahead of taking to the TRNSMT River Stage on Sunday evening. “To be playing TRNSMT and this being my proper debut Glasgow gig and it’s so last minute, it’s all fallen into place.”