Tramlines 2018 Review

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2018 sees Tramlines, Sheffield’s inner-city music festival celebrate it’s 10th birthday. To celebrate the occasion, it moved to Hillsborough Park for what was advertised as ‘Sheffield’s Biggest Ever Party.’ I’d have to agree.

Friday

The one bad thing about Tramlines 2018 was that there were just too many acts I wanted to see! With the likes of The Orielles and Everything Everything playing at the same time I found myself dashing between the stages to catch a bit of everyone.

Kicking things off for me were The Big Moon.

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Playing a selection of top indie bangers from their Mercury nominated debut album alongside a brill cover of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart, The Big Moon again proved themselves to be a perfect, energetic live band.

A quick run over to the Leadmill stage for Sheffield locals High Hazels next.DSCN2254.JPG

Pulling in a big crowd for that time of day, High Hazels delivered a very pleasant set of their slick, old-school indie.

Another quick dash from Leadmill to Main stage now for the bold Everything Everything.

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You can always rely on Everything Everything to be a brilliant live act, and during the only rainy spell of the weekend, the lads pulled it off, getting the crowd going with older hits such as ‘Regret’ alongside tracks from their last album ‘A Fever Dream’.

Next up were The Orielles.

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Another Yorkshire act, The Orielles played a very tight, energetic show full of tracks from their debut album ‘Silver Dollar Moment’ – if you ever get the chance to catch them live please do as Sid is an amazing drummer.

Friday’s headline act was Stereophonics.

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Kicking things off with their best track in recent years, ‘C’est La Vie’, the Welsh rock legends provided the perfect soundtrack for the Friday sunset, with massive hits like ‘Maybe Tomorrow ‘ and ‘Dakota’ really getting Sheff singing.

Saturday

The second day of Tramlines kicked off earlier, with both music and comedy beginning at around mid day. I saw some great, innovative comedy acts in the Leadmill tent to start my Saturday, including the amazing Foxdog Studios, who got everyone’s phones linked up for an interactive experience, and the hilarious Barbara Nice.

Music-wise, for me first up were Redfaces.

Lighting up the main stage with their fast-paced tunes like ‘Kerosene’ – the Sheffield lads proved they deserved that place on a big stage, and they owned it.

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After that, I nipped over to the Library Stage to catch Self Esteem, the solo project of Rebecca Taylor, formerly of Slow Club.

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Rebecca and her band put on a great show, with songs such as ‘Your Wife’ being a perfect Saturday afternoon soundtrack, with the weather slowly getting hotter and hotter.

Next up were Sheffield legends Reverend and the Makers, who had the rowdiest crowd of the weekend, and for good reason.

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From the get go, Jon and Co got the crowd bouncing, and I mean the entire park was shaking, with massive tunes like ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World’ and ‘Bassline’ really kicking things off, with people of all ages going for it.

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Saturday was a big indie night out, with Blossoms next up on the Main Stage.

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From their first track, ‘At Most A Kiss’, the Stockport favourites played a blinder of a set filled with crowdpleasers from their first two albums, and the irresistible ‘Charlamagne’ got the crowd nicely warmed up for Saturday’s headliner.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds were the closing act for the Tramlines 2018 Saturday.

DSCN3257.JPG While I was obviously excited for Noel, he really surpassed my expectations. He was noticeably really enjoying playing in Sheffield, and his enthusiasm quickly rubbed off on Hillsborough Park, with many a mass sing-a-long to be had. Playing a great mixture of solo and Oasis material, the elder Gallagher really shone on Saturday night.

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Sunday

Sunday for me was all about T’Other stage. Opening up the Tramlines Sunday for me were quick rising Sheff band The Seamonsters.

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Pulling a big crowd for the time of day, the Sheff six piece played a great, energetic set that proved to be the perfect start to the day.

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Next up was Nina Nesbitt.

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Playing a selection of her recent singles and older tracks as well as teasing some upcoming new tunes, Nina really impressed me with just how good she was live, witha  great vocal performance and stage prescence.

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After Nina were Gengahr.

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Beautifully playing tracks from their first two albums, including fan favourites like ‘She’s A Witch’ and recent hit ‘Carrion’, Gengahr played to a pretty much full T’Other Stage tent on the Sunday afternoon.

Following on from Gengahr were Little Comets.

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Little Comets really had Sheffield dancing with their upbeat indie rock, playing a great, tight set despite being down a member.

Next up, Pale Waves.

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Pale Waves are perhaps the buzziest band in the country at the moment, and they played a set that showed just why they have risen up so quickly, with the tent packed out to see the Manchester band play their indie pop to perfection.

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After Pale Waves, it was to the Main Stage for the last time of the weekend for De La Soul.

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One of the liveliest acts of the festival, De La Soul definitely won in terms of crowd participation, really getting the crowd involved in call-and-response games in between their legendary tracks like ‘Me Myself and I’. Another act who genuinely seemed to really enjoy playing to the Sheffield crowd.

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The final act of the weekend for me were Teleman, over on the Library Stage.

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Another of Britain’s Tightest Bands™, Teleman played a brilliant set of tracks from their first two albums, as well as tracks from their upcoming ‘Family of Aliens’ album, with ‘Song for a Seagull’ being a set highlight for me. Closing with the absolute banger that is Dusseldorf, they were the perfect end to a great weekend.


 

Tramlines 2018 was definitely Sheffield’s biggest ever party, and there was a really positive attitude throughout the park all weekend, with literally everybody having a good time. With organisation, food and entertainment that good it’s hard not to.

You could easily tell the amount of effort and love put into the event by Sarah Nulty and her team, and it paid off in a massive way. Roll on 2019.

Check out my full photo gallery from the weekend here!

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You can buy tickets for Tramlines 2019 already here. I would if I were you.

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Tramlines 2018 – Who to Watch

This year’s Tramlines lineup is the biggest yet, so it might be a bit difficult to pick out who to see. Worry not, I’ve got you covered.

 

Friday

The Big Moon – Main Stage

The Big Moon always put on a good, energy filled show, and with the Mercury Nommed group opening up the main stage this year, there’s no reason to miss them.

Everything Everything – Main Stage

Everything Everything are one of the most experimental, consistent bands around right now, and their live shows are equally amazing. Not to be missed.

The Orielles – Leadmill Live Stage

Having released their brilliant debut album earlier this year, The Orielles are a perfect example of upbeat indie rock.

Saturday

Blossoms – Main Stage

Quickly becoming one of the biggest names in indie music over the last few years, Blossoms will be sure to get the crowd going on Saturday evening.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Main Stage

It’s Noel Gallagher.

Mabel – T’Other Stage

One of the best new names in pop from the last few years, Mabel is bringing her R&B hits to Tramlines on Saturday afternoon.

Sunday

The Seamonsters – T’Other Stage

One of the most exciting young bands in Sheffield at the mo, The Seamonsters open T’Other Stage on Sunday.

Pale Waves – T’Other Stage

One of the fastest rising indie bands at the moment, Pale Waves will bring their slick indie pop to T’Other Stage on Sunday.

De La Soul – Main Stage

Hip-Hop legends De La Soul will take to the stage on Sunday evening and are sure to put on a big, energy filled show.

Teleman – The Library Stage

Consistently brilliant and inventive, Teleman are bringing their synth driven indie sounds to the Library Stage on Sunday night.


Tickets for Tramlines are still available, with more info and the full lineup at http://tramlines.org.uk

Tramlines 2017 Review

FRIDAY

Opening up the main stage for this year’s Tramlines were local band Liberty Ship, who definitely deserved that big slot, providing an upbeat set of crowd-pleasing indie rock that kicked things off proper.

Following on from Liberty Ship were Scottish rockers Twin Atlantic.TA9.JPG

Drawing a big crowd fairly early on, Twin Atlantic were one of the tightest acts of the weekend, kicking their set off with ‘Whispers’ from last year’s GLA album.

After a few songs from them however, I had to dash over to the Devonshire Green stage to catch US Hip Hop Legends The Pharcyde. PS2.JPG

One of the most high-energy, fun sets of the weekend came from The Pharcyde.

Getting the crowd moving and making noise on every song, and Bootie doing his part from Dirty Harry by Gorillaz was one of my highlights of the weekend.

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Closing the Devonshire Green stage on Friday was Mercury nominated grime legend Kano.  Alongside an incredible live band, Kano performed cuts from his latest album, Made in The Manor alongside some old favourites. Many big grime acts have someone else to fill in the gaps when they need to take a breath bars, but Kano did not need that at all, effortlessly spitting even through the rain.

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SATURDAY

Saturday was wet. But that didn’t stop Sheffield. The first act of the day for me were the ever-brilliant Estrons.

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As punchy as ever, Estrons delivered a great set to an upbeat Dev Green crowd despite the threatening weather, with big hitters ‘Make a Man’ and ‘Drop’ getting the slightly damp crowd moving.

Next up were another act that I had seen a few times before, and knew that they would be great; Spring King.

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I was expecting a good crowd for Spring King, but they had the liveliest crowd of the weekend, with most songs ending up with a mosh pit, much to the delight of Tarek and co.

After a short, very wet interlude, it was time for the Saturday night headliners, Primal Scream.

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A large amount of people had left before Primal Scream had even started, the weather was that bad. But those who braved the rain knew they had made the right decision as soon as the opening of ‘Movin on Up’ blasted out across the Ponderosa. A greatest hits set in the biggest way possible, massive track like ‘Loaded’, ‘Rocks’ and ‘Come Together’ did their best to shake away the clouds.

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SUNDAY

Having mostly dried off from the night before, it was out to the main stage for Akala.

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Akala drew a massive crowd for 3 in the afternoon, bringing his fire from the booth to the Tramlines main stage.

After Akala’s short and sharp set, Loyle Carner took to the (very smartly dressed) stage.

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Launching into his set with ‘The Isle of Arran’, Loyle played a blinder of a set, getting a great reception from the main stage crowd. Witty lyrics with great delivery made for one of the highlights of the festival, with set closer ‘NO CD’ going off in a big way.

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After Loyle, it was back over to Devonshire Green for The Big Moon. tbm13.JPG

Starting off with ‘Silent Movie Susie’ before ripping through most of ‘Love in the 4th Dimension’, The Big Moon were one of the best acts of the weekend.

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Closing Tramlines 2017 were Metronomy.m6.JPG

Despite it being another wet one, the main stage was rammed. ‘Back Together’ from ‘Summer ’08’ kicked off Metronomy’s hit filled set, with ‘Old Skool’ from the same album following that. The whole hour was filled with memorable synth lines that got Sheffield grooving in the rain, from ‘The Bay’ right through to closer ‘Reservoir’. The final, and best act of the weekend.

Overall, another great year for Tramlines. Very well organised with very friendly, helpful staff and one of the most diverse festival lineups I have seen this year.

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Tramlines 2017 Picks

Tramlines 2017 is just around the corner, and with so many acts to choose from, here are a few of my acts you would be silly to miss this summer in Sheff. Buy tickets here.

Friday
Kano (8:45pm Devonshire Green)

Off the back of his recent Mercury nominated album ‘Made in The Manor’, Grime legend Kano is my pick of the headline acts on Friday.

Twin Atlantic (7pm Main Stage)

Glaswegian rock band Twin Atlantic are sure to get the main stage going on Friday night, with big hit ‘Heart and Soul’ bound to be a crowd pleaser.

Saturday

Primal Scream (8:45pm Main Stage)

Scottish indie legends Primal Scream headline the main stage on Saturday, and with such big hits as ‘Rocks’ and ‘Movin on Up’ as well as material from their latest few albums, Bobby and co. will be one of the highlights of Tramlines 2017.

Estrons  (4:45pm Devonshire Green)

Having caught Estrons live a few times now, I know that the Welsh indie rockers are one of the most energetic acts out there.

Spring King (6pm Devonshire Green)

Spring King are a great live act, with drummer and lead singer Tarek always impressive to see. Tracks like ‘The Summer’ and ‘Who Are You’ are sure to be festival highlights.

Sunday

The Big Moon  (6:15pm Devonshire Green)

Having just released their brilliant debut album ‘Love in the 4th Dimension’, The Big Moon’s stellar indie sounds are not to be missed.

Metronomy (7:45pm Main Stage)

Metronomy headline Sunday night on the main stage, and their electro-indie hits are not to be passed on; big hits like ‘The Bay’ and ‘The Look’ as well as great new tracks from ‘Summer ’08’ will make this a great closer to the festival.

Loyle Carner (4:45pm Main Stage)

Loyle Carner impressed with his Debut album ‘Yesterday’s Gone’, with his sharp wit and genuine character coming through in his verses. ‘NO CD’ is a banger.

Here’s a playlist of the best tracks from each of these artists:

 

Tramlines 2016 – Saturday Review

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Tramlines 2016 was bigger and better than ever, with one of the most diverse line-ups of any festival in the UK, and with a bigger main stage location for this year, this was not one to miss.

The first act of the day I went to see were Living Body, in the beautiful setting of the Folk Forest stage situated in Endcliffe Park. This was Living Body’s first ever live show, and once they got set up you’d never have guessed. With members of Vessels and Sleater-Kinney joining frontman Jeff T. Smith, this was a great new discovery, and a perfect way to kick off the festival.

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Living Body on the Folk Festival Stage
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Little Comets on Main Stage

Over to the main stage next for Teeside favourites Little Comets. Their upbeat indie anthems drew a big crowd for 3 in the afternoon, providing a perfect summery soundtrack to what was turning out to be a really sunny day. Their track ‘Dancing Song’ lived up to it’s name, getting the whole Ponderosa moving.

Next I stumbled upon Sly & The Family Drone at the City Hall’s Ballroom stage. Perhaps the most interesting act of the day, they played their set of unique heavy dance music in the middle of the ballroom floor to a small, but completely mesmerised crowd.

Daniel Whitehouse at the Cathedral was another unexpected find, with his great, melancholic acoustic set a nice fit for the amazing setting of the Cathedral.

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Daniel Whitehouse in Sheffield Cathedral

Kate Jackson, ex-Frontwoman of the Long Blondes, was next up at the O2 Academy, who played a solid set of songs from her latest album British Home Movies, as well as a few new tracks.

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Kate Jackson at O2 Academy Sheffield

Following on from Kate were Sheffield favourites The Crookes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the crowd for them was one of the liveliest of the event. Blasting through songs from their new album Lucky Ones as well as a selection of tracks from their earlier albums, this was a real local crowd pleasing set, with closer Afterglow really getting the Academy shifting.8db16a7f2f

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The Crookes at O2 Academy Sheffield

The final act of the day for me were Mystery Jets. Kicking things off with Telomere, the first track off their latest album Curve Of The Earth, the band were incredibly tight throughout the set. Bubblegum, another track and lead single from the album was another set highlight, and earlier hit Two Doors Down provided another big moment towards the end.

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Tramlines is great for the city of Sheffield, and the venues within it. All of the venues that the festival utilised and created had a real bustling atmosphere to them, and almost all of the fringe venues were too busy to get in, and the lineup is one of the most diverse of any UK festival I have seen this year.

Earlybird tickets for next years festival are available now at only £25, and if the lineup is as half as good as this years’ that is a real bargain.

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Tramlines 2016 Top Picks

Tramlines 2016 kicks off tomorrow (Friday 22nd July) across several venues throughout Sheffield and runs until Sunday 24th July. Here are my top picks that you’d be silly to miss;

Friday

Dizzee Rascal – Main Stage 8:45pm

It’s worth going to see him for Bonkers alone, but with his latest collaboration with Calvin Harris a strong contender to be a big hit this summer, and older tracks like Fix Up, Look Sharp, his set is sure to be a highlight of the weekend.

Meilyr Jones – Sheffield Cathedral 8:45pm

Releasing his debut album, 2013, earlier this year, Meilyr Jones’ northern soul infused tracks like How To Recognise a work of art and Strange/Emotional should make for a great alternative to Dizzee, and the setting of the cathedral will make it that bit more special.

Pixx – The Harley 7:30pm

4AD signee Pixx’s off kilter brand of pop is extremely catchy, and shouldn’t be missed.

Saturday

The Crookes – O2 Academy 6:30pm

Sheffield indie heroes The Crookes always put on a great show, with their latest album Lucky Ones providing even more crowdpleasers.

Teleman – Folk Forest 5:15pm

Teleman’s latest album, Brilliant Sanity, is one of my favourite albums of the year so far, and you shouldn’t pass up the chance to see it played live in the great setting of the folk forest.

Mystery Jets – O2 Academy 7:45pm

Mystery Jets have a massive back catalogue, but their latest album, Curve Of The Earth proves that they very much still have it.

Field Music – Folk Forest 6:45pm

Field Music’s Commontime album is simply brilliant, and you’d be silly to miss them live.

Sunday

Hinds – Main Stage 4pm

Spanish indie rockers Hinds will be sure to put on a great show, with their debut album Leave Me Alone providing some great summery tracks.

Gaz Coombes – Leadmill 9:30pm

The Ex-Supergrass man has also delivered two impressive solo albums now, so expect to see a mixture of tracks in the intimate setting of the Leadmill.

Public Service Broadcasting – Main Stage 6:30

Known for their impressive use of archive footage incorporated into their live performances, PSB’s set will be a must-see.

Trash – The Harley 8pm

Trash’s latest single Workout shows real promise, and along with tracks from their EPs their set could be a great new discovery for you.

 

More info on Tramlines can be found here.