Tramlines 2018 Review

tramlines 2018 collage

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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.



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


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.



Next up was Nina Nesbitt.


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.


After Nina were Gengahr.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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!


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


New Release Roundup 14th July 2018

Childish Gambino – Summertime Magic: The first of 2 new tracks from the true Donald isn’t one of his best, but it’s still pretty nice. It just feels a bit flat to me especially compared to the amazing ‘This is America’. 70%

– Feels Like Summer: The second track in DG’s Summer Pack is much better. A real chill bop with great layered instrumentals and vocals that really make for a uniquem but still clearly Childish track. Very nice. 83%

Christine and The Queens – Doesn’t Matter: Another top single from the French pop master here, very groovy and brilliantly produced. A bit more understated and calm than ‘Girlfriend’ but the layered vocals on this track are very tasty. 93%

Ariana Grande – God Is A Woman: Yet another great track from Ariana’s upcoming album Sweetener, although this is the track most similar to her previous releases, Ariana’s vocal performance on this track is amazing and the ending to the track is one of the best i’ve heard in a long time. 85%

Twenty One Pilots – Jumpsuit: I really like this from top. A really dramatic, tense rock song with a nice bassy main riff that manages to pack a punch. It’s nice and varied too, with a quiet emotional bit towards the second half. Their new album could be good. 85%

– Nico and the Niners: This second new track from the edgy duo is a bit more chill than Jumpsuit, with a repeated acoustic guitar refrain use throughout but again it’s catchy and well produced. 80%

Suede – Don’t Be Afraid If Nobody Loves You: Brett Anderson still sounds great on this new track from 90’s faves Suede, with a really powerful hook on the chorus showing off his chops. Great jaggy guitar on the main riff too. This new album could be reallyy nice. 90%

Brockhampton – 1999 Wildfire: Like this new song from the boyband, a really infectious hook on the chorus with decent rap verses from the lads make this full of personality and raises my hopes for their upcoming album. 82%

Kiran Leonard – Paralysed Force: This new track from Kiran sounds like if Mumford and Sons were actually good and had some personality. With a triumphant instrumental break in the middle of the song, this is really very pleasant indeed. 90%

Iggy Azalea ft. Tyga – Kream: This is the worst song Iggy has done to date. It doesn’t even really have the personality that her tracks usually have to set her tracks apart from her contemporaries at all. Bland and forgettable. 20%

Sigrid – Schedules: A nice, upbeat single here from Sigrid the instrumental has a really catchy bassline and chirpy synths that match Sigrid’s great vocal performance on the track. One of her best tracks so far, Schedules proves she isn’t just a one-hit wonder. Excellent. 88%


New Release Roundup 2nd July

YOTA – Drop The Bomb ft. MF Doom: A great debut single from this new group from Gorillaz and Klaxons members, Drop The Bomb has an unavoidable chorus and brilliant production, with great verses throughout from MF Doom. 90%

Moderate Rebels – Beyond Hidden Words: A progressive, well produced track from Moderate Rebels here, with the instrumental backing the repeated spoken vocal phrase slowly developing throughout. Sounds a bit like Baba O’Riley but in a good way. 70%

Pale Waves – Noises: Another great single from Pale Waves, with ‘Noises’ focusing on insecurities over a brilliantly produced synth-pop backing. Great lyrics too, with ‘Heather you’re stupid” really making me giggle. 90%

Jvck James – Fears: A really slick track from Jvck here, delivering a great vocal performance over a really well produced smooth synth backing. veryy nice. 82%

Oscar ft. Sarah Bonito: The first new music from Oscar since his debut album, ‘1UP’ is a fun track about loneliness based on a chip-tune esque beat. Sarah from Kero Kero Bonito really works well with Oscar here. 80%

Fil Bo Riva – Time Is Your Gun: A very pleasant guitar ballad from Fil Bo Riva here, reminding me a bit of Supergrass and early Kings of Leon. Not a bad thing at all. 80%

Lizzo – Boys: This is an absolute banger. 90%


Charli XCX – Focus: A really catchy, well produced dancey track from Charli here, with an annoyingly catchy ‘I just want you to focus on my love’ repeated line throughout. Sick. 82%

No Angel: One of Charli’s best tracks to date, No Angel is an absolute banger with a really catchy chorus and amazing PC Music beats that as they usually do, suit her vocals so well. 91%


Street Noise – Raising Money through Gigs.

Street Noise UK are putting on a series of gigs across the UK in order to raise money for the Big Issue North Trust, who support those on the streets, with their first gig being headlined by Frank Turner.

Frank Turner at the 1st Street Noise Gig.

Fundraising Manager for Big Issue North, George Wright, gave me some more info about the initiative.

“We launched Street Noise last year, to find a new way to raise money for Big Issue North. The trust supports people who sell Big Issue North on the streets, helping with anything from housing and health issues to problems with addiction or money management.”

“We thought gigs would be a great way to fundraise, as Big Issue North has always championed great music. We were lucky enough to get the awesome Frank Turner to headline our first show, and he rocked the Manchester Ritz to its foundations! I’m really excited for Puppet Rebellion to follow in his footsteps, as they carry on their climb to the top, and for many more Street Noise gigs to come.”

The next gig is at Night and Day Cafe in Manchester on the 5th July and is headlined by Puppet Rebellion, with tickets on sale now from here.


New Release Roundup 23rd June 2018


Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj – The Light Is Coming: Another great track from Ariana’s upcoming ‘Sweetener’ that shows she really isn’t messing around on this new project, showing real variation from her previous single. 92%

Years & Years – Palo Santo: This sounds so much like it should be at the end of a Hunger Games movie that I just remembered I never saw the last one. Good track though and Olly’s voice is still nice and it’s a well produced track; I’m glad they haven’t just made another album exactly the same as their first. 70%

Cheat Codes & Little Mix – Only You: When I first heard this I thought it was Zara Larsson which isn’t a bad thing, but it does not reach that Little Mix level of banger that I expect from them. 50%

Our Girl – In My Head: Another great single from Our Girl, with a chill, moody beginning leading up to a great progressive build up towards the end of the track. 83%

Florence and The Machine – Big God: A nice track from Florence with a good vocal performance, but I kept waiting for it to have a big finish or change-up but in the end it fell a bit flat 65%

Paul McCartney – I Don’t Know: The first of two new tracks from Faul here, ‘I Don’t Know’ is a charming, toe-tappy emotional little ballad that shows he can still write a great track. 70%

                                  Come On To Me: The second Macca track is my fave of the two, a real catchy, upbeat track proving he isn’t showing signs of slowing down any time soon. 82%

Estrons – Lilac: More of the same from Estrons, but in a good way. Lilac is a great, fast paced track with a passionate vocal performance. 75%

Girli – Day Month Second: A really well produced, catchy tune from Girli here. A new sound from her but she doesn’t lose her charm and attitude that gained her initial attention. Goooood. 80%


Panic! At The Disco – Pray For The Wicked: This new Panic! album is a nice, clean collection of snazzy emo-pop songs with Brendon Urie’s vocals really shining on a majority of the tracks, most of which could easily be singles.  77%                                    Best Three: High Hopes, One Of The Drunks, The Overpass