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.

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

Everything Everything’s 10 Best So Far

Today marks the 10th birthday of Manchester art-pop lads Everything Everything. Fresh off the back of their latest album ‘A Fever Dream’ – let’s have a look at their 10 best tracks so far. (In alphabetical order)

Blast Doors

With it’s almost rapped verses and with great harmonies on the chorus, Blast Doors is EE running at full speed.

Cough Cough

Featuring some of the best drums in any song ever, Cough Cough is the pounding first track on Arc.

Desire

The second single taken from ‘A Fever Dream’ proves that EE can still make catchy choruses with a sense of urgency about them after a decade.

Distant Past

The lead single from 3rd album Get to Heaven, Distant Past was a vibrant insight into what the following album would bring. What a banger.

Duet

Duet shows off the versatility of Everything Everything. An emotional, developing track backed with strings was one of the standouts on Arc.

Final Form

Final Form is far the band’s most emotional track, really showing off Jonothan Higgs’ vocals.

My Kz, Ur Bf

An example of what EE do best, My Kz is a weird one but still has an amazingly infectious melody.

No Reptiles

“It’s alright to feel like a fat child in a pushchair old enough to run, old enough to fire a gun.”

Photoshop Handsome

Photoshop Handsome was the breakout hit for Everything Everything, it’s witty lyrics and 8-bit sounding synths still standing up to their recent releases.

Schoolin

Another early single from Man Alive, Schoolin stands out as one of the strongest from that album, especially with its annoyingly catchy whistle.

Listen to everything by Everything Everything below:

16/6/17 New Release Roundup

Singles

Wolf Alice – Yuk Foo: This is Wolf Alice’s first single from their upcoming 2nd album ‘Visions of A Life’ and they definitely aren’t holding back upon their return. The track is furious straight out of the gates, with Ellie Rowsell’s vocal performance being incredibly strong. 90%

Everything Everything – Can’t Do: Everything Everything return with their first single since last year’s one-off track ‘I Believe It Now’ and unsurprisingly it’s a banger. Dancey synths back the catchy but angsty chorus of “Help me, I can’t do the thing you want” and with the repetitive hook of ‘It’s up to me’ this song will not leave your head. Good. 92%

The Killers – The Man: ‘The Man’ is the Killers’ first new track since 2013 and it’s just fine. A disco-pop track that probably wouldn’t get much attention if it wasn’t by The Killers. 60%

Declan McKenna – Humongous: Declan McKenna continues his streak of releasing great singles with ‘Humongous’. The track starts off as an emotional guitar ballad before exploding towards the end. 95%

Queens Of The Stone Age – The Way You Used To Do: This new Mark Ronson produced single is standard QOTSA stuff, but that isn’t a bad thing. 75%

Three Laws – Siren Song: ‘Siren Song’ is a well produced, spacious electro-pop ballad that is still somehow really catchy despite being slow and melancholy. Nice vocals too. 75% 

Albums

Royal Blood – How Did We Get So Dark?: This is the second album from rock duo Royal Blood, and it’s pretty much business as usual. There are a few stand out tracks like the brilliant ‘Lights Out’ that have more energy and power than cuts from their debut, but the majority of the songs sound very safe and like they could knock each of them up without much thought. 60%                                                                                                          Best 3: Lights Out, Hook Line & Sinker, Don’t Tell

Fleet Foxes – Crack-Up: Fleet Foxes return with their first album since 2011, and it was well worth the wait. Opening track ‘I Am All That I Need/ Arroyo Seco/ Thumbprint Scar’ starts off drearily and slow before bursting into a beautiful, layered track. That level of production is constantly there throughout the album, with the vocals sounding exceptionally beautiful on tracks like ‘Kept Woman’. My favourite track on the album is ‘Third of May/ Odaigahara’, the track sounds really big and spacious without being too boring. Many of the tracks are well over 6 minutes long but at no point does the LP drag on or get dull. Overall a beautiful, well produced record. 95%                                             Best 3: I Am All That I Need/ Arroyo Seco/ Thumbprint Scar, Kept Woman, Third of May, Odaigahara

Lorde – Melodrama: The long awaited follow-up to Lorde’s debut album ‘Pure Heroine’ does not disappoint. Brilliant lead single ‘Green Light’ kicks off the album, and the quality of songwriting and performance is consistently up there throughout. ‘Writer in The Dark’ is another album highlight, being a piano ballad with great lyrics, a vocal performance that sounds genuine and a slightly off-kilter vocal production and that make it stand out against most similar tracks out today. 95%                                              Best 3: Green Light, Sober, Writer In The Dark

 

Interview with Everything Everything’s Jeremy Pritchard.

Everything Everything’s Glastonbury performance(s) topped my list of live performances from 2015. I spoke to him about the band’s year and how they felt it went.

“We’re still definitely in Get To Heaven mode.” he said, when I asked him how I thought the tour for their third album had gone. ” We’ve been touring it since April, starting off by playing smaller shows on the quiet so we could learn how to play the songs ourselves, and ever since then everything we’ve done has been a kind of enjoyable step upwards.”

“There were a lot of things that I thought we wouldn’t enjoy as much as last time round, because it wasn’t new to us, things like touring Australia. Where as in the event we did enjoy it just as much, it was all bigger and better this time, with Glastonbury being a great illustration of that.”

He had this to say when I asked him how Glastonbury was: “We’ve played Glastonbury a lot, I’ve been there about ten times as a punter and as a player, but this was the first time that we felt that we really got our teeth into it.”

“Similar to last time with our previous album Arc, we played two shows; one on a larger stage (that being the other stage) and another on a smaller one, Williams Green. The Other stage was fantastic, it was brilliant to play that stage as it was a larger platform than we had done in the past at a festival, and equally it was great to play the kind of secret Williams Green show for the hardcore. Both shows were really good in different ways, with the smaller show being amazingly emotional.”

“I got to see Super Furry Animals, Hot Chip and Caribou, who were all really good.” was his response when I asked him if he managed to see any other acts whilst at the festival.

Asking Jeremy about the lighting and visuals for the show, this is what he said: “The general concept was drawn together by a lighting designer we’ve known for years, and he said he wanted to be more like a light-art installation rather than a rock and roll show, and we quite enjoyed that idea. “We’re really proud of it now.”

I asked Jeremy if there were any favourites to play live from their new album; “I think Distant Past belongs in that arena really. I don’t think it’s our strongest piece of work by any means, but you can’t deny it when we play it live, I think we found it hard not to play it last every single show because it leaves us with nowhere to go.”

“No Reptiles is another one, because we love the song and we knew how personal and raw it was, and how it was one of the songs that seemed to be essential Everything Everything, or even essential Jonathan Higgs. We had no doubts about how we felt about that song but what has been amazing is how other people seemed to have understood it and got on board with it so instantly. That was really in evidence at that Williams Green show actually.”

“It’s been a relief to have that song to use that’s by no means ‘verse, chorus’ type, you know it’s got no real concerns when it comes to radio, or pop appeal or anything like that, but it’s actually connected with people in a way more so than even some of our songs that do work in that mould. It was great to be able to put that out as a single, we knew that it was going to do fuck all in radio, we never expected otherwise but actually it did a little bit better than we thought it would do.  It was a great statement for us to finally have a single out that was as characterful as that.”

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EE @ Glastonbury Art by Danni Sewell.