By James Lawson
Well well well, it’s about a month until the 10th year of Tramlines kicks off, and it’s shaping up to be a bloody special year!
For me, Tramlines weekend is special. I’ve been going to Tramlines since I was really young and for a Sheffielder, it’s a MUST. The music never disappoints; there’s always a wide range of artists all over the city centre in pubs, clubs and bigger venues, not to mention the iconic outdoor stages that we all love even when it’s pissing it down. So, the Hillsborough Park stage this year should be fantastically atmospheric.
What makes this festival special is that there’s so much more than just music. It’s the general atmosphere around the city for those unique three days. Sheffield is already an increasingly vibrant city with a modern, edgy vibe, but Tramlines seems to grab all of the positive things about Sheffield, throw it all in a blender and serve it beautifully as the most flavoursome plate you’ll ever see, and THAT is why Tramlines is so special.
I just wanna quickly address the intriguing new addition to the line-up; Into The Trees. This is a very nice touch by Tramlines this year. They’ve set up a cool, unique little area with loads of stuff going on, including a pop-up cinema and circus activities.
Not only have Tramlines bagsied the amazing Hillsborough Park for the weekend, they’ve really gone all out with the line-up too, and I mean ALL OUT…
Let’s have a look at this year’s line-up then, shall we?
Well, there’s only one place to start really; NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS.
Wow, seriously!? When I first saw the Tramlines line-up, I had to make sure it wasn’t one of those fake ones people post on Twitter because it just seemed too good to be true. What a headliner Noel will be! Since the release of their recent album, ‘Who Built The Moon?’, I’ve been desperate to see them live, showcasing the groovy and exciting new sound that this record just oozes. As we know, Noel is a live-show veteran. He’s been playing to big crowds since his Oasis days and he’s only gotten better with time. He’s the Frank Lampard of indie rock and I wouldn’t put it passed him to follow in the footsteps of The Rolling Stones and keep on chugging along for another couple of decades.
Another band I’m very much looking forward to seeing is Blossoms. The Stockport 5-piece have recently blessed our ears with their second album. After such a successful first album, taking them all around the world to play to loving fans, it was always going to be a difficult task to live up to the expectations of album No.2. However, the indie rockers didn’t disappoint with the new record, Cool Like You. This album takes the unique, fresh sound of their self-titled debut album that made people fall in love with them, and then lovingly sprinkles some hundreds and thousands on top and sticks a flake right in there too. Probably the most suitable track to prove that strange analogy is their first-choice single from the album, I Can’t Stand It. This tune starts off with a moody little bassline before it immediately kicks in and we hear the classic Blossoms sound; a sound of synth psychedelia which perfectly complements the kind, Northern voice of frontman, Tom Ogden.
The third and final band I’m going to talk about in this excitable preview of Sheffield’s finest festival is the one and only Spring King. (Wow, that sentence sounded a bit royal didn’t it). Honestly, these lads are some of the best live performers I’ve ever seen. The energy they give off and the resulting atmosphere amongst the crowd which they create is incredibly admirable. They absolutely rocked the Devonshire Green stage at Tramlines last year and managed to get people hyped and moshing, despite the heavy rain. Their debut album, Tell Me If You Like To, was jam-packed with energetic, hard-hitting bangers and their follow-up album seems to be heading in the same direction based on the singles that have been released so far, which will certainly be welcomed warmly by their dedicated fanbase.
Tramlines’ 10th birthday is looking like it’s gonna be a belter; brilliant live music in a brilliant city with lots of other brilliant things going on. Sounds pretty brilliant to me.