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After the exhaustion of last night’s Crookes set at Tramlines, Sunday had come right on cue. With an eclectic mix of acts on both of the specially erected city stages, it’s finally time to visit the main stage for local legends The Everly Pregnant Brothers. After seeing them on the busking bus last year, their step up to opening the main stage was one to celebrate as their set of ukulele based Yorkshire-ised popular hits including ‘Chav World (Mad World)’ and ode to Amy Winehouse’s ‘Rehab’ with more Yorkshire than you can shake a pasty at lightens up Devonshire Green with a brilliant atmosphere.
Leaving the main stage for now to return to the Nando’s New Music Stage, Holland (above) play a set of as or yet unknown tracks, one to keep an eye on perhaps? Either way they’re followed by the guitar-pop sounds of Let’s Buy Happiness. The sound is uplifting even if the lyrics are rooted in dark undertones of sarcasm for loves-passed-by. Neither band are in line to set fire to venues and charts, but they’re enjoyable enough for a relaxing afternoon in the sun.
Going off route a bit, its time to venture to new venue The Hop for a band who’re following in the steps of Sheffield duo Wet Nuns with their blend of hearty rock with a twist of blues and energy for good measure. The Blackbirds (below) are loud and riff heavy with some thumping drums and whilst the band have a lot to do before they achieve such levels as their local peers, the promise is undeniable even if the crowd is limited to around twenty people.
Everything in the day has been leading up to one thing though. Whilst across Sheffield, everyone’s winding up to their final headliners including a hugely notable homecoming show for 65daysofstatic on the New Music Stage; indie underdogs and all round nice guys We Are Scientists are due to close the festival on the main stage. The buzz for their support Field Music (below) is sadly nonexistent; you feel the group would have been better off surrounded by their more devoted fans inside somewhere like the Harley, but the band stick to a tight set that sounds a bit amiss in such a setting.
We Are Scientists come on stage though and Devonshire Green starts to dance. Playing a singles collection of their by now well known indie rock tracks with a few new ones added in to test the water on their upcoming fourth record the band haven’t put many notes out in years and that’s appreciated by the gathered Sheffield masses. Sadly though, once again the stage is running late so in order to catch a few minutes of another local band on the rise, TGTF heads off up to Soyo.
Screaming Maldini are by now underground favourites. The enthusiasm with which they play their fresh breed of music that treads between the singalongs of pop and the eccentricity of math-rock on a delicate line (landing a bit more on the pop sound) makes for a highly enjoyable finish to the weekend. Of course acts continue late into the night, but it’s once again last-train home time and even with the occasional disappointment; Tramlines has once again proved that you can achieve a hugely enjoyable and bustling festival of solid acts without charging a penny to the fans. This time next year, Sheffield?
As Saturday rises over Sheffield, the city is bustling as Tramlines becomes hotter than an extra hot peri-peri chicken; conveniently, placed within the heart of the city is the Nando’s New Music Stage and when TGTF arrives its none other than Mazes cooking up a storm. Well, I say storm, it’s a hot day and everyone’s sitting down in the square, but Mazes are enjoyable enough to set up the afternoon.
After this comes the pop vibes of Frankie Rose. She’s got an almost Rose Elinor Dougall quality about her in that it’s bordering the indie line but her sound is still very much endearingly pop. Again, her unfamiliarity with many here washes over the crowd but she’ll have made some new friends this afternoon.
Alarm Bells come on next. A band lost somewhere between their ex-Dananananaykroyd members and a sound similar to that of the likes of Young Legionnaire, they start well but are struck by an odd power cut mid-set. They try to play it off as drama but the communication of “we are Alarm Bells and this is called a public nightmare” says it all for the band. They need work, but once they’ve pinned the sound down, there’s definitely a future for the new band.
Before this has finished. TGTF pops up to the university arms to catch a few minutes of exciting new act Tip Yr Bartender but clashing set times means only a song or two are enjoyed before dashing back down the Sheffield grid once more to the Bowery. This Many Boyfriends are playing and they’re playing to a relatively crowded room, but when isn’t the Bowery crowded? It’s fuzzy, its fun and it’s fast, and the Leeds band have certainly done the right thing continuing after the tragic loss of their guitarist Peter Sykes last September. Of course due to running around only the latter part of their set is seen but you take what you can at a city festival; especially when it’s free.
Blessa follow but don’t quite have the same energy as just seen. I start to wonder if my plan of winging it this festival is proving to be the right choice and wander the city for a while before returning to the crowded room for Best Friends (above) and Peace (pictured at top). Best Friends continue to make me doubt even if they are a bit energetic with a moderate dollop of shoegaze whilst Peace rightfully fill the room with tracks from their as of yet limited catalogue and forthcoming EP.
And so, to end the night it’s across the streets of Sheffield to see local boys done good The Crookes. Fresh from the release of their second record, the band fill the upstairs room of the Shakespeare to an almost dangerous level. It’s hotter and sweatier than the most crowded of saunas and there appears to be no way of opening windows but as the band come on, for a while it stops mattering. They’ve got the same kind of buzz around them as Razorlight did around the ‘Up All Night’ era and quite frankly, with a performance like this, they deserve it. It’s enjoyable to the point that even though it’s far too hot to move, many in the 100-sized room are doing so; someone’s even got a blow-up toy!
So it had been yet another mixed day of strange set times in a diverse set of rooms but on the most tiring set of the weekend so far it’s a positive home time tonight. The party continues through the night across the city but after that Crookes set, it seems fitting to stop there. Let’s see what Sunday brings.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 17th August 2012 at 3:30 pm
2:54 have announced an autumn tour of the UK. Tickets are on sale now.
These are in addition to a couple of dates the band will be doing in support of the xx, in Berlin, Paris and the UK, in the first half of September. ‘Sugar’ (Video of the Moment here), their forthcoming single, will be out on the 10th of September on Fiction.
Saturday 27th October 2012 – Nottingham Bodega
Monday 29th October 2012 – Sheffield Leadmill
Tuesday 30th October 2012 – Glasgow Art School
Wednesday 31st October 2012 – Newcastle Cluny
Thursday 1st November 2012 – Manchester Soup Kitchen
Friday 2nd November 2012 – Oxford Jericho
Saturday 3rd November 2012 – Birmingham Sunflower Lounge
Sunday 4th November 2012 – Brighton Haunt
Tuesday 6th November 2012 – Guildford Boileroom
Wednesday 7th November 2012 – London XOYO
Thursday 8th November 2012 – Bristol Cooler
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 17th August 2012 at 9:00 am
Minneapolis guitar rock band Howler (pictured above) will be headlining NME’s new autumn tour, dubbed Generation Next. The tour will hit most major cities in the UK in October. Support will come from Gross Magic and the Cast of Cheers. Tickets are on sale now.
Friday 19th October 2012 – Bournemouth Old Fire Station
Saturday 20th October 2012 – Bristol Thekla
Sunday 21st October 2012 – Norwich Waterfront
Monday 22nd October 2012 – Birmingham HMV Institute Library
Wednesday 24th October 2012 – Manchester Club Academy
Thursday 25th October 2012 – Glasgow King Tuts Wah Wah Hut
Friday 26th October 2012 – Sheffield Leadmill
Saturday 27th October 2012 – Stoke Sugarmill
Monday 29th October 2012 – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Tuesday 30th October 2012 – London Koko
Wednesday 31st October 2012 – Brighton Haunt
Here at TGTF we’re big fans of Sheffield’s Tramlines and yet again, for one weekend in July, the best free festival in the country returned for one mass musical event that set the city alight. With every venue in the city opening its doors to up to 10 bands a day and with local, national and even a few international bands in the postcode for the weekend, it was sure to be a good one. Picture the Great Escape, in the north and for free and you’ve basically got Tramlines down to a tee. This year, I decided to stop playing it safe with lots of main stage bands and even a few band’s we’ve barely heard before in there with our favourites so with these 3-day reviews, there’s going to be plenty of new music to check out.
Friday came with a surprising amount of sunshine and as such, the first thing to do was to find a dark venue to go watch a band in. The o2 Academy opened up with local rock band Bluehearts (above) and whilst their description left a lot to desire, to kick off the weekend with such energy and stage prowess as Bluehearts did was something to behold. Whilst the music still needs some work before the band hit the whole country there’s enough potential in their breed of rock that falls somewhere between classic blues-rock with the flair of Manchester Orchestra or even Kasabian.
After this, it’s aboard a tram to catch the ever present Johnny Foreigner play a set on a tram. After their busker-bus show last year, the tram set seems quite similar, but at least its yet another novel way of splitting up the weekend and playing music to your fans and commuters alike. The sing-along’s are enjoyable even if the ride isn’t that comfortable. See the full show below.
After this it’s a bit more new-band guessing mixed with convenience as, heading up to the small yet immensely popular Bowery; alt-J are headlining. Before them come G R E A T W A V E S. The band’s breed of atmospheric music fills the Bowery and whilst many at the back are unimpressed, from the front its almost hypnotic. With a few more releases and a bit more familiarity under their belts, this unimposing duo could see support slots for Sunless ’97 turn into slots with the xx.
And tonight’s headliners, the one’s that the queue’s been round the block for are alt-J. Unfortunately, everything’s running very late in the Bowery tonight and it’s last-train-home time but for those who stayed; the Cambridge via Leeds band of the moment played a huge sounding set of tracks from their acclaimed debut record and TGTF has it on good authority that they’re worth catching on tour.
What will the rest of the weekend bring? More stages running to time we hope.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 15th August 2012 at 9:00 am
Manchester band Delphic will be premiering their new “acoustic guitar and rap” sound on a UK tour this autumn. Support on all dates will be Manchester producer Callum Wright, aka D/R/U/G/S.Tickets go on sale Friday 17 August 2012 at 9 AM.
Read Mary’s interview with James Cook and some thoughts on their new single ‘Good Life’ here.
Monday 22nd October 2012 – Glasgow Arches
Tuesday 23rd October 2012 – Newcastle Digital
Thursday 25th October 2012 – Norwich Arts Centre
Friday 26th October 2012 – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Saturday 27th October 2012 – Manchester Gorilla (sold out as of 18/8/2012)
Monday 29th October 2012 – Sheffield Plug
Tuesday 30th October 2012 – Bristol Thekla
Wednesday 31st October 2012 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Thursday 1st November 2012 – London Shoreditch Village Underground (sold out as of 18/8/2012)