I’ve been keeping a little secret under wraps for a few months, but I am delighted to finally be able to say I am attending Sheffield’s Tramlines Festival for a second year running.
Last year, Jake’s mum bought us tickets for Christmas. It was my first time at the festival and I was overwhelmed by how brilliant it was. The line-up was second to none (and the tickets were only about £40!), the organisation was spot on, the street food – oh lord the cheesy greasy street food.
As well as four amazing stages jam-packed with the likes of Noel Gallagher, Pale Waves, PINS, Nina Nesbitt and Yorkshire’s favourite Everly Pregnant Brothers, there was an outdoor cinema and tonnes of activities.
It was also the cleanest festival I have ever attended, with an ingenious recycling scheme that paid kids (or anyone, really) 50p to bring 10 plastic cups back. There was not a cup or can in sight in Hillsborough Park, and it made my heart happy. In theory, you could earn yourself enough pennies through recycling to pay for you booze from the bars – how dedicated are you the the environment (or free beer)?
You can probably tell from the above rambling that I am super excited to be going again this year, bringing with me Jake and my parents.
It will be my mum and dad’s first ever festival, and I can’t think of a better festival that could introduce them to this experience.
This year’s line-up is bigger than ever, and in preparation for next weekend, I have downloaded the Tramlines App from the Apple Store and begun creating my personalised schedule. That means that when I’m sitting in the sun sipping a gin and tonic, the app will remind me when there is someone I don’t want to miss due on stage so I can run to T’Other Stage or the Leadmill Stage to get a good spot.
I’ll only be there for the Saturday and Sunday, since we all have work on the Friday (gutted to be missing Two Door Cinema Club), but there are plenty of stellar acts on to wrap your ears around!
But – who is on my schedule? I know you’re all dying to know.
I’ve split my list into two parts – acts from Nult’y’s Main Stage (renamed in memory of late festival director Sarah Nulty) and then all of the other stages. Ready?
Here are my top five unmissable acts on the Main Stage for Tramlines 2019.
I last saw the legendary Smith’s guitarist live at The Sugarmill in 2013. Six years later and a greater appreciation for music now I’m on my 20s and I can’t blooming wait to see the UK’s most charming man (see what I did there?) play some of the most iconic indie tunes of the 80s, alongside his impressive solo catalogue,
If I’ve not convinced you by now, go and watch his Glastonbury highlights from last month and if you’re still not sure, watch The Killers’ highlights as he joins them on stage. It’s magical (and he’s gorgeous – isn’t he?)
Reverend and the Makers
Hailing from Sheffield, Tramlines festival is a hometown gig for the Yorkshire band. I fist saw them at V Festival 2015, then they played the main stage at Tramlines last year and it was certainly one of the most memorable sets. There were clouds of flares filling the sky and the ground shook as the crown jumped up and down.
The band is full of character and personality and the set certainly won’t disappoint. I’ve even put my name down for their tour this October, too – they’re a band to watch again and again. Wow, I’ve just realised that by the end of this yer they may even be the band I’ve seen live the most times?
And if you can’t get enough of the Rev, frontman Jon McClure will be taking to the decks of the O2 Academy Sheffield for an official after party for a night of ‘funk, soul and indie classics’.
One half of the Last Shadow Puppets, Miles Kane will be hitting Nulty’s Main Stage on Saturday at 4:30. If only Sheffield lad Alex Turner would join him on stage – that would be a dream wouldn’t it… you might say that’s the Age of the Understatement (I promise to stop with the puns soon).
I’m most excited to hear him perform Rearrange and Come Closer – Miles, are you listening??
Lewis Capaldi has flown to fame quicker than you can say Glasgow. He’ll be performing his beautifully soulful tracks on Sunday at 4:45. Personally, whilst I do adore his music, I’m most excited about his audience interaction and laughs between tracks. I loved his Glasto set when he took Noel Gallagher’s criticism on the chin and turned it into a joke. I can only imagine what he will do next!
You’re twistin’ ma melon, man? Another iconic band playing on Sunday is Manchester’s Happy Mondays. The 80s band will be performing at the earlier time of 1:30 and it will be my first time seeing the band after having wanted to catch a set for so long! Hopefully the weather stays nice and we can enjoy the Madchester vibes with bucket hats on and beers in hand.
Now, for the artists you shouldn’t skip out on on the other stages:
Jake introduced me to Jaws in 2016, and their jangly hooks are reminiscent of The Smiths. The shoegaze indie quartet are a treat for the eyes and ears on stage with their colourful sets. There were Hawaiian shirts and inflatable beach balls in Manchester’s Sound Control April 2017. Tracks like Definitely a must-see act. Tracks to listen out for? Gold, Bad Company and Right in Front of Me.
Tramlines have made some bold statements about this Cambridge band, set to play the Leadmill stage Saturday at 6:30pm.
Tramlines said they have swiftly made a name for themselves “on the back of their visceral, erratic live shows.” Their latest single M5 is said to “tread a uniquely English path, but one which now feels definitively theirs – cementing them as one of the country’s most important, exciting discoveries.”
You don’t want to sleep on these guys.
Last but not least we have Tom Grennan, playing T’Other Stage of Sunday evening. The indie musician rose to the forefront of the scene when he was a guest vocalist on Chase and Status’ When It All Goes Wrong, but you’ll likely recognise him for his chart topping summer 2018 single Found What I’ve Been Looking For.
I can’t say I have listened to much of his stuff, but Tramlines is a place to discover artists and find new musicians to listen to.
Saturday. Can’t. Come. Quick. Enough. Be right back, I’m off to go and make myself a Tramlines playlist of all the artists playing this weekend. See you down at the front.