Tramlines Festival, Sheffield, UK – 20th – 22nd July 2012

Posted by Bianca on Friday Jul 20, 2012 Under Festivals


Tramlines Festival has slowly established itself as a major festival in the North and it has also starting to become recognised around the country. One of the main reasons for this is of course it has free music. Back of the net!

I mean who doesn’t like free music?

Reverend and the Makers

Despite being in its fourth year, my first impression is that the festival has taken a bit of a step backwards with some of the main sponsors – such as Hallam FM dropping out. Likewise Drowned In Sound disappeared from the map which on paper looks to have affected the line up with less bigger names appearing. Pesky economy!!

Reverend and the Makers

But let’s not dwell on that – over to the music. With so much going on around the city, such as Spector in the Leadmill and The Crookes in the Academy, to name a few it’s hard to know where to begin. I decide to bite the bullet and head over to the Nokia Lumia Stage (Main Stage) to watch what can only be described as a showcase of Sheffield’s very best up and coming bands.


With acts such as Pulp, Arctic Monkeys and Def Leppard hailing from the Steel City there is a lot to live up to. First up, The Violet May, who have so much swagger you could mistake them for a certain reunited Mancunian band. The set they play might have been short but it certainly left you with an indication of what you can expect in the future. Next up, Dead Sons were definitely more my kind of thing. Fresh from supporting fellow Sheffield bands Arctic Monkeys at their homecoming gig they seem quite a humble and down to earth bunch. Their edgy indie rock goes down a treat for crowd while they await the headliners.


Despite the weathers best efforts to try and disrupt the night, the rain manages to hold off as Reverend and the Makers hit the stage like a house on fire opening with ‘Bassline’. Lovely stuff!


Their Stone Roses-esque songs sound fresh and surprisingly good and they play like they are fully aware of this fact. Unfortunately The Bowery was at its capacity for Alt-J so we couldn’t make it in but I definitely recommend you check them out as these guys are destined for bigger things in the future.


After a nice helping of breakfast and Bloody Marys we make our way to watch Fear of Men on the off chance they put on a belter! I am really glad I did although not naturally to my taste this band has a big future if they continue to churn out continuously good songs. They also look the class act on stage. Another band I had not heard of before was Clock Opera. Once again these guys were really impressive and worth keeping an eye on. The sound guy did a really great job and the sound was absolutely perfect. Well done sir!


After being touted as what of the must see artists this weekend in the Tramlines programme Charli XCX was somewhat of an anti-climax. Her performance kind of got lost in the middle of the day heat and struggled to get the crowd moving. A real shame.


One band I had started to listen to on the run up to the festival was Chew Lips and they did impress. What is great about front-woman ‘Tigs’ (Alicia Huertas) is that she charismatic without being really in your face like most people these days, you only had to look at the previous act to see when you are trying too hard.


With Ms. Dynamite being delayed on the main stage this meant there was a lot of time left in between acts. I headed indoors to The Plug for the event put on by local Sheffield clothing company, Drop Dead. Despite a few technical difficulties to start with, Worship play a slightly subdued set in comparison to the bands that lay ahead. Undeterred, the majority of the crowd whom it seemed were here to see the next two bands enjoy the act and they go down well.


On to the hard-core outfit Your Demise who literally crash on to the stage and oh my, they deliver. Despite a number of changes to their band over the years they now seem to be settled. Frontman Ed McRae is bouncing from side to side as well jumping in to the crowd on the numerous occasions. This was certainly an energetic and high energy performance. After a performance like that you would have forgiven Young Guns for not wanting to follow it. But Gustav takes it by the scruff of the neck and leads the performance like a great frontman should. Armed with new single ‘Towers’, ‘Crystal Clear’ and ‘Dearly Departed’ they deliver probably the best performance of the weekend so far. Excellent stuff.


With the sun beating down on the main stage for the third and final day Little Comets start their set and they are just what you need early on a Sunday afternoon, smiling, relaxed and just easy to listen to. The perfect preamble for London born Eugene McGuinness, who is very much a ‘what you see is what you get singer’. His songs are greatly appreciated by the front row, which turned out in their numbers to see him.


I’m not quite sure what to say about Beth Jeans Houghton & the Hooves of Destiny, as they come onstage in weird, wacky and colourful clothes the music really wasn’t that great and they seemed more of a gimmick act. I only managed to briefly catch a bit of the following act Frankie & The Heartstrings before rushing over to the Nando’s New Music Stage to watch the much talked about Dog Is Dead.

Rolo Tomassi

Rolo Tomassi

Rolo Tomassi

I have heard a lot about this band through press releases and online blogs so I was rather interested to see if the hype was warranted. In short, yes! They definitely delivered especially on a stage that might not have been best suited to them. They are a little quirky and a bit different so this could leave them to stand out against the barrage of bands coming out of that genre. I don’t expect this to be the last time I hear from them.

Young Guns

Young Guns

Young Guns

A lot of people have gathered here to see another local band in the shape of Rolo Tomassi rip the Nando’s Music Stage a new one. Year after year they always guarantee a top notch performance as well managing to bring some of the best up and coming bands around to the city for this festival. Sheffield should be proud of this band and hopefully one day they will grace the Main Stage even if not all the general public can accept their music. After the noise from Tomassi the day drew to a close by another band capable of causing a racket, 65 Days of Static ended proceedings on the New Music Stage with their instrumental noise.

Your Demise

Your Demise

Words and Photos by Jason Broadhurst

One Response to “Tramlines Festival, Sheffield, UK – 20th – 22nd July 2012”

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