Wednesday, 26 July 2017

TRAMLINES 2017 REVIEW - PART 1


TRAMLINES is officially over for a another year and well... what a weekend it was.

This year was my third year of attending Tramlines and it was by far the best of out of three. I witnessed not only some of the best live sets of the weekend but some of thee best live sets I've ever seen in my life.

Tramlines is the one festival that I can vouch for that you do not need a ticket for the actual festival to have an amazing time and catch some truly extraordinary musical talent.

Don't get me wrong however, the festival itself had an amazing line-up with the likes of The Libertines, Primal Scream, The Coral, Metronomy, Twin Atlantic, Spring King, Alvarez Kings, Blaenavon, Goat Girl and The Magic Gang featuring on it but for me, the most amazing sets truly took place at the fringe venues this year.

Packed full of the best up and coming bands and artists from all around the UK complete with multiple secret sets and collaborations by way of stage invasions throughout the weekend Tramlines was a spectacle from start to finish and was truly wonderful to watch and be apart of.

There was a true sense of love and camaraderie between solo artists, bands and others working within the music industry who were in attendance which crept into every set I managed to catch across the weekend.


Cameron Sinclair Harris at Couch
My weekend was properly kicked off by Cameron Sinclair Harris, a singer / songwriter from Nottingham. He definitely got the people who were in Couch at the time of his set warmed up for what they were going to be witnessing for the course of the festival which were more than likely excellent live sets.

James & Andy of Fronteers at Frog & Parrot
I have previously seen Fronteers live before Tramlines, however, this time around when they played on Friday for AMP Live Presents it was a stripped back acoustic set from their lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, Andy Towse and lead guitarist and backing vocalist, James Taylor. Playing a perfect mix of both originals and covers to a pretty busy Frog and Parrot, the boys provided a different, calmer, more chilled out side to Fronteers which eased people into the festival nicely. It was an excellent choice by Aaron to have them play. I liked this band prior to the festival due to when I saw them at Social Bar (Doncaster) a while back, this acoustic set however was excellent and worked really well despite them being two members down and has left me wanting to see them again very soon.

Sapho at Frog & Parrot
Next up was the St Helens' trio, Sapho. This was their first Tramlines having only reformed as the outfit we have today a few months ago and it was a brilliant introduction to the festival on their part. I was left thoroughly impressed by these boys the first time I saw them and despite the fact that I only saw half of their set at Tramlines, this feeling is something which definitely resonated with me. Young, full of promise and energy, these boys proved to everyone in that room that they are ones to watch and have tonnes of potential which is beginning to be realised by music lovers hence their fanbase growing quite fast. 


The Leeds based quartet who go by the name of Sounds Like A Storm were the next band I saw grace the festival as they took to the stage of Bar & Beyond. They are without a doubt one of my favourite discoveries of the year and the majority of the basis for that is their live performance, there is something simply captivating about this four piece which has been present in each performance I have seen from them and Friday was no different. Each boy of the band presents, in their own little way, an impeccable onstage presence. It is no wonder that just before the festival these boys played the shortlist gig for the 'Ones to Watch 2017' competition to hopefully win a slot playing at Leeds Festival and Reading Festival this year, they know exactly how to work whatever stage they are on no matter what size they make full use of every part to make sure they put on a best of their ability type of show - the Bar & Beyond stage being much smaller and more constricted in comparison to the others I've seen these boys on. Keep an eye out for the storm coming close to you in the future.


I am currently unaware of where exactly to start with the next band I saw on the Friday of the festival as they played for This Feeling and then the Saturday for Aggressive Management other than to say that their sets over the weekend were pretty damn unforgettable. It has officially been over a year since I first saw Sheafs the night they played their first ever headline show and I cannot believe that the band I saw at these venues this weekend was the same band. Raucous from start to end, anyone who wasn't at either the bands set at Great Gatsby and / or Crystal Stage unfortunately should be left feeling very disappointed about missing either or both of these gigs. With more crowd surfers than any I'd seen at the other sets, including their photographer Lewis Evans, it was more than just the band who were up for a good time (on both nights), the second night demonstrated by Nathan and John of Vultures taking to the stage alongside them. Not only in their stage presence and crowd interaction were they above and beyond anything I've seen from this quintet before but musically they are currently on top form and this is making for tighter and cleaner performances everytime I see them live. Their Crystal Stage set was easily my favourite of the entire weekend. Sheafs are undoubtedly a band I will never grow tired of seeing live.


Trampolene were the band that finished off my Friday night. Having seen these guys before it was a definite must and it was definitely the right decision. Playing a small intimate, packed out Great Gatsby I don't think there was anyone in the room who didn't enjoy what they saw. Infact, upon speaking to some individuals afterwards, they said they hadn't really understood or got Trampolene, until they saw this set. I loved seeing this band last year at The Rocking Chair and this set was definitely on par with that set. An excellent finish to a wonderful Friday night full of brilliant musicians.


Starting off my Saturday were my favourite Liverpool based band, Cabezudos, despite their set being the first of the day it was pretty busy in Crystal Bar by the time they took to the stage which proved quite surely that this band are making waves across the entire of the UK rather than just their home city. As eccentric as always there wasn't one moment I wasn't stood swapping looking at member to member to ensure I didn't miss anything they did. They seem to improve their performance everytime they take to a new stage, just like they did on Saturday and this is why I was very much looking forward to seeing these boys at Tramlines and I certainly wasn't disappointed.

Part 2 of my Tramlines 2017 Review featuring ShambolicsVidaOctober DriftPaves, Vultures, Ivory WaveHimalayas.

Written by Sophie.
@sopharnold_

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