Our Tramlines team have scrawled through the listings, reminisced about years gone by and come up with their tips for the weekend.
My love for Tramlines is immense; it has been from the start. It’s a weekend simply to celebrate everything the city has to offer. It’s time to relax and unwind, catch up with friends over a beer and immerse yourself in the music. Wandering round the city centre as whole is so much fun, you’d have to pretty much dead inside not to break a smile at the sights and sounds.
Music wise there’s plenty on offer. I love to watch the home talent, bands such as The Ratells, Cut Your Wings, Hey Sholay etc many of whom I’ve seen and known since they started out. There’s so much talent within the city it’s unbelievable.
Acts I’m mostly looking forward to are Wet Nuns at Stage 2, it’s always a lot raucous when they play and you never quite know what to expect. Without Feathers at the City Hall is collaboration between Nat Johnson and Emma Kupar which I’m sure will be rather lovely. See Emily Play is another highlight of the weekend, the girl has so much talent and given the weather at the moment it’ll be a perfect day to see her at the Weston Park bandstand playing with the Stannington Brass Band. Hot Soles at the Plug is surely one not to be missed, the dynamic duo are powerful to the core full of raw blues and a hint of cheekiness, they are followed by Steve Papa Edwards, a man who simply oozes talent and has an infectious aura of pure happiness when it comes to performing. Neil McSweeney and David J Roch perform together at The Bowery, usually brought out together at Christmas time this will surely be a great opportunity to catch them sweltering in daylight.
There aren’t many acts I’m not looking forward to, my plan for the weekend is simply to enjoy it and take everything it throws at me.
I love the variety & diversity Tramlines has on offer. I tend to make a long list of possibilities and decide what I’m seeing next on the hoof depending on what I fancy at the time.
I’m really looking forward to The Folk Forest this year, especially considering how hot it’s meant to me. I have even purchased a shit hat in readiness and will likely be wearing a garish shirt. It’s my normal early Sunday hangover spot, but I’m going to be seeing a lot more acts on Endcliffe Park this year. There’s a lovely relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and the Thornbridge tent is always a plus. Along with the music there will be a market and the dangerous addition of a Pimms tent.
The Saturday and Sunday will see some of the most exciting up and coming folk acts playing alongside many talented local musicians. I’d highly recommend seeing This is the Kit, Rozi Plain, John Smith, The Lost Brothers and Bridie and the Arbour.
Amongst the local acts playing, don’t miss Early Cartographers, The Payroll Union, Captives on the Carousel, Neil McSweeney and Woolly Mammoth. The Little Mesters’ Recording Confederacy is also putting on a special performance of Fairport Convention’s Liege & Lief. The collaborators include Oxo Foxo, Nick Maldini, Jim Ghedi and Robert George Saull. I’m intrigued by it.
Did I mention it’s free? (sadly not the beer though)
What I love most about Tramlines is the buzz. You can walk into any bar or even the cathedral and stumble upon something awesome. The excitement is infectious!
I am most looking forward to seeing 65 Days of Static presents Sleepwalk City at the Millennium Gallery because I’ve heard so many great things about them but never had the chance to see them in action.
My favourite thing about Tramlines is hearing people’s excitement when they discover a new band they haven’t heard of, they can’t wait to tell everyone they meet this creates a real infectious buzz around town. For one weekend everyone in Sheffield seems to be in a great mood at the same time and can share the fantastic atmosphere. As city centre festivals go this is the best one I’ve been too, let’s hope this year doesn’t let me down.
This year the festival struggled financially and had to implement a ticket price which has annoyed a lot of people who feel they have the right to have free music. But for me some of the best bits about the festival are still accessible and free for all. So yes take a look at the program, see if you recognise any bands, maybe look for some recommendations from us. But also roam around and be spontaneous you might find the next big thing without even realising it.
Don’t forget a lot of bands playing the smaller venues are doing it for free, so, if you like them then don’t forget to buy a CD and shake their hand.
Things I am looking forward too:
Penelope’s: Is a little bar under the Odeon Cinema next to the Academy? Often tricky to find but the selection of bands are really worth checking out if you want to discover something new.
West Street Live: These guys put so much effort into bringing free live music to Sheffield all year round. They can’t be ignored over tramlines with a fantastic selection of handpicked usually quite heavy bands, crazy cocktails, drinks offers and doors open till 4am it’s well worth popping in. Highlights for Tramlines weekend – Friday Roaming Son, Saturday – Tommy Jones Band, Sunday- Awooga
Off the beaten track:
The Riverside pub: One of the best beer gardens and real ale pubs in Sheffield city centre (well it’s on the outskirts) but easily accessible using the busker’s bus which is free and runs every 15 mins from town. It has a great selection of real ales a beer garden overlooking the river Don. Leaning towards the friendlier tones they champion good folk music.
The Shakespeare: Continuing the real ale and beer garden theme 10 mins walk from the Riverside is the Shakespeare pub, which has a lovely outdoor stage, a fantastic beer garden with a rustic feel and one of the biggest real ale selections in Sheffield. With the likes of Pocket Satellite playing it makes a great escape from the crazy buzz of the main arena on dev green.