From one end of the city to the other Sheffield was filled with music, it’s the weekend most of the city’s inhabitants book off work and head towards visual and aural delights, mingle with friends and make the most of what the weekend has to offer. Tramlines 2012 certainly wasn’t any different, there was the usual who, when and where to see, go and watch all attuned with late nights and that morning after the night before feeling. Ask any Sheffielder what Tramlines is about and I’m pretty sure they’ll give not only a positive response but also they’ll greet you with a big smile reminiscent of the weekend that was.
With venues around Devonshire Green packed from Friday tea time, the anticipation was exciting, with most venues kicking things off around six o’clock, it was ready, set and go…we were all aboard. The Forum played host to Low Duo, who gently entered us in to the weekend. The Greenwood brothers lapped their haunting sounds over the audience, whilst kicking off on the main stage were the likes of Dead Sons, The Violet May and Reverend and the Makers whirling their way in a rock n roll frenzy. Delving deeper in the town centre at the Millenium Galleries Mad Colours were tearing up the place in their own unique way, whilst over at the Library Theatre it was pretty magical as See Emily Play, David J Roch and Neil McSweeney all played to a packed theatre. Those in the queue outside had little chance of getting in and were missing out of a wonderful experience. Sheffield Cathedral opened its doors to a wealth of delights, headlined by the unique vocals and loops of Oxo Foxo. The Harley as always put on some of the finest acts with the delectable AlunaGeorge taking the headline slot and showing the crowd why the hype around them is well deserved.
As Friday turned into Saturday, there was no time to moan or standstill as we took advantage of breakfast bellinis at The Wick At Both Ends we caught the end of Blue Lip Feel, the winners of the Tramlines Peoples Choice Awards opening the main stage, whilst down at Barkers Pool, London’s Novella opened up to growing crowds. In the past Saturday has always been the ‘pop’ day, but this year, it was more eclectic. With the likes of Hey Sholay, Chew Lips, Charlie XCX bounding around the stage. Miss Dynamite turned up late and brought about performances from the Hot Soles and a crowd pleasing DJ set from Danny Beck.
Whilst some slaved their way in the hub of the city many people found solace on the quirky Buskers Bus and headed to either the Folk Forest or the Blues and Ale Trail, whilst others whipped up a stir down at Yellow Arch an electro wave at Signals festival. With panel talks and acts including Demike Stare, The Kites of San Quentin and Objekt, they were slave to the rave until the early hours. Back in the city centre, DQ, as always, had queues forming outside for Wet Nuns. The duo have been getting a fair bit of attention over the last year and some can’t decide whether they’re just a fad or simply pure genius – we’ll go for the latter as they never fail on performance and music-ability. Plug alongside Drop Dead present hosted an afternoon/evening of pop punk excitement from the likes of Your Demise and others.
As always the night was young, and many danced until dawn safely in the thought that Sunday would bring about another day of frolics and excitement. With the sun in the sky, an unusual happening for 2012’s festival season, once again people piled into the city for the final day.
We headed to the Buskers Bus, with aim of a wonder around the Folk Forest, but as soon as we found out Steve Edwards was busking on the Blues and Ale Trail our plans soon changed. Strong in stature with the smoothest voice ever, Edwards and his guitar managed the bumps, turns and change of direction well and gave a pleasurable performance to those lucky enough to be there. Beth Jeans Houghton and her band, all dressed up like something you’d see in a comic book, entertained the main stage, but for me it was all about the Dog is Dead, Rolo Tomassi and 65 Days of Static down at the Nandos stage at Barkers Pool.
Southern boys Dog is Dead have been picking up a fair bit of press over the last few months, and by their performance it’s easy to see why. As curators of the Sunday stage, Rolo Tomassi, bounded on to rapturous applause they kicked off how they meant to go on. With Eva and James working their way energetically jumping all over the place, it’s hard to work out how Eva can produce such a scary noise. The night belonged to 65 Days of Static. Emotive, atmospheric and entertaining our Tramlines was rounded off perfectly.
Once again we bid farewell to Tramlines safe in the knowledge a good time was had by all, with just one wish can we do it all again next year please?