The weekend of 22nd to 24th of July and the return of the highlight in Sheffield’s music calendar that is Tramlines at Hillsborough Park.
The event promised to be spectacular and it did not disappoint, 35,000 people a day attended this year’s sold-out event which saw Sam Fender make his first ever headline appearance at Sarah Nulty’s Main Stage on Friday night.
First up for me was Frankie Beetlestone on the Leadmill stage, Local lad Frankie, hailing from Grenoside played a fantastic set to a huge crowd. Closing with ‘Everything is Changing’ it certainly seems to be for Frankie and his excellent band who have a series of festival appearances this summer around the country. Frankie mentioned new material and I’d suggest you check this out as soon as it’s released, check out Frankie’s BBC Radio Sheffield interview also for more information.
Sticking with the Leadmill stage and Brooke Combe, who has a fantastic voice. A superb band and catchy soulful tunes ensued, another one to watch. Oh and pretty sure the bass player also plays for The Blossoms.
Declan McKenna on the main stage did not disappoint, Declan won the Glastonbury emerging talent competition in 2015 and hasn’t looked back since, a great set of catchy pop tunes which the Tramlines crowd really appreciated.
Staying with the Main stage and James who have really stood the test of time and are just as good now as when I saw them support David Bowie in the 90s!. A high energy set featured older hits and newer material. Singer Tim Booth came down to the crowd barrier on several occasions, finally deciding to crowd surf! I also got the chance to talk to the sax player’s wife, who proudly told me that she had designed and made his stage outfit. See the pictures it is very spectacular!
Sam Fender as mentioned had a huge crowd, a great set to finish the day and as the Tramlines faithful sang along to 17 going under, I couldn’t help but think how far this North Shield’s lad had come. Hats off to Sam and his fantastic band and as the fireworks exploded above the stage it was clear that Sam has taken his place as one of the UK’s leading artists.
Saturday saw Sheafs on the T’other Stage, a high energy set, impressive as ever frontman Lawrence holds the crowd in his hands. Mosh pits ensued and the party got started. Sheafs are really doing well on the music scene, proving that hard work, dedication and lots of miles in the van pay off.
Sam Ryder next and a huge crowd at the T’other stage, literally spilling out of the tent and into the adjacent grassed area. Sam was awesome, his stage presence is magnetic and his vocal range is amongst the best I have heard. Finishing the set with Spaceman and what seemed to be the entire crowd singing along, probably heard from several miles away!
Self Esteem aka Rotherham born Rebecca Taylor was an absolute highlight with both herself and her band kitted out in Sheffield Wednesday shirts on T’Other Stage.
Inhaler on the Main stage, with Elijah Hewson (U2’s Bono’s son) on vocals impressed with catchy Indie rock tunes.
Alfie Templeman headlined the Leadmill stage and put on a fantastic show, with great songs and a great band
The main stage Headliners Kasabian with new frontman Serge put on a huge performance, Serge is the perfect singer for the band, high energy stage presence and great vocals. A great set with a three song encore, finishing with Fire and a fitting end to yet another brilliant Tramlines Saturday.
Sunday and Scouting for Girls on the T’other stage saw the largest crowd ever for that stage at Tramlines, I nearly missed the opportunity to photograph the band as I literally could not get through the crowd to the photo pit. The crowd sang every word of every song and a main stage appearance is surely on the cards next year.
Reverend and the Makers on the main stage proved to be one of the standout performances of the entire festival. Larger than life character singer / frontman John McClure with some cheeky honest Sheffield style banter had the huge Tramline’s crowd in his hands. Opening with Bass Line what followed was a fantastic set of hits and new songs, ‘Heatwave in the Cold North’ and ‘Problems’ were both live debuts. Closing with ‘Silence is Talking’ the crowd were literally bouncing! Oh, and Check out the band’s Tik Tok page.
The Wombats on the main stage, a great set and with four massive Wombats dancing around on stage later in the set, what’s not to like!
Closing the festival Madness put on a fantastic show full of fun and hits to sing along to. A nostalgic trip back to my youth, with ‘Our House’ being the first single I ever purchased. Suggs playfully commented that most of the front section of the crowd were not born when the band first broke onto the scene, that didn’t matter though as they clearly knew all the words to these classic hits.
An amazing sunset over the Sarah Nulty Main stage saw a close to a weekend full of fun, laughter and great music.
Well done to all concerned a well organised and safe family festival, role on next year.. if you can bag a ticket!
2023 festival tickets are available from www.tramlines.org.uk priced from £79.50 plus booking fee.