Bursting with tons of live music across the weekend, Sheffield’s Tramlines festival is spread across four fantastic stages (including one stage that will be themed to the legendary Leadmill club) and the huge main stage which will all be located in Hillsborough Park this year. The festival has an incredible track record for hosting awesome artists, with the likes of The Libertines, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Dizzee Rascal having previously been on the line up.
So with the festival fast approaching, let’s take a look at the top ten artists you won’t want to miss over this jam-packed July weekend:
1. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Of course I had to begin my list with this truly distinctive band fronted by a true northern legend. Collectively, these birds have been flying high since 2011 and they don’t show signs of coming down anytime soon (bad jokes aside).
Their latest album Who Built The Moon? is yet another trip in an almost completely different direction to their previous offerings. Plunged into a whimsical world, we float dreamily through the rather poignantly placed ‘Beautiful World’ to the solid upbeat drum beats of ‘She Taught Me To Fly’.
Playing the main stage on the Saturday with a mix of old and new they are sure to draw in a huge crowd so make sure you get there early if you want to have a good chance of seeing these guys! To be honest I’m just really excited to see what kitchen utensils,Charlotte (the fantastic French vocalist with the scissors!) can smuggle into the festival! We love the notion of scissors as instruments. Chip chop!
Speaking of great northern bands, Stockport’s Blossoms will also be playing the main stage on Saturday and they are most definitely worth a watch. Their latest album Cool Like You, released in 2016, is a synthy spectacular which transitions brilliantly from their initial guitar heavy self titled album.
Always a festival highlight, these guys seem to have perfected an incredible combination of crowd-pleasing anthems, whilst still keeping with a strong sense of their roots through their lyrics and style. New tracks such as ‘There’s A Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls)’ are so infectiously catchy that before long you’ll be singing it constantly (I have had this song stuck in my head for weeks)! Their set will also include plenty of acoustic tracks which will be perfect for relaxing and taking in the atmosphere in between the hits. It will definitely be exciting to see how Blossoms change up their set this year.
3. Tom Grennan
A newcomer who is making a massive mark on the soulful independent artist world is most definitely Tom Grennan. He stormed the path with the playful tune ‘Royal Highness’ which gives an insight into Grennan’s cheeky persona and has an ultimately charming tone that will continually grown on you.
His highly anticipated debut album Lighting Matches will be released on 6th July but Grennan’s cool charismatic character has already started to really shine through. Tracks such as ‘I Might’ and ‘Sober’ are always real standout performances that stand testament to his strong vocals.
Having just completed a successful tour of a variety of venues across the UK, Grennan is set to continue onto a much larger tour. I would highly recommend catching his set on Sunday at The Leadmill Live stage as it could well be one of the last opportunities to see this artist on smaller, more intimate stage. For sure, Grennan is one to watch!
Are you ready for pure riotous energy and the wildest crowd of the day? If not, then you’d better steer clear of Jordan Cardy and co. as they bounce into the headlining set on the Leadmill stage on the Saturday. Following their great success at a number of festivals over the last year RATBOY released their debut album SCUM. It is a punk/rap manifesto, fusing high energy and unwavering enthusiasm with angsty, outrageous lyrics.
The result? A set full of crazy tunes that could sweep even the most relaxed festivalgoer into the frenzy, as proved at their sold-out Manchester Academy gig in February this year. (It is pure madness but intoxicatingly fun all the same!) Seriously do you have anything better to do? Go see these guys!
5. The Sherlocks
This four-piece band from Yorkshire is already a strong indie favourite with a number of beautifully anthemic tunes that will surely warm up the crowd nicely at the main stage on Saturday. With successful tracks that you’ll quickly recognise such as ‘Was it really worth it?’ it is no surprise that they sold out a number of shows across the UK in recent years.
The Sherlocks are becoming a real staple within the indie band category and have a well established fan base that are sure to be in full swing by the time they perform. They’ve been gradually releasing singles since 2014 but their debut 2017 album ‘Live for the moment’ is the first time the band has honed their sound into a single collection of guitar-heavy tracks with a gritty, indie-infused drum beat. Worth a watch if you’re about!
6. Jake Bugg
Another favourite that will be headlining one of the bigger stages at Tramlines this year is Jake Bugg. With the success of his first album still very much in our minds and highly praised by critics, The Nottingham lad is likely going to be a hit with crowds. With the classic ‘Lighting Bolt’ and ‘Trouble Town’ still firmly within his repertoire, it’ll be a treat to hear them played alongside tracks from his newest album ‘Hearts that strain’, where they belong, out in the open air. Fancy a break from the bands? Then be sure to check out Jake Bugg as he takes to the “T’other stage” on the Saturday.
7. King No-one
Though another four-piece band from Yorkshire, these guys have a distinctive, alternative edge about them. Their tracklist sweeps through a variable mix of upbeat, guitar-led single releases which will really set off the festival spirit nicely. A track to watch out for is definitely their 2016 release Alcatraz which has a strong 80s undercurrent running directly through, aligning beautifully with frontman, Zach Lount’s glittering vocals. Expect a mixture of sweet summery guitars and electronic funk from this lot at The Library stage this year.
8. Pale Waves
Pale Waves are an NME award-winning alternative indie band with a steadily growing base of avid fans. Another runaway success from the Dirty Hit record company (The 1975, Wolf Alice etc.) these guys are making great ‘waves’ across the indie music scene. Their quirky sense of style and staging will leave you dumbstruck; they truly make great use of the stage space and lighting to create an experience of the band that is visually stunning.
Their lead singer, the captivating Heather Baron-Gracie’s delicate vocals and haunting lyrics, sit oddly well amongst the upbeat eltro-infused sound. Overall, the band seems to have been fully embraced for their juxtaposition of style and sound and if you have the time in your schedule, I would recommend checking these guys out! Without doubt it will be a unique performance.
9. The Magic Gang
This four-piece indie gang know how to write a good song. Simple as that. The Magic gang are taking over and it is so easy to see why. Seeming to appear from nowhere, you’ll be forgiven forever so gently being swept up in their sunny, upbeat lyrics and overall relaxed tone. Their recently released self-titled album has an incredibly ageless quality that breezily flows through each track from the indie infused opening drum beat of ‘Oh, Saki’ through to the jazzy piano tunes that seep from ‘Take Care’. These guys will be eager to show the crowds at Tramlines just what they’ve been missing from their summer playlist. Don’t forget to check them out at The Leadmill live stage on Friday!
10. Fickle friends
Fickle friends are an electronic, experimental five-piece from Brighton who are set to storm the “T’other” stage on Saturday. A fan favourite track is ‘Glue’ which is filled to the brim with energy and enthusiasm. It really showcases what the band is about: electronic synth sound and ever-present bass line, filtered through a smokescreen of neon light and a powerful punch of flamboyant style.
Their 2018 debut album You Are Someone Else gives their energetic vocalist, Natti Shiner, a chance to lend her beautiful almost effortless vocals to every track with real heart. The tracks ‘Wake me up’ and ‘Brooklyn’ also provides a sweet summer infused remedy amongst the resonating heartbreak of their lyrics. If you fancy a dance then check out Fickle Friends on Saturday at The “T’other”stage. Be there!
So overall very exciting stuff! If you fancy checking out the festival for yourself, Tramlines 2018 will be around from Friday 20th July to Sunday 22nd July 2018. Get your Tickets now!