In 2009 Sheffield at long last got its own festival in the shape of Tramlines. A free, city wide celebration of both local and national talent spread across Sheffield’s wide variety of venues the festival was an instant hit. Now back with venues such as The Leadmill and the 02 Academy onboard, Tramlines 2010 promised to be bigger and better than its predecessor.
Although work commitments may have meant I missed most of Friday’s fun, I arrived back in the steel city just in time for Skeletons and the Empty Pockets to get my Tramlines 2010 experience off to an upbeat start. There’s something different about their blend of contemporary indie – whether it be the engaging confidence and presence of frontman Liam Creamer or the hints of funk amongst their indie gems. Either way it’s nice to see a packed Leadmill for these local lads on the rise.
By contrast Saturday started with disappointment; after a few steadies at The Bowery, a healthy treck to the Fat Cat for The Everely Pregnant Brothers proved frustrating with their set rescheduled at the last minute. A pint of local bitter soon compensated, before making the journey back to the Frog and Parrot. Once there, Goldsoul were met with a mixed response; frontman David Mapson’s archetypal indie swagger slightly overshadowing an otherwise decent outing from the NME tipped trio, before Strange and Partners delivered a rousing half hour; the quartet’s distinctive sound proving to be a real treat.
Over at Bungalows and Bears it was far too early for Club Pony’s mix of hipster dance and electro – not that the cult clubnight’s residency wasn’t good; it just didn’t feel right at 8pm. It was the Exposed New Music stage that brought my Saturday, and Tramlines to end, with Blood Red Shoes’ superb headline show. Hits such as ‘I Wish I Was Someone Better” and ‘Light It Up’ prove infectious, closing the stage with their unique blend of high energy indie punk.
Whilst my festival was remarkably short, regretabbly missing Sunday’s performances from Gallows and Echo and the Bunnymen – the latter joined by local favourite Richard Hawley, Tramlines 2010 will no doubt be remembered as a worthy equal to 2009. Same time next year? It’d be rude not to.