A Festival Mixtape – Tramlines Festival 2011
In an era of arts funding being gobbled up by the austerity vultures, it is fantastic to see that the city of Sheffield still has this wonderful completely free event. Boasting a diverse line-up across 70 venues, music fans will have a host of acts to feast their ears on for the cost of a tram pass. With a diversity of places to watch live shows ranging from Heeley City Farm to the Showroom Arthouse Cinema, the city will be sure to be a hive of activity as punters scurry from one venue to the next. Here are eight tracks from some of the more eye-catching names playing across the weekend:
1. Ash – A Life Less Ordinary
Given that the trio hold a district nostalgic appeals to fans in their mid-twenties, it only seems appropriate this particular ode to all things awkward and teenage should highlight their presence as the main attraction on Sunday evening. Here’s hoping Tim Wheeler and co are in top form.
2. Los Campesinos! - You! Me! Dancing!
Los Campesinos! come to Sheffield off the back of an of absence of two years - unheard of given their previously prolific output. While they are sure to show us what they've been up to, I've chosen to highlight the track that bought them to everyone’s attention, and will continue to due to THAT advert.
3. Patterns- Broken Trains
Manchester’s Patterns look to be at the start of something big. This track, the opener of last year’s sell out New Noise EP, showcases the band’s talent for making gloriously chilled, atmospheric pop tunes to lose yourself in, and they should prove a hit in Sheffield institution The Harley.
4. Errors- A Rumour In Africa
The Glasgow quartet continue to be admired by lovers of a good dance tune with a post rock twist. 'A Rumour In Africa', with its insanely catchy guitar hooks and stretched bleeps always gets everyone dancing. Always a great prospect live, their Sunday set will be eagerly anticipated.
5. Castrovalva - We Don’t Go to Ravenholm
Never one for those of a sensitive nature, the Leeds threesome provide a compelling and unique brand of noise/grime in the live arena that is always wholeheartedly delivered and extremely loud. This track shows their full repertoire, bass driven, with Prince-like verses and a blistering chorus.
6. The Duke Spirit - Cuts Across the Land
The original, and some would say still the best, in term of the output of Liela Moss and co. With a new album on the cards later this year, expect her to be wowing the crowds in DQ on Saturday night as the band serve up their top-notch rock and roll show.
7. The Chapman Family- A Million Dollars
The boys from the North East are another group sure to make a real racket. This track - a standout at their Ruby Lounge show back in February - is brooding, unsettling and downright nasty at times. But it's sure to have those spending Saturday night in The Harley in a state of excitement.
8. Rolo Tomassi- Kasia
For the second year running, Sheffield's own purveyors of LOUD NOISES have the run of the New Bands stage on the final afternoon and evening. Finishing proceedings themselves, they will be sure to whip the crowd into a frenzy with songs like this mix of space rock and emphatically brutal hardcore - and add another performance to their list of famously incendiary live shows in the process.
mixtape by Steve Welch
archive picture of The Duke Spirit by Kate Goodacre
Tramlines Festival takes place in venues around Sheffield City Centre between July 22 and 24. Entry to all venues is free with no ticket required although the festival organisers advise to arrive early to guarantee entry. The festival are running “Busker Buses” around the more far flung venues and weekend tram passes are available for £8.