Day 2 kicked off with a sweet taste of home as my fellow Doncastrians Ginger Tom tackled the Tramlines main stage. Bizarrely, this was my first time seeing Ginger Tom and their breezy brand of indie pop was perfect for a summer festival. Up next were Northern indie rock band Little Comets. The Tyne and Wear band were, for want of a better word, shit. A set weighed down by songs from their most recent album left the crowd restless and even cuts from their first and best album lacked energy and spark. They have essentially become a Paul Simon cover band, and nobody wants that.
We moved on to the Folk Forest stage at Endcliffe Park in need of a palette cleanser after the tasteless dirge that was Little Comets. This was my inaugural appearance at the Folk Forest but the glorious setting and intimate stage ensured that it wont be my last. Teleman are a ridiculously handsome band, particularly the fantastically attired bassist Paul Cattermoul, and the relaxed vibes of the Folk Forest suited them perfectly. The London band went down a storm with the sizeable crowd with ‘Cristina’, ’23 Floors Up’ and ‘Dusseldorf’ the highlights.
A quick taxi back across town to the O2 Academy meant we arrived just in time to see Sheffield heroes The Crookes. I have written extensively about George Waite and co. before, so it was really nice to see them playing to a massive crowd at Sheffield’s biggest venue. The Crookes are never daunted by a large audience, instead tending to feed off the energy of the crowd. They kept interaction to a minimum as they raced through a greatest hits set that included most of the singles, a ferocious run through of ‘Play Dumb’ and a rare outing of early single ‘A Collier’s Wife’. This was my 10th time seeing The Crookes and drummer Adam Crofts has made them an even tighter live outfit. If you haven’t heard them already, you have 4 wonderful albums to look forward to.
Directly after The Crookes were Mystery Jets, a band that I must admit have mostly passed me by over the years, a situation that I will be rectifying after an enthralling set. Crowd favourites ‘Half In Love With Elizabeth’ and ‘Young Love’ brought the fun but it was the tracks off the new album that really impressed, with ‘Midnight’s Mirror’ inspiring one of the days best performances. It was popular single ‘Two Doors Down’ that unified the crowd in the first big dance along of the weekend however.
At some point in the afternoon, news had filtered through that Sheffield legends Milburn were due to play a midnight show at the Leadmill. By the time the band took to the stage, the adoring crowd were baying for Joe Carnall Jr to get started. From his opening word, ‘surprise!’, to the closing bars of ‘What You Could’ve Won’, Milburn’s performance was a lesson in how to headline a festival. The crowd treated every song like an old friend as pint pots were thrown, strangers were hugged and trainers were stuck to the Leadmill floor. ‘Well Well Well’ is such a perfect gig opener and from there, the local boys done good had their crowd eating out of the palm of their hands, and they fucking knew it as well. Lazy Arctic Monkeys comparisons were always unfair and no matter what happens to Milburn next, Sheffield loves them, and always will.
Day 2 of Tramlines 2016 will go down as one of my all time favourite festival days. Yorkshire!!