Tramlines 2017: Day 1 – Twin Atlantic, The Libertines

My plan on the first day of Tramlines was not to go too mad in order to save myself for the rest of the weekend. As I awoke this morning fully clothed surrounded by chicken nuggets it appeared that plan had utterly failed…

In my defence, I had finished work for six weeks just hours before the festival began so the evening was only ever going to go one way. And that way was chicken nuggets.

Tramlines is bigger than ever this year but the wristband exchange was pretty painless and getting through security was actually quicker this time round. We arrived at the start of Twin Atlantic‘s set and they were in full throttle by the time we had grabbed a drink. The Glaswegian band have never been my cup of tea on record, often coming across as an overly polished but still very Scottish version of Biffy Clyro. Or Frightened Rabbit. Or pretty much any other Scottish band. Live they are a different beast though with singer Sam McTrusty demanding the Sheffield crowd to wake up as they smashed their way through big anthems like ‘Heart and Soul’. By the time the band played a thrilling rendition of ‘Brothers and Sisters’ I was officially converted. Or drunk. It’s difficult to tell.

The Libertines stumbled on stage around 9pm and burst into a ramshackle version of B-side ‘Delaney’. It was a statement of intent from the London band, namely that they would not be succumbing to pressure from the crowd, to ya know, play a song competently or sound like an actual band at some point. Disappointingly, Pete and Carl leaned heavily on latest album Anthems for Doomed Youth, which has it’s moments but is not really what a festival crowd wanted to hear. When the band did play something more familiar they were disinterested, uninspiring and insipid. Songs were played at half tempo, both singers had zero stage presence, slurring inane mutterings between songs, and at times it was actually embarrassing to watch.

This made it all the more frustrating when the band did manage to capture their past magic a couple of times. Ironically, ‘The Good Old Days’ still sounded glorious but those moments were fleeting and by the mid point of the set most people were idly chatting as one of the most important bands of their generation were reduced to background music.

Later I did my own fitting tribute to the shambles that the Libertines have become by getting absolutely shit faced and spilling gravy down myself. What a waster…

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