Day 2 of Tramlines 2017 was a glorious, soaking mess…
After the chicken nugget filled debacle that was day 1, there was no room for messing about as we arrived in Sheffield for day 2. I needed a beer and a pizza. Luckily, the returning Devonshire Green stage could oblige me for both. We arrived just as Logs were starting, a sort of Sheffield supergroup made up of members of Drenge, Menace Beach and Wet Nuns. There is a time for heavy, tuneless dirge but not, alas, at a Summer festival in the afternoon slot when everyone is hungover. They had one decent song, a couple that were tolerable and the rest I could have done without.
After dropping a log of my own in the toilets and reviving myself with baked goods and cider it was time for Alvarez Kings, a band that have become as reliable a live outfit as anyone else out there. Opener and new single ‘Cold Conscience’ saw singer Simon Thompson imploring the Sheffield crowd to come closer before ‘Sleepwalking PT. II’ had toes tapping. I was disappointed not to here ‘Run to You’ or ‘Postcards From Berlin’ but overall the band made a decent impression as always.
One of the best things about Tramlines is discovering new bands that you have never encountered before. I knew very little about Estrons going into their set but I was impressed with their Be Your Own Pet inspired punk sound and lead singer Tali Källström has an infectious energy to match her powerful voice. Sadly, we only caught the first four songs before heading over to the Crystals stage to try and watch the secret set from The Sherlocks. After it became clear that we had absolutely no chance we instead opted to pile in to the Original Bierkeller on West Street for a German lager and an oompah band. As we arrived there was a lad playing Oasis covers on guitar that were rapturously received by the rowdy audience before the oompah music had people dancing on tables, steins held aloft. It’s amazing how a really shit song can be transformed into something amazing when played by brass instruments.
From there it was back to the Devonshire Green stage for Spring King. Aside from my baffling assertion that the band are from New Zealand (they are actually from Macclesfield), Spring King were one of my highlights of the weekend so far. It’s bizarre seeing a drummer who is also the lead singer but Tarek Musa had more charisma and character from behind a drum kit than the Libertines managed with two frontmen. It was a brutal and fun set from the Lancashire band with ‘Mumma’ and ‘City’ particular highlights.
After a really stressful mix up involving Uber we eventually made it to the Main Stage just as We Are Scientists had started. It’s been a good few years since I’ve since WAS and I was surprised at just how damn good they sounded. Even the cuts from the disappointing Barbara sounded good but it was, of course, the material from their first two albums that really brought the house down. It’s also nice to see singer Keith Murray rocking a totally grey head of hair, presumably to make me feel better about my own greyness. He would have to put a bit of weight on and get a little uglier to show some proper solidarity however.
It wouldn’t be a festival without rain. It had been a hot day and a little shower would have been a nice change of pace. Unfortunately what happened at Sheffield on the second day of Tramlines was not a little shower. It was a fucking constant downpour throughout the entirety of Primal Scream that nearly killed my wife off and forced me to wear an absolutely ludicrous McDonalds rain mac. I looked foolish. The band didn’t care though and their breathtakingly amazing set soon made us forget the miserable weather. Well… it made me forget it, my wife had to be escorted to a taxi on the verge of a breakdown. Still, I was having a great time and that’s the main thing obviously.
The Scottish legends set was an absolute hit parade of banger after banger and the crowd lapped it up. It was everything that a headline set should be. With the rain still pouring and the closing triumvirate of ‘Country Girl’, ‘Rocks’ and ‘Come Together’ still ringing in our ears, we made our way home for a quick change and a shower. Many beers and drunken sing alongs later and we made an effort to see a band called ‘Seize the Chair’ at Great Gatsby around midnight. Turns out they were nowhere to be seen so we seized a pizza instead and slunk home. Drunk, full, but happy.