Because sometimes I’m not completely wrong about everything…
Tramlines has become a yearly pilgrimage for me that has even eclipsed my once beloved Leeds Fest. 2019 sees the acclaimed festival returning for its eleventh year and the second at Hillsborough Park.
The organisers have pulled off another impressive line up this year with Courteeners, Two Door Cinema Club and Nile Rodgers leading the charge. You don’t need a blog post to tell you about how good the Courteeners are however. Instead, we will be taking a look further down the line up poster for a mixture of lesser known up and comers and established regulars. Starting with…
10. The Futureheads
When: Friday. Leadmill Stage. 8pm.
The last time I saw The Futureheads was the long, hot summer of 2011 at the Devonshire Green stage back when Tramlines was just a pup. A lot has changed for me, the band and Tramlines since then. I’m not as fat but much more grey, The Futureheads have split up and reformed via frontman Barry Hyde’s beautifully maudlin 2016 album Malody and Tramlines has gone from being a plucky underdog to one of the best small music festivals in Europe. Imagine the fireworks when the three of us reunite again…
9. She Drew The Gun
When: Saturday. Main Stage. 3.30pm.
She Drew The Gun are a Liverpool four piece fronted by the irrepressible Louisa Roach, handily described in their own bio as impassioned, hypnotic and darkly ornate psych-pop.
It’s always exciting to see a new band and She Drew The Gun have great pedigree coming off the back of their excellent debut album Memories Of Another Future. If that’s not enough to convince you then just listen to Something For The Pain. Just listen to it. It’s bloody brilliant.
When: Sunday. Main Stage. 3:45pm.
Not content with being bona fide Britpop heroes, Sleeper have made a comeback in recent years with their recent album The Modern Age acclaimed by critics and fans alike.
On a personal note, I kind of ‘collect’ bands from my childhood and Sleeper are a band I’ve been trying to catch live for years. Don’t miss this one.
7. Good Cop Bad Cop
When: Sunday. The Leadmill Stage. 6.30pm.
It’s the age old philosophical question. Is Tramlines really Tramlines if Sheffield legend Joe Carnall Jr isn’t there? Hopefully we’ll never have to find out. While Joe will presumably be carrying out his usual bass duties with Reverend and the Makers on Saturday afternoon, it’s his own set on Sunday evening that holds the most intrigue.
Good Cop Bad Cop has become more than just a side project as sold out tours can attest to and their hit single Silk and Leather promises to be one of the soundtracks to the summer (if it ever stops chuffing raining).
6. The Reytons
When: Sunday. The Leadmill Stage. 4.30pm.
It’s kind of the law in Sheffield since the Arctic Monkeys took over the world that there must always be a Sheffield band who get sniffy with Arctic’s comparisons whilst simultaneously sounding exactly like them. The Reytons are the current holders of that crown, bless ’em. Luckily, they have the tunes and the attitude to back it up.
I’ve only heard a couple of tracks from these lads but they are the kind of band that were born to play the Leadmill Stage. It’ll go off.
5. Johnny Marr
When: Saturday. Main Stage. 7pm.
Or Johnny Fucking Marr to quote the t-shirt the man himself occasionally wears on stage. The Smiths legend has an incredible back catalogue to choose from and I can confirm that he is an incredible force as a live act. The kind of musician that you could watch idly strumming his guitar and still be entertaining. And no, that isn’t a euphemism.
When: Sunday. Leadmill Stage. 7.45pm.
Drenge have become almost the forgotten men of the UK indie scene. Despite releasing two great albums and being at least as insistent and compelling as Idles, the latter band seem to have cornered the market on angry, loud rock songs. Hell, even Slaves seem to be bigger with their hit rate of two good songs every album.
I can’t for the life of me understand why this is the case however, and if you want some proper rock ‘n’ roll on a Sunday night then look no further than Drenge and the Leadmill Stage.
3. Reginald D. Hunter
When: Saturday. Leadmill Stage. 2:10pm.
Comedy has been a genuinely brilliant addition to Tramlines with Tom Stade one of the weekend highlights last year. 2019 sees the first appearance from legendary American comedian Reginald D. Hunter.
Hunter is a household name in UK comedy and his uncompromising style should be the perfect fit for a festival that is nothing if not rowdy.
2. Manic Street Preachers
When: Friday. Main Stage. 6.30pm.
One of the most iconic bands of the best musical decade and a band that I have somehow never, ever seen before. In reality, they should absolutely be headlining with Two Door Cinema Club lucky to open for them but hey ho. This is the world that everyone has chosen.
I’m saying now that this will be the highlight of the weekend. If you miss it, what’s even the point of anything? Grow up.
When: Sunday. T’Other Stage. 7.45pm.
Because Pounding. Because Black and White Town. Because Kingdom of Rust. Christ, this is going to be quite something. By booking one of the most acclaimed UK bands of the last two decades, Tramlines has finally found a Sunday headliner worthy of the name. Get ready. It’ll be soaring.