Yorkshire's Steel City of Sheffield has always gifted us with the greatest music over the years - from The Human League to Arctic Monkeys via Pulp. Part of the reason for that is the incredible scene and support cultivated from a population that exist for good sounds and a good time.
To get a taster for it, we headed up North to get among the action at the increasingly brilliant cross-city festival of Tramlines. These are the finest moments from the weekend.
CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN
Closing the weekend on the Tramlines mainstage, Catfish & The Bottlemen have certainly worked their way up the festival bill at warp speed following and can certainly now consider themselves headline material wherever they go.
Their rise to the top seems to show no sign of stopping, and when they put in performances like they did at Tramlines it's easy to see why. Diving straight into 'Homesick' and 'Kathleen', two of the bands' most popular hits, there is a natural confidence to the four-piece. Frontman Van McCann rouses the crowd, seemingly relishing in the chaos that ensues. New album tracks '7' and 'Twice' go down a treat, igniting two of the loudest singalongs of the night - and signposting that a more explosive future is yet to come.
Jurassic 5 brought some old school hip hop to the proceedings. Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark mixed and scratched effortlessly in the background, the four MCs out front interchanged seamlessly, one spitting bars at a rapid pace whilst the others revved up the frenzied crowd. Jurassic 5 played out what can only be described as a perfect main stage show – slick as hell and absolutely flawless, the crowd were joined in arms as the first broken-down chords of ‘Concrete Streets’ rang out.
Taking to the stage at Ponderosa, Hinds brought the sunshine with them to combat the rainy Sheffield skies. As a live outfit, the four piece from Madrid are unassuming yet completely raucous running through their set at a greyhound’s pace, the Madrid quartet’s set leans heavier toward the newer material from the debut album. ‘Garden’, ‘San Diego’ and ‘Bamboo’ are met with open hearts and smiles.
With the likes of 'Trick Me', 'Millionaire' and the undeniable 'Milkshake' in her armoury, Kelis had the crowd in the palm of her hand. After a day of sunshine and equal alcohol consumption she took us all back to the early 00's heyday of r'n'b with a performance drenched in nostalgia. She even had time to squeeze in the Calvin Harris collab 'Bounce', which was a pleasant surprise for all.
George Clinton brought his extravaganza of funk, dipping into a vast back catalogue of solo work and the discographies of Parliament and Funkadelic. A highlight of the set was the 2016 Kendrick Lamar collaboration 'Ain't That Funkin Kinda Hard On You?' that paved the way to some perfectly shambolic Saturday Sheffield antics.
Taking to the stage as headliners at the O2 Academy, Mystery Jets put on one sweaty and packed show. Sounding so punchy and sharp; fresh tracks like 'Telomere' and 'Bubble Gum' bring with them the brooding, sweeping heft that they carry on record. 'Radlands' seems to have more or less been swept under the carpet, but a couple of Serotonin cuts, to the band’s credit. Then, of course, there’s Twenty One to be mined for gems,. This is a textbook Saturday night Tramlines crowd; plenty boozy and rowdier still. 'Half in Love with Elizabeth', a pints-in-the-air. Plus, the audience more than make up for the lack of Laura Marling on 'Young Love'.