Alrighty, confession time here folks. I initially set out with all manner of good intentions for the Tramlines festival. I was going to plan a detailed itinerary, sticking to it like clockwork making my way around the city checking out all the best that Sheffield has to offer. I did manage to have a wander for the opening night but if truth be told I did find myself gravitating back to my beloved stomping ground The Washington for the most part.
Why? well, it has to be said the line up was absolutely fucking first rate.
For those who know it, The Washy is a pub with a distinct musical heritage having been the haunt of many a Sheff musician over the years. Last night was no exception with a host of class sets from the likes of Mairead, The Death Rays Of Ardilla as well as DJ’s Sophie Toes, O’Shea and ASBO a GOGO.
Highlights were many, especially considering the sound system involved. The Wet Nuns delivered in a manner akin to being blasted with ballbearings, good humour and gale force winds (the crowd seemed initially nervous and had to be beckoned forwards, mind you close proximity and ear damage might go hand in hand in this case but hey, we can all lose one eardrum..right?) and while I was a newcomer to The Hope Explosion the energy generated by their set was pretty hard to ignore, very much one of those bands that draws you in almost with you realising it.
Oblong are no strangers to The Washington and took the opportunity to showcase some new material. As always you can expect solid performances from this lot and vocalist Tracey Deakin is always at ease and suitably commanding up front.
Liam O’Shea’s USMD returned with an expanded line up consisting of Des Sunderland and Marc Hoad (Mega Aquarians) who blended a fuelled percussive mash of guitars, laptop electronics and visuals to great effect. For a band that were trialling this incarnation for this first time this was a sure footed and supremely confident performance. Cracking stuff.
Right, best get back out there…