Day three of Tramlines saw me brave the main stage, by this point I have to confess any plans of an itinerary were long gone and while there were some acts that I wanted to see that would anchor me to certain venues, for the most part I was winging it.
Access to the main stage was easier by Sunday, while still busy the crowds were flowing a little easier earlier in the day. I entered on a whim and found myself listening to Lords Of Flatbush, I’ve seen these guys before but never on a stage this big, the transition was no problem though. With a hybridized version of pop taking in all manner of influences ranging from funk to pop to beats and bleeps to ska and back again. When you’re at a festival all these elements meld together to create just the soundtrack you need for the early afternoon. Proper party starters
They were followed by Shake Aletti, the stage seemed a little big for them leaving a lot of dead space needing filling (in fairness they did for a bit…read on), as the set continued there was a noted increase in confidence especially when they were aided and abetted by what seemed like a million cheerleaders (courtesy of Active Sheffield) which did make for a more visual experience as they threw together a host of routines for the duration of one of the tracks.
The Sheffield City Memorial Hall proved to be something of a life saver for those of us who were starting to flag a little. Located behind the city hall, its a moderately sized venue and represented the downtempo aspect of the festival. The A/V Zone curated by I Monster, led you into semi darkness and gentle air conditioning and a floor that was scattered with giant beanbags making it very much the venue to ‘take the weight off’ so to speak. I watched Animat’s re scoring of Vincent Price’s ‘The Last Man on Earth’, a film I haven’t seen in its original context in years. Animat’s ‘remix’ however made a film from fifty years ago have a strangely contemporary feel. It is a dark post apocalyptic film but Animat managed to splash little dabs of humour here and there (little interspersed cuts of Thriller turning up in the mix a la nod to Vincent Price). I did plan to return to see Tara Busch perform but sadly technical issues took her out of the equation.
Still that left me enough time to hit the Washington for a night of sound system clashes (Sequoia, Sama Roots, 20Hz, LSS, R8 Records, Dark Harmonics).The venue was so drenched in bass it made your fillings itch. Earlier in the night there were more contemporary bassline sets but later in the night the vibe drifted back to rootsier dub and reggae excursion. In fact it would seem that was the flavour of the evening because up the road the legendary David Rodigan was putting on one of his famed reggae and dancehall sets. Somehow I don’t think I’ll see people dancing outside The Bowery to Millie’s ‘My Boy Lollipop’ any time soon.
In conclusion Tramlines was a major success. Building on the foundations of last year the event expanded beyond my expectations. The fact that it all ran so smoothly was testament to the people behind the scenes who worked tirelessly over the weekend to make sure that everyone was having a good time and stayed safe. Kudos to them for their efforts.
Let’s see what 2011 brings…