Talking Tramlines is the day-by-day blog of Tramlines 2021, which today covers the final day of the festival on Sunday, 25 July.
The post-festival blues hit me hard and my foggy brain is struggling to string words together to describe the weekend. So I think I will keep it brief. Tramlines, we’ve chuffin’ loved ya. A huge thank you to everyone involved in Tramlines 2021 for making it the roaring success it has been this year, especially under what must be ridiculously stressful circumstances. It has been special, and I will catch you in 2022.
Speaking of 2022, tickets for next year’s event are available to purchase now.
We start the day at T’Other Stage where the Grantham born talent Holly Humberstone quaintly stepped up to her “new set-up”, consisting of three guitars, a synth pad, and keyboard. As the young musician plays through her relatively short set, it is clear why she is already amassing a huge fan base following a short career so far. Humberstone even comments “my whole career has been during this pandemic,” which is hard to fathom when she looks so at ease during her performance.
There is a shyness about her as she interacts with the crowd, but she never once appears vulnerable or afraid. Humberstone notes it’s her first time in Sheffield and thanks the crowd for their ‘patience’ when she restarts her unreleased track ‘Please Don’t Leave Just Yet’. Programming the synths on time for the second attempt, Humberstone aces the track which proves to be a highlight of the set. She beams with pride as the Yorkshire crowd rally behind her. People comment beside me that her sound is similar to The 1975. I understand where they are coming from, but Humberstone has carved her own corner of emo synth pop that seems unexplored, even by the Dirty Hit label. And as she explains, her sound formed with ‘Overkill’ from her outstanding debut EP, which was ignited by the brilliant opening lyrics: “A couple more tequilas, and I’ll tell you how I’m feeling”.
On The Library Stage, the Steel City forged SHEAFS ignited a riot with their loyal fans. As usual, frontman Lawrence Feenstra mucks in with the crowd who are eagerly prepared to go wild for the 30 minute set. Blasting through their relatively short tracklist, SHEAFS prove why they continue to be firm favourites in the city, with ‘Thinking Out Loud’ causing the kind of chaos you want to see at a festival, especially after such a long time.
Sticking at The Library Stage, the crowd is noticeably smaller for Baby Queen, but the pop newcomer (real name, Arabella Latham) owns the stage with stadium sized confidence. Despite announcing that this is “one her first live shows ever” and that she will remember everyone in the crowd, Latham seems completely in charge like she has done this for years. Living up to her stage name, she reigns over this small portion of Hillsborough park with an unfiltered attitude, charm, and character.
Latham rattles through her set including highlights ‘Raw Thoughts’ and the Jodie Comer-inspired ‘Want Me’, her most relatable track (for me at least). Latham seemingly makes a personal connection with everyone in the crowd, which include fellow new age pop pioneer Phoebe Green, and half of the local band Sophie and The Giants. Jumping down from the stage and embracing the front row, Baby Queen looks ready to conquer the world, never mind Sheffield.
Drawing in the biggest and most boisterous crowd of the weekend, Dizzee Rascal erupts on Sarah Nulty’s main stage, owning the evening. Not one to disappoint, Dizzee largely veers away from any new material, sticking to festival pleasers – even dipping into several big hit features like the Florence Welch Collab on ‘You’ve Got The Dirtee Love’ and the Chase and Status EDM banger ‘Heavy’.
Dizzee announces that the show has been forced to cancel due to an overuse of bass, even getting the security involved who come on stage to wag their fingers. Off course this all sets up for ‘Bassline junkie’ with plenty of classic Dizzee-isms, (you know the “ooo-ooos” and “oggie-oggie-oggies”), all used to whir up the Sunday crowd.
The set ends with ‘Bonkers’, so good it had to be repeated, “I’m gunna do this again” he announces. Even Dizzee was not quite ready for Tramlines to deliver this hard, noticeably dumfounded when the energy levels only increased as the performance went on.
We head back over to T’Other Stage to conclude the night (sorry Supergrass). Everything Everything draw in the largest crowd the tent has seen over the weekend. Testing out new tracks from the 2020 album RE-ANIMATOR, the Manchester band seem assured that their music continues to translate well live, with tracks like ‘Arch Enemy’ and ‘Violent Sun’ going down a storm.
All tracks across their discography land well, particularly firm favourites ‘Distant Past’, and the obscene ‘No Reptiles’, all featuring the usual impressive delivery and unfaltering falsettos from front man, Jonathan Higgs. But its tracks from the 2010 debut Man Alive which still resonate on the highest frequency. Set closer, ‘Photoshop Handsome’ with its marching percussion ended the weekend on a HIGH.
Keep an eye on our content for an upcoming interview with Everything Everything delivered during the weekend.
As people flood and disperse out of Hillsborough, pure elation seems to be the overriding emotion. Sure there’s a sadness to it all being over, but for many a full weekend of socialising and partying has taken its toll and Tramlines have done their job perfectly, lasting now as the best of memories following tough times. The festival has provided the perfect vent for months of frustration and forlorn, that’s not to be underestimated. So, thank you Tramlines.