Another year’s Tramlines has been and gone, and for the second year running I avoided the main melee entirely, though it appears to have confounded expectations and built upon its previous success in its new Hillsborough home. Instead, I spent most of Saturday and Sunday ensconced in the arts and crafts cocoon of The Folk […]

Another year’s Tramlines has been and gone, and for the second year running I avoided the main melee entirely, though it appears to have confounded expectations and built upon its previous success in its new Hillsborough home. Instead, I spent most of Saturday and Sunday ensconced in the arts and crafts cocoon of The Folk Forest, run by Regather Co-operative and this year spun off into its own festival-in-miniature.

Highlights included the socialist songs of Three Acres and A Cow, Jim Ghedi’s paeans to the land, and The Sheffield Beatles Project performing some of The White Album, though time constraints meant that we never got to see the ensemble cast tackle the likes of ‘Revolution 9’. They’ll be doing the whole thing at the Academy in December.

On Sunday, I enjoyed the free jazz and hip-hop hybrid of Soweto Kinch, as well as the infinitely funky Nubiyan Twist, which saw wide-eyed singer Nubiya Brandon joined by Sheffield’s own K.O.G for a freestyle set. Over on the Site Gallery Introducing stage, the All Girl Arson Club won 40 new fans with ‘Curry Club’, their spicy tale of Wetherspoons seduction.

Pow Wow Weekender
3-5 August | Yellow Arch | £10 single night, £20 weekend
A second weekend outing for the much-loved vintage music night, an umbrella term that covers mod, R&B, northern soul and other club sounds of the sixties. Residents play both nights, with guests including John Berchtold from Denmark and Germany’s Christopher Stukenbrock. Check out this month’s Music column for the full low-down. Link

Don’t Look Now
Fri 3 Aug | Plot22 | £5
All good things must come to an end, and after three years the Don’t Look Now crew are calling it a day. To give them the send-off that their top-notch nights have earned them, they’ve invited The DJ Pipes, Cellar Dweller and Smiley Selassie to join residents Tom Lye, Nomadic and Deburgh, who’ll go back-to-back one last time. Link

Robbie Thompson & James Ewan Tait
Tue 7 Aug | Bishops’ House | £6.10
An inspired setting for two Sheffield singer-songwriters who dabble in the collective folk memory of places, buildings and people. Like their music, the sixteenth-century Bishops’ House in Meersbrook Park aches with half-hidden truths and untold stories. Link

Wed 8 Aug | Lescar | £8
Pianist Laura Cole isn’t bound by one artistic discipline, using melodic jazz, improv and spoken word to convey stories on her new album, The Two Fridas. On her return to the Lescar, she’s joined by an eight-piece band including Ruth Goller on double bass, vocalist Kari Nergaard Bleivik and Chris Williams on alto sax. Link

Crumbs / All Girls Arson Club / Precious Metals
Fri 10 Aug | Delicious Clam | £6
The Clam present a triple bill of bands bound to bring party vibes down to Exchange Street. Leeds’ Crumbs lead the way, while All Girls Arson Club and Precious Metals take victory laps after spectacular sets at the Site Gallery’s Tramlines fringe. Link

The Aguilar Blumenfeld Project
Fri 10 Aug | Greystones | £13.20
An ensemble cast from the psychedelic sixties make up The Aguilar Blumenfeld Project, including guitarist David Aguilar (Bo Diddley, Santana, Jackson Browne), Roy Blumenfeld (Grateful Dead, The Blues Project) and Steve Browning (The Pretty Things, Dave Gilmour), joined by special guest Barry ‘The Fish’ Melton, acclaimed psych guitarist and founder of Country Joe and The Fish. Link

OMNI / Cowtown / Ganglions
Tue 21 Aug | Picture House Social | £10.10
Knotty, tightrope-taut post-punk from OMNI, a group from Atlanta who take more cues from Gang Of Four than R.E.M. They’re joined by the infectiously fun Leeds outfit Cowtown, as well as Sheffield favourites Ganglions in this Audacious Art Experiment show. Link

Moloch / Crimson Throne
Tue 21 Aug | Delicious Clam | £6
The darkest, dirtiest recesses of metal are being dredged up by Clam for this one, including Moloch, self-described ‘rancid sludge from Nottingham’. They’re joined by black metallers Crimson Throne, Lincoln’s Luna’s Call, and the evocatively named From The Bogs Of Aughiska. Link

Tomoko Sauvage / ASUNA / Charlie Collins
Wed 22 Aug | Access Space | £5
Improvised music from Japan. ASUNA uses cheap plastic toys to create a small symphony of whirrs, clicks and clockwork ticks, while Tomoko Sauvage plays the ‘natural synthesiser’, an instrument of her own invention that uses ceramics, bowls, light and liquid to create electronic sound. They’re joined by local percussionist Charlie Collins. Link

Wilko Johnson
Wed 23 Aug | Leadmill | £27.50
Described by The Wire as ‘exhibit A in the art of combining ultra-reductionist playing style and legit chops’, the Dr Feelgood guitarist is at the peak of his powers after winning a battle with cancer that was movingly portrayed in Julien Temple’s 2015 doc, The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson. Link

Fri 31 Aug | Plug | £26.33
The lost band of Britpop continue their unlikely renaissance, touring 2017’s reunion album Weather Diaries, although tracks from classic shoegaze records Today Forever and Nowhere are sure to feature as well. Link

Sat 1 Sept | DINA | £5
An extra special edition of the ever-popular algorithmic dance party, with two rooms of coded chaos to choose from. Regulars Renick Bell, Heavy Lifting and Algobabez return, along with Off Me Nut’s Linux Lewis, with more ambient experiments from vocalist Deerful in room two. Link



Plans have been announced for a permanent memorial to Tramlines director Sarah Nulty, who tragically passed away just weeks before this year’s festival. A plaque will be installed in Devonshire Green, near to where the first few editions of the festival were held from 2009.

Early bird tickets for the 2019 edition of Tramlines, which will return to Hillsborough Park next July, have sold out days after going on sale. The cheapest weekend tickets currently available cost £65.45, with children 12 and under entering for free. No line-up has yet been announced.

The Sheffield Beatles Project, a collective of local musicians interpreting the music of the Liverpudlian group, will perform The White Album in its entirety on 15 December. Following their performance of Sgt Pepper’s in 2017, the 30-piece group present the 1968 double LP at the Academy, with tickets available for £17.40.

Confusion surrounds the future of nightclub and live venue Plug, after their official Twitter account appeared to confirm their imminent closure in a message to student site The Tab. The MJR Group, who own the venue, have since told Forge Press that the venue remains open and is booking events for later this year.

Sam Gregory