Tramlines 2010 – Sunday

Sunday 25: Coogan warned us about you (gushing and ranting).

Sunday was the last day and The Knackering was setting in. Going to sleep at 4 am didn’t help, but hey, S1 Artspace was worth it completely. Massive Gig attendee tip #19: for blisters try using ample shoes and painkillers.

Typing interviews and general writing shenanigans had been taxing and just missing the buskers bus with Cats:for:Peru was downright depressing. Still, soldier on.

Managed to catch a bit of Shake Aletti. Might not float my boat but people seem to dig it, so check them out if you’re interested in electro pop. Managed to queue up for the photograph pit (one song? argh!) for Mystery Jets and we were divided in two groups. While the pro photographers walked and did their jobs, I did some crowd snapping (always wanted to do that) and ran out of the photo pit whilst filming. Not a good idea in retrospect.

Tip #21: If you need to drain any fluids from a blister, LEAVE the skin intact to leave the sensitive area covered. Try to keep clean (antiseptic creams works) and use blister pads.

Mystery Jets was good, with the combination of pop rock and some 80’s style stuff, they really had quite an impact. Some people on the back where a little out of the experience, so went there to find out why.

Whilst some of them were completely drunk (saw a dude wolfing down 4 Tennent’s Super during one song, whoa!), others were spacing out in a pothead convention. Sound wasn’t as powerful as I hoped on the back either, so that might have taken a little out from them. Still, I enjoyed “Behind the bunhouse”.

If you ever see a place where they sell Our Cow Molly ice cream, ask for randomforestberry cheesecake. It’s the bee’s knees and your best chance to recover some sugar when you’re hangover. Tip #86: If you feel dehydrated (or have a hangover), mix equal parts of still and sparkling water, add a pinch of salt and a whole lime.

One good look at Devonshire Green and I thought about how I’ve grown more attached to small venues. It’s about being closer to the epicentre of the music and taking it all in. Sometimes it feels that on a bigger stage, some of that charm is lost. Nothing against Dev Green stage, but it was either the ice cream or the smoke around that made me romanticise small venues.

Blame it on 24 Hour Party People and that key scene where musicians attended the Sex Pistols gig in Manchester. The mental music, pogoing, the burgeoning musicians still not jaded and having fun, the pretty girl smiling, a slow motion movement…

After that mental waffle, headed off to see Smokers Die Younger at the Foundry. The place was slowly filling when the band came to stage. We only got chance for one song (so said security) but considering how tiny the stage is, it was more than enough.

Won’t hide the fact that I enjoy this band a lot. The understated ferocity of their songs is always a big part of their sound (calm voice, shout, repeat). The mixing of two voices (James, Amy) works pretty well and the addition of violin is an extra treat. The already superb “Youth Map”  was enhanced. There were a couple of newer songs and some stuff from their second album, like ‘Knives’ (great live), ‘Telemark’ and a reworking of ‘Red rum’.

It was the turn for Three Trapped Tigers and it wasn’t an easy gig. It was an one man show for Tom Rogerson and he decided to do his best. It was a strange set but his good humour (“hey, you’re still with me!”) made it better. There were a two particular strange moments, one sounding like Jean Michel Jarre duelling with Tom Waits giving birth to Sonic the Hedgehog (THIS IS MY WORST SIMILE AND I APOLOGISE!) and the other when Rogerson just said “let’s be very 90s” and started doing some rave music. Had a show to put on his shoulders and survived.

The audience was more than pumped for 65 days of static. I was with a friend who has never seen them live and we had front row seats. Just a few moments before the set started, the fire alarm sounded. At first we thought it was some sample they had for intro, as a joke, but then security scrambled to get everyone to evacuate. A few “bollocks!” were downright shouted, with one girl in particular being extremely crossed at having to leave (she was on first row too). Security used the Jaws of Life to get her out of the venue, probably.

Tip #54: If you want to stay in first row and risk being crispy-fried, go ahead. It’s less painful than getting carried off by Union bouncers (they were nice chaps but wouldn’t want to anger one).

10 minutes passed. Then 10 more. A few jokes, people finishing up their drinks in the gathering point outside the Interval cafe. No sign of smoke, no news, no announcements and no patsy to point the finger and lynch.

People started abandoning the ship, while a few stayed around, joking and practising the old tinker of bitching. “This is England, you won’t get anything done unless you complained until you’re blue in the face”. People clap, shout and jeer. A geezer imitates Chester A. Bum nearby. A zoned out Australian girl starts babbling about Chiapas, Koalas, the Chesire Cat and DQ. My friend reaches for a cosh. I wish I had pepper spray. The whole thing turns into a scene of Kafkian proportions and we decide to make a silly video as people continue to leave the place.

One hour and 20 minutes. The consensus was to leave for the Forum, arriving when Death Rays have already played their set. My friend is jinxed, he wanted to see them. We wait until The Violet May takes the stage, and by Jove, it vindicated the night. Quite a few of the attendees who were at the Foundry were there and they took out their frustration and pent-up energy slamming, moshing and crowd surfing to the juggernaut, brutal act that is Violet May.

Chris Mcclure held the microphone stand like a Chieftain would wield his warstaff and mingled with the audience. He joined the pushing and shoving as his band deftly backed him up. All the songs that had power on recording (‘Queen Teen’, ‘This crowd is overcrowded’) kept it. The one that needed extra energy got it from the live performance (‘Bright or better’). The gig was excellent.

I noticed some familiar faces in the audience. People from Wet Nuns, Death Rays, La Folie, obLONG and probably many more where also there, enjoying themselves. At some point, between getting stepped on by a 6 feet tall screaming hulk and getting elbowed in the gut by a girl with a red ribbon, I thought about my previous stream-of-consciousness, about wanting that 24 Hour Party People moment. This was it. Yes, the band wasn’t Sex Pistols, but then again, this is 2010, this is Sheffield and this was a perfect closing show for Tramlines 2010. The good outweighed the bad for me and had a great time. Can’t wait for next year.

So, rounding up day 3:

The good: Violet May, Smokers Die Younger. That “moment of zen” while relaxing outside St. George’s. Our Cow Molly ice cream.

The bad: The dance of the schedules, 65 days having to cancel.

The ugly: “Does this look infected?”. “A ver a ver a ver a ver a ver a quiiiii hooorasssss!”. “The Foundry was exploding anyway”.

Gallery (45% of your daily intake of pixels).


Shake Aletti

Myspace. Twitter. Facebook.

Mystery Jets

Website. Facebook. Myspace. Spotify.

Smokers Die Younger

Blog. Facebook. Myspace. Spotify.

65 days of static

Facebook. Twitter. Myspace. Website.

Three Trapped Tigers

Myspace. Facebook. Spotify.

Violet May

Myspace. Facebook. Twitter. Spotify.

Wet Nuns

Myspace. Facebook. Free EP.

Words: Sam + Orestes Xistos

Pics: Sam, Orestes Xistos + Disidente K.

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