2016 ushers in the eighth year of Sheffield’s inner-city music festival Tramlines, inviting a plethora of the best live acts and DJs to provide 72 hours of non-stop music between the 22nd and the 24th of July. Newly added to the lineup, Welsh guitar-rock will be represented by the ever-rising Catfish and the Bottlemen, possibly the biggest source of billowing hair and indie anthems ever to come out of Llandudno. The energy-emitting four piece join deep roller Dizzee Rascal as headliners, marking a high point in what has been an astronomical journey for the band since earning the title of BBC Music Awards’ Best Newcomer in 2014.
One of the men responsible for springing Grime into the public spotlight, Dizzee Rascal has been a perennial fixture on the circuit, fixed up and looking sharp since 2003’s Boy In Da Corner made him the mischievous face of London’s blossoming underground export. Since then, he’s released four more albums and added NME, Urban Music, Brit and BET awards to the Mercury Prize he won for his debut effort, becoming a legendary figure and a notorious party-starter. Probably the first time that Tramlines has hosted an Olympic opening ceremony performer, Dizzee Rascal will make his presence felt in a big way as he bounds around the Main Stage.
Also high on the bill are Young Fathers, the hip-pop recipients of the 2014 Mercury Award for best album, intricate funk rock brothers Field Music and one of reggae’s most influential figures, the prolific singer behind You Don’t Love Me - No, No, No, Dawn Penn. Founding father of London’s KISS FM, Good Times guarantor Norman Jay will grace the stage of Foundry in Sheffield Students’ Union, offering up a taste of a party so good that it earned him an MBE, and won’t be the only one of the Queen’s dance music favourites in attendance, with drum ‘n’ bass icon Goldie heading to Plug.
Tramlines is regarded as one of the UK’s leading festivals for music fans, representing a wide range of genres over the course of the three days, and underground electronic music is no exception. Paranoid London’s analogue acid will cook up a storm at The Night Kitchen, and thunderbolt Glaswegian Denis Sulta will fire taps aff heat at Code, with Marquis Hawkes, FYI Chris, Matrixxman and a b2b from Mumdance and Pinch also promising to keep night-owls busy for a few sleepless nights.
Tickets are now on sale, and with Little Simz, The Crookes, Toddla T and Levelz Takeover among the others on the lineup, there’s no doubt that the Tramlines wristbands are going to be valuable commodities by the time the first rays of summer sun grace South Yorkshire’s Steel City.
Words by Andrew Kemp
Photos courtesy of The Windish Agency & Tramlines