Tramlines: Sam Fender and Kasabian upped their game in the rain as Madness sealed it

Tramlines once again produced the goods as the Sheffield festival put on a spectacle through an array of conditions. Our man Amos Wynn was there.

Despite having to contend with both the rain and the warmth at times, the weekend delivered in a number of ways. 

The return of the festival last year reignited the music scene, after the uncertainty of the pandemic, and it certainly built on that this time round. 

Compared to 2021, the headliners had certainly taken a step up, with all three providing something different. 

Sam Fender got the crowd swaying, Kasabian got them bouncing, and Madness just had everyone dancing. 

Arriving on day one, it was a rainy trudge to Hillsborough, with the showers proving relentless, but it did eventually start to clear up just in time for Jade Bird’s set on the main stage. 

It was certainly a chilled half an hour of easy listening, albeit nothing too lively. 

She was followed by Declan McKenna, who walked out to With a Little Help From My Friends

He put on a superb set, full of energy and enthusiasm, with lots of catchy songs, but also a strong range. 

Brazil in particular got the crowd excited, with a few flags coming out. 

Over on the Leadmill Stage, The Clockworks were putting on a strong display too, with plenty of fast-paced songs attracting a good crowd. 

Ahead of Friday’s headliner, James we’re in action, and certainly entertained those over a certain age. 

The set was moderately good, with some catchy classics in there, with Sit Down and Laid of course being the highlights.

Lead singer Tim Booth commented that they change their set list mid-show every gig to give each crowd something unique and live. 

He rounded their stint with a quick crowd surf before finishing. 

Finally on Friday, it was Sam Fender’s turn. 

He’s a musician who is going from strength to strength, and it’s easy to see why. 

There were a lot of people in Newcastle shirts waiting for him, as well as a few Sunderland. 

His set was excellent, thought-provoking, and sometimes sombre. 

Dead Boys was a stand-out track, being both powerful and poignant. 

He also took care of his fans, as he stopped the show halfway through Spice to ensure everyone was safe. 

Hypersonic Missiles provided a superb ending to a fantastic night. 

If that was Fender’s first headline appearance at a festival, then there will be many more to come. 

Inhaler were one of the first bands on the main stage on day two, as they highlighted their talent, and no doubt made a lot of new fans. 

They were soon followed by local band, Little Man Tate, who certainly had the Sheffield residents on side. 

Their set proved a catch, with large sections of the crowd singing along. 

Meanwhile, one lucky fan got a guitar at the end of the set.

One of the best acts of the weekend were The Vaccines

Their time on stage was filled with classics, as well as some of their new stuff. 

They had plenty of people belting out the lyrics to Wetsuit and Post Break-Up Sex, with everyone seemingly having a great time. 

Meanwhile, back over in the Leadmill stage was an artist who will no doubt have people singing along to his songs in the same way in the years to come. 

Alfie Templeman truly packed out the tent, with the crowd loving his array of upbeat tunes. 

It’s remarkable at the age of 19 just how many strong songs he’s got in his back catalogue. 

Saturday finished with Kasabian, who absolutely smashed it. 

People questioned if they could still be headliners with the absence of Tom Meighan, well they certainly answered that.

The band simply belong in front of a big crowd, with the atmosphere being simply incredible.

Serge Pizzorno has well and truly stepped up to being the frontman, with the high calibre of songs doing the rest, as they left Sheffield bouncing. 

Not many bands are lucky enough to have songs as strong as Club Foot or Ill Ray to start a set, and then have the choice of L.S.F or Fire to finish on. 

Day three was a return to the damp conditions, so it seemed ironic that Reverend and the Makers were playing a song called Heatwave, which would’ve been more fitting a few days prior. 

Not too far away from the main stage, Barry (from Eastenders) was belting out classic after classic at The Open Arms. 

People may laugh, but it’s certainly one of the highlights of the weekend, and he literally had people queuing outside of the tent to get in. 

Barrioke is a genius concept, and certainly has a big market. 

It was then back over to the main stage for The Wombats

The Liverpool three-piece are certainly another band with a string of classics under their belt, which certainly got people jumping up and down, alongside their newer stuff, that was just as enjoyable. 

Similarly, to The Vaccines, The Wombats have had a major imprint on music without people even realising, with their songs being familiar to all.  

They set the scene perfectly for Madness, who did not disappoint. 

Age did not matter, as everyone came together to dance and sing along to what was the perfect way to round off the weekend. 

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