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Tramlines 2011: Day 2 Roundup

By on Monday, 15th August 2011 at 2:00 pm

Saturday at Tramlines comes with a whole load more excitement. The main stage today features charting stars as well as up and coming artists , but I’m more focused on what’s effectively the second stage in the Nando’s-sponsored New Music Stage. The first band I see, however, really put a dampener on the scorching weather. Eagulls are offensive on the eyes and ears today with a Liam Gallagher meets Sid Vicious 20-something man yelling at people in the form of what I suppose he’ll call lyrics. The crowd that had assembled for the charming Hey Sholay earlier have started to disperse back to the stairs and square of the picturesque city hall. This isn’t the way Copy Haho (pictured at top) will have it though. Indie pop tracks with nice hooks all the way from Scotland see the punters return and get a bit warm to tunes they don’t know such as ‘Going in the Wrong Direction’ (a personal favourite) and with a few “your mum” jokes, Copy Haho have won over some new Yorkshire friends.

Feeling like I’m playing it a bit safe, I decide to stray over to the Bowery to catch half an hour of power rock ‘n’ roll in the form of strangely named Milk Maid. It’s a definite hit with me and seeing as the venue is packed (it’s small, but still…) I’m guessing the buzz around this band is building and rightfully so. I’d have been kidding myself if I thought I would end up anywhere other than back at the New Music stage for the next few bands though. Young Legionnaire are my first and only super group of the weekend, and they certainly prove why. Comprising of members of Bloc Party and the Automatic, their music is nothing like this. Debut album ‘Crisis Works’ is a huge sounding rock album from the three-piece and today they demonstrate that it can even get a crowd that don’t know them, moving in the sunlight to them.

They really are just a supporting cast to the next two acts however. Scottish power-pop group Dananananaykroyd burst on to the stage next with as much energy as you’d expect from the indie rock underground’s heroes. New tracks such as ‘E Numbers’ fit right in the opening of their famously fun set, along with old favourites ‘Watch This!’ and ‘Black Wax’. ‘Muscle Memory’, the lead single from their second album ‘There Is A Way’, produces a huge sing-along (shout along, scream along, something loud) of the ever so angsty “You’d like me better if I liked you less!” as the crowd really get moving. Of course, some, having saved money on not having to buy tickets, go too far on the alcohol and over-exuberant movement. “Dancing is easier than fighting!” the band point out, and that seems to solve that for a while.

It seems it’s all been uphill then, as bands today are constantly out-doing each other, so it’s right to expect good things of tonight’s New Music stage headliners. With a new album in the works and promised for release late autumn, but not really giving away much more, the Los Campesinos! crew look more like a solid unit than they ever have. As such, their sound is now a really tight and well rehearsed one, spanning all three of their albums. This is where the problem starts for me though. I’m starting to think it’s all a bit over-rehearsed and that after a certain point, we’ve heard it all before. ‘We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed’, a huge fan favourite is becoming a song absent of the meaning it was written in of late, ‘My Year in Lists’ suffers the same fate and is gone before it ever really starts and even ‘Death To Los Campesinos!’ is now beginning to sound like it lacks the relevance it once did.

Set opener for the last year or so has been ‘In Media Res’ and aside from one or two alterations (‘We Are All Accelerated Readers’ gets a play this evening), it’s all getting a little predictable. That said, when you’ve got a catalogue of tracks this good, and fans as dedicated as LC!’s, it’s hard not to get lost in tracks such as The Sea Is… or shout along to the hugely infectious ‘You! Me! Dancing!’ and as the Cardiff group close their set with the ever joyous ‘Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks’, it’s difficult to see what tracks need taking out to accommodate for album four’s new ones. So as Saturday comes to a close, it’s hard to wonder what on earth Sunday can throw at us.


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