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Tramlines 2012: Day 3 Roundup

By on Tuesday, 21st August 2012 at 2:00 pm

After the exhaustion of last night’s Crookes set at Tramlines, Sunday had come right on cue. With an eclectic mix of acts on both of the specially erected city stages, it’s finally time to visit the main stage for local legends The Everly Pregnant Brothers. After seeing them on the busking bus last year, their step up to opening the main stage was one to celebrate as their set of ukulele based Yorkshire-ised popular hits including ‘Chav World (Mad World)’ and ode to Amy Winehouse’s ‘Rehab’ with more Yorkshire than you can shake a pasty at lightens up Devonshire Green with a brilliant atmosphere.

Leaving the main stage for now to return to the Nando’s New Music Stage, Holland (above) play a set of as or yet unknown tracks, one to keep an eye on perhaps? Either way they’re followed by the guitar-pop sounds of Let’s Buy Happiness. The sound is uplifting even if the lyrics are rooted in dark undertones of sarcasm for loves-passed-by. Neither band are in line to set fire to venues and charts, but they’re enjoyable enough for a relaxing afternoon in the sun.

Going off route a bit, its time to venture to new venue The Hop for a band who’re following in the steps of Sheffield duo Wet Nuns with their blend of hearty rock with a twist of blues and energy for good measure. The Blackbirds (below) are loud and riff heavy with some thumping drums and whilst the band have a lot to do before they achieve such levels as their local peers, the promise is undeniable even if the crowd is limited to around twenty people.

Everything in the day has been leading up to one thing though. Whilst across Sheffield, everyone’s winding up to their final headliners including a hugely notable homecoming show for 65daysofstatic on the New Music Stage; indie underdogs and all round nice guys We Are Scientists are due to close the festival on the main stage. The buzz for their support Field Music (below) is sadly nonexistent; you feel the group would have been better off surrounded by their more devoted fans inside somewhere like the Harley, but the band stick to a tight set that sounds a bit amiss in such a setting.

We Are Scientists come on stage though and Devonshire Green starts to dance. Playing a singles collection of their by now well known indie rock tracks with a few new ones added in to test the water on their upcoming fourth record the band haven’t put many notes out in years and that’s appreciated by the gathered Sheffield masses.  Sadly though, once again the stage is running late so in order to catch a few minutes of another local band on the rise, TGTF heads off up to Soyo.

Screaming Maldini are by now underground favourites. The enthusiasm with which they play their fresh breed of music that treads between the singalongs of pop and the eccentricity of math-rock on a delicate line (landing a bit more on the pop sound) makes for a highly enjoyable finish to the weekend. Of course acts continue late into the night, but it’s once again last-train home time and even with the occasional disappointment; Tramlines has once again proved that you can achieve a hugely enjoyable and bustling festival of solid acts without charging a penny to the fans. This time next year, Sheffield?


Live Review: Johnny Foreigner with Screaming Maldini and Stagecoach at London Garage – 21st November 2011

By on Monday, 5th December 2011 at 2:00 pm

With the launch of ‘Johnny Foreigner Vs Everything’ (review here), Johnny Foreigner decided to put on two parties. Billed as VsLondon and VsBirmingham, their label Alcopop! put together a showcase like no other with a billing which could make most other indie labels a little jealous. For one night only, VsLondon comes to the upstairs venue of The Garage in London and it promises to be a good one.

Arriving just in time to catch Screaming Maldini, I’m promised that Pandas and People and My First Tooth were lovely (and I’m certain that they’re right). Screaming Maldini really start to get warmed up but as venues will be venues, their set is cut short to make sure tonight stays on schedule. Doors close at 10 pm so starting at 5 does its best to keep everything going. Their shortened set proves to remove any filler the group may have and keeps their set short and sweet.  They’re definitely a band to keep a watch on for the next year or so as their music just keeps getting stronger.

Next up and the main support for the evening are live favourites Stagecoach. Having supported Johnny Foreigner in their winter tour last year, the groups are sound friends and their fantastic summer of festivals has if anything made them an even stronger live band. Tonight’s crowd are familiar with them and from start to finish, it’s manic. Playing from each of their EPs and singles, ‘Map to the Freezer’ and ‘Hieroglyphics’ are highlights of a fantastic set.

Everything’s been leading up to tonight’s headliners though. ‘Johnny Foreigner Vs Everything’ has created huge debate on and has received a generally warm reception most other places. Of course, with a reputation as a strong live band, the Birmingham trio tonight are leaving it down to the music, even if the crowd are chanting “Who the fuck is Ricky Martin?”

Beginning with new album opener ‘If I’m The Most Famous Boy…’  before rifling through a selection of their back catalogue, through both EPs and albums to date. In parts, crowd and band appear to be one, as the enthusiastic audience sing along to every word with pure dedication. This comes to a peak in the ever popular ‘Salt, Peppa and Spinderella’, both a JoFo staple and possibly the track they’re best known for as The Garage turns into pure chants all the way through to the climax of “turn on the real drums” to which the room becomes pandemonium.

Choosing to limit the work from their second record ‘Grace and the Bigger Picture’ to just ‘Every Cloakroom’ ever, it almost doesn’t feel right to not get ‘Feels like Summer’ or ‘Criminals’ instead focusing on more recent EP work, but no-one seems to mind. They close their main set with new single ‘You Vs Everything’ (Video of the Moment, using footage from the show), which proves that as one of the standout tracks on the record, it does itself justice live.

An encore of debut album ‘Waited up Til It Was Light’ closing tracks ‘Yr All Just Jealous’ and ‘Absolute Balance’ might close the band’s set in style, but the crowd continue singing a drunken medley of tracks not heard tonight until being steadily ushered out for doors. It’s been a big night for Johnny Foreigner and Alcopop!, one that will probably live in the memory for a long time. To those present, this band and everything it brings means a lot, and there’s a real camaraderie that comes with it. There was even cake!


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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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