Tramlines 2014

Reviews

This weekend, I went to a festival in Sheffield called Tramlines for my friend James’ 21st. Or at least, that was the plan. But James doesn’t seem to understand that when you invite people down for your birthday, you actually have to spend time with them instead of gallivanting in the woods with your bike. Not that I’m bitter or anything. Anyway, the first band we saw was old school Hip Hop group, Public Enemy. When we got there, the stewards were gassed and said that the venue that PE were playing at was “at capacity”, and that we should all fuck off and go see someone else. If only we had.

Turns out that these stewards were fucking liars, and that there was plenty of space. On the way in, some guy from Zimbabwe tried his hand at chirpsing, and when I assumed the alias of Shaneeka Dee, Chuck D’s daughter, he totally believed me. Drunkards these days. So Public Enemy were, erm… I mean, they were alright. We were part of one of the most lacklustre crowds I’d ever been in, and I don’t think anyone knew any of the songs apart from the last one Harder Than You Think, ’cause it was used in that Paralympics ad. Flava Flav (who totally deserves his reputation as a complete joke) then attempted to rouse the crowd by ranting about racism and “what was going on in the Middle East”, leading him to exclaim “Fuck racism!” and “Fuck separatism!” It seemed like an entirely meaningless gesture designed to illicit at least some sort of response from the crowd. Then, I feel like he started playing his own warped version of Simon Says; he was all like, “put your middle finger up if you hate racism” “throw up the peace sign if you hate racism” “shout fuck racism”. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d started singing “if you’re not racist and you know it, clap your hands”.

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The next group we saw was Sister Sledge, who absolutely fucking obliterated it. They are definitely in my Top 5 acts I’ve seen live. Completely killed it. However, in the middle of their set, the drummer and one of the singers started doing this song about love that was sooo boring you could feel the energy seep out of the crowd. Luckily, they brought it back in a big way after that, when the rest of the band and the singers came back out and smashed Lost in Music. Then they did that thing where they introduce each member of the band, and then each one does a solo. The lead guitarist massacred Le Freak and then bassist destroyed For the Love of Money. Was sick.

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After being thoroughly unimpressed by Gold Panda, and going on a wild goose chase to find the elusive James and Freddie, we caught The Gaslamp Killer, whose set was so guttural it etched permanent grimaces on everyone’s faces. You know when the beat is so dirty, your face reacts like you’ve smelt something bad? That expression. Every single second had a drop that was so stomach turning it was impossible not to skank. Ohmygosh. The man slayed. It was like that drop in N*ggas in Paris that changed my whole perspective on music (see below video from 3 minutes in).

At first we thought the man’s name waas stupid as fuck, but after some research, the man, and his name, garnered so much respect that he became our new hero. He started off DJing in the Gaslamp district in California, but his “unique sets often ruined the music vibe in the clubs, earning him the nickname ‘The Gaslamp Killer’.” It’s completely understandable he could be seen to be killing the vibe in these backwards clubs because the man is innovation personified. Such a G. As part of his set he sampled a James Blake song (that Josh thought was Cry Me a River) and a couple of Kendrick Lamar (who to me, is the ULTIMATE in music goodness)’s tracks. Completely fucking destroyed it.

As I said, we went down to Sheffield to see our friend James, but he’s been difficult to get hold of because he’s been jamming in the woods BMXing. But once we did manage to track him down, he showed us this trail where a bunch of supercool BMXers meet up to do supercool bike stuff. And he showed us the place where he spending most of his time. He converted us skeptical fucks to the glory of the woods by getting us to lie down and showing us this incredible view. #nofilter

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Eman and I reckon he’s the perfect person to start a skater commune called Children of the Father, especially seeing as he’s shaved all of his hair off “for maintainance purposes”. The boy obviously does not give a fuck. I reckon he’s pretty much living the dream at the moment. It’s perfect weather for his bohemian quarter-life crisis, at least.

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