My day begun at Maida Vale with a band who are fast becoming one of my absolute favourite live acts. Suffice to say, a Generation gig is somewhat of a vehement whirlwind; it's fast paced, hard-hitting and delightfully raucous. Having seen them for the very first time only a couple of weeks ago, I fell head over heels in love with their audacious punk-rock styling and all around energetic, impassioned aura. The only complaint I have about this particular performance was that, being on so early in the afternoon, they didn't have more of an audience to enjoy it with them; this is a band worthy of hitting the big time and who can offer something unique, fun and exciting to the industry. I reckon we'll be seeing and hearing a lot more of Generation in the months and years to come.
Crystal Bar always becomes somewhat of a second home over Tramlines weekend, and it has to be said... the sound, lighting and general set up this year was nothing short of spectacular thanks to the wonderful people at Aggressive Management. I have a lot of love for Bayonet; they're four genuinely lovely guys with a huge amount of talent and musical creativity. Their deliciously upbeat indie-pop styling translates perfectly into the live setting, appearing effortless and opulent, and exuding a lively sense of ebullience from start to finish.
One of the most wonderful and critically important elements of any music festival is, in my opinion, discovery; it's always great seeing so many of your favourite bands collectively, but I also try and make a point of adding at least one brand new act to my schedule. Sleeptalking have managed to evade me thus far this year, but I've heard so many people talk of how completely and utterly brilliant they are... particularly live. I wasn't disappointed. Intoxicating, spellbinding and with an authentic and eccentric edge, I genuinely never wanted their performance to end. Displaying such bold and extravagant showmanship throughout, these guys definitely know how to put on a real show.
I have so much respect for King No-One as not only are they a band with personality, zest and copious musical ability, but they are a band who have something to say and aren't afraid to voice their opinions on some of todays' most controversial topics; to that end, they can always be relied upon for a shimmering and luscious live show and frontman Zach Lount is such an enigmatic performer. They appeared at ease on the sizeable Crystal Bar stage, and this was definitely one of the strongest performances I have managed to see from them to date.
Words alone could never be enough to describe Keir and his astounding talent. Music is everything to me, and I go to a lot of gigs, but I have never been so moved by a musical performance before until I saw him; I even had tears in my eyes at one point. It's difficult to explain in a way that would do him justice and I do think that ultimately he has to be seen to be believed... but what I will say is that I was unbelievably blown away by his powerhouse vocals, which are so stunning and completely unlike anything I have ever heard before. To think that any one person could be blessed with such a beautiful, soulful voice really is nothing short of a miracle and in all honesty, I feel blessed myself to have been able to watch him perform in such an intimate setting. How he is, as of yet, unsigned is beyond me and I think that in the years to come this performance will go down as one of those historic 'I was there' moments. The music world has lost a number of its' brightest lights in recent years... Bowie, Prince and George Michael, to name but a few, and I think the problem with the industry as it is today is that there are too few artists with a big enough talent and charismatic enough personality to not necessarily replace these legends but to at least be memorable enough to deservedly stand alongside them and be seen in a similar light. I can safely, wholeheartedly and without hesitation say that Keir truly is a superstar in waiting.
Admittedly, I was exhausted by this point, but what better way to end my Tramlines Festival 2017 than with a band I have come to see as firm friends over the last couple of years... Leeds' heroes, The Doldrums. It's been a year of change for this band so far, having recently lost a member and then subsequently gained a new one in the form of brilliant new bassist, Tom Wilde. With Josh Langley now the sole frontman and lead vocalist, their sound has noticeably changed a great deal of late, but this is definitely a positive thing; with their new music sounding positively huge and their live performances growing stronger by the day, I'm so proud of how far they've come since I first discovered their music back in 2015.
Until next year, Tramlines...