Review: Tramlines festival, Sheffield – day three

A superb headline set from Madness rounded off a brilliant, albeit wet weekend at Hillsborough Park for the 13th annual Tramlines Festival.

Lee Thompson and Suggs of Madness at Tramlines, Sheffield. Picture: Scott Antcliffe
Lee Thompson and Suggs of Madness at Tramlines, Sheffield. Picture: Scott Antcliffe

In true festival fashion, the heavens opened on Sunday afternoon for the final day of the 2022 Tramlines Festival. Despite the damp, dreary weather it didn’t dampen the festival-goers spirits and 35,000 revellers braved the elements to watch the likes of Madness, The Wombats, Yard Act and hometown heroes Reverend and the Makers.

Madness topped the bill and performed a superb set with their usual energy, high tempo and craziness. The crowd were hooked in from the start when they heard the opening of One Step Beyond, “Hey you, don’t watch that…” each word echoing around the park Suggs appeared stage left in his trademark sunglasses and suit coming onto the stage to a rapturous response.

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The set included a mixture of the older classics and some newer hits. Late 70s hits Embarrassment, The Prince, Bed and Breakfast Man and My Girl featured in the first half of the set and more recent hits, NW5, Mr Apples, Lovestruck were greeted warmly too.

The Wombats at Tramlines, Sheffield. Picture: Scott Antcliffe

A few inflatable beach balls made their way onto the stage from the crowd and saxophonist Lee Thompson took great delight in kicking them back into the crowd. Yours truly even passed him a ball that had become dislodged between the stage and speakers.

Suggs then introduced If I Go Mad, a song he had penned during the pandemic, quipping: “I wrote this during lockdown about if I go mad, but realised I was already mad.”

The crowd went wild when four classics were played back-to-back; House of Fun, Baggy Trousers, Our House and It Must Be Love all ensured the bumper crowd were singing and swaying with their arms aloft in unison.

The larger-than-life Londoners then paid tribute to Sheffield with a nod to The Human League by playing a little snippet of Don’t You Want Me Baby? The crowd appreciating the gesture.

Jon McClure of Reverend and the Maker at Tramlines, Sheffield. Picture: Scott Antcliffe

Before coming back on stage to a two-song encore with Madness and Night Goat to Cairo, Suggs showed his appreciation for the crowd, “Thank you very much, we are feeling the love, Sheffield.”

The Wombats took to the stage before Madness and enjoyed a raucous reception after gaining new fans partly thanks to one of their songs – Greek Tragedy – being used in a viral TikTok video. Other well received songs included mega hit Let’s Dance to Joy Division and Moving to New York.

Despite initial sound problems, Reverend and the Makers enjoyed a great set in front of their hometown crowd. Frontman Jon McClure opened up with Bassline as part of an 11-song set. Heavyweight Champion of the World and State of Things were real crowd pleasers and so was new song Heatwave in the Cold North with McClure revealing about a new film project that will take him to Zambia to look at the music scene and help local artists.

On the other stages, Scouting For Girls, Dead Pony, The Goa Express and fast-rising Leeds four-piece Yard Act all received well-deserved plaudits after great performances.

Yard Act at Tramlines, Sheffield. Picture: Scott Antcliffe

Another hugely successful Tramlines weekend with well over 100 varied acts and artists to watch, admire and enjoy. Early bird tickets for Tramlines Festival 2023 will be announced soon. Tickets and further information at www.tramlines.org.uk

Sports Team at Tramlines, Sheffield. Picture: Scott Antcliffe
Goa Express at Tramlines, Sheffield. Picture: Scott Antcliffe
Shaun Williamson's 'Barrioke' at Tramlines, Sheffield. Picture: Scott Antcliffe
Sun sets on the third day of Tramlines, Sheffield. Picture: Scott Antcliffe