The rise of Sheffield weekender Tramlines festival has been nothing short of phenomenal. Beginning in 2009, the festival has grown in size, stature and become part of Sheffield folklore as one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the festival calendar This is purely on account of the joyous aura that engulfs the city across Tramlines weekend, which this year is between Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd July.
The names adorned on the Tramlines festival line up over the years have always been huge, from the XX and Reverend and the Makers in 2009 to last year's headliners of Dizzee Rascal, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Kelis, the Sheffield showcase always does a stellar job of promoting a wide range of genres on its main stage. A lot of the true gems from the Tramlines weekend can be found among the smaller venues however with plentiful pubs and clubs littered around Sheffield setting the stage for grassroots talents, and some pretty major acts too.
However we can only choose five, so with much head-scratching we've selected our choice quintet of Tramlines performers.
When people talk about the ascent of grime, there's a select few who fall into the category of the genre's truest purveyors, and Kano is undoubtedly one of them. Originally a part of N.A.S.T.Y crew alongside Ghetts, D Double E, Jammer and more, the young MC earned his stripes with fierce flow and razor sharp lyrical wit before being signed as a solo act in 2002.
The rest, as they say is history. 2016's Made In the Manor was Kano's first release in six years and represented arguably his finest work to date, scooping the 'Best Album' award at the Mobo's and a Mercury nomination. On stage, the MC's brass band accompaniment is a sight to behold, not least on seismic Giggs and JME hook up '3 Wheel-Ups'. He headlines the Devonshire Green stage on the opening night of Tramlines and will do so in typically explosive fashion.
A constant figure in most 'must see' lists, experiencing the Syrian wedding singer turned recording artist really is a box you should tick. His unique high octane take on dabke, a type of music and dance originating from the Levant, has been picked up by artists such as Caribou. Souleyman has played at various festivals across the world and continues to release music. His most recent output, To Syria, With Love introduces techno elements, layered over his traditional Middle Eastern folk sound.
Set to perform on the Main Stage at 2pm, the New Orleans based group combine elements of jazz, hip hop and funk with their big brass sound to create the ultimate party vibe for any festival. Hot 8 usually play covers of well-known tracks such 'Sexual Healing' and 'Papa Was A Rolling Stone', as well as original material - a perfect pick me up after a heavy first night at Tramlines.
Come on, we couldn't very well miss out one of the finest UK pop groups of all time. With smooth r'n'b undertones, impossibly catchy hooks and a new record released just last year, All Saints are without doubt worth a watch. They top the bill on Saturday night on the Devonshire Green stage, bringing with them heaps of girl group sass, nineties nostalgia and classic tracks including 'Pure Shores', 'Never Ever' and 'Black Coffee'
Pete and Car'ls is a rock'n'roll love story like few others. Their tempestuous relationship has swung from gazing lovingly into each others eyes over a microphone, to brutal physical combat, almost to the point of self destruction. While their situation now is nowhere near as on a knife edge as it was in the early '00s, the element of danger that remains only adds to the romance of the Libertines. Added to the fact that they have penned some of the finest, most raucous and well adored indie anthems of all time, make them a pretty unmissable prospect.
Their revival has seen them take on Hyde Park, Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds' main stages, and Tramlnes is just another to tick off come their headline show on the opening night in Sheffield. They'll take you anywhere that you wanna go, so don't be baught looking back into the sun.