Reytons, Tom Walker, Dizzee Rascal and Supergrass performing at the Tramlines Festival Sheffield on Sunday 25th July 2021

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Straight out of South Yorkshire, one of the most exciting bands to impose themselves onto the indie rock music scene entertained the crowd on Sunday. Reytons have been together since 2017 and front man Jonny Yerrell, guitarist Joe O’Brien, bass player Lee Holland and drummer Jamie Simpson delivered their fast paced indie rock songs which they played with a passion.

With their debut album, Kids Off The Estate set to drop in September, they exploded on to the stage and opened with Red Smoke which saw the crowd go wild. They delivered their live debut of Antibiotics which was followed by crowd pleaser Harrison Lesser and Retro Emporium which had every one singing along.

Adhering themselves to the crowd with their no nonsense, let’s just do it attitude, Yerrell had the crowd in the palm of his hand with his effortless presence as a front man. Their continuous rise has to be down to their story driven anthems and their use of witty lyrics about real relatable situations on the likes of Jealous Type and Broke Boys Cartel.

With the mosh pit erupting to their iconic song, Slice Of Lime, they finished their set with Low Life. Armed with little more than an array of heavy hitting singles, Reytons are very much on the cusp of a break through, so watch this space.

Up next on the main stage was Scottish singer songwriter Tom Walker, who in 2019 was awarded the Best Breakthrough Act at that years Brit Awards and his debut album, What A Time To Be Alive reached number one in the official charts. And then Covid happened and Walker like many other artists had to remain at home and rely upon streaming events to get his music out there.

Coming on stage late and with problems with his electric guitar, he still managed to conjure up a melting pot of sound with the likes of soul, blues and reggae, and even when he told the crowd that he could hear rock music through his monitors which wasn’t his, he still managed to impress from the start with his uniquely powerful vocals and genuine stage presence.

There was the beautiful soulful Angels, the angry heartfelt piano based ballad, Fade Away and the bluesy and gospel infused rendition of Cry Out. Singing with a rasp and a roar that turns lyrics into an emotional rollercoaster, he had the crowd hanging on his every word with the spell binding love song, You And I.

It was a show stopping performance of smash hit Leave A Light On which brought his set to an explosive conclusion and the crowd shouting for more.

When you combine one of the most energetic grime artists who’s been around since 2003 with the manic audience of the Tramlines you know that you are in for an explosive set. And the legendary London grime rapper Dizzee Rascal did not disappoint.

He opened his set with Space which had his lyrics echoing around an excited crowd whilst the sound of Fix Up Look Sharpe garnered instant recognition, with its catchy hook and hip hop rhythm. I Luv You from his debut album Boy In Da Corner and Jus’ A Rascal were met by an ecstatic roar from the crowd

Running from one end of the stage to the other and making sure that everyone was involved, he delivered many of his classic hits, a fans favourite being Bassline Junkie and his number one hit collaboration with Calvin Harris, Dance Wiv Me received excited roars from the crowd with everyone grooving and singing along.

Like many artists there is a new album to be given an airing and E3 AF, a nod to his old postcode and African roots was introduced with a couple of songs, L.L.L.L. (Love Life Live Large) and Body Loose which were already familiar to the crowd.

Finishing with his number one hit that everyone had been waiting for, Bonkers, predictably makes everyone go just that and when he says that he is about to get into trouble, he treats this appreciative crowd to Bonkers again, before his set truly overruns.

Undoubtedly Dizzee Rascal is an incredible showman, who throughout this set didn’t miss a beat. His fun tunes, great interaction with the crowd and high energy performance cements his place as one of the best.

With Richard Ashcroft who was due to bring Sunday to an end, refusing to attend because he disagreed with the requirement that all those attending had to show proof of a Covid vaccination or that they were Covid free, that special slot was quickly filled by English rock band Supergrass.

With many of the crowd leaving after Dizzee Rascal had left the stage, they certainly missed a real treat. It is crazy to think that Supergrass released their debut album, I Should Coco over twenty five years ago. They went on to release five further superb albums and a veritable treasure trove of hit singles. It was a genuinely sad day when they called it quits in 2010 but they are back together to bring to an end a weekend of great music.

Whilst there are no plans for any new music on the horizon, Supergrass with their back catalogue are still one of the best British single bands of theirs or any generation. Opening with Going Out they set the bar very high as the audience try to keep up with bassist Mick Quinn as he effortlessly hits all of the impossible high notes, Rob Coombes as he provides his distinctive organ flourishes, the commending guitarist and front man Gaz Coombes and the enthusiastic drum playing of Danny Goffey, who told the crowd that they were old and so that meant that they could play anything that they wanted to. And no-one in the crowd objected.

There was a very energetic Mansize Rooster which was followed by the dark irresistible groove of Mary, which both sounded as fresh as ever. The riff to Richard III was suitably riotous and cements Coombes as a great guitar player. The introspective Moving brings one of the nights first big sing alongs. Alright is a quintessential Brit pop anthem and the hits kept coming with the manic riff of Loose It and the perfect pop of Grace whilst Rob Coombes synth solo on the tremendous Sun Hits The Sky invokes the merry psychedelia of early Pink Floyd.

Bringing the set to an end with a frazzled Caught By The Fuzz and a thoroughly triumphant Pumping Up Your Stereo, Supergrass had delivered a blistering, joyous and uproarious celebration of their legacy.

At the end of this exhausting three day festival, the crowd had been overloaded with great live music, comedy and arts. But this would not have been possible had it not been for the hard work of everyone involved who made it all possible for everyone to enjoy themselves safely. A special shout out for the Pit Manager who along with everyone else made Sheffield’s biggest and best loved music event stand out from the rest. And with Tom Walker saying that he hopes that the Tramlines festival becomes a blue print for future music events in the Covid-era, there isn’t anyone who would disagree with him.