Sunday at Tramlines was a much more relaxed and chilled out day. And ended with probably the best Tramlines set by any act I've ever seen at Tramlines in my 9 years photographing the festival: Nile Rodgers & CHIC were simply AMAZING!
As Tramlines Times isn't published on the Monday my photos weren't required for publication so I didn't have to upload any. So I kind of had a free day which meant i could watch whoever I wanted to. So i tried to make the most of it.
First up were Madchester veterans Happy Mondays. I had never saw them live back in the day and they were much better than I was expecting. Yes, Shaun was ramshackle and pretty useless as a front man. But Bez, however, more than made up for that by patrolling the stage and working the crowd. And the rest of the band were pretty tight. I ended up enjoying them and my melons were suitably twisted by the end. Call the cops!
I then headed over to a rammed Leadmill Stage to catch Phill Jupitus. Here being a photographer came in useful because I could make my way to the front and sit in the photographers pit even though there was no where to sit in the tent itself. He was excellent, really funny and I was surprised to see that he had added poetry to his act since I saw him last live in 1995.
After PJ, there wasn't anyone I wanted to see so headed over to the Library Stage. I loved how chilled out it was with lots of people sat down enjoying Guest Singer play.
Next up I had a conundrum: should I see Peter Hook and the Light or October Drift? I have been a big Joy Division and New Order fan and have never photographed Hooky before. But he insisted I signed a contract before photographing him which put me off. October Drift were fantastic at the Crystal Bar at the Fringe a couple of Tramlines ago so it would be good to see them live at Tramlines proper. Especially as they were on the Library Stage which had had a largeish crowd there earlier on in the day.
So I decided to shoot October Drift which was a little bit the wrong choice. Yes, OD were really excellent but only about 20-30 people were there to witness them. Everyone else was either seeing Hooky or Lewis Capaldi on the Main Stage which was awful for them. They deserved a much bigger crowd. As did my photography when the lead singer came off the stage and over the barrier and sang in the middle of the crowd. The photos would have looked much better if there had been a big crowd.
I then had a rare moment of boredom. There were no bands on any of the stages I specifically wanted to see apart from Nile Rodgers & CHIC who were headlining later. So I decided to check out two bands on the Leadmill stage, neither of which particularly grabbed me. First up were whenyoung and then Good Cop Bad Cop. Whenyoung were OK and at least they were well lit. Good Cop Bad Cop weren't well lit at all so I haven't bothered even editing their photos.
However, the boredom soon passed as I made my way to the main stage to photograph the main event, and the band I'd been most looking forward to photograph, Nile Rodgers & CHIC. And they didn't disappoint. They were simply superb and were the perfect end to a great weekend of music. In my 9 years of photographing headliners at Tramlines I have never seen the *whole* crowd dancing with their hands in the air before and yet Nile Rodgers and co managed to achieve this multiple times. And this photographer found himself joining in too! They were a joy to photograph and even better to listen to.
Below are my highlights from the day but you can see all of my photos from Sunday (and the other two days too) here: Tramlines 2019 photos.