Tramlines has plenty of great music in its site

Clarks Originals Toddla T.
Clarks Originals Toddla T.

To get an idea of the scope of Tramlines this year, you only have to scour through its official website.

There are videos, images, band profiles, biographies - indeed the breadth of talent is breathtaking.

But more impressive is the work putting the site together. And if that’s an indicator of this year’s event, it’s looking to be a good year.

True, there aren’t the stadium-fillers that reigned the stages last year. There is no Pixie Lott, Ollie Murs or Athlete. But in a sense, that’s a good thing - this year sees the festival returning to its muso roots, showcasing artists that require a bit or research, and some serious attention.

Glastonbury star Lianne La Havas will be playing her soul-tinged pop over the weekend and much revered DJ David Rodigan MBE will be playing a set. Rock and roll must-see act Jim Jones Revue will be playing their raucous punk rock repertoire and super cool Bristolian act 2.54 will be playing as well.

The main venues at Tramlines include the Leadmill, Devonshire Green, the O2 Academy and Plug but there are also dozens of peripheral events taking place across the city, such as the jazz at Leopold Square, which starts at 1pm with the Danny Maddocks Band.

Artists at Leopold Square vary from New Orleans-style jazzers Dixie Three to Montuno, who play deeply visceral funk.

And then, just out of the city, is the family favourite - the Folk Forest. Set in the beautifully-sheltered Endcliffe Park the Folk Forest will be a haven for families and folksters this weekend.

But if folk’s not your thing, there’s plenty of grit at Tramlines this year to counter it. Hope Works’ - the city’s epic party headquarters - will be hosting Toddla T’s event - Detroit vs Sheffield - on Friday night.

“I am really looking forward to that. Detroit and Sheffield share a musical heritage. There’s this weird synergy between the two cities and people were going to similar industrial places to enjoy it too. I guess Detroit had the steel manufacturing and Sheffield had the steel legacy, the two cities are very similar.”

And he’s looking forward to playing a set at Hope Works.

“It’s got that vibe of the late 80s but it’s totally legit and safe. It’s a fantastic venue and the soundsystem in there is incredible.”

Toddla has been involved with Tramlines since it started in 2008. Indeed, the dancehall producer and Radio 1 DJ was one of the festival founders.

“It will be brilliant,” he says. “I love Tramlines. Sheffield’s a friendly city anyway but for Tramlines people are on a natural high.

“I’ve known people be fallen out for years who’s made friends at Tramlines. There’s a brilliant vibe in the city and the sun will make it a scorcher this year.”

But Toddla T’s not the only of the usual Tramlines suspects to be making an appearance.

The Crookes, Rolo Tomassi, Slow Club and 65 Days of Static are also playing sets this weekend.”

For full listings visit http://2013.tramlines.org.uk/