PREVIEWS: Tramlines and Doncaster Blues Festival

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Our pick of some of the best events set to come to the region.

Music

Tramlines festival, Sheffield, July

Motown, punk and hip-hop legends are heading to Sheffield – to play the city’s famous Tramlines Festival.

Punk stars Buzzcocks, Motown queen Martha Reeves and veteran rappers The Sugarhill Gang have been announced as performing at the inner-city festival, following in the footsteps of acts such as Echo and the Bunnymen, We Are Scientists and Lianne La Havas.

Sarah Nulty, festival director, said: “The 2014 lineup was one of our best ever, so we knew we’d set the bar high for this year, and we think we’ve done it again with the legendary likes of Buzzcocks and Sugarhill Gang.

“We pride ourselves on being a ‘discovery’ festival, where people can seek out established talent alongside breaking talent and are excited to share more big and brand-new names for the festival.”

The festival takes place at venues across Sheffield from Friday to Sunday, July 24 to 26.

Other acts confirmed as playing this year include singer-songwriter and political activist Billy Bragg – making his Tramlines debut – indie-pop group Dutch Uncles and Kent punk duo Slaves.

A festival spokesman said: “The 2015 event comes hot on the heels of Tramlines’ biggest year yet, with performances from Public Enemy, Sister Sledge, The Cribs, Katy B and more than 200 other artists having made 2014’s festival a truly unforgettable weekend for 100,000 festival-goers.

“The early artists announced for Tramlines 2015 point towards another unforgettable weekend in the making, and with it come some true music legends.”

•Tickets for Tramlines are now on sale, priced £30 for all three days. To buy and for more information, visit www.tramlines.org.uk

Music

Doncaster Blues Festival 4, The Dome, Doncaster, March 1 from 2pm

Following on from previous successful outings, the fourth helping of the Doncaster Blues Festival will be on offer on March 1.

While this year’s festival still retains its blues foundation, it has been expanded to encompass a greater diversity of music and with the legendary Focus headlining, as well as five other top class acts.

This year’s line-up comprises of Focus, Aynsley Lister, Little Devils, The Mark Pontin Group, Avit Blues Band and The Luke Doherty band.

With their unique brand of progressive rock, Focus manifested themselves at the start of the ‘70s as the most successful and appreciated of all the Dutch pop-rock exports.

Fronted by founding member Thijs Van Leer, and best known for their hits Hocus Pocus, House of The King and Sylvia, the iconic Dutch music masters are back with their new album, which is guaranteed to please their legions of fans.

Meanwhile, with one thing that is abundantly clear with Aynsley Lister - music is hard-wired to his DNA and flows from his fingertips like sonic bolts of lightning.

Next on the bill is Little Devils, whose sound has been described as an eclectic mix of R&B, Dylanesque Americana, Rock & Blues.

The Mark Pontin Group, who combine accomplished song writing with soaring lead guitar and great interplay between the musicians are also set to perform next month.

As are Avit Blues Band, with musical credentials too numerous to list, they are one of the most exciting Blues acts to appear in a hell of a long time.

And the Luke Doherty Band will complete the headliners. Having had an interest in music from a very young age, Luke soon became hooked on blues and pursues this with a real passion, which is a joy to watch for any blues festival. With this calibre of artist stepping on stage, festival goers can expect to see top class live performances and hear a range of incredible sounds with sets that incorporate Blues, Rock and R & B.!

•Advance tickets are £24. Call 01472 349222 or visit www.doncasterbluesfestival.co.uk/tickets