Tramlines 2016: Kelis @ Ponderosa Main Stage

Review of Kelis’ Tramlines slot at The Main Stage on Saturday.

Sometimes in life we come across combinations of things that really shouldn’t work – but they do with beautiful results. Alongside dipping chips in your McFlurry, the mixture of brass instruments and EDM beats has to be up there as one of the most divine unions; and this is why Kelis has risen back up to the top.

Opening with the flawless ‘Millionaire’, the crowd welcomed her onto the Main Stage like an old friend. With the help of what has to be the most hardestworking trumpeter in the biz, Kelis warmed us up with some familiars from Tasty, before moving into 22nd Century and Spaceship. The audience loved this direction, making the most of the heavy dance beats to get moving. A mashup of her most famous collabs culminated in a glorious version of ‘Bounce’, which with the inclusion of brass could arguably have made it better than the original. The updated versions of her classics were particularly special; 13 years after the initial release of ‘Milkshake’, the crowd rejoiced over its revision, the song opening only with a drum beat and the line “I know you want it…” Closing with ‘Acapella’; synths, horn and Kelis’ trademark husk came together effortlessly for the final time, leaving the crowd desperate for more.

For three years running, the Saturday Main Stage has celebrated a wealth of black, female powerhouses; we couldn’t be happier that Kelis has joined the Tramlines ranks.

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