- Date: 16.06.12
- Posted by: Admin
The History of Sheffield's Music Scene
One of the best things about the steel city is its well-established music scene. Sheffield has always been well known for its thriving music scene from influential night clubs, to renowned record labels and grass root indie bands; music made in Sheffield has come to have far reaching influence on both the UK music scene and internationally. This article will give an overview of the bands and music that Sheffield has given birth to from 1960s right up to the present day.
A lot of people understand Sheffield's music scene as coming into its own in the 1980s, but it was in the 1960s where things started to be really shaken up by Peter and Geoff Springfellow, who in essence invented Sheffield nightlife. Born in Pitsmoor to a working class family, both the brothers had determination and ambition which soon saw them altering the face of entertainment for young Sheffielders. Their most notorious venture was King Mojo, a nightclub located on the junction of Burngreave road and Barnsley road in Pitsmoor. The brothers rented the space for £30 a week from a local business man with only one clause; that they kept the picture of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on the wall.
The club started to have a huge impact on the music scene in Sheffield, putting on countless gigs. Artists which played the King Mojo include The Yard Birds, The Who, Stevie Wonder, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and The Hollies to name just a few. Sadly after ongoing noise and drug problems the club was shut in 1967.
Late 1970s and 1980s
The 1970s and 1980s saw the rise of the electronic and synthetic music scene in Sheffield. Well known bands such as Cabaret Voltaire, The Human League, Heaven 17, ABC and later LFO all originated in this city, influenced by the founding of Warp Records and the rapidly evolving night club scene. Notable is the Crazy Daisy nightclub, originally located on the corner of York Street and the High Street, it's generally considered to be the birth place of The Human League. Other notable night clubs around this time include The Leadmill, which opened in 1980, and The Boardwalk.
Whilst Electronica was also taking off, a brand of new wave of British heavy metal music was also developing in Sheffield, which resulted in the internationally acclaimed Def Leppard forming in the city. Pulp also formed around this time, but failed to achieve commercial success until the 90s.
The electronic influence in Sheffield continued into the 1990s with the Yorkshire Beeps and Bass scene forming in the early 90s. Both Moloko and Autechre formed in Sheffield during this time carrying the torch of electronic and dance music from the 80s into the 90s. Sheffield then saw a general shift in direction. With the rise of Pulp the city began steering towards an alternative indie-rock sound typified in the witty lyrics and loud guitars of The Arctic Monkeys. The club night offbeat at the University of Sheffield which began in the 1990s exposed a lot of young music lovers to the most alternative and upcoming indie music around. Until it recently stopped a few years ago it was considered to be one of the best, if not the best alternative music night in the country.
More recently bands like Little Man Tate, Miburn and Reverend and the Makers have continued the indie alternative scene in the city. Bands like The Long Blondes, The Crookes and Gomez, who all met whilst studying and living in shared student housing in Sheffield are considered the most contemporary musical exports of the city.