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Tracing Sheffield’s Top Musicians

18 May 2018 | Emily May

What with Arctic Monkeys releasing their latest album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino last Friday, we thought it was high time to revisit some of our favourite "northern rascals" by rounding up some of Sheffield’s most revered artists and the venues where they started out. Let’s face it - the old stuff is always the best!

The Arctic Monkeys
Formed in 2002 in the suburban High Green, Arctic Monkeys have morphed from mouthy teenagers, to 1950s-esque Teddy Boys and ultimately one of the hottest rock bands of our time. Although you may have missed the chance to see them on their upcoming sold out tour, take a walk past The Boardwalk (now closed) in Sheffield, where the band recorded their early Beneath the Boardwalk demos (it is also reportedly where The Clash played their first gig). You could also pay a visit to The Grapes pub, where the band played their first gig in 2003 for a mere £27.

Image Credit: Andy P via Flickr

The Boardwalk can be located at 39-41 Snig Hill, Sheffield, S3 8NA
The Grapes Pub can be located at 80 Trippet Lane, Sheffield, S1 4EN

Rock-band Pulp were formed in 1978 with Jarvis Cocker at the helm. After the release of their 1995 album Different Class they became a staple on the nineties Brit-pop scene, with songs like Common People and Sorted for E’s and Wizz becoming Brit-pop anthems. Head to the Leadmill – Sheffield’s longest running live music venue and nightclub - where Pulp played their first ever live gig, and now have a plaque erected in their honour. There is also a Cocker-commissioned verse Trashed on Cider in brushed steel letters on the side of The Forge Student Campus. It may not be original Pulp lyrics, but it is a definite reminder of their witty social commentary, and the perfect Instagram opportunity…
Image Credit: David Johnson via Flickr

The Leadmill can be located at 6 Leadmill Road, Sheffield, S1 4SE
Trashed on Cider can be located at The Forge, Boston Street, Sheffield, S2 4QG
The Human League
Kings of synth pop and electronic rhythms The Human League formed in 1977, however it wasn’t until Phil Oakey spotted teenaged Susanne Sulley and Joanne Catherall dancing in Sheffield’s Crazy Daisy nightclub, and enlisted them to share the vocal responsibilities, that the group enjoyed major commercial success. So he didn’t quite meet them working as waitresses in a cocktail bar, but he definitely picked them out, shook them up and turned their lives around. Unfortunately, you can’t go to a club night at Crazy Daisy today, as it’s now home to commercial stores and a Blacks outdoor pursuits store is where the main entrance used to be. But who knows, maybe you might be spotted to join an infamous synth rock group whilst browsing some walking boots?
Image Credit: Lovelife via Twitter

The building of the former Crazy Daisy nightclub can be located at 20-21 High Street, Sheffield, S1 1PU
Joe Cocker
Most famous for his cover of The Beatles’ With A Little Help From My Friends, Sheffield born rock and blues singer Joe Cocker was a gas fitter before he embarked on a music career spanning forty years. Known for his unique, gritty voice and flailing arms, he started off in the sixties performing in the pubs and clubs of Sheffield. He later went on to achieve musical stardom; his Mad Dogs and Englishman tour visited 48 cities in the US, he won a Grammy and Academy Award in 1983 for a duet with Jennifer Warnes, and he received an OBE in 2011. Cocker passed away from lung cancer in 2014, but you can head to Sheffield Town Hall to commemoratively observe his star as part of the Sheffield Legends walk of fame.
Image Credit: Robby Virus via Flickr

Joe Cocker’s star can be located at Sheffield Town Hall, Pinstone Street, Sheffield, S1

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