Sheffield’s Oldest And Best Live Music Venue!

LeadmillFeatured image : Tom Walton | Body images: Dan Cox

Since opening in 1980,  The Leadmill has  become home of Sheffield’s longest running live music venue.

Notably voted ‘ Best Live Music Venue ‘ in the UK last year, the historic club has hosted famous bands such as Coldplay, Snow Patrol, The Strokes as well as Sheffield’s own bands Pulp and The Artic Monkeys.
But what makes The Leadmill a good place to come and watch live music?  General Manager Rupert Dell declared:

“ We’ve got the history, we’ve been around now for 32 years, we treat people well, we’ve got good sound,  we invest a lot of money into the facilites to make sure they are the top products that are available.

Also, we do our best to get the biggest bands available when possible. Some  bands specifically want to play at the Leadmill because of it’s history and because it’s renown as such a good venue to perform at.”

As well as going to a good venue, people like to be able to buy  affordable drinks. Can you get that at The Leadmill? Rupert says you certainly can.

“ Definitely. There is a difference in drink prices between our club nights and gig nights.  For clubs it goes from 60p to about £ 3.20.  When we host gigs the prices go up from 1.50 to £3.20.

 The reason why it’s a little bit more expensive for the gigs is because it’s more expensive for us to put on a gig than it is a club night.  We have to get in the sound engineers, lighting,  bands cost more than hiring a DJ does. So that’s the reason why it’s  a little higher we have got more costs to cover. “

In the past Sheffield have had Pulp and Artic Monkeys rise to national fame,  is there any more up and coming Sheffield bands that fans should know about?

Rupert enthused: “Hot Souls and Wet Nuns, they are the two most exciting Sheffield bands that are getting talked about at the moment. “

As for the most well known bands to have played at Leadmill in the past few years, Rupert declared: “Artic Monkeys have played here quite a few times, The Strokes have played here before, The Libertines.  For newer bands I’d have to check back as we’ve had so many it’s hard to remember them all!

The manager proudly spoke of the bands that The Leadmill have lined  up for fans to see.

“We’ve got a very busy period coming up actually, we have The Mystery Jets, Feeder, Graham Coxon,Ladyhawk, Alkaline Trio,  a big wide of variety of bands like  The Tribes.  which are a new, really hot band.

Also Marina and The Diamonds, she sold out in April 2010 the first time she came here, she’s coming back. The Horrors, Newton Faulkners is quite well known and it’s sold out to go and see him now.   There’s a huge variety of bands for an older audience right through to the new bands like  Tribes. “
And what sort of atmosphere should people expect when coming to The Leadmill?

Rupert stated: “It depends really what kind of gig you go too. If someone like Richard Hawley who is a singer/songwriter, he can be very quiet so it’s a very hushed respectful atmosphere.  However if you get someone like The Tribes performing, then it’s a proper rock and roll atmosphere. People go mental, crowd surfing for example. People singing along as well so there’s a big range of atmosphere here at The Leadmill. “

He continued: “ Also the capacity of the venue is 900,  and we have got a backroom which we call ‘ The Steel Stage. ‘ That can hold a 250 capacity when we do gigs in there.”

When asked if there are any future  ambitions for The Leadmill in the future, Mr Dell said:

“We’d like to expand the venue  if possible, and  do events abroad in America, China and Japan. We have got some grand ideas but whether they come off or not we don’t know. We want to do more gigs in the UK around different cities as well, so we’ve got some ambitious ideas.  “

Finally,  The Leadmill General Manager concluded with a message of appeal to music fans that have yet to visit the Sheffield venue.

“Come to The Leadmill, it’s a very special place for gigs, it’s very intimate as you are always close to the artists, and you’ll probably  have never experienced  anything like it. There is a reason why we have being here for over 32 years. “


Words: Daniel Cox


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