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Sheffield musicians rally in support of under-threat venue The Leadmill

Arctic Monkeys, Bring Me the Horizon and more have spoken out

By Joe Goggins

The Leadmill, Sheffield
The Leadmill's future remains uncertain. (Photo: PookieFugglestein/Wikimedia Commons)

Musicians from across Sheffield’s music scene have come together to voice support for the embattled venue The Leadmill.

The beloved rock club is under threat as the building’s owners attempt to remove the current management. The news was shared online last Thursday on social media, with the hashtag #WeCantLoseLeadmill spearheading the campaign to preserve it in its current form. 

“Today we have received some devastating news that in one year’s time, our Landlord is trying to evict us, forcing us to close,” the statement shared on Twitter said. “Since 1980 The Leadmill has spent millions of pounds on what was a derelict warehouse, transforming it into one of the U.K’s most respected venues where countless acts from across the globe have performed over the years.”

Fans were urged to use the hashtag to share their favourite memories of the storied club. Electric Group, who purchased the freehold on the building that houses The Leadmill, denied that it would cease to trade as a music venue. However, it has emerged that they have registered to trademark the name ‘Electric Sheffield’, suggesting that it may not return under the same name.

Over the weekend, Arctic Monkeys were one of a slew of Sheffield stars who spoke out in support of The Leadmill’s current management, sharing the venue’s Instagram post with the #WeCantLoseLeadmill hashtag. This follows them auctioning one of frontman Alex Turner’s guitars to raise funds for the venue last year when it was threatened by COVID lockdowns.

Meanwhile, Bring Me the Horizon frontman Oli Sykes has joined the chorus of support. On Instagram, he told fans that he had seen the band Hundred Reasons there 46 times, and added “Don’t let it shutdown!”

Singer-songwriter Richard Hawley, meanwhile, likened the club to Manchester’s Haćienda and Liverpool’s Cavern Club. “Basically it’s like our Cavern, it’s our Hacienda,” he told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “The thing about The Leadmill is it caters for human beings, it’s not like a niche thing. I saw the Stone Roses there – that’s where I met Mani from the Roses and we’ve become lifelong friends.”

Hawley estimated that he himself had played the venue “hundreds of times,” adding: “The breadth (of artists who have appeared there) is staggering, just the nights that I personally have either seen or played, it’s my whole life. I’m 55 now and I think I played there first when I was about 16.” Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker added in the same piece: “This had better be an April Fool’s joke.”