Every month, Mixtape Couture will be showcasing and shining a light on the talent that can be found in Sheffield. From bands to fashion brands, shops to restaurants, events to exhibitions, if it’s in Sheffield and it’s worth you knowing about then I will be letting you know. Whether you are a Sheffield resident yourself or are planning a visit one day [which I highly recommend] then hopefully this feature will help you to know where to visit, what to do and what’s going on in the Steel City.
This month, I have decided to feature a place and gig venue that is pretty special to me for many, many reasons and that place is The Leadmill. Now I know everyone knows The Leadmill [from Sheffield or not], it’s no secret but it is a place I feel everyone who comes to Sheffield has to visit at one point whether it is for a gig or a night out, it is a highlight of Sheffield music and culture scene and in my opinion it always will be. Found on Leadmill Road, just on the edge of the city and close to the train station, it has become a lynchpin of Sheffield history and a place where many special moments have taken place including many of my own.
The Leadmill itself is a relatively decent sized venue, not as big as an Academy so it retains a sense of intimacy but not too small so you can get a decent sized crowd without getting too sweaty and uncomfortable. With two rooms there is the small room with a capacity of a couple of hundred and though small I have seen some amazing gigs in that room from Thumpers supported by Cut Ribbons a few months ago to alt-rock band This City who I loved as a teenager to one of Kids In Glass Houses first ever headline shows in Sheffield. It may be a small room but whether half full or packed out it is always a good punky style show atmosphere in there.
The big room is the time I’ve spent the most in though from nights out dancing around to indie anthems and Sheffield legends to so many gigs it would take me a week to list them all at least. With nights at the barrier for Kids In Glass Houses [yeah I’ve seen those guys a lot] to catching new bands at this year’s Tramlines, a storming set from chart-topper Foxes, a triumphant show from Bastille, a rock rousing psychedelic masterpiece from Tame Impala and a night spent trying to avoid the wall of death at The Blackout. Being able to hold nearly 1000 people it the place to go to catch brilliant indie, rock, alternative, dance, pop and everything inbetween acts in a decent sized but relatively small room before they inevitably go on to be bigger and play bigger and bigger venues that lose the intimacy and wonderful atmosphere that The Leadmill has.
Not only has the venue got a reputation for club nights and live music but they also put on live comedy in the form of their Comedy Club nights. Sheffield is a city that is big on comedy anyway with October being fully dedicated to the best big name and up and coming comedians at our Last Laugh Comedy Festival which quite literally takes over the city so The Leadmill have found a way to make our love of comedy last all year round at an affordable price too. On the first Wednesday of every month for just £4, you get a packed bill of the best new comedy talent and for a tenner you also a drink and a plate of grub from Sheffield very own Street Food Chef.
For me, The Leadmill has always been about quality, finding the best acts and giving them a stage to play on whether it is acts on the cusp of greatness like Bastille and Foxes or brand new acts you will never have heard of being given the opportunity to play in an iconic venue where a crowd is always guaranteed to turn up. I’m pretty sure if you asked any band from Sheffield big or small where they have always wanted to play then their answer would be The Leadmill.
I know can’t even imagine Sheffield without it, the place has been there since before I was born and is still going strong today while other clubs have come and gone over the years, The Leadmill has remained strong and through whatever phase the music scene is going through it is still always the place to visit to catch a great current band or for a night out with a stonking soundtrack. I think I personally first went there when I was 14 for a gig and now at 23 it is still my venue of choice to go catch a band at and on a night out the only two club options for me is my beloved Corporation or yes you guessed it The Leadmill.
There is no point preaching to Sheffield folk here about this as they already know and will already love The Leadmill for whatever reason but to everyone else if you ever find yourself in Sheffield for a weekend, weekend or just one night then pop down whether it is a gig night or a club night, go there and take in the atmosphere. You will not regret visiting one of, if not, the best live music venue in the UK.
The Leadmill is situation at 6 Leadmill Road, Sheffield, S1 4SE
To find out more about the venue or to find out what is going on there over the next few months then visit their website, their Facebook page or you can follow them on Twitter – @Leadmill