With the inaugural Independent Venue Week kicking off today, we’re celebrating the greatest small music venues up and down the UK.
This time it’s the turn of The Leadmill in Sheffield to get its chance in the limelight. We ask manager Rupert Dell what makes the place so special.
What’s the capacity of the venue?
900 in the Main Room, with 250 capacity for the Steel Stage.
How would you describe the atmosphere on a good night?
Intimate, because you are close to the stage even if it’s sold out. Infectious, because once the gig gets going the whole place erupts.
Any features that make it extra-special?
Our 34-year history of having everybody who is anybody play here, our famous neon sign that is now a Sheffield landmark, and the fact that we simply love live music. #musicliveshere
What are you doing for Independent Venue Week?
We have The Blackout playing on Saturday Feb 1.
How important is the venue in the local music scene, and breaking new acts?
We are the only Sheffield venue that gives local bands an opportunity to play with national touring bands on a regular basis. Playing The Leadmill also helps Sheffield bands get recognition in industry circles.
Our Steel Stage regularly plays host to all the up and coming new acts, and it gives them a guaranteed audience of live music fans.
Which big acts have played there in the past?
The Verve, Arctic Monkeys, James, Green Day, Massive Attack. The list is endless.
What’s been your favourite gig, and why?
I have two. 10 Feb 2007 – Arctic Monkeys’ Secret Gig at our Indie Club Night. I managed to keep it a secret until 5pm on the day of the gig!
Then there’s The Verve comeback gig in Aug 1997. One of my all time fave bands – and it sent a shiver down my spine when Richard Ashcroft walked on stage.
The Leadmill is at 6 Leadmill Rd, S1 4SE; more info on the official website