OK. Sheffield’s got lots of clubs and lots of live music nights. Here are a few nights out that straddle the divide and offer something a bit different. The kind nights that people come back to again and again because they get exactly what they want. From Swing Jazz to Multimedia events there is always something there and we’ve probably missed plenty. Here’s a few sandman rates. Check ‘em out.
All Things Electric
Where: Charles Street
When: Third Thursday of every month.
How much: £4/3
Who is it: Ralph, Jim and Gaz, www.allthingselectric.co.uk
What’s it all about: The name says it all really. Think Karftwerk and Bowie and then head on from there - anything electric with a beating pop centre, lots of old synth sounds but not trapped in 80s nostalgia. There’s live music, DJs and the visual side of things are ATE is newcomer to the Sheffield scene but has already made a mark and we reckon it’s poised to really take off. Even though the venue is uipstairs it feels like a cool cellar club. Last time we went one of the sandmaen reckoned it was like an electronic version of the clun in ‘Blow Up’. There’s room for the dressy and the glam but fundamentally it’s a good mixed crowd who are up for a dance.
Jim will tell you that the resident DJs will play a happy set of ‘farting, burping, sizzling, rocking, electronically influenced tunes’ while recent live guests have included Midnights In Moscow (see review p.17), The Project With No Name and NeuVogue. Atmospherewise it’s tops.
ATE Favourites: Jim - Hiem ‘Yoshiko’, LCD Soundsystem ‘Give it up’. Ralph - Fat Truckers - ‘Superbike’, David Bowie ‘Heroes’
The Dizzy Club
Where: The Boardwalk
When: Second Friday of every month
How Much: £4
Who is it: The Dizzy Club, most of who form the backbone of Richard Hawley’s band, www.dizzy-club.co.uk
What’s all about: Drummer, Andy Cook, describes the Dizzy Club as the ’Skateboard of Swing’, meaning that this night has possibly the most diverse crowd in Sheffield in terms of age at least. Chances are that, waiting at the bar to be served there’ll be a a chap in a blazer who probably heard it all the first time round stood waiting next to a kid you ‘d expect to see down the Corporation bouncing off his mate’s heads. The night started at Casablanca’s on Devonshire Green back in 1994 and eventually found it’s way to The Boardwalk where most nights are packed. It’s a top atmosphere and they are shithot musicians. who “try to get a big band sound with a small band onstage”It’s one of those rare nights where it really is just about the music. They manage to play a music whose time has passed without coming across as either theatrical or museum pieces. It’s gone down so well in Sheffield that they’re setting up nights in other cities.
What you’ll hear: Definitely Mack the Knife, a load of Cole Porter and Duke Ellington and the odd Dizzy composition.
Get Me To The World On Time
Where: The Point (FKA Under The Boardwalk)
When: Last Wednesday of the month
How Much: Essentially an invite only private party so you’ll need to get your hands on a flyeralthough there will be a raffle with prizes (£2ish worth of raffle tickets sound about right.)
Doors: 9pm - 1am
What’s it all about: Forget Garage House, UK Garage and all that bollocks. GMTTWOT goes all the way back to the original garage idea. American kids trying to emulate British beat bands and coming out with brutal three chord monsters that are just incendiary and sound way more ounk than any of the modern guitar bands. Think ‘Louie Louie’ by the Kingsman, anything off the Nuggets or Pebbles albums and stretch it out to all points north, south, east and west. The first night went so well Beachbuggy demanded to play and their simple streamlined rock ‘n’ roll fitted the bill perfectly. A stream of DJs fill the night out and you’re likely to hear anything from French pop, early RnB, Mod classics to The Stooges and the MC5.
Most likely to hear: ‘She’s a witch’ - The Sonics
Where: The Boardwalk
When: Second Saturday of every month
How much: £6/4, www.jujuclub.co.uk
Doors 8-11pm with the occasional late license
What’s it all about: Juju must be one of thelongest running club nights in Sheffield. Papa Al started presiding over the night way back in 1988 when it kicked off at the Polish serviceman’s club on the Eccleshall Rd. Moving to The Boardwalk in 1998 it is a seriously eclectic musical mix. Al avoids the somewhat worthy ‘World Music’ tag and reckons the music mix comes somewhere between ‘Andy Kershaw and Gilles Peterson’. Which means you’ll get bits of Reggae, Bhangra, Latin based sounds and stuff you’d hear mixed up with tracks you’d hear in any good club.Over the years the night has hosted live actts of the calibre of Transglobal Underground, Fun>Da>Mental, Misty In Roots and Hugh Masakela.
The crowd is as diverse as the music and 15 years and running suggest they’re doing something right.
It’s a seriously sweaty night out and the only dangerous element is the possibility of catching someone’s dreads in your eye while on the dancefloor.
Juju Favourites: Transglobal Undeground ‘Scorch’, ‘Basement Jaxx ‘Bingo Bango’.
The Media Lounge
Where: The Lescar
When: Sporadic, about ‘every five weeks’ according to the ‘lounge’
Who: Media Lounge - video manipulators to the stars. www.medlo.co.uk
How much: Free
What’s it all about: Well, basically they’re taking the telly to the pub. Don’t worry though you’re unlikely to to see much footie. Media Lounge are a group of five videomakers who are earning a crust putting corporate promos together amongst other things and put on a night to keep the old creativity rolling. Dave Holloway describes the night as the result of a deep dissatisfaction with what’s on the box. Rather grandly he calls the night ‘transmissions from the wrong side of the TV’ and rather less prosaically as just ‘fucking around with videos. The second description probably gives a truer picture of the night. These aren’t chinstroking artists but an up for it bunch who want to entertain. They delight in cutting up brutally awful american films from the 80s and doing nasty things with them. At the same time The Lescar - being a mighty fine pub - serves booze which always helps. They usually haver a bit of musical support and watch out for their Dustpunk night next month which will see media lounge vidwork mixed up with live gigs from local sonic molesters, 65 Days of Static and laptop geezer Feedle.
Music: Big fans of 65Days of Static and Feedle
Where: The Halcyon, Division Street
When: First Thursday of every month. (There’s sometalk of making it fortnightly)
Who: Hosted by the genial Easy Tiger and Lionel Vinyl you might even get to spins a few discs yourself if you contact them on: www.sevenby7.co.uk
Doors: 8 while 2 am
How much: Free!
What’s it all about: Genius idea. Seven ‘DJs’ get to play seven 45s of their own choice which theoretically means you might get ‘O, For The Wings of a Dove’ by Ernest thingummy followed by ‘Random Gimp’ by Johnny Bowlegs and The Cuntbubbles. In practice you tend to get a club night fuelled by the best pub jukebox in the world. Even better is the way they avoid the cult of the Dj by mixing up well known local faces such as Nick Banks (Pulp), Richard Hawley, Bozz (Hiem, Bozzwell & Myers), Adrian Flanagan (The Kings Have Long Arms) with blatant novices who just happen to have a fistful of great records. It’s gone down so well they’re doing the night in Manchester as well. This is a club which really is inclusive.
Seven Tracks we’d like to hear: ‘Hey Mickey’ - Toni Basil, ‘Jolene’ - Dolly Parton, ‘Down Under’ - Men At Work, ‘Blank Generation’ Richard Hell & The Voidoids (or Stray Cat Strut’ -The Stray Cats, ‘Swords of a Thousand Men’ - Tenpole Tudor, Munuhmuhnuh’ - The Muppets, ‘Hanging Around’ - Me Me Me
also well worth looking out for are:
Jasmin Allen Ska Sound System - Cracking ska night mixing bands and DJs. Last one was at The Boardwalk but they’ve done a few at The Grapes. Covers all the great stuff from the Jamaican roots to the British Two-Tone movement right up to the modern American tinged punk inflected version. Next one will be in early March.
The Parlour - New night at Bar Abbey on Abbeydale Rd. Promises ‘electrotrash’ whatever that may be.
San Tropez - Another new one. Starting at The Corporation on the 26th of February. They’re promising three rooms of Reggae, Carnival, and Latin Beat.
Clubs (not clubs)
words: Jack Tractor
pics: Jon Enoch