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  • Katie Hunt

Richard Hawley’s second sold-out Leadmill show features guest appearance from Pulp legend

Sheffield legend, Richard Hawley, is playing 4 nights at The Leadmill to support the venue’s battle against eviction from their current landlord. The shows have/will be taking place on the 8th, 9th, 11th and 12th August.

According to Hawley, he will be joined by a special surprise guest at each one of the shows. Opening night featured Self Esteem, an up and coming Sheffield favourite, who recently stole all our hearts by playing Glastonbury dressed as Meadowhall. During Tuesday nights performance, a VERY special guest took to the stage, another Sheffield icon - Pulp frontman, Jarvis Cocker. A sea of arms shot up into air and deafening screams filled the entire venue as the Pulp frontman took to the stage for the first time since November 1993.

Cocker told the audience that the first time he performed at The Leadmill, was 42 years ago (the 16th August 1980 to be exact) for Pulp’s first performance at the legendary venue. He went on to acknowledge the unfortunate current situation with The Leadmill and their eviction battle and the crowd booed in unison. However, the room filled with laughter soon after, when Jarvis responded to the booing with “Pantomime season’s come early”.

Jarvis also goes on to explain that some of the old Pulp posters that were created with designer, Graeme Swinton (around the time of their renowned hit ‘Common People’), inspired the “YOU CAN’T BUY LEADMILL” signs that again, were made in collaboration with Swinton. He told the joyous crowd, “The Leadmill is more than this building and this stage. It’s something that’s grown over the years. It’s a feeling, like a form of magic or something. It’s something that’s been here for people”.

Cocker proceeded with his speech and gave a direct message to “whoever owns the bricks and mortar”: “You don’t own the spirit of it. Have some respect for a beautiful thing”. Fans from across the UK were touched by this, every word was intensely relatable and the audience, staff members and anyone else that was present applauded and cheered together as they showed their support toward the beloved venue.

Anyway… on with the show!

Together, the pair performed two songs, one being a cover of ‘White Light/White Heat’ by The Velvet Underground. The other was a track that had never before been heard by the public and goes by the name of ‘A Sunset’; a name that was reportedly inspired by The Leadmill’s old logo and was based around the premiss of trying to “monetize” something that you simply cannot. Jarvis also shared memories of himself and Hawley dancing and drinking in the venue back int’ day – something that nearly every ‘Sheffielder’ has done at least once in their life.

The crowd swayed along to the melodic tracks whilst the ambient blue stage lights shone down upon the musicians. After Cockers short but impactful on-stage appearance, Hawley continued with his magnificent set and rounded off his 2nd night at the Leadmill.

The fans that were lucky enough to witness this gig will certainly not be forgetting it in a hurry. It truly made everyone in this city proud to see the two Sheffield legends and long-time friends, perform together on one of the stages that took them both to where they are today.

We can’t wait to see what’s instore for the remaining nights! If you’re heading down to any of the shows, it looks as though you’re in for a fantastic time.

And of course, if you haven't already, sign the petition to save The Leadmill!

Photography by Tom Sunderland.


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