on February 16, 2013
The Leadmill is somewhere I used to occasionally frequent a couple of decades ago and in truth it doesn't seem to have altered much in the intervening years while I've grown rather grey and fat. The Leadmill is and alternative/indie music venue located on the edge of the city centre in the old industrial part of Sheffield. We recently went to see Ian McCulloch perform a wonderful acoustic set and lingered a while after for the evening music set and even managed to dance for a song without having heart attacks. The Leadmill is in no way a classy joint, but it is one of those places I like; basic, beat up, but much loved, while the indie music they play is good too.The place can really be described in three rooms; there is the bar at the entrance with a few tables and chairs, a long bar and the (refurbished) toilets leading off from it. This room isn't particularly exciting but it leads to the two main rooms at the Leadmill.The first is a rather dark small room with a bar, and Ian McCulloch decamped here for his acoustic set. The room holds about 200 people of my size and girth and probably 300 if a younger act is performing. It’s a simple set up with standing room only and a platform stage at the front. There is a bar in this room too – prices for beer is quite reasonable, a pint of premium lager is £3.50 and while the "glasses" are actually plastic they are thick and sturdy meaning you don't slop beer down your front because the plastic bends as you hold it. The main hall is rather larger and where the indie DJ's play after the music set is completed. A little bit of effort has been made with some lighting over the dance floor and there is also a seated area if you need to rest your legs. Unfortunately I couldn't resist and did a little "dad" dancing – those old hips don't swivel as they once did.The Leadmill usually attracts a younger grungy type; young lads in particular but it has a friendly atmosphere and I never feel threatened in there. Obviously when there is an older band playing at the Leadmill then the age of the customer rises accordingly. The ticket for the gig was £16, while I understand a usual night of music and dancing without a live act comes in at around £4 or £5. Given the pub prices at the bar, I'm sure the Leadmill would become a regular haunt if I lived in Sheffield and were younger.
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