The crowd tonight at The Leadmill are older than the average bunch of students, but the pre-gig anticipation remains the same. The Justice Tonight gig is a special one. Created in order to raise money to fight for justice after the Hillsborough disaster, being in Sheffield lends a personal sense to an already important issue.
The overwhelming sense of community is evident in the way the room falls silent every time the ’89 disaster is mentioned, and Jon McClure is the first to take the stage to raucous applause.
The Farm are equally well received, and the noise levels in the room rise even further when first Pete Wylie, and then Mick Jones join them. After a few Wylie songs – including a new one, introduced as a celebratory party song and irreverently named “The Day Margaret Thatcher Dies” – Mick Jones swings straight into “Train In Vain” and the intro is nearly lost by the roar from the crowd.
The good nature in the room is contagious, and seeing the musicians on stage so obviously enjoying playing together only adds to the atmosphere. Each act takes a turn to sing their favourite Clash song and the audience match them word for word – including a particularly spirited “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
The night ends with The Farm’s “All Together Now”, including an interesting segue into “We Are Family” halfway through.
“We’re playing songs with meaning,” Pete Wylie tells the crowd. “There’s a sense here of something that really matters.” Well said.