Sheffield music legends honoured with heritage plaque

From left,  Jarvis Cocker, Steve Mackey, Mark Webber, Nick Banks, and Candida Doyle, of Pulp, with PRS for Music's Simon Darlow, by the plaque outside The Leadmill.
From left, Jarvis Cocker, Steve Mackey, Mark Webber, Nick Banks, and Candida Doyle, of Pulp, with PRS for Music's Simon Darlow, by the plaque outside The Leadmill.
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Sheffield music legends Pulp have been honoured with a plaque where it all began.

The band – famous for hits such as Common People and Disco 2000 – have been recognised with a music heritage plaque on the wall of famous city nightclub and live music venue The Leadmill, where the band played their first gig 35 years ago.

Drummer Nick Banks, who joined Pulp in 1986, said the band were pleased with the award.

He said: “It’s all very nice If people want to do nice things like that. It’s better than being kicked in the shins.”

Frontman Jarvis Cocker, the only current band member who was part of the line-up at the show on Saturday, August 16, 1980, said: “I think it was the Bouquet of Steel album launch – a compilation album of Sheffield bands.

“We tried to get on the album and failed, but the guy who used to run it decided to host a festival and he put us on the bill.”

This plaque will be unveiled at The Leadmill on Monday.

This plaque will be unveiled at The Leadmill on Monday.

Jarvis, who was aged 16 at the time and was the oldest member in the group, said: “We were second on and we arrived in a mobile grocer’s van, because that was the only transportation we could get.

“We got on stage and we tried to play a Monkees’ cover, Stepping Stone, but the drummer forgot some of it, so it didn’t work very well.

“The bass player fell off stage because his guitar started feeding back and he didn’t realise how to stop it. We went down very well for the comedy value and we were offered some more concerts from that.”

The plaque was unveiled in front of the band – Jarvis, Nick, bassist Steve Mackey, keyboard player Candida Doyle and guitarist Mark Webber – by Simon Darlow, deputy chairman of PRS for Music, which licenses music, collects royalties and runs the music heritage scheme,

We were second on and we arrived in a mobile grocer’s van, because that was the only transportation we could get.

Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker

Mr Darlow said: “What Pulp have achieved is outstanding – seven studio albums, two live albums, nine compilation albums, 236 chart-topping singles, five video albums, 20 music videos and millions of record sales worldwide.

“Our awards recognise those that have contributed to our music heritage.

“Pulp’s great lyrics and songs keep touching generation after generation of music lovers – few bands can make that claim.

“Music is part of our country’s cultural identity. It’s one of our greatest exports and defines who we are as a nation.

Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker on stage at the band's last Sheffield show, at Motorpoint Arena in December 2012.

Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker on stage at the band's last Sheffield show, at Motorpoint Arena in December 2012.

“Some cities excel in nurturing music talent and creativity, developing a personality of their own – Sheffield is one such place.

“Pulp played an important role in defining the city’s sound and inspiring many other musicians to follow in their footsteps.”

The plaque is the 15th unveiled since the scheme began when Blur were honoured in Essex in November 2009.

Other bands honoured include Dire Straits, Squeeze, Soul II Soul and Spandau Ballet in London, Supergrass in Oxford, Snow Patrol in Belfast and Jethro Tull in Blackpool.

And Mr Darlow refused to rule out returning to Sheffield in future to recognise some of the city’s other big-name bands, including The Human League, Def Leppard and Arctic Monkeys.

He said: “With the number of bands Sheffield has turned out, I could be here a lot – and maybe I will.”

The award coincided with the celebrations to mark the 35th anniversary of The Leadmill and the World Snooker Championship final at the nearby Crucible theatre.

As part of Cue Sheffield, the BBC’s programme of events to mark the snooker tournament, Radio 6 Music DJ Steve Lamacq broadcast his show from The Leadmill as the unveiling happened, before hosting a gig in the evening, featuring Mystery Jets and Sheffield bands Slow Club and O Captain, as well as DJ sets from Jon McClure and Ed Cosens of Reverend and The Makers and Jarvis and Steve from Pulp.

PRS for Music heritage awards:

November 30, 2009 – Blur, at East Anglian Railway Museum, Wakes Colne, Essex;

December 3, 2009 – Dire Straits, in Deptford, London;

February 25, 2010 – Jethro Tull, at Holy Family Church, Blackpool;

March 23, 2010 – Squeeze, at Dance Hall, Greenwich, London;

May 29, 2010 – Sir Elton John, at The Namaste Lounge, Watford;

June 3, 2010 – Snow Patrol, at Duke Of York Pub, Belfast;

September 21, 2010 – Status Quo, at Welcome Inn, Eltham, London;

October 4, 2011 – UB40. at Hare & Hounds Pub, Kings Heath, Birmingham;

November 1, 2011 – James, at the former site of the Hacienda, Manchester;

June 21, 2012 – Soul II Soul, at Electric Brixton, formerly The Fridge, Brixton, London;

September 19, 2012 – Faithless, at The Jazz Café, Camden, London;

September 19, 2012 –Supergrass, at Jericho Tavern, Oxford;

November 13, 2013 – Orbital, at The Garage, formerly Town & Country II, Highbury, London;

September 10, 2014 – Spandau Ballet, at the former site of The Blitz Club, Soho, London;

May 4, 2015 – Pulp, at The Leadmill, Sheffield.