Boardwalk Sheffield: Back in time at famous club where The Clash and Arctic Monkeys played seminal gigs

Depending on your age, you may know it as the Boardwalk, the Mucky Duck, the Black Swan or the Compleat Angler.

The distinctive building on the corner of Snig Hill is a pub, club and performance venue which has played a huge role in Sheffield’s musical history. While it is sadly boarded up today, it may still have a few chapters left to write if it can be revived.

It is perhaps most famous for staging the first gig by The Clash, who supported the Sex Pistols there, when it was the Black Swan, on July 4, 1976. Boardwalk regular Joe Cocker was on stage there in 1967 as his cover of The Beatles’ With a Little Help From My Friends reached number one. And the Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner used to work there, with the band playing one of their earliest gigs at the venue and naming their first demo Under the Boardwalk. The Pretenders, Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant and Take That singer-songwriter Gary Barlow are among the other big names to have played there.

The venue achieved fame as a celebrated jazz club from the 1930s but went on to host music of all genres, with its more recent incarnations including Fuel, Twist and the short-lived drum and bass club Bassbox. As well as its musical heritage, the building has a reputation as one of Sheffield’s most haunted spots, with a resident poltergeist said to slam doors and play the piano.

These photos, going back in time, show how it has changed over the years, and some of the characters associated with the venue. They are taken from The Star’s archives and from Picture Sheffield.

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