Why this Sheffield railway station platform is one of my favourite things

The Steel City is well versed in Chinese influence – the unveiling of the city’s £75m New Era Square is only the start according to the Eastern investors behind the project.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 28th January 2022, 6:00 am

But it has taken the debut documentary of Sheffield-born Richard Anderson – and arguably one of the biggest punts in British film history – to start to equal things.

Chinese Rocks - Making of A Legend had its debut screening for industry insiders at BAFTA earlier this month and is already tipped for awards in three continents. The film tells the story of how a discarded photo ignites a firestorm of underground music across China. Richard lives with his family on the edge of the Peak District.

Sheffield Arena

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Making of a Legend - L-R Caroline Richards - Julien Temple's acclaimed editor, Richard Anderson - director of SW4FILM.

The site of a ground-breaking show by our punk band, Etiquette, in 1999. It’s a shame we tried to wow the 13,600 Arena crowd with the same PA system used for 100 capacity crowd at the glorious Speakeasy under the Abbeydale Picture House.

National Centre For Popular Music

Everyone’s favourite disappointment. The architectural legacy remains astonishing, yet this place means much more to me. I was head of media relations at Paradigm PR aided and abetted by my whirlwind boss Surriya Falconer, and our fine Sheffield team.

Our six month media campaign received coverage in seemingly every relevant publication and TV show from Blue Peter to The New York Times to the South China Post.

The Warehouse antiques emporium now open at Yellow Arch Studios in Neepsend, Sheffield.

Two weeks after, and shortly before starting with the No.2 global PR firm, Weber Shandwick, I boarded a plane to Sydney following up on media contacts from the NCPM campaign. I’ve been working across the globe ever since.

Marmaduke’s, Norfolk Row

Almost boring because it’s so good. This place, and only a handful of other city centre establishments, including Cubana’s and the award-winning Corporation rock club, have become institutions grounded in exceptional personality from the top.

Marmadukes was my surgery back in 2015 when I was asked to business mentor for the Prince’s Trust. This was also my go-to place for developing my work in film with owner Tim Nye.

Platform 8, Sheffield Train Station

Anyone can speak to anyone in only a few taps – but for lasting impact standing in front of someone remains without equal. This platform has been the default jumping off point for me to do just that.

This includes wrestling with scandal on the news desks of national tabloids, cornering Oasis founder Alan McGee for Loaded magazine in a Tabernacle church, and trying hard to avoid conversation with the global director of EMI on the Great Wall of China who’s keen to know: ‘What exactly is your reason for being here?’ I was an idiot on a Trade mission at the time, researching Chinese Rocks – Making of a Legend. Everything of note I’ve undertaken in the last few decades began on Platform 8.

Yellow Arch Studios

I’m honoured to be welcoming one of China’s foremost alternative artists, Penicillin, to record their next album in the hallowed depths of Yellow Arch, where I’ve recorded many times.

Penicillin feature heavily in our film Chinese Rocks – Making of a Legend. When I first saw them in Beijing in 2017, they were playing to 25 people. Two years later, Penicillin, (who I know you’ve never heard of), shot to fame in China and were playing to 451m.

They could have gone anywhere in the country to record but they chose Yellow Arch Studios, home not least to Richard Hawley, Pulp, and Joe Cocker.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​