Alex Miller: Arctic Monkeys, Darren Moore and the ‘Sheffield’ in Sheffield Wednesday
“Dorothy was right though,” sneers Sheffield Wednesday fan Alex Turner on the Arctic Monkeys’ 2007 track Old Yellow Bricks.
And she was. For all the glamour of trips to wherever, there is no place like home and never has that suggestion been more apparent than during recent weeks at Hillsborough after so many months away.
Fear not, this column is not yet another sycophantic 500-word love letter to supporters to have made their way back into stadiums – though thine hath never looked quite so lovely than during Jeff Beck prior to Donny – but rather a conversation about how it feels like the Sheffield is being put back into Sheffield Wednesday.
It’s no secret that this writer is not from Sheffield and I’ve written before that having spent the last couple of years treading Steel City pavements it feels as though it’s been hiding its achievements under a bushell for a reason I can’t quite fathom.
Being the birthplace of the very game we all obsess over is one thing – and efforts are being made to beef up acknowledgement of the fact – but then there’s the cultural offering, particularly music.
The achievements of Sheffield bands and artists are superseded perhaps only by Manchester and London and yet, for my money, aren’t shouted about enough.
On the radio the other day I was told The Sherlocks hailed from Leeds. If Jarvis Cocker had spoken with a Manc drawl you can bet Pulp’s role in the Britpop generation would be spoken about more loudly.
Where is this ramble going and why is it plastered on Sheffield Wednesday pages? Because the club are doing their bit to embrace all things local, it seems. And so they should. After all, for the longlist of famous Sheffield musicians, I dare say only a handful support that other lot.
The club’s official social media channels have garnered support for Wednesdayite boxer Dalton Smith. The Sherlocks launched the club’s new kit in a Kelham Island bar. And Wednesday have warmed-up to the music of Sheffield bands only since the start of the season.
Club COO Liam Dooley, who’s efforts were commended in Joe Crann’s Wednesday column last week, is said to be one of the many Wednesday minds at the club hoping to better celebrate the local community.
Another, who has moved into Sheffield in order to better appreciate the city, is manager Darren Moore, who was involved in the pre-match playlist shift.
“We wanted to get the place rocking,” he told us this week. “It’s the fans’ home. It’s their house really and I think you can feel it with the music before the game.
“We’re trying to meet them at their very need. As I keep saying, we need that oneness and for us to come together. And that’s the way we’ll be throughout this season.
“That’s the way we need to be at Hillsborough this season. And everyone needs to play their part, including supporters. The change in music is for them and hopefully they appreciate that.”
Dorothy was reyt. All this should be celebrated. Then again, Alex Turner also told us he’d received rave reviews for a taco stall he built on the roof of a space hotel.
It’s hard to know what to believe.