Last month, the iconic venue and club told music fans of the “devastating news that in one year’s time, our Landlord is trying to evict us, forcing us to close” – leading to an outpouring of upset and support from the music world.
Over the years the venue has played host to a number of artists who have gone on to have huge success, most notably the Arctic Monkeys – who helped raise over £100,000 for the venue to survive COVID closures last year by raffling off one of Alex Turner‘s guitars.
Pulp have played at the venue a total of 18 times, with many of those performances coming in the ’80s during their formative years. Upon first hearing the news about the Leadmill, frontman Cocker commented: “This had better be an April Fool’s joke.”
He has now taken to Instagram to bring further awareness to the situation, sharing a piece of artwork that includes the phrase: “You Can’t Buy The Leadmill”. The print is inspired by a teaser campaign that was used to promote Pulp’s 1995 single ‘Common People’.
“Back in the mists of time there was a “teaser” campaign ahead of the release of the Common People single that listed all the essential things in life that weren’t for sale,” Cocker captioned the post. “Look at this riff on that idea put together by @graemeswinton in the wake of the announcement of the planned “gentrification” of the Leadmill venue in Sheffield. Strong.”
You can see the artwork and Pulp’s original teaser campaign below:
Following the initial news that The Leadmill was closing, the current bosses of the Sheffield venue responded to the owners denying their intentions to close the venue.
Leaders of Electric Group, the company who bought the freehold for the site of the Leadmill in March 2017, argued that they’d be removing the current management but keeping the building as a music venue after renovations.
The current management then hit back, arguing that they were being “exterminated by the landlord”.
“They are destroying our business by evicting us,” they said in a statement to NME. “They intend to profit from the goodwill and reputation built up over those 40 plus years. It is a cheap, shabby, sly and underhand way of doing business, by forcing companies to cease trading.”
“Millions of pounds have been spent by The Leadmill (not the Landlord) on the fabric of what was once a derelict building. It is the hard-working, dedicated and local family of staff that have put 42 years worth of their blood, sweat and tears into making it the cultural asset it is today. Without The Leadmill, the building we currently occupy would be nothing more than a derelict old flour mill.”
It has since emerged that Electric Group have registered for the trademark ‘Electric Sheffield’. A listing on the UK government’s Intellectual Property Office website shows that the application was filed by the Brixton-based company on February 3, 2022, for services relating to nightclubs, entertainment, live entertainment, hosting of musical events; Provision of live entertainment, as well as bar and restaurant services.