Richard Hawley

Richard Hawley has added a fourth and final date to his forthcoming run of gigs at the Sheffield Leadmill.

The singer-songwriter unveiled details of two concerts earlier this week taking place on August 8 and 9 to help the venue after news that is under threat of closure. The venue then announced a third date due to “phenomenal demand” on August 11.

Now, because of “overwhelming demand”, they’ve added a fourth and final show on August 12. Tickets are available for the show here.

The concerts will be Hawley’s first headline shows at the Leadmill since 2005.

Last month, the venue 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.

Speaking to Yorkshire Post last week, Hawley paid tribute to the venue – recalling how he’s played there “hundreds of times” as a solo artist and during his time with The Longpigs and Treebound Story, before likening it to other iconic gig spaces in the UK.

“Basically it’s like our Cavern, it’s our Hacienda,” he said. “The thing about The Leadmill is it caters for human beings, it’s not like a niche thing. I saw the Stone Roses there – that’s where I met Mani from the Roses and we’ve become lifelong friends.

“The breadth (of artists who have appeared there) is staggering, just the nights that I personally have either seen or played, it’s my whole life. I’m 55 now and I think I played there first when I was about 16.”

Hawley’s former Pulp bandmate Jarvis Cocker has also been showing support for The Leadmill, most recently with some Pulp-inspired artwork.

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.”

Earlier this week he took 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’.

The Leadmill in Sheffield. CREDIT: The Leadmill

The current bosses of The Leadmill denied their intentions to close the venue. Leaders of Electric Group, the company who bought the freehold for the site in March 2017, argued that they’d be removing the current management but keeping the building as a music venue after renovations.

However, 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 also later 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.

Many artists from the Sheffield music scene have spoken out in support of The Leadmill in recent weeks. Arctic Monkeys showed their support for the #WeCantLoseLeadmill campaign on Instagram, after the band helped raise over £100,000 for the venue to survive COVID closures last year by raffling off one of Alex Turner’s guitars.

Yesterday (April 12), the current operators of The Leadmill also launched an official petition opposing their proposed eviction.

The post Richard Hawley announces fourth and final show to help support Sheffield Leadmill appeared first on NME.


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