The Leadmill is a live music venue and nightclub on Leadmill Road, Sheffield, lying on the south-east edge of the city centre. During the 60’s Peter Stringfellow promoted many gigs there – part of the building housed the legendary Esquire Club where during the Sixties, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, The Small Faces and Muddy Waters played on a stage made from two grand pianos with their legs sawn off. It re-opened in 1980 in what, despite its name, was a former flour mill, originally as a Community Centre. This coincided with the rise of several Sheffield bands, including the Human League, Cabaret Voltaire, Heaven 17 and ABC. Over the years the likes of Pulp, Culture Club, The Cult, The Pogues, The Housemartins, Suede, Manic Street Preachers, Primal Scream, Coldplay, Muse, Oasis, The Stereophonics, The Strokes, The White Stripes, The Stone Roses, Kings of Leon, Kasabian, The Killers, Bloc Party, Arctic Monkeys, Paul Weller, James, The La’s, and Richard Hawley are just a few of the acts to have graced the Leadmill stage.
Early on, the Leadmill was keen to encourage local music, and hosted the Festival Against Unemployment in September 1982, promoting local bands; New Model Soldier, Party Day and Agent Orange. Notable early events included a 1982 pantomime directed by Jarvis Cocker and The Housemartins deciding to queue for their own 1984 gig, but being turned away by bouncers. Other local bnds to play there included Dig Vis Drill, Bass Tone Trap and Touch. The venue has also been voted favourite live music venue by readers of the NME on several occasions.
The venue has more recently hosted many gigs by bands such as Milburn, Coldplay, Snow Patrol, The Killers, Enter Shikari, Sisteray, Klaxons, The Coral, Explosions in the Sky, Kids in Glass Houses, Elliot Minor, One Night Only, The Audition , The Maccabees, and The White Stripes. Sheffield’s own Arctic Monkeys sold out the Leadmill in 2005 (quicker than any other band( well before they released Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not. The Libertines played a five-band bill in 2002, supported by Parva, who would later come back to headline as Kaiser Chiefs. In the same way, in 2003 Hot Hot Heat were supported by Franz Ferdinand before they came back to headline.
Although the venue seems to have prioritised discos for many years, they continue to host many live shows.