What a nice piece of musical ephemera which I clipped out of an old newspaper at some time. Yellow Submarine was released just a couple of weeks before in London, and then opened here in Sheffield on August 4th 1968 (52 years ago today). It was playing at The Gaumont, which was Sheffield’s premier city centre cinema. Opened in 1927 it could seat 2,300 people – an astonishing figure today. Like many cinemas, it also doubled as a music venue in the 1950s and 60s, with bands including Cliff Richard, Eddie Cochran, Bobby Darin, Victor Borg, Nina & Frederick, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and the Count Basie Orchestra appearing here.
The Yellow Submarine was actually one of the very last films to be shown here before it was altered to make two smaller screens inside later in 1968. I did see the movie on the big screen, but cannot recall if it was here or a couple of years later at our local Abbeydale Picture House. In those days popular films would tour for a couple of years or more to get the maximum viewing.
In a move typical of the city they allowed this fabulous building to be demolished and replaced with was remains to this day the ugliest mirror faced piece of rubbish ever built in the city (and I like modern architecture!). Simon R.
Jason Alan Leaver shared these photos of the Wap during demolition – sad images ;(
Top Rank Sheffield – Comsat Angels / Clock DVA / Past Seven Days / Mark My Words. June 30 1981
Put back from the previous month, this was a great evening for local bands, and The Comsat Angels were riding a wave of critical acclaim and just weeks away from releasing their stunning second album Sleep No More. So they were a no-brainer to headline this home town show. They remain my favourite band from the city to this day. But on the night I was there to also catch The Past Seven Days, another brilliant local group who only ever issued one single (on 4AD!). I’d been helping them out with some design work (including the single) and doing promo photographs etc. so went along to take some live shots of them as well. Clock DVA are perhaps better known today, but I never really clicked with their material. Mark My Words was often referred to as Sheffield’s own John Cooper Clarke, those are massive shoes to try and fill! I cannot remember masses from the show, though I do still have my photos. I actually saw The Past Seven Days four times alone that year, it all starts to blur! This show was actually staged at The Top Rank by The Limit Club, as they were far too small to accommodate the amount of interest in the show. A lot of rosy tinted words have been put out about the Limit but to me it was a real tip, so any chance to see a band elsewhere was welcome.
Below is the advert for the show from the local newspaper, The Star. They include the band B Movie instead of Clock DVA. Now I do recall seeing B Movie, so this might have been the night. Let us know if you can confirm.
Thanks to Steve White
A nice flyer from Stefan Boberek
The Police supported by The Cramps / Sheffield Top Rank Suite – June 15th 1979
The Top Rank Sheffield Suite has had several incarnations; nightclub, concert venue and even a gospel church for a time! But starting around 1977 it began to have a great spell as a rock venue just as punk and new wave began to take off. There was a large open floor space, but also a balcony around three sides, so if you didn’t fancy getting bounced around too much you could skulk upstairs and get a great view of the stage (which was quite high).
Now in 1979 The Police were on the verge of smashing it big time with their album debut in the UK top ten, and top thirty in America, and three hit singles off the album. I was quite keen to see what they were like live, but also had found a couple of import 45s by the support band The Cramps (Human Fly and their version of Surfin’ Bird) and really fancied finding out what they were like live. So it was worth £2 for a ticket.
Most of the audience were understandably there for the headliners so I was able to get quite near to the stage ahead of The Cramps coming on, and what a scary bunch they looked. I swear the crowd took a couple of steps back when guitarist Bryan Gregory growled at them and went into the set. This was their first tour here and they were determined to really blast through their rockabilly punk grunge set like they meant it. I was able to get some photographs and then could rest up before The Police hit the stage.
Now they were good but it just felt both a little lazy after the support group, and also a but condescending too, as if they thought they were better than this. Frustratingly their initial promise musically never really developed as they got so big so quickly they never had to try and harder.
I do remember some great silk screened posters being sold at the merch stall (one of which I still have somewhere) but always feel it would have been better to see them a year or two before this tour. I did go along and see one of the stadium shows later, Leeds Queens Hall, mainly as my sister wanted to go!
I was a real Cramps fan after this and we saw several shows over the next few years in Leicester, Birmingham and even trekked down to The Astoria on what sadly proved to be their last UK show. But that first one at The Top Rank remains strong in the memory.
Looking around the forums one or two fans seem to think there was a third band opening for the evening, and they may be right but if so I cannot remember who they were. Any way below is one of my shots of ‘Poison’ Ivy Rorschach from the show. Simon
Slightly surreal footage from the Arbourthorne Hotel in 1975
Stefan Boberek has sent a great batch of tickets, all now on the site
A few more flyers