Arctic Monkeys have shared their support for iconic Sheffield venue, The Leadmill, after the venue announced it was facing threat of closure next year due to its landlord issuing a notice of eviction.
First opening its doors in 1980, the club hosted early shows from the High Green, Sheffield born band, as well as gigs from Kings Of Leon and The Killers. The venue still remains popular with live music fans and clubbers in the Steel City.
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“Today we have received some devastating news that in one year’s time, our Landlord is trying to evict us, forcing us to close,” the statement began.
“Since 1980 The Leadmill has spent millions of pounds on what was a derelict warehouse, transforming it into one of the U.K’s most respected venues where countless acts from across the globe have performed over the years,” it continued.
The team then asked people to show their support by “sharing this news and sharing your best memories that we can gather to help show them reasons why #WeCantLoseLeadmill”.
The band shared their support for the venue on Instagram, reposting a photo of the venue along with the now-viral hashtag.
Last year, The Leadmill shared their gratitude after Arctic Monkeys raised over £100,000 through a charity raffle of frontman Alex Turner’s guitar.
The Steel City natives launched the raffle of Turner’s black Fender Stratocaster (which he used for many of the band’s early performances, including gigs at The Leadmill and Reading Festival in 2006) to help raise money for the venue and other independent grassroots venues in the UK which had been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I can’t believe we’re over £100,000,” Leadmill general manager Rebecca Walker told NME at the time. “That’s an insane amount of money and will go so far to securing not only the bricks and mortar of venues, but also their key members of staff.
“We so humbled and so grateful. We couldn’t thank the guys enough for listening to us and allowing us to reach out to them, but also just their generosity. To them, it’s just a guitar but to us it’s a lifeline – it’s a matter of whether a venue can stay open or not.”
Since the news of the eviction notice broke, a number of other musicians, gig-goers and friends of the venue have taken to social media to react to the news.
The current bosses of Sheffield’s Leadmill then responded to the owners denying their intentions to close the venue. Leaders of Electic 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.”
Read the Leadmill’s full statement here, with other figures from the music industry coming out to support them.
Meanwhile, Arctic Monkeys have plans in place to release new music. Back in November, drummer Matt Helders said that the band’s new album is “pretty much” finished and is likely to arrive this year.
Asked by 5 Live Breakfast‘s Rick Edwards if the new album – the follow-up to 2018’s ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’ – was “ready to go”, Helders replied: “Yeah, pretty much, yeah. It was a bit disjointed how we had to do it, and there are bits to finish off, but yeah, it’s all in the works.”
The band also has a busy festival season ahead. Alex Turner and co. are set to top the bill at this year’s Electric Picnic. The band will also headline Reading & Leeds 2022 in August, as well as Life Is Beautiful festival this September.