Jarvis Cocker Shares ‘You Can’t Buy The Leadmill’ Artwork

Jarvis Cocker has demonstrated his support for The Leadmill in Sheffield by creating some Pulp-inspired artwork.

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” amid an outpouring of outrage and solidarity from the music community.

The Arctic Monkeys, who helped fund almost £100,000 for the venue to survive COVID shut down last year by raffling off one of Alex Turner’s guitars, are among the many acts who have played there over the years.

Image courtesy – The Times
Image courtesy – The Times

Pulp have performed at the venue a total of 18 times, with many of those appearances occurring during the band’s formative years in the 1980s. “This had better be an April Fool’s joke,” vocalist Cocker said when he first heard about the Leadmill. He’s now taken to Instagram to spread the word about the situation, posting a piece of artwork with the words “You Can’t Buy The Leadmill” on it. The design is based on a teaser marketing for Pulp’s single ‘Common People,’ which was released in 1995.

Image Courtesy - Wikipedia
Image Courtesy – Wikipedia

“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.”

Pulp’s original teaser and artwork campaign below:

Following the first reports that The Leadmill was closing, the current owners of the Sheffield venue responded by denying the club’s closure.

Leaders of Electric Group, which purchased the Leadmill’s freehold in March 2017, maintained that they would remove the present management but keep the property as a music venue after improvements.

The present administration retaliated, claiming that the landlord was “exterminating” them.  “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.”

Image Courtesy – New Statsman
Image Courtesy – New Statsman

“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.”

The trademark ‘Electric Sheffield’ has since been registered by the Electric Group. The application was filed on 3rd February 2022, by the Brixton-based company for services relating to nightclubs, entertainment, live entertainment, hosting of musical events; provision of live entertainment, as well as bar and restaurant services, according to the UK government’s Intellectual Property Office website.

Meanwhile, as part of the Southbank Centre’s Summer Literature Season, Jarvis Cocker will perform this summer.

-Aditi Manjunath