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BBC 6 Music @ The Leadmill

Review of Steve Lamacq’s live show at The Leadmill for BBC6Music featuring O Captain, Slow Club and The Mystery Jets.

A familiar sight awaits as we approach The Leadmill – a queue wrapped around the corner of Suffolk Road and the sound of animated chatter sharing bygone gig memories to pass the time before the line slowly goes down.

The Leadmill is suitably decked out for the occasion with bunting galore and 6 Music visuals taking over the screens. The first band on is O Captain; hailing from both Sheffield and Leeds the foursome take to the stage with a repertoire of emo-tinged indie rock numbers. This is the first time the band has played the venue and they are befittingly appreciative of such a crowd, whose attention they hold until the very last note. I have a feeling this is unlikely to be the only time the lads appear on this stage.

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Next up Steve Lamacq takes to the stage to begin his live broadcast introducing a band “who are very close to home”, former Exposed cover stars, Slow Club. Launching straight into the lauded ‘Tears Of Joy’ the duo harmonise to perfection, proving they’re more than up to the job of representing Sheff live on air. Rebecca Taylor is almost giddy as she addresses the crowd, “Happy birthday Leadmill! Thank you for providing me with a place to try and kiss boys for 28 years. Alright! Let’s do it” before launching into ‘Beginners’. The band moves seamlessly through a set list of crowd pleasers, from self-appointed “emotional slowie” ‘The Queen’s Nose’, which gets the audience swaying along, to final song ‘Two Cousins’, which rounds off what is an exceptional performance.

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In between acts, Jon McClure of Reverend and the Makers fame takes to the decks to deliver some Sheffield classics, from an early Arctic Monkeys remix to, Pulp, Milburn and The Human League – getting the audience well and truly revved up (sorry) for The Mystery Jets.

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Steve Lamacq returns to the stage introducing the next band “Thank you for all those lost Saturday nights and for all the amazing and inventive bands that we’ve seen here down the years with another one to come. A group who I always thought have a brilliantly, slightly eschewed view of pop music.” A roar of appreciation welcomes the band on stage. As far as indie-pop goes The Mystery Jets have managed to stay afloat for 11 years as contemporaries like Cajun Dance Party, Black Kids, Pigeon Detectives and Friendly Fires fell by the wayside. Still as relevant, the band proves that maturity has only led to a keener, more tight-knit live set. Lead singer Blaine Harrison addresses the audience, “We have so many good memories of playing this room. The ledge-mill we call it” halfway through a set of favourites like ‘Serotonin’, and a rendition of new song ‘Blood Red Balloon’ – which is very well received. To the audience’s delight the band are joined by Slow Club’s Rebecca Taylor for the Laura Marling part of ‘Young Love’ and please the room further with an encore of hits like ‘Two Doors Down’ and ‘Flakes’.

Jarvis Cocker and Steve Mackey as The Desperate Soundsystem play out the night on the decks in true celebratory style as revellers are provided with birthday hats, party poppers and cake.

Do you have a favourite memory from The Leadmill’s 35 year reign? Send us a tweet @ExposedMagSheff.

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