Saturday, April 10, 2021

10 Bands and Artists from South Yorkshire

With South Yorkshire being a relatively small place in the North of England, I’d place a bet on the fact that most people wouldn’t think of it as being the host of a plethora of successful musicians. But as you’ve probably guessed by now, that’s not at all the case and I’ve got 10 examples of why...

1: Pulp

Formed in Sheffield in 1978, Pulp are still legends of the British music scene; when you think of Britpop, you think of Pulp. After gaining notoriety with their album ‘His ‘n’ Hers’ in 1994, Pulp then went on to have even more success with number one album ‘Different Class’ a year later, which featured hits like ‘Common People’ and ‘Disco 2000’ a.k.a the ultimate Northern anthems besides Come On Eileen. Both albums were credited at the Mercury Prize, with a nomination in 1994 for His ‘n’ Hers and a win with Different Class. After their decade long break beginning in 2001, the group reunited to play multiple gigs and festivals up and down the country which later included a one-off gig at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena in 2012. Their legacy still very much stands around South Yorkshire, with them receiving a plaque at The Leadmill in Sheffield, the location of their first ever gig.


2: Bang Bang Romeo

Bang Bang Romeo, originally from Armthorpe in Doncaster, burst onto the music scene with their debut EP ‘We Were Born’ in 2014, along with lots of support from the industry; Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens even chose them as his pick of the week and said, “they sound just like a Tarantino soundtrack”. What a huge and well-deserved compliment! They were later personally handpicked by Pink herself to support her on the 2019 ‘Beautiful Trauma’ UK tour, which included 2 shows at Wembley Stadium. The heavy pop rock band, whose music spreads messages of positivity, released their debut album ‘A Heartbreakers Guide to the Galaxy’ the same year which includes feature from Example. As for this year, they’ve released a cover of White Stripe’s ‘Seven Nation Army’, are getting ready to play Mad Cool festival with the likes of Red Hot Chilli Peppers and have their rescheduled UK tour starting in May. Despite all of their success, they keep their hometown in their thoughts, with them staging a benefit concert after the 2019 South Yorkshire floods and have completed a sleep-out to raise money for Real Help Doncaster, which aims to get homeless and vulnerable people off of the streets.


3: Arctic Monkeys

I mean, we all know who this band is right? Arctic Monkeys began in 2002 and soon became one of the first bands to become well-known because of the internet, as they built a following talking to fans online. ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’, their debut album, broke records when it became the fastest selling debut album in UK chart history – and the album love kept going. This album won Best British Album at the 2007 Brits, ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’ won the same award at the ’08 Brits and ‘AM’ followed in pursuit in 2013. Their latest release ‘Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino’ allowed AM fans to hear something different to their usual sound; the album filled with elements of pop, jazz and glam rock went on to gain them their 5th Grammy nomination as well as their 6th number one in the UK and the title of fastest selling vinyl record in 25 years. After playing the entire album live for the Royal Albert Hall, they released the recording with all proceeds going to War Child. Recently, there have been rumours about a homecoming gig at Hillsborough Park soon – better keep our eyes peeled!


4: Bring Me The Horizon

A band creating music of a different genre from those mentioned earlier, Bring Me The Horizon were also formed in the Steel City in 2006. After a controversial start in the music industry with their debut album, BMTH broke away from the negativity with their critically and commercially successful album ‘Suicide Season’ in ’08. The fame from this turning point kept growing until their first major label release ‘Sempiternal’ in 2013, which received a gold certification in Australis and a silver in the UK. 6 years later, ‘Amo’ brought the band their first UK chart topping album, as well as 2 Grammy nominations and a Brit Award. Their second number one on the album charts came with the release of ‘Post Human: Survival Horror’ earlier this year. If you’re local to Sheffield, you can visit the lead singer Oli Sykes’ bar ‘Church’, where you can play arcade games, get some delicious vegan food and pick up some Drop Dead clothing bits (a brand also owned by Oli). The mango cider is my recommendation.


5: Def Leppard

An oldie but a goldie! Established in late 70s Sheffield, Def Leppard became best-selling worldwide with them having sold more than 100 million records globally and receiving the RIAA diamond certification on 2 albums. They originally gained fame through being part of the 80s wave of  British heavy metal, with majority of their success happening between the 80s and 90s. Their music video for ‘Bringin' on the Heartbreak’ was one of the first rock videos to be played on MTV in 1982 and their fourth album ‘Hysteria’ topped multiple charts around the world. Featuring the hit ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’, it sold 25 million copies, was certified 12x platinum in the US, 13x platinum in Canada and is currently one of the best-selling albums of all time. Their following 6 albums all went in the top 10 across several countries and in 2019, they entered the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Rightfully so, they have a Sheffield Legends plaque installed in the city, with the ceremony occurring in 2006. Also, their drummer Rick Allen unfortunately lost one of his arms in an accident and still plays drums incredibly – what a total legend. 

6: Louis Tomlinson

(image here)

Here he is - the dream boy of most girls from South Yorkshire’s dreams (or mine at least). Born in Doncaster, Louis Tomlinson found fame after being placed in One Direction in 2010. They toured 4 times globally, released 5 studio albums and raised an almighty fandom of girls worldwide until they called for a hiatus in 2015. Since then, Louis has done bits with his solo career. He released top 10 single ‘Just Hold On’ in 2016 with ‘Back to You’ and ‘Miss You’ following in 2017; ‘Back to You’ features Bebe Rexha and was filmed around Doncaster town. After judging on the X Factor in 2018, he released 5 more singles a year later in anticipation of his debut album ‘Walls’, which was released early 2020. Louis’ debuted at number 4 in the UK, at 9 on the Billboard charts and was the first new album for his label, Arista Records to hit the top 10 in over 9 years. Since then, he has a tour ready to go on the road when covid calms down, a new album hopefully coming soon and has created his own recording label, Triple Strings LTD. We love to see the success! We also love to see someone who clearly loves his hometown. In 2013, he was signed as a footballer to his beloved Doncaster Rover FC and played a few charity matches. Most of them were in aid of Bluebell Wood, a charity based in Rotherham that provides palliative care and support for children and young people who have a shorter life expectancy or complex medical needs. Louis Tomlinson is an angel, end of.


7: The Human League

Another corker of a band has been shaped in Sheffield in the shape of The Human League. Established in 1977, the synth band signed with Virgin Records a mere 2 years later and then gained momentum and fame with their ’81 album ‘Dare’ which featured the absolute banger ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby’.  This gained them their first Brit award in 82 for British Breakthrough act and led them to more and more hits throughout the 1980s and 90s, including ‘Human’ and ‘Mirror Man’. Over the years, as with some other bands on this list, the keyboard players Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh left THL in 1980 to form another successful act, Heaven 17. To replace them, lead singer Phillip Oakley found two new female vocalists in Sheffield nightclub Crazy Daisy and went on to be a the commercially successful new pop band we know and love. They featured heavily on MTV, were one of the leading artists of the 80s second British invasion of the US AND went on to sell 20 million records worldwide. Similar to Def Leppard and Pulp, The Human League have a plaque at Sheffield Hallam University to mark the location of their first gig in 1978.


8: Yungblud

We’ve got a spring chicken on our hand with Yungblud, a fellow Doncaster native who is only 23! Pop punk artist, whose real name is Dominic, released his self-titled debut EP in 2018 with his debut album ‘21st Century Liability’ following shortly after. The sophomore  2020 album ‘Weird!’ peaked atop of the UK charts and was 75 on the US Billboard charts. He’s collabed with Halsey, Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Barker, as well as featuring on Annie Mac’s Future Sounds as the hottest record in the world. Yungblud has been nominated for 4 NME awards, of which one was a win, which is a pretty mean feat to say he’s not been in the industry for too long. As for recent work, after having his gigs be cancelled like most artists, he hosted a livestream gig ‘The Yungblud Show’ and streamed it online. He’s also apparently started recording his 3rd album this year, with some of the process being done back up north. You can take a lad out of Yorkshire, ey?


9: Milburn

We’re back to Sheffield again with indie rock band Milburn, who started up in 2001 after supposedly playing football together. They began doing covers and released their first demo in 2001, sold out Sheffield’s Boardwalk bar twice as well as playing The Cavern Club, The Leadmill and The Garage in London. 5 years after launching, the joined Mercury Records and debuted ‘Send in the Boys’ and their album ‘Well Well Well’ and the former went to 22 in the UK charts. After releasing another album, the band announced they were breaking up to explore new things in 2008, but only for 8 years. To celebrate 10 years of ‘Well Well Well’ Milburn reunited with four shows at the O2 academy Sheffield, as well as completing an album tour and a new single. Since then, they have released a third album as well as all completing solo projects, with some being with other Sheffield artists Arctic Monkeys and Reverend and the Makers.


10: Reverend and the Makers

Last but not least, South Yorkshire have Reverend and the Makers, with the reverend in question being lead singer Jon McClure. After releasing their debut album ‘The State of Things’ which features the banger ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World’ and receiving country-wide success, the band went on to support Ian Brown and The Verve on tour in 2006. A few years later, they also supported Oasis on their final ever tour, after their release of their second album in 2009. Their latest music (which was 4 years ago) marks their 6th album release and ‘The Death of a King’ was their best performing album since their debut. With McClure being one of the original curators of Sheffield based festival Tramlines, thy regularly appear on the line up. The band also launched “Reverend Soundsystem”, a club night at Plug Sheffield, which hosted a variety of different DJs each time it took place. This later led to the band members using the pseudonym ‘Reverend Soundsystem’ to form a new group in 2010 which allowed them to create new music in between R&TM albums. We love to see it.#

So, now you can see Yorkshire breeds some clever, creative folk - and we’ve got Tony Christie too. Oi oi.




Image: File:Arctic-Monkeys.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

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