a river flows underneath this city, Id like to go there with
you now my pretty and follow it on for miles and miles below other
peoples ordinary lives."
- Pulp, Wickerman
Human League top the UK singles chart with Dont You
Want Me and the sound of Sheffield finally reaches the attention
of a nation.
with the Human League, ABC, Heaven 17 and Cabaret Voltaire the Sheffield
music scene came to fruition in a spectacular manner during a brief
period nearly two decades ago when their futuristic electronic signatures
were indelibly inked across the music world.
until now this story has remained, like Sheffield itself, outside
the nations consciousness, there but largely ignored, outshone by
its louder neighbour Manchester.
Fry of ABC
her new documentary Made in Sheffield director Eve Wood
looks closely at the eclectic roots of this genre, how punk bypassed
the city in favour of keyboards, and home made synthesisers were
played in public toilets.
is Woods first documentary and its largely a successful
debut. Despite only six years in Sheffield since she moved from
her native Holland she manages to collate a disparate music scene
into fifty minutes of interviews and footage of early performances.
pace is fast, deliberately eschewing a narrative in favour of ongoing
captions that inform the viewer of onscreen events.
Cocker and sister Saskia
shown at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival in 2001
its now available on video from outlets across the city and
via the website dedicated to the film.
worked in television for some time," says Wood "but I
became inspired to look at the history of the Sheffield music scene
when the National Centre of Popular Music was being built in Sheffield."
was a great deal of criticism of the location of such an attraction
in Sheffield. Many people were saying that the city had no musical
legacy as such, and I knew that wasnt the case."
the Sheffield sound made it across the North Sea to a youthful Wood
at home in the Netherlands.
seen Pulp in Holland and I remember my sister playing Heaven 17,
which was quite an underground sound for us."
in Sheffield is an unlikely and perhaps risky debut for a filmmaker
born in Sheffield, let alone in another country, but Wood was confident
she could do justice to this period.
husband is from Rotherham, so although I had no personal experience
I had heard a lot from him and friends of the many bands that were
around at the time. It was then a question of finding a definite
point of time to start from and end at for the film."
film shies away from covering later Sheffield success stories such
as Pulp and Nether Edges Moloko.
wanted to cover this distinctive period of history, from the seventies
until the early eighties, because it was undoubtedly the most exciting
and influential period, rivalling both the Manchester and Liverpool
Source of 80s electronica?
stamped Sheffield firmly on the musical and cultural map both nationally
encountered problems during the making of the film, not least the
cost of securing footage.
costs so much to get film from the likes of Top of the Pops, but
we had to feature it. However, when we put an advert in a newspaper
for footage, Peter Hill and Simon Holland came forward and supplied
us with some amazing stuff. We also had help from Martin Lilleker
and Stephen Singleton from ABC."
a debut Wood manages to interview many key figures of the scene.
already knew Saskia (Cocker, sister of Jarvis and an ex-member of
Pulp) and Joanne (Catherall, Human League) from the toddler group
which my children attended! It spiralled from there really. I got
in touch with John Peel through the BBC and he was happy to be interviewed."
all interviews went according to plan however. A meeting with former
members of The Extras (the band that kick started Sheffields
live music scene in 1977 and appeared most likely to succeed) took
place in the Broadfield.
was difficult, technically. They were really funny guys, but they
were drinking from hip flasks at 9am! Plus trying to get a good
level of sound recording whilst in the background glasses are being
collected is not ideal."
is in this interview with The Extras that provides the film with
its funniest moment when they were talking about the Human League;
"they were Avante Garde and we were avante a clue!"
if any were needed of the kind of self-depreciation that colours
many Sheffielders opinions.
think Sheffield is discovering its identity. I saw Pulp at Sherwood
Forest a few weeks ago and Jarvis Cocker told the crowd that Robin
Hood is from Loxley in Sheffield! Of course, that didnt go
down well. But then, Little John is buried at Hathersage so it could