Sheffield Tape Archive, one-stop shop for the Gun Club, Rudimentary Peni, the Fall and Pulp

The 1985 compilation ‘Sheffield Calling’ (via Sheffield Tape Archive)
Sheffield Tape Archive collects demos and live tapes recorded in Sheffield and its environs between 1977 and 2007. Nick Taylor, the custodian of the archive, has assembled a bonkers array of musical goods: the 1979 demos of ClockDVA and I’m So Hollow, both recorded (at least in part) at Cabaret Voltaire’s Western Works studio; a 1993 Rudimentary Peni gig in Derby that opens and closes with back-to-back performances of “Teenage Time Killer” and “B-Ward”; a Leeds show from Screaming Lord Sutch’s barnstorming anti-Thatcher campaign in 1983; the Fall, live at Hallam University, 1993 (with a great instance of typo-as-rock criticism: “Why Are People Grudgeful?” is mislabeled “Why Are People Grungeful?”); Eighties sets by Crass, Eek-A-Mouse, and Chumbawamba at Sheffield’s Leadmill; a typically flattening 20-minute Stretchheads set from 1990; and much else.

For the Pulp fan, the compilation Live at the Hallamshire Hotel 1981-85 mixes dour performances from ‘84 and ‘85 gigs with live material by the Membranes, Bog-Shed, Heroes of the Beach, and the Wacky Gardeners. Speaking of the Wacky Gardeners, many groups are featured here whose fame has yet to reach our benighted American shores, such as the Fuck City Shitters, Naked Pygmy Voles, the Wealthy Texans and A Major European Group.

Some of the material at Sheffield Tape Archive comes from the collection of the late Sheffield music journalist Martin Lilleker, who suffered from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease before his death in 2016. Taylor donates the proceeds from Lilleker’s tapes to charity.

Here’s Jarvis Cocker playing guitar in ‘82 in one of Taylor’s groups, Heroes of the Beach. They’re doing an original number called, ah, “Psycho Killer” (so named “because it had a bassline similar to the Talking Heads song,” Taylor explains):

Listen to some Gun Club. Crass and Clock DVA, after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall
07:44 am
Clock DVA: Obscure—but amazing—Industrial strength New Wavers
04:58 pm

Sheffield’s Clock DVA was formed in 1978 by Adolphus “Adi” Newton and Steven “Judd” Turner. You could categorize the group’s sound—highly adventuresome even for that fabled era—variously as industrial, post-punk, New Wave or as “devolved bebop.” They used standard rock “guitar, bass and drums” augmented with tape loops, synths, squealing horns and elements of musique concrète.

The group was associated with Throbbing Gristle as Industrial Records released their cassette White Souls in Black Suits. Cabaret Voltaire’s Richard H. Kirk and Stephen Mallider were sometime musical collaborators with Clock DVA as well. 

Over the years their sound became closer to the “body music” of groups like Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb. They were quite prolific through the mind-90s. Apparently they are active again as of the summer of 2011.

Below, Clock DVA do a fantastic live version of their “4 Hours” at the Futurama Festival (“the world’s first science fiction music festival”) in Leeds, 1980.

Posted by Richard Metzger
04:58 pm