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Sheffield lost recording studio to be celebrated

Cabaret Voltaire member Steve Mallinder was quizzed by children at St Wilfrids in Millhouses when he visited his old school

Cabaret Voltaire member Steve Mallinder was quizzed by children at St Wilfrids in Millhouses when he visited his old school

A supergroup with a difference is set to pay tribute to a long-lost Sheffield recording studio – now a Sheffield University lecture theatre.

Stephen Mallinder, vocalist with influential city post-punk band Cabaret Voltaire, is to perform with members of contemporaries Clock DVA and In The Nursery on the site of the former Western Works.

The studio was on the top floor of a building on the corner of Regent Street and Portobello near West Street in the city centre, and was demolished in 1993.

The closest place to it now is the John Pemberton Lecture Theatres, part of the university’s School of Health.

Western Works was home to Cabaret Voltaire and other pioneering Sheffield industrial and post-punk bands from 1978, giving it a key place in Sheffield music history.

Having private recording and rehearsal space was unusual for bands of that era, which led to the studio becoming a magnet for like-minded groups and artists including Clock DVA, New Order and Lydia Lunch.

Mallinder’s new band IBBERSON – named after a sign outside the studio – will play at the No Lectures from Western Works celebration event on Friday, May 16.

He said: “I don’t think we ever considered the notion of heritage at the time – Western Works was simply our home, workplace, hangout, and often a convenient location when the pubs closed.

“But I think we were aware of how much of the music from friends, like-minded outsiders and ourselves we’d managed to capture.”

New bands Blood Sport, Juxtavoices and BHS will play on the night too, while writers and academics will discuss the impact of the site both then and now.

 

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