Broadcaster Steve Lamacq has revealed he loves Sheffield so that he almost moved here.
The radio presenter is back in the city he holds dear on Monday as part of a special live BBC 6Music gig at The Leadmill featuring among others, Mystery Jets and local favourites Slow Club and The Hosts.
Lamacq will host the gig, which is a collaboration with BBC Sport which is here for the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible, from the legendary music venue in its 35th anniversary year.
The 49-year-old is a regular visitor to The Leadmill and the city itself and says he once considered packing up London life and settling in South Yorkshire.
“I go to Sheffield a lot, going to gigs and seeing friends and watching my lousy football team too,” says the Colchester United fan.
“I just love the place and I did once think about moving to Sheffield, but it’s just a little too far away. It’s got an incredible spirit and energy about it.
“Obviously, from a live music perspective, The Leadmill is a special place but there’s also The Harley; and The Rutland Arms is one of my favourite pubs in Britain.”
Lamacq, who worked for NME before moving onto BBC and now holds the late afternoon slot on Radio 6 Music, says there is a ‘romance’ about the city but ultimately it’s the people who make it what it is.
“I think what sets it apart from, say, Manchester or Leeds, is that there is a romance about Sheffield,” he says. “That’s why you have such great lyricists from there, people like Richard Hawley who is a great poet, hugely poetic about where he comes from.
“But the people have a great ability to take the mickey out of themselves. There is a terrific self-effacing humour there.”
There have been many great Sheffield nights that the presenter can point to - he regards the time he saw Teenage Fan Club on their Bandwagonesque tour at The Leadmill in 1990 as one of his favourite gigs and certainly one of the best he saw the band play - but Lamacq admits there never really has to be an excuse to come north.
“When I was working for NME if we had had a particularly tough week at work, myself and my old colleague Simon Williams used to get on the train and go to Sheffield, to shake London life out of our hair and because we knew we would always have a good night,” he says. “There was a time, while at the BBC, when we were on an Evening Session tour; I can’t remember where we were going to or from but we just parked up the bus somewhere in Sheffield and stayed there just so we could go to the indie disco at the Leadmill on the Saturday night.”
* BBC Sport’s comprehensive coverage of the World Snooker Championship and of the Cue Sheffield festival featuring some of the BBC’s most popular programmes coming live from Sheffield, continues across TV, radio, Red Button and online.