Sheffield DJ nights for vinyl fans celebrates 20 years of making music with plenty of famous friends

A DJ night established by two friends and music lovers is celebrating 20 years on the Sheffield scene.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 8:52 am
Tim has worked with music legends including Richard Hawley

Sevenby7 was set up by aspiring disc jockeys and Tim Bowell and James Halse, after James took seven seven inch vinyls with him to a house party in Walkley because he didn’t want to carry a heavy case.

Tim felt that the music scene in Sheffield was cliquey and the pair decided to put on a night for people who had even less of an opportunity for getting into music than them.

To get involved, all that was needed was seven seven inch singles (hence the name) and a willingness to get involved and try a hand at DJing.

Nick Banks of Pulp has been involved with the project

Tim said: “People that come and play absolutely love it.

"There wasn’t anything like that in Sheffield at the time. There’s been a few copycat things around the country - it’s great that people want to do it. National Pop Centre (now Sheffield Hallam SU) was where we did our first couple of nights. It was pretty busy.

“A lot of people really like owning vinyls, they find it more enjoyable than streaming. I talked to students and they often say they have just bought a turntable.

"After the first few records people realise that actually it’s quite easy to be a DJ. You don’t have to be one of the cool crowd to have a go - you just have to have a good taste in music. It’s always fresh and I really like that. Someone played Goa Express which I hadn’t heard before and I tracked down their album the next day.”

Tim Bowell in the early days of the music project

Over the last two decades, Tim has rubbed shoulders with some local and national legends including Pulp drummer, Nick Banks, Human League lead singer Philip Oakley, and DJ Andrew Weatherall.

Sevenby7 runs regular Sunday events at The Gin Bar which are more family friendly as well as evening events at Dorothy Pax at Victoria Quays, where the birthday celebrations will be held.

Tim added: “I always joke with my friends that I have no desire to stop. Sevenby7 is only going to carry on - each month there is somebody else who says they really enjoy it. It could be going in 20 years when I’m pushing 70!”