19 September 2003

Okay, here's a dozen reasons why Sheffield is the Uk's musical capitol....

1) CABARET VOLTAIRE - in independent electronica terms, they invented the wheel. Brought Warholesque multi-media events to the punk masses. A little later, they introduced 'blackness' into the UK's somewhat anemic electrofuturist grooves. At some point in the early '80s, blew this writer's teenage mind to hell.

2) THE HUMAN LEAGUE - invented the purely electronic pop group. Reinvented the dub album for mass appeal ('Love & Dancing'). Provided the music for the scoreboards on Ski Sunday.

3) HEAVEN 17/B.E.F. - invented The Human League. Reinvented Tina Turner and pioneered hi-tech Soul music. Made a record my mum liked ('This Is Mine') and a record my wife likes ('Come Live With Me'), which is no mean feat.

4) ABC - invented Trevor Horn (the Buggles don't count) and hi-gloss, efficient dance-pop.

5) CHAKK - Financed Fon Studios, for which we must be eternally grateful. Their first release was on Doublevision, thus proving that they were invented by the Cabs in an attempt to create a boyband hit-machine by proxy.

6) LIVING IN A BOX - demonstrated what Chakk should've been if they'd wanted to have some hits. They knew what was going on (in their own mind). Provided a cautionary tale for future generations.

7) ROBERT GORDON/MARK BRYDON/FON STUDIOS - pioneered Northern bleep 'n' bass. Helped the Cabs sound half-decent during their commercial period. Turned 'Testone' into 'Testfour'. Set the tone for Warp Records. The comeback is loong overdue. To hell with Moloko.

8) WARP RECORDS - invented 'intelligent', album-orientated techno (good or bad thing, depending on your point of view). Discovered LFO. Provided a springboard for all future northern innovators.

9) SHEFFIELD STEEL FOUNDRIES - provided the basic rhythm patterns of modern music

10) DEF LEPPARD - invented the one-armed drummer.

11) CLOCK DVA - struggling now, but I'm confident they must've invented something.

12) PULP - actually, I'm not a big fan, but Pulp were clearly miles better than anything else recorded in the name of Britpop. And Jarvis does a neat Rolf Harris impersonation.

Beat that, London!