Clash Landmarks, The Black Swan Sheffield (part 1)

Continuing the series of looking at locations that were significant in the history of The Clash we move North to Sheffield.This was the site of the first ever live appearance by the band. July 4th is a date most obviously associated with US history but in 1976 The Clash, still a band that were only really at the rehearsing stage made their live debut. Sheffield is a long way from their home turf of West London but it was to be in South Yorkshire that the band would first face an audience.

I’ve always liked Sheffield, a city of 550,000 that sits between the M1 and the hills of the Peak district. The city is forever associated with steel and the industrial revolution but there is more to it than that. I used  to go there on business and studied there also. Over the years I met many residents and Sheffield certainly becomes part of who you are. Sheffield boasts a rich musical lineage of it’s own, in fact for a city of it’s size it is pretty remarkable. ABC, Arctic Monkeys, Cabaret Voltaire, Comsat Angels, Human League and Pulp to name the bigger acts. None of these bands had even formed when The Clash pulled up in a transit van to support the Sex Pistols in the summer of ’76.  So what of The Black Swan?

Black Swan 11 Clash Landmarks, The Black Swan Sheffield (part 1)

Black Swan now (2009)

Located right in the heart of the city centre the pub and the area around it have changed greatly over the years. Central Sheffield is a maze of narrow roads surround by 3-6 storey buildings that snake around Arundel Gate, Sheffield Cathedral, shopping and civic buildings. The area has been slowly rebuilt over the decades and now boasts a (light railway) Supertram system

Just North of the major shopping precincts lays Bank Street and Stig Hill and where these two roads meet is the location of The Black Swan. The Black Swan was also known as the ‘mucky duck’ and has hosted live music since the late 60′s and still does. It no longer goes under the name  The Black Swan however and is now The Boardwalk. Before The Clash acts such as Joe Cocker, Nick Lowe, Dr. Feelgood, Genesis, Mud, Sweet and more.

In part 2 I’ll look more at the history of the venue and the very short set that the Clash played 33 years ago. If anyone knows what year the building was added to (offices above as current) please let me know as I’m keen to know if it essentially looked as it does now in 1976. Beneath is an image of the pub in 1965.

black swan 1965 Clash Landmarks, The Black Swan Sheffield (part 1)

Black Swan then (1965)

Incidentally to review other posts in the Clash Landmarks series click on the title of this post and then scroll to the bottom of the post where you will see most similar posts.

pixel Clash Landmarks, The Black Swan Sheffield (part 1)
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5 Responses to “Clash Landmarks, The Black Swan Sheffield (part 1)”

  1. [...] Clash concert back in 1976 in an unlikely little venue in the city centre -- The Black Swan. Part one of the story is right here if you want to check that [...]

  2. [...] but is also a suburb of Detroit about 18 miles north of the city centre. In the last landmark we looked at the site of the first Clash concert in a tiny pub in Sheffield, six years later they were playing in buildings best suited to building aircraft or hosting [...]

  3. [...] than revolution tonight -- it’s 34 years today since the first ever Clash concert. We looked at that famous concert and venue last August if you’re [...]

  4. [...] at the Black Swan. I previously wrote about this in depth on the blog so if you happened to miss it part 1 about that gig in Sheffield is here with the conclusion [...]

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