The odd history that connects The Clash with Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys, as one of the biggest indie rock bands, hold a profound connection to Sheffield’s culture, understood best by their dedicated fans. Originating from the vibrant Yorkshire city, they’ve nurtured a legacy deeply rooted in northern influences. Sheffield takes great pride in being the birthplace of this iconic band.

Sheffield undoubtedly holds a rich musical legacy that has naturally developed through the passage of time. The city has not only fostered numerous influential musicians and bands but also hosts renowned establishments such as The Grapes, The Leadmill, and The Boardwalk, all of which have significantly contributed to the artistic paths of many musicians.

The latter, especially during its days as the Black Swan or the Mucky Duck in the 1960s, played a crucial role in Sheffield’s music scene. This historic venue saw famous bands like AC/DC and Genesis perform. Clearly, The Clash had their debut show at The Boardwalk. There, they shared the stage with the Sex Pistols and Buzzcocks.

Several years later, as a young, emerging musician, Alex Turner, the frontman of Arctic Monkeys, worked as a bartender at The Boardwalk. This establishment became such a crucial part of his story. It inspired the name of their first demo collection, “Beneath The Boardwalk.” The band burned these recordings onto CDs and distributed them for free at their gigs. They were later distributed online in 2004.

The Boardwalk had a magical effect on emerging bands, shaping Arctic Monkeys. In 1976, it was The Black Swan. The venue went through many changes before closing but remains vital in Sheffield’s music scene.

Recently, people tend to forget about important old places in cities. Even though younger generations have digital tools, the real value of these historical spots can be hard to understand without physical records. The Boardwalk is one of the few symbols of our cultural history that’s still around, refusing to be forgotten.


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