If you’ve been a fresher in the time of Covid, you might not feel like you know Sheffield much, but one way to learn more about the Steel City whilst home for summer is through movies, TV and music from Sheffield. Likewise, if you’ve just graduated or are home for summer, work your way through this list to remind you of your second home.
Everybody knows the Arctic Monkeys are from Sheffield but who else can you listen to feel nostalgic about your uni city?
A lot of their songs are inspired by places in Sheffield, do you recognise ‘it’s High Green Mate/via Hillsborough please’ from the song ‘Red Lights Indicate the Doors are Secure’? Most Sheffield students will recognise Hillsborough from going to exams or Varsity games at the stadium. Did you know that ‘When the Sun Goes Down’ follows the story of a sex worker in the Neepsend area? Or that when Turner sings ‘You’re not from New York City, you’re from Rotherham’, he’s referencing the city just north of Sheffield?
If you hear the words ‘Common People’, you can probably hear the famous Pulp song ringing through your ears, but did you know that they’re from Sheffield? The band found fame in the 90s as part of the Brit Pop scene with ‘Common People’ and ‘Do You Remember the First Time’.
The Human League
Everyone knows ‘Don’t You Want Me?’, the bands smash hit, which amongst their other chart-toppers, were the soundtrack of 1980s Britain, and since forming in Sheffield in 1977, the band have sold over 20 million records.
Film and TV
There are plenty of movies set and filmed in Sheffield, from comedies, to musicals, to cult classics. Most students will recognise filming locations from Broomhill’s Notty House to the Moor shopping area.
Four Lions (2010)
Although this film is supposed to be set in London, the film was shot in Sheffield. Keen eyes will recognise the Moor, Meersbrook Park and other film settings from this black comedy about a group of terrorists planning a bomb attack on the London Marathon.
The History Boys (2006)
This classic film was shot in Watford and West Yorkshire but is set in Sheffield. The film follows a group of schoolboys as their teacher pushes them into getting into
This is England ‘86, ‘88 and ‘90 (2010, 2011 and 2015)
This spin-off from Shane Meadows cult 2006 film was mostly filmed Gleadless Valley, Park Hill Flats and Lowedges.
This social horror is set in Sheffield during a nuclear winter and follows how the working classes deal with the fallout of an atomic attack. Students will recognise the Moor, The Nottingham House and Sheffield City Hall.
The Full Monty (1997)
Of course, we couldn’t write a list of Sheffield films without including this classic. This film follows the story of six unemployed steelworkers who become strippers to support themselves. It features locations such as the job centre on West Street, Attercliffe and the Shiregreen Club.
Doctor Who (Series 11-)
Huddersfield born Jodie Whittaker stars as the first female doctor in the most recent reincarnation of Doctor Who, set in the Steel City. One of the companions lives in the iconic Park Hill flats, and any student will recognise areas from around the city when watching the show.
Everybody’s Talking about Jamie (2021)
This musical started life at the Crucible Theatre and has since moved to the West End, only to return to Sheffield for the filming of the movie, to be released on Amazon Prime soon. The film will follow the journey of teen Jamie as he fights to show his identity and become a drag queen.
Sheffield isn’t somewhere you’d put on the literary map but we are home to some great stories other than Barry Kine’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, so check out our picks below…
Granny was a Buffer Girl by Berlie Doherty
This novel follows several generations of the same family through 60 years of Sheffield history. Focussing on young women, this young adult novel starts with steel-buffer Dorothy in the 1930s up to the ambitious 18-year-old Jess in the 1980s. Sheffield is like an extra character in this book, so it’ll definitely help you feel closer to the city by the end.
The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher
Following a Sheffield family from the 1970s to 1990s, it looks into the industrial changes taking place in Sheffield during Thatcher’s years.
Bleak Water by Danuta Reah
The best pick for any true crime enthusiast, this book is set down by the canal. It is chillingly dark and complex, exploring the effects of new developments on previously depressed areas of the city.
Ours are the Streets by Sunjeev Sahota
Sahota’s debut novel narrates the story of Imtiaz, a second-generation British Pakistani who is radicalised when he travels to Pakistan for his father’s funeral. The book follows his plan to attack Meadowhall and the effect of the War on Terror on British Muslims.
Even though you may miss Sheffield right now, we hope that these TVs shows, bands and movies set in Sheffield will help you feel that bit closer to getting back to the Steel City.