The best bars in Sheffield based on their music choices
Corp is all over the shop with their music
There is no doubt that Sheffield has an excellent music scene. You just have to look at some of the acts to come out of the Steel City, such as the Arctic Monkeys, Pulp, The Human League, to see Sheffield’s pedigree. But without a doubt these acts and many more like them would never have reached their level of fame without the support of Sheffield’s numerous pubs and clubs, each with their own unique style and brand.
But what about the music they play every day? What music do they have loaded up on their jukeboxes? What about the kinds of music you’d expect to hear when you walk into one of these places on a night out, slightly pissed and ready to belt out ‘Mr Brightside’ at any given opportunity?
Well, here is an incredibly contentious, definitely divisive, and 100 per cent subjective article about where is best for you based on your music taste.
Best for: Everyone
Bar One is good because there is no ego in Bar One. You can be whoever you want to be in Bar One. Want to do a niche quiz based solely on the sex scenes of Game of Thrones? Bar One is your place. Want to drunkenly embarrass yourself on karaoke? Bar One is for you. Need to hold a society meeting and want to be surrounded by drunk people embarrassing themselves on karaoke whilst a niche Game of Thrones sex scene is going on in the background? Get down to Bar One.
They play Panic! At the Disco, The Hoosiers, and Scouting for Girls, and you're free to enjoy it without worrying about the stigmas of the outside world. Bar One is the kind of world we want to live in, it’s a utopia we can only dream of.
Best For: Heavier Indie
Brewdog can be hit and miss. Like their selection of drinks, it’s not for everyone. You go in, look at their beers, and there’s no certainty that you’ll like every beer, but more often than not there’ll be something that takes your fancy. This is the same principle with their music.
You can have a drink in Brewdog and enjoy listening to Queens of the Stone Age, Slaves and Milburn. But then I saw a man dab 35 times during Arctic Monkeys’ ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’, and therefore Brewdog may not be the place for you.
Frog and Parrot
Best For: Indie/Rock
The Frog and Parrot is solid. The Frog and Parrot is ‘ham sandwich, ready salted crisps, and bottle of Coke meal deal’ solid. It is a mid-table Premier League team managed by Tony Pulis. It is ‘playing ‘Mr Brightside’ and ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ at the end of a wedding’ solid.
They’ll play a couple of songs by Arctic Monkeys, some Oasis, a bit of The Beatles, maybe even throw in something a little bit electronic occasionally, but you know where you stand with The Frog and Parrot. They are your Dad, spending his Sunday in the shed pottering because he doesn’t want to go to Ikea with your Mum. It is inevitably spending the one hot day of the year in a pub beer garden drinking bottled cider. It is the glue that keeps this country together.
Best For: Absolutely Anything
Corp has literally everything you could want. There's the indie room that will play Rage Against the Machine's 'Killing in the Name' and then follow it with some Mumford and Sons. There's the white room for chart lovers/people who have no music taste, and that tiny room downstairs, not the main room but the other one, the one that plays literally anything. And now they've opened up their warehouse, as if the inside of Corp wasn't already an impossibly confusing labyrinth to navigate.
But then, nobody goes to Corp for the music, do they?
The Wick at Both Ends
Best For: Funk, Soul, Psychedelic
The Wick at Both Ends is cool. They play music that’s good, but it’s not music you’d think to listen to in your spare time. The Wick at Both Ends is your mate who knows a lot about music, who DJs in their spare time. They have a link to their Soundcloud account in their Facebook bio, they throw out banger after banger at pre-drinks at a rate you can only dream of.
You resent them slightly because they’re so much cooler than you, but at the same time this is why you like them. Being friends with them makes you a little cooler, and makes you feel a little less guilty about secretly enjoying Ed Sheeran. The Wick at Both Ends is cool, and being there makes you feel simultaneously cool and uncool at the same time.
Bungalows and Bears and The Harley
Best For: Funk, Soul, Psychedelic
Both have the same principle as The Wick at Both Ends, except you can enjoy good food too. Good effort. Bungalows and Bears also puts on a number of great free gigs for up and coming acts that aren't to be missed, and SoulJam, like Leadmill's Nev and the infamous John's Van, is a Sheffield institution.
West Street Live
Best For: It Doesn't Matter, You Won't Remember It
West Street Live is great for a number of reasons. It’s cheap, it has a good smoking area, and it’s always an interesting night out for reasons we won’t get into, partially because you never really remember why your West Street Live nights out were interesting, you just know they were.
The music, however, is a different story. The first time you go to West Street Live the music seems good. They play Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg’s ‘The Next Episode’, they play ‘Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine’ by James Brown, and they play ‘Ignition (Remix)’ by R Kelly. You can have a dance whilst you drink your fourth Cocoa Milko, you’re probably going to bump into someone you vaguely now from your course, and you might even be served by the guy who looks like Serge from Kasabian.
Chances are you won’t remember a lot of your first visit, but then your second visit comes around, you’re drinking your fourth Cocoa Milko, and you’re sure you heard those three songs last time you were here. Then, on your third visit it hits you. West Street Live plays the same music. Every. Single. Night. So if you want a good night out with cheap drinks, West Street Live is your place, but for interesting music, try elsewhere.