The 23:48 from Manchester to Sheffield is usually crammed full of weekday gig goers, willing to sacrifice half a night’s sleep so they can stay for the encore before crawling back across the Pennines.

Talk to any lifelong live music devotee over the age of 40 and they’ll rattle off all the great groups who played Sheffield until the late 90s, then bemoan how today’s equivalents are conspicuous by their absence, with a Sheffield-shaped hole in tour posters between Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool. Is it because we’re lacking that perfectly-sized setting, a Deaf Institute or a Brudenell?

Planning permission has just been granted to turn the Salvation Army Citadel on Burgess Street into – would you believe it? – another ‘retail opportunity’. Built in 1890, the hall hosted gigs in 2011 when in the care of Occupy Sheffield, before falling back into disuse, leaving a gap between mid-sized rooms like The Leadmill and the enormodome out in Attercliffe.

DIY spaces continue to nurture the grassroots, but are we missing the opportunity to have our own Albert Hall?

Mama Snake / Katiusha
Sat 5 May | Hope Works | £9
The CYCLE crew bring Mama Snake, head of Copenhagen techno imprint Ectotherm, to town for some Mesters mischief making. She’s joined by Oxford DJ Katiusha, who’s said she’s looking forward to the night, “mostly because I want to be a Northerner”. Quite right. Link

Don Letts
Sun 6 May | Yellow Arch | £13.32
Reggae veteran and 6Music mainstay, Don Letts told Now Then that he had “no plans to become a DJ”, falling into it by accident. Fortunately for the thousands who’ve enjoyed his genre-spanning sets since the 70s, he’s stuck at it, this time joined by Trojan Explosion and Dub Shack DJs. Link

!!!
Tue 08 May | Leadmill | £14.30
New York City’s !!! (pronounced ‘Chk Chk Chk’) have been delighting dancefloors and irritating sub-editors for over two decades, reinventing rock’s raison d’être in the process. Shake The Shudder is their new record on Warp. Support comes from Derbyshire disco dons Patawawa. Link

Vula Viel
Wed 9 May | Lescar | £8
Meaning ‘Good Is Good’ in the Dagaare language of upper west Ghana, this quintet led by Bex Burch blend experimental jazz with traditional music from the region, making use of the gyil, a wooden xylophone. Music “to dance to, to make love to,” according to Iggy Pop. Link

Late Night Extra: Counterpoint
Sat 12 May | Crucible Studio | £10
Two mesmerising pieces by American minimalist Steve Reich: his groundbreaking ‘Electric Counterpoint’ with guitarist Tom McKinney and ‘New York Counterpoint’ with clarinettist Matthew Hunt. Each performance requires the musician to play against a pre-recorded tape of themselves, building up a new world of cross-rhythms and layered sound. Link

A Reyt Queer Do #2
Sat 12 May | Broomhall Community Centre | £11
Andro & Eve enters the terrible twos with a superstar drag king performance from Bristol’s Oliver Assets. Also joining host Zayn Phallic at the birthday bash are Mr Wesley Dykes, Mo Terboat, Sam Antics and Crispin Creame, among many more. All are welcome. Link

Anna & Elizabeth
Tue 15 May | Shakespeares | £15 (£11 unwaged)
This US duo chart the outer edges of traditional music, taking old Appalachian songs from archives and books and breathing new life into them with arrangements that nod towards contemporary composition. They’re joined by pedal steel player Susan Alcorn and drummer Jim White. Link

Adrena Adrena
Fri 18 May | Bishops’ House | £7.60
This mixed media collaboration between video artist Daisy Dickinson and ex-Boredoms drummer E-Da Kazuhisa is an impossibly seductive spectacle. Kazuhisa shifts between different rhythms while Dickinson projects abstracted geological forms onto a huge balloon floating above the drum kit, each responding to the other’s actions in perfect symbiosis. Link

Night Flowers
Thu 24 May | Picture House Social | £7.10
Fresh from releasing their debut album, this London-via-Humberside-via-Sheffield group cast the effervescent shimmer of 80s pop production as a backdrop to Sophia Pettit’s stirring vocals and yearning lyrics. Despite echoing The Cure at their best, the chiming guitars of Wild Notion root the group firmly in 2018. Link

Cinder Well
Tue 29 May | Regather | £7.50
Cinder Well is doom-laden folk for end times, sourced from the mind of Portland’s Amelia Baker and made for those who found Cat Power’s Moon Pix a little too lighthearted. She’s joined by Mae Kessler, Magnus Nymo and Marit Schmidt, with support from Jupiter In Jars singer Bethan Robinson. Link

Hardline
Fri 1 June | Corporation | £21.50
Big hair and bigger riffs from these glam rock revivalists, touring their most recent heavy metal opus, Human Nature. Classic headbanger ‘Hot Cherie’ is sure to feature also. Support from blues rock outfit Doomsday Law and Sheffield’s own Wolf Within, promoting their debut EP, When Darkness Falls. Link

Drum Machine at Barang!
Sat 2 June | DINA | £6.10
In a change for this ever innovative club night, the headliner isn’t a DJ but a 25-piece drum collective playing “groovy steampunk techno”. Earplugs will be on hand. Residents Nimble Jack and Kom Kom support, and a combined £13.32 ticket gets you a vegan and veggie-friendly meal before the music. Link