John Firminger and Martin Lilleker are two significant figures regarding Sheffield’s music industry. Firminger, music historian and long-time fixture in Dave Berry’s Cruisers, still plays with Sixties icon Berry and knows more than most about the development of Sheffield’s Music Industry. He co-wrote “Not Like a Proper Job: The Story of Popular Music in Sheffield 1955-1975 as Told by Those Who Made it with Martin Lilleker. Lilleker is also the former Sheffield Telegraph music writer and has also written various other books based on this point in time.
John Firminger also featured in Neil Anderson’s “Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1960′s Sheffield” claiming his “memories of Sheffield in the 60′s are of a very vibrant place with popular music in general being very exciting and was reflected locally with nearly as many bands as there were venues all contributing to a very special part of the city’s social history”
Martin Lilleker claims “Sheffield once ruled the world” – so proud! At the time, the life and blood of the city were the clubs, as it is still is today. So when Lilleker and firminger realised they had plans for similar projects, they collaborated producing a book documenting the rollercoaster ride of styles indcluding Jazz, Skiffle, Beat Music, Soul, RnB and Psychedelic genres. Below they comment on the main venues of this era;
“Terry Thornton’s Club 60 had acquired a reputation for excellence that had even surpassed Liverpool’s The Cavern. Dave Berry described The Mojo as “wild and fashionable”, and the Esquire as “sophisticated and jazzy”, and there was the Black Cat, Peter Stringfellow’s thriving club.”