On 4th July 1976, in the middle of a remarkable heatwave, the Sex Pistols played at the Black Swan Pub in Sheffield. It’s most famous as being The Clash’s debut gig. According to Mick Jones, there were about 50 people there and only a couple were punks. At the time, I was just a school girl, tucked up in bed with no idea about punk music. In the next few years, many more Sheffield punks were created.
In 1980, I was there, in Sheffield as a student enjoying the likes of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Dead Kennedys, Angelic Upstarts and, in my spare time, playing in a bedroom band. One of the first things I bought in Sheffield was a local compilation released in 1980 just as electronic bands and power-pop began to overshadow straightforward punk sounds.
I’m So Hollow were the standout band for me. Vocals were shared between keyboardist Jane Wilson and guitarist Rod Leigh. They seemed to be part of the arty film-noise scene that centred around the art college in Psalter Lane. Forming in 1978, they played their first gig opening for Clock DVA in Sheffield’s Penthouse Club. They only released one 7″ single “Dreams to Fill the Vacuum” in 1980, when they also did a John Peel session.
Jane Wilson was downright cool. I never talked to her, because she was … well… in a band and it never occurred to me that one could talk to people in bands. Big mistake.
I’ve found a lovely film of a local band festival at Weston Park, where I’m So Hollow are the second band on. It really sums up the grit of the era. Not many girls were in Sheffield bands then, so it would be great to find out more from Jane Wilson about her days with ‘I’m So Hollow’. Sadly, the band split up even before their LP came out. That’s punk spirit!