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Documenting Matilda

Alex | 29.06.2006 23:48 | Culture | Free Spaces | Social Struggles | Sheffield

A near complete listing of all the events hosted at Matilda. In addition lots of campaign meetings were held, regular socialising and eating together and artists did art on the top floor! A range of photos that don't capture fully the broad range of stuff that went on, but hope gives a flavour.

Acoustic night
Acoustic night

Acoustic night
Acoustic night

Bickles Cab play
Bickles Cab play

Cafe night
Cafe night

Electric Blanket night
Electric Blanket night

Amnesty International fund raiser
Amnesty International fund raiser


Scrapping walls in matilda
Scrapping walls in matilda

A venue is born
A venue is born

No Borders fundraising party
No Borders fundraising party

No Sweat fund raising night
No Sweat fund raising night

No Sweat night
No Sweat night

DJ Ove Naxx
DJ Ove Naxx

DJ Scotch Egg
DJ Scotch Egg

Film night
Film night

Infernal Noise Brigade at the Lost Film Festival
Infernal Noise Brigade at the Lost Film Festival

Woody Guthrie night
Woody Guthrie night


Short Sharp Shot play club seals
Short Sharp Shot play club seals


June 2005: G8 Protests in Sheffield
The building was first opened up when people came together to organise protests against the G8 Finance Ministers who were holding a meeting in Sheffield at the Marriott Hotel in Netheredge. The building was used as a convergence centre where people could get together during the actions and plan actions, eat and sleep and eventually party! There was also an indymedia centre put together with computers and internet access, which went on to be the origins of the Hacklab computer room in Matilda. The current cafe collective were also in action at this time feeding many hungry protestors. For the full story of the Matilda Social Centre at this time, and the G8 protests see

July 2005: Lost Film Festival and Infernal Noise Brigade
Hot on the heels of people's return from the anti-G8 protests in Scotland, Matilda was once again opened to host the Lost Film festival. The film fest, on tour from the US, was on its second visit to Sheffield, with its usual pick 'n' mix of agit prop films, hilarious social and political commentary and riot porn from actions around the globe, including the G8. Also accompanying the film festival this year was the Infernal Noise Brigade, an anarchist marching band who had been up at the protests in Scotland that summer. See

July 2005: Hacklab is born
Getting on into July people started meeting and trying to decide how to turn our disperate group of activists, artists, musicians, other asorted types and one large empty decaying building into a social centre. At this time the proposal for the Hacklab went forward .

Zine reading night 23rd July
In July there was also a zine reading night bringing DIY literature culture to Matilda. It featured Dave Roche from Portland, USA reading from his new book "On Subbing: The First Four Years", which was the comic and frightening tale of one man and his accidental supply teaching-assistant career in the Portland, Oregon school system, plus readings from local supporting zine writers. In what has become the Matilda style of doing things coffee, cups of tea, cakes and sofa sitting were available.

No borders benefit night 9th September
The No Borders collective within Matilda held a night of films about current deportations and detention centres and held a fundraising party night to help them pull off their planned Magical Mystery tour actions. For photos of the event see

Sheffield Indymedia film night 10th September
The Sheffield collective showed the film "Still We Ride", an action-packed documentary that glimpsed into the shocking showdown between the monthly Critical Mass bike ride and the New York City Police Department in the months after August 2004. The film was introduced by two of the film's directors, Andrew Lynn and Elizabeth Press.

UK Indymedia network work weekend 24/25th September
About 30 people from the UK Indymedia network descended on Matilda for discussion and technical work on the indymedia webpages. Food was provided for the weekend by the Matilda Cafe Collective.

Zombie Film Night @ Matilda 25th September
It's not all politics at Matilda! Popcorn was flowing for the evening of Japenese zombie films.

C90 night 8th October
The C90 DJs along with Ceephax Acid Crew and Vex'd played a storming gig in our basements.

No Borders Magical Mystery Tour Action 15th October
Matilda was used as a base for activists undertaking the No Borders action. A coffin was even built in our basements. There were even people wearing suits! See Indymedia coverage:

Dissent Gathering 15/16th October
It was cool to follow up on our origins from the Sheffield G8 protests with a Dissent Gathering at Matilda. Dissent is the network of autonomous groups that worked together to build resistance against the G8. The aim of this gathering was to discuss the future of the network, and how to organise for future G8 summits abroad. Details of the meeting at Fantastic food was served by the cafe collective all weekend in their new fabulous kitchen.

Hunt Sabs benefit gig and party 22nd October
Matilda hosted a benefit meal for local Hunt Sab groups, followed by bands in the basement and soundsystems. It was cool to finally have bands playing in the big renovated gig space, now with its own home made stage.

Urban Invasion art exhibition opening night 27th October
The Matilda art collective organises an fringe event to the Sheffield wide Art 05 season. An opening night social with food was organised. The exhibition ran for a whole month. For more details see indymedia newswire

Das Wanderlust, Balor Knights and Uplate gig 30th October
Pottymouth Mismanagement gig collective booked the first bands to play at Matilda in the smaller gig spaces.

Nuclear Death Terror 1st November
In the gig spaces Doing It Ourselves collective presents Nuclear Death Terror from Denmark, along with Fueled By Hate, Hangover Heart Attack and Feeding Frenzy. Cafe Collective cooks for the bands.

Flamingo 50 gig 15th November
Flamingo 50 from Liverpool rocked out in the gig space, along with BSD, Uplate, Tens and Four Dumb Kids. Another event hosted at Matilda by Pottymouth Mismanagement collective.

Sheffield Indymedia pre-film fest night out 17th November
In advance of the second Sheffield Indymedia film festival, the collective hosted a film night showing a Zapatista documentary, and a film about soundsystems travelling to Africa and shorts from Sheffield G8 actions, to showcase the kind of films they would be showing at the full festival the following week. The cafe collective served awesome Mexican food.

Sheffield Indymedia Alt.Doc. Film Fest: Films From the Frontlines 24/25/26th November
Three days of cool films on counterculture and activism. The cafe collective opened Matilda's cafe for the weekend serving food and popcorn! Lots of people came, pulled up sofas and enjoyed the films. For full details of the films shown see .

Dead Heat gig 2nd December
The Independent Youth Socialist Forum in Sheffield organised a fantastic fundraising night at Matilda with bands and soundsystems. The donations collected were to fund Sheffield people's travel to a climate chaos demonstartion in London and for Rising Tide.

Pakistani Earthquake benefit gig 16th December
The line up of bands was Power Corrupts, The Infested, Fueled By Hate, BSD, The Hyenas, Big Difference, and Maeven. Soundsystem concluded the night and the cafe collective provided scrummy cakes and pakoras!

Electric Blanket 17th December
This was the Electric Blanket collective's first night at Matilda. Champion Kickboxer played, along with Smokers Die Younger and the Ape Drape Escape and there was cool djing afterwards. A Santa's grotto was built, mulled wine was available and as were pressies for the first 50 people!

Northern Techno Alliance @ Matilda 23rd December
A pre-christmas party!

No M1 Widening Collective action planning gathering and film night 7th January 2006
This campaigning collective held a planning day with Seeds of Change. In the evening there was an evening of films around the issue of climate chaos, brought together by Mick Fuzz from Beyond TV.

Sheffield Indymedia benefit night 14th January
A night of films, follwed by music to raise funds for a independent media centre at the World Social Forum in Bamako, Mali, taking place in January. Music provide by Fran and Steve and This Way Up.

Saving Iceland Gathering 21/22nd January
A gathering of around 30 activists from around the country and Iceland to discuss building international resistance to the destruction of some of the world's last remaining pristine wildernesses in Iceland. For more info see

Clara Clara, Chora and Alex Kid gig 24th January
Clara Clara on tour from France play. Despite being one of the coldest nights of the winter lots of people turn out to hear the bands play and eat cake!

Thursday social and "Salt of the Earth" film series film showing 26th January
There was the usual Thursday social with food and a showing of Roger Moore's film "Roger and Me", part of a series of films shown under the "Salt of the Earth" series.

Bicology weekend 27-29th January
People involved in the G8 bike ride last summer had a gathering at matilda. There was a critical mass through the city on the Saturday.

Cycle repair workshop 5th February
Matilda was open for bike repairs and skill sharing.

Mali World Social Forum film showing 9th February
There was a report back from a Sheffield person who had attended the World Social Forum in Mali in January and films of the forum.

No M1 Widening banner making afternoon 12th February
People in matilda making banners for the campaign

No Sweat benefit night 17th February
A fundraiser night of gigs and djs to conclude the anti-sweatshop week of actions in Sheffield. The event raised funds of the Zanon occupies factory workers

Thornbury Animal Sanctuary benefit night 18th February
Benefit night of bands and soundsystems, raising much needed funds to keep the sanctuary going.

Singing Knives gig 24th February
Singing Knives host an awesome gig with Sundburned Hand of the Man (USA) and others, to packed room of people in the dank and moody eurocrust gigspace.

Earth First Summer gathering meeting 25th February
Planning for this summer's Earth First Gathering.

No M1 Widening benefit night 25th February
This was an alldayer starting in the afternoon, with bands playing the main stage, followed by c90 djs, Dust Crew and Juvenile Hall djs

Saving Iceland food and open mic acoustic night 2nd March
The gig collective cooked and the hidden talents of people emerged during the course of the open mic acoustic night, followed by eclectic first time djing by the gig collective. For photos of the night see

Permaculture Slide show 7th March
People came down to learn more about permaculture

C90 night at matilda 11th March
This must have been one of the most awesome music nights at Matilda with nintendocore noise attacks from DJs Scotch Egg and Ove Naxx from Japan.

Barracka gig 16th March
Barracka, a punk band on tour from Hungary play club seals. Gigs start to become serious cake eating affairs!

Heroin gig night 17th March
Some of Sheffield fine art students hold a fundraising night with bands playing covers of songs by artists influenced by heroin.

Electric Blanket night 18th March
Electric Blanket return for a night of fine indie bands and cool djing. Irish coffees provided!

Rebel Clown training and Action Medics gathering 25-26th March
The UK Action Medic network descended on matilda for the weekend. Sheffield new Rebel Clown Army get together for some basic training.

J'm'enfous gig 29th March
J'm'enfous on tour from France play along with Boycunt and Storm the Keep. Awesome gig!

Amnesty International benefit night 30th March
The University Amnesty International group host a benefit night in the basements with cool bands/music, south american dancing and food.

Voices in the Wilderness benefit gig night 31 March
A cracking gig with the cream of Sheffield's punk bands - Up Late, Bickles Cab, BSD and more.

Action medic training day 1st April
Members of the Uk Action medics network train up some Sheffield people in the art of not panicking when confronted with blood and injuries at demos and actions!

Rossport solidarity campaign meeting and film showing 4th April
Film show and meeting about the Shell to Sea campaign in Rossport, Ireland, where a local community are fighting the compulsory purchase of their land and environmental destruction by Shell who want to run a raw gas pipe through their community from the sea and build an oild refinery in this stunning part of the world.

Happy Bird's Day - day of women's workshops and cabaret 8th April
A skew- wiff celebration of international women's day, with workshops on setting up anarch-feminist health groups, making DIY sex toys, using PAs culminating in an awesome night of cabaret in the performance spaces.

Battle Royale gig 10th April
Battle Royale from Germany are on tour at Matilda with the Process. The Matilda gig space collective cook for the bands and the crowd, before the event. Invest a new meaning to the phrase 'dinner dance'!

Alex Kid gig 11th April
Alex Kid, a Sheffield band organise a show in Club Seals.

Day two of Sheffield Punk's Picnic 15th April
The 2006 Sheffield Punks picnic was split between The Cricketer's Arms an Matilda. Bands play in the eurocrust room and club seals room is turned into a punk cafe, with tunes, fake bacon and sausage sarnies, cake, curry and sweets.

Punk Film night 18th April
The gig space collective provide cake and popcorn and show the film Edge of Quarrel, a cheesy funny film about punk and straight edge communities (boys) fighting each other!

I Adapt gig 23rd April
I Adapt from Iceland are on tour and stop off to play Matilda.

M....Gallery opening 25th April and exhibition, first of many
After many weeks of scraping walls and applying a whiter than white coat of paint the new M....Gallery hosts its first exhibition.

Woodcraft fund raising night "Get Down for Capetown" 5th May
Matilda is swarming with young people as they host their own fund raising night with bands in the big room and Riddimtion in club seals. Never seem the place so packed!!!

Silent Front gig 7th May
Silent from from London play club seals with Dogcanute from Sheffield, Concentration Champ from Leeds and Red Panda from Liverpool.

Magik Markers gig 10th May
Noise Doll Basement presented Magik Markers who were on tour from the US.

Permaculture slide show and film showing of the 'Power of Community' 11th May

No Sweat benefit night 13th May
The university No Sweat group return for an awesome night of bands, djing in the basement, kicked off in the late afternoon with Mexican food and acoustic sets in club seals room. It was a fund raiser for the 'Stop Killer Coke' campaign.

Electro acoustic evening 17th May
An exploratory evening of electro-acoustic improvisations.

Birds of Delay gig 19th May
It is a noise night as Birds of Delay play matilda along with 9 other bands/performers.

Bicology gathering and bike workshop sessions 20th-21st May
Activist on bikes gather from around the country for discussion and planning and also host bike maintenance workshops

Woodie Guthrie acoustic night and film showing 20th May
Fans of Woodie Guthrie gather to watch a film about his life, eat food and then people play acoustic sets of songs of struggle. A cool night that was a benefit for Sheffield Welfare Action Network.

Mz Sojourn gig 26th May
Mz Sojourn from Leeds play an awesome set in club seals along with Navvy and the Service Users. Lots of free cake and fairy lights!
Saving Iceland benefit posh three course meal and music night 2nd June

Electric Blanket night 27th May
Another awesome EB night with Hexa from the US and James Brodie and Champion Kickboxer, and free cocktails. Cool dj sets in club seals

Ill Dad gig 28th May
Ill Dad from Sweden play club seals with Give Up All Hope

TK Summer Fest gig 31st May
Ska-punk free mini festival in the school half term, with lots of cool young bands.

Underground Jazz night 1 June
Matilda does jazz with the incredible 17 piece Low Flying Big Band playing. Blows people away. People comment that it is one of the best jazz nights out they have had in Sheffield.

Saving Iceland benefit posh dinner 2 June
Matilda cafe collective pull out all the stops hosting a right posh 3 course meal to raise funds for the Saving Iceland campaign and cation camp going on this summer. Food and atmosphere is awesome as the collective cater for over 60 people.

Walk the Plank gig 4th June
Wlak the Plank from Liverpool play a right cool gig with Short Sharp Shock, also from Liverpool and Get Stuffed from Manchester. The gig collective ecel themselves with the amount of vegan cake available.

Animal Rights benefit night 17th June
The last big night out at Matilda with film, bands, soundsystems and food, raising money for the campaign against the animal labs in Oxford and Vegan Prisoners Support Group.

Food and direct action campaign round-up night 22nd June
The Matilda gig space collective host the last Thurday social, with lasagna and seventies stype banana splits on the menu. The night concludes with a round up of the main actions/campaigns happen over the summer: Shell to Sea (Ireland), Saving Iceland, Climate Action Camp (UK) and Faslance 365 actions. A raffle (where top prize is a skipped book on venereal diseases and skin complaints!) raises funds for Action Medics travelling to the G8 in Russia this sunmmer.



More photos from Matilda

30.06.2006 09:39

I have photos from a couple of Matilda events (Singing Knives/Sunburned Hand of the Man and Birds of Delay/Noise all-nighter) here:
and here:


Dan Sumption
mail e-mail:
- Homepage:

let's get creative....

01.07.2006 13:38

hey.i too have quite a few photos from Matilda events. its seems a waste not to use them in some sort of positive way. perhaps we could get some images all together and create a small exhibition/ booklet/ collage in comunity centre. the images are records of all the good stuff that happened down matilda street, i think we should use them so people dont forget and push for more useful spaces like that fka matilada...what do ya reckon? wilf



Display the following 2 comments

  1. A booklet or album... — Toothless Mole
  2. lovely stuff — wilfie


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