Made in Sheffield Starring: Phil Oakey, Martyn Ware, Ian Craig Marsh, Chris Watson, Stephen Singleton, Jarvis Cocker Director: Eve Brown The film: Britain, 1977: the airwaves were awash with thrashing guitars letting fly with three-chord punk workouts, the musique du jour in a volatile nation facing social meltdown. Amidst all this were three earnest young men, marching into the offices of major record labels, thrusting to record executives a tape packed with electronic music and pronouncing, 'This is the future'. The Future, as the trio dubbed themselves, were shown the door every time without fail. Two of these men with plans were Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh, who would later find favour with the same executives, first as the Human League and later as Heaven 17. Their memories of rejection are a key moment in Made in Sheffield, Eve Brown's documentary charting the rise and fall of electronic music in Sheffield in the late 1970s and early 80s. Anecdotes of early failure of the synth-loving pop futurists, which led to vigorous defiance or pragmatic compromises, make Made in Sheffield an empathic tale. Brown has gathered enough of the old-timers to review those years. The views of Ware and Marsh are complemented by Phil Oakey (right), the other founding member of the Human League. Chris Watson, now a renowned expert in wildlife recordings, gives his account as part of Sheffield's most revered electronic ensemble, Cabaret Voltaire. Stephen Singleton talks of establishing an indie label for his ensemble Vice Versa, which would later top pop charts as ABC. The inclusion of the lesser-known personalities also reveals the subculture that helped propel careers. Paul Bower, of 2.3, might be the leader of Sheffield's only punk band, but his story is vital to Made in Sheffield with his experience of running fanzine Gunrubber and also his role in giving Human League their break. One of the more amusing contributions comes from The Extras' John Lake - who tragically died in Malaysia two years ago in a swimming accident - and Robin Mackin who recall how they relocated to London only to find all the talent scouts converging on Sheffield. It's not only nostalgic talking heads here: the archive footage Brown managed to dig up provides images that define the trudge from obscurity to fame for these artists so much out of step and also of their time. There is the Human League's theatrical Kraftwerk-esque performances, fronted by Oakey's preposterous horsetail-lopped-to-one-side coiffure; there are also Vice Versa's cacophonic and completely unglamorous jams. Who would have imagined Martin Fry's golden lame circa The Look of Love that would forever define ABC in pop history? The extras: More in-depth interviews with the main players. Jarvis Cocker, along with his sister Saskia, talks more in-depth in the extras. More interesting would be the live footage of Vice Versa, Artery and I'm So Hollow - a grainy look at the gritty pop of the times. The verdict: Made in Sheffield does provide an insightful look at the fate of an imaginative core of musicians. This, however, leads to the piece's major flaw: that its obsession with the journey itself renders the context invisible. Journalist Andy Gill is quoted as saying Sheffield producing the weirdest noises in Britain at the time - but why did musicians from the Steel City tread this path? Is it because of its industrial heritage, or a determination to rebel from the pogoing crowds in London and Manchester? As the length of the film stands at 52 minutes (with the extras at 76) the sociological stimulus behind Sheffield's avant-pop scene could easily have been squeezed in.