It all started to add up to what Sounds writer Jon Savage described as “a cold but hard beat, bursts of sound slowly making their way under your skin.” To counter any danger of infertility, Kirk told Savage: “We try to be as spontaneous as possible and understand as quickly as possible how we are feeling.”
Taking its name from the Zurich nightclub that gave birth to Dadaism, Cabaret Voltaire has established itself as a musical force in their city. But Kirk denied that they were trying to convey the noise of the Industrial North in the same way the sounds of West Midlands factories infiltrated heavy metal. “It was dark, Sheffield, but it was the boredom it created that prompted us to create the group,” he said.
During their first concert, in 1975, the crowd, thinking that they were going to hear a conventional group, revolted; it was an experience with which Cabaret Voltaire would become familiar.
A scene from Sheffield began to merge, including Human League (and later their offshoot, Heaven 17) and Clock DVA. In 1978 Cabaret Voltaire established Western Works, a rehearsal and recording studio in what had been the offices of the Sheffield Federation of Young Socialists. They were to appear on the Industrial label run by Throbbing Gristle, but a lack of money meant they ended up on Rough Trade, releasing their debut album, Mix-Up, in October 1979, shortly after one of the their most famous singles. , Nag Nag Nag.