Exposed Magazine February 2024

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HEARD about our NEW ‘HAPPY’ offers? TA PAS



NOW includeyss Sunda

HAPPy DRINKS! HAPPY TAPAS! available until 6.00pm, SUNDay TO FRIDAY

available until 6.00pm, SUNDay TO FRIDAY

Treat yourself to a delicious cocktail or two!

Call in and chill out at the end of a hard day, unwind and soak up our relaxed Latino vibe whilst enjoying our ‘Happy Tapas’ deals.




>> Selected bottled beers £3.50 - Corona and Super Bock >> Selected house wines £4.00 per glass or £17.50 per bottle. Choose from Pinot Grigio White, Pinot Grigio Rosé or Montepulciano Abruzzo Red >> Prosecco - £22.50 per bottle >> Sangria or Sangria blanca - £22.50 per jug **DOWNSTAIRS BAR EXTENDED HAPPY OFFER**

We have extended all of the above Happy Drinks offers for a further two hours, until 8pm, Monday to Friday in the downstairs bar

**only available in the downstairs bar

ANY 2 tapas dishes

for £12.50 –– OR ––

£5.00 off

ANY Of our tapas set menus


Fantastic value when you dine early. APPLIES TO ALL TABLES SEATED AND ORDERING BEFORE OR AT 6PM.

Please note our Happy Drinks and Happy Tapas Offers are not available on Bank Holiday Sundays

To book a table Ca ll 01142 760475








Cubana’s New Cocktail & Drinks Menu TA PAS









IRRESISTIBLY, DIVINE BLENDS & SENSATIONAL FLAVOURS! We are thrilled to announce the recent launch of Cubana’s brand-new and exciting cocktail menu. OUR NEW MENU BOASTS OVER 50 AMAZING COCKTAILS, and we truly believe it’s our best menu yet! Discover the Cubana originals - there are over a dozen Cubana original recipes, one-of-a-kind concoctions that you won’t find anywhere else: VERY BERRY JERRY is a divine blend of spiced rum, raspberry liqueur, fresh blackberries, and raspberries combined with cranberry juice It’s like sherbet, lollipops, and sunshine dancing on your palate!


We’ve crafted an entire section of the menu dedicatedly solely to the nectar of the gods RUM! Indulge in the authenticity of traditional Cuban cocktails such as, EL NACIONAL, invented in the prestigious Hotel Nacional, Cuba or you can explore our imaginative twists on legendary classics. Let the SINGAPORE SLING; or the refreshing STRAWBERRY CAIPIROSKA whisk you away on a tropical journey of flavour. Can’t Find Your Favourite? No Worries .. If your go-to cocktail didn’t make the cut, our talented bartenders will be happy to oblige.


Another Cubana classic is LA MANZANA MALA, made with Green Island Spiced Gold and is combined with St Aubin Vanilla rum, Disaronno, lime and apple juice and a dusting of cinnamon to finish. You won’t be able to resist the allure of this Cubana masterpiece!

So, what are you waiting for? Join us at Cubana and dive into a world of sensational flavours, incredible originals, and refreshing twists on the classics!

Explore our new cocktail menu online @


202 4







(MUST BE PRE-BOOK ED) 0114 234 3074 Penistone Road, Sheffield S6 2DE

*Ts & Cs apply. Choose from a bottle of Coors Light, Small Glass of House Wine or Soft Drink

non members welcome CASINO . RESTAURANT . BAR

d a i ly 6 p m - 1 0 p m

SCAN HERE TO view the menu

* Ts and Cs apply.

I n n o vat i v e a n d c r e at i v e casual fine dining in the heart of Ranmoor We offer a seven course blind tasting menu from seasonal local ingredients and an ever changing menu with wine pairings to complement our dishes. 376 Fulwood Rd, Sheffield S10 3GD



Phil Turner (MD) Nick Hallam (Sales Director)


Lis Ellis (Accounts)

22: COVER Exposed catches up with veteran Sheff MC Coco, who heads up our MOBOs special with a chat about the artist’s career, new music in the works and why the prestigious awards coming to the Steel City can only be a positive thing. We also hear from some of the people working behind the scenes to put on a range of fringe events celebrating and championing music of black origin here in Sheffield.



16: CITY VIEWS For this month’s Sheffield story, solo artist and founding member of Reverend & The Makers, Ed Cosens, reflects on his journey through the city’s 00s music scene and how his hometown has helped to shape him as a songwriter.


20: HOPPY DAYS We raise a glass to 10 years of Sheffield Beer Week, the annual celebration of all things hoppy organised by Hop Hideout’s Jules Gray. From the beloved Indie Beer Feast to tap takeovers, brewery openings and book launches, we’ve got a roundup of what to expect from its decennial festivities.

54: FFS! Exposed speaks to Melanie Gourlay and Dr. Diane Rodgers about setting up Sheffield’s first ever all-female film festival, Films/Females/Screens Festival (FFS for short), which will launch its inaugural event at the Showroom this year.

68: ARTIST SPOTLIGHT Our monthly chat with a local artist features Sara Prinsloo, a painter, illustrator and sculpture-maker inspired by street culture and her personal experiences of life as a working-class woman.

Joe Food (Editor) Ash Birch (Online Editor) Lizzy Capps (Content Creator) Marc Barker (Design dogsbody) Olivia Warburton, Heather Paterson, Mark Perkins, Rosie May-Knapp



Exposed is published monthly by Blind Mice Media Ltd Unit 1b, 2 Kelham square Kelham Riverside Sheffield S3 8SD The views contained herein are not necessarily those of Blind Mice Media Ltd and while every effort is made to ensure information throughout Exposed is correct, changes prior to distribution may take place which can affect the accuracy of copy, therefore Blind Mice Media Ltd cannot take responsibility for contributors’ views or specific entertainment listings.



1st Ten Tonnes 2nd Ten Eighty Trees + Floodhounds 3rd For The Record 9th Grandad + Coke Rodent 11th Ladyhawke 13th The Schizophonics 15th Yellow Arch Comedy Club 16th Planet Zogg 17th Bodach + Mouths 20th Meryl Streek 22nd Flare Magazine Showcase 23rd Apollo Apollo 24th Mike Borgia 26th James Kirby


2nd Waxhead 2nd For The Record 5th Talk Show 6th Angline Morrison


9th cowboyy 9th Yellow Arch Craft n Flea 2nd For The Record 5th Talk Show 6th Angeline Morrison 19th bdrmm 21st Yellow Arch Comedy Club 22nd Tom Killner 28th Josiah + Saint Karloff 31st Skyline


3rd Brad Stank 5th Big Special + Grandmas House 6th For The Record 12th Bromheads Jacket 13th Bromheads Jacket 15th Vince Freeman 18th Yellow Arch Comedy Club 29th Swim School


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A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN Sheffield’s biggest party, Tramlines, has announced its three main stage headliners plus over 50 other acts, all set to appear over five stages from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th July in Hillsborough Park. Headlining the 16th edition of Tramlines on The Sarah Nulty Main Stage is Paolo Nutini (Friday), Jamie T (Saturday) and Snow Patrol (Sunday), each making their debut appearance at the 40,000-capacity event. Supporting the headliners will be a highly anticipated home turf appearance from Sheffield legends The Human League, who’ll be performing their hometown first hometown show in since 2018.



Festivalgoers expected to be in attendance at Hillsborough Park each day


The year Human League released their seminal album Dare.


Copies of ‘Don’t You Want Me’ sold in the UK since its release.



WELCOME THE DRAGON The Lunar Chinese Year Festival will take place in Sheffield this month, celebrating the Year of the Dragon and including a food festival at the Peace Gardens, a live show at the University of Sheffield’s Octagon Centre and a charity auction dinner at local restaurant China Red. The five-day event, taking place from Friday 9th to Tuesday 13th February, is set to be an exciting and inclusive celebration of diversity in the city. The festival is spearheaded by Jerry Cheung, MD at New Era Development Ltd, and assisted by Kelvin Quick of China Red, among others, and brings Eastern culture to the heart of Sheffield with food, music and dragon dancing. Money raised throughout the festival will be used to change lives and support The Children’s Hospital Charity, who will mark the event by lighting up Sheffield Children’s Hospital with a five-metre dragon. Jerry Cheung commented: “I have a very deep passion for community, and obviously, most of us have children in our lives that hold special places in our hearts. “This event is about culture sharing, bringing communities together; about bringing people together; and at the same time, we’re able to raise money for a good cause.” The celebrations will begin with the switchon of the dragon display at Sheffield Children’s, overlooking Clarkson Street, on Friday 9th. On Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th over 35 stalls will take over the Peace Gardens for a freeentry food festival celebrating amazing cuisine, artisan products, traditional arts & crafts, and more. This is where the spectacular dragon dance performance will take place on Sunday. For the evening of Saturday 10th February, an immersive show with traditional dragon dancing, extraordinary acrobats, live music, and world class performers from China will grace the Octagon stage. Chinese-owned business, Independent Sheffield, will also be hiding traditional red envelopes across the city over the same dates with prizes inside from local independent East Asian businesses such as Yee Kwan Ice Cream, Guyshi, China Red, ALS Gong Cha, Oisoi, KH Oriental, Wokie Box etc. You might even find some cash! To find out more about the Sheffield Lunar Chinese New Year Festival, visit


ARRIVING IN STYLE A new retailer has been announced been announced for the Heart of the City development taking place in Sheffield centre. Independent fashion retailer, The Cream Store, will open a 3,000 sq ft flagship shop on the ground floor of Burgess House – positioned on the corner of Charles Street and Cross Burgess Street, fronting the evolving Five Ways junction. Aiming to open its doors by Spring 2024, the store, which also boasts a raised mezzanine, will stock contemporary clothing and lifestyle accessories for both men and women. Premium brands – which are regularly refreshed and rotated – include Carhartt WIP, Fred Perry, Edwin, Nudie Jeans Co, Gramicci, and many more. It will be The Cream Store’s second dedicated shop in the UK following the long-term success of the company’s Nuneaton store, which opened in 2005. The store will also house its ‘Sneaker Treat’ service, offering customers a range of sustainable cleaning and restoration solutions to bring their favourite trainers back to life.

Manish Patel, Director of The Cream Store, said: “We have chosen Sheffield for our next venture as it’s a fantastic city with a vibrant and diverse culture. We feel that there is a great opportunity to provide the local community with a ‘go to’ place to shop for quality, durable fashion. “Customer service is at the heart of everything we do. We welcome and enjoy talking to our customers, sharing our advice and our passion. The store will offer a relaxed, ambient atmosphere for our customers to dwell and view our latest collections. “It’s all about offering a great accessible experience. Our customerfirst approach has allowed us to maintain a loyal customer base over the last two decades and we’re exciting to build something similar in Sheffield.” The Cream Store is the latest addition to the fashion retail offering in the Heart of the City project, joining the recently announced Fjällräven and Yards Store. Visit for more details


THE EXPOSED AWARDS RETURN Ladies and gents, we’re just a few months away from our annual do bigging up the very best of Sheffield – and this year it’s going to be an extra-special affair! Sponsored by the IPM Group, the Exposed Awards 2024 will be returning with its usual promise of live entertainment, delicious food and drink, late-night party venues and all the usual bells and whistles that make it such a popular night out. But we’ll be turning things up a notch by combining the event with Exposed Magazine’s 20th year anniversary celebration. Yep, you heard right – little old us have reached the big two-zero! “Hitting 20 years as a magazine is something to shout about,” says Exposed Magazine director Nick Hallam. “So we thought it’d be a cracking idea to combine our celebration of Sheffield’s independents with our own little anniversary bash.” We’ll be confirming more details in next month’s issue, but

you can expect the usual big night craic taking place at 92 Burton Road on Thursday 9 May promoting the best of the local scene spanning food, drink, culture, fashion, music and beyond – with all winners on the night chosen by you lovely lot, the Exposed readership. Voting will open on 26 Feb

lasting until mid-April. Once the votes are counted, we’ll announce the shortlist for each category. Following a superb debut, Chris Arnold will return on host duties and afterparty venues will be confirmed on our socials this month. Tickets are £40+VAT (£20 standing), which includes

entry to the awards, drinks on arrival and food from some of the city’s finest street food traders – as well as plenty of live entertainment to get you in the party mood. For ticket enquiries, contact nick@exposedmagazine. or call 0114 2757709.

WORKING WITH GIANTS and 2020. Tom Wilmot, joint managing director at Capital&Centric, said: “The Mausoleum of the Giants was pretty breathtaking and we loved hosting it at Eyewitness Works. Phlegm pulled off something really special, with the thousands of people that came through the door taken aback by both the vision and scale of the exhibit. “It was always planned as a temporary pop-up. But we wanted to do something that acted as a permanent reminder as the historic building entered its next chapter and our first residents moved in. Phlegm’s new design is the perfect tribute to that moment in time – and a worthy addition to Sheffield’s street art scene.” To read our review of Phlegm’s latest hometown show, The Pandemic Diaries, head to page 72.


A new Phlegm masterpiece has arrived on Sheffield’s streets. The renowned mural artist recently put the finishing touches to a massive new piece of work adorning the walls of Capital&Centric’s Eyewitness Works on the corner of Milton Street and Headford Street. Nicknamed ‘The Giant’ in the artist’s sketchbook, it will be a permanent fixture at the historic former cutlery works, which was recently restored into design-led apartments. It’s somewhat of a return for the artist, who staged the high-profile ‘Mausoleum of the Giants’ show in the building before it underwent restoration. The design itself came from an original planning sketch made for the exhibition, which saw over 6,000 people step through the doors to see the giant sculptures and mysterious creatures lying in situ in 2019


16th March



THE ARCHER PROJECT What prompted the establishment of The Archer Project? The Archer Project’s history of transforming the lives of the vulnerable and homeless in Sheffield began in 1990. The city saw increases in unemployment and poverty in the 1980s, due to its industry’s decline, and the charity quickly established itself as a venue where homeless people felt welcome and supported. What started as tea and toast served by members of the Sheffield Cathedral congregation has developed and expanded into a holistic service designed to help homeless people to improve their lives. Can you provide an overview of your mission and the services it offers today? A central cog in Sheffield’s homeless charity network, the charity’s vision is that everyone should have somewhere to call home. The charity provides support at every stage out of homelessness. The Project offers emergency care serving breakfast and lunch each weekday; providing clothing, sleeping bags and toiletries; distributing food parcels; offering showers, laundry and access to GP and dental services. Addressing day-to-day issues creates room for establishing stability through positive routines and mentor-supported volunteering in the Partnership Programme. Beneficiaries also get

support through wellbeing programmes, developing better relationships with authorities and community. We have developed a thriving, awardwinning social enterprise which provides paid employment for their beneficiaries. Health awareness, securing housing and support with home management are incorporated to establish worklife balance. To support their social enterprises, you can buy locally-designed products or take a screen-printing class at Printed by Us’ shop in Orchard Square. What measurable outcomes or goals has the organisation achieved in recent years? In 2023, the charity held 31 activities for beneficiaries who are regaining stability in their lives. These sessions had 32 regular attendees to art classes, group bike rides, museum visits, abseiling, mindfulness and many more – all focused on encouraging recovery, building confidence and combating isolation. With homelessness and rough sleeping on the rise across the UK, have you had to adapt or extend the services you offer? The Archer Project was impacted by rising living costs in 2022, but the full effects became apparent in 2023. The number of attendees to the Project grew from 912 in 2022 to 1,085 in 2023. There was a sharp rise in the need for free meals in that same period, jumping from 7,525

breakfasts up to 12,296; lunches served rose from 6,082 to 8,667. This level of demand is unsustainable for the charity, which relies solely on donations from the community and grant funding. How can individuals or businesses get involved as volunteers or supporters of The Archer Project? There are many ways to get involved. Volunteering – whether individually or in a group – and whatever time you can give is valuable. Email contactus@ to register interest. You can also help by donating monetarily or gifts-in-kind, either at The Project or by using their Amazon wishlist. Head to for more information on ways to donate. For local businesses, joining the Business Breakfast Club is a great way for corporations to invest in the local community. Members serve breakfast and meet beneficiaries, with many finding the experience shows them first-hand the benefits of donations and support. Are there any upcoming events or campaigns that we should be aware of? Our biggest month this year is October, with our Bossin’ It sleepout challenge and Harvest Appeal for essential items. We’ve also got a golf day and gala ball in the works, or you could maybe get involved and run the Sheffield Half or 10K with #TeamArcher! There’s plenty of opportunity to get involved – visit the events section on our website ( for details. Follow The Archer Project on social media Facebook: @archerprojectsheffield Instagram and X: @archerproject LinkedIn: search ‘The Archer Project’


There was always music in my house growing up. My earliest musical memories were the classic family summer holiday vibes, driving with the family up to stay with grandparents in Whitby, with the Beatles’ Red Album playing on the car tape player. That has always stuck in my brain. Then, my intervening brushes with music as a kid were my sister’s life-sized poster of Rick AS TOLD TO JOSEPH FOOD Astley (who, ironically, has made a triumphant comeback now) and playing tennis racket guitar solos to Queen with my mate from next door. The first album I bought was Bad by Michael Jackson. That’s not too shabby and the first single was ‘I’m A Believer’ by EMF with Reeves and Mortimer, which admittedly is probably not on the same level but great nonetheless! My sister joined Britannia Music Club (another throwback for you there) and I remember her getting a free CD of Blood Sugar Sex Magik by Red Hot Chilli Peppers. That was a bit of a “Woah, what’s this?” moment and my first proper introduction to something other than pop music. I grew up in Millhouses, in the leafy south-west of the city. I went to Notre Dame Secondary School which, being a catholic school, had kids attending from all over the city. It was an eye-opener for me, and over time I fell in with a group of mates mainly from the north side of the city – Chapeltown, High Green, Ecclesfield, Grenoside, etc. Jon McClure, who I’ve now played music with for over 20 years, was in my school form and I spent much of my formative years knocking around the opposite side to where I was born. Britpop took off while we were still young, impressionable teenagers. I remember getting a CD player on my 13th birthday with a copy of Definitely Maybe to go with it. You could set an alarm to play the CD, so every day for at least a year I woke up to ‘Rock and Roll Star’ blaring out. I’d be surprised if that didn’t have some form of subconscious impact! A school friend of mine, Phil, played the guitar, and it wasn’t long before I fancied a go. My dad had an old classical guitar that he used to do a bit of folk skiffle on, so I picked it up and learned a few basic chords, quickly realising that I could then play half of the Oasis tunes with that knowledge! Before we knew it, we’d formed a few bands that’d practice at lunchtimes – with names like Bizar, Utopia and Gypsy. (Don’t ask!) Phil’s dad had some contacts to get us gigs around a few pubs in High Green. One of my first gigs would’ve been at the Crossfield Tavern on Mortomley Lane, followed by The Rose Inn, and then graduating on to places like The Barrel and The Carousel in Chapeltown. They were certainly interesting crowds for a group of 14/15-year-olds wearing bandanas (again, don’t ask!) to play covers in front of while, of course, slipping in the odd self-penned tune that we

thought sounded amazing at the time. After leaving school I started working at The Boardwalk while I was at Hallam University. I’d hooked back up with Jon at this point, who also worked there, and there was a little crew of us: me, Jon, Alex Turner, Andy Nicholson and my mate Sam from a band called Dead Like Harry. That was quite a pivotal place for me. I’d be behind the bar watching the likes of Mark E. Smith, Hugh Cornwell, Wilco Johnson and John CooperClarke doing their thing, not to mention the local bands doing the rounds. I formed a band called Judan Suki with Jon, bringing in Alex Turner on rhythm guitar and Matt Helders on drums for a bit. I remember going around Jon’s mum’s place and going through a few tunes. We started playing a few gigs around the country. It was one of those deals where you’d sell 50 tickets to your mates, book a coach and we’d go play places like The Cavern Club in Liverpool, Fibbers in York and The Garage in London. Matt and Alex went off to do the Monkeys thing and Judan Suki transitioned into a band called 1984 before eventually becoming Reverend & The Makers. We were all having fun mainly, but some really good songs started coming out from bands on the scene like Milburn, the Monkeys, The Long Blondes, and Bromheads Jacket. There was some brilliant music coming out and I think it spurred everyone on. These were the halcyon days of Myspace and music forums and spontaneous gigs in practice rooms and cellars beneath the Boardwalk. It was a crazy, exciting period for the city; and the rest, as they say, is history. Even when things were taking off in the early days of Reverend & The Makers, I wasn’t tempted to move down to London. I like my home comforts too much, and Sheffield for me is the perfect place to be a musician. Just look at some of the songwriters we’ve produced! You’ve got people like Richard Hawley, who can write emotive songs inspired by the nostalgia and history of the city. It’s also a place where if






you big yourself up too much, you’ll get pulled down again. If you stand up and shout, “Look at me!” you can guarantee there’ll be a “Sit down, dickhead!” in response. I’m not sure there are too many big cities that have got that down to a T like us, but I don’t see that as a bad thing – it keeps you grounded, your feet firmly on the ground. The solo music itch started around 2009-2010. We’d made a couple of Reverend albums by then and there was a natural pause in proceedings. I'd set up a small recording studio and had a few ideas, but nothing really excited me. I felt a bit deflated at first because I wasn’t translating what I could hear in my head to the music. The band stuff then got really busy again, with a few lineup changes keeping things fresh, and I jumped back into that world for a bit. I continued to write for the band and even sung a few songs on an album we made, Mirrors, and I think that reignited my confidence to go for it again. I finally began to find the direction I’d been looking for. Fast forward a few years, and following my debut Fortunes Favour, I’m now about to release my second solo album, which will be out at the end of May, and I’ve kicked off 2024 with the release of a new single, ‘Doghouse’. It’s been getting a lot of love and I feel the new record is definitely a step forward with both songwriting and the sound. Thinking back to city views, Sheffield has certainly helped to mould me as a songwriter – that sense of trying to find your place in things, introspection, reminiscence and emotive nostalgia is something you hear a lot in music from these parts. It must be something in the water! @edcosens



Sheffield’s annual celebration of all things beer returns from 4th-10th March – and this year they’re celebrating a very special milestone!

Unbelievably, 2024 marks the tenth anniversary of Sheffield Beer Week and it’s shaping up to be a standout edition exploring all things beer. This year, key Beer Week strands include ‘Beer and Food’, ‘Community’ and ‘Heritage’; with ongoing organic strands including International Women’s Day events, 10 years of Sheffield Beer Week and celebrating our access to vital green spaces alongside The Festival of the Outdoors. Jules Gray, Sheffield Beer Week founder, said of the upcoming event: “A decade of showcasing great independent beer in Sheffield is something to be hugely proud of as a city and community. A city with a long-standing heritage of beer and brewing that goes back hundreds of years. “It’s a testament to everyone involved and everyone who supports the beer scene. Beer is part of the city’s fabric, its culture, its heritage, jobs, economy and keeping the high street vibrant.” We’ll certainly raise a glass to that, Jules! The Exposed team will also be keeping a close eye on Sheffield Beer Week’s website (

and socials (@sheffbeerweek) for the latest announcements and listings, but in the meantime, here are a few highlights that stand out so far… SHEFFIELD: BEER CITY Through a challenging climate, many of Sheffield’s beer businesses have survived, thrived, and we’ve even seen a few recent additions to the scene. 2024 sees the revisiting of Sheffield University’s commissioned ‘Beer Report’, which has broadcaster Pete Brown reviewing the regional beer landscape once again. Look out for its launch during Sheffield Beer Week, where we’ll find out whether we can still rightfully claim to be the best city in the world for beer. A GRAND FEAST As is now tradition, on the weekend preceding Sheffield Beer Week (1st and 2nd March) Sheffield’s best craft beer festival, Indie Beer Feast, will return to the city centre at Trafalgar Warehouse. The much-loved event is a celebration of great independent craft beer with brewery bars, street food, low intervention wines and fine cider, which

champions and supports The Everyone Welcome initiative. British Guild of Beer Writers’ members and leading UK award-wining beer writers David Jesudason (current Beer Writer of the Year), Pete Brown and Adrian Tierney-Jones will be heading up to host pop-up tastings. David will be discussing his latest book ‘Desi Pubs’, while Pete will be launching the aforementioned Sheffield beer report. Dr Christina Wade will be celebrating her new book, ‘The Devil’s in the Draught Lines’, which charts 1000 years of women in Britain’s beer history. Elsewhere, Henry Kirk of soon to launch new brewery, Sunken Knave, will be discussing his passion for Old Ales. Look out for more intrguing talks to be announced this month. Hop supplier Barth Haas X have sponsored the talks and tastings and will also host their own trade panel discussion. Breweries pouring include Sheffield outfits Heist, Triple Point, Kelham Island, Grizzly Grains and Abbeydale. These are in addition to Manchester’s Track, Liverpool’s Neptune, Leicester’s Round Corner, Reading’s Siren, Leeds’ Amity Brew Co and Tartarus, Wales’ Sobremesa Drinks, Derbyshire’s Thornbridge and Torrside, North Yorkshire’s Turning Point Brew Co and Hitchin’s Crossover Blendery. Reckon that’s about enough for you?

THE GREAT OUTDOORS Visit Sheffield’s The Festival of the Outdoors has become a vibrant month of annual activities in March and this year, as part of Sheffield Beer Week, there will be a special running and beer event from Hop Hideout and Run Talk Run which includes a brewery tour from Triple Point Brewery. Heist Brew Co are also collaborating with The Foundry Climbing Centre on a beer to go alongside their beer and climbing social. SPECIAL BREWS Once again, load of special beers are brewing to be released as part of Beer Week. Here are a few that we can’t wait to get a taste of… • Triple Point Brewery will be collaborating with Indie Beer Feast, Sheffield Beer Week and The Festival of the Outdoors on a special brew to highlight South Yorkshire green spaces and inspirational Peak District campaigner Ethel Haythornthwaite. • Lost Industry and Thornbridge are both brewing their own International



Women’s Collab Brew Day beers. • Abbeydale are re-releasing their 2023 Sheffield Beer Week collab Cloud Peak due to popular demand, and this year it will include a limited art print alongside. • Beer shop Hop Hideout is collaborating with Heist and Indie Beer Feast on a super limited sourstyle beer. • New microbar The Wonky Labrador are collaborating with Triple Point on a birthday beer. TAP TAKEOVERS AND EVENTS As well as an influx of breweries heading to Indie Beer Feast, you’ll find a number of tap takeovers and meet the brewers happening at venues across the city, including… • Pangolin (Turning Point Brew Co), • The Beer House S6 (Amity Brew Co) • Kelham Island Tavern (Siren) More tap takeovers will be announced in the coming weeks, with The Rutland Arms, The Crow Inn, Beer Central, The Riverside, Heist Brew Co Tap, Shakespeares, Hop Hideout, The Wonky

Labrador and The Old Shoe all starting to plan events. To celebrate the above-mentioned launch of Dr Christina Wade’s book, Hop Hideout have created a collaborative beer alongside the writer and Torrside Brewing which takes its inspiration from historical women’s recipes featured in the book. This will be in addition to hosting a Queer Brewing tap takeover (founder Lily was commissioned to take photographs for the book). Thornbridge Brewery are also set to host Bundobust, Newbarns and Red Willow at their pubs The Greystones, Hallamshire House and The Stag’s Head, while brewery tap openings so far confirmed include Saint Mars of the Desert, Fuggle Bunny Brew House, Heist Brew Co, Triple Point and Tapped Brew Co. It’s all shaping up to be one of the busiest Sheffield Beer Weeks to date! To keep up with all the latest announcements, head to:





With the MOBOs just around the corner, Exposed catches up with Sheffield MC and producer Coco, whose year is already off to a flyer (no pun intended) with a brand-new single, ‘Fly Tonight’, doing the rounds. The veteran star spoke with Joseph Food about new music, defining success and why it’s always love when he’s back in the Steel City. It’s great to catch up. How’s the New Year been treating you? I can’t lie, it’s been a good start. I passed my driving test this month, I’ve been announced as support on Example’s tour and I’ve got the new single out. It’s been a wicked beginning to 2024 and it’s just a case of starting as you mean to go on now. I’m shifting things up a gear this year. The new tune, ‘Fly Tonight’, has been getting plenty of love. It’s another high-energy bop which sees you linking up with drum and bass don Tsuki. Will we be seeing some follow-up singles soon? Yeah, I signed the deal with Helix Records last year. Initially, the idea was to do an EP but I want to get singles out. Spread it out a bit. I think that’ll translate better with what I’m trying to do as an artist. Over the years we’ve seen you spitting over everything from old-school hip-hop beats to house tracks with Armand Van Helden. Would you say DnB is where you feel most at home at the moment? I’ll always say grime. It’s what I started on and where I honed my craft, so I’d say that’s where I feel most at home. But even when I spit on grime, I like to do fast flows, so drum and bass also comes naturally to me. Even though I


see grime as the roots of my music, I’m an artist and want to try out different genres. If you feel like you’re versatile enough to do it, why not? The high-tempo tracks are perfect for the festival circuit too. Speaking of which, you’ll be back in Sheff for Tramlines this summer. You’ve played shows around the world, but those home shows must hit differently? Yeah, drum and bass is so big in Europe. I played a festival in Estonia and before the show I had kids coming up to me in shopping centres – I was signing arms and everything, bro! But every time I’m in Sheffield, it’s just love. It has been from the start of my career, and it always reminds me that no matter where you go around the world, home is always where the heart is. As you were saying, that relationship goes right back to the Remz n Coco days, when kids were walking around blaring your tunes out of their phones. Bro! Them were the days! Do you guys still chat? Of course! Every day. I was talking to him the other day about getting back into music. He can still spit. But he’s always supported me with that I’ve been doing and I appreciate that, man.


While we’re on the local chat, let’s talk MOBOs. How inspiring do you think it is for upcoming artists to have this event come to the city? I think it’s very inspiring. It’s a well-established ceremony celebrating music of black origin and the fact that it’s coming to Sheffield means a lot. I know there’s been a lot of work going on behind the scenes to celebrate it, and bringing the event here obviously gives good networking opportunities. It can only be a positive thing. Events like Slambarz have been really good at highlighting a growing community of artists, lyricists, producers and creators in South Yorkshire. It seems to be bubbling a bit. As someone who earned their spurs on the local scene and made that step up, do you feel a sense of responsibility to the young artists coming through? Definitely. What Dom’s doing at Slambarz is huge for the community. I was on their panel at an event last year and it was good to be part of it. I do feel a sense of responsibility to keep bigging up Sheff and I guess that just comes with the territory. I’ll try and help, try to give back when I can. That said, I feel like I’ve still got a long way to go myself. It all depends on what your definition of success is. What is yours? Ha! For me personally, it’s just ‘keep winning’. Whether they’re the big wins or the small wins,


just keep that coming. Success for one person might be winning a Mobo; for another, it might be getting a track out on Spotify. Everyone has their own definition, but if I can make the people around me feel proud and I can also be proud of what I’ve achieved, then that’s success to me. Listen to ‘Fly Tonight’

Coming from Sheffield and living in London, do you feel like you’ve had to work twice as hard to make it as a northern artist? Yes and no. Like, don’t get it twisted, there’s a lot of people in London who rate what we do. A lot of it is about timing, and I met Toddla T after moving to London who was instrumental in my early career. He gave me opportunities but I still had to take them; I had to what I had to do as an artist. That’s the thing about the music industry: there’s always someone waiting to take your place. I feel like I’ve proved myself, but you’ve got to keep doing it again and again. In line with the theme of this interview, if there any aspiring local artists reading this, what advice would you give them? Originality is key. It’s good to take influence from people, but you’ve got to make it in your own way. And stay resilient! It’s not an easy industry to be in, not an easy way to make a living. Keep going, keep setting goals and keep pushing. Tenacity, resilience and originality – that’s what it’s about. @thecocouk




The MOBO Awards, renowned as the UK’s premier celebration of black music and culture, will be bringing its annual ceremony and live music extravaganza to the Steel City this month. Now in its 26th edition, one of Europe’s biggest music awards is scheduled to take place on 7 February at the Utilita Arena Sheffield. Breaking new ground, this will mark the first time the MOBOs has ever been hosted in the city. “The impact of MOBO coming to Sheffield is massive,” says Shane Spence, Campaign Manager at Sheffield City Council. “Firstly, it puts us in our rightful place in the spotlight on a national stage; secondly, it gives a voice and inspiration to the younger generation, seeing artists who look like them and are from similar backgrounds on the main stage.” Leading the nominations with four each are acclaimed artists Little Simz and Stormzy, the latter having already clinched a record-breaking six MOBO Awards. Simz, previously a joint winner in the Album of the Year category, seeks 26 | WWW.EXPOSEDMAGAZINE.CO.UK

recognition in Best Female Act, Album of the Year, Video of The Year and Best Hip Hop Act. Central Cee, J Hus, PinkPantheress, and RAYE closely follow with three nominations each, demonstrating the breadth of talent in the UK music scene. The Best African Act category recognises emerging acts like Tyla, Rema and Ayra Starr, while the Best Dance/Electronic Act is dominated by female artists. Speaking to Exposed Magazine last month, local artist Massai Dearlove believes that the much-respected event’s imminent arrival could help to shine a light on the talent and diverse offering of music available in the city. “The MOBOs being in Sheffield is more impactful than it may seem to the majority of people watching or attending,” he explains. “A vast amount of people don’t realise there are great Sheffield artists with lots of variation in song styles and sounds. This gives people hope! With not being seen as a large music hub, it gives Sheffield a drive and aspiration to be great, and to show

if you knock on the door loud enough, they will always hear. But if they don’t hear, then rip the hinges off!” It’s shamefully true that in a city still associated closely with indie music and guitar bands, a space often dominated by white males, the up-and-coming artists representing genres such as rap, hip-hop, grime and R&B can often be overlooked in terms of coverage. In recent years, a number of events and organisations have been doing incredible work in providing spaces for developing urban artists. Hosted at The Leadmill, Slambarz is an emerging live performance series that spotlights the best rappers and lyricists aged 14-25 from the region. Serving as a hub for developing talents, it provides a safe space for musical expression while also fostering connections with fellow creatives, communities, industry professionals and venues in the scene. “Having the opportunity to host the MOBOs on our doorstep is a historic moment,” Slambarz founder Dom Heslop tells Exposed. “We’re celebrating

the creative essence of black culture through creative mediums, and our community is thrilled to showcase our art and build this legacy.” To celebrate and raise further awareness, Sheffield will host a series of special music-centric events in the city centre. MOBO Awards Sheffield – The Fringe, organised by Sheffield City Council in collaboration with MOBO and members of the local community, will take place in the run up to the awards show. Talent development programme Pattern + Push will be joining forces with Slambarz on 5 February to host some of the city’s finest talent at The Crucible Theatre, including artists, DJs and local dance groups. Sheffield City Hall will play host to an insightful industry panel event and live performance showcase on 6 February, with leading players from the UK’s black music scene offering insight to local talent. Hosted in association with Sheffield-based artist manager and developer Omar Khan,

It’s Time to MOBOLISE will hear from experts leading the way in the UK scene and host some extra special live performances. Speaking to Exposed last month, Omar explained the aims behind the event: “We were inspired to organise this event to celebrate the MOBOs coming to our city. We aim to educate developing creatives of diverse backgrounds with industry insights from respected and experienced leaders in UK black music. We’ve had major success in recent years, with our artists hitting the national and international charts, but we’re still lacking music infrastructure for fresh talent in comparison to other cities like London and Manchester. The MOBOs coming to town has brought our music community closer together. It’s our job to work together, keep up the momentum and continue to grow.” On the day of the awards itself, there will be a celebration of African and Caribbean heritage in Sheffield as part of the Spotlight in the Winter Garden, with over 25 stalls and music acts helping residents warm up for the main event. Elsewhere, local schools will also be getting involved in the action, exploring the impact of black music and culture through a range of educational activities. Eve Massad, Director of Marketing at Sheffield-based music college Waterbear, tells us that she believes that the MOBO's arrival perfectly complements the stellar work being done by a wide range of people promoting music of black origin across the city. “Historically the city oozes a strong musical culture and a diehard community in support of its city. Up until recently, however, despite the abundance of talent and music of black origin in Sheffield, it didn’t seem that musically Sheffield was known or celebrated for this,” says Eve. “Uncovering the extent of the scene in Sheffield moved me to ensure we became an active part in supporting this scene, hence our first citywide partnerships being with Pattern and Push and Slambarz CIC who have so significantly changed musical canvas of Sheffield; their mission and achievements on this to date are beyond inspiring. “The MOBOs coming to Sheffield feels like the final piece of the puzzle – areally putting the city on the map for the abundance of absolutely insane talent and music of black origin.” Tickets for the MOBO awards are available now at See side-column for a list of fringe events taking place this month.

MOBO AWARDS – SHEFFIELD FRINGE EVENTS It’s Time to MOBOLISE City Hall, Tuesday 6th February, 7pm – 10pm ‘It’s time to MOBOLISE’ will welcome five successful industry figures from the three major labels Sony Music, Warner Music and Universal Music, along with a MOBO nominated artist, to share their expertise and help inspire and push forward the next generation of talent here in Sheffield. In association with Sheffield-based artist manager and developer Omar Khan, the event will also see artist performances and special guests. Panel Lineup: Glyn Aikins (Co-President, RCA UK / Co-Founder & Co-President Since 93, Sony Music UK); Jaz Karis (Artist, MOBO Awards 2024 Nominee, Best R&B/Soul); Richard Castillo (Senior Vice President A&R, EMI Records, Universal Music UK); Shanice Edwards (A&R, Since 93, Sony Music UK); Austin Daboh (Executive Vice President, Atlantic Records UK, Warner Music UK). Tickets available now from ticketmaster.

Showcase presented by Pattern & Push x Slambarz Crucible, Monday 5th February, 6pm – 10.30PM. An evening of high-quality music and a celebration of Sheffield’s upcoming artists. Hosted by Pattern + Push and Slambarz, the showcase will see Sheffield-based artists, DJ sets and local dance groups take to the stage. Artists performing include Aziza Jaye, Coco, Franz Von, TeeWhyWho?, Matic Mouth, Lavellet, The 1 Devotion and more. An original song, written to celebrate the MOBO Awards in Sheffield, will also be performed.

Sheffield Spotlight in the Winter Garden Sheffield Winter Garden, 7th February, 10am – 4pm Sheffield’s African and Caribbean communities will be showcasing the city’s cultural and artistic talent in the lead up to the main event. Some of the city’s best black-owned businesses will be sharing a range of products, from jewellery to clothing, and a range of food delicacies. There will be live performances throughout the day, including a performance of spoken word from Ugandan born and Sheffield-bred, John Rwothomack, as well as singers Josie Wray, Azizajayen and African Drummer, Tongesayi – plus many more. For more information about any of the MOBO Awards Sheffield - The Fringe events, please visit

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Independent Sheffield For a whole decade now, Independent Sheffield has been empowering hard-working indies in the Steel City – and offering us some cracking discounts in the process! We popped a party hat on owner Kerre Chen and asked her to wax lyrical about this wonderful local institution. 10 years of Independent Sheffield, eh? Hasn’t time flown! How will you be celebrating this milestone? Mad isn’t it?! We’re thinking a big giveaway on social media to win some freebies from local independent businesses, maybe a treasure hunt of some sort, which will involve people visiting venues to win something, and potentially an event to mark the occasion! We would love to host an Independent Sheffield festival with lots of indie street food traders and other stalls. Give us a follow on socials for updates on what we do! For those not in the know, could you tell us what you’re all about? Simply put, we’re on a mission to spotlight the lesser-known treasures and the best-kept secrets. Each place we feature has a story, a charm, and that distinct Sheffield spirit. It’s not just about discovering the next best eatery or that

hidden boutique. We’re all about celebrating what truly makes our city shine: local independent makers, shakers and creators. Those unique spots that make you feel right at home, just like a comforting Yorkshire brew on a brisk day. From delightful shops,

charming coffee houses and standout restaurants to the finest salons, lively bars and snazzy fitness studios – Sheffield has it all. And we’re doing our best to spread the word, so these gems shine brighter than the big corporate chains. We do this by sharing their inspiring stories on our website and socials. And with our Independent Sheffield card, you get the chance to enjoy exclusive discounts and offers city-wide. It’s a win-win: you save, and you support our local heroes. We get a different local artist to design the card each year and the talented Kid Acne designed our latest one! Personally, who are some of your favourite indie businesses in Sheff? Ooh that’s a toughie; there are SO many to choose from” At the moment I’m enjoying Bench, Orange Bird, Joro, Rafters, Guyshi, Roku, Hash

House, Hungry Buddha and the place that does handpulled noodles opposite One Four One bar on West Street - it doesn’t have an English name and looks rough ‘n’ ready, but those are the best kind of places! For coffee, I love Husk, Kilnfolk and Mow’s. Crumb is my fave bakery and Yee Kwan Ice Cream makes delicious East Asian flavours. I realise they are all food & drink, but that’s all I do (I’m also a food blogger on Instagram - @ theinsatiablefoodie). Oh, and Annie Jude’s is a lovely little gift shop in Hillsborough full of small business talent. What offers would you say are your most popular at the moment? I reckon the 10% off Pom Kitchen gets used a fair bit, 10% off Grazie is also a good’un. You can also get 20% off games at Clubhouse, 10% off Lovely Rita’s Bakehouse, 10% off Oisoi, 15% off Barrowboy, Buy One Get One Free comedy nights at The Leadmill and loads more. There are almost a hundred venues listed so far and the card will last you an entire year! What are your hopes and aims for the future? As mentioned, I would love to organise an Independent Sheffield festival amongst other fun events. We want to add more content to the website, get lots more indie businesses on board, build an app, grow our following and generally just get everybody talking about us! Cheers to 10 more years! Find out more and sign up for a card at @indpndntshef


IRISH YOU WERE HERE Irish tavern chain Katie O’Brien’s have been teasing their new Sheffield opening at the end of February across social media, priding themselves on “live music, sports and great craic”. The chain aims to recreate the setting of a traditional Irish pub and is set to operate out of Mappin Street in the heart of the city centre, just a stone’s throw away from other busy bars and pubs on West Street. Its premises used to be occupied by popular bar and restaurant Revolution de Cuba from 2019 until they closed their doors earlier this month on 5th January. The well-established Irish Tavern chain already has pubs in Newcastle, Durham and Leicester that opened last summer and is set to open another in Birmingham soon. A post on their Sheffield venue Instagram account said: “We are so excited to to share that Katie's Irish Tavern will be coming to Sheffield... Who's excited for some first-class live music?" These taverns often host as many as three live performers a night in addition to showing all of the important sporting events for customers. They will be serving up a variety of pints, spirits and cocktails, promising the people of Sheffield on their Instagram, “only the best Guinness when we open our doors to you”. Potential customers have the chance to grab a free pint of Guinness as Katie O’Brien’s pledge to give away their first 300 pints of Guinness to email subscribers via their website: www. You can follow the latest news and updates on socials @ katieobrienssheffield


THE SPICE IS RIGHT Authentic purveyors of Park Hillbased Punjabi cuisine, 5Tara, have announced exciting plans for a new restaurant on the edge of Kelham Island, due to open this spring. There’s no need for fans of the Duke Street 5Tara to panic, though, as the OG restaurant will continue to cook up authentic Indian dishes in S2, if not with a slight change of emphasis towards Indian street food. The tweak is necessary as their current award-winning operation consists mainly of husband and wife team Amanpreet Bawa (front of house) and Shivangi Kheironiyan (head chef). In order for Shivangi to head up the new venture in Kelham, which will be housed in the former home of vegan restaurant and delivery service Dishi, Aman, who is a chef in his own right, is taking on the cooking reins over at Duke Street. He told Exposed: “Shivangi will head up Kelham because we can’t be everywhere, but the style won’t change because I don’t think I can improve what she’s already done. “Everybody has a different style of cooking, but the style that we adopted here people are loving. Rather than put my personal touch on it, I will follow what’s already working, that’s the intelligent move. “I’m a chef as well, and I love making street food. I previously worked in a street food restaurant, so we’ll be making Duke Street an Indian Street food joint on a bigger scale than it is already. “Kelham will offer more starters and

main courses. We want to show people how starters are different from street food – they’re not the same thing. “We’ll also be doing more vegan and gluten free dishes, while keeping our classic meat dishes -especially our lamb curry, which comes from our 101-yearold recipe. People say it’s the best lamb curry in Sheffield, and I can’t deny it.” There will also be new additions and seasonal changes to the menu, and Aman tells us that both venues will offer tweaks to how the food is served, while retaining that original ethos of beautiful, home cooked, authentic Indian food. He said: “Our excitement is not just for Kelham, it’s for both places, as we’ll be creating new menus in both. “We’ll be changing how the food is served, using classic thali and tiffin, as well as tweaking how the food looks, but keeping this in mind – we will still be serving home cooked food.” Aman tells us the feel and décor of the new place will invoke ‘vintage Indian’, heavily inspired by old Delhi cuisine that offers a nostalgic experience for guests. Much like Duke Street, where they display artworks by Joules Rain, the Kelham interior will also be used to promote local artists. “We want 5Tara to be a combination of something that can excite people, something that will educate people and something that will give a nostalgic feel.” The new 5Tara restaurant is scheduled to open in spring 2024. Follow their journey on Instagram @5tara_sheffield.


A BREW-TIFUL BIRTHDAY Last month, much-loved Division Street coffee shop Steam Yard marked ten years in the game with a week-long series of events and giveaways. The birthday festivities commenced on 14th Jan and continued throughout the week with free coffee, Kronuts, brownie bites, a big competition giveaway, surprise giveaways and commemorative merchandise by Sheffield Artist Tom J Newell all on offer. Steam Yard founders Matt Cottrill and Nick Pears took the opportunity to express their gratitude to friends, family, staff, suppliers, and customers who have been integral to the coffee shop’s success over the past 10 years. Matt told Exposed: “I can’t believe it’s been 10 years! We didn’t open Steam Yard with a grand plan; it was kind of a happy accident of things just coming together and it all somehow just worked out.

“I know for a fact we wouldn’t have survived if it wasn’t for our friendship and passion for what we do. Regardless of what happens in the turbulent future and life Steam Yard has created something so very special with myself, our friends, family and everyone who’s visited us. Thank you for your support, honestly, it means more than you will ever know.” Steam Yard has garnered widespread recognition and accolades over its decade-long life, featuring in prestigious lists such as The Sunday Times ‘Top 25 Coffee Shops in Britain’, The Telegraph’s ‘30 Best Places for Brunch’, The Observer’s ‘Best Cheap Eats’, Refinery29, Shortlist Magazine, and many more. It also boasts the prestigious title of the most Instagrammed coffee shop in the UK and continues to be a trailblazer in the national coffee scene. @steamyard

GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO BAKE Following the success of the Pearl at Park Hill, the team behind Bench are opening a bakery and wine bar this month. Award-winning bartender Jack Wakelin and chef Ronnie Aronica are joined by house baker Dan Ward at Bench la Cave, where they will be serving up Dan’s house sourdough, plus a selection of sweet treats, sandwiches and provisions. In the early evening the venue will evolve into a wine bar, stocking wines made popular at their Nether Edge restaurant, a range of natural wines by the glass to drink in or by the bottle to takeaway and craft beers. The kitchen is set to serve up a short food menu inspired by the team’s favourite Parisian wine bars. “Three weeks into Bench’s life, we were forced to close for lockdown and pivoted

from a restaurant to a ‘deli – bottle shop’ (didn’t we all?). At the deli, we served Dan’s sourdough, cheese, charcuterie and tarts; the bottle shop sold natural wine, bottled cocktails,

craft beers, and started a natural wine subscription which still runs to this day. This gave us a real good trial run, and it’s something we’ve wanted to bring back since.”

Jack and Ronnie recently opened the The Pearl at Park Hill in September 2023, the first bar to open at Park Hill since the closure of the four original estate pubs. “We love how welcoming the community at Park Hill has made us feel at the Pearl and we couldn’t be more excited to bring ‘Bench la Cave’ to this special place,” Jack said. “We’ve found ourselves part of the fabric (or concrete!) of the place already.” Chef Ronnie Aronica said of the opening: “We’ve always been fans of Dan’s bread. We served it at our very first pop ups and when we opened Bench we knew the quality and care that it’s made with would make it a signature of the restaurant, and so it has proved to be.

Bench la Cave opens on February 9th at 10am. Check their socials @benchlacave for more deets.


Turkish Delight

After impressively transforming a former Abbeydale Road supermarket into a swish Turkish bar and grill, Mavi Ruya has fast become one of the city’s busiest restaurants, so we headed down to catch up with owner Mr Ismail to discuss the restaurants rise to prominence… Settling down on the ground floor of the restaurant, below an ornate chandelier imported from Turkey, at a table nestled beside the large floor-toceiling windows, you can’t help but be impressed by the beautiful job Mavi Ruya’s owners have done reimagining the space; It’s certainly got the wow factor. Now set over two floors, it’s hard to fathom that the space used to house a Morrisons. Everywhere you look there are meticulously thought out details and homages to the pre-Ottoman-era, Seljuk Empire patterns and furnishings of Turkey’s rich history. 32 | WWW.EXPOSEDMAGAZINE.CO.UK

Explaining the choice of décor, Mr Ismail, who has lived in Sheffield for over 20 years, tells us: “The Seljuk’s were famous for their interior design, so we wanted to use their patterns, but also to modernise them. “We planned it like this, and thought it would make it feel special, but we didn’t expect to hear from customers how much they loved the design, and how they felt like they were transported out of the UK! “We could have just painted the walls and put some tables in, but we know that when people come here to dine with us, they want to feel special, and we always want to show respect and hospitality to

our guests – even through the décor.” The extensive refurb split the restaurant into four main areas; a downstairs dining space with open kitchen and deli-style counter; an upstairs dining area and bar; an exquisitely fitted out private VIP dining room perfect for special occasions and meetings; and an extended outside patio that offers stunning views onto the River Sheaf in summer. “Changing the property was a challenge for us.” Says Ismail, “People said it’s not going to work so there were a lot of question marks, but we knew we wanted to make this building look like one of the best buildings in Sheffield, because it was one of the worst buildings on Abbeydale Road. We’re very proud of what we achieved.” Once the refurb was complete, the next goal for the restaurant was to change perceptions of Turkish food in Sheffield. He said: “Sheffield has always had highquality restaurants with good service, but when people think of a Turkish charcoal kitchen, they think of takeaways and kebab houses. “We’ve been doing this for a long time, so we wanted to change those perceptions and show people in Sheffield what a real Turkish kitchen, with fine dining and good atmosphere, is like.


“When we found this property, we thought this would be the best spot to do that, and we are very happy with how it worked out.” Ismail boasts 28-years’ experience in the restaurant industry, working in every section from pot wash, to chef, to restauranteur. When embarking on this journey, he knew he would need people he trusted around him, so he naturally gravitated towards family members, who also have many years of experience in hospitality between them. Ismail said: “Family is very important to me. The Turkish community are very close and family connections are important to us. When we do something, we want everyone to be involved, which also makes it easier for us. We are together, so let’s do business together too – it’s like a family gathering.” Ismail and his family hail from the South-East of Turkey, and their home region provides the inspiration for the restaurant’s grill-based menu. Being such a large country, each region of Turkey enjoys its own cuisine, and the South-East is famous for its charcoal cooking and mezes. Ismail tells us that Turkish people travel from as far away as Istanbul for a meal and a night out in South Eastern Anatolia. “Everybody in our region knows how

to marinate a kebab,” says Ismail, “They know how to get the meat from around to bone of the lamb and they know how to cook it. It’s the food we eat at home all the time. “At Mavi Ruya, we are trying to marry the traditional food that we would have at home with modern service and techniques. If you’re cooking a kebab, you can just put it in a takeaway box, but we think about how we can add things, about the marinating, the colour, the quality and then how it’s presented at the table with style. We’re elevating classic dishes. “We want it to be different. Sheffield is very supportive of local businesses, and we want to make sure Turkish cuisine is on the map in Sheffield.” The praise heaped on the food shows they have definitely achieved this goal and reflecting on what will be two years since they opened the doors this April, Ismail is very proud of what they’ve already achieved. “It’s been brilliant. 90 per cent of the people we know thought we were crazy. When we opened the doors, the hesitation and the doubt was gone. It was so busy. People were coming from all over Sheffield and beyond, and we didn’t have time to think about anything else.

“That was scary, in a way, because being so new, we were worried that we would make mistakes and give people a bad first impression, but people were so understanding. 85 per cent of our guests are now regulars. “Even now, we are still just as busy, and we often have to turn people away because we are fully booked, which shows we must be doing something right.” As they are so busy, particularly in the evenings, they are now looking to increase their daytime offering by adding new and different menu items to entice people to come for lunch, or to spend the afternoon drinking Turkish tea with friends. Ismail said: “We want to offer a place for people to come and have a light lunch, maybe some drinks, and have a chat with friends, at an affordable price. We want to bring people together and creating a meeting point for people. “Eventually, we want to open another restaurant in the near future. We are part of this city, we are Sheffield-family who are trying to serve the city. We weren’t born here, but more than half of our life has been spent here, so we want to expand in the city that we are proud of. “Hopefully, we will keep growing and we keep getting better.” @maviruyaturkish WWW.EXPOSEDMAGAZINE.CO.UK | 33

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all shows open to the public (14+ unless stated otherwise) tickets available from box office: 0114 222 8777

foundry, sheffield students’ union western bank, s10 2tg - @foundrysheffield

scan for tickets



10 years on from going to prison, Exposed reflects with RiteTrax founder Mike Thompson on the intervening journey that led him to establish a social enterprise providing a unique service for vulnerable adults in the community. The 10th of January 2014 is a date etched into the mind of RiteTrax founder and Plot 22 manager Mike Thompson, who on that day began a 14-month prison sentence for drug offences. For the University of Sheffield graduate, who had co-founded Artificial Constructs, a creative collective for the underground scene in the city, the experience spawned an intense period of self-reflection. He began exploring ways to use the contacts built up from a close association with the local party scene and build something positive. “Through my time in prison, I met a person called Jackie Hewitt-Main, who had set up an organisation called The Cascade Foundation which supported prisoners with learning difficulties,” Mike tells Exposed. “Since I had a degree, I was asked if I’d like to help teach other prisoners English. I spent half of my sentence doing that and found it really interesting and rewarding. I saw the difference it makes, and it got me thinking about creating something that supported people in the same sort of way but based more around music and my background.” After leaving prison, Mike spent some time volunteering with several organisations including the South Yorkshire Housing Association. Through this, he was introduced to the Nine One One Project, which provided accommodation and support to people dealing with substance and alcohol misuse, mental health problems or offending history. He began assisting on, then delivering, a weekly music session involving everything from listening and discussing music to lessons in basic DJing skills. These formative experiences were part of many which helped to inform 36 | WWW.EXPOSEDMAGAZINE.CO.UK

and lay the foundations for RiteTrax, a social enterprise set up by Mike and his long-time friend Adam Seymour in 2015. Two years later, alongside fellow directors Dalton Kershaw and Joe Vaughan, they self-funded the lease of a disused building in Castlegate, turning a former hair and nail salon into Plot 22, a proudly DIY venue which showcases some of the finest underground artists in the region and serves as a focal point for their work supporting vulnerable adults in Sheffield. Their community work today includes regular ‘music drop-in sessions’ where people in recovery can come to learn a range of skills including DJing, music production and live jamming. Funded by South Yorkshire Housing Association, particpants are then given the opportunity to showcase what they’ve learned at the ‘Sober Socials’, an alcoholfree event providing a social setting to engage positively with music and club culture. Over the years, the team

at RiteTrax have built up longstanding relationships with Sheffield-based drugs and alcohol support services and a key part of their offerings sees them regularly visit projects across the city where they provide music-based sessions to attendees. “The sessions themselves are quite responsive to the people that come along,” explains Mike. “For example, someone might specifically say that they’d like to produce a drum and bass track, so we’ll provide the equipment and give one-to-one sessions on making that a reality. For others, it might be more of enjoying the social benefits of experiencing music in a group setting. And for some, it’s gone as far as providing a professional set-up at home and helping to get them DJ gigs around the town. We’ve seen first-hand how it can be a genuinely life-changing experience.” As well as their projects supporting vulnerable adults in the community, they’ve also worked closely with young person’s charity The Prince’s Trust, who provided the support to help bring RiteTrax to life, with both Michael and Adam going on to volunteer as ‘Young Ambassadors’ in the earlier stage of their journey. To go full circle, last year saw the launch of a ‘Get Started with Music Production’ course, which has seen dozens of unemployed or low working hours young people working with experienced producers to create six original tracks at Plot 22. Whether it involves building confidence, providing a non-judgmental space for relaxation or connecting isolated individuals with a sense of community, the positive feedback and change witnessed first-hand has Mike and the team more determined than ever to plough forward with their impactful initiatives. “We want to continue that provision,” says Mike. “We’ve reached, I’d say, over 100 core individuals with the recovery project now. Many people who suffer with drug and alcohol issues or mental health problems feel isolated and don’t engage with some of the services offered at all. We feel like we’re plugging a gap here, and we want to maintain that, to continue engaging with these people so that they don’t feel so alienated.” The final ‘Sober Social’ events of this project run up to the end of March 2024, taking place on the last Friday of the month from 6pm-10pm. To find out more about what RiteTrax do, follow them on socials via @ritetrax and @plot22sheffield.




Following an extensive refurb which includes a new dancefloor, soundsystem and beer garden (not to mention a revamped drinks menu), The Hallamshire Hotel will relaunch this month with DJs and live music across two floors. “We are thrilled to unveil the exciting changes that we hope will redefine nightlife and live music on West Street and beyond,” Will McMahon, Operations Manager of The Hallamshire Hotel, told Exposed. “Our vision was to create an atmosphere and environment that Sheffield has never seen before, and we can’t wait to show off what we’ve come up with.” After spending years largely unused, the upstairs area has been transformed into a music hall sporting a new stage and sound system. This will be ready for the likes of Hot Soles, Midnight Rodeo and Juke to strut their stuff on Friday 2 Feb, followed by The Bowie Contingent and The Voltz on Saturday 3 Feb. Downstairs is decked out in a truly distinctive aesthetic that we’re told “could have fallen right out of Stanley Kubrick’s head”. If that’s not intriguing enough for you, it’s also been mentioned that Sheffield hasn’t seen such a unique dancefloor in years (unless you’re old enough to remember Stardust!). With a storied musical past hosting some of the city’s finest alternative acts, including the likes of Pulp, Richard

Hawley and countless new wave and punk acts during the 80s, returning the venue back to its former glory was something the team took very seriously. “With the musical history this venue has, there’s a huge pressure to get this right,” said Will. “We’ve had fantastic interest from both national and local promoters and the gig calendar is starting to fill up, so we’re really looking forward to showcasing some top acts.” Getting prepped for the incoming warmer months, The Hallamshire Hotel will also sport a revamped beer garden. Expect a covered and heated seating area which will invite guests to relax outside, rain or shine, all year round.

Bookings for the venue’s live room are now open, with free hire available for gig slots in February, March and April. For more information and enquiries, email Get the latest updates by following The Hallamshire Hotel on socials: @hallamshire_hotel and hallamshirehotel. 182 West Street, S1 4ET. Tel:0114 270 6264



The fourth edition of music, art and beer festival hybrid Get Together is back on 18 May and will showcase over 50 artists, headlined by the irrepressible CMAT.

​ ollowing an outstanding performance at F Get Together in 2023, CMAT has soared to new heights of success over the last year. With her second chart-topping album securing the number-one spot in Ireland, CMAT has firmly established herself as one to watch for 2024. Also joining the line-up is Welsh indie icon and Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys! Gruff will be debuting music from his latest record ‘Sadness Sets Me Free’ which is released on 26th Jan, along with fan favourites from his vast and wildly creative back catalogue of solo albums. The festival’s wide-ranging line-up also includes artists such as The Bug Club, Porij, Liz Lawrence, Miso Extra, Picture Parlour, Maruja, Sailor Honeymoon and many more. For the second year, Get Together will take over warehouses, breweries and unconventional spaces in Kelham Island and Neepsend. Festival organiser Kieran Crosby told Exposed: “We’ve finally settled in our home. Last year was a perfect day of sun, music, friends, and good vibes, and we’re ready to do it all again! ​We put a lot of time and effort into getting together as many people doing new and interesting things and we know you’ll have a brilliant day. See you in May!” Beyond music, Get Together continues to bring together the very best in independent food and drink. One of the city’s most loved food markets, Peddler, will once again be curating a selection of the

best street food available in the country. And beer lovers should get ready to embark on an exciting adventure with ‘The Kelham Beer Mile.’ This unique beer trail has been curated with Purity Brewing Co. and Kelham Island Brewery and promises to be a journey through one of Sheffield’s coolest neighbourhoods, offering a taste of the city’s thriving craft beer scene. Expect amazing beers, tap takeovers and an impressive selection of local craft beer. Following the unique art experience created for the festival by Corbin Shaw

last year, Get Together has announced its second artist in residence for 2024 will be Conor Rogers. Conor is an award-winning Sheffield-based artist whose work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally (not to mention, gracing our cover back in 2021). This inaugural announcement is only the start of Get Together’s 2024 full line-up, with the promise of more to be added, including secret sets and surprises on the day.

Tickets for Get Together (£38-£46) are on sale now and available from



A DIY GUY Over a coffee in the Exposed office on a chilly January afternoon, Daz Cadwallander is hoping that his debut Leadmill show in February is “going to be fireworks.”


The Sheffield-based singer/ songwriter from Bolton-UponDearne has turned plenty of heads with his distinctive brand of punchy indie rock. Ahead of the big gig, the artist arrived at HQ with a small film team in tow who were filming a mini-documentary on the DIY musician’s exploits. We delved into why 2024 is shaping up to be a big one for this young man… Growing up in a small village on the outskirts of South Yorkshire, what kickstarted your love for music? I’ve always loved music – all types of music. I grew up listening to a mixture of 60s and 90s and everything in between. Bands like Fleetwood Mac, the Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull and Wishbone Ash. Then I got into all the 90s stuff like The Verve, Oasis, Stone Roses and The Smiths. I went through a massive Smiths stage, which I think almost everyone does. After loving those types of bands, it developed into picking up the guitar and trying it myself. That was when I was 15, and I didn’t start singing until I was 17. 42 | WWW.EXPOSEDMAGAZINE.CO.UK

With those influences in mind, how would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it before? I’m a songwriter first and foremost, but the sound is probably indie rock. I’ve got a lot of songs in the catalogue that I haven’t released yet, and they are more rocky. There is also an acoustic, stripped-down style of songwriting. So I’d say indie rock; some of them are more like rocky sort of 60s sound. It’s a bit of a mixture. You write your own songs. Where do you get your inspiration from, and is it scary to write something that is so personal? A little bit, but I heard Noel Gallagher explain this once, and I thought it was bang on the money in terms of how it is. It could be a personal song, but if everyone else relates to it, then it’s more of a generic thing. I think everyone goes through things in life, or sometimes when it happens to you, you just think you’re on your own. With a song out there, people can relate to it in their own way, and it’s better like that. You have been performing in venues since 2018. Do you remember your first ever gig? I do, actually; the gig was at the place that’s recently shut down, unfortunately, called Opium in Barnsley. And I played to maybe twenty people, I think, which was good. I was absolutely buzzing with that. The initial thing was always me as a solo artist playing acoustic guitar. I’ve now developed gigs with a live band that will play with me. What kind of struggles and benefits come along with being an independent artist? For me, you can be a DIY. We’re building the fan base, we can get music videos done and we can market ourselves alright. And I’d like to think we’re doing OK with that. It’s more about the festivals. A lot of people – unless you get to The Reytons stage, where you’re independent and can’t be ignored – they deal


with booking agents. That is something I found more difficult to get into the mainstream festival slots. But it’s something I’m working towards. Because you get to a point where, you know, all you need is someone to give you an opportunity, and if you believe that you’re going to do something decent, they’ll give you a shot. The benefits? More money. Being independent is more streamlined; it’s more off your back, and you can do as you please as an artist. I’m not saying labels and things don’t give you that platform, but you just see what’s best for yourself. Headlining The Leadmill is an amazing achievement. How excited are you for this show? I’ve never been as excited for anything, actually. I know it sounds awful. But if that’s your dream and you love music, that’s your passion. I’ve driven past The Leadmill thousands of times, and the 02 when I played there. The 02 was the best-ever gig that I’ve played so far. I am very excited.

of 2024! What’s on the agenda for the rest of the year? Yes, so I recorded my first track last week in London. That’ll be out in the coming months. I’ll announce that on social media soon. Then I’m looking to release my first debut EP, which will probably have six or seven tracks, in the summertime. And from then on, a mini-tour, probably in November. The dream gig after that is to play Sheffield City Hall in 2025. That’s the plan. So yeah, it’s a busy year ahead. Finally, what can we expect from The Leadmill show? Oh, good question. I like to think it’d be one of those ‘I wish I was there’ moments or ‘I remember being there’ moments, changing people’s dynamics to see me as an artist and people wanting to get involved in my journey. I can’t wait. Daz Cadwallander plays the Leadmill on 3 Feb. Tickets (£12) and more info available from leadmill.

WIN X2 TICKETS TO SEE ANDRÉ RIEU André Rieu, world-renowned Dutch violinist and conductor, is set to captivate audiences across the United Kingdom and Ireland with a mesmerizing concert tour in 2024. With eight unforgettable performances including a show at the Utilita Arena Sheffield on Friday 19 April 2024. Audiences can expect to be transported into a world of enchanting melodies and breathtaking performances as André Rieu leads his wonderful Johann Strauss Orchestram chorus and many international soloists in a repertoire that spans classical masterpieces, waltzes, show tunes, and more. Known for his charismatic stage presence, André Rieu’s concerts are renowned for their joyful atmosphere and audience engagement. A special guest for this tour is 15 -year-old Emma Kok, who has already wowed millions of people around the world and gone viral with her rendition of the song Voilà.


And this is just the beginning WWW.EXPOSEDMAGAZINE.CO.UK | 43



Sheffield-based neo-pop purveyor abs reflects on her musical journey so far…

THE FIRST RECORD I BOUGHT I think it was Busted’s self-titled album – an absolute banger. I was singing ‘Sleeping With the Light On’ at the top of my lungs like I had relationship issues at nine years old. MY FIRST GIG My first gig was when I saw Pixie Lott turn on the Christmas lights in Bristol. She did a full acoustic set, though, which didn’t really get the crowd hype I was expecting. THE FIRST SONG I PERFORMED I think the first one was when I sung ‘Away in a Manger’ at a primary school service, and I got my first solo! A SONG I WISH I’D WROTEE ‘Bad Blood’ by NAO. I am obsessed with the production, the drop and the almost heavy instrumentation paired with NAO’s silky voice. It is *chef ’s kiss*. I FIRST FELL IN LOVE WITH MUSIC WHEN I was one year old. My grandma told me I used to sing to her in the pram. I’m honestly very blessed to have had the same dream and passion for as long as I can remember, and I don’t take that privilege for granted. A SONG I CAN’T GET OUT OF MY HEAD AT THE MINUTE ‘Erase Me’ by Lizzy McAlpine and Jacob Collier. There’s a bit where her voice almost growls and distorts in the production in the bridge, and it makes me melt it’s that good.

A RECORD WHICH REMINDS ME OF A SPECIFIC TIME AND PLACE 24k Magic by Bruno Mars. Me and my best friends from Bristol would listen to that album before every exam when we were doing our A Levels and when we were revising. If you put us together now, we could recite that album back to front with all the ad libs. Oh, and Bruno, if you’re reading this, thanks for helping me pass my A Levels!


to bring joy and provide a voice for other people; it allows me to strengthen my self-belief and ambition. It allows me to be a better version of me. @absmusic

abs is heading out on a UK tour, stopping on 17 Feb at The Dorothy Pax. Tickets are £6 from or £10 OTD.



Leadmill // 15 February // £22 After announcing their split in 2016, the Oxford folk band Stornoway are returning to the stage in full force, with their biggest UK headline in 7 years. Following their release of their forth album, the band are repaying a visit to Leadmill this February.


TRAMLINES 2024: APPLY TO PLAY! Applications are now open for Apply To Play, the annual talent scheme hosted by Tramlines Festival, which offers local and upcoming artists paid-for opportunities to play at the event, taking place from 26-28th July at Hillsborough Park. Winner of the 2023 UK Festival Award for ‘Best Festival for Emerging Talent’, this regular feature at Tramlines has helped dozens of grassroots artists gain a foothold in the competitive live music industry with the Tramlines team dedicated to nurturing next generation talent and offering careerkick starting prizes. Here at Exposed, our links with the festival have always been strong and this year we’ve been asked to join the Apply To Play judging panel, selecting finalists alongside Amazing Radio (Shell Zenner), This Feeling, BBC Introducing, Rock Revival, Waterbear Music College, and The Sarah Nulty Power of Music Foundation. The overall winner will be picked by John Kennedy, guru of new music and host of Radio X. Tramlines has partnered up with some brilliant brands and festivals to offer all finalists a special prize, plus an incredible package is up for grabs for one very lucky Winner. The 2024 winner of Apply to Play will receive a paid performance slot at Tramlines Festival 2024 and the opportunity to perform at Truck (Oxfordshire), Y Not (Derbyshire) and Victorious Festival (Portsmouth).

The winner will also receive industry support from John Kennedy (Radio X), media interviews with yours truly, Amazing Radio, Rock Revival, £500 worth of studio time at Pirate Studios and a performance opportunity at the ‘This Feeling’ Industry Showcase. All finalists will receive a paid slot at Tramlines and £100 credit at Pirate Studios. Apply to Play 2023 winners, Harri Larkin, had a huge boost to the band’s fortunes following their Tramlines success. They said, “Winning the Tramlines competition has given us a massive career boost in and outside of Sheffield, headlining a stage at Tramlines is a great talking point when applying for gigs. “We made loads of contacts off the back of our summer of festivals. Part of the prize was the opportunity to play a showcase for ‘This Feeling’ in London. We brought our A game and ended up being one of their “Big in 2024” picks leading to further festival and showcase opportunities in 2024”. Any band or artist who would like to apply for 2024 has until 5pm Sunday 10th March to apply via the Tramlines website

Leadmill // 19 February // £14 The Liverpool band have been describe as a combination of genres, from post-punk, indie rock and hyper pop, but primarily they represent an art-punk band. Their tongue-in-cheek sound will be gracing Sheffield with their biggest headline show in the steel city.


Octagon Centre // 8 February // £35 Popular alternative-rock Bombay Bicycle Club promises fans an ‘electrifying show’ in Sheffield. Expect their usual indie delight, with beloved releases returning to the stage and songs from their newest (sixth) studio album. Whether you’re a loyal fan, or a newcomer, the show is said to be enjoyed by all.


Octagon Centre // 19 February// £32.50 Back with their contagious and catchy sound, The Vaccines will be performing centre stage. Their first album was released in 2011 (What did you expect?) and since then they have provided us with intoxicating anthems. ‘Memorable experience and an unforgettable night of live music’ is on the cards for this upcoming performance.


Network // 17th February // £25.80 Following their successful festival performances across the globe, Mother Mother begin their 30 date European tour in Sheffield. With certified Gold and Platinum singles in the US and Canda with over 6.6 billion global streams, the indie rock band with their synth sound go back in time to their roots with their new release.




From the iconic performances by Nirvana and Oasis that resonated through the 90s to upcoming shows featuring acclaimed acts like Bombay Bicycle Club and The Vaccines in 2024, The Octagon has consistently curated top-tier talent for Sheffield over the decades. Following the closure of Sheffield’s O2 Academy in September last year, an opportunity presented itself for a mid-sized live venue to step forward and fill the gap. In response, the Octagon’s dedicated team, who also run the University Drama Studio and Firth Hall, enthusiastically embraced the opportunity. This past festive period alone, they hosted the thunderous sounds of Steel City metalcore icons While She Sleeps, the timeless Britpop charm of The Charlatans and the cult indie sounds of Little Man Tate. Throw in big shows for Ocean Colour Scene, Everly Pregnant Brothers and The Sheffield Beatles Project and it all made for a hugely exciting end to the year! “We want to cement ourselves as the go-to place for medium to large-sized gigs in Sheffield,” says Maisie Burns, Marketing and Audience Development Officer at Sheffield Performance Venues. “It’s a very unique, very Sheffieldcentric venue in the centre of the 48 | WWW.EXPOSEDMAGAZINE.CO.UK


You might spy on this page a few tidbits illustrating The Octagon’s illustrious pase when it comes to live music. Alongside some memorable ticket stubs, you’ll see archive photos of Nirvana playing in 1991 (including a setlist written by Dave Grohl that sold for £4,000 at auction!) and a Motorhead logo allegedly placed there by Lemmy himself!

city and we’re really going to put a marker down in 2024.” That marker in question has seen the 1800-capacity venue announce a series of big-name shows over the next month, including Bombay Bicycle Club (8 Feb), The Vaccines (19 Feb), The Gaslight Anthem (21 Mar), Declan McKenna (29 Mar), Happy Mondays (10 Apr) and Tom Walker (20 Apr). Interspersed amongst the gigs, there’ll also be the usual mix of local events popping up at the multi-purpose space such as Festival of the Mind, Off the Shelf and Sensoria Festival. We’ve even been told that there’s more yet to come, with a fresh slew of live music announcements planned for the second half of the year. “The events office is working away on getting plenty more exciting shows signed off,” adds Maisie. “There’s nothing quite confirmed yet, but we’re confident there’ll be more impressive gigs to add to the calendar.” She continues: “Sheffield can

often get overlooked for big touring gigs, that will instead go to Manchester or Leeds, and we want to make sure that doesn’t happen anymore. I’d just say take a look at what we’ve got on now – and keep an eye out for further announcements!” Event dates and ticket links for 2024 are now live at

Sheffield, meet

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Ready… Set…

Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF) is currently preparing for its 18th year of adrenaline-pumping cinematic experiences. With a fresh date of 15-16 March, ShAFF, in collaboration with Rab and Visit Sheffield, has chosen the iconic Sheffield Cathedral as the location to this year’s festivities. The popular festival, known for its celebration of human spirit and the great outdoors, is now gearing up for another extraordinary edition. With another hand-picked film programme, ShAFF promises to deliver a memorable experience with a lineup that includes: • 7 Beloved Film Sessions: Featuring the crème de la crème of adventure films from the past year, each session promises to be a journey in itself, taking the audience through awe-inspiring landscapes and thrilling exploits.

• Engaging Panel Talks: A diverse range of panel discussions will add depth to the cinematic adventure, offering insights and perspectives from the world of adventure sports and filmmaking. • Immersive Adventure Bites Loop: For the adventure enthusiasts, a full-day screening of an immersive Adventure Bites loop awaits in the Crypt. • Patagonia Worn Wear Crew: This crew will be on hand to provide free repairs for well-loved outdoor clothing, encouraging sustainable practices. • Sunshine Pizza Oven: Culinary delights will be served fresh from the Sheffield street food faves. • Alpkit Kit Swap: The ever-popular kit swap makes a return, offering a hub for outdoor enthusiasts to exchange and discover new gear. • Live Choral Music: Adding a melodic touch, choral music will be performed live by Sheffield Cathdral’s choristers. • Exhibitors on the Forecourt: A selection of stands will grace the forecourt, providing festival-goers with an opportunity to explore and engage with outdoor brands and adventure organisations. This exciting lineup is just the tip of the iceberg, with more surprises and announcements yet to be unveiled! Keep an eye on socials (@ sheffieldadventure) for more! Details and ticket information are available on the festival’s official website, www.shaff.




Step into the spotlight and experience the thrill of Gameshow All-Stars, Sheffield’s newest and most exciting activity bar, nestled in the heart of the city; Gameshow All-Stars promises an unforgettable experience that combines entertainment, competition, and camaraderie.




Over the years, Sheffield has excelled in hosting film festivals, with notable occasions such as DocFest, Sensoria’s annual film-focused programme and thriving horror extravaganza Celluloid Screams becoming staples on the events calendar. Soon to be joining this esteemed list will be the Females/Films/ Screens festival, or FFStival, an international film festival celebrating women in cinema and scheduled to take place at The Showroom this November. Mark Perkins spoke with festival directors Melanie Gourlay and Dr. Diane Rogers to delve into the inspirations behind this event. 54 | WWW.EXPOSEDMAGAZINE.CO.UK

What led you to setting up FFStival? Mel: I have been involved in film festivals before, and I’ve done some programming too, so I’ve had some experience. I’ve also been making films myself for about 16 years. I’ve just made my first feature film, which was an incredible experience, and I’m now making my second. They’re all horror, because that’s my thing, and this one is actually a horror musical. As a filmmaker, I’m very aware that there just don’t seem to be enough opportunities for women in filmmaking and, maybe I’d had too much wine, but one night I just messaged Diane with the idea for a women’s film festival, and she said yes. Diane: That’s right. I think Mel’s message came at just the right time, and I agree with her that it’s so disheartening that still today there is such a lack of opportunities within the film industry for women – behind the camera, behind the scenes, not just making films but promoting them, or being represented adequately in them. I was always film-obsessed and wanted to make films, and I studied film in my first degree. Now I teach film and media at Sheffield Hallam. I have a lot of students who make films and animations, and it’s noticeable how on the courses female students find themselves outnumbered. Even the staff are disproportionately male. I mean, what’s going on? It’s 2023! We thought if we can do this tiny thing to address this imbalance, it would be a good thing.

Mel: Once we had that initial conversation, it felt like we didn’t really have a choice. This film festival is not really something we feel like we must do; it feels more like something we can’t not do. The festival is intersectional, with a genuinely diverse outlook, aimed at female-presenting and non-binary people, avoiding a restrictive definition of women, which seems increasingly important in this day and age. We opened submissions on 1st of November and it closes 31st of May. We’ve already had 30 films submitted, and it’s free to submit this year as we wanted to prove our worth. I’m now starting to work my way through them, giving my take on each. Diane and another friend are helping us, and there will be a panel of people to keep it fair. Diane: After the initial sift, there’s going to be a selection panel who will be a mixture of academics, industry people and people who work in women’s support. On the actual day of the festival there will be a jury, so we can hopefully award prizes for best feature and best short. Also, we’ll soon be launching our one-minute film competition on this year’s festival theme, rebellion. We hope to target this towards students, as we’re keen to get people who haven’t made films before, with no track record, encouraging them to have a go. Mel: It’s something I feel really strongly about. I hear people say, “I’d love to make a film, but I’m not good enough.” How do you know? You’ll only get good at

making films by actually making one, then keep on getting better. We want to have a safe space and a platform for femaleidentifying and non-binary people, with a networking vibe running through the whole thing. We’re trying to not make filmmaking so scary. What’s the worst that can happen? You might fail, but you might create something amazing. Sounds incredible. How can people get involved? Diane: If anyone’s interested in becoming involved with the festival, volunteering, or just finding out more about the FFStival, do get in touch. There are details about what kind of film we’re looking for on the website. We’ve used the F-rating classification, which is becoming increasingly common. It rates to what extent films are promoting the work of women. To meet that rating, films must be written, directed or produced by women, and we’re using that as a benchmark, so that we’re then able to discuss the F-rating of any film that we’re considering. Sheffield has a long history with hosting great film events, and this feels like the perfect addition? Mel: We feel Sheffield is an ideal place to do something like this. Through getting together with lots of interested and sympathetic people we find Sheffield has what we call a ‘creative realm’, where everybody’s up for helping out

each other. There is a real feeling of everyone supporting each other, with none of the rivalry you seem to get in other northern towns and cities.

WHAT IS THE F-RATING? Find out more here:

Diane: We really love the way DocFest and Sensoria have developed the networking side of filmmaking and it will be great if we can do that too, specifically for women. Hopefully people will find themselves in a room full of friendly, encouraging and supportive people who might possibly give them their next step on the road to filmmaking. Or maybe they’ll just have a lovely day. We want to enable women, especially young women, to try out something for the first time, as I know it can be very intimidating when everything is so dominated by men. Mel: The opportunities really are there for everyone these days, thanks to new technology. It’s almost as if you can’t not make a film these days! But thank goodness for digital, though, or I never would have started making films. I once made a film with my iPhone, and it was one of the best things I’d ever done!


FFStival is due to run on 23rd November 2024. Submissions are open and volunteering opportunities available now. @ffsshef //


Kick of your New Year the right way with your faves at HERD Check out our new vendors: ARLO’s – Coffee, Cakes, Sarnies & Pastries Dough Bros – Woodfired Pizzas Plus “NEW MAIN FOOD MENU LAUNCHING THIS MONTH”






This month is LGBT+ History Month, so we have a packed lineup of queer events in Sheffield where we can learn about and celebrate our histories and communities. The LGBTQ+ youth charity SAYIT have plenty going on and will be hosting a range of events throughout the month which I’ll be taking you through (have a closer look at Over at Weston Park Museum, we have The Surprising and Subversive History of the Drag King (Tue 6 Feb), an exhibition looking at the popularity of drag kings in the UK and in the US, the similarities and differences between the British kings and those who performed in America, and the resurgence of drag kings today. Also at the museum we have LGBTQ+ Artefacts: LGBTQ+ representation in the archives

(Tue 27 Feb) taking a insightful trip through the LGBTQ+ archives at Sheffield Museums and Sheffield Libraries. At their centre at Star House, we have “We need more than medicine” – The AIDS Crisis Then and Now on Tue 20 Feb, with panellist Steve Slack (former SAYiT CEO and Director of Sheffield’s Centre for HIV) talking about his experiences as the epidemic ravaged the LGBTQ+ community. Liz Wilson also returns to explain how her work in sexual health changed due to AIDS, alongside Dr Naomi Sutton discussing how the medical community worked to combat the virus, and where we are today: the advances in healthcare, who have benefited, who remains at risk, and why. You can join SAYIT online for the Working With LGBTQ+

Young People Forum (Thu 1 Feb) providing an update on current issues affecting LGBTQ+ communities and Counting Queers (Mon 5 Feb) looking at effective gender and sexuality data collection and monitoring. SAYiT will also be at Central Library for Section 28: Coming Out At School: 1988-2003 (Thu 1 Feb), where a panel of LGBTQ+ people will discuss how the Section 28 law blighted their school lives, and how they discovered community outside the school gates. My Mind On Paper: How We Found Ourselves in Queer Literature (Wed 21 Feb) will see LGBTQ+ writers and readers discussing which books, poems or scripts opened a whole new Queer world to us. Central Library will also be joining with DocFest for a

screening of Obscuro Barroco (Wed 7 Feb) – a documentaryfiction about the dizzying heights of gender and metamorphosis following the path of iconic trans figure Luana Muniz, plus a talk with award-winning poet Andrew McMillan (Thu 29 Feb) about his hotly anticipated debut novel, Pity, which explores masculinity, sexuality and post-industrial decline in South Yorkshire. Tune into Sheffield Live every Thursday for Diversity Fest Radio who will be marking History Month with a line-up of LGBTQ+ guests including musician Robyn Gair (Thu 1 Feb), trans rights campaigner Vicky Laylor (Thu 8 Feb) and yours truly, Heather Paterson (Thu 22 Feb). There’s live music at The Greystones courteousy of gifted pianist, singer, songwriter and composer Belinda O’Hooley (Fri 23 Feb) as part of her solo tour. And, of course, we have plenty of drag throughout the month! The legendary King Confuza heads to his new home at FORGE Warehouse for Cryptid Queers #7: Go Big Or Go Home! (Sat 17 Feb) with a lineup including Cadaverous Black, Manly Mannigton and Draven and two rooms of music with legendary DJs Kohl, Gillywoo and L8N providing an eclectic mix of contemporary and classic alternative genres each delivered with their signature style. Connie Dom is back at Crookes Social Club with her latest show, CONNIE: My Own Soulmate (Sat 17 Feb) and you can catch the iconic Bipolar Abdul at Sheffield Plate with Drag Me To Tuesdays Quiz and Bingo (Every Tuesday) – an unfiltered jokefest and most glam quiz in town. As ever, there will be drag aplenty at the Malin Bridge Inn who’s line up this month includes The Miss Bella End Show (Sat 10 Feb), Tanya Minge’s Drag Queen Bingo (Fri 16 Feb) and Sassy Saturdays with DJ Brooke (Sat 24 Feb). That’s your lot for this month! Make sure to check out the latest event announcements at sheffieldlgbtevents.




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If you are new to Sheffield, you may have noticed some rather peculiar paintings plastered over various buildings across the city. These weird and wonderful murals are both displayed in clear sight and hidden away in nooks and crannies, making Phlegm-hunting a popular pastime for art-loving residents. Phlegm (a former long-term Sheffield resident) is best known for his surreal monochrome illustrations. His artwork involves other-worldly characters embarking on their day-to-day lives and has been brought to life through street art murals. In earlier years, Phlegm shaped characters through his comics, and since then, he has expanded his artwork throughout numerous of far-flung places including Iceland and Canada. In 2019, the artist returned to the city in full force with his exhibition ‘Phlegm: Mausoleum of the Giants’. Colossal sculptures were displayed on Milton Street in the industrial-style building of Eye Witness Works. Local and international lovers of Phlegm’s work queued for hours in the miserable British weather, just to get a glimpse of the mythical giants. The exhibition was a huge success amongst spectators, leaving art enthusiasts craving more - and they will be happy to know that the wait is over! After moving to Sheffield a few years ago, I was unaware of Phlegm until now. The moment of discovery came from his new exhibition, located in the Millennium Galley (Arundel Gate), ‘Phlegm: Pandemic Diary’. The title of the exhibition is a huge giveaway of the content, but I still did not expect what was waiting on the other side of those glass doors. On arrival, some of the smaller models from the 2019 exhibition invite you in. Presented on the wall are over 60 drawings of Phlegm’s observations of mundane life in lockdown. The contrast from gigantic sculptures in ‘Phlegm: Mausoleum of the Giants’, to his latest work of minuscule illustrations 60 | WWW.EXPOSEDMAGAZINE.CO.UK

provides the same breathtaking effect. The pandemic for many seems like a lifetime ago; today I can’t imagine being trapped inside my home, and the memories of lockdown are close to non-existent. However, Pandemic Diaries opens up a reminder of what once was. Every piece leaves you reminiscing about events, such as the nation glued to their television waiting for the news, home workouts, or how nature started to return to their natural habitats. Thought-provoking, emotional and lighthearted seems to be the theme. Displayed are Phlegm’s individual encounters; however, the experience resonates globally and leaves you with a sense of compassion and gratefulness. Now that I’ve been introduced to beautifully surreal universe of Phlegm, I’ll be keeping my eyes open for further examples of his work around the Steel City. Pandemic Diaries is available to view at Millennium Gallery until July 2024




Graphic novels might have their own section in Waterstones these days, but this genre of long-form art has struggled to be taken seriously in the UK. Not so in the rest of the world: in France and Belgium they are referred to as the ‘Ninth Art’, and Manga Reading Cafes are everywhere in Japan. Mark Perkins, never one to shy away from declaring his devotion to the world of comics, has found someone in Sheffield who shares his passion. He sat down with Gabi Putnoki, who runs the Graphic Novel Reading Room events, about her mission to spread the love of graphic novel reading.

You’ve been running your Graphic Novel Reading Rooms for some time now. How did it all start? I came to Sheffield to escape London in September 2020, and I guess I had in my mind that I’d like to do something for the community, and this idea had been percolating in my head for quite some time. The timing wasn’t good though. Just as I was researching possible places to hold it, the ‘six-person’ rule came in. I ran a couple of private events with friends, just to tease out the concept, and then in late 2021 I finally got started with the first public Graphic Novel Reading Room. The Showroom gave me some free space initially, and then I moved to Sheffield Library. I’d displayed one of my posters at the Treehouse Boardgame Cafe, and Ruth, one of the owners, came along and then invited me to run an event there. They’ve created a very special place, and I was very pleased to be invited. The environment there is very much what I’m into. Colourful, calm, living plants, lighting and space; it works really well. I imagine you started reading comics when you were young? Yes, they were around when I was a child in Budapest. It was communist times; most of the comics were Hungarian comics, with a few translations, but no superhero stuff. Asterix was one of the ones I clearly remember. Then I forgot about them. When I was living in East London, there was a comic art festival, ELCAF, where I went in 2013 around the time 62 | WWW.EXPOSEDMAGAZINE.CO.UK

independent comics became more popular and mainstream. I picked up a bunch of my core collection there, and I’ve been adding to it ever since. I try to support the independent shops. I wanted to be a librarian as a kid, so I created my own library experience. I’ve been to the Hay Festival, which has a wonderful vibe: massive marquees and a space in the middle, with free deck chairs, where people can just sit around and read books. And then there are the bookshop cafes. I spent many an hour in Foyle’s bookshop upstairs reading. That experience of being able to read a book in one sitting – I just blended it all together when I was developing the idea of the Graphic Novel Reading Room. I suppose we should talk about how we define what makes something a graphic novel? Well, the whole term is so contested. If you go to the Sheffield Comic Fair, their

graphic novels are mainly floppies bound together in one anthology edition. I use the term graphic novel and comic interchangeably. If you talk to people who haven’t read them, comics have a certain connotation, mainly around kids and superheroes. The term ‘graphic’ leads some people to assume they are explicitly violent or sexual. These types of books exist, but that’s not what the term means. People don’t really understand, so it is tricky. In other countries it’s much more of a neutral term. It just describes what it is. So, they’ve tried all sorts of terms such as sequential storytelling or sequential art, but none of it has really caught on, and it’s why people like us need to spend time educating people about what they actually are. Comics have changed. They’ve moved on from superheroes, and there’s just so much more out there. The medium attracts a diverse group of artists, telling stories in so many ways so it attracts different groups of readers. I’ve been to several of your events, and the thing I appreciate the most is the atmosphere you create for people to just sit quietly and read. Since Covid, the more mainstream nature of neurodiversity has meant that if you’re in an environment where there’s a lot happening and a lot of stimulation, it’s a good idea to have a space like a quiet, breakout room where you can just sit and recharge There are three pillars to what I’m trying to create: introducing more people to more comics, collaborating with the comics industry providing a space for people to positively recharge, a space where people can just be, sitting and reading. It’s not just a specific kind of person, or age – it’s universal. Over half the people who come to the Reading Room events come on their own, which I think is quite special. There aren’t many social events where people feel at ease to go on their own, and be on their own. I like to think I’ve created the sort of space which is my happy place. Where do you see the future of the Reading Room? Ideally I’d like the collection to have a more permanent home, that’s not my living room. It is constantly growing, which means I need more space and have more boxes to carry around, so the natural next step would be for it to be based somewhere. I’m looking into semi-permanent or permanent ways of making it a bit more like the Boardgame Cafe, but instead a comics cafe. Anyone who has been to Japan will know how



The Nao of Brown by Glyn Dillon

Barking by Lucy Sullivan

A Frog in the Fall (and Later On) by Linnea Sterte

Giant Days by John Allison et al (set in Sheffield) Domu: The Dreams of

popular Manga Cafes are there, and also in Europe, but here, they don’t really exist. I currently run sessions for two schools at Sheffield University, for their staff and students. They use the event as a well-being space, that doesn’t involve drinking, and potentially people who are socially anxious, or single, or quiet can come. In the future I’d really like to get an invite into the literature and the art departments. There’s a comic art festival in Hungary which organises comic sessions which have live drawing to music and it would be wonderful to combine art forms that can be done in parallel. If there are organisations that are interested in hosting a Reading Room, I’d love people to get in touch.

Children by Katsuhiro Otomo

Head to www. graphicnovelreadingroom. com or follow @ graphicnovelreadingroom for news of upcoming events WWW.EXPOSEDMAGAZINE.CO.UK | 63


Available in

23g single, 50g Price Marked, and 85g Sharing bag


TRACING JOURNEYS Exploring seemingly disparate postcolonial experiences in Uganda, Palestine, and the UK, the impactful play Lines traces the journeys of prisoners across various eras and nations. It delves into the idea that their past, present and future may be more intertwined than one might initially assume. Actor and creator John Rwothomack shared additional insights with us ahead of the opening night at Sheffield Theatres this month. Lines explores the connection between five prisons in Uganda, Palestine and the UK over five decades. What motivated the choice of setting the play in these specific locations and time periods? The concept of Lines has developed over a series of conversations from before the pandemic across three time zones. It began with co-producer Alexandra Aron of US-based Remote Theater Project; Fidaa Zidan, a Palestinian actor and theatremaker; and myself, John Rwothomack, a Ugandan theatremaker and artistic director of Sheffield-based Roots Mbili Theatre. We were then joined by Junaid Sarieddeen of Zoukak

Theatre in Lebanon, who, in addition to directing the show, has also played a pivotal part in shaping the story. As I’m from Uganda, and Fidaa is Palestinian, the conversations naturally leaned towards a collaborative understanding of both countries’ cultures, politically and historically. Questions like ‘What are the cultural similarities and differences between Uganda and Palestine?’ and ‘How are mine and Fidaa’s lives different? What kind of games did we play as kids growing up? What happens at funerals and weddings? In answering these questions, the line of what makes Fidaa Palestinian and John Ugandan, then there are questions of what historically connects Palestine

and Uganda as two countries. What’s their colonial past? In these answers we discovered a new line, the line of Britain’s role in the fate of both countries as they are today. The title Lines seemed apt. Can you introduce us to some of the main characters and their respective stories in the play? As you enter, you are meeting Fidaa and John as real-life individuals – us, not the characters we play. This is the nucleus, if you like, of the play. Fidaa and John then become different characters through the five scenes in each decade. In the 70s, inspired by pictures we saw of Afro-Palestinian

society in Jerusalem in 2022, you meet Waswa and Dalal. Waswa, a Ugandan Law student on an internship at Tel Aviv University, ends up falling on love with Dalal, a Palestinian activist. We meet them when he’s been arrested and she’s come to visit. She has news. Then in the 90s, in the UK, Derrick, a Ugandan man, has doubts about whether living in the UK is the right thing for him. His daughter Gloria went to Palestine to join activism and whilst there made a friend, Layla. Layla has now come to visit Derrick in a UK prison, bringing a Palestinian Keffiyeh that once belonged to Gloria. In the 2000s, in a Ugandan →→ jail cell, we meet Arwa, a WWW.EXPOSEDMAGAZINE.CO.UK | 65



LYCEUM // 6-10 February // £15.50 - £45.50 Lyceum presents the return of much beloved comedy series in a new live stage performance. The original cast from the “razor-sharp, British humour” comedy - Globelink News are back. Expect new topical commentary from the world of 24 hours news.


PLAYHOUSE // 19 – 20 February // £14 -£16 In a journey to change the world, Family Business speaks out on nuclear weapons and why people are not discussing these issues today. Diplomats and activists are the key themes in their production and is said to leave you questioning the world we currently live in.


Palestinian teacher who has been accused of lesbianism with Angela. Angela has gone missing and her brother, Fred, a traditional conservative man, has come to pay Arwa a visit as he wants some answers. In today’s political climate, are themes exploring social and physical boundaries and the effects of colonialism more relevant than ever? Yes, absolutely! One of the main questions in the play is: what happens if we took colonialism out of the equation of history? On a global scale, who would be the superpower nations? Would there be such a thing as supe power nations? Would we have had more or fewer wars? Racism and global equality: what would that look like? On an individual level, well, firstly, I probably wouldn’t be writing this interview in English, never mind writing it at all as it’s very likely this play wouldn’t exist. The fact is, whether we like it or not, the existence and the history of colonialism affects all of both globally and on an individual level. One 66 | WWW.EXPOSEDMAGAZINE.CO.UK

of the common threads we discovered between Uganda and Palestine was the Uganda Scheme: a scheme engineered by the British Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain proposing a Jewish homeland in Uganda in 1903. A scheme like this could only have be thought of through a coloniser’s lens, with no regard whatsoever to how this would affect people’s lives. These decisions have affected people’s lives in the past, they affect us now, and will continue to do so tomorrow. Was exploring these themes more relevant than ever yesterday? Yes. Is it today? Yes. Will it be tomorrow? Absolutely, yes. Finally, what do you hope audiences will take away from Lines? I hope they get see and question themselves and what they would do in the shoes of some of the characters. Lines runs at the Playhouse from 28 Feb – 9 Mar. Tickets and more info available from

CRUCIBLE // 2 – 30 March // £15 - £37 Arthur Miller’s ‘timeless masterpiece’ The Crucible – a performance created on the events of the Salam Witch trials is coming to life in Sheffield this March. With a goal of self-preservation from a group of girls accused of witchcraft. Themes of Secrets, community and hysteria is expected in this performance.


THEATRE DELI // 8 February // £13.30 Described as ‘a whole lot of fun’, Claire Parry takes you into the world of Boorish Trumpson, a rehearsal conductor who’s goal is to take control over the orchestra. In this productions, the forth wall will be broken, as you are the orchestra. Through comedy and interaction, audiences are left with one question ‘how complicit are we in enabling such figures to rise to the top?


THEATRE DELI // 13 February // £11 Perfect for paranormal lovers. The remarkable 1977 Endfield Poltergeist case is now at the Theatre Deli. A dramatisation of the ‘very human’ events that occurred in a haunted council house, we follow the character Maurice Grosse, who will attempt to solve the spooky going-ons alongside finding peace with their own past.

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SARA PRINSLOO How did your artistic journey begin?

Growing up, my household was always a creative environment. My dad was a musician and played bass in multiple bands, including The Trend who were signed to MCA Records. Our home was filled with music, art and literature. As a kid, I enjoyed drawing. A special artistic moment in my early memory would be when I won a mountain bike by designing packaging for Campbell’s Meatballs, as part of a competition in the Beano. It was the first time I was rewarded for my art, and it felt good. I must have been around eight or nine years old. Drawing was always my way of expressing myself, even from an early age.

What sort of things were you drawing back then? In the early 90s, I would be drawing the things that I loved when I was around 10 years old. That would mainly consist of the Tasmanian Devil and other Loony Tunes characters. I would copy them from my Tazo collection. And that hairy Pog character with big teeth – remember them?

What a throwback! How did that develop to a point where art became a genuine pursuit? I left home at a young age and was lost for a while. I didn’t have much going for me until a friend suggested the idea of college. She was signing up, so I tagged along and took an art course. With pretty grim GCSEs and an unhealthy lifestyle, it took me a while to achieve my A Levels, but I got there in the end! My college teacher encouraged us to apply for university – which I


didn’t even think was an option, being a kid with no money. But off I went to London where I found my love for street culture and my graffiti-writing husband. That said, I believe it’s life that developed my art practice the most – my experiences and reflections. It took me 'til my late 30s to really find my thing.

You work through a variety of mediums. Do you have a preferred outlet, or does it depend on what you’re trying to get across?

As an artist, it’s hard for me to choose one outlet as I get bored easily. I think that’s part of my personality – a need to explore, learn and challenge myself. I believe making mistakes is an important part of the creative journey and we shouldn’t be afraid of them; it’s where the magic often happens. My work primarily consists of paintings, drawings, and sculpture, but all convey the same messages and meanings. Texture, form and mark-making are ways I do this.

Could you talk us through some of the themes that your work tends to engage with?

A lot of it is self-reflective work and discussing social issues through being a working-class artist: things which I think hold value and what we, as society, can learn from. Mental health, alcohol, drug consumption and personal struggles with grief are my main focal points. I believe a lot of these points are linked to working-class life. We tragically lost my sister in 2019, which messed me up. This loss triggered anxiety, and it’s a huge part of my life now. But art gives me a positive outlet to express these topics. There are various ways in which I do this through mark-making and subject matters. There’s a lot of humour too! I use humour as a way of coping with life in general. I’m quite raw and to the point; I aim to inform people about what it’s like being female, working-class and growing up in the 90s and 00s, sharing my positive and negative experiences.

'Trashy Ladies' is a series of your work which challenges societal norms of beauty and femininity. One of these paintings will be on show at Orchard Square’s Fronteer Gallery until 15th Feb. Can you talk to us a bit more about that?

My fabulous Trashy Ladies are ultimately versions of myself. I’ve taken overpopulated 19th-century art nouveau glamourous women, some of which were used for advertising things like high-end champagne and beer, then dragged them through my life experiences, translating my insecurities of how others may perceive me and others like me; but at the same time, celebrating the beauty this offers.

Do you have creative rituals or processes to pull things together?

If I hear something funny or engaging, I’ll pop a note on my phone to revisit later. I have a lot of sketchbooks on the go, which help me develop ideas, and when I’ve hit something solid, I’ll look at turning them into a bigger piece. I don’t have a studio and I create everything at home. I have a particular wall where I stick up my ongoing work. This will often be multiple paintings at the same time. When I’m creating, I like to have tunes or films/documentaries playing. I have an interest in bizarre life stories and diving into the untraditional helps me think differently about my own. Films I often play are Beautiful Losers, Mid 90’s, Beach Bum or skateboarding films, as a skater myself. Tunes that help me create would be hip-hop-related or 00s indie era. Sara has a new painting exhibited at Fronteer Gallery, Orchard Square, as part of the Meet the Locals exhibition. To find out more about the artist and view her work, head to or follow @saraprinslooart.


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Birmingham City

Bristol City

Friday 9 February | 8:00pm

Saturday 24 February | 3:00pm





Plymouth Argyle

Leeds United

Wednesday 6 March | 7:45pm

Saturday 9 March | 3:00pm





Swansea City

Norwich City

Friday 29 March | 3:00pm

Tuesday 9 April | 7:45pm





Stoke City

West Bromwich Albion

Saturday 13 April | 3:00pm

Saturday 27 April | 3:00pm





Contact: All fixtures are correct as of 24.01.24

Sheffield Wednesday



Dates and times are subject to change



















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