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sheff artist conor rogers takes centre stage
Inside: women of the seven hills // theatre deli // fraser havenhand // new openings & events // lauren tate // JETski // FRESH AS A VINTAGE ROSE
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6 | www.exposedmagazine.co.uk
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features 30: conor rogers
“I think the obsession in our society with labelling each other is damaging; it encourages people to subscribe to these pre-existing ideas and beliefs, rather than ask deeper questions and learn about each other.” Exposed grabs a post-show pint with Sheffield artist Conor Rogers to peel back the layers on ‘Manor Boy’, an exhibition inspired by his childhood on the city’s Manor Estate.
23: women of the seven hills
Before Breakfast compile a handpicked guide to the Women of Steel who inspire them, highlighting creative individuals blazing trails in the music, fashion and arts scene in Sheff.
37: rose to the occasion
Three businesswomen of highly reputable Sheffield independent fashion brands have united in the name of empowerment as ‘Fresh as a Vintage Rose’, a new collective bringing together a wide community of creatives on a range of inspiring photohshoots and projects. We spoke to the trio last month and got the full scoop.
72: the stage is set
Sheffield’s favourite fringe theatre Theatre Deli is back with the company’s first season of work this year. We spoke to the new co-artistic director Nathan Geering about what to expect from the venue moving forwads.
45: Food & Drink 58: Nightlife 66: Music 70: Film 73: Culture
That’s that, then – summer 2021 done and dusted. Yep, sorry, I don’t make the rules. If you’re clutching at straws and using the astronomical calendar, you’ve got about three weeks to repeatedly check weather apps, find an appropriately sunny day – or a dry interval lasting at least an hour – and send screengrabs to pals with the proposition of some last minute seasonal fun. Make it count because it won’t be long until we’re back in a world of chunky knits, falling golden leaves and taking it in turns to flick the patio heater on in beer gardens. It’s been one helluva summer, though. Following an unimaginably bleak winter which gave way to an equally uninspiring spring, June onwards presented a beacon of hope that we would be reunited with loved ones once restrictions lifted and much-missed venues, events and social occasions returned. Slowly, surely and again displaying its inimitable strength as a tight-knit citywide community, Sheffield served up a memorable few months which simply didn’t seem possible a few months prior (god bless vaccines and the NHS); it was a whirlwind of festivals, re-openings, new openings, pretty much everyone getting married, and social media feeds dealing with a #staycation barrage the likes of which may never be seen again. A highlight for me was getting down to Yorkshire Artspace for Conor Roger’s ‘Manor Boy’ exhibition – a hard-hitting selection of paintings, sculptures and spoken word pieces inspired by his upbringing on the oft-maligned Manor Estate, all of which probed into the demonisation of the area, its community and how that links into our wider societal relationships with class. We’re very proud to feature his work and I thoroughly enjoyed speaking to Conor about the state of things over on page 30. If you’re looking for gig , may I suggest the latest Women of the Seven Hills show at the Leadmill? These celebrations of femaleidentifying musicians in Sheff and further afield have been taking place since 2018, and on the lineup for this month’s instalment is the ever-brilliant Before Breakfast. The band have consistently flown the flag for female empowerment through music and kindly contributed a cracking guide to the Women of Steel who inspire them (p.23), a feature follwed fittingly by a convo with female fashion collective Fresh as a Vintage Rose (p.37), a homage to Sheffield women throughout the ages (p.42), news of a highly-anticipated female-led punk rock play (p.73), punk rock artist Lauren Tate (p.65), mountain runner Anna Paxton ( p.17), and other bits and bobs I’ll let you find yourselves before my word count runs out. On that note, planning for the first Women of Steel issue is underway and it would be great to hear any ideas/ suggestions. Drop me a line at at email@example.com and let’s chat. Take care and we’ll see you next month! JF x
sheff artist conor rogers takes centre stage
InsIde: women of the seven hills // theatre deli // frazer havenland // new openings & events // lauren tate // Jetski // fresh as a vintage rose
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gi’ us a hand plz Tamikka Reid, Jules Gray, Lucy Revis, Gina Walters, Heather Paterson, Ellie Storey, Cal Reid, Mark Perkins
the business stuff
Exposed is published monthly by Blind Mice Media Ltd Unit 1b Rialto 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.
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One to three bedroom homes from £160,000. Help to Buy available. Get in touch to find out more 0114 303 0375 firstname.lastname@example.org urbansplash.co.uk/park-hill
jamie in numbers
talking jamie Sheffield is set to welcome Jamie home with a very special premiere of the film adaptation of hit musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie on 17th September – the same day it launches on Amazon Prime Video around the world. In recognition of the central role the Steel City has played in the film, a red carpet premiere will be held at the Crucible and Tudor Square on the evening of Friday 17th with the stars of the show paying homage to Sheffield Theatres who originally commissioned and staged the musical. There will also be special fan area with spaces for a lucky 96 members of the public on the day.
Is the film’s scheduled release date on amazon prime video
The year ‘Jamie: Drag queen at 16’ aired - a doc that inspired the musical
awards to its name including ‘best new musical’ and ‘best cast recording’
www.exposedmagazine.co.uk | 9
uPFRONT / news
Annual Art in the Gardens event is back in the Botanical Gardens Art in the Gardens returns to Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 September, with artists, craft makers and visitors coming from across the UK to attend what is arguably the largest outdoor art market in the North of England. The popular event provides a wonderful opportunity to buy the perfect piece of art or craft direct from the artists, whilst enjoying the stunning surroundings that the gardens have to offer. Thousands of pieces of art and craft will be on show and for sale over the weekend. From premier artists in the pavilions and marquees, sculptures on the lawns to the Open Art Competition, a dedicated ‘Home and Gardens’ area and a host of professional artists and craft makers. To help manage capacity within the gardens, there will be two sessions each day: 10.30am – 2pm and 2pm – 5.30pm. Adults £6 (plus ticket fee + 5% vat), Accompanied Children U’16 free with a valid ticket. artinthegardens2021.eventbrite.co.uk.
Kelham Island public green space opens in memory of food bank volunteer ‘Naomi’s Corner’, a new public space named in memory of Naomi Colcomb who worked in Kelham Island and was a keen volunteer for a local food bank, was officially opened by former Lord Mayor Magid Magid last month. The space has been created to honour Naomi’s passion for connecting with others, nature and one’s-self with benches, planters and a community book swap library brought together in a safe and peaceful place. Naomi’s Corner is located at the end of the Upper Don walk next to Ball Street Bridge. Craig Wolstenholme, secretary of KINCA (Kelham Island & Neepsend Community Alliance), said: “The 10 | www.exposedmagazine.co.uk
creation of Naomi’s Corner has created a new green space which will benefit the whole community. I’m so pleased we secured funds for this project and the council and Naomi’s family have been very supportive of our plans too.” “We are aware that Kelham Island & Neepsend lacks outdoor spaces for residents and visitors to occupy and community consultations have shown that there is a strong desire for more public and green spaces which this project addresses.” “It has been a real community effort too. David from Kelham Island Furniture has made the garden’s furniture, and we’ve had local artists contribute sculpture and paintings. We also have a team of volunteers that regularly water the plants.” facebook.com/kelhaminfo
uPFRONT / news
plans for the yard Transformational Leah’s Yard development plans submitted
A planning application to transform the historic Leah’s Yard on Cambridge Street into a creative hub for independent businesses has been submitted today. Earlier this year, Sheffield City Council selected Tom Wolfenden, CEO of SSPCo, which manages the Cooper Buildings on Arundel Street, and James O’Hara of the Rockingham Group, which runs bars such as Public and Picture House Social, to operate the venue. Realising a longstanding ambition to combine their extensive experience, the duo plan to breathe new life into the building by transforming it into a new destination for local independent businesses and retailers, socialising and enterprise. Tom Wolfenden, CEO of SSPCo, said: “Sheffield is full of extremely talented people who develop incredible products. Leah’s Yard
will aim to bring these people and small businesses together and provide them with a route into the city centre. We are also aiming to create a truly memorable visitor experience, both in terms of the products you can buy and the atmosphere of the venue. “With the plans now submitted, we are really keen to hear from the public and local businesses about what blend of retailers and ‘makers’ they would like to see at Leah’s Yard and what type of events we can host there.” If approved, plans will see the existing Leah’s Yard complex, which sits between Cambridge Street and Backfields, refurbished largely in its current form. A bustling central public courtyard is planned and will be surrounded by small boutique shops, while the first and second floors will host around 20 independent working studios.
Following on from an emotional show at the brilliant Get Together Festival, which saw lead guitarist Alice’s nan get on stage with the band, Dream Wife have now announced that tickets are on sale for a very special, intimate show at Yellow Arch Studios on 14th October.
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“Experiencing another place helped me to appreciate the uniqueness of Sheffield...” On the outside looking in, Sheffield is a vibrant, everywhere has a London Road where you can fun city to live in, one that has endless things for try a wide range of cuisines – expanding your its young people to do. But as someone who has palate, often at very reasonable prices. lived here all their life, I often overlooked all the Even though a lot of shops have left the high positive things about the city and found myself street area, many moving down to the redegrowing tired of my surroundings. I grew bored “Unfortunately, veloping Moor quarter, the city centre and its of seeing the same city centre layout every day areas has become a highlight for me. not everywhere surrounding on my way to sixth form, I grew bored of taking We have such lovely, picturesque attractions that has a London the same bus routes from the Wicker up through we take for granted: the Peace Gardens and the Road where you West Street to Broomhill every day, I grew bored fountains where you can bask in the glow of the of seeing the same row of shops with ugly scafsun in summer with your friends, the Botanical can try a wide folding that appeared to have been there forever. range of cuisines” Gardens and the numerous parks that we have at I grew bored, essentially, of the place itself. our disposal such as Weston Park, Endcliffe Park It was safe to say I was looking for new expeand Crookes; or the infamous West Street with riences and fresh environment, so I moved away for university. the various bars and clubs, which makes going out easy, as there is However, in-between moving away to Leeds for my studies, the something for everyone to enjoy all concentrated in one area. No pandemic and subsequent lockdowns that followed, my view of expensive taxis from one end of a city centre to another required. Sheffield changed. Experiencing somewhere new made me compare Finally, I love the geographical landscape of the city, which is the two places and acknowledge the great things that the Steel City something I never thought I would say. The hills are a staple part of had to offer. Returning home while everything was shut, the city Sheffield, something I’ve now to come to enjoy rather than dislike. resembling a ghost town, made me realise everything I was missing. You can’t go anywhere without eventually discovering an incline One thing I love about Sheffield is the diversity of the people. (you only need to walk from the train station into town to underBeing of Caribbean ethnicity myself, I have had the pleasure of stand this) – but that’s all part of the city’s special charm. meeting and mixing with an array of people of different nationalities It turns out that exploring and experiencing another place helped such as Somali, Arabic, Chinese, Romanian and Pakistani. I noticed me to appreciate the uniqueness of Sheffield and all that it has to that many other places aren’t as ethnically or culturally diverse as we offer. Now that I am back home this summer, I can’t wait to get out are, which lends itself to the fantastic international food shops and and explore the City of Steel again, through a fresh set of eyes this restaurants that I have enjoyed in my hometown. Unfortunately, not time around.
by Tamikka Reid
want to share your sheffield story? drop a line to email@example.com // Photo: HARRISON QI www.exposedmagazine.co.uk | 13
Heist Brewery After well over a year’s delay, thanks in part to the various lockdowns and some well documented roof issues, Heist Brew Co’s brand-new brewery tap finally opened its doors last month... The Neepsend Lane venue certainly looks the business and provides a perfect hangout boasting shuffleboard tables, an arcade complete with 2p machines and grabbers, TV screens showing alternative sports and a projector screen for some Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater action on the Playstation. If that wasn’t enough, top burger joint Slap and Pickle have made the venue their new permanent home and the bar offers a massive 30 different lines of beer, giving them the most lines and biggest selection of draught beer in Sheffield. For those with a sweet tooth, you’ll also find Sheff-based doughnut merchants Ritual onsite and serving up some truly sumptuous offerings with flavours ranging from peanut butter and jelly to chill and mango. The space has been split into three areas: a self-contained brewery, allowing them to expand their award-winning beer operation; an events space and overspill area, where they will hold a range of events including Meet the Brewer and Homebrew nights as well as private hire events; and the main bar area, also home to the arcade and kitchen offerings. Opens Tuesday to Sunday. For full opening hours head over to @heistbrewco Heist Brewery 107 Neepsend Lane Neepsend, S3 8AT heistbrewco.com 14 | www.exposedmagazine.co.uk
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FIVE things you only know if you’re...
a MOUNTAIN RUNNER
Mere mortals don’t run up hills Mountain running is all about heading up and down the steepest hills around. Since there isn’t an actual mountain near Sheffield, I look for routes with the maximum amount of ascent. I don’t leap up the hills like a mountain goat – almost no one does. Mountain ‘running’ involves a lot of speed hiking. Stopping to look at the view, taking photos and eating are all great opportunities to sneak in a bit of a rest.
rare and beautiful wildlife. In the Peak District I know where to find mountain hares, mighty stags, adders, lizards, kingfishers, owls and kestrels. Some of them even live with the boundaries of Sheffield. Your kit can save your life Whether I’m running for a few hours or a few days, the ultimate goal is to be selfsufficient in the mountains. That does mean carrying a fair bit of kit, including map and compass, warm layers, headtorch and waterproofs. The weather can be totally different in a valley compared to the top of the mountain, and help could be several hours away. It’s taken a few cold and wet experiences to learn what gear will keep me comfortable and safe in wind, rain, snow and ice.
helps, but determination, positivity and a sense of humour are more likely to get you to the finish line than a few extra squats in the gym. Pushing on and overcoming challenges has given me confidence. I know that in tough times I can always dig a bit deeper, and this has carried over into other areas of my life. Anna Paxton is an ultrarunner from Sheffield, now living in the Peak District and currently training for the Spine Sprint – a 48-mile winter race along the first section of the Pennine Way. Anna is also co-director for Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (SHAFF), Producer at Salt Street Productions and guide book author for Vertebrate Publishing.
Food is your friend Mountain routes are often long and strenuous. To keep moving I need to fuel my body and that means a lot of snacks! At 30 miles or more with at least 2000 metres of climbing, ‘ultra’ races are also known as long-distance eating competitions. I’ve @anna_paxton_ been known to eat burritos, sushi, cake Your head needs to be as and crisps. strong as your legs. Have some interesting tales from your trade or know someone who When I take on a long-distance run, I does? Drop a line to joe@exposedThe hills are alive know there are going to be highs and lows magazine.co.uk and we’ll Solitude is part of the appeal, and on a along the way – and at some point it’s going feature them in an upcoming issue. quiet run there’s a good chance of seeing to get painful. A certain level of fitness
www.exposedmagazine.co.uk | 17
Through The Lens After lockdown provided an opportunity to spend more time outdoors on local walks, Sheffield-based photographer Fraser Havenhand started to notice cars that would have previously been overlooked. Sometimes abandoned, left to the mercy of overgrown gardens; sometimes prized possessions, gleaming ahead of a drive to keep them functioning during the long period of confinement bestowed upon its owner. Sensing a connection between these machines and their owners, the lives they shepherd around and the homes they sit outside, Fraser decided to document his findings in Parked, a selfpublished photobook that he spoke to Exposed about last month. Hi Fraser. First of all, could you tell us a bit about your yourself and how you first got into photography? I’m a freelance photographer living in Sheffield but working all over the UK. I started taking photos at school, where I was offered to study photography as a new option for my GCSEs. I’d always felt like I was better suited to the creative subjects than the academic ones, so straightaway something about photography just clicked for me, even though I had no idea what I was doing. I continued to study it at A-level and subsequently got my degree in photography from Sheffield Hallam. After leaving university and getting my first full time office job, I always had this nagging in the back on my mind that said I should see what it was like working in the creative industry, so I contacted a photographer 18 | www.exposedmagazine.co.uk
whose work I love and went and met him at his studio in Sheffield city centre and, as luck would have it, he was looking for new assistant. I assisted for about four years and had an amazing time learning the ins and outs of what commercial photography and working in the creative industry was like. Roughly three years ago I started working with my own clients up and down the UK. What are your main sources of creative motivation? My mum has always been a really creative person, and even though she would never admit it, she is an incredible painter. So, I think it’s part of my personality to want to have fun making things. I think being creative in any capacity is good for your mental wellbeing, and I know I’m definitely happiest when I have a camera in my hand, even if I’m just taking a stroll around Sheffield with my girlfriend. I think it’s the mindfulness that photography offers that motivates me to keep doing it. It helps you to take a step back from whatever is going on elsewhere in your life and just look at your surroundings in a different way – I’ve always found that part of the process really enjoyable and rewarding. That leads onto the Parked photobook, which you began working on during lockdown. Could you give us a bit more background to the project? In the beginning I never planned to make Parked, it sort of just made itself through circumstance. When the pandemic hit and changed how
tales from a hard city
through the lens
Image from Parked collection
we all lived and worked, I wanted to keep busy and try to find a way to continue photographing cars. Because I’m used to taking photos of beautiful polished cars in a controlled environment, through work I was out looking at ways to shoot cars from a fresh perspective. Early on in lockdown, I remember looking through some old work and finding a few images of parked cars that I’d stumbled across on my photo walks; I remembered thinking how enjoyable it was to discover these things left on peoples drives or at the side of the road. I always wondered what the story behind them was: what was the connection between them and their owners? How does this home have this car? How does this car warrant that kind of care? I kept asking myself these questions and it motivated me to try and find new cars for the project, turning it into something bigger than a few photos I had on an old hard drive. What is key to producing engaging documentary photography? For me, I think it’s finding a project or subject matter that you are really passionate about, however obscure that
might be. It’s so much easier to make images that are engaging when you have a deeper understanding of what it is you’re actually making photos about, even if that’s just the city you live in, your friends or your family. Images that have genuine authenticity are the ones that are the most engaging and tell the best stories in my opinion. I think, too, that the simple ideas are often the ones that translate best into great photography; when I’m out on a walk taking photos, I have a small digital camera with me, one lens, and that’s it. I think over-complicating things with different focal lengths or bits of kit can distract from the story being told. If you could photograph one event or subject, what or who would it be? This might not sound as glamorous as some answers, but I would really love to shoot an event like the Goodwood Festival of Speed – doing coverage for somebody like Lotus would be really something else. From what I’ve seen online, the cars that attend the event look incredible and I think being in that melting pot of people and having access to shoot some of the big personalities in the UK car scene would be absolutely fantastic. What do you hope to turn your attention to next? I’m not sure what’s on the cards next in terms of a personal project, but I would like to make another book at some point. But like Parked, I’d like it to be something that comes naturally rather than something I have to force. I know it’s been done to death but one thing I would like to explore is a project on all the really talented makers and artists that we have in Sheffield; I follow a fair few on Instagram and Twitter and would love to make some portraits of people in their spaces working on the things they love. Parked is out now and available from fraserhavenhand. co.uk @fraserhav
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Cutting Hedge Stuff
Brand new street market BRINGS INDEPENDENT SPIRIT TO DEVONSHIRE QUARTER
20 | www.exposedmagazine.co.uk
Hedgerow Market, a creatively vibrant street market supplying the people of Sheffield with a curated pick of artisans and makers, live music and a dash of street food, enjoyed its inaugural event on Division Street last month. The market is a part of the Summer in the Outdoor City programme of events taking place across the city this year, designed to support the staycation and celebrate all that’s right here on our doorstep. Hedgerow Market founder, Heather Gilberthorpe Pell said: “This is all about giving people even more reason to visit our city centre and creating ways for people – customers and traders – to hustle and bustle in a safe way. “Division Street has a rightfully proud heritage, synonymous with independent retail and the legacy of Tramlines. We want to celebrate Division Street and showcase what Sheffield has to offer – while giving people a good time in town. I’m so excited to work with a wonderful team and amongst the amazing businesses based along the Street.” Free to attend, the first Hedgerow Market (pictured) took place 12-8pm Saturday 21st August, along Division Street and next to Devonshire Green. The following instalments will take place at the same time on 18th September, 9th October and 6th November. If you’d like to take part as a market trader, you’ll find application forms on the website at hedgerowmarket. com.
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Women of Steel
Women of the Seven Hills was founded in 2018 by Emily Stancer with the aim of celebrating female-identifying musicians in Sheffield and further afield. Since its inception, the event has put on a series of empowering gigs at local venues, bringing together genrespanning lineups showcasing the vast pool of talent on offer in the region.
The latest instalment, taking place at The Leadmill on 12th September, will feature Abbie Ozard, The Rooves, Neighbourhood Choir and Before Breakfast – the latter of whom kindly agreed to put together a handpicked guide to the Women of Steel who inspire them, highlighting creative individuals blazing trails in the music, fashion and arts scene and finding out what makes them tick. Words: Gina Walters Photos: Lucy Revis www.exposedmagazine.co.uk | 23
Lucy Jo Newell, maker of deliciously comfortable smock dresses, seeker of deadstock timeless fabrics and founder of Nyoo, is no stranger to Sheffield’s independent scene after co-founding Syd & Mallory (RIP) many moons ago. Lucy has always had strong connections to the music scene here, having previous experience in bands as well as being sister to artist and DJ Tom J Newell. It’s a joy knowing that investing in Lucy’s clothes means you’re supporting such a talented woman, then with the added bonus that they’ll last forever and the sizes and styles are inclusive. Nyoostore.com @nyoo_store
Emily has been writing and gigging in Sheffield since she was a teenager; she’s no stranger to the ever-changing musical landscape of this city. A pop princess at heart, Emily has always been drawn to strong female artists, with Madonna being her absolute icon. But as most female musicians can tell a story or two of feeling underestimated or underappreciated in this industry, Emily went ahead and founded Women of the Seven Hills in 2018. This celebration of female-identifying musicians in Sheffield and further afield has since been a huge hit in showcasing the women making music in the region. Favourite South Yorkshire artist/ band Self Esteem. Best gig Latitude with BB. Three artists on your work playlist Griff, Haim, Little Mix. A musician you’d love to collaborate with Griff. Favourite thing about being a woman The relationships that we create with our friends. There’s something really special about female friendships: there’s so much love, strength and care there. You can literally do anything with your girls behind you. 24 | www.exposedmagazine.co.uk
Favourite South Yorkshire artist/ band Psychedelic babes Sister Wives. Best gig Oooh, too many! Beyoncé is up there. Patti Smith at Hop Farm festival, where I also saw Prince! Yep. Self Esteem at Clamlines – a very sweaty, clammy affair! Three artists on your work playlist Françoise Hardy, Solange, Self Esteem. A musician you’d love to collaborate with RLT. Self Esteem. Favourite thing about being a woman Moaning that I feel fat, then choosing to eat a Greggs vegan sausage cheese bean melt and go for pints rather than the gym, and my friends fully supporting those decisions. Exercise is also great though – everything in moderation, innit! Having the best cheerleader gal pals that are here for it all whenever/forever. Feeling fancy and powerful af when you pop a new lippy on.
Bea Marshall is an award-winning autistic Energy Therapist, Healer and Parenting Expert, but she is also a treasured friend. Bea’s work is wonderfully entangled with her creativity and joyful expression, from kitchen dancing Instagram videos to her bright and beautiful branding (and wardrobe!). She lives in Walkley with her two teenage sons, adopted dog and four rescue hens. In her work, Bea helps people move from struggle to thriving in their parenting, neurodiversity and relationships. Follow Bea online for oodles of wisdom, challenging discussion and the opportunity to look inward, re-focus and reflect. beamarshall.com @bea.the.tree Favourite South Yorkshire artist/band Mark Stoney. We moved to Sheffield at the same time 21 years ago and shared houses. I’ve grown through my adult years with his music and friendship. Best gig Pulp, 1995 (I think), at Birmingham NEC. My friend and I had to choose between staying for the end of the gig or catching the last train home. We chose the gig and our parents were furious! Three artists on your work playlist I can’t work to music but I use music a lot
to regulate my nervous system by dancing, often in my kitchen. Amy Steinberg, Dire Straits and Fleetwood Mac are the first three to come to mind. A musician you’d love to collaborate with Taylor Swift. Her storytelling combined with the creative way I work as an Energy Therapist would be magical. Favourite thing about being a woman My period. I love the wisdom and power that lies in every stage of my inner cycle, and the rituals that my monthly bleeding creates.
Gemma is a phenomenal stripper, professional model, OnlyFans content creator and an excellent pole dance instructor who works with music every single day to channel her own – and help others channel – their inner sexiness. The relationship she has created between music and her body is beautiful, allowing her to move instinctively to anything that pops up on a playlist or something a student may send her way – take a look at her IG videos, wahhh! But being sex and sex work positive, we also want to highlight Gemma’s work as a sex workers’ rights activist. At this critical time where OnlyFans has decided to ban sex workers from selling their content, among a plethora of ineffective government legislation, we want you to take time to find out how you can support sex workers. Gemma has a wealth of resources on her Instagram (@gemmarosepole) to help you get started. You can find out more about Gemma and access her services via her website gemmarose.co.uk. Favourite South Yorkshire artist/band Before Breakfast and Harri Tape (head singer of Harri Larkin) – she sang when my fiancé proposed! Best gig Justin Bieber. It was awful and I loved every second. Three artists on your work playlist Doja Cat, Ella Mai, Kehlani. A musician you’d love to collaborate with Before Breakfast (hint, hint ). Favourite thing about being a woman Experiencing pure joy through my femininity and empowerment through my sexuality. www.exposedmagazine.co.uk | 25
Hannah is the owner of The Nook Hair, Sheffield’s first sustainable and eco-conscious salon. They first opened their doors July 2020, boldly deciding to start a business as a one-woman show in a global pandemic; and this tells us a lot about Hannah – determined and vision-led. This is the cool bit though: they adapt hairdressing practices to reduce waste, choosing products from companies that are conscious about how they impact our environment, and, thanks to Green Salon Collective, they recycle properly (even the hair goes back into the earth or is used to soak up oil spills!). Despite the turmoil of the past 18 months, the team has grown from one to four, including the addition of HD brows treatment. From personal experience, we can tell you that the team will put you at ease, let you slow down and exist in the moment inside a clean, cool and airy space. We love what Hannah has created and look forward to seeing what comes next for The Nook. Thenookhair.co.uk @hair_at_the_nook
BTW There are too many fiercely brilliant women for us to spotlight, it would take up a full magazine in itself [now there’s an idea – Ed.], so here’s a list of a few more that we couldn’t fit in this time around… Teah Lewis/Boxie, LIO, Rhiannon Scutt, Neighbourhood Voices, Tessa/ Tracks, Ellie Grace Photography, Liah Edwardes/Anomaly Life Drawing, Charlotte Kaufman/Kauf, Beth Pegler/Beth Pegler Jewelry, Heather Gilberthorpe Pell/Lit Candles, Heather/Heather Creative Photographer
26 | www.exposedmagazine.co.uk
Favourite South Yorkshire artist/band I mean, Before Breakfast of course! Best gig I was a ska punk kid. I came to Corp years ago, before living in Sheffield, and saw Reel Big Fish. I stuck to the floor and it was sweaty, but I had the most fun. Three artists on your work playlist Arlo Parks, Blondie, Goldfrapp. A musician you’d love to collaborate with Taylor Swift. I basically just watched Miss Americana, so I now love her. Favourite thing about being a woman The sense of community, the support and how we champion each other is pretty special. Sheffield has a fantastic community of small businesses and freelancers – it’s definitely one of a kind. Support some of the best handpicked local talent in an inclusive space, at a renowned Sheffield venue this month. The latest Women of the Seven Hills takes place on 12th September at The Leadmill. Tickets (£10) and more info available from leadmill.co.uk.
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Cover story: Conor rogers
MADE IN THE MANOR Local lad Conor Rogers graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2014. In 2019, he won first prize at the UKYoung Artist of year award held at Saatchi Gallery, London. He works primarily in painting though his work also translates into sculpture and poetry, as seen in his latest solo exhibition, Manor Boy, which debuted atYorkshire Artspace last month. Exposed went along to see the show in August and caught up with the artist, settling down for a post-meet pint at The Rutland and discussing the questions posed by an exhibition inspired by his childhood on Sheffield’s infamous Manor Estate. Words: Joe Food Could you tell me, in your own words, what Manor Boy is about? Manor Boy is a narrative I’ve compiled of the Manor Estate in Sheffield, where I lived. I’ve drawn inspiration from all the events that occurred and the cultural identities we carried through that time. In a way, it’s like a homage but also an investigation into my own identity, into the relationship with the spaces I was in back then. The first thing that stands out is the prevalence of paddling pools, either in the centre of the exhibition or framing the paintings. Can you speak about the symbolism of that? The whole series was essentially a response to seeing my mate, Mike, in a paddling pool with some tinnies. I’m very much inspired by momentary events. I wanted to use the paddling pools as a sort of badge, an emblem of the estate, which came to represent certain aspects of council estate culture: a sense of momentary joy and abandonment, discarded after being used, then left to fill up with trash and leaves. There was a connection between that and how we felt abandoned and demonised on council estates – I felt that particularly strongly coming into the arts sphere as a student. I imagine that would have been a formative experience for your work. Did it stoke that fire creatively? Yeah, it brought up a lot of questions about identity and class, which I’ve been investigating through art since. I applied for a fine art course but ended up on a course called Creative Arts Practice, which was not quite as conceptual and a bit more craft-based. However, I found myself being more academic and conceptual in my approach to that course, and through that I started understanding my relationship to painting. I went on a painting workshop and saw that people were painting on canvases, but I didn’t feel like that was genuine to my work. So I started painting on crisp packets, and through that saw my relationship to materiality, to things, to objects. A lot of these paintings are selfportraits as well as portraits of society. Speaking of your route into making art, the government recently announced a 50% funding cut to arts subjects at university level. How does that make you feel? It bothers me. There’s just a lack of care, concern or awareness there – it will be a decision made by a person, or a group of people, that’s never been involved with the arts industry. It’s people making decisions on other people’s livelihoods, and it comes down to 30 | www.exposedmagazine.co.uk
other people judging that someone’s path or life doesn’t have much worth to it. It does fuck me off. So much value comes from our industry, it has such a huge impact on society. History will show you that throughout time artists and creatives are remembered by the people, not bankers or businessmen. Look back through history and it’s largely poets, writers, painters, inventors, creators, actors – they’re the ones who are remembered. And that’s before you even get into the argument of how important art can be for people’s mental health. It’s massive. It can be meditative, enable self-exploration and help people to uncover more about themself. I use art as personal navigation tool and it’s incredibly important. Is there a worry that you can become a bit too pigeonholed or fetishised producing art exploring the working class in what is pre-dominantly a middle-class arts sphere? I wanted to break through that, to tackle what people associate with being working class. I wanted to give a perspective on the reality of my upbringing and class divide. The way I do it is through a combination of objects, image and symbolic language. The thing is: we are very insecure people, whether you come from a poor background or a wealthy one. I try to ask people what their understanding of class is. I’m not criticising, just trying to start a conversation. I think the obsession in our society with labelling each other is damaging; it encourages people to subscribe to these pre-existing ideas and beliefs, rather than ask deeper questions and learn about each other. Manor Boy isn’t a big ‘fuck you’ to the elites, though. It’s more about trying to understand each other. →
‘Your stripped mopeds look like a fleet from Mad Max Are you still pouring petrol on Tampax? Stil dreaming about frontline attacks, Then creaming over your mate’s new Blades tats’ - Taken from These Kindred Spirits
Cover story: conor rogers
“While waiting in the bookies with my grandad, I’d take pictures on my phone of certain images that interested me, and then I’ve got my source material to start working on.”
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Cover story: conor rogers
→There’s a playfulness to my work, a humour. But there’s also an undertone of societal issues at play. It presents questions for people to engage with. I’m not judging; I use a lot of my work to gather an understanding of who I am. The idea of class, to me, is quite a naïve way of trying to categorise people, to understand better who they are. There’s a lot of that present, I feel, in the arts industry, and people will refer to me as a ‘working-class artist’ as I think it helps them feel like they’ve got a bit of ownership over you, like they understand who you are. Whenever someone will introduce me like, “This is Conor Rogers, a working-class artist…” I’ll stop them at that point because once people hear you’re a working-class artist, that’s all they assume you are. There’s a nuance to it and I’m trying to flip it, asking people about their relationships to these objects, images and use of language. A lot of the language surrounding Manor Top is quite isolating in a way – people often refer to it as ‘up on the Manor’; it’s almost built up as an area separate to the city itself. It’s a bit like the way some would use similar discourse to create a sense of other between the city and Park Hill estate during its worst days. That’s why ‘Manor Boy’ is essentially me taking ownership of a demonised name or what could be seen as a slur. It’s not about denying it, the fact that people do see it as a negative environment, a place of crime. But I experienced the good stuff too, like a sense of community and humanity that taught me to humble. There are some powerful poems which you wrote for Manor Boy, your first foray into poetry for an exhibition. How did you find that experience? Good, quite uplifting actually. I wanted to expand my own understanding of my practice. I had a really integral process of viewing the world and translating it into artwork, but I felt I could take it further than just painting, so I started looking at language itself, how I described things, and stripped it back into telling stories in a written form. I felt like the poetry started feeding into the painting and vice versa. ‘Manor Boys’ is a literal retelling of the time I escaped a community centre to visit my mate’s pool. I slid down the 34 | www.exposedmagazine.co.uk
slide into it and cut my foot on a kitchen knife at the bottom. It’s linking these personal narratives into wider metaphors about the estate, our culture as a whole, and the poetry aspect also opens up new ideas for future works.
‘You cut your foot on a kitchen knife While avoiding the mid-afternoon Shackles of community centres Mike’s got a pool! So climb the fence to your freedom The greatest escape, Or a hop, skip and a jump. I love this dump. Where are we going? Mike’s got a pool! Mike’s handing out destiny Mike will grow from a substance That has been banned. Time will show that we’re Just dust from this land. This is our Manor. Sponge baths in sinks, Rottweilers that stink, And dad’s on the brink.’ - Taken from Manor Boys
What provides the source material for the portraits? Is it done mostly from memory or images? I often use candid photography as source material – capturing the everyday moments is really important to me, as it reflects who we truly are. I might move a few things about, of course, but the moments are what triggers everything, and then I give myself the freedom to run with it from there. A lot of my work is about transforming the throwaway, the abandoned, the renegade, and turning them into precious and beautiful things. A Rizla paper, for example – something that’s often thrown away and discarded being used to display poetry. The miniatures painted on betting slips play with that dynamic, too. I don’t really like the idea of paintings being flat images on square canvasses. Betting slips also link into those aforementioned themes of momentary hope/joy, objects that are then quickly discarded and left to one side? The idea came from childhood memories with my grandad. He used to take me to all the betting offices. It was a ritual: get up, go to bookies, go to boozers, go back to bookies, then home to bed. The poem ‘What are the Odds?’ is about those dreams of a better life, but I’m also playing with the idea of the betting office being like a holy place, something like a pilgrimage. It’s a place where people were looking for hope, for something more; but there’s also themes of mourning and loss, dealing with what they haven’t got, all that’s taking place at the same time. While waiting in the bookies with my grandad, I’d take pictures on my phone of certain images that interested me and then I’ve got my source material to start working on the piece. Touching on your childhood, how did you first start flexing those creative muscles? I read that some of your first drawings were on the back of beer mats and betting slips. Yeah, I used to draw on the back of betting slips when I was younger, and obviously that has now been recycled in my practice as I’ve got older. I’d get hold of those little blue pens you see in bookies, take them to the boozer with me and start drawing people playing snooker or the barmaids or whatever. It’s that subconscious thing of seeing the narratives playing out, even at a young age, and trying to capture them. It’s something I’ve done for a long time and will always do, I think. You can view more of Conor’s work at conorrogers.co.uk @conorrogers_art // @rogersconor // facebook/com/conorrogersart
“History will show you that throughout time artists and creatives are remembered by the people, not bankers or businessmen. Look down through history and it’s largely poets, writers, painters, inventors creators, actors – they’re the ones who are remembered.”
Fresh as a Vintage Rose is an exciting new collective formed by a trio of Sheffield businesswomen, friends and Exposed Awards winners who came together and found solace in each other during the difficult days of lockdown. Sam (Miss Samantha’s Vintage), Niamh (Gypsy Rose Hair Salon) and Louisa (Freshmans) decided to pool their considerable experience in the fashion industry, uniting in the name of empowerment to work on a series of creative projects and photoshoots.
Their inaugural venture took place inside Orchis Floral Design at Hagglers Corner, with clothing from Freshmans/Miss Samantha’s and hair styling by Gypsy Rose. Bringing together a wider community of talented female creatives – Lou White and Emily Burkett provided photography and Laura Jessica provided makeup – the experience and results were so powerful that they now want to help others enjoy that self-expression, working on a range of fashion shoots that promote diversity and ‘being real’. We caught up with FAAVR over a coffee last month to discuss the group’s inspirations and plans for the future… First of all, how did you three come together? N: Sam pestered me for an appointment, and after about a year I got to meet her. S: Then I just followed her around and asked her to be my friend. *Laughs* N: Then I met Lou at the vintage fairs. She’d have her stall, and I’d have mine, then I’d come and nick all her dresses. S: After the Exposed Awards, I messaged Louisa to say congratulations as I didn’t want there to be any ‘us vs them’ mentality. She got straight back to me, which was lovely, and we didn’t really speak again until we started talking about this collaboration. Niamh put us back in touch. N: When all three of us won at the last Exposed Awards, we thought it made sense for us to do something together, put aside any sort of ego and do something really positive. L: This is the spin-off from that night! We found that we were all very much on the same page on a personal level. We’d talk to each other very openly about our businesses and the struggles that came with it. We found that really helped us. More so than ever with the difficulties faced by independent businesses over the past two years, I’d imagine? S: Yeah, I think when you’re running your own business it can feel quite insular. This became a small network to go to for advice and support, and that was really helpful for me. 36 | www.exposedmagazine.co.uk
Fresh is More Photography: Lou White
N: Being in business on your own is hard. When you’re the person that makes all the decisions, especially with the last 18 months, you just think, ‘Who can I talk to?’ L: And also, how can you talk about business worries – something that might seem quite trivial when you’ve got people dying from covid? So having this connection has been important. How did the first photoshoot collab come about? N: I’ve loved working on the Exposed fashion shoots, where Sam and Lou provided clothes, and I thought, ‘I wear their clothes!’ so we started talking about coming together and doing our own thing, in our own image. S: It was really about having the balls to do it. For me, I always wanted to be able to say to other women, “If you have something you want to do, just do it.” L: That’s what we want to inspire other women to do. When we put together the first shoot, it felt so empowering: the stories behind the faces, the background to it all and getting these beautiful photographs from it, too. The high went on for a while, and we decided we wanted to carry this on, to really make something out of it. N: It’s not just about us. The potential for what this could actually be is massive. We want to able to put other vendors in touch with each other, and help them to do what we did. We had a second photographer working with us on the shoot, who was initially quite nervous about getting out there. But following that, she’s got back to us and told us that she feels more than capable of doing this moving forward. The make-up artist from the shoot has left her teaching job and is now going to be a full-time make-up artist! Wow. Off the back of the first shoot? N: Yeah! It’s fantastic. A model from the shoot, Katie, that’s her first shoot she’s done in a long time, and now she’s gone straight into back into it, doing and trying new things. Irrelevant of gender, we all need those sorts of opportunities. L: During the shoot we asked the make-up artist if she’d like to get in front of the camera, and at first she was a bit shocked, she’d never been in front of camera in that sense before, but she went for it and ended up loving it. She was buzzing afterwards. S: I didn’t go with any intent to have my photograph taken. But when I saw the girls having theirs taken, I got a little bit jealous and went for it. And that’s a big thing Fresh as a Vintage Rose offers – a space to make those first steps? N: It’s about giving space for other people to shine. We want to start something that’s inclusive and very Sheffield-centric. It’s a special place, it’s a very diverse city, and we’re very proud of that diversity and our ability as independent thinkers to come together as a community.
“When all three of us won at the last Exposed Awards, we thought it made sense for us to do something together, put aside any sort of ego and do something really positive.”
fashion What ideas are in the pipeline? N: We’ve got a few different ideas, particularly ones which promote the diversity of our communities. More will be revealed soon. But one thing we’d really like to say to the Exposed community of readers who pick this up is this: if you’d like to be part of something that’s non-comformist, integrated and open-minded, then that’s the community of people we’re wanting to build – people using their skills to create something, whatever that is. L: We’ve got a few ideas we’d like to work on, but we also plan for it to grow organically; we’re hoping for certain projects to come alive through the people and businesses we speak to. Fundamentally, we want to use our experience of breaking away from the stereotypical expectations of what we should be doing at our age and funnel that into others. S: We’re not looking at this to make any money, none of us got paid for that shoot. We did it because we wanted to see what would happen. L: Everybody’s got stories to tell, and we’re wanting to tap into that, hoping to help people express themselves and feel better if they’ve lost their way. We want to provide the empowerment that we felt on that first shoot. We want to give that to someone else. How can people contact Fresh as a Vintage Rose with any ideas, or just to make a connection? L: We’ve got an Instagram page (@fresh_ as_a_vintage_rose), which we’d point people towards initially. But we’ll have organised the rest of the admin stuff by the time this issue is out. We come across lots of people and stories in our day to day working lives, so we’re hoping for projects to grow out of conversations in our day jobs too. N: When you’re an independent retailer, you build a real relationship with your customers. S: You go on a real journey with them. Sheffield, as a city, is a very supportive of its independent businesses and the people behind them. The people will come to you because they want to buy from you, not a chain. We’re wanting to build on that trust. L: More than ever, people want a more personalised experience. I’ve got customers that call me ‘The Vintage Momma’. I’ve got a customer that’s actually going to have that tattooed on his arse cheek – true story! It shows that it’s more than just a shop to people, or more than just a hair salon. It’s the independent businesses such as yours that truly define a city, right? S: Yeah, you might look at a fancy new shopping centre in Leeds, but at the end of the day, it’s bricks and mortar. It’s all about people. Being based out in Walkley, I get a lot of students that chose to stay in Sheffield to do masters degrees or put down roots, and independent businesses are an important choice to have. It’s interesting how many people who move away from Sheffield come back to see us. 38 | www.exposedmagazine.co.uk
“Everybody’s got stories to tell, and we’re wanting to tap into that, hoping to help people express themselves and feel better if they’ve lost their way. We want to provide the empowerment that we felt on that first shoot. We want to give that to someone else.”
N: My aunt works for a big corporate billboard advertising company, and she’s worked on getting her billboards in Sheffield. She’s often said that people in that big cheese corporate world say the same thing, that Sheffield is a special place and it’s like there’s a dome over it. I really agree with that – and that’s not a bad thing. It’s down to that pride. S: I’ve always said, if you had two piles of horse manure and one was for free and one cost a pound, a Sheffielder would buy the one that cost a pound – because nowt’s for free! On that superb note, I feel like we should start wrapping up the interview. Anything else to add? L: Just to really say again that something that might seem silly, like doing a photoshoot with your friends, what you can get out of that is incredible. It can be a huge boost and we’re really passionate about making this work. We’ve all been behind closed doors for a long time and if someone needs help getting back out there, get in touch! Give ‘em a follow and look out for upcoming projects @fresh_as_a_vintage_rose
Lou White Photography
Sheffield-based photographer Lou White recently worked with the Vintage Rose team on a shoot, producing a selection of striking shots to complement a portfolio filled with bold, colourful images. Last month, we caught up with Lou to discuss her inspirations for getting behind the camera and the creative journey she’s undertaken since. How did you get into photography? I’ve been a bit hypnotised by pictures for as long as I can remember; I loved running around with my 35mm as a child. I loved flicking through old photo albums, and I suppose what I really loved were the stories. At uni I fell in with the photography lot and soon had an old Minolta and some Lomo toys of my own to play with. I had no idea what I was doing but there was something positively delicious about the blur, the grain and the soft muted tones it left my images with. I spent most of my twenties just being ‘that friend’ photographing everyone and everything to within an inch of its life, normally with my phone. I’m still guilty of that – sorry! It was my grandad (‘G’) that got me my first ‘proper’ camera, for my 30th. G had this old green album that covered his time in the navy in WWII, followed by his life back home with my granny in the years that followed. I loved going through that album with him and listening to him talk. The last photo I ever took of him, in fact, is him stood in his kitchen holding that album. After he died and that album came to me, I lifted it out of its box to find that underneath there were hundreds of other images I’d never seen. They were like one last hug from G. They helped me to see him and understand him as a person in his own right, not just the the man he was when he was ‘my G’. Suddenly photography had an extra weight after that; it wasn’t just something I did to amuse myself on the side anymore. It’s storytelling, it’s belonging, it has purpose and value. If the house was on fire, that box of photos is the thing I’d grab (after the dog, obviously). Like a lot of people, I’m self-taught. I Googled a lot of things. I still Google a lot of things. I read a lot of blogs, listen to podcasts and take part in things like the Phlock community challenges. Mainly, I’ve learnt a lot by just trying things out and seeing what works for me. When he gave me my camera, G asked me if I enjoyed photography. I said yes and he said, “Well then, you enjoy it love.” So I did, and I do. What sort of picture catches your eye? I really love colour; it just hooks me in every time. I go in phases with other things but right now I love images with a sense of movement, life and joy. I love anything that creates a dreamy surreal vibe: reflections, prisms and softness all catch my eye. Unless it’s black and white, in which case I love texture on texture, with harsh heavy contrast and a metric fudge-tonne of grain. What advice would you give budding photographers? Two things really. Firstly, find your people. Go looking for a photography community you can engage in and learn from. For me, I found the Phlock Live community a couple of years ago, I’ve learnt so much from conversations in there and it was invaluable to have such a nurturing and supportive community to share work with. The biggest thing, though, is something that I once heard Leanna Azzolini say in a podcast a couple of years ago: “You ARE going to get this wrong – not once or twice, but a lot.” What a revelation that was. I think before that I really thought everyone else got the shot first time, every time. I’m going to sound like a gross cheeseball now, so for god’s sake don’t tell anyone I said this. But it’s like any craft: it takes 40 | www.exposedmagazine.co.uk
time to get ‘good’ and everyone you’re looking up to has spent years being frustrated with work that doesn’t live up to the vision they had. There is no around, only through. I have to give my pep talk maybe twice a week? Do you have a favourite image/shoot to date? Before the pandemic, I never got in the frame. I had like a real visceral reaction to both to seeing myself and the act of having my photo taken. It felt physically painful. In lockdown, it was just me and the dog, and she made it quite evident that she was sick of being my dancing monkey for Instagram and I quickly had to think about what else I could photograph. I’m not big into still life, so I decided it was either get in the frame or bake banana bread. Since banana bread is evil and should be banned, I did a full series of self-portraits recreating scenes from Wes Anderson films. There was a lot of trial and error, but that project changed the whole way I communicate with and direct a subject. The whole way I shoot changed after that; it was the first time I really pushed myself to create and dress a scene. It was the first time I allowed myself to just have fun with it and do whatever I wanted. Before that time, I cared entirely too much what other people thought, would be paralysed with so much self-doubt, wouldn’t try things, and I never submitted work anywhere. This series was such a big turning point for me. I’ve got other images that are technically better, but I feel like I grew so much in that time. What motivates you creatively? Wes, obviously. I have seen other films, I promise, but I just can’t necessarily remember what they are right now! I get excited about colour. I think I take a lot of inspiration from whatever music I’m listening to at the time. To be really honest, I struggle with this question. Part of what made me fall in love with photography was that there isn’t a ‘wrong’. Or that you could try anything you like and if it doesn’t work, then no harm no foul. I love how things grow and evolve as I go and I suppose what motivates me most is the want/need to always try something new. To ask the questions, ‘How can I make this different this time?’ ‘How can I push this further?’ Do you have any projects currently in the pipeline? I have a couple of commercial projects coming up in the autumn that I’m really looking forward to, but I probably can’t really say a lot about them. I really adore big, styled shoots. I love creating colourful, texture-filled scenes, and putting together the styling for it all is one of my favourite parts of the project. I’m in the process of working with a couple of local independents at the moment, which always makes me happy. To be honest, I’m just getting over Covid and double pneumonia, so I’m still easing myself back into normal life, a lot had to be put on hold/cancelled. This is the longest I’ve gone without a camera in my hand in my adult life. As you can imagine, I’ve been very grumpy about it! louwhitephotography.com @louwhitephotography
“When he gave me my camera, G asked me if I enjoyed photography. I said yes and he said, “Well then, you enjoy it love.” So I did, and I do.”
KNOW YOUR HISTORY
In this month’s column, Heritage Sheffield’s founder Richard Phipps talks us through the history behind some of the city’s most influential women. When the Women of Steel statue was unveiled in 2016 to celebrate the contribution of women in the city’s factories during both world wars, it brought to the forefront the desire to learn about the icons of Sheffield’s past. This article will hopefully give you a snapshot of the impact Sheffield’s women of steel and the stories intertwined with them have had on the city. Perhaps the most significant event to affect the lives of women in the UK was the passing of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which permitted women the right to vote. Sheffield played its part in this historic event in 1851 when Anne Kent and Anne Knight, a well-known abolitionist, along with a fervent backing from the local female populous, founded the Sheffield Women’s Political Association (SWPA), the first official organisation in the country dedicated to the suffrage movement. This momentous gathering took place at the Temperance Hotel on Queen Street, but many other venues have provided the arena for the suffragettes’ struggles. Norfolk Barracks on Edmund Road and the Albert Hall which stood on the present-day site of John Lewis attracted large protesting crowds. The former saw 10,000 women descend on the venue which was to host Prime Minister Asquith in 1909 and the latter brought Lady Harberton to the city, a founding member of the Rational Dress Society. Perhaps the most publicised activists to come to Sheffield were the Pankhursts’. Adela, the youngest daughter of the Women’s Social & Political Union’s (WSPU) founder Emmeline, resided here for a short time and certainly stamped her mark. She chaired the Yorkshire branch of the WSPU, opened a suffragette shop at Chapel Walk and continued the fight for women’s rights. She even infiltrated the 285th Cutler’s Feast dressed as kitchen maid with the intention of causing a ruckus before being swiftly escorted out by the police. Five years prior to the Representation of the People Act you’d be right to assume that the upper echelons of higher management were dominated by men.
However, it was also the year that Ella Gasking was made managing director of the family business on the passing of her father. At only 22 years old, with her brothers at war and her mother unable to work, the Brightside-born Ella seized the opportunity and made Batchelor’s Foods a household British name. When Ella retired in 1948, Batchelor’s were employing close to 3,500 workers. She had taken a modest family business and created a food giant, and she was recognised as one of Britain’s leading businesswomen but above all she was known for her kind nature and hard work, a true Sheffield trait. Another momentous event in British history was the Abolition of Slavery Act in 1833. Similarly to the suffragette movement, Sheffield had its part to play and its lead campaigner was Mary Anne Rawson. Mary was born on Green Lane, Kelham Island, but
Ella Gasking 42 | www.exposedmagazine.co.uk
Credit: Santiago Arias Franco (@arias.arch.ph)
Credit: Santiago Arias Franco (@arias.arch.ph) Credit: Santiago Arias Franco (@arias.arch.ph) is most associated with Wincobank where she lived most of her life and founded the district’s first school, now the Upper Wincobank Chapel. Mary was the chair of the Sheffield Female Anti-Slavery Society and tirelessly championed her cause. Even with the passing of the Act in 1833, Mary was unsatisfied and soon formed the Sheffield Ladies Society for the Universal Abolition of Slavery. She penned many antislavery letters and reports including ‘The Bow in the Clouds’, a collection of prose that documented the affairs at that time. She would continue the fight throughout her life. Even in her final years she was raising money for the Thompson Normal School in Jamaica, one of the first teacher training schools on the globe. Mary is buried in the Zion graveyard in Attercliffe, a chapel her family had attended since she was a young girl. Outside Cutlery Works there is a mural dedicated to Mary Anne Rawson and the visit of Frederick Douglass, a former slave and campaigner. The First World War came at a time when women were in a nationwide fight for the same rights as their male counterparts. The Great War would prove, although it was not acknowledged until decades later, that for the British to triumph the factories had to keep producing and the lack of ‘manpower’ was counterbalanced by recruiting local girls
and women to fill their boots. Between 4-5 million soldiers were recruited to the British Army over the duration of the war and consequently two-million women filled their roles at home. The hours were grueling, the work was dangerous, but the output was vital to the war effort. In Sheffield the factories produced Spitfire crankshafts, artillery shells, tank treads and munitions for the front line. Yet women were often resented by their male colleagues despite being paid a mere pittance for their graft. When the returning soldiers returned from overseas the working female population were simply given their final paychecks and told of their redundancy. This was set to repeat itself once more a few decades later. A campaign launched by Nancy Fielding in 2009, editor of The Sheffield Star, to have a statue erected to remember those who kept the forges burning during the Second World War was realized in 2016 when it was unveiled in Barker’s Pool. With the help of public subscriptions more than £150,000 was raised to depict two steel workers, one carrying a pair of riveter tongs and the second holding welder’s gauntlets adorned in a boiler suit. 400 commemorative medallions were also made and hallmarked by the Sheffield Assay Office and given to the surviving Women of Steel or their families. These were the ordinary Sheffield people making an extraordinary difference, and they won’t be forgotten. Extended article available on Exposed website. @heritagesheffield www.exposedmagazine.co.uk | 43
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Extra Time Sports Bar
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FOOD REVIEW: A SAFE BET AT NAPS
Blending tradition with innovation, Owlerton’s Napoleons Casino has stood tall in its spot overlooking Penistone Road since 1996. You don’t enjoy longevity like that without moving with the times. Looking the part is one thing, which it certainly does, but as with all reputable entertainment venues these days it’s crucial to ensure the food and drink offering is up to scratch. It’s here where ‘Naps’ truly excels, offering a ridiculously good value slice of modern dining and casino fun with its Dine in Style menu: that’s a drink on arrival, 3-course meal and £5 bet – all covered by a mere £25pp. Yup, not only would we be suitably wined and dined on the cheap, but you can also enjoy a quick flutter once you’ve finished. Arriving at the venue on a Thursday evening, we were directed to the right of the casino area and towards the snazzy, glass-fronted restaurant. After being greeted warmly, we took our seats overlooking the casino floor action. Feeling rather Robbie de Niro, we ordered drinks and olives for the table before settling down to browse the menu – a surprisingly eclectic mix of meat, fish and veggie dishes ranging from steak to seabass to baked peppers and curried cauliflower pasties! First though: the starters. My partner chose the thai spiced fishcakes (my original choice), leaving me to plump for the garlic mushroom and spinach tartlet. Both arrived in good time, and being a considerate duo, we shared the spoils. The fishcakes were the highlight: flaky salmon with a spicy kick from the Asian flavours, complemented by drizzles of sweet chilli sauce providing the perfect dipping accompaniment. Our second dish, the garlic mushroom and spinach
tartlet, was a true savoury delight: fluffy pastry topped with feta cheese, crumbly on the outside and creamy on the inside. Just as it should be. The mains we chose couldn’t have been more contrasting. My choice, the Moroccan braised lamb shank, was a true sight to behold – a monolithic leg of meltingly tender lamb, served with red pepper couscous, harissa yoghurt and warm pitta. Combine the lot and you’ve got some delicious flavoursome wraps to have fun with – traditional comfort food with a twist. My partner opted for the baked pepper stuffed with chickpea and bean jambalaya, which might not have looked as impressive as my lamb at first glance, but it was bursting with satisfying cajun and paprika flavours from the jambalaya beans. For dessert, we again found ourselves diverging. I enjoyed a refreshing sign-off via the passionfruit cheesecake, brandy snap and mango compote – beautifully presented and providing a nice tangy hit; whereas my partner, now in full indulgence mode, tucked into a truly decadent, old-school classic: chocolate and black cherry roly poly with vanilla ice cream and chocolate custard. She described it as Christmas coming early, and it certainly looked and smelled that way (no sharing on this one!). Time to settle up and take our stuffed bellies to the casino floor with our tokens… Alas! We didn’t do fare too well with our post-meal bets, but we still left the venue perfectly satisfied, convinced that we’d just enjoyed one of the best-priced meals out in the city. Make sure you check out their latest menu (website below) when you next fancy treating yourself. Napoleons Casino 15 Livesey St, Sheffield S6 2BL, 0114 281 6191 napoleons-casinos.co.uk
food and drink
food and drink
Malaysian chilli sauce and paste company add some spice to Sheff Sheffield-based Malaysian chilli sauce and paste company Mak Tok has gone from strength to strength since its founder’s successful appearance on BBC’s Dragon’s Den. Will Chew, the Malaysianborn owner of Mak Tok, which is Malay for grandmother, spent the first couple of months of the pandemic running the business with his cousin, Shang, and both of them packed the orders themselves, promoted the products online, and generally took care of the company’s day-to-day business. The turning point for the company cam when Will, the company’s founder, appeared on Dragon’s Den, and secured an investment of £50,000 from one of the show’s presenters, Sara Davies, and since that appearance, the money has
been used to promote the business online through various food delivery services and social media sites. Will told Exposed: “The pandemic has given us the opportunity to explore the creative side of our marketing and discover new ways to stay connected with our consumers,” Mak Tok’s chilli paste recipes are part of the company’s success, too. The recipes, which are based on ones created by Will’s Malaysian grandmother, have proven very successful. Two kinds of products are currently available from Mak Tok: a selection of chilli pastes and chilli sauces which cater to all dietary restrictions; most of their products are vegan, and all of them include natural ingredients. But stay tuned – in the future, Mak Tok may unveil some new products… maktok.com
one in the tank
New Sheffield pub ‘first in the UK to serve Stella from the tank’ Dead Parrott Beer Company owner Mark Simmonite has launched his latest venture Perch Brewhouse, Kitchen, and Bottleshop, at 44 Garden Street. Perch claims to be the first in the UK to serve Stella from the tank and without added CO2, and also promises brewery-fresh beer from its ten casks, ten kegs and one tank on the premises. Mark will be curating a full range of beers with Belgian and Cider taps and will also be serving beers from his own onsite brewery, Dead Parrott Beer Company. Announcing the bar on Facebook, Mark said: “Welcome to Perch 46 | www.exposedmagazine.co.uk
Brewhouse, Kitchen & Bottle shop. Opening Aug 27th at 44 Garden St Sheffield, just up the Rd from Butlers Balti House. “Perch will be unique in many ways; for instance, you will taste beer like you’ve never tasted it before, breweryfresh!” The new bar also serves pizza straight from their authentic pizza oven, as well as burgers, which are both available to eat in and takeaway. Perch has a large rear courtyard, which will be used for seasonal beer festivals, and events including St. Patrick’s Day, and owner Mark already has a wedding reception booked in. facebookcom/ PerchBrewhouseSheffield
food and drink
shuffle on down Everyday we’re shuffling at the new Picture House Social venue
Image credit: Pedalo
Picture House Social’s epic gig room has undergone a mighty transformation over the course of lockdown and finally revealed itself as the city’s first ever dedicated shuffleboard bar last month. The all-new Shuffle Shack boasts four full-size shuffleboard ‘decks’, a bar serving old school classic cocktails (think Sex on the Beach and Miami Vice’s – holiday vibes), as well as a range of American beers, arcade machines, a fussball table and amazing artwork splashed across the walls courtesy of local artistic geometrist, Rob Lee. While they’ve loved putting on live music in the space, changing its use has long been an ambition for the Rockingham Group, who also own city-centre bars Public and Gatsby.
“One of the things we’ve always wanted to do with the big room in Picture House was to do something like a big game,” explains James. “When lockdown began, it gave us a chance to take a step back and look at the different businesses in more of a measured way, and it reminded us why we’d created the businesses in the first place.” “With Picture House, we decided to follow through with what we’d originally wanted to do and make something exciting, and something that’s just really good fun. Something not pretentious, that families can come and do, and that’s inclusive and a laugh. We found shuffleboard, played it, got hooked, and it’s all we ever do now when we’re meant to be coming to work!” shuffle-shack.co.uk
The Mowbray welcomes Italian Canteen back to its Supper Club It’s no secret that the Mowbray love the Italian way of cooking, and they’ll be welcoming back their popular Italian Canteen night on Friday 17th Sept. The Italian Canteen has always been one of their favourite Supper Clubs and they’ve now confirmed plans to whip up a late summer feast. You will be able to book seats ‘Up On The Roof ’ for pre-dinner drinks from their outdoor cocktail bar from 5pm 7pm – just be sure to let them know if you’d like to join them early by leaving a note in the comments box when you book. If the weather isn’t playing ball, you can join them at The Bar in The Mowbray instead. The Mowbray always work seasonally with the best ingredients they can get
hold of fresh from the market – so expect a plentiful, abundant feast! They are still finalising a few things on their menu, but they know that there will be: roasted sardines dressed with lemon, parsley, toasted pine nuts and raisins, and giant hunks of Mowbray-made rosemary and sea salt focaccia. There are also rumours of an epic Lamb ragu that they will be updating us on soon. As ever – the Canteen will be a rolling feast that just keeps coming, always rounded off by a worthy pud. They have a great option available for vegetarians and vegans and they usually start inviting guests to take their seats around 7pm, ready for service around 7.30pm. mowbray.co.uk
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festive fun at The OEC
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Spotlight on: Sheffield Distillery
That’s the Spirit After hosting distillery and tasting nights every couple of weeks (with great success) the next logical step for The Commercial Inn – a specialist real ale and spirits pub located in Chapeltown, Sheffield, was to set up their own distillery. Sheffield Distillery was built in the beer garden of the pub, registered as an independent business in 2017, and began distilling in September 2018. We spoke to co-founder and head distiller Paul Harrison about the journey so far. How did the journey first start for Sheffield Distillery? Well, we’re based at The Commercial Inn, in Chapeltown, which is still a real ale pub but we offer a lot of back bar too. There’s around 400 different spirits behind the bar – 100+ of which are gins, so it seemed like the right sort of progression to start doing our own gin. Who initially set up the company? The three directors are myself, Gary Sheriff and Paul Menzies – we finally registered the company in March 2017. Because we wanted Sheffield in the name, we had to get permission from Cutlers Hall. We began distilling in September 2018. Tell us a bit about the distilling process itself. How does that work in layman’s terms?
All the distilling is done using a water-heated copper pot still, which we imported from Portugal, and it helps to give our spirits their texture and purity. The copper reacts with the sulphur in the alcohol vapour, basically helping to provide a cleaner alcohol; the more copper contact you get, the better the alcohol will be at the end. With the copper equipment we’ve manage to create a really clean, syrupy alcohol.We’ve got one of the best vodkas in the world at the moment. That’s quite a claim! Yeah, the Assay Vodka has won two
gold medals – one in the International Spirits Challenge and one in the International Wine and Spirits Competition, so I think we can make officially that claim now. It’s not all been a rosy ride though. There was a fire in 2020 at the distillery? Yeah, there was a blockage in the still which ended up spraying 85 degrees ethanol all over me. That then ignited and, long story short, I ended up in the Burns Unit at Pinderfields Hospital for ten weeks, spending two weeks in an induced coma with second and third degree burns to
forty percent of my body. I’m okay now – I’ve had a couple operations and am slowly on the mend. We’ve now moved onto the big still and started working with a water bath, which means we can distil at a cooler temperature than before, allowing for a purer alcohol, which shows with the awards we’ve picked up in the last year. Glad to hear you’re on the mend. Looking forward, what’s on the horizon for Sheffield Distillery? Well, we’re always looking to improve things, tweaking bits here and there. At the minute we’re focusing on trying to get our navy strength range out before Christmas. We’ve got a couple of seasonal limited editions – a crab apple and rosehip gin for Autumn and a cranberry gin for Christmas, using proper base ingredients and botanicals. There’s also our favourites to keep working on such as the rhubarb and custard gin and the St Clement’s gin. It’s a labour of love but word is spreading nicely and there’s plenty more to come from us. sheffielddistillery.co.uk www.exposedmagazine.co.uk | 49
BRUNCH SIN FONDO!
We are now open at lunchtimes at La Mama from 12 noon offering bottomless brunch plus the normal menu. Brunch Sin Fondo (Bottomless Brunch) is only available for the whole table with guests receiving 1 hour and 30 minutes of bottomless fun. Each guest may order one dish from the brunch menu and receive unlimited drinks within 90 minutes. *There is an additional charge for side dishes, desserts, ice creams, liquors and coffees. Please only order one drink per person at a time.
FOLLOW US ON SOCIALS @LAMAMATAPASBAR 238 Abbeydale Road, Sheffield, S7 1FL Tel: 0114 327 9597 www.lamamalatin.co.uk
food + drink
WHAT’S COOKING? Ever wondered where Sheffield’s top chefs go to get their snap? … No? Well, we’re gonna tell you anyway. This month we caught up with Bench chef Tom Aronica to get his top shouts on the Steel City’s food and drink scene.
Cheeky Takeaway: Napoli Centro I am a VERY big fan of pizza, and Riccardo and the guys at Napoli are so good at it. Every time its spot on: chewy dough with the blistered crust. The toppings are as they should be and even when they go off-piste it’s still great. Oh, and get the fritti; they use the proper Italian breadcrumbs and the mozzarella bursts hotter-than-the-sun liquid into your mouth when you bite down. Out for Lunch: North Town Delicious cannoli, panini, bruschetta, meat dishes, fish dishes, and anything else Italian. North Town reminds me of my childhood a lot; when I first ate their meatballs I was transported to Sicily. We discovered these guys during the second lockdown and every Wednesday was meatball day. I don’t miss much from those times, but I do miss Meatball Wednesdays. Top Instagram craic as well.
Top Value: Piña Piña gave me my first experience of eating authentic Mexican food and for that I am forever indebted. Piña’s food ticks so many boxes for me: fun, delicious, informal and well executed. It’s also very reasonably priced; you can eat incredibly well at Piña, that’s for sure. You can also drink incredibly well, and a top-notch mezcal offering means you’re in for a top-notch night when you visit. Date Night: Ashoka Ashoka takes no introduction. Me and my better half have kids now so we don’t get out much, but when we do, we’re off to Ashoka. Rahul and his team smash it every time, their hospitality is spot on. The taxi driver curry is my go-to but you can basically order whatever and you’re in the safest of hands. And you get to take home some Parle-Gs for yer brew in the morning!
Underrated Gem: China Red If you’re a fan of Szechuan cuisine, you gotta get on China Red. I ask for recommendations and eat accordingly. As is to be expected with this cuisine the flavours are BIG – it’s hot, it’s pungent, it’s aromatic, it’s delicious. Everything I’ve eaten there has been delicious but I particularly enjoy the hot pot. I’d recommend going with a big group and ordering loads of stuff, or alternatively, spend the summer going on your own and working your way through the menu, just as I have. Now, a tip from us. Go treat yourself to some of the best cocktails, natural wines and seasonal dishes in the city by booking a reservation at benchsheffield.co.uk. @benchsheffield Bench, 7B Nether Edge Road, Sheffield, S7 1RU
After launching their selection of 100% sugarfree flavoured drinks earlier this year, LUXLO are serving up a new alternative in the fast-growing lower alcohol category aimed at the more mindful drinkers as they head back to bars and restaurants feeling more conscious than ever of health, wellbeing and consuming empty calories. At just 20% ABV per 25ml measure, these beautifullypresented sups can provide a more considered option when letting your hair down. Steve Adams, Founder of LUXLO, told Exposed: “When the idea for LUXLO first began to take shape, there weren’t many products available in the low and no category, never mind a lower ABV alternative to a full-strength gin. Now, the sector is growing fast to keep up with consumer demand and it’s so encouraging for us to see so many others joining the party. “LUXLO is a sugar-free, lower ABV and low-calorie spirit but packed with flavour thanks to the juniper base and nine carefully selected botanicals that are all individually distilled. The challenge for us was developing a great tasting product without adding sugar while maintaining a lower ABV.” Health and wellness are a hugely important combo these days, especially following the anxiety and stress caused by a worldwide pandemic, so giving consumers transparency on what is in their drink in terms of sugar and calories is a key message for the LUXLO team – particularly as the debate continues over hospitality venues being bound by government to display the calorie content of drinks on menus. LUXLO is also vegan-friendly and gluten-free. Head distiller Matt Servini tells us, “It isn’t about compromise – it’s about choice”, which is why he’s worked hard with the team to develop an inviting range of flavoured lower ABV spirits. The flavoured gin market has boomed over the last few years but if you are actively looking to consume less alcohol, then the choice of lower ABV flavoured spirits is limited. “Seeing how the low and no category is emerging really
Getting the LO-down
shows that brands are listening to consumers, and we’re excited to be a part of this trend. While many Millennials and Gen Z are mindful drinkers, they still want to enjoy themselves. With LUXLO they can drink less and drink better,” says Matt. LUXLO currently comes in four flavours: the original Ginny for those who love the juniper tastes of some spirits, Blood Orange for citrus lovers, Passion Fruit if you are looking for something exotic, or Pomegranate & Raspberry for that popular taste of pink berries. All four varieties are available in attractively packaged 70cl bottles at £30. Perfect for gifting, the large bottles are also available as a miniature discovery gift pack featuring all four varieties for £16. Time for a guilt-free tipple we reckon!
Need some GINsparation?
Lunch with a pal? Have a LUXLO and tonic with a slice of fresh fruit. Dinner with the fam? A LUXLO over ice is perfect to sip before the meal. Catching up the group? Whip up a jug of LUXLO and lemonade over ice with chopped fruit.
Would you like to win one of ten Luxlo Taster sets? Simply drop us a message on socials with the phrase LUXLO PLEASE, and you Available on Amazon, Master of Malt and www.luxlospirits.com could be sipping on aDrinkwell, LUXLO and tonic, pretending it’s still summer! or for trade enquiries contact email@example.com
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21 Rotating Craft Keg Lines // Wines Spirits & Non-Alcoholic Beers Venue Available for Hire 85 Sidney Street, Sheﬃeld, S1 4RG // 0114 303 9390 Follow us @industrytapsheﬃeld
Craft Beer Bar & Bottleshop Leadmill Rd, S1 4SE. Follow us on
This five-letter word denotes one of the most popular beer styles, not only in the UK, but the world. And there’s no wonder this typically sunshine yellow glowing elixir has become the go-to favourite for drinkers Under beer in the ‘family tree’ you have ale, lagers and let’s say mixed fermentation (sour or ‘wild’ doesn’t really cover the full gamut here). With lager branching into a myriad of flavours and colours spanning brewing countries around the world including more well-known historically like Germany and the Czech Republic. Some you’ll be more familiar with than others. There’s Pilsner, Helles, Dunkle, Rauchbier, Marzen, Festbier, International Lagers and many more depending if you go by the Beer Judging Certification Programme. To dive into the ingredients, brewing process and history of lager you’ll need to cover a good few hundred years, around 500, and if you haven’t got that time, I’d highly recommend picking up a copy of Mark Dredge’s ‘A Brief History of Lager’ which should comparatively take you few days to read through! I’m on my second reading of that book to be honest as there’s so much detail and the stories are so captivating, I’ve taken another dive in. I caught up with Dann and Martha from Sheffield’s Saint Mars of the Desert recently; who both share a real passion for all things lager. Hopefully you’ve had the pleasure of trying some of their lager inspired releases from Spezial to Smodbrau and Hopfenpils amongst others. And if you haven’t, this September is the perfect opportunity to head down to their brewery taproom for Smodfest. It’s a two-day lager celebration where they’ll be launching two new beers – a German inspired Festbier (they’ve even imported German hops from a small artisanal farm and are utilising heritage Hana malt) and a Czech inspired Pils (using Kazbek and Saaz hops). Tickets include a branded Seidel half litre glass, a special smodwurst sausage and your first beer. In the run up to the event we had an evening tasting through
a selection of lagers from around the world and discussing the nuanced flavours and wider net this style actually casts. Excitedly enjoying, in detail, the similarities and differences. Dann and Martha love the classics and that’s where they recommend drinkers start their journey; educate your palate with authentic beers before setting sail on an exploring mission. With the increased interest in craft brewers adding this style to their regular portfolios, the pandora’s box is certainly being opened in terms of ingredients, brewing process and flavour. Here’s a few we tried: Omnipollo x Camba – Bavarian Lager (5.2% Sweden x Germany) Omnipollo collaborate with specialist brewery equipment company Braukon’s state of the art brewery Camba to learn the authentic decoction technique. A light straw coloured, cereal noted refreshing crisp style Helles for perfect refreshment. Vinohradsky Pivovar – 12 Czech Pilsner (4.8% Czech Republic) Big foamy delight, pleasing sunshine colour, light body and a dry accentuated Saaz hop bite. Schonramer – Pils (5.0% Germany) Aromatic aroma, bright and clear straw colour with gentle foam and a kick of pleasing earthy hop bitterness. 200 years of brewing history and they’ve certainly mastered this style! Utopian – Black Lager (5.9% UK) This Devon based brewery takes inspiration from Czechia style black lagers, big chocolate aroma notes and great maltiness. The lager yeast used delivers a light and highly drinkable style; a great dark beer for non-dark beer drinkers. Double decoction mash and extended boil adding to the body and maltiness, with British grown Fuggles hops and British malt.
by JULES GRAY
lager is life!
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Rockin The Bowl
Rockin the Bowl Festival returns to the Don Valley Bowl this September for three days of open air headbanging and Exposed caught up with co-founder Steve Hughes to find out all about the event that showcases the future of hard, heavy and classic rock through its line-up of more than 25 artists and bands... Firstly, fill us in about Rockin the Bowl festival… Rockin the Bowl is an annual three-day open air rock and metal festival held in September at Don Valley Bowl, in Sheffield. It attracts bands and fans from across the UK, as well as from abroad. We have a main stage for national and international acts and a local ‘Steel Stage’ that showcases the best of the local talent. We think it is very important to introduce people to the wealth of quality musicians this city has to offer. We’re also adding camping for the first time this year, so even though it is in the city it will have that proper festival feel. Ticket prices are kept low so that anyone can afford to go, at just £35 for the three days and £45 including camping. What can people expect from this year’s event? We have the ‘Queen of Metal’ from Germany coming to headline the Saturday. Doro Pesch may not ring a bell with non metal heads but she commands audiences of 50 to 60,000 in Europe so we really do have a proper rock star on our stage. The Friday party have a band who have a great 70s Queen/ELO feel to them and are great musicians, Cats In Space. The whole thing will be wrapped up by Massive Wagons, a band that are getting bigger and bigger by the day with a UK top 10 album under their belt and some of the catchiest hooks to be found since the heyday of Status Quo. There will be a finale that will be talked about for a long time but unfortunately I cannot talk about it just yet, don’t want to spoil the surprise now. What are you particularly looking forward to this year? → 56 | www.exposedmagazine.co.uk
After the year and a half that the music industry has been through, I’m looking forward to those gates opening on the Friday and seeing people walking into the Bowl. It will be an emotional moment for all the team at RTB. How did you become involved with the event? My wife Zhany and I started the festival. The idea for Rockin the Bowl came about in late 2018. We noticed that the city of Sheffield was starting to get by-passed by a huge amount of bands from the rock and metal genre and started to wonder why this was happening. Sheffield has an enviable
pedigree for music which includes one of the best-selling rock bands out there in Def Leppard, so why weren’t bands coming? We have the fans, we have the culture, but we don’t have the venues for heavy rock and metal. City Hall doesn’t really do rock anymore, Corp is fantastic, but it is a small capacity venue, The Arena only attracts the really big names and The O2 isn’t keen on the genre either. While talking about these things we thought back to the time when Def Leppard played their legendary Don Valley Stadium gig and it suddenly struck us; let’s try and put another open air live gig together. The location was obvious -Don Valley Bowl! It was as close to Don Valley Stadium as is possible today. Rockin the Bowl takes place at Don Valley Bowl on 10 – 12 September 2021. Tickets available at rockinthebowl.co.uk www.exposedmagazine.co.uk | 57
holding court Back in 2019, Southbank Warehouse closed its doors after several years being at the forefront of Sheffield’s nightlife as one of the city’s most loved spots. Fortunately, it was recently taken over by a new owner who has transformed the industrial complex into a multi-purpose event space. With a capacity of 450 people, the spacious sun-trapped courtyard has been overhauled and completely renovated, with a festival-type décor being applied, just in time for the summer. Having opened for the first time during the Tramlines weekend, The Courtyard played host to three days of live music, DJs and a fantastic selection of food and drinks (including a huge range
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of premium gins and cocktails). The opening saw huge crowds coming in to visit the new spot, with attendees spreading word of the great scran, friendly bartenders and engaging atmosphere on offer. The Courtyard has plenty of exciting array of diverse events coming up over the next few months, including the a sold-out show for the heavy metal band Malevolence, who will be performing a hometown show and filming their new music video on the 11th September. The Courtyard are now taking bookings for 2022, so if you’re interested in hiring the space then get in touch with them on their Facebook page TheCourtyardSouthbank for more information.
la la la la la ... la Rumba! To all global dance music afficionados, you’re in luck because La Rumba is set to return to Sheffield with a season full of heavyweight bookings, day/night parties and live performances. That’s right, the Sheffieldbased party crew is back and bigger than ever. The season begins on 22nd September with a Freshers Week party featuring the Running Back label legend, Gerd Janson, and Manchester’s SNO, with a local crew of Sheffield talent on support. The following week (Friday 1st October) will see La Rumba’s biggest shows to date for their Foundry debut with a day party
featuring Nubiyan Twist and K.O.G. live with Mafalda on support, which will be followed by Maribou State, Dan Shake, and Mafalda with La Rumba’s residents on warmup duties. To round off the year, La Rumba will make their long-awaited debut at Hope Works on Saturday 13th November. The event will be a huge co-headline show, which features Dam Swindle (formerly Detroit Swindle), Tama Sumo, and Shanti Celeste, with local support from Daebak, Kudan, and Marcelo b2b Román. For more information on upcoming dates, visit their new website larumba.co.uk
planet zogg 21st birthday Yellow Arch Studios // September 3 // £15 Its been over two decades since Zogg first landed at the Otherside and they’re still on that hyperdelic journey. To celebrate they’re throwing a big party for Zoggers old and new featuring the usual mind-bending tunes in the main room, funky tunes in t’other, plus all the usual cosmic visuals, performers and who knows what else! yellowarch.com Manilla x Hope Works Presents: Partiboi 69 Hope Works // September 24 // £10-£25 Sheffield’s revered party shrine is getting well and truly back into the rave with their first bash of the autumn season, bringing the engimatic Australian underground g-house conoisseur into the dance. theleadmill.com The Tuesday Club Freshers Carnival Foundry // September 21 // £12+bf Sheffield’sIS biggest WHAT A and longest-running underTXOTX? ground clubnight is set to A txotx (pronounced “choch”) welcome the students to Sheff is a toast that began in the with a frankly ridiculous cider houses of the Spanish genre-spanning Basque Country. lineup of talent. Grime royalty D Usually as part of a special Double E headlines the Main occasion served Channel with food, Room and alongside theOne hostSoundsystem, opens up his barrel Harriet room to the public and tap in Jaxxon and Andy H;awhile is placed Room about 2 Thehead-height Beatriarchy will in be thelocking barrel using a txotx (a it down: Gracie small piece of wood). Whenand T, Shannon the Admin theD-Lish. tap is opened by the host, a thin stream of cider gushes out foundrysu.com of the barrel. Hedub then shouts “txotx” and shack everyone glasses Dryadbrings Workstheir // September to 24 the//barrel, £8+bftilts them towards starts drinking. After it 18and long months, Dryad Asbring it comes from a great back thesuch legendary height, it adds a load fizz to Iration Steppas to of Sheffield thefor cider improves an which all-night sound the system flavour andhailing also means you’re of session, the return pretty likely to get your hand Shack to the Steel City! soaked in the stuff. dryad.works www.exposedmagazine.co.uk | 59
Greedy Greek Deli The Greedy Greek Deli Welcomes Students Old & New to Sheffield. We have been serving delicious home- made Greek food for almost 20 years here in Sheffield from our Deli on Sharrow Vale Road. Everything from our famous Greek Hot Pitta Wraps to full meals like Lamb Kleftico, Moussaka and stuffed Vegetables. We have an extensive Vegan and Vegetarian range. Take a look at our menu on our website or download our app and get 5% off our delicious wraps.
Order online via our app or with Just-Eat for home delivery.
The Greedy Greek Deli & Greek Deli Direct, 418-420 Sharrow Vale Road, Sheffield, S11 8ZP. Telephone: 0114 2667719.
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IT’S PARTY TIME! After a cautious start, queer events are back with a bang this month, and in words I never thought I would write, the biggest LGBTQ+ event this month is a football tournament! The Sheffield Rainbow Laces campaign continue their mission to kick homophobia (and all forms of discrimination) out of sport, with their Rainbow Laces Tournament on Sat 18th September at Goals Sheffield. With over 40 teams signed up to the competition alongside spectators, there will be several hundred LGBTQ+ people and allies uniting for a day of food, drinks and what will definitely be a bangin’ DJ set from Anna Kissed. You can also catch up with some of the Rainbow Laces team at the Rainbow Blades pre-match socials (Sheffield United’s LGBTQ+ supporters club) before every home game at the Spirit of Sheffield bar. Sheffield’s popular fringe theatre Theatre Deli have now reopened, and will be hosting queer culture promoters Andro and Eve in a creative writing workshop for older (50+) LGBTQ+ people (Wed 8th Sept), an event led by poet and writer Ella Otomewo. If you are younger or do not want to attend an age-specific session, you can also attend their online session which is open to all ages (Wed 15th Sept). Also taking place at the Deli this month is ‘Too Pretty to Punch’ presented by Edalia Day (Thu 30th Sept), a comedy spoken-word show about gender, the media and not fitting any of the boxes. Award-winning artist Grayson Perry heads to City Hall on Friday 10th September for
an evening of eye-watering existentialism, plus there’s more live music from the iconic Bowie Contingent at The Dorothy Pax (Fri 24th Sep) and grunge punk band Hands Off Gretel at the Leadmill (Tue 7th Sept) – a venue which will also be seeing multiple RuPaul’s drag race alumni sashaying down the runway as Gottmik and Rosé (Thu 2nd Sept), Crystal Methyd (Thu 16th Sept) and Heidi N Closet (Wed 29th Sep) all take to the stage. We have more drag over at the Malin Bridge Inn with the return of ‘Drag Queens in the Garden’ (Sat 25th Sept) featuring Electric Blue and Miss Tish Ewe. And of course, we can’t talk about drag this month without mentioning the long-awaited release of Sheffield-based film Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Fri 17 Sep). While it is an online release, expect Jamie themed pop-up events and activities across the city. We have plenty of opportunities to dance this month as clubbing is officially back. We’ll see the return of LGBT+ Sheffield’s Women’s Disco (Sat 4th Sept) at their new regular home inside Spirit of Sheffield. Nightowls are also back at a new location in Sidney and Matilda (Fri 10 Sep] for a night of shape-throwing, pop-picking, singalong bangers. And last but by no means least, we have queer hedonists Club Rush at Gut Level (Fri 3rd Sep) featuring DJs Peggy Viennetta, Stephanie, Pig Ignorant and Prince Albert for a night of Italo, Acid, Techno and Madonna until the sun comes up. That’s your for this month - keep an eye on facebook.com/sheffieldlgbtevents for fresh updates and announcements!
LGBT+ listings Leadmill Thu 2 Sept: Gottmik & Rosé Thu 16 Sept: Crystal Methyd’s Wonderland Wed 29 Sept: Heidi N Closet City Hall Fri 10 Sept: Grayson Perry Theatre Deli Wed 8 Sept: Andro & Eve Creative Writing Workshop Thu 30 Sep: Too Pretty to Punch Rainbow Laces / Rainbow Blades 11/14/25 Sept: Rainbow Blades Pre-match socials Sat 18 Sept: Rainbow Laces Tournament Fri 3 Sept: Club Rush, Gut Level www.facebook.com/gutlevelsheffield Sat 4 Sept: LGBT+ Womens Disco, Spirit of Sheffield www.facebook.com/LGBTSheffield Fri 10 Sept: Nightowls, Sidney & Matilda www.facebook.com/nightowlsshf Sat 25 Sept: Drag Queens in the Garden, Malin Bridge Inn www.facebook.com/MalinBridgeInnPage
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Normal Service Resumed
Words: Mark Perkins It goes without saying that musicians have had a tough time over the last year and a half. No live gigs and almost no opportunities to record, unless it’s in your bedroom, so it’s good to see bands releasing music again and getting back out there again on tour. We’re longstanding pals of Public Service Broadcasting here at Exposed, going all the way back to a live session we filmed with the corduroy-clad duo in 2013, and they have a new album, Bright Magic, coming out this month. But it almost never happened, as their main man J Willgoose Esq recently told me over a brew back in early August. Thanks for having a chat. This is actually the first music interview I’ve done since all this madness hit. Fill me in on what’s been happening over the last 18 months. I imagine it’s not been an easy time. Yes, it’s been very odd. It’s a hard time to be releasing a record and thinking about a tour. I moved to Berlin in spring 2019, so we weren’t taking on much work. We played the BBC Proms, but other than that we had only played 12 gigs that whole year. We were gearing up for other stuff, but our last gig was September 2019, so we haven’t played for almost two years, which is heartbreaking. At the start of the first lockdown, most of the new album was written, but there were key bits missing and we hadn’t started recording at all. The biggest problem was that all our equipment was in Germany; I was paying for a studio and an apartment that I couldn’t even get into the country to get access to. It was very stressful, and I was starting to think it wasn’t ever going to happen at all, that we’d have to abandon the project completely. To make things worse, my equipment was marooned there. My guitar was untouched for 8 months. Thankfully things calmed down briefly in the summer last year, so we got back over there in September and recorded the album. But then another massive problem was Brexit. We needed to get all our equipment out of Europe before we had to declare it at customs. Even though it was mine, I’d obviously imported it to Berlin in 2019, when we were in the EU, with no problems, but it meant I had no customs forms. If I turn up now at Dover, with a vanload of equipment, they’re going to ask questions. 62 | www.exposedmagazine.co.uk
How was that time in Berlin? It didn’t seem as alien and weird as our summer [in the UK] felt. They seemed to handle it all better than we did at that time. It was nice to be over there. How did you arrive at the decision to make an album in Berlin, about living in Berlin? Er, well, I don’t really know. I didn’t know at the time. It’s just what the album became. It became about me interrogating that motivation. I asked myself, ‘Why do you want to do that? Why do you want to move to a city you’ve visited several times, and loved, to make an album? What is it about this place that’s drawn you in?’ You wouldn’t be the first though. There’s a long history of UK artists going to Berlin to record. Yeah, it’s kind of echoed down the ages with other artists like Bowie, Depeche Mode and U2. I wanted to discover what has made Berlin this creative magnet. I absolutely love Bowie’s ‘Berlin period’ and Low is possibly my all-time favourite album. It’s interesting: when you look below the surface, as is the case with much of Bowie’s stuff, at the stories that surround the albums – not all of it is true. Two of the ‘Berlin albums’ were not recorded in Berlin at all. You get these interesting legends connecting Berlin to people like Bowie, or going right back to someone like Marlene Dietrich. It’s a unique place, and has a strong attraction for creative people. I suppose everyone has their own version of the city. It still has an edge to it. I know I’m not in my twenties, like Bowie was when he moved there. I’m more fond of a nice walk and a museum than
what he was getting up to, but it was a really eye-opening experience to spend so much time in another European capital. It enabled me to see how things could be different when money is not the biggest motivating factor, which it kind of is in London. So, tell me about the record itself. I wanted it to be different from the previous three. I never see the point in just releasing more of the same; I like to move on. I think some people know us as a sample-based band, doing records about Spitfires, or space, or Welsh miners, and now we’ve come out with a record that’s mostly in German and has no samples on it! I knew there was no point moving somewhere as creative as Berlin, and then making something similar to the albums before. I ‘d already got the title in my head, it came before anything else: it was going to be Bright Magic. I wanted it to be about illumination and inspiration and imagination and magic. The record came from those thoughts, reading a lot and seeing what emerged. Gradually it started to piece itself together. I had discovered the work of Walter Ruttmann, through a happy accident, on a day off at an exhibition in Berlin. With the title in my head, it just seemed as though everything fell into place. His film, Wochenende (which translates as Weekend), was made in 1928 and was a huge influence. I read more about him, and how he made the world’s first audio collage, sampling everyday sounds of Berlin, which was so far ahead of his time. I wanted to do the same thing, with a modern spin. A lot of the field recordings on the record are my recordings of just walking round the streets. I used the original Wochenende sounds, but also added some of my own.
There was a point where you were going to quote some Bowie on the album, but it never happened. What happened there? We had discussions with the people who we needed to, to make that happen, but it ended up that the quote we wanted was being used somewhere else, so it never happened. Perhaps it would have been too on the nose, too obvious, so maybe it’s best that that didn’t come about. His presence is more in the background. Bowie very much took influences and incorporated them, and brought obscure things into the mainstream that he had discovered, often making them mainstream. Similar to the way David Byrne did. How are the rehearsals going for the live shows? We’d love to see you back in the Steel City soon! We haven’t started yet! We start tomorrow. It’s going to be different from previous live shows though. The last few records have been archive footage, screened behind the band, but this is a more conceptual, abstract, modernist album, but we know what we want to do, and hopefully the finances will enable us to do it. We’re not scheduled to be in Sheffield this tour, but we’ve played Sheffield multiple times, from Tramlines to the Leadmill, DocFest and a live session for Exposed. We’ve always loved it. Rest assured we will be back to Sheffield soon – promise. Bright Magic is released 24th September
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UNDERGROUND BERLIN-STYLE BAR IN THE HEART OF CROOKESMOOR ELECTRONIC MUSIC, SPORT AND EXCELLENT GERMAN BEER 18-20 BARBER RD, SHEFFIELD S10 1ED TEL: 07727 344404 @BERLINBARSHEFFIELD
Lauren Tate (Hands Off Gretel) The first record I bought The first record I ever bought was Fontanelle by Babes in Toyland. I played it nearly every day when I was 16. My Dad would shout up to my bedroom, “Lauren! It sounds like someone’s in labour up there!” because Kat’s voice was so screamy. I absolutely loved it!
Image: Lewis Evans
my first gig The first show I ever saw was Gwen Stefani on the Sweet Escape tour in 2007, I believe. I was in absolute awe of her stage presence and she owned that stage. I knew that one day that would be me. The first song I Performed I sang AC/DC’s ‘Highway to Hell’ at my Catholic primary school when I was 12. Haha! The kids were holding up devil horns and moshing like crazy as the headteacher cheered me on. That was the start of my teenage rebellion and my love for doing the opposite of what I was supposed to.
Hands Off Gretel play The Leadmill on 7th September as part of the band’s Still Angry UK tour.
a song i wish i’d wrote ‘The Hunger’ by The Distillers. Gosh, I love that song. I love Brody Dalle. A song I wish i’d never made It’s not that I want to delete our song ‘Be Mine’, I just hate how slow we recorded it. The EP bugs me because I knew it was too slow but back then I was too shy to say anything. I first fell in love with music I discovered the power of lyrics when I found P!nk as a teenager. I was dealing with bullies and mental health issues, spending dinnertimes in the toilets listening to her music. It felt like she was speaking to me, holding my hand to guide me through those lonely days. I always knew I’d grow up to write music of my own that could hopefully help people like she helped me. A song I can’t get out of my Head at the minute … ‘Transparentsoul’ by Willow Smith is currently on loop in my head. I love her. What she’s doing for young black girls, seeing a black woman doing so well in alternative music, will be the change we’ve needed to see in the music world for so long.
A record which reminds me of a specific time and place … It was summertime and me and my best friend were skipping class by hiding in the school toilets. We shared my earphones and I played her ‘Violet’ by Hole. I’d recently got into the band and I was watching my friend’s face as she heard Courtney Love scream for the first time. I told her, “I’m gonna learn to scream like that someday” – and I did.
Music allows me to … Express myself and be the class clown. I can show off, act the fool, make people cry, make people laugh. Music is my superpower to connect with people after spending most of my life not knowing how.
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Top Picks John Grant Octagon Centre // September 14 // £25-£27.50 ‘Former lead vocalist with cult band The Czars, the Denver-born singer has since carved out a far more successful career for himself as a critically-acclaimed solo artist. His style has smoothly moved from dark indie-folk to more upbeat ventures with electronic-pop and an orchestral collaboration with the BBC Philharmonic. shefftickets.gigantic.com Billie Marten The Leadmill // September 19 // £12.50 Billie Marten is an English singer-songwriter and musician from Ripon in North Yorkshire. She first came to prominence at the age of twelve when a video on YouTube of her singing attracted thousands of views. She released her first EP at the age of fifteen in 2014, her second EP a year late, and was later nominated for the BBC Sound of 2016 award. theleadmill.com
In their previous feature, wayyy back in November 2019, Sheffield-based Jetski were looking forward to a year of live gigs and festivals, with ambitions to play even bigger stages. Despite the setback of COVID, the band haven’t wasted any time in preparing for their return. We spoke to Charles (vocals/guitar) ahead of the release of their new single, ‘Jeans’. For anyone who didn’t catch your last interview, tell us a little bit about who Jetski is. Jetski have been playing as a band for nearly 3 years now, and we’re sort of like a blend of all the music that we all like listening to, in the indie-emo vein. We had a really great release for our debut and sold out a hometown gig which we were buzzing about, booked to do festivals like Y Not and a couple of other things and then I guess COVID just hit. We’ve spent the last 18 months just plotting and deciding what we’re gonna do next and how we’re gonna do it. In your last feature you said that in a year’s time you were hoping to be playing more gigs but obviously COVID put a bit of a spanner in the works there. How does it feel to be back playing live gigs again? We played the Tramlines Fringe and it was the best. We were nervous but we knew it was just a case of stepping back into what we were doing before. It instantly made me want to get back into it as soon as humanly possible - I could’ve played another gig the next day! Tell us a bit about what people can expect from the new single. When we went away for a bit during COVID we were 66 | www.exposedmagazine.co.uk
thinking about what songs are most applicable to be played on a big stage and at gigs that are really high energy, but also that can be listened to from home. Production is a big part of that for us, so we ended up doing that record with Jim Pinder who has worked with Bring Me the Horizon, Bullet For My Valentine, While She Sleeps, Busted - basically a guy who makes really, really good music in a bunch of different genres. Could you make another prediction for where you’d like to be as a band in a year’s time? If anything, the last year has shown me that predictions and plans don’t pan out how you want them to. The last year has made what’s important super visible, and the main thing I missed during the pandemic was not seeing my friends and not being in the band practice room and writing and creating music, so as long as that part can continue, I’ll play anywhere and everywhere. The new single ‘Jeans’ will be released on 3rd September. Tickets for Jetski’s headline gig at Record Junkee on 17th September can be purchased at jetskitheband.com.
Van Morrison Sheffield City Hall // October 29 // £52.60-£86.35 One of the finest singer-songwriters and live performers of his era comes to the Sheffield City Hall next month. Van Morrison has released over 40 albums with hits spanning the last 5 decades including Brown Eyed Girl, Have I Told You Lately, Moondance & Into the Mystic, to name a few. sheffieldcityhall.co.uk Nick Cave and Warren Ellis Sheffield City Hall // September 23 // £41.35£97.60 In their first ever tour as a duo, Cave and Ellis will play 20 shows across the UK this autumn following the release of their acclaimed album CARNAGE. sheffieldcityhall.co.uk
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Top Picks Rob Auton *rescheduled show* The Leadmill // September 13 // £12 ‘The Time Show’ is the latest comedy/theatre/spoken word show by writer and performer of some of what he writes Rob Auton. Following on from his critically acclaimed shows about talking, hair, sleep, water, faces, the sky and the colour yellow, ‘the Fringe’s comedian laureate’ (British Comedy Guide) now turns his attention to time. He will be asking questions such as ‘What time is it?’ and ‘What is it time?’ theleadmill.com
Words: James Mottram
“I’ve never felt more excited about a tour in my life,” says Simon Amstell. The British comedian and filmmaker is talking up his return to the world of stand-up, as he prepares to bring his new show Spirit Hole to audiences this autumn. “A blissful, spiritual, sensational exploration of love, sex, shame, mushrooms and more”, this 39-gig odyssey looks set to be on a par with his 2019 Netflix special Set Free, which took viewers on a surreal meander through Amstell’s fertile mind. After months of lockdown left him contemplating life, the universe, and his stand-up, Amstell is more than ready to go back out on the road. “The show’s better now as a result of all this,” he says. “If there’s a silver lining, I may be funnier!” Certainly, fans of his acute observational humour won’t be disappointed. Right back to his early forays at the Edinburgh Fringe and shows like 2010’s Do Nothing, Amstell has proved himself a master at skewering his own social embarrassment. Like a self-help guru, but a thousand times funnier. Take shame, an emotion he tackles in this new show. “I feel like I clear away a lot of shame by saying the stuff out loud that I’m worried about saying,” he says. “What I’m really scared of is not saying everything [but] leaving something out and then it remains this little demon in my head that’s making me feel like there’s something wrong with me. But the second I say the thing out loud that I feel embarrassed or ashamed to say and realise that nothing happened, nobody walked out the room, it’s incredible freeing.” While many have fallen prey during lockdown to dark thoughts, Amstell seems to be flourishing. “I think I really learned to surrender. Finally. We’re all under the illusion that we’re in control of our lives. And this was pretty strong evidence that we’re definitely not.” Ageing – another thing we can’t control – is also a big theme. “A lot of the show is about getting older,” he says. He turned 40 in November 2019, a milestone he struggled with. “We’re in a culture where we’re told there are options and we’re sold anti-ageing products, whereas really the advert should say: ‘Hi. Nothing can be done. Maybe get a hobby.’” Amstell has honed his style of confessional comedy, not just in stand-up but also on the BBC2 sitcom Grandma’s House, which he wrote and starred in. He continued this semi-autobiographical
Image: David Levene streak with 2018’s feature film Benjamin, which he wrote and directed. Dubbed “funny, charming and overpoweringly personal” by The Guardian, it told the story of a filmmaker, played by Colin Morgan, preparing to premiere his second movie as he falls in love with a French music student named Noah. “I really loved directing,” Amstell reflects. “I had an idea that I would love to do it. But then when I was actually doing it… every day it was just such a joy working with actors and hearing and seeing what you’ve written come to life.” He feels “optimistic” – a light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel feeling – after the year that the world has endured. “This is a planet we’re not treating very well,” he says, “and my hope is that we have been challenged enough to change in some way.” Rest assured, though: Spirit Hole won’t be one long gig about Coronavirus. “I feel like not mentioning would be a bit peculiar, but then going on about it would be slightly unbearable. I’ll only be discussing it through the prism of my own weird emotions.”
Simon Amstell’s Spirit Hole heads to the Leadmill on 12th September. Tickets and more info available at leadmill.co.uk
Sheffield Improv Comedy Jam DINA Venue // September 19 // FREE The Sheffield Improv Jam is a great place for new and experienced improvisers to come and play. For those who haven’t been to a jam before, you stick your name in a hat and as it’s pulled out you get to do either a scene or a game and will be joined on stage by other names from the hat. All welcome, regardless of experience Facebook.com/ sheffieldimprovjam let us make it up to your Theatre Deli // September 18 // £5 Bringing the best in improvised theatre and comedy to Sheffield - everything from murder mysteries to spontaneous musical numbers created on the spot and inspired by the audience. The Let Us Make It Up to You team finds the finest improvisers from around the world and combines them with great local talent to create a night of fascinating characters, uncontrollable laughter and unexpected emotional connection. theatredeli.co.uk
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THE SUICIDE SQUAD Anyone who went to see 2016’s Suicide Squad will have painful memories of its release. The problems were numerous: erratic pacing, inappropriate humour, Will Smith turning up and being Will Smith, and worst of all, that Jared Leto portrayal of the Joker which still stands as the worst incarnation of the villain, bar none. The fact that man is still allowed anywhere near a film set is staggering and needs to stop! In short, Suicide Squad was a steaming pile of merde! This is largely due to Warner Bros. ordering a last-minute recutting upon noticing the critical reaction to Deadpool, and I suspect the criticism pointed towards the heavily dark tone of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Plenty of the core elements sucked the big one too, so the blame cannot lie solely at the studio’s feet. Fortunately, James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy, has delivered this much-needed reboot of the titular villain team. Upon seeing the trailers, I’ll admit I was quite sceptical. Perhaps this is due to the fact that many superhero film trailers in the past have promised gold and then delivered coal. Recently, Gunn made some comments about the superhero genre needing to adapt as a whole in order for it to remain popular. This is true as far as the cinematic releases are concerned, particularly when one looks at the staleness (amongst other thing) of WW84 and the more recent Black Widow. Superheroes on television and streaming services (excluding all the ghastly dross on CW) are leading the charge of boundary-pushing storytelling and character exploration. If one had to choose between the aforementioned films and The Boys, Invincible, or any Disney + Marvel series, it would be a no-brainier. Thankfully, this film demonstrates that Gunn is practicing what he preaches. 70 | www.exposedmagazine.co.uk
The Suicide Squad is the film we were all hoping for back in 2016. A witty, action-packed, delightfully immature and subtly intelligent film that is Gunn’s answer to the staleness of the cinematic superhero, taking a hammer to the formula he helped create with Marvel. Gunn’s DC villains led largely by Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Idris Elba’s Bloodsport and John Cena’s Peacemaker all have wonderful chemistry and ample screen time. Gunn is wise enough to bring back the few good elements from the 2016 film, including Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flagg, Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller and Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang. Even the new characters, particularly the Stallone-voiced King Shark, are brilliant. Peter Capaldi shows up, too, to give us a welcome dose of Malcolm Tucker-style profanity. Team superhero films have a tendency to sideline one or more core characters, but Gunn’s direction is on-point here, giving us unexpected narrative turns, playful cinematography and the bone-crunching highstakes action everyone expects from a decent superhero flick. The shadow of Prime’s The Boys looms heavily over this, as does those of films like The Dirty Dozen and Where Eagles Dare. The film knowingly plays with the ticking clock third act by using a non-linear approach, and often challenges established superhero team tropes in an on-the-nose but satisfying fashion. I hope that more superhero films take this approach, as it was nice to leave the cinema with a big smile on my face and a yearning for more. Something the genre hasn’t delivered on the big screen for some time. 4.5/5 Get more news and reviews from the Exposed film writer’s podcast ‘Reid’s Reel’ – available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
A CLASSIC HORROR STORY A new Netflix horror flick from Italy sees a group of carpooling individuals (including some dude from Bristol) getting lost in the country and waking up in their camper van outside a red-coloured cabin, surrounded by a seemingly infinite forest. Sounds like everything you’ve seen before? Well, do not fear – as the title suggests, this is kind of the point. The film has some unsettling imagery and moments of wince-inducing gore, and although the plot doesn’t quite add up when you look back and consider the narrative events, it’s well executed enough that you buy into the story as it unfolds. The film deliberately leads its audience down several paths before the actual explanation is revealed towards the end. It’s safe to say the revelation whilst not entirely original is at least unexpected. Throughout, the film messes around with 70s and 80s horror conventions, largely those of the slasher genre, although it does evoke the memory of The Wicker Man and other country-themed horror films. It does become, however, a victim of its own premise. Whilst it knowingly recreates plot elements and shots from other films, it does feel a little derivative at times, particularly the last quarter of the film. Not the best horror movie to come out in recent years, but you could do a lot worse, and it does hold its audience throughout the well-paced 90 minutes, working its way towards an intelligent commentary on the desperate need to produce new, more extreme content for an apathetic and desensitised generation. 3/5
(REEL) STEEL YOURSELF! As part of the Sheffield Showcase weekend, local film event specialists Reel Steel will bring a 35mm screening of the Oscarwinning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon at Abbeydale Picture House this month. Taking place on Sunday 5th September, they’ll
be showing the highestgrossing foreign-language film in US box office history the way it was meant to be seen… on the big screen. Doors open at 3pm, film at 4pm. Tickets cost £5 and are available from events.ticketsforgood.co.uk reelsteelcinema.com
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THE GRIND CAFE KELHAM ISLAND
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A highly-anticipated punk-rock play explodes onto the stage at Sheffield Theatres this month Typical Girls is a play created by Sheffield Theatres and Clean Break, written by Morgan Lloyd Malcom and featuring the music of influential all-female punk band The Slits. The show is billed as part-gig, part-play and promises a funny, fierce and furious live performance. Set in a mental health unit inside a prison, a group of women discover the music of punk rock band The Slits and form their own group. An outlet for their frustration, they find remedy in revolution. But it poses the question: in a system that suffocates, can rebellion ever be allowed? “This is punk. This is rebellion. This is how we make change. This is what we need to do.” For the cast, Lucy Ellinson will be returning to the Crucible, following her starring role in Run Sister Run in 2020. She will be joined by fellow cast mates Helen Cripps (Women Beware Women, Shakespeare’s Globe), Lucy Edkins ([BLANK], Donmar Warehouse), Eddy Queens (Through This Mist, Clean Break), Alison Fitzjohn (Take That’s – The Band Musical, UK Tour), Lara Grace Ilori (Living Newspaper Edition 6, Royal Court) and Carrie Rock (Julius Caesar, Donmar Warehouse/St Ann’s Warehouse, New York).
Also returning to the Crucible will be Róisín McBrinn, who directed the 2014 production Afterplay by Brian Friel. Roisin told Exposed of her excitement in the build-up to opening night: “We’re over the moon to be co-producing this raucous, explosive show! Morgan’s script is electric, and we have a stellar creative team and hugely exciting cast. Clean Break is so proud to be returning with this joyous, important play and to be exploding it onto the beautiful Crucible stage!” Roisin continued: “The play takes place in a specialised unit within a women’s prison, where we meet a group a women who are offered a creative outlet via punk rock, and the result is electrifying. It is a joyful and often poignant window into the lives of these unique women and their struggles. We hope audiences will come on a journey with us as these complex, joyful women share bits of their souls, make us laugh, play great music and leave us wanting more.” Typical Girls will be at the Crucible Theatre from 24th September–16th October, with the performance on 6 October being live-streamed and available to watch online. Tickets and more info available at sheffieldtheatres.co.uk
Robert Hastie, Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres: “We couldn’t be more excited to be producing such a bold, riotous new play with a company as inspiring as Clean Break, and can’t wait to welcome this brilliant cast and creative team into the rehearsal room.”
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This story of four ordinary men in extraordinary times comes home after a sell-out run at the Studio in 2016. Exposed spoke to Kieran Knowles, who both wrote and performs in Operation Crucible, about his gripping Sheffield-based WWII drama. It’s great to see the return of Operation Crucible, which had such a fantastic reception here last time around. For those who might’ve missed it back then, could you briefly fill them in on the story? Operation Crucible is a story of four steelworkers who get caught up in the Sheffield Blitz. They don’t mean to be heroes, but they end up at the centre of a major event. They take shelter from the air raid in the Marples Hotel, only for the building to take a direct hit. The play is really about friendship in the darkest of times and community spirit and coming out of something stronger than when you went in. What made you want to make a play set during the Sheffield Blitz? It was an accident really. I wrote the play after developing the idea with three other actors who I trained with at LAMDA. We wanted to tell a story of when being working class was a badge of honour, when doing what your dad did was seen as passing on the mantle, not failing. 1940s Sheffield was booming, the steel they made was worldrenowned and because of the war effort the factories were producing as much as they ever had. As two of the actors were from Sheffield, that seemed like the perfect setting. Do you think there’s a message in the play’s themes of hardship, sacrifice and unity that could be relevant to the problems we’re facing today? We’ve done the play for eight years now. We opened in 2013, and every time we’ve done it, there has been a way to tie it to current events, which is a little depressing. In 2013, a helicopter had just hit a nightclub in Glasgow and the building came down; in 2016, when we last came to Sheffield, we were six years into austerity measures
and remembering working class roots seemed vital. In 2018, we took the show to New York and obviously that city can tie the events to living memories. It now sort of seems more pertinent than ever; there’s something in reminding ourselves that we can get through this, and we can do that by sticking together. How important are the characters’ roles as local steelworkers to the story? It’s fundamental. They are old school characters; they shouldn’t really be on stage. They are four versions of my Grandad – almost monosyllabic, but profoundly loyal, and fiercely proud. Their profession is their life. They live on the same streets, drink at the same pubs, work in the same factory, on the same floor. They are as intertwined as it is possible to be, and that weaves itself into the narrative. Finally, can you sum up what it means to you and the rest of the cast to be bringing this story back to life in front of a live audience? I don’t really know whether I can. This play means so much to everyone involved. We all found theatre independently, but I think for the last eight years this piece has been a definition of the sort of theatre we want to create. Some of the team are from Sheffield and some of us have memories with this venue, so there’s a lot of emotional history with the play, with our journey to get here. I think it’s a story that Sheffield needs to hear right now. We need theatres so that people can laugh and cry and enjoy a chink of hope and light in dark times. So – no, I don’t think I can sum it up or coherently and eloquently express it, but – it means a lot, a massive amount, it means everything.
Operation Crucible runs at Crucible Theatre Thu 2 – Sat 25 Sep. Tickets and more info available at sheffieldtheatres.co.uk
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Culture: Theatre Deli
THE STAGE IS SET Sheffield’s favourite fringe theatre is back with the company’s first season of work this year. The Theatre Deli team are delighted to once again throw open the Eyre Street venue’s doors to audiences with an eclectic programme of the best-up-and coming performances from around the country. Photo: Foteini Christofilopoulou With the autumn programme launching this month, we spoke to the venue’s co-artistic director Nathan Geering about what we can expect from the reopened venue. Welcome back! How’s it been getting ready to reopen the doors at Theatre Deli? A bit crazy! I was appointed along with Ryan [fellow co-artistic director] at the beginning of June, so we’re still fairly new in appointment. The first few months have been spent trying to get our heads around what works with Theatre Deli currently, what can be improved and what new elements we can bring to the table. ‘New elements’ always sounds fun. What have you come up with? Well, the first event we ran here as co-artistic directors was TOAST & JAM, which was basically a big get-together for the city’s artistic community. We wanted a load of different disciplines all up in the same place, just jamming and vibing with each other. We had aerial silk performers next to roller skaters, next to actors and live artists such as hula hoopers and breakdancers. It was such a wicked vibe, a great toast to the diversity of artists in the city, and we hope it can eventually result in some exciting collaborations. We want to really kick the doors wide open and get as many different communities as possible in to utilise the space. These spaces are for the people, and we’re really passionate about promoting that. How are you planning to reach those wider communities in the city? We’re going to be visiting lots of different communities in the city, talking with community leaders as well as groups and asking what art they’d like to see at Theatre Deli, so they can feel represented by what we’re offering artistically. We’ll also be a leading a number of workshops where people can gain a deeper understanding of what theatre can be, showing that that it’s more than just Shakespeare, and there are forms of physical theatre – hip-hop theatre, for example – that people can get involved with. There’ll also be stuff about what’s it’s like to be a director/choreographer/sound technician and how people can utilise skills they already have to become involved in theatre. For example, beat producers can use those skills to
make soundscapes for theatre, MCs can utilise rhyme-writing to become scriptwriters. There’s a lot more scope to it, but that’s a brief idea of what we’ll be talking about. Sounds great. How’s the prep going for return of live events to the Theatre Deli? Prep is going good. There’s a lot to do, but we’ve got a great lineup. The autumn programme was put in place before myself and Ryan arrived, and our first full-year programme starts in January. We’ve got some wicked pop-up events we’ll be putting on, as a bit of a flavour for what will be arriving later, so stuff like a fully immersive hip-hop horror show, which will be tons of fun, and a few local and slightly further afield artists we’ll be reaching out to to come and perform. There seems to be a real onus on promoting local artists and wider accessibility. How else will you be providing that support? Yeah, big time. We’re passionate about ensuring artists can become entrepreneurs, we’re really keen to promote and provide ways of exploring different financial models with artists to help them become more self-sustainable. In terms of accessibility, we really want to set the standard on that. We have an exciting new Accessibility Policy we will be announcing very soon. Stay tuned for that. We’re running out space here, but what else can you tease us with events-wise? There’s loads! We’ll be hosting clubnights here soon, different kinds of nightclub activities so it can be become a real party destination. We’ve recently hosted an awesome roller skating event – we have the perfect floor for it and the old-school 70s vibes with fancy dress looked wicked. We’ll also be introducing movie nights, where we’ll be showing everything from old-school kung-fu movies to Bollywood classics to old school horror movies. There’s going to plenty on for everyone, so keep tuning in for updates! Theatre Deli Sheffield 202 Eyre St S1 4QZ @theatredelisheff
Tickets for Theatre Deli’s autumn programme are on sale now and can be purchased online at theatredeli.co.uk.
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WHAT'S ON THIS AUTUMN 2/9
The Nobodies Chalk Line Theatre Drama | 12+
A Midsummer Night’s Dream Rubbish Shakespeare Company Family | Comedy | 4 - 104
Let Us Make It Up to You Open Heart Theatre Comedy | Improv | 16+
Test, Track, Trace Next Left Drama | Comedy | Poetry | Music | 16+
Planet LOL the future is unwritten Drama | Comedy | Sci-fi | 12+
Exploring the Man | Puberty Namiuki Productions Dance | 11+
Boris the Musical 3: The Johnson Supremacy Blowfish Theatre Company Comedy | Musical | 14+ 6/11
Game Over (GUY VR) leo&hyde Virtual Reailty | LGBTQIA | 15+
Lovefool Rachel E. Thorn Comedy | 16+
Joygernaut Andy Craven-Griffiths Drama | 15+
Too Pretty to Punch | Edalia Day Poetry | LGBTQIA | 16+ or gender questioning/trans children of all ages
Catch 22 Years Katie O’Brien Comedy | 15+
The Empathy Experiment 2.0 Rose Condo Poetry | 12+
Fruitcake - Ten Commandments from the Psych Ward | Rob Gee 20-21/12 Spoken word | Comedy | 16+
Lost at Shore Fish Pie Cabaret Comedy | 14+
Can I Touch Your Hair? Lekhani Chirwa Drama | 16+
Vessel Laura Wyatt O'Keeffe Drama | 14+
There is No Planet B Hassun El Zafar Drama | 12+ Reyt Queer Do* Andro & Eve Cabaret | Party | LGBTQIA The Star Bazaar's Christmas Double Ding-Dong Cabaret | 18+ The Elves and the Shoemaker Motley Minded Cobblers Family | All ages STAY TUNED FOR OUR POP UP EVENTS Alongside our incredible programme, look out for events, workshops and performances curated by our new co- Artistic Directors Ryan Harston and Nathan Geering, which will be popping up throughout the season.
*Reyt Queer Do will be on sale in September subject to Covid-19 safety measures
Picture: Jason Mallard William Turner Inset: Phlegm
Typical girls Crucible Theatre // September 24 – October 16 // £15- £29 In a specialised unit inside a prison, a group of women discover the music of punk rock band The Slits and form their own group. An outlet for their frustration, they find remedy in revolution. But in a system that suffocates, can rebellion ever be allowed? Part-gig, part-play, Typical Girls is funny, fierce and furious. sheffieldtheatres.co.uk
BACK ON DISPLAY
Sheffield’s much-loved Graves Gallery is set to welcome visitors again from Friday 3 September following a six-month programme of refurbishment and re-display. New displays making their debut include an exhibition of work by sculptor Mark Firth, the first chance to see Pandemic Diary, a new series of drawings by Phlegm, a new exhibition curated by pioneering artist Keith Piper, as well as a new display on the theme of landscape. Sheffield Museums’ initial programme of redevelopment and re-display has seen walls re-cladded in three of the main galleries, which had remained largely unchanged since the gallery opened in 1934, as well as redecoration to breathe new life into the display spaces. In addition to the improvements, the gallery has also seen a complete changeover of a third of the artworks on display. The first new exhibition in the gallery celebrates the work of sculptor Mark Firth. Precision as a State of Mind (3 Sep 21 – 15 Jan 22) will include 83 new and recent works, including Ten Cubes for Sheffield (201920), a new series made exclusively for the exhibition. The works on display showcase Firth’s continual preoccupation with geometry and his exploration of the meeting point between art and engineering. Firth’s practice reflects a long family connection to Sheffield’s engineering history – his great, great grandfather was the steel magnate and philanthropist Mark Firth,
whose generosity helped found the Universty of Sheffield. Also on display will be Pandemic Diary (2020) by Phlegm – a collection of 67 pen and ink drawings and one engraving, which go on public display for the very first time. This new acquisition chronicles the acclaimed artist’s response to lockdown and joins the city’s visual art collection thanks to funding from the Contemporary Art Society Rapid Response Fund. Another new highlight is a powerful exploration of alternative and outsider perspectives on our recognised histories curated by artist Keith Piper, one of the co-founders of the seminal Blk Art Group. The new display is led by Piper’s own large-scale work The Seven Rages of Man (1984-2018), which imagines seven ages, or rages, through which the black dispersed population has passed, but also the future to come. The final gallery redisplay embraces the theme of landscape and showcases many of the remarkable landscape paintings and works on paper from the city’s collection. Returning favourites including JMW Turner’s Opening of the Vintage at Macon (around 1803) and Sheila Fell’s Snowscape, Cumbria (1977) go show alongside new additions including works from Fay Godwin’s atmospheric Yorkshire photographic series Remains of Elmet (1979) and another new acquisition of work by Haroon Mirza, which joins the city’s collection through the generosity of the artist and facilitated by the Contemporary Art Society.
Matthew Bourne’s The Midnight Bell Lyceum Theatre // September 20- September 25 // £15£45.50 Matthew Bourne’s new World Premiere for New Adventures explores the underbelly of 1930s London life where ordinary people emerge from cheap boarding houses nightly to pour out their passions, hopes and dreams in the pubs and bars of fog-bound Soho and Fitzrovia. sheffieldtheatres.co.uk Boris The Musical 3: The Johnson Supremacy Theatre Deli // September 22- September 25 // £13.31£15.43 From the makers of Boris the Musical 1 and… well, 2 (obvs) comes the next tragicomic instalment in Britain’s political nervous breakdown. Boris is PM. Labour’s in opposition. Again. At least 2020 was uneventful… From General Election 19 to Covid Britain, join Blowfish Theatre as they prove once again politics is no laughing matter. theatredeli.co.uk
The Graves Gallery will reopen on Friday 3 September – entry to the gallery is free.
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