Exposed Magazine July 2024

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available until 6.00pm, SUNDay TO FRIDAY

Treat yourself to a delicious cocktail or two!


>> House Spirit Double £7.00

>> Selected bottled beers £3.50 - Corona and Super Bock

>> Selected house wines £4.25 per glass or £18.50 per bottle. Choose from Pinot Grigio White, Pinot Grigio Rosé or Montepulciano Red

>> Prosecco - £22.50 per bottle

>> Sangria or Sangria Blanca £22.50 per jug


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

available until 6.00pm, SUNDay TO FRIDAY

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

2 tapas dishes for £12.95 £5.00 off ANY Of our tapas set menus –– OR ––

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

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

Cubana’s LATEST Cocktail & Drinks Menu


OUR LATEST DRINKS MENU BOASTS OVER 50 AMAZING COCKTAILS, and we truly believe it’s our best menu yet!

Discover the Cubana originals - there are over a dozen Cubana original recipes, one-of-a-kind concoctions that you won’t find anywhere else:

VERY BERRY JERRY is a divine blend of spiced rum, raspberry liqueur, fresh blackberries, and raspberries combined with cranberry juiceIt’s like sherbet, lollipops, and sunshine dancing on your palate!

We’ve crafted an entire section of the menu dedicatedly solely to the nectar of the godsRUM! Indulge in the authenticity of traditional Cuban cocktails such as, EL NACIONAL, invented in the prestigious Hotel Nacional, Cuba or you can explore our imaginative twists on legendary classics.

Let the SINGAPORE SLING; or the refreshing STRAWBERRY CAIPIROSKA whisk you away on a tropical journey of flavour.

Can’t Find Your Favourite? No Worries .. If your go-to cocktail didn’t make the cut, our talented bartenders will be happy to oblige.

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


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



Phil Turner (MD)

Nick Hallam (Sales Director)


Lis Ellis (Accounts)


Sheffield-based street artist Peachzz recently completed her largest work to date, a stunning five-storey mural titled ‘Reverie’ overlooking Pound’s Park. Celebrated for her vibrant use of color, the work reflects the city’s blend of urban life and natural beauty. She discussed her journey with Exposed for this month’s cover interview.


Neil Hannon, frontman of The Divine Comedy, reflects on his eclectic career, from Britpop classics to scoring the latest Wonka film. Known for his witty, literary songwriting, Hannon discusses his social awkwardness within the Britpop scene, admiration for Sheffield music and excitement at playing next month’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus.


Sheffield-based musician and writer Loic J Tuckey, inspired by his love for the American West, recently released a new album and debut novella, blending old Italian westerns with the humble Lincolnshire sausage. We went to find out more…


a collaborative show featuring some of the city’s most exciting creatives, We Love What You’ve Done with the Place delivers a sharp critique of contemporary issues through a diverse range of mediums. Exposed interviewed the concept’s creators, Kieran Flynn and Melville, to discover what else to expect from the upcoming exhibition.


Joe Food (Editor)

Ash Birch (Online Editor)

Lizzy Capps (Content Creator)

Marc Barker (Design Dogsbody)


Heather Paterson, Mark Perkins, Rosie Knapp, Amy Britton, Maja Drwal, Q Cummins


Exposed is published monthly by Blind Mice Media Ltd Unit 1b, 2 Kelham square Kelham Riverside Sheffield S3 8SD

16 Years the festival has been going since starting in the Steel City.


100+ Acts spread across seven key stages.

40,000 People expected to pack out Hillsborough Park for the event.

It’s that time of year again – Sheffield’s biggest music-based event returns this month! This year’s Tramlines Festival takes place 26–28 July at Hillsborough Park and will feature an eclectic lineup of music, comedy, art, performance and more.





This year, Tramlines is showcasing three headlining stages: The Sarah Nulty Main Stage, T’Other Stage and The Leadmill Stage.

Headlining The Sarah Nulty Main Stage are Paolo Nutini, Jamie T and Snow Patrol, each making their debut appearance over the three-day event. Supporting these headline acts are Bombay Bicycle Club, Tom Grennan and returning Tramlines favourite, Sophie EllisBextor. Anticipate a special home turf appearance from Sheffield legends, The Human League, marking their first UK show of the year.

Over on the Leadmill Stage, this year’s crowd-pullers include The Mysterines, PEACE, The Magic Gang, Been Stellar, English Teacher, among many others.

Scoot over to the T’Other Stage, and you’ll find a brilliant lineup of standup comedians by day and a melting pot of musical talents by night. Headliners include Britpop icons The Charlatans, Brit Award winner Holly Humberstone and Mercury-nominated Yard Act. The comedy headliners bringing the laughs include Hull’s funniest, Lucy Beaumont, loveable oddball Angelos Epithemiou and 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown captain, Jon Richardson.

The Library Stage is where you can find the best local talent – many hailing from South Yorkshire –offering a wide mix of neo funk, soul, ska, indie and rap. This year’s Apply To Play competition winner, Barnsley-based Hannah Rowe, headlines the Friday, with Sheffield rap royalty KDOT shelling it down

on Saturday and much-loved singer-songwriter Ed Cosens playing Sunday.

The Open Arms will be its usual mini festival within in a festival, hosting the perfect party acts for some daft, unpretentious fun. Old Dirty Brasstards will be performing horn-led covers of your favourite tunes, the ever-popular Barrioke makes a welcome return and the ABBA Party promises to get all the dancing queens grooving.

Elsewhere, we have the Speakers with Slambarz stage, dedicated to showcasing the best young lyricists rappers and DJs from the Steel City and further afield. This stage will feature a dynamic lineup including DJ Dylor, Law Break, SL Kutta, AJ, Kid Blue and Teewhywho?.

Nestled in a secluded part of Hillsborough Park, Into the Trees is an oasis perfect for the little ones. Run by Pop Up and Play, this area offers three new play zones – The Spinning Top, Craft Den and Treehouse Stage – making it a family-friendly summer holiday experience worth venturing out for.

This year’s event will also provide a platform for small Hillsborough-based businesses to showcase their wares. Head to Little Hillsborough and you’ll find homemade items from Annie Jude’s, works from local artist Luke Horton and Michael LeCount’s Bricks and Bits shop, a haven for Lego enthusiasts. For the full lineup and ticket information, head to www.tramlines.



Every year, The Fringe at Tramlines, supported by Sheffield BID, brings free outdoor stages and a huge variety of music to Sheffield’s pubs, clubs and bars. This vibrant event returns alongside Tramlines Festival at Hillsborough Park on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th July, promising a weekend full of music, culture, and entertainment. Curated by Alan Deadman, the Fringe Stage at Devonshire Green will feature an eclectic mix of live acts and DJs, highlighting the best of Sheffield’s vibrant music scene. Among the standout performers is Ripton Lindsey, the amazing Jamaican dancer who got the crowd moving last year. Ripton, a DJ, poet, dancer, and choreographer, has collaborated with legends like Afrika Bambaataa and Daddy G (Massive Attack). His ‘Jamaican Carifolk Dance’ is set to be a highlight once again. Street Robots will deliver their high-octane live show with punchy breakbeats and effervescent guitar riffs, ensuring an unforgettable performance.

The Waterbear/Tracks Collaboration will showcase the best-emerging talent in Sheffield, featuring Good Damage from Waterbear College of Music and two competition winners from Tracks Sheffield Music School. Both organisations are making huge waves in the local music scene, with Tracks recently hosting a surprise visit from Ed Sheeran, who jammed with the students and offered words of encouragement.

Sparkle Sistaz, a fantastic all-female group from Sheffield, will also grace the DJ decks. This group of DJs come from Under the Stars, a Sheffield charity that enhances the lives of people with learning disabilities through high-quality music and theatre. Sparkle Sistaz brings a unique energy and style to their performances.

The Fringe Stage will also feature a diverse array of acts over the weekend, including Highway Child, Speed for Lovers, Solar Love Society, Mango Rescue Team, Shanghai Treason, Shine Choir, Jungle Lion, Soul Battalion, and Blue Street Brass. DJs Myna, Kom, JuJu Master, Izza Dancer, Ian Hodgson, and Papa Al will keep the crowd dancing throughout the weekend. In addition to the main event sponsor, Sheffield BID, the Fringe stage has received funding from the Sarah Nulty Power of Music Foundation, a Sheffield-based charity founded in honour of former Tramlines Festival Director Sarah Nulty, which supports charities and organisations using music to improve people’s lives.

Supported by Sheffield BID and Sheffield City Council, The Fringe at Tramlines promises not only a fantastic line-up on the main stage at Devonshire Green but also a range of activities and performances across dozens of venues throughout the city.

Keep an eye out for a handy free printed programme that yours truly will be producing Media and distributing throughout the city, with a digital version also going online at

day and night in the heart of the City.

Orchard Square is an open air courtyard home to boutique shops and big name brands, restaurants, bars, cafés and more, right in the centre of Sheffield, just off Fargate. Open early until late for all of your shopping, dining and leisure needs.


The Seven Hills Whisky Festival is taking over The Steamworks in Sheffield for one day only – the perfect opportunity for whisky lovers and novices alike to experience a day of taste testing and masterclasses.

With 200 whiskies to sample, there’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy. Highlights include offerings from iconic distilleries such as Singleton, Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Clynelish. Additionally, the festival aims to showcase whiskies from emerging distilleries, bringing them to the forefront of the whisky scene. Taking place on Saturday, October 5, it will bring together Sheffield’s seven hills with Dufftown’s seven stills to celebrate the Sheffield landscape and Speyside’s whisky history. A fruitful collaboration with retail partner Mitchell’s Wine

Merchants – the city’s premium wine, whisky and spirit shop – has helped bring the event to life.

The expert-led masterclasses will provide an opportunity to delve deep into the world of whisky, learning more about its history, production and various tasting techniques.

Throughout the day, there will be a variety of street food stalls to peruse, not to mention a dedicated oyster bar. Music from live DJs will add a vibrant atmosphere to the whole festival experience, with tunes spanning the decades.

Along with your ticket, festivalgoers will receive a free Glencairn whisky glass to take home as a memento, as well as a ‘Dream Dram’ token. The token can be used to sample a super-premium bottle of whisky worth around £200.

Don't forget you can let the fun carry on at home by purchasing a gift from the onsite bottle shop or merchandise stand. Tickets are on sale now from £45 or save £10 by opting for a 2-for£80 deal. They can be purchased from the festival’s website: www. Follow their socials for further updates: @seven.hills.whisky.festival

FRIDAY 26TH JULY: 17:00 - DJ | 19:00 - MONTUNO 21:00 - DJ | 23:00 - CLOSE SATURDAY 27TH JULY: 13:00 - JULIAN JONES | 15:00 - DAN MILSON 17:00 - FAJADJA | 19:00 - KING ZEPHA 20:30 - DJ ALGIE | 23:00 - CLOSE



Fancy a kickabout? Immersive football experience Yard Ball will open on Little London Road (in the old Arnold Laver depot) this summer.

Taking it back to the streets, you’ll be able to challenge your pals in a series of nostalgic football challenges ranging from small fixtures in the garage arena to a spot of kerby.

Elsewhere, you can have a go at bending one into the top bins (literally), testing out your volleying skills and unleashing your inner Tony Yeboah on a net which appears to measure shot speed (Exposed top tip: head down, use the laces).

Once the full-time whistle has sounded, participants can focus on some post-game recovery with a fully-licensed bar and an arcade area on offer.

A Yard Ball spokesman said: “We’ve had so much fun putting everything together, we know it’s going to be a huge success. We can’t wait to open the doors to people this summer. Just like Alan Shearer in his prime, it’s all about those finishing touches.

“Football is such a big business now, and sometimes we need to remind ourselves of what it’s actually all about – playing games and having fun with your mates. Yard Ball combines simple games and subtle tech to bring the 90s back to life. We like to think we have created a venue that all generations can enjoy.”

What time’s kick-off, you ask? We’re told the new venue should be open by the beginning of the summer holidays. Head to now for booking queries.

Sheffield-based street artist Peachzz recently completed her stunning ‘Reverie’ piece on the side of the Cubo building. Overlooking the newly installed Pound’s Park, the five-storey mural celebrates the city’s unique blend of intersecting urban life and natural beauty.

Photography: Faye Cooper @streetartatlas

Words: Joseph Food

Known for vibrant and expressive use of colour, Peachzz has become a well-known figure in the street art community, injecting life into walls across the globe. Following the completion of her largest work to date, the artist took the time to speak to Exposed Mag about her creative journey so far.

When did you first start getting involved in art? I’ve pretty much always drawn and painted. I’d remember being at my grandma’s when I was young, and I was inspired by her initially because we’d sit down and do creative things together. So, I’ve always wanted to be an artist. Actually, I wanted to be a vet first but found out I was allergic to animals, so that went down the pan! I carried on with art but couldn’t quite find my medium for a while. I was drawing in black and white a lot, just because I was comfortable with it, but I couldn’t really find something that gelled with me.


That’s interesting as your murals today are known for vibrant and expressive splashes of colour. When did that change?

I studied illustration and graphics at Sheffield, which was really useful, and in my final year a friend asked if I’d like to go spray painting. I’d done a little bit before and watched a few people doing it, but I remember thinking, “That looks impossible!” At the time, there was a lot of abandoned buildings we could use for practice, particularly around the back of Niche [Nightclub] in the city centre, and a group of us would go, sometimes two or three times a week as we were that into it. I didn’t really expect I’d have a career out of it; I just really enjoyed the community.

The deeper I got into street art, attending various jams, I became more addicted to it. Thomgs slowly grew from somebody offering to pay me to paint a mural for them, and then after a while, there was enough work for it to become feasible for me to quit my job and paint. It’s still mind-blowing to me now!

When I first went into a shop to buy spray paint, it was like being a kid in a candy store. There are all these cans lined up and some of the most vibrant colour palettes you could imagine. That was obviously influential in going from one extreme to the other. Bright colours make me happy because you can see the positive effect it can have on people and spaces. It’s important for me to bring wildlife and bright colours into concrete spaces, as it’s nice to be reminded about what you can find outside or close to urban city spaces.

I suppose it also links nicely to those early aspirations of becoming a vet!

Yeah! I love animals and nature. I think I went through a period where I really struggled to know what I wanted to paint. That can be a difficult place to be as an artist, and you can overthink and really get into your head about it. But I think, at the end of the day, it’s important to go back to painting things you enjoy and developing it from there. I remember painting a bird, using loads of textures and moving away from straight lines, and I really enjoyed the process; I could be looser and more expressive with it.

Sheffield’s a good spot for nature and wildlife inspiration, too. Do you ever just take yourself for a walk in the Peaks when you’re having a bit of a creative block?

I like to spend as much time in nature as I can. These days, I like to paint things that are in keeping with where the mural is going. If I’ve not experienced a place before, I’ll do the research before and take the time to explore. I want people in the community to relate to what’s going on the wall. I don’t just paint nature scenes, though. I got a portrait grant from the Arts Council, which gave me time to learn more about street art, and it was such an amazing experience and led to my process changing. I wanted to move more into storytelling and felt that if I could paint a portrait, I could paint anything. I feel more confident now.


Reverie, your mural on the side of the Cubo building, looks incredible and has received a lot of love from Sheffielders. How did that come about?

I was contacted by Festival of the Outdoors, and they wanted a mural to celebrate the city. They wanted something based around the nature of Sheffield – specifically the canal systems. They gave me quite a free brief, due to me typically being a wildlife artist. I love jobs like that, especially because it was such a big wall. I had to include a heron in Sheffield – they’re one of my favourite things to paint.

While I’ve got the chance, I’d like to give a biggup to fellow artist Enso (@ enso.enso.enso) who was amazing and a massive help to me during that whole process. I'd also like to thank sprayplant., Rowland Scaffolding and Apollo Cradles for their support.

How is the process of going from painting small-scale pieces to huge murals covering the side of buildings?

It’s a very slow process of learning. There aren’t really a huge number of options for formal training in spray painting; you kind of learn from other people who might take you under their wing a bit. There’s a lot of giving and receiving knowledge involved, which is one of the reasons why I like it so much.

You’ve painted walls across the globe. Where’s been your favourite place so far? And is there a dream place you’d love to make your mark on?

I went to Columbia in 2017, and it was one of the most magical places I’ve visited. The people were amazing, and I was so sad when I had to leave. In Mexico, I went to a street art festival called Akumal Arts Festival, which was incredible, and I’ve been back a few times since. I’ve been obsessed with street art festivals as soon as I knew they were a thing about a year after I started painting. I was applying to them as it’s a valuable way to experience different pockets of culture. Experiencing different cultures is really important for my work, especially when painting portraits, as you can feel really connected to people you meet while travelling.

In terms of a place where I’d love to paint a mural, that’s a tough one. Thailand is somewhere I haven’t been before that I’d like to experience, and they have a couple of street art festivals that I’d love to go to.

While we’re on the topic of street art festivals, you’ve linked up with fellow Sheffield artist Alastair Flindall (@ neckofthewoodsstudio) to create Lick of Paint – Sheffield’s first ever

street art and mural festival. How are preparations for that coming along? The response so far has been amazing, and we’ve had loads of people get in touch to get involved in some capacity. We’ve done workshops and collaborated with Get Together Festival, which featured @ellespaint doing some incredible live street art. Elle also did the incredible Joan of Arc portrait at the bottom of London Road.

I’ve been attending street art festivals for ten years, and I’ve truly witnessed the joy and impact they bring. Through public involvement, I’ve had deeply personal moments with people in various cities, connecting through art. It’s left a lasting impression on me. I’ve wanted to organise a festival in Sheffield for about eight years now. This event will feature workshops and be very community-driven. It’s for Sheffield, not for me or Alastair, but for the city. We’re excited to introduce more public art because we believe art should be accessible to everyone. You don’t have to visit a fancy gallery; you can just take a walk outside.

Se more of the artist's work on socials: @_peachzz_. For more information on Sheffield’s Lick of Paint festival, follow @ lickofpaintfest.



Standing out from the array of restaurants, cafes and bars lining West Street is no mean feat, but Grappa manages it with ease. The substantial two-storey building, adorned with gleaming lights, an outdoor terrace and a distinctive branded archway, instantly captures attention on one of Sheffield’s liveliest stretches.

Opening back in December 2023, the venue promises an authentic Italian experience throughout the day, offering coffee, breakfast and brunch in the morning, followed by cocktails, DJs and live jazz at the downstairs bar space in the evening. Upstairs, you’ll find the jewel in its crown: a modern 80-seater restaurant featuring an open kitchen, accessible via a stylish mirrored staircase.

We were there to try their brand-new menu, a small plates “cicchetti” offering priced at a very reasonable three dishes for £18. After being welcomed warmly downstairs, we were shown up to our window seats overlooking the bustle of West Street below. It wasn’t long before we were furnished with olives, freshly baked bread and dipping oils while we browsed the menu.

Drinks-wise, the eye is naturally drawn to its wide selection of grappa – the largest collection you’ll find in Sheffield or anywhere else up north for that matter. Grappa is a grape-based Italian spirit traditionally distilled from the leftovers of skin, seeds and stems (also known as pomace) after the winemaking process. However, I settled for a well-balanced chianti and my partner, on driving duties, opted for a refreshing elderflower tonic.

The cicchetti menu itself is divided into three sections – meat, fish and vegetarian – so we thought it sensible to try two from each. In terms of the portion size, think smaller than mains but slightly bigger than your average starter, meaning six between two diners is a substantial feed.

First up, the salsiccia su letto di lenticchie – a glazed Tuscan sausage

served on a bed of lentils infused with truffle oil. Simple and hearty, as all the best Italian food is, the mixture of savoury and earthy flavours created a deep umami taste that we couldn’t get enough of.

The second meat dish was maiale –crispy pork belly served with braised borlotti beans topped with salsa verde. It was another winning blend of textures and tastes: the crispy pork belly provided a satisfying crunch and plenty of rich flavour, the braised borlotti beans added a creamy base and the salsa verde brought a zesty burst of freshness to the party.

The next two dishes led us into pescetarian territory. The fritto misto featured a deep-fried assortment of seafood, including the usual suspects of calamari and prawns, along with bitesized chunks of Mediterranean favourite red mullet. Crispy and light, it was served with the customary sides of tartar sauce and a lemon wedge. We continued to pick at this plate as we moved on to the second arrival.

This was a real treat: polipetti affogati, or ‘drowned octopus’, is a traditional Neapolitan dish featuring braised octopus cooked in a rich, tomatobased sauce. In true rustic Italian style, presentation is not necessarily the priority, and those averse to cephalopodbased cuisine might baulk at the sight of tentacles peeking out from beneath the thick cover of sauce. The taste, however, was superb – tender, succulent octopus absorbing the flavours of the white wineinfused sauce, enhanced by fresh herbal notes and a slight kick of heat. A natural benefit of small plate menus, especially


when they are reasonably priced, is that you’re more inclined to take a risk and try something new. That was the case here, and I’m very glad I took the plunge.

The final two plates we sampled from the cicchetti menu were vegetarian dishes: ricotta gnudi and a bruschetta trio. The former consisted of delicate dumplings made primarily from ricotta cheese, basil and a bit of flour. They had a texture similar to gnocchi but were lighter and fluffier. Topped with slices of parmesan and covered in sage butter, it was a nicely balanced dish with aromatic flavours and a slightly nutty finish.

For the bruschetta trio, three toasted slices of focaccia arrived, one topped with ricotta friarielli, the second with olive tapenade and the third with whipped goat’s cheese and balsamic onions. Out of the three toppings, the ricotta friarielli reigned supreme – a creamy, indulgent finish to the meal.

We were then informed that we couldn’t leave without trying the fresh panna cotta, a traditional Italian dessert that perfectly embodies simplicity and sophistication – much like the wider menu and the Grappa concept as a whole. It was, of course, delicious. With a final toast of limoncello and a “Salute!” to our attentive waiter, we made our way back onto West Street, feeling hugely satisfied with an evening centred on excellent value Italian comfort food and already looking forward to our next visit. Try Grappa’s new cicchetti menu for yourself, served 12-3pm on Wednesday-Friday. To book a table, head www.grappasheffield. com, message on Instagram @ grappasheffield or call 0114 6981950.

212 Oakbrook Road - a short walk from Endcliffe Park


After hearing talk about this hidden gem of a community boozer tucked away on a picturesque stretch of Oakbrook Road in Fulwood, Exposed popped down to The Wonky Labrador to see what all the fuss was about. Owner Mac McGrath warmly welcomed us with a pint and shared five key insights on how he brought his vision of a friendly neighbourhood watering hole to life.

#1 The Importance of a Personal Touch

The name of the pub naturally stands out – in fact, it was recently confirmed to be the only Wonky Labrador Pub in existence! Beyond its uniqueness, the name holds personal significance. “One of my dad’s old dogs was a Labrador who went through a tough experience as a pup that left her a little wonky. She was an incredible dog who loved people – she’s the original Wonky Labrador!” Mac tells us.

He believes every pub owner should put a piece of themselves into their establishment. “It’s not about owning a pub just to say you own one. It’s about creating a space where you live and breathe it. It should be a place where you truly want to be and spend time.”

#2 A Relaxed Atmosphere

Following years spent working in corporate hospitality, his transition to running a micropub was partly inspired by visiting a friend’s bar in New Zealand. “I just wanted out from corporate hospitality because you’re a number rather than a person,” he explains. The impersonal nature of corporate work pushed him towards creating a space where people are valued as individuals. This in turn forms part of the pub’s philosophy: “It’s about making the space and experience about the people who come in, and everyone is made to feel welcome here. The atmosphere is one of the main things we get praised for.”

After spending time travelling and experiencing the laid-back pub cultures of Europe and New Zealand, Mac envisioned a place where patrons could truly relax. “You sit down, order, they bring it over to you and that’s what we do here. People aren’t used to it, so when they come in and head straight for the bar, we’re just like, ‘Wait, mate, we’ve got that covered. Take a seat, relax.’ It’s good to be able to do that; it allows people to focus more on their conversation with who they’re with or getting comfortable in their seat rather than queuing at a bar.”

#3 Building Bridges Through Beer

The Wonky Labrador isn’t just about craft beers, though they do play a significant

role. “We’ve done over 200 beers by keg now, in just over a year,” Mac notes. The pub continuously introduces new brews, ensuring there’s always something different for patrons to try. Mac’s own gluten-free requirement has also led to a dedicated gluten-free beer option always on draught and a good range of GF options in the fridge.

Mac also explains that connections with local brewers, producers and fellow micropubs has also been pivotal. He cites close relationships with breweries like Triple Point, Abbeydale and Saint Mars of the Desert, highlighting the pub’s dedication to quality and community support. “They’ve all been fantastic since we opened, and so have the other micropubs in the city. It’s great to feel like you’re part of a community in that sense; it can only benefit everyone when people pull together.”

#4 Hiring the Right People

Mac’s approach to hiring staff is also important. He values personality over experience. “I hire a person, not the skills,” he says. “That can always come later, but getting the right people in is so much more important.” This approach has paid off, as his team members bring their unique personalities and passions, helping to mould the identity of the pub.

“They’re all fantastic and get on great with the regulars and new customers love the type of friendly service we offer, too. I have fond memories of community-centred village pubs.”

#5 Something For Everyone

To make the pub as inclusive as possible, there's a commitment to ensuring there’s something for everyone to try out, whether you're a keen beer drinker or not.

“But on that note, it's important not to ram things down people’s throats,” he adds. “If someone is after a mainstream lager or cider that we don’t do, it’s not about scoffing or telling them it’s rubbish. The idea is to take a bit of time to get a feel for what they might like and then suggest something new. No judgement, just a friendly recommendation. Whether you fancy a wine or a cocktail, a beer or a cider, non-alchoholic or gluten-free, I can guarantee there’s always going to be something suitable and interesting for you here.”

For more information and to keep up with events ranging from wine tastings and meet the brewers to Mental Health Mondays, follow @ thewonkylabrador. 212 Oakbrook Rd, S11 7ED



Nestled on a bustling stretch of Chesterfield Road, Mandala Café has proved hugely popular since opening in 2022. Demand has been so high, in fact, that they recently expanded into the former Bhaji Shack unit next door, doubling their capacity.

From the very beginning, the café has cultivated a reputation as a safe, inclusive, and friendly space for people to hang out, largely thanks to the welcoming and bubbly personality of owner Adam Heyes.

Adam long dreamed of opening his own café, and as a kid coming of age in the ‘90s, he grew up like most of us watching an impossibly hot group of mates lounging about a cool Manhattan coffee shop on TV. Unlike most of us, though, I guess he saw himself more in the Gunther role rather than Chandler or Joey in his own version of Central Perk!

Adam even had a name in mind for when he eventually opened his dream café. From being 14 years old, he has loved mandalas, the Buddhist symbols of devotion that often depict patterns of concentric circles, so it felt only natural that this would be the name of the Chesterfield Road café.

Aside from a couple of remaining touches (as we chat, Adam’s partner drops off a new, beautifully kitsch lamp, and there’s a piano coming soon), the expansion is virtually complete, and you know what? The vibe is sort of reminiscent of Central Perk! Only if Central Perk had been set in Adam’s living room!

As well as looking the part, Mandala serves up great coffee, beautiful bakes, and a small menu of meaty, veggie, vegan, and gluten-free options from 9 am – 2 pm every day.

They are also already home to a number of evening events, and thanks to the expansion, Adam plans to host even more of his open mic nights, LGBTQ+ events, and pretty much anything anyone wants to use the space for after hours.


“It’s been more than just a café,” says Adam. “We’ve been called a safe place, an events space, and a community hub, and I just think that’s good. I wasn’t expecting that in the beginning.

“I’ve become the emotional support barista, and I love it. I think that’s my job. I spent my life wishing I had a café, but instead, I ended up getting an office job, being crap at that, getting fired from that, and not really loving anything. Now, I’m here doing this, and it seems like I’m right where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to do.

“It’s been so nice to see this place expand and be busy. People keep posting, tagging, and sharing things, and I’ve made so many friends through this place. I get people’s kids drawing pictures for me and stuff; it’s just really sweet. I never saw any of that coming.”

Prior to opening Mandala, Adam set up the Pop-Up Sarnie shop on Abbeydale Road through the lockdowns, but when that ended abruptly, he was left without a plan and a lack of funding to get something new off the ground.

He spoke to friends who advised him to ask for help, so he set about crowdfunding to help get Mandala up and running.

Adam said: “When the shop shut, I didn’t really know what to do because suddenly I was like, I’ve got no money, I can’t start again, how do I do this?

“Everyone told me to try crowdfunding because everybody wanted me to succeed. People said, ‘You’ve been through lockdown and supported everybody through that, why don’t you try it?’

“So I did a GoFundMe and I got a bit of money together from people, which just helped me figure things out.

“You just have to not be afraid to ask for help. I’m only really here because of other people,

and I try to keep that in mind every day.”

When the opportunity to expand came in May this year, Adam again looked to crowdfunding to help undertake the massive renovations needed, and with the community’s support, around three weeks ago the space reopened.

“Expanding just made sense,” says Adam. “Everything was completed in three weeks! We had the doors knocked through and the walls knocked out, so everything’s changed and it’s bigger and better.

“As soon as we opened, we were twice as busy, which I knew would happen because we were at a place where people were coming in but having to walk back out because there was no space, which was making me sad.

“We needed more space, but I didn’t want to lose the vibe. I wanted people to still feel like they’re in my living room. I used to work at Starbucks and Costa years ago, and I remember thinking it’s so clinical, and everything’s the same, whereas here it’s just like, ‘hey, you’re at Joey’s’.”

There’s that Friends reference again.

As things settle down in the new space, Adam’s plan is to be there for you with a new food menu, which will include the bhajis and samosas of former inhabitants, keeping their torch burning, as well as hosting more and more nights.

“It’s been great. Overwhelming is the word, really,” says Adam. “I sometimes feel like I’m playing the game of running a café, and I know people that have done it for years. I forget that I am actually one of those people now!

“I’ve gone through every emotion with this place. It’s mine, and I’ve made it the way it is, and I love it, but I forget to love it sometimes because I’m just in it all the time. Even talking about it now, it makes me so proud!”

Every Tuesday - 7:15 start! Three rounds of speed-quizzin three rounds of darts! bar tabs, drinks & cash jackpot could be yours! 2 quid in!

• Cafe events space & Community Hub: A vibrant space for all your event needs.

• She eld safe places registered: A welcoming and safe environment for everyone.

• Diverse food menu: Catering to all dietary preferences - Meaty, Veggie, Vegan, Gluten-Free.

• Live acoustic music & more: Enjoy live music, exciting classes, and unforgettable parties.

• Licensed bar & dog-friendly: Have a drink in our pet-friendly venue, just a stone’s throw from Meersbrook Park!

• We have all 5 star reviews on Trip Advisor and Google! and are in the top 5 cafes of 95+ cafes in She eld on Trip Advisor too!

In the words of the late, great Jim Bowen, “Yer can’t beat a bit of Bully!”

The good folk at Neepsend Social certainly agree and have been paying homage to the 80s’ finest board-based TV show with their own reboot of a Bullseye quiz.

How does it work?

So, there are two main elements to the Bullseye quiz. First up, there’s a quickfire speed quiz on your phones – just like those fancy places do these days. The results from this round determine how many darts you’ll get to throw in the second part. There are three rounds of each, with breaks in between to catch your breath and grab another pint.

Let’s look at what you could have won...

Now, for the prizes: there’s a £30 bar tab for the top quiz whizz (that’s the leader of the quiz board after three rounds) and a £50 bar tab for the darts champ (top of the darts leaderboard at the end). Sounds super, smashing, great, eh?

Stay out of the black and into the red...

After the bar tab winners are crowned,

the top three teams go head-to-head in a thrilling three-dart playoff to see who gets a shot at the jackpot. To bag the jackpot, you’ve got to hit the bullseye once with three darts. If you hit the 25 with any of those darts, you get another throw. The jackpot has been built up to a whopping £1000, thanks to the entrance fees (£2 per person) and at time of print, nobody has taken it home yet!

Hungry to win?

If you need some scran to keep you going, the in-house kitchen is run by The Gravy Train, Sheffield’s premier poutinepushers. Bangin’ burgers, fried chicken, sarnies and more – you’re fully covered! So, sharpen your wits and steady your aim – it’s time to play Bullseye!

The Bullseye Quiz takes place every Tuesday at 7pm. Scan the QR code on this page to secure your place at the next one! You can also book tables for their games room, upcoming Euros fixtures and mouthwatering Sunday roasts. Follow @neepsendsocial for updates.


Paradise Garage is a Sheffield-based meadery that wants to prove that mead can be bright, fun, modern and a little bit sophisticated

Available by the bottle and glass in select Sheffield locations and at our taproom at Merchant’s Court, 43 Mowbray St, Sheffield, S3 8EN

The Divine Comedy, fronted and formed by the eccentric, selfdeprecating Neil Hannon, are one of pop’s true cult acts. Hannon’s project has romped and ricocheted through an eclectic career of hits, mishits and everything in-between.


To the generation before mine, he’s known as the man behind Britpop classics ‘National Express’ or ‘Something For The Weekend’ (which, still, people mistake as ‘Something In The Wood Shed’). To my generation, he’s known as the man behind The I.T. Crowd theme tune (and the laboriously long phone number song – yes, that one). And to the generation forthcoming, he’ll be known as the man behind the whirly verses soundtracking 2023’s Wonka, starring Timothy Chalamet. Hannon makes his own fortune: “I do what I want. If it pays me… well, that’s just pot luck.” It begs the question as to what his accountant thinks about this mantra, but alas, it seems to have just about worked out for the enigmatic singer/songwriter.

To have a career as bizarre as Neil Hannon has had, you’re bound to develop a sense of humour. The Divine Comedy frontman appears on screen, already sporting a wry smile as the interview begins with Hannon pointing out his newly-acquired wallpaper, “This is very cool, Swedish wallpaper. I recommend it … Boråstapeter.”

Taste in homely aesthetics established, I ask about the recent involvement in the Roald Dahl-inspired feature film Wonka – a project as swirlingly colourful as the Swedish wallpaper sat in the background. Hannon doesn’t seem to mind the anonymity of the off-screen score-lender, in fact he embraces it. He says, “I quite enjoy the fact that people accidentally hear my stuff. I mean, for example, right now with Wonka… they don’t know where these songs have come from, or who’s written them,” his face lighting up as he puts himself in the place of a child sitting in the darkened cinema rows, “but that’s exactly like when I watched Disney films as a kid, I never thought of the Sherman brothers, you know? Yet, now I understand that these two brothers were, like, the two biggest songwriting geniuses of the twentieth century! And I enjoy that there are kids seeing Wonka, singing the songs ... as if

the songs have just appeared.”

Over twenty years since The Divine Comedy formed, and Hannon still has a knack for keeping things fresh. A bookish, peculiar humour seems to be the one constant throughout the body work (“a mild, wry, kind of observational humour, I suppose”). From ‘The Pop Singer’s Fear of the Pollen Count’ on 1993’s Liberation to “The Synthesiser Service Centre Super Summer Sale” on 2019’s Office Politics, The Divine Comedy is no stranger to the joys of novelty and oddity. Hannon reminisces on his youth as an avid bookworm, which informed his comic sensibilities: “That’s [humour’s] kind of what I like in all of the books that I read. I can never read a book that’s completely serious! Like, Cormac McCarthy, or something like that. I always liked, you know, E.M. Forster, Kingsley Amis, Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh. And they’re always really, like, super intelligent and well-written… and, kind of, meaningful… but, yet there’s humour just all the time pointing up to the weird, surreal nature of our existence, you know?”. The Divine Comedy’s body of work shows that a literary approach to songwriting is one that can, miraculously, be successful - not that Hannon necessarily recommends it as a vocation (“It’s not really the thing for pop songs…”).

It’d be hard to sit down with Neil Hannon without asking about the bubbling, perhaps over-covered, but undeniably entertaining Britpop circle. A more original journalist would have stuck to The Divine Comedy and Hannon’s solo ventures, but I simply had to enquire into Hannon’s position within the bizarre mix of 90s characters. I mention The Divine Comedy’s peripheral position within the scene, wondering whether it was Hannon’s orchestral arrangements, or European influence, that kept him at arm’s length from his contemporaries. He dispels this immediately: “No, I was just a weirdo”. He talks to me about spending evenings awkwardly observing parties in Camden from the corner of

the room, the Gallaghers boozing at the bar, Blur’s Graham Coxon “hiding under the table”.

Hannon makes it clear that it was social incompatibility more than music that kept him in the peripheral vision of Britpop fame: “I was never never able to just, sort of, hang out and be one of the lads. I wasn’t able to do that with anyone. Ever. They were all good at partying. I wasn’t.”

As Hannon scrutinises his social ineptness at the height of Cool Britannia, one can’t help but think of the “lonely, posh” child with a nose firmly rooted in ‘A Room With A View’. Some things never change.

Of course, Britpop had its own idiosyncratic characters. Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, the corduroy-clad, Alan Bennett-meets-Phillip Larkin of indie music, was also outspoken in his outsider status. Hannon and Cocker seemed like an intellectual, kitschy supergroup in the making, but something always separated the two from becoming overly chummy:

“Jarvis was obviously a few years older than, you know, most of us in the Britpop time … he was also a few years taller. And so between the age thing and the height thing, I just never could hold my own in a conversation with him.” Height wasn’t the only thing that separated the two songwriters, Hannon beginning to gush as soon as Pulp’s discography enters the discussion: “I absolutely worshipped what he did … you know, I think, obviously, His ’n’ Hers, and then while I was making Casanova, ‘Common People’ came out, and I was like, ‘Oh, f*ck…’”. Hannon assumes the role of music-loverI’m no longer talking to the frontman of The Divine Comedy, but a fellow Pulp fanatic. He goes as far as to dismiss his 1995 magnum opus Casanova as a panicked response to Cocker’s work, describing it as “desperately trying to keep up”.

The mention of Sheffield’s resident raconteur of sex and class led to a discussion of the city itself, a place which Hannon has a lot of respect for: “It’s just got an absolutely crazy amount of brilliant bands that come from Sheffield, you know, per head of the population, it must be up there. Arctic Monkeys, Human League…”. The list continues for at least a minute or so, including a “personal favourite”, ABC. Fortunately for him Hannon is performing at Sheffield’s Rock ’n’ Roll Circus 2024, joined by Richard Hawley (“Mr Hawley is another person who protects the art of songwriting”), The Coral, Gilbert O’Sullivan (“He’s written some of the best songs of the 70s… soundtrack of my youth!”), Bromheads Jacket, and many more.

Rock N Roll Circus ought to be a match made in heaven for a set from The Divine Comedy. Personally, I can’t wait to hear a rendition of ‘To The Rescue’ whilst acrobats dangle daringly from the top of Don Valley Bowl, or a run-through of ‘At The Indie Disco’ whilst the crowd plan their inevitable flock down to The Leadmill after the festival calls it a night (‘Give us some Roses, and some Pixies, and some Valentines…’).

They say don’t meet your heroes. I disagree – do meet Neil Hannon.

You can buy tickets to The Divine Comedy at Rock N Roll Circus, Thursday 29th August, at

Welcome to La Bottega

In our Italian-inspired kitchen in Sheffield, our mission is to bring authentic and original tastes to your lunch and dinner experiences. With a focus on seasonally changing small plates, an impeccable wine selection, and curated events like paired tastings, we invite you to embark on a culinary journey through the heart of Italian cuisine.

Our goal is to share our passion with our community and create a welcoming space where people can come together to enjoy the simple pleasures of good food, good wine, and even better company.

1-3 LEOPOLD ST, SHEFFIELD CITY CENTRE, S1 2GY Instagram: @labottegasheffield Email:

Under new management by the people who brought you The Schoolrooms and Assembly

• Serving pub classics and our famous Sunday carvery

• Tuesday night’s pub quiz 8pm with alcohol and cash prizes

• Playing every match of Euros 2024

• Large family friendly enclosed beer garden

• Available to hire for private parties

• Open Monday – Sunday 11:30am – 11:30pm

Follow us on socials; Instagram: @thebradfieldplough Facebook :The Bradfield Plough

New Road, Low Bradfield, Sheffield, S6 6HW

See Emily Play … Plays Again!


Around ten years ago, Emily Ireland was a rising artist on the Sheffield music scene. After some memorable local shows, including a few belting Tramlines performances, and stints supporting bands like The 1975 and Catfish and the Bottlemen, everything seemed set for See Emily Play to achieve further great things in the music industry. However, owing largely to firsthand experiences of sexism and misogyny in the industry, Emily decided to call it a day on performing and making music.

Earlier this year, Emily felt that enough time has passed and, along with some encouragement from fellow musician and friend, Drew Friel, she revived See Emily Play. Last month, Emily took to a hometown stage once more, performing a charity gig at Hallamshire Hotel for S6 Foodbank, and there’s a new EP coming out next month. Following the gig, Exposed managed to catch the singer for an update…

Could you speak a bit about the factors which influenced to take a break from music?

Gladly. I don’t think I saw it as ‘taking a break’ at the time. I definitely thought I was finished with music for good. When I talk to people about it, I often say something like “I stopped recording and performing because of the sexist culture of the music scene at that time.” But it’s not as straightforward as that, really. Like, I didn’t wake up one morning aged 22 and think, “The music industry is really sexist. I should quit!” It was more that the thought that I’d been hanging around for too long and had become too old for anyone to take notice; it slowly crystallised in my mind and made me feel worthless and despondent. More recently I’ve started thinking about why I felt that way - what experience makes a 22-yearold woman so world-weary? I think a lot of it had to do with attitudes towards ‘youth’ and ‘newness’ that seemed to apply

most overtly to women. I was often told complimentary things, but there was this (often explicit) message that ‘looking the part’ was as important as ‘sounding the part’. I think having that repeatedly drilled into you when you’re in your teens and early twenties can be quite damaging.

I also think I was just tired of trying to fit into a sort of ‘lad band’ mould that was popular at the time but obviously didn’t fit me or my music. That mould in itself wasn’t exactly a pillar for gender equality! I think, in some circles, there was a normalisation of what most people would now probably think of as low-level sexual harassment that everyone accepted because nobody knew any better. It’s only in hindsight that you start to think, “Wow, maybe that wasn’t okay...” I feel quite conflicted about that period of my life. It was so exciting at the time, and I have some really wonderful memories, but I also feel very uncomfortable about

some of the stuff that happened. I wrote an article for The New Feminist about it last year. I think I needed to put all those feelings somewhere so that I could start afresh.

What can you tell us about the themes explored on the upcoming EP?

So, it’s called Still Playing, in part because I’m still See Emily Play and that’s what people always ask me – “are you still playing? – and in part because a lot of the lyrics examine that (exasperatingly millennial) feeling of getting to the end of your twenties and not really being quite sorted and not feeling like a proper grown up yet. There’s a lot of exploration of mental health as well. I’ve struggled with body dysmorphic disorder, on and off, for a lot of my adult life, so that’s woven in there.

It’s very fun, musically. I went to the US a couple of years ago and did a solo road trip across the deep south. I drove to New Orleans and Memphis and Nashville and did all of the touristy things like going to Bourbon Street and Graceland and the Grand Old Opry. I came home completely obsessed with the sounds of that part of the world. That has definitely translated into the EP, which has a distinctly country flair.

How was the experience of being back in a studio making music?

Honestly, I don’t think I’d realised how much I missed creating music. I was quite busy in the intervening years – I lived in four cities,  did three degrees, ran four marathons, moved to Australia for four and a half years – but none of that stuff quite delivers the satisfaction of making noise with other people.

I recorded the EP at Whitewood studios in Liverpool. I met Rob Whiteley, who produced the EP, through my friend Drew Friel who invited me to do backing vocals on some songs he was recording. That was the first time I’d set foot in a studio in about 10 years! It took me several months to pluck up the courage to send Rob an email about recording some of my own songs, mind you!

Tom, my brother, who’s played on all the SEP releases, had a lot of musical input and played a lot of instruments on this EP too. My friends Kit and Kalvin played drums and bass for a couple of the songs. It was fun and slightly exasperating attempting to commandeer this motley crew of musicians, but we got there in the end.

The first track from Still Playing will be released on 5 August. Follow @ SeeEmilyPlayUK for further updates.

The Gardeners Rest, Neepsend, stormy weather. Rain, rain, rain. I’m taking shelter in the conservatory with Sissy Green. Half-DJ, half-punk, a new millennium realist and DIY specialist, he’s come to meet me after recording a fresh set of insidious baselines with his band Drastic//Automatic.


As the River Don rises, in sequence with the seemingly endless flow of freshly poured lager, we speak of what it means to be DIY in Sheffield, deconstructing genre conventions, accidentally stealing a bass and the artist’s upcoming album Hard, Barb Wire.

A soloist amongst a team of DIY revellers, Sissy is no stranger to the Sheffield music scene. Since moving to the Steel City eight years ago, he’s always found himself involved with one musical project or another.

“I’ve played in indie bands and jazz bands. I’ve DJ’d for years and did so all throughout uni, playing literally everything from electro to gabber, techno, footwork and house.”

“During the pandemic, I was making tunes with Mickey Nomimono. I joined Drastic// Automatic on bass around the same time, which is a noisy postpunk band. Playing bass sort of started out as a side thing and then, y’know, we started really making a name for ourselves in Sheffield.”

“For a while, I was just playing gigs all over the country as a bassist, but then I started getting

more into production and home recording. I’ve been learning how to digitally produce music since I was about fifteen.”

“Now here we are, it’s 2024, and I felt like it was finally time to start putting out my own music.”

Sissy’s solo material is a concoction of his formative musical experiences. Pulsating, electro instrumentals meet anarchic, gut-punching hooks, an impeccable infusion drawn from playing countless gigs as both a DJ and a punk bassist.

“I’ve spent a couple years writing, throwing songs in the bin and then writing them again. Now I’ve finally got some tunes that I’m really happy with.”

Since launching his project in February, he’s dropped two electrifying singles, most recently ‘Barbed Wire’, an unapologetically tonguein-cheek account of being a financially restrained artist.

“It’s a hip-hop, electroinfluenced banger featuring Sean Hession from Drastic// Automatic. It’s a song about having absolutely no money, being completely skint. I was holed up in my gaff one night last summer and making this

proper gritty, grimy sounding beat. I needed that kinda vocal style to go with the tune, so I called Sean round and it just worked.”

“Loads of the tracks have this kinda indie, punk type element to them. That’s influenced by my time spent making music with Mickey Nomimono. We were writing electronic music that had a big punk energy, especially on the tune ‘DHL’, which I featured on as a vocalist.”

“All rap music is huge to me. I’m massively into hip-hop, especially trap, grime, drill, all those sub-genres. So yeah, the sound just kinda explodes into one giant genre frenzy!”

Music has always been an ever-present passion for Sissy. He hails from a family of music enthusiasts.

“In the early 90s, my dad played in a band called Leisure. They were a pop-punk band. He toured with a band called Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine and very nearly hit the big time. He’ll sorely tell you how he didn’t.”

“I got dragged to all sorts of gigs in the early noughties. I’d help with the setting up, the pack down, I’d be there at his band

practices, learning how to use the mixing desk, y’know, all of that.”

“My older brother Al has been in bands his whole life and he’s genuinely one of the best sound engineers I’ve ever met. My youngest brother, Atts, is a rapper in the West Midlands. He’s just got an incredible style and he’s now following in mine and my mates' footsteps. My other brother, Matty – shout out Hot Stuff, shout out Barge – is the second greatest pianist I’ve ever met, only after my own mother.”

“My great-grandma, y’know, she used to play piano in bomb shelters during the war. She used to play in pubs, the local choir, the organ at church every Sunday, that sorta stuff. Every single member of my family has some level of musical playing, so there’s a lot to live up to!”

“My partner, Soph, is a Sheffield DJ and can play, like, seven instruments. Music is just constantly bleeding out into my life, there’s always music in and around me.”

After finishing secondary school, Sissy made the move from his hometown of Lichfield up to the Steel City. Naturally, it wasn't long before he started making musical connections.

“It’s a tale as old as time. I came up here for uni and did a degree that I don’t use.”

“The free party scene, the rave scene, that’s had a huge impact on me living here. The general DIY spirit here is massive. There’s less resources for art in Sheffield than, say, London or Manchester and the council don’t support local arts as much as other cities.”

“There’s less investment and grassroots funding, so ultimately, if you want to be an artist in Sheffield, you kinda have to just get off of your arse and do it.”

Now a producer working with several local artists, Sissy remains true to his DIY roots.

“I spent the past couple years working as a producer with Mickey Nomimono. I collaborated with him as a producer on a lot of the tracks on his debut album and featured on DHL as a vocalist.”

“I also work with my younger brother, Atts, who’s a sick rapper in the west-Midlands. His style is informed by these older, funky,

soulful west-coast beats.”

“Of course, I’m still supplying sweet bass lines with Drastic// Automatic. We’ve got a new EP coming out soon and we’re currently in the process of writing our debut album.”

As our glasses get gathered and the rain pushes forth, we recoup with further pints and pointers. We round things off by discussing inspirations.

Being both a producer and a performer, Sissy is continually immersed in art, whether at home or on the road.

“Virgil Abloh. He was a DJ, but also one of the best fashion designers ever. He designed crazy clothes in a minimalist style - it was crazy, without being crazy.”

“James Blake is a huge inspiration to me, especially with his vocal modulation techniques. That’s always resonated with me and I incorporate the same technique within my production.”

“And then there’s just other people, singers. Sade, Whitney Houston, SZA. Beautiful music from people who just don’t give a fuck. It’s like, when you hear Sade on a record, you just stop. Ahhh, it’s perfection!”

“I constantly think about visuals. Making music videos is genuinely the most fun I get from releasing music. It’s kinda like, a continuation of the creative process with a song, transmitting the idea to people’s eyes”.

“I love Guy Ritchie movies, like Snatch, that kinda early noughties, British, gnarly visual style. That visual style had a huge impact on me”.

“How does it look, how does it feel? It’s the media age man. How does it look? How does it feel? Trying to promote your art is like wrestling for ad space on social media, you have to put out something unique, something sick, so I’m constantly thinking about how to innovate the visual style within my projects.”

Catch Sissy Green at Tramlines, where he will be DJing with Muccarelli on Fri 26 July at Sidney and Matilda and performing with Drastic//Automatic on Sat 27 July at Shakespeares.  @therealsissygreen

the day. So, as the years went on, I’d collected a healthy number of songs but most of them lay dormant on my hard drive. Eventually, two years ago, I started to compile them to see what I had. Turns out, without really knowing it, I’d written an ode to my experiences of the west.

situations. The more I wrote, the less I could tell the difference between Cheyenne’s desires and my own.

What message or experience do you hope readers take away from the story?

In terms of creative pursuits, it’s safe to say that the schedule for Sheffieldbased musician and writer Loic J Tuckey has been fairly chocka recently. Inspired in part by his longstanding love for the American West, he has produced a new album, Beyond The Sun Road, and written his debut novella, Cowboy Butchers, a tale inspired by old Italian westerns and, erm, the humble Lincolnshire banger.


Intrigued? We certainly were. Last month, Joe Food donned his finest Stetson and met with Loic for a Wild West (Street) showdown…

Hi Loic, can we kick off by introducing yourself to the Exposed readership?

Yeah. I’m Loic J Tuckey. I’m a musician, writer, tourist. Dogfriendly.

Like it. Beyond The Sun Road has been described as an epic ode to the westward highway routes of America. What draws you to these themes, and how do they influence your songwriting?

I can probably trace this all the way back to being three years old when my grandparents took me to California to visit their pals. I think these Americans had a Winnebago timeshare or something and took us around Arizona and Nevada, stopping at RV campsites and local diners. Since being a toddler, I’ve been back through the west a few times. Heading from Calgary in Canada right down to New Mexico and back. The land is such a thing of beauty, from top to bottom. Each time I go, I find

it a remarkably inspirational place for me to write. So, the songs come from what tickles my senses out there.

Your music blends various genres such as mid-20th century rock, R&B, surf, swampy blues and psychedelia. How did you come to develop such a distinctive sound?

I suppose ultimately there are two distinct genres that spawned America’s main musical destiny – country and blues. And if you follow their journey, they wind up spawning these other genres, like rockabilly and R&B. I get a big kick from looking into that development from both the blues and country sides. Whether it’s a groove, beat or a guitar solo, or the way a particular artist sings, I’m always trying to learn something from these old musicians.

Can you talk us through the process of creating the album?

The songs were written and recorded over a long period, maybe nine years, probably more. I didn’t really have much of a plan with them, only to relearn music like those good old boys played from back in

The biggest challenge was my own motivation. I am fully comfortable in writing music for my own pleasure, but I can’t stand an unfinished project. It absolutely cracks me up, the thought of half-complete songs and stories lying around. I’m forever trying to kick myself up the arse to finish things.

You’ve been incredibly busy recently and your debut novella, Cowboy Butchers, is launching alongside your album at Sidney & Matilda next month. What inspired you to write this story, and how does it connect to your music, if at all?

The story is probably a combination of digesting my love for Italian westerns of the 60s and 70s – and making a point about the Lincolnshire sausage. It’s hands down the best English sausage out there. I’m calling it a Sausage Western. Cheyenne Bodie Peters, the protagonist, has a vivid imagination and a love for Italian westerns.

How did you develop this character, and what aspects of him resonate with you?

Well, there’s two main fellas in this story. Cheyenne, the butcher, is kind of obsessed with westerns and takes that gung-ho attitude into his day-to-day business. Be it his relationship, how he runs his shop. How he speaks. Anything.

Meanwhile, Dan, he’s a cautious, nervous sort of fella who eats too many sausages. These two become great mates, pretty much based on their love of a Lincolnshire.

The more I wrote about them it became clear they were just two sides of my personality battling it out on paper. Dan, the shy, overly cautious part of myself who needs a kick up the arse. And Cheyenne, the reckless dude who ends up in crazy

First, I know the premise is pretty ridiculous – a butcher in the north of England who thinks he’s a cowboy from the wild west. If you’re willing to find out how far he’ll go to live out his fantasies, then I think you’re gonna have a pretty good time.

Second, there’s a real discussion of community and friendship. Cheyenne loves his town and the people in it, going to great lengths to keep spirits high. He protects people when they need it and beats the crap out of those who disrupt the community. Kind of a self-appointed sheriff in a town where nobody requested one.

How does your approach to writing music differ from writing a novella? Do you find one more challenging or rewarding than the other?

Cowboy Butchers was a massive challenge. It took years because I had no real clue what I was writing for. It took me a long time to open up and admit to myself “This butcher is pretty much you. Just get on with it and say what you have to say.” Once I did that, I realised I really just wanted to write a Western.

With writing, I’m completely stuck in my own head. I’m not bouncing ideas around with a team. It’s just me and my thoughts, trying to create a fantasy world that makes sense.

With music, it’s totally different. I had guys down in the studio with me. You’re feeling the vibe and creating as a team. The Beyond The Sun Road includes loads of musicians who helped me complete it. But with the story, no one can help me. I’m at the mercy of my own motivation.

Loic will release ‘Beyond The Sun Road’ and launch his debut novella ‘Cowboy Butchers’ with a show at Sidney & Matilda on 9 August. Tickets (£8+bf) available from



Open everyday for fantastic food, exceptional co ee, homemade kombucha, cocktails, wines and craft beers

After taking a break for a year to recalibrate, No Bounds Festival is back and ready to put on its most ambitious collection of events ever.

The critically lauded event will continue to break down barriers and forge new connections through a joint love of music, art and technology.

Taking place 11 to 13 October, the festival brings together local, established and up-and-coming artists to perform in a range of venues across the region.

The theme for 2024 is ‘Agency and Revelation’, which will encourage artists and festival goers alike to explore transitional and hidden spaces, places, connections and stories.

Some big guests have just been announced for the first phase of the festival’s lineup. Included in this is the Grammy-winning grime MC, Flowdan.

Other artists include Bassline pioneer and Niche nightclub resident, Big Ang, and the highly acclaimed jazz-folk group from Bristol, Tara Clerkin Trio. Expect to see collaborative performances between Spanish Producer Nueen and Manchesterbased vocalist and rapper Iceboy Violet. The duo will be playing songs from their debut album ‘You Said You’d Hold My Hand Through The Fire’.

Elsewhere, the co-founder of Nervous Horizon, TSVI, will be playing his first-ever b2b set with Ilian Tape affiliate, Stenny.

As the festival prides itself on shining a light on acts from the North, the lineup also includes stages from Commodo, Charla Green and a collaboration between 96 Back, aya and Jenifer Walton, called Microplastics.

The many musical performances will be taking place across a multitude of venues from Sheffield to Rotherham. Sheffield Cathedral will host the opening and closing concerts for the festival.

Alongside the music, No Bounds Festival will be offering a variety of talks and workshops for people to educate and empower themselves. Local artist Mark Fell will help to curate the programme of talks and Rian Treanor will unveil a new work that he has been developing between Sheffield and Rotherham.

No Bounds has been working with XR strand and schools across the area to create 3D digital artworks with the children that will be showcased at the festival.

In memory of the 40th-anniversary of the Miner’s Strike, Memory Dance will be presenting a series of AV activations using rare videotape and cassette footage made during October 1984 to reflect on the tumultuous dispute that took place in South Yorkshire.

Plenty more artists will be announced soon as well as the full details of the art programme and daytime talks, panels and workshops.

Tickets and the festival lineup so far available at


thursday 11 july 2024

royel otis

£20.00, Doors 7:30pm

friday 13 sept 2024

big country

£32.50, Doors 7:00pm

saturday 14 sept 2024 brogeal

£11.00, Doors 7:30pm

saturday 14 sept 2024 the davinci michelangelo experience

£25.00, Doors 7:30pm

friday 20 sept 2024

los campesinos

£20.00, Doors 7:00pm

saturday 21 sept 2024

antarctic monkeys

£20.00, Doors 7:00pm

saturday 28 sept 2024

harry’s house of gospel

£17.50 - £28.00, Doors 7:30pm

friday 4 oct 2024

the tuesday club x displace pres. valve sound system

£20.00, Doors 10:00pm, 18+

saturday 5 oct 2024

crime viral: murder staged

£20.00, Doors 7:00pm

sunday 6 oct 2024

michael aldag

£15.00, Doors 7:00pm

friday 11 oct 2024

from the jam

£35.00, Doors 7:00pm

sunday 13 oct 2024

matt bragg

£15.00, Doors 7:00pm

wednesday 16 oct 2024

skinny living

£20.00, Doors 7:30pm

friday 18 oct 2024

red richardson

£16.00, Doors 7:00pm

saturday 18 oct 2024

george lewis:

the best thing you’ll ever do

£11.00, Doors 8:00pm

saturday 26 oct 2024


£30.00, Doors 7:00pm

friday 1 nov 2024

kai humphries

£15.00, Doors 7:00pm

friday 1 nov 2024

the brand new heavies

£30.00, Doors 7:00pm

thursday 14 nov 2024


£20.00, Doors 7:30pm friday 15 nov 2024

craig charles

funk & soul house party

£20/22/24, Doors 7:00pm, 18+ thursday 14 nov 2024


£17.50, Doors 7:30pm saturday 23 nov 2024

john bramwell

£25.00, Doors 6:30pm

saturday 30 nov 2024

katy j pearson

£16.00, Doors 7:00pm sunday 8 dec 2024

michael head & the red elastic band

£25.00, Doors 7:30pm friday 13 dec 2024

turin brakes

£27.50, Doors 7:00pm saturday 14 dec 2024

grace petrie

£18.00, Doors 7:00pm SATURDAY 25 JAN 2025


£25.00, Doors 7:00pm SATURDAY 25 JAN 2025

ania magliano

17.50, Doors 7:00pm

scan for tickets

ceramics | soft furnishings | events | workshops | supper clubs | influenced by culture

Find us: socials @nomadmaison web:



Mark Perkins reflects on his experience at DocFest '24, the 31st instalment of Sheffield’s internationally renowned documentary film festival.

It’s the Cannes Film festival … without the frocks. OK, I’ve pinched that quote, and I’ve never actually been to Cannes, but as I look back on the 31st Sheffield DocFest, I get it.

Whether you purchase a full six-day pass or attend a single event, whether you’re here representing a major industry player like Sky Documentaries or independently funding your own film – it doesn’t matter. At DocFest, everyone unites to celebrate the power and essence of human existence. Be it a story of global significance or a narrative about an individual life with seemingly little impact, we are all captivated and eager to learn more.

Two such contrasting narratives spring to mind from this year’s festival. The first was a discussion panel, which included Michael Sheen, onstage in the Crucible. They were discussing a forthcoming BBC radio documentary and podcast, Buried: The Last Witness, which explored the threat of ‘forever chemicals’. They’re all around us and have been

linked to cancer, birth defects, liver and thyroid disease and declining sperm counts, and I predict that when this is show is released (June 28th), it will create a major news story. Several times the audience gave a collective sharp intake of breath at some of the things revealed. At the opposite end of the scale was At the Door of the House Who Will Come Knocking, an intensely personal film about the isolation of an elderly gentleman living in the mountains of Bosnia & Herzegovina. It was my pick of the festival, and you can find my short review at the end of this article.

One major appeal for me of DocFest is the opportunity to learn some of the incredible stories of passion and resilience of the documentary filmmakers. The context in which some of these films have been made is often as interesting as the films themselves.

One such example is the film Black Snow. Open cast coalmining is destroying the lives of the residents of the Kuzbass Basin, where sometimes

the snowfall is black from coal dust in the air. Alina Simone tells the story of a Siberian mother, who some have dubbed the ‘Erin Brockovich of Russia’, who wants to expose the environmental scandal. As the film progresses, the two of them are put in increasing danger from a Russian government who don’t tolerate dissent.

If I had to pick one event from the whole festival to recommend, it would be the Film-maker Challenge. Six early-career, UK filmmakers are given the challenge of making a film here in Sheffield, to be filmed in one day during the festival. They are provided with a small budget, mentored by an experienced team, furnished with cameras, film crew, editing facilities etc. The end goal is to show their finished film in the Showroom Cinema, in front of an audience, before the end of the festival. Inevitably, we see a snapshot of Sheffield through the eyes – and the lenses – of some very exciting new talent. This year three of the films really caught my eye, made by filmmakers I’m going to look out for in future. Louisa Rechenbach made a wonderful film about the Alpaca farm called Farm Days, which was charming,


funny and made me want to spend a day there. Marta Miskaryan’s film, Songs Of Our Lives, was about the Bolsterstone Male Voice Choir, and told a remarkable story about an event in their history. And the film that will resonate most with a Sheffield audience is likely to be Julie Mervis’ film, The Golden Postbox. This film is made up entirely of conversations with people passing, but seldom using, the Jessica Ennis inspired gold-painted postbox on Division Street. This is the third year that DocFest has run this

event, and I’d urge you to get along next year if you can.

Crucial to any festival are the guest speakers. Some of them look back on their careers, or they may be here to talk about their forthcoming projects. Often held on the main Crucible stage, this year they did not disappoint. Idris Elba gave a fascinatiing talk on a new series from National Geographic called Erased: WW2s Heroes of Colour, about how people of colour have been deleted from the history of the Second World War. Incredibly, despite the fact that 8 million soldiers of colour served with the Allies, almost no archive footage exists. They returned to the US from helping win the war, where they were met by racial hatred and continued exploitation. Some black soldiers were attacked and even murdered for wearing their rightful military uniforms. Other Crucible stage interviewees included Frank Bruno and music impresario Don Letts, along with local film director Dan Gordon whose latest film, Strike: An Uncivil War, went on to win the Audience Vote Award for the entire festival.




I’m never good at spotting the prize winners, but I spent the entire festival telling people this was my favourite, and it won the Grand Jury Prize for Best International Film, so maybe I’m improving.

Maja Novakoviv’s feature debut, set in the harsh but stunningly beautiful landscape of Bosnia and Herzegovina, does little more than observe the spartan existence of an elderly man, Emin, living alone in the mountains, with his animals. We are immersed in his world, observing his daily struggles, and slowly understanding his life of isolation and trauma.We contemplate loneliness, aging and his experiences of life. The perfect ambient soundtrack and exquisitely detailed yet unobtrusive filming have created an unforgettable experience and is a masterpiece of immersive, slow cinema.


There’s no escaping the controversy surrounding the events of 18th June 1984. It hasn’t become known as the Battle Of Orgreave for nothing. On the 40th anniversary, director Daniel Gordon’s latest film, Strike: An Uncivil War is being released, and it’s a powerful reminder of both what happened, and perhaps more importantly, why there has never been an inquiry.

Daniel Gordon is best known for his powerful 2016 documentary Hillsborough, laying bare the events of that tragic day, and revealing a shocking level of cover-up, and attempts to shift the blame. Strike: An Uncivil War seems to be its natural successor, as it tells a depressingly similar story. The level of planning, cover up, shifting and avoiding of blame revealed here is similarly shocking.

The film sets the 18th of June in the context of the year-long miners’ strike. As I lived through these events, revisiting them seems so real, but I’m well aware that maybe half of the population don’t realise what went on. It wasn’t just a strike, it was a marker of social and political change, when a government, led by Margaret Thatcher, in pitching themselves against the mineworkers’ union, also provoked issues around class, community, regional discrimination and a whole host of social issues.

Through interviews with the miners, the police and other people involved on that day, and with access to previously unseen documents, Strike: An Uncivil War is a powerful documentary which hopefully will be widely seen. The old Sheffield Crown Court stars at the end of the film in perhaps the most shocking scenes of all. The legal team who defended the 14 pickets accused of rioting, and facing many years in jail if convicted, recalled how the case against them collapsed.


I now know what a LARP is. I also know what LARPing is, and I quite fancy having a go.

The film follows a Live Action Role-Play summer camp, in upstate New York, for neuro divergent and self-proclaimed ‘nerdy’ adolescent kids, along with those with some physical difficulties to overcome.

We follow several individual children as they anticipate what camp will bring, and experience with them a week of setting up a complex and immersive role-play game, which becomes the finale of the film. But of course, the film charts much more than that. These children are attempting to navigate the often difficult, coming-of-age, teenage years, but with the added difficulty that they all feel in some way different from everyone else.  Alex Simmons and Carina Mia Wong’s life affirming film, is a celebration of how normal it is to be different.


This is a charming and intimate film, filmed over 5 years, about a young boy with dreams of becoming a bullfighter. He’s not alone. His grandfather is keen to revisit his youth as a failed bullfighting apprentice, and his single parent mother, although concerned about the dangers involved, would benefit massively from a son earning a matador's wage.

Director Inma De Rayes returned to her hometown of Castellon in Spain, unaware that the town was known as somewhere bullfighters trained. Her intimate film watches as Borja dreams of a future in bullfighting, believing the stories of a rags to riches chance. But the modern world does not always treat tradition well, and bullfighting has an uneasy relationship with Spain’s younger generation. This deservedly went on to win the coveted Grand Jury Prize for Best International First Feature.


This was a film that left everyone feeling a bit happier coming out, than when they went in. The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is known for the pride it takes in making sure its population is happy. A 3% rise in the overall yearly happiness of the kingdom is a cause for celebration, but how do they measure it? After watching this film, you’ll know.

Arun Bhattarai and Dorottya Zurbo’s unique film accompanies Amber, one of an army of Happiness Monitors. They travel the mountains and valleys, and through interviews with randomly chosen citizens, help them fill in a tick-box questionnaire to measure their contentment. As we eavesdrop on these conversations, we can often make up our own minds about what some of their responses actually reveal. The film explores the ideas of how, why and to what degree all of us appreciate and enjoy our lives.


Ahead of its world premiere at Sheffield DocFest, Daniel Gordon, the director of ‘Strike: An Uncivil War’, discusses his powerful documentary on the Battle of Orgreave. Speaking to Exposed’s Mark Perkins, he reflects on the long-overdue need for this film and highlights the persistent efforts of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, which has sought an official inquiry for over a decade.

I’ve watched the film and found it incredibly moving. It felt like a film that's needed to be made for a long time. Absolutely. It’s astonishing that it took so long for someone to look into it. I’ve been to several events over the years where they’ve talked about the need for an inquiry, but nothing ever happened.

Is there any movement towards maybe having a campaign for an inquiry?

The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaigns has been going on for about 12 years now. They thought they were making headway in 2016 after the Hillsborough inquest, and there seemed to be positive moves towards it. Theresa May was giving positive signs, but then things were shut down. It was like someone decided it would tarnish a legacy, so they shut it down and led everyone down the garden path. The campaign did an awful lot of work to push for that inquiry. In 2019, Jeremy Corbyn was committed to an inquiry, and now, I’m not 100% sure, but Keir Starmer seems committed to some sort of investigation. Do you think with people talking about it in the next few weeks, someone might corner Keir Starmer and ask for his position on this?

Anyone on the campaign trail is welcome to! Hopefully, with enough press and focus, it might lead to something bigger.

How did the process start to get the film together?

It’s weird because even yesterday, I was thinking about the genesis of it, which was actually around 1998. I was working for a production company and we pitched a series on strikes. We

were looking at the strife of the 80s, and my formulation of the film probably began around the time of Hillsborough. In an early version of the Hillsborough edit, we had a big piece on the miners’ strike, but it got cut because it took the story off on a tangent. But I still felt there was a link between both, especially with the same police force, senior officers and manipulation of statements. It was almost like a paramilitary police force, and I think that comes out in film itself.

So, the planning behind it didn’t happen by accident. No, it didn’t. I remember watching the Hillsborough documentary and thinking how the South Yorkshire Police were emboldened by what they’d done at Orgreave. It confirmed their belief that they could manipulate things to their advantage. The lies to the press, the Sun story – it all comes from the same culture.

They got away with it during the miners’ strike, and nothing happened as a result.

That’s quite a powerful moment in the film, where legal experts say nothing happened despite the findings.

Yes, the British legal system’s appeals process and compensation cases keep things shut down for years. It’s a powerful way of keeping everyone down. And then you hear the usual excuses from the police, saying there’s no point in investigating because they’ve changed. But then scandals like Rotherham show nothing has changed. A proper inquiry at the time could have made a difference.

How did you get in touch with the people featured in the film?

Some of them I knew or knew of. I used contacts from Hillsborough to get in touch with people. It was a long process,

working on it on and off for about seven years. Once you get one person and they trust you, you can get to others. We also had a team researching who was the right candidate to speak to. S

How did you source the archive footage?

We have a great archive producer, Steven Slater, who I’ve worked with for about 10 years. We’ve been accessing various archives for seven years, from classic BBC and ITV archives to Yorkshire Film Archive and others. There’s a lot of film from that era, and we’ve got footage from the National Union of Mineworkers and even amateur footage from the day.

What’s next for the film after the festival?

It’s showing in various cinemas nationwide, and eventually, it will make its way to TV. For now, it’s about getting as much exposure as possible.


The perfect cafe to kick start your day in the Peaks or just take a break and enjoy a hearty meal

Open Monday - Sunday 9am - 5pm Reservations available via our website!

Sunday Roast now being served in Assembly 12pm – 7pm


Assembly is our late night, neighbourhood Bar & Bistro Providing a superb dining experience for all occasions, putting a modern twist on traditional British dining.

Open Wednesday to Friday 4pm til late Saturday & Sunday 12pm til late.

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P U B Q U I Z ?



It’s the summer (well, we’re trying to tell the weather that!) – a time of relaxation and chill. But that won’t slow down Sheffield comedy scene juggernaut and there’s plenty to get stuck into this month!

I’m always grateful to people who come out to be entertained by a local standup comedy night. It’s brilliant when audience members really embrace being part of the night, meaning in the form of giving out great banter. This can be a little unnerving for new comics, of course, but I say embrace it! It’ll improve your improv skills and generally help you to think on your feet effectively. That’s key to successful stand-up comedy.

Good audience repartee is brilliant. However, bad heckling and being obnoxious in the audience very rarely ends well when a sharp performer has got a mic in their hands, plus it’s not fair for those around the person who seem to think they’re the major attraction of the night. I know I’m biased when it comes to the Sheffield audiences, but they are some of the most respectful and comedy-savvy people I have had the honour to perform in front of – and I have been very lucky to have gigged up and down the country.

The best (for want of a better word) interruption on a comedy night was when one of my good friends in comedy was performing a set. At the time, he was quite new to the scene, and had a lady in the audience who clearly had consumed a fair bit of alcohol. She then started to mosey towards the stage through the medium of dance (as awkward as it sounds, especially as there wasn’t any music at the time). We all looked on in amazement, but I genuinely think she thought she was at a silent disco! As


The Ship Inn: First Monday of THE MONTH

Hagglers Corner (No Haggling, All Comedy): First Wednesday

Picture House Comedy at Picture House Social: Second Thursday (contact @tomdouglas365 through socials)

Yellow Arch Comedy Club: Third Thursday

you can imagine, it made for a lot of material for the following acts. I’ve also seen the lady in question since and she was mortified … bless her.

Successful comedy nights are dependent on a few factors: good comics, a fantastic audience and supportive venues. Thankfully, we’re blessed on all three of those fronts here in Sheff. So, if you haven’t been along to one of our many monthly nights, why not try it out for yourself?

I’ll sign off with shoutouts for a few comics to watch out for in July. Two of Sheffield’s favourites are back at Yellow Arch Comedy Club for the Angelos Epithemiou & Friends night, The excellent Jonny Brook and Maxine Wade will be performing extended sets at show taking place on Thursday 18 July. Scan the QR code on this page for ticket info!

Elsewhere, Dan Barnes will be guest hosting the increasingly popular Ship Inn Comedy Night on Monday 1 July (you don’t want to miss him!). Lucy Buckley and Alex Leam are also back in Sheffield on Wednesday 3 July at Hagglers Corner (No Haggling, All Comedy) – just two of five acts that will blow the roof off with hilarious sets, I promise you.

I’ll hopefully see you at all of them! Have a great month, and I’ll be back with the column in August.

Fans for Bands | End of The Trail Creative | Play It Loud UK


Sat 27th July @ Frog & Parrot, 94 Division Street, S1 4GF

Nervous Pills

Polite Bureaux

Hot Face



Vex One

Doors 11am | First act: 12PM


Emily Ireland

Fairly Well


Molly Gone Mad

Kelain James

Exposed catches up with Lois Pearson and Leo Wan ahead of opening night at the Crucible for an electrifying stage adaptation of Chariots of Fire. Marking what will be Artistic Director Robert Hastie’s final show with Sheffield Theatres, we discuss the timeless appeal of a story defined by ambition, adversity and triumph.

How did you first hear about the project?

LP: I first heard about the project when the 20242025 season was announced, which must have been around the beginning of the year. I always get a buzz flicking through what’s coming up next, but it was particularly exciting to find out what Rob Hastie’s final play was going to be!

LW: I first heard about the project when the season was announced – which came at the same time as the announcement of Rob’s departure. I was very sad to hear that Rob was leaving, having worked here under his tenure and seen how remarkably he’s led Sheffield Theatres over the last eight years. I

looked through the season of shows and wanted to be involved in all of them, but never expected that I would get the chance to be a part of Rob’s final show here. It feels very special.

Lois, you started out in Sheffield Theatres' Young Company. How did the organisation influence your journey?

LP: I first took part in a Sheffield Theatres production at the age of 14, in the ensemble of Daniel Evans’ production of Oliver!, and then went on to play Puck in Chris Bush’s Sheffield People’s Theatre production A Dream. I joined

the Young Company in my late teens, around the time I was auditioning for drama school. Elin Schofield, who at the time led the Young Company, as well as helping me with my speeches, created an invaluable line up of classes, workshops and projects, bringing in industry professionals from across the creative spectrum. My involvement with Sheffield Theatres is undoubtedly the reason I am an actor today. It opened doors I otherwise wouldn’t have known existed.

What do you believe makes the story of Chariots of Fire so impactful and enduring?

LP: I think the pursuit of a dream is always a powerful basis to build a story upon, especially when there is so much for the characters to overcome to make that dream a reality. Sport is already a drama in its own right: the elation of triumph, the crush of defeat, someone’s whole life can build up to a moment in which something is won or lost, and I think that’s moving to an audience.

Could you tell us a bit about your respective characters

LW: I play the Prince of Wales in 1924, who would go on to become the briefly crowned Edward VIII before abdicating so that he could marry Wallis Simpson. He was an early global celebrity and playboy. In our story, he represents the apogee of the establishment – both a kind of figurehead and a threat for the runners as they compete for Britain in the 1924 Olympics.

LP: I play Jennie, who is Eric Liddell’s sister, a devout Christian from a missionary family. At times self-righteous and highly-strung, she is pure of heart and not without a little humour. Fierce in her faith and inexhaustible in her work, she possesses great strength and courage, and I can’t help but admire her absolute assurance in who she is and what she stands for.

How did you prepare for your role? Were there specific historical resources or training you utilised?

LP: I started off by reading a book called For the Glory by Duncan Hamilton, as I find it useful to first understand the history, especially when a story

is set in another time or based on a real person. Mike Bartlett gives a real voice to Jennie in this adaptation, away from the prim and demure.

LW: It’s always a little tricky when you’re representing historical figures – I’m wary of doing an impersonation but you do want to find some inspiration from them. For me, I scoured the internet for interviews with him. He does have quite a particular way of speaking. He slouches in his chair and manspreads in quite an extraordinary way. He was very aware that the public and the gossip writers’ eyes were on him. And so you approximate your voice and your physicality to that, but you also want to maintain some space for personal licence and invention.

How does performing Chariots of Fire on stage differ from the original film in terms of storytelling and audience engagement?

LW: Film is quick – shots last for seconds. In theatre, we have a single stage – we can’t cut away to a different shot to maintain the audience’s attention, so we have to find different ways of being exciting, inviting and dynamic. Mike Bartlett’s script is remarkably faithful to the original film –it’s quick and fluid. A particular challenge is how to represent running or racing on a stage of limited dimensions. But the joy of theatre is the demand of invention that that then places on you as a creative team and company of actors. And when you get it right – and I have very high hopes that we will – it’s thrilling for a live audience to witness.

LP: It’s slick and fast-paced, maintaining that cinematic quality as one scene rapidly moulds into the next. There are also so many classic moments from the film that live on in the play adaptation, and I’m excited to see how audiences respond to moments that at first seem impossible to replicate on stage. I suppose the difference here, without giving too much away, is that an audience will really feel like they are part of the action!

Chariots of the Fire runs at the Crucible Theatre 6-27 July. Tickets (£15-£43) and find more information about the performances available at



A collaborative show spotlighting some of the city’s most exciting creatives, We Love What You’ve Done with the Place takes a caustic swipe at the state of things through a blend of various mediums. Exposed spoke with the artists behind the concept, Kieran Flynn and Melville, to learn what more to expect from the upcoming exhibition.

How did the idea for the show come about?

KF: As an artist it’s easy to get trapped in your own world a bit. I spend loads of time in my studio beavering away. Then I put on an exhibition of my work, and whilst I will have got lots of other people’s input along the way, the whole process can be very insular. I had been thinking for a while that I wanted to meet some other Sheffield artists that make interesting work and put a group show on. I just hadn’t been too sure on how to go about it. Then a few months back I went to Melville’s show, Lager Lines Louts. I loved how in your face it all was: a mix of different media, some collaboration pieces and the opposite of what an art exhibition usually is – there was a real party atmosphere. Melville and I got chatting, and We Love What You’ve Done with the Place was born.

It’s not just you two exhibiting, so how did the other artists come on board?

M: We decided as we already had two lads in Kieran and me, that we wanted to bring in more of a diverse lineup for the exhibition. I got both Suzi Kemp and Nameless Nat on board, and Kieran got in contact with an anonymous sticker artist called Swan Vesta. They’re all people who are making interesting artwork and doing it in a way that is a bit away from the norm, which should make the show quite an eclectic one.

Tell us about the show title.

M: It’s an ironic title. The exhibition is a look at the state of the nation/world and a comment on the fact that, in many ways, things at present are utterly shit. From social housing to Gaza, from NHS waiting lists to Donald Trump, both nationally and internationally we feel the world is going

down the shitter. It’s also good timing with the general election coming up. Look out for our Tory-sponsored sick bags!

KF: The title is open enough that all the artists can find something to inspire their work and the fact that it’s ‘We’ and not ‘I’ is important. The exhibition is a chance to express how we’re feeling about things through our art. Doing that in a group feels like a powerful thing as you’re not just one voice and it also invites people who come to see the show to come along with us. Hopefully, it’s not just us that feel this way. As with everything, there is more power in the collective.

In terms of the art styles on show, what can we hope to see?

M: I‘ll be doing my usual collage and a I’ve got a new video piece with Bloodshot in the pipeline. I’ve got some exciting people collaborating on some of my pieces including Ugloe, Cocobongo, Krime, Ellie Ramsden, 1eurofiddy and loads more. I got about 20 people to help me out in total. The message that I’m trying to get across with my work is that I’m just trying to find my way through all the bullshit like everyone else. I love British culture – the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s something the politicians, royalty and the powers that be can’t take away from us. My art will be celebrating that.

I think Nameless Nat’s’ stuff will fit well alongside mine. Her style is very different; she has an illustrative style with thick black lines and lots of prose. She draws her inspiration from a similar place, though, with references to working class culture and her upbringing in an area with high unemployment. Her poems are brilliant.

Suzi’s artwork is illustration and designbased; she usually works in ink with digital colour. She loves wordplay and that features heavily in her stuff. I know she’s excited to be doing this show with other

artists who see the world in a similar way and to be doing stuff outside of a usual design brief. She mentioned the other day that she’s been looking at black mould as inspiration for her work, as she’s sick of it turning up in every house she’s ever rented.

KF: I’ve been doing my usual stylised/ abstract bright and bold paintings. Loads of spray paint and enamels. I’ve started mucking about with oils too. I’ve been looking at all sorts of issues from climate change to war. I think I’ve been taking more of a general world view than coming down on specific issues.

Swan Vesta is a bit of an unknown as they’re keen to keep things anonymous. I think perhaps some sculpture, possibly matchstick-related, maybe some photography and I’d be surprised if stickers don’t feature quite heavily. I noticed on their Instagram that they’ve started putting little exhibitions in phone boxes for people to find, which I think is a cool idea. I love the idea of people drawn as burnt-out matchsticks making nihilistic remarks.

You’ll be hosting at the Two and Six micropub on Snig Hill. Why have you chosen that venue?

KF: It’s a really cool setup there and I encourage any artists looking for a venue to check it out. Dan and Juliet really know their beer, so they’ll have some great ales on. On the other side they have a white box gallery with gorgeous light due to the big glass front to it. It’s really reasonable to hire too,

with wheelchair access into the gallery. It’s a little gem.

What else can people expect on the night?

KF: We’re going to do some goody bags for the first 20 people that arrive. We’ll have some music, possibly a heavy hardcore-based playlist due to our collective music taste. It should be a very unpretentious and enjoyable night of contemporary Sheffield art.

Is there anything in the pipeline for you both after this?

KF: I’ve taken over running the Kelham Island Arts Collective. We’re hoping to reopen our gallery soon and some studios, so that’ll take up some time. I’ve also been designing wallpaper; people can see that at @needleandcapp. I’d love to do more group shows and work with these lot again.

M: I’ve got a few more collaborations and commissions coming up. If this show goes well, we’re talking about doing it again, or trying to take it to another city. I’ve got some pieces in a show called Dlúthpháirtíocht Irish Solidarity with Palestine at the P21 Gallery in London –all the profits go towards Palestinian aid.

We Love What You’ve Done with the Place opens at Two & Six Micropub, 26 Snig Hill, on 19 July from 7pm11pm. Follow the artists on socials for exhibition updates and afterparty announcements: @melville_the_third and @flynn_kieran.

Stage adaptation by Mike Bartlett
Based on the Enigma Productions Limited motion picture
arrangement with Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
by Colin Welland.






It’s been nearly three years since Exposed last checked in with Helen Denning and Madeleine Farnhill, the co-founders of Black Bright Theatre. Established in August 2021, the Sheffield-based theatre group creates distinctly dark, female-led stories for the stage. Their inaugural production, The Hunger, a post-apocalyptic horror set in the Yorkshire Dales, toured venues across northern England before making its way to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2023, where it received a number of glowing reviews.

The seeds of the company itself were sown during the doldrums of lockdown in March 2020. Madeleine was writing a script for The Hunger and called upon close friend and fellow Sheffield University Theatre Company alum Helen to produce the play. “We brought together a load of artists who were just feeling creatively starved and wanted something to do,” says Helen. “The intention was to do the play once things opened up.”

The Hunger premiered with a threenight run at the now-closed DINA venue in Sheffield. The positive response encouraged the duo to take the show on a wider tour, resulting in the formation of Black Bright Theatre, a name inspired by a Yorkshire phrase occasionally used by Maddie’s mum. “My mum used it to describe our dog after a muddy walk –‘Black Bright,’ meaning very dirty,” Maddie explains. As well as adding a personal touch and some regional flavour, the name nicely encapsulates the company’s ethos of exploring dark themes with a light touch of hope.

Following a tour taking in six cities across the North, they set their sights higher. “After the tour, Maddie worked at Edinburgh Fringe for a summer and decided we should take The Hunger there,” recalls Helen. “But it meant a lot of changes had to be made; Maddie had to completely redraft the script to make it an hour shorter.”

“I actually found it was a helpful exercise in distilling the play to what we really wanted to stay,” reflects Maddie. “I think it allowed us to play on the mystery element more; you’re kind of showing the potential for something, and people who saw the show wanted to know more about this world.”

Building on the success of The Hunger, Helen and Maddie applied to The Bank Cohort talent development scheme. This opportunity has enabled them to develop their next play, Birdwatching, which follows three young female friends on a camping trip in a secluded Northumberland forest.

Their latest project, which marks the company’s return to the Edinburgh Fringe in August after a successful application to the Keep it Fringe Fund, continues their focus on female-driven narratives, weaving together themes of voyeurism, the female experience and the supernatural.

Inspired by folk-horror cinema, Maddie describes the play as a way to “explore three girls carrying their own unique traumas of being a young woman in a very watchful world, a world where they are policed and judged. That feeling of being watched doesn’t go away; it explores the voyeurism in the female experience through a supernatural folk horror story.”

In line with Black Bright’s ethos to promote under-represented groups

in theatre, the play also explores intersectional identities. Maddie explains that her own experiences in navigating socially constructed groupings helped to inform parts of the writing process. “I’m late diagnosed neurodivergent,” she says.

“I’m also queer. That all came about kind of later in life and looking back, I feel like there was a lot of masking, a lot of wanting to conform and a fear of being found out. I wanted to inject aspects of that into the play.”

Helen explains that they are keen to use their work to raise awareness and funds for causes aligned with their plays’ themes. As such, Birdwatching’s official charity partner will be Strut Safe, a volunteer-led phone line that provides a friendly voice and reassurance to anyone walking home alone in the evenings. “It works with our general vision of outlining the issues predominantly faced by female-presenting people, and also situations that can be exacerbated if you are marginalised in other ways.”

Moving forward, the company aims to build further connections with queer, neurodivergent, female-led organisations, especially in Sheffield.

“We’ll be performing a live reading of the Birdwatching script at the intersectional feminist and queer bookshop Juno Books

in July,” adds Helen. “We are especially keen to share the text with people who may have a stake in the topics explored.”

We round off the interview by discussing the importance of independent theatre groups in social issues, particularly a time when the arts sector has taken on significant ideological damage from the Tories. “We learn about different perspectives and issues through stories, and this inspires real change. As times move on, new stories and voices need to be heard,” states Helen. “With widespread funding cuts to the arts across the country, independent theatre companies need support from audiences to keep making work. Companies like ours are often emerging voices without money or connections behind them.”

“Like many independent companies, we have a donations page on our website which the general public can contribute to if they wish to support our work. But ultimately, independent artists need audiences. If you want to support the next generation of theatre, then go and see some independent work!”

Find the latest news including Birdwatching’s Edinburgh Fringe dates at @blackbrighttheatre


LYCEUM // 9-20 JUL // £15-£55

Winner of four Olivier Awards and a Tony Award, this smash hit musical shares the incredible true story of 7,000 air passengers grounded in Canada during 9/11. A small Newfoundland community welcomed these ‘come from aways’ with open hearts. Experience this joyous tale of spirited locals and global passengers forging lifelong friendships, brought to life by Tony-winning director Christopher Ashley and Olivier-winning writers Irene Sankoff and David Hein.


LYCEUM // 23 JUL-10 AUG // £15-£49

Winner of the Tony Award for Best Original Score and Best Costume Design, and double winner of the Whatsonstage Award for Best West End Show, this Tudor take-off is “pure entertainment” (New York Times). From Tudor Queens to Pop Princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII take the mic to remix 500 years of heartbreak into an 80-minute celebration of 21st-century girl power.



The Alternate Realities exhibition from Sheffield DocFest showcases innovative non-fiction and immersive documentary in all forms and will remain free to all until 14 July. This year’s programme features six unique projects free to view and explore, inviting you to morph into a bat, embrace the magical force of bodily touch, reflect on your existence in virtual worlds, and piece together the powerful testimonies of Bedouin women fighting to preserve their culture and history.



Sheffield’s metalworking heritage dates back to the 12th century. Show Your Metal recognises pioneering advances that earned the city a global reputation. Coinciding with the 400th anniversary of the Cutlers’ Company in Hallamshire, this major exhibition celebrates the marvel of the material in all its forms, where you can discover the innovation behind Old Sheffield Plate, electroplated metals, stainless steel and much more.



Cameron Merritt is a photographer with a focus on the various nooks and crannies of Sheffield life: from the music scene and DIY parties to strangers on the street and desolate landscapes.

Would you like to introduce yourself to in your own words?

I’m a photographer from Sheffield, I got into photography kind of through filmmaking. I picked up my camera in a down moment and I went from there. I like to capture the ordinary moments of everyday life in the context of present-day Sheffield. Seeing how people have created their lives out of being slightly isolated since we lost our main industry. Seeing; ‘What is our identity as a city? How do people live? How do people work in it?’

Why did you make the shift from film to photography? Was it intentional or accidental?

I kind of found the ‘real me’ through the filmmaking. I’ve always been a storyteller, with film for me it kind of combined a sort of side of visual art. I always like drawing, I wasn’t a particularly good artist in that way, I liked telling stories and was an okay writer. Filmmaking allowed me to express both the elements, narrative storytelling as well as visual. So I went to university, to study film at Warwick Uni.

But I basically found while I was there that I wasn’t making films, I had the camera lying round. It was during COVID, so I just started going out on walks and taking photos around Coventry.

Then when I returned home, it was something I continued with. I returned back to Sheffield, started capturing nostalgic images. I kind of got into this sort of romance with Sheffield or realised what I missed about it.

I started taking up freelance work, where I eventually found a niche through going to parties myself, (or being forced,) DIY parties. Which is one of the things that really took a hold for me; that’s where coming back to Sheffield really blew up.

In your Instagram bio you mention ‘scenes from northern England’ as your main tagline, we’ve touched on that slightly already, but is that northern angle to your work something very important to you? It absolutely is. I think that thing of telling

northern stories being really important.

Growing up northern, but also from Sheffield, in this incredible community; you can see how much everyone looks out for each other, and there’s something really unique about it. And for me, to be able to capture that thing that we all experience and share about Sheffield is really important.

I think northern England is something that seems to be underrepresented in a way. I really like the idea that I can bring that to a wider audience.

One thing I noticed about your photos are the colours, they really add to the emotive nature. Do you colour grade in post?

Yes, so my camera is a digital mirrorless camera that gives a really nice film quality. So much of my style is achieved through editing, which is something I really do bang on about. That photo editing is so important. I think that the general attitude, not held by everyone, is an attitude against photo editing. I always remind people that all the tools available on photoshop, whether you’re masking or feathering … they’re all inspired by [the techniques of] film photographers, that have been transferred to editing. And editing your images, it really does bring them to life.

And what is your favourite thing that you’ve shot so far?

The Jaipur takeaway in Greenhill [top right]. It reflects such a big part of this English culture, which is this shared culture that we all exist in. Even though it’s of an Indian man in an Indian takeaway, I think it really reflects Britishness and British values.

He looks so powerful, and it’s something I also look back on as representing a greater shift in my photography from when I was doing these night time themes to being able to get in there and engage with a person… I went in there and spent I think about half hour chatting before I photographed him and ended up with incredible portraits that really reflect his character.

Cameron Merritt has an upcoming exhibit called ‘Sheffield in Colour’ at Gardeners Rest in September. For updates on the exhibition, and more photos, you can follow his Instagram at

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