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Morpher | Tall Talker | What? Nah. | Yaatri | Slut Drop | Hollie Fuller | Fresh Junk | Make Noise | Art Doctors


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Nice one. Welcome to Issue 7. We’ve somehow reached the tail-end of 2019 and it’s safe to say we’re knackered. Yet, this issue has been nothing but a pleasure to produce. Our cover artist this month is the ultimate dream Hollie Fuller, who we’ve wanted on the cover since we saw her work at the Leeds Arts University’s graduate showcase back in June. It’s hard not to smile when you see her pastel-hued characters with those oversized ears, and it was a pleasure to chat with her about her work (p18). It’s also a privilege to finally feature Slut Drop after religiously cutting shapes at their parties. The platform they’ve built and the space they’ve carved for female, non-binary, BAME and LGBTQ+ creatives behind the decks is revolutionising the live music scene in Leeds, and you can read all about them on p10. It’s nice to focus on all the lovely things happening in this thriving and vibrant city, but as the afternoons get darker and our radiators go on, remember to spare a thought for those spending the night outside. The number of people who are homeless is ashamedly rising* and this time of year is particularly bleak for those sleeping rough. If you have some spare time or cash this Christmas, consider spreading a bit of joy by supporting a local charity who help the homeless, such as Simon on the Streets here in Leeds. Stay nice (and warm), Meg and Tom Co-Founders

*fuck the Tories

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Nice People Magazine December 2019


Front cover design by Hollie Fuller (@holliefuller_ )

The Nice Team behind Issue 6

Logo design: Julia Pomeroy (@j.uliapomeroy) Printed by Mortons Print

Editorial: Meg Firth Events and Marketing: Tom Nixon

Writers Alex King Chlรถe French Claire Hamilton Millie Rosette Safi Bugel Sophie Lane Illustrators Beth Cockroft Elle Hibbert Emily Flanagan Hollie Fuller Hugh Roberts Joshua Pell

Music

04 | Nice gigs in The North 06 | Introducing: Morpher 07 | Introducing: Tall Talker

Photographers Chlรถe French Connor Devlin Porl Medlock Shaun Pugh

08 | Introducing: What? Nah 09 | Introducing: Yaatri 10 | Slut Drop: The Leeds DJs promoting female, non-binary, BME and LGBTQ+ creatives. 12 | Make Noise: The Hull collective making gigs safer Art

16 | Pull out poster by Hugh Roberts 18 | Behind the Cover: Hollie Fuller 22 | Fresh Junk: The DIY art collectives replacing frills and snobbery with a palette of fun 24 | Art Doctors: helping you to reapproach contemporary art Community

26 | A City and its Welcome: Celebrating three centuries of migrants in Leeds 28 | A Guide to: The best independent spots in York

FIND US Facebook: Nice People Magazine Instagram: @allthesenicepeople Email: allthesenicepeople@gmail.com

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Follow Nice People Magazine on Spotify for playlists inspired by our gig listings. Discover new music and get yourself to some nice gigs this month.

What’s your flavour? Laid Back

Something New

Leeds Thursday 5th December Holodrum Brudenell Social Club For fans of: disco-flecked percussion with a smattering of bass Saturday 7th December JID Leeds University Union For fans of: eloquent delivery over unique trap beats Wednesday 11th December Barney Artist Hyde Park Book Club For fans of: Introspective rap and Tom Misch’s guitar tones

Hot and Sweaty

Vibey

Friday 17th January Long Legged Creatures Hyde Park Book Club For fans of: pulling that face when a dirty bassline drops Monday 20th January Common Holly Headrow House For fans of: dark indie peppered with nuances of blues Saturday 25th January Bombay Bicycle Club O2 Academy For fans of: being 16 again

Wednesday 11th December Mondo Bizarre (Single Launch) Blueberry Hill Studios For fans of: Nubiyan Twist, Yazmin Lacey, Hiatus Kaiyote… Sunday 15th December Nice People and Joshua Zero Present: One Plastic Christmas Tree Hyde Park Book Club Featuring: Joshua Zero + Book, Hannah Willwood, Tight Lines Festive Band & Party Mom Society Tuesday 17th December High & Lonesome Christmas Showcase Brudenell Social Club Featuring: Sam Airey + Crake, Cruel World & Ruthie

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Nice People Magazine December 2019


Manchester Saturday 14th December Boy Azooga YES For fans of: Our Girl, Sunflower Bean, Goat Girl Saturday 14th December Global Soul Showcase Club Academy For fans of: discovering the best rising soul music Saturday 14th December The Blank Tapes Night & Day Cafe For fans of: Belle & Sebastian, Pavement and The Black Keys but in a coffeeshop Wednesday 18th December The Japanese House O2 Ritz For fans of: lush dream pop and brooding electronica Wednesday 22nd January Black Country, New Road YES For fans of: dark, unpredictable experimental scuzz (but in a fun way)

Going out out?

Stretchy Dance Supply present:

Addison Groove “Along with being a pioneering producer, Addison Groove’s sets are well known for their unique flavour, in recent years taking influence from acid techno, afrobeat, drum and bass and much more...” Come Stretch with us. With support from Dubrunner. When: Friday 13thth December, 11pm-4am Where: Sheaf St., LS10 1HD, Leeds

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Introducing...

Proving the Leeds Jazz scene is far from gathering dust, this trio of superb musicians are trailblazing a path for dynamic experimentation by recomposing what they were taught Jazz should be. Your sound is a dynamic fusion of jazz, post-punk and electronica. What are your influences and how did you form this sound? We formed in a rebellious response to the Jazz education we all had; we were constantly taught what Jazz was supposed to sound like, and we thought “Nah, fuck that. Let’s be loud and see what happens.” We want to put Leeds on the map against the rising London Jazz scene; we want people to know that Leeds is rowdy, full of energy and not afraid to make people dance to new sounds. You’ve just released your new single. What are your motives behind this track? The single title ‘(£81,000’) is the collective amount of student debt we acquired studying our instruments. A lot has changed

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since we first wrote and recorded this tune, but it still slaps. Leeds has a rich jazz scene fuelled by young musicians. What are your thoughts on the future of jazz in Leeds and The North? The Leeds scene is ace! We‘re constantly inspired by new projects popping up. We are so fortunate to be in a time and place where we have access to so much inspiration, whilst also being so close and involved with the musicians creating this scene Big ups to all creatives in Leeds, because we are all shaping each other’s future and giving ourselves a career out of it. Jazz has a very deep improvisational aspect to it. Do you feel a connection with each other when you play?

That’s the most amazing part, being able to take massive improvisational risks and know your mates on stage are ready to support your choices. There have definitely been times where inspiration has been dead, but it’s all worth it for that moment when something just absolutely hits the back of your skull. What can people expect from your debut album? Expect everything and nothing. It has something for everyone; if you’re mad about grooves, dancing, wonky electronics and big beats, then you’ll be heavily satisfied after a good listen. The album is a broad spectrum of what we can do, but be warned, we wrote and recorded it all in a day, only fuelled by a good old Sainsbos meal deal. Nice People Magazine December 2019


Introducing...

Image: Connor Devlin

Delivering hypnotic motifs and unrivalled technical skill, Tall Talker are bulldozing expectations with their fusion of jazz, funk and experimental math-rock. Your sound is very syncopated and precise. Do you find yourself torn between wanting to record complex tracks while being able to play them live? Thank you! Everything that we record has been rehearsed a lot before it goes into the studio, and by studio we mean Sam’s basement and Kane Whitelam’s bedroom. Usually, it remains exactly the same, however certain parts do change; sometimes because of complexity or realising a change in riff or rhythm would work much better. We are never really torn, the main objective is to find something we are happy with and to push our boundaries in terms of songwriting. You each play in bands with

differing genres. What are your thoughts on the diverse music scene in Leeds? Leeds is awesome; there’s so much going on that we don’t know even half of what is happening. We love events like Weekend Respite [a day festival fundraiser that encourages people to discover new music]; one of their aims is to create a diverse lineup to showcase what Leeds has to offer and introduce fans to something they would have never heard or seen before. Recently we have been wanting to do more of that: to play to different crowds who might never have had the chance to check us out.

last year. Do you have any new projects in the pipeline? We have 2 new songs on the way, hopefully being released on vinyl. It’s a progression from the last release that we are very excited for people to hear. Expect bigger groves and some guest appearances. What can people expect from a Tall Talker set? We want nothing more than to make you dance, or feel the need to move some part of your body. Expect massive groove with emotional melodies - the perfect combo.

You released your debut EP Gino

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Introducing...

Image: Shaun Pugh

Tranquilising math-rock by blanketing it with twinkly riffs and tender soundscapes, What? Nah are simply a delight. Despite being a relatively new band, the fresh-faced foursome are well versed in the Leeds music scene and are set to make waves in the upcoming year. Your delightful mathy sound is very unique and refreshing. What are your motives behind it? We try to make our music accessible and fun to listen to, despite our math-rock tendencies. We’re a bit noisy, a bit twinkly and a bit silly, and we want to play music that challenges our abilities and helps us to grow as musicians. At the same time, we try not to let our music become self-indulgent and wanky, or take away from an enjoyable experience. You’ve each been in different Leeds bands, such as Colour of Spring, Wormboys, Fern Veh and Lelo. What are your thoughts on the intersecting music scenes in Leeds? There’s a diverse range of music genres in Leeds with lots of independent and DIY music spaces. The potential for crossing

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musical boundaries and creating a flourishing scene is there, but it’s crucial for artists to support one another to make this possible. Venues like the Brudenell Social Club and Headrow House excel in promoting a variety of live music, while spaces such as Chunk and Wharf Chambers play an important role for the more DIY approach. Leeds is an incredible, diverse city for new music

threaten him with replacement. Shocked, offended, and faced with potential FOMO (his biggest fear), everything magically came together. Adam was the natural (and best looking) choice for a bassist.

You’d been working on the band for a year before you introduced it. How did you form?

What can we expect from What? Nah in the future?

Westlife had the idea to start a math-rock band with Mark. They thought saxophones with twinkly emo-tinged mathiness would be cool. Edie was super keen, begging join the band (Edie’s an eager beaver and a cool cat). We had one practice and liked the sound of it. Mark then longed about for almost a year and we had to reluctantly

Is your band name an answer to a particular question? What? Nah...

More twinkles, noise and silliness for the foreseeable future. Recording an EP in 2020. Taking the math-rock world by storm in 2021. Completing a sold-out World Tour by 2022. Inevitable burnout, collapse and falling out in the following years. 2040: Moneygrabbing reunion and obligatory sell-out album. 2041: A return to form. Nice People Magazine December 2019


Introducing...

Image: Porl Medlock, Jazz North

Blending complex composition and ethereal soundscapes, Yaatri tempt you down an introspective path with their captivating music. You’ve mentioned your sound is intended to ‘capture the heart and mind’. Could you elaborate on this?

Liam: I came across a lovely quote somewhere that said if art is decorating space then music is decorating time. Time is one the basic building blocks of music, and one big part of our music is how we play with rhythm and groove. Jona: Despite our music’s intricacies, we’re writing for everyone and want anyone to be able to connect with it emotionally. You blend a lot of influences into your music, such as Indian rhythms and Scandinavian jazz. Do you have a personal connection to these influences?

L: Having spent my entire childhood moving between cities in Asia, Africa and Europe, one of

the only cultural and geographical constants in my life was my connection to India. I’ve realised my Indian heritage is a big part of who I am and India’s music has started to resonate with me deeply. My friend Zuheb Ahmed Khan (who features on our EP) introduced me to some Indian rhythmic concepts which we’ve incorporated into our own music. The Scandinavian jazz tradition is characterized by a delicate, introverted and collaborative sound, and I think you could use any of those words to describe Yaatri. It’s not necessarily a soloist-oriented vein of jazz, it’s about how everyone’s parts work together to serve the music. Your single ‘Waiting on the Sun’ was featured in Rolling Stone India. How did it feel to have such international recognition?

L: “Waiting on the Sun” is an

important song for us; it was the very first idea we played together and how we figured out our sound. To see it mentioned by anyone is an amazing feeling, but seeing it discussed so positively in something as big as Rolling Stone was a very proud moment. Felix: It’s a real privilege to have people hear your music. Hearing their thoughts justifies all the hard work put in. What can people expect from your debut EP?

L: The core of every track was recorded live. Its the sound of people trying to figure out who they are, and in the process created something new. Beth: It’s something different, something very honest, warm and heart moving, whilst still making you want to head bang to the heavy riddems.

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Music

Photographer Chlöe French talks to Slut Drop co-founder and director Cat about how the platform are repping the underepresented by throwing safe and inclusive parties.

D

ropping dirty beats across the city, Slut

these people you’ve never met before, and some

Drop has become a staple in the Leeds party

of them just happen to be really sick DJs. Before

scene. It finds its home in CHUNK, where hip-hop,

and after their sets, the DJs on the lineup join the

electronic and experimental beats are played

party, furthering this free-flowing, friendly party

by home-grown female, non-binary, BAME and

atmosphere. At their most recent party at CHUNK,

LGBTQ+ artists. Fresh out of its 6th birthday, Slut

good vibes and heavy bass-lines reverberate

Drop’s parties are as influential and as fun as ever;

through the space’s intimate white walls; it really

as Slut Drop co-founder, director and resident DJ

felt like you were part of something special. Cat

Cat puts it, Slut Drop is “Made with love for music

describes the feeling of looking around the room

and art with equality at the core, striving to create

towards the end of the night: ‘I feel the love,

environments that feel safe for people to learn

energy and freedom in that room and it fills

and party in.”

me with such immense joy; the DJ is nailing it, everyone is smiling and dancing.”

Slut Drop builds its parties to be accessible from the ground up and does so with a fierceness like

But Slut Drop isn’t just about lively parties. The

no other. From cheap tinnies to headliners that

brand works towards ending the gender disparity

hail from the underrepresented in the DIY club

in the dance music scene. In conversation with

scene, Slut Drop focuses on championing POC,

Cat, she summarised their aim “To pay attention

femme/queer/non-binary artists. The crew create

to diversity and equality. If we are trying to prove

a safe space that their audience feels comfortable

anything it is that whoever you are, you can do

in, featuring headliners that represent and inspire

it. Come look at all of us doing it!” The brand has

the diverse audience. Their parties feel like

grown with the aim to fund workshops where

you’re part of a group of mates, except most of

female, non-binary, BAME and LGBTQ+ folk who

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Nice People Magazine December 2019


Illustration by Beth Cockroft (@bethgczart)

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Music are interested in learning how to DJ can do so in a safe and friendly environment. These workshops are an oasis in the desert of the male-dominated electronic music scene and provide those who have been inspired at a party with the skills to start doing it themselves. Slut Drop is part of a wider transgressive movement of inclusive DIY parties currently taking the UK electronic music scene by storm. Standing shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Equaliser (Leeds), SIREN (London) and Discwoman (New York), Slut Drop aim to fill the gap for femme, BAME and queer artists who play dark, bass-heavy music. In this way, Slut Drop aims to influence who gets put on the bigger lineups around the country. Their wise lineups showcase the best local artists, providing an ‘at a glance’ showcase and making it easier for other promoters to find talent outside of the white heteronormative gaze. As Cat explains: “The only way to expect any kind of change in attitudes in the electronic music industry is to showcase artists and make it easier for other promoters to find talent. It gives them no excuse to say they couldn’t find it.”

All images © Chlöe French (chloe.francais)

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Nice People Magazine December 2019


Slut Drop is constantly evolving. As DJ, visual

So, what will the turn of a new decade bring for Slut

technician and organiser Lauren notes, “Each time we

Drop? Cat sees 2020 bringing more workshops, new

learn something new: what we can push next time?

event formulas and a few exciting collabs following

What worked, or didn’t work, this time? Each part

their amazing night with Equaliser earlier this year.

evolves from the last.’ In such a fluid and dynamic

Whatever direction they go in next, it is safe to say

scene, it’s Slut Drop’s willingness to adapt to changing

that Slut Drop will keep putting on the most inclusive,

demands which makes it so special. It is clear that, in

fiercest and noisiest parties around.

the six years since their first house party launch, they have concocted a pretty solid recipe for a good party

If you’re hungry for more, email:

and aren’t afraid to add in new ingredients every now

slutdropleeds@gmail.com and ask to be kept up-to-

and again.

date on all their latest antics. Words and Images by Chlöe French Feature Illustration by Beth Cockroft

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Music

Safi Bugel talks to members Katie and Rosie about how Make Noise provides a network for femaleidentifying musicians and gig-goers in an effort to make Hull’s music scene more inclusive.

I

n 2017, Hull became the UK’s City of Culture,

as Rosie expresses: “Most venues have been really

welcoming large-scale structural change and funding

receptive to what we’ve been doing. The Polar Bear has

for the arts and culture scene. As this transforms the

changed massively since we’ve been working with them:

city’s cultural skyline, impressive progress has been

they’ve completely changed their security team and their

made by an all-girl-identifying DIY collective who have

bar staff; they’ve changed the rules of the place so it’s

made the local music scene safer and more inclusive.

more of a safe space. It’s really cool to can see change”.

Less than two years since Make Noise started, the collective have put on events, encouraged people to

The impact of Make Noise is not just reflected in the

listen and, more importantly, made clear changes in

enthusiasm of the venues, but also in the community

their hometown.

attending: “We had people that were like, ‘Thank god, this is finally happening!’”, Rosie says.

It all officially started in late 2017, when femaleidentifying people from Hull and beyond met for an open

As well as making the gig experience

meeting to discuss the city’s music scene. Much to their

safer for women, Make Noise aim

surprise at the time, around 60 people showed up to the

to get more female acts onto

panel discussion and meet-up, suggesting that change

the stage too. Although Rosie

was indeed in demand. “A lot of people in the group had

and Katie speak highly of

experienced sexual harassment at venues and had not

Hull’s music scene, they

had a very good response when trying to deal with it,”

lament at the lack of

Rosie, team-coordinator of Make Noise, says. “[Make

diversity: “It’s levelled out

Noise] came organically because we’d all complained

to being just a lot of male

about these things together and we were just thought

bands playing the same

‘why don’t we just do something about it?’”.

kind of music. It’s not like

Since then, Make Noise have put on a number of female-

there wouldn’t be the space for a

focused workshops, parties and gigs in order to raise

female-fronted band, because we’ve

awareness for the cause. The progress has been notable,

put on gigs with all-female lineups and people have

zle

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Nice People Magazine December 2019


Although Hull is quite a big place, it has a really

small community -

especially the music scene. Word about

this sort of thing spreads quickly. Katie, Make Noise

Illustrations by Emily Flanagan (@flazzle)

been really receptive. It’s hard on the base level: the places to

What will the new year bring for Make Noise? Applying

practise and learn to play are really male-dominated. There’s

for funding is at the top of Katie’s list. So far, Make Noise

not really a space where a woman can practice and be shit,

have operated independently, with only the support of The

or just pick up a guitar and start messing about. We want to

Warren - a local youth organisation. More financial backing

make a space where you can just chill and mess about with

means more progress for the group, who run Make Noise

no pressure”.

as a labour of love alongside studying and working. In the meantime, you can expect more events for the community,

Taking influence from Leeds-based groups like Girls That

starting with a Christmas party at one of their favourite

Gig and Girl Gang, Make Noise are keen to promote their

venues, The Adelphi.

favourite female-fronted bands that exist across Yorkshire, from the angry music of Finno to folk artist Jade Cuttle.

Within our short chat, it becomes very clear that Rosie and

Katie thinks Hull is an appropriate place for bringing these

Katie are still as passionate and driven as when they started;

musicians to the forefront: “Although Hull is quite a big

with them on the team, Make Noise offers real hope for the

place, it’s a really small community, especially the music

music scene across Yorkshire.

scene. So, everyone does talk to each other and word about this sort of thing does spread quickly”.

Safi Bugel


Nice People Magazine December 2019

ŠHugh Roberts @hughxrobers / EVOL


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Nice People Magazine December 2019


Behind the cover...

Since graduating from Leeds Arts University earlier this year, Hollie Fuller has already established herself as a bona fide artist with some impressive accolades under her belt.

Hollie talks to us about developing her style, the power of illustration and her hopes for the future.

D

renched in pastel tones and dripping with

Establishing an instantly recognisable style is a

character, Fuller’s illustrations instantly

challenge for any aspiring artist, and Hollie explains

transform the mundane scenes of everyday life -

how her ‘rubbish drawings’ in the past paved the

such as commuting - into worlds you itch to be part

way for her to develop her trademark style: “There

of. Her playful characters navigate their day-to-day

was a lot of trial and error, rubbish drawings and

with personalities as big as their loveable ears and

frustration at not knowing what my ‘style’ was.

oversized torsos. With distinctive style and soft

But I think those rubbish drawings were valuable

hues, Fuller transforms our otherwise monotonous

in their own way as they helped to define the way

daily routines by injecting her witty humour and

I like to draw things. Hollie also notes how it’s easy

signature colour palettes.

to compare yourself to others and feel inadequate, especially during your rubbish stage: “I think it’s

With such a distinct style, it’s no surprise that Hollie

so important to stop watching what other people

has been drawing for as long as she can remember.

are doing and just do your own thing,” Hollie

Growing up in Grimsby, Hollie recollects how she

advises. “Find something you love, something you’re

was ‘constantly drawing’ as a child: “I’ve always loved

interested in, something you’re inspired by, and

drawing from the second I could hold a pencil. I once

make work about that.”

drew every single character from The Simpsons.” Hollie has since developed her own cast of signature

Anyone who commutes on the daily wishes their

characters - such as Colin the Cowboy - who grace

regular bus was as colourful and uplifting as Hollie’s

the page with heartwarming details and individual

illustrations. Her observational, character-driven

nuances.

art depicts with wit the simplicities of day-to-day

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Art

All images used with kind permission from the artist © Hollie Fuller

life, encouraging us to look up from our phones or shoes and appreciate the nuances of the people around us. “I find inspiration in everyday mundane things, like people waiting for a bus,” muses Hollie. “I love people-watching and imagining what people are doing, where they’re going or what they’re talking about.” The melting pot of Leeds is a good one to watch simmer; we share a doorstep with people from all walks of life. From students, locals and passers-through to the man who walks his ferrets in town, Leeds is full of characters. Since graduating from Leeds Arts University with a first-class degree in Illustration, Hollie has moved back home to Grimsby for “A break from city life”. Yet the rising artist still pines for the creative culture that radiates from the city: “Leeds is a great place to be as a creative person,” expresses Hollie. “There’s always something to see, new exhibitions and events popping up. That’s something I miss now that I’ve moved.” Despite missing the city, Hollie is certainly keeping herself busy with a number of impressive commissions, garnering recognition from esteemed platforms such as It’s Nice That. Championed as one of ten creatives selected for the platform’s Gradwatch 2019 features, Hollie expresses how she questions her ability, much like any rising artist suddenly in the spotlight: “I’ve had such imposter syndrome, wondering why me and whether I’m even good enough for that kind of recognition. But obviously it’s such a big achievement

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Nice People Magazine December 2019


Behind the cover...

“ ” Illustration is all about communicating... Hollie Fuller

and I’ll be forever grateful to [It’s Nice That]. I doubt

I’d be where I am today without that, which is an odd feeling.”

One of the projects Hollie has worked on since

graduating is a poster design for Perfectly Fine, a

project in Stockholm focusing on solving social and environmental issues. The community encourages people to help make a positive impact on the environment by sharing easy tips, illustrated by independent artists. Hollie’s design encourages people to be aware of their carbon footprint and to say no to single-use plastic. The project proves that illustration has the potential to spark social and political change. Asking for her thoughts, Hollie expresses how “Illustration is all about

communicating. We need to communicate in as many ways as we can to reach as many people as possible. I think it’s probably easier to ignore the news than it is to ignore a nice drawing that’s caught your attention.” Hollie’s nice drawings have certainly caught our attention indefinitely. As she continues to make a name for herself (and Colin), we’ll be keeping our eyes open as wide as her character’s sizeable ears. Meg Firth All images used with kind permission from the artist © Hollie Fuller

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Art

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Nice People Magazine December 2019


Fresh Junk The DIY art collective replacing frills and snobbery with a palette of fun. Rob, Luka and Amani are trio of party professors who have formed Fresh Junk, a collective that groove, skate and host immersive art exhibtions. Do you want to lose yourself in the riddim, explore movement and have a good time? Fresh Junk gon’ give it to ya.

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resh Junk blossomed from like-minded friends with a shared vision to exhibit art and dance in a fun creative space. Their recurring immersive event, Bodies in Motion, celebrates photography, videography, fine art, music, performance and the art of partying. With no frills, snobbery, or judgement, the collective take pride in being inclusive and light-hearted. As Amani explains, this is an attempt to depart from an elitist tradition: “It expresses something quite novel about performance and dance, bringing performances down to a level which is unpretentious and accessible.” Fresh Junk create a veritable safe space for expression and acceptance, with this ethos being summarised perfectly in their tagline for their last event: “Wiggle your body! Bust a move! All styles, your styles, my styles, no styles… anything goes!” Fresh Junk have a notable appreciation for Leeds, particularly its varied and friendly community and how it helped shape them: “The community that we have is the only reason why Bodies in Motion could exist, we call on so many favours.” Luka is quick to acknowledges the help and inspiration they’ve received from communities such as: “Sable Radio, Northern Dance, the breaking community, the green community, Green Action, Rainbow Junktion, Cosmic Slop, the party scene, Dman and Friends…”. An environment where creativity can thrive, Rob sums up Leeds well: “The nice thing about Leeds is that it’s small enough for there to be a sense of community, but big enough for things to happen.” By attending a Fresh Junk event, you won’t only be feeling good but doing good too; all profits from Bodies in Motion go to charity. Their first event raised

money for MAP, the wonderful music and arts charity providing young people who no longer have access to mainstream schooling with creative qualifications. Their second was for Rainbow Junktion, a community café that works to reduce food waste by turning food that would otherwise go to waste into nutritious payas-you-feel meals for the community. Looking towards the future, there are big plans in the Fresh Junk pipeline. Amani hopes for Bodies in Motion to be a permenent fixture of the Leeds arts scene: “The exhibition will always be different, the performances will always be different, it will always be fresh.” They don’t, however, want to be pigeonholed by Bodies in Motion. They are open to diversifying Fresh Junk, perhaps by securing a more permanent exhibition space as well as curating a zine. All three are interested in developing their own individual creativity as well: Amani is a budding videographer, Luka a fine artist and musician and Rob is exploring contemporary dance alongside his own videography. The sky is the limit for this trio of self-proclaimed ‘silly guys’. Their final imparting pearl of wisdom is: “If you have an idea and some friends to help you – just freaking do it!”. Fresh Junk’s DIY approach is inspiring and demonstrates their genuine enthusiasm for art, dance, partying and all things fun and intriguing. Keep your ears to the ground for their next event, which is set for January. Want to get involved and showcase your art? Contact Rob, Luka and Amani at freshjunkarts@gmail.com (deadline for submission is 10th January). Claire Hamilton

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Art

Walking into an art gallery can sometimes be a bit intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Art Doctors are working to break down these barriers by creating a conversation about how creativity can have a positive impact on our lives. Art student Sophie Lane talks with cofounder Alison McIntyre.

SL: How did Art Doctors come about?

So you prescribed specific pieces of work to look at?

AM: Art Doctors started in 2015 as a tongue in cheek

Yes! Limiting people’s prescriptions to 2 or 3 pieces

way to talk about whether art is good for you. [This

of work helped people to not feel overwhelmed by

was] off the back of a conversation with the Arts and

the whole gallery. We also had prompt cards that said

Minds Network. Someone working for the British Art

things like ‘Would I have this in my house? If so, which

Show heard about it and thought it would be a good

room?’ or ‘Maybe just looking is enough’. They were to

way of engaging people with the show.

help people keep an open mind and to calm the worry of not understanding what something means.

So we had some prescription pads made up, just like the ones you’d get at the doctor’s, and we spent one day

I feel people think that you have to approach and

outside Leeds Art Gallery, literally accosting people off

comment on contemporary art in a certain way, but I

the street. We were wearing our stethoscopes and lab

suppose that’s really not the case...

coats with paint splattered on, so we looked kind of silly. We asked people questions such as what sort of

There’s really not. We have confidence in other forms

art they normally like, if they wanted to be challenged

of art we enjoy such as music, books and theatre,

and how they were feeling. We then prescribed them

however it doesn’t feel like there is the same certainty

some things to look at in the gallery.

in contemporary art. On the bottom of all the prompt cards we put, ‘Any response is valid’. It is trying to push the idea that it doesn’t matter what your response is and you shouldn’t feel stupid if you don’t understand the work of art.

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Do you think that initiatives like Art Doctors are the way forward in making it more accessible? Definitely. It’s about engaging people and it’s about that conversation. We have moved on from always needing to have a gallery present, and moved into doing things with creativity and wellbeing. We started to work out what we could prescribe people as everyday creativity that they could take home. Showing that participating in arts and creativity is really good for your mental wellbeing. It’s about people realising the creative things they do in their lives. Sometimes you can get stuck thinking, ‘I’m not good at drawing, so I can’t do any art’. But there are so many ways you can create and make things. Cooking is a good example.

As someone who has been based in Leeds for some time, what are your thoughts on the creative scene here? Leeds has always been really interesting because of its large grassroots DIY scene. People doing their own thing. It’s often felt like the grassroots campaigns are not getting much support, but I think there is more effort being made recently. For example, in Mabgate, MAP Charity bought the Hope House building and were supported by the council. It’s things like that that is keeping the ecology of the creative arts in Leeds healthy. It means that people doing really good work are being recognised. It always feels like there are more things happening then I’ve got time to go and see, and that feels like a good thing! There’s always the opportunity to do things and there’s a lot of people that want to work together. Interview by Sophie Lane hello@artdoctors.org.uk @art_doctors artsandmindsnetwork.org.uk/

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Community

Alex King discusses the Leeds City Museum exhibition that celebrates the city’s important history of migrants, countering the nasty narratives in today’s media surrounding immigration.

O

pposite the BP garage on Cardigan Road, there’s an anonymous red-brick building with a blue door, boarded-up windows and the tiniest fragment of a story pinned to its outer wall. A faded sign displays the building’s old function: LIBRARY, written first in English and followed by three South Asian languages. What’s rather endearing about this decades-old sign - produced, presumably, with the best of intentions - is that its hapless translator merely spelled out ‘L-I-B-R-A-R-Y’ in the Urdu, Hindi and Bengali alphabets. They’re transliterations rather than translations – puzzling riddles, rather than kindly pointers, for Hyde Park’s post-war arrivals from the subcontinent. What other loose ends, beckoning threads and wayward strands are scattered about Leeds, whispering tales of what it was like for migrants to arrive, settle and thrive here in the heart of Yorkshire? This dysfunctional signage is just the tip of a huge iceberg of migration stories, floating just beneath the surface of the city. Through curating ‘A City and its Welcome’, Leeds City Museum have decisively upturned that iceberg by putting on display – until January 5th – a patchwork of artefacts collected from three centuries of migration to Leeds. The result is to highlight the remarkable journeys of the city and its people in making Leeds what it is today, as the museum’s Curator of World Cultures, Adam Jaffer, explains: “Migration has shaped the city of Leeds,” he says. “Migrants often have interesting stories

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to tell. When we think of migrants as similar to us, with the same aspirations and ideals, we can empathise with their stories, and foster an understanding in, and an appreciation of, diversity and interconnectedness.” The exhibition eloquently underlines this point by peering into the distant past – beyond arriving Commonwealth citizens, European Jews, the Irish, the Roma, and the Huguenots (French Protestants) – to Medieval and prehistoric times, when it was Vikings, Normans and Romans setting up shop in Leeds. “Everyone who lives in Leeds today either descends from migrants or has migrated here themselves,” reads the thought-provoking introductory panel. Speaking of setting up shop - those who have visited the first Marks & Spencer penny shop in Kirkgate Market may know that half of the name belongs to Michael Marks, a Polish Jew who co-founded the store in the Market in 1884, just two years after arriving in Britain. Similarly, Montague Burton, who arrived as a Jewish-Lithuanian refugee in 1900 and founded his menswear business in Leeds. Now boasting over 400 stores, Montague went on to receive a knighthood in 1931. As well as showcasing Leeds’ first Chinese restaurant (delightfully named ‘Man Fangs’) and the opening of the city’s first Sikh Gurdwara in Chapeltown, the museum’s curators also introduce us to the stories of recent migrants – many of them refugees like Burton.

Nice People Magazine December 2019


“I’m pleased we’ve used quotes on the wall to provide a first-person perspective,” expresses Adam. “I’m happy we were able to represent an LGBT+ refugee’s story, to show he has found safety here. This was done with assistance from West Yorkshire Queer Stories and MESMAC - it’s not a story we would have been able to collect and display without their generous support.” The exhibition is a celebration of the diverse communities that now call Leeds home. But what’s inescapable, as you pick your way through the colourful, strikingly personal exhibits, is a growing sense of pride – in triumph over adversity, in the kindness of strangers, and in a city and its welcome. As Adam says: “Brexit has led to migration being discussed a lot in the press, and exhibitions like this can contribute to the discussion, using personal stories of migrants as a basis”. He goes on to add what I took away with me when I stepped out onto Millennium Square. “Leeds should be proud of the kindness it has shown to people – now, and in the past.” At the end of the exhibition’s wall-length timeline is a short piece on Eileen Taylor, daughter of the Windrush generation, who became the first black Lord Mayor of Leeds in 2019. As that timeline pushes into a new decade, it’s for Leeds’ current residents to continue what is clearly a centuries-old tradition – older, even, than fish, chips and scraps - of showing a helping hand and a welcoming smile to new arrivals. Even if we happen to mistranslate a few dodgy signs along the way. Alex King Illustration by Joshua Pell (@pelltopsy)

Readers of Nice People can redeem a special offer of a slice of cake and a regular tea / filter coffee for only £4 at Leeds City Museum Café. Valid until 29 Feb 2020 for up to two people when you show this offer at the till. Only available at Leeds City Museum Café.

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Community

Ey up, what’s that? : A Guide to the Best Independent Spots in York

Fourty Five Vinyl Café

The Minster Bookshop

29 Micklegate, YO1 6JH

8 Minster Gates, YO1 7HL

As soon as you enter the dog friendly Fourty Five Vinyl Café, you’re bound to feel at home. Tucked away on Micklegate, this relaxed establishment is a friendly community music space founded upon the rejection of digital music services. Offering a large array of secondhand vinyl for purchase, it’s a great place to unwind and relax with friends.Infamous for their cheese toasties (complete with vegan and gluten free options), Fourty Five Vinyl Café is the perfect place to have lunch whilst you admire the artwork by independent artists on sale. With regular in-store live sets, it’s the perfect place to discover new music with a locally brewed beer. Whether you’re searching for the independent music scene in York, or want deliciously affordable comfort food, Forty Five Vinyl Café is a must-go.

Minster Gates has been associated with the selling and printing of books since the 1500s. Spread over five floors of a Georgian townhouse, this bookshop covers a large and diverse range of subject matters. Whether you’re looking for newly released fiction or scouting out old classics, you can guarantee that the Minster Bookshop will provide something for every book lover. With books piled upon each other, the shop is full to the brim of intriguing titles and interesting reads. It’s recommended to designate a substantial length of time to rummage around the shop. Often cheaper than Highstreet bookshops, arrive armed with a tote-bag to carry all the purchases you fall in love with. Pushed for time? Access their online book collection at www.minstergatebooks.co.uk or e-mail them at rarebooks@minstergatebooks.co.uk

To find out what’s on and what there is to eat, visit www.fortyfiveuk.com or follow @fortyfiveuk for updates.

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Nice People Magazine December 2019


The Giftery & The Shop of Small Changes Expressions Vintage

177 Burton Stone Lane, YO30 6DG

12 Walmgate, YO1 9TJ

With two distinct shops under one roof, this is the perfect place to visit if you’re wanting to live sustainably or reduce your disposable waste. The Shop of Small Changes is York’s first non-food zero waste shop, allowing you to bring in your own containers and stock up on various household essentials. Meanwhile, The Giftery showcases a range of gifts and keepsakes made by local creatives from recycled materials. Visiting this family-run business is essential before Christmas, as they stock a range of lovely festive greetings cards and unique gifts. Mel, the shop’s owner, is enthusiastic about facilitating a dialogue about ways to reduce waste so pop along and chat.

Expressions Vintage is a must visit. Its intriguing array of upcycled and customised clothing offers a multitude of fashionable possibilities, from 1950’s dresses to charming accessories; the shop is bound to have something for you. Specialising in vintage American sportswear, the owners of the shop are approachable and helpful, offering a request service if you’re after an item from a particular era. A family business since 2004, Expressions is a great place to scout unique gifts for special birthdays and events. No need to worry if you’re from outside York, as this wonderful shop also offers free U.K. delivery!

Want to find out exactly what products are stocked? Check them out on Facebook or get in contact at: +44 7771 812639

The Habit 40 Goodramgate, YO1 7LF Previously owned by The Minster, this building is a treasure cove of cosy corners spread over two floors. Showcasing a large range of musical talent five nights a week, the space has something for everyone. With a free open mic night on their schedule, The Habit is a place of energy and character. Though often busy, its welcoming vibe is accentuated by a charming roof terrace offering views of York Cathedral. The dog friendly establishment offers a rotating ale menu and a large global drink selection. Catering for vegans and being an affordable place for a hungover breakfast, it’s a wonderful local place to visit in York, no matter the weather. Visit www.thehabityork.co.uk or call: +44 1904 611072

Rainbow Ceramics 15-17 Bootham, YO30 7BW A stones throw away from York Minster and open 7 days a week, Rainbow Ceramics is the ideal place for a session of artistic relaxation. The shop offers a large range of ceramics for you to hand-paint, allowing your creative juices to flow free. The chance to design unique and personalised pieces make this a great place to create memorable keepsakes for you and those close to you. Offering a range of hot and cold drinks, it’s definitely a destination to bear in mind when you’re wanting to escape Yorkshire’s rain and wind. www.rainbowsceramics.co.uk or +44 1904 675533

Millie Rosette illustrations by Elle Hibbert @helliegibs

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Profile for Nice People Magazine

Nice People Issue 7  

In this Issue, we meet party with a purpose Slut Drop, illustrator Hollie Fuller, nu-jazz trio Morpher, math-rock band What? Nah., dreamy ja...

Nice People Issue 7  

In this Issue, we meet party with a purpose Slut Drop, illustrator Hollie Fuller, nu-jazz trio Morpher, math-rock band What? Nah., dreamy ja...

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