Building Bohemia in the Best Little City in England
PLUS: Street Art, Guerilla Gardening, Urban Exploration, Right Up Our Street, The White Gallery & Bang Bang Romeo
Editorial Rachel Horne
A Message from Right Up Our Street Eva Wuestum
Fake It Till You Make It Warren Draper
Underbelly Dr Muttley
Pull-Out Phlegm Poster Phlegm
Bloomin' Banksy Greenjacker
The Long and The Short Of It Adam Ogden
Ready Or Not Here They Come Guy Russell
In Her Own Words
Writers Rachel Horne Eva Wuestum Warren Draper Dr Muttley Greenjacker Adam Ogden Guy Russell Ruksanna Hussain Simon Saynor Artwork Phlegm
Warren Draper Harry Draper Dr Muttley
Did You Get My Invitation? Simon Saynor
Mark Loraine Design Warren Draper Rachel Horne Bob Sanderson Editorial Team Rachel Horne Warren Draper Sam Walby Eva Wuestum With Special Thanks to: Right Up Our Street Andrew Loretto Eva Wuestum Doncaster Central Trust Now Then Magazine Arts Council England Voca Voca
Cover Art ÂŠPhlegm, 2013 Photography left ÂŠWarren Draper, 2014
Disclaimer The opinions expressed in each feature and article in the Doncopolitan are the opinions of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Doncopolitan. The editors and production team of the Doncopolitan accept no responsibility for the opinions expressed. Printed by Kingsbury Press, Unit 13/Durham Lane, Doncaster, DN3 3FE. Conceived and created by
Horne & Draper art - design - publishing
EDITORIAL Rachel Horne
A couple of years ago the rag-tag band of local artists who would go on to become the founders of this magazine took a piece of advice from Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and 'faked it' until one day, as the magazine you now have in your hand proves, we finally made it. We were sick of being told that “Doncaster’s a cultural desert” or “now’t ever happens around here”, when the truth was that we were meeting - and being entertained by - talented people on a daily basis. We had to prove the naysayers wrong and we hope this printed vessel stands as a vindication for every artist, musician, creative, maker and artisan in Doncaster who has ever been overlooked by an art world too blind - or too blinkered - to recognise a good thing when it saw it. The thing is that we, like many of the visionaries who feature in this magazine, see Doncaster a little differently. Staring up and out from the streets - rather than down and through an academic lens - we saw a town full of other lost creative souls all eager to
find the ear or eye of like-minded peo-
ple - everyday Doncaster people with
This magazine will big up anything
hardworking lives who just happen to do something utterly bloomin' wonderful in their spare time. We realised early on that if we could create a big enough horn to shout through, then we could bring all of those lost creative souls of Doncaster together. International street art star Phlegm came to town and with a big tin of white emulsion and black spray paint he blessed us with a rather large horn mural in the courtyard of Church View, the former art school behind the Minster. People came from far and wide to see this huge mural and we all felt that a change was in the air. Since then we’ve been hanging out at Church View Centre and other creative venues across our beloved Doncopolitan - beautifully captured by Dr Mutley from the former Coal House (page 13) - with one thing on our mind: to build a Bohemia in the best little city in England. This issue is titled ‘Fake It Till You Make It' because if we can do it, then so can you.
which has the potential to add to Doncaster’s metropolitan appeal. We’ll celebrate Doncaster’s culture, arts, style, music, people, fashion, lifestyle, architecture and even, in the words of Warren Draper, "its coal black underbelly”. If you’re a local artist, musician, writer, photographer, fashionista, socialite or social commentator, and have something to contribute to this magazine, please get in touch. Online: doncopolitan.wordpress.com @TheLudicLife @rachelhorne Write to us: Doncopolitan Magazine Church View Centre Church View Doncaster DN1 1AF
A MESSAGE FROM RIGHT UP OUR STREET Eva Wuestum
At Right Up Our Street we’re very excited and proud to be part of the first hard copy edition of the Doncopolitan, which has been launched to coincide with the DNweekeND, a weekend which brings together artists and arts events across town on 9th-11th May. There are tons of things to do across Doncaster. From poetry to performance, film to radio, sculpture to design, the town is buzzing with creativity. Doncaster is full of artists, musicians, writers and performers. It is full of people who celebrate creativity and value imagination. It is full of choirs, bands, theatre companies and galleries. We aim to let everyone within the Doncaster Borough and further afield know about everything that’s happening here. A group of Doncaster arts organisations (darts, Cast, Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust, Doncaster Voluntary Arts Network) have joined forces, backed up with funding from the Arts Council, to create a programme called Right Up Our Street,
aimed at getting more people enjoying the arts in Doncaster.Right Up Our Street aims to inform everyone what Doncaster and its artistic community has to offer. The more you know about what’s happening, the more likely you are to find something to attend. As well as supporting this magazine through funding, we also list
We wish the team a fantastic launch and every success. And to you the readers, come and join us, have a look at our website and see what the Doncaster arts scene has to offer, because it’s no longer a secret. Great art is here, and it really is Right Up Our Street. To find out more visit our website: rightupourstreet .org.uk
everything happening across the town on our website.
Right Up Our Street is led by a consortium of Doncaster arts organisations and
We are also a portal for artists of all
supported using public funding by the
kinds to share ideas and connect,
National Lottery through Arts Council
as well as programmers bringing
England until 2016.
new and incredible work to the town. If you’re an artist, or if you live in Doncaster and you’ve got a big idea for something you want to see happen in the town, get in touch via email@example.com We are thrilled that in the Doncopolitan we have a magazine that “celebrates Doncaster’s culture, arts, style, music, people, fashion, lifestyle, architecture and even its coal-black underbelly”.
Barry Hinesâ€™ A Cast and Right Up Our Street production Based on the novel A Kestrel For A Knave by Barry Hines Created by Philip Osment and Kully Thiarai Design by Emma Donovan Movement by Lucy Hind
Fri 5 - Sat 13 September 01302 303 959 castindoncaster.com @castindoncaster Cast, Waterdale, Doncaster, DN1 3BU
FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT. Warren Draper
The idea for the Doncopolitan magazine first emerged a couple of years ago when Doncaster was applying for their latest 'city bid' - a race between British towns where the Queen gets to convey the title of ‘city’ on a town of her choosing. It seemed evident to us that the first thing you needed to do if you wanted to be a city, was act like a city! If there’s one piece of advice that’s guaranteed to fair you well in life it is this: ‘Fake it until you make it.’ These are the wise words of the ‘Demon of Screamin’ himself, rock god, motor cycle designer and American Idol judge, Steven Tyler. Although it may sound like something out of a fortune cookie, this technique really does work.
Next time you’re on the phone, fake a smile. You will actually sound happier and may also find yourself feeling more cheerful too! Martial artists practice their moves over and over again until they become second nature. By repeating ‘fake’ fighting moves their bodies learn to react unconsciously, which helps the fighter avoid dangerous moments of indecision in a real fight. Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson honed his own considerable skills by sitting in front of a typewriter copying large sections of his heroes, Earnest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, writing techniques. ‘Faking it’, it seems, can be an essential part of the learning process. In the past one of our town’s major obstacles has been the way it is
perceived and sometimes even the way we Doncastrians perceive ourselves. You don’t have to look too far to find snide remarks about Doncaster. Mostly it’s unimaginative people moaning about a lack of ‘culture’, as if a place doesn’t have culture just because it fails to live up to somebody’s preconceived and often mediocre image of what culture means, or else it’s stories about scary Friday nights filled with cold kebabs, brawling boys and halfnaked girls. Such comments tell us more about the commentator’s own cultural prejudices than they do about the town itself. In reality, of course, Doncaster is home to an incredibly diverse range of people, ecologies, cultures and talents. There have also been several new cultural developments since Donny’s last city
Photography ÂŠWarren & Harry Draper, 2013
bid, like the new Civic and Cultural Quarter (CCQ), which includes the Sir Nigel Gresley Square, Doncaster’s first public square. And world events over the last few years have shown how important public squares can be! But with an uncertain economic future we can’t rely on big projects and outside benefactors to save the day. Why should we? We have to take the cultural, social and economic development of Donny into our own hands if we want to improve the town for future generations of Doncastrians. This may sound scary, but once you've been involved with smaller, grassroots projects in Doncaster you realise that, as a community, we're capable of a lot more than we think. One such project was a series of music, feasting, arts, performance and storytelling events called The Telling. With zero resources - but 'fake' aplenty - we managed to put on a fire-lit, power-down extravaganza which merged local and emerging talent with nationally and internationally respected artists, including the world-renowned muralist Phlegm and Bellowhead's Jon Bowden. Jon had played Glasgow Arena the night before The Telling and now, for a paltry £2, the people of Doncaster not only saw him play, but were treated to a singing workshop. We could only do this because everyone involved cared more about doing something new and building something better for Donny than they did about money, fame or other self interests. Phlegm himself is the perfect embodiment of this DIY attitude. He travels the world doing what he loves and is recognised as one of the best muralists in the world today. But he's no millionaire rock star artist giving it the big 'I am' (no offence to any millionaire rock-stars who might be reading this). He sells his own comics and prints to raise money for air fare and paint and refuses
monetary payment from the people he paints for. He'd much rather be given good coffee than cash. He painted a fantastic mural for The Telling in the courtyard of Church View - the former art college behind the Minster, opposite Tesco car park - and he donated the images which make up the cover, back and centre of the magazine you are now holding, completely free of charge. Phlegm also loves Doncaster and has vowed to return to paint again. If Phlegm has faith in Donny, then so should we. Regardless of city bids, we need to start acting like a city, or at least a unified whole rather than lots of towns fighting for their own small slice of an ever-dwindling pie. We need to celebrate Doncaster’s culture, arts, style, music, people, fashion, lifestyle, architecture and even its coal-black underbelly. There's no better time to do this. All cities are at their most creative when they’re still raw (poor) and eager for change, a process which has a limited shelf-life thanks to the inevitable gentrification of once-bohemian areas. Who’s to say that those ‘brawling boys’ are not in fact angst ridden, hormone driven poets whose musings will one day put the city of Doncaster on the map. Why can’t a girl be a sociocultural heavyweight just because she chooses to spend her Friday nights ‘half naked’. And who’s to say a ‘cold kebab’… No, even I can’t find a way to redeem a cold kebab. The Doncopolitan will big up our little city (big town) as if it were London, Paris or New York, although Donny would be the ‘Big Rhubarb’ rather than the ‘Big Apple’. Even if Doncaster never becomes a city, this magazine will act as a showcase for what truly is an underrated gem of a town. So come on Donny, let's get together and get stuff done. Walk the walk. Talk the talk. Start every sentence with
“What if?...”, and if anyone answers with a “yes, but...”, leave them back in the 20th century. The future is unwritten. Why not be the ones holding the pen? Act like you're living in the best place on earth and one day you will be.
Phlegm's mural can be seen in the courtyard of Church View, Church View Centre, DN1 1AF
UNDERBELLY Dr Muttley
Reckless thrillseeker. Irresponsible idiot. Trespasser. Just some of the accusations that are sometimes thrown at those who, like me, have an interest in the abandoned and derelict - the things that Joe Public may never see, things that lie over the fence, beneath our feet and above our heads â€“ as well as a healthy disregard for authority, health and safety culture and social conditioning.
Factories, power stations, schools, cinemas, churches, theatres and tunnels all have their own stories to tell - of how people lived and worked, of how life has changed through the ages, of how we seem so willing to abandon our heritage and replace it with concrete and steel that will be replaced in 20 years and will never carry fond memories. One of Doncaster’s tallest buildings stands empty, its windows swinging in the breeze, its occupants long since deserted for newer, shinier, cleaner desks. The Council House, or Coal House to those of us of a certain vintage - an unloved landmark for the centre of Doncaster, designed by the infamous architect John Poulson - jailed in 1974 for corruption along with leader of Newcastle Council T Dan Smith in a scandal that also forced the resignation of Home Secretary Reginald Maudling - originally the South Yorkshire HQ of the National Coal Board, then home to Doncaster Council and now awaiting the demolition men and their wrecking balls. But the old girl had got one final date to keep before she makes way for who knows what ’improvement scheme‘ that Council has got planned.
visits were made, but still access to the building proved elusive. More waiting, more walk pasts before the opening I’d been waiting for presented itself and with a hop, skip and jump, we were in. A brief pause to let the heart rate slow and to make sure that we hadn’t disturbed the security guard’s viewing of Eastenders and then it was up the stairs. A quick look at a few of the offices didn’t reveal anything of interest so we pushed on up the stairs, heading for the roof. There is something undoubtedly exhilarating about standing on the edge of a tall building with no windows or barriers, taking in the kind of view that relatively few experience. Doncaster is laid out below me, with new landmarks like the neighbouring Cast Theatre and the new council offices very apparent. From up here it is clear just how low rise the town really is, with only a few tower blocks and St George’s Minster breaking the skyline. For more words and pictures of unseen parts of Doncaster and beyond, follow @DrMuttley or take a look at: exploringtheunderbelly.wordpress.com
As soon as they moved their desks and filing cabinets out and turned off the lights for the last time, I was itching to take a closer look. But they had locked all the doors and closed the windows, so a waiting game began. I lost count of how many times I walked past, looking to see if anything had changed that might provide the opening required. Finally, there seemed to be more activity - fences went up, skips arrived, a digger was parked. And then a picture appeared on Facebook of the digger taking its first bites at the rear of the building. Time to get to work. A couple of late night Photography ©DrMuttley, 2014
BLOOMIN' BANKSY. Greenjacker
Street art was once considered an
by fame and money. Many are
underground pastime and those
disgusted by the way their art form
who chose to express themselves
has been turned into yet another
through the medium were often
commodity to be traded by rich,
branded as little more than
unimaginative losers. BANKSY
vandals. The artists themselves do
famously got a guy to sell his
not always see this as an insult and
work on the street of New York
some even choose to call their work
last year for $60 a piece in protest
‘smart vandalism’. Things began to
against the commercial art world.
change in the 70s and 80s as gifted
Thankfully there is an ever-growing
artists slowly found prominence.
branch of street art which makes it
Sites like the Bowery and Houston
much harder for the money men to
Street in New York became known
cash in. Anyone and everyone can
as places where up-and-coming
enjoy this art and get involved in
artists could showcase their talents
making it. In fact, you don’t even
and perhaps be accepted by the
have to be human to benefit from
real art world. Artists like Keith
it. You can even take it home with
Haring found international fame
you without a mugger in a suit
and have since made many an
charging you £100,000. If your’e
art dealer very happy. Elsewhere, talents like Eric Haze crossed over into the world of graphic design, with his work gracing everything from album covers to running shoes. In the last decade Bristol boy BANKSY has taken the art world by storm. The commercial interest in his work is such that unscrupulous dealers are chiselling his stuff off walls to sell in their galleries for hundreds of
sensible you can even eat it. thousands of pounds. Even the Bowery is now privately managed and only accepts works by commissioned or
Guerrilla Gardening (GG) was also born during the 70s - 1973 to be precise
- in the Bowery and Houston Street
If you get a chance to talk to the
and her group of ‘green guerrillas’
artists themselves, like the wonderful ‘Phlegm’ who features in this magazine, you will often find that the majority of them aren’t motivated
area of New York when Liz Christy transformed a derelict private lot into a lush green garden. It was the first community garden in New York. Forty years later the Liz Christy Garden is
home to the tallest Dawn Redwood tree in Manhattan - a true testament to the fact that the actions of a few dedicated individuals really can change things for the better. Since Liz’s pioneering garden, GG and the building of community gardens has spread around the world. Richard Reynold’s guerrillagardening.org is a great site to learn more and connect with other gardeners throughout the UK. But there’s another project - again pioneered in America - which is highly relevant to Doncaster. Ron Finley is from South Central, Los Angeles, an area blighted by economic decline and a bad rep. Think Donny with guns. Ron described the situation perfectly in a
healthy food, if every time you walk out your door you see the ill effects that the present food system has on your neighborhood? … So I figured that the problem is the solution. Food is the problem and food is the solution.” Despite being a semi-rural area where people are surrounded by arable land, Doncaster too is a ‘food desert’ where it is often easier to get pizza and kebabs than it is to get potatoes and kale. So what’s the answer? “I planted a food forest in front of my house. It was on a strip of land that we call a parkway. It’s 150 feet by 10 feet. Thing is, it’s owned by the city. But you have to maintain it. … So me
2013 TED Talk:
and my group, LA Green Grounds, we
“I live in a food desert, South Central,
my food forest - fruit trees, you know,
Los Angeles, home of the drive-thru and the drive-by. Funny thing is, the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys. People are dying from curable diseases in South Central, Los Angeles … I got tired of seeing this happening. And I was wondering, how would you feel if you had no access to Photography ©PermaFuture, 2013
got together and we started planting the whole nine, vegetables ... And the garden, it was beautiful. And then somebody complained. The city came down on me, and basically gave me a citation saying that I had to remove my garden ... And I’m like, “Come on, really? A warrant for
planting food on a piece of land that you could care less about?” ... LA Times got a hold of it. Steve Lopez did a story on it and talked to the councilman, and one of the Green Grounds members put up a petition on Change.org, and with 900 signatures, we were a success. We had a victory on our hands.... LA leads the United States in vacant lots that the city actually owns. They own 26 square miles of vacant lots. That’s 20 Central Parks. That’s enough space to plant 725 million tomato plants. Why in the hell would they not okay this? Growing one plant will give you 1,000, 10,000 seeds, when one dollar’s worth of green beans will give you 75 dollars’ worth of produce. It’s my gospel, when I’m telling people: grow your own food. Growing your own food is like printing your own money. See, I’m an artist. Gardening is my graffiti. I grow my art. Just like a graffiti artist, where they beautify walls, me, I beautify lawns, parkways. I use the garden, the soil, like it’s a piece of cloth, and the plants and the trees, that’s my embellishment for that cloth.
You’d be surprised what the soil could
minds. The Greenjacker isn’t going
do if you let it be your canvas. You
to wait for politicians, big business
just couldn’t imagine how amazing a
and ‘professionals’ to get off their
sunflower is and how it affects people.
bums and finally make a difference; they’re going to grow a greener, better,
To change the community, you have to change the composition of
healthier, friendlier world – right here, right now, one plot at a time!
the soil. We are the soil. You’d be surprised how kids are affected by
The Greenjacker don’t believe in
this. Gardening is the most therapeutic
wasteland, just wasted opportunity.
and defiant act you can do...
The meaning of life is to LIVE, so to
Plus you get strawberries.”
give your life meaning, GIVE LIFE. Go forth and cultivate. With the first seed
If you’re inspired by Ron Finley and
you plant you become the Greenjacker.
the fine art of guerrilla gardening then you’re in luck. Doncaster already
Greenjackers seek and employ
has the Doncaster Urban Growers
practical, green, grassroots DIY
(DUG), who are busy planting areas
solutions to England’s social,
around Doncaster and coordinating
economic and environmental
‘urban farming’ food growing projects.
problems. We’re guerrilla gardeners
You can get a hold of them via The
committed to changing hearts
PermaFuture Project by emailling
and minds by actively changing
the landscape where we live. We
alternatively you can text or leave a
fill neglected patches of land with
message on 07846 439982.
edible, useful and wildlife-friendly plants. Sometimes we add edible,
And if you want something a little more adventurous, underground and unafraid of authority, there’s always Greenjacker...
useful and wildlife-friendly plants to places where they really should have been planted in the first place, like pedestrian areas or public squares where they ‘forgot’ to put such plants, which is why we tend to do things by
WHO IS THE GREENJACKER?
stealth. Another strategy greenjackers often employ is ‘pre-planting’, whereby we prepare an area with non-intrusive native fruits and other useful plants and fungi so that future generations might have access to vital resources.
The Greenjacker is everywhere. She’s the woman who sat next to you on the bus this morning and the man who smiled knowingly at you as he walked on by; she’s the green-fingered guerrilla gardener who works to the sound of the dawn chorus and the roofer who makes bee-friendly hideaways high above the town centre streets; he’s the dog walker with a pooper scooper in one hand and a spade in the other, the schoolgirl with the muddiest shoes and the brightest smile. They all have seeds in their pockets and mud on their
You don’t have to be a national institution, a government body or a major landowner to transform your local area. With a little imagination and know-how the vast majority of neglected sites in the UK, no matter how industrial or barren they may first appear, can be transformed into a resource for humans and wildlife alike. From roadside verges to supermarket car parks, the possibilities are endless.
Cast is Doncaster’s new performance venue. A place where you can watch incredible shows, share creative ideas and be inspired. Here is a place to enjoy everything from comedy to jazz, plays to ballet, gigs to family shows and much, much more. Come and join us. Be a part of a Cast of thousands. Be a part of Cast in Doncaster. DRAMA
HIP HOP THEATRE
A Taste of Honey
The Freedom of Freewill
Main Space, 7.30pm Sat matinee 2pm
Main Space 2pm & 7pm
Sir Nigel Gresley Square 6pm
Main Space 7.30pm
Tuesday 13 – Saturday 17 May
I Can Make You a Mentalist Friday 23 May
Saturday 7 June
Thursday 26 June
Halfway To Paradise The Billy Fury Story Thursday 12 June
Second Space 8pm MASK THEATRE
Sunday 25 May Second Space 7.45pm DRAMA
Tuesday 27 – Saturday 31 May Main Space, 7.30pm Thu matinee 1.30pm Sat matinee 2pm MUSIC
Richard Durrant Cycling Songs Sunday 1 June
Second Space 7pm CHILDREN’S THEATRE
Tuesday 3 – Wednesday 4 June Main Space 1.30pm Wed morning 10am COMEDY DRAMA
Conversations Not Fit for the American Dinner Table Thursday 12 June
Second Space 7.45pm
Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band
Main Space 7.30pm
Main Space 7.30pm
Main Space 7pm Sun matinee 1.30pm
Second Space 7pm Sat matinee 2pm
Saturday 28 – Sunday 29 June
The Big Easy
Second Space 8pm
Second Space 8pm
Friday 13 June
Saturday 19 July
A Magical Smile
Cast Comedy Club
Thursday 3 July
Friday 25 – Saturday 26 July
Doncaster Pride 2014 Saturday 16 August DRAMA
Gabby Young and Other Animals
Stan and Mabel Saturday 5 July Main Space 3pm
Thursday 19 June
Main Space 7.30pm MUSIC
JAZZ AND BLUES
The Big Chris Barber Band Saturday 21 June
Ensemble 360 Saturday 5 July
Second Space 7pm
Main Space 7.30pm PHYSICAL THEATRE
Wednesday 25 June
Second Space 7.45pm
Second Space 7.45pm
Thursday 5 – Saturday 7 June
Swing on a Summer’s Evening Thursday 26 June
Main Space 7.30pm
Thursday 17 July
Friday 11 July Second Space 7.45pm STAND-UP
Le Grand Voyage
Thursday 26 – Friday 27 June
Cast Comedy Club Saturday 12 July
Second Space 8pm
Second Space 2pm – 5pm / 6pm – 9pm
Friday 5 – Saturday 13 September Main Space 7.30pm Sun 7 and Sat 13 matinee 2pm Thu matinee 1.30pm MILITARY BAND
Music for Heroes
Wednesday 17 September Main Space, 7.30pm A MUSICAL DANCE SPECTACULAR
Friday 26 September – Sunday 5 October Main Space 7.15pm Wed, Sat, Sun matinee 2.15pm PANTOMIME
Friday 5 December – Saturday 3 January See website for performance times
01302 303 959
castindoncaster.com fb.com/castindoncaster twitter.com/castindoncaster @castindoncaster #aCastof1000s
THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT.
Above: Ally the Wood Cutter
Ally was an allotment man, the go to guy if you wanted anything doing. His appearance was more that of a mad scientist than a council worker, with his out of control hair, big bushy beard and glass eye that never aimed forward. People always went to Ally with big wood project as everyone knew he had a sawmill he made in part and bodged in others. This sculpture represents him and another chap cutting the raw wood before sending it through the sawmill.
Adam Ogden is a 3D designer and visual artist who uses scrap materials to create artworks which celebrate the lives of local characters he meets on the streets - and in the pubs - of Rossington; a former mining village in Doncaster. His exhibition, The Long And The Short Of It, is currently showing in the White Gallery at The University Centre, High Melton. The following Facebook conversation says a lot about the attitudes of the majority of Doncaster based artists we have spoken to over the years: “Heya dude, I need to ask you a few things for an article we’re writing for the Doncopolitan. What is your art dream for Rosso? Where would you like to be in 10 years time? What’s your thoughts on having to move to London or Berlin to get recognised as an artists? Or is it enough for you to be recognised by your community as an artist, so that you can make work that serves and inspires the people around you? If you could make a living doing that would you consider that you’ve 'made it'? Sorry to bombard you! “Hi Rachel. Firstly I don’t think it
Above: Frank, a Johnnie Walker and orange cordial drinker
A man who spends his afternoon drinking and playing snooker at the club. A secret art lover who doesn’t concentrate on one media, skipping from oils to water colours and rug making.
matters where you are based to make an impact. True, there are more opportunities in London and Berlin but why should I place myself in an already crowded pond? I am an engineer at heart so I’d rather build my own pond and grow a community where I live. That, to me, just seems more of a Bohemian thing to do. Don’t leador follow, but embrace the community around you and network and collaborate and prove to people that there really is art beyond the ‘art capitals’. ‘Making It’, to me, is not about making money or finding fame, it is interaction between viewer and my art on a mass scale and understanding it’s impact
Photography ©Adam Ogden, 2014
As for my dream for Rossington - I don’t need one. I can already see change happening in some areas. From the closing of the pit there was something missing from Rosso, but now there is a change happening. The industrial estate has had a new lease
The White Gallery is an initiative setup to host regular exhibitions by New Fringe Fellowship, staff and students at the University Centre. Follow Aam Ogden on Twitter: @TeamOgden
of life with the building of the bypass, giving the village an industrial heart once again and a focus for my local art in the future.... The art scene in Rossington is still lacking, but it is definitely improving, although I would like to see a few more big community art projects.”
READY OR NOT HERE THEY COME. Guy Russell
What we really need to remember is that Donny’s got talent. Take Famous Villains, Rita Payne and Bang Bang Romeo, all doing us proud darting up and down the country, collaborating with the great and good of the music industry, nearing the gauntlet to celeb-land. We want them to make it, because they deserve it, but even more we want the live original music baton brought home. If any of the mighty and powerful folks over at the Council are reading this, it’s generally the musicians and artists that put a town on the map, so a bit more investment in your arts and culture budget won’t go a miss (nudge nudge, wink wink). Take the Donny metal scene. You tend not to find these guys down at the local poetry night, but Lawrence Taylor aka Loz, front man of While She Sleeps, is up there with Doncaster’s most renowned, securing a seat on Wikipedia’s list of the most famous people from Donny. That’s right he’s standing shoulder to shoulder with Tony Christie, Louie Thomlinson and Devvo. Pubs and clubs of Doncaster, ready or not here they come - an army of upstarts with guitars and poems equipped to kill your ear drums. To
help them on their way we thought we’d put this open mic guide together. One day they may stand shoulder to shoulder with our finest exports. Fake it till ya make it, kids. Start your music career here. Check out our guide to Open Mic Doncaster and help keep your local pubs and clubs thriving. Conisborough Open Mic Night The Castle Bar, Conisborough (DN12 2BW) Every Thursday, 8pm. Free. Local musicians have regenerated a former working men’s club. It’s safe to say it was on its arse. It’s a family affair at this unique weekly night, with Papa Ferguson and his sons Nathan and Matt of the Avit Blues Band playing hosts. If you’re looking for exposure then this is a great night to start out at. It’s one of the bigger open mic nights in South Yorkshire, with sometimes as many as 300 people turning up. Jam Session The Mallard, Sprotbrough (DN5 8JN) Every Wednesday, 8pm. Free. This is a long-standing jam session where musicians from across Doncaster enjoy and pint whilst sharing tips on how to make love to their guitars. Expect some jaw
droppin’ solos from musos who have been working the music scene since time began. Open Mic at Cask Corner Cask Corner, Cleveland Street (DN1 3EH) Every Wednesday, 8pm. Free. Hosted by that happy chappy James Taplin, this is another great night for exposure. If you’ve got what it takes you might even score yourself a weekend booking. And if you haven’t heard Jim’s power notes fused with blues and rock‘n’roll, you need too. The Vintage Rock Bar St George's Gate (DN1 1LE) Every Thursday, 8pm. Free. Rob Tinsley has to be one of our favourite local music legends and now with a studio above the pub, this is a good destination to talk about getting your newbie butt into the studio with one of Doncaster’s most generous and skilled promoters. Pit Men Poets Concertina Band Pub, Mexborough (S64 9AZ) Third Thursday of the month, 8pm. Free. A new night to add to the calendar dedicated to the spoken word and hosted by ex-pit man turned wordsmith Tony ‘Gooders’ Goodwin. This is a landmark event for the
borough. If we’re not ready for poetry yet, I wouldn’t fancy telling Tony that. It would be like a red rag to a bull. Anyone is welcome on the night to recite one poem and enjoy at least one pint from the club’s own microbrewery. Under the Chandelier Cask Corner, Cleveland Street (DN1 3EH) Tuesday 3rd June, 7.30pm. Under the Chandelier is happening at the Cask Corner Dive Bar as part of the Turn The Page Literature Festival in Doncaster town centre. So people in Donny do like poetry in pubs after all. Open Mic Woodfield Social Club, Balby (DN4 8HN) (Check ri gh tu po u rst r eet .or g .u k for details), 7pm. Free. Kate Sully in collaboration with the good folk of Balby are hosting this monthly night. Expect musicians and poets complete with a couple of free drink tokens for performers. Cracking night. Open Mic The Hatfields Pub, Hatfield (DN7 6JH) Last Thursday of the month (check rightu po u rstre e t .or g .u k for further details), 7:30pm. Free. Joe Kriss is a London-born poet and open mic guru. He’s recently been hosting a family-friendly open mic at the Hatfield Pub, which has to get a five-star rating for being the most eclectic night on the menu, featuring Disney songs, Dolly Parton covers plus headliner Sally Jenkinson, a Donnyborn published poet now based in Bristol. Thorne Open Mic Night Canal Tavern, Thorne (DN8 5DZ) Third Friday of the month (check rightu po u rstre e t .or g .u k for further details), 7:30pm. Free. Another baby of the open mic night scene, again hosted by Joe Kriss. Expect anything from live animation to Sheffield-based poet Stan Skinny’s Comedy Cabaret.
Photography ©Zack Washer, 2014
Folk Jam Session The Masons Arms, Market Place (DN1 1ND) Every Tuesday, 8pm. Free. Doncaster’s very own folk sugar daddy Michael Jenkinson hosts this weekly shindig, featuring anything from exminers playing the spoons to local stars Rita Payne rocking out folk style.
Open Mic Night Imperial Club, Mexborough (S64 9HU) Every Thursday, 8pm. Free. Another open mic for Mexborough with its own microbrewery, boasting folk tunes and a laid-back easy listening crowd. There’s plenty of original material too. Expect to see the Last Politician down there.
Folk Circle Ukrainian Centre, Beckett Road (DN2 4AD) Every Monday, 8pm. Free. This has to be one of the most unique nights on the calendar. There won’t be any mics at this event, but instead a circle of folky musicians and singers complete with beards and tin whistles. Musicians, singers and listeners all welcome.
Jam Session Mexborough Athletic Club (S64 0JL) Every Monday, 8pm. Free. Apparently this night has the best sound on the calendar and it’s loud. Expect anything from punk, rock and metal to folk.
Jam on Sunday Sprotbrough Country Club, Sprotbrough (DN5 7SD) Every other Sunday, 2pm-6pm. Free. A twice-monthly explosion of talent. Musicians and listeners are all welcome. We’re not sure which Sundays they’re on, so give them a ring on 01302 853454 to find out before you set off.
IN HER OWN WORDS.
Ruksanna Hussain ROXC Photography Ruksanna is an emerging visual artist and photographer based in Balby, Doncaster. Throughout 2013 she ran a photographic studio at Project, a collaborative workspace on Copley Road. She is now focusing predominantly on her photography and is available for commercial work. Find ROXC Photography on Facebook.
"I produced this image after
opinion I think it draws curiosity
researching into Islam, the Hijab
as their facial expressions are not
(scarf that Muslim women wear),
being shown. So I decided to use my
War, and Persona and Perception in
own hair to cover my face and act as
Islam. The fact that the full Hijab is
a Hijab. The contrast with the lace
worn by women to cover their hair
sleeved top showing skin through it is
and face and is suppose to ‘repel’
a controversial subject as women are
people staring at them, but in my
not allowed to show flesh in Islam”.
DID YOU GET MY INVITATION? Simon Saynor
For a town that has been musically awash with talent for decades, Doncaster’s major musical successes can be counted on one hand. Bang Bang Romeo are on the brink of ending that depressing trend. Less than four years since a lowly spot on the Doncaster Live stage BBR are playing sold-out, critically acclaimed gigs across the nation. Firmly established as part of the This Feeling roster - the premier live forum for upand-coming bands - and with new EP We Were Born getting national airplay, the future is bright for this Doncaster four-piece. The EP was produced by no less than Chris Kimsey of Rolling Stones fame. There have been the inevitable lineup changes over the years but the current line-up is as solid, tight and accomplished a live unit as you will see on any stage. Vocalist Anastasia Walker and guitarist Ross Cameron have been there from the outset. It’s their baby. Ross, quiet and calm on stage while making his guitar scream, is the perfect foil to the larger-thanlife Anastasia - a voice so perfect it has made me cry in the past, whether she’s serenading the crowd through Chemical or Adore Me or rocking out a la Robert Plant with Invitation or Carnival. Anastasia has mastered her stage craft. Not yet 22, she has crowds in any city eating out of the palm of her hand.
The relatively new rhythm section of Joel Philips (bass) and Richard Gartland (drums) has fleshed out BBR into the rock monster they currently are. The energy the band emit on stage is frightening. What’s more frightening is the massive fur coat Joel insists on wearing as he pumps out infectious bass lines for Ross to dance to. He must lose 6 pounds every gig. Richard is the quiet one - so unlike most drummers I know, though he’s not averse to standing on his kit and conducting the crowd every now and then. I’ve seen him dive into a drum fill and wonder just how he’s gonna get out the other end. Before I know it he’s out and the band are still flying. It’s a joy to behold. I caught up with Anastasia for a quick chat: Are you and Ross the main songwriters for BBR? Ross and I will come up with the lyrics and initial structure, but as a band we write the music together. We all pick up on each other’s vibes quite quickly. The distance you’ve come in four years is phenomenal, both in your music and the buzz about the band. Has it all sunk in? It’s mad. The line-up and music has changed so much but definitely for the
better. This now feels like Bang Bang Romeo, if that makes sense? With recent mini successes we’ve never felt more ready to push on. You’ve been working with some big names. Care to fill us in? Yeah, we went into the studio to record our forthcoming EP We Were Born with Chris Kimsey (Rolling Stones/INXS). The whole experience was a bit of a dream for us and hopefully we’ll get to work with Chris again. We recently took to Parr Street Studios in Liverpool with AC/DC and Bob Marley producer Tony Platt to record our single ‘Revolver’, due for release later this summer (we think). Again, to work with such a renowned producer in a dream studio - we found Coldplay flight cases and The Coral’s amp - is massive for us. We’re still in awe of our own experience! Ha. So another Leadmill gig for This Feeling just round the corner. Excited? Yeah, we love the Leadmill. The sound is always bang on and the atmosphere is great. Looking forward to The Views DJ set too. What next for BBR? On 19th April, same night as our Leadmill show, we will be doing a live session on BBC Introducing in
Sheffield. On 7th May we play at the Man City vs Aston Villa game before kick off. On 2nd May we’re at The Purple Turtle in London with This Feeling again. We’ve got a few things we can’t mention just yet. We’re looking to push on big time now, since we were featured on Huw Stephens Radio 1 show as Pick of the Week. If you’ve not caught Bang Bang Romeo yet then you need to. Simple as. Their recordings are exquisite, but the stage is where the band come to life. To see a band so wrapped up in the performance they deliver is pure heaven. Get on it. You’re all invited. Simon Saynor is presenter of The Other Way on Sine FM 102.6 every Sunday from 6.00-8.00pm and blogger of The Confessions Of A Freelance Peanut: freelancepeanut.blogspot.co.uk
Photography ©Mark Loraine, 2014
A Doncaster arts & culture magazine featuring art work by renowned street artist, Phlegm, urban exploration, guerrilla gardening, Bang Bang...
Published on May 24, 2014
A Doncaster arts & culture magazine featuring art work by renowned street artist, Phlegm, urban exploration, guerrilla gardening, Bang Bang...