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Huge Swell of Support for ‘Tent City’ from Park Hill Residents

November 4, 2016

For more info please contact

Above: Park Hill residents visit Tent City, Photo taken by Anthony Cunningham/Donations from Park Hill residents to Tent City, photos by Fiona Finley-Barbereau

A group of residents in Park Hill’s Urban Splash development are speaking out in support of ‘Tent City’ – a local homelessness project with tents pitched next to the derelict old flats on South Street behind the Train Station, highlighting the need for more social housing and provision for homeless people in the city. Residents of Park Hill have collected food, clothing, bedding and toiletries for the people in Tent City and visited the tents, with many more in support.

Tent City aims to highlight the existing street homelessness in Sheffield, and demand proper housing and support. Residents of the Urban Splash development have come together to support that aim, feel that all of the residents of Park Hill – those in the flats and those who use the old flats for shelter – should be part of a safe community where everyone has a right to a roof over their head. The vast majority of the flats in the Park Hill complex will not be completed for years according to Urban Splash’s plans, and many homeless people have been taking shelter in the empty balconies and walkways- it’s about time people stand up and take notice of that and stop hoping it will go away.

Residents noted, in response to The Star’s article: that they had noted no increase in anti-social behaviour or drug use and were surprised these concerns had not been raised with the local Neighbourhood Watch or on the active residents Facebook group. Those who have visited the camp will know many of the people there have been sleeping rough in the old flats anyway. In contradiction to the previous report, Tent City residents have actually been cleaning up the existing rubbish and waste in the balconies and the area is spotless and much better than before they moved in. Tent City is also organising a ‘Park Hill Clean Up’ on 20th November, and we’d encourage residents to join us from 10am to improve the whole area and address these problems by speaking to people face to face.

Some residents are currently making plans to cook breakfast for Tent City on Saturday morning in the flats to deliver in person.

Quotes from Residents:

Rosie Huzzard “Homelessness should not exist in a society where money is diverted to things like war and bailing out the banks. It’s really clear that vulnerable people are last on the list of the government and local council’s priorities. I feel like they’re more interested in a gentrified new development full of student flats, but with so many people sleeping rough here with a lack of social housing, it just smacks of social cleansing. What’s been amazing this week is that Tent City has really brought the residents of Park Hill together for a common purpose – I’ve met loads of my neighbours who I’d never even spoken to before – it’s certainly a force for good”.

Monika Kostera “We need a structural solution to social problems, we need policies putting citizens first, like in the country where I grew up, Sweden. Until that happens, we need to spread awareness and do whatever we can to help our fellow citizens. ”

Rachel Sharp “Having worked in Sheffield for the past 7 years and recently become a resident here I have noticed the unfortunate increase in the homeless community in the city. The work which Anthony and his team are doing here is inspiring and needed to protect vulnerable people. The project seems to be run by a person who has a full understanding and knowledge of the issues surrounding homelessness and also takes consideration of the wider community outside of Tent City. Homelessness is something which could affect anyone, at any time and in any circumstances. This is why I offer my support. This project raises the important question as to why more isn’t being done to address this and that is a question which has been left unanswered for too long.”

Jan Dobbernack “Park Hill is a symbol for previous attempts to create a just society, with decent living conditions and housing for everyone. It is shameful that we need the tent city to remind us of this history.”

Residents in Support

Steve Hunting

Claire Hunting

Charlotte Hunting

Rachel Sharp

Rosie Huzzard (Tenant)

Lucy Huzzard (Tenant)

Jan Dobbernack (Owner)

Fiona Finley-Barbereau

Chris Ritchie

Monika Kostera (Owner)

Andrew Smith (Owner)

Mick Hawker (Owner)

Victoria Lynn El-Nayal

Krzysztof Nawratek (Owner)

Parveen Afsar (Tenant)

Jerzy Kociatkiewicz (Owner)

Matty Halton (Tenant)

Grace Evelyn-Watt

Catherine Fletcher (Owner)

Fabienne Colignon (Owner)

Many more residents have also donated supplies and lent their support for Tent City but have not been contactable in the past 24 hours before publishing for their names to be published.


LaDIYFest 2012 Weekender (2nd/3rd/4th November)

October 18, 2012

Thought I’d let you all know about a fantastic group I’ve recently got involved in, and our biggest event of the year which is coming up real soon!

The LaDIYFest weekender is a once-a-year gathering (though we are active throughout the year as well, putting on gigs and things) of feminists of all stripes where you can come to meet other feminists, learn about different feminist perspectives, or even learn for the first time if you’re just feminism-curious.

Sheffielders should expect a packed weekend of lively discussion, new ideas, and plenty of thinking, ranting, plotting, joking and dancing.

This year the event is raising money for two important local organisations: Survivors of Depression in Transition (SODIT) and Young Women’s Housing Project (YWHP). SODIT helps women who have suffered from depression and mental health illness to move on in their lives. Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from depression, so LaDIYfest Sheffield believes that mental health is very much a feminist issue. YWHP provides safe accommodation for young women who have been affected by sexual violence, as well as supporting women survivors living independently, and leading activities and workshops to help women to recover. We put a lot of consideration into choosing our charities and are proud to be fundraising for two groups that do such valuable work.

The LaDIYFest programme is coming together a treat, with a crossover event with Off The Shelf festival on Friday night at The Harland Cafe ( where Juliet Jacques (from ‘My Transgender Journey’ as featured in The Guardian), will be giving a talk on media representations of trans people. There will be time for question and answers and Juliet will be sticking around afterwards too. Saturday daytime ( sees a whole host of workshops at the Quaker Meeting House including, ‘Why Disability Matters to Feminists’, ‘Making Sense of Consent’, ‘Women and Working Class Struggle Politics’, ‘Hollaback! Sheffield: Anti-Street Harassment’, ‘Body Mapping and Body Image’, ‘Feminist Craftivism’, ‘Confidence and Assertiveness: Making a Start’, ‘Why Women Travel: Abortion and Ireland’, ‘LGBTQ: Writing For Our Lives’, ‘Mindfulness’. There will be distros and stalls from a range of local groups, including: Archives of Activism ● Young Women’s Housing Project ● Survivors of Depression in Transition ● Feminist and Queer Zines ● Hidden Perspectives: Queering the Bible.

We will have a children’s space supervised by volunteers with activities scheduled throughout the day, including: Pom-pom making ● Firework pictures ● Leaf rubbing ● Animal masks ● Play dough monsters ● Rocket making ● Hand drawing.

Saturday night brings a party at Penelope’s with live music and DJs, (

And if you’re not completely knackered, there’s still a full day of awesomeness back at The Harland on Sunday ( including music from Izzy Isgate, Oxo Foxo, and Nancy Richardson. Spoken word from Cassie Killah and Mightyy Kerri Leigh + Sam Catbear will be doing crafty things! Other activities to be confirmed are: feminist quiz, short film screenings, more poetry readings!

Leaving Sheffield – Poetry by Edd Mustill

October 14, 2012

I thought I’d reblog this post by a friend of mine – Edd. He’s a Sheffielder who’s recently moved back to London for a job and is feeling kinda homesick. I know we have a lot of ‘ex-pats’ who read this, so this is for you, and of course, for Edd – whose poetry is sublime and you can catch more of it here:

I recently left Sheffield, here’s a barely completed piece I’ve worked on, posted because I’m feeling homesick.

From Steel City

“The bottle’s half empty
And the glass is half full
The people outside us
They never understood.”

Harrisons, Blue Note

“If it hadn’t rained so much
That the seven hills became seven seas.”

Monkey Swallows the Universe, Sheffield Shanty

“And you can pour your heart out at around three o’clock
When the two-for-one’s undone the writer’s block.”

Arctic Monkeys, The View from the Afternoon

“Everything you want to be
And even everything that you dream of
Is inside you.”

Bison, You Are My Smile

“How was London? How was Crete
How was Amsterdam and gay Paris
How was Barcelona and Sicily
And did you spare a little thought for me?”

Little Man Tate, European Lover

“So I’ll see you when I see you
Yeah I’ll see you again.”

Milburn, Last Bus

With every footstep
I’m scraping towards a vantage point
Because before I leave
I want to see all the streets
I’ve never walked down
And before I leave
I want the bellowing hammers of the Don Valley
To bowl me over backwards
And before I leave
I want the shaking sound of a five-string acoustic
(because the b-string broke before payday)
To rasp up above the arts tower
From every bar on Division Street

Tell me you’re not letting me go for good
And I won’t be so sad
Tell me you’re not letting me go for good
That you’ll see me
At Christmas and I’ll tag
Your trees with a nonsense signature
That you’ll help me ring in the new year
With snowballs and whiskey in Meersbrook
With heavy ale cannonballs across
Chesterfield Road
Tell me you’re not
Tell me
Tell me I’ll be back
That I can come back whenever
Whenever I need you
That I’ll drink in the Lescar
The Sheaf View The Fat Cat
When I’m boxed into winter’s corner

Sometimes I think this is
A mess of dirt tracks in the wilderness
Sometimes I think this is
The centre of the world

If the scarred and crapped-out
Paths of my youth are
Visible under the tarmac
Scratching their way past
UNITE blocks and the shuttered-up Boardwalk
Where the metal string ghosts
Hum their grateful two-pounds-on-the-door tunes
Down to the griping traffic at Lady’s Bridge

If they empty out into the Don like a sewer
I’ll pick through the waste
I’ll tip over your bins
And tickle your underbelly
Like we all used to do
And I’ll never leave
I’ll never leave
Never never


the incredible nutshell

July 19, 2012
The rather faded “In a nutshell” on Chesterfield road was there for as long as I can remember, and was a great place for veggies and health food fans to grab a few essentials. Unfortunately though as time went on, the lady who owned it grew older and more tired and with it, grumpy. It was because of this that I didn’t care too much for the shabby little shop with its worn around the edges sign and staff.
But all this has changed!
The brand new “The Incredible Nutshell” comes with a huge array of exciting new ingredients and enthusiastic and friendly staff too! It’s spacious and well organised produce is appealing to the eye and tummy, plus its vintage décor really adds a characteristic charm to the place, and the unusual window display really catches peoples eye and draws them inside.
The new owner is keen to keep things as local as possible, from the fresh cat lane bread, to  rescue battery hens eggs from a local lady and another Pakistani  woman from the refugee centre at st marys who makes authentic onion bhajis. They are looking into adding honey and organic vegetables to the exciting range of foods including the more adventurous ingredients such as sumac, miso and coconut oil. Certainly a wider range compared to your usual health food store.
Plus they are the only place in Sheffield to sell happy kitchen brownies, my favourite! Get yourself down there, if it’s sunny then take a seat outside and enjoy a cat lane scone or authentic Pakistani bhaji washed down with a refreshing healthy drink.

The rude shipyard review

July 8, 2012

If you were to ask me for three qualities that make a perfect cafe I would say amazing cake, lovely staff and the observer newspaper with a proper home made breakfast on a Sunday. Oh and a unique charm,  and tranquil atmosphere…and new and interesting music every time you visit…and hundreds and hundreds of books! OK, I got slightly carried away there, the reason being is that The Rude Shipyard possess all of the above in abundance!

There is nothing as special as an independent local bookshop. The selection of books there is vast and varied with each one deserving an appreciative home. For me, its a ‘home away from home’ as I’m there almost every other day. No other place in Sheffield has such a relaxed ambiance with the most genuinely lovely staff. They make every visitor whether young, old, strange or curious feel like a valued friend. 

This oasis of bookish tranquillity also hosts regular live music gigs (including the incredibly popular cupids in nooses anti valentines festival), free wifi, a book club, whiskey and drinking songs nights and Thursday supper to name a few exciting happenings.

Back to the food…not only do they serve self proclaimed hugs made of cakes, they also do a amazing breakfast on a Sunday with local sausages and bacon and home made soda bread. In the week you can find varying delights always including unusual sandwiches, soups and salads, plus the greenest hummus and more substantial meals such as burritos, curries and tortillas. Vegan and gluten free options are available.

If that wasn’t enough they also have a delicatessen where you can purchase home made dukkah or hot chocolate with mahlep, as well as aubergine pickle, hazelnut oil, smoked salt and paprika and much more.

The Rude Shipyard feels like one of those undiscovered gems that doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it deserves. I want to keep it to myself and yet I feel it is only fair to share it with you. It never fails to intrigue, inform and refresh me with every visit so I’m sure you’ll love it just as much as I do. Go check them out!

Queer Times: Pride and LaDIYFest

June 8, 2012

Well hello blogosphere, long time no see.

Komal, Aurore and I have been super busy over the last few months. That hasn’t really subsided but I still thought a bit of blogging might be a good thing.

Saturday gone was Sheffield Pride, the second one I’ve been to, and the first that charged on the gate (three English pounds, as I recall).

The best thing about this year (for me at least) was that it was the first year that there was a Pride march (rather than just the festival), starting around Pomona Street (I would say ‘at the Pomona’, but apparently it’s been renamed) and finishing up in the park. I was running late, after viewing a house (I’m moving soon), and was dashing down past the DVLA when the most gaudy, balloon-covered, drag queen-filled party float I’ve ever seen (but then, I haven’t been to San Francisco) came round the corner. I couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear, and as it slowly went past, everyone gave me a wave. The float belonged to Affinity, a relatively new gay club in Sheffield (apparently it’s a blast, though I haven’t made it down).

On a whim, and knowing I was running late, I shouted ‘Can I have a lift?’ and to my surprise, they all shouted ‘Yes!’ and helped me on to the back of the float. So off we went down Ecclesall Road, dancing to the Cheeky Girls. We soon went past my friend Heather, who couldn’t help but laugh, but I pulled her up too, and we had lots of fun dancing all the way up, whilst also thinking we should probably be marching with the trade union contingents tailing the float.

Heather and Me ‘floating’ up Eccy Road on the Affinity float…

Some of our fellow revellers…

Waving to our adoring public.

Once we got to the park, we hopped off and carried on our day. I’m really not convinced by the Pride committee’s decision to start charging for the event, but I can imagine it keeps things under control. There were lots of stalls, mostly from liberation groups, political campaigns and various charities around, though I was extremely disappointed with the range of food on offer (burger, hot dog or hog roast anyone?) – with the brilliant range of mobile food available in Sheffield (where were Yabba, the Street Food Chef, etc?) it was very disappointing that I ended up with a cheese and onion panini.

There was a pretty funky looking inflatable bowel (warts and all), which you could climb inside and take an STI test and get some free condoms. Pretty clever though god knows where that idea came from!

Music was the usual, awful cover bands that seem to please noone. I’m not sure why gay events always put on this stuff, does anyone actually enjoy it? Surely some Sheffield-based bands (of which there are many) would be better? Most people seemed to head down the DJ tent pretty sharpish.

I think it is fair to say that Sheffield’s ‘gay scene’ (yuck, hate that term) is pretty young still compared with, say, Manchester and hopefully it will keep getting better year on year.

The following photos are very gratefully taken from my friend Emily Hammerton-Barry (affectionately known as ‘Hammertime’)’s collection. She’s a very talented photographer and filmmaker, now based in Sheffield, though these photos were taken on her phone!

Rhythms of Resistance (apparently a split from the Sheffield Samba Band – who knew)

Activists on the march on Ecclesall Road

Heather, me, and my ridiculous face.

Sheffield Fire Service repping for LGBT firepeoples everywhere

More revellers

This is the Affinity float I was on.

Emily and some other friends and I made a beeline for the LaDIYFest tent which was hosting a discussion on gendered language, swearing, linguistics, and more specifically the ‘C word’. The discussion was very interesting although I don’t feel my analysis was particularly well thought out (despite my militant feminism, I have a filthy mouth and say a lot of things that aren’t particularly progressive).

LaDIYFest, if you don’t know, is a Sheffield based initiative started in 2011 building towards a day event (the first was last Autumn, the next is in November). The LaDIYers describe themselves as ‘LaDIYfest Sheffield is an inclusive, DIY, anti-capitalist, community-based feminist collective’, but for my mind queer feminism seems to sum up the whole thing, with a smattering of anarcho/socialist feminism too. We went down to one of their events – a pre-pride special – on Friday at the Harland Cafe (what a lovely place – another write up coming soon I’m sure!) on John Street.

It was a night of Queer centric poetry, music, and spoken word, with some great little ‘zines on sale and some CDs too. I had a big fat chip butty (nice chips, Harland) and some raspberry lemonade, though they also had ales and wine on sale and a full bar.

I arrived quite late, but in time to see some pretty funny spoken word from Chella Quint, about marriage and gay partnerships. My views on gay marriage are probably a little more ‘anti-all-marriage’, rather than spending a lot of time and energy on making an innately problematic institution queer-friendly, but I am still in favour of marriage equality. I didn’t get a chance to have a chat on these views but maybe she’ll be around soon to have the discussion?

It was a great evening all round, and we rounded it off chair dancing to 90s house in the Cremorne.

Castle Market

October 15, 2011

If you fancy a bit of Urbexing (and I do, at some point), but don’t have the guts for it, spend an afternoon, like we did, snooping around Castle Market.

In my mind, from the exterior, Castle Market is something of a monstrosity. A ridiculous hodge-podge of ugly concrete and faded signage, closed walkways and bridges and dingy staircases. Plenty of dark corners bring to mind a place you don’t want to spend much time after dark.

Go inside then, and it’s another world. A bustling labyrinth where even regular visitors like myself struggle to find a) the toilets or b) the way out, it’s pretty clear that Sheffield City Council gave up on this place a long time ago. For every thriving small shop there’s an empty unit or in fact, a whole closed off section. The entire block upstairs from Wilkinsons is completely blocked off, and yet a peek through the window from this upstairs walkway:

Shows all the frontages are still there. This place, though it looks derelict, is right next to a still open hair salon (though one where not one of the appliances looked less than twenty years old).

The ever vibrant ‘SPAG’ – Sheffield Pensioners Action Group, who have been heavily involved in Sheffield Anti Cuts Alliance and the Trades Council, have their office up there. The Credit Union next door is now closed, and has moved to Commercial Street. I love their sign, and their motto.

Also dead keen on this sign for Sharon’s. It really is a bit of a time warp. Horlicks, Dripping cake and boiled ham. Yorkshire phrases like ‘pop’ also go down a treat. I’d love to bring one of my American friends here to see if they could decipher it…

I liked this little guy, guarding the ‘nanas.

These figs were lovely and ripe today, and for four for a quid you can’t go wrong! Yum!

There’s a much more comprehensive write up of the market, and lots more pictures too, check out this great article over at ‘Nothing to See Here‘ or the  photos of the same author on Flickr. Edit: For a great review of the food market (brilliant by the way, and MAHOOSIVE pumpkins for just £2.49!), see this great post by Clare Tollick, aka FeastAndGlory.

I’ll be going back soon for more pictures and snooping around.

Rosie @ LS

Notes From My Childhood

September 6, 2011

With an early evening to spare today, and needing a bit of a walk, I took my two feet and fuzzy head through Nether Edge in a quest to see some parts of my locality I haven’t visited in a very long time.

It’s often the case that the nearer things are, the less likely you are to visit them. I think that explains the conversation I had with some people on Friday night in the pub – people who’d been to South America, Africa, the far reaches of the Earth, but none of them had ever been to Paris (fools).

My first stop was to the old Merlin Theatre site, which, having originally been a Rudolf Steiner school, throughout the 90s was an independent theatre, where I remember seeing a production of Alice in Wonderland as a child, and the Angel Brothers later on.

The current status of the theatre is something of a mystery. It has now been bought back into the Steiner community, and is now owned by the Freeman college. It was empty this afternoon, when I managed to walk in and have a good snoop around the grounds, though sadly new gates meant I was unable to get beyond Tintagel house to the rest of the gardens (where the Green Fair used to be). Local signage still indicates the existence of the theatre, but the internet seems to have swallowed any history up.

The building seems to have been renovated somewhat, but my shots are a little dull I’m afraid.

It seems a little odd that the site is now so nondescript after such vivid memories. I hope that Freeman does the right thing and reopens the theatre for it’s original purpose.

Afterwards I walked up through Nether Edge, towards Brincliffe Edge. On the way I passed Nether Edge hospital, where I was born. It’s now home to CAMHS and the Speech and Language Therapy services. It’s such a grand building I’m quite happy that it was the first place I ever saw.

Outside was an Edwardian Post box. For some reason I always clock the era of each one I see. Sheffield’s are largely modern with a lot of George VI too. This is quite rare, and I love the flourished ‘E’.

Passing some truly stunning stone mansions and cottages (nether edge has the most beautiful houses and streets in Sheffield, by far), I walked up to Chelsea Park, which is known on Google Maps as Brincliffe Tower public park. Brincliffe Towers is in fact a residential care home these days, with some ugly 70s pebbledash flats tacked on to the side. The original part of the building is quite pretty still, and makes the small park look like a front garden.

The park itself, despite being the nearest to where I live, is somewhere I haven’t visited for around 16 years. We used to visit when I was little for their annual bonfire night celebrations, which I believe are still run now. The park is a charming little oasis which is full of dogs and their owners, and has some very old trees and some nice picnicking lawn.

This all felt a bit ‘Secret Garden’.

This statue from the Nether Edge neighbourhood group is one of the nicest pieces of public art I can think of.

It cheered me up, and walking back down Nether Edge road led me to some local veggies from Zed on the Edge. You may be surprised (considering the nature of this blog) that I think localism is bollocks as an ethical or economic model, but it’s nice to be able to get cheaper veg from near where I live (when Tesco is so expensive).

What are the places you all remember from your childhood?

Tramlines 2011 Marathon…

July 27, 2011

Tramlines, tramlines…what can I say? Sheffield’s really struck gold. The biggest free festival I know of, 600 odd bands and a shedload of venues, what more could a live music lover ask for?

Maybe a time turner…

There were so many things happening simultaneously, my only regret is not getting to see enough. More venues were involved than last year and the year before, which meant less queues in general (good thing) but more clashes (bad thing).

I saw a mere snippet this year, giving myself a well earned break after a week of work. Last year’s Tramlines posts( were largely journalistic, but this year, I’m going to give you more of a punters’ p.o.v.

Gotta get down on Friday…

The Ruby Kid and Black Jacobins feat. Unome in Bungalows and Bears

There was only one choice on Friday, which was being a mega-fangirl alongside my chums and heading down to Bungalows and Bears (nice and early – got stuck in the queue with a can of Pimm’s two years ago. Terribly unladylike), to watch some top drawer UK hip-hop in the shape and form of The Ruby Kid, Jehst, Micall Parknsun and DJ Jazz T. Not much to dwell on as you can see an depth interview with all of these kids, which I undertook at last year’s tramlines (see above links). They were all on top form, The Ruby Kid absolutely nailed it, and Black Jacobins were killing it on stage. The welcome addition of beatboxer Unome of Sheffield’s Burleskimo pushed their sound sky high – beatboxing as an instrument equals awesomeness. Funny to consider how although the sounds and styles are worlds about, beatboxing ain’t that far away for the diddling I was discussing a few weeks ago in my review of Lady Maisery. That would be a pretty awesome collaboration.

Bungalows and Bears became a sweaty hip-hop fest, packed to the rafters with people dancing, bouncing, and drinking. My only criticism is that the bar was three deep at all times and there really didn’t seem to be enough staff on. Getting temporary workers in for the weekend might be a tip for next year.

I danced my little vintage heels off (literally. heels aren’t made for skanking) and top props go to all involved. A stellar opener.

Saturday Night’s Alright

Sleeping it off on Saturday morning, I rather failed to make it out of the house before a late lunch. Burgers in Spoons and a trip to the Nando’s Stage in Barkers Pool to watch some terrible punk (I’m not out to name and shame, but whatever it was, was not enjoyed), the boyfriend and I went vintage sunglasses shopping at Freshman’s after this happened:

Glasses fail.

New aviators and cat-eye specs looking cool now though. We headed off to see our friend Kas’s band, Generation Kill at the Tiger Works. Tiger Works is one of those bars on West Street that I would never normally go into. Conjured images of bad R&B, overpriced vodka and cocktails with milk in (vom)…not my scene. This unfortunately showed, when they were clearly ill equipped to be staging live bands this weekend. I think it’s great that Tramlines brings live music to venues that would never normally have it, and hopefully creates a longer term culture of live gigs, but Tiger Works really didn’t step up. The guys were not properly soundchecked, leading to a very underamplified vocal/overamplified bass and guitar. This wasn’t helped by the fact that the sound engineer disappeared for the entirety of their set. Not withstanding this, however, a review of the band.

Generation Kill

Generation Kill comprise female vocalist Claire, Kasun Witana on guitar, and Dan Westwood on bass. Claire’s brooding vocals and the post-rock sound jetted me into a canon of awesomely understated female fronted Sheffield bands – Screaming Mimi, Black Cat White Cat, and to a lesser extent, the Long Blondes. Sheffield can’t help but keep producing wicked female rock stars, and Claire fits the bill. It was a crying shame that these guys were let down by the sound mixing, and getting Claire’s vocal to stand out is a must, as it makes the sound. My only criticism is that the guys seemed a little nervous on stage, and that the aloof cockiness to match the sexy sound must come with time, but overall, a thumbs up.

I was determined, after this, to go and watch the aforementioned Black Cat, White Cat at the Frog and Parrot, but one thing that I learned over the weekend is that you usually end up following your friends around at these things. Which is what I did. So, low and behold, off to watch The Ruby Kid et al again at the Raynor Lounge in Sheffield University Union. Very good again, got some rather lairy blokes dancing about at the front spilling beer on me. Nice.

Hunchback Spiders at Under The Stars

Not sure what to do with ourselves for the early evening, we walked down to HUBS – which I was glad of anyway as Devonshire Green was becoming rather too much for me – to check out Under The Stars. Under The Stars is a semi-regular clubnight run by and for people with learning difficulties and disabilities. Everybody seemed liked they’d been having a great day, and I saw people there throwing the best shapes I saw all weekend. Max (of Black Jacobins) had done a moonlight flit and turned up on stage there, suddenly becoming an incredible singer and frontman. The band performed a range of jazz, motown and rock covers, and were clearly enjoying themselves. One person described them as ‘a right motley crew’ – to be sure, but they weren’t half bad.

I had a disco nap…and went to a house party dressed in a feather headress, covered in glitter. Tramlines could wait.

Sunday Girl

Refreshed and raring to go, a lazy brunch in the fabulous Okeh Cafe! on Abbeydale Road was heartily enjoyed. I’m heading down to do an interview soon, so watch this space. Strolling into town with the Ruby Kid in tow (who is a most excellent house guest), we met up with our respective chums and had a wander. No quieter today than Saturday, to my surprise, my friend Gemma and I went vintage shopping for a bit. I bought the most amazing pair of dusky plum high waisted palazzo pants, which involved exposing my upper half to the entire of Devonshire Street. Luckily, I didn’t care much, and the trousers rock (numerous compliments on them since).

We met back up at SoYo, just in time to watch Neil McSweeneyand his guitar. What a delight. Neil’s self penned songs had the entire room enthralled – his folk/blues style was fantastic, and he is a proper gem. You can listen to his tracks at the above link, and I reckon you should go watch him soon as well. Favourite track has to be London Road, an ode to pointless nights out, and the main road I grew up along. Neil – fancy doing an interview?

Neil McSweeney at Soyo

After being fully romanced by Neil’s music, it was time to check out the busker bus. We thought we’d just hop on and see what happened. I was charmed by the concept, though the nervous James Harding didn’t really do it for me. Nevertheless, a great way to spend twenty minutes, and spied the lovely Kate of Cocoa fame bobbing along at the back of the top deck.

Monster Ceilidh Band

I hopped off at Hunters Bar, to end my weekend at the Folk Forest. You all know I’m a pretty hardcore folk and trad fan, and so it takes a lot to impress me in this department. Well, what can I say – I was impressed. The Monster Ceilidh band were absolutely rocking the largest stage with their infectious croft house style (that’s dancey scottish fusion to you -plebs) – bouzouki, fiddle and accordion all accentuated by the best bass guitar I’ve ever heard in a folk band. The drum and bass set worked well without being novelty, which will be news to some of you (people have been trying this stuff for a while, and to my mind it is rarely pulled off). Props to you guys – let me know if you need a caller!

Sitting with folkie types as we waited for the last act of the day, Martin Simpson, little Hamish Kerr-Fagan, whose parents had headlined the same stage the previous day, was showing me his morris dancing moves. Pretty worryingly good for a nipper by all accounts.

So. Martin Simpson, what can I say? he’s bloody good. His songs make you cry and wonder why you can’t play the guitar like that, and never will. Martin sings a mixture of traditional and self-penned folk songs, with a few anomalies such as a fantastic rendition of ‘Brother Can You Spare A Dime’ mixed in. His song, ‘Never Any Good’ about his father, a worker from their home time of Scunthorpe, is real lump in the throat material, while his tales of the closure of the steel mills and other political nods appeal to the Trotskyist in me (which is all of me, to be fair). Great stuff. May have even persuaded the boyfriend that not all folk is rubbish.

The Folk Forest packed out for Martin Simpson

So, a very different Tramlines to last year by all accounts, and not nearly as many bands seen as would have liked. Missed out entirely on Dananananaykroyd, Los Campesinos and Johnny Foreigner, but no regrets as had a great time.

Another Tramlines post I have enjoyed since is:

What did you get up to this weekend?


Nanny May

July 7, 2011

Last weekend was Sharrow Festival – an annual community event with bands, stalls, food…the usual. I popped in to look around, and spied the Nanny May stall, one of the only handmade craft stalls there, so it immediately stood out. It turns out that the friend I was with used to live with said artist, so I asked if I could take a few pics

 and write a short review.

I am a bit of a jewellery and accessories fiend, but my eye was particularly drawn to these pieces, which were unique in their basis of fabric, beads, buttons and ribbon over ‘hard’ materials.

Nanny May sells rings, necklaces, and hair accessories, though I was particularly proud to fish a pair of very cute button earrings out of the £1 basket. I also bought a lovely hairband in Autumnal colours (after much deliberation, unsurprisingly!).

You can check out the (constantly changing) products online, at this lovely website: Alternatively, there is a Facebook page you can follow: Or a blog! Lots of options!