TNB Indie Arcade, Sheffield

The Nichols building in Shalesmoor just got twice as good

TNB Indie Arcade

TNB Indie Arcade

Since opening in 2011 in a vast former wholesale grocers in Shalesmoor, the Nichols building has established itself as a destination vintage arts and crafts emporium.

A few weeks ago, TNB Indie Arcade opened on the ground floor. At the moment it’s all about independent retail but one day it could host gigs, cinema, theatre and club nights.

I spoke to Matt Abbott from TNB Indie Arcade about his plans for the space, the latest on his musical projects and moving to Sheffield.

1970s caravan in TNB Indie Arcade

1970s caravan in TNB Indie Arcade

TNB Indie Arcade has been up and running indoors on the ground floor of the Nichols building since July. Is it a separate thing to the Nichols building and owned or run by different people?

The ground floor did actually exist as TNB Indie Arcade before we took over on 1 July. It was run by the same person that still runs the first floor, although it was more of a secondary overspill than it’s own individual space.

So since we’ve taken over, we’ve really transformed it into a unique business and it’s already starting to gather quite a distinctive and intriguing style. I think the centre pieces so far are the fantastic 1970s pop-out caravan and the old church pulpit that we use as the sales desk!

Also we’re conscious that each unit has a really imposing style, so that it feels as though every corner offers something completely different whilst still fitting in with the style of the whole room. It’s a fantastic project and we’re really pleased with how much we’ve progressed in the first five weeks or so.

Yorkshire Tee at TNB Indie Arcade

Yorkshire Tee at TNB Indie Arcade

Tell us about the sorts of retailers you’ve got in TNB Indie Arcade and what they’re offering.

We have everything from mini retro £1.50 greetings cards to fantastic antique furniture and original artwork. The vast majority of our dealers treat their units as hobbies so whilst it does provide a little extra income, it’s also a labour of love. And I think this is really reflected in the standard and the quality of the products that they bring in.

A&D Creations have a workshop here and make some fantastic glass work and jewellery. Steel City Retro are constantly bringing in a diverse range of records into the vintage caravan. Reverse Gear Interiors has some amazing furniture, and other units such as Love Me, Heartily Homemade, Northern Sewn and Cute as a Button bring superb home made gifts and decorative pieces.

We also have original artwork by Tracy White, MJT Artwork and Simon Abbott, as well as original photography by Gordie Cavill.

Also, we’ve recently added Yorkshire Tee, who are currently the most popular t-shirt designers in the city.

TNB Indie Arcade

TNB Indie Arcade

How have the first few weeks been?

They’ve been truly fantastic. Seeing the space gradually evolve day by day is really satisfying, and working so closely with the dealers gives you an appreciation of the time and effort and also the care that goes into their products.

It’s great socialising with customers and meeting so many talented people. And let’s face it; turning up to work somewhere like TNB Indie Arcade doesn’t really feel like a proper job! We’re very lucky to be involved.

As well as the retail arcade, it sounds like you have plenty of other interesting spaces in the building. What are your plans for making the most of them?

We do have a shared courtyard which is currently used for fairs and events. However we’re running a few small events in the retail arcade, and our long term plans include extending into the cellar. It’s a superb space, reminiscent of The Cavern or a much larger version of Club 60, and there’s fantastic potential down there for film screenings and alternative club nights.

The evening events will be an extension of the cultures that we celebrate in the daytime retail space; vintage and alternative lifestyles, and particularly 1960s Britain. I’m a huge fan of the Mod scene and so I really want a few Northern Soul-driven Quadrophenia nights in here eventually!

The first event that we’re running is on Tuesday 18 September and will include spoken word sets, acoustic sets, ’60s DJs and most importantly, cheap alcohol.

The main Nichols Building has been open about two years now. How is it going – I expect there have been some ups and downs in that time?

I can’t personally speak from experience, but obviously a good proportion of our trade is down to the Nichols building having already been established as a great vintage space. People know about the Nichols; they just don’t necessarily know about the ground floor. But obviously we plan on dramatically changing that!

I thought I recognised the name Matt Abbott. Are you the same punk poet/frontman from Skint & Demoralised?

I am indeed. To be honest we won’t be writing or recording as Skint & Demoralised any more after the release of our third album The Bit Between The Teeth in April, although I still regularly perform punk poetry sets and have several new writing projects in progress.

I’m working on a new album and this time we’ve brought a third writer on board, so it’ll be different to S&D. Apart from that, I can’t really divulge much information at this stage I’m afraid!

Finally, did you think twice about moving down to Sheffield from Wakefield? And have your impressions of the city changed since you moved down here?

No, not in the slightest. Obviously I love Wakefield because it’s my home town, and I still spend a decent amount of time there, but I’ve been utterly infatuated with Sheffield since I started coming here at the age of fifteen and I’ve always wanted to live here.

I live with my best mate, who’s also the other half of S&D, which is obviously great fun. And to be fair I probably know as many people in Sheffield as I do in Wakefield because we were always considered a Sheffield band as much as we were a Wakefield band.

As you know; Sheffield is an absolutely wonderful city and I’m really enjoying my time here so far.

@TNBIndieArcade on Twitter

TNB Indie Arcade on Facebook

TNB Indie Arcade

TNB Indie Arcade

Five festivals not to miss this autumn in Sheffield

I love the summer in Sheffield but apart from during big events like Tramlines, the city can seem quiet during July and August. Then the holidays come to an end, the students return and before you know it, Sheffield has become home to a run of festivals stretching well into November. Here’s a round up of what’s going on:

Sheffield Food Festival

14-16 Septembersheffieldfoodfestival.org

This three-day festival has moved from July and is now slimmed down from a full week in 2011. There is still lots going on this year, with a themed menu of city centre events for all the family including demonstrations, tastings, workshops and of course an opportunity to gorge on lots of delicious local food and drink.

Don’t miss: The Sheffield Breweries Co-operative (Peace Gardens, Friday 14-Sunday 16 September) Your chance to meet the brewers and drink the beer from nine of our local breweries in a Peace Gardens marquee. Have all our best-loved Sheffield beers ever been available under one roof before?

Festival of the Mind

20-30 September | sheffield.ac.uk/fotm

This new festival hosted by the University of Sheffield could prove to be one of the stand-out events of the year (I should mention that I have some involvement with it though so I am probably a bit biased.) Sheffield’s creative community and academics from the University are coming together to put on over 50 events. There are some intriguing and wonderful collaborations, including Do It Thissen, a celebration of Sheffield’s post-punk music scene, 50 Ideas for Sheffield and virtual art gallery Computer Love.

Don’t miss: The Arrivals Zone. The brilliant Sheffield Publicity Department hosts a dream tourist information kiosk outside the train station in Sheaf square. Expect more than just leaflets about our galleries and museums.

The Last Laugh Comedy Festival

2-30 October | lastlaughcomedyfestival.co.uk

Toby Foster is going solo with this year’s comedy festival and it is now known as the Last Laugh Comedy Festival instead of Grin Up North. You probably won’t notice too much difference though: it’s the usual programme of comedy, from performances fresh from Edinburgh to full-blown arena shows.

Don’t miss: My friend who went to Edinburgh this year recommends Pappy’s sketch troupe, nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award this year (12 October, The Greystones) and the excellent storytelling standup Elis James who is charming, engaging and above all, hilarious (19 October, The Lescar).

Octoberfest

11-13 October | bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2012/200811octoberfest.html

South Yorkshire seems to be getting its fair share of BBC events this year, what with The One Show in a very wet Endcliffe park last month, Richard Hawley’s Magna show on 6 Music this weekend and now Radio Five Live is popping over the Pennines for a weekend of events and live broadcasts. Radio Sheffield is involved and the press release says we can expect ‘an eclectic mix of news and sport programming, audience debates and interactive activities in venues across the city’.

Don’t miss: A live audience broadcast of Fighting Talk.

Off the Shelf

13 October-3 November | offtheshelf.org.uk

At 21 years old, is this the oldest festival in Sheffield that is still running? This festival of words includes the usual mix of more well-known faces (Richard Wilson, Benjamin Zephaniah, Stuart Maconie, Peter Hook and Simon Armitage) and topics closer to home (Tracing the Sheffield Jungle, A Sheffield A-Z, Sheffield Stories, Big Sky – Stories from the Edge).

Don’t miss: Praise or Grumble with SRSB. Did you know the radio football phone-in was invented in Sheffield? Or more accurately, by legendary former Radio Sheffield sports editor Bob Jackson, as he lay sunbathing one summer in Cyprus? The Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind’s Mappin Writers host this event with Bob as guest speaker (Saturday 27 October, 2pm, 5 Mappin Street).

And there’s more

There are also some other festivals taking place over the next couple of months in Sheffield including the fourth Celluloid Screams horror film weekend at the Showroom (26-28 October) and the MADE Entrepreneur Festival (19-21 September).

Although there isn’t too much overlap between the festivals I’ve mentioned, they do seem to be tightly packed over a few weeks. Would it be better to move one or two of them to the spring instead?

All in a day BBC4 Sheffield documentary

More seventies Sheffield

This fly-on-the-wall-style documentary shows a day in the life of Sheffield in September 1973. There is no commentary, and the only real narrative is the progression of events, with the cameras returning to certain stories – such as a birth, a death and a marriage – throughout the day.

In terms of visual change, there is plenty to look out for. The cooling towers form part of the backdrop; Bramall Lane still has tall floodlights on the corners of the ground; the Peace gardens are the old layout; people are still using outdoor loos; the Black swan (aka the Mucky duck) was still open; and at one point I think you can spot the now-demolished Kelvin flats.

The local media also feature quite prominently. An audio clip announces that it is ‘Radio Sheffield breakfast magazine edition one’, although with the station going live six years previously, it presumably wasn’t the first incarnation of the breakfast show.

We also get to see behind the scenes at an editorial meeting at Sheffield Newspapers, where the front-page news is that the corporation is to halt council house building and a bread delivery lorry’s brakes have failed, causing it to crash into a Walkley house.

Some of the seventies background music makes scenes from All in a day reminiscent of City on the move. And I couldn’t help being reminded a little bit of the beginning part of Threads. Obviously, the turn of events in All in a day isn’t so tragic, but to a viewer who wasn’t born in 1973 and who was only young in 1984, they both have a similar old-Sheffield feel.

Oh and look out for the bizarre, symbolic juxtaposition of a priest leading communion, ‘This is my blood…shed for you and for many for the remission of sins’, which then cuts to a pig being slaughtered.

You can watch the All in a day documentary below.

Magic lantern film club

Pop-up screenings and cinema events in Sheffield

This new community film club is hosting monthly showings of rare, unusual and sometimes classic films over coming months in Sheffield.

They’ve already put on three films at the Old junior school in Sharrow, and although the focus for now is in and around S7, in due course they hope to spread to other venues across the city.

It looks like a fun idea, one that could be a refreshing alternative to the multiplex experience.

Obviously it is early days, but I think it would be great if they could build up to doing themed screenings in unusual locations, for example a horror film in a derelict building such as a church.

I’ve no idea of the logistics, but you never know, one day it might grow into something as successful as Secret cinema in London which has turned cinema-going into a theatrical experience.

Magic lantern film club

Magic lantern film club Facebook

@magiclanterns7 on Twitter

Sensoria 2011, Sheffield

Sensoria 2011 programme

Sensoria, the UK's festival of music, film and digital

The festival of film and music

Sheffield’s spring festival of film, music and digital returns for 2011, bringing together events, gigs, screenings and exhibitions across a packed ten-day programme.

The opening day on Friday is now of course a public holiday, so if you want to avoid a certain other event taking place that day then why not visit the Devonshire street party and market? And later on, a free festival of live music kicks off at the Washy, with sets from the Violet may and Pete David and the Payroll union over the course of the weekend.

On Saturday, a secret location plays host to a (Re)mixed in Sheffield warehouse party. It features plenty of great artists like Toddla T, Heaven 17, I monster, Lords of flatbush and Asbo a-go-go.

The Bibliotheque discotheque event (Tuesday 3 May) sees a disco of sorts located in the Central library. I recently heard a good documentary which gave an insight into the world of library music. It is amazing just how many of the TV themes that were originally library tracks we’ve sub-consciously absorbed into our national psyche. The library disco should give a glimpse into this world.

You may have seen a big screen in Tudor square for the snooker and Sensoria will also continuing this with its very own Screen on the square. Each day has a specified programme of films, including Sheffield on film from 6pm on Wednesday 4 May.

Excellent Sheffield-based photographer Shaun Bloodworth has his first solo exhibition as part of the festival. Underground, running 28 April-16 May at Bank street arts, documents the electronic music scene since 2005.

If you’re a musician or filmmaker then Sensoria pro (5-6 May) has now been expanded to two days. And at 6pm on Thursday 5 the Electric works hosts the launch of 2 weeks 2 make it, a music video competition.

Speaking of competitions, throughout the festival you can also see an exhibition of entries to the Thornbridge/Sensoria beer mat competition in the Winter garden. The winning mats (below) feature lyrics from Sheffield bands Pulp, ABC, the Human league and Artery, as well as some local photos. You may have already seen in pubs stocking Thornbridge beer.

These are just a few of the events taking place. Visit the Sensoria website for the full listings.

Sensoria beer mats

Look out for the Sensoria beer mats in Sheffield pubs

Shane Meadows’ new Robinsons ad, filmed in Sheffield

This is Sheffield

There are plenty of Sheffield locations to spot in this advert from This is England director Shane Meadows and Warp films. Keep your eye out for – I think – High storrs road, Ecclesall parish hall, the hardware shop at Bents green shops and Bingham park.

Robinsons have also uploaded making-of video, which they say was made by the children in the advert:

Made in Sheffield week on Sky

Sheffield’s music legacy

Starting tomorrow on Sky arts is Made in Sheffield week.

At 9pm each night a TV programme relating to Sheffield’s musical legacy will be shown:

The documentaries, made by Sheffield vision film maker Eve Wood, are getting their UK TV premieres. They tell the story of the Sheffield music scene from the late 70s through to Pulp’s legendary appearance headlining Glastonbury in 1995.

Made in Sheffield focuses on the early electronic scene while the Beat is the law covers the 80s and 90s, including how Thatcher’s Britain influenced music from the city.

If you haven’t got Sky then you can also buy copies of the documentaries from sheffieldvision.com, Rare and racy and Record collector.

Made in Sheffield week on Sky arts

Regeneration song

Film about Sheffield’s Stag works

To quote the YouTube blurb from Sort of films:

Sheffield’s Stag works is a decaying, crumbling curiosity with a fascinating place in the city’s cultural and industrial heritage. As the old workshops and artisans give way to new music studios and artists, the building bears witness to a tapestry of innovation, passion and imagination.

A metaphor for the modern city?

Shopaholic’s guide to 1970s Sheffield talk and Reel monty screening

The Shopaholics Guide to 1970s Sheffield

The Shopaholics Guide to 1970s Sheffield

More 1970s nostalgia

Continuing the 1970s theme from the previous post, an upcoming event will celebrate the recent history of Sheffield with a film screening and illustrated talk in the cathedral.

The event on 3 June is organised by Sheffield university as part of a summer art and music festival and includes a screening of the Reel monty film, which featuring Sheffield – city on the move from the Full monty and the sequel, Sheffield international city.

Neil Anderson, author of The shopaholic’s guide to 1970s Sheffield book, will then give an illustrated talk looking back at the city’s retail heritage and how Sheffield was once the shopping capital of the north.

Reel monty screening and Shopaholic’s guide to 1970s Sheffield event

Four lions Sheffield locations

The city on film

Four lions, the new film from Sheffield company Warp films, has been picking up some great reviews.

Much of Four lions was filmed in Sheffield (even some of the bits set in London) and as a result it features plenty of recognisable locations.

Anyone interested in the portrayal of Sheffield on screen – and in particular in Four lions – should read Peter Walsh’s excellent blog post on the topic.

He has also mapped the Four lions locations on a Google map, but be warned this does contain some plot spoilers.

Finding Four lions in Sheffield