Latest Entries »

The dancehall master Chris Goldfinger to return to radio?

Two years after leaving his hugely-acclaimed Radio 1 show, legendary reggae dancehall DJ Chris Goldfinger feels the time may be right to re-enter the radio arena.
Goldfinger, born Chris Clarke, presented The Dancehall Show on the station from 1996 to 2009 and is still seen by many as the face of the genre in the UK today.
”I’m considering getting back into radio,” he said. ”After thirteen years I took a break but I went back to it recently and realised I missed it.”
Goldfinger’s show boasted a loyal army of fans and also helped to bring reggae dancehall to new audiences in the UK.
Since leaving the programme he now has his own show on TV channel Flava, as well as DJing in clubs around the country four nights a week.
Still helping out occasionally at Radio 1 and its sister station 1Xtra, Goldfinger opened his own nightspot (simply titled The Club) in Croydon in 2010.
However things have not run too smoothly and The Club was shut down in December by the licensing sub-committee.
A new management team has been put in place and they are now waiting for a new license before re-opening.
Nevertheless, Jamaican-born Goldfinger is continuing to relish his natural role as DJ at numerous regular club nights.
”It’s been really hectic on the road, I’m heavily booked out for DJing. I still love the interaction with a live audience at the club nights though.”
”I’ve been in the process of opening a recording studio back in Jamaica. All the equipment is ready to ship.”
Reggae dancehall as a musical force is very strong at present and Goldfinger speaks positively about the genre and the artists currently reigning supreme within it.
”Reggae dancehall is big right now, it’s a huge force to be reckoned with. Turnouts to UK shows have proved it’s alive and kicking but it’s bigger in other countries, Germany for example.”
”Having played all over Europe I can say that England is still behind in popularity.”
”In terms of artists, Gappy Ranks is the man of the moment. The older artists like Bounty Killer and Beenie Man are still big, as well as Vybz Kartel and Mavado.”
”Also new artists like Khago and especially I-Octane – he’s making a huge impact on the scene in terms of his messages and delivery.”
Moving to England in 1988 from his native Kingston, the mix master gained his stage name while performing one night back home.
”It was when I was just starting out back in Jamaica, I went by the name of DJ Chris or MC Chris then. One night I was doing a mix and someone who liked it shouted out ‘yo gold fingers, man!’, so that’s where it came from.”
Goldfinger’s radio show and his overall career have seen him interview the very biggest names in reggae dancehall.
”I’m a huge fan of reggae so every artist is great to interview, they all have a different story. Damian and Ziggy Marley are always great to talk to.”
So could the airwaves really once again be regularly ringing out the sounds of the true ‘dancehall master’ Chris Goldfinger?
He laughed: ”I’ll just say there’s more life in the Goldfinger yet!”


Today’s headlines have been filled with images of the new Duchess of Cambridge doing her weekly shop at Waitrose.

Despite being surrounded by five bodyguards, onlookers say Kate Middleton showed no sign of snobbishness as she was checking prices and examining the fruit and veg – clearly keen on keeping herself and Wills in good health!

Kate Middleton doing a shop at Waitrose

In light of this, I started thinking about how little we students do food shops. Most of our cupboards are filled with pot noodles, chocolate and crisps. And we seem to spend our lives eating fast food cuisine.

The Telegraph are naming us “the unhealthiest yet,” so I decided to speak to a few Sheffield Hallam students to find out why we are so incapable of food shopping or cooking.

19 year old Design student, Claire Russell said “Because I have uni at different times of the day it makes it easier to just nip and get something from the local shop or Macdonalds.”

Claire tucks in to a banoffee waffle at T.G.I Friday in Meadowhall

Despite a single BigMac containing almost half of our daily saturated fat allowance, Claire says “I’m young and have a good metabolism. I’ll worry about what I eat when I’m older.”

20 year old Joanne Banes agrees with Claire. “I’ve come to university to have a good time as well as to learn, and cooking is just no fun. But if healthy food was put in front of me I’d definitely eat it.”

Joanne cancels out the calories with a tray of strawberries

Sam Joyce, a final year Health and Social student, disagrees with the claims that students can’t cook. “I always make my own meals and try to eat healthily where possible” he says.

Sam's cooking skills?

Sam regularly goes to the gym and talks about having a balanced lifestyle. “Everything in moderation” he says.

Replacing cookery classes with food technology in secondary schools has been criticised for limiting the practical skills that pupils are being taught.

Statistics show that four in ten British school children have never cooked, and with warnings of an increased risk of heart disease and weight gain is it time we students turned our eating habits around?

Sheffield Hallam Students seize the opportunity for success

Back in 2009 four students at Sheffield Hallam decided to get together and form a band now called ‘Seize the chair’. Playing together in their shared accommodation they soon realised the chemistry they had musically and began to write their own songs. A year and a half later they have a recording contract and a single currently being produced at the famous Abbey road studios. Seize the chair have definitely seized the moment.

Rowan Roberts from ‘Seize the chair’ full interview

Rowan Roberts began university as a shy art student in 2008. Though he bonded with his course mates immediately, he had moved in with friend from home Nick Chantler and his friends from his course. As an attempt to bond him, Nick and housemates Steve Mullins and James Freeman decided to jam together as they played and shared similar music taste.

“I met Nick, our singer from back home in Cheshire, and then the three lived together in Sheffield when I came to university so we all started knocking about together watching telly and having cups of tea…and we decided to form a band”

“We took our name from a game my mum and dad used to play called seize the chair, if you did it wrong you got no tea!”

Soon after, the jamming turned into performing in live venues including: The Harley, Forum and SOYO live. Their own garage sound soon became a firm favourite amongst the crowds.

“SOYO live was really good they showcase bands every Monday, they are really helpful”

The record contract came in early 2010 via ‘Two Pure’ when they were spotted at one of their live gigs. They were given the opportunity to record at Crystal ship studios just outside Sheffield city centre. Already ecstatic at the privilege, even better news followed when they were told their single once recorded was to be produced at the famous Abbey road studios.  The studio is not only known for its zebra crossing, but also for producing some of the biggest bands in the UK including The Beatles and Pink Floyd. 

“We are currently at a stage where were trying to develop as big a fan base as we can, Sheffield’s been very kind to us so far, everybody gets excited about seeing live music””

Though the members as individuals are from all over it was Sheffield that brought them together as a band. Rowan Roberts very much thinks of the band as a Sheffield born band because they were ‘made in Sheffield’.  Arctic Monkeys, Milburn, and The long blondes are some of the many brilliant bands Sheffield has produced.  The city itself is exuberates musical achievements, whether it is the opportunities through performing in live venues or the historical accomplishment. There is obviously something in the Yorkshire air as it seems Seize the chair are set to be added to list of success stories when their single is released in august.  Stay tuned!

As the royal wedding finally arrived on Friday, cities across Britain began their celebrations including Sheffield. Many neighbourhoods took the opportunity to hold an old fashioned street party, and the city centre held its own version in the area of Devonshire Green.

A stall merchant giving customers a royal welcome

The event began at 11 o’clock where The Common room projected the ceremony onto a big screen for everyone to watch. Though the outdoor street stalls were ready from the beginning, the city was almost silent during the televised part of the wedding. As soon as the wedding finished the streets filled with people of all ages, one of which was Samantha Barnes, a student studying at Sheffield from London.

Samantha Barnes showing her support for the bride

“I don’t follow them [the Royals] religiously, but something like this it’s something to look forward to that our generation haven’t really had before”

The top part of Devonshire street was lined with tables creating the ‘street party’ effect, as crowds made their way around the stalls and entertainment the good weather even made an appearance much to the delight of everybody soaking up the atmosphere. 

“They’ve got the long table throughout the street which everyone can enjoy, Spending time with people you don’t normally get too…it brings a sense of community” Samantha explained.

The various stalls from independent Sheffield traders included the award winning Milestone pub and restaurant, and the cocktails were provided by a stall from the Wick at Both Ends bar. When ambling through the maze of stalls, you can’t help but be reminded of some foreign bazaar. With the smell of numerous culinary treats wafting through the air and quaint antique stalls capturing the attention of passersby.

The purpose of the day was clear, everywhere you looked flags and memorabilia decorated the street, with the regal theme continuing onto many of the stalls. Masks of ‘Kate’ and ‘Wills’ were worn by the cheerful public filling the Devonshire green area. Though Samantha missed the opportunity to celebrate at the heart of the atmosphere in her home town of London, she didn’t seem to upset by it.

“I feel proud to be British today, the way everybody has integrated themselves [at the street party] Sheffield’s pulled out all the stops I’ve really enjoyed myself”

If you had been told that your tuition fees were going to cost around £9,000 a year at University, would you have still done a degree?

For all prospective students from 2012 onwards, these are exactly the sorts of costs they’re looking at, and Sheffield Hallam University is no different.

The government will cut its teaching grant by 80%, and as a result students at Hallam will be expected to pay £8,500 a year for their education. Is this fair? I spoke to our Education Officer, Ben Dowen, and got his opinion on the matter.

Ben continued to talk about his disappointment with the government spending cuts, “Especially as tuition fees have risen to such a level.”

“I’ve spent the last year protesting against the cuts in local, peaceful protests and organised around 100 students from Hallam to attend the National Demonstration in London last year.”

The Government will provide the money for any student in England who secures a place at university, and the loan will be repayed in small amounts when the graduate is earning more than £21,000 a year.

But Ben thinks this is ridiculous because “the government are loaning money to the students who are funding the university. Raising tuition fees from £3,375 to £8,500 means they have to take out bigger loans. It makes no sense.”

Although the university will be receiving little more income, Ben says they realise that students will justifiably be expecting an even better quality of education and facilities.

“It is vital I stress how hard the university have campaigned against the new funding scheme. But in light of the changes they have created a very clear focus on student experience, and I will be working alongside the union to ensure this is maintained.”

Sheffield Hallam’s official press response to the upcoming fees states, “Whilst we still fundamentally disagree with this new structure, we do understand the rise in fees is a necessity brought about by Government policy and changes to funding streams.”

Current Sheffield Hallam student, Amy Mather, refuses to see sense in the government’s actions. “I don’t think it’s fair at all. It’s just going to deter potential students from lower income backgrounds. If I had to pay that much I certainly wouldn’t have come to uni.”

Our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Philip Jones says,” We understand that the changes to fees means that choosing University is a serious decision”, but this comment has insulted a number of students.

Amy says, “When I chose to come to Sheffield Hallam and study Journalism it was a serious decision. Professor Jones’ comment implies that current students are not particularly bothered about their degree and that’s not true at all.”

The Chancellor continues his message with “I hope that regardless of your feelings about the fees, you are proud to be a Sheffield Hallam student and that you will carry this with you throughout your life.”

Jade Burton, another Hallam student, understands Professor Jones’ point of view. “Education is one of the many things the government has to cut back on, and it will discourage people who are only interested in the parties and alcohol from studying at university.”

Sheffield Hallam’s official press release concludes: “The University will continue to ensure every student has an enjoyable and fulfilling education at Hallam. Any money we receive will be spent on developing facilities, teaching and work experience opportunities.”

For more information, visit the tuition fees, bursaries and scholarships section on Sheffield Hallam University’s website

Sheffield nightlife offers a wide range of venues to suit many different tastes. Vote in our poll below with your favourite nightclub in the city from the choices given. If your favourite isn’t there leave a comment and tell us all about your personal preference and why you believe it should be on the list. If your favourite is on the poll, then comment and tell us why you voted for it!

The 90s-inspired Babylon?
The infamous rock club Corporation?
Across the road from Babylon is Crystal offering a range of events, is it your favourite?
The independent vibe of DQ?
Maybe the 5 club rooms of Embrace take your fancy!
The live music and club nights on offer at Leadmill?
The renowned 02 Academy with its high profile gigs and club nights?
Or the intimate yet impressive Plug?

As a well-renowned figure in the modelling world, Amanda Harrington is now helping other girls in their quest to make it big in the business.
Running her own modelling school, Harrington passes on her techniques and know-how to her aspiring students as they look to carve out a career in a notoriously difficult industry.
’’We do the course to get the girls the best possible coaching and to give them the knowledge they need to be successful models,‘‘ she said. ’’I show them how to pose, how to best look after their skin and I give them help and advice with their make-up as well.’’
’’A lot of it is also about giving the girls confidence in themselves. They might not have much experience of modelling and might not be sure what to do in certain situations so I help them with that.’’

Liverpool model Amanda Harrington

Liverpool-born Harrington, 29, has an impressive array of accolades to her name, including appearances on the front cover of magazines such as Ice, Zoo and Lifestyle Monthly, to name but three.
She has also featured in shoots for the likes of La Senza, Marks & Spencer and Maxim, while becoming the face of Formula 1 in Germany in 2008.
Her career so far has also taken her to America where she featured on the popular television programme ‘The Girls of the Playboy Mansion’ after being invited personally by Hugh Hefner.
’’When I was in America it was hard at first being there on my own. After a week though it was easier because I knew people and it was a really good experience, I enjoyed being there.’’
’’(BBC Three programme) Glamour Girls came over to film me for a number of weeks one of the times I was there and the whole experience in America, with the Playboy Mansion as well, was amazing. It’s every girl’s dream and a once in a lifetime kind of thing.’’
Amanda says she found Hefner to be ‘very down to earth’ and ‘very grateful for everything he has’.
Releasing her own calendars in 2006, 2008 and 2011, Amanda also writes her own column for the Liverpool Echo where she discusses the latest fashion styles and her own ’loves and hates’.
Voted in the top three in JuiceFM’s ‘most stylish Scouser’ award in November 2010 (previous recipients include Alex Curran and Abigail Clancy), Amanda lists Pamela Anderson, Carmen Electra and Kim Kardashian as inspirational figures to her.
Amanda’s modelling career began after one of her friends sent in her photos to magazines and the mother-of-one explains the good and the bad sides of the industry.
’’There’s a lot of perks, a lot of nice free gifts when people want you to promote their brand. When the spotlight is on you though people want to bring you down.’’

’’People can get jealous but you have to deal with the good and the bad. Any time I see girls happy from my course or when I make it on to a front cover – they’re the proudest moments for me.’’
’’Being a mother in this industry can be difficult but I manage to work around it now. There’s people who help me out there so thankfully it’s not that difficult anymore.’’

Amanda on the September 2006 front cover of Ice Magazine

Dane Bowers’ 2010 music video ‘All She Needs’ which features Amanda

Official website

Amanda on Twitter

Amanda on Facebook

In May 2000, UK garage duo Oxide & Neutrino topped the UK singles chart with their hit ‘Bound 4 Da Reload (Casualty)’, marking the huge breakthrough of the genre at that time.
Around the turn of the century, UK garage artists such as Artful Dodger, MJ Cole and numerous others were riding high in the UK charts with Oxide & Neutrino up among the frontrunners.
After spending time away from the immediate spotlight, the duo, comprising of DJ Oxide & MC Neutrino, are finally set to release some new material.
”Me and Oxide have been in the studio for the last few months with Harvey (So Solid Crew) and it’s been going well,” said Neutrino. ”There’s a few bits coming out probably around early July.”
”In terms of sound it will be similar to what we had on Execute (the duo’s Platinum-selling 2001 album). Obviously it’s not 2000/2001 anymore though so the sound won’t be exactly how it was then.”

Members of fellow chart-toppers So Solid Crew, Oxide & Neutrino had further top ten success as a duo with ‘No Good 4 Me’ and ‘Up Middle Finger’.
Their last major release ‘Dem Girlz’ reached number 10 in the singles chart in October 2002 with the 2007 track ‘What R U’ their most recent material.
In recent years their loyal fanbase has remained, regularly supporting them as they gig around the country at various venues.
29-year-old Neutrino, real name Mark Osei-Tutu, believes they are well on track to not only maintaining their older fans but also to reaching new audiences.
”The best way to get new fans in is through the social networking sites. We still do gigging every Friday and Saturday across the country which brings new fans as well.”
Their number one hit ‘Bound 4 Da Reload (Casualty)’ famously samples the Guy Ritchie film ‘Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels’, as well as the BBC programme Casualty.
”The idea to use the ‘Lock, Stock..’ sample was Oxide’s. He was watching the film once and that part came up and he just thought it was hilarious and wanted to use it.”
”We’re proud of reaching number one, I still don’t think what we achieved has sunk in yet. People come up to me and tell me how we helped start the UK urban music scene.”
”I think it will be a lot more years before we can sit down and think ‘wow’ at what we managed to do.”
Neutrino now has a far more muscular physique to the one seen in the duo’s early videos, this is down to spending the last few years playing rugby.
”It’s my fourth season now playing for a team called London Cornish. I play every Saturday and my position is back row.”
”I used to play football a bit, years ago, but after playing rugby and seeing the way they fall down in football, it’s embarrassing! But my team is Liverpool.”
Neutrino has remained friends and continued working with Oxide (Alex Rivers), 28, over the years, as well as most of the members of So Solid Crew.
”We (himself and Oxide) always stuck together even when we weren’t in music. We were still going through ideas, as well as gigging.”
”I still see a lot of So Solid, like Lisa (Maffia) and Romeo. Obviously Harvey’s working with me on this new project too.”
Describing his main regret from the last decade as the fact that Oxide & Neutrino and So Solid Crew never got the chance to properly tour, Neutrino is looking forward to putting new music out again.
”I just want to put fresh air back into the music scene, there’s a lot of stuff out there sounding the same. UK stuff now doesn’t have the same street appeal as it used to.”
”We were straight from the street and into the mainstream without any alterations, hopefully we can bring that vibe we had before.”

Sheffield taken over by dancing folk…

This weekend saw Sheffield city centre transform into a mini folk festival, as the KEGS event danced its way around local bars and popular outdoor areas.

Last November, Newcastle Kingsmen hosted a successful folk dancing event, the history of the group dates back to 1949.They area rapper dance side, which normally includes 5 people dancing in small spaces with double-ended swords that they never let go of. They mainly consist of students and graduates as they are strongly linked with the university; however the local Geordie folk are a part of it too. Three other folk dance groups were involved in the celebration, they are:

 Earlsdon, from Coventry; a north-west clog style team. Their traditional dancing derives from the industrial revolution. Their attire consists of clogs and large fresh-flower hats. They’ll be celebrating their 50th anniversary next year.

Gaorsach, from Aberdeen; a rapper and step team. Their style is similar to the Newcastle Kingsmen but with clog and step dancing thrown in. They began in 2002, and have only recently recruited new dancers from outside the original circle.

Sciorr, our local group from Sheffield; They consist of 6 women who are Irish dancers they have been a team since 2003, but have been dancing separately from age 3.Their laid back Irish style and non-traditional costumes has won them respect from the many folk festivals they have toured for bringing girl power into the folk world. The head choreographer Cerys Wood explained how Sciorr has deserved place in the folk world.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“Sciorr bring something different to folk festivals. There are not many folk-dance groups that consist purely of women under the age of 25. We have some of the best musicians around to play for us and have been highly credited on our achievement of Sciorr as one of the newer groups.”   

The event started as a massive bar crawl across Newcastle in a day, the aim being to dance and drink in as many bars as possible. Due to the success of the event it then became annual. This year was Sciorrs turn to host, so Sheffield was blessed with a touch of folk this weekend with the now named KEGS (kingsmen, earlson, gaorsach and sciorr)

“We began on Saturday at the Frog and Parrot, and ended at midnight in The Gardeners Rest by Kelham island. In between they danced at The Common Room, Trippets, Leopold Square, Peace Gardens, Winter Gardens, The Graduate, and The Tap. Then we caught the tram to The University Arms, then Fagans, Kelham Island Tavern and Riverside. Lots of beer was drunk, and we ended up having a lock-in at the Gardener’s, so even more was drunk. Although dancing was the main purpose of the weekend, beer definitely takes second place” explained Cerys.

 The weekend had been planned for months. After running the route a few times and getting permission from all the pubs, the tour fell into place. Everything surrounding the event was thought and planned by Sciorr, Cerys and the team did however experience a few glitches on the day.  

“We stuck to the itinerary, and the worst problem we had was Earlsdon processing from Leopold square to the Peace Gardens along the main road which held up a massive line of unhappy traffic.”

The day was a huge success and though Folk dance and music may not be to everyone’s taste it was difficult not to tap your foot to the authentic music and rhythm of the Irish ‘heavy’ shoe. Passers by couldn’t help but watch and they received a standing ovation in every place they performed. Though the idea behind the event is for the teams to join together to celebrate tradition, it seems it promoted the folk culture to those who perhaps have not had the opportunity to do so before.   

“We do it because we’re friends and its all fun, We’re young, and we love what we do, so we like to show people that the folk world isn’t what everyone thinks it is. Of course there are beardy fat men and droning singers, but there are also some of the best dancers and musicians in the world who are breathing new life into a forgotten tradition. People are quick to judge, but until they’ve actually seen what we do or been to a festival then they will probably have the same notion forever, which is why we try and change their opinions!”

To many people, the chance to go on a programme such as ITV1’s The X Factor, and expose yourself to millions of people would be a dream opportunity, however Sheffield-based Adam Heyes says he is “happy” to be away from that.

A relative newcomer to the Sheffield club and bar scene, Heyes has been doing amateur karaoke for the past nine or ten years, but has finally decided to go to the next step, after many people told him he should further his prospects.

“People have said for a long time that I should further it; get a band and do some acoustics. I’m just starting out, but hopefully I’ll have a long and fruitful career ahead of me,” he said.

Adam has recently been doing gigs at local Sheffield bars including the Devonshire Cat, West Street Live and Dempsey’s, and through meeting an event organiser in Sheffield, Warren Peace, has been put in contact with various people in a bid to further his career.

Listen to Adam speaking to me about his current plans, and his prospects for the future below:

However, this isn’t the first time that Adam has tried to crack the music scene, with his 2004 X Factor audition resulting in rejection.

He explains to me that looking back; the lifestyle of an X Factor winner isn’t where he would like to see himself now.

“Generally speaking, winners of programmes like The X Factor don’t go very far. A lot of them end up where I am now, which is just at the beginning! Everyone would be looking at me thinking, ‘oh there’s that loser from that reality TV show’, rather than taking note of what I’m doing and thinking, ‘he’s actually quite good!’.”

Building a fanbase is also of great importance to Adam, and his recent Youtube uploads alongside friend and guitarist, Tommy Jones, have garnered over 500 views on word of mouth alone.

“Right now, I’m happy with working my way up, and I guess in a way I’ve cut out the ‘middle man’ with not going via reality TV!

“I could never go back there again anyway… everyone says I look and sound exactly like Matt Cardle [X Factor 2010 winner], so I would always have to live up to that if I got on there now!”

Songs that Adam has been covering at these shows, and online, include Paolo Nutini’s New Shoes, Britney Spears’ Toxic, Jay Brannan’s Housewife and Bruno Mars’ recent UK number one, Just the Way You Are.

Listen to Adam cover Just the Way You Are below:

SHUSH talk Justin Bieber, Willow Smith

Listen to the members of SHUSH talk about the young popstars of today, and how they compare to artists such as Britney Spears and *NSYNC in the last decade…

Hard work the key for pro footballer pursuing musical future

Hailing from a famous boxing family, professional footballer Leon McKenzie hopes that his love for music could add yet another glittering twist to his story.
The 32-year-old striker has enjoyed spells at seven clubs in his career including his time in the Premier League with Norwich City.
Now at League Two side Northampton Town, Leon has already made significant steps towards carving out a new career as a singer.
”I’m working on three singles with a company called Hot Money Productions and I’ve got a couple of tracks done. Hopefully I can pursue it and maybe get signed.”
”The feedback I’ve had for my vocals and for a song called ‘We Can Make It Together’ has been really good. I’ve spoken with Junior Harvey (So Solid Crew) so hopefully I might feature with him but nothing’s done yet.”
”I’ve also worked with a guy called Melody who was on the song ‘Do You Really Like It?’. We worked on a song called ‘I See You’ which we did a video for.”

Leon’s dayjob…

Leon’s family is well-known for its rich boxing history with his father Clinton, as well as uncle Duke, both champions at various levels within the sport.
Musical talent also features heavily within the family, Leon’s cousins Jermaine and Duke are up-and-coming hip-hop artists while another cousin Ashley featured on the 2006 series of The X Factor.
”We’ve got quite a lot of music in the family so we could do an album together. There’s a lot of talent and my cousin Monica is also a talented runner.”
Scoring 112 career goals to date, including Premier League strikes against the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea, Leon has also had to deal with some significant injury setbacks.
”I’ve had some serious blows but I’ve come back fighting, it must be the boxing blood. Anything I do I give it 100% and if I’m doing something it means I’m passionate about it.”
”I’ve always been about hard work and dedication. I do other things as well but if the music situation takes off then it makes a good story.”
Leon McKenzie in the studio

Leon McKenzie in the studio (2)

McKenzie in the studio

Croydon-born, making his professional debut with nearby Crystal Palace in the 1995-96 season, Leon acknowledges that his football career is entering its final stages.
”I’m hoping to play for at least one more season which takes me to 34-years-old. It’s been an up-and-down road and I just want to enjoy the last games I play.”
”Every goal I score means a lot and nothing will ever replace that feeling but I’ve always loved music. Fitting music around football can be done, it’s about putting it out there and seeing the reaction it gets.”
”I’m open when it comes to music, I listen to a lot of types. I’m more of an r&b singer though so I like Ne-Yo and the soul vibe of Marvin Gaye is an influence for me.”
The last couple of years have seen Leon feature in his own videos as well as those of others and he is feeling positive about where his music could lead.
”I really enjoyed the experience of being in a video, I never thought I’d be an artist in one. R&b in this country doesn’t go too far so I want to bring some balance to appeal to most people.”
”The producers I’ve worked with have been very positive about my songs. That’s made me really excited so maybe it might all go to plan.”

Two of Leon’s all-time favourite songs (admittedly amongst many, many others!)

1920s event raises over £450 for local charities

A 1920s Murder Mystery Evening, organised by four Sheffield Hallam students has raised over £450 for local charities Sheffield Mencap and Gateway and Barnardo’s.

The event, which took place at the Showroom in Sheffield, on Paternoster Row was attended by over 60 people of all ages, and was organised by events management team, Trio Events.

The tickets for the event cost £10 each, and ran for nearly three hours last Thursday, March 24th, with money also being raised from a raffle – which included tickets to a Sheffield United match and two tickets to a show at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre – a ‘Name the Bear’ competition and an auction to see the “murder scene”, in a bid to solve the case.

One raffle winner was Andy Harrison, 20, from Sheffield, who said he was “thrilled” to have won three books by local author, and Sheffield Wednesday fan, Anthony Cronshaw.

Fellow attendee, Sarah Dixon, 22, from Sheffield, said, “I’ve had a great evening! It’s good that there has been a bar for us as well, so everyone is a bit ‘tiddled’!

“It’s something different for students, and people of my age too, as usually all we seem to do is go out into town at night. But this has been a real laugh, and I’ve enjoyed it far more than I thought I would do.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The main section of the night involved the guests going around in groups of five or six quizzing the actors about who was the murderer, with everyone in good spirits thanks to the inexpensive bar, and free food that was available.

One of the Trio Events team, Emma Head, 20, originally from Workington in Cumbria, told me: “The event went smoothly without a hitch, and everybody had fun.

“Thanks to the attendees being in such great spirits, and our effective management, we raised £452.39! We were all really proud of ourselves, and also of the actors and volunteers who made it possible to pull off such an amazing event.

“We know the money we raised will make a difference to the two very worthwhile charities.”

One of the actors taking part in the evening was member of the Totley Operatic & Dramatic Society, Sarah Scott, who said the evening was ideal for her. She told me how much she “adores” amateur dramatics, and how important the charity aspect of an evening such as this is. My full interview with Sarah is posted below.

The evening was organised as part of a final year university project, so it is still unknown whether Trio Events will be holding any further events in Sheffield.

Bieber hit…by a teddy

Bieber Fever hit Sheffield at the Motorpoint arena last week bringing teenage histeria with it. Justin Bieber performed to a sell out crowd of young fans and reluctant parents making it a night to remember. For one fan however this was a night to remember for the worng reasons as she was accused of throwing a missile at the stage when it was in fact a stuffed bear.
Bridie Moulds, 13 from Rotherham, threw a teddy bear onto the stage which then hit Biebers leg causing him to trip. Justin Bieber’s security team immediatly radioed threw that a missile had been thrown at the stage and the person in question was to be evicted from the building.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The teenager said: “I bought the teddy for him, I put a picture of me and my friend wearing Justin Bieber t-shirts inside”

Show sec, the security team who were running the event were told by Bieber’s security to evict the teenager, however they attempted to save her night by offering a different area to sit in away from the floor.
A spokesperson for Show sec said: “We could see it wasn’t a missile and I think they could after the intial throw. She was only young and we didn’t want her to miss out on the whole performance so we offered her a seat on the tiered section.”

Devastated, Bridie rang her parents to come and collect her. The teenagers father, Chris said: “I’m disgusted at how my daughter was treated. She is only 13 with a teenage crush and to be told to move because she had thrown a teddy!”

The arena has since offered Bridie a signed picture of the singer and a full refund for the tickets. A spokesperson for the arena said: “We are happy to offer a full refund due to what it seems like a huge misunderstanding between security teams. Show sec run our events because of their excellent reputation with crowd management. They are told to follow the orders of the performer’s security which is always in the best interest of the act itself.”

Fully refunded and one signed picture ahead of her friends Bridie is said to still be a belieber.

English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson has condemned a judge’s decision to fine a man just £50 for burning poppies at an Armistice Day event.
Muslim extremist Emdadur Choudhury, 26, was given the fine at Woolwich Crown Court by District Judge Howard Riddle on March 7th.
”It sums up our justice system that I could get a bigger fine for dropping litter,” said Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon. ”I can’t work out what the judge was thinking, it’s a joke.”
”I would reapply treason here. The government can’t get a grip, they need to stop this complete obliteration of this country’s way of life.”
Choudhury set fire to two large plastic poppies during a two-minute silence at the end of a march in honour of British armed forces on November 11th.
A member of Muslims Against Crusades, Choudhury was found guilty under Section 5 of the Public Order Act for ‘using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour that could cause harassment, alarm or distress.’

The EDL, a street protest movement, was formed in Luton in 2009 with many reports claiming it is based around football hooliganism.
EDL leader Robinson, 28, said: ”When we were in Birmingham when an 11-year-old kid was converted to Islam, we were attacked by around 500 Muslims. There were twenty Muslims jumping on young kids’ heads.”
”The only lads who were willing to protest seemed to fit the stereotype of a football hooligan so that’s the way it went with that link.”

The EDL, who strongly oppose ‘militant Islam’ and ‘the spread of Sharia law’ in the UK, held a demonstration in Rochdale on March 5th with some reports claiming police costs amounted to between £200,000 and £300,000.
The Unite Against Fascism group, who are strongly opposed to the EDL, were also protesting at this event and the two groups were kept apart by police with 31 arrests made.
Robinson believes that the reported police costs are minute in comparison to what he believes the Islamic month of Ramadan costs the UK’s health service.
”The figures are peanuts. Muslim fasting cripples the NHS, there’s health centres being opened for it.”
”The muslim extremists in this country who want to blow us up are costing far more than that to watch. It costs us £2.5billion to monitor these maniacs.”
Discussing recent reports that the EDL could become a political party, Robinson said that they would be remaining a street protest movement.
”We’ve been in talks with politically minded people. We won’t become a political party but there might be a united front to run alongside us.”
The EDL are set to demonstrate in Blackburn on Saturday 2nd April with Robinson stating that ‘the only way to do this (demonstration) is peacefully.’
”I get worried before every demonstration. I’ve had family members abused by Muslim gangs but it is important to channel the anger in the right way.”
”Islam is contrary to British hate law, it promotes homophobia yet there’s nearly 40 mosques in Blackburn. Where does it stop?”
”We get more people supporting us every time we have a demo. We’ll do everything we can to make the Blackburn demo peaceful.”