An ode to ‘St Anthony: An Ode to Anthony H Wilson’

Last year I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity, as a part of  my apprenticeship at Sharpfutures, to work on the ‘St Anthony: An Ode to Anthony H Wilson’ Shoot which was a project put together by the poet Mike Garry and Composer Joe Dudell to commemorate the lasting and culturally seminal legacy of Anthony Wilson, Founder of Factory Records and The Hacienda Night Club as well as Presenter and reporter of various TV shows including “So it Goes” and “The Other Side of Midnight” and  in turn to raise money for the hospital/charity that cared for him in his final months Manchester’s Christie Cancer Hospital.MIKE GARRY ROWETTA JOHN ROBB

Whether you like it or not, the impact on our city that Tony Wilson had is meteoric, a ubiquitous angel. Aesthetically, sonically, even architecturally; from the European coffeehouse chic and warehouse Minimalism of the northern quarter to the, sometimes overwhelming, notion that the present can never be relevant again it’s, in many ways, all courtesy of Anthony H Wilsons mind and his desire to implement his tastes and quirks into the heart of a city, a city that he loved and dragged, damp and bleak into the future and though it still suffers as a place, in many ways Manchester never looked back because of hi

It could even be argued that the building that hosted most of the shooting of the video and the building that I work in; The Sharp Project, was the ideal place to shoot the video because it’s totally in line with the progression and pioneering prominence that Tony Wilson’s legacy’s befits/insists, as well as also being home to Mikes poem “The Sharp Project” as printed on the wall of the buildings reception as an eponymous introduction to guests. For the first two days I was given the task of being a runner for the shoot, I was told that I’d be helping people of a significantly Madchester honour (a definite paraphrase) around the building, showing them to and from the campus and studios and so on. As someone, like most 20 year olds, who’d been brought up to be made aware of what was going on prior to my birth and in the midst of 1990’s infancy, in my city. I recognised many of the people (Vini Reilly Shaun Ryder, Paul Morley, Rowettaect) on the list and their achievements in life and when you’re, in essence, just a quiet gawk with an arguably bad haircut from New Moston, that’s pretty daunting.

I was a fan of Mike Garry’s prior to the shoot having found him on one of those mad YouTube jaunts that we, as a 21st century humanoids, are often prone to from time to time; a poem called “Mancunian Meander” ( was a clip that I’d keep referring back to mainly because it was ace and it healed the wounds of the post-college joblessness, but that’s what great art does right? Heal the wounds…Obviously, then when I’d fast-forwarded about 9 months and I was in the position whereby I’d actually be working with him on one of his projects, I was excited. The coincidence had done me a favour for once. 


What I noticed about the faces coming in to record their parts and/ or interpretations of Mikes Poem “St Anthony”, via snippets of conversation I’d overheard and general aura, was that they wanted to get this right, it was very much an ode to someone one who these people had intense love for, a soul who’d affected them in a massive way whether they knew him personally or not (which most did).

The poem its self is structurally and subtly rapid fire and sets a scene of someone reaching out to an old friend to talk about anything, everything just to talk. It’s a very human poem and it’s totally endearing, regardless of your opinion of Tony Wilson, have you ever lost someone and just wanted them back for a chat? The irony being that Mike, as he explained in some recent interviews ( , didn’t actually ever speak to tony, he’d just been asked to write a poem about him by Terry Christian for a radio tribute Terry was doing in 2007, and to me; when you can pinpoint the heart of such an emotive and universal subject and the inner vibrancies of the human psyche with the detail and specification of one person, to the point where it connects with everyone and galvanises the people who knew that person to the point they’d want to be a part of it as well, that’s when you have something special on your hands, so well done Mike, well done.

Joe Dudell, said that the music he used was based on the Opening Sequences of a the New Order song “Your Silent Face” ( I didn’t know this until I watched the interview above, because I don’t actually know the song as I was only familiar with the New Order Songs that were on the best of, in my now deceased iPod. A blessing in disguises because when I did listen to, it blew me away. I liked the fact that Joe was inspired by just a snippet of the song and he developed it into its own entity, with its own purpose.


On the third day of Filming, I was asked, through Sharpfutures, if I’d like to assist Michael Wray from Zemap to finish the last few bits of filming, with none other than New Order, which I’m not going to lie, was pretty bloody mint. After a few hours of set up and preparation, Michael kindly took the time out to  give me a training session on how to use the cameras and lighting professionally, we got down to the filming and thought I was only there as support for Michael and contributed in a small way to the filming process, It was a thrilling experience to be a part of a creative project such as this, because A) creating is the ultimate passion and fulfilment in my life and B) you realise how democratic the whole process is or at least can be, the ship is kept a sail because people listen to each other and take into consideration other people’s interpretations and ideas, this approach runs through the set, from behind, to in front of the camera and the results are a very passionate and honest  6 minutes of tribute to a great great man…

“St Anthony Saint Anthony Please come Round, Something is lost that cannot be found”

Over and out.


Antony H Wilson passed away on the 10th August 2007 after defining the course of the world’s musical taste.

The accompanying video, released 14th of August 2015, made by Soup Collective filmed at the Sharp Project, is testament to the love and respect for Wilson that continues after his death. Featuring a collection of close friends and collaborators each reciting lines from the poem, including Bernard, Gillian and Stephen from New Order, Christopher Eccleston, Iggy Pop, Peter Saville to name but a few

Antony H Wilson passed away on the 10th August 2007 after defining the course of the world’s musical taste.

The accompanying video, released 14th of August 2015, made by Soup Collective filmed at the Sharp Project, is testament to the love and respect for Wilson that continues after his death. Featuring a collection of close friends and collaborators each reciting lines from the poem, including Bernard, Gillian and Stephen from New Order, Christopher Eccleston, Iggy Pop, Peter Saville to name but a few

On Friday, 14 August 2015 at 19:00, to celebrate the release of St. Anthony, Mike Garry and Joe Duddell with the Cassia String Quartet will be performing the single live followed by a screening of the accompanying Soup Co produced video (as well as previously unseen, exclusive interview footage) featuring a collection of close friends and collaborators including Bernard, Gillian and Stephen from New Order, Shaun Ryder, John Robb, & Peter Saville.

Special guest DJs on the night include Clint Boon, Kath McDermott, Bobby Langley and Mike Pickering following a screening of the video.

All profits from the single will go to The Christie Charitable Fund’.




The Contributors

Andrew Weatherall

Bernard Sumner

Christopher Eccleston

Elliot Rashman

Gillian Gilbert

Iggy Pop

Joe Duddell

John Bramwell

John Cooper Clarke

John Robb

Johnny Jay

Julie Hesmondhalgh

Larry Gott

Leroy Richardson

Mark Radcliffe

Mike Garry

Mike Pickering

Miranda Sawyer

Paul Morley

Peter Saville

Philip Glass

Richard Madeley


Shaun Ryder

Stephen Morris

Steve Coogan

Terry Christian

Vini Reilly

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 10.26.35 am

Shu-Ling Li – FOH Placement first week at The Space Project

Mon-Tues 29-30th June 2015

On Monday and Tuesday, I worked with Rachael, Sally and Becky. We were fortunate enough to have a handbook to work through; which Rachael had made to help show us the ropes. I was trained on how to create passes for clients such as the cast and crew for Mount Pleasant, and also had to ensure I confirmed permission to create new passes by calling our clients office to verify the names needed for each new pass. I was also trained on how to accept and log post correctly by ensuring I didn’t sign for damaged or incorrectly addressed parcels.

One of the highlights of the start of the week was being taken on a tour of the Houdini and Doyle set with Colin; whilst it was in the process of being built. In stage 1, I was able to see a Houdini hotel lobby being created with attention to every period feature of its time.

Wed 1st July 2015

With Rachael back at the Sharp project- we were left to put our training into practice. The daily end of shift updates sent out by the runners at the end of each day helped keep track of what was still outstanding from the previous day and what information needed to be cascaded to the next runner or receptionist. Ensuring these updates were sent out each night really helped maintain the flow of work from one person to the next and I felt with these updates, Becky, Sally and I worked well as a team. It was also reassuring that I was able to pick up existing tasks and complete them correctly the following day.

On Wednesday I also met Sue Woodward for the first time. It was great meeting her in person after only seeing photo in news articles. I spoke briefly with Sue about how I was finding the role before her meeting with Rose and Collin that day.

Thurs-Fri 2-3rd July 2015

On Thursday and Friday I worked with Lewis for the first time, he was sat working away on his Macbook and within minutes I discovered what a brilliant designer he was. He modestly explained that he was creating signs to be used for Sharp and Space to help clients navigate their way around the buildings. I was very interested in getting to know more about his creative genius and what software he uses to design with as my degree also used some of the same programs and I was eager to learn more about the techniques he knew which I could also adopt. During periods where I had finished logging visitor pass forms and no clients needed support, Lewis would show me how to use Flash- as design tool used to create motion and cartoons; which I had never used before. Below is a picture he and I worked on, to show a day in the life of a Sharp Futures intern.

Friday saw a casting for Houdini and Doyle with various actors and actresses arriving, this was quite exciting as there was a buzz in the reception with actors coming in and out with a various looks of apprehension, excitement, confidence and enthusiasm- something we could all relate to.

What I learnt:

  • Organise post as soon as it arrives and note down as much detail as you can about each item on the post book log such as recipient and barcode, to ensure the client to receive their parcels as efficiently as possible and to minimise your workload throughout the day.
  • How to use Flash with Lewis; which was a lot of fun and something I will be able to use in the future- from creating pictures for friends to simply developing my own software skills.
  • Communication is key to ensuring the day runs smoothly- whether it be replying to an email to confirm you have received it or ensuring you take down relevant information from a telephone message.Challenges:

• The vast amount of post we receive throughout the day and ensuring these were all logged correctly in our manual filling system. Fortunately we had a good system of noting down what post we received on a joint clipboard before writing the final details in the post folder- this again ensured our communication between each other was clear during busy periods so that we knew what the last person had already logged.


• Speaking to people like Tom and Lewis about how they had come to work for the Sharp Project and their most memorable experiences to date. Lewis for example, described the time he was working on his own work in the Sharp Campus when a business had glance over at his work and offered him work to create their businesses info-graphs. I found it inspiring to see the work he had created then to the work he now currently produces, and how much he had learnt from working with this client of Sharps in such a short space of time. I found it inspiring to see that new opportunities can arise at anytime within Sharp Futures and that clients are always interested in knowing more about you and supporting your talents.

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 10.26.35 amA day in the life of a SharpFutures intern through the use of Flash- used for the first time with the help of Lewis Marsh.


PLAY it!

Recently, 2 of our new SharpFutures Social Media placements Kristian and Aleena attended the event PLAY it! at The Museum of Science and Industry.

IMG_0074A – The event started on the 25th of July and progresses on to the 9th of August. This is a throwback to Video Games and its past. There was a multitude of games ranging from a few modern titles to the early consoles created over 30 years ago.

K – Upon getting there we were greeted by several people all dressed up in costume depicting several popular video characters. All of these cosplays (costumes) were incredible and most importantly noticeable, you knew instantly who they were trying to represent.

A – From there, we entered the room that was housing all the consoles that were going to be our entertainment for the next few hours. A plethora of video games and its consoles span over a large room, just waiting to be played. Ranging from the early days of Pong and Pac-Man, to more modern day classics such as Halo and the Uncharted series. There were a lot of game stations and enough consoles, so no one was waiting in a queue, except for the Oculus rift of course!

K – One of the most interesting pieces of technology that was present was the Oculus Rift. It is a virtual reality headset, which was kick-started in 2012. It has been in development ever since, and there will be a commercially available headset due for release in early 2016.

A – It was cool trying out the oculus rift for the first time. It is such an immersive, cool gaming experience, I just wish I got a bit longer on it so I could get used to it! It makes you experience gaming on a whole new level, I loved the fact that I could look around and the device would detect everything I was doing- even my hands were virtual and moved as I moved them! It was like I morphed into the character and I couldn’t see what else was going on in the room- I could just see inside the game! I think it is such a great product and would love to buy one myself.

IMG_0068 (1)K – One of the biggest and best takeaways was just how friendly and approachable everyone was. This was not only the staff and the cosplayers. But the guests as well. As everyone there was attending due to some form of interest in video games, it was just so easy to talk to people. As you all have a platform to speak to each other. Due to the fact that most gamers love talking to others about games as much as playing them.

K – A great example of this is when we kindly asked if we could join 2 other people in a 4 player racing game for the Xbox called Mashed. Which plays very similar to Micro Machines, a game I was very fond of as a child. Being able to play a game that was a blast from the past was a very humbling feeling for myself, which also gave me the advantage and I was able to come out victorious from our 4 player battle.

IMG_0091 (1)A – The event was very informal and relaxed, everyone was just enjoying themselves. I was surprised to see so many cosplayers and people dressed as characters from games. I just expected there to be a room full of games and people playing them- but it was nice to see these characters socializing and adding to the event. Of course I had to have a picture with some of them!

So if you are a fan of games or know someone who is, be sure to bring friends and family alike to the event, they are available in 2-hour slots or you can buy an entire day pass. Tickets can be purchased here.

Below are a few links of interest:





Guest Blog – Kristian Baines

A fresh pair of eyes on the Performance Poetry Scene #justsaying

The event I attended was a spoken word event, #JustSaying, by Reform Radio, hosted by Young Identity.  Reform Radio is a shared digital arts platform, born and bred by young, creative Manchester working predominately with 18-30-year-olds who are not in work, education or training.  The event was hosted to help raise money for their crowdfunding campaign for new studio equipment –


I have very little experience when it comes to the artistic production of the spoken word, the only time I have come across it has been in television or films. What I ended up learning from the event is that it is a scene that encourages others to develop and wants everyone to take part in it.

The performances were all astonishing. One aspect I came to really admire is that every performer had their own singular style that really showed them as a character. There were some performances that were colored and came from a challenging past. Whilst others had a more comedic aspect to it. There was also an inclusion of props and references that fit into some acts tremendously well.


I came in with an open mind, however, there was a pretense that that the event would be as a whole, doom and gloom, as it is portrayed in media. That I would not enjoy the evening and would leave in a rather depressed mood. Nevertheless, I was pleasantly mistaken, there was a real energy and buzz throughout the event that kept and upbeat and positive arc as the evening progressed.

This is not to take away from the more serious and harder hitting poetry. These were amazing performances that conveyed real emotion and clearly came from a time in their lives that were not safe for them. Even so, they have learned to cope, change them for the better and channel their emotions into a healthy creative aspect which gives them joy. This is a great thing to see as young people do sometimes have a tendency to not be able to control their emotions well and showing there is another creative outlet that they may not have had thought of or seen that can really help them.

I’d say that the evening was a massive success in my opinion, it was a cracking night. Filled with good food, drink and people. Everyone there was so friendly and approachable and I could tell by speaking with some of the performers they truly loved what they do. I would whole heartily recommend attending something like this if you are looking for something a little bit different. I would very much like to attend a similar event in the near future.

Maybe even take part!



Top 10 Places To Eat In Manchester


We’ve done the hard work for you… here is a list of your next 10 times eating out in Manchester. Our team have all gave their input and listed their favourite food spots in and around the city.

Fuel Bar, Withington by Dom Corry

Fuel - Dan WI was first introduced to Fuel because my band had played a few gigs there. They served us a platter as that’s what they tend to do for bands playing at the venue and it was, if I do indeed say so myself, absolutely  magnificent; fresh and filling.

The cafe is a vegetarian cafe, so people with a certain disposition for meaty taste buds might want to look away now or stop reading or whatever. I’m not actually a vegetarian myself (YET!! I have tried and failed numerous times…my time will come one day) but I am in fact a greedy guts and someone who quite enjoys tasting new things (believe it or not being brought up in New Moston , Hummus and Falafel aren’t foods you’d consider a massive part of your diet growing up, I’m sure I only found out about what on earth hummus actually was, when I was 16) so anythings will suffice and thus the platter itself, known as the “Veggie Mezze” consisted of a large plateful of Halloumi Skewers,Salad,Feta,Olives,Wedgies ,Pittas and Dips a plenty (The Dips that I can remember were Hummus, Horseradish and Salad cream) either way this was a bountiful banquet from the food gods. I savored every ounce of it and came back the next day for some more food!

On this day I had the Falafel, Olive and Hummus wrap, the taste of the olives massively compensating the texture of the falafel, all cooked  and served to perfection, and tasting amazing I washed it down with a nice strawberry Timmermans fruit beer (the apex of Lager and possibly human existence…barring its price) what you also have to bare in mind is that what I have actually had from the menu can surely only be the tip of the iceberg.

Other things on the menu that densely caught my eye were: the Chili Burrito the Quesadilla (Spicy beans,cheese and fresh tomato in a folded toasted wrap with sour cream) and the Falafel, Sun Dried Tomato and Pumpkin Seed salad Another Appealing factor which I would also say was one of the reasons I liked the place so much was its atmosphere, when I’m out eating or something I hate going to places that are hectic and relentless, it’s uncomfortable and you can’t enjoy your experience nor can you enjoy your food, with fuel it’s so relaxed and serene inside that I could happily sit there all day watching the world float along outside, eating some god damn marvelous food.

This is all I could ask for from a place a bit of clarity and calm whilst I eat and I’d gladly swap the “glamour” San Carlo or Rosso in favor of Fuel any day, for many reasons,but that reason in particular.

So yes I’d say that Fuel is my favorite place to eat in Manchester and I’d recommend you all go there, even if you don’t really enjoy vegetarian food I can’t see why you wouldn’t enjoyit’s breezy atmosphere!!!

Dimitris, Deansgate by Elli Metcalfe

dimitris - Elli's choiceMy ultimate daydream is to be sat in a little Greek Taverna on the island of Santorini, eating plates of tapas, watching the waves tumble in, whilst listening to a mandolin being softly played in the background.

Unfortunately… when faced with fulfilling this daydream on the rainy streets of Manchester, the challenge is a tough one! That was until I discovered ‘Dimitri’s’ a beautiful Greek Taverna and Bar located at the Campfield Arcade, Deansgate. A family run place, established for 24 years (and with good reason!) it has a friendly atmosphere, traditional decor, attentive staff, live music and comes complete with a heated courtyard at the rear, all of which contributes to why I choose Dimitri’s as my favourite eatery in Manchester.

But, of course, the main attraction is their tasty menu! Traditional meze and mains, including homemade hummus, mouth-watering Moussaka accompanied by fresh succulent salads. The hardest part is limiting what you order so your belly doesn’t explode!

Bem Brazil, Deansgate / NQ by Danny Moore

My fave place to eat has to be Bem Brazil which has restaurants in both Deansgate and Northern Quarter. 
A restaurant that brings mass amount of different meats to your table, non-stop. What could be better?

The meat is barbequed to perfection and always really good cuts. Wouldn’t recommend it as a meal before going out as you kind of want to take a nap when leaving because you’re so full. A definite case of food coma!

It’s also the perfect spot if you have vegetarian mates as the veg menu is loaded with traditional Brazilian style dishes so its one to please a full group.

Already thinking about my next visit now…

Cachumba, West Didsbury by Lauren Hira

Chachumba - LaurenMy favourite place to eat is Cachumba in West Didsbury –  a beautifully designed intimate and simple restaurant with authentic Eastern furniture and décor all gently lit by candles and decorative lighting.

The food is a fusion of dishes from Sri Lanka, Thailand, India and is served in small tapas style dishes perfect for sharing. (Except for my son Harry who will not share his Red Cocoanut chicken with anyone!) All fresh, home-cooked, authentic and delicately spiced dishes, the flavours are a unique combination and keep us coming back time and time again. 

Our favourite thing to order is the Rice Table – a selection dishes such as Keema, Sri Lankan Prawns, Gujurati Veg and Mung Bean Daal, served with Koubz bread and rice. It would be an outrageous injustice not to wash it down with a fine glass of House Red or Cobra beer! (Harry excepted!)

The Parlour, Chorlton – Rachael McGuiness

The Parlour - Rach McI absolutely love The Parlour in Chorlton for a Sunday Roast – the best in the North West (yes, sorry mum). I especially enjoy eating here if it’s raining outside… with its 1940’s cosy interior and friendly staff, you really don’t want to leave.

Like a warm hug, their generous dinners are also full of surprises…delve underneath the mountains of meat and there’s always an array of seasonal vegetable delights. A little dollop of sweet potato mash here, red cabbage marmalade there, crunchy green beans, carrots, braised cabbage plus roast and mashed potatoes!Wash this down with a nice big glass of red or local ale…it’s one of our favourite ways to spend a Sunday. It’s also a special place to us.

We came here to celebrate our engagement and now we come back with our lively toddler in tow. And the best thing is, every roast comes with a gigantic Yorkshire Pudding! And I mean gigantic. And of course, homemade. Heaven on a plate.

Fuel Bar, Withington by Dan Walsh

Fuel - Dom's choiceFuel is a small, unassuming and unpretentious vegetarian café/bar/restaurant/venue in Withington, South Manchester. After the closure of Solomon Grundy’s and Indigo last year; it is now  the only place of it’s type in the area.

The food is cheap and healthy in very generous portions, with options to share large platters or just snacks.The beer, wine and soft drinks are all less mainstream brands and are much better for it.

It’s a nice place to eat in a relaxed atmosphere with original art on the walls and local acts playing live music and performing in the venue area upstairs.”

Turtle Bay, Manchester by Kirsty Harper

Turtle bay - KirstyMy favourite place to eat at the moment has to be Turtle Bay, when I say favourite I mean I have eaten there at least 5 times in the last 6 weeks! I have now got my partner Paul hooked which doesn’t help with my addiction. I think it has a lot to do with the lively atmosphere they have created so well.

The staff are super friendly and can’t do enough for you, even when the place is packed out. If you are a lover of spicy food you will love it here, the menu is not massive but I like that it’s not overwhelming with choices. I have never been disappointed by anything I have ordered and I am now making it my mission to try everything on the menu, but my favourite dish is the One Pot, our curry goat yum yum. Last but most certainly not least the cocktails are all 2 for price of 1 everyday between 11:30am and 7pm, you most definitely get your money’s worth.

Almost Famous, NQ by Sophie Hukin

manchester-burgers_almostfamousAlmost Famous is my favourite place to eat in Manchester as they have in my opinion, the best burgers in town.

As there are two Almost Famous’ in Manchester it shows that it is a very popular option for food. This is probably because the food is to die for and the cocktails are amazing and it is reasonably priced as a burger is around 8/9 pounds with sides being around 4 and cocktails being around 7. It would be wise to share the sides as the burgers are enormous!

My favourite Almost Famous to go to is the Northern Quarter as it is quite small and chilled out which is fab when you just want a quick bite to eat, more like a café style to the other one in the Great Northern which is massive and has a lively atmosphere.

I normally like to play it safe and get the ‘Famous Burger’ which contains a double cheeseburger, lettuce, onions, pickles, tomatoes, and famous sauce with a side of Bacon Bacon fries which are normal potato chips mixed with sweet potato ones covered in baconaise and bacon rain.  (See image attached). You also cannot miss out on the cocktails. ‘Bitch Juice’ is my favourite. 

Almost Famous is up there with one of my favourite places to eat and I recommend everyone to try it at least once. If you are a vegetarian then maybe this is not the best option for you as all burgers contain meat.

TGI Friday’s, Manchester Exchange Square by Kerry Parker

TGI Friday's - KerryTGI’s is one of my favourite places to eat because of a number of reasons. I love that it’s situated in the middle of the town centre and it’s a tram ride away from my house!

When you walk in, you immediately see the huge rectangle bar with bartenders creating and mixing drinks. The mood lighting is that it’s dark – but not dark enough so you can’t see your food! It gives you a feeling of privacy – which is great if you’re on a date!

The staff are always friendly and ready to jump in and help if you want anything.

There is so much to choose from food and drinks wise! The food menu alone is about 6 pages long! And they show plenty of pictures so you can see exactly what you’re getting! I go for the steak or ribs! Both you get with two sides and a sauce (I always choose Jack Daniels sauce as it’s so nice!)

You can order a bottomless soft drink for like £3 or order a cocktail from their extensive menu. And from the cocktails you can get a personal or one to share – I could drink one of their sharing ones easily by myself.

The food is always delicious and I walk away a lot heavier than going in! That is the reason why it’s my favourite places.

Barburrito, Deansgate by Lewis Marsh

Barburrito - LewisI have a few reasons as to why Barburrito is one of my favourite places to eat; this being that I LOVE burritos!

The food quality and taste is great and you are supplied with so many varieties/choices of what you can create, the taste combos are endless!

This is a place I will never get bored of as it always manages to satisfy my taste buds needs!

It is surprisingly tidy to eat, you are able to sit and eat or even chow down on the go without a worry of any unfortunate spilling/ripping accidents!

Along with the great food I have always received good customer service from the employees (I am very fussy when it comes to what I want on my burrito and they keep their cool and don’t get impatient). This is a good thing!

Umezushi, Salford by Tom Clarke

UMEZUSHI - Tom CWhen asked for asked to submit my one Manchester (or Salford) food recommendation for the SharpFutures blog  my immediate reaction was to go for the amazing Caribbean Flavas, located adjacent to Salford Central on Chapel Street. However, I’ve been recommending Caribbean Flavas to a few people recently so thought I’d pick something close by but maybe a little bit more obscure – Umezushi.

Umezushi is not a place you’d chance across easily – to say it’s hidden would be more than accurate. You get there by going under bridges, around corners and into a back street where the restaurant sits almost lonely amongst the debris of city centre living, occupying a couple of arches underneath railway tracks heading out from Victoria Station. 

But the challenge in finding it makes the sushi and drinks on offer even more satisfying. The place is small – maybe 20 covers maximum but the menu is varied and as an independent, free for the tired Yo! conventions that the rest of the cities’ sushi restaurants offer. The atmosphere reflects the care that you get in such an intimate space. Last time I was in I tried the platter pictured above. Everything super fresh, beautifully presented and easily the best sushi I’ve ever eaten in Britain, at least. Atmosphere lunchtime Saturday was relaxed – the temptation to stay and get into some of the (expensive) tasting menus is big. Sake too.

I’ll maybe do that on the next visit..

Home sweet home

Home Sweet Home, NQ by Rachael Rothwell

Home sweet Home is an intimate hideaway located behind Thomas Street in the Northern Quarter. I unintentionally discovered this homely spot trying to find some quiet during a N.Q street party. It was the perfect space to evade the crowds and I have been returning there ever since.

The staff are welcoming and attentive, which gives the venue a really friendly atmosphere. The furniture is a jumble of stools, chairs and tables of assorted sizes that add to its character and charm. Perfect if you are looking for a snug corner for some privacy. This same charm features throughout the decor and gives the feel that you’re sat in 1950s American kitchen. The atmosphere is relaxed making it the perfect place to catch up with a friend you haven’t seen for awhile, while bingeing on sugar and homely treats.

Over the years the menu has changed slightly, their current menu now covers breakfast, lunch and dinner. The first dish I sampled was there freshly baked cookies, which were served hot from the oven. It’s the small touches such as baking cookies to order, which make the venue stand out. I would describe the food as American style comfort food, prepared with high quality ingredients. One of my favourite things to do is to stop there with friends for a milkshake and a late night dessert from the cake cabinet. This often makes me feel that my eyes are bigger than my belly as it can often be hard to pick just one, but that full feeling is always worth it. Definitely a hidden gem if you have a sweet tooth.

Rump n Ribs

Rump n’ Ribs, Oxford Street by Shu-Ling Li

The first time I came across Rump n’ Ribs was on my regular bus journey home from work. Sat on the top of a double-decker we would trundle down Portland Street, meandering between tipsy clusters of nine-to-fiver’s; roguishly determined to make it to last orders, impatient black cabs blocking up parking bays and lairy students trying to re-live their fresher’s week.

The journey would always take me past a glowing horned-bull Rump n’ Ribs sign; guarding it’s rustic themed steakhouse amongst a busy metropolis. Through the windows I’d often see this modest sized restaurant bustling with hives of friends and couples enjoying their meals whilst sipping mocktails.

Being one of the few Halal restaurants of it’s type, Rump n’ Ribs was a great choice to invite my Muslim friends along for a birthday meal.
As soon as we’d stepped though the door, the restaurant’s manager Asif was there to welcome us in, a charismatic host that took the time to get to know us, keeping my friends and I amused as we waited for our table. Asif himself took our orders and
ensured our individual preferences were accommodated.
For a starter I chose to share the combo platter; a mixture of prawns, beef ribs, chicken wings and goats cheese on toast with red onion chutney; which I couldn’t fault! The wings and ribs were extremely well marinated with a lasting rich, smokey taste that complimented how tender the meat was.

What really outshone all the mains however was the restaurant’s gravy! The texture was perfect with an intensity of flavour that you could tell had been lovingly stewed for hours from the jus of all the buffalo ribs.

What strikes me most about Rump n Ribs is the quality of service from Asif and his team. When our mains arrived he even gave us extra side orders as an on the house Birthday treat. The second time we visited; which was more than 3 months apart, Asif even remembered that my friend preferred his side salad without tomatoes.

The quality of food and attentive service is what has kept my friends and I returning over the past year however if you’re looking to finish off your evening with a hearty serving of dessert, be warned, as Rump n Ribs portion sizes are so generous my friends and I have still never made it to the dessert menu!

last dance

Last Dance Review – Dom Corry

Everything about this play is perfect. The conviction and throat grabbing  attention  that the script and the deliverance of it demand,  the small Kings Arms theatre in which, if you are lucky enough to be in the presence of genuine talent (which I gratefully am ), you are transported into perilous horror of  New York in 1983 into the homes of the tightest knit groups, into the minds of the most terrified, vulnerable and abandoned. ‘Last Dance’  is  the heart clenching story  of a close group of friends, ruptured by the Aids Epidemic in New York Focusing on Corey (Richard Allen, who gives an overwhelming and poignant portrait of his character) and his slow decline at the hands of the illness and at the hands of the government’s refusal to acknowledge Aids as an illness.

Last dance 2

His friends and family struggle to cope in the wake of the fact that someone that they love  so  intensely is dying, and it affects them all in different and coruscatingly complex ways, Corey’s Boyfriend  Peter (Ben Corry) does not know how to cope with the situation,his composure and ultimately his relationship crumbles at the hands of fear,whilst close friend Alan (Ryan McMyler) tragically fluctuates between reason, panic and desire, both Ryan and Ben’s Performances do perfect justice to the tangled and complicated yearning of their characters. Danny (Paul Worrall) and James (Lloyd Eyre-Morgan)  Diligently  try to maintain  calm and comfort among their fraying  group,with Humor and Guard Dog Loyalty and via the actors we are provided with a much-required release from the reality of the situation .   Continue reading

Rachael Rothwell – My First Week With SharpFutures

Growing up the Sharp Electronics building has always been part of my local landscape. Travelling into Manchester on the train it was a recognisable landmark of my journey but more as a derelict unused building. These days the train no longer runs and has been regenerated into our new tram system connecting our city better than ever. This is also true in regards to the Sharp building as it has also been regenerated and evolved into the place I’m currently starting a work placement for SharpFutures, working for the Sharp Project. It really does feel that as my landscape is changing around me in local area, so are my opportunities. I will be writing a blog to give an insight into what it is like to undertake a placement with SharpFutures, what I learn through this experience and what opportunities it presents me. It will involve the typical day to day activities of the people around me, hopefully showing what an asset this space can bring for young people and Manchester as a community.

Continue reading


The Funfair [Home Mcr] – Theatre Review by Dom Corry

Come one, Come All to this tragic Affair…is an introduction which seems fittingly implicit of the outcome in the play I have just seen;

The Funfair” is an immaculate modernisation (adapted by the genius that is Simon Stevens) of the 1932 premier “Kashimir und Karoline”. The thematic addition of the gristly glamour of fairground; with its grease, dirt and candy floss is alluring from the off in its undertow and gives the overall story an immersive new dimension and a juxtaposing poignancy.


Kash (excellently executed in tired , masculine self-affliction by Ben Batt) and Karoline’s (Katie Moore who mastered the art of depicting decline) love is doomed from the opening scenes , corrupt and sullied by personal insecurities, coaxed and squeezed out by a wolfish world, maimed at the jaws of social, economic and political turmoil (rings a bell!).

The tragedy is set in place as Kash seeks refuge under the wings of his best friend and grubby, footloose, misogynistic Frankie Marr (played by Michael Ryan in an absolute 5 star, stand out, “Jesus he’s good “ portrayal), whilst Karoline is guided into unassuming danger by the odd, jittery Chase (endearingly played by Rhodri Meilir) and his partner, the undermined Esther (Victoria Gee).

Christopher Wright as the nauseating Southerner Mr David Spear and Ian Bartholomew as Mr Billy Smoke are the serpents in the grass, the embodiment of the world’s nastiness; the performances are again pretty much perfect and spellbinding.

The stage set-up and music are also perfect in this play, with a band playing in what seemed to be a recording both above and below the stage in each musical interlude to add a sinister and unnerving tone to the play’s foundation – a great effect.

The soundtrack itself also adds a distinct atmosphere to the play, mainly focusing on 50’s/60’s rock n roll songs – a dreamboats and petticoats nightmare emerges from the soothing melodies to further immerse me (the audience) into the plot, the effect was perfect.

The play is heart-breaking, the acting was acutely on point, the visuals hypnotic and now I want to go to The Funfair.

Learning SketchUp

Here at SharpFutures we’ve begun using SketchUp to mock-up the stages and studios at The Space Project & The Sharp Project.





It always takes a bit of trial and error when using a new piece of software , but we believe it will be an effective tool for potential clients to able to view a 3D digital scale model of the stages or studios they are looking to hire.

We will post back soon with some of our ideas and developments.

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