About Rachel-Louise Gerrish

As someone who both studies and practices Journalism, I love uncovering little-known facts and sharing them with the world (take a look at my Twitter feed @RLGerrish if you don't believe me - you'll see I'm borderline obsessive). I work on the University of Sheffield's award-winning Forge Radio, so I'm really excited to be part of the Gola team to be able to share with you some of the amazing talent that passes through our studio here in the Steel City.

Jordan Reed

It’s lucky, in a way, that I have to be constantly on the lookout for new and exciting musicians and artists when I’m writing this blog. What’s even luckier that I have a whole plethora of talented friends, right under my nose. Here’s another Sheffield-based master of indie acoustic rock: Jordan Reed. Hailing from Ruislip in London, his silky voice and talented guitar playing have been getting him noticed in musical circles here – turns out it’s not so grim up North, after all. Let’s get to know him a little better…

What did you want to do when you were a kid?

I wanted to be an astronaut. I’ve always been fascinated by science and space and I thought there was nothing cooler than being someone who goes out there and experiences it first hand. One year, I got given a telescope kit because I wanted to learn more about the stars, but it wasn’t very good, so I ended up learning more about my neighbours than the night sky…

What do you do in your spare time?

I’m always watching movies; I find I can draw a lot of influence from these. You can get a lot of advice and wisdom from films – ‘Rooftops’ by Lost Prophets was inspired by a Zach Braff movie, didyaknow?

 What or who are your influences?

The people around me. I try to include my relationships with my friends and family into what’s going on with my music – they’re such a huge part of my life, and it’s a good way of documenting my feelings at that time. Like a musical diary. I like Green Day and Jack Savoretti and Johnny Cash a lot, though.

 How would you describe your ‘sound’?

I’m still trying to discover my own sound right now. A “not-as-good-but-hopefully-one-day-I’ll-be-like John Butler Trio”.

What was the first album you ever bought? (No judgement; mine was Britney Spears. Shameful.)

My Chemical Romance ‘I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love’. What. An. Emo.

Yeah, wow… let’s move away from any sharp objects. What would be your perfect gig line-up?

The Beatles, that would have been awesome. And Queen. Nirvana. (I’m going for the ones we know we can’t see, in this purely hypothetical situation).

What’s your proudest achievement?

Scoring the winning goal at a national football tournament when I was 11 or 12. Sad that I’ve not done anything that noteworthy since.

What are your plans for the future?

I’ve got a few gigs in the pipeline but nothing’s set in stone yet. I might work on a side project or two, but for now I’m just developing my sound and focussing on improving my craft.

Artist: Tom Holmes

Aged just 17 years old, Tom Holmes is the latest artistic wünderkind to burst from the Sheffield scene. With Facebook buzzing about his promotional work for Tramlines festival, what else does he have up his sleeve? I find out:

What did you want to do when you were a kid?

A writer, originally my characters were made of words rather than pen marks. I started drawing the characters I wrote about, then the drawings came first and the stories followed. If I ever became a writer I think I would have to illustrate my book too, even though I never wrote kid’s stories.

Why did you want to go into art?

Getting into art ‘properly’ happened as a bit of an accident, I always drew and I had a style developing, but when I started drawing the bobbleheads I suddenly got suggestions that people might like to buy them. I gave it a shot and got into a really good gallery in Sheffield alongside some of the best artists in the city, which was an amazing start for me. It got me thinking that People might actually respond to what I do, and when the artwork I had in there sold it was confirmed.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I try not to copy other artists outright but a lot of the time my inspiration does come from other people’s work, which I think is fine so long as you’re not ripping anyone else off. When I work I tend to have videos of interviews with really big, successful artists playing in the background, and that motivates me to try and get onto their level. In the same way that a young musician might go to a gig, see the band on stage and think ‘I want to be up there’, I’ll go to a gallery and do the same with the artwork. I’ll go home and start coming up with some crazy ideas for a show I want to put on.

What do you do in your spare time?

I would say draw, but recently all the drawing I do has been much more purposeful, it’s always for a design job or an exhibition rather than just doodles filling up space. I’m pretty lucky that the ‘work’ I do basically constitutes a hobby, I’ve not really had to change the way I draw just because I’m doing it for someone else rather than for my own entertainment. People like what I do already, which is great because it means I can stay consistent.

Who’s your favourite artist?

Asking for a single favourite artist is a really difficult one, I like anyone who can apply themselves to a lot of different disciplines but still stay consistent and recognisable in their work. I like most of what comes out of Sheffield, but especially Geo Law and Mute, they’re two artists who I looked up to massively who also turned out to be really nice people. On a wider scale I’m a fan of Buff Monster and the Beast Brothers, their work is so clean and bold, something I really appreciate in art.

You take a lot of influences from music – who’s your favourite band/artist?

For the past year or so Enter Shikari have dominated my iPod. I got into Slipknot when I was about ten so I’ve never been a stranger to heavy music, I just love the energy and noise of a live show. If I want something calmer Gorillaz are usually a good choice, their music always reminds me of going to London (my favourite place outside of Sheffield) because I picked up a couple of their albums when I was there a few years ago. I’m pretty involved with the local music scene in Sheffield too, I’ve designed posters and CD covers for a few of the bands and there really is a huge amount of talent here that should be recognised and promoted.

What would you say is your biggest achievement?

I was recently part of a group exhibition in the middle of Sheffield, it was only up for about two weeks but my work was hanging with some of my artistic heroes, and I got a lot of exposure and sales from it. I hadn’t known that kind of recognition before, and since then I’ve been approached to do more and more work, which keeps me busy and motivated. The whole thing felt like a big achievement and a sort of step up from what I had been doing before.

What are your plans for the future?

I’d love to put on a solo show and see how that goes. I’m working on another group show but to have a whole exhibition to play around with and show off new and old work would be fantastic.

Sarah Kathleen Page

Sarah Kathleen Page is a talented artist from Peterborough, who I’m lucky enough to know personally.


We studied media production at college together from 2008, where her flair for fashion and photography was increasingly apparent; as since she has flourished, experimenting in several different mediums, including photography, film-making and modelling.


Between her passion projects and working as a photographer and editor for a clothing company, Sarah’s been a busy lady lately, but I managed to catch up with her for a quick chat about what makes her tick.


So, I’ve known you since we were younger, but what did you want to do when you were a kid?
Originally I wanted to be a fashion designer. I would watch Fashion TV and America’s Next Top Model, which lead to me being more interested in the visual photographic side rather than designing and styling.


Would you class yourself as a photographer, a filmmaker or an artist?
A bit of both. Sometimes I film, sometimes I photograph. Sometimes my work has a personal meaning, other times I want to create something just because I’m in a creative mood. The whole process for me is quite therapeutic. I have something to focus on besides my every day worries, it gives me a creative outlet and a way to connect with people. 


Why did you want to go into this field?
Being creative and challenging myself is what I like to do. Work in this field is very varied, I like the idea of doing something different every day. Film and photography gives me this opportunity to create work that people will engage with, to make people connect with what they are watching and that will broaden our understanding of the world.

<divYou’ve been really busy lately, but what do you do in your spare time? 

I travel a lot, usually down to London; there’s always something new happening. I’m keen to find new opportunities, so every once in a while I’ll be volunteering for festivals such as the East End Film Festival and London Festival of Photography and attending talks, such as with Elliot Grove founder of Raindance, Perry Curties editor of 125 magazine and David Bailey. When I’m not doing all this, I’m drinking tea and having cuddles with my beautiful cat Shebba.


What would you say is your biggest achievement?
Photographing the catwalk shows at London Fashion Weekend was a great experience; it was a bit of an adrenaline rush the first time. It was nice to get a taste of what it would be like as a career.


What should we expect from you in the future?
I’m hoping to have a photographic exhibition on the 17th of June at the Peterborough University. I’ve also been trying to make the big decision whether to go to University or not, which will have a big impact on my future.


You can see more examples of Sarah’s work at www.sarahkathleenpage.co.uk

Introducing: The Natterjacks

Fate is a funny old thing.

If you’ve never heard of a candid camera party, let me fill you in: you’re split into teams, given a list of challenges that you need to complete – the more risky the challenge, the higher the point score attached to it – and you need to get picture evidence. The team with the highest point score at the end wins. And the pictures make for hilarious viewing the next day (although they might not always be Facebook appropriate. You have been warned.)

For example, one challenge could be to pour a pint behind a bar. Another could be to create a human pyramid. Or even asking a stranger to crawl down the street with you – it’s at this point that I met The Natterjacks.

I woke up the next morning with a sore head, a lot of bruises and a business card in my handbag. I type in ‘The Natterjacks’ into Google, and was instantly filled with excitement: these guys are good. Really good.

Freddie, 19, and Mark, 20, sound like the indie folk lovechild of Mumford and Sons, and Ben Howard.

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This video of them performing for BBC Introducing’s ‘The Beat’ on Radio Derby has had almost 150,000 views on Youtube. Not bad for a couple of lads from Chesterfield who started out doing a few pop punk covers. I had to know more:


– So you have a really ‘big’ sound, it’s hard to believe there are only two of you! What instruments do you play?

Freddie: I play guitar, some banjo, the tambourine and vocals.

Mark: And I play the guitar, banjo, mandolin, kick drum and a bit of vocals.

– Is music something you’ve always wanted to do? What did you want to do when you were a kid?

Freddie: This is going to sound really corny, but I wanted to be a rockstar! I study dentistry and University of Sheffield so I’m having to split my time between that and gigging, writing and recording at the minute.

Mark: And I wanted to be a chef. We’re good friends and we started to do some open mic nights playing pop punk covers, then I introduced Fred to more folky bands like Mumford and Sons, and now here we are.

– Your sound is very ‘Mumford’; do you have any other influences?

A few of them are Ben Howard, Vaccines, Bombay Bicycle Club. But we’re finding lots of influences working their way into our music as we listen to new stuff.

– What was the first album you ever bought? (No judgement; mine was Britney Spears and I’m still not ashamed to say that, but I probably should be.)

Freddie: A Present for Everyone – Busted, not ashamed to say some of their songs are incredible!

Mark: S Club 7…

– What would be your perfect gig line-up?

Mumford and Sons, Ben Howard, Fleet Foxes, Haim and The Natterjacks (We can’t leave ourselves out of the chance to play a great gig!)

– And when can we hear more of you? Do you have any gigs or releases coming up?

We’re currently in the process of recording an album which we are hoping to have released in the summer. The first few tracks are up online so that’s quite exciting. We’ve got plenty of gigs around Chesterfield and Sheffield, we’re looking to get quite a busy summer sorted too which should be fun. What we really want is to get onto the festival scene – we feel we’d be really well-suited there.


Check out their <a href=”www.thenatterjacksofficial.co.uk>website</a> for the latest on their gigs and releases – expect big things from this band.