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Wonky Planet And Fluidity’s Takeover

Wonky Planet and Fluidity are taking over CAST, are you brave enough to join them?

Words: Vicky Prior

Photography: Fluid/ity & Wonky Planet

Another day, another fascinating look at one of the events that make up Doncopolitan Crawl. In part 6 of our blog series, we are going to a Doncaster institution to interview some bonafide Donny celebrities taking part in an avant-garde musical experiment.

 

If you venture into CAST on the 23rd of July, you’ll enter an unorthodox club night. Music pioneers Wonky Planet are releasing a new album Animal Bitrate which they will be performing on the night. To add some extra glamour, the wonderful Bipolar Abdul will be bringing her troupe of drag kings and queens from Doncaster’s popular Fluidity nights to dance alongside Wonky Planet. I was keen to find out what inspired Bipolar Abdul in her performance art, and this is what she had to say:

‘It took me a long time but now I’m incredibly inspired by the North and especially Doncaster. It’s pushed me to be exactly what Doncaster is missing and to embrace the fact we have a chance to start our own regional drag. I love being part of the Crawl cos all other obscure subcultures have been exposed and pushed together to really showcase the spectrum of creativity the not so grimm Donny has to show.’

 

As for Wonky Planet, their work defies description, so I thought it best to let Craig, one of their musicians, do it for me, ‘We are a South Yorkshire based trio, myself, Tim and Frankie, risen from the foundry ashes of wonk-prog outfit Mangabros. We forge our twisted monstrous sound from dismantled modular synths, rewired electronic toys, theremins and junkyard percussion, fed through a crooked mile of guitar pedals and FX. We’ve mostly dropped the vocals and narratives this time round to have much more fun with sonic exploration. Here at last, is dance music for the chronic wallflowers who daren’t dance.’

Intrigued (and a little bewildered), I asked Craig what inspired him and what it meant to be part of the Doncopolitan Crawl. His answer made a bit more sense to me, ‘Pulselovers is a musical project which takes inspiration from half forgotten TV themes, 70s German electronic music and radiophonic experimentalism. In the studio, this takes the form of uncomplicated rhythms and drones which are accompanied by simple melodies. When performing live, a more improvisational approach is taken incorporating tape loops, found sounds and a multitude of gadgets and effects.

 

It’s a great honour to be asked to perform as part of the Doncopolitan Crawl. Donny has a great tradition of underground music and I’m proud to be playing a small part in its development.’

 

In conclusion, I’m not entirely sure what is going to happen at CAST on the 23rd, but it’s bound to be an interesting experience.

 

All events as part of Doncopolitan Crawl are free, and take place on Tuesday, 23rd July from 5pm till 9pm.

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New Beginnings @ C-View

Start afresh with New Beginnings at C-View.

Words: Vicky Prior

Welcome to the fifth part of our blog series on Doncopolitan Crawl, taking part on Tuesday 23rd of July 5 till 9m. This time round we are exploring New Beginnings exhibition at CView.

Doncaster’s beautiful former Art College, Church View, resides in a building behind the Minster. It was first built in 1913. Having fallen into disrepair it was then taken over by the Doncaster Community Trust who began repairs in 2009. Rebranded CView, it is now a thriving hub for creative businesses and regularly hosts art exhibitions.

As part of the Doncopolitan Crawl, although it opens today this Saturday, there’s a new exhibition showcasing the worm of local degree students. I spoke to Kim Farr, one of the artists on display and an organiser of the exhibition.

Kim told me ‘We are a collaboration of eight artists whose work varies from abstract, portraiture, textiles, ceramics and sculpture. 6 amongst us are just about to start our third year of our Fine Art and Crafts Degree at Doncaster College and feel that the time is perfect for showcasing Doncaster’s existing and emerging artists. The Doncaster Crawl is a perfect opportunity to do this as since starting our degree doncopolitan has features quite heavily in discussion and around College. We want to be a presence in the Doncaster art and culture regeneration.’

Well, Doncopolitan welcomes any and all to get involved with that regeneration, so please come along on the 23rd for what promises to be a wonderful evening of culture.

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The Perfect Combo @ Dreambakes

Dreambakes hosts the perfect combo of food, art and music.

Words: Vicky Prior

Photography: Dreambakes & Helen C.Stark’s Instagram

This is the third in a series of blogs exploring events happening as part of Doncopolitan Crawl, an amazing night of culture in Doncaster on Tuesday, 23rd July.

The Dreambakes cafe on Priory walk opened last year and quickly established itself as a top venue for the Doncopolitan Crawl. The cafe is taking part once again on the 23rd of July, this time hosting an exhibition of work by Helen C Stark and a gig by folk musician Katy Carr. While Dreambakes will be on hand to provide cakes and coffee, they’ve also invited Sheffield’s Pinch and Pull to cook up fabulous wraps and tacos.

I know the food is fabulous because I gorged on it last year. I spoke to Danny from Pinch and Pull who explained ‘We serve toasted tortilla wraps and corn tortilla tacos using a fusion of flavours. We try to give our food vibrant colours, rich flavours using spices, pickles and cooking methods from around the world. We were involved with the Winter event last year and got asked to return by Dreambakes for a second year. We think it is great for people to immerse themselves in culture and art so fully support the project and are really happy to be involved with it.’

Frankly, it would be easy for me to just be excited about food but the Crawl’s purpose is to celebrate Doncaster culture so once again I’ve been on YouTube to have a listen to the event’s musical option. Katy Carr is coming up from London to play her music, having been drawn to Doncaster by our strong Eastern European community and her own Polish/English Heritage. She plays Polish folk music songs that she writes herself in a mixture of English and Polish. Katy is well worth seeing perform as all her work has a vintage tinge and she often wears outfits inspired by the 1930s and 1940s.

Katy told me that although she was born in England, she lived in Poland for the first five years of her life. Her album Paszport (Youtube Link HERE), a tribute to those who fought in World War II, won Best Concept Album from the Independent Music Awards in 2014. In 2016 she was given Poland’s Pro Patria Medal. She went on ‘it’s exciting to be performing for the first time in Doncaster and I’d like to extend a big thank you for the performance invite friend and colleague Rachel Horne. I hope to learn more about Doncaster’s rich historical and cultural heritage with a view to creating future projects in Doncaster with Rachel.’ You can read a review of Katy’s songs in The Guardian, who said he new album Polonia ‘shows her strength as a writer of grand, upbeat melodies.’

One person who ‘can’t wait to listen to Katy Carr’ is illustrator Helen C. Stark. Her artwork takes two forms, brush calligraphy, and landscape sketchers. Helen says ‘I’ll be running a drop-in workshop on how to draw buildings at Dreambakes. I’m inspired by what makes every day a little bit sweeter. Architecture, botanicals and wise words inspire me lots. I love to soak up atmosphere in coffee shops. I wanted to get involved because I love Doncaster and I love culture.’ 

Her love for her former place of residence, Edinburgh, resulted in a delightful colouring book and I am launching a private campaign for a Doncaster version to be sketched. Perhaps if we all attend the workshop on the 23rd we’ll be so good at drawing buildings that we can have a Doncopolitan collaboration?

Keep checking the Doncopolitan blog for more on the many events that make up the Doncopolitan Crawl, 23rd July, 5 till 9pm.

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There’s a Block Party happening in Broxholme Lane, and you’re invited

Words: Vicky Prior

Images: Warren Draper

If you go down to Broxholme Lane today you’ll see a futuristic vision of Doncaster complete with tigers, stags, and ladies on motorbikes. This incredible mural was painted by spZero76 as part of the last Doncopolitan Crawl and he’s returning on the 23rd of July for more.

To celebrate, Doncopolitan is hosting a Broxholme Lane Block Party with music and art from some of Doncaster’s finest creatives. The lovely Breaking Beats, responsible for the series of murals around the side of Waterdale, will be on-site alongside FiveFiveDesignz. Breaking Beats have been creating work with young people since 2014 and will be hosting a street art workshop for the evening. 

FiveFiveDesignz, aka Craig, started out playing hip hop records at school and in 2007 started playing drum and bass and UK garage. Having worked out from Donny to clubs around the country he then decided to concentrate on his artwork and FiveFiveDesignz was born. Craig still does the occasional gig and will be playing at the Doncaster Caribbean Fun Day this summer. He told me he’s excited to be involved in this year’s Doncopolitan Crawl, where he’ll be spraying brand new artwork, because ‘it’s another part of the cultural shift that’s happening on Doncaster’s timeline right now…It always feels a bit more grim in Donny, especially when I’m painting, maybe that shows through with my surrealistic animal/character type stuff, but I kinda like it like that anyway.’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNQ2_Nxh2jM
Kannan and MistaKay – Round Ere

Providing the music is local grime duo Kannan featuring Mista Kay. Alongside making extremely catchy songs (I know the bare minimum about grime, but I got quite into their stuff when doing a bit of research on YouTube!) Kannan features Doncaster locations prominently in his videos. He says ‘I’m inspired by all sorts of things, mostly music – listening to and creating. Watching videos or filming them. We want to be legends in Doncaster for our music. We wanted to be involved because we really like everything about the Doncopolitan & they have shown us a lot of love and support.’ 

So please come along to Doncopolitan Crawl on 23rd July, from 5pm, and show Kannan and all our other artists even more love and support.

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Doncopolitan pops up in Frenchgate

Words: Vicky Prior

Images: Unbloq, Lucina Hall and Al Heighton

From the 23rd of July Doncopolitan will be taking over the former Garage Shoes unit near Debenhams and transforming it into a pop-up shop. See Doncopolitan magazine come to life with original artworks, prints and cards available to buy from your favourite artists. New work will be on display from Al Heighton, Luciana Hall, Callum Fox, Imogen Carline, and more.

I spoke to Lucina Hall and Al Heighton to find out what inspired them and why they were keen to get involved in this year’s Doncopolitan Crawl. Here’s what they had to say:

Lucina Hall

I’ve literally always been a doodler, I’ve never seen myself as a particularly good drawer but I draw things that are interesting to look at. I like characterisation in art and usually draw things with a narrative or character.


Lucina’s iconic eyeball

I like Doncaster’s efforts to showcase local talent whether it be a pub supporting small local bands or for example, the Doncopolitan giving creatives a platform to share work or words. I think the Crawl is a really interesting project that has brought a lot of artists that I knew never really showcased their work, an opportunity to do so – me included.

Al Heighton 

I’m inspired by lots of things, fashion, books, magazines, tweets, overheard conversations etc and of course topics that involve Doncaster. When I first saw Doncopolitan I just wanted to be involved and contribute to that publication which for my money Doncaster needs.

The Crawl just felt something natural to contribute to off the back of the magazine. If you visit Doncaster and want to tap into ‘cool’ then Doncopolitan is a good start…

The Doncopolitan takeover runs from 23rd till 25th July. The Doncopolitan Crawl is on from 5pm on the 23rd July.