‘Show Us Your Art’ Comes to Middlesbrough

Chris Stewart and his artwork in the Cleveland Centre.

Show Us Your Art took place this week, a project whose aim is to bring art to the heart of Middlesbrough.  It is about taking art in storage and not currently on display and showing it in unique places such as an empty shop in the Cleveland Centre, the reception of BBC Tees and the window of House of Fraser.  It is about bringing art to the people.

I went on my Show Us Your Art tour on Thursday, starting with a video installation at the Town Hall Crypt featuring local film makers, before moving on to the Cleveland Centre where artwork was on display in one of the empty shops.  A mixture of painting, computer graphics, collage and sculpture was on display including John Wheeler’s painting below and Chris Stewart’s computer aided design above.

John Wheeler’s ‘Triptych Dog and Man’

Next was a quick stop to check out the window display at the back of House of Fraser.

Then onto some more sculpture at BBC Tees.

Before a look in Chilli Cake Deli’s upstairs gallery space…

Ike Willis’s ‘A Track in the Snow’

Finally back to mima (missing out Boho 6) for some really interesting portrait work, including Fabiano Almeida’s ‘Preterito Imperfeito I/Futuro Do Presente I below, which is made up of lots of tiny faces and shows the younger woman when looking from one angle and the older woman from another angle.

Now in its second year Show Us Your Art has expanded to a week in length and incorporated performances at lunch time sessions at the Town Hall Crypt by local spoken word artists and musicians.  Some of these sessions have been recorded, so you can see what you missed by clicking on the links below.

Show Us Your Art Sessions:

Andy Willoughby – http://youtu.be/lrZSgpx-OfQ

Bob Beagrie – http://youtu.be/nt5Nl8N7M8c

Andy Broderick – http://youtu.be/5csGrT1ApQs

Nominally Known as Morbid – http://youtu.be/IZvB3F74PL8

Chris Robinson – http://youtu.be/FtX8iPDYXM8

Kev Howard – http://youtu.be/b8mAT5f_XGY

Photos and Text by Tracy Hyman


Captain Rhys

Last season was one to forget for Rhys Williams and Boro fans alike. Injured playing at Gillingham last August Rhys worked hard to get back into the team but Rolls Rhys simply failed to click and around him the team faltered badly.

Here is a short interview with Boro’s skipper Rhys Williams conducted just before the big kick off at the start of August (originally published in fmttm)

Fly: A fresh start after last season makes a big difference I suppose.
Rhys: Yes it does.  I was speaking to my wife the other day, I don’t like saying this but it was maybe a blessing in disguise not getting picked for Australia because I didn’t deserve to be there in the first place. A blessing in disguise when I could go away get married and spend some time with my family which I haven’t had for a few years. It cleared my head and gave me a lot of time to think of where I went wrong and things I need to do and ultimately I need to work harder and that last season affected me big time. I can honestly say it is a season to forget and hopefully I can forget it as soon as possible with a good start to the season. Personally, hopefully I can start the season really brightly and hopefully people can forget last season like I want to.

Fly: Unfortunately for you, you have had a few long term injuries in the past and somehow always clicked into gear immediately when you’ve come back. You probably expected to again.
Rhys: I think that’s what I expected yes. I have got such high expectations of myself. I never slack off, I like to be a winner. No player likes being out of the side. At the time we had a couple if injuries as well and I saw the gap to get in. Now that I have got that experience, if it did happen again, touch wood it won’t, I can take a step back and say I’m not ready. But yes like you said the last few times I have been injured I have come back and hit the heights that are expected and this time I didn’t. I think a lot of people expected me to, myself included and it just didn’t work and from there it just didn’t seem to pick up. And yes I have learned a lot about last season and learned a lot about myself and what I need to do and yes I have just had a big lesson in life and football.

Fly: For the team that second half of the season was such a nightmare. Everyone has been able to go away and maybe we can put it all behind us?
Rhys: Yes, hopefully, the start will tell all. I think it was hard as well having so long out and wanting to be the captain and lead the boys and maybe it just got too much for me, especially coming back from long term. But the gaffer’s been good with me this year, I’ve kept the captaincy and maybe this year it will be different.

It was nice to finally get a pre-season under my belt. I hadn’t done a proper one for four years, although the gaffer gave me a couple of days when I got married. So, I’ve had the lead up with the boys, I have done everything with the boys, I haven’t missed a session yet, touch wood. I’ve played the most minutes so far. So hopefully this season will be good and I can focus while I’ve got the fitness in the pocket now and it is just the performances that need to come and hopefully I can drive the team forward.

Fly: At least you won’t be going down to Gillingham and playing in midfield again in the cup, bad memories for you.

Rhys: I was playing right wing back when I did my ankle and hopefully we’ve got some cover in there now and I won’t have to play there again. I’d like to make that centre half position my own this season. There’s a lot of competition with Seb and you’ve got Ben Gibson who is on fire this pre-season. It is making me kick on a lot more with Gibbo’s performances and the way he is pushing me all the way. I think the gaffer could easily say at the start of the season it’s a battle between me and Gibson for that space alongside Woody.

Fly: The Riverside will be a bit different in the coming season with Boro fans at both ends and a new family enclosure in the East Stand.

Rhys: Yes, it was actually quite weird clapping the fans behind the other goal against Bordeaux. I know there were only a handful fans there but it was a nice difference to see the fans behind the goal. I think it will be good to get the families in there and the away fans maybe a smaller section. And hopefully we can bring back some more fans to fill it.

Fly: We have a good test to start with against Leicester who went right through to the play-offs. Too early to say it can be a yardstick but it is certainly a good contest to start with, is it not?

Rhys: Yes it is. I think you always hope for a good start. I think the fans that were there against Bordeaux saw the way we played it was a very good team effort. I thought we all got behind the ball, we looked really fit, we made chances, had shots and ultimately we came out winners as well and I think that is the main thing. I think a lot of people might have been surprised with that with it being the French Cup winners and we gave them a lot of problems. With all due respect to them I don’t think Woody and me had too much to do. I know we will probably expect a lot more from Leicester.

Fly: The two new players, Dean Whitehead and Jozsef Varga that have come in, it was clear to see their positive influence on the midfield. The competitiveness and..

Rhys: … The drive, yes. I think Deano has come in and has played in this league before and he has got out of this League and gone to the Prem and gone on to bigger and better things and it was nice for him to come in he is a great lad. With him, Leads and Jozsef in there all three of them are top quality players. You saw Leads last season won all the awards and quite frankly deserved every one he got and should have got more, so I am pleased that Dean and Jozsef have come in. They fit in really well and it’s been good that they have been here since the start of pre-season as well they have not missed a lot at all. It is obviously great to have some new players and that experience and it shows.

Fly: Upfront, Marvin Emnes and Lukas Jutkiewicz played so well together v Bordeaux. That really looks promising, a very good partnership.

Rhys: Yes it does. I know not a lot of fans see them training day in day out but they have both been on fire. And there has not been one player I would say that has been under performing. There’s competition for places. Like I said, personally with Gibbo coming in behind it is making me step up and I know it is a nice headache for the gaffer to have everyone performing.


By Toutatis: The Songs We Sang To Death

I remember my first taster of By Toutatis, playing downstairs at the Westgarth on the middle of the bill between Algiers and Dry The River. I was really inquisitive about how former members of Idiot Savant would shape up in a new act, setting forth in an altered direction. With violin, wheezing organ, songs about hanging, a capella harmonies and playing a blend of semi acoustic indie as well as outright folk they made a dramatic impression. Yet try as might I could not get the hang of their name at all. What band has a first name, By?

Two years on and they have served their dues touring up and down the country and releasing a series of notable singles and EPs. Now By Toutatis have returned to their roots to produce a quite exquisite masterpiece of an album. Beautifully arranged with brass and grand piano as well Robbie’s violin added to the more conventional instrumentation. Recorded at Teesside University, the quality of the tracks and musicianship is matched by the production.

Ah but the songs, what wonderful writing. Singer/lyricist Dan Cochran is a scholar of English and History as well as heated bar room debate and all these skills are to the fore here. There is a wonderful ebb and flow to the words. Plunging into the icy cold waters of despair and torment. Relationships wrecked and on the rocks. A kitchen knife to the heart. Communicated by a voice somewhere between Nick Cave and Willard Grant Conspiracy, centuries deep and falling still.

In the towering Ben Hopkinson and flying violinist Robbie Major By Toutatis have a couple of musical maestros. Drummer Ben Muriel brings in his considerable folk roots knowledge. Put it all together and you have a band creating music that is like no one elses. By Toutatis shape shift spanning the genres. A cockeyed carnival of delights. Folk, country, indie, circus, rock, they aim high and inspire.

A traditional tune, Adieu Adieu is given post-modern resonance, as the guitar and violin lament you can almost taste the salty tears of the Felon as he faces his fate.

By Toutatis have performed music that is in parts moving, searching, exhilarating. An album drenched in nostalgia for the old songs that you never knew you liked.

The Songs We Sang To Death is available soon on all formats on that most caring of north east labels, Tiny Lights. Crowd funded online through Indiegogo many of us received a welcome return on our investment in our inbox this week. I guarantee you one thing The Songs We Sang To Death will be played to death.

Released next Monday 2nd September on north eastern label Tiny Lights

Photo Tracy Hyman Pictured live by Tracy Hyman



Every Wednesday evening without fail a group of runners in light blue t-shirts can be seen circling the lake at Hemlington. In recent weeks I have joined the “merry” throng as we torture ourselves up and down hills or lapping the water. The afterwards we all disappear into a building behind the shops to have a cup of tea. To tell the truth I have become so hooked that I have even bought the t-shirt myself.

The weekly event is organised by Rosanne Lightfoot and keeping it in the family, husband Craig puts those that take interval training through their paces. But it is all voluntary, that is what makes it such a fun atmosphere. There is no pressure whatsoever, you can just take the opportunity to walk around the lake and see if there are any heron amongst the coots and ducks. There are people fishing off the little piers and recently some sculptures have been unveiled. It is a beautiful and often overlooked spot, just behind Hemlington shops.

Craig and RosanneI asked Rosanne and Craig to give everyone a little background to Swift-tees and tell the story of what they are all about.

Q: Tell me how you came to set up Swift Tees?

Rosanne: Initially we were i run and Andy Fisher the then director of Albert Park parkrun in the early days saw that there was a loophole and said it would be a good idea if we could encourage people who struggled to run. It just came from that as an idea and came to fruition with i run. We got money from NHS as funding, we encouraged people coming in, we were giving them a £50 voucher which they were putting towards a pair of trainers after they had done an 8 week programme. It was a programme that Andy Fisher’s son had devised. And it stayed small, we would meet on a Wednesday night at Albert Park initially and then the dark nights came. Louise Archer works for Habinteg (Housing Association) and she said I will see about us getting use of a unit. And since we’ve been at Habinteg in Hemlington it has just got bigger and bigger.

The first year we had about 20 people and these were people that haven’t run before, they were post-operative, depression, weight, they all had their own back stories. And that is what we are about, we are not an athletics club we are a support running group and everyone gets the support that they need.

The first year it was steady 20 or 25 at the most but this past year, I’ve now got 93 people. We designed our own t-shirts because we do local runs.  There were 20 of us went off to Edinburgh in May to do the half-marathon and the majority of people had never run that distance and two years previous they hadn’t been running at all. And it was fantastic.

My husband Craig’s got involved and he is taking interval training which I think is the reason why the group has grown so much.

Craig: People do the parkruns regularly and the interval training has helped them to get better times. That is why they have wanted to do it and they seem to really enjoy it. I have tried to make it different every week and it works for every level the way we do it, from the slow runners to the quicker runs. And we all stay together as a group when we do it and all encourage one another.

R: We are a community support group, that’s why we are out there. I know from when I started running 5 years ago I was a size 18 and had been on anti-depressants for 5 years and I didn’t see a way through. My daughter (Megan) wanted to start running. I heard about Albert Park (parkrun) and we started at Albert Park on its 5th week. I used to think my god why do people do this? As soon as Meg gets this out of her head the better but within three months I was hooked and the good I got from it, I got down to 26 minutes and I got down to a size 10 and I have stayed a steady 10 for the last 3 years.

You noticed that there were people at the back coming once at the parkrun but feeling somewhat intimidated by the fast runners but you need somebody at the back to encourage them but it is difficult when it’s a fast race. At Hemlington there is nobody in the lead and nobody at the back because we just mix and match. You just do what you want. We have walkers, we have joggers, we have runners, we have speed runners and we have the interval training.

Q: That’s right, you’ve got interval training but also people lapping the lake at various speeds. It is a really nice environment as well isn’t it?

R: Yes it is.

C: There is no pressure, you can do what you like. If you want to run round the lake that is fine. If they want to walk the lake that is fine.

R: We meet at Habinteg Centre (signposted from Hemlington shops) between 6pm and 6.15pm. We go out and do a warm up session and a warm up lap. Nobody is by themselves. Everyone is paired up, it is a buddying system, everyone has someone to run with. Then when we’ve finished we go back into the centre, have a cup of tea or a cup of coffee and cake and biscuits. Margaret Woods bakes cakes every week but we have found that we are now having to start to put a charge of 20p per cup of tea because everything was running out and it just keeps the tea, coffee and cakes flowing.

Everybody, at every level gets something out of it. We now have the Habinteg Centre on a Tuesday morning from 9.30-11.30 and we would really, really welcome people from Hemlington and the surrounding areas to come along and if they like it they can come on a Wednesday night as well. It is just an avenue to get them into a little bit of active exercise and to make a new circle of friends because that is what we’ve done. Everybody is like minded and that is what it is about.

Please do come and join in on a Wednesday evening or Tuesday morning. Absolutely everyone of any age or ability is welcome. Just look for the blue t-shirts lapping the lake or make for the Habinteg Centre, behind the Cleveland Huntsman pub and Hemlington Medical Centre. Do come on down.


Putting Live Music into Mima

This Saturday evening mimaLive will show that music and art really do mix when the first of a series of exciting live music gigs is launched at Arc. The incredible The Jaipur Kawa Brass Band will headline a bill they share with the explosive, in yer face Goy Boy McIlroy and the blistering garage blues of The Approved.

Creative event producer Jordan Bell has been selected to produce a brand new season of live music at Mima: mimaLIVE 2013. This will be a season of showcase gigs for local, national as well as international performing at the Middlesbrough art gallery. But knowing Jordan and the standards he sets in his band 3 Foot Ninja there will be nothing run of the mill about his acts. Only performers completely committed to providing a live experience will get past his strict vetting. The second criteria Jordan has set is that the evenings must reflect some way and be an extension of the art being shown at the galleries.

PRS Foundation are running a nationwide programme called New Music Plus… UK, pairing 12 of the most exciting music event Producers in the United Kingdom with 12 venues across the country. These include Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, The MAC in Belfast and Edinburgh Art Festival. Mima is the only North East venue to be chosen.

Jordan, 20, was brought up in Rosedale, a tiny village in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors. Home educated all his life, Jordan began playing in his first band aged 11, called 3 Foot Ninja. He went on to play over 300 gigs with the band all around the country, including shows with acclaimed artists such as The Fratellis, The Subways and Wilko Johnson.

Jordan produced his first event series aged 16 in a Malton warehouse, and after moving to the Esk Valley village of Castleton, now produces music events at Danby Village Hall called ‘Joy Projector’.

Jordan explains:

“I want to present bands in the most exciting way possible. I want to create performance environments that are as entertaining for the audience as the bands that are onstage. My events are always themed in some way; For ‘Joy Projector’ we have used art installations/projections/actors to create settings from Winter Wonderlands to Armageddon Tea Parties. I want to bring this to the new season of Mima Live.”

“We are launching our 5 month season of music at mimaLIVE #1 on Saturday August 17th, with an event that celebrates Pop Art. While in Mima’s gallery we have an exhibition from legendary Pop Artist Alex Katz, in a garden marquee we are going to create a magical happening, inspired by the Exploding Plastic Inevitable events of Andy Warhol. EPI blended intense, colourful visual and performance arts with the music of The Velvet Underground in the late 60s and remains influential to music producers to this day.”

“To create this atmosphere we have programmed music that is alive and dynamic. Fresh from multiple knockout shows at Glastonbury and Bestival, we have The Jaipur Kawa Brass Band. Hailing from the Indian desert state of Rajasthan, The Jaipur Kawa Brass Band features seven Indian brass musicians, dancers and a fakir, performing awe-inspiring feats of illusion. The Approved (ex-High Plane Drifters) are based in Stockton-On Tees, and play psych-garage blues songs of immense groove and power (recently heard in ‘Breaking Bad’).You will not find a better guitar/drums duo in the UK. Darlington band Goy Boy Mcilroy have built a reputation for having one of the most electric live shows in the North East. With a sound reminiscent of The Doors, Goy Boy Mcilroy are explosive, dramatic and hyper-intense.”

mimaLIVE#1 will take place in the mima garden where revellers can also enjoy drinks offers from mima’s bottle bar, non-alcoholic cordials, confectionary and ice-cream from Browne’s Temperance Bar and hopefully a little sunshine. All ages are welcome although ID will be required when purchasing alcohol.  Over 18’s that want to carry on the night can show their mimaLIVE wristband at MILK, Middlesbrough Empire, for half price entry.

mimaLIVE # 1: Doors open at 5PM. The gig will finish at 11. All ages welcome. It is FREE.

mimaLive #2, 28 September will feature a headline act as part of Middlsbrough Live. For news on upcoming mimaLIVE events follow on twitter @mimalive or find us on facebook/mimaliveboro

Jaipur Brass Band


Goy Boy McIlroy