Looking Up Sheffield: Sculptor, Skater, Speakeasy creator..

Bally Johal outside his Castlegate Speakeasy. You heard/read it right, the Punjabi translates as All Fur Coat and No Knickers

Meet Bally, the Speakeasy creator. He’s one of a trio of people doing great things in the previously less than thriving Castlegate area that we feature on this episode. Last time around we focused on the buildings that are making the area swing again, from the Old Town Hall to the Terminal warehouse and the Grey to Green scheme, but this podcast is nothing without the people that are making the change happen.

He takes us on a journey in sound, recorded naturally enough in his Speakeasy (currently a bar due to Covid-19 restrictions – most previous customers ARRIVED at 10pm in the old normal) that takes in Punjabi Princes, Louis Vuitton toilet seats, 18th century Sheffield poetry, Yorkshire Charcuterie, Billy Joel and much-missed club night Head Kandy.

Neil Ellis from Skateboard GB with Bally Johal at Marioland

But the thrills don’t stop there. Meet Neil Ellis from Skateboard GB. He’s one of the founders of Marioland, operating just outside the Bal Fashions Speakeasy on the edge of the site of Sheffield Castle. Just yards from where Mary QO Scots was holed up, someone’s busting an Ollie right now because that’s Sheffield, right? Reinventing itself. But there’s more.

Daniel Bustamente in his studio

This is Daniel Bustamente. Originally from Chile, he creates giant sculptures in the River Don from objects found in its waters. It’s all about finding peace out of the discarded pieces.

We think Looking Up Sheffield would be alreyt if we only spoke to one of these cats putting Castlegate into the major league of urban hangs. But we speak to all three and throw in a top 10 of public art for good measure.

That, folks, is Looking Up Sheffield Episode 8. You can listen here.


Listen to the I Love You Bridge on Radio 4

Skateboard England

Bal Fashions

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