BEING in lockdown hasn’t stopped the creative juices flowing for Rotherham’s musicians, actors and artists.
With theatres, pubs and concert halls closed and gathering to write, rehearse and record outlawed by restrictions on movement and social distancing measures, those working in entertainment have had to adapt and embrace technology to keep reaching their fans.
Take actor and writer Dean Sills, who is still starring and producing in episodes of his sitcom Up North, with two Lockdown-themed mini-episodes now available on YouTube.
Directed by Steve Call, the comedy is normally filmed on location, but Dean, Steve and co-star Keiron Goodwin are all stuck at home at the moment.
The coronavirus crisis has seen them each filming their own scenes, largely improvised, before Steve edited it all into the finished package.
Dean, of Bolton on Dearne, said: “The idea was for Keiron to do his scenes first then I would react to Keiron’s scenes then Steve would react to my scenes, so it was all unscripted, improvisation.
“The beauty of the lockdown is we can still be creative and turn a bad situation into a positive one.
“We also dedicated the first episode to all our keyworkers.”
Just down the road, also in Bolton on Dearne, Sherlocks frontman Kiaran Crook has been keeping on top of his game with a series of covers, which have been garnering plenty of love online.
The singer-songwriter has also been playing live again on Instagram, with last Friday night’s session featuring appearances by Starsailor’s James Walsh
and This is England actor Thomas Turgoose (who popped up in the band’s video for 2019 single NYC).
Meanwhile, in Ravenfield, Alvarez Kings’ singer-songwriter Simon Thompson chose a live acoustic set and Q-and-A on Facebook to premiere his lockdown look of a 1980s-style moustache!
There have been repeat performances from the comfort of Simon’s bedroom — including a surprise cameo by his bandmate and brother Paul Thompson, and more are planned.
Singer songwriting couple Lauren Housley and Tom Dibb, who opened a recording studio in Rotherham town centre last year, have been keeping their hand in as they await the arrival of their first child with a series of gigs screened live from the comfort of their own home.every Tuesday night
It’s a far cry from the large crowd they played to at Rotherham Real Ale and Music Festival at Magna in February.
The Cutlers’ Arms on Westgate, usually a hotbed for live music, has been taking to social media to keep the music flowing, with last Friday’s live gig by Simon Hall streamed on their Facebook page.
It is part of the national Save Our Venues campaign to preserve independent live venues, and musicians and other Cutlers’ fans have shown their support with a rewritten recording of the original Band Aid track — you can see the video on the Cutlers’ Facebook pages.
Singer and guitarist Nick Shaw will perform the next virtual gig at 7pm on Saturday.
* If you know of any other Rotherham performers in action, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.