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Interviews

Northern, working class and gay, Paul Usher is a self-taught pianist who was writing songs from the age of 12.
· He self-directed the accompanying music video for his first single “Jesus Is a Preston Boy” Paul Usher is an irrepressible artist. He describes his ‘Green-eyed soul’ music as ‘Like blue-eyed soul but with more lust and jealousy’ and is inspired as much by Childish Gambino as he is Oscar Wilde.
· Building upon the success of his debut ‘Jesus Is A Preston Boy’ which premiered with Attitude magazine who called it ‘A striking first impression’ and a ‘Profound debut’, PAPER CUPS cements Paul’s reputation as a rising star on the music scene who is lyrically original, charmingly relatable and queering pop with style.
· His latest single “Never Gonna Leave Him” is released on November 8th 2019
@PaulUsher
Patrick “Midnight” McBride is a writer, radio presenter and teacher of meditation.
He has two stated goals:
1. To teach as many people as possible to meditate, to enable them to reduce stress, think correctly, and find inner peace.
2. To show that we all make mistakes and that is part of the learning process. Hopefully, by my example, people can see that if I can do it then anyone can.
“The difference between someone in a state of bliss and someone stood next to them in severe distress is simply the way they are thinking. Your thoughts create your reality. Correct thought through meditation is more important than food. Your body can go for several days without food. If your mind is unhealthy, you could have a serious accident or, even worse, take your own life. You may not make it through the day.
In our society, we tend to put the mind way down on the list of our priorities, putting our bodies and social lives first. Although these are both important aspects of our lives, they should be secondary to the mind. I aim to show people that correct thought and good mental health should be right at the very top.”
His book, From Pills to Peace, is about his journey to arrive at this present moment. He had to take a very honest look at his life and also the world we live in.
@MidnightMcBride
Mark Massett is an actor and viral-video maker whose most popular character is of a Mancunian mum called Brenda.
Observational comedy seems to be Mark’s forté, since all of his comedy characters are easily identifiable types who most of us know. His videos have been a huge hit and regularly go viral online.
Things Manc mums say, when mum’s on a diet, and when you don’t use your ‘h’s, are just some of the fan favourites, and Mark says there are more videos to come!
Thousands of people have watched, and loved, his regular videos on social media, with adoring comments from fans who say he should get his own TV show.
Brenda was inspired by Mark’s childhood, growing up in Old Trafford, and is loosely based on his Mum and the women who lived nearby. He grew up in a house with four brothers and sisters so there was never a dull moment!
Mark started to make the videos with his friends between acting auditions, but they’ve become such a hit he’s trying to do more of them to cope with demand.
He moved to London for his acting career and has stayed there for over ten years, but still misses Manchester.
@MarkMassett

Rosie Garland is a queer novelist, poet and singer with post-punk band The March Violets. Rosie has a passion for language nurtured by weekly visits to public libraries as a child. Her work has appeared in Under the Radar, The North, Spelk, Rialto, Mslexia, amongst others.

Rosie struggled initially to get her debut novel published as her agent told her no one would be interested in the subject, but Rosie persevered and eventually entered a writing contest – and won! “The Palace of Curiosities” was nominated for both The Desmond Elliott and Polari First Book Prize and “Vixen” was a Green Carnation Prize nominee. Her latest novel, “The Night Brother,” is described by The Times as a “a delight: playful and exuberant… with shades of Angela Carter.”
Rosie has performed internationally as “The Time-Travelling Suffragette” and her infamous alter-ego “Rosie Lugosi the Lesbian Vampire Queen.”
“I’m a performance poet as well as a writer and I come from the DIY ethic of punk. When I moved to Manchester in the 1980s, it’s industrious, ‘can-do, will-do, stuff-you-if-you-say-I-can’t-do’ attitude was a good fit, right from the start,” remembers Rosie.
In 2009 Rosie was diagnosed with throat cancer and credits The Christie hospital in Manchester and the NHS for nine years all clear. “It’s something which really informs my outlook. Life is short, so do it now,” she says.
@rosieauthor

Kazuki James has been a part of the pup scene for over 18 years living a life as a pup 24/7. Having found life as a pup from an early age he is well known in the community. He’s had a uniquely pup life and seen pup play in the UK grow from a small underground thing into a world wide network of communities.

He is one of the ‘Pups Of The North’ group organisers and is part of the team that make the UK’s biggest monthly pup meet ups ‘Kennel Klub’ happen every month in Manchester. As an LGBT community photographer he has strong connections Manchester’s gay village centred on Canal Street. Since 2012 Kaz has been photographing LGBT events, theatre, music and drag performance in Manchester. Charity auctions of Kaz’s photographic prints have benefited The George House Trust and mental health charity Mind Manchester. Life long touring, guitarist and sound engineer Kaz has also produced a charity music video dedicated to The Albert Kennedy Trust in collaboration with stop motion animator Daniel James. His first album Resistance was released in 2017.

 

@KazPup

Freelance Theatre Producer from Manchester He studied Theatre and Performance at The University of Leeds (Bretton Hall) graduating with First Class Honours in 2008.

Since last appearing on the show, Nathaniel debuted his one-man play “First Time” in association with Dibby Theatre. It’s the true story of how he contracted HIV after his first sexual experience aged 16. He didn’t tell anyone for 14 years – the shame ate away at him and he had a breakdown. The show was his way of dealing with it and breaking the stigma around HIV. His show has frank scenes about our sex lives, our community, culture, isolation and self-hatred.

After a successful crowd-funding launch, he took it to the Edinburgh Fringe, having a sold out residency at Summerhall. It went down a storm, receiving 4 & 5 star reviews from the critics. Nathaniel is now aiming to tour the show across the UK

After the show finished, he managed to leave Edinburgh during Manchester Pride weekend and get back in time for the candlelight vigil.
Nathaniel is a big supporter of Manchester-based charity “George House Trust” after receiving support from them after his HIV diagnosis. Supporting their U = U: UNDETECTABLE = UNTRANSMITTABLE campaign.

@nathanieljhall

John Spencer-Barnes is a radio broadcaster and journalist for the BBC. He was born in Dudley in 1961.
“I’m the BBC’s man in Lancaster & Morecambe Bay. I’m also National Communications Officer at the Maritime Volunteer Service. I dance the Morris with the Royal Preston Morris Dancers & play the melodeon.”
John began as a freelance broadcaster at BRMB in Birmingham and has since worked at many radio stations around the UK. While at Rock FM, he co-ordinated the award winning EMAP Radio response to the IRA bombing of Manchester. The bomb had taken Manchester’s Key 103 and Piccadilly Magic 1152 off air. He arranged an emergency news service for the Manchester stations and a replacement radio service from a studio in Preston.
More recently at the BBC, John is the presenter of the Late Show on Radios Lancs & Manchester, and is now the BBC reporter for Lancaster and Morecambe Bay.
John has always had an interest in anything nautical and is now a Director in the Maritime Volunteer Service and the Head of Communications for the organisation. He’s also Trustee of the search and rescue charity, Bay Search & Rescue.
He is the new “Bell Man” for Lytham St. Anne’s, recently fitted for his Town Crier robes.
John has lived in North Lancashire for the last 20 years with his husband, David.
@JohnBarnesUK

Yvy DeLuca is an Indian, trans author whose autobiography has just been published. “Tainted Beauty” is a no-holds-barred account of her entire journey and how she came to be the person she is today. She doesn’t mince her words at all and discusses topics such as childhood, experiencing gay culture, and her transition in the early 2000s. She also talks about subjects such as sex and pleasure, connecting with her body, relationships, and learning what it means to live as an authentic creation.

Yvy wrote the book when she was going through renal failure back in 2015. She found herself wanting to write a book that she would have wanted to read when she was going through her transition. She was passionate to tell her story so that people can see the joys of being trans and not just the struggles they face.

Yvy is passionate about representation of Indian trans people, and the taboos of being trans and from a Muslim culture. She is keen to state the difference between being Indian and being Muslim. Yvy is not Muslim, but still believes she can represent the Queer Indian community.

@yvyworld

Chris Park is a freelance writer who’s had over 100 articles published for websites like Northern Soul, Canal Street Online, Film Daily and Unlock MCR. He writes about everything from books to travel, and from dating to movies. He reviews the shows and interviews the stars.

Chris is a huge Madonna fan and would love to interview her, even though she has a reputation for cutting journalists down with ease!

He’s interviewed a wide variety of well-known people including Bjorn Again. designer Wayne Hemmingway, Craig Charles, Howard Jones, Jinx Monsoon & Peaches Christ, and Tony Hadley.

He once met Bet Lynch in a bathroom showroom, interviewed Elaine Paige whilst ignoring a fire drill and discussed buffet standards with Nicky Butt – so you could say he’s adaptable.

Chris divides his time between the beautiful Hebden Bridge and the city of Manchester.

@parkslifeblog

Ross Alexander has spent 25 years as a DJ, and record producer. He’s now an artist in his own right, making Neo-romantic music – a modern take on the ‘New Romantics’ era – adding his own futuristic twist.

His 2015 single ‘Brand New Lover,’ a twist on the 1986 Dead or Alive hit, reached Number 2 in the Eurodance chart. Pete Burns didn’t dislike Ross’s version.

A Pledge Music campaign resulted in the release of his debut album ‘Glitter & Twisted’ which was released Feb 12th 2018.

In September 2018 was his infamous audition on the X Factor. It was brutally re-edited and Ross hit the headlines for his retort to Robbie Williams’s wife and fellow judge Ayda Williams.

In 2019, Ross is back in the studio to record his second album – ‘DiscoDrama.’ It will feature his new single “Temptation” which has already reached the number 1 slot on the Eurodance chart.

rossalexander.net  @djrossalexander

Matthew Holmes is a Manchester lad who never really grew out of his inquisitive phase. He spends his time exploring the lengths and depths of Britain to find abandoned and derelict buildings frozen in time.

A business owner by day, Matthew will spot a building that takes his fancy online or simply from walking past it. He’ll then scout out the premises to assess danger and security levels before returning home to swot up and plan his visit properly.

How does he get permission? Well, he doesn’t. But he never breaks and enters and instead takes the opportunity of an open window or an open door instead. And he is not opposed to climbing walls or shimmying up a drain pipe or two. He’s only been caught twice. Luckily on both occasions, he avoided trouble.

Matthew is passionate about saving Manchester’s abandoned buildings.