Origin Broadband.

01302 247339.

Certain things are immutable.

For example, when you buy a bottle of Hendo's, your stew ends up better tasting and you support a local business. On the other side of the coin, when you buy gas or broadband, you get poor service and your money disappears to a tax haven. Or Reading. Such is life.

Clearly, the Hendo's way of doing things is preferable, but with no local utility companies to choose from, we're stuck. Right? Wrong!

Sheffield's very own Origin Broadband can offer a 40MB fibre optic service with no download limits or anything else that might spoil the net for you. They are young, flexible, focussed on giving the best service available and also the largest provider of broadband on Digital Region. Thumbs right up. They're also going to be the first Digital Region supplier to offer TV as well.

Go to speedtest.net now and check the speed you get with your current supplier. Then call Origin Broadband and see if they can't beat that into a cocked hat.

You see Origin don't live in corporate mega company land. They live in the same South Yorkshire as we do; a county where a smile counts and the rain is often poetic but never torrential.

We at Now Then like the way they do business. A super futuristic service with a personal touch. Beat that, Plusnet!*

*Owned by BT, the bloody liars.

Delaney's Music Bar.

17 cemetery road.

Situated at the bottom of Cemetery Road, in what used to be Mojo bar and before that the infamous Dulo, sits Delaney's Music Bar. Thankfully we can say with a confidence founded in attendance that Delaney's is a significant improvement on its predecessor, with a lot of effort having gone into refurbishing the inside and outside. Delaney's feels like a sleek but comfortingly warm place to have a beer on the way back from work, or equally a place to spend an evening drinking and listening to music with friends. Also worth a mention are the ales on draught, including the popular Farmers Blonde from Bradfield Brewery.

As the title 'Delaney's Music Bar' suggests, music is very important to new owners Steve and Krysia, who are determined to give the live scene a boost by providing open mic slots for buskers and newbies (strum and fiddle night every Thursday), as well as staple programmed events like Spot Light every Wednesday and full live bands on Fridays and Saturdays. We also have a somewhat vested interest in making people aware of Delaney's, since every other Tuesday Opus and Now Then workaholics are down there spinning tunes, silent films and hosting the soon to be iconic, ironic quiz. The next one is on 13th December.

With the recent addition of Krysia's Kitchen to the venue, a wider range of light bites and tasty warm snacks will be available to fill that hole before dinner. Worth a mention this month are Sharp Cuts on New Years Eve, tickets include free roast pork sandwich and glass of sparkly on entry. Drop them a call to find out more.

Last but not least, Delaney's are keen to meet promoters and musos all over Sheffield, so if you're interested in finding a venue for an event, get in touch with Steve or Krysia. They often won't charge for hire and are always up for hosting new and exciting ventures.

Forum Shops.

127-129 devonshire street.
0114 272 0569.

With Christmas upon us, we are once again harassed by corporate advertising. Call us cynical, but it doesn't have to be like this. Sheffield enjoys a wealth of independent shops, boutiques and retailers of all varieties. Perhaps the best and most concentrated collection of them can be found in the Forum.

Offering everything from handmade clothing to guitars, urban streetwear and custom tattoos, the discerning shopper can find something for everyone here, whilst supporting the local economy to boot. If you know this excellent emporium but haven't been in a while, it's time for another visit, as there have been some new additions to the family of late. Just remember not to feed the bears...

Three Tuns.

39 silver street head.
0114 272 0646.

The Three Tuns pub sits just down from Campo Lane. Since the re-opening of a neighbouring watering hole it is part of a trio of free houses in close proximity, providing the perfect bridge to town from the Kelham Island ale trail.

While being an excellent example of a real ale house that keeps exceptional beers, the Three Tuns is famous for a rather more sinister reason. Built in 1983 on the site of the Old Three Tuns, the pub is said to be haunted by a nun who was believed to have been walled into an alcove alive, supposedly for carnal indiscretions with the priest himself. The dirty hypocrite.

If ghost stories are not for you, rest assured that the public bar is as fine as any you'll find and landlady Fidelma the perfect host, with a good craic to be had every evening.

The Red Deer.

18 pitt street.
0114 272 2890.

Time for an update as to the goings-on at the delightful Red Deer. Though the main roads of town host many and varied excellent drinking establishments - including the ever improving Wick at Both Ends, the Old House and the Forum - this cracking ale house may well have slipped under your radar, despite being less than a hundred yards off West Street.

Landlord Jake and his right hand man Graeme are dedicated to providing the best possible ales from around the country, a great traditional pub atmosphere and, more recently, artistic offerings in the sun trap beer garden. With a spacious function room available to hire and lovely food on offer, the Red Deer is the perfect place for your Christmas party.

Mulembas D'Africa.

sharrow community hall.
sheffield united fc, john street stand.
07930209076 / mulembasdafrica@gmail.com

Born in Angola, Angelina grew up in Portugal and it was there that she started developing her passion for dance. After moving to England, Angelina gained her dance teaching qualification through the International Dance Teaching Association and initiated Mulembas d'Africa - African fusion dance classes. A dancer with Roulement Arts African drumming troupe, Angelina has recently gained her new qualification as a BOKWA dance fitness instructor.

Angelina runs three classes of distinct styles; Kuduru "pure Angolan energy", African Fusion, featuring live musicians, and the dance fitness craze BOKWA, driven by the pulsating beats of African, Latin, pop and house music. A great way to get in shape and currently on offer at four classes for a tenner.

NYE at Yellow Arch.

30-36 burton road, s3 8bx.
0114 273 0800

This year a massive collective of Sheffield's finest underground promoters have come together to present one of the most exciting New Year's Eve events the city has seen in recent years. For the first time ever, the whole of Yellow Arch Studios will be transformed into a six room extravaganza of music art and culture.

Collectives including Mad Hatters Ball, Sequoia, Dub Central, Junglist Alliance, Off Me Nut Records, R8 Records, Feedback, The Big Swing, Thirsty Ear, Dark Crystal, Pangea, Tribe of Xanadu and Sheffield Techno Institute will all be involved. With headliners like DJ Youngsta (Rinse/FWD), Brockie (Kool FM) and Kenny Knots (Mungos Hi-Fi), this is going to be a rafter raiser of a night. Don't miss out.

Danny Dorling.

Injustice: Why Social Inequality Persists.

Danny Dorling's Injustice is an indictment of a state with levels of wage inequality not seen since 1854, when Charles Dickens was writing Hard Times; where 25% of funding for education goes to just 7% of the pupils and an elitist system amounts to "educational apartheid". Elitism is just one of Dorling's five social evils, the others being exclusion, prejudice, greed and despair.

While many authors might rail against injustice, Dorling has an impressive breadth of research to back it up. In the end, the book is optimistic about our capacity to change. As Dorling says: "I'm hardly saying, 'we want a revolution, we want a utopia.' I'm just saying, 'can we be slightly less stupid, and we'll be better off for it.'"