Favourite Things: Loyalty to charming and welcoming Sheffield is no joke

Comedian Anthony J Brown in his favourite place Trove on Sharrow Vale Road
Comedian Anthony J Brown in his favourite place Trove on Sharrow Vale Road
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Anthony J. Brown was born and raised in Birmingham, moving to Sheffield in 1992. He met his future wife Jane in the city two years later. He is an award-winning comedian who comperes the Comedy Keller night at the Original Bierkeller as well as running one-day comedy courses in S8 and beyond. He fronts Hungarian Lanterns and the Berlin electronic duo Dreadpan.

In 2015 he wrote the lyrics for albums by Berlin bands Scream Silence and The Whispering Sea. This year he co-wrote the words for Hamburg band Lord Of The Lost, whose ‘Empyrean’ album entered the German album chart Top 10. Early 2017 brings another collaboration, the debut LP from Scarlet Dorn. He appears at The White Lion in Heeley with Hungarian Lanterns on November 6 and at the Comedy Keller on November 20.

Make No Bones cafe, Meersbrook

I’m vegan. For the record, I was repelled by the chicken before the egg. Make No Bones is divine. Looking at a menu and knowing you can devour whatever you desire is a joy. MNB’s meals are cost-effective and taste sensational. Furthermore it is run by lovely, committed people. And with Burger Lolz, Steel City Cakes, The Incredible Nutshell and wholesalers Lembas a falafel’s throw away I never have to stumble far for my cruelty-free repast.

Parks

Comedy engagements have seen me traverse most of the UK and I’ve not yet encountered a city as green as Sheffield. I proposed to my wife Jane on Christmas Day 2000 in Meersbrook Park, at a bench which alas has been replaced before anybody got the chance to adorn it with a blue plaque. In tolerable weather the park is part of my thrice-weekly jogging route. The panoramic view of the city justifies the wheezing hill incline.

The White Lion Pub, Heeley

My local boozer. A splendid pub imbued with tradition, not one of those joints reliant on zeitgeist-straddling contrived ambience. The walls display images from Sheffield’s past, rather than illustrations of badgers sporting bowler hats. Their selection of snifters is sublime, the staff are warmer than a blast furnace and, never to be overlooked, the soundtrack is immaculate, rivalled only by the Porter Cottage’s jukebox. I’ve made friendships there that will prevail way beyond last orders.

TROVE, Sharrow Vale

I was long intrigued by this place as, in its days as Bullet, it was the shop that seemingly never opened, despite having a plethora of alluring items in the window. Maybe it was a profundity-drenched metaphor. I could and should ask as I’ve befriended the owners, Rachel and Marvin, who are formidable drinking partners, blithely hilarious and nifty on any impromptu dancefloor. And they’re open a lot now, selling elegant curios that I bestow on my more refined associates.

Sheffield Cats Shelter

I was an avowed dog person, then Sheffield seduced me over to the cat side. In November ’99 we headed to the shelter in search of kittens. We saw two in the window and were instantly smitten. Louis and Chicken were both fabulous furry companions who lived to be 14 and 16 respectively. Since their sad passing we have returned to Broomhall and now have Cobweb, another life-enhancer. So the great work the staff undertake is infinitely appreciated. Cats are ace.

Record Collector

In the 90s Sheffield boasted myriad record shops - I invested many a cathartic hour sifting through the racks of sadly defunct emporiums such as Jack’s and Kenny’s. Then the internet hobnailed into our lives and depleted the mystique of music consumption. Pleasingly Record Collector in Broomhill remains steadfast, a lighthouse in the delivered-to-your- door, downloadable darkness, replete with shedloads of enticing releases. An honourable mention is due for S8’s Spinning Discs, charming and welcoming with new and old vinyl aplenty.

Feline Tattoo Studio,Sharrow Vale

There is not a shred of ink on my flesh as my pain threshold is lamentably meagre. However, my wife is festooned with it. I’m perversely fascinated by hamfisted, poorly executed tattoos, but the folk at Feline are outstanding and Jane’s artist Gavin Rowbottom always produces art that wholly deserves to be on permanent display.