Archived entries for Profiles

Niall Quinn

As Niall Quinn stepped down from his position at Sunderland this week, North-East based blogger, Tom Bodell, profiles him.

The term ‘legend’ is banded about without true care and thought over its use nowadays – particularly within the world of football. Football figures can often prove quite divisive when they are being categorized by punters, but Niall Quinn is the exception to both those statements.  Even rarer is it that someone earns said status for their contribution in more than one field. Yet again, Quinn smashes that theory out the window. Continue reading…

Peter James

Writer Paul Moore on the Crime Writer who inspires him.

Due to ill health and boredom I started writing children’s stories about five years ago; my kids loved them, which was great, but I needed a bigger challenge. Then one day in a charity shop I came across an author called Peter James and his book intrigued me; a picture of Brighton Pier and the word ‘murder’ and the book was sold. It was the best fifty pence I’ve ever spent. Continue reading…

Danny Blanchflower

Author Martin Cloake, with an extract from his book, accompanied by an exclusive illustration by artist Lilly Allen for The  Substantive.

The legend of a great footballer inevitably tends to fade with the passing of the years. The legend of Danny Blanchflower continues not only to shine brightly, but to illuminate aspects of a modern game which is perhaps more convinced of its own importance than it should be. Blanchflower was in his prime 50 years ago. That’s before most people had a television. He died in 1993. That’s before most people had broadband internet. And yet despite existing in a less connected world he was one of the first football superstars of the modern age, one of the first to become a star entertainer in the public’s mind rather than simply someone who was very good at what was, despite being watched by masses, still a minority interest. What made him not only a great player in his day, but a legend in a much-changed world over half a century later? Continue reading…


Musician and Poet Matt Abbott profiles Morrissey, the lyricist.

The year is 2012, and The Smiths are just as vital now as they were when ‘Hand In Glove’ was introduced to the world in May 1983. The single was championed by John Peel but largely ignored by the British public, and as a result it failed to chart. But what those four men were creating in Manchester would go on to change the lives of millions. Their influence and importance can never be dismissed and nearly thirty years later, I genuinely believe that we need them more than ever.

I was admittedly a late bloomer when it came to discovering The Smiths. In the early days of Skint & Demoralised my song-writing partner and producer very much mentored me as a new lyricist and bought me a couple of their albums for Christmas 2007. At the time I was just about to turn nineteen and musically I had a fairly limited collection. Aside from the odd “Best Of…” here and there it was mainly stuff that had been released in my teenage years; dominated by the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The Streets, Eminem and The Ordinary Boys. Through the latter obsession I’d discovered The Jam, but other than that I’d failed to delve into the list of singers that are commonly regarded as the all-time great lyricists. So imagine how I felt when I first listened to ‘Hatful of Hollow’ in my bedroom… Continue reading…

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