Tribes: on their new album ‘Wish To Scream’, craziest outfits and support slot for The Rolling Stones

TribesBy Lucy Howell

Polkadots & Potions caught up with Johnny (vocalist/guitarist), Jim (bassist) and Miguel (drummer) from Tribes before their first gig of the tour in Sheffield. The Camden quintet will release their second studio album, Wish To Scream, on May 20th. They are currently touring the UK, as well as playing at several festivals this summer alongside rock royalty, The Rolling Stones.

How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never listened to you before?

Jim: British Rock ‘n’ Roll

Which bands would you say you’re most influenced by?

Jim: I think the ones we all have in common are Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, real sort of song crafty writers.

Miguel: We actually just found out we’re playing with Stones at the Hyde Park gig.

That’s pretty impressive! You must be excited?

Jim: Yeah it’s gonna be wicked. We’re doing Glastonbury as well, so we’re driving  down from there for Hard Rock Calling on the Saturday then gonna drive back up to Glastonbury to watch Stones. So we’ll see them twice within about 10 days.

Here’s Jim talking about the concert :

Can you tell us a bit about the new album?

Jim: We recorded it out in La Sound City Studios with a guy called Kevin Augunas who was a great man to be around. He is a very passionate music fan with great ideas, so it was an amazing experience. And to be out in LA doing it was a dream come true.

What song were you most excited about when you were recording?

Jim: Personally ‘How the other half live’ which is the first track released off the album. It just came from being a really simple demo, then working with Kevin through it and getting these incredible sounds out and just transformed it.

How does the new album compare to your debut?

Miguel: I think it’s more mature.

Jim: The main thing with the writing is that the first album was very much based on experiences and it was retrospective in a way where as this one is way more optimistic and forward thinking.

When it comes to fashion sense, they certainly look like they know what they’re doing; but Johnny tells us that’s not always the case…

You have a great following. Are you big users of social networks? Do you it has an important role in a band’s success?

Johnny: Not at the start. It’s so sad to see bands spending all their lives on their phones instead of writing tunes. But as time went on, and we signed to Island, they were keen on us using it. Now we have someone to help us out with it. You can’t really live without it because everyone relies on it.

Do you have any final words for your fans?

Johnny: The album is out May 20th, it’s on pre-order now.

You can listen to the full interview here

Photograph by Lucy Howell

Read more stories from Lucy here


Lisa Hempstock; home-grown designer fashion label ‘Sister,’ charity fashion shows and online global market

by Railah Iqbal

Sister boutique on Ecclesshall road in Sheffield

Sister boutique on Ecclesshall Road in Sheffield

Lisa Hempstock- owner of 'Sister'

Lisa Hempstock- owner of ‘Sister’

Lisa Hempstock started as a teen business woman specialising in lingerie and is now a leading fashion entrepreneur for designer clothes with an upcoming charity fashion show.
Lisa owns boutiques; ‘Sister’ for ladies designer fashion in Sheffield and Chesterfield and she has built a worldwide customer network through her online retail business.
The inspiration for Lisa to own a business spurred from her father’s business. Lisa explained; “I’ve always had a passion to be self-employed and my father had a business in machine and engineering which was seen as a man’s world, so I was not allowed to join it.”
Lisa first took to the fashion industry when she decided to set up a brand and build a career rather than undertaking job roles in other people’s companies. Lisa said; “Whilst I worked for others, I put in a lot of hours and always gave 200%. So one day I thought why don’t I put all this effort into something for myself and I have always had a passion for fashion.”
Her first trademark in the fashion world was through a lingerie store; ‘Caress’ in Sheffield’s city centre in the 1980s. She sold creative underwear to “fill the gap in the market because M&S started had taken ‘knickerbocker’ concept but it was nothing as creative as people wanted.”
‘Caress’ developed into ‘Sister’ when Lisa decided to specifically target professional clientele. Lisa said; “I cater for those who understand good quality clothing.”

Model showing Lisa's latest collection

Model showing Lisa’s latest collection

However just before the first store opening Lisa fell severely ill and ended up in hospital. With the help of her family the store saw its re-launch and is now a popular brand across South Yorkshire.
Lisa explains that a successful fashion business should be customer orientated; “we will wrap a £25 tunic in the same nice tissue paper as a £200 dress, because good customer experiences are important to a healthy business.”Locations of fashion businesses are important in its success and Lisa is hoping to branch out her business in southern areas.
Lisa added; “ I would love to have a shop further down south because I feel there are more opportunities for new businesses there.”
Further Lisa’s recent uptake on the e-business industry through ‘Sister Online’ was a successful move. She explained; “It had a positive effect and it has reached people globally as well as brought people into the store. I should have done it time ago.”

Lisa's fashion leaflet

Lisa’s fashion leaflet

Lisa also established that fashion shows advertising her products are a key marketing device. Her most recent one, held in-store at Sister on Ecclesshall Road, modelled Lisa’s collections and customers were able to purchase items at the end of each show. Lisa said; “I wanted to do a fashion show in-store so people can come in, have a glass of wine, enjoy the show and then are drawn to buying our clothes.”
This show is a taster of the big event happening in Chesterfield on Thursday 16th May and all of the proceedings from this, Lisa is donating to the Ash-Gate charity. If you are interested in attending the event, check out Sister’s page for further information.

Check out Lisa’s fashion show exclusively here:

Photography and video by Railah

Read more stories from Railah

Blue Lip Feel: on being in the studio, touring and their love for 70s fashion

By Lucy Howell

Press Shot

Press Shot

Polkadots & Potions caught up with Sheffield quartet Blue Lip Feel who are singer-guitarist Oliver Tooze, guitarist Conor Houston, bassist Will Adams and drummer Sam Bywater.

So you’ve been in the studio. How did that go?

It’s been great, you know there’s something special awaiting you on your last Mix of the studio session and we know were working harder all the time and the new material is our favourite work to date.

Who’s involved? 

Blue lip Feel, Alan Smyth (2fly) and our good friend Stevie Keys.

When can we expect an album? 

Not for a long time. There are certain steps this band has yet taken to lay the gauntlet as such and we would have to be extremely excited about tracks to record an album, in a year and a half would be about right, so expect it then I guess.

Take me through your song writing process…

It’s constantly changing, it’s sometimes all of us sat down trying to collectively add instruments and adding vocal from pre-written lyrics. Or like the most of the time, we just start singing a fresh melody.

Which song are you most excited by/proud of and why?

Man I Am, it felt like a progression with our music ability and our maturity,

You’re on tour with Tribes at them moment, how’s it going?

It’s unreal, they have been amazing to us guys. Such great talented guys and they’re just giving us a break we need. We met some amazing folk on the tour and gained so many new fans. These gigs have been amazing for us.

What kind of music influences you?

Music that has that spark that makes you want to sing, play and write music yourself.

We love artists, singers and players from all genres. Mainly guitar music but we are open to everything.

Where’s your favourite place to play and why?

The Leadmill is always amazing. There’s a certain spirit when taking to its stage. It’s our hometown favourite.

The reception you get in London seems to get better each time you play there. Would you ever consider moving there?

Yeah we’re currently considering it now.

Who would you most like to tour with and why?

Phoenix. Because they would be such a good band to watch side of the stage every night, and they’re humour in interviews looks similar to ours.

What’s your dream festival line-up? (Dead or alive)

An answer that could be time consuming…

Were thinking, The Doors, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Strokes, The Rolling Stones, Phoenix, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Otis Redding, Amy Winehouse, Nirvana, Hot Hot Heat, Thin Lizzy, Laura Marling, Melody Gardot, Kings of Leon, Jimi Hendrix, Arcade Fire, The White Stripes, The velvet Underground, Van Morrison, Ray Davies,

What music are you listening to at the moment, any new bands?

Transfer are the best new band we discovered, they are also on the tribes tour they are incredible.


How would you describe your fashion sense?

The Early 70’s

Do you still work at Freshman’s Vintage Store in Sheffield? 

Yeah it’s great, All freshman’s shoppers are just great people to work around.

Do you cherry pick the new stock for yourself?

I certainly do.

What’s your favourite item of clothing?

A handmade South American waistcoat.

What’s the worst thing you or your band mates have ever worn?

Jeans with no crotch.

Where do you shop?

Probably in your old man’s wardrobe.

You’ve got a young Caleb (KOL) style hairdo- was he your inspiration?

Not for the hair do, but a young Caleb was a cool cat.

Who’s your style icon if you had to pick one?

Its difficult to say most probably Marc Bolan,

Second would either be, Jim Morrison, Keith Richards or Bob Dylan

You can catch Blue Lip Feel at Mosborough Music Festival on Sunday 23rd June. Get your tickets here.

In the mean time, listen to their latest track from the band’s official SoundCloud page :

Click here to read more from Lucy

Top 10 Make-Up Bag Essentials: Tried and Tested (including a free Benefit Makeover!)

by Bridget Owen

A recent make-over at the Benefit counter with Polka Dots and Potions’ Lucy inspired an article made up of the Best 10 pieces for on-the-go make up satisfaction. All of the products featured in the article have been tried and tested for their application, durability and overall look.

We even ended up bagging a free Benefit makeover for our lucky readers!


Lucy and Bec

Lucy and Bec from Benefit

1. The most important part of my make up bag is a good concealer. Dark under eye circles and blemishes are a big problem to me.

The Porefessional – Debenhams – £23.50

This concealer has the strangest sticky feeling to put on- but works wonders on coverage. You can wear it alone or with make up and the gel-like substance will cover a range of sins!

Bec from Benefit, Sheffield admitted this was one of the most recent best sellers.

“Porefessional and They’re Real mascara are our two most popular products, and are much cheaper and user friendly than similar products by bigger brands. Porefessional lasts a long time as a small amount goes a long way.”

The Porefessional

2. Foundation – Benefit Play-sticks Cream to Powder foundation – £26.00

This foundation is amazing! It conceals well, has a really nice soft texture and has added vitamins to keep your skin in top condition. Applying it with a stick also really helps with application – it goes on quickly with no messy hands!

Bec: “Play sticks are ideal for precise mess free application, and go onto your skin smoothly without drying it out. It has vitamin E which can maintain your skins vitality.”

3. Pencil Eyeliner – Benefit Bad Gal – £14

You can buy this eyeliner on its own or with the matching mascara for around £22.50. It goes on smoothly and stays put most of the day.

4. Mascara – Benefit – ‘They’re Real!’ – £15.50

They’re real has been voted the best current mascara – and I can see why!! I purchased this after Bec, at the Benefit counter let me try it. As soon as I used it I could see how powerful it was. The mascara doesn’t clump and is easy to apply for long lasting effects.


They’re Real

5. Eyeshadow – MAC – smokey eye kit by Julie Verhoeven – £39.50

My oldest but most important palette is by MAC. You can tell through the picture that the palette has had plenty of use. Although the kit is for ‘smokey eyes’, I use the neutral colours on a daily basis- opting out of using the black.

The light look really natural and stay on all day. The kit comes with a black MAC eyeliner pencil, two application brushes and a travel-mascara. It’s also handy to keep with you, as you can change to a night time sultry smokey-eyed look in seconds with this kit.

6. Blusher – BareMinerals – Rose – Debenhams- £15.50

BareMinerals is my favourite range of powder foundations and blushers!

My skin is fair, and I use a Rose shade. It doesn’t look too bright buts gives a luxurious slight pink shimmer across the cheeks.


Bareminerals Blusher

7. Lipstick/gloss – Benefit Posie Tint (travel stick) with California Kissin’ (lip and cheek stain with a smile brightening gloss) – £15.50

This lip stain stays on for hours, it is a really pretty pink and really sets off fair skin. This travel version has a second side to put on top – a blue minty gloss to go over your lips to ‘brighten your smile’. Both the colour and application of posie-tint is perfect, and the California Kissin gives your lips a cool tingly sensation and helps the colour gloss to stay on your lips all day.



8. Primer – Nivea Express Hydration Primer – Superdrug – £3.99

I’ve only recently started using a primer, but the dry weather conditions began to wear my skin down and dry it out – making my other make-up look dry and patchy. Many cosmetics companies have their own primers, but Nivea’s is my favourite. It has a sensible price tag, a fresh smell, is made up of natural ingredients and leaves my skin feeling healthy and ready to face the day (and the make-up I throw on it!)

9. Gel Eyeliner – Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Gel Eyeliner in Black – Boots – £6.95

I generally prefer using pencil eyeliners around my eyes, they seem to create a better effect and smudge less than liquid eyeliners.

This Gel eyeliner from Maybelline holds the best features of both a pencil and liquid. It comes with a tiny brush for ultra precision, and is thick to gain control over application on the brush.

You can create any look you like as it is easy to have thick or thin lines – and it stays put.

10. Eyebrow pencil – Soap and Glory – Arch de Triumph– Boots – £8

Arch de Triumph has an end to highlight your brow bone and an end to highlight the eyebrow itself. The pencil is soft and creates a natural effect- no ‘scouse-brows’ to be seen here!

The only thing I would suggest with this pencil – you need a large sharpener as the pencil is thicker than other eyebrow or eyeliner pencils.

For your free Benefit cosmetics ‘Face Date’ makeover, ring for an appointment or pop into Debenhams stores’ Benefit counters across the country!

If you’re based in Sheffield you can call ‘Bec’ for your ‘Face Date’ at Debenhams, The Moor on 01142895341






Click here to read more from Bridget

International Women’s Day: How does it affect us?

by Bridget Owen 

Celebrated annually across the globe, International Women’s Day is used to create awareness surrounding the biggest issues faced by women, such as equality, abuse and poverty.

This years event, held on 8th March will be the 102nd IWD, and has been celebrated since around the beginning of the 20th Century.

Val Mulholland

One of the most famous British examples of this movement is Emmeline Pankhurst of the Suffragettes, who through political activism helped women win the right to the vote.

This year’s topical theme for International Women’s Day, ‘A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women’.

MP Theresa May spoke earlier this month of domestic violence in a video released to coincide with Women’s Day- after worrying figures were received from charity Citizens Advice who reported of attacks from 13,500 people in 2012, 80% of which came from women.

A new campaign to stop domestic violence went ahead in February this year. ‘Is This Love’ aimed to get people to think about how to spot abuse in a relationship. The worldwide dance protest took place on Valentine’s Day, and over one billion people in over 200 countries danced to say no to sexual violence for One Billion Rising – Rise against Impunity. It aimed to raise awareness and empower those who have been affected.

Valerie Monti Holland, a Philadelphia-born drama specialist runs several women’s support groups in Sheffield including ‘Left Luggage’ and ‘Mothers and Daughters’.
Through a range of socio-drama and acting methods Valerie delivers a creative style of training, facilitation and community engagement to help those across the private and public sectors. By using these methods in her support groups enables members to have a voice.

Valerie explained why she chose this idea for the group, “I have a 15-year-old daughter, and my mother died shortly after her birth. I wanted to help people explore their relationships with their daughters. It also opens the group to more women – all women are daughters!”

The ‘Mothers and Daughters’ theme was developed to explore the relationship between the family members but also provides a place for women over the age of 18 to discuss their issues with others.

She explained that through being the mother to a teenage daughter makes many of the issues raised by Women’s Day particularly worrying, particularly young women that are influenced by the sex trade.

“For a lot of the women that come to support groups, it’s important to feel some connectivity to others. It feels good to be recognised as part of a movement.”

Valerie holds support groups once a month from NHS Centre of Sexual Health, Nether Edge, Sheffield. You can contact her on twitter : @left_luggage or by telephone on 07738851873.

“On the 102nd International Women’s Day there is much to celebrate. The maternal mortality rate fell by half between 1990 and 2010, girls’ education is improving significantly and women now make up 40% of the global workforce – all signs of immense progress” – OXFAM

For ideas and information on becoming involved with Oxfam, please visit:

You can listen to Valeries International Women’s Day interview on BBC Radio Sheffield with Rony Robinson here:

Click here to read more from Bridget

"Online dating profile helped me pull 25 women!"

Sheffield Hallam student ‘Charlie’ has admitted to signing up to online dating sites with alternative motives.The 21 year old from Wakefield says he has no particular interest in finding a date, but actually uses the online dating world to arrange one night stands.
“I use it to try and pull desperate women. My profile says i’m desperate so I assume every girl I speak to on there must be too.”

The student, who would prefer to be known as ‘Charlie’, joined the dating site ‘Plenty of fish’ a year ago. Since then he proudly admits to ‘successfully’ sleeping with a high number of women.
I basically read their profile, take something from it and use it for banter. I generally get a reply that way, then you have got to take it from there.”
But it isn’t always as easy as it seems.
“I do get ignored quite a lot. Some of the girls with no sense of humour just don’t reply. Out of every ten messages I send, one will reply, if that. So I have to message a lot of girls to make sure I get a response.”
Over the year of being active on the site, Charlie says he has learnt which girls to message and which to avoid, by just looking at their pictures.
“I wouldn’t message birds that I think are too out my league, some women are only on there to get a self esteem boost.”
Pictures give a lot away, I don’t really bother with the ones that are too provocative, they’re probably the most insecure women on there. I tend to message the more approachable women, and then you can just use them.”

He freely admits that what he does could be seen as offensive and disrespectful, especially to women. But when asked if he ever feels bad about his behaviour he said:
“To some extent. I don’t want to hurt anyones feelings, but at the same time I’m only after one thing. I make sure they know what they’re getting into.”
“The thing is women are sly about it. Half of them aren’t actually in it for a relationship. If they were, they wouldn’t be on the website dressed like they are. They shouldn’t get offended if they’re putting it out there.”

But the burning question of all is how does he do it?
“Negging sometimes works. But I generally go for the funny approach, as my dad always said, make a girl laugh and your half way in her knickers.”

‘Negging’ is a technique used mainly by men, where they give a back handed compliment in the hope of impressing girls.

Charlie describes himself as a ‘pretty confident guy’ and says he is not the type that will only talk to women on the internet.
“I do approach women on nights out, but I am constantly rejected. Theres an ease to doing it online, I can sit at home in my pyjamas and chat some birds up. It’s just another arena I can use to pull.”
Although he hasn’t yet encountered any sexual health problems, self titled ‘health conscious’ Charlie admits that he doesn’t always use protection.
“I always have STI tests, you have to make sure you’re ok.”

He also address the other issue of not being safe. “If someone told me they were pregnant, I would be devastated. I would definitely be more careful… but it wouldn’t make me stop.”
People are often shocked to hear that the third year student uses online dating sites, especially for one night stands. But after his ‘success’, many of his friends who originally gave him some stick, have now joined the website with the same motives.
But is it really worth all the effort?
“To be honest, I dont know… but I’ll carry on as long as I’m single.”

Read more stories from Kim here

Little Green Cars: on their debut album ‘Absolute Zero’, latest single ‘Harper Lee’ and their ‘hipster’ look

Dublin band Little Green Cars have come a long way since they entered Battle of the Bands back in 2008- especially considering they didn’t actually win the competition. They have been named ones to watch by The Guardian and The New York Times as well as being featured in BBC’s Sound of 2013.

I had a chat with the band in their tour bus after their first slot supporting Jake Bugg at 02 Academy, Sheffield.
Adam: “That’s one of the biggest shows we’ve played. I saw a little three-year-old on his dad’s back giving it loads for Jake Bugg!”
The band should get used to playing bigger venues as they’ve had a lot of radio play and media attention recently. Radio 1’s Zane Lowe named their first single ‘The John Wayne’ as ‘The Next Hype’. Does this add pressure?
Adam: “We try not to take it all on board and focus on what were doing. It’s really nice though.” 
The debut album ‘Absolute Zero’ is due for release in the UK on May 13th. The band worked with producer Markus Dravs (Coldplay, Arcade Fire, Mumford and Sons) who was their first choice. He had originally turned the band down but after hearing a couple of tracks he had a change of heart.
Faye: “He didn’t want to tamper with the music or fiddle with anything too much. So that was great for us. We’d love to work with him again.”

Little Green Car’s fashion sense is a bit of a mixed bag…

Don looks uncannily like Jared Followill (Kings of Leon) and coincidently also plays bass. Dressed in black skinny jeans and a denim short sleeve shirt, he’s nailed the double-denim look.

Guitarist Adam has a pair of daring pink skinny’s on, paired with a checked shirt. This matches his bright and outgoing personality as he is most forth-coming throughout the interview.
Frontman Stevie has a funky floral, vintage-look shirt on and is rocking his floppy Barnet.
Co-lead singer, Faye, has a 90’s grunge look going on; wearing pale jeans, a black roll-neck crop top, a checked shirt layered further by a baggy khaki shirt.
And drummer Dylan looks pretty laid back in a shirt over a plain t-shirt with jeans.

So, is fashion a factor you need to consider when you’re in a band? 

Adam: “It’s definitely important but I don’t think it’s a good thing to talk about (laughs). I think forever people have always expressed themselves in some way through the clothes they wear. I think it’s intuitive.”

Faye: “You can always tell if someone’s uncomfortable in their clothes.”
Adam: “There was actually a comment on Facebook recently. Someone wrote: ‘So happy to see Little Green Cars doing well. It’s a shame they made them dress like hipsters though.’ It really got to me! I wanted to write back: We dress ourselves man!”
Some of the band’s fist gigs as punters are pretty impressive: Kings of Leon supporting Pixies (Don) and Paul McCartney (Stevie) and some are slightly more comical:
Dylan: “Mine was Craig David! My mum had to take me along because she couldn’t find a babysitter…honest.”
Faye: “Blink 182. There were condoms blown up and I was like: ‘Ahh balloons!’. My mam was shouting, ‘Don’t touch them!’”
The band is currently touring in the UK then  Ireland before kicking off their North America tour. See if they’re coming to a town near you here

In the mean time, check out their latest video ‘Harper Lee’ from the band’s official YouTube page:
Photographs by Gary Wolstenholme

Click here to read more from Lucy