I’m Russell Beresford and I’m one fourth of Holy Smokes! I also work at QUAD and can be heard presenting the QUAD podcast (QUADcast) in a rather shambolic style with my co-presenter Adam Marsh.
What do you love most about your life?
I love the fact that I’m not governed by the constraints of a 9-5 Monday to Friday job, and that I have a huge amount of free time to spend on the projects that I enjoy such as Holy Smokes!, podcasting and events/promotions work. I haven’t worked full time for a little while now so I have much less money these days but I’m far happier.
What are your favourite things about where you live and why?
I’m a huge fan of Derby, always have been. I think it’s a great little city and currently there’s a lot of exciting things going on, there seems to be a little bit of a boom period in terms of creative output within the city. Derby may not have the huge amount of stuff going on as nearby Nottingham does but I think what does go on in Derby is always of high quality because of that fact. People in bigger cities are somewhat spoilt for choice on any given night of the week in terms of things to do, Derby doesn’t have that luxury but I think that makes people strive to really put on top quality unique events. For such a small city there really is a large and thriving creative community that for the most part are all supportive of each other and I feel very proud to be a small part of that. From bands/musicians, artists and film makers to writers, photographers and promoters it really is a hotbed of talent ‘round this neck of the woods at the mo.
What projects or organisations exist in Derby that you would like to see more people support?
This sort of relates to my last answer really. I think in the last 3 or 4 years Derby has really turned a corner in terms of artistic and cultural output. I think QUAD is ace, maybe I’m a little biased on that subject but I think the work they do and the presence they have within the city is fantastic. They’ve certainly been very encouraging and helpful with some of the projects I’ve been involved with. I love what is going on over at the old industrial museum, now just known as the Silk Mill, and I’m really excited about the developments going on there over the next year or so. On a smaller more independent scale there’s tonnes of things I could mention but just off the top of my head there’s the Photo Parlour on Monk Street which has just recently opened it’s doors, it’s a community dark room and is the result of a lot of hard work by Dan Wheeler. Artsmith, also on Monk Street, is a great little independent gallery in a really cool space. Bitnormal is a net-label that Ash Mender has been working on, releasing some great electronica stuff. There’s also a lot of promoters within the city, two of my favourite are Small Lies and Buttonpusher. Those guys spring to mind when I mention people striving to put on unique and special events. Oh and Holy Smokes!, everyone should definitely support those hard working fine young gentlemen 😉
What are the most exciting things that you are looking forward to doing this year and why?
We’re currently working on a few (as yet un-announced) projects with Holy Smokes! and I’m very excited about finalising all the details for those and announcing them. One of the highlights of my year has already been and gone, I think the Haiku Salut event we did at Deda back in April has been my proudest moment with Holy Smokes! so far. That was very special. Aside from Holy Smokes!, I’m very excited about seeing Goat next month in London, that’ll probably be the musical highlight of my year! On a Derby related note I can’t wait for the new Crash Of Rhinos album.