Take two

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POINT of business, and it seems Nick Clegg has pulled out of the national Civic Voice conference, as featured in yesterday’s Diary.

Perhaps he’s heading instead to North Yorkshire where the University Of York Conservatives have named the Lib Dem leader their honorary president

“We understand Nick runs a small Westminster club,” say the young toffs. “It’s a bit like York Tories, but with a smaller budget, fewer female members and custard-coloured ties.”


TO another former Diary story, and reader Mike Lawton emails to say he was interested to see Sheffield City Hall is appealing for a rehearsal piano.

It reminded him of a story about a similar public request in the 1960s.

Back then the venue had booked a rising star who hadn’t brought his own piano and so an appeal was made to loan one.

Unfortunately, the rising star in question was one Jerry Lee Lewis, a man famed for meting out the sort merciless physical punishment to his instrument which could make grown men wince. Sometimes he played it with his feet, sometimes he danced on top, sometimes he set it on fire.

“One lady, delighted her piano was going to be played by an internationally-known musician, readily agreed to loan her piano,” says Mike. “She did not have any knowledge of Jerry Lee Lewis.

“But I am told that when the piano was returned after the concert she simply broke down and cried.”

FROM the City Hall to The Leadmill and great to hear Sheffield’s most legendary current music venue has been named best live venue in the UK, as reported in The Star.

Quite right too.

There’s probably hardly a Sheffielder under the age of 40 who hasn’t had at least one memorable - and hazily remembered - night there. My personal favourite was seeing The Strokes in 2001, a gig which, 10 years on, remains one of the defining 35 minutes of my youth. I also saw The Paddingtons there but I try to forget that.