JULY Edition

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JULY 30th 2012




Mega riffs and a little bit of sleeze!


Appearing with the Stone Roses


The return of the legends


INSIDE THIS ISSUE Magazine Editor: Tim Knight Magazine Design: Tim Knight Website Development: Alan Preece Contributors: David Jacks/Daniel Morrow Russell Payne/Emma Wallis . For all advertising enquiries please email: timknight81@gmail.com


04 MUSIC We get some Q&A from Kid British, meet Nick Jones from Polar, learn some lessons from Earthtone9 and meet The Crosstown Trio, also learn more about My Online Band, Make A Star, Open Mic, Unsigned Muso, and Jeff Liberty!


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25 Art We meet Richard Spicer, & Big Blue Cuddle, James Littlejohn Photography, Marko Dutka, & Rob Morris.

45 Film We continue with the Sight & Sound Top Ten. 47 Literature Tim Knight, Harry Bingham

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51 Innovation We feature exclusive interviews with Richard Branson, House of Hoxshore, Ibiza Invasion, The Employable, & Bloom, 69 Gamecast We feature our Maz Payne 3 Review by Christopher Lazenby.


KID BRITISH “....Headlining Heaton Park would be pretty fucking dreamy! One day...� What style of music is your band? We like to to think of it as alternative pop music. Basically pop music that doesn't sound like the same mass produced generic crap that gets churned out on a daily basis. We dont stick to solely one sound as we like to experiment with different genres but whatever sound we do make will usually have an infectious melody. What do you think of the current music scene? It goes through its good patches and its bad. I think Its a lot easier for artist to get their music heard these days via online outlets so if people bother to do their research rather than just sit and wait for the radio stations to tell them whats hot and whats not then they will discover some amazing music. I don't think the radio is always a true reflection of whats going on. Who are your favourite bands atm?

My favorite new/ish band is probably a band called Little Comets. They have a Paul Simon/Vampire weekend kind of vibe about them. Their songs are full of social commentary which is what I like about them. What advice could you give to any aspiring band? Try to be as original as possible and know exactly what direction you want to go in before you get into the industry. Be patient as if you believe in yourself and you have the ability it will workout for you eventually. How long was the recording process for the new EP? I think the whole process from writing to recording was about 8 weeks but dont quote me on that!

Are you looking forward to playing with the Stone Roses? Yes, it should be amazing! Its very nerve racking but we will be fine. Its the biggest place we have played to date so we are all just hype and ready to go! What do you think about crowdfunding websites (Kickstarter, etc) to get your music paid for? I dont know enough about them to form a true opinion on them yet but any platform that allows artist to make money from their art sounds good to me. As long as the artists are the ones that come out on top and not the company. What would be your dream gig? Headlining Heaton Park would be pretty fucking dreamy! One day :)

What is it like to be in Polar? Its like being in one massive porno, a gay one. How different is it to be managed compared to going it alone? Its’ so much easier for us as the band, as now all we have to concentrate on is the music and our live performance. Where have you travelled on tour and what is it like to be on tour? We have been all over the UK and tried to visit every town possible. The band even managed to take us all around Europe, which was a big experience for all of us, as

we’ve dreamed of touring since we were young. We still can’t believe we’ve got this far and am very grateful. Describe the new album The new album is a big step forward from the EP, as the EP was more balls to the wall with every track. With the album we tried a lot of different things and feel we’ve really grown as a band and musicians which we feel comes across with the new album. Who are your favourite bands? Personally, I listen to a lot of Pop/Punk and Rock such as Silverchair, Foo Fighters, The story so far and The gaslight

anthem. UK music is what I mainly listen too though, they’re some great metal/hardcore/ rock/punk bands around, such as, You me at six, Deaf havana, Lower Than Atlantis, Young Guns, While She Sleeps, Defeater, Bring Me The Horizon, TRC, Feed The Rhino, Palm Reader, Heart In Hand, Mallory Knox, Hildamay. What would be your dream gig I personally would love to tour with, for our style of music, Comeback kid, Every time I die, While she sleeps and Bring me the horizon. That would be an insane line up. The gigs I would like to have seen the most is Nirvana or Dire straits.


Nick Jones (drummer) talks to us about being in the energetic hardcore band.




We stopped hating each other, plus time puts a lot of things in perspective, you know? Karl Middleton



Karl Middleton & Owen Packard from Earthtone9 answer some questions for Amaze Magazine, as they try to bring out their new album via crowdfunding.


hy did you choose crowdfunding for your new release? Pledge is a great tool because you get to connect directly with fans, the process of updating and commenting on the campaign gives the participants more involvement than the old model of buying an album. We also have the satisfaction of knowing that by using Pledge we have raised money for a charity that we really care about. http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/earthtone9new-album What are the benefits of crowdfunding, and also are there any negatives? Aside from what I said in answer to question 1, the money raised comes direct to us and we decide what to do with it. There’s no label calling the shots and no supply chain taking a big chunk of money when it should be spent on making a great album, I guess that the negative is that Pledge in a new way of doing things so not many people know about it yet or perhaps people feel uncomfortable with the idea of committing their money months in advance of receiving the CD or whatever they have Pledged for. Also running the campaign involves a lot of admin work. None of these things are a particularly big deal though, the benefits outweigh these issues by a country mile.

Who are YOUR musical heroes? It varies amongst the band members. Personally, I’m (Karl) inspired by anyone that stubbornly carves their own place in the musically landscape as well as artists that make music that I love. Doomriders, Neil Young, Thrice, Nick Cave, Converge, Clutch, Fleet Foxes, Neurosis, Radiohead, William Elliot Whitmore, Tool, Pink Floyd, Laura Veirs, Morbid Angel, Johnny Cash Santogold, PJ Harvey. Vocal-wise I love singers with great tone and epic sense of melody or have an insane inhuman harsh tone. Bruce Dickinson, David Coverdale (Whitesnake/ Deep Purple), Layne Staley, Phil Anselmo, Tomas Lindberg (At The Gates), Ozzy, Ronnie James Dio, Caleb Schofield (Zozobra/Cave In), Stephen Brodsky (Cave In), Mike Patton What equipment are you using at the moment? Just my trusty SM58 mic. What advice could you give any aspiring musician or band? Man, it’s hard to know what to say to a new band today. The industry landscape has changed so radically. But one thing remains constant – do it

because you enjoy it. Once you do that it is hard for anyone to shaft you. HA! for anyone to shaft you. HA! At least these days you you can exist as a band without the input (or dubious actions) of ANY third party. You can break a band through social networks. You can gig swap. You can get to foreign lands with relative ease. It’s a shrinking world, crammed with technological shortcuts. Embrace that. What do you think of Polar? http://www.facebook.com/thispolarnoise - Polar are a new upcoming band ;) They are awesome. Mega riffs and a little bit of sleaze. HA! There are some really killer bands around at the moment. The scene is so healthy. Love it. Why should people support your pitch?

People should support us if they like the band and want to hear new music from us. As far as we are concerned we are writing the album of our lives right now. We’re not some nostalgia ban. Ultimately being in a band is about creativity. We want our people to be active in this and show that they believe in et9 as much as we do. Talk to us, comment on the campaign, and spread the word.

Why did you reform?

We stopped hating each other, time puts a lot of things in perspective, you know? We hung out, had a good time, started talking about music and realized that we weren’t finished creatively. We still have fuel in the tank and something to say. Where do you see yourselves going in the future? Up and down the M1?!? Nah, we are going to just ‘go with the flow’. The beauty of embracing the Pledge model is that we can just produce music for as long as people want to hear it. We enjoy playing shows too, so we’ll do some more of that. But we won’t be doing 3 month long stints like back in the day. It’s all about little but AWESOME. What ever way it works out there is a little more juice in the engine for earthtone9.

What has been your best gig experience? Over the years we have had many special moments. They just tend to be those ‘reality check’ things – like when you realize that you are playing to a crowd of 2000 Soulfly fans, but each and every one of them is leaping up and down and freaking out to your little band. Last year’s London Garage show was pretty insane. To see that venue sold out for a band that had been gone for TEN YEARS was amazing.

You can download a free album on their website and can pledge to their project by clicking the link on the left-hand side of the page.


“TheCrosstownTriohaveasoundwhichissofamiliaryetsouniquetotoday’smusicscene.Mellowvocals combinedwithwhatcanonlybedescribedas“smoothgrooves”issorefreshingtohearfrom3youngguyswho appreciatehowasongisconstructedandplaytheirinstrumentswiththepassionthattheydeserve.” StuartProvan,96.4EagleRadio

Can you describe your sound?

Sam: No not really

Our sound is hard to describe however, we like to think we are a blues band... however our folk influences come through quite a lot, but we've often been described as American Blues/Roots or a Skiffle Band...

Tell us about your upcoming ep

What equipment do you use? Charlie: I use an Acoustic Guitar connected to a 'Jim Dunlop Cry Baby Bass Wah Pedal', I also use a Balalaika... a three stringed Triangular shaped instrument from Russia, I also play Banjo for a few songs on the album. Coşkun: I use an acoustic Double Bass and an Ud and a Saz in standard Turkish tuning Sam: I use a full house kit, sometimes I use a Cajon box drum. Do you have any brand that you wear when on gigs? or during photoshoots? Charlie: Well I have a terrible "fashion" sense so I just put on the smartest shirt I can find on. Coşkun: I usually wear Quicksilver or Dolce & Gabbana

Our upcoming Album is a 10 track album, a date hasn't been set yet for its release but will probably be around July time. We recorded most of it in a Studio in Farnborough, and the rest in Charlies bedroom. Mixed by our friend David Bond, one track "Company", which is the Title Track, was mixed by our other friend Mazz Sitima. Who are your fav bands atm? Charlie: Recently i've been listening to alot of John Martyn & Nick Drake, my inspiration comes from artists like The Doors, Kelly Joe Phelps, Dylan, John Frusciante and Hendrix, who have all inspired my playing and writing in fact. Coşkun: Currently my favorite bands are the Smiths & Fat Freddie's Drop Sam: At the moment my favorite band would have to be Rascal Flatts, they're a country band.

INTRODUCING: MyOnlineBand.com was created by musicians who met online and where looking for a better way to collaborate, and now they have created a special site for Amaze Magazine. All the software, content, and artwork used on the site is created and maintained by the community. We are made up of professional software architects and developers, graphic artists, and music industry professionals who share passion for music and a desire to make the world a more interesting place. Our website allows amateur and professional songwriters, producers, musicians, artists to collaborate using online workspaces, extend their professional networks, and to publish and promote their music.


SANGUINE SUN LOTION Sanguine sun lotion is a collaboration of music and art.The music side brings a fun, pop dance feel whilst the art provides images to convey the feel of the music. The music originated from initial songwriting some 30 years ago then these were developed into recording material circa 2004 and has continued ever since. The artist began drawing over 30 years ago, moving to art college then illustrating for magazines, recently moving onto book illustration. Sanguine Sun lotion represents the joining up of these two mediums, bringing you the sound of fun, hedonism, excitement and happiness. Sanguine Sun Lotion's first single 'Sun Lotion' is now available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. The single will also be available via MediaNet very soon. Our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates are: http://www.facebook.com/SanguineSunLotion https://twitter.com/SanguineLotion

IAN FLEMING & THE SECRET AGENTS Ian Fleming is a dynamic artist from Los Angeles. Ian started his career as the original force behind the classic cult black metal band Ritual. Ian progressively began expanding his range of songwriting, and love of music in general. He was writing and playing by himself and had troubles finding like minded musicians in Los Angeles to accompany him. This spawned the idea for "The Secret Agents." It was also an obvious choice being that his name is what it is. So began Ian Fleming & The Secret Agents. The self-produced debut album "The Wrong One" was released in March 2009 to rave reviews and impressive success. The band opened for rock legends Blue Oyster Cult in the summer of 2009. The hit single "I Suck" has generated a lot of attention and has been played on many major FM radio stations throughout the world, including a feature by KROQ's Kevin & Bean in Los Angeles. The song " Far Away" was picked up for rotation in Landmark Theaters in 2010. Ian continues to write and produce and love all kinds of music. A new Ritual album "The Resurrection" was released in 2011 and is being very well received. Ian is currently keeping himself busy learning music theory, working hard on a new Ritual live show and a new Ian Fleming album as well.

MAS: Congrats to Ruddy Meicher for winning the May 2012 Instrumental Song contest.

MAS: What attracted you to recording instrumental music instead of other styles?

First off, tell us how it feels to have won. Are you happy, surprised, relieved?

Ruddy Meicher:The power of music begins where words that stops And I like difficulty , I need to play a lot of notes, I’m no interested to play 4 chords. My guitar is an extension of me, I can speak more than words. I close my eyes and i let my hands play.

Ruddy Meicher: I’m happy and surprised and I would like to won again. MAS: Tell us how you got started as a composer and how your recording career began. Ruddy Meicher:I play music that I feel, feelings, sensations, ideas, thoughts reflect my hands with my instruments what I hear it. I need it, I do not really know how to explain.

MAS: What’s the story behind the song you’ve entered in the Make A Star contest? Ruddy Meicher:I thought to my old friends, when I was a teen , at the past and the time. A part of my memories. MAS: Which musical influences

have other people compared you to? Ruddy Meicher: I’m a fingerstyle guitarist, I heard Andy Mckee Antoine Dufour John Butler Chet atkins and others. MAS: What sets you apart from other artists in your genre? Ruddy Meicher:More percussive and I have my own style with my groove, my own technique based on my story. MAS: Who do you get inspiration from or wish to emulate in music and life? Ruddy Meicher:The events of life. MAS: What are your musical

Make a Star feature Ruddy Meicher

plans for the year ahead? Ruddy Meicher:Continue what I started - make my album in fingerstyle guitar player, to be a recognized and endorsed official player. MAS: Who were your favorite musicians as a child? What was your first album or concert? Ruddy Meicher:When I was a child my favorite music was a group Rondo Veneziano. MAS: What is the best and worst part about being a musician? Ruddy Meicher:The best : it’s magical, if your work is your passion is a gift because is a dream for a lot people. The worst : It’s

hard , in france it’s very hard because people don’t like a lot musicians.the most important is the voice and the word ”performance” is a bad word for them. But it’s changing, it’s a good thing. When you are musician you need to be one of the best, is the hard part. MAS: What is the best and worst part about the music industry today? Ruddy Meicher: Today the music industry is restructuring here, with internet is better than before to share work but so hard to make money to live with passion. MAS: How does MakeAStar.com compare with other websites for music fans and musicians?

Ruddy Meicher:The concept is good. MAS: Thank you Ruddy Meicher for a great interview! Before we go, now's your chance to tell us something completely random. Ruddy Meicher:Thank you very much i'm happy to win, I'm a french musician , guitar teacher for a French magazine and i like to share my work. I hope to be recognized one day, I began 1 year 1/2 ago I have 7000 facebook fans and more than 600.000 views on youtube, I want to keep it this road with your help, you can visiting me at http://www. ruddymeicher.com see you soon thank you! Ruddy.


‘Merci Beaucoup’ - Open Mic UK winner Birdy hits number one in France! Things just keep getting better for Open Mic UK winner Birdy, who’s hit the number one spot in France with her spine-tingling version of Skinny Love. It follows the massive European success of her self-titled debut album which made number one in Holland and Belgium and made the top 20 in the UK. The sixteen year-old Hampshire girl who won Open Mic UK aged just 12 years-old greeted the news with excitement on Twitter saying, ‘Merci Beacoup, Je suis tellement contente!’, translated to ‘thank you very much, I’m so happy!’ Birdy’s version of the Bon Iver classic hit number one in France at the weekend. It’s been a remarkable 12 months for Birdy with her debut album going Gold in the UK, Platinum in Europe and she's had over 45 million hits on YouTube. With her performances of ‘Shelter’ and her cover of Ed Sheeran’s ‘The A Team’, Open Mic UK winner Birdy was the second most viewed UK musician on YouTube. Birdy was also recently one of the artists who contributed to the Hunger Games’ film soundtrack with her single ‘Just a Game’, along with Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, and Arcade Fire. Birdy went up against 9,000 hopeful artists in the Open Mic UK national music competition. It’s a process that starts all over again very soon with auditions for this year’s competition starting in August. Birdy swept through the auditions into the regional and area finals to her eventual win at the National Grand Final singing her own song ‘So Be Free’. Open Mic UK is the largest national music competition for singers

and solo artists in the UK. The competition travels across the country every year in search of the UK's best singers, singer/ songwriters, rappers and vocalists, and is open to all genres, so whether you’re into R’n’B, Rap, Acoustic, Pop or Classical – Open Mic UK has it all! Acts can perform either covers or original material and they’ll be invited to a live audition in front of the judging panel. Birdy recently reminisced about the experience of playing in front of a thousand people at the Open Mic UK Grand Final as “such a cool experience” to Radio One. She explained that it showed her what she wanted to do when she was still very young. After winning Open Mic UK, Birdy recorded her album with Gareth Henderson in River Studios which resulted in her being offered a publishing contract with Good Soldier Songs Ltd, run by Christian Tattersfield, chairman of Warner Bros. Tattersfield was previously responsible for signing artists such as David Gray. Open Mic UK winner Birdy subsequently got signed to Warner. The question on everyone’s lips is who will follow in Birdy’s footsteps in this year’s Open Mic UK competition which starts in August. Acts who make it past their first audition will go through to the live showcases at some of the UK’s most prestigious venues including Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Sheffield City Hall, Birmingham’s LG Arena and Portsmouth Guildhall, following in the footsteps of famous acts such as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Katy Perry. These fantastic venues all lead up to acts playing the Grand Final at the UK’s most recognised live music venue, The O2 in London. You can check on Open Mic UK winner Birdy’s progress via her website, officialbirdy.com. If you want to enter Open Mic UK they are enrolling singers for auditions now! Go to www.Openmicuk.co.uk for more information.



Sarah Warren answers some Q&A after being part of Live & Unsigned. Describe your style of music: My music is acoustic-pop, catchy melodies, but also has a unique/indie edge. What was it like to be part of Live&Unsigned? Incredible- I never thought I'd get this far at all, but everything has completely taken off now I have tonnes of gig opportunities. It's reassuring to have professionals recognizing my music, not just friends and family. Gives me and incentive to carry on.

What advice could you give to someone looking to do something similar? It takes a lot of rejection to get success-for years your music won't seem very special and I certainly had my fair share of rejection. But the criticism is very useful, don't ignore it-take on board what people say and act upon it then they have nothing to complain about. Eventually, and it takes time, you'll have more confidence in yourself and people will see that. Basically it's a very long learning process, but be

self-critical AND confident, it's so worth it. Remember music is all opinion, some will like, some won't, but just go for the sound you want, this makes you individual. Most importantly: Don't sign anything! The majority of "record deals" are not a big deal (and sometimes cons) and plus, you're better off on your own. What are the positives/ negatives of the industry? When things go well, as they are for me at the moment, you feel amazing and the judges/

promoters or whoever else you're networking with make you feel very confident about your music. This is all great, but it's easy to lose sight of reality and the industry is immensely competitive. There are massive ups and downs all the time and life can get VERY busy and stressful. But performing is the best feeling, live music is where it's at. Unfortunately, some singers mime or use autotune and this is very sad, because people that can't sing simply shouldn't pretend they can. Recording/live music technology is very clever, but it's abused

in these situations. Are you looking forward to Summer Sound? Very much so- me and Charlie (my cellist) are performing on the main stage, so this will probably be the biggest concert yet. We can't really believe our luck recently, this is our first concert abroad and I think the whole weekend is going to be so fun. Has being part of Live & Unsigned opened new doors?

I've got more gigs in 2 months than I had all of last year! I love performing, so I'm happy. Playing at the 02 is probably one of the most exciting things that's every happened to me. I do have A level exams going on at the moment (maths, physics, music), so stress levels are high, but I'm looking forward to my booked up summer. I'm most looking forward to the olympics-I have 2 weeks of busking slots in Weymouth, where the sailing is - so that's my summer job sorted!


Describe your style of music?!

playing at the O2. Anything else is a bonus.

Our music is an acoustic mix of pop and rap I suppose. We are all About the lyrics and trying to write in a way which is original. We love to tell stories in our songs and have adapted a vocal style where, we hope, you can clearly understand the subject we are writing about.

What advice would you give to an aspiring musician?

Why did you enter Live & Unsigned? We entered live and unsigned for something to do. If you play football you enter football tournaments and if you’re in a band you enter live and unsigned. We really didn’t expect to get anywhere near as far as we have and we’re very happy we entered. Are you hoping to win in the upcoming final? And how are you when it comes to nerves? It would be nice! we are through to the grand final at the o2 and are hoping and praying that we do win. As far as nerves go, I struggle big time where as Sean seems to cope a little better. I think nerves are important. you’re only nervous because you want to do a good job on stage and you should want that if you’re taking your music seriously. Why do you think you could win? And have you done anything to make yourself stand out? If we did win, and i’m sure it’s a big IF, I think it would be because of the originality of the act and the fact that we are very current. There’s a LOT of talent in the final though so we’re just happy to be there and be

I really don’t think we’re in any position to start handing out advice but my one thing I would say is work on the songs. You can be the best guitarist or singer with all the looks and moves but if you’re singing shit songs no-one wants to listen to you. you need songs that are catchy and that people can relate to. Who are your influences? I know this sounds like a standard rubbish answer but we both listen to everything. I’ve got blues, hiphop, rock, pop, grime, rap and soul in my record collection and so has sean. We both love the beatles and that whole decade but more recently are fans of people like Plan B, Ed shearan and chase & status. I think Plan B is amazing and his influence on what I buy is great. I would never have gone out and bought a grime album until I heard he had made one before stickland banks and that’s a really powerful thing. I think I was a bit of a purist or music snob before I was introduced to him through Sean. What do you have coming up? We’re playing Beach break live next friday and peace and love in sweden at the end of june and then it all about the O2 on July 14th. We playing a few smaller gigs in london in early July and just really enjoying putting our music out there and having such a positive response to it.



Amaze Magazine caught up with Jennifer Le Roux of Unsigned Muso Magazine to find out what it is like to run a printed music magazine brand. Can you describe your magazine to me?

How did you find the money to print the magazine?

Unsigned Muso Magazine, or as we like to affectionately call it – UM, is a free bi-monthly print publication written by music professionals offering advice to ‘musos’ throughout the UK. The term ‘muso’ covers anyone obsessed with making music! So our content is relevant to anyone with an ambition to make it in the music industry. UM offers the reader tips on how to harness their talent and stand out from the rest by featuring interviews with successful signed bands or acts that are able to offer insight into their own journey to the top. Each issue includes a broad range of artists from a variety of genres so that all bases are covered for the readership that could range from a young vocalist singing covers, through to a fully established original rock band looking for a management contract. UM is focused on helping unsigned musos to be the best they can be.

The Director of the magazine, Harry Costings, has worked in the music industry for many years and has invested in producing the magazine initially. The hope down the line is that we will be able to support the production with advertising both within the magazine and online. Our website is due to be launched soon which is very exciting! (www.unsignedmuso.co.uk).

What has been the biggest challenge in getting it produced? The only challenge so far was having the first issue coincide with my university deadlines! Finding a good image for the cover page that is both high resolution and with permission for copyright. Barney from Sonic Boom Six made things so easy when trying to get an artist written piece. He was prompt and practically wrote an essay for us!

What challenges do you face on a daily basis? At the moment the key focus is getting the magazine out there! We are a national magazine, so we are working hard to agree distribution with main music shops, venues and studios as well as work closely with other local publications for them to take our magazine out with them and drop them at local hot spots. In terms of content there has been so much enthusiasm and interest from music professionals and artists to get involved we haven’t had to work hard to get it! Which is great. The plan for our website is to recruit volunteer UM reps for each city who will do unsigned reviews in their city so that we are able to tap into each city in the UK and support the local music scene. What are your ambitions for the future with it?

Unsigned Muso will be available at music shops throughout the UK and the first stop for musicans seeking advice and guidance. We simply want to do our job well and actually help Unsigned Musos get noticed and become successful. Obviously it would also be great to make more than we are paying out! What advice would you give to someone looking to do something similar? Do your research. We put a lot of work into checking the market for print music magazines and specifically selected the focused idea of advice only because there was a gap in the market. You will make the job a lot easier if you are doing something that is so new and exciting for one given industry, that anyone involved in the scene will jump at the chance to get involved. Plan your costs, make sure you have support from someone who can afford to sustain you for the first year and don’t under estimate the importance of supporting a print magazine with a good online presence. The next issue of Unsigned Muso Magazine will be available in August from. Follow UM on Facebook and Twitter to find out where you can get your copy! www.facebook.com/unsignedmusomag twitter: @unsignedmusomag.

Jeff Liberty

Jeff Liberty introduces us to his brand new ep. Describe your style of music! It's always hard to describe your music, but by categorizing it people have a better understanding of who you are. I certainly am influenced by pop music and music on the fringe... I'd describe it as Outsider Pop. What inspired you to sing the way that you do? Well my voice and it's colour and tone is what a higher power has given me.. It is what it is.. I guess inspiring vocalist for me have been Johnny Cash, Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields and Roland Orzabal of Tears For Fears. What equipment do you use? Most of the songs I record at my friends Grant Heckman's studio we affectionately call The Bunker in beautiful Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. The Bunker has an English Allen and Heath soundboard. Grant also co-produced the "Bastard Town EP" with me.. Babette Hayward

who co-wrote the original "Bastard Town" with me also has a producer credit for what we recorded in her basement. For demo's at home I have a Tascam 4 track portastudio! What has it been like to be on We Love Your Songs? I am new to the We Love Your Songs community, but I am loving it! It's home to some wonderfully talented unsigned artists and fans committed to promoting some of the best independent music today! What advice could you give to other aspiring musicians? Allthough I make a living in the music business I do it as a artist manager and music columnist. Check out www.jlartists.com My own music is all about self expression and therapy. My advise to any aspiring musicians would be to do what you love with passion, honesty and knowledge. Others will follow if what you do is REALl! Build a team around you of true believer's and be pro-active! It's not just going to fall in your lap!

What is your new song about? My new song "Madeleine" off the "Bastard Town EP" was written by myself and good friend Dann Downes. I'm adopted and I began a search for my birth Mother Madeleine Dugas a couple years ago. I found out her name and other important info through the Children's Aid Society in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The song is the story of what I learned about who she was and my journey to find her. I actually found her not to long ago and met her for the first time after over 40 years. It was and continues to be an overwhelming Life experince.. The story is still unfolding. You can listen and vote for the song on the We Love Your Songs website. It's also on Itunes.. Who would you most like to gig with? Well I don't really like to gig! Although I have dreamed about this very question often.. My tastes are really eclectic to say the least. My Top three would be George Michael, Prefab Sprout and Daniel Johnston.


We talktoRichardSpicer,anartistwhoisn’tafraidtospeakoutabout hismentalhealthcondition,andactivelyencouragespeopletotalk openlyaboutit.

Can you let our readers know a little more about you? I have painted and drawn for as long as I can remember. I have explored many different experimental and sometimes psychedelic forms based around my circumstances at the time but now as I near 40 and maturity as an artist I tend to be very relaxed in myself. I paint nature from my mind and imagination. These paintings are mainly fauna and plant life although I still enjoy portraiture as well. I paint on a largish scale around 1.5 meters on average. My main enjoyment

when painting comes from creating light, depth and form using multiple layering and by painting negative spaces. It works for me right now but as we grow so our art changes. What I dislike most is plagiarism and artists who jump on a particular bandwagon to cash in on a trend. I find it cheap and irrelevant but I am aware that this is the world we live in so following such trends has its own interest. What equipment/tools do you use for your art?

I use mainly Acrylic paint on board primed with Gesso but also charcoal, pastels and inks What advice could you give to someone looking to become an artist? It sounds obvious but do the work all the time. Work, work, work on your art. Try and treat it like a job instead of a hobby Also be curious about your own work so it develops and most of all, be humble and grateful for the gift. Who are your favourite artists?

I hate this question as there are so many to choose from so many different times and styles but I will say that anyone who creates and puts themselves out there is worthy of praise.

No I haven’t but I may in the future for some larger pieces I am planning

What are the negatives of being an artist?

Good question but I would love to do something large scale for Kew or the Eden project maybe.

Its obviously quite an isolated and lonely profession but I find radio 2 helps. Have you ever tried to secure funding for your art, and how did you go about it/what happened?

What would be your dream commission?

Why do you like art? What attracts you to this medium instead of something else? I can honestly say that art or more specifically drawing and painting saved me from a young

age from a life of crime or worse. It gave me an outlet and in the end forms part of your character. Ultimately there is no choice in being an artist as you are only really being yourself. Are you available for hire? If so provide more details... I am always available for hire and for commissions. Please contact me at: redsquirrelcreative@gmail.com

How does art help you in relation to your mental health conditions? As I have said it has always helped me as a channel for emotions. It used to be a form of avoidance when I was younger which is clearly unhealthy but as time goes by you mature into a visual language and feel more comfortable in the creative process. Anyone who has experienced trauma in their

life should always remember that experience makes you richer in wisdom and if you are lucky enough you may be ableto pass that wisdom on to others who need help. I am lucky enough to be able to coach others through their crisis in order to be more fruitful. My friend John Richards takes alot of credit for that.

mental health condition when it comes to presenting your art to others?

Do you think there are any drawbacks to having a

Describe a typical day when things are bad, and when

things are good

When things were really bad it was like being trapped down a Personally no, as I have well with no way out but managed my own depression nowadays there is a lot more well but I can imagine it would perspective and balance in my be very daunting for others. life for which I am very grateful. My advice would be to take the Luckily I have amazing friends plunge. Just close your eyes and and partner. You cannot put a jump. price on that. What do you say when it comes to people asking how

you would like to be treated when it comes to your mental health issues? I don’t see it as taboo and speak openly about my experiences and am writing a book about them. I think it is the taboo that makes things worse. 1 in 4 men in the uk suffer from depression and its probably good idea that we all start talking about this epidemic sooner rather than later.

Have you ever considered having an exhibition with other artists who have mental health issues? Why not, it would be interesting as long as the other artists didn’t feel sorry for themselves. I cannot stand that. I believe we should all be grateful every day.

How difficult has it been to spread the word, can our readers offer any help via their creative talents? I have been quite cautious about scaling up too soon. So far I have been more concerned with making sure that different types of people will join, to make sure that we do have a variety of expertise on board. Now that the infrastructure to handle large numbers is almost in place can start to scale up. I am sure the creative talents of your readers can be put to great use. There wasn't too much PR content in my physics course! The website is still very basic and I know greater use of graphics and video could have a big impact. You are trying to do things for students/creatives yourselves, can you tell us more about this and how people can get involved? One exciting project is to set up 6W2X, a social enterprise startup incubator for students. It should give students and recently qualified creatives the opportunity to work together with seasoned professionals. What do you think are the key challenges facing those looking to do good in today's society? The Amaze Magazine team first heard about Mardi in 2010 when they attended the Shine 2011 Unconference and met Doug Morrison who has been very helpful and provided lots of good advice to the magazine since then. We now feel it is time to return the favour and let you learn more about them and why you should support Mardi. We asked Doug a few questions, and hopefully it will inspire you to think about how you can get involved.

There are many worthwhile projects vying for people's attention so you have to be prepared for it to be an uphill struggle if you want to set up something new. Don't expect people to give you money just because it is for charity. It may be your charity but it is not their charity (yet). What advice would you give to someone looking to do something similar to yourself?

Describe Mardi and what it does?

First see if someone else is trying to do what you want to do and consider working with them instead of reinventing the wheel. If you still want to set up something new then you should have a very clear idea of what you are attempting to do. Make sure you really are adding value. Have compelling arguments for why people should support your efforts and get a good team around you.

Mardi is an organisation for university alumni and students to work together to make the world a better place. Working together we can achieve much more.

You need to be persistent to overcome setbacks - but also have the humility to recognise when things aren't working and be prepared to change.

Tell us about the impact you have had so far? We have helped quite a few people meet others with common objectives, helped publicise a several worthwhile projects and our Amabassador, Raghu Dixit, gave a shout out for Water Aid at Glastonbury but as we are still in the process of setting up, so the impact thus far is very small compared with the future potential of Mardi.

www.mardinet.org For more information visit:


Contact Details: pr@bigbluecuddle.com lara@bigbluecuddle.com +44-(0)2081332439

Up&comingbrandsofchildren’sclothespull togethertosupportchildren’scharities. People can now discover new kidswear brands, buy unique and original clothes and raise funds for children’s charities all in one place. This place is Big Blue Cuddle, a new online store of baby and children’s clothes with a difference: it only sells products from brand that are not yet widely available in the UK and it donates between 15 and 50% of what people spend to the charity they select. The donations are made possible by the generosity of the suppliers. Lara Soetekouw, the founder and London based mother of 3, scouts talented and unusual brands, mostly not yet widely available in the UK, who embrace the idea of giving and therefore offer great prices on selected items. The clothes are sold for their regular retail price creating a margin that’s donated to charities. Suppliers only sell a limited amount of clothes through Big Blue Cuddle, so every garment is virtually unique in the UK. “It’s almost like a gallery” Lara explains “where you’re never quite sure what you’re going to find and once something is sold, it is gone!” The concept really resonates with brands who relish the opportunity to do good in an intelligent way: people can now browse through the products of 20 labels, mainly from Europe but also the USA and Australia, and their number keeps growing. But people really like the idea too. Big Blue Cuddle is the perfect store where to buy gifts, for newborn babies, who will stand out: the clothes are truly different from anything in the high street and the gift will feel extra special to the new mother too, as the greeting card (or gift voucher) has a discreet writing that says which children’s charity has been selected to benefit from the purchase.

Big Blue cuddle selected 4 wonderful and relatively small charities to make sure they are really making a difference in diverse areas such as supporting the neonatal unit of a London hospital (First Touch), helping deprived children in London (Kids Company), providing better education and opportunities to children with Autism (Ambitious about Autism) or offering free accommodation close to the hospital to the parents of the seriously ill children being treated there (The Sick Children’s Trust). The charities change every 6-12 months to give different organisations the same opportunities and keep the website interesting. At check-out the customer selects the charity that will receive the donation on their behalf. It’s big - for example purchases of £80 will see Big Blue Cuddle donating £20.00 to the children’s charity of their choice. At the end everybody wins: Suppliers have a great way to launch or get noticed in the UK, offer their stock for a good cause and show a big heart. Customers discover new brands, buy one-of-a-kind clothes and have the satisfaction of having helped raise funds for a good cause without spending any extra. Charities receive funds that can make a big difference and raise awareness about their projects & causes. The brands that like what Big Blue Cuddle does and have generously agreed to support them are: Ava&Luc, Bonkeli, Eazy-Teez, Eponime, Hektik.cc, i-Dare, Koeka, La Queue du Chat, Liandlo, LipFish, Name it, Nonono, Olive’s Friend Pop, Paul Frank & Small Paul, Pili Pala, Plastisock, Pluto, P’tit Chic...de Paris, Roda Hund, Simon Mignon, Supernatural Kids Clothing, Tom & Drew.

About the Founder, Lara Soetekouw Lara Soetekouw is half italian, half American and has lived a bit everywhere across Europe before settling down in London 10 years ago, with her Dutch husband and their three multilingual children. Lara is also a former strategy and marketing consultant who always dreamt of starting her own business and, at the same time, doing her bit to make the world a better place, especially for children. The initial idea for Big Blue Cuddle came from the frustration of not being able to find in the UK the colourful and imaginative brands of clothes that she so enjoyed buying for her children in the Netherlands and finding that everybody was buying the same brands in the UK. Lara thought that any stock of these brands that are not yet well established in the UK had a real market value over here because of their orginality and that a margin could be created and donated to charities. Just over a year later, Big Blue Cuddle today sells 20 brands on www.bigbluecuddle.com, mainly from Europe, the USA and Australia, and gives UK customers the opportunity to buy virtually unique children’s clothes, from newborns to roughly 10 years old, and to select the charity who will receive up to 50% of what they are spending.



Why did you become a photographer? I have always been interested in photography from a young age, not only for the fun aspect but you can always re-live a memory through a photo, there has been many times I have pulled an old photo album and seen a photo and instantly made me smile, not only at the image that was captured but the story that goes along with it. Along with photography being the passion of mine, I have always loved meeting new people and had a creative side that I have always struggled to express and photography gave me that opportunity, whilst at the same time capturing memories that will last forever for other people. What are your favourite photos? Well I try all sorts of photography Landscape, night, wedding and much more and every good photographer has to be adaptable because you never know what that one unusual situation will bring from the lens of your camera but my favourite styles of photography would have to be one on one portrait shoots, studio or location based and natural photo shoots where you arrange a time and location with the client and let the client carry on as normal say in a park or walking in the woods so you capture their every smile and expression naturally and not forced, some of my most favourite images are of the client not even knowing they had their photo taken, so you capture them in the most natural way, that is the priceless moment for me. What are the positives of the industry? This is easy you get to meet new people every day, make them smile and capture a memory they will hold and cherish forever. Every image you take, you get to tell their story through your photographic art work. What are the negatives? Even though I am only just starting out professionally, I have noticed already there are surprisingly a lot of negatives to the industry and sometimes they out way the positives. For example not only do you rely so much on people being interested in your work that they are willing to pay for you to capture their memory but with basic digital cameras being so affordable and accessible, everyone thinks they can pick up a camera and capture the moments themselves, so you have to work 24/7 to stand out from the everyday photographer, many times I have woken at 3am to write down an idea that sprung into my head and that’s why I keep a pen and paper by my bed. So many people don’t realise that photography is not just turning up and snapping a few photos, there is prepping the location, especially if it’s a wedding as you only have one opportunity to get it right,

JamesLittlejohn Photography

prepping the kit and being ready for all possible problems, the photo shoot itself, then the hours of editing after words. Also with the DSLR professional range being buy the right kit, like a nice lens or camera body, so it’s a vicious circle, you need to be recognised, so people will pay you, so you can buy new lenses or a top quality camera body, to give you a greater range of photo options, every lens has a different purpose, it’s not like one lens for every occasion and with the most basic lens costing £100 going right up to £4000+, so many people don’t realise the expense involved but after all of this negativity involved I would not change being a photographer and seeing people smile, I just LOVE IT. What do you want to do in the future? This for me is another easy question, I want to be able to be a photographer full time, to be a photographer that people ask for with my work being shown in magazines across the world and to travel around the world capturing everyone’s memories. What equipment do you use?

This question could be an interview on its own. Every professional photographer has a basic go to kit list but there is always a specialist lens or lighting set up that we could add to that list at any point. Personally for me I use Nikon equipment and always have, I started off with a Nikon D60 a perfect starter DSLR in my eyes and I still own that exact camera and it sits on my shelf as a reminder to me of where I started off, I find Nikon so user friendly they seem to place all the buttons and dials in exactly the right place for you to make adjustments on the fly without even thinking about it, which makes capturing that precious moment so simple and smooth. I now own a second hand Nikon D200 which is pretty old in terms of technology compared to a lot of current Nikon DSLRs professional range out there like D3, D3s and the amazing latest Nikon the D4 which is mind blowing in every way and what I wouldn’t do to get hold of when of them isn’t worth mentioning, but for affordability and an introduction into professional photography the D200 is the work horse of Nikon, with its Metal frame body it has so much durability and lets you know you have a camera in your hands. Photographers always have their own preferences in camera make and model


What Help do you need? Well I would love to have my name in the lights maybe an opportunity to photograph someone in the limelight and showcase my name with the, to give me that much needed recognition to help me push my name in to the world of photography. I would also love to be affiliated with Nikon who I recently sent a letter too and be able to test and review their products and use them on my every day photography projects, it is so hard to get started in the current climate, I know I have a talent in capturing what people don’t see I just need to be able to afford the kit to do it. I would personally like to thank Tim Knight and AMAZE Magazine for giving me this opportunity to speak about photography and hopefully I will be seeing you through my lens.


I have yet to be on a forum or in a conversation where this exact topic doesn’t cause a little debate, however at the end of the day after all the singing and dancing about what equipment is best, as long as the photographer that is using the camera of his or her choice is happy and is capturing that special moment for the client to cherish, then everyone will be happy.

This picture is actually Tim Knight’s niece who was pregnant at the time with AJ (her new son). AJ was born on the 23rd March 2012 weighing 3 pounds 7.


It’s what’s behind your great images. 4 for 3 on all backgrounds. Used and preferred by photographer for over 30 years. Over 50 colours including greenscreen kit and software. 01384 485550 sales@creativitybackgrounds.co.uk

MarkoDutkaPhotography Thanks to Creativity Backgrounds we are going to do some interviews with some great photographers this month. What inspired you to break into photography? I took time out to visit what was then the USSR and wondered around with two borrowed cameras photographing in lots of places that I really shouldn’t have been. I am half Ukrainian and it was an immensely important way for me to make some link with part of my roots. What are your favourite type of pictures? I don’t have favourite pictures or types of photography. It’s all about how important those pictures are and the depth of vision the photographer is trying to achieve. What equipment do you use? Canon 1ds MK11 and Hassleblads. What do you do relating to photography? People photography. Everything from editorial portraits through to fashion. I also lecture for various professional organisations on lighting,fashion and portraiture. What advice could you give to someone looking to become a photographer? Be fascinated by the world and try to be different. There’s already so many images in the world-why should yours be another addition to this stockpile? What would you tell them to avoid? Don’t do it lightly, it’s a hard discipline to learn and will take a lot out of you if you are not 100% committed to it. Who are your photography heroes? Too many to list without feeling guilty about leaving so many out.

Rob Morris

Rob Morris writes about Ink Art this month for Amaze Magazine thanks to Creativity Backgrounds. Being a busy professional its too easy to just concentrate on the current work and however interesting and challenging that may be I still need to do my own thing sometimes. Being an oldie who was brought up on what today would be classed as slow film I, like many others went through the stages of playing about with film, slides and prints. From soaking a print in coffee or tea to get that old look, to using sandpaper on negatives often melting some slides to get a different effect. Since the advent of digital I had not found the outlet for original work. I stress the word original as anything that is done on the computer can be

duplicated and I wanted to make one off pieces that couldn't not be repeated exactly. After playing around and chatting with artist friends I decided to go along the mixed media route. In a nutshell I turn a selected image to b&w blow the contrast to the extreme and then print the image onto A4 art paper. not any of the photographic art papers but true watercolour paper. I then attack it with inks, paints even nail varnish. Initially there were lots binned but over the months I learnt how the different media reacted to the paper and am now happy with the results. I exhibit a lot of my limited edi-

tion prints and sell for homes and offices. The ones where I add my own prose to the image have been received well so I decided to exhibit some of my inked art as I call it. It was received so well I was even asked to apply that effect to portraits of the individuals. Maybe a lot of photographers are like me and don't take praise very well and I wasn't convinced the work was good!! but then I am never 100% happy with anything I do however pleased the client is. Being a member of the RPS I then saw an advisory day advertised locally which included Associates in Visual Art. Quickly arranging for my daughter to cover the equestrian event I had booked on that day I took the plunge and

applied to show my work. These days are great in many ways, the judges are all those that sit on the panels when work is formally submitted and although they are honest in their comments it's also done in an encouraging way. To say I was nervous was an understatement especially when I found that two of the people judging were the Chair of the East Anglia region and the Vice Chair of the Visual Arts Panel, so no pressure lol. I then find out that Visual art is the last category of the day and that my work will be shown last. I did enjoy the day seeing the work that other photographers had done and late in the afternoon it was my time. The work is placed

on boards with correct lighting in front of all those there and I stand with the judges and try to explain my reasons for what I had done. The judges have their say and to be honest I am shocked. They love it and so do the audience. I am told that the work in their opinion does meet the standard required to be submitted for an Associate, they never of course say its definite as this is an advisory day. Once the judges have had their say the audience is allowed to come up and look at the work closely. And they did in numbers, I was inundated with questions , so much so that the organisers had to pack up around me and people were eventually told that the room had to be vacated. What an ego

boost and I was on cloud nine all the way home. So I have submitted the work for my "A" with the RPS? nope the creeping feeling that it still wasn't good enough soon started and although I still exhibit and sell some of these images I still find reasons not to submit for formal judging. The moral to this story? well there isn't one, you decide if any of this applies to you and take from it whatever you want. Meanwhile I will look at the application form and decide on more reasons why I shouldn't apply, maybe one day I will! Rob Morris

Mass Luminosity chosen to be Amaze Magazine’s August cover article. June 27, 2012- United Kingdom – Amaze Magazine is proud to announce that it will be introducing its readers, and the world at large, to a new project by Mass Luminosity on the August edition of the magazine – as part of their cover story. Amaze will also dig deeper into Mass Luminosity’s corporate culture, as a follow-up to the popular interview with their founder and CEO, Angel Munoz. “We believe that Mass Luminosity is a shining example of how companies should interact with the public,” said Amaze Magazine Editor, Tim Knight. “It’s truly impressive how Mass Luminosity is able to engage their growing global community with their own identity and the identity of their corporate sponsors. They are an inspiration to us, and we are extremely excited to feature them again in our magazine.” Read the original interview with Mass Luminosity’s CEO, Angel Munoz at: http://issuu.com/5ways/docs/mayedition/66mode=window&vie wMode=singlepage The July edition of Amaze Magazine (to be released June 30, 2012) will include an article on why Mass Luminosity was selected for the August cover. Don’t miss it by subscribing to the magazine at www.moderncreativemag.com.

David Whitehead Presents:

David Whitehead introduces the Sight & Sound Top Ten from 2002 and reflects on what it has to offer for the modern cinema goer. 2002 Sight and Sound Top Ten 1) Citizen Kane (1941) 2) Vertigo (1958) 3) La Regle du jeu (1939) 4) The Godfather & The Godfather Part II (1972 & 1974) 5) Tokyo Story (1953) 6) 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) =7) Battleship Potemkin (1925) =7) Sunrise (1927) 9) 8 ½ (1963) 10) Singin’ in the Rain (1952) This summer, something momen-

tous is happening in the world of film. For the first time in ten years Sight and Sound Magazine will publish the results of its critics’ poll - otherwise known as The Ten Greatest Films of All Time. We continue our series on the Sight and Sound Top Ten by taking a brief look at how the list has changed over the years and seeing what 2001: A Space Odyssey, Tokyo Story and The Godfather have to offer a modern audience. The first Sight & Sound poll took place in 1952, when the world’s leading critics were asked to

compile a list of the best films ever made. Bicycle Thieves (1948) by Italian director Vittorio De Sica was declared the greatest of all. The magazine has repeated the poll every ten years. Citizen Kane was just outside the top ten in 1952 but has placed number one every decade since. Only two films have featured in all six polls, Battleship Potemkin and Le Regle du Jeu. Federico Fellini’s 8 ½ has made it into three out of the four top ten lists since it was made in 1963 (missing out in 1992 only). Alfred

Hitchcock’s Vertigo is another consistent performer; it was just five votes behind Citizen Kane in 2002 after rising from 4th place in 1992 and 7th in 1982. The clear trend across the decades is that the Sight and Sound Top Ten is getting older. Back in 1972 the most recent film on the list (Ingmar Bergman’s Persona) had been made just six years earlier. The age of the youngest film grew to 19 years in 1982 and 24 years in 1992. In 2002 the most recent film was The Godfather Part II at 28 years old. What does this trend mean? Are films getting worse or are critics just more conservative these days? Either way, the result is that the Sight and Sound Top Ten has become less accessible to the regular movie-goer.

So, let’s see what 2001: A Space Odyssey, Tokyo Story and The Godfather have to offer today’s film fans. 6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Part film, part symphony, part philosophical treatise, 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of Stanley Kubrick’s boldest works. Beginning with the ‘The Dawn of Man’ and ending in distant space and time - perhaps outside of space and time - 2001 represents science-fiction filmmaking at its most ambitious. Co-written by Arthur C. Clarke it asks questions about the origin of humanity and our ultimate destiny. In between the more ambiguous sections are two of the most compelling acts in all of

cinema - a spectacular yet mundanely familiar vision of space travel followed by the chilling encounter with Hal, the artificially intelligent but disturbed ship’s computer. The latter is so iconic and effective that it could have formed a film of its own. The lengthy scenes combining classical music and visual effects are famous (2001 is, perhaps, closer to Disney’s great experiment Fantasia than any other movie). These sequences will either hypnotise or bore. Verdict: 2001: A Space Odyssey is an exhausting and perplexing experience but it is also completely unforgettable; take it in at least once.

The Godfather and The Godfather Part II (1972 & 1974) Francis Ford Coppola’s first two films in his Mafia saga about the Corleone family are arguably the high water mark in American cinema. The rise and rise of the family through 60 years is stunningly told over six near-faultless hours.

5. Tokyo Story (1953) One of revered Japanese filmmaker Yasujirō Ozu’s most popular films, Tokyo Story is about two elderly parents who visit their adult children in Tokyo. The visit reveals the disappointment and frustration on both sides of the relationship. This family dynamic is one many will recognise today. Told in a slow and patient way,

the film is a showcase for the terrific cast. Like Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner or On Golden Pond, Tokyo Story is built on fantastic performances from two veteran actors, in this case Chishu Ryu and Chieko Higashiyama. Their love for each other and longing for time with their children is genuinely moving. The younger generation are well portrayed too, guilty of working too hard and not making time for their parents.

There are so few films made about our later years, Tokyo Story is one of the best and deserves to be cherished. Verdict: A beautiful film which works across time and culture but, unlike some of the other films on the list, not essential viewing.

Based on the novels by Mario Puzo, The Godfather is much more than just a gangster movie, it’s a Shakespearean tale of power, corruption and betrayal. At the centre of the story is Michael Corleone, the youngest son drawn into the family business against his better judgement. Al Pacino’s performance and Michael’s transformation are amongst the greatest in cinema history. Speaking of great performances, there are at least ten across the two pictures. Every aspect of these films is exemplary, from the script, direction and acting to the music, editing and costume design. Few have matched them in terms of quality, power and popularity. Verdict: Intelligent American cinema at its very best. These films are every bit as good as you’ve heard and demand to be seen. In Part Three of the series we try to predict the result of the 2012 poll and look at the final three films on the 2002 list, La Regle due jeu, Vertigo and Citizen Kane.

Tim Knight writes a regular column, Watching the Watchdog, for Huffington Post Canada. A version of the following column first appeared on HuffPost’s front page on May 14. Knight is an Emmy and Sigma Delta Chi award winner who’s worked for three newspapers, Zambia TV, ABC, NBC, PBS and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), where he produced its flagship news program, The National, and for 10 years headed its TV Journalism Training program. In May, 2012, he won an Innoversity Creative Summit Angel award for “strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in the media.

Journalism’s Complicit Role in Sexual Abuse The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has just aired another in the long, sordid saga of rape of young boys by Roman Catholic priests. Breaking the Silence tells the stories of five Canadians who went to boarding schools in England and Tanzania run by the church’s Rosminian Order. In it, the five, now grown men, make horrifyingly routine accusations of sexual, physical and mental abuse suffered at the hands of priests. Along with the even more routine charge that the Church, in its infinite blindness, covered up the abuse.

The men stayed silent for decades, each thinking he was the only one abused. When they finally got together and swapped stories they were joined by seventeen other men in legal proceedings against the Rosminians. To this day the Order denies any liability. Breaking the Silence is a powerful, often heart-breaking, indictment of those who abuse their godly power and, as a consequence, do appalling damage to innocent children. Flashback -- Some 22 years ago, Christian Brothers of Ireland in Canada were forced to close their Mount Cashel Orphanage in Newfoundland and Labrador after charges that the Roman Catholic

brothers sexually, physically and emotionally abused some 300 boys in their care.

its sins, protected its sinners and was simply too powerful for Irish journalists to dare challenge.

Shortly thereafter, I was in Dublin training senior journalists at Ireland's national broadcaster Radio Telefís Éireann (RTÉ). During the workshop, I mentioned the Mount Cashel crimes and asked the assembled journalists if they were following up on the Canadian connection. Was it not likely that similarly horrific child rape also happened in Ireland, home base of the Christian Brothers? The journalists' response was that "everyone knew" of such atrocities but pious Irish culture and draconian libel laws made it impossible to report on Roman Catholic Church abuses, sexual or otherwise.

It took another ten years before RTÉ screwed up the courage to broadcast the TV documentary, States of Fear. It finally exposed Mount Cashel-like decades of pedophilia and sadism in Irish church-run and governmentsupported institutions for orphaned and abandoned children. Since then, thousands of pedophilic and hebephilic (sexual preference for children in early puberty) priests have been accused of child abuse in Canada, the U.S., and dozens of other countries.

In sum, the church covered up

Now, journalists, traditional watchdogs of the powerful, went to school and grew up in those countries.

“...Breaking the Silence is a powerful, often heart-breaking, indictment of those who abuse their godly power and, as a consequence, do appalling damage to innocent children....” It's impossible to believe these journalists knew nothing of the church's crimes, going back so many decades. It's much easier to believe that they knew and did nothing -- out of fear of the awesome temporal and spiritual power of the church. Mea Culpa -- I never went to a Roman Catholic school. Nor did I know a boy who did and was abused. Even so, I remember schoolmates whispering about boys they knew at Catholic schools to whom "something awful" had happened. But that was it. No details. Certainly nothing became public. So the abuse continued. For years.

When I grew up I become a journalist myself. I investigated all sorts of stories about abuse of power in South Africa, the U.S., Canada and a few other countries. But, to my shame, it never occurred to me to investigate those rumours I'd heard whispered by friends so many years before. In that sense I -- along with a great many of my journalistic colleagues -- am complicit in the terrible silence that so protected the guilty and harmed the innocent. The multinational corporation which is the Roman Catholic Church has many sins to answer for when its leaders finally knock on St. Peter's gates. As will my own beloved profession — journalism.


and it can be stopped.

There were a goodly number of comments to my column. Not one of them denied my charge.

I urge you and fellow journalists to continue to expose the truth.

What fascinated me most, however, was that no selfidentified journalist responded. Either to support or deny.

Wayne Mollison

So what does this mean? Is it possible that an innate, tribal fear of some awesome Almighty Being — whether actually believed in it or not — prevented me and my journalistic colleagues from responding to the rumours and asking hard questions of the men of God’s church? Or did my journalistic colleagues distain to comment because I — and the documentary itself — are so obviously deluded? Or just plain wrong? I haven’t the foggiest idea! Two “survivors” featured in the documentary did comment. “As a survivor, and one of the individuals “featured” in the broadcast, I would like to congratulate you on your article. The fact that you have recognized the abuse that we have shared with you is only the beginnings of public awareness. As a victim, it has taken me 40 years, but now we as a group have spoken to YOU the public,

Kindest regards,

Dear Mr. Tim Knight. I really appreciated your article that I read on the Huffington Post. “Watching the Watchdog: Journalism’s Complicit Role in Sexual Abuse” and the acknowledgement you made in the article. I was one of the children at St Michaels school in Soni referred to in the documentary (there was not really that many of us in the 20 years that it operated). What the documentary Breaking The Silence did not really discuss was the terror that hour by hour we had to endure along with a starvation diet. Most of us have had our lives blighted by what went on. Your industry is the only way that the common people can draw attention to wrongs that has or is being done and then shame or compel the powers that govern our lives to act & do something about it. Regards Phil Jones

My own view, for what it’s worth, is that the Roman Catholic Church is made up of two clashing and contradictory groups. The first group is dedicated to acting as a mediatory agent between believers and their God. And I have no doubt there remain in the church good men who perform this duty with diligence, piety and honour. The second group is, in essence, a pedophilic club. Made up of men who joined the organization because it would give them easy access to boys they could then rape with — at least until very recently — absolute impunity. Because of the second group, if the Church of Rome (motto “For God and Humanity”) were any other multinational organization, every country in the world would have long since closed it down. Its priests would have been arrested and forced to defend themselves against — at the very least — collusion and complicity in rapes of minors. Its tax exempt status would have been cancelled. But what to do with all those splendidly ostentatious cathedrals and churches? Here in Canada, they would make excellent longhouses for aboriginal First Nations people.

We are a small, independent publisher specializing in horror, suspense, dark fantasy and science fiction. We bought a "haunted house" in 2007 in Western Nebraska and decided to convert part of the old, spooky Victorian into a small press that celebrates speculative fiction. We are interested in authors new and seasoned, young and old, and anywhere in between.

Harry Bingham Exclusive

How did you get started in writing? I always wanted to be an author but somehow ended up as a banker in my twenties. Then my wife became seriously ill. I gave up work to look after her and, sitting at her bedside, wrote my first novel – which went on to become, in a small way, a bestseller. My sixth novel has just been published and there have been four non-fiction books too. And tell us about the Writers’ Workshop – what it is and how you got started. I started the Writers’ Workshop as a way to earn a little money on the side: I thought I could offer editorial advice to new writers alongside writing books of my own. So I built a website and made myself open to all comers. But as it turned out, I

sat on a molehill and it turned into a mountain. I got deluged with manuscripts from would-be writers and so started to take on others authors and commissioning editors to help with them. We now have about eighty editors all told and we’ve helped countless people on the path to publication. We’ve had prizewinners and bestsellers too, even the occasional film / TV deal. What if someone has a manuscript they need help with? Just get in touch with us. We work with everyone from screenwriters to children’s writers to every type of fiction and non-fiction. Because we have so many editors working for us, we almost always have someone who specialises in your sort of work. Is it just editorial advice you

offer? No. Editorial advice is certainly the heart of the business, but where work is good enough, we always help to place it with literary agents – and we’ve worked with most of the best-known agencies in London over the years. We also run a brilliant Festival of Writing where you can pitch your work direct to agents (and much else!) And there are writing courses, if you’re at an earlier stage of things. Can you tell us about your books? I’ve written a few novels – historical adventures mostly – but I’ve just launched a major crime series with Orion. The first in the series is Talking to the Dead. It’s the best book I’ve ever written. Although it’s a crime novel, the real focus is its central

character: a woman detective who’s very strange, very intense … and turns out to have a lot of secrets of her own. The story is as much about her as about the crime itself. And any non-fiction of interest to a writer? Yes, I’ve written a couple of books on Getting Published and How To Write. They aim to be the most accessible, comprehensive and practical books on writing for publication – then actually negotiating the whole process of getting an agent and launching a career. They’ve had lovely reviews on Amazon, so I know they really work for writers. What advice could you give to an aspiring writer? Gosh, there’s so much. But here are my top three tips, I suppose.

First, you have to understand the market you’re writing for. That doesn’t just mean reading a lot, it means reading intelligently. You need, in particular, to read plenty of recent fiction by debut or newish authors – that’s your best guide to what editors and publishers are buying right now. Secondly, you have to write from passion. If you don’t absolutely love your story and characters, nobody else will. That doesn’t mean you can’t have creative doubts of course – we all have that – but you need to write from passion, not just as a means to an end. And last, you need to be perfectionist. At the Writers’ Workshop, we see too many manuscripts that feel rushed: bits of plotting that don’t quite work, thin characterisation and (always a telling indicator) sentences that are clumsy, unclear or too wordy.

The truth is that good writers are always perfectionist. I know one author who rewrites her stuff about 40 times before publication – and she’s an experienced author who also works as a publisher. And she’s not exceptional: you need to put the effort in, if you’re going to get the results. What would you tell them to avoid? Avoid rushing. Just know that getting published is going to be a long journey and give yourself time to do it right. That means everything from planning a book to getting an agent. Oh – and good luck! And happy writing!

The Virgin Media Pioneers Website is changing.... We don’t want to give everything away but a few of the things you can look forward to are: Brand new look and feel. You’ve seen the logo above but there’s even more... Upload video AND embed from YouTube and Vimeo. Already a busy vlogger? No need to repost to VMP just embed from your YouTube or Vimeo channel! Better community features. New and exciting ways for you to learn, share and connect with each other. There’s plenty more too but you’ll have to wait and see for yourself.

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“...Enjoy what you do and surround yourself with good people. That passion and enjoyment will help sustain you during the tough times...”

RICHARD BRANSON talks to Amaze Magazine. To celebrate the launch of Virgin Media Pioneers new-look website we caught up with the original Virign Media Pioneer, Richard Branson himself. What is it like to be known as the world’s greatest entrepreneur? It is very flattering to be

described as that. I think it is probably based on the diversity of our businesses and my very curious mind, rather than the size of any of our companies. When I started Student Magazine in 1968 I never imagined in my wildest dreams that 40 years later some people would refer to me

Virgin Islands! It is a fantastic time for I don’t think I ever have reflection and sets me a ‘typical day’ but when up for the day. I come up I am extremely proud with more ideas on that I’m on Necker Island, of each company we hammock than I ever I do have a pattern of have started but more would anywhere else. sorts. I always wake importantly I am proud I try to exercise early early – I love that quiet of the amazing people time in the morning. I am on, a swim, a game of who have helped me and been instrumental in fortunate that I have the tennis or a kite-surf – followed by breakfast. most beautiful office in Virgin’s success. the world – a hammock Then I hit the phone – I still far prefer talking to What does your general overlooking the British as the world’s greatest entrepreneur.

day-to-day look like?

people – than all your interaction being on email. After a light lunch, I do work through my emails and maybe have a meeting or two in the Island. What do you think it takes to be a ‘Pioneer’ Pioneers dream big and are constantly looking

your employees will impact the way they treat your customers. One thing I learned early on was to make sure What would be your a business did not feel greatest ambition, if We noticed how close too big and ensure your you could literally do you are to your family anything you wanted?! management feel in and think it is amazing control. that you are able to do In business know how to From a personal point How can people so much and keep a be a good leader and of view I am very keen impress you? strong family, what is to travel into space and always try to bring out your secret?! the best in people. It’s we are not far off now My parents actually very simple: listen to with Virgin Galactic. encourage my sisters You can and must make What advice would them, trust in them, On a broader scale, it time for both family and and I to be adventures you give to someone believe in them, respect would be wonderful to business. It is important and creative– to looking to follow in them and let them have challenge ourselves and help address some of to build a strong family your footsteps? a go! They are the ones the World’s big issues life: I believe that it helps not be afraid to try new things and take risks – I around climate change, who will become the to give you a better Just remember that it backbone of the peace or saving so found this extremely perspective and is impossible to run a many of our endangered business and will want it motivating and I like to business without taking balance in business. to succeed. species. see that in A key responsibility for risks. Virgin would not entrepreneurs. each generation is to be the company it is Who are you’re bring up the next today if we had not heroes? What are the negatives How important is the taken risks. Concentrate generation – and you role of innovation within of being so famous?! need to be present to on the things that you I have been very, very Virgin, are you looking do this. I have been are good at and extremely lucky to have I am extremely fortunate for team players who toe lucky and met some delegate to others. truly inspirational men the line, or those who to be in the position I been able to work from Remember have fun and woman over the want too perhaps shake am, so I would never home for the majority of with it, I’m still having things up a little and are years. The late Freddie say that there were my career. fun now… Laker was an extremely full of ideas? negatives - I love inspirational business walking down the street At Virgin we try to Even though working My favourite bit of figure I met in my early encourage people to and speaking to people from home was ideal for advice to give to people think for themselves and years. Since then – and just having a me, I always ensured is…The brave may not Nelson Mandela, Al that I was not too distant general chat. Nowadays not behave like live forever – but the Gore, Archbishop Tutu , more people stop me in automatons. I always or absent from the cautious do not live at say your employees are Mary Robinson to name the street to ask a company. An all! You really do have but a few – people with your number one asset entrepreneur must make question or ask for a to believe in what you truly good hearts who and the way you treat sure to be seen by their photo. But I enjoy it, I are doing though and for new challenges; I have always believed you should never give up on your dreams no matter what age you are! That belief as a teenager helped me to get where I am today. You need tons of belief – belief in yourself and the people around you!

give yourself to it 100% – if you go in to something expecting it to fail 9 times out of 10 it will.

people and spend time getting their feedback and ideas. As I mentioned earlier, listening to others is a key quality of a good business leader and to getting things done.

am inspired and motivated each day by the people I meet.

are not afraid to say what they believe and raise the issues for people across the world who would otherwise go unheard. You often do events where people can meet you in person such as the VMP Pitch2Rich event. What advice would you give to someone when it comes to presenting themselves to you? Keep the pitch simple, make it compelling and really think about how best to bring it to life. A sample, a design, a prop – it is always good to have something to support you. Above all be yourself. Any message to the Pioneers on the website? Enjoy what you do and surround yourself with good people. That passion and enjoyment will help sustain you during the tough times.

Wanna be the next Vivienne Westwood? Or perhaps you wanna own your very own ASOS? My advice is to do it, go for it with all your might and every bit of strength you have BUT be prepared for the ups and downs, highs and lows that come with it. Let me explain how my brand, House of Hoxshore, got started and what we have been through along the way... My brand is run by myself and business partner, we own the company, the trademarks, the designs and the website. We go to all the meetings, we make all the decisions, we do all the admin and we make “executive” decisions (ooh get us!). I could go on, but what I’m trying to get at is WE do EVERYTHING... Moral: try and work out if you are a sharing kind of person and if there is anyone you trust enough with your business idea to join forces with you. Remember that old saying? A problem shared is a problem halved? It’s never truer than when you run a business, you need someone who is going through the highs and lows with you. At the very beginning we had a “masterplan” where we would be employing staff, working in a huge office and living the glamorous life, erm, reality? Well, we do own a company , we do have “staff” all be it freelancers and we do have an office of some sort, although not the “Devil Wears Prada” type that we had projected we’d have. Moral: be prepared to look back at your predictions and business plan etc and have a good ol’ giggle or a big ol’ cry when you realise how different your reality is to what YOU predicted. There’s no right or wrong answers when it comes to making predictions , it’s a guessing game for the majority and hey, even the weatherman gets them wrong! One of the first issues House of Hoxshore faced was getting our brand known, on a small budget. We’re no Adidas or Kurt Geiger, we don’t have a huuuge PR budget but we do have will power, social networks and confidence. It’s so important to go to events relevant to your field, if that means you’re out until midnight on a Sunday night when you’d rather be wrapped up in a duvet, so be it! You need to talk, talk and talk to as many people as possible, see what they do and see how you could work together in some way. As two females in a male dominated industry, we ensure we stand out and get to know everyone. House of Hoxshore is not a name to be forgotten! Moral: buy good quality business cards, believe me they are an investment as that little thing is the part of you that people take away with them in their pockets. You don’t want to end up being chucked in the bin in the morning or left to sit in the dark pit of a handbag for the next few months. Also, we always try to wear our products to wherever we can, it’s the best way of getting them out there! So 7 months down the line, House of Hoxshore is still here. It’s thriving, the brand name gets known more and more everyday even if just by one more person. I can honestly say that the most important thing I have learnt so far is to accept any mistakes that you make and find a way to fix them. Nothing is unsalvageable. I came into this industry expecting to make huge things happen in a short amount of time. I live in the industry now knowing that to make an earthquake happen I must first stamp on the ground very hard and many times. I aim to leave this industry with House of Hoxshore being an international name and a big, fat cheque in my pocket to take onto my next venture. Moral: this is how you should feel too. Written by House of Hoxshore

Emerging from the heart of East London, House of Hoxshore has been deeply influenced by the culture & lifestyle that the area breeds. We are inspired by music and fashion from all around the world and have created a brand that pulls all of these things together, under one roof. The home of fashion, music, culture and today...... Welcome to The House!

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Fast 5 Interview with: @iamstartacus 10 months ago, Alastair Cameron, was being made redundant from a career in commercial recruitment and management. However, this year, in early Summer, Alastair will be co-founding the launch of a platform for the self coined ‘self starter’ community, called Startacus. If the landing page is anything to go by, this platform has great intentions, so we spoke to Alastair to get the lowdown on Startacus and what we should expect to see. Tell us about Startacus? Startacus is an online platform which will serve a UK and Ireland based audience of graduates, recently redundant and unemployed, disillusioned workers and all types of creative individuals who together can both inspire and be inspired to create their own opportunities, to develop their own creative and entrepreneurial skills and to in essence be self starters.

Clicktheboxtosign-up. Startacus will provide ongoing stimulus to motivate, empower and inspire these people to fully develop their creative potential. The culture of the creative self starter will be celebrated! It will also be a definitive go-to source for the enterprising individual , offering everything from funding information through to basic roadmaps for creating a business. Startacus also will have an inbuilt networking forum where individuals can meet, share experiences, ideas and knowledge. One of the key highlights of the Startacus platform is the collaborative aspect. Members of the Startacus community can propose ideas and projects, seek collaborators and form collaborative working groups to take their ideas forward. Startacus will change how people work and do business as it will become a virtual meeting place for otherwise unconnected individuals to connect, create and

collaborate together. How is it different from other existing platforms for startups? The Startacus platform is unique in that it will be the definitive platform for self starters to be inspired, engage and collaborate. Whilst there are resources out there which may inspire creative individuals and there are resources there to aid collaboration, there is not one definitive single resource that does both and also aims to attract the dormant entrepreneur. It will therefore be used as a place for people to both inspire and be inspired. Our competitive advantage is that our platform will be a definitive resource for self starters, of all disciplines, to be inspired, engage and collaborate. We are also the only platform to proactively target the Graduate, unemployed and disillusioned worker, to take their ideas forward. Our platform also differs considerably from others on the market since it has a less corporate styling and branding, to

appeal to a wider section of the community who may perhaps feel alienated by the existing platforms which exist. Why and where did you start? Coming from a background in commercial recruitment and actually dealing with redundancy ourselves last year, we knew from first-hand experience that a consequence of the current economic climate, is that there are too many skilled, educated applicants and not enough jobs. Rather than ‘retrain’ these creative redundant, unemployed, recent graduate and undervalued workers, we felt that the Startacus community of people should be encouraged to use their existing talents, skills, creativity, experiences and knowledge to create their own startups, and in effect their own jobs and employment opportunities. We decided therefore to build Startacus, an online community and collaboration platform to empower this community and to encourage and promote entrepreneurship and creativity.

Do you have any funding? We applied and were awarded with funding from the Northern Ireland Arts Council, under their Creative Industries Innovation Fund. We are however, now starting to explore other partnership opportunities, so please feel free to give us a shout if you wish to support the platform. Oh, our email address is iam@startacus.net :) What have you achieved so far? So much, and so much we can be proud of. Dealing with redundancy can be a difficult enough experience, but I think the last 10 months or so, has been a rather liberating experience. We started 10 months ago by launching a blog for the employable community and this has grown massively over the last 6 months - please feel free to take a look at theemployable.com for employment inspiration and motivation. We are also just about to launch our 1st ebook and at the same time, launch a massive platform in Startacus,

that we think has the potential to be a life changing business, not just for ourselves, but the self starter community to! What can self starters do to help Startacus become a roaring success? Get involved! Tell people and share the platform with others. At the moment we have a landing page and we are asking interested self starters to take a look at this page and register their email details so that they can be the first to hear when the site fully launches. You can also follow Startacus on Twitter and Facebook. If you are a self starter and feel that you have an inspiring story to tell - tell us! But most of all, if you have a good idea, and feel it has business potential, don’t be put off, by not knowing what to do next. Get yourself on Startacus and see what the community can do to help you realise your idea. You don’t have to be an expert to have a great idea and Startacus is a platform that we hope that will bring out the best in peoples innovative and creative potential.

10 months ago, TheEmployable faced redundancy. A consultation was called. We knew, whilst the formalities had to be completed, that the writing was very much ‘on the wall’. However, with a career history in management, recruitment, sales and HR, and with a little time on our hands, we thought it best to share our knowledge and experience. We created TheEmployable with a mission to improve the quality of honest career advice that is available to the job seeking public. Over the last 10 months, we have written pretty much every single day! Written articles that we would like to hope have featured informative tips and advice, inspirational news stories and interviews, all with the underlying aim of empowering the employable person to improve their job prospects. And that ‘employable person’ could be anyone – whether they are a recent graduate, someone facing redundancy, a disillusioned worker, or simply someone looking to create their own job and future. We never would have imagined all those months ago that we would one day have an ebook hitting bookshelves! But that is just what is about to happen! Our 1st Ebook ‘How to Search and Apply for Jobs’ relates to the part of the job seeking process that jobseekers often get wrong, or take for granted. However, this is the part of the process, that is fundamental for jobseekers to get to ‘first base’ i.e. having an interview. In ‘How to Search and Apply for Jobs’ we address : • • • • • • • •

How to Search and Apply for Jobs is currently available as an ebook on Kindle via Amazon and on various devices via Lulu as an ePub file for Adobe Digital Editions. We hope that you can share our excitement and help us promote and support our endeavours – even buy our book, if you like! It’s not too expensive, and a great read!

What is it that you want to do? How to organise your job search The places you can look for jobs Niche job seeking advice The job application process CV structure and selling yourself Job seeking tips and things to look out for Where to Buy?

Nick Steiert is the founder of the Invasion brand, which produces award-winning travel tours such as the Ibiza Invasion. How did you come up with idea? I was an active member of the Leeds Uni Law Society where I was the Society Social Secretary and then President. My job description included organising tonnes of socials and trips away for our members and the events were always packed out...we developed a reputation for organising the best socials on campus. In particular, I organised one event in Birmingham which saw the law societies of Leeds, Manchester and East Anglia ‘invade’ Birmingham for the weekend. We had over 400 law students on the weekender and it got me thinking that if we can get this amount of just law students on the event, can we not have cities invading other cities…and that’s how invasion events was born. When and how did you set up your business. What was difficult and how long did it take you? I set it up upon graduation in July 2008. I had a 7 month gap year coming up that I needed to fund and I thought this was going to be my golden goose and make an immediate nice chunk of cash... How wrong I was. We actually made a £4,000 loss... As the Birmingham Law event had been a weekender,

we initially set Invasion up as a company offering weekend packages. We were charging £59 which included return coach travel, 2 nights in another city, accommodation and the club entrances. Whilst the package was really good value for money, after about 2 months of advertising we still only had had a couple of sales and the events looked bleak. So we restructured the event format by cutting out the hotel, which reduced our costs and we made it a 1 night invasion to another city for £20. This proved to be a much better formula because sales then started to pick up. The only problem was that we had signed a contract for 75 rooms with the hotel for the first original weekender event which had now been cancelled…so our first event involved myself and my business partners and 75 empty rooms in the hotel! When did you notice that your idea was successful and think this could work? As soon as we restructured the event format and saw sales starting to pick up, with the strength of the brand, we knew that it was a winning formula. Despite making a massive loss on our first event, I didn’t despair and always believed that we’d pull it back. This proved correct as by the end of the first year, we had taken away 1000 students and managed to pay off the debt from the first event. What difficulties did you face in the process?

The difficulty of any new business is survival. I remember when I set up Invasion somebody told me that 80% of new businesses fail in their first year and that it takes about 3 years before a new business starts turning a profit. As an ambitious and budding entrepreneur, I naively thought that I would be an exception to the rule, but how wrong I was . Businesses require time as a lot of mistakes are made in the beginning which are inevitable and you can’t see coming because new businesses generally don’t have the experience or track record to know what works best and so they require the use of trial and error and their owners intuition. But that’s what experience is and by learning from your mistakes you find the right formula and so you need to be patient. In addition, most new businesses can’t benefit from the word of mouth of previous customers, testimonials or supplier relationships that existing businesses do and it takes time to develop these. What would your advice be to others that are thinking of starting a business? It may sound a little corny but always believe in yourself. I have had countless people tell me at the beginning that Invasion was all a pipe dream and that I should just concentrate on a legal career. Especially during the bad times, it would have been easy just to give up, but I persevered and

kept that belief and it’s now starting to pay dividends. You reap what you sew and as long as the belief is there, anything is possible. If the worst does happen and it’s not a success, as long as you gave it your best shot that’s the most important thing and take that experience and use it to your advantage in life. Remember every business owner has had a venture that’s failed at some point and so don’t be too disheartened if it does. Whether its a success or not, you still would have learnt many valuable lessons, which is called the business learning curve. You dont stop learning regardless of how old you are or how long you’ve been trading and I’ve met business owners in their 40s, 50s and 60s who started out in their 20s and they tell me that everyday is still a learning curve for them, because there are situations that sometimes you simply cannot see coming, regardless of how much planning you do. Also try and get as much business advice too when starting up from other business owners. They too would have been starting up their own business at some point and if they can see mistakes you’re making that they might have made, they could save you years of problems you would have otherwise faced. Many business start up owners are arrogant (and I was no exception) because they want to do it their way and leave their own mark on the world and so are not very receptive to

other peoples ideas. However it wouldn’t hurt to find a mentor or speak to a business consultant who would be able to give you constructive guidance in the early days of your new venture. Try and network as much as possible too with other business owners, because you never know who might be able to help you out in the future and what potential doors it could open. People that have set up or run their own companies have a spark that most normal people, until they have been in that situation just don’t get and so try to surround yourself around likeminded thinkers and doers.

ing the growth of Invasion from our humble beginnings into an organisation that now has a footprint all across the world, from continents including Europe, Asia as well as South and North America. What makes it even sweeter is that we have achieved everything by going about our business in the right away and our success is a testament that hardwork and determination do pay off. What advice would you give to others looking to do something similar?

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Back yourself and don’t listen to people that try to dismiss your dreams of success. Yours is the only opinion that counts and as long as you have faith in yourself, then anything is possible. The greatest joy in life always comes from doing what other people said that you couldn’t do. Don’t let mistakes get you down – that is all part of the business learning curve and I for one have learned more from my mistakes than I have from my successes (as they say ”there are no mistakes in life, only lessons”). Every new day, is a fresh opportunity to start again and give it your best. Life is all about risks and it requires you to jump. Go for it with no regrets: never regret what you have done, only regret what you haven’t done. Don’t be that type of person who looks back on life and wonders what they would have or could have had. No one waits forever.

So far my biggest (and proudest) achievement has been oversee-

For more information, check out www.ibizainvasion.com

What do you think of the VMP website? I think the VMP website is a great concept for budding entrepreneurs who want to meet like minded individuals that are either starting out or more established. Business is all about networking and this is a great platform in which to accumulate knowledge from people that have either been there and done that; or are also at the beginning stages of their start up. Sir Richard is an icon to many people around the world who have been inspired by what he has achieved (myself included) and the fact that he is behind it gives the VMP an added sparkle that similar networking websites don’t have.

IBIZA INVASION EVENTS Elements of interview first seen in Younliffe

Many thanks for the opportunity, Amaze, I’m grateful to get the chance to speak to your readers and ask for their help! It is a little difficult for me because I am Polish (unfortunately ;-)) and apart from that it will be the first time I have to write something for a UK magazine... Why my project is so important to me... Because My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here, My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer; A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe, My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go. Because my whole life I was knitting, not knowing how I have this ability. Just I know I have a talent and I would like to show the world the beauty of Celtic patterns and the beauty of Scotland, too. If my project is successful it will change everything in my life - this is not just about the project, I truly believe that some day I will be able to come back to Scotland to live and make it my home. Please back my project – choose a fabulous reward, I will knit you something unique, and you can help my dream come true. Dorota Kowalczyk

BLOOMING GREAT! We thought it would be pretty cool to take a look at some of the projects looking for funding on the Bloom crowdfunding website after featuring Earthtone9 earlier on in the magazine and also doing a feature on Bloom last month. Trying to not sound cliché but we love our business, people might even say that we’re a bit obsessed. Not only are we business partners, we are the best of friends and flatmates and it’s probably just as well because we don’t think that any of our friends could stand the constant chatter about Forward Fitness, it’s best to keep it contained. Until now, when we’re asked to put it down on paper, for a magazine…eek!! You have 2 very excited women here who are for once, a bit stuck for words. Where do we start, what bits do we write about? Big deep breathes and even bigger cups of green tea… here we go, this about Forward Fitness and our crowdfund. We launched the crowdfund to help with

first class back on the 7th rare). of May 2011. We want our personal We can’t believe that we experiences that led us to becoming fitness are 1 year into this already. It’s been such a instructors be known to steep learning curve and everyone, we are not just roller coaster since then. doing this as a job, it’s so much more than that, we have chosen to enter Forward Fitness started this profession the hard out as 4 classes a week way, we want to open our on a Saturday morning, own studio and be able to we were still working other jobs and in full time help others the same way that it has helped us. education, life was nonBloomVC really appealed stop and still is now but I suppose because we we’ve finished our to us as it’s run by 2 independent women, who studies and in May 2012 have both been on separate painful journeys we quit our jobs to work want to get things done that led to us becomfull time on building quickly, effectively and on their own terms. Even Forward Fitness into the ing friends we know that there are others out there business that we dream though we are a too who can benefit from about. partnership we are our experiences. fiercely independent and this comes across in our Anyone that we come At our classes we don’t business, everything that into contact with finds just teach and leave, out about our business, we have done has been we’re there before for our own doing. We got a it’s our passion, our life, advice, after for tea and £500 start-up grant from we eat, live, breath and laugh about it, we’ve also online for follow ups and Glasgow Regeneration which bought us uniforms been known to cry about constant chat about it on occasion (but that’s training and nutrition, we and pilates mats for our the start up costs of our studio, which we have the lease for, this was meant to be the end of our 5 year plan, not the start of year 2. So it’s a bit premature, we have saved but not quite enough to cover the huge costs of lawyers and a studio renovation, so we’re aiming for bite size chunks of crowdfunding to get us started.

just love all of our clients and it shows in the amazing tribe that we have created. The only problem with all of this is that we are mobile trainers with classes in 2 locations, we want it all under one roof so that we can focus more on the business and have an amazing studio to hang out in. Having our own studio after a year of being in business would just be so amazing, we say would, it will be amazing, the lease is at the lawyers now (by the time you read this we may have an entry date) and this is happening. Super scary and exciting and nervous, we just know that this is the right thing for our business.

in the studio, it is going to fund the initial renovation of a few rooms including the changing rooms and toilets. We want people who make promises on BloomVC to be able to see where and how they have helped our business, for them to be able to physically see how they helped is important to us as we appreciate every promise that is made.

Opening the studio will make a huge difference to our working lives as well as improving the environment that our clients train in, it will be our space to stamp our mark on and I know that our clients are as excited about this as us and that makes us all the more determined to get it The crowdfund is going to opened as soon as make a visual difference possible.

Max Payne 3 on PC/PS3/360

on the edge on the world.

Max Payne was a game changer for 3rd person shooters and shooters in general, it offered a gritty storyline, a likeable but flawed hero and a conspiracy theory loving storyline, but more importantly it bounced off a movie that was released a few years earlier, it was the first game that used "Bullet Time" a mechanic whereby the game world is slowed allowing the player to be more precise with gunshots with the added benefit of looking cool.

The story can be confusing at times, as the plot twists and turns violently, and those people itching for a pure shooter will find the cutscenes annoying, I found they accompanied the entire experience pleasantly, all of them are well directed and there are some truly awesome scenes, all of which are rendered in real time, as the game will jump from cutscene to in game with no loading or break inbetween.

Max Payne 3 picks up 9 years after Max Payne 2, although alot of what he did in this time is unexplained, it begins where Max's life has taken a turn for the better, he's now working as a security guard for the Bronco family in Sao Paulo, a wealthy family with ties to the Brazillain government, he spends his days escorting his boss' wife and brother to expensive nightclubs while most of the city sits in poverty, after a little while a miltia group kidnaps his boss's wife setting off a chain of events that will throw max straight into a situation he doesn't want to be in. Max Payne was always praised for its "Noire" narrative, offering twisted hallucinations, gritty characters and black humour, MP3 strays from this formula slightly, no more twisted hallucinations, instead Max's infamous inner monlogue has been given centre stage, all the way throughout the game, Max will express his opinion on the current situation, which brings me to the voice acting and the script. Max's original voice actor returns to full voicing and motion capture duties and succesfully brings max back to life, albeit 9 years later, Max's grizzled tones fit perfectly for a man

Gameplay has been taken at a slower pace, in the previous games, Max was able to bounce around like a rubber ball, taking out groups of enemies in a stunning display of violence, Max Payne 3 takes it back to the board, slows the game down, adding in cover mechanics, which worked so wonderfully well in GTAIV and Red Dead Redemption. Bullet Time is still here, and it's as good as ever, swinging around cover to take out a guy with twin handguns is immensely satisfying, while shootdodging has been refined and will require some hindsight before its used, using it incorrectly will easily get Max killed or at least make him look incredibly stupid as you plough into a filing cabinet or table; but using it correctly and efficiently has made me appreciate the abilitiy far more. Weapon variety is sweet, offering twin handguns, shotguns, assault rifles and even a rocket launcher or two, the ability to mix and match dual weapons allows some crazy combinations, want to use a Sawn Off Shotgun and an UZi? Yeah go for it, or twin Colt .45's? Yeah no problem. The only thing older fans may not appreciate is the emphasis on rifles and assault rifles, but they all serve their purpose and don't

take anything away from the already amazing firearms Shooting through cover or chipping away at cover to deal with an enemy is also possible thanks to the Euphoria engine, which has come a long way for GTAIV, making Max Payne 3 one of the finest looking games on console, PC gamers will receive extensive graphical customisation options, allowing you to tailor it to your preference, although it's far more versatile and well optimised after the GTAIV issue. The only criticisms I can find of Max Payne 3 are the cutscenes and loading times, Cutscenes are often and long, and while the story, direction and voice acting are all top notch, they tend to break up the action far too much, players that are hungry for action will find the breaks annoying. Cutscenes can become dire after a couple of playthroughs, I had seen all the cutscenes and due to loading screens, only portions of cutscenes can be skipped, and if you are going to play this on Xbox 360 without installing it, be prepared to be waiting for a little while. The games length is probably close to 9 or 10 hours including cut scenes, I went throught the game twice, I was totally blown away at some of the gunfights and levels, some of Max's quotes are probably some of the most memorable I've heard and shooting a whole room of guys as a badly shaved drunken excop is stupidly satisfying and brilliant I award Max Payne 3 a 9 out of 10, Max Payne 3 is not only the one of the best games I've played in 2012, its one of my top games period. it's a great return to Max Payne, keeping all the best bits while steering the series in a new direction.