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The demise of pop culture's musical heart investigated

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(The 14 day happenings poster)

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The city's only detailed guide to what's on where and when

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Preview inside

PAGES SIX AND SEVEN

concrete's pull-out guide to the local arts scene


featur-e two

e With a plethora of Balls being arranged to tempt the average student's grant cheque, it can be hard deciding which one to choose. Darren Fisher gives you the run down on the more interesting on offer

A MONSTER RHYTHM N' BLUES ~ PARTY

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Tuesday 25th - Saturday 29th May Tuesday- Thursday at 7.30pm Friday & Sat at 6.00pm, 9.00pm Tickets: £2.50 - £14.50

NORWICH BOX OFFICE 0603 63 00 00

As is usual in the summer term , the biggest and most extravagant ball is being arranged by the LAW society. Entitled (quite aptly) "The Midsummer Law Ball" it has always been seen as the ball to go to and this year seems to be no exception. Starting at 7.00 and ending ''when everyone goes home really," it is being held on Saturday Week8 at Ea~ham Hall and has a giant marquee where most of the evening's enterta inment takes place. On top of the 3 course meal, which seems obligatory for all balls, it also offers a champagne breakfast at 4am. This is impossible for any other ball as no other venue in Norwich can stay open past 2am. As you enter, UEA's very own string quartet plays in the background as you haveyour picture taken free of charge (or to be more exact, price included in the ticket). Throughout the meal there is live music and song, and afterwards there are three DJ's organising the disco to make sure the music is varied. Also included this year is a "Lazer Quest" type game (where all the guests can go around shooting those whose table etiquette didn't quite come up to scratch) as well as jugglers and a Tarot reader. Three roulette tables are also provided inthe free casino (everyone gets ten chips when they enter) where prizes such as a television or a stereo can be won. Unlike previous years there are no firewo rks as they were

deemed too extravagant for the money (around £5,000.) LAW Society treasurer Louise Rayner says: "They (the fireworks) are too expensivefor what they are,you can give so much more and so much better entertainme nt for the money." Some of the money saved has also been put toward security measures. New this year are fences (with security guards) enclosing the marquee as last year many gatecrashers managed to get in unnoticed. Contrary to popular beliefthe ball is non profrt-making even though itiscostingapproximately£25,000 to hold. Not to be confused with the Midsummer LAW Ball, the Midsummer Ball is being organised by the UEA Ballroom and Latin American Dance Society(BALADS) and takes place a day after on Sunday Week 8. On a much smaller scale than the LAW Ball it is nol so much trying to compete,but rather to offer a distinct a~em ative to a large scale event. Andy Garland, SALADS president says, "We are trying to offer a sophisticated evening. At most balls all you really get is a meal and an LCR disco afterwards. If you are in full evening dress you often want something a little classier." The society (which was also responsible for the very successful Snow Ball at Norwich Castle last November) is providing a three course meal, as well as a fifteenpiece jazz band that will play all evening. "Mhough the evening is prima-

rily geared to people who know the basics in Ballroom and Latin American dancing, all are very welcome. There are plenty of songs people can dance to, like the jive and the other dances are very easy to pick up. Even if you don't like dancing, if you like jazz you should have a really good time." Starting at 6.30 at Blackfriars Hall, on St Andrews Street, the ball is non-profrt making and is being run at cost,with tickets costing £24. Yet another alternative is the "Chaplaincy Summer Ball," t ing held at the Sainsbury Centre on the Friday of Week 8. Offering a four course meal, with a Rhythm and Blues band providing the music, it starts at 7.30, with tickets costing £22. •Atthe time of going to press, all tickets for the LAW ball had been sold. However, in past years it has been the tradition to release some extra tickets nearer the time. So you never know .... ! Tickets for the Midsummer Ball areavailable from Union House between 1-2 on weekdays and Chaplaincy Ball tickets are obtainable from either the Chaplaincy, or UH from Monday Week 4.


IRATINGSI Loaded Weapon - **"'* - With Mustard! Indecent Proposal -**路Average Gas Food Lodgings路 *** - Underrated

Loaded Weapon Andy Battalle looks at the latest from the National Lampoon team Alright,let'sjustgetallthe negatives out of the way to start off. With a slow beginning and a cast that lacks the chemistry of the other National Lampoon movies (ie, Chevy Chase's 'Vacation' series), 'Loaded Weapon' doesn't look promising at first. But for those who wait out the doldrums, there are great rewards. Weapon' has tons of pleasant surprises fortheattentive viewer. Cameo appearances by Char1ie Sheen, Phil Hartman, Denis Leary, Corey Haim- the list goes "'l - spice up the bits usually erved for scrub actors who are getting their first break in Hollyt.'I)Od. The cinematic inter-textuality is both obvious and subversive. While 'Loaded Weapon' is mainly a spoof on 'Lethal Weapon,' there are elements of 'Basic Instinct,' 'Robocop,' Wayne's World,' The Naked Gun,"Star Trek,' and even the long dead television series 'Chips' (long live Eric Estrada). Emilio Estevez and Samuel J. Jackson play the slapstick pair of Detectives Jack Co~ and Wes Luger, whoareoutto bust aring of Los Angeles drug dealers. The baddies are headed by the evil General Morters (William 1tner), a grizzled Vietnam .rteran. When Morters and his cronies infringe upon the reputation of the Wilderness Girls so that they may push their dope

through baking it into their cookies, the situation gets tense. In order to save the Wilderness Girls' soiled image, Miss Demeanor (Kathy Ireland), their Corporate Officer, decides to help out the cops while also getting involved with Det. Co~. lt all adds up to abig showdown in the big city. This movie is bound to please the movie-going aficianado with comedy coming from all angles and acast which has big names from the lead role down to the parking attendant. Mhough it may not reach the level of an 'Airplane! ' or a 'Naked Gun,' 'Loaded Weapon' is good, clean fun. On a scale from one to frve, it gets a four with mustard.

film three

Indecent Proposal David and Diana Murphy have an almost idyllic marriage. As high school sweethearts, they eloped and ever since have lived happily ever after. Then the recession hits and David (Woody Harrelson) is made redundant Struggling to make ends meet, they go to Las Vegas to try and make some money to paythe mortgage, but instead only succeed in losing everything. Enter Robert Redford as John Gage, a smooth billionaire who offers David a million dollars if he can spend one night with Diana (Demi Moore). Desperate for the money, they face a moral dilemma, whereby whatever they decide to do, it will be the wrong decision. I will not spoil it by telling you what they actually do, but needless to say this film has provided many American chat shows with material for months. Directed by Adrian Lyne, the maker of both 'Fatal Attraction' and 'Nine and a Half Weeks'. this latest et-

fort has neither the suspense ofthe former nor the power of the latter. Very slow moving it would have been much better if it was thirty minutes shorter, and the dialogue is at times very cliched and cringeingly pretentious. Harrelson and Moore are adequate enough, but it is Redford's performance that makes the film worth watching. Classy and charming, with impeccable manners (very much in the 'Pretty Woman' mould) he outshines the rest of the cast without seemingly trying. Unfortunately, although good in parts, (watch outforthe hyperactive cameo by Billy Connolly!) there is not enough story to keep interest going, and the film sort of fizzles. out towards the end, as if the writer ran out of ideas. Worth a look if you are a fan of Redford or Moore, but if not this is just a very average movie, which like too many films being released at the moment relies too much on hype and not enough on quality for it's success.

Review by Darren Fisher

Gas Food Lodgings Gas, food,lodgings- it's all you need, according to the highway signs littered across America. Yet in writer-director Allison Anders' debut, the central characters find there's plenty more to life than the bare essentials. In this highly underrated odd ball movie, Brooke Adams ('Lace', 'The Dead Zone') heads the cast as Nora, the lonely mother of two teenage daughters, Shade and Trudi. All three of

them live together in a cramped caravan parked in adusty deadend town in New Mexico. The setting may sound gloomy, but it is the differing characterisations in this little-known gem which make the film come alive. For example, where as the man -hungry eldest daughter, Trudi (lone Skye), who wears skirts up to her thighs and slaps on makeup with apaint brush, her younger sister Shade is quite the oppo-

site - both innocent and naive, yet wise beyond her years. The film is more a slice of a dysfunctional, one-parent family's life, than a plot-based showpiece; however, Shade's narration keeps the whole thing ticking over, combining some funny moments with those wich are genuinely touching. Areaistic performance from lone Skye (star of cu~ classic' River's Edge' and above average teen

pie 'Say Anything') as the wayward daughter, compliments Fairuza Balk's charming interpretation of ,the thoughtful Shade. A very personal film, 'Gas Food Lodgings' possesses a natural quality, which infuses the characters with a warmth and freshness rarely found in high-proflie Hollyt.'I)Od movies.

Georgina King

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film "four Hear My Song Review by Georgina King

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Fancy winning a pair of tickets to any film showing at the Cannon until the end of June? Concrete has six pairs to give away in this weeks competition. To win just answer the following four questions correc~ly :

1. In the film Sommersby, from which war does Jack (Richard Gere) return? 2. In which 1991 psychological thriller did Jodie Foster win an Oscar for her role? 3. To which famous model is Richard Gere married? 4. On which French film is

Sommersby based on? Mark all answers clearly with your name, school and year. Deadline for entries is 12.00 on Friday May 14.Tickets are valid for Monday to Thursday only. Normal Concrefe rules apply, no correspondence will be entered into and the Editors decision is final.

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In the wa ke of a recent excess of violent and disturbing Union films - 'Deep Cover' , 'Pacific Heights' , 'Resevoir Dogs', 'Raising Cain' - it makes a refreshing alternative to leave the Plain and see a charming, funny and altogether upl ifting piece of cinema. 'Hear My Song', showing for one night only at the Cannon Cinema on Thursday 13th May, fits the bill perfectly as the ideal alternative. Serving as an inspiring antedate to a glut of drugs, violence, death, and psychopathic maniacs, it's a wh imsical tale of music, love and romance, spun together under the assured direction of Peter Chelsom . The inspiration for the tale comes from the fascinating, true life story of cele brated Irish te nor Josef Locke, who mysteriously disappeared in 1958, - one step ahead of the Inland Revenue. Following his departure, a singer billed as Mr X, successfully passed himself off as the elusive Jo, amid rumours that it was indeed him. The film itself is set in 80s Liverpool, where clubowner MickeyO'Neill (played bycowriter Adrian Dunbar) is on the verge of bankruptcy. Mickey books Mr X, who de lights the crowd, and seems to secure the club's future . But whe n the fraud is discovered , by Locke 's former love Cathleen , Mickey sets off on a quest to the Emerald Isle, to find the real Locke, save his club, recla im his now scornful sweetheart and thus redeem himself. Ned Beatty exudes charisma as the golden-tonsilled Jo Locke , and Adrian Du nbar (who can currently be seen in 'The Crying Game' at Cinema City) is the sweet-talking dreamer, Mickey. Barring the occasional cliche, this film is an old-fashioned tale , unashamedly romantic, and not afraid to be optimistic. In Am erica, where 'Hear My Son g' enjoyed tremendous success, it was labelled "magical reality" . l'd simply call it wo nderful!

IRATINGSI Pacific Heights-***. Well made thriller Hear My Song·****· Uplifting Jungle Book-**"'** • Timeless

Jungle Book

For those of you who wa nt to get away from exam pressure you can go and re-live your childhood at the Cannon this week. The Jungle Book has been re-released yet again so a new generation of toddlers can get acquainted with the Disney classic. For those of you who don't know about rt (where have you been?) just before Wait Disney died he made what many to believe his greatest piece of work. A feature length cartoon very loosely based on the classic Rudyard Kipling story rt was the Disney company's last major hit before forming Touchstone pictures. The story concems a baby called Mowgli who is abandoned in the jungle and for ten years is looked after by wolves who have raised him as oneof their own. The King of the Jungle, Shere Khan has found out about this and has threatened to kill the man-cub. The only way to save his life is for him to be taken back to civilisation. The film follows Mowgli on his

joumey where along the way he befriends many animals, among them a bear name<! Baloo, all the while keeping lookout for Shere Khan. This may seemed somewhat cliched but this film is as they say, timeless. lt may not quite be 'Bambi' but with the days full of sunshine and an ice lolly in your hand rt makes it easy to fantasise about those childhood days when the only finals you had heard of were played at Wembley. The songs are terrific, ' I Wanna Be Like You' and ' Bear Necessrties' were first heard here, and I dare anyone not to at least be humming one of them when they leave the theatre. The plot may be a brt sickly for some but you can always sir' with the bad dies if you are f~ ing particularly sadistic and don't want your street cred to go totally down the drain. lt may only be a cartoon, but the pop stars of the day still

Pacific Heights If you are feeling like a tense

two hours then this movie is for you. Matthew Modine and Melanie Griffith play an idealistic couple who buy their dream home, but in order to pay the mortgage they have to let out some of the rooms. Enter Michael Keaton as a psychotic tenant who spends all day finding new ways to taunt his lanlords. Manipulating their emotions he refuses to pay his bills, but due to a loophole in the law they cannot evict him. As the other tenants move out as life becomes more unpleasant, the innocent couple find

Lecture Theatre Movie their world crumbling around them. As the horrors committed intensify, their desperation increases and they start to play a deadly game. Good performances all round, the movie creates enough tension to supply Hollywood for the next three years. Worth a look, as even if you are having a most miserable time at UEA, it makes you feel lucky.


WIN!! WIN!! WIN!! WIN!! WIN!! WIN!! Buy any Mars product from the Union supermarket or the Union Newsagent,and get a FREE entry to the Superskate prize draw,to win roller boots worth £70 or 4 pairs of entry tickets Big burgers From £1.30 Games machines & AIR HOCKEY!

. Burton Road Business Park, Vulcan Road (off Mile Cross Lane), Norwich. Phone

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The 14- da"Y haPPeninl!§ l!uide Produced in association with the Norwich Theatre Royal numbersand acastof25. AI the

Saturday 22

Presleyfavollites·'Heartbreak Hoter, 'Jai~house Rock' and . Suede Shoe$' in-. In this foot;.:Sto~MPilng

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Union Gigs

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Wortd Party-Auniqueoppu1unity to see THE flavour of the month.

Folk Festval The Kathryn Ttckell Band- Early booking is advised for this sell-<llt artiste. Billed as "abig star", she will be performing her popularlladitional Northumbrianinfluence:l folk music. 8pm £4

IIOII*OI*L 7:30plll£2 . 8.50

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2:20jxn. ·SCreen f'M):- 'Alive' (15} -

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:'Stoly of survival in~ . epic. 2:10pm, 5:40pm, 8:25pm Screen Three:- 'Trespass' (18)Crime thriler stirring Ice Cube and Ice T. 1:20pm, 3:.Spm, 6:10pm, 8:-iOpm Screen Feu:- 'Forever Yoowj

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(PG)· Mel ~vehicle abolt afV*r plotfrozen forfiftyyea.-s. 2:~. ,6pm, 8:30pm

'Ortno' (PG) 5:45pm, 8:15pm

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Friday 14 Union Gigs

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P.J. Harvey- Controversial si~r Polly Harvey leads the band widely hailed as the brightest new stars in the independent music firmament. Their debut album 'Dry' topped tile indie charts for weeks, and 'Rid Of Me' - their second L P. - has just been released marking a progression from their original sound. See them before they embar1c on their wor1dwide tour. £7 adv.

der 'The Fairy Who Didn't Want To Be A Fairy Anymore' - A sublime and hilarious musical fairytale 5:45pm 'The Crying Game' (18) 8:15pm 'My Own Private Idaho' (18) 'DrugstoreCowboy'directorGus Van Sant's road/buddy movie. Hollywood golden boys, River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves, star as two unlikely friends - one a lonely rent boy, the other a rich man's SOf1. 11 pm

Union Films 'Gas Food Lodgings' (15) - An oddball film about a dysfunctio"al family, which is both comic and touching. Stars Brooke Adams as mother of two wayard teefl8ge daughters.

Cinema City London GayAnd Lesbian Film Festival (18) 'Changing Our Minds'· A tribute to the wor1c of Or Evetin Hooker. who established that ho-

measures from critic»"'lr.ctJCdet~ alike. Stars Tim Roth, Madsen and Harvey Keilel.

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Cinema City. 'Thunderbird 6' (U)- The second full-length futuristic adventure, based on the popular TV series, created by the celebrated puppeteer Gerry Anderson. 2:30pm 'Orlando' (PG) 5:45pm, 8:15pm

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Theatre Royal See Wednesday

Sludlrt ..._- Drilb £1.50 .. -

cone. Societies UEADrama Soc: presnt "Nietzsche - The Musical" - Two hours oof escapist entertainment in a new, moderTHlay farce, that's not a

musical and hasn't got much to do with Nietzsche either. Until Monday 24th May

9pm-2Ml£1

Sunday 23 Cinema City

NAC

'GieoganyGien Ross' (15)- David Mamet's "greatest play" about a beleagured group of salesmen struggling to win a sales competition. The first prize is a cadiliac, the second a set of steak knives, the third redundancy. All all-star cast, including Jack Lemmon, AI Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, and Jonathan Pryce, make this powerful and tense drama. 7.30pm

Folk Festilal Folk In The Par!( Not strictly at the NAC, this is a free day of entertainment in Water1ooPar11. Featumg Brass Neck (traditional Gaelic Blue Grass), The In-Breeds (zany Wymondham-based folk/rock) and Last Straw (well-lulown Norwich folk/rock band.

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Africa.

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fonnMce. 8pm£3 adv.£4door

'Dimlgl' (18)230pm, 5:«ipm,

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'Damage' (18) - Based on Josephine Hart's novel about

a married M.P.'sobsessiveaffair with his son's fiance, and his subsequent fall from grace. LouisMalle'sacumenfeatures excellent performances from Jeremony Irons, Juliette Binoche, Rupert Graves and the award-winning Miranda Richardson. 5:45pm, 8:15pm

Theatre Royal See Wednesday

NAC John Shuttleworth- Comedy with the star of C4's 'Saturday Zoo' and hit of the Edinburgh Film Festival. in the words of 'The Independent'. "The man's a star. Go!". 8pm £4

Manhattan Student Night - Drinks £1 .50 all night. 9prn - 2am FREE ADMISSION

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Tues 18 Live In The Hive Ifs that time again, and tonight it's Pub Games with 'The Krypton Factor'... for drinkers! All teams are sponsored for RAG.

Union Films 'Paciftc Heights' (15)

Cinema City 'Orlando' (PG) 2:30pm, 5:45pm, 8:15pm

NAC Wilde Club - Mr Ray's Wig World hhhmmm, sounds interesting... £3 adv., £4door


IUU§it: eight

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I Niall Hampton outlines the decline

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Pop is dead. The musical genre which emerged in the 1950s has finallyreachedtheend of the road, oraltematively, that mythical creation. 'rock's long highway'. Last year. even Morrissey told a leading music journalistthat, "lthas actually died. Pop music has ended." lt would appear therefore that the medium that has given the postwar world icons and entertainers from Elvis Presley to U2 is finally ready for burial, killed by an onslaught of technology and gratuitous musical recycling. Yetifanyonetrulyexpectedpopto last much longer than it has, then they must be deluded. Eminent music critics columnists have been seemingly united in a condemnation of the current trends in, and the state of, pop music. Duringthetwentiethcentury, white musicians took a harmonic system from the hands of the black American and fused it with their

own contemporary popular music. By the 1950s, performers such as Elvis and Buddy Holly made it their own, spawning hundreds of imitators and admirers. lnaddition, blackmusicians such as Buddy Guy, Chuck Berry and BB King were huge influences on their white counterparts such as Keith Richards and Lennon and McCartney. What remains intrinsically true though, is that right through from the Rolling Stones to Ugly Kid Joe, pop music as we know it has been penned from a minimalist structure, a kind of reductionist version of classical music. As music is inevitably mathematics, surely the .amount of permutations must have run out years ago. If you don't really subscribe to this view, then try to explain why Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Transvision Vamp's

Even Morrissey told a leading music journalist: "lt has actually died. Pop music has ended."

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"Baby I don't care" are based on almost exactly the same chords the 1-4-5 progression to all the musical theorist - as The Trogg's 'Wild Thing". lt is because pop will repeat itself - with a limited amount of harmonic o!iions availablefromsuchaneconomicstructure, a certain amount of repetition, and indeed plagiarism, is taking place.

Yetthisisnotpeculiartopop....... . However, each new trend is always maliceted to the consumer as something completely fresh and exciting. Can anyone explain what the essential difference between grunge and 70s rock is? Hardly anything, as the 'difference' is more to do with attitude and fashion than any virtue of the music itself.

So pop can be seen to be running out of new ideas. Why not just concede that pop is dead after all? "No!",l hear you protest Pop is alive and weii ..."Long live pop!" you say. Is it though? Let's shift the argument from a purely musical angle - which unfortunately is not always the primary concern with pop music - to other issues: the pop star and his popularity.

In the past, pop music has relied on generations of stars to front itself. From pop's formative days in the 1950s, Elvis's looks and status had more to do with his record sales than the actual music itself. This trend continued unhindered, from The Beatles to Duran Duran and Wham almost thirtyyearslater,when twelve year olds would plaster their walls with postersbeforegoingoutandbuying all the singles and albums of their favourite stars. Yet this relies on there actually being a pop star, a marketable face and image that pop consumers can identify with. The problem in the 1990s seems to be the continuation of a malaise that began to spread in the late 1980s: we don'thavepop stars any more. Music columnists have recently been complaining about tt11s unfortunate deYelopment, and one of them, Robert Elms, thinks that he has identified the core of the problem. Heclaimsthatthe decfinein popularity of 'Top of the Pops', that veritable institution of adolescence, has sounded the death knellforpopmusic. "There are no more pop stars", he says, "Eivis is not only definitely dead, but so

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~ ~ ~ Passchendaele and Manuskript - Live in g:ona HeAD

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Tuesday Week 6 sees UEA band MANUSKRIPT appear 'Live in the Hive', eo-starring with Norwich hopefuls PASSCHENDAE· LE. The thing about MANUSKRIPT, isthateventhoughthey're all students and involved in the running of the CMS (with the exception of Paul - who graduated from here last year), they have been operating 'at arms length' from UEA. Instead, they've been making a name for themselves and gaining nationwide interest from all around the country through our mail order servioe, fanzine, demo-tapes and endless phone calls. From a personal viewpoint - it's taken the best part of 3 years of dedication and rehearsal, with a few alterations to the line up along the way - but things are starting to come together. They have secured support slots with THE MARIONETTES (a stalwart post-punk band, who have just returned from Europe), the first being at THE OVAL ROCKHOUSEon Thurs·

Manuskript day May 13th (Week 4) and there is a good chance of them playing with Rosetta Stone (Goth's great white hope...or should that be black?) later on this summer. As far as the music itself is concerned, Mike Uniwins (a member of Manuskript) says he is "pretty pleased with it an right naw", for although he and Paul started out as a v.ery unsubtle Sisters/Mission type band, they have "grown out of that now and have learnt to write and play in our own style. I like to think that other bands, whilst having an obvious influence, don't de-

fine how we sound any more. One last word: it's not all gloom and doom! We all love classy pop music (there's a Marc Almond fanatic inthe band, David Sylvian ismy absolute hero and Connie Francis is Rosie's fave) and in the end that earty 80's feel is what I'd like to achieve...when pop stars were pop stars, and blokes still wore eyeliner... " PASSCHENDAELEhavebeen around in Norwich for about 3 years, but it's only in the past few months with a new stable

line-up that they have started to come into their own. Back in 1991, they polled of a couple of major coups - support slots with Gary Numan, and The Mighty Lemon Drops. Unfortunately, 'differences' within the band caused a split. All that is behind them now, and their time must surely come soon. There have been a few comparisons to The Cure (Concrete review: 'CurseoftheCanary'27/1/ 93). Andy Best (founder member and guitarist) gave his verdict, "Yeah, they've been an influence on us, but so has everybody else. I think the Cure thing is mentioned bypeople who have alot of trouble labelling us. We're more like them visually, rather than musically. "I met (Robert) Mr.Smith backstage at an And Also the Trees gig in London last year • he's very bashful. I must have given him about an hour to come up to me and say, 'You're Andy from Passchendaele aren't you..?', but I had to approach him." What did he have to say then?"Not much really.We were getting drunk and talking about

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D1UiiC nine

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of the pop star and modern music is the whole cutture which was born with him." Elms blames this on the death of the pop star, before blowing a rather large trumpet for George Michael, in his own words "the last real international pop icon Britain produced." Elms also c~es Spandau Ballet, Ouran Ouran, Boy George, and U2 -the pick of the 80s crop - as being the last of thepopstars.(lncidentally, Robert Elms's immortal 'poetry' characterised the origins of the New Romantic movement, some of which appeared on the sleeve of Spandau Ballet's first album, confirming his status as a nostalgic devotee of 80s pop). But what can the death of the pop star be blamed on? A lack of talent? A lack of marketability? Surely not. Look at bands like Suede, a deft exercise in reqcling the 1970s. The root of the problem lies in the increasing reliance on electronic technology to make music. Now you can create your own bunch of techno-brats a la 2 Unlim~ed for as I~ as £1,000, and flood the charts, with bland, and ineWably shallow dance music. Elms sees this trend as a valid reason for the decline of the pop

the Hive 'The Trees'. That was it really." So what about PASSCHENDAELE? Apart from anything else, it's a very tricky word to spell (Ents got it wrong). The band name themselves after a small village in Belgium that was pointlessly devastated during Wor1d War 1. "lt was something that I had learnt about, and basically had a lot of sympathy for", said Andy. The battle has only just began for Andyandthe band. Their'Barren Hearts' EP is released this week, and following their appearance in the Hive, they have landed a support slot with BIRDLAND at THE OVAL on June 10th. Last word to Andy. "Our gig with DannyTaurus at the Queen Vtc in Walford has been cancelled. We're gutted." THE MARIONETTES & MANUSKRIPTiiveatTHEOVAL, Thurs Week4 (13th May). £3on the door. PASSCHENDAELE & MANUSKRI PT appear Live in The Hive Tues Week 6 (25th May) Free admission. BIRDLAND & PASSCHENDAELE live at THE OVAL Thurs Week 10 (10th June). £3 on the door

star. Dance music for him is "performed by faceless, nameless people, who only really exist in a studio.lt is anonymous, transient and functional. This is do-ityourself music made on cheap technology which many people have access to." Because of the rise of dance music, "The curtain has been pulled back on what was once a highly mysterious and glamourous business, so that pop performers no longer have that magic. When anyone can do ~. the people who do ~ are not so special", he says. One can see that Elms has a point in his argument. A current debate in the world of pop concerns the relative aesthetic merits of Take That and East 17, both of which appear to be a desperate effort by their respective record companies to relaunch the concept of the pop star. However, the strength of their jawtines and the height of their cheekbones has absolutely no bearing on the actual music they 'produce', which is predictably mundane. Surely they are not the saviours of pop, ifildeed there are any contenders. But isn1 Robert Elms being unduly pessimistic? Probably not,

atthough journalists at music papers -such as NME and Melody Maker usually paint a rosy picture of the current music scene. Unfortunately, they thrive on publicising the more fashionable aspects of pop, and accordingly drop bands like stones if they eventually become commercial and, in so doing, cause them to fall from grace with their (fickle) audience. Robert Elms is not alone however: another leading music critic (who used to work for the NME years ago) has similar views on the death of pop music. Tony Parsons, famous for his biography of George Michael, is the rock columnistforTheOailyTelegraph. He too has identified the imminent death of pop music, and blames~ partly on other facets of moderri technology- Sonic the Hedgehog and the sampler. Parsons, like Robert Elms, is another exponent of the view that pop had a central meaning to youth culture. "From the Beatles to the Sm~hs, pop was charged with meaning", he says, "lt was about experimentation, rebellion, love and lust. Pop had an immediacy no other medium could reach." For Parsons, pop was always far more than just enter-

tainment, something which the youth of today seem to relentlessly root for. Faced with this, and under the auspices of making a film for Channel4 "looking for signs that pop's heart is still beating", Parsons and his team toured the UK in what transpired to be a vain search. They concluded that changing tastes among the young are uttimately to blame, as pop's former consumers are turning to such things as computer games, wrestling and dance music for their entertainment. (Such a conclusion is considerably strengthened by the fact that sales of the Sonic the Hedgehog computer game outsold Simply Red's 'Stars', the most successful album of 1992). Like Robert Elms, Parsons is in

no doubt as to the impact of dance music. "lt gets by on its rhythmic exc~ementalone and has mantras instead of lyrics", he says, before accusing it of being "a nail in pop's coffin." ltwould appear that Sonic the Hedgehog and the rest ofthe Nintendo generation, fuelled on dance music, have caused the pop star's popularity and in turn his product, pop music, to be eclipsed. Atthough Parsons adm~s that, "The prognosis for pop is not good", he acknowledges ~s continuing existence in albeit derivative forms. Sub-genres such as grunge, ragga and riot grrrf are duly dismissed: "But these are just l~le individual council estates of style, not viable options for pop's future", he says.

So what are the options for the future of pop? In fairness, not much at all. As a cuttural form that constantly repeats and mtlilates tself, a point mustslkelybereachedwhenthere is seemingly nothing left to rip off that has not already had such a treatment. The law of mathematics suggests that pop has essentially been slain by~sownstra~-jacketofstyleand

structure; ~s funeral announced by its very own consumers, who have flocked elsewhere in their search for entertainment and inspiration. But pop will spiritually survive; it will be remembered for what ~ really achieved in the days before Sonic and rave in~iated ~s demise. Pop is dead. Long live pop.

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IOUยงiC ten

Jamie Putnam looks at the latest from bands including Skyclad, The Fall and Mad Cobra less memorable lines: "Spangles were always crap", "lt has ephemeral whinging aspects", the list is endless. They are genii and deserve bucket loads of respect.

THE DRUM CLUB: "I REALLY FEEL" (Butterfly)

The Fall, makers of"Quite possibly one of the best albums out so farthis year." SKYCLAD: "JONAH'S ARK" L.P. (Noise) Metal Mashing Minstrels! Skyclad are a British six-piece metal band who look like extras from the set of' Robin Hood' (all leather keks and furry boots!) and are seriously amusing (for about six seconds anyway). They've got a neat line in tired cliched metal riffs, but what really sets them apart is the inclusion of various folk instruments, such as the mandolin and vio-

lin, giving it all a suitability 'Tolkein meets the Levellers' feel. Add to these ingredients, song titles such as "The ilk of human blindness" and "Tunnel Visionaries", and you get the picture Uust about). What a bunch of loonies!

JOJO GRETSCH: "REACH OUT" E.P. (Cheetah) Pretty dull really. Sort of Joan Jett, but not as rocky ... Oh, I don't know ... a bit punky I sup-

pose - in a U.S. High School sorta way. Why couldn't they have sent me the "Siowdive" E.P. instead?

RADIOHEAD: "POP IS DEAD" E.P. it's a brave, if a little foolhardy, step. "Pop Is Dead" is the sort of title that nearly every 'alternative ' band has come up with at some time or other, but have never dared use. Radiohead however have slipped through the bars of convention and gone

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for it in style ... well, almost. "Pop Is Dead" is a strange record. Manic guitar lines slide all over the shop, Tom delivers some of his best vocals yet, and the whole thing ends up sounding like Jellyfish after an overdose of stimulants. Brilliant. The following track, " Banana Co. ", is an acoustic 'ballad' a la Rolling Stones (Beggars Banquet) and is rather nice, with great swooping vocals! To top it all off there are also live versions of "Creep" (one of the best tracks from 'Pablo Honey') and "Ripcord" . So on the whole it's worth shelling out for. Pop is dead, long live pop!

THE FALL: "THE INFOTAINMENT SCAN" L.P. (Cog Sinister)

Tennents Pilsner/ Worthington

Quite possibly one of the best albums out so far this year. Mark E. Smith has done it again (and again and again). Every single track is a classic. From the opening bars of the first track "Ladybird", there is just something effortlessly superior about the whole shebang, and it doesn't let up for an instant. Sure, "Giam Racket" is superb, and so is the Sister Sledge cover, but the real gems are definitely "Paranoia Man In Cheap Shit Room" and "The League Of Bald Headed Men", which rattles along like soupedup Cortinas. And there are, of course, count-

A delicious slice of tribal ambience following their last offering "U Make me Feel So Good". Three mixes are on offer, the 'Rub a Trance mix' being the best, in my humble opinion, with loads of bongos to help the soundscape slide past. it's not as harsh as stuff by The Aphex Twin, but rougher than the silky textures of System 7, and definitely life-changing if played at high volume. The album comes out in July, and a tour with Orbital, Spooky and The Midi Circus follows. Check it out.

MAD COBRA: "LEGACY'' (Columbia) The ragga onslaught continues with this record. Soulful, with some well placed vocals, and five mixes in total to keep you interested (!!?).Who calls themselves Mad Cobra anyway?

RIBBON TEARS: Carnival Round Face (Goldfish Records) Not bad for a debut single - a nicethickguitarsoundandgenerally quite spirited. The only drawback is that the lyrics are of the "She takes me higher" cliched variety, but there are some nice twists to make it interesting ... as the vocalist goes on about a bullet in her head. B side: 'Jelly' (the KY mix) is a jumping, shuffling indie dance track- a cross between Aimead and the Charlatans. Ifs alright, but it doesn't really go anywhere interesting. lt will, however, be interesting to see what they come up with next time ...

NEW ORDER: "REPUBLIC" (London Records) New Order's long awaited new album will not fail to please, with a mix of traditional New Order keyboards and guitar on tracks like 'Chemical' and 'Spooky'. There are other tracks marking a departure for New Order, such as Times Change' -a mix of Miami Vice style mood music with Shamen like rapping . A fine album if you like New Order - instantly recognisable, but with some surprises. (S Howard)

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Ribbon Tears : "nice twists" make their debut interesting

Win loads of records ... again FREE raffle -For T-Shirts et-c. and a weekly st-ar prize o-F a PERSON A L STEREO

After the success of last issue'scompetition, to win loads of vinyl, tapes and cds, Concrete has decided to give away loads of records again in an attempt to clear the office! For anyone requiring a complete rundown, here's what we are offering:

Wild West: The Original Soundtrack (including music from Nanci Griffith) Shabba Ranks (featuring Maxi Priest): Housecall D*Note: Babel JoJo Gretsch: Reach Out This Picture: Highrise The 4 of Us: I Miss You

Mad Cobra: Legacy

To be in with a chance of win-

ning, put your name, school and year on a piece of paper and post it in any of the boxes around campus (there's one outside the Steward's Cabin) by Friday May 14. The first name drawn will win all of the above. Normal Concrete competition rules apply and the Editor's decision is final.


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The Centre of creation? Si mon Mann reports on the work of the Centre for Creative and Performing Arts May 12 sees the first of this year's Summer Readings at UEA by 'new and promising authors' of fiction , and the seriesisthe "biggestandbest yet" according to Jon Cook, the Director of the EAS-based Centre for Creative and Performing Arts, which hosts the series. Each of the six weekly sessions will be attended by two authors, who will give short readings from their latest works, followed by a discus-

The term 'new and promising' might seem an odd way to describe authors such as Peter Acroyd, Elspeth Barker and Edmund White, who have well established reputations in the publishing world sion and a question and answer exchange with the audience. There will be a book signing in Waterstones afterwards. The term 'new and promising' might seem an odd way to describe authors such as Peter Acroyd, Elspeth Barker and Edmund White, who have well established reputations in the publishing world: it is a point emphasised by the fact that the eleven writers taking part have won twenty major literary prizes between them, with four being tipped as strong contenders for this year's Booker Prize. However, Jon Cook is keen to emphasise that 'new' is meant only in the sense of providing a contrast with those authors who would normally appear in the Arthur Miller Centre's Autumn Readings, such as William Golding and Iris Murdoch, who were at UEA last year: "all of this term's participating authors are established writers, but they are still on the verge of a breakthrough to the front

rank." The programme was put together by Russell Celyn Jones, as part of his responsibilities as this year's Creative Writing Fellow at UEA. The Summer Readings is really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the work done by the Centre, which amongst many other things includes organising research seminars, developing revolutionary new interactive computing facilities for poetry and film studies, devising an innovative Media Management Course, and organising scholarships. The Centre also has a strong relationship with UEA's world famous Creative Writing MA; it publishes the course's annual anthology of short stories written by the MA students, which is nationally reviewed, and sells in significant numbers. Jon Cook points out that this relationship with creative writing is at the heart of the Centre's purpose: "we were set up in 1988 specifically to develop the kind of work done in

Author: lain lain Banks' new novel "The Crow Road" (Abacus, £6.99) is sure to cement his reputation as a writer of wit with a fine sense of the grotesque. Darkly funny even in its most sombre moments (perhaps ESPECIALLY at those points), the tome is rich with well-rounded characters and punctuated with razor-sharp dialogue. And the plot-more twisted than a Scottish country road-makes the book impossible to put down. Readers of "The Wasp Factory", Banks' controversial debut. or any of his subsequentfictionwilfindtheGothic imagery (exploding grandmothers, sordid murders, deaths by lightning) familiar, as well as the hip, fast-talking and youthful characters. While Banks does populate his books with adults as well as teenagers, it is the Docwearing,dope~~ng.affi­

quired awards from BBC East and the Eastern Arts Board to help finance the annual Creative Writing Fellowship. This position, which Jon Cook is keen to emphasise is made

The success of the Centre's work has recquired extensive fund-raising, which has resulted, amongst other achievements, in a substantial grant from the University Funding Council for the innovative Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) programme, a Curtis Brown Scholarship for the Creative Writing MA, and recently acquired awards from BBC East and the Eastern Arts Board the MA course, as well as to build on EAS's strengths by raising the School's local and national profile outside the university." The success of the Centre's work has recquired extensive fund-raising, which has resulted , amongst other achievements, in a substantial grant from the University Funding Council for the innovative Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) programme, a Curtis Brown Scholarship for the Creative Writing MA. and recently ac-

he Crow

and partly funded by UEA, rather than EAS, is currently in its first full year as a twoterm appointment Sadly, although nextyear'sFeUowship is secure, its longer term future is under threat, because of funding cutbacks by UEA. However, for now the Centre iscontinuingto doworkwhich, combined with the contribution of the Arthur Miller Centre, ensures that UEA will remain right at the forefront of the contemporary literature scene in Britain.

Summer Reading ~rogramme:

12 May: David Malouf ('The Great World' and 'Remembering Babyton') and Jim Crace ('Continent' and 'Arcadia'). 19 May: Marina Warner ('The Lost Father' and 'Indigo') and Elspeth Barker ('0 Caledonia'). 26 May: Michele Roberts ('In the Red Kitchen' and 'Daughters of the House') and Paul Bailey ('Gabriel's Lament' and 'Sugar Cane'). 2 June: Peter Acroyd ('Hawksmoor' and 'English Music') and lain Sinclair ('Scarlet Tracings' and 'Downriver'). 9 June: Adam Mars-Jones ('Monopolies of Loss' and 'The Waters of Thirst') and Sara Maitland ('Daughter of Jerusalem' and 'Three Times Table'). 16 June: Edmund White ('A Boy's Own Story' and 'The Beautiful Room is Empty'). eUEA Lecutre Theatre One, Wednesdays, 7pm. Tickets avaliable on the door£3, concessions £2

tude-laden segment he handles most comfortably. Prentice McHoan, entering university at the end of the Thatcher era, is the narrator andtheactionrevolvesaround his friends and his spooky family. living through several deaths, solving the mystery of his missing travel-writer uncle, and los&lg his beloved to his older brother, Prentice gains perspective on his own life, and life i1 general Attimes this reads like a family history epic, at others fike a mystery thriller, but the pace is atNays quick and there's something defightfufly nasty lur~ng just

around 1he bend. Banks' depiction of university life will ring bells for anyone at UEA, and his descriptions of the Scottish cot11tryside will make even the most resolute homebody wistful for the North. If the novel has a fault, it is that thii"QS are a little too cool here, a little too pat The characters are almost too hip for their own good, characterised as much by the Doe Martens, the hip music {''1he Pixies, REM, Goodbye Mr Mackenzie, The Fal and Faith No More") wtlch Banks energeticaUy draws attention to, and the si'JCk politics they mouth, as by their actions and thoughtS. The apparent c&rnax, an internal monologue delivere~ by the scenic Atlantic on the isle of Lewis, is a bit too self-satisfied to be taken seriously; ifs hard to accept that this is 'lfilatthe otherwise brimant novel has been building up to. lain Banks is a talent to be watched, and "The Crow Road" is a novel well worth reading.

Win The Crow Road We have a copy of The Crow Road, by lain Banks, to give away, courtesy of Waterstone's Bookshop, on campus. To be in with a chance of winning the novel-which retails at£6.99, simply answer the following question and then do as the instructions below say. The question is: Name another novel which lain Banks has written. Now put your answer on a piece,, paper, together with your name, school and year, and place it in the Concrete box outside the Steward's Cabin in Union House, or in the special box in the University Post Room. Entries must be received by midday on Friday, May 14, and the first correct answer out of 'the hat' will win the novel. The winner will be infonned via their pigeon hole - no correspondence will be entered into and the Editor's decision is final. Good luck with your entryl

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twelve

Oo-er miss us! Titter Ye Not! Last year marked the one year anniversary since Frankie Howerd's death and Polygram videos anticipate 1993 "to be a year of remembrance for this "great comic"' with the release of the video 'Frankie Howerd OBE: Titter Ye Not.' Billed as a "compelling tribute to the most remarkable comic" the video contains the only re cording of Howerd's full live show at the Birmingham Hippodrome in November 1991 , as well as the edited highlights of a discussion by 'the best of British comedy writers' , who celebrate Howerd's life at an informal lunch at Langhams Brasserie. Despite being hosted by Barry Took, and comprising of Peter

Cook, Barry Cryer, Alan Simpson (Hancock' s HalfHour), lan Hislop (Have I Got News For You) , and Johnn y Speight (Til Death Do Us Part) the tribute basically runs against the claims of it "containing individual and hilarious memories of this great funny man" and instead is rather a disap~inting and drab factual discussion . However, ifs value lies in the interesting oneoff mix of British comedy figures and the biographical facts revealed that only the most devoted fans would otherwise

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blue comedy at it's best. He may have started in the 1940's but this (as well as other clips from

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Above: Lots of old 'comedians' know. The main incentive for buying the video though is not the tribute , but the recording of

Nietzsche - The Musical

Howerd's show at the Hippodrome. Constituting over twothirds of the video it shows his

Frankie's most suecessful year. The show confirms his talent as a stage comedian -Howerd was a performer not a script writer and his material was simply a vehicle for his own hilarious self. Littered with his cla ss ic catchphrases such as "Titter YeNof', "Oo-er Mrs" and"Nay,

Nay and Thrice Nay" , that helped him establish a 90's cult following of young fans, the show demonstrates his remarkable relationship with live audiences. Before his death Frankie represented one of the last of a distinguished generation of British comedians. 1993 seems to be destined to his memory with the BFI planning to host an evening of his works as well as the unveiling of a plaque on a house where he lived for over fifteen years (there is also talk of a re-release of a Frankie single!) For anyone even vaguely interested in the man himself, the Polygram video is surely a must (and it's out now).

Double Trouble

Martin Oldman reports on Flexible Deadlock's latest dramatic offering, a Double Bill of two distinctly offbeat American plays Neurosis, tuna fish , white slavery, torture , eroticism. Hmmm ... Another Flexible Deadlock production, of course , which usually mea ns a potent combination of high quality acting and unusual, amusing, often provocative material (such as AFTER THE FALL, FOOL FOR LOVE, and THE REVEN GER 'S TRAGEDY). This double bill of short plays promises to be no exception to the rule. In fact, it is definitely NOT for the fainthearted. If you enjoyed the recent UEA productions of American plays by Arthur Miller, David Mamet and Sam Shepard, then this show should intrigue you. lt offers a rare glimpse of two powerful plays which, to the best of our knowledge, have never been seen in Britain before.

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Photo: Craig Eason 22, 23 and 24 May, LT1. Saturday, 22 May, sees a unique dramatic experience unveil in Lecture Theatre One as the UEA DramaSoc premiers this term's major production, "Nietzsche--The Musical. " Created and produced by Purple Zaranthusa, a team of three secondyear students, "Nietzsche" is apparently not a musical and doesn't have a great deal to do with that famous, DWEM philosopher ... as such. So what's it all about? One of the cast, Will Spermhammer explains, " In fact "Nietzsche" is a modem-day farce setagainsta backdrop of recession , furniture snatching and marmalade with vicars ,

moustachioed villains and bucketsful of derring-do thrown in for good measure." But will it actually be funny , is the question that immediately springs to mind. " Quite hysterically so ," Spermhammer assures me earnestly, " " Nietzsche" aims to provide two hours of escapist, madcap entertainment in contrast to many of DramaSoc's recent productions." And there you have it. So be sure to allow yourself just a couple of hours to escape from the harsh reality of exams and essays and take in what promises to be a unique, comical tour-de-force .

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First off is LAUGHING WILD by Christopher Durang, in which two highly unstable individuals tell the audience all about why their lives are so hysterically, tragically funny. Absolutely no holds barred MANIC , Catherine Squires and Brad Hunner go through a crazy succession of scenes involving everything from Oprah Winfrey to a living Catholic icon. This piece is directed by first time director and star of AFTER TH E FALL, Julie Chase. Beware of low fl ying objects. After the interval comes THE CONDUCT OF LIFEby Maria Irene Fornes, a Hispanic American feminist whose idea of a good time is writing plays about what South American torturers

The Surfers The first national showing of a new exhibition, entitled 'The Surfers', opened at Norwich Arts Centre on Monday 1oth May, writes Georgna King. lt features a collection of 22 colour photographs by the award-winning Andy Hughes, which present to the viewer a slice of marine life, the humans who receive pleasure from the ocean and the discarded waste of 2oth Century society. With the help of the Prince's Trust and Surfers Against Sewage, Andy has been photographing surfers and their environment for the past four years. He describes his work as "a study of a habrtat which is under serious threat", and explained that "society seems to be acknowledging our contempt for the planet, it's capacity to contain the junk we put into it is not limitless". Taken at a number of locations around the UK and Portugal, the photographs are comprised of a variety of sub-

jects. FromportrartsoftwiceWorld Champion Tom Carrel, to the human waste and debristhat every surfer must battle against in the search for a good wave, the exhibition shows how vulnerable surfers are to the many viruses present in our polluted waters. Surfers Against Sewage will be supporting the show with the launching of a ten foot inflatable faeces at the site of Anglian Water's new long sea outfall on Thursday 18th May at 11 am Chris Hines, General Secretary of SAS, has deemed the action necessary, because, "Long sea outfalls do not deal with the problems of viral and bacteria l infection caused by sewage". The daytime events will be followed by a talk by Surfers Against Sewage at the NAC at 6:30pm.The exhibition is open Monday - Saturday 10:30am - 5:30pm, until 19th June. Admission is free.

do off duty. Orlando (Chris Cope from THE CARETAKER) has a twelve year old sex slave holed up in his basement, and his wife Leticia (Amy Woodson from AFTER THE FALL and FOOL FOR LOVE) may be about to find out about it. What will she do? And why is their friend Alejo (Forrest Wentworth) sexually im ~tent? These and other burning questions are answered in a play directed by Steve Bottoms, who is "U EA's most notorious director", according to Concrete . I think I'm beginning to see why ... Performances are in the Bill Wilson Room in Week 5, Thursday 20th and Friday 21st of May at 7.00pm, with a Friday matinee at 2.30 pm. Tickets are just £2.50.

haPPeninu~

contributors Editor: Darren Fisher Contributors: Georgina King, Niall Hampton, Jamie Putnam, Jonathan Batty, Matthew Broersma, Simon Mann, Andy Battaile, Craig Eason


Happenings issue 20 12 05 1993