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ings? FILM Ground hog Day and Nowhere to Run reviewed PAGE THREE

The band described as being 'utterly overpower路ng' by the NME play Peppermint Park EXCLUSIVE Win their debut single and two pairs of tickets

(The 14 day happenings poster)

The city's onlydetailedguide to what's on where and when PAGES SIX AND SEVEN

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


tal two 'I don't believe in happy endings' Sheldon Hall talks to director Jon Amiel about his film 'Sommersby' and making it big in Hollywood "There's nothing romantic about a war in which two-thirds of those who died did so of disease, not of wounds. But there's a lot of romance that still clings to that era. We still think of 'Gone With The Wind' as a romantic film." Thewarinquestionis,ofcourse, the American Civil War, which claimed more lives than Vietnam. And the voice is that of Jon Amiel, the English director (he made 'The Singing Detective' for television) whose latest film is a love story set in the war's aftermath. Some contradiction, surely? Not so, according to Amiel, though he was initially reluctant to accept the project when he was sent Nicholas Meyer's screenplay for ' Sommersby', a re-working of the 1982 French film, 'The Return of Martin Guerre', which had starred Gerard Depardieu and been set in the Middle Ages. 'I'd said that I wasn't interested in doing another period

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movie or in doing remakes,· he recalls. "it's a measure of Nick Meyer's script that within ten pages, I'd forgotten about medieval France . Everything seemed right and I realised what a great story I was in the middle of." What interested him were the changes made to the original material, which had been relocated to the American post-war reconstruction and concerned the return after several years' absence of Jack Sommersby (played in the film by Richard Gere) to his Southern farming community and a wife (Jodie Foster) who gradually begins to suspect that he's an impostor. The director admits to having knowing nothing about the period and its significance until he did some research in the South. "Scratch anyone and a lot of bitterness and sense of injustice comes out. You can't even call it the Civil War- you have to say the war between the states. The big issue at the time was

negro emancipation, and they didn'toften call them negroes.• The film's theme, he says,takes its cue from the historical setting. "it's about the reconstruction of a community and of two damaged and scarred people. it's romantic in that it's about the ability of people to change - the transformative power of love. I make movies which make me laugh and cry, and hope they do that with other people. Maybe that sounds a bit New Ageist.. ." Only slightly embarrassed, he adds that the film is also about "the search for heroes- something that preoccupies me is the lack of heroes in the world today. I grew up with heroes: political, ideological- you could believe in things. The present death of idealism is very scary. I feel sorry for my kids.• Amiel made his Hollywood debut with a modestly budgeted independent film, 'AuntJulia and the Scriptwriter', but 'Sommersby' is his first major-

league studio movie. Was he not intimidated by the challenge of handling a mega-bucks production? "The idea of making a bigbudget movie scared me witless. But during shooting I was toobusyworryingaboutwhether the sun was going to come out to worry about spending $30 million of someone else 's money . Despi te the bad weather, we were less than half a day over schedule by the end of the movie. Butonlyonething makes your stock go up in Hollywood - how much money the movie makes. ltdoesn'tmatter how much under budget you go, if the movie flops, no-one will thank you.· Fortunately, 'Sommersby' has been a big box-office success in America , despite breaking one of the cardinal Hollywood rules, the obligation to have a happy ending. "I don't believe in happy endings unless they're earned, unless there's been some pain and suffering, • says Amiel. "I don't mind offering escape. But I don't believe movies have to be escapist. I don't see my job as proseletysing or preaching, but I believe films should be subversive - you infiltrate whatever meaning and significance in the guise of entertainment. • Despite his success - he is now

Richard Gere and Jodie Foster -Stars of Sommersby predictably in-demand Stateside - Amiel still prefers to reside in Britain (Crouch End, North London, to be exact) and travel to where the work is, unlike some film-makers who have gone into semi-permanent exile. "I'm just a director, not an English director. Some of my colleagues may be smitten with the glamour of Hollywood, but we go there because there's no money over here and loads of money over there" he says

ruefully, admitting to bitterness at the government's indifference towards the British film industry's finances. "I cherish the perspective living somewhere else gives me. As long as I can, I'll go on commuting, but I'd infinitely rather be working here. I have thirty scripts on my desk at home and only one of them is British. Even if it were any good, I'd have to go cap in hand to get money for it."

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Milky, Milky! On June 9 Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis bring the 'Milky Milky' tour to Norwich for the first time since their split from Rob Newman and David Baddiel. Also playing the Norwich Theatre Royalforthefirsttime, they promise to deliver all their regular characters (including Mr Strange) as well as a lot of material that will be new to audiences. The pair started working together atThe Comedy Store, where , like Josie Lawrence, Paul Merton and Tony Slattery, they were spotted by TV and given a chance to show their talents on the silver screen . Startngwith a slot on 'Canned Carrot' they graduated onto better things, namely 'The Mary Whitehouse Experience'which achieved cuttsta-

tus even Wlth the problems of adapting a radio show to television They attributed the success of the show to 'lots of bits'- and for anyone wanting to see some more of ~hose

bits there will only be one place to be on Wednesday Week 8. Ticl<etscostbetween£2.50 and£ 10.50 and are available from the Theatre Royal box office.


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Singles Lecture Theatre movie, previewed by Simon Lau Despite the way this movie has been promoted, 'Singles' is not about the Seattlelgrungelslacker scene but more like a When Hany Met Sally' for the twenty something generation of America. The soundtrack does feature known Seattle bands like Pear1 Jam and Alice in Chains (who an make cameo appearances) but that's about as far as it goes. The film is about six Seattlites whogothrough beingsingle, finding the right partner, falling out and finding each other again. Janet (Bridget Fonda} is a waitress who is totally besotted with her boyfriend Cliff (Matt Dillon}, a rock musician in a grunge band, Citizen Dick. He, though, is far too c:onc:emed with making it big as a rock star to payanyattention to her. Stave, an engineer, wants to commit himself to the right

person, whom he feels is Unda, an environmentalist, but is unsure about how to make his next move because of past (failed) relationships. Debbie, a TV ad sales person, believes that she can find the right man through a video dating agency and there's Bailey who has never had any relationships with women. There's plenty of hilarious moments: for instance when Cliff is interviewed on TV he tries desperately to articulate himself around the meaning of the lyrics to ''Touch Me, I'm Dick" without any mention of its sexual references, but fails miserably in doing so. Despite the fact that the film's makers are trying to cash in on the Seattle scene, it is stiU a highly enjoyable film, if not a little lightweight. eshowhg FridayMay28at 7pm.

Phil Conncn (Bill Murray) is not a very nice man. Forced forthefifth year to cover the Punxsutawney festivalinwtich PhiltheGroundhog predicts the coming of Spring, the wearisome weatherman pours contemptuous SCO!" on the small town, its residents, and the quaint rituals of which they are so fond. "Primadonna", snorts Phil's cameraman. Then fate steps in to teach Phil Comors alesson. Prevented from leaving town that afternoon by the freak blizzard spookily predicted by the groundhog, Phil wakes in his hotel room the next morning onty to find that it's Groundhog Day...again. The pefplexed Phi! also discovers that no-one else has taken any

notice of this repetition; for everyone except Phil, yesterday never happened. As time jumps like a scratched record, and Phil lives the same day over and over, the film explores the advantages and disadv.Wagesofthesituation: Phil never need wony about cholesterol or hangovers, and can constantly refine his chat-up lines, but anything he achieves is erased at the end of the day, putting him back to square one. This is especially frustrating when it comes to his attempts to impress his beautiful producer, Rita(Andie MacDowel). After having his fil and self~

fiCationwith noconsequences, Phil comes to realise the opportunities his powers afford for doing good. Although not quite as original as it would like to think- the same idea was used three years ago in the briRiant Oscar-nominated short film '12:01 pm', as well as in several science-fiction short stories this is still a clever and imaginative comedy. Bill Murray is given a decentlywritten character for a change, rather than having to rely on his trademark SITiirts and sardonic one-finers, Steve Toblowsky is hilarious as Phil's long lost school friend and insurance salesman

Ned, and MacDowell is very pretty as the almost-too-perfect Rita. Indeed, the only slow patch in the film is Phil'stransition from obnoxious, self-OOsessed media star to sensiive, pillar-of~unity style do-good er. lt is solely thanks to Murray's healthy cynicism and wit that this never becomes slushy or sentimental. The affection the film extends to the quirky small-town characters is genuine, the gags are frequent and often pleasingly black (though never nasty) and the end result is a kind of 'lt's a Wonderful Ufe' for the nineties. Review by snon Utton

Nowhere to Run Probably one of the most notable things about the new move starring Jean-Ciaude VanDanvne (apart from the fact that the Muscles from Brussels makes the transition from action star to classic Hollywood hero) is that it also features 10 year-old Keiran Culkin, brother of millionaire-super-brat, Macaulay and Ted Levine, the actor who portrayed Buffalo BiN in the Oscar->Mnniog Silence of the Lambs. In short, the story revolves

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around Van Danvne's characr ter, Sam Glen, who finds ref-

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daring escape from a prison transport. The widow and her two sons (one of whom is Culkin's character) are fighting a losing battle against corrupt land developers who are trying to drive them off their land (sounds familiar?). Needless to say, The Muscles steps in to ensure that al ends in typical Hollywood fashion, although not before some excit-

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Weds 26

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Screen One:- 'Indecent Proposal' (15)- Would you sleep with Rooort Redford for a million dollars? 2:30pm, 5:40pm, 8:20pm Screen Two:- 'Passenger 57' (15) -Action hero WesJey Snipes causes havoc for the hijackers of a plane. 1:30pm, 3:30pm, 6:1Opm, 8:40pm Screen Three:-'Sommersby' (12)Jodie Foster and Richard Gereslar in this romantic taleof betrayal a'ld deception. 2:20pm, 6pm, 8:30pm Screen Four:- 'Alive' (15) - TrJe story of survival against all odds in this mountain epic. 2:30pm, 5:40pm, 8:25pm

Odeon

Thurs 27

Screen One:- 'Nowhere To Run' {15)-The Muscles from Brusses, Jean-Ciaude Van Damme, beefs it up with Rosanna Arquette, in this typical action thriller. 1:20pm, 3:15pm, 5:10pm, 8:30pm Screen Two:- 'Groundhog Day' (PG)- Hilarious and inventive COIIledy starring Bill Murray as a man

who lives the same day over and over again. 1:30pm, 3:35pm, 5:30pm,8pm Screen Three:-'National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1' (PG) - 'Basic Instinct'! Lethal Weapon' spoof starring Emilio Estevez. 2:15pm, 4pm, 5:40pm, 7:45pm

Cinema City 'Danny - Champion Of The World' (U) - A star-studded cast, which includes Jeremy Irons, Michael Harden, Jimmy Nail and Lionel Jeffries appear with Robbie Coltrane. 2:30pm 'Damage' (18)-BasedonJosephine Hart's novel about a married M.P.'s obsessive affair with his son's fiance, and his subsequent fall from grace. 5:45pm, 8:15pm

Theatre Royal 'The Official Tribute To The Blues Brothers' -All of the cult duo's hits in this slickly-staged concert. Billed by the Sunday People as "one of the best nights of your life", this is

Friday 28 Union Films 'Singles' (15)-A funny and insigttful look at the lives of six lovehungry hopefuls, in this exploration of Seattle's singles and grunge scene. Bridget ('Single White Female') Fonda, Matt Dillon, Kyra Sedgewickand Campbell Scottstar and Pearl Jam make a guest appearance. Complete with an excellent soundtrack, this comedy s well worth watching.

Cinema City 'Danny- Champion Of The World' (U) 2:30pm 'Damage' (18) 5:45pm, 8:15pm 'Prick Up Your Ears' (18)- A prestardom Gary Oldman appears as gay playwright Joe Orton, in this black comedy. Scripted by Alan Bennett it also stars Alfred Molina and Julie Waiters, and is directed by Stephen ('The Grifters') Frears. 11pm Town and Gown Debate What British Film Industry?- The guru of

the dodgy sweater, Barry 'And ~ynot?' Nonnanwillbea panelist in a debate chaired by EDP Arts Editor Charles Roberts. 7:30pm £3.50

Theatre Royal See Wednesday

NAC Medicine Shaclc - 'Like christy Moore on acid', these Celtic ravers have been compared to U2, The Pogues and INXS. Also appearing are The Last Straw. 8pm £4conc.

Maddennarket 'Richard Ill'- Shakespeare's telling ofthe arch-villanwho murders his way to the throne gets a rewor1<ing by the Norwich Players in this historical tragedy. 7:30pm, Matinees 2:30pm on Sat. 29th May & Sat. 5th June £2.50-6.25

M~ti~~ug~ter, Barry 'And

Saturday 29 .

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u nion Gius

... .

lnsp!ral Carpets -. Ex-pio,W.S' of the baggy scene come to the· LCR on tour to promote their latest album, which has been well received criticallY. £8.So ady.

Cin·~ City

.,

'Danny - Champion Of Tne World' (U) 2:30pm

'Damage' (1a) 5:45pm, s:t5pm Th~tre Royal

see Vl{l!,.doesc;lay . . '

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a heart-thumpingshowofthe best bluesaround. 7:30pm, Fri. 28th& Sat. 29th6pm,9pm.£2.50- 14.50 Until 29th May

Yuri Kuper- An exhibtion of Russian painter, whose works have been described as •reflexive responses to art".

NAC

Contact Gallery

Orixa Ba Ba - Caribbean dance from six Afro-Brazilian dancers and four drummers. 8pm£3 cone. 'The Surfers' - A photography exhibition by Andrew Hughes. Until 19th June.

'The Human Condition'-An exhibition featuring three artists . Until 29th May.

Sainsbury Centre 'Lee Miller's War' - The wor1< of a photo-journalist who covered the liberation of Europe from 194445. Until 11th July.

Saturday 5 Cinema City 'Laurel And Hardy Show' (U) Three classic comedies from the most famous comedy duo ever: 'Leave 'em Laughing', 'Do Detectives think?', and 'Double 1'Vhoopee'. 2:30pm 'Bad Lieutenant' (18) 5:45pm, 8:15pm

Norwich Gallery 'Sin Frontera' -ChicanoArts from the border states of the US. Until 30th June

Theatre Royal

Manhattan

See Wednesday

The student night. Drinl<s £1 .50 all night. 9pm- 2am. FREEADM.

NAC Emperor's NewCiothes-Acidjazz

Sunday 30 Cinema City "T1bet- A Buddhist Double Bill (PG) - Two short flirns about T1betan Buddh1sm the f;rst a documentary study of the Oala1 Lama. the second a med1tat1on on monast1c hfe mrural Ladakh Spm ·s1mple Men (15)- The d1rector of The Unbelievable Truth and ·Trust'. Hal Hartley CCrT'b1nes the same oddball humour and b1t1ng w1t 1n h1s th1rd feature. which encompasses soc1al comment and sat1re as 1! osc1l-

lates betvteen the com1c and the absurd 1Emp1re) Oh' 7 30pm

Theatre Royal "An Even1ng W1th Queen V1c· tona · A portrait 1n her own words Starnng Prunel la Scales A un1que opportun,ty to see the fermer r,1rs Fa':ilty matour de force perforr1an:e 7 30pm £4 · 12 50

I

cl . . . . . . . . ..., lltlglinlt • CfiCIU'I Cornish OO&IIine. 7:30pm llllnees Thurs. 3rd & Sat. SCtt

See Fnday

'Bad Lieutenant' (18)- Another controversial role for Harvey 'Mr White' Keitel, who plays a bumtoutlieutenant, addicted to everything from gambling to crack, who prowls the mean streets of the Big Apple,which are steeped in crime and degredation. When investigating the rape of a young nun, he becomes obsessed by the case and the prospect of personal redemption. 5:45pm, 8:15pm

Theatre Royal 'Orpheus In the Underworld' Offenbach's hilarious operetta

'Howards End' (PG) - Adaptation of E.M. Forster's classic starring Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham-Carter and Vanessa Redgrave. Wrth high-calibre performances and visually stunning photography, it's an engaging costume drama, revolving around the lives and

£3-11.50

Thurs 3. Union Films

is given a revamp - complete with Can-Can -asOrpheustracksdown his wife, after she has packed her bags and headed for the Underworld. 7:30pm£3-£19.50 Until 1st June.

See Frida)'

Manhattan The Lush Liaison. The best sounds of ~e caplal brought to you by a London 0... All drinks £1.50 9pm2am. Tickets £2 on the door.

loves of two different families. 7:30pm

. ,

.

Theatre Royal

NAC

Madd~nnatiCet

Gut Reaction - Chase me Up Femdale

See Friday

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Friday4

NAC Maddennarket See Friday

Manhattan

Tuesday 1 tu11 t.cnulu on hla _, Ill Nllrwictl

2:_...

,....,8:15am

WildeCiub

Student Night - Top Sound and Light Show at the members Nightclub. Drinks are£1 .50 all night long. 9pm -2am FREE Admission

·~sEnd' (PG)

The Syd Lawrence Orchestra. Oneofthegreatbigbands of the last thirty years, they have accompanied such stars as Shir1ey Bassey, Bob Hope, Johnny Mathis and Frankie Vaughan. 7:30pm £2 -9

A........- Hlarioua~nderflln:e, 'the~ Famdale ladies',. turn to create more havoc ·in this 11Cdaitned pastiche. 8pm £3 cone.

See Wednesday

CIMini City

'Shldowa And Fog' tl5)

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Cinema City

Cinema City

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~------------------------------------_., 8~~

Monday31

Maddermarket

Sunday6

'Dracula' (18)

Maddermarket

from a group that first emerged from Newcastlewith aspecial brew of jazz, dub, funk and soul. Strong stuff and a brilliant seven-piece plus soulful singer, Jill Charles. 8pm£4ccnc.


DIU§i~ six

Waterfront update Despite the fact that UEA's Students Union will definitely not be opening the Waterfront on a onEH>ff basis in June as originally mooted, JamesTul y from Phoenix Promotionssays he is still in very positive discussions with the City Council about 'almost finalised' plans to hold the final of the 1993 Schools Band competition at

the venue. If everything gqes according to plan, the competition would be followed by "the hottest chi> in the city" - 'RAGE' (possibly until2am). James adds that he is confi·dent of success as the first show to go ahead since the Waterfront closed earlier this year.

Lush Liaison returns ... Afteranabsenceofsomeweel<s, the Lush Liaison returns to Manhattan nightclubon SattrdayJllle

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Despitea good performance from support Gallon Drunk, nothing colAd prepareusfortheonslaught of talent that was to follow. Polly entered wearing hef pink shadesandfakeleopardskincoat, recreating numbers from both the classic 'Dry' album and the more recent and highly acclaimed 'Rid

the best in London sounds - and drinks remain £1 .50. The night begins at 9, ends at 2 and tickets are £1 .50 in advance or £2 on the door.

of Me', as well as a few new tracks. The fans were not disappointed bytheensuingencore, containing both '50ft Queenie' and the awesome 'Sheela-na-Oig', which kept the crowd on their toes until the

very end. PJ Harveyhad proved once again thattheyareonestepaheadofthe chasing pack, and their stunning set was one of the most captivating live gigs witnessed atthe LCR in recent times.

STEP IT UPI The Stereo MC's played a stonnin' set to a capacity crowd at the LCR last Wednesday.

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Jamie Putnam looks at the latest from bands including Tsunami and Blaggers ITA, plus a special release from local groups LUSCIOUS JACKSON "UFE OF LEISURE" 12" (Big Cat Records) Very smooth. Crossover pop/ rap from four New York women, oneofwhomusedto be the drummer with those little punks The Beastie Boys before they met Rick Rubin and went on to become much bigger punks. "Life of Leisure· is a classic, with a pot-pourri of sexy saxophone bits, excellent vocals and a chorus that fits the mood just perfect. And, of course, the song is all about seedy life in The Big Apple so on the whole it's pretty cosmopolitan maaan. The B-sides are also pretty good, particularly "Daughters of the Chaos· with its Spanish guitar sample and mad rhythm, so keep an eye out for this lot if you know what's good for you!

TSUNAMI "DEEP END" LP (Simple Machines) Part of the second wave of guitar glJ'USCOOentlysweepingthe land, and quite splendid they are too. Although the whole Sub-Pop

.'

scene is starting to run out of new ways to abuse their instruments (ooer), Tsunami have managed to borrow the right ingredients in order to come up with a fresher sound. In places they come on all grubby and cheap, "Waters edge", in others they occupy the same territoryas Lush (although Tsunami have a rougher edge), and attines they sound like Velocity Girt/Delicious Monster. The coolesttraclc on the album is without doubt "Genius of crack" (a past single), and the excellent "Valentine" runs a close second.

Also, if you leave the tape running on after the last track on side B, you get a selection of amusing ansaphone messages. Check 'em out at Norwich Arts Centre this Tuesday.

SLOWDIVE "OUTSIDE ROOM"EP (Creation)

Strangely enough, first track "Aiison• is not the best on the EP, but isprobablythemost poppy with Neil's vocals far more up front than before and the guitars spiralling of in all directions. ·so tired" is far superior, however, with lyrics perfect for that hangover morning and Rachel's voice gliding over the chiming guitars remind you how great it was to be a shoegazer. The strangely named "Siouvaki Space Station" and "Mousaka chaos· which make up the second half of the EP are two interpretations if the same song with an extremely catchy bassline and become more and more ca,xivating the louder you play them. Welcome back.

HEATHER NOVA "GLOW STARS" LP (Big Life Records)

YOUR

Yes, they'rebaclc, and they haven't changed a bit. They're still making soundtracks for narcocleptics, and beautiful things they are too.

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A collection of delicate folk-pop numbers that sound very like stuff by Tori Amos and Edie Brickell. Some of the lyrics are particularly insightful and at times can be as cutting as those of PJ Harvey ("Mother tongue"). Best track on the album is "Spirit in you•, which was the single, but a lot of the other tracks are worth a look, so if you're bored ...

BLAGGERS ITA "STRESS" (Parlophone) Up the revolution! (allegedly). I've heard so much about this band and their ultra-radical political stance that I really expected for this record to blow me away. Unfortunately, it didn't, and the only conclusion I reached was that it sounded like Carter USM but with the guitars and vocals turned up. If this is the sound of •new revolutionaries" then give me The Field Mice anyday.

REDO KROSS "SWITCH BLADE SISTER"

7" (This Way Up Records) OK, so last year's single ·seminal Twang• was quite good, but there's no excuse for sounding like Poison whether it's a parody or not. Wash your mouths with soap and water!

NOISEBOX SPECIAL RELEASE A four track EP recorded and produced locally which shows off

some of the local talent in the dance area. First is ~his is red hor by Volcanic and starts off with Shamanesque snatches of guitar before transforming itself into a Eurodance anthem \Wh pianos aplenty and smbuldering vocals. lt jsn't quite a$ simple as that though and there's quite a lot going on under the surface to keep the record interesting. Second up is ·sexy ~late• by UXB and it's really g<iod ,with bits of guitar and ambient bleepsall over the place. In a way it reminds me of the guitar/d~nce of bands like The Paris Ahgels, but without the vocals, which isn't a bad thing at all. lt'd be interesting to hear more of their stuff. "Travel blind" by Resistance kicks off the B-side and starts with an unintelligible sample before plullging irtothe sort of dance track that New Order would be proud pf. Melancholic vocals, oodles of synth noises and bucketloads of attitude-this is probably the best track on the EP and dlliWS its inspiration from the same tibal melting pot as the Aphex Twin's "Didgeridoo·. Although not as frantic, "Chant of the Bhodran· definitely takes on martrarlike qualities, and towards the end, the bongos sound like they're rapidly losing control, giving the whole thing an epic feel. Excellent. From hearing this EP, it would seem that there's a lot of untapped musical talent in the area and it's great the Noisebox are hepng to unearth it.

Better than ever Before

Steve Horak looks into the careers of Blur and lnpiral Carpets Blur and lnspiral Carpets ... two bands that have suffered a typically common fate at the hands of a couple of prominent music papers. Eagerly built up by salivating journalists only to be broken into forgotten pieces once the trend-hungry and attention-span-impaired latched onto the latest fashion. Two years ago, barely out of the gate, both were written-off as has beens. Now both groups are visible once again on the music scene and separate tours will bring them to UEA in the coming weeks. And, yes, nowtheyarebetterthan ever.

lnspiral Carpets spent 1992 high on the surprising success of their third release in four years: 'Revenge of the Goldfish', which was boosted by solid pop songs such as the indie-chart topper 'Bitches Brew'. They received acclaim by steeping out of the Hammond-driven obscurity of their early work and focussing their overflowing energy into a more balanced approach. Their live show is something IQ experience and with the quirky upstarts, Molly Half Head (who recently released one hell-of-a song in 'Taste of You) lending

support, the May 29 show is definitely Worth saving pounds for ... Blur's new album, 'Modem Life is Rubbi$h', out now, is designed to be taken literally.A bold step in the opposite direction from the previous indie guitar strands of 'Leisure', Blur are unabashedly embracing and resurrecting the distinctly British sounds they grew up on. lt might be important to note that they manage to make it sound fresh and (gulp) modem in the prOC8$S. Arrogant they may be, but who cares? Blur are due to take UEA into the past on June 2, with a £5 price-tag to match.

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WITH THIS VOUCHER. We also offer 10% discount to all UEA students on prqauction of student card (not applicable to above offer)

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One voucher per visit. Valtd until 9th June 1993. Th1s voucher not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

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£ the r-e~t~~~=====~ . eight Tides of The Opera Alternative? Change The words 'student' and 'opera' are not those that are usually seen together. Darren Fisher gives his view on a night of culture at the Theatre Royal Having never been to the opera before, there was much apprehension in the air as the orchestra started the overture for '11 Seraglio' - an opera in three acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Produced and performed by the Norfolk Opera Players, it tells the story of Belmonte, who has come to the gates of the palace Seraglio in search of his kidnapped fiancee, Constanze. Besides holding Constanze, the Pasha of the palace also has under guard Belmonte's manservant Pedrillo, and it is he who manages to get Belmonte inside by pretending to the Pasha he is an architect. However the Head Guard Osmin is suspicious. Things are complicated by the fact that the Pasha is in love with Constanze, and is considering torcher in order to make her love him! Many more complications also ensue to ensure a truly powerful finale . This may have been performed by an amateur operatic troupe, but this was indicated more in

the functional set design and costumes (Pedrillo had a rather unfortunate stain on his behind) than in the performances, which were excellent. The performance was in three acts, with atwenty minute break between each for those who needed replenishment. The Theatre was surprisingly full for cup final night, but then those interested in Arsenal's double

chances are probably not the same people who are interested in whether Constanze is reunited with Belmonte. Being usually classed in the former category I found myself quite engrossed in the proceedings, as well as feeling that I was getting some benefit from it (well that's snob value for you). The opera was not without hu-

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mour, with MarkWilde giving a Ben Elton interpretation of Pedrillo. Although his speaking voice was quite quiet his singing was phenomenal and he gave the best performance of the night. A more dynamic production may have been better, but '11 Seraglio', is not a bad opera to see if you have not seen one before. Not being Grand Opera

there is dialogue as well as speech, and since both of these were sung in English, following the story was not a problem. Cheaper than going to the cinema, I would recommend going, as it makes a pleasant change from the usual routine of pubs and films, and after all a little culture can't be all bad, can it?

Art Preview by Eteanor Brocktehurst

An exh ibition entitled 'Tides of Change' is presented by the Loughborough based artist Nita Rao at the Contact Gallery, Benedicts Street. The innovative display of sculptures, paintings and drawings reflect Rao's personal belief in ambiguities and contradictions existing in Western society. Her work condemns the idea of a fixed reality and the conventions of 'righf and 'wrong' as expressed by mass media culture. She faces the serious subject matter with a fresh originality often making her point with satirical humour. The exhibition begins June 1and runs until June 26. The gallery is open Monday to Saturday 1Oam to 5pm, and admission is free.

John Shuttleworth's guide to Stardom Simon Litton talks to the latest comedian to hit the NAC Do you feel you have the potential to break into the exciting world of pop? Are you ready for your fifteen minutes of fame? Then John Shuttleworth's Guide to Stardom is the show for you. Playing at the Norwich Arts Centre on Friday May 14th, and equipped only with a cheap synthesizer ("I'm hoping to get some spon sorship from Yamaha") Shuttleworth kept his audience in stitches with his list of Do's and Don'ts for budding stars, tips on typecasting and how to answer the telephone in a BBC television drama, and several of his own songs, like "My Wife Died in 1970", "lncidentontheSnake Pass",andthe hilarious "Catch the Fox·. John Shuttleworth (real name Graham Fellows) was created in 1986, inspired by listening to

awful demo tapes from aspiring bands. He made his own deliberately bad demo, which earned him several gigs throughout 1987-88, including a show at the Marquee supporting Robert Plant. The cringeworthy awfulness of Shuttleworth's compo- · sitions remains fresh and genuine because, as he readily admits, he has no musical talent: "it's actually bad naturally. I pla y everything badly.· Packed with references to mid-80s pop bands li ke Kaj agoogoo, Amazulu and Five Star, his show is a retro-treatfor anyone who grew up in that era. Yet, inexplicably, Fellows notes that "The show's been picked on for being too 70s'. Fellows attempts to explain his character's popularity - "He does tap a nerve in everyone, that's part of the appeal. He

haPPenina~

contributors

Editor: Darren Fisher Contributors: Sheldon Hall, Simon Lau, Simon Litton, Eleanor Brocklehurst, Niall Hampton, Jamie Putnam, Georgina King

has the arrogance of the quizshowcontestant, he really believes his songs are good'. When questioned about his comedy influences, Fellows cites not fellow comedians, but family members - "my uncle, my brother-in-law", and claims that his material is "usually improvised when I'm washing-up; I talk to myself at the sink". Not satisfied after a few appearancesonJonathan Ross' •Saturday Zoo'- Fellows has several Shuttleworth projects in the pipeline. Some of these a sort of musical story of John's life called "Miditations·, a comedy series for Radio 4, due for broadcast some time in the autumn ("a sort of alternative Archers'), and a television series to be made with the producers of Spitting Image- "Sort of like Sean Hughes' show, only better'. Success as a "comedy actor· is not without its drawbacks though, including the hazards of sex symbol status. "In Sheffield there was a girl in a wheelc hair who wanted to give me a tongu1e. 'Jon Bon Jov1gave me one' she said I said 'No, don't be so dirty'.'


Happenings issue 21 26 05 1993