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Barry Norman, honorary UEA graduate, visits Cinema City -

INTERVIEW PAGE TWO

1

(The 14 day happ nings poster)

Tsunami interviewed

The city's onlyd tailed guide towhat'sonwh reandwhen PAGE FOU

D FIVE


talk two • Concrete•s Darren Fisher catches up with Barry Norman as he speaks at Cinema City about the state of the British film industry. And why not! Forsaking his famous baggy jumpers for the more debci1air look of a suit and tie, Berry Norman - film crttic to the nation -looked relaxed and very at ease as he spoke to over two hundred eager listeners at Cinema City last Friday. And so he should, you may say, seeing that he speaks to nearly three million people every week. However 'Our Barry' actually dislikes public speaking: "I loathe it. If you talk to a camera you have it's undivided attention. Its not leaning over to talk to it's friends, or scratch-

ing it's head or yawning". He goes on "I'm very happy to it (public speaking), but it's not something I want to m<~ke a habit out of." So why do it? Barry expiains; "two years ago UEA gave me an honorary D.lit, and I knew then that there was no such thing as a free honourary degree, and that one day someone would say 'would you mind doing something' - and that's what happened.· Although being involved in the film world all his life (his father was a successful producer/director at the old Ealing Stu-

dios) surprisingly he has never been tempted to swap sides of the camera: "I haven't got the patience, I suppose it's because I initially went into journalism, and one of the things I most loved was that you could do two or three entirely different things in the same day. I would never have had the patience to go over endless bits of film picking out the odd things that I wanted, it would drive me up the wall.· For a long time Barry's TV show was the only place where cinema-goers could hear (and about films. Now it seems

the market has been flooat::d with an abundance of inferior copies . We now have 'Moviewatch', 'Cinema Cinema Cinema', 'Movies Movies Movies', 'Cinemattractions' and 'Moving Pictures'. Why this sudden influx, and why now? "I think they've caught on to the idea that people are very interested in the cinema, and have been for a long time. lt just surprises me that they haven't caught onto it before. If you take a show like mine, it's watched by about three times as many people that actually see movies every week. This shows there is an interest, a very strong interest in the cinema.· This may be true, but while most other film shows seem to come and go at a rapid rate, on air for a relatively short time before being consigned to the archives as yet another failed attempt to muscle in on 'Bazza's'turf, Film '93 just goes from strength to strength. He Comments: "I think some of the programmes actually underestimate the viewer. They keep on changing the images and what they are doing as if nobody can concentrate for more than 35 seconds. I don't think this is true; I think people

have a much greater attention span than the people who make television programmes.· Even with this intense competition from others, he is never tPmpted to alter the format of his own show: "The basic format is one of the reasons I think that it has been so suecessful. lt does change subtly all the time, but the simple 'somebodysittingtherereviewingthe weeks' new films' would be fatal to change." Barry Norman doesn't just review films; in the early eighties he hosted Omnibus and covered the 1988 Olympics. He has particularly fond memories of the Seoul games: "it wasmarvellous.ltwasthesingularly most enjoyable thing l've ever done on television. I loved it, I'm a great sports fan and it was a great sitting there with people like Steve Ovett listening to my opinions." Opinions are things of which he has many, and which the people attending the talk had paid to hear. Introduced to the masses by Charles Roberts, of the EDP, (unfortunately not distingushing himself with a crowd of film buffs by misquoting film-makers as well as film titles) he spoke with great hu-

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mour about the unfortunate state of the British film industry: "There is no film industry; v.tlat we have is a cottage industry. We have a TV film industry, p;obably the best in the world. Some would say 'why do we have to have both?' and my responsetothatis 'Whynot?'" Money is badly needed, and it is how to raise this money that is the problem. Tax concessions seem to be the most popular idea, but that would mean government intervention. Ironically the ministerv.tloBarry Norman thought would be the best at getting things done in parliament was David Melior: "But unfortunately he put his foot in his mouth, or in somebody else's mouth, as the case may be.· Which means it may be very hard to get government to do anything, as all other ministers seem to be in 'listening mode' as opposed to 'doing mode'. "This country has always had philistine governments, even Labour ones -there is always a feeling that film is a poor relation to the theatre, and until it is recognised as an art form, which it is, the British film industry will continue to suffer.'

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0110 three ***·* A Few9o0d Men .. ***'* courtrooa:n drama ·

HuSbands and Wives .. -Funny and -"'intelligent adult entertainment " " ~.-:.- .

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Woody Alien fdms turn up each year as regular as yet rare.'y with the l<jod of controversy and hype "H~nds And Wives• brought~ it was released .last ~r. The publ~ity surrpunciliig-: the .A,Jien~Farrow

pre<XlCious young pupils(Ju!iette Lewis), Sally exercises her newfound freedom in a fling with Liam Neeson, and Jacktakes up jogging (both vertical and horizontal) wit~.--~n airllead bimbo (Lysette t;nthoriy); . · thefiimachieve . Once again;:.Ai~n extracts top--

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You know the feeling when you go into a fast-food restaurant and order that burger which looks so deliciously sumptuous in the huge colour poster, onlyto find that what you get looks more like two pieces ofcardboardwiththesoleofsomeone's shoe in the middle? In 'FaUing Oown'that'sellaC!Iywhat happens to Michael Douglas as OFens (so-called after his personalised number plate) except he doesn't just murmur something about bad service or begrudgingly hand over his cash. Instead he smashes up the shop with a baseball bat and threatens people with something from his huge arsenal of weapons. And good on him. For despite the media hype about white audiences being racist because they stood up and cheered at scenes from this film when it was released in the US (the shopkeeper is an American Korean, and O-Fens' violence is also aimed at other ethnic minorities on occa-

...-

sion), this is not a racist film: any section of society can surely identify with the feelings of injustice outlined above. After all, why should anyone have to accept food of an inferior quality when they're paying good money for it? And why should we put up with exorbitant pricing? An acceptance of D-Fens' basic reasoning does not mean we must ratify his actions, of course, especially as he becomes increasingly violent throughout the film. And 0Fens isn't simply an overwrought consl.l'llel'watchdog, a kind of Lym Faulds-Wood or John Stapleton on acid. He (naturally) has far deeper psychological problems, plus he'slosthisjoband his family. As the film progresses, 0-Fens' pattern of violence as he walks the streets of downtown LA. alerts veteran LAPD detective Martin Prendergast (Robert Duvall), who is literally hours away from retirement - and who predictably gets caught up in a~desperate pursuit

A Few Good Men \

'A Few Good Men' is director Rob Reiner's first attempt at acourtroom drama, and it is unsurprisingly a very polished piece of work. Starring Tom Cruise as a hotshot but all too cocky Naval lawyer, and Dem i Moore as his idealistic assistant, it concerns the courtmartial of two marines for killing a colleague. They claim it was done under orders, something their CO (Jack Nicholson) is keen to deny. This political hotbed is given to Cruise, as he is the best at making deals out of court, thus keeping publicity down to a minimum. Frightened of going into the courtroom as to do so would put him in direct competition with the memory of his father - a legendary Naval lawyer in his time- he is quite happy to

Review by Darren Fisher comply. However both his assistants as well as the marines prove to be less pliable, so not only is he forced to face his fears, but in order to defend the marines he must go after Nicholson, one of the most powerful men in the armed forces on the verge of being put in charge of it all. Nicholson is predictable, in that he gives his usual semipsychotic performance, and Moore is given little to do with her over-zealous but inexperienced character. Cruise tries hard, but there are too many shades of'Maverick' from Top Gun - the 'living in the shadow of his father' syndrome. However, their combination on screen

is highly watchable, and Reiner shows some professional integrity by not having the obligatory sex scene (Moore keeping her clothes on for once). The courtroom scenes are excellent. and the only problem seems to be the ending. There is enough material here for three hours, but after two it seems everyone wanted to go home, and the whole thing is wr~pped up almosttoo quick!y and neatly to be convincing . Forthose eagle eyed among you, there is a cameo from Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnell as adoctor, and if you are really clever, you may see a book called 'Misery' in Cruise's collection - a reference to Reiner's previous movie of the same name. Who said directors are self-indulgent!?

against time... 'Falling Down' is unlike anything I've ever seen. At times it has the excitement of something like 'Silence of the Lambs', at others it has the wry humour of 'Die Hard'. And the screenplay is totally fresh and original, inspired by a newspaper article about afrenzied truck driver who began ramming cars in front of him on a freeway. This really is one of the few 'mustsees' of the year, but if you're eating out before viewing, leave your bazookas at home.

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Peter Hart

AND ALL DAY SATURDAY.

Build your own starter from our delicious selection at the Starter Bar... Follow with a suculent choice of ROASTS or VEGETARIAN alternatives with fresh seasonal vegetables, tempting desserts & freshly ground coffee. Our restaurant ~ overlooks a pleasant garden. ~ Plenty of car parking. ~ A wide Range of Real Ales & Lagers ~ £7.95

FOR STARTER & MAIN COURSE ~ £2.50 FOR DESSERT ~

Black Horse Student Specials

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Saturday 19

Wednesday 16 Cinema City 'Blade R~mer- The Director's Cut' (15) 5:45pm, 8:15pm

Theatre Royal

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Manhattan The student night- Top Soood and Light show at the members nightclub, where drinks are £1 .50 aM night long. 9pm- 2am

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'Golden Gig' - AIJerto blues and boogie band in concert. with very special guests The Mike Carr Quartet8pm

RAG Monster Beerfest Over 70 types of beer, cider and schnaps makes this the perfecttime to overfll.llge. The final nVrt of RAG's amual fling, in the LCR.

'The Black Stallion' (PG) - "One of the finest movies about children and horses since Elizabeth Taylor was seen in 'National Vetv«"' (Virgin Film Guide). Enjoyable for children and adults alike. Stars Mickey Rooney and Teri Garr. 2:30pm

Theatre Royal See Friday

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'Eienya'- Set~ the Welsh axnry. sideclmg WortdW.II, lhisewc:ative film abott a tweHe year old git, who fildsan ir1tnd GermanUman and determi leS to look after hin, riskilg the villagers wrath.

sledgehammer. 11 pm

Cinema City London lesbian And Gay Fim Festival (18) A padcage of short feetins, including 'The Disco Years'an8ill8Dlgand~<hmaset

in late 70s America wih a gay high school boy OYerCOming his fear of cornilg ocA and finaly goilg to his first cisco. 5:.o45pm 'Shadows And Fog' (15) 8:15pm 'Misery' (18) -A chlingadaptation of Stephen ~'sps)dlottviler, which won Kathy Bates an Oscar for Best Actress for her pcxtrayl of a popJar noeYiist's fanatical fan. .lames Caan is the ilCMiist saYed from a caracQ. den .. his "biggestfan'' who iU'SeS I back to 'hedh'. Unnmilting tension capped off bya few hands-over-

TheMaiyWhitehouse Elcperience •'Wkymaky''sother hal, Rob Newman and OaYid Baddiel return to their favourite testing groc.nd to ''try on" anything and ewtything, totally II1CenSOfed. A night of surprizes and hilarious erertaiumert. £5 cone. Urd 22nd June

Bottom - Ric Mayal and Ade Edmonson star as Richie and Eddie in a M stage play based on hli'award-wiwWlg BBC2 TV series. &nMngonadietofnUIJaly i'lf'dedwotlldsand polllC98phic mgasines, they belch, aneand smashtheirweythrotVltheboredom oflife. Performat ICeSare sold d. though there may be retwns available. 7:30pm £3 - 13.50 Unti 121h Jme

Monday 14 a.... ea,

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'FNe lems Or Less'- "The Greetest Show on Earth" (1he Wolverhlmpton and Biston Chronicle and Poaery News Weady}. That says I al. 8pm £2.50 cone.

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Theatre Royal 'TheCare8ear$'2:30pm£1-5.00 'Bottom' 7:30pm

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8pm £A cone.

two days, 80 don gowns and DJs for the tWst JB1y fA lheyeer. 7~ - 'I everyoile goes home.

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UnionF'IIma 'Lean The Pig Fermer' - A c:riticiUy ICdlimed lowbudget comedy, wtich de....... lll.V*r from the ish boy who cllciMr'l he's the product of early

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'Mon Pere ce Heros' (15) - In his latest movie, Gerard Depardieu stars as a divorced graphic designer whose life revolves around hs woi1c, leaving him little time for his 14 year old daughter. To make upforithe takes her on a surprize holiday, but finds her seemingly ungrateful..A heartwarming comedy in which Depardieu is his usual wondeiful self. Is there anything he can't do? 7:30pm

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Music, beer, crafts, food, bar fly, gyroscope al day in E...tham Park. Bands includeBack To The Planet, Midway Sti, T1w Hanging Tree, Fat Daddy, Tansads and many more, plus OJs. Credit card hodine 0485 532925. 108m - 11pm £4 until midday onl)', after midday £7 cone.

Cinema City

Friday 11

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Sunday 6

~ . . . . . . . . . . . . comic

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catch up with he brassiest 11piece soU band around. This is SOUL! 8pm £3 cone.

1'helltN Royal 'Dancing at Lughnasa' - Winner of the best Play Of The Year from the Olivler and Evenilg S1andard awards in 1991, this magical dramatisalon, set In County Donegal. tllllhe stofy ~ . . repressed

...... who ..... free, bolh

Tuesday 15 Live in The Hive RAG Monster Beerfest - A

chance to revel in the tholVrt that there will be over 70 types of beer, cider and schnaps...in the same room!!!

Union Films

Cinema City 'Life Story' (15) - A unique oppwtl.r1ity to see the one of the BBC's most ambitious productions of recent years on the big screen. 5:45pm 'Blade RU'lflef'- The Di"ector's Cut' (15} 8:15pm

'Husbands And Wwes' (15}-

Theatre Royal See&.ntay

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7:30pm lJnl211h June

BOX OFFICE (0603) 63 00 00 Summer at the Theatre Royal


IUUiit: six

In at the deep end with Tsunami Jamie Putnam talked to the American indie-popsters before their Wilde Club gig lt can't be easy being a guitar band from the States at the mo· ment. With the bandwagon that was grungehavingfailed Its M.O.T many moons ago, and the bus marked •Retro Seventies Revival' already suffering from bald tyros and engine strain, where does it leave a band like Tsunami ? We:t, ~ would appear that they've all hired mopeds and are taking things at their own pace. Hailing from Ar1ington, Virginia, they have decided to evade the confines of 'scenedom' and have, in the process, come up with their oVIn excellent brand of fuzz-pop that manages to blend humour, sincerity and politics in all the right proportions ~hout becoming selfconscious along the way. At times they sound like Lush (albeit a much less sugary version), at others they sound like Throwing Muses (schizophrenia and aIQ,and sometimes they sound like the scariest bits of all the best punk records you've ever bought. In short, Tsunami are out on a limb, and theirs is far more alluring than one wrapped up in 27inch bellbottoms. We spoke to Tsunami prior to their Wilde Club gig at Norwich Arts

Centre last week in order to find out just what they're all about. In their typically down-to-earth manner, bassistAndrew explained that they decided to get together because it seemed like a fun idea. He had been on tour with some friends, had fallen for the rock bug and s!ncetheywere all like-minded individuals, Tsunami evolved soon after. lt is hardly surprising that in an area renowned for its vibrant music scene, Tsunami are now hobnobbing with the likes of Velocity Girl and Superchunk and are major flag-bearers in the American indie-pop scene. So has it been easy for Tsunami to make a name for themselves in the U.K? John, the drummer, considers the role of the media as vital in helping them become known "The British press is very different. A lot more people know about you because they read the press and they listen to the radio whereas in the States the mainstream press isn'tso good - there is only really Rolling Stone and Spin". lt would seem that the infamous U.S. college radio stations aren't particularly reliable in ·spreading

PUr THE PI.EASURi

the word' either. According to Kristin, Tsunami's other guitarist and vocalist, college radio is very regional and has a tough time trying to gain a slot on the radio dial against commercial stations who invariably have much more substantial financial backing. "College radio is found in pockets. In D.C there are no college stations above 10 or 12 watts so nobody really gets to hear them", she says. Tsunami, however, have probably found it easier to make a name for themselves due to the fact that Jenny and Kristin also run their own record label,Simple Machines, which is currently gaining a fine reputation after a string of singles, most of which have been lapped up by the press. " lt started a bout a year before Tsunami", says Jenny, "and most of the records released so far have been compila1ions or one-offs, but right now there are a couple of bands who are associated with Tsunami such as and Grenadine and they're the only bands putting out stuff for OCNI'. The fact that they encapsulate the punk ' Do-lt-Yourself ethos has also meant that through a process

All washed up? of trial and error they've managed to establish a tight distribution network. When they're away on tour of course they have to turn the running of Simple Machines over to someone else. 'We have some friends who look after it for us" says Jenny, "and we'll see how it's worked out when

Photo: Peter Hart we get back, ha ha!". lronicaly, the material on their justreleased debut L.P "Deep End" was recorded back in July 1992, the release being delayed by a change in distributors, and obviously Tsunami haven't been sitting on their hands since then. 'We'rewritinga new record now", says Jenny, "which should be a

full album. 'We're also putting five singles out this year - well, that's what the guy on M.T.V said anyway!". And with exposure from M.T.V. would Tsunami ever consider signing to a major label ifthe price was right? "We don't ever want to go onto a major label. Right now we have a perfect set-up, we have total control and we know how to do it all pretty much. We like doing it too. I'd muchratheremp!oyourfriends to run a record label rather than move to a major label and have some people we don't know or like doing it". So it would seem that Tsunami can have the cookies and eat them too. Not only do they have total control of the music they make, they also have control of the production side too, which is som&thing that most bands can only dream of. And when they're making music this good, things can only go from strength to strength. Tsunami -crashing on a shore near you in the very near future. "Deep Ernr is available now on Simple Machines L.P/C.DICass Concrete has got together with Tsunami to five away 2 co!Jies of their album. Enter in tl ~si way(byputting yotxname,~10ol and year on a piece ofpaper end in the Concrete box in UH). Cfos· ing date is 11.6.93. Normal rules apply.

Prices *among the of any orna·~re in the country *tickets for all events from £3.50 {or less)

Booking *seats can be reserved by phone *make sure of your seats and pay later *discounts for booking of 20 or more *reserved seats held for up to 4 weeks *friendly, efficient staff at the end of the phone


Jamie Putnam looks at the latest from bands including Fugazi, ATR, and Red House Painters FUGAZJ: "IN ON THE KILLTAKER" LP (Dischord Records) lt really pisses me off when a band of this calibre is condemned to an eternity in the "seminal punk band" category whilst, all around them, half-assed guitar bands are being signed upforrnegabucksby the clueless majors. But, on the other hand, maybe it's a good thing because if Fugazi ever got really big, Thurston Moore's ''Teenage Riot" might not be such a wistful slacker fantasy. As each track on the album progresses,~ become obvious how Fugazi have been an influence on so many bands whether consciously or not and yet they still manage to sound innovative and fresh. The opening track "Facet Squared" kicks off in style with some imaginative atmospherics before dropping hug& chunks of guitar all CNer the place with lan MacKaye delivering some excellent vocals about the dangers of nationalism. lt's when you hear Fugazi that you're reminded just what real punk should sound like - cheap, brutal and in your face. Qt~...-keytracks include "Return1 1 Screw", which starts off a1-....getically quietly and then builds up into a remorseless guitar avalanche, "23 Beats Off' which is reminiscent of stuff by Subpoppers Codeine (or is it the other way round?) and "Sweet And TheproblemwithabandlikeBiur, who enjoyed success with a catchy sound and one big hit, is · that when they re-invent their music f04' whatever (usually career orientated) reaaon, the new songs inevitably come across live as an experience one is cruelly subjected to. They want to showcase the new sh.Jff, you want to hear the old stuff. One thing Blur has is imagination, even 1f they are playing with the past. Their stage, complete ;, a sofa, TV, lamp, oven etc.. '1- more like a flat than a ptat,_}nto play a concert from. After [ an extricating eternity spent

1

Low",an instrumental that tips its hat towards jazz territory and yet still manages to sound "punk", in the Sonic Youth sense of the word. A welcome return to a band who should be huge.

MOLL Y HALF HEAD : "TOE TO SAND" EP (Playtime Records)

The follow up to their debut E.P. ''Taste Of You", and not half as good. ''Toe To Sand" starts off with a promising shiver of mangled guitar and then stalls on the runway and is still there three minutes later. The tracks on the B-side don't really do much either, except for the fact that ''The Light Pours Out Of Me" sounds very much like it should be the title of the Pale Saints new single. An uninspiring 3 out of 10.

A.T.R.: Whlteubel (Vet11go) A rather spunky slice of Berlin Technodon,youknow,andwhat's more it contains the sort of sentiment encapsulated in lines such as "The bullet went straight through the Nazi's head". Brilliant. Not only do they manage to come up with some evil break-beats, but they also mix in a half sample of

Blur LCR, June 2 watchingtheTV-it'stheonlything to do • they come out before fNerybody gets violent. Maybe. They begin with the hyper instrumental "Intermission" and what follows is a punkish romp through most of "Modem Life Is Rubbish". In the ~~x~astheLCRthe

new songs sound even better; invigorated by a simple rise in volume and the prevailing reckless atmosphere Oarnon is all CNerthe place, banging his head occasion-

IDUii~ seven

Nirvana's infamous ''Teen Spirit" guitar riff, turning the whole thing into hard-core techno in the truest sense of the word. Unfortunately, there are no track listings, but it's worth a listen just to hear the sample on one of the songs which appears to say "A million geese are gonna f"*k you up". Must have brought trips from the wrong people.

REO HOUSE PAINTERS : "RED HOUSE PAINTERS" LP (4AO) If Hell involved having to listen to the same record on repeat play for all of eternity, I would quite happily choose this record without hesitation. Following last year's faultless "Down Colourful Hill" mini-L.P., "Red House Painters" is a record that really does slip its bindings and take you far atWay. Each song is beautiful in its own way, dealing with emotions in a way that one might think Mark Kozelek had written the songs after reading people's minds. Songs like "RoUercoaster'' and "Mother'' are epic without being self-indulgent and ''Take Me Out" is a damn near perfect melancholic ballad that embeds itself in your subconscious, resurfacing a few days later and cheering you up. But these are only three out of fourteen songs all of which are brilliant, so the only thing left to say is "check them out for yourself'. 10 out of 10 and a gold star. ally against various objects and jumping about like he could goon forever playing these songs. Judgtng from the crowd's reacr tion that would suit them just fine. The only moments when the pace slows down is when they play a couple of 'old' songs; ·she's So High" and 'There's No Other Way", which get evel)'body else going except Blur themselves. For the encore they introduce a new song "Park life" which is good enough to get the message across that they are far from running dry. And you wonder why they ever bothered with anything else. stwe Hor•k

John Renbourne and lsaac Guillory

I John Batty reviews the guitarists' Arts Centre gig I John Renboume and lsaac GuiDory played to what was a packed Norwich Ms Centre on Thursday May 27, and were tried against their bill inUEA'sNews93ofbeing"twoof Britain's finest acoustic guitarists' The fact that Gu1llory was Amencan meant that this description was never going to be easy to live up to, butbytheend oftheevening, each guitarist had clearly redefined himself Guillory provided a storming introduction to his set with a piece in which he drew on audience participation 1n an attempt to recreate -what he claimed to be-a "happy" festival type atmosphere with a distinct Cuban/ Brazilian feel After this amusing introduction, he left his would-be percussion section behind and went on to a forty-five minute set of pure show-

manship. lt was obviously deeply immersed in the American folk tradition, but with a sensitwe grasp on what he thought made "happy music that touches your soul. Guillory was obviously talented in terms of both song writing and technical picking ability, and had developed dynamic and rhetorical style which he virtually rammed down your throat. What was perhaps his down-fall was his general stage superciliousness and sickly egotistical fae~al expressions wh1ch he pulled in celebration of his own virtuoso. Ex "Pentangle" guitarist Renboume was 1mrned1ately more modest in approach to both his music and general stage performance than the glorious Guillory, and it was clear that he was not

quite as impressed with his own talent as the born-exhibitionist The difference in styles of both guitarists was qu1ckly established with Renboume s open1ng numbers plainly stemming from traditions of old English folk. Towards the end of his set Renboume played a couple of roaring Irish numbers which nearly reached the same pace that Guillory's entire set was based around. The third and final set was constituted by a duo of both guitarists, with a brilliant mixture of Folk, Blues and John Mclaughlin style acoustic Jazz numbers. With a concluding rendit1on of a J J Cale number, Guillory and Renboumehad clearly proved their talent both as individual guitarists and as an interesting and complementing duo.

Inspiring carpets ... Sean McManus interviews the lnspirals. Photo by Mark Turner Touring to promote the neN single, "How lt Should Be", the lnspiral Carpets returned to Norwich on May29. Described by singer Tom Hingley as "abitlikeanold lnspiralssong", the A-side continues the abrasive momentum of the latest album. Track three is "I'm Alive", drippingwith uncharacteristic joy. "I'm Alive is quite a positive song," says Tom. 'We're renowned for being gloomy bastards." Both neN tracks are dwarfed by the subtlety of "lt's Only a Paper Moon". With vocals spoken above a hypnotic melee of intense guitar chaos, it tells the tale of the lustdriven nightclub underworld. Tom explains the origins of the song: "I got beered up one night and was watching "AStreetcar Named Desire", and I thought that the film was just too good. So I recorded all the dialogue and paraphrased .t into lyrics. They aren't necessarily about that, that's just where the idea came from. lt's very much a jammed out track. That's the thing with this single: You don't have to be particUaltf irto the A-side. CNer the last three years we've had a lot of dance remixes done and we're just very bored with that. So this time around, we're putting two unreleased tracks on it instead of paying someone a couple of grand to do an unrepresentative remix. We aren't a dance band." How does Tom feel about the de-

mise of the Manchester contemporaries the Happy Mondays? "lt's sad really, they're a very good band. They've supposedlyspit nto two bands, which will be entirely unsuccessful because all the musiciar,s are absolutely vital to the Happy Mondays: both for the sound and for the image. "I would've thought Shaun was totally unmanageable anyway, so the whole enterprise is doomed to failure." Downstairs a sound check is in full swing. ''That definitely isn't Graham playing thatgu~r! I thnk Francis Rossi has just been helicoptered into the building! Our latest video looks like a Status Quo video from the '70s with Francis Rossi and the

other geezer with the hair flying back."

Did they see the Oldham vs Southhampton match? "I'm not really a supporter of Oldham, I'm from Oxford. Graham is the only bona fide Old ham supporter. Craig ~ends to support Man City and Martyn pretends to support Man United. So none of us are particulaltf strong on football 1 really." Nevertheless, a chance encounter with Graha~ later reveals that thebandfoundtimeforakickabout on Aston campus before the gig. Previewing material which may appear on an album early next year, the concert is a fireball of energy. As Ray Wilkins might say, ''The lads done good."

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Creative or Commercial? Jonathan Batty talks to Peter Ackroyd and lain Sinclair, readers at the Centre for Creative and Performing Arts, about w hether modem writers are being exploited for financial gain Peter Ackroyd and lain Sinclair were both ironically appropriate figures to have read at one of these events, if we are to assume these readings as being manifestations of the commercial literary canon. In the 1970s, Peter Ackroyd and lain Sinclair surely represented two of the most exciting but less well received poets (before they were to become major novelists, and in Ackroyd's case biographer) who were struggling for recognition alongside other interesting non-mainstream writers like Alien Fisher and Bill Griffiths. Many would say that the significance cif these writers was perhaps quashed by the direct promotion of mainstream (primarily "Movemenr) writers like Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes and Cra ig Raine . Slake Morrison (who co-edited "The Penguin Book of Contemporary British Poetry•, 1982), in two essays of the period overtly celebrates Heaney in tenns of

18 BEDFORD STREET

his commercial success; who by 1975 had started to sell better than Larkin and Hughes, and whose Northern Ireland element had been recognized as an extremely powerful selling force in his work. By denouncing figures like Ackroyd and Sinclair, the mainstream literary culture was able to create the space for the reception of figures like Heaney and Hughes. Non-mainstream writers were to suffer from a lack of funding, lack of publicity and lack of audience. I asked Ackroyd and Sinclair, over a glass of Waterstones' wine how they felt about now extending the commercialliterarycanonwhichwasonceseen to strangle their prominence, and whether they objected to commercial exploitation by institutions such as universities and book shops. Sinclair was sympathetic to my argument and was willing to admit that there existed a very unsavoury side to popular lit-

erature and its marketing, but as someone without the huge profit gains of Ackroyd he had little need to defend the mainstream literary culttxe. Ackroyd, though, kind of missed the point and insisted that writers have always been "in it for the money .. .since Shakespeare's day" (which is admittedly a reasonable incentive for writing), but spoke little of the capitalism of the mainstream literary canon which is not only responsible for the exploitation of literature for its purely commercial value, but -as a knock-on effect, in its privileging of certain more marketable figures -for the strangulation of other writers unwilling to make a mainstream compromise. Regardless of the politics of modem literature, as I walked away from the night's reading, having given up my £2, I was comforted by the fact that I had the privilege of coming into contact with two particularly fascinating writers.

TEL: 622836

ALCOHOLICS PARTY OF THE YEAR !!

Dancing at Lughnasa? IGeorgina King previews the latest from the Theatre Royatl The award-winning play, 'Dancing At Lughnasa' by Brian Friel comes to the Theatre Royal in week 10. Set in County Donegal in the summer of 1936, it tells the storyoffive sisters whose ives are re-awakened by the return of their brother Jack from Africa. As he reveals stories of tribal

rituals and fertiity rites. the sisters findthemse~es releasing years of suppressed emotion. Hailed as the Best Play Of The Year by the Olivier and Evening standard Awards in 1991, 'DancingAtLughnasa' is centred around the Irish Festival of the same name, during which magic, the

memories of chidhood and dancing come together to form a moving and enlightening portrait of Irish country life. Performances arefromMonday 21st unta Saturday 26th June at 7:30pm, with mafi. nees on VVednesday and Saturday at 2:30pm. Phone the Theatre Royal box office on 630000 for further details.

"We forgot about the womer. Jo

Rowe checks out the latest from the drama sector

Following extensive news roverage, the treatment of women in war is finally being recognised as an important issue. Attempting to explore this,the second year drama students are presenting Women of Troy', written by Euripides in

416 BC, a 2000 year old Greek Tragedy which offers potent and essential comment on the practis-s of war both past and present. When Helen, wife of the Spartan King Menelaus, was stolen and taken away to Troy by it's Prince, Paris, the Greeks initiated a ten year war which they eventually won. The play opens after the final battle; Hecuba is Queen of Troy, her city destroyed , her family either dead or imprisoned . She is held , along with the other women of the city, "the spoils of war", waiting to discover their fate. Trying to find

reason among this madness the

women begin to tell their story; a tale of rape, humiliation, love, loss and utter destruction . Sue Wickham, who is sharing the role of Hecuba said : "I hope our audience will develop an empathy with these traditionally silent victims as they find a voice and use it to articulate their feelings." After having worXshops with the translator Kenneth Mcleish and the RSC's voice coach Cicely Berry, the students are now in intensive rehearsal wor1dng with masks in the visual format akin to Greek Theatre. The director Val Taylor said of her approach: "Our starting point was an admission by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees: 'we forgot about the women'; we are trying to remember."

AAsx Byme, producer, believes that "The stage is set to provide a startling parallel of ancient myth and contemporary news events." Women of Troy' can be seen at Norwich Puppet Theatre from Wednesday 16 June to Saturday 19 June starting at 8.00. TICkets are priced at £2.50 (cones.) and will available from either the EAS Drama Clerk, or Union House during weeks 8 and 9.

tJappeniiiB Editor: Darren Fisher

Contributors: Jamie Putnam, Steve Horak, Sean McManus, Jonalhan Batty, Mark Turner, Simon Utton, Georgina Ki~. Jo Rowe

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Happenings issue 22 09 06 1993