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Tuesday 26th October 2010 • Issue 246 • UEA’s Independent Student Newspaper

NOT A CLEGG TO STAND ON Nick Clegg hints at a tuition fee cap as Norwich South MP Simon Wright faces pressure from students to honour his pre-election pledge to vote against an increase in fees. Davina Kesby

News Editor

Nick Clegg has announced that tuition fee increases are unlikely to be unlimited, as initially suggested by the Browne Review. The Deputy Prime Minister, who said in the run-up to the General Election that the Liberal Democrats were committed to scrapping tuition fees, confirmed that the amount charged by universities would be capped. Speaking to Andrew Marr, Clegg voiced his concerns, saying he was “uneasy” about the prospect of unlimited fees and said that the government were still considering its response to the Browne Review. David Willetts, the universities minister, has also said that tuition fees will definitely be capped. This announcement comes just a week after Simon Wright, the MP for Norwich South, visited UEA. The Liberal Democrat MP met with officers from the Union of UEA Students to discuss the suggestions made by the Browne Review. So far, Mr Wright has declined to say whether he will honour the pledge he made before the general election to vote against any increase in fees. The statement, which was

NEWS: Crucial route into Norwich to be widened The go-ahead is finally given to A11’s multi-million pound widening, at a cost of £134 million. Page 2

signed by many parliamentary candidates at the invitation of the National Union of Students, read: “I pledge to vote against an increase in fees in the next parliament and to pressure the government to introduce a fairer alternative”. Former leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Menzies Campbell, has said that his credibility would be “shot to pieces” if he did not honour the pledge he signed. When asked by Concrete if this was a sentiment he echoed, Mr Wright said: “I take the pledge very, very seriously. What I want to see from the discussions that go on over the next few weeks is how we can take the Browne Report, how the government can look at what is fair in it and develop that”. This position was confirmed by Mr Clegg, who said that the government wanted to take the “best” parts of the Browne Report to make the system more “restrained”. When asked about the fairness of students potentially paying unlimited tuition fees, Mr Wright emphasised elements of the Browne Report that are seen to be more progressive, such as the level at which graduates start repaying their loans. “I think that what we need to look at is the level

Harriet Jones Decision: MP Simon Wright heard students’ concerns about the Browne Review in the Hive last weekend. of earnings at which people have we are at the moment in terms of Review. The higher education to start repaying. At the moment how the system works”. budget will be cut from £7.1bn it’s just £15,000, that’s not gone Universities have experienced to £4.2bn by 2014. Funding for up for very many years now. What further setbacks as Chancellor arts and humanities will be hit Lord Browne is proposing is that George Osborne announced a 40% hardest, as government support is that moves up to £21,000, so that’s cut in teaching budgets as part being maintained for science and clearly a step forward from where of the Comprehensive Spending technology degrees.

NEWS: Popular restaurant COMMENT AND OPINION: The myth of goes up in flames modern multiculturalism?

Italian restaurant Zizzis has suffered considerable damage as a huge fire broke out this week. Page 3

Comment and Opinion discuss the fallout from Angela Merkel’s controversial comments. Page 11

FEATURES: Banksy meets the SPORT: Meet UEA Korfball Simpsons Features discuss the appearance of popular street artist Banksy’s work on The Simpsons. Page 14

Concrete Sport give you an introduction to one of Britain’s fastest growing sports. Page 23


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NEWS

ISSUE 246

www.concrete-online.co.uk

concrete.news@uea.ac.uk

THE LONG AND WIDENING ROAD James Schofield

UEA’s Independent Student Newspaper Concrete Newspaper Union House UEA Norwich NR4 7TJ

concrete.editor@uea.ac.uk

Editor:

Editorial: 01603 593 466 Advertising: 01603 592 507

Danny Collins

Deputy Editor:

Steph McKenna

Chief Copy Editor:

Mia Wecker

News Editors: Comment and Opinion Editor: International Editor: Features Editors:

Emma Parrott

Nishavitha Murthi Adam Fenwick Samantha Lewis

Turf Editor:

Anna Tomson

Lifestyle Editor:

James Dixon

Travel Editor:

Tom Hunt

Food Editor:

Kyle Spencer

Sports Editors: Chief Photographer: Deputy Chief Photographer: Advertising Manager: Distributor:

Davina Kesby Ed Leftwich

Chris King Rob Schatten Greg Mann

Laura Smith Jean Wills

Ross Grant

Contributors:

James Hughes, Susanna Wood, Claire Price, Roxanne Power, Jonathan Brady, Rebecca Lancaster, Robert Keeler, James Schofield, Isabelle Carty, Rachael Lum, Laraib Ali, James Dixon, Joshua Resoun, Jess Collett, Barbara Orth, Gary Mott, Emma Webb, Alex Ross, Myles Smith, Sarah Waterfield, Lisa Stephens, Emma Williamson, Zoe Tibbles, Charlie Wallace, Will Newton, Jeremy Dales, Robyn Comfort, Lydia McEvoy, John Simpson Wedge, Melissa Sugrim, Joe Levell, Sam Tomkinson, Ian Hobbs, Chris Teale, Ed Powell, Dominic Smith, George Neal, Richard Brookman, Oliver Platt

Proofreaders:

Amelia Edwards, Sula Deane, Harry Slater, Susanna Wood, Rachel Handforth, George Hadjimichael, Eleanor Brown, Jenny Bliss.

News Reporter

The proposed widening of the single-carriageway section of the A11 has finally received government backing, despite heavy spending cuts elsewhere in the public sector. The nine-mile stretch of the A11 between Thetford and Barton Mills is currently the weak link in transport between Norwich and London, with the lack of room for overtaking causing traffic and disruption to journey times. The £134 million project, having been considered for decades, has finally received the green light following pressure from MPs and the local press in East Anglia.

The scheme has received huge support from MPs and council members in the East of England. It is claimed that the widened stretch of the A11 would be worth £1.6bn in time saved by quicker journeys, and would create a “springboard to more investment and ultimately more jobs”, according to Norfolk County Council’s deputy leader, Ian Mackie. The investment is seen as crucial to helping the East Anglian economy through tough economic times. The benefits to Norfolk have been emphasised by the economic development partnership Shaping Norfolk’s Future. Not only will the construction of the new stretch of road provide jobs locally, but will also

Emma Bird The A11, which is due to be widened at a cost of £134 million

help to reduce accidents on the A11. Indeed, it has been estimated that the economic gains from the scheme will outweigh the cost by 20 to 1. Mark Hodges, the chairman of Shaping

Norfolk’s Future, said: “The scheme will reduce journey times, improve congestion and cut accidents. The benefits for the Norfolk economy will be very significant”.

FRESH FACTS AND FIGURES Robert Keeler

News Reporter

The Union of UEA students was this week excited to announce some of the facts and figures from this year’s Freshers’ Week. UEA has a long history of hosting fantastic events for freshers and returning students alike during the week, and this year was no

exception with the likes of Pendulum and Radio 1 DJ’s Zane Lowe and Greg James all gracing the LCR stage over the course of the week. Unsurprisingly, these nights all received huge demand with the LCR packed with 1,700 students for the Pendulum DJ set as well as Zane Lowe. 1,900 attended the Freshers’ Bash which featured Greg James.

However, the guest nights were not the only ones which were a huge hit with students. The Returners LCR, Now 90s, Freshers Icebreaker, The Freshers T-Shirt Party and POW! (which featured a DJ set from Jaguar Skills) all saw over 1,800 freshers and returners packing out the LCR and Hive. There were also 500 people at the LCR’s Comedy night which featured upand-coming comedian Sarah Millican. With many great student nights and gigs from the likes of Jools Holland, Klaxons and Foals still to come, it is expected that the LCR and Hive will continue to pull in students in these quantities for the rest of the university year. Freshers’ Week was also a huge success for many of the Union’s various stores with the Union Food Outlet and Paper Shop reporting that they sold over 4,000 sandwiches, 3,400 chocolate bars, 3,900 bags of crisps and over 7,000 bottles of water and soft drinks. In addition to this, the Union has reported selling approximately 350 UEA hoodies. Overall, the UEA stores on The Street experienced huge levels of demand during the week.

Laura Smith Sandwiches in the UFO

Students also made great use of other Union services, particularly the Union Travel Shop which reported selling over 1,300 student bus passes. On the success of Freshers’ Week, Tom Dolton, Communications Officer of the Union, had the following to say: “The Union thinks this information highlights the exceptional work that all the Union staff do during Freshers’ Week. We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every staff member for all their contributions in the run up and over Freshers’ Week.”


ISSUE 246

Tuesday 26th October

FURTHER LAPTOP ROBBERY IN THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE COMES TO LIGHT

Yet another theft has been reported in the Unthank Road shopping area, after two laptops were reported stolen last fortnight. A burglary occurred on the 23rd September on Gloucester Street. A silver laptop loaded with specialist software designed to aid those with hearing difficulties and jewellery of great sentimental value were taken during the robbery. Two further robberies were committed on the 30th September and 7th October. If you have any information please contact DC Jane Woods on 0845 456 4567 or Crimestoppers

DEMOLITION CAMPAIGN 2010

The NUS and the UCU have called a national demonstration in London on 10th November. As the first national student demonstration called in our generation, students will get a chance to protest in the name of rising tensions surrounding higher education, specifically the huge cuts further and higher education announced by the government. The Union of UEA Students is among hundreds of student and staff unions up and down the country supporting this demonstration. Free coaches have been organised to transport students to the demonstration. The day will consist of a march from Westminster to Trafalgar Square, where the main demonstration is to be held. There is an expected turnout of 30,000 students and staff, enough people to fill the square. This is the first opportunity for many students to be involved in a national demonstration of this size. The Union is hoping to send a large group of students to support what is being viewed by many as one of the greatest threats to higher education for years.

NEWS

www.concrete-online.co.uk

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POPULAR RESTAURANT GOES UP IN FLAMES James Hughes

News Reporter

A fire that broke out at a restaurant in one of Norwich’s oldest and most frequented areas has passed without human casualty, although its impact on public resources has highlighted problems in public service funding. The blaze that began at around midday on Tuesday 12th October at Zizzi Italian restaurant bellowed for hours despite the efforts of over 50 of Norfolk’s firefighters battling to extinguish it. The inferno is believed to have originated in the restaurant’s first floor kitchen but fortunately did not spread to neighbouring buildings in the same terrace. Norfolk County Council Fire and Rescue Service established that the inner roof structure of the Grade II listed building had perished; yet, the extent of the damage in the restaurant area was ultimately superficial. They did assure citizens of Norwich that “the building has been sured up” quelling fears that the building, an example of Norwich’s heralded historic architecture, would collapse in the wake of the fire. The black smoke and overpowering smell of the fire caused disruption to workers in and around Tombland, the site of the restaurant, as many were forced to evacuate their offices and shops as a

Danger: The once popular Zizzi restaurant in Norwich City Centre was gutted by flames earlier this month.

safety precaution. Although there can be no formal conclusion as to how the fire started until the full inquest is completed, the official police statement has played down suggestions of arson and they are not treating the case with suspicion. Those who are often diners at the restaurant chain should not worry for the long term ramifications of the fire on the future operation of the business. A statement on the Zizzi website says: “Obviously we’re very disappointed but we’re doing everything we can to restore a beautiful new Zizzi restaurant in Norwich.”

The greatest disruption, however, will be endured by the fire services of Norwich and its surrounding suburbs at a time when recent cuts in funding for the public services has seen these stations fall on hard times. The Chancellor’s budget cuts, announced on Wednesday 20th October, have delivered a financial blow to local councils and thus the public services, which many believe to have been ill-funded prior to this. With a 7.1% annual reduction in the budget for local governments, Norfolk County Council has been forced to cut an estimated £1.5m from their fire service funding. In nearby Essex, the financial

situation has become so dire that some fire services have opened up their doors to corporate advertising on their fire stations and vehicles in order to generate lost revenue. This could be a trend seen throughout East Anglia’s fire departments should their economic woes continue. Last Tuesday’s fire has highlighted the need for a strong, united fire service which perhaps the cuts in their spending will compromise. FBU brigade chairman, Pete Greeves, wrote: “With these cuts we will be forced to unnecessarily risk our lives a lot more often to do what we joined to do; to save lives and help people.”

the public sector. Other areas that are affected are the welfare sector, which will receive cuts of a further £7 billion, and transport, where regulated rail fares will be able to rise to 3% above inflation. For those working or studying in higher education, this spending review is also giving an indication as to the future of universities in England. In the face of cuts of £2.9 billion, the review is suggesting the abolition of EMA (education maintenance allowance) and an increase in fees for adult learners, as well as the expected hike in tuition fees that the Browne Review suggested last week. The National Union of Students has once again reacted with anger to what it terms as “a devastating blow to higher and further education.” “This is a spending review that looks an entire generation in the eye and says ‘you’re on your own’”, said NUS President Aaron Porter. “Ministers who themselves received

their university education for free are now saying that the next generation will have to do without.” The Union of UEA Students gave Concrete this statement: “The cuts that the Comprehensive Spending Review suggests will cripple the higher education sector, one of the only growing industries in the country”. Tom Dolton, Communications Officer for the Union, also expressed concerns about the spending review

being announced so quickly after the controversial Browne Review last week. “[It] is an underhand tactic to sweep attention away from the pressing issue of tuition fees and the astronomical amount of debt new students will face.” The NUS is staging a National Demonstration in opposition to education cuts in central London on 10th November 2010. Tickets are now available from the UEA box office.

BROWNE RECOMMENDS DEVASTATING CUTS Susanna Wood

News Reporter

The public sector has been dealt a heavy blow this week as the longawaited Comprehensive Spending Review was announced. This comes less than a fortnight after the publication of the Browne Review into how universities are funded, which suggested that universities should be able to set their own fees, but face a levy on amounts above £7,000. The Spending Review, which was revealed by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, on Wednesday (20th October), is proposing an £80 billion cut from public spending. In what has been labelled the political event of the year, the results of the review will affect people in every walk of life, from high earning families who will no longer receive child benefit, to the 490,000 people who are likely to lose their jobs in

Contact Sally on sallybl@btinternet.com 01263 768337 or 07717027791


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NEWS

UEA TIMETABLE CHANGES Jonathan Brady

News Reporter

As students start the new academic year, many are familiarising themselves with the new timetable system that allows for a 20 minute break at lunchtime. The system is designed to give students up to 10 minutes before the end of each morning lecture to get from one building to another, with afternoon lectures starting at 10 past the hour. This creates a free window from 12:50-13:10 and gives students and teaching staff alike the opportunity for a small 20 minute break. Pro-Vice-Chancellor Tom Ward thanked everyone for their patience and understanding with the new system and said he was hopeful it would “pay dividends in the long run.” Those with considerable contact hours welcome the new system.

COPPAFEEL CANCER AWARENESS A nationwide campaign to increase awareness of breast examination among young women has come to UEA. Coppafeel aims to encourage young women to regularly check their breasts to reduce the incidence of late detection or misdiagnosed breast cancer. The campaign is currently running at UEA and will conclude on Friday 29th October with Coppafeel Day. From 12pm until 4pm, the Hive will be a centre of boob hijacking. In the evening, Mercy nightclub will present Coppafeel from 10pm, with free entry for people with a Coppafeel sticker.

NORFOLK COW STOLEN

A cow has been stolen from a pub in Norfolk, leaving its mother standing alone. The calf, who is called Daisy and is made out of fibreglass, was taken from the Deers Leap pub in Thetford. Its mother, Dolly, is now standing alone in the garden. The theft took place between 1am and 9am on the 20th September, with police believing there are multiple thieves. If you think you have seen this cow, or have any information regarding its whereabouts, please contact the local constabulary.

ISSUE 246

www.concrete-online.co.uk

concrete.news@uea.ac.uk

WORKSHOP EXTEND OPENING HOURS Claire Price

News Reporter

Popular student haunt The Workshop on Earlham Road was last week given the go-ahead by Norwich Council to extend its business hours. After two committee sessions lasting around six hours at a time, the Licensing Committee councillors granted permission for alcohol and food to be served until 10.30pm in the garden, whilst councillors sitting on the Planning Applications Committee granted a trial period for alcohol and food to be served in the front area to the same time. Before this extension customers had only been able to eat and drink outside until the time of 8pm, after which they had to move indoors – a process which owner Warren Bryant has branded “impractical” as problems arose if the interior was already full. Initial proposals made by the owner asked for permission to serve food and alcohol outdoors until the time of 11pm, but various amendments were made in the face of some concerns about noise and parking. As a result, the time was reduced to 10.30pm and a trial period was agreed to run from the 1st April to the 31st September

2011. Owner Warren Bryant is pleased with the result as he believes that the current situation is “archaic” and that a continental style of drinking is more civilised. He also finds the time of the trial period ideal as it covers the months when most people would want to be outside. When interviewed, Warren Bryant emphasised that his main motivation for applying for an extension of the premises and planning licenses was not for profit as the seating increase is marginal, but rather for “the principle”. He also stressed that just because his business sells alcoholic drinks it does not mean that they will experience the trouble sometimes seen at other establishments. Although there were some voices of concern raised before the committees about changing the licenses, there were also 26 letters of support for the application. Regular customers also gave their support saying that The Workshop should be able to serve food and drink outside to a later hour, adding that it would “be nice in [the] summer to drink a glass of wine outside”. The full results of the Council’s decision will be officially published in the near future.

Laura Smith The Workshop, which has had its licence to serve alcohol outside extended

decide upon their priorities is a good example of how democracy is fundamental to student Unions. The SUEI process improves the Union for the benefit of all its members, in the coming months students will start to see the result of this”. Dolton went on to say that the scheme works because it is member focused and concentrates on outcomes. SUEI also looks at

the democratic aspect of Unions as well as the changing membership of Unions. According to the SUEI website: “the basic philosophy of SUEI is that a Union must satisfy the needs of its own members. It provides a framework for Unions of any size to work within the resources it has at its disposal to ensure that these are targeted at properly identified outcomes for

STUDENT UNION EVALUATION INITIATIVE Roxanne Power

News Reporter

The Union of UEA Students has been working towards a scheme designed to improve student services. The Student Union Evaluation Initiative (SUEI) is a quality assessment model that assists in improving the services and activities delivered to members of Students’ Unions by indicating areas for continuous improvement. Over forty unions have already been awarded, with many other unions working towards recognition. Tom Dolton, Communications Officer of the Union, said: “The SUEI process is a great way for the Union to rethink and evaluate the services we provide. It helps us consider how students are consulted when making any decisions. The Priority Campaign Poll which ended on Monday 11th was one idea which arose through some work on the SUEI process. Giving students the power to

its own students”. SUEI works in partnership with the NUS and is supported by the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills and the Scottish Government The only Unions with the gold SUEI award are the University of Leeds and the University of Sheffield. The Union of UEA Students is due to be audited in April 2011.


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NEWS

FORMER UEA WRITER-INRESIDENCE DIES AT 49 Jonathan Brady

News Reporter

Former UEA writer-in-residence, Bridget O’Connor, has died at the age of 49 after a battle with cancer. The author and playwright was best known for her prizewinning comedy The Flags, as well as her collection of short stories and plays, for both radio and theatre. Most recently she has been working on a film version of John Le Carre’s Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy starring the likes of Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and BBC’s Sherlock Holmes star Benedict Cumberbatch. Filming for the adaptation has recently started in Budapest. Director of the UK film council, Tim Bevan, noted her approach to work as a “non-sentimental, unexpected, visceral approach to each scene that made her screenwriting exciting and exceptional. Great movie writers are rare in this country and she was one of them.” Born in Harrow, north-west London, she was the second of Bridie and Jim O’Connor’s five children. She attended various Catholic schools before reading English at Lancaster University. After several years of writing whilst working in a building-site canteen and then in a bookshop, Bridget won the 1991 Time Out short story prize. From 1996 to 1998 she was the Northern Arts literary fellow at both Newcastle and Durham University, where she fell in love with the writer Peter Straughan, who later became her husband and co-writer. She was writer-inresidence at UEA in 2000. Several of Bridget’s stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, as well as plays including Becoming the Rose - winner of the Arts Council’s Write Out Loud award - The Centurions and States of Mind. She was commissioned along with her husband Peter to write films such as Sixty Six, starring Helena Bonham Carter, Mrs Ratcliffe’s Revolution and The Three Musketeers. Her husband Peter and daughter Connie survive Bridget, who died in September. She will be sadly missed by all UEA staff and students who worked alongside her.

ISSUE 246

www.concrete-online.co.uk

concrete.news@uea.ac.uk

PLANS FOR NORFOLK WIND FARM DELAYED Rebecca Lancaster

News Reporter

Plans for a large wind farm that is due to be built off the Norfolk coastline have been hindered due to a planned substation that is needed to transfer energy from the turbines to the National Grid. This setback could cause a delay of up to a year. The Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm, which is thought to cost around £1.3 billion and would be situated off the north Norfolk coast, will help reach the government’s target of producing 20% of the UK’s energy from renewable sources by 2020. The plans have been halted by Breckland Council’s decision to reject planning permission for a substation, which was to be built south of Little Dunham, situated 5 miles north east of Swaffham. The substation has caused much controversy amongst the residents of the

village who have raised concerns about damage to the natural beauty of their surroundings, as well as the possibility of noise pollution during construction. This is despite Warwick Energy, the company behind the project, promising “new woodland and other habitat to screen the site covering nearly 20 acres.” There has also been dispute over the fact that the public were not properly informed of the plans. However, Warwick Energy claim this is not the case and that they held exhibitions in November 2009 at which they “had been very encouraged by the general level of local support for the project and this was confirmed from the questionnaire returns at the exhibitions where 69% of people supported the specific onshore proposals, 23% were undecided and only 8% of people were against the proposals.” Warwick Energy also stated that the decision would be

Scroby Sands wind farm, off the coast of Yarmouth

appealed as Little Dunham was picked carefully from over 100 possible alternatives taking the environmental impact into account. The effect of this setback will depend on the outcome of the appeal. The Council did, however, approve other aspects of the proposal, including the

sanctioning of the onshore cable route that runs 45km from Weybourne Hope to the substation. Despite the setback there is still hope that the project could be up and running by 2014. Nevertheless, the residents of Little Dunham remain steadfast in their protest.

motion to withdraw representatives to the University disciplinary committee, after considerable debate on both matters. The results of the Union’s Priority Campaigns Poll were

published last week with four clear winners. Fight Fees and Education cuts, I’m Hungry for Feedback, Graduation Relocation and Better Buses and Campus Car Parking will be the main focus for this year.

REPORT ON FIRST UNION COUNCIL Davina Kesby

News Editor

The first Union Council of term was held on Thursday 1st October in Lecture Theatre 3. As with every year, the first job of Council was to elect a chair to oversee the meetings for the remainder of the academic year. Short speeches were made, with the three experienced candidates putting forward their cases for election. Megan Evans, a final year American Studies student was elected chair, with Duncan Smith, the SCI faculty convenor, being elected deputy chair. Council then elected various members to university committees and to sub-committees of the Student Officer Committee. The sub-committees included various planning groups for the Union campaigns for the forthcoming year, as chosen by students in the Priority Campaigns Poll. Tom Dolton, Communications Officer reported on the actions of the Student Officer Committee in the time since the last Union Council. Will Lacey, Environment Officer, also reported on what is currently being done to improve the Union’s environmental credentials. A team from the Union staff cleared and collected waste left by first year

students in halls. Kitchenware was cleaned and sold to international students and freshers, with £1,500 being collected. Council then approved the constitutions of various new clubs and societies including Dodgeball, World Cinema, Italian, Kitesurfing, Mah Jong and the Book Group Society. Dan Youmans, Community and Student Rights Officer, proposed a motion in response to the coalition’s proposal to reduce the levels of international students in the UK. The motion called on the NUS to launch a national campaign to oppose the immigration cap on international student visas. The motion was passed with a large majority in favour. Sam Hilton, representative for Anarchist Society, proposed a motion to affiliate to Norfolk Coalition Against the Cuts (NCAC). After amendments from the Communications Officer, the motion was passed. A proposal to introduce a Charity Week was passed, as were motions from the Faculty of Health Convenor Liz Biscoe about the use of “week numbers” and a reevaluation of the role of faculty convenors. A motion to condemn the employment of Charles Clarke as a Visiting Professor fell, as did a


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INTERNATIONAL

ISSUE 246 concrete.international@uea.ac.uk

www.concrete-online.co.uk

Coping with Social Isolation Isabelle Carty International Writer

As globalisation expands, students move further away from their homes and even their countries in search of higher education. Thrown into a world of new cultures and customs, students are bound to feel pangs of homesickness, culture shock and in some cases they may experience communication difficulties. These issues can affect international students no matter the length of their stay or their ability to speak the language. There will undoubtedly be certain colloquialisms and customs that they are unfamiliar with. International students are less likely to

seek help with problems concerning social isolation. However, these problems can cause psychological stress which can have a negative effect on academic performance, so it is important for them to be addressed. A study conducted by the University of New South Wales in 1991 looked into the lives of first year undergraduate international students. It found that these students experienced great restrictions to life outside of university. Common areas of difficulty were maintaining formal relationships, making friends and assertiveness. Yet the world has since made great strides in technological advancement. The internet makes it extremely easy (and cost effective) to get in contact with people all over the

world at any time. This is a good way for international students to combat some of their homesickness. When it comes to making friends, there are societies and clubs that students can join which may help them feel closer to home. They can sometimes meet people from the same countries or cities as them. The companionship makes it easier for students to come out of their shells and explore new cultures. This helps to boost confidence and build an understanding of the country that they are in. For the most part, international students at university tend to have successful and positive experiences which the aid the process of cultural and psychological adjustment. This

leads to the development of cross-cultural skills which allow international students to immerse themselves in new cultures while remaining true to their own.

Poseidon’s Wrath: Pakistan Experiencing Further Education Laraib Ali International Writer

Pakistan is one of the many developing countries of the world that suffers from a continuous struggle for identity. In recent times, it looked like Mother Nature had decided to take its toll. The devastating earthquake of 2005 that shook the country to its core was followed by a series of overwhelming floods this August. The scale of these floods have been declared the worst of their kind from both long and short term damages than the devastating tsunami or the chaotic earthquake of Haiti. As the Pakistani economy is very much based around its agriculture, this comes as a fatal blow. Around one in every eight Pakistanis are affected in one way or another by the floods, with at least 21 million people losing their properties, livestock or jobs. Those who were fortunate enough to have survived these dreadful tides are now

faced with dealing with the aftermath of large losses, as well as the consequences of waterborne diseases, the psychological trauma of losing loved ones and the simple fact that their life would never be the same again. In such desperate times support is vital. Fortunately, celebrities like Angelina Jolie have not been prevented from stepping in. More important than her generous personal donation was the fact that she helped bring the issue into the limelight, conveying the scale of the disaster to the world. So, the question now arises as to what the fate of those affected will be. The thousands of hectares of affected soil would have to be treated extensively before use. The millions of homeless people will need food and shelter before long, as they look into the future with hopes of rebuilding their lives. In such critical times, it is necessary for the affected to receive adequate support physically and mentally from the right places.

Rachael Lum International Writer

The UK welcomes a large number of students annually. This September, UEA saw the arrival of around 2,500 students from outside the UK. This adds up to approximately 15% of the UEA student population. Many students opt to pursue their further education abroad despite being aware that the road will not be an easy one. Prior to entry, there are application procedures, visas and fees to be concerned about. Upon arrival, students must adapt to a different system of education, cope with the new environment and the isolation from home. To top it all, most will find themselves entirely responsible for their studies, expenditures and wellbeing. Nevertheless, international students continue to flock far from home for a variety of reasons. Academic-wise, some say that obtaining a degree from overseas opens a wider range of opportunities, while

strengthening future employability. Some value the personal freedom and the sense of responsibility that a foreign university brings about, allowing character building and a sense of maturity. Primarily, it is the experience of being in a different country that encourages them to go that extra mile. Knowledge is gained not only from books but also from the understanding of new cultures. Meeting locals and students from other countries, international students are exposed to various traditions and customs, allowing students to adopt a broader perspective, not to mention the new friendships fostered along the way. When these international students graduate, some return home with a certificate in hand and an enriched mind. Others are happy to continue their journey here. For many, it might not be apparent, but university is not just about the books and teaching, it’s also about stepping out of the comfort zone to be enrolled in the ‘University of Life’.

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ISSUE 245

www.concrete-online.co.uk

Tuesday 12th October

WTF - what’s, like, the matter with slang? Jess Collett Opinions Writer

Actress Emma Thompson has criticised the use of sloppy English, citing that it drives her “insane” and makes young people sound stupid. How infuriating it must be to live in a world where everyone jabbers on incomprehensibly, a never-ending stream of drivel gushing forth from their mouths. Excuse me if my sarcasm seems a little thick here. It is, of course, unintelligent of Thompson to make such comments; slang and vernacular expressions are used by everyone in the world, no matter their age, social background or creed. Modern slang used by teens may seem unfathomable to those ‘outside the know’, and it is an easy to thing to criticise – until it is remembered that

slang is not a concept thought up by students and Facebook to bamboozle sensible adults. Slang has been part of the English language since before the English language existed.

“Language, as a concept, is in a constant state of change, constantly evolving and adapting”

Language, as a concept, is in a constant state of change, constantly evolving and adapting. There never has been, nor will be, a definite fixed language; constant adaption makes our language rich. Words change meanings within the space of a decade. What once was common jargon may now be a serious academic term. Slang is needed, innit?

COMMENT AND OPINION 9

A happy, multicultural Europe? Barbara Orth Opinions Writer

Wearing a veil covering the face and body will be subject to a fine of €150 and a citizenship course as punishment. Anyone forcing a woman to wear a niqab or burqa might face imprisonment for up to one year or a €15,000 fine. Does this sound like a Western European democracy that guarantees freedom of religion in its constitution? Yet, as of the 14th September 2010, these will incorporated into French law. Given the fact that this law applies to only 1900 women, a mere 0.03% of France’s population in total, and just 0.04% of its Muslim population, one might ask, why does the French government need a specific law to deal with this issue?

The answer is simple: it doesn’t. However, it is becoming increasingly popular to criticize immigrants for practicing their customs and traditions. This debate has been raging for years across Europe, and politicians never fail to kindle people’s fear of “Islamic terrorists” by imposing such nonsense laws. We need to realize that we cannot reverse immigration. We cannot stop globalization, and we certainly cannot condemn people, living far away from home, for clinging to their traditions. Anyone who has ever lived abroad will know how important it is to keep a little bit of your own cultural identity with you in a foreign environment. So instead of wasting time with an issue that does not affect 99.07% of their electorate, politicians should perhaps

instead be busy working on new integration schemes. How can we make our immigrants feel at home in Europe? How can we help them to deal with cultural differences? And maybe even more importantly: all of us need to accept the status quo of modern western society. This is our diverse and colourful society that speaks in many different languages and in many different types of attire. Sometimes, we might have to accept this may even take the form of a fully-covered woman.

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The Browne Report: How will it affect you? Last week Lord Browne produced a report which outlined the future of universities in the UK. With this in mind, Concrete looks at the alternative aspects of the Browne Report and asks what key issues are raised by it.

Simon Wright’s U-Turn? James Dixon discusses the dilemma faced by Simon Wright as he chooses between loyalty to his party, and honouring the NUS fees pledge. Before finding themselves in a coalition government, the Liberal Democrats made a pledge to abolish tuition fees for higher education. Nick Clegg used this pledge as one of the party’s flagship policies prior to the election, stating “I believe tuition fees are wrong, I believe they need to be abolished”. It seems, however, that this ship has lost its sails, as Nick Clegg recently announced that he was dropping the pledge in the need to be ‘realistic’ during these financially turbulent times. The move has been viewed as weak; only serving to reinforce the notion that the Liberal Democrats sold their political soul in exchange for governmental power.

Simon Wright, MP for Norwich South, had previously backed the pledge to scrap tuition fees, but in

a recent television interview on The Politics Show East he seemed to flounder when questioned over his current stance on tuition fees. Wright refused to give a straight answer, in a manner unfortunately common to unsettled politicians. Wright went on to insist that he needed to consult the data from the recent Browne report. This only made him appear cagey and unwilling to speak openly. As an MP, Mr Wright has the power to stand up for what he, and perhaps more importantly, the public, believes in. If Mr Wright believed passionately in the pledge to scrap tuition fees then he would have had no qualms in declaring his support during the interview. An example of consistency in your beliefs lies in Bob Russell, the Liberal Democrat MP for Colchester. He signed the Liberal Democrat’s pledge to scrap tuition fees prior to the election and has stated that he plans to stand by it. When politicians openly avoid difficult questions causes the electorate to lose faith in them. Mr Wright’s hollow answer indicates that he is likely to side with Nick Clegg and party policy in allowing the Conservatives to raise tuition fees, sending a cold iceberg towards the Liberal Democrat’s ailing vessel.

country and give education their own distinctive stamp of achievement. Tony Blair’s New Labour manifesto was headed with the battle cry of ‘education, education, education’, a promise that the current coalition government has subsequently declared a tremendous failure (excuse my paraphrasing). Wild accusations of lessening academic standards and claims that exams are getting easier have followed, and are considered a great source of merriment in the media.

THE FACT BOX • The Browne Report recommends that there be no limit to what universities can charge for a degree • Universities will no longer have to provide a minimum bursary to students

A degree: Priceless Joshua Resoun argues that despite any potential rise in tuition fees, no price can ever be put on a degree. – the degree, the friends, the opportunities; we attend university for the experience. University is the gateway between further education and the wider world.

Above: The man at the centre of the controversial report, Lord Browne

The Browne Report, published on the 12th October 2010, proposes to fundamentally shake up the higher education system in England. Naturally anything that involves higher education and the government is bound to create uproar amongst students, and the Browne Report is no exception. However, this anger is misplaced. The main cause of anger is that the Browne Report will create an elitist system that favours the rich, who can afford the increased tuition fees. The Browne Report does deal with this issue, and it offers a simple solution – a graduate repayment plan. The plan proposes this: graduates will not begin repayments until they earn over £21,000 a year. . However, the purpose of the Browne Report is not to create an elitist system, but make higher education affordable and sustainable for generations to come. The removal of the tuition fee cap has the intention of plugging the funding gap which exists in the higher education system. Yes, students will have more debt, but can you really put a price on your education? The sole purpose of university is to provide students with an education. You cannot put a price on the benefits of university

In response to this, the curriculum has been refocused on reading, writing and British history, and the cap may be removed from student university fees. The problem with ‘education, education, education’ will be completely eradicated and we should all thank Cameron and Clegg for this wonderful opportunity. Personally, I find this all rather offensive. After all, everyone currently in the university system has been brought up in a Labour

education system and since there have never been more potential students in the history of everything, that’s a pretty sound defence. Exams were certainly not ‘easy’; I worked flat out to pass my exams, and feel insulted each time a newspaper or comedian makes a quick joke about academic standards. Why can’t they accept that children may simply be getting smarter? Or, God forbid, that the caustic New Labour government did a pretty good job with improving

education and encouraging a creative and innovative atmosphere? I fail to see where a major problem is with how I was taught. I fail to see the benefits of effectively removing art and music from the curriculum. I fail to see how budget cutbacks could possibly motivate me, other students, and teachers to improve. How will learning be encouraged when it’s constantly rammed down our throats that “we is stoopid cus of scool and wil neva get nowhere?”

• Students will not have to repay their loans until their earnings reach £21,000 • Once earnings reach £21,000 interest will be charged at the cost of borrowing from the government (which is currently 2.2%) and inflation • Maintenance loans will no longer be means tested. Instead, all students will be eligible for a £3, 750 loan

“Yes, students will have more debt, but can you really put a price on your education?”

No cost, even if tuition fees reached the levels which exist in the United States ($40,000 on average), would stop me from going to university. If, as a student, you have the goal of graduating from university with as little debt as possible, then you need to ask yourself why you are here. If, however, you are attending university for the degree, for the friends and for the opportunities, the consequences of the Browne Report will not affect you. The current cost of tuition fees: £3,225. The expected cost of tuition fees if the cap is removed: £5,000. The cost of graduating from university with the qualifications and skills to do what you love: priceless.

What’s the problem with education, education, education? Jess Collett Opinions Writer

I’m going to say the unthinkable, a statement that no one ever dares to write, or say, or even dream about in the British education system: there is nothing wrong with the British education system. There. I said it. Yet each successive government of the last thirty years has been determined to remove problems with the school system in this


ISSUE 246

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Tuesday 26th October

COMMENT AND OPINION 11

The Modern Myth of Multiculturalism After German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, declares that multiculturalism has “utterly failed”, Barbara Orth examines whether such an outlandish claim can, in fact, be true. Barbara Orth Opinions Writer

In a speech last week, German chancellor Angela Merkel told an audience that a “multicultural approach, saying that we simply live side-by-side and live happily with each other has failed. Utterly failed.” Her comments were an attempt to moderate the heated immigration debate in Germany that has been going on since last summer. A debate was sparked by (now ex-) central banker Thilo Sarazzin’s highly controversial book in which he accused Muslim immigrants of lowering the intelligence of German society. A recent poll indicated one third of the German population believed the country was “overrun by foreigners”. It also showed that 55% of Germans believed Arabs to be “unpleasant people” – immigration, of course, being a favourite topic for pub politics. We heard Bavarian premier Seehofer calling for a halt to Arabic and Turkish immigration, stating that ���multiculturalism is dead“. Now, first of all, the phrase “overrun by foreigners“ already

headlined European newspapers in the early 20th century. This shows that the media are both uncreative and wrong in their hysteria. We are still here, we are not overrun and enjoy all the effects of globalization of which multiculturalism is one aspect. If you get the munchies after a long

“Let’s hope Merkel’s comments will lead to a fair debate on new

immigration

policies.”

night out with Russian vodka you can choose between Italian pizza, India curry, Turkish kebab and English fish and chips – multiculturalism at its best. On a more serious note multiculturalism also means that we now see mosques and synagogues next to churches as well as women wearing saris on the tube. Unfortunately, however, this colourful diversity has not only

brought us great food but also many problems, namely when the integration of immigrants fails. Europeans are afraid to lose their cultural identity, to ‘become strangers in their own countries‘. These fears are mostly caused by cultural misunderstanding and prejudice circulating in the media. I agree with Merkel, multiculturalism in the form that it has been practiced in many European countries so far, has not worked out – I do, however, reject her conclusion. The concept has not failed, but European governments have failed at issuing the right integration policies. In the post-war economic boom West Germany took in “guest workers,” who were expected to leave after a few years. Thus they were neither encouraged to learn the language nor to get to know the German people; a utilitarian approach that many Western European countries took as well. In denying the fact that people were not just guest workers but here to stay, Europeans deprived them of the motivation to integrate themselves. This has led to the problem of parallel societies that we have nowadays. This being said, is there even

an alternative to multiculturalism? The antonym of multiculturalism is nationalism – and I don’t have to explain where this concept and its extremes have led Europe and the whole world less than a century ago. So there can be and there should be no doubt that nationalism is clearly not what we want. Thus, we need to rethink our model of multiculturalism and improve its shortcomings where necessary. Let’s hope Merkel’s comments will lead to a fair debate on new

immigration policies. I believe multiculturalism is the only way of achieving a peaceful society, a society in which we can all indeed live side-byside and live happily with each other. The European integration process has shown the whole world that we Europeans have learned from the past and that we can now live peacefully together . Immigrants must be willing to accept our culture and we must be willing to welcome theirs so that we can all live Europe’s motto of being “united in diversity“.

Above: Angela Merkel speaking to the youth section of the Christian Democratic Union Party this week

Facebook, Farmville and Fraud: should we be worried? With Facebook recently passing the 500 million members mark, Gary Mott raises concerns about the wealth of information that it holds on all of its users Gary Mott Opinions Writer

Facebook, the social networking giant has again become embroiled in controversy concerning the way in which the website manages the data of its users. In a nutshell, some of the companies behind Facebook applications have been distributing users’ IDs to third parties, including advertisers who are known to collect information on people’s online activities. For many users of Facebook, the personal ID attached to them will only reveal limited information, such as their name and friends list. However, for those users with low privacy settings, a third party might be able to access both photos and

personal information. With applications such as Farmville attracting as many as 59 million of Facebook’s 500 million users, it is obviously a serious concern that the social network would allow its affiliates to handle user’s personal information so haphazardly. As a user of Facebook myself, I stand with the millions of other people who are concerned

about the practices of the, arguably, monopolistic social network. However, I would urge fellow users of Facebook to view the latest development in the website’s ongoing privacy issues as part of a greater picture. Indeed, as the coalition government releases its new national security strategy, which highlights the threat of cyber-crime, we are reminded that there are larger issues at stake than the mishandling of one’s name or personal photographs. Furthermore, I would suggest that high profile, relatively minor controversies concerning the internet and people’s personal information are beneficial in the long run. It is interesting that many people who would be sceptical of

providing their personal information to a surveyor on the phone or on their doorstep, are at the same time comfortable with posting that same information onto social networking websites

“It is obviously a serious concern that the social network would alllow it’s affiliates to handle user’s information so haphazardly.”

Here, intentionally or unintentionally the information might be accessible by others around the world.

In this age of technology where our virtual activities on the internet are increasingly becoming integrated into our physical lives, it must be imperative that the public are sceptical about the security of their information online. I dread to imagine the potential ramifications of people’s personal documents and photographs being leaked to third parties from the rapidly growing ‘cloud’. Therefore, as consumers of the internet, we should take this opportunity, not only to query the intentions of Facebook specifically, but also to seriously question the viability of the internet’s services at large to facilitate our lives safely and securely.

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The copy-right approach?

ISSUE 246

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Tuesday 26th October

Just Flipping Google It!

Adam Fenwick looks at the controversial new government act that targets copyright offenders, and investigates the legal alternatives.

As the world wide web continues to imprint itself on our daily lives, Emma Webb asks: ‘are these advances for better or for worse?’

It is an inevitable part of student life, watching the latest American TV shows shortly after broadcast, downloading films and music, and sharing files between friends. The legality of it all has always been somewhat disputed. The horror stories of random people being sued for thousands of pounds

The internet, an impossibly massive source of information, the foundation of long-distance family life and relationships, the only sure-fire way to get anything practical done without spending the best years of your life on hold to a call centre. Got a question? Google it. Are the rumours true? Facebook it. Got something inappropriate to share with the world? Twitter it. Useful, resourceful, and endless, it certainly is. But how much is this wealth of knowledge really helping us? On the surface, there are infinite advantages of using the Internet in our day-to-day lives. As our modern world becomes increasingly environmentally conscious, services such as online banking and downloading PDF files, significantly reduces the amount of paper used in offices and homes. Instead of the inconvenience of a packed Sainsbury’s on a Saturday, or the town centre rammed with angry shoppers the last trading weekend before Christmas,

for copyright infringement are not a regular occurrence, but a recently introduced law could change all that. The Digital Economy Act 2010 was introduced this year on the 8th June by Lord Peter Mandelson. Its aim is to prevent copyright related offences on the internet. You may not feel as though you are doing anything wrong when you watch the latest US Family Guy episode on Megavideo or download the latest Tinie Tempah album via torrents, but this new government act will be targeting the worst of these offenders. So how does it work? Well, it is all very complicated. Copyright holders will potentially be able to find out who is accessing their works by logging their IP address (the unique code assigned to every computer). These rights-holders can then contact the internet service providers (such

as Virgin and BT) of specific users, and request a list detailing the IP addresses of users who downloaded their copyrighted material. In an extreme example, this could consist of one person downloading an episode of The Simpsons, having their IP address logged by the rights-holder Twentieth Century Fox, and resulting in that user’s internet service provider

sharing information about the user’s download habits before making it a legal matter with the individual. Of course, this can have numerous problems, one of which is that, because the internet is so vast, would it be physically possible to track every download offence? Furthermore, would everyone be potentially sued by rights-holders, or just repeat offenders who download large amounts of material? Another particularly strange part of the act is the threshold limit which determines whether or not an individual can be targeted with legal action. Ofcom, the Office of Communications, have set this, but it is not readily available. Furthermore, certain websites that offer vast amounts of material can be blocked

by the government, though this is an ongoing issue relating to freedom of expression and censorship. The Digital Economy Act is nothing new and not exclusive to the UK. In a recent court case, an American student was fined $675,000 for illegally downloading thirty music files (around $22,500 per song). Joel Tenenbaum has been repeatedly served with court ordered fines regarding his use of ‘online media distribution systems’ since the age of sixteen. He has been fined numerous times by several big record labels including Sony BMG and Warner Bros Music. But what does this tell us about the internets potential for widespread

abuse? We’ve all seen the adverts in the cinema ordering us to not record and distribute their films, but is criminal prosecution the right approach? Alternative methods would be more welcome, and one such successful example is Spotify, a legal music streaming programme that

generates profits from playing adverts during users playlists and also selling premium advert-free accounts. It has around seven million members and is growing rapidly, despite the fact that it limits the number of new users that can join its free service. Services such as Spotify allow people to access music online for free without breaking the law, so could this be the future for other forms of media such as TV shows, films, and even books? In the case of music videos, this is already happening. A new company called Vevo (part-owned by several big global record labels) has recently been established that releases major recording artists’ videos on YouTube. In the case of TV shows, BBC iPlayer, 4oD and other similar on-demand services already allow people to watch content legally and for free, making a profit from advertising or through the license fee.

But it is American television shows and films that are the real problems faced by the entertainment industry. Hundreds of copies of TV shows and films are uploaded merely hours after broadcast to an international audience. How can this be combatted in a similar manner? The final episode of Lost is one example. One of the

most popular American TV dramas ever, Lost achieved ratings of upwards of 15 million people per episode in the US. In an attempt to hold on to ratings, Sky1 (who were broadcasting the series in the UK) aired the episode at exactly the same time as in America. It may have been in the early hours of the morning, but the episode received a significantly large audience. Other shows have been following a similar format. Desperate Housewives episodes used to be aired in the UK a few months after they were originally broadcast in America. Now they are aired after only a few weeks to combat the problem of people downloading them after they air in the US, resulting in less viewers tuning in to the UK broadcast, leading to a loss of advertising revenue. Essentially, the power lies with the consumers. They have a choice in how they consume material. But is there an incentive for people to legally download this material? Around two years ago, iTunes UK changed their

pricing structure offering most tracks for 99p, compared to 79p before. It seems that the people who legally download material are being punished to compensate for the people who choose to download illegally. But will the new Digital Economy Act change all this, and were you even aware of it in the first place?

we can do everything from our weekly food shop and clothes shopping to charity donations and eBay trading without leaving the house. In addition, the internet as a research tool is arguably the most extensive source of information available. There really is a site for everything, and if there isn’t, it’s

probably on Wikipedia. The Internet gives everyone access to scientific discoveries, art, history, poetry, biographies on anyone who has ever lived and it has never been easier to trace your family tree with the information available online. Social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, along with the beauty of webcams and free communication programmes like Skype, mean that all the stress of staying in touch has vanished. With our ever-shrinking world thanks to advanced transportation links, it is no trouble maintaining contact with retired parents in Italy, old school friends in Australia and a spouse away on business in the USA. However, the honeymoon period with internet culture may well

be over, as scientists are starting to uncover unforeseen risks to health and social skills as a result of overexposure to technology and the Internet in particular. People who are constantly distracted by their buzzing mobile phones, streams of emails and instant chat are less likely to be able to concentrate on individual tasks and

make errors performing simple tasks during the day. The ability to research and analyse information is being lost to the exceptional lack of effort required to type ‘Shakespeare’ into Google and watch a wealth of knowledge appear before our very eyes. Albeit, the information is there but studies have shown people remember half as much from scouring the internet than they do reading and physically searching for the facts themselves. Great aspects of culture will suffer

as a result; museums and age-old libraries will become obsolete, which will in turn impact considerably on tourism and the general richness of history and tradition. Children who spend hours every day playing games online are missing important social interaction with others, and some have been reported to display withdrawal symptoms like those of alcoholics or drug users: cases of ‘the shakes’ have been known to occur, as well as responding with rage and violence when asked to switch off the computer. Capio Nightingale hospital in central London now offers rehabilitation treatment for

technology addicts; many of the patients are children between the ages of 12 and 17. Facebook and Twitter will soon have a lot to answer for in terms of depleted social skills, if they don’t already. People spend half as much time together now that they can chat on Facebook, meaning we miss out on opportunities for essential human companionship and physical interaction. It’s not even necessary to telephone friends to have a conversation about your new ‘other

half’ – just changing your relationship status will do. If that wasn’t depressing enough, Facebook and MySpace (and the like) add yet another outlet for cyber bullying, as well as the countless arguments which break out between previously good friends over a casually spiteful ‘Tweet’. The extensive level of personal information and photographs that are easily accessible on Facebook make identity theft even more likely, and girls and young women are especially at risk for picking up dangerous ‘cyber-stalkers’ with so many personal photographs of themselves at easy reach for strangers. Public concern over the impact of technology on employment has been debated since the notion of robotics became possible, but few consider the impact of how their own personal use of the Internet can

seriously influence their ability to gain employment at all – and how easy it is to lose current employment due to indiscretions on social networking sites. Apparently, the six degrees of separation mean we are linked to anyone in no more than six people who on your Facebook friend list is

actually married to your boss, whom your Facebook status is currently denouncing as a ‘lazy, incompetent [censored]’? Possibly the same person who took huge offence to your current relationship with her ex (which she is only aware of, naturally, because you changed your Facebook relationship status) and takes it upon herself to have you sacked for gross misconduct? It happens, and it could easily happen to anyone having a bad day. It is looking increasingly like we can all look forward to a future where eight-year-olds no longer bring home adorable ‘Please Come to My Party!’ invitations, but simply RSVP to the Facebook event instead. It may be true that we might all be less informed if it wasn’t for the enormous resource that is the internet, and our social groups may well be growing for all the right reasons, but perhaps the internet should be accompanied by the same safety label which comes with all our other favourite recreational drugs – beware, excessive consumption can seriously damage your health!

Jo Davey’s top 10 must-see internet gems 1) sporcle.com Dedicated to beat-the-clock quizzes such as “Name that famous moustache”, Sporcle is addictive and educational. I’ve seen entire households gathered around a laptop desperately trying to name the countries in Europe or the top 100 albums ever. Now an iPhone app, there’s simply no excuse to find out just how little you really know.

2) stumbleupon.com Ever wondered where people find that new hilarious website or video? Do they spend hours trawling Youtube? No, they Stumble upon it.. Download the toolbar, pick your interests and get going. Press the button and Stumble randomly finds. You give it a thumbs up or thumbs down, and it adjusts your interests accordingly.

3) fmylife.com If you’re having one of those days, it’s always reassuring to know that other people know exactly how you feel. You’ll suddenly realise it could be a lot worse. Laughing at other people’s misfortunes may not be very nice, but it really will brighten your day. On a similar theme, www.mylifeisaverage. com will show you how bizarre life can be.

4) chatroulette.com / omegle.com It takes a lot of courage to go on either of these two, courage I haven’t quite found yet. One click and you’re Skyping a stranger you’ve never seen before, half way across the world, dressed as Darth Vader. Another click, and who knows where you might be, and what you might be looking at. Frankly, not for the faint hearted.

5) youtube.com - ‘Gap Yah’ I drunkenly bumped into this man a while back, and despite his protestations, I had no idea who he was. If, like me, you haven’t been living on earth for the last year, you might be forgiven for missing the sensation that was Gap Yah. A side-splitting satire, now with a sequel, for anyone who’s ever been or known a gap year student.

6) youtube.com ‘Being a Dickhead’s Cool’ Whilst Gap Yah owned last year, this new video is set to take over the title. This clip mocks everything about new age ‘cool’, whether it be the man cleavage or loafers with no socks. Watch it, and the world suddenly becomes a ‘Where’s Wally’ for Richard Heads. Pure genius.

7) postsecret.com Heart-warming and heart-breaking, PostSecret is for anyone who’s ever had a secret. Anonymous postcards, beautifully decorated, litter the site, each with a completely truthful and never before shared secret. From unsolved crimes to meat-cheating vegans, the PostSecret world cannot help but rock yours.

8) ideas4recipes.com / cocktail.uk.com Absolute lifesavers for the starving and the sober. Not only filled with delicious recipes for drink and dinner, both of these sites allow you to type in whatever ingredients you have lying around your kitchen, and it will show you whatever cuisine and cocktails you can make.

9) myparentswereawesome.com Most of us have seen the odd photo of our parents from days gone by, tucked in the back of a photo album where no one will notice brown flairs and bad hair. Most of us put them back where they belong, hoping they never surface again. Some of us, however, put them on the internet. Enjoy.

10) energyfiend.com / ‘Death-by-Caffeine’ Ever looked at that can of Red Bull and wondered just how many you’d need to drink to kill you? Well, look no further! A ridiculous website where you select your favourite caffeinated drink, tell them your weight, and find out exactly how much you’d need to soda-pop your clogs.


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D’oh! Banksy let loose in Springfield After graffiti artist Banksy shot a bullet through FOX’s Sunday night line-up, Alex Ross explores what happens when politics and popular culture converge.

Sandwiched between Danny Elfman’s famously jovial theme tune over The Simpsons intro scene and the opening credits of one of the most well-known television shows of all time, American viewers were exposed to the dark world of Britain’s most elusive street artist. The music and tone turns to that of Schindler’s List, with the graphic depiction of a Korean sweatshop, with kittens minced for dolls, pandas whipped to work harder and a dying unicorn being used as a holepunch for DVDs. We’re left with the image of the famous Twentieth Century Fox searchlight statue, an image almost entirely untouched since its creation, surrounded by barbed wire and lit in sepia. It is typical of Banksy – just when we forget about him for a while he surprises us by leaving his work somewhere entirely unexpected – though nobody imagined it would surface in Springfield. As expected, our American brethren have taken great interest in Banksy’s now infamous ‘couch gag’. But with the controversial

content of some of the most highly rated shows in America, Family Guy and South Park for example, we’re left to wonder why, even with the added celebrity circumstances, this 30 second clip has caused such furore. Family Guy is FOX’s biggest animated show this year, with Season 9 currently in full flow, and South Park has remained ever present on both sides of the Atlantic for well over a decade. Viewers of either of these shows are more than aware of their constant political boundary pushing– whether it be Lois Griffin jumping in to bed with Bill Clinton (“Apparently, there’s the side of Bill Clinton the world knows, and then there's the dark, sex crazed side only I know!”) or the brilliantly titled South Park episode “Osama bin Laden has Farty Pants”. When The Simpsons first came to our screens in the late 1980s it was, like these shows, the Antichrist to right wing conservatives, used as a scapegoat for any of society’s problems. George Bush Sr. famously said

that he would work to make families “more like the Waltons and less like The Simpsons”. But since its first few seasons, the Springfield natives have settled in. Both America and the world have caught up with the family and all of a sudden modern life, with all its divorce and conspiracy, make the animated comedy look subdued and almost conventional. Speaking to Concrete, Jonathan Gray, author of ‘Watching with the Simpsons’, said the show’s longevity, along with its mellowing over the years, could be the reason for such a great reaction to the Banksy incident: “The Simpsons have been so unobjectionable for so long that when something like this comes along, it’s almost out of place… and because of this, people feel that it comes more from the heart”. What is surprising (and in many ways brilliant) is that these shows have very few restrictions on what they can broadcast. Contracts have been drawn up that state that their networks must either broadcast their material or cancel the show altogether – there can be no tampering or nit picking; and no station in their right mind would cancel shows that still have high ratings: “If you gave Rupert Murdoch the choice between making a profit and spreading right-wing politics, he’d undoubtedly side with the former”, said Professor Gray, “ratings for The Simpsons are such that if it were broadcast as

a new show today, it would be the most successful one around”. Ratings are the priority in the television industry, and if these shows continue to engage us to the extent that we’re willing to turn on to watch them, they can say what they like.

“It is typical of Banksy – just when we forget about him for a while he surprises us by leaving his work somewhere entirely unexpected – though nobody imagined it would surface in Springfield. “

So how much difference can incidents like this really make? Will we all boycott Simpson’s merchandise on the basis of the fantasy drawings of a man (allegedly) from Bristol? It seems unlikely. But as with all such media-political controversies – Kanye West declaring that “George Bush does not care about black people”, Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Killing in the Name’ going to Christmas number one – we’re led to ask questions. In this

case, it’s whether or not working conditions are suitable behind the scenes of a happy primetime TV show, or even who is in control of broadcasting the show. For Kanye West fans it was whether or not the Republican response to Hurricane Katrina was effective. For Rage Against The Machine fans it was whether or not we should continue to hold such a relaxed view towards the record industry. Whatever answers we get, these questions show that, in spite of criticisms to the contrary, free speech in the entertainment industry is in relatively rude health – though it would be foolish to claim that there is no room for improvement - and this has a profound effect on our political decisions. The relationship between entertainment and politics may well be a volatile one, and it can appear that it’s often at breaking point. But it only serves to inspire debate. Networks are more than aware that doing something as dramatic as removing a show from air would effectively amount to shooting themselves in the foot, and this gives the writers and producers of shows like The Simpsons a great deal of power. If great power really does necessitate great responsibility, then the most responsible thing for the writers of these shows to do is be as reckless and controversial as possible. Then at least questions will continue to be asked.


ISSUE 246

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Tuesday 26th October

To Bank or Not To Bank?

At the last Union Council meeting of the previous academic year a highly controversial motion was passed in which the Union of UEA Students agreed to stop banking with NatWest if they did not stop their unethical investments by the end of 2011. NatWest and its sister bank RBS are currently helping to fund the tar sands oil extraction in Canada, a hugely damaging oil mining project taking up a land area the size of Britain and causing wide-scale destruction to the natural and human environment alike. The commitment to switch banks is likely to cost the Union a considerable amount of money and the issue has caused much debate among the student body. This month the motion will be brought before the Board of Trustees, who will have a final say in the decision, and it seems the perfect time to reassess the arguments for and against the boycott. In the question of ethics over money, where do you stand?

“Yes, let’s boycott!” Changing the bank the Union uses from RBS-NatWest to another, more ethical bank such as the Co-op will stop UEA students playing a role in the destruction of a globally important biome and the ensuing runaway climate change. RBS-NatWest banks are known for funding coal, gas and oil exploration projects and they invest heavily in the Canadian oil sands. If the energy inefficient mining project in Alberta, Canada continues at the same rate, the emissions from the extraction combined with the future use of the oil is likely to put atmospheric carbon

UEA students protesting outside RBS/ NatWest earlier this year

dioxide levels above the safe limit and cause runaway climate change. The extraction of oil sands also impacts heavily on the health of local indigenous people and high levels of cancers have been found around the main site areas. It’s important to point out that this motion goes beyond the activities of our Union; encouraging RBS/Natwest to pull out of the Tar Sands and invest more ethically is part of a national campaign supported by numerous not-for-profit organisations such as Greenpeace, the World Development Movement, People & Planet and the UK Tar Sands Network. NUS, which also currently banks with NatWest, has recently made a commitment to shift to the more ethical Co-operative bank and several other student unions across

the country have already successfully boycotted RBS/Natwest without spending huge amounts of money. Granted, the proposal is a costly one and is by no means a perfect solution. However, this should not stop us from doing the best we can, and this is one step we can take to lessen our impact on others. Our integrity as a credible and ethical student union is great, and this motion has provoked heated debates amongst the online community, which only goes to show how much students do care. Do we really want to be complicit in environmental destruction through our negligence?

Sarah Waterfield

“No, it’s unrealistic” Ethical banking is good in principle, and surely as a Student Union we should seek to be as environmentally friendly and as ethical as possible. The issue arises, however, when you start to look at the fundamentals of the proposal. Ethical banking will cost our Union an additional £25,000 per year, money, which can be better spent elsewhere in the budget. That money could provide nearly double the current training and coaching for our sports clubs. It would allow us to put seven times the amount of money into campaigns as we did in 2009 and send six times as many delegates to conferences.

It would allow us to buy and run another two mini-buses, or take almost £10 off the cost of Sports Association Membership. Compare this to our bank charges in 2009, a meagre £3,993, meaning we would be spending nearly eight times on banking as before. The long and the short of it is that £25,000 is a lot of money. And for what benefit? Currently the Union banks with NatWest, a subsidiary of RBS. The total turnover of RBS was £34 billion in 2009. Our banking fees are small in comparison to the total RBS turnover, so our Union withdrawing its funds and boycotting the bank will not have any impact on its unethical practices. If the purported 90% of FTSE 100 companies who bank with RBS were going to stand with us in this fight, then maybe, just maybe we could win. However, with our Union having only a relatively small value to RBS, we will not get RBS to change its ways. When this was discussed at Union Council, a suggestion was made to use £25,000 from the environmental and ethical budgets to pay for this. This idea was met with no response from the ‘green movement’. It seems to me a little hypocritical for the lobby to request this change, but then not be prepared to spend its own budget on what is an ethical measure. You can’t have your ethical cake and eat it.

Myles Smith What do YOU think? Email concrete. turf@uea.ac.uk

Concrete Houses for Norfolk Hedgehogs Anna Tomson

Turf Editor

UEA’s favourite student paper has recently gained a troupe of rather prickly customers; old copies of Concrete are being donated to four hedgehog hospitals around Norfolk to provide bedding for the spiky community. “We treat about 500-600 poorly or injured hedgehogs a year,” said a spokesperson for the hedgehog

hospitals. “Often they arrive very bedraggled and need sprucing up, medical attention and feeding before they can be successfully released back into the wild. There is always a need for newsprint which is used for bedding and cleaning”. Autumn is a particularly dangerous time if you’re a hedgehog as many are injured in bonfires and by lawn mowers and strimmers. Gardeners are being urged to set up bonfires only a few hours before burning to prevent hedgehogs from

“look before you strim to avoid any prickly disasters.” moving in, and to ‘look before you strim!’ to avoid any prickly disasters. Thanks go to Concrete and UEA for their help with this most essential source of paper!


16 LIFESTYLE

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www.concrete-online.co.uk

concrete.lifestyle@uea.ac.uk

Facebook’s abreast with a serious issue Concrete looks at the power of social networking to influence real life matters Lisa Stephens

Lifestyle writer

You may have noticed many of your female acquaintances in the last month posting conspicuously raunchy statuses on Facebook; an example of which is the ‘likes it on the…’ trend. This is in fact one of many publicity stunts and drives organised for the October Breast Cancer Awareness month; and just to clarify, it refers not to one’s intimate ‘extra curricular’ preferences but the place where a woman likes to place her purse. Breast Cancer Awareness month promotes the importance of women and men both showing support to cancer victims as well as regularly checking their own bodies for potential early signs of the disease in a strikingly positive manner. One in nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at

some point in their life, but many women view the threat as a rare phenomenon unlikely to affect them. It may also surprise you lad to learn that, contrary to popular belief, breast cancer can be diagnosed in men as well as women, with around 300 men diagnosed each year. Local nightclub Mercy will be hosting a ‘Coppafeel’ evening on the 29th October in the VIP Lounge, coinciding with the spirit of the month. Mercy was approached by a UEA student eager to take up the cause and have shown a willingness that ought to be applauded. Those of you who head out to Mercy this Thursday night will be greeted with the likes of boob shaped cupcakes as part of the clubs effort to communicate breast cancer awareness. The concept of the awareness month can only be encouraged and hopefully its presence will have a positive impact

Emma Williamson

Lifestyle writer

on catching future cases. It is worrying, however, that an issue like breast cancer has to be promoted through sexual suggestions to generate the interest needed from the public to make an impact. Using sex to grab attention is a clever ruse by the marketing teams involved, especially with younger audiences being targeted. By attaching a sexual nature to

a serious issue the information communicated may be subject to the same liberal throwaway attitude that is often practiced with sex in our modern society. Let’s hope the current Facebook fad and Thursday’s fun have a big enough impression that what we learn isn’t as quickly forgotten as Friday’s seminars courtesy of the usual Mercy hangover.

of university life without the assistance that she needed for her worsening condition, this student was forced to take a year out of her higher education studies. Through the disability register, she was able to return and resume her place at UEA with all of the relevant help given as a result of her ‘Needs Assessment’ for the Disabled Students’ Allowance, meaning that she could continue with her studies without the limits imposed on her during her first year. Another student who was willing to give some details about her experiences so far in her first

year at UEA is soon to take an assessment to determine whether or not she has dyslexia. She spoke of the difficulties she has experienced with note-taking in lectures, speaking in seminar groups and meeting new people since arriving at UEA, due to her specific learning difficulties. One of the most poignant things that the first student mentioned was that: “help is there if you ask for it”. This thought definitely applies for those students still suffering in silence at UEA. Advice and guidance is available at the Dean of Students’ Office.

Student’s lifestyle labels: disability Lifestyle explores a side of university life that is often overlooked but is, nevertheless, prominent Zoë Tibbles

Lifestyle writer

There are over 10 million disabled people in Britain today, meaning that more than 1/6 of the total population in Britain is disabled. Increasingly, universities are accepting applications from disabled students under the Disability Discrimination Act of 2005 which promotes equality of opportunity for disabled people, and the University of East Anglia is no different. As a result, the already multi-cultural and multiethnic society of UEA has also become multi-ability, meaning that UEA is an even more vibrant and interesting place to be for students. Speaking to people with various disabilities, it is clear that UEA attempts to combat the difficulties of university life for disabled students depending on their specific needs. For students

who suffer from mobilityrelated disabilities, ground floor accommodation and lifts are provided, though the 1960s design of the University means that unfortunately there are still some restrictions. For students with a mental disability, counselling, medication and 24-hour advice services are provided. A second year student who has a physical disability with cognitive side effects, agreed to speak to Concrete. This student endured her first year

“More than 1/6 of the total population

in Britain is disabled”

without asking for any financial or physical support for her disability, a condition called M.E (or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), which sometimes renders her immobile. Unable to continue with the strain

Depression pressure

Whilst many students embrace university life, to others it can be a daunting and isolating experience. Changes in lifestyle, loneliness and deadlines can all contribute to the decline in mental health that 25% of students experience. Depression at university is increasingly common in students, but is often overshadowed by the chaos university life provides. Many students, particularly those in their first year of undergraduate studies, suffer in silence. The constant stream of new faces can prove to be too much for some students, particularly those who are predisposed to mental illness and anxiety. Suddenly expectations of university being the best years of your life are shattered, and sufferers are left feeling disillusioned and lost. It can be difficult to distinguish between a passing low mood and actual depression, but either way such issues need to be addressed before they worsen. Those who, find themselves struggling at UEA do, however, have a variety of resources at their disposal, catering for those who fear they may be entering a downwards spiral as well as those who feel completely out of control. A good way of preventing bad mental health in general is to stay busy and stay socially active, be it through clubs and societies or just spending time with flatmates and friends. UEA’s very own Nightline, who can be contacted in person, via email or over the phone, is available 24 hours a day to impartially and anonymously discuss any worries students may have. If, however, your problems appear to be of a more serious nature, perhaps spreading into substance abuse or suicidal feelings, don’t be afraid to make an appointment with a general practitioner at the university medical centre. No matter how alone you may feel, every student has their own support network. Regardless of background, depression can affect anybody. By taking the step to address problems, and actively trying to solve them, sufferers of mental illness can, and will, take positive strides forward.


ISSUE 246

Utah’s Grand Arches The natural wonders of the United States aren’t just confined to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, as Will Newton found out when he visited some lesser known National Parks in Utah. A lot of people might say that no trip to the United States is complete without a trip to the Grand Canyon. Concrete disagrees. In our opinion, no trip is, has been, or will ever be thorough without visiting The Arches National Park in Utah. It is home to over two thousand natural sandstone arches, laid down by sea and sculpted by wind, and now available for your pleasure and perusal. The landscape is precious and unique; all sorts of rules are in place to protect the rare plants and animals, and so sticking to the path is a must because, well, park rangers carry guns in America and they’ll do anything to protect their black crust micro-organisms and colourful cacti. The linear approach to exploration in no way impedes the opportunities for fun. Indeed there are many chances to climb, hike, sit, chat, ponder, reflect and fool around. The park is three hundred and ten square kilometres in size and is crammed full of arches and monolithic pillars which guard the plains, frowning with a steady, unchanging gaze at streams of eager tourists passing below. The most famous of all the landmarks is Delicate Arch, so famous in fact that it has become the symbol of Utah and appears on the state licence plates, as well as providing a backdrop for numerous Westerns. We trekked across rock and dune to see it, jumping down gulleys and screeing up slopes, but were a little disappointed with the reality of it. It’s a perfect arch, of that there can be no doubt, but it’s almost too perfect and as a result looks a little manmade, a fitting testament to the majesty and magnificence of

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nature, and the skilful hands of the Old Man Wind, but we felt a little put out all the same. Luckily, our collective mojo wasn’t punctured by this minor disappointment because it seems that the virtues of Delicate Arch are promoted only so the rest of the park remains secret.

“...park rangers carry

guns in America and

they’ll do anything to protect their black crust

micro-organ-

isms and colourful cacti.”

We did the naughty thing and went a-wandering, proving that sometimes crime does pay, and subsequently seeing things up-close that your average tourist would not have. The heights and drops are uniquely weathered. No two are the same, and yet they’re all clearly part of the same family. Martian reds rest easily with minty greens, giving the whole area the overall feel of aged bronze, which in some ways may understate its golden value, but it‘s a subtlety that we can all learn from. Its brilliance is unostentatious and never in your face, unlike its Arizonan contemporaries. The North and South Windows are like the eyes of God - a true Eden lies behind them. In a park full of people, we couldn’t help but be struck dumb by the comforting

silence of the place, even though sizeable crowds were just metres away on the other side of the arches. It would have been so easy to stay there all day, meditating in the quiet with the wind as our only company. If you’re wondering where to stay, the town of Moab might just be the best located in all of America. It nestles between The Arches and Canyonlands national parks and also borders Dead Horse Point state park. At a glance it might appear to be just one of thousands of American highway towns which exist only to service passing traffic; avenues of gas stations and motels but very little in the way of shops and housing. The first impression shouldn’t be your last, however, because the town is very well equipped for exploring the parks, as well as the vast tracts of wilderness which make up much of Utah. With Moab as a base, visitors can hike, climb, drive across country, sky-dive, raft, photograph and base jump, which makes it a perfect spot for any adrenaline junkies out there, doubly so since it happens to be in one of the most gorgeous parts of the world.

The Lore of the New Forest Tom Hunt

Travel Editor

The New Forest in Hampshire is not as new as its name suggests. Created in the wake of the Norman Conquest for the king to hunt in at his own leisure, it is no longer a strictly royal retreat. Situated between Salisbury and Portsmouth, it is a popular location for those seeking a short break at any time of the year. Offering up dense tracts of thousand-year-old forest, the whole area is England’s newest National Park. As such, it caters for local wildlife and tourists alike, being dotted with camping grounds, hotels and pubs. Winding through the woods, the little lanes are best travelled by bike, on foot, or on horseback, as they regularly become congested – not with everyday traffic, but with groups of wild ponies, trotting along at their own pace. Thousands of ponies live in the New Forest and can roam freely, but feeding them is forbidden and can even land you a criminal record. That, and a tendency to kick, means it’s best to keep your distance. Nevertheless, it is worth navigating the native fauna to submerge yourself in the forest’s shady heart of

ancient, twisted oaks and quiet, rural tracks, where some of its secrets can be sought out. Among those to be stumbled on are the Rufus Stone, where William II was supposedly killed in a freak hunting accident, allowing his brother to seize the crown, and the resting place of the original Alice, inspiration of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland tale, who is buried in the town of Lyndhurst. Whether you’re floating along the river Avon at Fordingbridge, or tramping through the New Forest, this national park holds some of the best that England has to offer.

Top Travel Tips: Marrakesh Charlie Wallace

Travel writer

Marrakesh brims with a pervasive sense of chaos, a plethora of sights and sounds, smell and colour, giving it a vibrancy difficult to find in the sterile ordered cities of the west. Its popularity with tourists breeds heavy competition amongst tradesmen and vendors for tourists’ money. When you want to buy anything do not be afraid to barter. They know visitors come to spend and can triple their prices for outsiders (currently one hundred Moroccan dirhams equals eight pounds). They are astute and will try every trick imaginable, but hold your ground. When the deal has been done they relax and become more amiable, and you discover how friendly they really are. However, keep your wits about you; clever ruses abound. A common ploy involves a stranger assuring you that the road ahead is closed, offering to guide you around the diversion. This isn’t always true. What he’ll likely do is take you on a longer route via his friend’s shop where you will be persuaded to

make a purchase, each helping the other. Your volunteer guide will assure you that he offers his services for free, but will expect a tip, so arrive in Morocco with a good dose of common sense and some spare change. The cultural differences in Marrakesh should be acknowledged. For instance, in some quarters a female presence is not considered appropriate unless accompanied by a male. It is advisable to respect the local customs in order to better ingratiate yourself within the city and not cause offence. Make sure to be aware of what is and what is not considered polite before you arrive. By deflecting any unwanted attention in these ways, you will be able to experience the best that Marrakesh provides. For more on Morocco turn the page 18


18 TRAVEL

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concrete.travel@uea.ac.uk

A Taste of Morocco - the scents of Marrakesh Jeremy Dales travels to North Africa to experience the sights, sounds and scents of the melodic, mystic Moroccan capital, Marrakesh The main square in Marrakesh is called Djemaa el Fna – “Place of the Dead” – due to the habit of a previous sultan of impaling the heads of his victims on spikes around the walls, but there could hardly be a more inappropriate title today. The square throngs with life late into the night, the atmosphere as raucous and exotic as a medieval fête. Snake charmers and storytellers, musicians, herbalists, toothpullers, acrobats and drummers all draw crowds of people standing in small groups around the performers. In the early evening, as the minaret of Koutoubia Mosque becomes a silhouette against the sky, food stalls set out rows of tables and benches, and here you will find stall number one, “Chez Aicha”.

zipped around the juice stalls, a furious row flared up between some snake charmers and a group of monkey handlers, Gnaoua dancers clattered after tourists with colourful caps outstretched for tips, shoeshine boys clacked their brushes together and dived at the feet of likely candidates, and veiled Berber ladies painted traditional tribal symbols in henna onto the hands of blonde girls tottering under large backpacks. From the darkness came the deep boom of a bass drum, and six musicians came into view, the bass drum thumping out a rhythm which one by one they all picked up on. A crowd was gathering, and a small cup was handed around, into which everyone placed a five dirham coin. The drummer on the

Aicha herself is the matriarch, standing beneath the lights on a box amidst clouds of steam as she ladles spoonfuls of couscous into bowls which are dispensed around the tables by the waiters. It was Ramadan, and the place was packed with locals slurping bowls of harira soup as they broke their fast, eating for the first time since sunrise. The second call to prayer began, first coming from the mosque just in front of the stalls, soon joined by another mosque on the opposite side of the square. Then a third began from Koutoubia, the tenor voice of the muezzin there soaring above the other two, welling upwards in ascending scales of longing. It seemed everyone in the square was touched by it, and when the call finally ended and the clatter of life resumed, the amplified notes still hung motionless in the air above the city before gradually fading into memory. The main course arrived: vegetable tagine. Aicha’s tagine contained a selection of vegetables – carrots, potato, pumpkin, chickpeas – in a stock flavoured with the spice mixture known as Ras el Hanout, which can contain forty-five different spices, including rose petals. All around the crowds wandered by: horse-drawn carts trotted past taking people home for dinner, motor scooters

end, a boy no more than thirteen years old, got up and began to dance. He had bare feet and a bright red sweater, and he jumped and whirled in the centre of the circle as everyone clapped along. He joined both his hands together above his head and vibrated his entire body like a rubber band, and the three teenage girls in headscarves standing at the front covered their mouths and giggled. Gradually the melody changed, moving into a minor key full of Arabic quartertones, a haunting tune that spoke of longing and loss. The faces round the circle were lit by the flickering firelight, eyes gazing inwards, each of them absorbed in the music. The lead drummer started to sing, and one by one the people joined in, their voices rising and falling in time as the chorus echoed round the Djemaa el Fna.

EDITORIAL

Write for Concrete

Retraction

Concrete would like to apologise to Mr Duncan Smith and Mr Tom Cannon for any confusion caused on page 13 of Features in the 12/10/2010 issue of the paper. Concrete is UEA’s independent student newspaper. We’re always The article referring to the Labour Party looking out for any talent that the students of UEA have to offer. was in fact written by Mr Smith, and the Whether you fancy yourself Conservative article by Mr Cannon. as an investigative journalist for News, a cartoonist for Comment Concrete apologises for any offence this and Opinion, or you want to mistake may have caused. interview up-and-coming bands for Music, we want to hear from you! Get in touch with us by emailing Danny, our editor, on concrete.editor@uea.ac.uk. If you want to take a more direct PO BOX 410, NORWICH, NORFOLK, approach, you can find the NR4 7TJ email addresses for the different 01603 593466 sections at the top of the pages in Concrete is published by UUEAS Concrete both Concrete and Venue. Society ©2010 Concrete. ISSN 1351-2773 You can also join our Letters should be addressed for the attention of Facebook group to keep up with the Editor, Danny Collins. all of the latest news from the Letters must include contact details, but we society. Search for Concrete will consider anonymous publication. We - UEA’s Independent Student reserve the right to edit for length and clarity as necessary. Newspaper. If you’re not a member of the society, it costs just £4 to Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Publisher or Editor. join. You can contact Davina, our President, on D.Kesby@uea. No part of this newspaper may be reproduced ac.uk. through any means without the express We hope you enjoy this issue permission of the Editor, Danny Collins. Printed by Archant. of Concrete and hope to see you at the National Demo on the 10th November in London. Tickets can be bought at the box office for £5, which is refunded on the coach.


ISSUE 246

Quick Chow Mein This recipe is perfect for when you have very little time to prepare a meal. Just grab the ingredients and within five minutes you will be eating a delicious chicken chow mein. You will need: • • • • • • •

Chow mein Egg noodles Sliced onions Beansprouts Soy sauce Carrot Cabbage

FOOD 19

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Tuesday 26th October

Perfect Potato Wedges

Method: • Cut the onion into strips and shred the cabbage and carrot • Heat a teaspoon of oil in a wok/large pan until it is just beginning to smoke, then add the vegetables. Remember to keep them moving in the wok • After one minute add the noodles to the pan, and keep it moving. • Add the soy sauce and cook for a further 3/4 minutes • Serve and enjoy!

Ginger Chicken Udon

Robyn Comfort Food Writer

(serves 2)

You will need: • • • •

Six medium sized potatoes Sunflower or olive oil Seasoning Shallots and cherry tomatoes (optional)

Method: • Wash the potatoes and cut them lengthways, so you get about six segments from each potato. • Parboil them in water: have the lid on the pan until they are nearly soft, then drain and let steam escape. • Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4-6 (depending on strength of oven). • Pour oil onto the potatoes and tray. Make sure potatoes are oily either way. • Add seasoning (but not the salt). • Roast in oven for about 40 minutes. Turn them once or twice; only add salt towards the end (too early and they will go soggy, and be steamed, not roasted). • About halfway through, add the shallots and tomatoes. Dig out the ketchup. You could also turn this ‘takeaway recipe’ into something more classy and use the wedges as part of a full meal.

Lydia McEvoy Food Writer You will need: • • • • • • • • • •

One red onion Chicken thighs or breast Two or three fresh chilies Mangetout Spring onion Fresh root ginger Udon noodles (available in the UFO) Two eggs (whisked) Coriander Sweet Chilli sauce

• In a wok or large frying pan fry up the chopped red onion in a little oil, then brown off the sliced chicken. • After the onions have softened and the chicken is white all the way through, add in the finely chopped mangetout, spring onions and chilies. • After the veg has softened, grate in a handful of ginger and throw in the noodles (You do not have to boil them first). • After two minutes of the noodles frying, pour in the whisked egg and quickly stir to ensure the egg sticks to the noodles and veg rather than burning the bottom of the pan. • To garnish - before serving throw on a handful of fresh coriander and sweet chilli sauce and grated ginger to your taste.

Make Me a Sandwich! Kyle Spencer Food Editor

For this issue’s ‘Make me a Sandwich’, Concrete would like to introduce you to what is sure to become your new favourite cheese, halloumi. Halloumi has a higher melting point than most other cheeses, meaning it is

suitable for grilling and frying. This leads us nicely on to this issue’s idea, the fried halloumi sandwich! Fry your halloumi on a medium heat for about a minute each side, then add to the bread along with your favourite salad accompaniments, top with another slice of bread, and presto, another tasty sandwich for you to enjoy!

£10.95

£5.20 £5.30 £5.70 £5.30

£5.20 £5.00


20 FOCSOC

ERASMUS STUDENT NETWORK

Erasmus students battle it out at the society social last week.

Melissa Sugrim ESN President

Concrete would like to introduce you to a relatively new society here at UEA. If you are looking for some unique experiences, fun socials, brilliant memories and the chance to meet some wonderful people, join Erasmus! The Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is a group for all Erasmus students past present and future, as well as those who are interested in Europe and its diverse cultures, politics, cuisines, and languages. The ESN is one of the biggest student associations in Europe, founded in 1989 for supporting and developing student exchange. It is currently present in 34 countries, and is constantly developing and expanding, just like the society here at UEA. To fill your experience at university with great memories whatever year you are or course you attend, the ESN is here to organise a variety of activities designed to fit your needs. ESN are a society run by UEA students who have all come back from a year abroad and are

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looking forward to making the most out of their final year with you as possible. Working primarily through socials (including cultural events, trips and parties), they aim to successfully integrate the incoming Erasmus students with students from home. Activities for the near future include a games night with pool, snooker, darts, poker and Wii competitions, quasar, a theatre trip, bowling and ice-skating, as well as already having had a sunday roast, a salsa night and a European themed pub crawl! After Christmas they will also have opportunities to go boating on the Broads and partake in trips around Britain (and perhaps abroad too). The society also provides further chances to make friends through its ‘Buddy Scheme’, which partners ESN students with likeminded UEA students, particularly those who share an interest in language and/or cultural exchange. For all the non-native English speakers, ESN are there to help in any way they can: with the academic year well under way, work can sometimes begin to pile

up and feel overwhelming, but whatever your subject, Erasmus are here to help and are more than happy to meet up with you for a chat. There is never any need to feel shy – having been abroad last year themselves, the society know exactly how it feels to be in your position! Furthermore, if there is anything you have always wanted to do or anywhere you have wanted to go during your stay in England, get in touch and ESN will do their best to arrange it for you. If you would like to find out more about ESN at UEA, then visit the Facebook site ESN @ UEA 2010-11, or alternatively, drop them an email at ESNeastanglia@ gmail.com. Additionally, if you would relish the opportunity to not only meet enthusiastic students but help to shape the activities available to them within the society, get in touch about becoming a member of committee and ESN will find an exciting role for you. This is a diverse group for all students, so come along and join in with this fantastic European society at UEA. If you want to start your Erasmus year early (or extend the one you’ve just left), meet some Europeans, discover more about Europe and/or enhance your language abilities in whichever language(s) it is you study, then ESN is the place for you!

concrete.editorial@uea.ac.uk

CREATIVE WRITING SOCIETY John Simpson Wedge Creative Writing Society

As the host of a mind-bogglingly vast number of activities each year, it can sometimes be difficult to summarise what the Creative Writing society ‘do’, or how they contribute so successfully towards the students experience at UEA. To begin with, however, the society runs two writing workshops each week, normally on Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 3-5.pm. These sessions are designed to help writers expand their work in new ways, and tackle their own personal writing demons. Each workshop looks at a different theme or topic and covers everything from setting to sonnets, and atmosphere to the over-use of alliteration. Workshops are run by society members for society members, and anyone can suggest a topic for discussion. In addition, feedback workshops are held four times a semester to give students a chance to receive comment upon their work, either for classes or their own personal projects. Workshops are held in a relaxed, friendly and non-judgemental environment and generally end up in the pub by the end of the evening! As well as holding their own socials, Creative Writing society

also have an events arm: UEA Open Mic. Every month a spoken word open mic night is hosted at the Grad bar, presenting budding performers and veterans alike with a great opportunity to take to the microphone and flex their vocal muscles. Everyone is invited, and if performing isn’t your thing then you’re more than welcome to spend the night watching and supporting some of the best student members of Norwich’s spoken word scene. Creative

“Each workshop looks at a different theme or topic and covers everything from setting to sonnets”

Writing events also extend into the city, where regular performers can be found at showcase gigs held by the society at the Birdcage. Whether you’re a poet or prose writer, a published author or someone who has never yet put pen to paper, you’ll find the Creative Writing society a fantastic place to pick up new skills, make great friends and have an all round good time! To find out more check out the Facebook page UEA Creative Writing Society, or email at ueacws@gmail.com.


ISSUE 246

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www.concrete-online.co.uk

Tuesday 26th October

UEABC Boathouse The view from the infield Sports Correspondent Joe Levell presents an insider account of an American baseball game

CONTINUED FROM BACK PAGE It is a massive building project which promises to include more space for boats and equipment. The project of�icially began on the 18th October, with work on the �irst stage due to be completed in early spring next year. The new boathouses are being built in accordance with Sport England’s target of encouraging an extra one million people to participate in sport across the country by 2012/13. UEABC women’s captain

Catharine Bruce commented: “This development honestly could not have come at a better time for the club, up until now we have been severely limited in our ability to train effectively on land”. The development of the boathouse has coincided with a drive by UEABC to increase participation and their competitive pro�ile. This year promises to be an exciting adventure on the sporting calendar for UEABC and ensures it a very bright future. Picture by: EDP

Whilst on my year abroad in Los Angeles I was determined to try as many traditional American activities as possible. Being a huge sports fan, the chance to watch LA Dodgers was not one I was ever going to turn down. Baseball is arguably the biggest sport in LA, enough to inspire an intense 10 minute long discussion about who will win the playoffs before we started class. It is similarly popular to football in Britain – everyone seems to know the critical details of every player from every team. At LA Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks - the last of the season at the Dodgers Stadium - it didn’t seem that either side particularly cared about the result. As a result the atmosphere was lacking and there were quite a few empty seats, although this might also have something to do with the fact they play in a stadium with a capacity of 50,000! The main thing that I noticed

The project provides UEABC with an exciting springboard for improvement

was that the supporters’ chants were quite simplistic. Being a Norwich City season ticket holder, I have become accustomed to football songs that have a degree of originality and banter to them. Baseball chants seemed very mundane by comparison – the rhythmic hand clapping and ‘Let’s Go, Dodgers!’ shouts lacked the inspirational feel you get at Carrow

“Baseball is a

uniquely American

experience and can be quite intense”

Road. Enthusiastic support from the crowd came solely from a female fan who seemed to be under the in�luence of something – understandably she had to have two security guards sat with her at all times! The game takes a signi�icant amount of time to complete – about LA Dodgers celebrate a victory (left); their last triumph in the World Series came in 1988. D o d g e r s in�ielder Jamey Carroll (right)

3 hours - which isn’t surprising if baseball is considered to be the American equivalent to cricket! However, a lot of time was spent on breaks between innings, which were probably designed as much for TV advertisements as they were for the players. The aim is for each team to score as many runs as possible in nine innings with the teams swapping between batting and pitching after three players are out. It is played similarly to rounders so I felt like I knew what was going on. My primary interest was in seeing a home run, and I was lucky enough to get two, which was pleasing as I am unlikely to be going to a game again! Baseball is a uniquely American experience and de�initely something that I can tick off my ‘To Do List.’ It can be quite intense and exciting at times, as every game can theoretically be decided on the last innings. If you have never been I would recommend going whenever you can – you never know you might catch a home run hit!

Murray sets sights on a Major Sam Tomkinson

Sports Correspondent

British Number One Andy Murray once again proved his class and ability to beat the best in the world with a convincing victory over Roger Federer at the Shanghai Masters. Murray’s demolition of the 16-time Grand Slam w i n n e r in straight sets (6-2, 6-3), has undoubtedly raised expectations amongst fans impatient to see Murray rid himself of one of the most unwanted records in sport. Pundits are already raising the prospect of Murray claiming

victory in the ATP Finals next month and potentially winning his �irst Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January. On the basis of Shanghai

To u r

s u c h expectations do not seem unfounded. Murray banished memories of his premature exit from the US Open last month by breaking Federer’s serve in the �irst game, and combining his

characteristically solid defensive play with a series of audacious returns and spectacular winners. It took just one and a half hours for Murray to claim his second title of the year and reaf�irm his recently questioned position as a Grand Slam contender. Such a performance will surely leave both Murray and his fans con�ident of success in Australia, on the Scot’s m o s t successful surface. However despite the hype and media frenzy surrounding Britain’s most prodigious talent, it is hard

to escape the feeling that Murray has been here before and failed to deliver. In the lead-up to the US Open in 2008 Murray was in scintillating and unstoppable form, winning at Cincinnati and establishing himself as a deserved bookies’ favourite. He proceeded to breeze into the second week, despatching World Number One Rafael Nadal in a mesmerising display, before losing to Roger Federer in straight sets. A similar fate beckoned for Murray in this year’s Australian Open. Media and public pressure undoubtedly places an inordinate weight of expectation on the 23-year old, who himself doubted whether or not he would be able to win a Major earlier this year. However it certainly appears that such an

imperious performance at Shanghai has instilled a new sense of belief in Murray, who may be about to prove the doubters wrong.

Murray’s surprise exit at the US Open


22 SPORT

U:EA

Update: East Anglia Ian Hobbs Sports Correspondent

Norwich City showed no signs of losing momentum as they took on league leaders QPR at Loftus Road. After a foul on Grant Holt in the first half, Wes Hoolahan had a chance to convert his third penalty in as many games and give the Canaries a shock lead; however, it wasn’t to be as he dragged his shot wide of the post. After an entertaining contest the game ended 0-0, ending Norwich’s remarkable run of scoring in 32 away games on the trot. Three days later the Canaries’ good run ground to a halt w i t h a 2-1 loss at home to struggling Crystal Palace. Both Palace goals came from crosses provided by former Tractor Boy Owen Garvan and City boss Paul Lambert will not have been pleased with the defending from his makeshift back four. Norwich had a chance to re-discover

ISSUE 246

www.concrete-online.co.uk

their winning ways at home to managerless Middlesbrough. Norwich recorded a 1-0 victory thanks to a tap-in from Canadian summer signing Simeon Jackson, who is really starting to find his feet in the Championship. Ipswich Town looked to continue their impressive start to the season against Coventry City, but got off to the worst possible start when Clive Platt scored from close range. Lucas Jutkiewicz then doubled their lead from the spot. Jason Scotland pegged the Sky Blues back i m m e d i a t e ly with a sublime finish, but Ipswich were unable to find an equaliser and slipped to an unexpected 2-1 defeat. R o y Keane’s

side looked to bounce back away to Watford. Ipswich dominated the early exchanges but two goals in three minutes gave the side in yellow a 2-0 half- time lead. A looping header from David Norris turned out to only be a consolation goal as they again lost 2-1.

of this, the 19th Commonwealth Games. Any doubts were quickly put to rest in the stunning opening ceremony, which displayed both India’s rich history and its presentday culture. There was more criticism, however, of the thousands of empty seats in the stadia around Delhi in the early days of the Games, and of the faulty scales at the boxing

weigh-in that meant the event was delayed for a day. However, the crowds grew, and there were some stunning performances from a number of famous names. Rebecca Adlington overcame an apparently contaminated swimming pool to win gold for England in the 400m and 800m freestyle, repeating her achievements at the Beijing Olympics. There were no such problems in the diving pool, however, for 16-year-old Tom Daley, who won two gold medals and demonstrated his enormous potential for London 2012. Veteran sprinter Mark LewisFrancis produced another highlight on the athletics track, overcoming his starting blocks slipping to claim silver in the 100m. He then showed enormous heart and power in the 4x100m relay by running down hot favourites Jamaica to claim England a hard-earned gold medal. Elsewhere, Australia once again demonstrated their Commonwealth

concrete.sport@uea.ac.uk

BUCSresults WEDNESDAY 20TH OCTOBER 2010 Basketball Bedford Women’s I 53 UEA Panthers Women’s I 36

Fencing Warwick Men’s I UEA Men’s I

Football UEA Men’s II Coventry Men’s III Oxford Women’s I UEA Women’s I

Hockey Lincoln Women’s I UEA Women’s I Town hoped to change their luck when they made the trip to face Nottingham Forest. Forest started brightly and a well worked move ended with a neat finish from David McGoldrick. The home side sealed the win when the in-form Lewis McGugan smashed in a fantastic free-kick from 35 yards. After an impressive start to the season, the Tractor Boys have now slipped into the bottom half of the table.

Lacrosse UEA Women’s I Northampton I

Notts Trent Men’s I UEA Men’s I Netball UEA I Leicester I

Lincoln I UEA II

135 92 6 1 7 0

Rugby Bedford Men’s I UEA Men’s I

11 10

Tennis Bedford Men’s I UEA Men’s I

6 6

UEA Men’s II Nottingham VI

Leicester Women’s I UEA Women’s I

15 5

8 4

2 1 12 8 13 2 48 31

49 24

At UEA this Wednesday: UEA Panthers entertain Notts Trent Women’s 1st, 2.40pm; Hockey Men’s and Women’s 1sts play back-to-back at Astro Pitch 2 starting at 1pm; UEA Golf tee off their BUCS campaign against Lincoln at Barnham Broom.

Delhi: A Games to remember Chris Teale

Sports Correspondent

With such a large number of the more internationally recognised athletes missing from this Commonwealth Games, and all the criticisms of the Indian organisers before the Games began, it was no surprise that some were uncertain about the standard

Golden boy: Dai Greene brought joy to Welsh athletics fans in 400m hurdles

sporting dominance as they finished top of the medal table for the sixth consecutive Games, while all the other home nations secured very respectable positions in the medal table. For Wales, Dai Greene was the hero once again as he added to his gold at the European Championships with first place in the 400m hurdles. Hosts India made an incredible improvement in their medal haul from the previous Games, finishing second in the medal table with 101 overall. Probably the most memorable performance by the host nation was in the much-criticised JN Stadium, the home of the athletics.

“Hosts India made an incredible improve-

ment, finishing second in the medal table”

In an electrifying and deafening atmosphere, the Indian women’s

Success: More golden joy for Daley 4x400m relay team came home to take a shock gold, delighting the thousands of spectators that filled the stands on the ninth day of the Games. In all, the 19th Commonwealth Games were not without their problems, but that almost seemed to add to their appeal. What remains to be seen now is if the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow can live up to Delhi’s high standards.


ISSUE 246

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Tuesday 26th October

So You Think You Know Korfball? Sports Correspondent Ed Powell introduces one of UEA’s less well-known but more successful sports clubs Freshers and newcomers to university sport will likely have no idea what korfball is. It’s the world’s only competitive mixed team sport, and is best described as a cross between netball and basketball. Two teams of eight

play against each other, four men and two women. If that sounds intimidating, don’t worry! Men can only defend against men and women against women, so any masculine pride at stake should remain undamaged. Emma Bird

All-action: UEA Korfball training sessions are fun-filled and eventful occasions

Alonso takes title advantage Fernando Alonso moved one step closer to seizing an unlikely third Formula 1 World Championship at Yeongam, South Korea, mastering some treacherous conditions and capitalising on his rivals’ errors. After heavy rain delayed the race for over an hour, championship leader Mark Webber came unstuck on the slippery surface of the brand new Yeongam circuit, spinning into a wall on lap 17. His Red Bull teammate Sebastien Vettel led the race

Alonso capitalised on Red Bull errors

from the start until just nine laps from the end, when his car’s Renault powerplant disintegrated. McLaren struggled for pace all weekend, and a strategic gamble from reigning World Champion Jenson Button compounded his misery as he failed to finish in the points. Lewis Hamilton finished second but rarely matched Alonso’s pace. Having been 50 points back over the summer break, Alonso now leads the standings by 14 points.

It’s also a very fast and fun game which gets everyone involved – attackers and defenders constantly switch over to keep it fresh and to ensure everyone has a chance to do everything. The rules state that you can’t run with the ball, but don’t expect not to work up a sweat. You have to keep moving to find space for those all important goals. The UEA Korfball Club had a very good season last year, with the second team winning the second league national finals, and the first team making the national finals and “playing crackingly”, according to this year’s president Ashley Camies, “but unfortunately the top spot wasn’t ours”. Now a new season has arrived, and once again the club is aiming high. “This year we are aiming to do the very best we can. We have the southerns tournament coming up very soon at UEA so hopefully the firsts will get one of the top places making Nationals happen,” Ashley

added. Newcomers to the club – or the sport – should never be discouraged from joining by UEA Korball’s pedigree, though. The club lost a lot of players this summer and have already been surprised by the influx of new people and are always looking for more to bolster

Home breakaways disrupted the pattern of UEA pressure and posed genuine dangers, given the speed of the Leicester forwards and UEA’s naturally high defensive line whilst play was deep in the opposition half. Perhaps typically, it was Leicester who scored first. Following the break-down of a UEA attack, a quickly hit clearance forward found its man, with some skill and a pass in to space behind the UEA back four reaching a forward runner who took the ball into the ‘D’ and scored the one on one.

time. Before UEA could work at carving out a second half lead, captain and keeper Tom Palmer, who made a handful of important saves throughout the game, was called into action straight away as Leicester won a series of short corners. Once the UEA defence had weathered the storm the game’s equilibrium was restored, with Leicester continually being pushed back. The pressure finally told 15 minutes into the second-half when some slick passing in the UEA midfield saw an unmarked Rob Turnbull given a clear sight of goal. His first time finish was Turnbull’s first strike in BUCS, and gave UEA a lead they would not relinquish. A couple of yellow cards caused both teams to be a man down in the latter stages of the game. Amidst these incidents, the third and final UEA goal was scored. A short corner, one of many in the game, finally paid off. Will Oates deflected the ball home to put daylight between the two sides, and lead UEA to a fine 3-1 victory. Tom Palmer summed up the UEA attitude after the game, describing the result as “hopefully the first step on the road to promotion.”

“Korfball is a very fast and fun game which

gets everyone involved”

their BUCS and local league teams. Ashley says that “I’m looking forward to acting as president for the coming year and watching all the new players develop and learn the brilliant sport that is korfball!” UEA Korfball encourage any interested students to join them. The club trains Wednesday evenings, 5-7 pm, in the main sports hall.

Hockey off to a flyer George Neal

Sports Correspondent

Leicester Men’s II UEA Men’s I

1 3

UEA Men’s Hockey 1st XI began this year’s BUCS season with a long journey west to claim a convincing 3-1 victory against Leicester 2nd XI. Having finished second last year, only losing out to a Lincoln side who won every game, UEA went into the clash with genuine hopes of promotion. Leicester, having narrowly avoided relegation in a parallel division, had rather different ambitions. With this in mind, a loss so early in the season could have seriously hampered UEA’s quest to climb the league ladder. The pattern of the match was clearly set out after the opening ten minutes. UEA dominated possession and generally had the ball in the opposition half, created well sustained pressure, despite being unable to produce the final ball or touch to open the scoring. Meanwhile, Leicester defended tenaciously, often having up to eight of their own players well inside their own 25.

“The result will hope-

fully be the first step on the way to promotion”

UEA’s response was to keep piling on the pressure, and after several more near misses another piercing run from UEA playmaker Tom Fanger finally paid dividends. The ensuing melee in the ‘D’, as both sides scrambled to gain control of the ball, saw it fall kindly for Fanger, who guided a flick through the crowd and past the keeper to make it 1-1 at half

Nigeria battles to clean up sport Nigeria has stolen sporting headlines for all the wrong reasons this month, at the Commonwealth games as well as in the football world. Three members of the Nigerian athletics team failed drugs tests as they were disqualified from the games in Delhi, India. Oludamola Osayemi, who had won the women’s 100m gold medal after Australia’s Sally Pearson was disqualified for a false start, was the first Nigerian whose ‘B’ sample tested positive for methylhexaneamine. England’s Katherine Endacott received a silver medal due to Osayemi’s exclusion. Further misery was to be heaped upon the African nation. England gained another silver medal in the women’s 4x100m as Nigerian sprinter Folashade Abugan was found to be taking the same banned substance, disqualifying the Nigerian quartet. Runner Samuel Okon was also guilty of taking the sample substance. The 24 year old failed to make the podium, but the incident still led to great concern as to why athletes of the same nation were found to be taking the same drugs. Meanwhile, FIFA have suspended the Nigerian national side from all international competitions. This came after the government’s minister of sport interfered with the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), wishing to restart the league while ignoring last season’s regulations. The Nigeria Sports Commission also forced Musu Amudu, the NFF’s general secretary, to resign, an action which was not welcomed by FIFA. This comes shortly after it was revealed that a Nigerian FIFA official, Amos Adamu, was allegedly trying to sell his 2018 World Cup bid.

Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo (above) has appealed to the NFF to make the suspension placed on the national side as short as possible. He told the BBC: “The players are in shock just like the millions of passionate football fans here and we can only hope they resolve this crisis for the progress of the country. Football is a powerful force [here]; it unites the country so we shouldn’t let it separate us as a strong nation.” Dominic Smith


NIGERIA

BASEBALL

TENNIS

HOCKEY

Concrete looks at the corruption issues riddling sport in this African sporting powerhouse

Joe Levell offers an outsider’s perspective on watching baseball in the United States

Sam Tomkinson asks: does Andy Murray’s Shanghai triumph see him on course for a Grand Slam title?

UEA Men’s 1sts are off to a great start in the new BUCS season, writes George Neal

PANTHERS POUNCE ON OXFORD Oliver Platt

Sports Correspondent

UEA Panthers Oxford Brookes II

63 49

A strong first half saw UEA’s men’s basketball first team emerge as comfortable winners in their 2010-11 season opener against the visiting Oxford Brookes. UEA were quick out of the blocks, racing into a 22-12 lead by the end of the first quarter thanks to a watertight defence that stifled the Brookes attack and an influential display by point guard Wei Ye. Brookes struggled to set up any sort of offence early on, with UEA constantly breaking up plays and forcing turnovers at centre court. That allowed the home side to counter-attack with speed and establish an early advantage. Most importantly, UEA played on their own terms and at their own pace, with Ye allowed plenty of time to set up and dictate the

offence. In contrast, Brookes point guard Olly Ford’s passing and dribbling was constantly compromised by UEA’s assertive defence. After a slower start to the second quarter, UEA started to pull away again with centre Greg Smart excellent at both ends of the court. Smart blocked shots, dominated rebounds on offence and defence and was clinical from close range with a team-leading 21 points. By the halfway point UEA deservedly led 42-26, largely thanks to superior commitment and a willingness to work hard in their own half of the court as well as the opposition’s. That commitment was personified by forward Abi Shogbeni, who bravely drove to the net time and time again and ended the game with 12 points, second only to Smart among UEA scorers. Brookes were much-improved in the third and fourth quarters but it was too little, too late, as UEA saw the game out without any

Andrea Lestrange

Sharp shooter: UEA forward Ben Zimpel (left) knocks down a three-pointer as UEA win their opening game real threat of a comeback from the home with some impressive three by his players in a performance visitors. Dwight Dunston replaced point shooting, racking up nine that bodes well for the season Ye at point guard for much of points in total. ahead. the second half and continued Head coach George FraserNext up for UEA is a trip to to orchestrate the offence, while Barker will be pleased with the Cambridge for the opening away forward Ben Zimpel helped UEA application, spirit and skill shown game of the season.

BADMINTON UPSET THE ODDS Richard Brookman Sports Correspondent

UEA Men’s I Birmingham Men’s II

Lizzy Margereson

7 1

The first BUCS men’s badminton fixture of the 2010/11 season provided fireworks as UEA trounced the University of Birmingham, winning seven matches out of a possible eight.

High flyers: UEA Badminton rolled over the more fancied Birmingham side

There was a palpable air of anticipation courtside for the arrival of a well-drilled and confident Birmingham outfit, and it appeared that UEA would struggle to match the quality of the visiting squad. But a fine performance from the hosts saw roles reversed. The fixture, which was divided into four doubles matches and four singles matches, however, went without a hitch with UEA only losing one game in a tightly fought contest between UEA’s Michael Wood and Birmingham’s James Taylor. UEA, who were captained by Ben Hicken, rarely looked as if their abilities were being stretched and played some high quality, proficient badminton against potentially tricky opposition. In the singles matches, UEA’s youngest player Alexander Wong

won both of his matches without dropping a game. Playing with a great deal of style and flair, Wong proved that he will certainly be one to watch for the rest of the season. Both doubles pairings faired equally well. Chris Piff and Jeremy Johnson also secured double victories in their matches and even impressed the Birmingham coach with the quality of their teamwork and communication on court. Captain Ben Hicken and Matt Haynes also won both of their matches in two albeit closer contests. Both contests went to a decisive third game, but the pair both showed stern resolve and steady nerve to win as Birmingham’s day went from bad to worse. The team’s next fixture is an away match against league leaders Loughborough.

New home for UEABC Matt Scrafton

Sports Correspondent

Members of the UEA Boat Club will soon be able to take advantage of a £1m state-of-the-art boathouse. The exciting venture is located by the river in Whitlingham, a remote village on the outskirts of Norwich. UEABC will be one of the partners using the Whitlingham boathouse, along with several other clubs from in and around the Norwich area.

INSIDE Turn to page 21 for the full story and the thoughts of UEABC women’s captain, Catharine Bruce


venue Hugo Pollock


VENUE Editor-in-Chief>Danny Collins| concrete.editor@uea.ac.uk Venue Editor>Duncan Vicat-Brown| concrete.event@uea.ac.uk

concrete.fashion@uea.ac.uk| Fashion Editor>Kat Jones Deputy Fashion Editor>Hannah Britt Fashion Contributors> Kat Jones, Hannah Britt, Eleanor Dayton

concrete.arts@uea.ac.uk| Arts Editor>Liz Jackson Arts Contributors> Robyn Comfort, Libby Earland, Harriet Jones, Emma Garrett

TO VAJAZZLE, OR NOT TO VAJAZZLE.. Nothing makes you question the nature of entertainment more than experiencing two extremes within the space of a week. Case in point; I recently went to see The Social Network, and a few days later challenged myself to sit through an entire episode of The Only Way is Essex. One is quite possibly the best film of the year, with note-perfect performances, masterful direction and a staggering script that, perhaps more than any other film this decade, truly defines the century so far. The other... well, after 37 minutes, I’d gnawed off my arm and pounded my head through a wall. The producers are clearly aware of how terrible it is. The cast on the other hand... Do yourself a favour; see one, avoid the other like you owe it money. Have a week..

n a c un

D

concrete.creativewriting@uea.ac.uk| Creative Writing Editor>Robert Van Egghen Creative Writing Contributors> Adepoju Adetola, Robert Van Egghen, Rory Gale, Joe Odran Doran, James Sykes, Hazel Compton, J.R. Harris, Rachael Lum

concrete.tvdigital@uea.ac.uk| Television Editor>Tasha Golley Television Contributors> Beth Wyatt, Michael Lovelock, Phil Turtle, Matthew Tidby, Amy Adams, Helen Eaton

concrete.wired@uea.ac.uk| Wired Editor>Vaughn Highfield Wired Contributors>DJ Turner, William Moran, Edward Powell, Krishna Raghvani, Fiona Howard, Alick Burnett, Emma Garrett

concrete.music@uea.ac.uk| Music Editors>Alec Plowman & Alex Throssell Music Contributors>Ant Firth-Clark, Hana Locklier, Fiona Howard, Tom Duffy, Will Newton, Jordan Bright, Duncan Vicat-Brown, Alex Ross, Harry Slater, Alec Plowman, Dolly Smith, Ellie Kumar, Jamie Lewis

concrete.film@uea.ac.uk| Film Editor>Paul Martin Deputy Film Editor>Catherine Watts Film Contributors> Amy Griffiths, Tom Theedom, Josh Weatherill, Anna Eastick, Gabriella Colasurdo, Alexander Haines, Samantha Rogers, Emily Bater, Lorna Pontefract, James Dockeray, Tom McInnes, Tim Bates

concrete.event@uea.ac.uk| Comedy Editor>Fiona Howard Comedy Contributors>Tom McInnes, Alec Plowman, Will Donovan

concrete.listings@uea.ac.uk| Listings Editor>Georgina Wade Listings Contributors>Georgina Wade

concrete.competitions@uea.ac.uk| Competitions Editor>Henry Croft Competitions Contributors>Henry Croft

James Dean Bradfield, presumably singing very loudly. It’s kind of his thing. To learn more about his band, Manic Street Preachers, turn to page 21, or read the gig review on page 20.


26OCT10 ISSUE 246

For this issue, we provide you with a trans-seasonal lowdown as we wave goodbye to the styles of summer and greet the new trends of autumn. Deputy Editor Hannah Britt teaches us a thing or two about experimenting with texture, and Fashion Editor Kat Jones highlights two top-notch shops in the city with a Halloween inspired photoshoot.

Touch Me

COMEDY FILM MUSIC WIRED tV CREATIVE WRITINg ARTS fASHION

fashion

concrete.fashion@uea.ac.uk

LISTINGS

COMPS

4

New Designer Guiseppe Zanotti for Thakoon is creating a storm in Fashion. Part of the 2010 Autumn Collection

When this issue goes to print, it will almost be November, an appropriate month to talk about Christmas without being intensely infuriating (unlike Tesco, who announced its approach in July). So, as the Christmas season fast approaches, and clothing becomes ever more decadent, it is time to take the rough with the smooth and embrace the trend for texture. In 1989, the legend that is Paula Abdul sang the words “Opposites Attract”, and do you know what? She was spot on. Well done Paula, always such a babe. Sometimes if people (or textures) are totally different, they can actually work together and complement each other. And is it not true that it is often the person who disagrees with you most, who challenges you, and keeps you on your toes, that you fall for? Disney teaches us this from a young age; you cannot deny that opposites, John Smith and Pocahontas, would have good sex. There does seem to be an undertone of relationship advice creeping into this article. Who says fashion is one dimensional? But back to clothes. For texture, especially during cold winter days, knitwear is a good place to start and to build from. The high street has a love affair with knits at the moment; cable, chunky, destroyed- you name it, you can buy it. Choose a piece you like, something with personality, and team it with an item that feels to the touch totally different. A thick woollen jumper with a leather skirt is bang on trend right now. Or, try velvet for an equally luxurious feel.

Take a walk with texture and wear heavy boots, doc martens perhaps, with a floaty silk dress. Mix something whimsical and threadbare with something tough: the contrast is interesting. For daywear, you don’t have to drown yourself in feathers and fur if you do not wish to. Basic block colours of texture, such as a simple black velvet top, are more interesting than block colours of plain cotton. Everyone does cotton. Yawn. Do something different. Wearing texture is fun, but it is also a balancing act. Texture often comes at the expense of fit, and also adds width to fabric. Therefore, when putting pieces together, team one loose garment with a more fitted item. Hint to your figure underneath. Don’t make your size eight look like eighteen by swamping yourself top to bottom with fabric. Furthermore, not all textures are good textures. Put that PVC down please. Are you a hoe? Oh you are...? Pick it back up then. This may be the season of decadence, but texture need not be extravagant. You need not blow your student loan on a gold plated, diamond studded, flamingo feathered jacket. A little texture can be added via some snazzy earrings. Topshop have a massive range of feather, leather and fur to choose from. So, fashionistas. Get your bum out of the basics section. Play with texture. And turn your swag on. Hannah Britt

Embracing It or Escaping It: Your Views on the Shearling Jacket EMBRACING IT

ESCAPING IT

The thought of taking fashion tips from “Del Boy” Trotter certainly did not conjure any appealing images in my mind, but looking through Topshop’s A/W collection I spied many similarities. However, this new trend seems to really work! I love the contrast of the dark leather with the feminine fur around the collar, it really takes away the harshness of the leather and transforms the idea of the spring leather jacket into an exquisite winter coat. The aviator gilet adds another dimension to the trend, and works well with a range of colours and outfits. This style seems to be the must-have for winter 2010, and very affordable on a student budget: just check out the highstreet for some great deals. Will these aviator jackets become as popular as aviator sunglasses were in the summer? I certainly think so!

I loved the shearling jacket. Loved. Past tense. When it first hit Vogue a couple of months ago it went straight to the top of my wish list. It even overtook Louboutin ‘Mary-Janes’. Now it is at the bottom, below even fake Ugg boots (at least ‘fuggs’ are restricted to chavs and are therefore in some way elite...). Sadly, it has fallen prey to the biggest fashion pitfall, it has been overdone. It’s the Fall Out Boy of jackets: once so cool, now totally sold out to the masses. Lame. It’s lost its swag. Every magazine, from high-end Tatler to trashy Closer, screams “buy one”; it’s just so “now”, they say. I don’t care, Tatler, please shut up. Take a walk around town and you can guarantee that at least a dozen girls will be wearing one. My fourteen year old sister has one. So have all her friends. Who wants to wear the same thing as everyone else? I might buy one now, leave it at the back of my wardrobe until the hype dies down, then take it out and consider it retro. For now though, I wouldn’t be seen dead in it. Hannah Britt

Eleanor Dayton

Greg Mann Photography

Beauty Spot Perfumery Sampling in Jarrolds Beauty Hall Saturdays in November 11am – 3pm Every Saturday in November and December there will be new fragrances for men and women for you to try. You’ll have no problem buying your gifts once you’ve tried some of the exclusive fragrances Jarrolds has to offer.

Season Saviour For one last attempt to grip onto what’s left of the summer sun, try Nivea Visage Tinted Daily Moisturising Crème (Natural). For £6.79 for 50ml it will help keep your skin soft and supple in the blistering wind of autumn whilst maintaining a lovely golden glow.

TLC for MEN Check out Neal’s Remedies new Skincare range for men. Products include Revitalising Face Scrub £14 for 75g, Rejuvenating Eye gel £22 for 10ml and Calming Aftershave Balm £14.30 for 100ml, which will mean no more bleary eyed appearances at morning lectures. 26 Lower Goat Lane, Norwich.


Chokin’

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Essex

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it, bated breath, could I actually remember how to speak? He’s looking at me and I have no idea what to say, say something. I thrust several copies of Concrete in his direction and managed to babble about being Fashion Editor. He gave me a good cheesy grin and said he would love to read the papers as he signed my book. My lovely mother who travelled all the way from Kent to see Mr Wan kindly snapped a picture of us together. Gok was every bit as charming as you’d expect, particularly when he complimented my outfit and touched my hand when I said I was moved by his life story. Battling with obesity and anorexia he clearly understands that how you feel inside is important before you can tackle the outside. By overcoming

The Abercrombie Attitude

these illnesses, we are lucky to have an endearingly passionate fashion advisor and ‘BFF’ to help lead us in a celebration of the body beautiful, be it dripping in fashion or decked out in the birthday suit. Kat Jones

Dressing as Jack Sparrow for Halloween. Overdone. Over it.

What Were You Thinking!? Two new additions to the cast of Shameless?

CREATIVE WRITINg

Socks

So there I was at 8:30am, poised with my nose up against the glass doors of Jarrolds. When the store opened at 9am I found my position at the front, yes, the very front of the queue, instantly labelling me as ‘desperate fan number one’ – a title that I am proud to wear. Gok began the book signing at 1pm and so by the time he made his entrance, I had read the whole thing cover to cover. Dressed in a simple black tee, a grey cardy and those trade-mark specs, Gok was led through the crowds which had now formed throughout the shop floor. This was

Kat Jones

ARTS

Smokin’

Gok Rocks

Pretty tea dresses adorned with large roses or intricate florals, and beautifully soft wool jumpers embellished with jewels cover the scope of daywear, and as night falls, be sure to seek out the ethereal lace waistcoats and delicately sheer blouses billowing with elegance. Accessories have not been forgotten as belts, hair pieces and jewellery are laid out on a dressing table, screaming to be bought. Take a wander to Exile, have a browse, be inspired, and I doubt you’ll leave empty handed. Revolutionz attracts the young men of Norwich. Athletic but laid back, knows what he likes but is not afraid of the new, open to good music, good beer, good humour, good times: is this you? Yes? Great, then go and try this shop to get your dregs. With the first two months of university rolling away having not discovered the washing machine yet, this is the place to stock up on stuff a bit edgy and urban whilst still in-keeping with casual trends. Think jeans in stone and slate and long check shirts to layer over t-shirts with logos by graphic designers. Bright coloured clothes contrast against subtler toned pieces, lending a hand to picking up a well matched outfit. You can’t go wrong. Choosing not to go, now that’s wrong.

Sadly not. This chavalicious couple were the worst offenders at UEA this week. Dis. Gust. Ing.

fASHION

Halloween Hotlist

Dressing up as Cher from The X Factor for Halloween

You may have spent many a Wednesday night drawn into the warm glow of The Birdcage, a quaint little dive in the Lanes, and found yourself being entertained by the words of new poets or live acoustic folk music whilst sipping a mammoth glass of Hoegaarden or, more daintily, some hot tea in a proper china cup and saucer. The Birdcage is part of the evergrowing creative and alternative culture in Norwich. If you fancy paying £5 for a generically awful coffee in Starbucks/ Costa/Nero etc, or an equally overpriced pint in Wetherspoons then go right ahead, but sometimes it’s nice to have a change, try something a little new, dip your toe in the water, and soon, you may even summon the courage to jump right in. The same goes for fashion, and so this week the clothes are from two unique shops that’ll help you get those feet wet. Neither have mass reproductions of pieces, so there’ll be no fear of wearing the same as the 50+ people sitting next to you in the LT1. Each shop has small collections of innovative designers, showcasing the distinct and desirable qualities that sometimes the high street chains can lose. Both are situated opposite The Birdcage, so once the purchases are made, a chillaxed evening waits to be enjoyed. We begin with Exile, a modest one floor boutique with spaced out rails, this is a shop brandishing quality not quantity, and it does that just.

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Greg Mann Photography 2010

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concrete.arts@uea.ac.uk

Arts>Literary Beginnings Dance>Rambert Dance Company>’Awakenings’ Tour Rambert, a national success and an innovative contemporary dance company, prominently took the stage at Norwich Theatre Royal Wednesday 13th October. Not just a wishy-washy love story entwined with pretty movements, or a complex and depressing depiction of life leaving you feeling dreary and bleak, the choreography aims to challenge, take risks and entertain. Presenting three eclectic performances instead of one, as well as charming props ranging from beaded curtains to the mechanics of a harpsichord, I left feeling inspired and impressed at the immense amount of hard work put into it, and how brilliantly it paid off. Hands held up for not being a dance fanatic, and having only taken a couple of ballet classes as a little kid (where the closest I came to dance moves were twinkle toes and witch toes), I arrived at the theatre with an open mind, unsure as to what to expect. The structure of the night followed three separate pieces of dance, ‘The Art of Touch’, ‘Awakenings’ and ‘Cardoon Club’, all of which were entirely different from one another, painting a clear picture that to teach and to learn at the Rambert Dance Company, means there is no set agenda. You are free to be, and create whatever you like. ‘The Art of Touch’, choreographed by Siobhan Davies, was originally inspired by listening and looking at the mechanics of a harpsichord. Her movements highlighted

and represented the relationship between the instrument and the player, creating distorted and strange shapes for the dancers, yet maintaining complete intricacy in synchronization with the consistent harpsichord played throughout the performance. With a simplistic set, and dark coloured costumes, the viewers attention was glued to the bodies of the

“ attention throughout was glued to the bodies of the dancers, and their remarkable skill.” dancers, and their remarkable skill. ‘Awakenings’, choreographed by Aletta Collins was based around Dr Oliver Sacks’ experience in September 1966, visiting Beth Abraham Hospital (a home for people with chronic disease). A bizarre and shocking scene, Dr Sacks was confronted by dozens of motionless patients, in odd postures, ‘frozen’ in mid-movement. The piece depicts the frustrations and manipulation of the patients condition in their everyday life, and the music (composed by Tobias Picker) creates a beautiful, haunting exploration of these ideas alongside. Lastly ‘Cardoon Club’ - a playful and absurd performance, choreographed by Henrietta Horn, recreates ‘Artichoke in the

silver lake’ (performed for the Pina Bausch Festival in Wuppertal). With extended fingers, silhouettes, and jazzy riffs, the audience couldn’t help but smile and enjoy what’s right in front of them. A brilliant way to end the show, Henrietta comments “As a child of the late sixties and seventies, this sort of music is fortunately part of my DNA.” The mischievous and strange nature

of the dance was charming and it was clear everybody felt the same, as the dancers bowed, and the audience applauded endlessly. A wonderful evening, with a fusion of styles, inspirations and music. Rambert Dance School produced a show to be watched and enjoyed by all. Harriet Jones

creature made entirely of pillows. “He has to be, because of his job” Katurian informs us. The Pillowman goes to people when they are about to kill themselves and talks to them, slowing down time

a child to avoid the pain of their lives, in a tragic but ultimately affirming action. The New York Times critic may have been right, it does not have much to say about the darker aspects of humanity. Yet that was never the play’s intention. It may be a brutal, dark play but paradoxically, its message is a much more positive and heart-warming thought about humanity, life and about stories. It plays with the idea that suffering is not to be regretted but treasured because of the stories it leads to, or the person it makes you become. Just because a play doesn’t conclude that there is no hope for humanity does not mean it has nothing to say. This was a thoroughly engaging performance that will surely stay in the minds of the audience for a long time to come.

Theatre>The Pillowman

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In a 2005 review in the New York Times, critic Charles Isherwood claimed that whilst Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman “is an ingeniously contrived black comedy, it ultimately has as much to tell us about the darker passages of experience it purports to dramatize as the haunted-house ride at Disneyland does.” However, if the recent Norwich

performance of the play is anything to go by, this opinion does not do the play justice. There is something genuinely unforgettable about The Pillowman, especially when performed in the Norwich Playhouse - which seemed the perfect setting with its eerie brick walls and the autumn rain continuously tapping at the high ceiling windows. The intimate setting created the sense that the audience were gathered around a campfire to hear the stories of bizarrely named Katurian Katurian Katurian, the protagonist of the play. He is a writer being interrogated in a totalitarian state, when his plays are found to echo horrifically a series of recent child murders. Throughout the interrogation and his subsequent night imprisoned with his brother, the audience hears parts of the various stories Katurian has written. The story that gives the play its title is a beautiful and important one of a

“a brutal, dark play but paradoxically, [...] a much more positive and heartwarming thought about humanity, life and about stories” and walking back through their lives to when they were young and happy. He sits down with the child and tells them what an unhappy life they are going to have and he helps them to die in an accident as

Emma Garrett


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A recent production of Duffy’s Grimm Tales at The Library in Manchester

On October 17th of 18th after four months of preparation and two solid weeks of rehearsals, the curtain was finally lifted: directors Emma Clarke and Olive Merrill put on a charity performance of Carol Ann Duffy’s adaptation of Grimm Tales at Norwich’s very own Puppet Theatre. The show was composed of six tales in two acts: Hansel and Gretel, The Golden Goose, Ashputtel (more commonly known as Cinderella), The Riddling Tale, The Mouse, the Bird and the Sausage and The Lady and the Lion. The second act in particular had the audience laughing until their sides hurt, and, all in all, it was a wonderful example of a modern take on traditional metatheatre. Whilst getting the six very talented actors, or ‘story tellers’ to merge the tales with the ‘inbetween tales’ on stage, the directors’ aim was to experiment with the

visual aspects: costumes, for example, were innovatively re-used and worn differently (a shawl became a dress or the boughs of a tree) as the actors changed roles. Props, too, were handled by the actors in a way which made it easy for the audience to imagine they were what the stories required them to be, for example the ‘bird’ in The Mouse, the Bird and the Sausage was represented through the opening and closing (and pigeon noises) of a patterned parasol and its holder. Also worth mentioning is the way in which those on stage involved their audience: they ran up and down the central staircase of the theatre, and randomly picked audience members to join them on stage. This audience interaction enhanced the production, for example, for the family and friends scene, the stage would have felt empty without the audience members joining the actors. The production was funded by the Golsoncott Foundation, which paid for copyrights and the hiring of the theatre as well; producer Helena Murphy’s job was to contact charities, put up posters, distribute postcards and leaflets and collect the generous prizes that made up the raffle (which will be drawn this week). The profit gained from the raffle and whole production will go to Assist Trust Norwich, which helps over 100 people with learning difficulties to gain confidence and work towards greater independence. Robyn Comfort

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Libby Earland

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Theatre>Grimm Tales

room to go listen to it in, then this reviewer would definitely recommend heading on down to Norwich Poetry Club at the Bicycle Shop, the next event is 16th November with Nathan Filer and Ross Sutherland.

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Norwich Poetry Club hosts a monthly event presenting local poetic talent and high calibre visiting/local poets. The talent that graced The Bicycle Shop on Tuesday

as he read out poetry and compelled his audience with anecdotes to accompany his poems. His poems were both heartbreaking and funny; particularly amusing were his stories from his time at Eton, from which the poem A Collection of Literature arose (the collection of literature in question being soft pornographic magazines which entertained the schoolboy Williams). If you love poetry and want a warm cosy

CREATIVE WRITINg

“Szirtes and Williams both had rich compelling voices with which to entertain; complimenting their powerful poetic words”

was UEA’s own lecturer George Szirtes and The Times literary columnist Hugo Williams. Both are winners of the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry and both performances were outstanding, reinforcing their literary prowess. It was more of an enlivened performance than a reading of poetry, the speakers’ both had rich compelling voices, complimenting their powerful poetic words. George Szirtes started the night with a poem called Fish Music and disclosed some of the ways in which he works and creates his literature. As an artist, he works in collaboration with other visual artists, writing literature to accompany art and using artwork to inspire him. He described a piece of artwork, which consisted of a blacked-out postcard. The postcard had one object left in the light as if it had been the one thing chosen to be saved from the artist’s blacking out pen. It was just as poetic as a story, and the accompanying poems even more impressive. Hugo Williams is from a theatrical background, and this came across strongly

ARTS

Tuesday 19th October saw the opening of the Norwich Poetry Club’s autumn season, set in the beautiful venue of The Bicycle Shop. It has a distinct boutique, cosy feel and it’s possible to see it as ‘the people’s’ front room. The downstairs was bathed in soft lighting with tea lights and comfortable chairs (for those fortunate enough to get one; it was pretty packed).

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concrete.creativewriting@uea.ac.uk

creative writing

Just a Feeling... Mariana

The Crane Fly

A Hundred Times and Then Many More

A lonely autumn night, Gallons of ale in the belly, Clouds of smoke in the gut, Befuddled and caressing despair, I see Mariana.

Since I was young, I have always hated Crane flies. In the days of prep school boarding An innocent one fell victim to our prepubescent boredom: Off its legs and wings came as a dare And we left it lying limbless, there.

Saintly in white dress Divine in ashen leggings, Dreamily I beheld her Nubian roots Her puerile smile, fresh sanity Then I was transposed.

I’ve always been against the unnecessary killings of bugs: I want to help the world, not destroy it. But Crane flies have always remained an exception: It is their ugliness that I detest most.

There’s a thousand homes torn and gone And a thousand more of people drowned There’s a child half dead and holding on Engulfed by floods, and too weak to sound Out to his parents, who watch in woe As their child is taken, swept and lost Down the market street they used to know The price is paid; a human cost

A decade later I awake, Masculine in form Gentle in mien Thousands of guests applauding as I kissed her so tenderly Then I beheld my mater, approve of my lover

However on a recent camping trip, one flew into the bogs of the boys and played havoc with my aim as I pointed towards the porcelain. I let it be as I was too drunk to care, But the morning after, when I came to wash my hands, I saw that someone had drowned it in the sinks And waited and watched while it died. I cried for that Crane fly.

That must be Tim barking No! Reality visits and finds me fondling the rug of the Mary’s Bar.

I cried for that Crane fly. Rory Gale

Adepoju Adetola

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And forget not now that irksome war Of liberty and freedom that we endless fight Against a foe part wrong, but terrified more Of a drum that beats through day and night But aside cast controversial thought And think on boys with chests asunder Orphaned girls now poverty fraught And old men that fear the bombs like thunder The pictures of these, you all have seen A hundred times and then many more Each sparks that response; that feeling unclean That moment of pity; dejected and sore But it’s just a feeling; this weary dismay That brings forth sympathy and then despair A glancing blow that is brushed away As thoughts move on and drift elsewhere

hangs above sheets twisted around tangled limbs, sunlight bursting through the half-open window as a curtain rocks in the morning breeze while reality moulds gently into dreams

Prose Serial by Hazel Compton There were so many irreplaceable things in this world for Carrie. The scent of the grass and she crushed her fingers into the soil, the feel of the wind’s sylph-like fingers as it tousled and pushed the fraying ends of her lusty hair upwards, the sound of the plastic beads she wore around her neck click and chatter as they bumped into one another and created her own theme tune as she walked. They were images of her freedom, her youth. But the balloon was not one of these...yet she couldn’t let it go. She let her fingers curl into the baneful ribbon that hung, unassuming and flat, down and away from the encumbering red of the rubber air pocket, thinking of how, even though she told herself she didn’t care upon this mystery of human creation, she still carefully carried it from the robin blue door of the shed, still cradled it away from any threat. She kept it hidden at the bottom of her garden, secret and safe, only for her to enjoy. Yet, she didn’t enjoy it; it brought no happiness to her eyes, only regret. The balloon wobbled on its string as the wind lightly pressed to it, its body caressing down the rubber and twirling round the string like a kitten. Her fingers were securely wrapped in the string of the balloon but Carrie didn’t notice the wind’s foolery, too busy in thinking upon the past.

But cast your eye some miles away And you’ll find a land of rubble and strife Quakes of earth and damage that remains today Image and word of crumbled homes and loss of life And the lines of sheets; pale and mild That extended endless, like paths not travelled And beneath each lay a father, mother, or child Threads cut away; unstitched; unravelled

The summer just been and she was at a carnival, holding his smooth hand and watching the crowd in front of her slowly diminish as they got closer to the front to ride upon the Ferris wheel. She had held her breath with a pregnant pause as the tired worker clipped the gate behind them and they were enclosed in their own little compartment. It swung with its own impatient energy, wanting to climb the spiderweb like circle, wanting to view the expanse around. Carrie had pressed her hand deeper into the palm of his, feeling and remembering the fleshy response of his skin, welcoming and full of soothing memories upon her fingers. He smiled to her, just as comfortable as her in their container, their womb that was slowly raising them to the top of the world....

Yet on occasion, you still feel that sting Of despondent guilt as you meet pictures anew But of these crimes, I will do not a thing And in truth, neither will you. Joe Odran Doran

The Way Love Moves You find yourself in love – A terrible love, unwanted and unreciprocated, Head over heels crawling like a deprived Unloved addict in a cold alleyway. But time passes, a day, a week, And soon, you are not in love, And you never have been.

To be continued next issue....

Next Issue Theme for the next issue: ‘Air’ Email your submissions to: concrete.creativewriting@uea.ac.uk by 3rd November

These feelings, just feelings, grow and grow, And like a terrible storm Cast themselves away in a sudden fury. You are left bereft once more, Free, a blank slate Patron of a grotesque fairground ride, Ready for the next go round. James Sykes


Creative writing Hello

Hesitation

Hello dull old pain. You are always there when I awake, That same old thud to remind me that everything’s still the same. On good days, you are almost pleasant, pumping blood, the warm elixir of life to the far corners of my toes that then tingle with delight. And then the blood bloats my body with a warm sense of contentment oozing up into my lungs, Giggling with adoration, so that my shoulders shudder with the joke. My eyes could almost water. And my breath, quickens. And with a rush sense of euphoric glee that lightens my head I can almost see a reason.

I have a feeling that behind that door, There is something I’ve not known before.

LISTINGS

Do I turn the key? Or do I walk Away and leave behind the stubborn lock To guard a hesitant soul from what She thinks might lie within –

To find the nothingness inside; it’ll let you down.’ I shall not enter once the voice takes charge.

Student Rights Officer

Rachel - Academic Officer Finishing the Student Experience Report

Planning Well-being week

Planning the Hungry for Feedback Campaign

Championing Student Represetation in the HUM faculty

Improving the Faculty Convenor System

Campaigns &Democracy

Starting work on the Community Strategy

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Dan - Community &

ARTS

What have we been up to?

Cut me out and hand me in at Union House and the Union will send me to Simon Wright MP

t

resen

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It’s just a feeling after all. Nothing more.

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No need for me to know what’s beyond the door.

J.R Harris

3 Rep

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It questions every perceived truth right from the start. ‘ You shall not touch the knob because you’re bound

COMEDY

A secret? A sanctuary? Or a sin? The mind can give the best excuses for the heart.

But then, the warm unbalanced harmony slows into a slow cruel drain. And the round red bubble swelters to the tips of my rib cage, grinding and gouging as my heart screams with pain as its layers are torn off. And then the slow drip of poison tar trickles down my throat. Residing in the quagmire of my stomach And the gracious gag is welcome to numb the pain, if only for a second. My eyes could almost water. And you are there again, exhausted from the drain. That dull thud, my dull thud, that won’t ever go away.

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concrete.tvdigital@uea.ac.uk

television

REALITY: THE ONLY WAY IS ESSEX

PRIMETIME: THE APPRENTICE

BBC ONE, WEDNESDAY 9PM

ITV 2, SUNDAY 10PM

Perhaps when The Apprentice first aired in 2005, viewers genuinely thought of it as a simple search to discover Britain’s best businessman/woman. But over the years, The Apprentice has developed into something entirely different – a comedy delight which attempts to find out which egotistical non-entity is the most diabolical whilst icing cupcakes/creating rubbish sausages/selling anything at all. The Apprentice has had it all – office romances, bitching, the ‘Pants Man’ and ridiculous team names such as ‘Renaissance’ and ‘Alpha’. This year’s team names were confirmed as the interesting ‘Apollo’ and the blatant-attempt-to-sound-clever ‘Synergy’, but no such explanation is required for the contestants – they speak for themselves. Alex Epstein says he practically invented the bendy bus and Stuart ‘The Brand’ Baggs proudly announced in the first episode that “everything [he touches] turns to sold” – the hilarity of this ensuing when his team lost the sausage task. Must have just been a minor

The Only Way Is Essex is awful. A The Hillsstyle reality soap relocated to the perma-tan ridden nail salons and nightclubs of England’s most infamous county; a shambolic collision of styles – shot half like a documentary, half like a cheap drama, with awkward, evidently semi-scripted dialogue and even a voice over courtesy of Essex royalty, Denise Van Outen. The Only Way Is Essex is so awful, it’s amazing – guilty pleasure television at its most trashy and indulgent. The show follows the lives and loves of a group of colourful real-life friends and frenemies. There’s bikini waxer Amy, who dreams of becoming a glamour model, and her on/off boyfriend, the hapless Kirk, whose idea of a romantic date is a trip to the zoo; up and coming girl band ‘Lola’ who are on the verge of landing a deal with Universal records; and a messy love triangle. It has been over twenty years since the terms ‘Essex Boy’ and ‘Essex Girl’ entered our colloquial vernacular, and The Only Way Is Essex does little to challenge such pejorative

blip in your usual excellence then, Stuart? The other ‘interesting’ character in the first episode was Dan Harris, who has a talent for shouting, but not much else. Team leader Dan barked at his team for not working hard enough – whilst he stood there and did nothing but... shout. Not surprisingly Dan was the first contestant to hear the famous “You’re fired!” If you thought the boys were bad, then just wait for the girls. Joanna showed her true colours during the second task by insisting that her book-stand idea was implemented. When her innovative beach product failed to gain a single buyer, the boardroom then descended into an all-out catfight – with Karren Brady reprimanding the girls for being horrendous role models. Stay tuned to The Apprentice, for there will be more egos, more screw-ups and more hilarity – not to mention the fact that the tasks get easier. Beth Wyatt

stereotypes of the region’s inhabitants. Hilarious though the drama-filled antics are, the ladies form a homogenous sea of orange skin, Rapunzel-esque hair extensions and sky-high stilettos, whilst the men cruise around in flash motors and seem to view women as just another conquest to validate their well groomed and eyebrow-plucked vision of masculinity. That said, there is real warmth in some of the relationships that we see, whether it’s best friends Amy and Sam plotting their next man-hunt over a vajazzle (don’t know what that is? Watch to find out), or Mark and Nanny Pat, who still does his ironing and pops round to bring him some home-baked bread pudding. If the only way is indeed Essex then God help us all, but for half an hour of escapist TV every once in a while, Essex is the only way to go. Michael Lovelock


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GAVIN AND STACEY

“Lovely jubbly”! An apt catchphrase from a show that has brought laughter to so many across the years. Despite its last episode having been broadcast in 2003, it is hard to deny Only Fools and Horses a place on a list of the top comedy shows ever. A mere mention of Batman and Robin or Del falling through the bar is enough to raise a smile on the face of anyone with even a passing knowledge of the show. The likeable Del Boy, one of life’s chancers but ultimately trying to do the best by his family, is accompanied by his hapless brother Rodney in their efforts to become ‘millionaires’. Add in the rest of their family plus the various friends they encountered over the years, and together they provided so many situations that left the audience laughing or in some cases even crying. The theme tune, the characters and

It is no overestimation to call Gavin and Stacey one of the best sitcoms of the last decade. Over three series and a glorious Christmas special, moving from BBC3 to BBC1 prime time in the process, this ‘rom-com’ followed the love story of salt-of-the-earth Essex lad Gavin (Mathew Horne) and his wacky Welsh muse Stacey (Joanna Page), as their families and friends, particularly Nessa (Ruth Jones) and Smithy (James Corden), become hilariously intertwined down the length of the M4. Intelligently and lovingly written by stars Corden and Jones, the programme successfully toes the line between comedy and drama, weaving hilarious situations and sentiments around the ongoing thread of serious drama. The show is very much character-driven; much of the comedy is derived from knowing the characters and recognising their traits and eccentricities

It’s a simple premise, one which has been used to varying degrees of success in sitcoms many times before: Two parents, three kids, and the constant struggle to maintain parental control. What makes Outnumbered stand out from the rest is a combination of fantastic writing, hilarious improvisation, and superb acting from all involved. It seems much of this can be attributed to the relaxed nature of the show’s filming. Writers Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton provide a loose script for the adults and children, but they are encouraged to improvise and only learn their parts ‘a bit’

THE ROYLE FAMILY to make conversations and reactions more spontaneous – in the cast interview with Jonathan Ross, Daniel Roche (aged 10) admitted that if he forgets lines, he often makes them up, a practice which makes the stunned reactions of the parents (played by Claire Skinner and Hugh Dennis) all the more authentic. This relaxed atmosphere not only makes the family more believable, but also allows the unrivalled comic genius of a child’s imagination to take precedence. There is no better evidence of this than Ramona Marquez (aged 9) winning Best Female Comedy Newcomer in the Brit Comedy Awards of 2009 It is for these reasons that it seems certain that Outnumbered will be remembered as a classic comedy in years to come. While some jokes may baffle future viewers (“He changed my Facebook status to ‘Ben died last Tuesday’ and I didn’t!”) the simple and genuine comedy of an ordinary family will remain universal. Amy Adams

Set in the Manchester area, following the somewhat mundane lives of a typical British family, The Royle Family can easily be considered the yardstick against which to gauge the future of British comedy. While the premise for the series seems somewhat uninteresting and maybe even lacking ingenuity, it is precisely this that makes The Royle Family work. It is the simplicity of the narrative (or the complete lack of one), the mostly stationary camera and the vulgarity of the characters that makes the programme iconic. The genius of The Royle Family undoubtedly stems from the writing of

Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash who play Denise and Dave Best in the show. While the script for the show may not come across as anything special, it is this which makes it so. The awkward silences, the repetitive conversation and the sheer bone-idle nature of the characters make the atmosphere entirely realistic. In places where the show ‘pauses for dramatic tension’, the silence is conveniently filled by muted droning from the television, the staple of any British home. There can be little doubt that the portrait of The Royle Family is one which the audience can relate to in some way. The series displays the picture of British home life, there are no frills or gimmicks; it is inspired casting and simple writing that rightfully places The Royle Family as a classic British comedy.

Helen Eaton

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OUTNUMBERED

Matthew Tidby

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and, as a result, when the drama comes to the fore, we care about their wellbeing. Critics have blamed it for setting a precedent for a new generation of less edgy, character-driven, joke-deprived sitcoms, such as the wonderful Rev, the underwhelming Him and Her and the questionable Roger and Val Have Just Got In, but in reality, this series simply set the (new) bar so high that others may struggle to rise to it. A fantastic ensemble cast bring the characters to life believably and engagingly, and Rob Brydon’s turn as the sexuallyambiguous, sat-nav friendly Uncle Bryn is a joy to behold. The BBC has said there won’t be another series, but the vague allusion to future specials is enough reason to get into this show now. If you are yet to see Gavin and Stacey, start at the beginning and fall in love.

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the situations they find themselves in are just so recognizable. The show works as we are able to empathise with their situation, and are desperate for them to succeed. The creation of a prequel, Rock and Chips, just serves to demonstrate the continued interest in John Sullivan’s expertly created characters. Unlike many of its newer comedy rivals, one can just switch on any episode and be entertained. Add in the fact that it’s a show that can be watched happily by any member of the family and it makes for a great watch at Christmas time! Ultimately, it has to be considered a comedy classic.

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ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES

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For this issue, we’ve been taking a look back at some British comedy classics. Here are some of our very favourites.


Medal of Honor

Format: 360, PS3 & PC Price: £39.99 -£49.99 RRP Release Date: Out Now Medal of Honor (MoH) is a first person shooter set on a modern battlefield, and it’s certainly decent. What is immediately clear is that its developers haven’t got it wrong. The premise is that 9/11 has just happened, and players take on the role of US SOCOM forces initiating the invasion of Afghanistan. It’s a good mix of action and sneaking that’s reminiscent of Call of Duty 4. There’s plenty of avoiding sentries, taking out multiple enemies simultaneously with your buddy, suppressed weapons and night vision, as

well as massive fire fights that see you and your small teams heroically engage far larger enemy forces. This is nothing new, but there are a couple of aspects to MoH that make it a little different to its competitors. Firstly, there are lots of dramatic set pieces, and it’s clear that every area has been well thought out and made into an environment that seems real, and whilst they all appear vaguely similar there are certainly a good variety of enemies, helping to give the impression that the game isn’t just churning out dozens of clones for players to battle. It certainly isn’t just about shooting, though. The things your ‘Tier 1 operators’ get up to range from being inside a battle damaged Chinook as it falls from the sky to driving fast across the Afghan landscape on ATV’s to co-piloting an Apache helicopter. Furthermore, your fellow operators are far from anonymous, always playing important parts in missions. The second part of this game, making it different to other modern warfare contenders, is the extent of realism. The gruff, efficient dialogue is often peppered

http://www.walyou.com Turntube List Mix youtube videos together! Mix ranting on youtube with dramatic instrumental backing tracks; it’s just like making your own rap songs. http://www.turntubelist.com/ Samorost

DJ Turner Beautifully designed point and click adventure game, it can be frustrating clicking on everything, but working it out is really rewarding.

Just imagine playing this (Killzone 3) in 3D!

http://www.amanita-design.net/samorost-1/ The Mike Wallace Interview A really interesting archive of interviews with public figures from the 1950s, ranging from Aldous Huxley, to Salvador Dali to Kirk Douglas. http://tinyurl.com/37kfgdf Edward Powell

7/10 with suitable acronyms and abbreviations: HVT, BDA, CAS and so on. Understanding them all isn’t vital; lucky, since none of them are translated. However, it’s clear the developers were trying to cater to fans of military simulation games whilst also making gameplay accessible to casual gamers. This nod to military simulation can be seen further in the incorporation of leaning, realistic ammunition management and accurate weapons handling – some weapons even have a fire selector. Some would say such features are unnecessary and need only be available in the most hardcore of military games, however these added touches are not only tactically useful, but really add to the immersion of the game. This level of minute detail is lacking in FPS games today and MoH has really gone the extra mile in creating a realistic experience. Unfortunately, this level of quality has a cost. It will take most players only around five hours to complete – probably less. This is not unusual in recent games; Modern Warfare 2 and Bad Company 2 being prime examples. In years past,

gamers would have been incredulous to hear that £50 games could be as short as four hours long. There is a multiplayer element to MoH too, and that does stand to add some value to the game. It isn’t anything new, though. If anything, it’s a refined version Bad Company 2’s multiplayer. Medal of Honor is a good game, better even than its main competitors, but it’s just too short to justify a £50 RRP, and was somewhat buggy at launch, making it only just above the average. William Moran

The Good - Innovative and fun gameplay. - Level of realistic detail not seen in modern FPS’s.

The Bad -Multiplayer offers nothing new. -Campaign is too short for the cost of the game.

Twitter Gems

Some of the best, most interesting or just downright funny people tweeting right now! @DitaVonTeese - everybody’s favourite burlesque star tweets an insight into her fabulous life. With twitpics of her baking adventures and obsession with Cointreau, this is the injection of glamour your life needs. @TFLN - ‘texts from last night’ is the prefect procrastination website. However, if you don’t want to spend hours wasting away on the actual website, their twitter offers the cream of the crop. @GraduateFog - This is one of the more serious tweeters you should be following, offering some excellent insights into your rights as a university graduate. @arjunbasu - Arjun Basu creates 140 character stories much in the vein of www. fiftywordstories.com. All are beautiful insights into humanity. Fiona Howard

COMPS shoddy privacy issues and unfavourable endof-term user agreements. There was a huge backlash when Facebook first introduced the news feed feature, displeasing users by publicising all their Facebook activities. More recently, in December 2009, Facebook removed privacy controls, thus deeming it impossible for users to control what was displayed on their walls and consequently on the public news feed. This allowed people to post things targeting certain groups, or even

abusing others via Facebook. Another huge issue with privacy came about with the rise of Facebook applications, many of which are allowed considerable access to your profile and details. Without allowing them access one couldn’t run the application, thus many users press the allow button without giving a second thought to the distribution of their private information. Lesser known problems include the inability to voluntarily terminate accounts, and discrimination to those with unusual names or those being homeschooled are unable to create accounts. Facebook is also deemed to have a negative impact upon education, with students spending a considerable amount of time on the site. A recent study showed that 68% of students who use Facebook had lower grades than those who do not. Cyber-slacking is also a huge issue with employers and some reports stating that it ‘costs companies several billion dollars in lost productivity when their personnel get caught on Facebook instead of working.’ Facebook is the world’s 2nd most visited website, behind only Google. There is no doubt that Facebook will continue to expand but, as Stan Lee once said, ‘With great power comes great responsibility’. When Google introduced Google Street View, many people were unimpressed by Google’s invasion of privacy, and with new features such as Facebook being able to collectively tag people in your pictures; it is only a matter of time before their amnesty runs out. Krishna Raghvani

VLC media player.

Dropbox

SharePod

VLC media player is a must have for any Mac or PC. A viable alternative to Windows Media Player, iTunes and almost every other media player out there, it is ready to play virtually any format, be it the more common mp3’s and mp4’s or the slightly annoying avi’s. What’s more, it has a clean simple menu which allows customisation if you can’t bear to part from the ITunes look. One of the simplest and most lightweight media players available, it’s a must have tool.

The premise is simple: you need to access files on more than one device, so store them online. No worries of losing your USB stick, or discovering that your email is refusing to work. In fact, there is something so simple about Dropbox that it begs the question, “why isn’t everyone using it?” It’s not a case of too good to be true - it’s just a brilliant tool that hasn’t yet blossomed into the public eye. Practical and with no frills, Dropbox isn’t exactly exciting but it is certainly worth telling all your friends about.

Tired of iTunes being slow and fat? Only want to manage your iPod? SharePod is a lightweight, free alternative. It’s small and can run from a flash drive on any computer, without installing anything. The most attractive feature is the ability to copy music from an iPod to a Computer. This is helpful for music from Apple, since purchases can only be downloaded once. SharePod can add/remove playlists and songs with a simple, customisable interface, and manage iPod Touches or iPhones.

http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

https://www.dropbox.com/

http://www.getsharepod.com/

Free and Easy

Alick Burnett

Emma Garrett

William Moran

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A fun an interesting gadget blog, digging up those kind-of-useful-but-what-the-hell ideas like a TV remote with pager so it’s never lost.

without adverts running down the side. It’s not just corporations that have access to a large audience, but also six degrees of separation style groups where thoughtful people can get hundreds of thousands of people to join a group to help find a lost love, belonging or even a friend. Yet the notion of Facebook isn’t as perfect as it seems. The sheer magnitude, and the fact that everyone wants to join in on the phenomenon, means they can get away with

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Walyou

Rewind back to late 2003 when most of you were experiencing the early days of high school. You were overjoyed when broadband became commercially viable, allowing you to instantly message your friends whilst your mum was on the phone, completely unaware of the social networking phenomenon that was about to hit the World Wide Web. Because stateside, Mark Zuckerberg, cofounder of Facebook, had just begun his sophomore year at Harvard. Zuckerburg had just released Facemash, a website which allowed users to rate the attractiveness of photos voluntarily uploaded. Within three months, Facebook was created as a social networking site for Harvard students, and had managed to register over half of all undergraduates. By September 2005 there was a high school version, and a year later Facebook was open to anyone aged over 13 with a valid email address. Today, there are over 500 million active Facebook users, with 50% of them logging in daily. Gone are the days when social networking was just for communicating with old friends; Facebook allows you to give everyone updates of your drab life, and lets people see those god-awful photos from yesterday’s drunken night out. Lets not even get started on the secret stalking of exes! Whilst previous social networks such as hi5, bebo and even the notorious MySpace fizzled out, Facebook is continuing to expand exponentially with over 800,000 new users everyday. Access to such a huge audience means that it’s impossible to find a page

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Fun links to pass the time between socialising and learning.

Socially Acceptable?

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their eggs in one basket (is the Wii doing much lately?), but when it comes down to advancing the video game experience you could pose the question ‘what other route is there?’ All three major home consoles offer motion sensitivity (with Kinect making a late appearance next month), and until the power of virtual reality is harnessed, 3D gaming seems to be the rational step forward Audiences are constantly looking for new ways to engage and interact with video games, and the PS3 and 3DS will hopefully be able to spark an interesting transition to a bigger and better future of gaming. The hardware looks good, the software looks great, and, as always, there will be one console that does it better than the rest. Will you be seeing double?

Http://

WIRED

3D technology has a lot going for it at the moment. In the last year cinemas have seen massive films including Toy Story 3, Alice in Wonderland and Avatar (the highest grossing film of all time) all presented in full 3D, and 2011 is set to continue the trend with an unprecedented amount of 3D film releases. Oh, and then there is the possibility of seeing the Star Wars saga in full 3D format… Moviegoers enjoy the 3D experience, and with Panasonic and Samsung offering 3D capable TV sets to extend the experience to the home, it seems logical that the next big thing should be 3D gaming. So what does this mean for video games? Back in 2009, the public were teased with 3D gameplay footage of PS3 exclusives Wipeout HD and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, and recent updates that prepared the console for stereoscopic 3D gaming and movie watching now mean that if you

as autostereoscopy, which produces the effects of 3D without the requirement for glasses, and will be available in the UK next March. The pocket 3D device will be fully compatible with all existing DS games and products, though the exciting part is, well, the 3D. As with all current Nintendo consoles, the 3DS will be supported by a wide range of family titles that will undoubtedly appeal across the generations within your household (Animal Crossing, Pacman and Galaga and… Professor Layton VS Ace Attorney?), though the big draw for many will be the chance to play classic updates of games, such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D. It is a novel idea, and one that could help Nintendo out in a big way (just don’t mention the Virtual Boy…). You may think that Sony are jumping the gun, or that Nintendo are placing all

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Double Vision: Is 3D the way forward? are lucky (or well off) enough to own a 3D compatible TV, you can immerse yourself in the 3D gaming experience. Although this is currently limited to a few titles, it is an interesting – and perhaps necessary – advancement in video gaming technology. While Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg tells us that “as consumer interest for 3D grows, we’ll grow with it,” Sony are diving headfirst into the 3D market with a tantalising array of 3D exclusives. The list includes Killzone 3, The Sly Collection (a HD remake of the PS2 Sly Raccoon games) and Gran Turismo 5, Sony Computer Entertainment’s downloadable titles Hustle Kings and Motorstorm 3D Rift, Ridge Racer 7 3D and – wait for it… – 3D rereleases of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. With at least fifty percent of these titles being Playstation Move compatible, it may seem that Sony finally has some bite to its bark. If Sony are currently dominating the home console 3D market (and it is certainly looking this way), you may be wondering what is in store for the handheld – or portable – market. Since the Nintendo DSi launched back in early 2009, Nintendo have been accused of churning out remarkably similar ‘new’ handheld consoles. Until now these accusations have held a lot of truth (DS, DS Lite, DSi, DSi XL…), but with the announcement of the Nintendo 3DS at the Nintendo E3 conference earlier this year, it seems that the family gaming giants are finally giving us something new to play with. The 3DS uses a special process known

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The Social Network Director: David Fincher Release Date: 15/10/10 As the film’s tagline says “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies”. The Social Network depicts the birth of popular social networking site Facebook. Based on a true story, Mark Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland) and his best friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) co-found a website which condenses the social experience of university into the form of a website. As the term “Facebook me” begins to spread around Harvard University, the boys find that their project

is growing exponentially and could become a global phenomenon. Before long, Mark is the world’s youngest billionaire. Unfortunately, he faces two separate lawsuits for his past mistakes. The plot is revealed in the form of flashbacks, which keeps things fresh. However, a flaw in the film’s style is that the rapid transitions between court cases are quite hard to follow. The director was David Fincher, who also worked on Fight Club. However, the tone of The Social Network is less gritty than most of his other films. The film has a lot of dialogue and little action but what it lacks in suspenseful scenes it makes

up for with great writing. The script, penned by Aaron Sorkin, is witty and fastpaced. Jesse Eisenberg is well cast in his role - his sardonic delivery of lines makes his character funny, if not likeable. Andrew Garfield’s false American accent is convincing and doesn’t slip. His onscreen

FACT: ‘Podgy’ Justin Timberlake lost 17 pounds for this role, hoping that a skinner frame would make him look younger.

chemistry with Jesse makes their characters’ friendship feel more genuine. Justin Timberlake also performs well, ironically cast as the founder of music-sharing website Napster. Armie Hammer, aided by some flawless CGI, is able to play twins, which injects some more humour into the film .

The Life and Death of

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Charlie St. Cloud

Despite the charming cast, most of the characters in The Social Network aren’t very likeable. It’s fairly hard to relate to the upper class, pretentious Harvard students, but it’s still an evocative film. The focus on the importance of friendship and knowing who your real friends are is a relatable theme for all of the audience. Impressively, the film manages to remain fairly unbiased whilst it portrays real lawsuits and real people – all of the characters have flaws and strong points. For example, Mark is a genius but he is also incredibly arrogant. Facebook has become a large part of global culture with over 500 million active

users. It is fascinating to see the origins of something that is often taken for granted - people don’t usually consider how or why most popular websites were founded. The film gave a fairly accurate account of how the website came into fruition and although they took some artistic liberties, the attention to detail was fantastic. The wardrobe department even dressed Jesse in replicas of clothes that the real Mark Zuckerberg owns. Overall, The Social Network was an entertaining film. It was the perfect combination of intelligent humour and emotive drama. Amy Griffiths

Paranormal Activity 2

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Director: Bernard Rose Release Date: 8/10/10

The drug smuggling world has never looked so carefree and easy than in Mr. Nice. Rhys Ifans plays legendary Welsh drugsmuggler Howard Marks in this recent autobiography adaptation. The film tracks Howard’s rise from small town beginnings to his introduction to drugs at an Oxford University dorm, his rollercoaster life as the most wanted criminal in Wales and finally his friendship Jim McCann (David Thewlis), the leader of the IRA. Mr. Nice holds a lot of promise with the alwayscharming Rhys Ifans a constant joy to watch, however, the film falls with its lack of focus. It is not a

light-hearted caper film in the vein of Perriers Bounty that the trailer makes it out to be, nor is it a gritty biopic. There are enough comedic moments to keep people satisfied, with David Thewlis drawing a face on the end of his unmentionables being the most absurd, and there is plenty of heart-felt emotion as Marks is torn away from his family through the inevitable court cases and jail sentences. It is overall a solid and enjoyable British film, and with funding awarded by the soon-to-be abolished UK Film Council, Venue urges you to go see it before decent British films become a distant memory.

Tom Theedom

Director: Burr Steers Release Date: 8/10/10

Exploiting Zac Efron’s heartthrob status to the full, Charlie St Cloud tells the story of a talented and ambitious yachtsman who must learn to enjoy life again after the death of his brother. Help comes in the form of Amanda Crew, playing the beautiful sailing star love interest who is preparing for an around-theworld jaunt. Although heralded as Efron’s acting breakout, the young pin-up finds he has little to do but act broody whilst looking, like, so totally dreamy – seriously the camera really does love his face, only reluctantly leaving it for shots of the beautiful New England setting. A clunky script

filled with wince inducing dialogue, including such gems as “don’t squander the gift of life”. Meanwhile, gimmicky supernatural elements that never really make sense are introduced, leaving clumsy plot holes in its wake. Towards the end, as the pace accelerates the mawkish melodrama piles up, leading to a predictable and unsatisfying ending. That said, the photography is undoubtedly impressive and the brother’s death scene manages to wring out some emotion. Nevertheless, however much Charlie St. Cloud desperately tries to be a serious romantic drama, it unfortunately never makes it beyond being a clichéd teen weepy. Josh Weatherill

Director: Todd Williams Release Date: 22/10/10

After the success of Paranormal Activity, the sequel seeks to produce the same thrills and chilling tension. Set before its predecessor, the film centres upon a family whom, after a burglary, set up security cameras around their home, only to capture far more sinister events than they could have ever imagined. Creating a lot of expectation prior to its release, the question ultimately here is, is the film any good? The answer would be a resounding no. The first half of the film tries relentlessly to build expectations, and yet fails miserably to do so. When finally supernatural events

unfold, they generate a sense of comedy through their lack of originality. Many of the techniques of the previous film now become exhausted and predictable in the second. This similarity patronises an audience who can instantly guess when a door will shut or a light will turn off on its own. The horrifying truth is, Paranormal Activity 2 will lead you to laugh more than scream. Occasionally it delivers a few cheap scares, but the film sinks far too low in order to get a rush out of us - and in the end, the rush isn’t even that good. Lacking the unique and eerie brilliance of Paranormal Activity, the sequel seems to turn the horror genre into a joke. You’ll sleep fine after this one. Anna Eastick


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Vampires Suck Life as we Know it

Director: Martin Scorsese Release Date: 2/8/10

Director: Antoine Fuqua Release Date: 18/10/10

and soon realise their investigation is far from the only mysterious element. Daniels is a man teetering on the edge of a breakdown, flashbacks of his dead wife and his horrific experiences at Dachau augment the suspense created by the Island’s gothic qualities. The film proves incredibly enjoyable, harking back to B movie traditions; the extreme suspense, and overplayed dramatic moments demonstrate the film is quite aware of its pastiche qualities yet

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Samantha Rogers

Brooklyn’s Finest

Shutter Island

There is something knowingly indulgent about Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island; the feeling of foreboding is established right from the opening image of a ferry chugging towards a the mental asylum situated upon the island, against the foghorn-like soundtrack which ramps up the clichéd sense of unease. When a patient goes missing US Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo Di Caprio) and his partner (Mark Ruffalo) are brought onto the Island to investigate;. They are faced with a suspiciously uncooperative head doctor (Ben Kingsley)

What would you do if you found out your best friend and their spouse both died in a car crash? What would you do if they named you and your worst nightmare to be the legal guardians of their one year old baby girl? This is the premise of Life as We Know It. It was targeted as being a romantic-comedy but for this reviewer it is a film with much more depth. Life as We Know It is a film about friendship and love but most importantly, family. The film takes you on a journey of two people who have no idea how to get along, let alone how to raise a child. The two don’t even

have the chance to grieve over the death of their best friends which only heightens the emotions they feel at and about each other. It’s full of laughter, arguments, sadness and understanding. Katherine Hiegl plays the part of Holly perfectly, but this is a role known too often to an audience as once again she was cast as the always organised, totally independent female. On the other hand, it was a pleasant surprise to see Josh Duhamel in a part that wasn’t full of action-packed adventure; it showed that actually, he has the possibility to be versatile. This is a comedy about taking it one step at a time.

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Alexander Haines

Director: Greg Berlanti Release Date: 8/10/10

WIRED

Where to start? When there is a film this bad you can’t describe it without referring to colloquial terms which are not highly looked upon. For the sake of soiling any innocent ears out there here is a brief summary of the plot. Vampies Suck is basically a cheap parody of the Twilight ‘saga’, with the names changed and some of flat-line jokes thrown in. As it stands, this film has made $66,075,338 worldwide, posing the question: how has it made so much money? The sad truth is that there have become a niche cult of people who will

go to see these films. This unfortunately gives producers an incentive to keep producing them; they’re not looking to win an Oscar or BAFTA, they’re simply looking for a quick way to make money. They’re technically selling their poor creative minds for money, an obscure sort of prostitution if you will. In short, it’s wrong. To round up; this film is awful, don’t see it, don’t think about seeing it, don’t speak of it. Why? Because there is always a danger that someone may hear you and go see it, funding this atrocity of unoriginal film-making and ruining cinema.

maintains visually stunning production and an engaging script. The pace of the film belies the two-hours-plus running time; rarely are there scenes which prove overlong, indeed there are some genuinely unnerving moments. Many have bemoaned the obvious plot twists but allow yourself to be taken along with them, indulge in the film’s generic conventions, and you will find that an enjoyable night is to be had. Emily Bater

It’s hard to believe that Antoine Fuqua didn’t consider he might be setting himself up for disaster when he decided to allow the word ‘finest’ to be put in the title of his latest directing effort. ‘Finest’ is quite honestly the polar opposite of what comes to mind when thinking of this film. The story follows the lives of three NYPD cops: Sal (Ethan Hawke) playing dirty in his desperation to support his family; Tango (Don Cheadle) an undercover cop beginning to confuse where his

allegiance lies; and Eddie (Richard Gere) the burnout only days from retirement. The plot for each of these men was so predictable that even the twists and turns M. Martin’s script had planned were incredibly translucent. This leaves the viewer with a pretty clear idea of the conclusion right from the beginning which, when you consider the main component of a thriller is tension, really defeats the entire point of the film. The tired old Hollywood

clichés and stereotypes of cops and gangsters were reeled out to a laughable extent which further served to ruin the drama. With such a strong cast working alongside a director who holds an Oscar for his last cop film, Training Day, this film should have been so much more than it was and unfortunately you’ll definitely be disappointed.

Lorna Pontefract

CREATIVE WRITINg

Gabriella Colasurdo

Director: Jason Friedman, Aaron Seltzer Release Date: 15/10/10

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Despicable Me is another animated family flick that performs its role perfectly. Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is an ageing villain who desperately tries to remain the most devious in the competitive evil industry, comically funded by The Bank of...(well) Evil. Having stolen the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower though admittedly from Las Vegas, Gru sets out to pull off his biggest heist yet: stealing the moon! With his army of tic-tac shaped minions providing constant laughs, the predictable plot is actually rather enjoyable, and there are certainly a few moments

of laugh out loud hilarity. However, it is the three orphan girls who slowly go about melting Gru’s heart that really make the film. Moving from baddie to daddy, Gru becomes a loveable rouge, and even Carell’s terrible accent is excused. This film shows 3D animation at its best, examples include a distinctive theme park ride scene which is sure to win over its intended audience. Adults will also get a laugh at the small but amusing turns from crackpot inventor, Dr Nefario (Russell Brand), and Gru’s heartless mother (Julie Andrews). The familiar but fun little movie is definitely worth a trip to the cinema.

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Director: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud Release Date: 15/10/10

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Up and Coming... The Green Hornet (2011) is the latest in a string of comic book adaptations due to hit cinema screens early next year. In recent years, comic book fans have been treated to some high profile adaptations, including the X Men trilogy, a string of Batman films and three Spiderman films. Big budgets, Hollywood formulas, special effects and star names do not guarantee success and comic book adaptations have been responsible for some of the biggest flops of the decade; Pitof’s Catwoman (2004) starring Halle Berry and Johnson’s Daredevil (2003) starring

Ben Affleck being two of the worst culprits. It is unclear whether The Green Hornet will be another cash-fuelled remake or a gripping addition to the genre. On the surface, there is nothing to make it stand out from other super hero films. The Green Hornet‘s narrative echoes Batman; the spoiled son of a newspaper mogul lives the high life until his father is murdered. After inheriting his family’s wealth, he decides, with the help of his sidekick Kato, to fight crime with some jazzed up gadgets; a gas gun, the hornet’s famed double barrelled pistol, and

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basements, getting their rocks off to schlocky video nasties picked up from Blotchy Bob, down the market, Sunday afternoon, “three-fer-a-fiver, howsyer-father, oi-oi”. We good, upstanding land -mammal folk left them to it, regarding them, for the most part, as the sad and lonely adolescents they so clearly were, destined to forever fiddle with themselves whilst watching Camille Keaton stabbing hillbillies with pruning shears. In the mid-nineties, the horror community began to

The Girl

The Guy

There’s two things you

need to know about this guy; he’s very handsome,

which turns the Girl onto him, but has one major character flaw (generally arrogance) which turns her right back off again. Generally starts with a position of power to match

is a faithful adaptation or camp, gadget fuelled spoof?

Green Hornet have a fabled past reaching cult status in the sixties as a TV show starring Bruce Lee as Kato

Hornet. The current trailer is lacklustre promising a tired formula of objectified women, macho roles, explosives and bad puns. Previous releases of The

the Hornets sidekick. Any super hero who had Bruce Lee as a sidekick is going to leave big shoes to step in to in the future and many Hornet fans are opposed to

this remake. They are furious with Seth Rogan’s involvement. The Green Hornet’s principle writer and star Rogen made his reputation on tongue and cheek comedies such as Superbad (2007) and The Pineapple Express (2008). The fear is that he will turn The Green Hornet in to a light hearted Batman spoof. It is easy to understand why fans of the TV show and comic are concerned (deserting the preview at the global comics convention in San Diego in droves). However there are film fans and critics alike who are reacting against the

backlash. Speculating over the possibilities of two high profile professionals such as Gondry and Rogan working together you can see where they are coming from. Perhaps the greatest example of a comic book interpretation is Tim Burton’s Batman Returns (1989) where the aesthetic of Tim Burton’s trade mark sets and shrewd casting combine with Bob Kane greatest Batman script to create a true modern masterpiece. Whether Rogan’s involvement will be a disaster or an innovative take on the super hero story for a new decade; we will have to wait and see.

Tom McInnes questions the morality of the new school of horror; is it just light-hearted splatter or sadistic ‘entertainment’?

show some real progression – original plots and wellwritten characters, even satire and analogy, began to rear their heads amongst the corn syrup and animal

The Popcorn Chart

Generally the protagonist, because, let’s be honest, she has more in common with the target audience then the man does. She is either a naïve little girl, in a fresh environment, with love the first thing on her mind (if she’s under 25), or mistress of her life, and incredibly driven by work, with love the last thing on her mind (if she’s over 25). Either way, she has one major hole in her life that can only be filled by...

James Dockeray asks whether the new The Green Hornet

a slick automobile. There is some controversy surrounding the remake of The Green

Talking Movies

“Oh, me and my vapid girlfriend are just off to see the new Saw flick… yeah, I know it’s stupid, we just watch them because they’re so funny.” How? When did the realistic representation of prolonged human agony become something we pay £5.50 to go and laugh at every year? “His hand’s been crushed in a vice AHAHAHAHA!” “His limbs are slowly being twisted off AHAHAHAHA!” In the past, ‘gore hounds’ were a small subculture of earth-dwelling movie buffs spending their weekends huddled in their parents’

film

carcasses. Would the horror genre once again become a widely-respected cinematic form? Things certainly looked to be going that way. This week

latest Saw, the more these Hollywood whores will bore poor folks with Saw-like cinematic chores – another four before the year is out – of that you can be sure. (That probably took more effort than writing any one chapter in the franchise). There’s nothing fun, or funny, about the concept of pain. If there were, Schindler’s List would be a laugh riot. If you go and see Saw 3D, you’re laughing at the Holocaust. FACT.

Tom McInnes

Tim Bates offers a helpful service: five telltale signs that you’re watching a ‘chick flick’...

his attitude (the classic is, he’s her boss). Of course, it will all turn out that he always was, or will become, a much better man then he starts out, helped by...

comments/ goofball antics from this character, but for him or her to eventually help their friend realise what’s best for them, which is...

The Sidekick

The Relationship

This character needs to be immediately made one of two things: unattractive (if he’s the guy’s friend) or, already married (if she’s the girl’s friend). Either way, this is so the audience know straight away: there’s no romance here. They are the ‘com’ part of the term ‘rom-com’, so expect plenty of snarky

But then, somewhere along the line, someone shat in the hamper, and the picnic was ruined for everyone. Except, of course, those who like to bathe in their own proverbial excrement. Turns out, they were in the majority. The Saw films are badlywritten, poorly-acted and derivative as all hell – they know it and you know it, and yet these flicks still continue to fill screens, then seats, then bank accounts. The only draw is the gore any sane person would deplore, and the more you pour into the cinemore to watch the

‘haven’t met’ to ‘happily ever after’: initial hostility, brought about by some knee-jerk personality clash; developing depth, as they each discover aspects of each other that they like, and become closer for it; later conflict, as this depth is shattered by a much deeper issue then the one that troubled them before; and final reconciliation, helped massively by...

The Airport Scene There’s four parts to how these characters get from

This thing has been around since Casablanca (though, interestingly, there, it went the other way), and we all

know how they go these days: one of the leads is making some big change, represented by moving somewhere else; other lead becomes depressed about it, gets shown what’s really important by their sidekick, makes a mad, spontaneous, selfless gesture, to completely erase all the deep problems the couple ever had forever, making for one happy ending. Can be replaced by a train station, if necessary.

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ALBUM REVIEWS

Think Kings of Leon, you think Sex on Fire, however, some of us will remember the days before these four son-of-a-preacher hillbillies had inflamed intercourse. Last Friday, Kings of Leon brought out their fifth album entitled Come Around Sundown. The first single Radioactive reached #7 in the chart; a modest effort, but will the album do the same? Opening track The End sounds rather pessimistic and, with echoing piano twinkling, it’s way behind the slow thud of the bass drum, it feels more tender than their previous album; Caleb’s gracefully grainy vocals bathing your body in goosebumps.

COMEDY FILM MUSIC WIRED

Ant Firth-Clark

JIMMY EAT WORLD: INVENTED Opening with a ballad is not what us old Kings of Leon fans expect, we liked it when we were hit in the face with head-banging, body-shaking Red Morning Light style anthems. It’s been seven years since their debut album though; maybe we should just accept that these boys have grown up. Moving through the record, it seems that stand-out track, that will rack up about 58 plays in your iTunes in three hours, is missing. Then it becomes clear that this is not a record made up of singles, it is an album that must be listened to holistically. Take it apart and it sounds unfinished, but when listened to continually you could find something different every time you listen to it. There are glimpses of experimentation in this record; Back Down South sounds like Billy Ray Cyrus helped the boys out a little and with soft slide guitar and rhythm provided by gentle tambourine, it shows the rockers giving us a little taste of the south (minus the fried chicken unfortunately). Come Around Sundown still holds elements of old school Kings of Leon and ultimately, if you like the Leon Lads, you should buy it, you will listen to it and learn to love it (more than Only By The Night anyway). Hana Lockier

No matter what Jimmy Eat World album you’re listening to you’re asking for a rollercoaster ride into polished emo, much in the vein of Dashboard Confessional and Jack’s Mannequin, but slightly more socially acceptable. Invented brings no surprises in that sense. The album does what they do best; big guitars with catchy lyrics all brought together with their obvious development as a band, which is what you’d expect after 16 years. This isn’t a comeback but more an accumulation; Invented sees JEW reunite with Mark Trombino, the genius behind their seminal fourth album Bleed American

and Trombino’s production again seems to energize their songs, showcasing just what makes this band incredible. There are some classic Jimmy Eat World songs; Evidence and Movielike are instantly recognisable and their single My Best Theory may not be the best song on the record but sticks to their roots. Mixtape and Invented are both 6 minutes plus and they tend to drag despite their beautiful harmonies. The stand out track on the album is opener Heart is Hard to Find because it manages to encapsulate the albums progression and gets better with each listen. The stomping beat, chimes and mystic orchestration are hard to deny. Action Needs America is the penultimate song which seems to be channelling their punk rock roots, with slightly more distorted guitar if that’s more your thing, either way the growling anger of the chorus offers a rocking tune. Invented once again delivers the perfect break up compilation; managing to tug at your heart strings whilst also making you want to jump up and relive being 15. The album is a beautiful journey and a collection of excellent songs which can safely sit side by side with those of their earlier albums. Fiona Howard

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KINGS OF LEON: COME AROUND SUNDOWN

efforts of Eminem and Rihanna, or B.o.B. and that emo chick. Not necessarily bad, just mass-produced. Halfway through the album and the sound of his voice has become so nauseating that it’s ruining whatever remote appeal he had at the start. Tempah sounds like a weak Lil Wayne, he’s probably got “Sizzurrp” confused with “Calpol”. Although negativity is dominating this review, it’s got to be noted that Miami 2 Ibiza is a solid tune, though unfortunately it’s not down to Tinie’s charming and original lyrics, but rather the emphatic production of Swedish House Mafia who just can’t falter. Disc-Overy continues with its mundane thematic style until its closing. It’s a disappointing album, which could have been a lot better if approached with at least mild integrity. There’s not much to discover here except that Tinie Tempah is just the next in the queue of underachieving grime MCs that are being moulded into a product which can be marketed and sold. Absolute swag. Still though, he’ll be laughing all the way to the bank…

CREATIVE WRITINg

Tinie Tempah is the next in a long line of gritty, grime MCs who’ve discarded their 8-bar wordplay verses in substitution for pop-dance-rap. Disc-Overy is the culmination of Tempah’s efforts. The album begins with an intro that defines the crisp music production which runs throughout. The minor chord progression, similar to the intro of a drum ‘n’ bass tune, is enough to get the worst of us hyped, but instead of a sexplosive drop the hook is just mundanely looped, quite the anticlimax considering it gives the false hope that it’s building up to something; maybe the build-up to the rest

of the album…hmm, shallow and pedantic. Unfortunately, the impeccable (yet somewhat standard) production is as positive as this review gets. Tempah’s (or more like the now lack of temper’s) rhyming flow feels more like the one-liner standard of Jimmy Carr, rather than that of an experienced grime MC. At least Jimmy Carr has content and delivery – honestly Tinie, what were you taking when you decided going to Southampton, not Scunthorpe, was ever going to be a lyric worth using?! Continuing through the album, the music runs a consistency of some hybrid of Crunk, RnB and DnB but without any seamless interplay. It’s a bit like turtles having sex; it doesn’t sound right. On top of this, the melodies are so drab, cheesy, and they pull at your heartstrings so much that even David Guetta would cringe. These are clearly songs made for underage nightclubs. Reaching the song Snap and the music seems to be shaping up, the indieinstrumental hip-hop vibe is actually quite pleasing to listen to if you’re able to block out the vocals over the top. Huge chart topper Written in the Stars hints at a similar sales-boosting formula which follows the

LISTINGS

TINIE TEMPAH: DISC-OVERY

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DINOSAUR PILE-UP GROWING PAINS

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When Dinosaur Pile-Up first came to public attention around late 2008 with the release of My Rock’n’Roll, they did so with enough exuberant punch to herald the arrival of an exciting fresh face on the guitar rock scene. This is not to say that DP-U are particularly original. Growing Pains is pretty much a tribute to late-80s and early-90s alternative rock, in that it sounds basically the same as loads of bands from that era. It’s retro as f*ck. In fact, it’s so retro it’s practically post-modern in its vision – there’s been a lot of bands dredging up awful 80s influences in the last few years, but DP-U might just be the first 90s nostalgia band.

THE FRESH AND ONLYS PLAY IT STRANGE

It’s been thrown their way time and time again by lazy journalists. Yes, DP-U do sound a bit like Nirvana – they play uncomplicated, heavy yet melodic rock, songs that combine massive choruses with as few chords as possible and they do sing about teenage angst and alienation. Really though, they owe more to the likes of Weezer, the Pixies and especially Foo Fighters, idolised by DP-U singer/guitarist Matt Bigland. These influences are hardly subtle on Growing Pains; first track and recent single Birds and Planes would slot comfortably into any Foos album and the opening guitar riff on Never That Together seems to have been lifted directly from the Pixies’ Surfer Rosa. Rather than capitalise on the buzz surrounding their first singles, DP-U chose to retreat and record their debut at their own pace. They emerged some two years later, only to find that the world had mostly forgotten about them and it could be tough to reclaim the hype. It would be a shame for them to become confined to tiny bars and grimy clubs, as such a songwriting talent has the potential for much larger things. Tom Duffy

NEON INDIAN PSYCHIC CHASMS

Over the past year no sub-genre has spawned as much debate among blog-happy muso’s as ‘chillwave’. Polarised camps have praised it as ground breaking and derided it as pretentious. Harking back to a bygone age of Nintendo, cassettes and John Hughes movies, what is for sure is that chillwave is heavy on the nostalgia. At the forefront of this movement stands Neon Indian, aka Alan Palomo, who fuses elements of lo-fi, electronica and dreampop in debut album Psychic Chasms. Originally released a year ago in the US it is certainly an offbeat, psychedelic affair. It is distinct in its lazy, sun- drenched sound which is achieved through a clever mix of synth loops and

The most important consideration that you should have upon browsing this review is that this will never be anybody’s favourite album. Certainly it’s enjoyable, in a summery, foot-tapping sort of way, but that’s where it ends. If we dip below the well-produced surface of hair-clipper guitars and fervent, happy-clappy drumming, it becomes clear that it’s all been done before. Go back to 1985 and you’ll find a band called the Jesus and Mary Chain who made an album called Psychocandy. This was a ground breaking record and has yet to be bested as THE landmark noise-pop album. The Fresh & Onlys do show diverse influences, but there

is the nagging feeling that this isn‘t the sort of band that kids go wild for. I’m All Shook Up, Summer of Love and Fascinated are all solid pop songs with plenty of fun and sparkle, except they sound as though they were penned respectively by The Coral, The Damned and The Beach Boys. There’s nothing wrong with respecting and paying tribute to your influences; no music is truly original anyway so we should give The Fresh & Onlys fair dues, and after all the sun was shining, and we did enjoy listening to it. Yes, it‘s a bit pedestrian but it’s very inoffensive and probably isn‘t going to rouse any strong emotions either way. If you like tambourines, guerilla-girl backing vocals and Californian drawls, then look no further, but don’t expect to be spinning it in a month’s time; at best it’s background music for a barbecue, but not for a la carte dining next summer. And since winter is now almost upon us, the Fresh & Onlys may be lacking in plays come spring, being forever resigned to that ignoble status of remaining in our iTunes so that girls will think our music tastes are obscure and eclectic. Will Newton

DEERHUNTER HALCYON DIGEST sampling. Tracks such as Deadbeat Summer and Terminally Chill make sublime standalone singles, but this album is certainly best appreciated as a whole. Each song blends seamlessly in and out of the next, inducing listeners into a spaced out, nostalgic state. Although this facilitates a sense of continuity as the album progresses, three tracks are under a minute long and possess limited value. However, this is countered by the inclusion of newly released single, Sleep Paralysist and a bonus collection of remixes: expanding the album to 20 tracks in all. The remixes, by artists such as Toro Y Moi and The Antlers, are an interesting but ultimately an unnecessary addition to the album. With its dreamy, slacker driven ethos this is the album that should have been the soundtrack to your summer, but its UK release is both late and untimely. Unfortunately, what was a burgeoning scene upon the initial release of Psychic Chasms has already become a defunct genre. With an influx of imitators the chillwave market looks to become as saturated as Neon Indian’s daze inducing beats. However, while chillwave may have prematurely run its course, Psychic Chasms remains as both its first, and finest, example. Jordan Bright

Atlanta’s got a funny old scene. On the one hand, it produced both Usher and Justin Bieber. On the other, there’s Deerhunter, fronted by the über prolific Bradford Cox. To put his work ethic into context, this is his sixth album (two of which were under his solo electronic moniker, Atlas Sound) in less than four years, not to mention numerous collaborations and the five hundred-odd cassettes he reckons he has in storage. He’s said that this new LP mainly concerns ‘the way that we write and rewrite and edit our memories to be a digest version of what we want to remember’, and while this does come across in some of the more candid lyrics (‘That October / He

came over every day / The smell of loose leaf / Joints on jeans and we would play’) it’s most apparent in the music itself, a dreamy collage of half-heard riffs and electronic fills drifting around a hazy vocal. On some tracks, such as the unreasonably addictive Revival, these textures are blend with pop hooks. Elsewhere, wave upon wave of guitars and electronic noise build and intensify, most notably during gorgeous album highlights Helicopter and Desire Lines; the four minute breakdown that sees off the latter is the closest the album gets to the noisy squall of 2008’s Microcastle, and very nearly outdoes it. There’s even sax on Coronado; Apparently, ‘Next year everyone’s gonna have a saxophone on their record because saxophones are just cool.’ Closing proceedings is He Would Have Laughed, a tribute to the late Jay Reatard. The lyrics channel Jay in his last days, alone and broken by his own ambition (‘I don’t know where to go / I know my friends would... I know where my friends are now.’) Perhaps the darkest, most authentic tribute in music history, it ends in the middle of a sentence; why should a song about premature death end where it’s meant to? Duncan Vicat-Brown


You’re touring with [former Pennywise singer Jim Lindberg’s] The Black Pacific. Is it good to be playing with someone whose music you’ve listened to for so long? We love Jim and we love Pennywise, we’ve been friends with those guys for a long time so it’s great to play shows with him on this tour. How are you feeling after the incident in Japan? It’s my back! I got jumped by three random people in Japan and I’m still not back to normal. It’s a problem I’ve had before and it’s pretty painful, but I’m just going to try to do my best to play these shows. How’s the new CD sounding? I think it’s the best thing we’ve ever done. We’re really looking forward to playing the songs live too because it’s so exciting hearing the reactions to them.

Things didn’t work out with producer Gill Norton. What happened there? We started out working together and we worked with him for a couple of months, but it just wasn’t going the way we wanted it to. It’s nothing against him or us, it’s just a different process and it tends to go that way. There was the sense that it wasn’t quite working. You’ve produced a couple of Sum 41 albums now including this one, and you did work for Avril Lavigne and Cone’s Operation MD. Is it something you want to do on a bigger scale? No I hate producing! I don’t even want to do it for us. I don’t like it at all. It’s just a necessity and for some reason it works best for the band when I do it myself.

What has new guitarist Tom Thacker brought to the band? As far as the album goes not much has changed since the beginning. But with the live show, its different - he plays a lot of guitar solos. He’s a mean guitar player with a lot of metal riffs. And he’s been singing some songs, too. He’s singing a couple of cover songs sometimes, which sound great. You worked with Iggy Pop a while back. Is there any other artist that you’d particularly like to work with that you haven’t had the opportunity to yet? I’d love to work with Elvis Costello. It’s not something I think about all the time, but I’d love to work with him. I’ve listened to him for a long time. It’s been almost 10 years since you released AKNF. Have you still got the drive to do this? Definitely. I couldn’t do this otherwise. It’s just because I love it. I wouldn’t do this for any other reason. Sum 41 play at the LCR on 27th October Tickets on sale now!

GIG REVIEWS

COMPS LISTINGS

[Leaked track] Skumfuk seemed to get a good reaction... Yeah, but Skumfuk’s the worst song on this album! Don’t get me wrong, I like the song alright. But the whole album is so much better than that. It’s definitely the best work we’ve done so far.

COMEDY

Is it exciting to be back on the road after so long? Yeah, we’ve been off for quite a while, but playing these shows is the best part of being in a band. That’s why we started playing in the first place.

FILM

In anticipation of Sum 41’s headlining appearance on the Eastpak Antidote Tour, Venue’s own Alex Ross caught up with frontman Deryck Whibley for a bit of a chat...

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INTERVIEW: SUM 41

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cubical workers and even the occasional walking stick wielder, it was impossible not to notice the diversity. Similarly starkly apparent was the devotion of their fans; the bass purred and the crowd vibrated – throughout the entirety of the live performance nobody stood still. However, more distinctive than illicit clothing, flourishing brass and raving grandmothers was the on-stage relationship between band members. Their gratitude for each other and the charisma that demonstrated it hummed appreciatively beneath the bass. Grinning with animation, Findlay consistently directed the attention of the audience to his counterparts about to perform, a renowned element in one of Groove Armada’s staggeringly famous tracks; there was a prominent eagerness to credit those deserving – which was unquestionably everybody on stage. It turned out to be an astoundingly impressive night punctuated by an exclusive atmosphere that Groove Armada achieved effortlessly. Harry Slater

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Genre-conquering duo Groove Armada (Andy Cato and Tom Findlay) immersed an energised and dedicated crowd in their characteristically fruitful fusion of jazz, funk, rap, dance and house, upholding their legacy formed from rapid success during the mid-nineties. Although Monday’s performance was recently confirmed to be a night in their final tour for up to three years, vitality continued to pulse hard until the very end. SaintSaviour, Groove Armada’s current frontwoman and primary vocalist on their latest album Black Light, captivated fans with her beautifully freakish, slightly unnerving and disjointed, yet remarkably fluid display of rhythm (it is great to

witness, but too complex to describe without sounding laughably hypocritical). Beginning the night with Look Me In the Eye Sister, her studio-quality vocals are carried on a deep coarseness that hints at the accent of a New Yorker - unusual for a Londoner, but not totally unforeseen thanks to her “NEW F*CKING YORK” t-shirt. A guest appearance from MC Mike Daniel (aka M.A.D.) warped time in the LCR when he took to the stage with Superstylin’. From the left emerged a crew member with Cato’s legendary trombone; the atmosphere peaked and was accentuated by one of the most renowned fanfares of all time. Shortly afterwards muted tones were reverberating, signalling the arrival of At The River (the music from the M&S advert for those who are wondering – shame on you). The audience, comprised of a broad range of ages, clearly reflected how extensively Groove Armada have influenced both the industry and people’s taste. Made up of 14 year-olds, undergraduates, thirty-something office

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EXAMPLE: LCR 13/10/10 It’s a Wednesday night and the LCR is packed with an elated audience eagerly awaiting one of the most anticipated British acts of this year. Example well and truly lives up to his nickname; with a string of successful chart toppers and festival domination over the summer, he is very much the man of the moment. Pitched somewhere between Calvin Harris and Dizzee Rascal, Example achieved this success with what he has dubbed ‘dysfunctional pop’; providing a blend of charisma and quick-witted lyrics over infectious beats. As a performer, he exudes charm and confidence which sometimes verges on arrogance, but is lapped up by the audience nonetheless. His lyrics seem to cover all the trials and tribulations of the youth of today and this clearly strikes a chord with the enthusiastic audience. But tonight his daytime radio tunes are freshened, courtesy of his on-stage DJ who turns the gig into a mini rave. With a sweating, chanting audience, glow sticks akimbo, and even a mosh pit to Kickstarts, the

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tracks move freely between electro, house, dubstep and drum ‘n’ bass, but the lyrics the audience know and love remain intact. Example’s merging of genres is what makes him so marketable; he cleverly embraces diverse sonics and intertwines his rapping and singing skilfully. This unique blend can also be heard in tonight’s supporting act. Ed Sheeran, Suffolk’s local boy, and winner of ‘East Anglia’s Next Big Thing’, provided a fitting start to the night. Ed’s trademark mix of acoustic guitar, complex lyrics and beatboxing was on offer in abundance, yet it seems a shame that such a bright young star should still be doing the same thing he was doing last year. Nevertheless the night ended on a high for both acts and seemed to encapsulate British music at the moment; class musicians, whose music is uplifting in these depressing times, whether providing unapologetic hedonist beats, truthful statements, or hard-hitting lyrics, these guys do it with a flourish. Dolly Smith

BOWLING FOR SOUP: LCR 15/10/10 Sold out in advance, the front of the stage filled up with eager young teens within 15 minutes of the doors opening, and, from overheard conversations, it appeared that many gig virginities were lost that night. Openers The Dollyrots seemed well-known in the first two rows, but the nasal voice of wind-up, toy-like front woman Kelly Ogden did little to enthuse the rest of the room, and the impromptu appearance of BFS’s Jaret and Erik seemed sloppy, especially when they covered the Cheers theme. Despite sounding like a 14-year-old girl’s dream, Forever The Sickest Kids delivered a more promising set, complete with crowd participation and big, sing-along choruses which got the biggest cheers of all the support acts. Punk legends A willed the spectators into believing their heavier style, but the average age of the audience meant much of their appeal was lost, though the punch of classic hit Nothing finished the set off with a satisfactory feeling

that the crowd remembered their name . Bowling For Soup were, as expected, ready with the toilet humour and sex jokes, but in a thoroughly enjoyable way. Hit songs such as 1985 and The Bitch Song got the mob dancing, while a mid-Punk Rock 101 transition into a recording of Cee-Lo Green’s F**k You brought more laughs. The whole set oozed fun until even the most indifferent of the on-lookers “put up [their] rock hands”. The screen at the back of the stage was a bit unnecessary in a venue that size, streaming footage that distracted from the group itself; the fans didn’t pay to watch music videos all night. Regardless, the band has been around longer than some of its supporters have been alive and songs like Girl All The Bad Guys Want and High School Never Ends have a timelessness that attracts anyone who remembers what being an awkward teenager was like. Ellie Kumar

MANIC STREET PREACHERS: LCR 15/10/10 To begin by stating the obvious, most bands don’t make it to the 20- year mark in their careers; after splitting up for a variety of reasons including drugs, musical differences, drugs, lack of recognition, drugs, or simply the gradual onset of middle age and the realisation they’re not cool anymore. (But mostly drugs.) Of the bands that do make it that far, many cannot hope to have held onto the fire, spark and purpose of their early days (see U2 and the Rolling Stones for ample evidence of this.) However, the Manic Street Preachers are evidently not like most bands. Really, how many punk-glam-stadium-rock bands with lyrics featuring political sloganeering and cultural comment can you name? Perhaps this is the secret of their success and longevity; nobody else does what the Manics do, so they have to keep doing it. Having recently released their tenth studio album, Postcards From A Young Man, described by bass-player/ lyricist Nicky Wire as “one last shot at mass communication”, the Manics clearly have a point to prove as they bring their

own glorious version of rock’n’roll to the LCR. Strolling onstage to a visual backdrop which could almost be described as regal were it not for the sparkly mannequins with feather boas dotted around them, the band instantly launch into old favourite You Love Us. James Dean Bradfield’s lead guitar is instantly familiar and thrilling and perhaps most importantly LOUD as he swaggers around the stage. The way he screams “your love is like a holocaust” at the chorus is both ridiculous and brilliant in a way that few, if any, new bands today seem to be able to pull off. What follows is basically a set of greatest hits from across the band’s career with a few new songs thrown in, except they have to leave out some of their best songs, because at this stage in their career they apparently have too many hits to cram into a two hour set. When a band is pulling out a stone cold classic like Motorcycle Emptiness as the third song in, you know they have some seriously big guns in reserve. Highlights among these include; the shimmering firework guitars of If You Tolerate This Your

Children Will Be Next; the sight of the LCR roof buckling as it struggles to contain the colossal stadium-sized magnitude of No Surface All Feeling and Everything Must Go; and an acoustic section which features a trumpet player on Ocean Spray and Bradfield imploring the audience to “Jump with me!” during You Stole The Sun From My Heart. Of the new songs, It’s Not War (Just The End Of Love) features a bombastic chorus and Golden Platitudes is a graceful lament with its refrain of “Where did the feeling go?/Where did it all go wrong?”. Overall, it looks like the Manic Street Preachers circa 2010 are thoroughly enjoying themselves, as are their audience. Predictably, the gig ends with A Design For Life, and, predictably, it is awesome. Jamie Lewis Flip over the page for some emphatic pictures and an in depth analysis of the Manic’s history in Norwich...


James Dean Bradfield at the LCR. Photo: Alec Plowman

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Alec Plowman, with special thanks to Rob Harding.

closet and returned to being brutal. How could that side of the band coexist alongside their other, altogether more polished aesthetic? It couldn’t. While the band might have tried to get around it by dividing the track list on their 2008 dates into separate JFPL and greatest hits sets, they’d inadvertently created a Jekyll and Hyde situation. There were two different bands called Manic Street Preachers, a fact that the group had suddenly drawn attention to. Would they pin their colours back onto the pop mast, or mutiny once again as a militia of discontent? This year’s comeback single It’s Not War (It’s Just The End Of Love) left anyone hoping for the latter sorely disappointed, this writer included. It’s the reason he’d approached their 5th Norwich performance (this time at the LCR) on October 17th with some trepidation. He was wrong to do so. He’d quickly realise that (not for the first time in his life), in his

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Richey after the “4 Real” incident at the Norwich Arts Centre, 1991

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It’s the small hours of the morning on the 16th May 1991 and Manic Street Preachers should be on their way to the next gig of their UK tour. Instead, three quarters of the band are sat in the waiting room at the Norwich and Norfolk Hospital. They’re waiting for their fourth man to be stitched back up. Earlier that night, the Welsh four piece played their first performance in Norwich at the Arts Centre on St. Benedicts Street. By most accounts, the gig was a blast, testament to the band’s self-proclaimed promise of a New Art Riot that they’d heralded with the title of their debut EP. Steve Lamacq of the NME, however, was not convinced. In an argument with the band backstage, he’d questioned their motives, accusing them of abusing punk ethics. Richey Edwards, the Manics’ lyricist and rhythm guitarist, had decided to respond with a move that would prove his authentic credentials. He took a razor blade out of his pocket and carved the words “4 Real” into his own arm. It was a move that would push the band into notoriety and define their uncompromising, no holds barred approach for the next four years. If you’re reading this as a casual Manics listener, chances are that you’ve been taken aback. With good reason, too. The band that played at the Arts Centre back in ’91 was a very different beast to the group responsible for slew of late ‘90s alt rock anthems that they would become most famous for. That difference had a lot to do with the absence of a key member. Richey Edwards, the troubled soul that had slashed himself up in front of Steve Lamacq was the lyrical lynchpin of Manics Mk I. On February 1st 1995, after bouts of depression, addiction and anorexia, he disappeared off the face of the earth. His car was found by the Severn bridge in Wales two weeks later. His band mates, changed by the experience of losing their best friend, respond by releasing Everything Must Go in 1996. It’s an album that sounds like mourning, stripped away of the visceral and confrontational sound of 1994’s opus The Holy Bible. EMG would produce their signature single, A Design For Life. It’s a brilliant condemnation of the destructive drinking culture of the South Welsh Valleys. It would also signal the end of the glam-punk-cum-militia anti-heroics that had characterised the heady days of the band’s youth. Manics Mk II was a cleaner and leaner

initial condemnation, he’d missed the point. The house lights dim in the LCR and a collective breath is held. Tonight’s show is sold out. It’s also a very diverse crowd. A ragtag assemblage of 16-50 year olds in getups that range from leopard-print glam to smart-casual via mismatched army threads have gathered for the Manic Street Preachers’ return to East Anglia. This writer is in the photo pit, palms sweating, and suffering from a severe case of lens envy (he consoles himself by thinking that the other photographers’ massive cameras are probably substitutes for their small dicks). There’s an anxious air as the band takes to the stage, James Dean Bradfield and Sean Moore in black military getup, Nicky Wire a lanky Adonis of fur coats and sailor hats. They run with it. 1992’s You Love Us slams into Motorcycle Emptiness by way of 2006’s Your Love Alone Is Not Enough. Left hook, right hook, left. Tonight, they’re elder statesmen in name only, playing like a band half their age. The transition between the snot nosed nihilism of their earlier material and the accessible anthemics of their latter day chart successes is seamless. It’s also completely sincere. It was the sincerity that the writer had missed with his initial observation. He’d become so occupied with what the band’s “find your truth, face your truth, speak your truth, be your truth” mantra had meant when it was birthed in 1995 (the lyrics are from Judge Yr’self, the band’s final track with Richey) that he hadn’t realised they’d been doing it ever since. The band was speaking their truth on the stage at the LCR that night and for the first time he really listened. Boy, did it sound good. In fact, it sounded better than good, it sounded honest. Whether a late 90’s chart smash or a slab of jarring, Orwellian discontent, every song that the Manics threw down was so devoid of bulls**t that it hit you right between the eyes; a light bulb moment of unmitigated inspiration. In two hours, they didn’t falter, waver or shy away from that honesty. What’s more, as he realised in that moment, they never had.

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version, altogether more accessible, and altogether more radio friendly. Bands change. It’s a fact of life. If you’re trying to be an angry young man when you’re 35, it just isn’t going to work. You channel your emotions and act your age. You age as gracefully as a rock ‘n’ roll star can. The Manics did just that, and rightly received the due attention for it. When the band became the NME’s ‘Golden Gods’ in 2007, it was an award befitting of their beckoning elder statesmen status. It’s a path down which they could have comfortably continued, unquestioned by the press and welcomed by their fans. Instead, they went and did something rather rash. They started recording a sequel to The Holy Bible, writing songs with the unused lyrics of their missing member. Surprisingly, it wasn’t crap. In fact, Journal For Plague Lovers was probably their best album since its 1994 predecessor. It also caused a bit of problem. The Manics, after 14 years of courting the charts, had pulled their skeletons (and army rags) back out of the

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MANIC STREET PREACHERS: FACE YOUR TRUTH

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Nicky Wire at the LCR. Photo: Alec Plowman


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CONCRETE’S BEST JOKES

concrete.event@uea.ac.uk

Headmaster:Your father should be here any minute now and we’ll get this all straightened out. (There is a knock at the door and the headmaster answers it. Into the office steps your archetypical 70s pimp with fur coat, cane huge pink hat etc.) Headmaster: Ah, Mr. Icarus. Thank you for coming at such short notice. Icarus: Sup, fool? Headmaster: Well, I’m afraid it’s your son, Mr. Icarus. His attendance has taken a rather startling downturn and his behaviour is becoming a real cause for concern. Icarus: What y’all want from me, cracker-ass-cracker? Headmaster: You see, your sons’ teachers and I have got together and discussed possible causes for his bad behaviour and we think the problem may be coming from home. To be blunt, Mr. Icarus, we think you’ve been fly too close to your son. Icarus: Say what? Headmaster: What’s more, your sons grades have been declining - he was at one time a top, A-grade student, but more recently his essay results have placed him more in the B-grade category. Were worried, Mr. Icarus, that if you continue to be fly too close to your son, he’ll plummet into the C. Icarus: Dayym, ho. Tom McInnes Most people don’t know this, but Henry VIII had his second wife killed for walking too slowly... He was tired of her anne-bo-lyn

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Alec Plowman What’s white and can’t climb trees?

comedy Names to Drop

Hannibal Buress Age: 27

Aziz Ansari Age: 27

What’s his style? Laid back, conversational and dry observational comedy on a range of increasingly bizarre topics, from fire trucks to Flaming Dr. Peppers.

Where have I seen that face before? He was Raaaaandy in Funny People, and has appeared in a few other Apatow films. He also played the racist fruit vendor in Flight of The Conchords.

What does Chris Rock think? “If Steven Wright, Mos Def and Dave Chappelle had a baby, that would be disgusting, but it would sound like Hannibal Buress. The funniest young comic I’ve seen in years.”

Why is he a ‘name to drop’? He’s indie as hell, having worked with Dave Sitek, Tapes n’ Tapes, David Cross and Ghostface Killah to name but a few.

Typical gag? “When people go through something rough in life, they say, ‘I’m taking it one day at a time.’ Yes. So is everybody. Because that’s how time works.”

Typical gag? I heard this big rap producer bragging; ‘Hey, hey -- why don’t you try making four beats a day for two summers?’ What a dangerously specific challenge that is.”

Yoghurt Will Donovan

Hannibal’s live album, My Name Is Hannibal, is out now

REVIEW: Bo Burnham - Words Words Words Bo Burnham is very good at what he does, and has been since he began postingYouTube videos at the age of sixteen. Now, at the ripe old age of twenty, he has a second live album out, so set your cell phones to vibrate and your vibrators to, um, cell phone…er… mode… What he does are outrageously politicallyincorrect raps and ballads peppered with outrageously politically-incorrect one-liners revolving around sexuality, religion, race and all those other hot potato subjects. Some would argue that comedy reliant on controversy alone is going for the cheap and easy laugh, and they’d be right – there’s no mystery to political incorrectness. You can

be sure that if the setup involves a sensitive subject, the punch line will be insensitive, inflammatory or otherwise shocking. Contemporary shock-comics often fall back on this very post-modern idea that because their humour is always firmly tongue-incheek, always ‘knowing’, always played with a grin and a wink, that they are really making some post-modern comment on society’s perceptions of blah blah blah… Bo is no different, but that’s not to say he isn’t funny or talented – he’s both, but often inspite of his more provocative material. What’s most impressive about Bo is his incredible understanding and manipulation

of language, and when he hits, as he does on about 60% of this latest full-length, it’s enough to make your jaw drop, skip back, and listen to three more times. Listening to him fill four minutes with at least forty very inventive and often hilarious puns, piled atop literary references, political commentary and biting social satire can be a marvel to witness (aurally witness… hear). You’re unlikely to hear a funnier set of songs and gags this year. We can only hope that as the young man matures as an artist, he’ll learn to be as inventive with his subject matter as he is with his language. Tom McInnes

Aziz’s new live album, Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening, is out now.


concrete.creativewriting@uea.ac.uk concrete.listings@uea.ac.uk

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YOUR GUIDE TO WHAT’S GOING ON IN NORWICH October -

Thursday 4th

* Film - Predators - LT1 - 7:30pm (£2.80) * Super Flange - Mercy (free entry with flyer before 11:30pm)

Tuesday 26th

* Skool Daze - LCR - 10pm (£3.50adv) * Magnetic Man - The Waterfront - SOLD OUT * Stewart Francis (Standup comedy) Theatre Royal - 7:30pm (£5-£15) * Crooked Still - Norwich Arts Centre 8pm (£10-£12)

Saturday 6th

2:30pm (£5-£7) * Twee off! Halloween party feat. Chrome Hoof - Norwich Arts Centre - 8:00pm (£9) * Meltdown - The Waterfront - 10:00pm (£3.50 - £4.50)

Sunday 31st

* Hallowe’en - Why not go old school, don your mostly frightfully frightening costume, and go Trick Or Treating? * Easy Star All-Stars - The Waterfront 7pm (£16)

November Monday 1st

* How To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse Norwich Arts Centre - 8:30pm (£5-£8) * Midlake + Special Guests John Grant & Jason Lytle - LCR - 7:30pm (£16)

Tuesday 2nd

* Under The Sea - LCR - 10pm (£3.50adv) * Northern Ballet’sThe Nutcracker Theatre Royal - until the 6th Nov. - 7:30pm (£6-£32)

Wednesday 3rd

* Tim Dee and Mark Cocker - LT1 6:30pm (£6)

Sunday 7th

* Imogen Heap - The Waterfront - 7pm (£17.50) * Norwich Sci-Fi Festival 2010 - TV, Film, Fantasy, Comics and Collectables - LCR 10am (£3.50-£16.50)

Monday 8th

* Goldfrapp - LCR - 7:30pm (£22.50) * Nigel Price Organ Trio - Norwich Arts Centre - 8pm (£8 -£10)

Escaping Norfolk...?

* Alton Towers Student Offer - Valid until 31st October - Book now and save up to 50% on standard ticket price with valid student ID.

HALLOWE’EN 2010: TRICK OR TREAT? Halloween comes but once a year, and with it carries nostalgic memories of toffee apples, bitterly cold afternoons and carving out a pumpkin into a mildly amusing caricature. Make the most of your day, even if your plan is simply to throw on some “shocking” attire and scare the living daylights out of someone who deserved it. However - as we at Venue are sure you will agree - as students, we are mature, level headed and sensible enough to realise that this is the one time of the year when partying hard is not only advised, but a rite of passage. Residents of Norwich and the UEA are no exception to this, and as such there are many events being

planned for the days running up to the legendary All-Hallows-Eve. The first to be held is the annual UNICEF Halloween Fancy Dress Pub Crawl taking place on the evening of the 28th, in aid of the international charity. Organised by members of the UNICEF Society at the UEA, this event promises to make Halloween 2010 one of the most memorable events of the year, as not only will there be free drinks at every stop, the society has vowed to give 100% of their profits to the charity; who said Halloween wasn’t good afterall? Next on the itinerary is the Big Halloween Weekender – Fright Night, hosted by Norwich’s biggest nightclub Mercy on Friday 29th. Legendary for their themed

nights, Mercy’s Fright Night will be the one to go to for those of you who enjoy a Jagerbomb-fuelled night of barely-there clothing, cheesy tunes and Champagne (from Devon). Last but by no means least is the Hallowe’en LCR 2010 on Saturday 30th. A permanent fixture to the UEA LCR calendar, this event is perfect for the weary student. Right in our own back garden, this event boasts spooky decorations, trailers and promotions for the upcoming film Paranormal Activity 2 and special give-aways to a select few lucky individuals. So, invest in some red face paint, forget your ever looming over-draft limit and make this a Halloween to remember.

Georgina Wade

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It’s that time of year again!

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* The Big Halloween Weekender: Fright Night - Mercy (free entry before 11:30pm with flyer) * Jools Holland and his R&B Orchestra feat. Alison Moyet - LCR - 7.30pm (£19£27.50)

* The Hallowe’en LCR 2010 - LCR - 10pm (£5.50adv) * Lissie - The Waterfront - 6:30pm (£10) * Pinnochio - Norwich Puppet Theatre -

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Saturday 30th

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* Film - Hallowe’en Horror Film Night! (Vote for your favourite scary film now!) 7:30pm (£2.80) * Annual UNICEF Halloween Fancy Dress Pub Crawl - Meet at the Square 7:30pm (£5 - 100% profits go to UNICEF) * POW! feat A Skillz + Redlight + Jayou + Urban Knights DVJ - LCR - 10pm (£8)

(£4.50) Lead singer Alison Goldfrapp of the London based glam rock duo act Goldfrapp

This pumpkin was clearly a UEA student in its past life

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Thursday 28th

* Sparks In The Park - Earlham Park - 5pm (£3-£6) * Now 90s + Vibe in the Hive - LCR - 10pm

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* Film - Robin Hood - LT1 - 7:30pm (£2.80)

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* Less Than Jake + Zebrahead - LCR - 7pm (£15)

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Friday 5th

Wednesday 27th

* Micheal Frayn (Literary Festival) - LT1 6:30pm (£6) * The Eastpak Antidote Tour 2010 feat. Sum 41 - LCR - 6:30pm (£18) * Nils Lofgren - Theatre Royal - 7:30pm

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1: Making a hypocritical show of religious devotion (13) 7: Object used to lever a boat (3) 8: Famous guitarist, Jimi _ (7) 9: Actor who played Spock (7) 10: Sum of money paid in compensation for loss or injury (7) 11: Large pan used in Chinese cookery (3) 12: Team game involving long handled rackets and a ball (8) 14: Rotund Texan singer, Meat _ (4) 18: An expression of regret (7) 19: Genre of alternative rock music (5) 20: An American, slang (6) 21: Russian dictator (6)

1: Facial expression of displeasure (5) 2: Norwich’s county (7) 3: Famous mausoleum in India (8) 4: Person who doesn’t comply (13) 5: Mythological monster (4) 6: Having no nookie (7) 8: Type of fish (7) 11: Medium sized kangaroo (7) 13: Shoe fastened by straps to the foot (6) 15: Fruit of the oak tree (5) 16: American fashion designer, Calvin ____ (5) 17: Vice-President under Clinton (4)

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Bumper Give Away! This week Concrete are giving away a signed copy of Gok Wan’s inspirational autobiography Through Thick and Thin, as well as three pairs of tickets to see Goldfrapp, Less than Jake and Midlake, and, last but not least, a crate of Relentless energy drink. For a chance of winning, just bring your completed crossword to the Concrete Office by Wednesday 03/11/10. Name: E-mail: Mobile:

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Less than Jake, who play the LCR on Friday 5th November

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Concrete - Issue 246 - 26/10/2010