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Tuesday 23rd November 2010 • Issue 248 • UEA’s Independent Student Newspaper
UEA PROTESTER ARRESTED • UEA student arrested as fifty-two thousand students take to London’s streets in protest at higher education spending cuts. • NUS launch ‘Right to Recall’ campaign as they name Norwich South MP Simon Wright as their second priority target.
Protesters throw placards onto a bonfire as the National Demonstration descended into a riot outside Conservative party headquarters.
A UEA student was among 64 arrested during the NUS Demo in London earlier this month, Concrete can reveal. The unnamed second year was detained by police following the occupation and vandalism of the Conservative party headquarters
at Millbank, Westminster by a group of protesters. A UEA alumnus was also arrested after gaining entry to the roof of the building, from which a fire extinguisher was later thrown into the crowd below by an Anglia Ruskin University student. Both individuals have been bailed until February, pending further investigation. The rioting at Millbank came
after the peaceful march of over 50,000 students through Westminster, who were protesting at the proposed rise in tuition fees. Violence erupted around the Tory HQ after a small minority of students, thought to number in the hundreds, entered the building and proceeded to smash windows and furniture. The cost of the damage is estimated to run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.
NUS President, Aaron Porter, was quick to condemn the violence, saying: “This was not part of our plan. This action was by others who have come out and used this opportunity to hijack a peaceful protest.” Earlier in the day, Porter had announced that MP for Norwich South, Simon Wright, was second only to Nick Clegg on the list of Liberal Democrat MPs that the
NUS would target if they did not honour their pre-election tuition fee pledge. Such a stance will concern Wright, who only gained a 310 vote majority in the three-way swing seat, and will be eager to appease the 20,000 students who reside in his constituency. For full coverage of the National Demo turn to pages 2-4 and 10.
Buses leave UEA with
07:30 350 students bound for
the National Demo
NUS press conference predicts “A spike in numbers” from the expected 24,000 protesters
UEA buses arrive at Embankment and students head to Horse Guards Parade
52,000 PROTESTERS MARCH James Scho�ield
Students gather near Trafalgar Square
November 10th saw the largest student demonstration in decades, with National Union of Students of�icials estimating that 52,000 protesters marched through the streets of Westminster in opposition to the proposed raise of the cap on tuition fees. Despite violence after the march, the demonstration itself was peaceful, good-natured and had a friendly and vibrant atmosphere. The march was organised to protest against the government’s planned cuts on higher education, including a dramatic rise in tuition fees. In addition to the rise in costs
SIMON WRIGHT “PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER TWO” Susanna Wood
The National Union of Students is set to target
Norwich South MP Simon Wright for his ambiguous stance on tuition fees. Speaking to this reporter at the beginning
of last fortnight’s march, NUS President, Aaron Porter, expressed how he was “overwhelmed by the response to these unprecedented cuts.” When asked about Simon Wright, he responded that, for the NUS, Wright is “public enemy number two”, displaying “utter hypocrisy” regarding the tuition fee pledge. Simon Wright, along with 56 other elected Liberal Democrat MPs, signed NUS’s ‘Votes for Students’ pledge prior to last May’s election, promising to vote against a fees hike if it was put to a referendum in government. Since entering into a coalition government with the Conservative party, many prominent Lib Dems have publicly stated their intention to vote for a rise in tuition fees, using the worsening economic state of the country as justi�ication. Simon Wright has not made his position clear. In a press release regarding the new
for university degrees, the coalition plans to cut funding for arts, humanities and the social sciences, an action that Aaron Porter, President of the NUS, has labelled a “direct assault on further and higher education”. The anger stems from the violation of the preelection pledge of the Liberal Democrats, most notably Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Norwich South MP Simon Wright, to oppose any rise in university tuition fees, a pledge that both have seemingly performed a U-turn on. Around 350 students from the University of East Anglia attended the demonstration. The NUS had expected an attendance
of 24,000, yet an apparent surge in interest during the 48 hours prior to the march more than doubled this number. The Metropolitan Police have been criticised for not anticipating the volume of protesters, yet defended their preparations by arguing that they developed a response plan “to a peaceful protest”. The march began just before midday, with a parade of students crowding the length of Whitehall. A host of placards could be seen throughout the demonstration, expressing disgust and anger at the government cuts, and the chanting that was heard throughout the march became particularly audible as the crowd passed by the
Houses of Parliament, where the House of Commons was in session. The injustice was aptly expressed by Charlie, a student from the University of Brighton, who felt that the cuts would “affect students for generations to come, and increase the inequality gap in the country.” The chaotic scenes at Millbank later in the day starkly contrasted the peaceful and smooth �low of the actual march. Although the Metropolitan Police have not yet separated the arrests made at the demonstration and those made at the Millbank Tower, a police source commented that he was “not aware” of any arrests made other than at Millbank.
Geraldine Morizet President of the National Union of Students, Aaron Porter, speaks to Susanna Wood
campaign, Aaron Porter explained the NUS’s plan of action: “We will be asking voters to pledge not to vote for any MP who breaks their pledge and votes for higher university tuition fees. We will be working to gather signatures and demonstrate to MPs that broken promises will not be tolerated by voters and they will be held to account at the ballot box.” Simon Wright won his seat from Labour candidate Charles Clarke by a narrow majority, and as Norwich South is an area densely
populated by students, the NUS claims that the Lib Dem stance on tuition fees was what won the vote for Wright. Porter added: “Simon Wright won his seat because he made a pledge to vote against higher tuition fees; he will lose his seat if he votes for them.” A ‘Right to Recall’ MPs who failed to live up to their election promises was part of the Liberal Democrat election campaign, and has now been adopted by NUS. The Union of UEA Students cannot actively
participate in a campaign to remove an MP due to its status as a charity. However, the Union is endorsing students taking an active role in making MPs aware of their discontent. Communications Of�icer of the Union, Tom Dolton, said: “Democracy is a key principle in our society; if you are elected on a stance, it undermines the whole concept if you do a U-turn and break your promise.” Find out more about the NUS campaign at www. righttorecall.co.uk.
Tuesday 23rd November
An estimated 52,000 begin marching in protest at education cuts and fee hikes
UEA protesters pass the Houses
13:00 of Parliament, where Clegg faces embarrassing PM’s Questions
UEA students pass Millbank
13:30 Tower when splinter protest breaks into Tory HQ
DEMO TURNS TO RIOT The term ‘Demolition’ seemed to have been taken literally by some at the National Demo. A riot broke out en-route back from the rally at 3:20 pm, with activists storming 30 Millbank Tower and Conservative party HQ for campaigns, occupying it for over two hours before riot police regained control. Millbank and the surrounding buildings were quickly evacuated of all Tory personnel as instructed by MI5, which subsequently went on lockdown in anticipation of further riots. The phone network in the immediate vicinity was also shut down. Prior to this, the activists destroyed much of the building, tearing down the lobby windows using furniture and placard posts, which they set ablaze, applying expletive graf�iti and leaving a trail of destruction through the tower, leading to the roof. Dozens of computers were damaged and entire �loors �looded following the destruction of a �ire hose. On the roof, students persisted in causing mayhem, brandishing two
In the foyer cordon, I witnessed police striking protestors with their batons despite seemingly little provocation.” One of the UEA protesters described the arrest: He was taken to the respective police station with four others, where he was interviewed and told he had been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and trespass, requiring the police to seize all his exterior clothing for evidence. He was given new clothing and placed in an outside holding cell resembling a large metal cage for three hours. At 3.30am, he was released on bail with a court appearance pending in February. When asked if he regretted his involvement, he replied: “No, it was worth it”. The violence can be seen as symbolic of student frustration over tuition fees. Whether this is acceptable is open to debate. What is certain is that, along with a number of windows, public perceptions of an apathetic student body were shattered on 10/11/10.
Geraldine Morizet A protester throws a chair through the window of Millbank Tower
Protesters on the roof of Millbank Tower
Police attempt to control the angry activists
the ensuing violence presents “the student movement as continuously and vastly ignored by the government,” stating that, “any social reform movement obviously �inds its end in violence as it is the only way to bring the issue to attention. Direct action is now a viable route for the student movement and so the means justi�ies the ends.” However, not everyone shares this view, with the Police Federation Vice-Chairman, Simon Reed, warning that violent activism is a “dangerous game for students as well as the police,” and that “universities have a role to play in disciplining those students who have abused the privilege of an education”. Annie Ogden, Head of Communications at UEA, stated: “many students will naturally have strong views about the likelihood of changes to fees and to the funding structure, and the University rightfully acknowledges the students’ right to a peaceful protest”. Ogden also echoed the ViceChairman’s words in recognising, “the clearly outlined regulations relating to student behaviour and conduct”.
anarchist banners and spraying the contents of four �ire extinguishers into the air before proceeding to throw newspaper, toilet roll, eggs and a bowler hat off of the roof into the crowd. The support of student protesters in the courtyard and their reaction to the occupation quickly shifted when an individual threw a �ire extinguisher from the eighth-storey roof, followed by multiple bottles and shattered glass from the broken windows, provoking the chant “stop throwing shit,” echoing from the crowd below. At least three �lares were released from within the crowd and two �ires were started, raising tensions as riot police were preparing to take back the building. The riot was �inally brought under control at 8:30 pm as the police cordoned off the area and controlled the students, making 57 arrests and the searching, photographing and then releasing a further 250 people. It has been reported that the scale of damage caused by the activists could amount to a �igure in excess of £1 million. Consensual justi�ication for
MILLBANK ARRESTS RISE TO SIXTY James Dixon
The ‘Demolition’ student protest has been well documented, with papers such as The Daily Mail quick to condemn the violence, choosing to blame the violent scenes on ‘anarchists’ and non-students who had hijacked the event. 64 arrests have been made since the protest, revealing the majority to be considerably normal students. UEA bore representation amongst the arrested as one current student and one ex-student found themselves arrested. Concrete sought to explore what led these people to involve themselves in the events at Millbank and thus spoke with the arrested protesters tied to UEA. One of them proclaimed that curiosity rather than violent intent was what drove him to enter the building originally and that, whilst he felt an air of peer pressure from friends, the decision was made autonomously. A basement door on the side of
the building had been previously forced open, allowing access to an elevator which he took straight to the roof of 30 Millbank. After surveying the baying crowd below, he attempted to leave the building via a staircase. There did not appear to be a heavy protester presence in the building whilst he was leaving, however; signs of interior damage were visible. Upon reaching the ground �loor of the building he found himself detained by the police “for his own safety” due to the volley of projectiles being hurled from the building. It soon became apparent, however, that this was a pretence for the containment of people who were potentially responsible for damage to the building. The other UEA protester was also detained inside the building by a stairwell he was attempting to climb. “Two police of�icers chased me down whilst shouting ‘where are you going, you little c*nt’. They dragged me to a doorway which they physically kicked me through.
Speeches made by TUC, UCU and NUS representatives outside Tate Britain
Protesters clash with riot police as NUS condemns the Millbank violence
UEA buses leave
17:30 Embankment for Norwich
WRIGHT ADMITS TO “POLITICAL PROBLEM” Simon Partridge
Norwich South MP Simon Wright has told UEA students that he is still undecided on the coalition’s plans to raise the tuition fees cap to £9,000 a year. Speaking to four UEA students on the day of the National Union of Students’ London demonstration, Wright stated that he sympathised with the NUS’ position, but that he was yet to make a decision. Wright is under pressure from students in Norwich, having been targeted by NUS President Aaron Porter’s ‘decapitation strategy’, which aims to make use of the coalition’s recall election policy to remove vulnerable Liberal Democrat MPs in areas with high student populations. Wright was elected in May having signed the pledge to not vote
for any rise in tuition fees. Despite this, he explained his belief that the Browne Review’s proposals were fairer than the current system, stating that: “there’s a strong element of progressiveness in these proposals”. Wright did take on board the concerns of third year PSI student Oliver Pass, who pointed out that the £9,000 fee is still a deterrent to poorer students, no matter how it is to be paid back. A recent poll by Ipsos MORI shows that a rise to £7,000 a year would deter two thirds of students from a disadvantaged background from pursuing a degree. With regard to the NUS pledge that he signed before the election, Wright said: “as a Member of Parliament, I accept that I signed the pledge and that it is a political problem for me”. Of all the MPs that have been targeted by the NUS, Wright is in the most danger of losing his seat
over tuition fees, defending a slight majority of 310. Despite growing student pressure, Mr. Wright would not give a de�inite answer to questions of how he would vote, saying that he would have to spend time considering the proposals. In a surprising admission, Wright said that, in an ideal world, he would support free education, but that the current �inancial climate would not make that a realistic goal, adding that “universities have to take some of the burden of these cuts”. He then went on to explain the dif�iculty of keeping pre-election manifesto promises in a coalition government, making a distinction between Liberal Democrat policy and coalition policy. According to Wright, any phasing out of tuition fees is something the Liberal Democrats “cannot deliver” due to the party being the junior partner in the current government.
Laura Smith Humourous banners lifted the spirits of tired marchers
Students march past the Houses of Parliament during the National Demo
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? David Murphy
UEA students take to the streets of London
The NUS, the Union of UEA Students and independent student groups have laid out their plans for lobbying the government in the coming weeks. After the nationwide impact of the National Demo on November 10th, student bodies are furthering its effects in the hope of pressuring MPs. The chants of “Cut Back! Fight Back!” that rang around Millbank may have fallen silent, but for many students that �ight back has only just begun. Alongside the ‘Right to Recall’ campaign, which could see MPs removed if enough of their constituents felt badly let down by them, NUS are getting behind several other movements. All of this is in an effort to prevent the House of Commons from voting in favour of Lord Browne’s proposals regarding funding for education expected to take place within the next month. They have instigated
“Education Write Off”, a scheme in which student unions encourage their members to write directly to their MPs. Their key targets are those politicians who pledged to vote against a rise in tuition fees and cuts to higher education. NUS believe many of these MPs will go back on their pledge which, for the likes of Simon Wright MP in Norwich South, bene�ited their campaigns and possibly even won them their seats. Wright won his seat on a narrow 310 vote majority, so he is evidently a high priority target for the National Union of Students and their campaign. Mr Wright is yet to declare his voting intention. The scheme was inspired by Edinburgh University Students’ Association which, in only two days, got 1000 of their students to write to Liberal Democrat MP, Mike Crockart. Like all Lib Dem MPs, Mr Crockart pledged against the proposed changes. However, since his election he has refused to con�irm whether he will follow through with his promise.
The Union of UEA Students has put its full support behind two “Activist Development Days”, which aim to develop the skills of student activists from across the country. The events take place on Thursday December 9th at Leicester University Students’ Union and Monday December 13th at the London School of Economics. The Union feels these days will help educate more students on how to effectively support all of its campaigns now and in the future. Independent groups of students are organising their own events to show their opposition to the proposed changes. A Facebook event called “Day of Action: Fight Fees and Cuts” has been set up proposing a mass demonstration in The Square on the 24th November, with a vigil to “mourn the death of education”. While it is impossible to see at this moment how MPs will vote, we can be certain that students across the country will make their opinions heard until then and probably well after.
ISSUE 248 email@example.com
UEA RESEARCH ASSISTANT DIES Fiona Watts, a research assistant in the UEA School of Medicine, passed away on November 9th at the age of 54. She had been battling cancer for five years. To commemorate her life and contributions, UEA will lower the University flag on November 23rd, with her funeral service taking place on the same date. Watts was previously a nurse before she attended UEA in 1998. In 2001, she obtained her BSc (Hons) degree in Psychosocial Studies. A year after her graduation, she returned to the university as a member of the research team. Since then, she had dedicated much of her efforts to research in the Institute of Health. In 2002, she joined the Centre of Interprofessional Policy and Practice in the School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice at UEA. She and her colleagues were involved in the development of the Interprofessional Learning (IPL) programme. Watts collaborated with clinical teams to hone their interprofessional skills, which would help to improve the welfare of their patients. Her death is a huge loss for both the people she knew and to the University. Rachael Lum
NURSING STUDENT WINS PRIZE A PhD nursing student from UEA won a prestigious Nursing in Practice award this week. Sheila Hardy gained the prize for her work to break the connection between mental illness and physical problems including obesity, diabetes and heart problems. She received the Mental Health which Includes Substance Abuse award because of her involvement with the Northampton Physical Health and Well-being Project (PhyWell). Her work was praised by judges, who said: “You have brought inspirational ideas into your daily practices and stood out among the rest.” Lydia Chwarszczynski
UEA TUITION FEES DEBATE Sam Lewis
The Green Party’s Adrian Ramsay spoke out against the rise in tuition fees during a debate last Tuesday. Norwich South parliamentary candidate, Ramsay, and former Labour Norwich North MP, Ian Gibson, expressed their outrage at the coalition’s plans to radically transform higher education funding. Mr Ramsay explained how he was part of the first campaign against top-up fees as a UEA politics student in 2004. Now as the Deputy Leader of the Green Party, his party campaigns for the abolition of tuition fees. He outlined his view that university education should be funded either by an increased rate of income tax for the highest earners, or by a new business education tax on the top 4% of businesses who benefit from graduate employees. He went on to assert that the proposals outlined in the Browne Report would see a move towards a marketised system, which would restrict those from poorer backgrounds from obtaining a degree. Mr Ramsay stressed: “Higher education should be a public
service free at the point of delivery, and accessible to all.” During the time of the General Election, Mr Ramsay, along with Simon Wright, signed the UEA Union’s pledge to vote against removing the cap on tuition fees. With plans by the National Union of Students to stage a referendum recall against the Liberal Democrat MP, he said: “What we do here in Norwich is of great national relevance… we should hold those individual MPs to account, and challenge them to think twice about the implications of their decisions.” Dr Gibson also told the audience how his wounds are still fresh on the issue, as the parliamentary revolt he led over the introduction of top-up fees was lost by just five votes. He said the situation is no different this time around and urged students to continue putting pressure on the government. “Good luck to students, keep fighting on. Sometimes you lose by five votes, but sometimes you can win as well.” If you are interested in showing your support against the government’s cuts, there will be a rally held by Norfolk Coalition Against the Cuts on Saturday December 4th at midday in Chapelfield Gardens.
Susanna Wood Deputy leader of the Green Party, Adrian Ramsay, speaks to UEA students
LIVEWIRE UNSIGNED 2010 UEA BAR STAFF TAKE TO the winners. THE SKIES FOR CHARITY Joshua Resoun Unsigned has gone from News Reporter
Livewire Unsigned 2010 takes place on Friday December 3rd, starting at 7pm in the Blue Bar. Unsigned is a battle of the bands which pits five unsigned bands against each other for the top prize of two days studio recording time at Purple Studios. There is also a runner-up prize of a support slot at a gig taking place at Norwich Arts Centre. The five bands this year are: the Fuzz, the Manalishis, the Branstown Band, the Dirty Tricks and Inlay. A panel of judges will decide on the night which band is to be crowned
strength to strength in recent years, with Livewire Unsigned 2009 receiving a nomination for ‘Best Live Broadcast’ at the Student Radio Awards which took place in November. David Mayes, organiser of the 2009 event, when asked why people should attend Unsigned 2010, replied: “People should turn up because it is a great chance to catch some brilliant and criminally underrated songwriters for free with cheap booze. Also, it’s a Friday, so the X Factor can’t be used as an excuse!” Unsigned has the purpose of providing a night of free live music, allowing musicians a platform in which to win studio recording time, while giving those attending the night a chance to see up-and-coming acts from across the country.
Last year they ran the Race for Life and this year the UEA Bar Staff are, once again, taking on a challenge to raise money for charity. This year, they’ll be taking to the skies for a spot of skydiving. Thirty-seven bar staff members will be doing the jump with the hope of raising £11,000 for The East Anglia Air Ambulance Charity. Corie Eldred, who is organising the event with colleague Lisa Brand, said: “The East Anglia Ambulance do such great work in Norfolk and the surrounding areas so it’s really nice to support a charity that does so much for the local community. “We just came up with the idea one day at work, saw that loads of people were interested in getting
involved and here we are! It’s great to have so much support from all the Bar Staff and it should be a great day”. Ed Leftwich, a member of the team, said: “We’re all incredibly excited to be involved in raising money for such a great cause. Some of us are a bit nervous about jumping out of an aeroplane, but I’m sure it will be great fun!” The jump will take place in April and in the meantime they will be hosting numerous fundraising events, including a live music night and a Valentine’s speed dating event, as well as preparing themselves for the daredevil experience. To support the team, visit their Facebook group or donate on their just giving page at www.justgiving. com/UEABarStaffSkydive.
ISSUE 248 firstname.lastname@example.org
UEA LAUNCH FACEBOOK PAGE UEA have recently launched their official Facebook page. The page will be maintained and managed by the Marketing and Communications Division. The move will be seen as a step forward in the communication between students and the University, as well as being able to attract members of staff, future students and alumni. Students can check key dates and important deadlines, details of scholarship announcements, updates of the league table positions and NSS information. The page also includes contact details and includes links to further useful UEA Facebook pages. The page is already a huge success with 1,954 students who have ‘liked’ it in the first fortnight. Suzy Gook, Head of Marketing and Admissions, said: “The aim of the official page is to highlight our key activities, including our press coverage and research news, open days and public lectures, and aims to engage with a wide audience”. Lydia Chwarszczynski
MEDIABALL 2010 Concrete, Livewire1350 and Livewire TV are proud to present the first ever annual MediaBall. Taking place on Wednesday, December 1st in the Sainsbury’s Centre, UEA’s media societies promise a night of festive fun for all. With tickets priced at just £15, including a hot buffet, the night is sure to be one of the biggest in your social calendar. As well as the meal and some serious dancing, there will be a mystery gift for all attendees. The night will start at 7pm, and you can dance the night away until midnight, when we will head into town for what is sure to be an infamous afterparty. Suits and dresses - or whatever formal wear you fancy - are an absolute necessity, so get your glad rags on and kick off the festive season in some serious style. Tickets will be on sale every day in the Hive from 12-2, or in the Concrete office from 9am until 6pm. This event is guestlist only, so make sure you get a ticket! Davina Kesby
CLIMATEGATE: ONE YEAR ON Becky Hazlewood
A year has passed since UEA suddenly became the focus of global attention in the climate scandal that shocked the world. UEA was accused of having “threatened the future of the planet” when the private emails of Professor Phil Jones, scientist at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), were hacked and leaked onto the internet in November last year. Students who were studying Environmental Science courses at UEA suddenly felt that the quality and prestige of their degrees were in jeopardy, as the integrity of CRU came under attack from all directions. The personal emails were used by sceptics to suggest that the scientists were manipulating their data to enhance the case for human activities being the cause of climate change. After a year of turmoil for Jones and the staff at CRU, everything
seems to have finally settled down. Professor Mike Hulme, lecturer in Environmental Sciences at UEA, believes: “The events of the past year have finally buried the notion that scientific predictions about future climate change can be certain or precise enough to force global policy-making.” The life of researcher, Phil Jones, took an unexpected and nasty turn for the worse following the event. He came under vicious attack, receiving over 400 abusive emails, some of which contained suggestions he should commit suicide. Worst of all, perhaps, were the criticisms of the media and US politicians, including the likes of Sarah Palin, who accused Professor Jones of faking his research. Jones stepped down from his post as head of CRU while investigations into the allegations took place. The inquiry, carried out by Sir Muir Russell earlier this year, found there to be no reason to doubt the integrity or honesty of the CRU
The Climatic Research Centre at UEA, which came under scrutiny a year ago
team. Showing resilience and determination, Jones has emerged from the trauma unscathed and has just completed his 34th year working at CRU. He continues to work with the Met Office on global temperature records and his work is likely to contribute to the next International Panel on Climate Change report in 2013. “It’s a relief [that] the uncertainties have been cleared
and UEA can keep its name as a world class research centre for Environmental Sciences,” said one ENV student. “It’s just sad people had to try and make a mess of the climate change negotiations. People chose not to believe in climate change because it’s easier for them not to come to terms with the reality, but that’s stupid, because if we don’t do something about it, global warming will bring much harder changes to our lives”.
UNION UNVEIL STUDENT EXPERIENCE REPORT Tim Bates
Tom Ward, the Pro Vice-Chancellor, officially received his copy of the 2010 UEA Student Experience Report last week, marking the first anniversary since the report was first published. The report, which utilizes the data of sources such as the National Student Survey and the Postgraduate Research Survey, provides the University management with advice on everything academic, from how funds should be handled, to how to improve the quality of feedback given for work received. On receiving the report from the Academic Officer of the Union of UEA Students, Rachel Handforth, Mr Ward said: “This is the next step in a great annual event, which reflects the very good practical relationship we have with the students here.” The 36-page report addresses each major academic concern of the modern student populace in detail, discussing such hot topics as the recent Comprehensive Spending Review’s effect on
higher education funding, with a mixture of general student trends in opinion, data from various surveys, and personal comments from members of the Student Union, along with a concise set of simple recommendations at the end of each section. Among the potentially controversial of these recommendations is the desire for sweeping structural changes both in the funding and academic support sections in order to provide students taking certain courses with more practical skills to fight unemployment. It also proposes the dismissal of certain University practices altogether, such as the policy of holding some exams on Saturdays. It highlights weaknesses, such as the clarity of feedback given on work, with only 59% of UEA students stating that the feedback given helps them to ‘understand things they did not understand’. However, it also highlighted key areas of improvement, such as the recently restructured library. The report’s conclusion details the status of the Union of UEA Students itself, detailing both its successes, such as the campaign
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Tom Ward, receives the Student Experience Report from Academic Officer of the Union of UEA Students, Rachel Handforth
to create a polling station that students could use on campus during the last General Election, and the creation of the Union Website, as well as significant plans for this coming year, including the lobby of local MPs to fight the rising costs of tuition fees. How many of this report’s guidelines and recommendations
the University will be able to follow is uncertain. Mr Ward was optimistic that the report would only help the experience for all UEA students and postgraduates: “There are things we agree about, things we disagree about, but the important thing is that we are all determined to improve the overall experience of the students”.
La Tasca - Norwich 24 Tombland, Norwich, NR3 1RF 01603 776 420 email@example.com
31st December, 2010
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10 COMMENT AND OPINION
The Debate: Violent protests In light of the violence at last week’s NUS Demolition protests, Concrete looks at the reasoning behind both violent and peaceful protests and asks whether peaceful is always preferable?
FOR Barbara Orth
There is no need to describe the scene at 30 Millbank on November 10th again – the photos dominated every front page. Unfortunately, many denounced the peaceful demo as a violent protest – which it wasn’t. I was there, and believe me, I have stopped counting how many people have asked me if I was “one of the people who stormed the Tory headquarters”. It annoys me that a few used the march to go crazy. It discredited the entire demonstration in the media and gave conservatives an excuse to dismiss our demonstration as a gathering of radicals. Thanks guys, you really helped. Not. Though most of us neither intended nor appreciated violence and vandalism, it would be false to claim that it was only random people looking for a good fight who were causing
AGAINST trouble. In my opinion, it is when I call the people who the police that are largely stormed Tory headquarters to blame for the damage ‘idiots’; I do understand and caused. Is it really so hard to share their anger. However, anticipate riots if you permit throwing fire extinguishers a protest march against off rooftops, risking the lives a Lib Dem-Conservative of your fellow protesters, government to go past the is not only dangerous and Tory headquarters? stupid, but also unlikely to Many people, enraged change policies. by the possibility of tripled Yes, politicians have to tuition fees, felt mocked by know we will fight back. But this posh, polished, and shiny I think the 50, 000 students building. It is a symbol not that chanted: “You cut back, only of conservative politics, we fight back!” were far more but of the neoliberalism impressive and effective in that finally resulted in delivering this message than massive household deficits; the anarchist flag on top of it represents all the injustice the Millbank Tower was. we marched against. It is outrageous to make future Jack Brinded generations pay for a financial crisis they didn’t cause, while the offenders still cash in their ridiculous bonuses. So don’t get me wrong Lizzy Margereson
Ken Livingstone once said: “If voting changed anything they’d abolish it.” Much the same can be said of peaceful protest. The only reason it is considered more ‘legitimate’ than direct action is because it’s less of a nuisance to the establishment. When two million marched peacefully against the Iraq war, the thenLabour government smiled
to itself. It remained safe in the knowledge its five-year dictatorship was secure, and that ultimately they could ignore the public’s impotent rage. Documented civilian deaths in Iraq now stand at roughly 100,000. No doubt governments of yesteryear would also have been more content if the Suffragettes had never smashed windows, or if the poll-tax riots had never kicked off, yet if they hadn’t then our society would never have progressed. I think it’s also essential to point out the incorrect use of the word ‘ v i o l e n c e ’. Smashing a window is surely an act of vandalism rather than violence, so why is the press so keen to present such an act as being equivalent to assault? Bastions of informed
democratic society such as The Telegraph, The Sun and The Daily Mail - along with their millionaire owners did their utmost to claim a spontaneous expression of student anger and discredited the movement as illegitimate. But, coincidentally, the same journalists seemed unconcerned with the legitimacy of the government implementing slash-andburn policies – a government with well under 50% of the population behind it. Having been ignored over the issue of tuition fees for the past twelve years (and now cuts to education and public services to boot) and continually betrayed by mainstream politics, students were left with little choice but to resort to direct action for their voice to be heard. This is by no means a startling new development, nor one any student at Millbank took lightly. In the face of Tory attacks on their future and funding, such reactions are those of selfdefence, and one a sizeable group chose to participate in.
Violence and vandalism: what was the point? So, why did this particular protest turn violent? Concrete investigates, asking the question: why do good protests turn bad? Joshua Resoun Last week, thousands of students chanted “Tory scum” in the courtyard of Millbank 30 - the building which houses the Conservative Party Headquarters - as roughly 250 students stormed and occupied Tory HQ. Although a very small minority took part in the violence, or vandalism as it should more rightly be called, thousands still gathered and
chanted outside Tory HQ. Those who took part in the vandalism argue that it was a last resort. It is true that the antifees movement has been protesting peacefully for twelve years now. If all else fails, can violence, vandalism, rioting, whatever you would like to call it, be justified? A small minority of students believed it could. In my opinion, mass riots come from opportunity, rather than a ‘last resort’ situation or the ‘brainless destruction of property’.
The opportunity on the November 10th presented itself, and those individuals who feel as strongly as they do took advantage of that opportunity. The emotions involved in the demonstration run deep; it affects many: those who hope to attend university in the future, parents, employers and taxpayers. Once that emotion is added to the opportunity that the demonstration presented, the events which took place were inevitable. However, for many people, violence is only a last
resort. The rioting of the like I saw at Millbank 30 was, for many individuals, the materialisation of a belief that direct action is now the only option left open to them. If democracy is seen to have failed, what else is there left to protest against the government? This belief is understandable. In 2003, while in opposition, the Conservative party voted against the planned increase in tuition fees; now in power, they’re instigating it. The Labour party initiated not only the Browne Review,
but introduced tuition fees. Perhaps, however, it is the actions of the Liberal Democrats that have pushed people to believe that violence is the only option left. Many constituencies which elected Liberal Democrat MPs – including Simon Wright in Norwich South – are constituencies with a large student vote. Having signed the NUS pledge to vote against any planned rise in tuition fees, Liberal Democrat MPs have now - in some cases at least - backtracked on that pledge.
If those you democratically vote for betray you time and time again, and if the peaceful anti-fees movement - which has existed for twelve years - fails to be heard, then it would seem that violence is unavoidable. It is clear, then, that what you need for violence to occur is very simple. Once you mix enough deep-seated emotion with an opportunity to present a clear message, and a group of individuals that believe violence is the only option left for them, a riot becomes inevitable.
Tuesday 23rd November
COMMENT AND OPINION 11
Getting your head around student fees In the wake of even more changes to the way student fees will soon be paid, Concrete follows up on an article from last issue to see what these changes really mean. Joe Lack It is now clear that higherearning graduates will end up paying back more interest on loans than lower-earning graduates. This much is fair. However, students from wealthy homes who pay fees up front will avoid debt and the interest on it. This will give them advantages over students who took out loans, for instance when being considered for a mortgage. Plans for an early loan repayment penalty are still in place. All earners, no matter what their income or whether they went to university or not, will contribute through taxes. Grants remain confusing. If the government wants to save students from looking elsewhere to cover living expenses, it should introduce a region-sensitive maintenance loan truly sufficient to cover rent and living costs, for all students.
Loan and grant combinations vary, and are not always enough. The highest grant available will be £3250 per year; not enough for rent and food in some areas of student accommodation, which will force students back to parents, into work or taking out a loan they were designed to be spared! Additionally, there is resentment among higherearning families, who see that children of theirs who have taken out a loan with no grant will face greater debts in comparison to those who receive a full grant. The government admits that “in general, the money raised from tuition fees will simply replace major cuts to teaching budgets”. If government money is simply being swapped for student money, this will not contribute to improvements. This can only shorten the time before the annual ‘hard cap’ of £6000 or the more likely figure of £9000 will be raised again through competition, perhaps higher for science courses than arts
courses. Students should not be paying universities to keep technologically updated, but rather for accommodation and services like teaching. As long as all university places are filled, there will be no inequalities of funding arising from some courses filling up and others not. However, there is potential under the proposals for universities to charge a range of fees. Setting cheaper fees would be popular, but would risk either running up debts or appearing as poor relations of higher-charging universities. Bursaries are the best way to attract debtwary poorer students. Scholarships tend to favour the rich, but it remains to be seen how many of these there will be. Short of free education, the above inequalities must be remedied, or a graduate tax introduced. Nonspecialist graduate positions must be opened up to nongraduates to ease pressure on places.
That life-changing notification... Ever get the feeling the people you talk to would rather be elsewhere, say, on Facebook? Do you live your life in fear of the dreaded LCR tag notification? Concrete looks at our obsession with the social network site. Carl Silverstone
Every photo taken at the LCR is followed by a scramble of hands for the camera everyone knows: what goes on camera, goes on FB. The photo of you with huge sweat patches, the evidence that you did get with the single ugliest person at UEA, or the snap of you on the toilet, taken over the wall
with your pants down, are all certainties for a tag. You’re having a chat with someone in the Union or on the steps in the square, only for them to whip their phone out and tap away? They’re on FB news feed on their phone, casually checking if there’s anything else more interesting going on than what you’re saying. You’re not sufficiently entertaining them. They will look at you and back to the phone, whilst half-
heartedly trying to maintain the conversation.
“If you should ever meet them normally, you better pretend convincingly that you don’t even know their name”
Facebook is more addictive than crack for the 16 to 25-year-olds. It should be banned. But then again,
what else are you going to do on a Sunday? And how are you going to procrastinate in the library? There’s no other way to stalk that person you’re obsessed with, but have never even spoken to. If you should ever meet them normally, you better pretend convincingly that you don’t even know their name, let alone where they ate breakfast on their family holiday in Tenerife last year – some info you picked up while stalking every single
one of their photo albums. And, of course, we’ve got Facebook chat, because MSN Messenger is a dinosaur. So, you decide to strike up a conversation with someone you’d like to ‘poke’. You’ve opened with, “Hi, how are you”. The originality of that sentence is beautiful. You’re a genius. But wait, shit, it’s not being delivered. That little bar is rolling as it tries to send. Should I send it again? No, just wait, sit it out. It finally gets delivered.
But wait, it’s been sent three times. How keen do you look now? The green dot goes to the grey half-moon circle. Ah man. They’re not even on their computer. They must have really valued that dialogue. Just sign out. This chat session is over. The notification that would change your life remains elusive. What that notification would be? I have no idea, but you’ll keep on looking.
NEED TO HAVE A RANT ABOUT SOMETHING? CONTACT CONCRETE.OPINION@UEA.AC.UK AND WE’LL GET YOUR VOICE HEARD
Tuesday 23rd November
Concrete Drugs Survey 2010: The Results It’s that time again. For the second consecutive year Concrete has asked you, the UEA students, about your opinions on drugs. This year’s survey covers many different areas such as drugs on campus, legal highs and alcohol - no surprises to find out the majority of students consume
more than ten units of alcohol per week. The survey was taken by both undergraduates and postgraduates with the majority aged between 2122. Many thanks to all of you that took part. Keep your eyes peeled for the Concrete Sex Survey coming in the New Year.
WHY TAKE DRUGS? Do you think that taking drugs is socially acceptable among young people? Yes (26.1%) No (2.2%) In most social groups (37.7%) In a minority of social groups (41.3%) Why do you think most people take drugs? Pressure from friends (37.7%) Pressure from the media (2.9%) Boredom (34.8%) Curiosity (86.2%) Other (12.3%)
Do you think that the media encourages drug-taking? Yes (20.3%) No (75.4%) N/A (4.3%)
If you’ve taken drugs, do you regret it? Yes (10.9%) No (89.1%)
62.4% of students questioned have been offered drugs on campus
ILLEGAL DRUGS Have you ever taken any form of illegal drugs? Yes (72.4%) No (27.6%)
How old were you when you first took drugs? Under 12 (1.61%) 12 (3.2%) 13 (11.3%) 14 (19.3%) 15 (40.3%) 16 (30.6%) 17 (19.3%) 18 (24.2%) 19 (11.3%) 20 (6.44%) 21 (1.61%) Over 21 (1.61%)
Which drugs have you taken? Cannabis (71.1%) Ecstasy/MDMA (28.9%) Heroin (3.9%) Cocaine (25%) LSD (7.9%) Poppers (27.6%) Speed (15.1%) Crack (2.0%) Magic Mushrooms (18.4%) Ketamine (20.4%) N/A (28.9%)
Do you use more than one drug at a time? Yes (11.8%) No (41.4%) Sometimes (19.7%) N/A (27%)
EFFECTS OF DRUG TAKING Has anything bad happened to you or a friend after taking drugs? Yes (41.2%) No (58.8%)
Would you say that you have ever been addicted to any illegal drugs? Yes (6%) No (94%)
What have you done whilst using illegal drugs? Had sex (35.1%) Been to a seminar (13.5%) Operated heavy machinery (2%) Driven a car (12.2%) N/A (62.2%)
Have you had any medical problems as a result of drug use? Yes (4%) No (72.2%) N/A (23.8%)
Has your personality changed after taking drugs? Yes (17.6%) No (53.4%) N/A (29.1)
If yes, what problems were they? *Hospitalised for a day due to legal high mephedrone”. *My genitalia became inflamed, and came out in pink rashes. my testicles grew about four times their normal size. It was agony”.
DRUG USE AT UEA
Is the policing of drugs on campus sufficient? Yes (29.1%) No (18.4%) Unsure (52.5%)
Have you ever taken a legal high? Yes (39.9%) No (50.7%) N/A (9.4%)
Should more be done to promote an anti-drugs message at UEA? Yes (37.6%) No (44.7%) Unsure (17.7%)
Have you taken drugs while at UEA? Yes (51.8%) No (48.2%) Have you ever been offered drugs at UEA? Yes (62.4%) No (37.6%) If so, where? Halls (35.5%) Union Bar (11.3%) LCR (12.8%) Party (39%) Other (15.6%)
Have you ever had your drink spiked at UEA? Yes (5.7%) No (94.3%) If so, where? Halls (0.7%) Union Bar (0.7%) LCR (5%) Party (1.4%) Other (0.7%) N/A (93.6%) Have you ever sold drugs? Yes (11.6%) No (88.4%) Have you ever bought or been offered drugs in any clubs in Norwich? Yes (29%) No (71%)
If so, where did you take them? Party (21.7%) Festival (19.6%) House (18.8%) Club (8.7%) Other (5.1%) N/A (59.4%)
If you’ve taken illegal drugs, how did they compare? Better (7.5%) Worse (18.8%) About the same (12.8%) Can’t comment (62.4%) Do you consider legal highs to be less physically dangerous than illegal drugs? Yes (15.2%) No (63.8%) N/A (24.6%)
64.5% of students would not have come to UEA if the campus was ‘dry’
On average, how many units of alcohol do you consume per week? None (6.5%) 1-2 (8%) 3-4 (18.8%) 5-6 (15.9%) 7-9 (19.6%) 10+ (31.2%) How often do you have an alcoholic drink? Daily (5.1%) More than once a week (54.3%) Weekly (31.2%) Monthly (5.8%) Never (3.6%)
92.8% believe the drinking age should not be raised to 21
BAD EXPERIENCES *My friend spent hours running around my hometown thinking he was a jet plane. *I saw someone try and jump out the window of a three story building.
*A friend had a terrible panic attack after smoking weed in which he described his arms singing different songs into his ears.
Do you think there is a drinking culture at universities that encourages students to drink too much alcohol? Yes, definitely (44.9%) Yes, I suppose so (39.9%) Maybe (13%) Definitely not (2.2%)
Q&A with Norwich Famous Faces Cathy White talks student demonstrations and the five L’s with alternative comedian and former UEA Student, Arthur Smith Arthur Smith isn’t a name that many students would immediately recognise, but his gruff London voice is instantly recognisable. If you have ever seen a Yakult advert featuring an upset stomach, that would be Arthur; or Artie, or Arturo as he came to be known to this writer, who was lucky enough to spend a day in his company. Born and raised in South London, Smith first fell into comedy as a 6-year-old boy: “I starred in the school panto and I remember the next day, two girls offered three pence to me to show them my willy; and that was my first professional engagement, who would have thought 40 years on that boy would become the voice of the woman’s stomach in the Yakult advert. Truly, I am living the dream.” In recent years he has made many TV and radio appearances, and is well known for being a regular on BBC’s Grumpy Old Men. Arthur’s dry sense of humour has got him very far, and is something he developed while
studying Comparative Literature at UEA in 1977. During his time he also ran for Student Union President, coming second on a “Don’t Vote for Me” campaign. Today, he is still pulling similar publicity stunts, nominated for the ‘Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award’ at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival for saying he would pay £100 to any journalist attending his show who would juggle fish. Smith is due to return to the LCR after a 30 year gap from playing at the university in the Student ‘Stand Up Review’, which was his first taste of showbusiness. “I had a wonderful time as a student of UEA; it was an easier time for students. I had a grant and I had left home for the first time. I was living on a big campus full of young clever people, many of whom were female.” When asked why students should come to see his gig, Smith had this to say: “Because if you do come you are guaranteed sex afterwards with someone in the
audience, and you will be an inch taller. You will be full of wisdom with laughs having been expelled from you at such a rate you will be
1) First memory of UEA:
Arriving on the first day, being very nervous and meeting my friend Phil, who I am still in contact with. It’s funny how the first few people I met I have remained friends with 40 years on.
What was your first visit to the LCR like?
I don’t remember much of Freshers’ Week but I can recall being the first one on the dance floor. I’d do a Mick Jagger strut and cartwheels. I was constantly pulling stunts.
What other stunts did you perform while at UEA? There used to be a pond in the middle of the square that I would constantly jump in. It was about six feet deep, so I would dive in and swim around a lot, especially on a hot day.
4) Have you completed any of the 5 L’s?
exhausted.” Arthur Smith is performing in the LCR on Monday 6th December, and with a selling
pitch like this, tickets are sure to sell very quickly.
The lake was being built when I was a student, but I did have sex to the side of that, and heavy petting in the library. Disappointingly, none of the others, but I did have sex on the centre spot of Chelsea’s stadium, Stamford Bridge.
tax, with offshore accounts, and bankers. Even people like me should pay more, as I don’t seem to have been affected by the cuts, and poorer people have.
Did you take part in any demonstrations as a student?
Dante Allegeri, that 14th century Italian Poet, though I wouldn’t understand anything he was saying. Isabella Adjani, a French actress I’ve always liked, and some random off the street to mix it up (our own Concrete writer was also invited to dinner, on the basis she would cook Beef Bourgignon).
Well, I was a student in the 1970s, when it was good being a student, so I would demonstrate against “Mrs Thatcher, Milk Snatcher”, who was Education Minister at the time. She was the ‘evil’ even before she became Prime Minister.
What are your feelings towards the proposed rise in fees for university students?
I’m against it. I think it will be like it used to be with only rich people being able to go to university. It is bad enough as it is, as it discriminates against poorer backgrounds, and it’ll only get worse. They should crack down on people dodging
Name three people, dead or alive, you would invite to dinner?
Besides comedy what other jobs have you had? I was a baker, working on the Aylsham Road from 6pm to 6am. That was hard, and for a bit I was a rat catcher. I was also an international male escort working outside the Maidshead hotel but that didn’t work out.
Tuesday 23rd November
Students reclaim their future
From climate change to human rights, Shared Planet, one of the largest student activism events, addressed all of today’s burning issues Rosie Rawle Hayley Wilson Turf Reporters
Initiated by People & Planet, the UK’s largest student campaign network, the 2010 Shared Planet Conference in Birmingham saw a mass of student activists from around the country. Representing UEA, the university’s People & Planet steering group attended and contributed to a variety of discussions, workshops and debates. The two main areas that the conference focused on were Climate Change and Corporate Power, which received considerable input and feedback from nationally recognised speakers, campaign groups and non-governmental organisations. Shared Planet kicked off with an inspirational speech from Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP. She highlighted the importance of environmental issues such as climate change along with current governmental policies and the need for change. Her talk provided strong foundations for the weekend’s events. After the introductory talk, students attacked the break-out sessions with high enthusiasm
and flair. UEA students threw themselves into a range of workshops which included: ‘Food and Low Carbon Transition”’ ‘Zero-Carbon Britain 2030’, ‘GoGreen Week 2011’ and ‘Transition Vision’. All workshops were based around climate change and what can be done to aid the process of reducing CO2 emissions. After a highly inspirational morning, the Corporate Power plenary session injected yet more knowledge and motivation into the audience with speeches on the ‘War on Want’ and the ‘Buy Right’ campaign. The aim of these talks was to promote understanding and to prepare for campaigning against sweatshops around the world. This relates directly to UEA’s Day of Campus Action: Stop Sweatshops, on November 23rd in which People & Planet students will be campaigning to demand that our university respects the human rights of workers by joining the Worker’s Rights Consortium. The afternoon consisted of workshops based on Corporate Power. Having a variety to choose from, students dispersed into areas that interested them most, ranging from ‘A sweat-free Olympics?’ to ‘Spirituality and
Activism’. One of the workshops that was found to be especially beneficial and thought provoking was ‘Exposing corporate tax dodgers’. Here, students learnt about the loopholes in the law that allow for multinational companies to avoid taxes. Recently, Vodafone has been discovered to have dodged £6 billion worth of tax and it was revealed that a ‘secret’ corporation is soon to be exposed by activist network War on Want. ‘The Closing Panel: Debate the challenges facing our generation’, provided an end to an actionpacked day. Aaron Porter (NUS President), Jess Worth (New Internationalist co-editor) and David Babbs (38 Degrees) threw open a discussion regarding the need for student activism on a national scale. All members of the panel agreed that now is the time for students to take direct action The following day mainly consisted of open space workshops in which students were able to think about campaign plans and discuss important issues. Again, there was huge variety in the debate at hand. UEA students were keen to use this opportunity by initiating various workshops, which other students then joined. One result of this in
Tired of endless trips to Tesco? Want an easier way to get your food? Wish food on campus wasn’t so expensive? Worried about whether your beans are being grown by crippled four-year-olds in Kenya? Then don’t panic! Sit back, relax and read on; UEA’s first ever Food Co-operative is beginning to grow roots and sprout. “But what is a food co-op?” I hear you cry, hungrily banging your spoon on the table. In its simplest form, a food co-op is a group of people who pool their money collectively and bulk buy foodstuffs directly from an ethical fair-trade supplier, thus cutting out the middle-
man and making food shopping cheaper and easier. The co-ops can sell anything from fruit and veg to cereals, snacks and grains, depending on the preference of the buying group, and the nature of collective buying means that everything works out at a lower price than when it is sold in shops. Sounds good? There is currently a movement to set up a food co-op on campus as an extension of the already existing veg box scheme - in which local organic vegetables are delivered to campus every week. If you would like to get involved, clutch your cutlery to your chest and pop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on UEA’s vegbox scheme type in ‘UEA VegBox’ into Facebook.
particular was the planning of a national day of action against the tar sands oil extraction project in Alberta, Canada, which has been labelled “the most destructive
project on earth”. After a liberating and empowering event, UEA is set to create a storm and bring about lasting change.
Norwich to hold zero carbon concert Chris Keene
Climate campaigners from across the globe have organised a series of zero carbon concerts on the eve of the next UN Climate Summit in order to demonstrate that a zero carbon world is both achievable and fun. The UN Climate Summit will be held in Cancun, Mexico from the November 29th until December 10th, and is designed to discuss future commitments to reducing carbon emissions following the Kyoto Protocol. In the build up to the beginning of the summit, a series of concerts are being held all over the world, including England, Wales, Holland, Italy, Poland, Sierra Leone, China,
Australia and the USA. Norwich is jumping on the zero-carbon bandwagon and is holding a concert on November 27th featuring Vic Salter, Pedalo, Ruth Gordon and Jimmy and the Magic Shoe in the St Thomas church hall on Earlham Rd. It will be acoustic so that it causes no carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, people will be encouraged to travel to the event without emitting carbon. They are asked to walk, cycle, or use public transport instead of driving – unless they have an electric car powered by green electricity, or a diesel vehicle using waste vegetable oil. Tickets are £2 in advance (from Chris Keene, 01603 614535, 07801 250982 chris.keene@
Social networking’s far-reaching web Concrete looks at the implications and issues of maintaining a social presence online Drew Nicol
Everyday, millions of people use Facebook and Twitter to check up on their friends and family, as well as updating their own profile’s status. This, in itself, is an extremely effective way of helping people who may not see or speak each other regularly to stay in touch. However, people do not see the dangers of updating their status and tweets without thinking through what they are actually saying or who will be reading it. Prime examples of this are the stories of people who write updates complaining about their boss or declaring they are pulling a ‘sickie’. This can land employees in huge trouble in the work place and has led to many of those involved losing their jobs. Another hidden risk becomes evident when
people boast of their holiday plans on their social networking page. This is effectively shouting out to everyone exactly when your house will be unguarded. This has been acknowledged as a real threat and even Facebook is warning against posting information of this nature. The issue with all social networking sites is that, because the person you are talking to is not physically there, some feel able to say things that they wouldn’t otherwise say. Honestly, would you threaten someone you had just met because they didn’t like your favourite band? A recent news story surrounding Tory MP, Gareth Compton, does not come as a surprise: he has been arrested following accusations that he ‘tweeted’ the inflammatory words “can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan’t tell Amnesty if you don’t. It
would be a blessing, really”. It is commonly believed that because it wasn’t said in person, but online, there will be no repercussions - in reality, the opposite is true. The days are gone when poorly thought-out opinions or embarrassing behaviour can be laughed off or forgotten, because they are now immortalised on the internet. An obsession with
documenting every night out with a constant stream of photos or the unexplainable need for everyone to know even the most mundane aspects of their lives has led to the creation of a much more intrusive and all-encompassing ‘big brother’ state than anyone would ever have thought possible. And the irony of all this is that it’s self inflicted.
whereas The Playhouse is on George’s Street, a little further down from Irish pub, Delaney’s. If you fancy broadening your cultural horizons then The Playhouse is one of Norwich’s top theatres and offers an interesting spectrum of plays at a high standard, priced within a student’s budget. The adjoining bar is great for a more relaxed evening out with friends. Another nearby and affordable activity to enjoy with friends is the Pitch and Putt golfing facility at Eaton Park. You don’t have to be experienced, although we would recommend steering clear of teeing off with your most competitive pal
as there is a scorecard. A completely free facility available to students is the Lake on campus, as well as the lake in Earlham Park; if you like country walks or simply need to blow off some steam, there are some great footpaths that veer off from the lake, offering some really picturesque scenes. Lastly, 9pm seems to be the universally agreed time for supermarkets to start lowering the price of stock destined for the reduced section, so if you’re looking for a bargain, head out for quarter past and capitalise on all sorts of reduced treasures.
Hindsight shines light on Norwich Lifestyle illuminates the murky map of Norwich revealing hidden wonders and quaint bars Lisa Stevens
Many first year students’ experiences and knowledge of Norwich tend to be centred exclusively around campus, with the exception of Nandos and Prince of Wales Road. Third years with a regular sleeping pattern and perhaps a waning inclination to hit the LCR every Tuesday and Saturday night have had time to stumble across some nuggets of wisdom that they wish they had known as innocently naïve first years. Students do not have to travel far to discover hidden gems, with their first port of call being the enigmatic INTO building. The roast at the building’s café is cheaper and arguably better than the standard roast served at Zest. After digesting your sumptuous Sunday roast you may want to follow this up with some casual table tennis, as tables
are put out after six in the evening and are free with a campus card. There are some great pubs and bars in Norwich that it would be a crime to miss out on before you graduate, most notably the Fat Cat, Franks Bar and the Playhouse. The award winning pub, The Fat Cat, located on West End Street off Dereham Road boasts an array of 28 real ales, 8 draughts of Belgium beers, 50 bottled imported beers, 4
“Whether people need it
for the support or social
aspects there’s something for everyone”
lagers, 6 ciders/perries, 2 German Weissbiers and selection of worldly wines including less common fruit offerings. Frank’s Bar is a quirky hotspot hidden down Bedford Street,
The key to liberty As a student at UEA, it isn’t hard to take the freedom and civil liberties we enjoy for granted, but millions around the world are not so lucky. This disturbing truth has been brought to light by the recent release of Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest on the 13th November. The widely respected leader of Burma’s opposition party, the National League for Democracy, was once a student herself: in 1964 she began studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford. Suu Kyi has faced some form of imprisonment for more than eleven of the last nineteen years by the Burmese military government due to her political activism as a prominent advocate of democracy. In staying peacefully compliant and true to her hopes for her country, Suu Kyi has become a symbol of heroic, peaceful resistance in the face of oppression, and she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights in 1991. While the conditions endured by Ms Suu Kyi were relaxed in more recent years - notably she was able to meet certain diplomats and officials from the National League for Democracy - in the earlier years of her detention she was often held in solitary confinement. She was continually unable to see her family, including her husband, who died of cancer in March 1999, and her grandchildren whom she has never met. This situation invites comparisons to Nelson Mandela and the past situation in South Africa, and draws light to a continuation of human rights abuses on a global scale. Will change come to Burma as it did to South Africa? Amnesty International reports widespread human rights violations in Burma. It is an issue far from being resolved: at the end of 2008, there were 2,200 political prisoners, a number which includes the most senior opposition leaders, and there are more longstanding political prisoners than at any other time since 1988’s mass pro-democracy uprising. Burmese law criminalises even peaceful expression of political dissent and people are frequently arrested without warrant.
The spirit of Bangkok
Tom Duffy arrives in Thailand’s capital and gets to grips with giant Buddhas, golden temples, tuk-tuks, market vendors and massages as he learns how to get along in Bangkok’s crowded shops and streets. Bangkok attracts a constant flow of travellers. Some come seeking spirituality, although while it’s true that religion is an important part of Thai culture, you’d probably be better off trying somewhere other than Bangkok if that’s what you’re looking for. Others come in search of new life experiences. Bangkok can certainly provide a few of these – it’s a different sort of enlightenment. Khao San Road is the nerve centre of Bangkok for backpackers, characterised by its market stalls, its wide variety of cheap hostels and
“It’s a gargantuan playground of excess and decadence, a melting pot of extravagance and filth. ”
its myriad bars, many of which serve buckets of cocktails as standard. It allows new arrivals to adjust and get their bearings in this strange new land before immersing themselves entirely, something like Thailand with training wheels. However, be careful, as it is entirely possible to spend your whole trip here. Why? For one thing, it never sleeps. Walk down Khao San Road at three in the afternoon, then at three in the morning and you’ll find that it’s just as busy in the small hours as it is in the day. Stroll down
Tuesday 23rd November
the bustling street and you could be offered just about anything, from a cheaply-tailored suit or a back-rub, to the more seedy propositions, such as one of Thailand’s renowned pingpong shows or, well, a “massage”. The hostel lobbies, the alfresco cafes and the friendly Irish pubs offer easy opportunities for meeting fellow travellers and potential companions. Every night has a festival feel, a carefree party atmosphere. But it’s not all about hedonism. Bangkok is home to some of the most impressive temples and palaces in the world. The Grand Palace and Wat Pho are the largest, conveniently located within walking distance of each other. The Grand Palace is like a miniature city, a fantasy world of ancient temples and ornamental golden lions. Wat Pho is more compact, but equally impressive, mostly because of its incredible golden Buddha statue, the largest of its kind at forty-six metres long and fifteen metres high. Also worth a look is Chatuchak Market. Situated a tuk-tuk (tiny taxi) ride north of Bangkok’s city centre, this thirty-five acre area is a vast maze of stalls selling any souvenir a tourist could possibly want – from clothes, jewellery, toys and plants, to more exotic wares like live snakes. It is matched in terms of strangeness only by the Patpong Night Bazaar, the city’s primary red light district. As well as the market, there are bars and clubs galore, all with names that leave little to the imagination, illuminated by garish neon lights. If you came to Bangkok in search of ping-pong shows and lady-boys, you need look no further.
It’s this clash of the ugly and the beautiful, the seedy and the glamorous, which is really at the crux of Bangkok. There are luxurious skyscraper-hotels with rooftop bars offering spectacular panoramic views of the city’s brightly lit skyline, and there are your typical Khao San Road hostels, with cold showers and complimentary ants’ nests, for two pounds a night. Of the former, the best is Moon Bar & Vertigo at Banyan Tree Hotel. It’s a little on the pricey side, and you’ll want to dress reasonably smartly - they provide an ill-fitting change of clothes for patrons whose attire is deemed unsuitable - but the cocktails are delicious and the views breathtaking. It’s a gargantuan playground of excess and decadence, a melting pot of extravagance and filth. Nowhere is this contrast clearer than on the Sukhumvit, one of the longest roads in the city. The east side is chock full of scruffy market stalls and swarms of beggars and thieves, so you’ll want to keep an eye on your wallet. These are inverted by customers enjoying the expensive hotels and restaurants on the west side. Bangkok’s chaos can be overwhelming at first, but you’ll soon get into the swing of it – knowing where to get the best beer for your buck, haggling ruthlessly with taxi drivers and chatting freely with the friendly locals. The metropolis serves as a perfect introduction to Thailand, but bursts with enough to justify spending your whole trip here. It is enchanting and outrageous. Quite simply, it has a strange magic all of its own.
The essence of Edinburgh Victoria Cann
Admittedly, choosing a place renowned for its inclement weather and kilted bagpipers, rather than its sunshine and beach-bathers, doesn’t initially sound like the greatest of holiday plans. However, as a jobless student last summer, with a shallow monetary fund, this writer opted for a weekend experiencing the more affordable charms of Scotland’s beautiful capital, Edinburgh. Approaching the Scottish border by train corresponds with a striking shift in scenery, from rolling hills and lush green vistas to a rugged expanse of purple heather and dramatic ridges dappled with dense black pine forest - and the arrival in Edinburgh itself is no anticlimax. The city is a vast span of splendid historic monuments and majestic stone buildings. The view from Waverley Bridge is particularly dazzling, as it encompasses the ornately beautiful nineteenthcentury Scott Monument, framed by an impressive throng of archaic buildings and spires dramatically clustered into the hillside, crowned by the commanding sight of the Edinburgh Castle.
Edinburgh is one of Britain’s oldest cities and offers a wealth of heritage sites to be investigated. The heights of the castle provide a very dizzying but exhilarating experience, with incredible panoramic views and palatial architecture. The Royal Mile, which cuts across the city from the castle, is another key attraction that captures the essence of Edinburgh.
The cobbled stone, towering buildings and narrow back-streets, conjure a sense of being steeped in living history, whilst an assortment of quaint local shops provides a fun digression from sight-seeing. Edinburgh is so rich in history and culture and its streets are so varied in content and stunning in appearance, Concrete would recommend longer than a weekend trip in order to appreciate it fully.
Top travel tips: Vietnam snake farm Gabriella Colasurdo
This beautiful South East Asian country is a hotspot on the traveller’s map. Still authentic, despite its inflating tourist population, Vietnam is bursting with culture and charm.
From a back-packers point of view, arriving in Hanoi is quite the culture shock. Bangkok is certainly not the place for preparation with its squeaky clean malls and Western grub. The streets are crowded, the people actually speak their own language, and restaurant takes a new form in curb-side stalls and plastic tables. A haven amid this wonderful chaos is Hanoi Backpackers. The hostel, founded by Australians, is a far cry from the accommodation usually found South East Asia.
With dorms of twelve, English breakfasts, a bar, and a tourist information centre, travellers pour in from far and wide in order to escape the ‘real world.’ Here you can take trips to Ha Long Bay, a sort of booze-cruise among the hundreds of little islands floating off the North East coast. Another memorable excursion is the opportunity to visit a ‘snake farm.’ For roughly twenty dollars (ten pounds), the fearless traveller can go and see snakes sliced open, their hearts and livers cut out, and then served up as dinner. A particular delicacy is the shot of beating heart - the thrill being the sensation of it still pulsing as it slips down your throat. Disgusting as it sounds, this trip is actually a great day out. Run almost entirely by locals, you are promised an authentic experience, and an abundance of complimentary “snake vodka”- whatever that may be. Vegetarians are probably not advised to visit, though this writer would definitely recommend it to all other backpackers. The snake ribs are actually quite delicious.
18 LETTERS AND EDITORIAL
Response to ‘Fight on bus leaves students shaken’ article PO BOX 410, NORWICH, NORFOLK, NR4 7TJ 01603 593466
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UEA’s Independent Student Newspaper Being the man in question in this article I would like to point out that an arrest was made and I was subsequently charged and cautioned. I would also like Concrete Newspaper to point out that was totally out of character for me and Union House apologize profusely for the incident, to both students UEA and security at the UEA. In my opinion they were not Norwich heavy handed but were dealing with an intoxicated man NR4 7TJ who was out of control. I would also like to point out that it was not a fight, no punches were actually thrown, email@example.com it was an ugly incident that I would like to put behind me. I would like it to be known that I apologize and do Editorial: 01603 593 466 not condone this sort of behaviour in any way. It was Advertising: 01603 592 507 disgraceful and will have repercussions on my future. I would advise those out there not to drink to an excessive amount as the consequences of my actions Danny Collins were not pleasant. It is not nice to spend the next day in Editor: a police cell. It is an experience that I hope to learn from Steph McKenna and would like to thank UEA for all their help in my past Deputy Editor: as an undergraduate. Please pass on my apologies. Chief Copy Editor:
The debate as to whether the actions of a minority of students at the National Demo two weeks ago is one that will inevitably continue to run for some time yet. This week, a seminar headed by UEA students debated the ethics of the action, which saw over sixty students arrested, and significant damage to the Conservative HQ at Millbank. While the grievances of the activists are real and understandable, their actions undermined the legitimate protests of 50,000 students. Criticism for Aaron Porter has abounded since, yet it was he who organised the protest that gave the rioters a platform to air their grievances on national television. The media’s representation of the protest is perhaps indicative of the NUS’s problems. If the march of 50,000 students had remained peaceful, it is likely that the right-wing media would have ignored its occurrence, as was demonstrated by the presence of only the left-wing newspapers at the press conference earlier in the day. Its transformation into a small-scale riot ensured that those media outlets, who would otherwise have bypassed the events, seized upon their opportunity to highlight the actions of the few, and in doing so, ignore the legitimate voices of the many.
In the 09/11/10 dated edition of Concrete an article reporting on the death of Professor Graham Everest wrongly stated that he had died a week before publication. Professor Everest had sadly passed away on the 30th July after a lengthy battle with cancer. Concrete would like to offer its sincere apologies to the family and friends of Graham Everest for any distress that mistake may have caused.
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Tuesday 23rd November
Christine O’Sullivan Food Writer
Anna Eastick Food Writer
This cheap recipe is a brilliant dish to make from scratch. The tarragon complements the chicken perfectly, and a sprinkling of paprika gives the creamy sauces a beautiful smoked quality. Sounding more complex than it actually is, you can impress a friend who is dining over with this sophisticated meal. You will need:
• 2 chicken breasts, cut into strips • 1 tbsp olive oil • Knob of butter • 2 onions, thinly sliced • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced • 200ml chicken stock • 100ml sour cream • 2 tbsp paprika • Dried tarragon (as much as desired) • Salt and freshly ground black pepper • 100g wild rice
Method: • Cook the wild rice as per packet instructions. • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and butter in a frying pan. Add the chicken and fry until cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. • Add the onions and garlic to the pan, adding more olive oil or butter if needed, and heat gently until softened. • Pour in the chicken stock and turn the heat up to high. Reduce the stock by half and then turn the heat down to a simmer. • Add the chicken to the pan, along with the sour cream and stir through. Season with the tarragon, salt and pepper and simmer until the cream has thickened slightly. • Serve, accompanied by the rice and sprinkle 1 tbsp of the paprika over the stroganoff on each plate.
Lamb Pitta Pockets
Lydia McEvoy Food Writer
This simple recipe for lamb pittas makes a tasty alternative to a takeaway kebab, and your wallet will thank you for making the switch. You will need:
• Diced Lamb • One tbsp of dried mixed herbs • One red onion • One chilli • One clove of garlic
• Fresh mint or coriander • Low-fat plain yoghurt or sour cream • Pitta bread • Salad leaves Method: • Brown off the lamb, then add the mixed herbs, sliced onion, chilli and garlic. • Mix the mint or coriander into the yoghurt or sour cream. • Lightly toast the pittas, and add the yoghurt/sour cream and salad to the pitta.
This week, Concrete Food gives you a quick lowdown on the must have food for celebrating Thanksgiving this Thursday, a big day for any students from the US. Either read it to know a little more about how those in America are celebrating, or use it as inspiration to get everyone together to cook a meal. Not only will it make your American friends feel more at home, but you can take the chance to experience this holiday yourself. No two Thanksgivings are exactly the same, but here’s a quick list of the creations people make when it comes to Thanksgiving meals. Starters: oysters rockefeller; celery and
pear bisque; caesar salad with sourdough croutons. Main course: roast turkey with all the trimmings; roast chicken and sage and onion stuffing with chips; gooseberry sauce; broad beans and sausage meatballs; sweet potato gumbo with cornbread muffins. Desserts: Pumpkin pie; key lime pie; American-based cheesecake. No Thanksgiving table is complete without a large dish of cranberry sauce, the cranberry being a native North American berry, regarded as an indispensable part of the traditional Thanksgiving menu. Often a harvest centrepiece is made for the table, such as a simple basket, rustic candle and seasonal natural materials, to bring the warm and rustic feel of fall to the Thanksgiving table.
This issue, exercise newbie Joanna O’Connor spoke to Dom Markham (President), Garr Probert (Vice-President) and Dom Williams (Social Sec & 1st Team Captain) of the UEA Squash Society about socials, stereotypes, and just what it is about this acclaimed sport that makes them tick. Q: First things first, what’s the society all about? Dom M: We’re a group of people who enjoy playing squash! Garr: We have training sessions and beginner’s tournaments; we cater to all levels. Other clubs are quite elitist, which we don’t like. Q: To clear the air, doesn’t squash have the stereotype of ‘middle-aged guy using “squash” as a cover-up for his affair’? Garr: I think that stereotype is long gone. Also, in this day and age squash is a much more woman-friendly sport so now women are able to use that excuse as well.
Q: So what can you offer the competitive among us? Dom M: We focus on what our members want, so we choose when we’re playing matches. We contact other universities and find out when they can play. We’re power to the people! Wait…we’re not Labour… or is it the Cameron who’s been saying that?
Dom W: We’re also making inroads in the local league - top of the table at the moment!
Q: What advice would you give to a beginner? Dom M: Get yourself to a court at non-peak hours, (not 9-5pm on a week day) borrow a racket from us, and just have a go! For £2.50 it’s hardly a rip-off. Garr: The advantage of squash is that you can practice by yourself (unlike tennis and badminton). We have coaches here too if you’re seeking to improve your performance. Q: I’m glad to see the girls are holding their own, with members often playing on mixed courts. How does the women’s team shape up? Dom W: We have a great female side, captained by Emily Paine. We’ve had about thirty join us so far this year. Dom M: They also play in the Norfolk league, which has been good for gaining match experience.
Are you getting it?
This week, the University of East Anglia launched a campaign to raise awareness of chlamydia in the student population. ‘Are you getting it’ is an NHS health programme that aims to give sexually active young people in Norfolk and Waveney access to free confidential services and information about the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.K. It is estimated that 1 in 12 people aged between 15-24 could be carrying chlamydia. Despite being relatively easy to treat, it rarely has noticeable symptoms, and if left unnoticed can lead to infertility. The only way of a definite diagnosis is to take a test, which is free, confidential and painless - a
simple urine sample is all that is required, and results return within 7-10 days. Chlamydia tests are available to all students from the Advice Centre.
Q: So, you guys are starting a revolution! What are the benefits for a UEA student looking to pick up a racket? Dom W: It doesn’t matter what the weather is, you can play whenever. Dom M: Plus, I hate to admit it, but the courts in the Sportspark are easily the best around.
With some wishful thinking from Garr, the lunch date came to an end. As a beginner themself, this writer felt relaxed and welcome around
these fun-loving lads. If you want, drop them an email on uea.squash@ gmail.com or find their Facebook page: UEA Squash Club 2010/11. With membership only costing £13 a year, you can’t go wrong!
Q: The socials, a topic on every student’s mind. Are they banter galore? Dom W: The squash-only socials are a good laugh, and we also have the tri-racket socials, with one coming up in week 8. We also have non-alcoholic socials to cater to everyone’s needs and wants. Dom M: And at the end of the year we have the tri-racket tournament, followed by the ball, in fairly lavish surroundings. Q: Lastly, would you ever accept the offer of doing a saucy calendar? Dom M: Like David Beckham or James Corden, reclining on a sofa? Garr: We don’t want to attract the
UEA calls for annual donation
Every year a team of dedicated students work as student callers for the University’s Call Campaign, raising money for the Annual Fund. Based in the Council Chamber, students work Monday to Thursday in the evenings and between October and March they will speak to thousands of alumni of the University. Alumni share stories of their time at UEA and since they left, and many choose to support current and future students through a gift to the Annual Fund. The Fund supports University students through scholarships and bursaries, and by providing equipment and opportunities which otherwise would not be available. It began life in the 1990s as a response to the many generous donations received from former students over the years and as a way of encouraging more alumni to join them in giving their support. When alumni make donations they can choose whether their money supports the Jubilee Scholarship Fund or the Priority Fund.
The Priority Fund is distributed annually by a committee of alumni, with representatives of the University and Student Union. Schools and Departments from across the University submit bids for projects that enhance the student experience and last year 18 successful projects received a total of £76,568.00. Projects that received a grant from the Fund include the refurbishment of Floor 0 of the Library, a new module in the School of History and attendance at placement fairs for students in CMP. Projects that have benefited from the Annual Fund will display its logo, so look out for it around campus. The Call Campaign is a great way
to introduce potential new donors to the Annual Fund and to update current donors about how students are benefiting from their financial support. It also gives alumni the opportunity to ask any questions they might have about how the money is spent. Student callers do an amazing job of talking with our alumni, telling them about life at UEA today. Working for the Annual Fund is a rewarding job and the professionalism and dedication of our student callers is always impressive. If you are interested in joining the Call Campaign next year, please contact Charlotte Burford (Alumni and Annual Fund manager) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday 23rd November
Nottingham Malaysian Games 2010 Rachael Lum International Writer
Following 8 months of preparation, the 26th Nottingham Malaysian Games was once again held at the University of Nottingham on the 6th November 2010. An estimated 6,000 people attended the event, the majority of which are students from around the UK and Ireland. This event has been an annual tradition of the Nottingham Malaysians Society since 1985. Of all such games held in the UK, Nottingham has the largest establishment due to the size of its student society and number of different games it holds, which attracts a plethora of students every year. 2010 saw an increase in the number of participating contingents, with a record 66 universities signing up for the games. There was an additional 10 new contingents compared to 2009, in which UEA was also included The main aim of the Games is to provide a central platform whereby fellow Malaysians can get together for a day of camaraderie. For most students, this is a time when they meet up with their peers who are also studying
abroad. At the same time, it also promotes the country’s culture. There were 13 games open for participation, most of which took part in the Portland Building and the Sports Centre. For sports enthusiasts, there were competitions such as badminton, football, netball and squash. Those who prefer a less physical exertion could partake in mind-challenging games like
“This event has been an
annual tradition of the Nottingham
Society since 1985”
scrabble, snooker and lightning chess. To give the games a twist, the Nottingham student society even brought back the traditional games that were introduced in 2009 such as congkak and ‘�ive stones’. Apart from that, there was a bazaar that sold local products and the Malaysian Food Festival, which generated a crowd at the stores. To quell their gastronomic craving, many
MCM London Expo
waited hours to buy the different variations of noodles, rice dishes, hors d'oeuvre and cakes. Over the years, the most popular sale has always gone to the ‘Nasi lemak’ (Rice cooked with coconut milk and served with cucumbers and chicken). The champion for the Games as a whole
A fool’s guide to the boomerang Kirsten Wade International Writer
Isabelle Carty International Writer
The MCM London Expo is an event for anime lovers, science �iction fans, and gamers held biannually in London. For those who have never been, it introduces the new fan to a whole subculture of enthusiasts ranging from Cosplayers (Cosplay is short for “costume play” and it involves people dressing up as their favourite characters from games, anime, movies etc.) to Steampunks (Steampunk is another sub-genre of science �iction set in Victorian times). For those who are old hands and completely familiar with this type of affair, it is the event of the year to look forward to and to work towards. This year’s latest event took place on the 29th-31st October and featured guests over the weekend from SyFy Channel’s TV series Warehouse 13, Eureka and Haven, as well as John de Lancie, better known to fans as “Q” from Star Trek, Glenn Morshower (from the Transformers movies) and science �iction writer Peter Hamilton among others. Show attendees were given the opportunity to meet with the guests, have their photos taken with them and
get their autographs. If famous guests were not suf�icient, the event was packed with entertainment, from live wrestling to exclusive screenings of previously unseen footage from movies like Avatar and the upcoming Simon Pegg/ Seth Rogan comedy, Paul. In addition, gamers were lured to the event by games such as Dead Space 2, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Batman the Brave and The Bold among countless others which were made available for everyone to play. A vast number of stalls were also in place, selling dif�icult to �ind items ranging from American drinks and confectionary, to anime �igurines, amusing t-shirts, games, DVDs etc. Comic artists and writers were also in attendance and show attendees had the opportunity to have caricatures of themselves drawn. The atmosphere throughout the weekend was infectious and started prior to arriving at the venue. There was a feeling of camaraderie that made even queuing up to get into the event a fun experience as strangers exchanged high�ives and hugs and passed around balloons. Ultimately, the Expo offered each visitor a way to enjoy the unique experience and escape reality – if only for just the weekend.
was Imperial College London. Nottingham Trent University bagged the most uniformed contingent award, while the most enthusiastic student society was from Warwick University. It ended in a hope that more students would continue to support the Malaysian Games come November next year.
Despite the common belief that boomerangs are traditionally associated with the indigenous population of Australia, the activity of boomerang throwing actually involves participants from across Australia and from varying cultural groups. Brushing over the argument of whether boomerang throwing is a sport or not, there is no argument that there is de�inite art and skill to the activity. Turning to the experts, the Boomerang Association of Australia (BAA), the best way to achieve success in boomerang throwing is to follow the acronym W.E.L.SH.
“The best way to achieve success in boomerang throwing is to follow the acronym WELSH”
Firstly, consider the wind. The boomerang needs to be thrown around the wind, to the right of the wind for right-handed people and to the left for left-handed people. Secondly, elevation needs to be considered. Avoid the temptation of throwing upwards, as best results are achieved by throwing the
boomerang at eye level or slightly above this height. Following on from this is layover. Layover is the angle at which the plane of the boomerang is angled from vertical when throwing. For best results, this is typically between 10 and 30 degrees. Then comes spin. Without spin, a boomerang is simply a bent stick. Spin can be created by �licking the wrist as the boomerang is released or by tilting the boomerang backwards. Finally, the last element to think about is hardness, which basically comes down to distance preference. Obviously, mastering boomerang throwing will take time, patience and lots of practice, but having the boomerang turn and return is reward for it all. But, if boomerang throwing sounds too complicated and strenuous, there is always boomerang painting and decorating!
Harrison-Haye fight fails to live up to the hype
Update: East Anglia Matt Philcox Sports Correspondent
Norwich City were on the wrong end of a highly contentious refereeing decision in their encounter with Reading at the Madejski Stadium. With the visitors 3-1 up at half time thanks to goals from Russell Martin, Grant Holt and Chris Martin, Holt was then dismissed for a seemingly innocuous challenge on Ian Harte. Manager Paul Lambert was sent to the stands late on following a Reading fight-back which ensured the game ended 3-3, and the Canaries lost two valuable points. Holt’s red card was later over-turned by the FA,
however. Next up for City was a grudge match against Leeds United at Carrow Road, which took on added significance due not only to the playoff aspirations of both sides, but the fact that they finished as League One champions and runners-up respectively last season. Max Gradel’s fortuitous goal put United ahead before Leon Barnett’s (left) header mid-way through the frenetic second half earned the Canaries their fourth consecutive draw, in front of a record all-seater crowd at Carrow Road. Paul Lambert’s side have now won just once in eight games, and currently stand eighth in the table. The Canaries have announced the signing of Henri Lansbury from Arsenal, on a one-month loan
deal. The drastic dip in recent form for Ipswich Town continued following their solid start to the campaign, with Roy Keane’s men suffering a 3-1 humiliation at Portman Road at the hands of Barnsley. This prompted defender Mark Kennedy to claim that the team were ‘letting down’ manager Roy Keane. The Tractor Boys looked to bounce back against relegated Hull City at the KC Stadium, but the match proved to be a relatively dour affair with the score remaining firmly deadlocked at 0-0 until the 77th minute. A 25-yard s t r i k e from Hull midfielder R o b e r t K o r e n
taking the lead in the 20th minute with a well-taken goal from the right of the shooting circle after the ball deflected off the post. UEA responded immediately up the other end of the field, but were closed out by an efficient Nottingham defence. This proved to be a brief respite for the home
side, with only a succession of fine saves from UEA goalkeeper Sophie Simpson keeping the score at a deserved 1-0 to the visitors at halftime. The second period began in a similar vein, with Nottingham dominating and creating chances early on. It wasn’t long before, in
earned his side all three points to compound the misery for Town. In a game of few chances, the visitors could only muster two shots on target, winger Carlos Edwards (below) with the best of them, but lacking the quality displayed by Koren from a similar range. The result saw Ipswich drop out of the top half of the Championship to 13th, three points behind bitter rivals Norwich City. With the Tractor Boys facing the possibility of a fourth straight defeat, the upcoming East Anglian derby could make or break their season, with the pressure steadily mounting on Keane to stop the rot. This Friday, the Norwich City Independent Supporters’ Association holds it’s first quarterly members’ evening at Bowthorpe’s Bowling Centre. The evening will commence at 7.30pm, with City legends Kevin Drinkell a n d Ken Brown hosting a question-and-answer session during the proceedings.
Hockey thrashed by Notts Chris Teale
UEA Women’s I 0 Nottingham Women’s II 5
UEA Women’s Hockey I crashed to a disappointing 5-0 loss against Nottingham Women’s II on Wednesday at the Sportspark. Four second half goals from the away side saw Nottingham win convincingly in a game they dominated from the outset. The visitors controlled possession in the first-half and had a number of good opportunities to open the scoring but failed to take them, in the most part due to solid defending by the home side. In the opening twenty minutes there were opportunities for UEA to counter-attack, but with little support for the attacking players, these chances were lost. Nottingham eventually made their possession and chances count,
Onslaught: UEA struggled to cope with Nottingham in the second half
the 48th minute, they extended their lead via a deflected shot following a cross from the left hand side. To their credit, the home side continued to look for chances, but the visiting ‘keeper stood firm. Nottingham, however, were still creating opportunities and scored a third in the 59th minute, lobbing Simpson following a well-worked penalty corner. The match fast became an uphill struggle for UEA to keep the score down, a strategy which couldn’t prevent Nottingham scoring again in the 64th minute. From this point onwards UEA had no answer to the perpetual barrage of Nottingham attacks, and succumbed to somewhat of a fluke fifth goal, which went in off the lefthand post in the 67th minute as the game came to a conclusion. Next up for UEA Women’s I is a second round BUCS Cup tie against Oxford Brookes Women’s III, and a chance to put this result behind them and progress further in the competition.
Billed as the biggest British heavyweight boxing clash since Lennox Lewis and Frank Bruno in 1993, the Haye-Harrison fight enjoyed extensive build-up in the media as the date drew near, during which the ‘Best of Enemies’ filled countless newspaper columns with their relentless animosity and constant ‘trash talking’. The scene was set for an epic encounter with the WBA Heavyweight title on the line, an electric atmosphere, £15 paid to Sky Box Office and a nation holding its collective breath. However, despite all the hype, all the speculation and the media circus, in eight minutes of boxing Audley ‘A-Force’ Harrison laid just one punch on David ‘Hayemaker’ Haye, before the latter abruptly ended his challenge in the third round. This shambolic display by the former-Olympic gold medallist only further discredited his reputation as a professional boxer. The first round was a cagey affair, with neither fighter willing to hand the advantage to the other, resulting in a chorus of boos around the MEN Arena in Manchester, as neither landed a punch. The second was a similar affair, before the floodgates opened in the third round and a succession of fast, potent blows to the head left Harrison with no answer to his opponent’s onslaught. Despite getting up after a eight count moments later Harrison was struck again, this time more forcefully, leading the umpire to call an end to the fight, and seal the inevitable fate of Harrison. More controversy followed with many criticising Harrison’s lack of fight and suggesting that his intention was to take a few hits in order to earn one last pay cheque, although Haye largely discredits this view. The winner has himself been reprimanded by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) for suggesting to family members and close friends that he would knock Harrison out in the third round. Haye has been quoted as saying: “I didn’t physically go into a betting shop and say, here’s x amount of money”, but whether this will be enough for him to avoid sanctions remains to be seen. For those who shelled out £15 to watch the fight on television, it will be remembered less for the hype and post-fight controversy than for a deeply-underwhelming event, and little more than an anti-climax. Sam Tomkinson
Tuesday 23rd November
Vettel’s last-gasp victory Keiren Cordery Sports Correspondent
Sebastian Vettel became the youngest ever Formula One World Champion after claiming victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. In a remarkable sequence of events the 23-yearold German managed to overturn a 15-point deficit to snatch the title from Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber. The season finale, being held in Abu Dhabi for only the second time, brought to an end the longest and hardest-fought World Championship in Formula One history. Indeed, after a thrilling start the race looked to be living up to its huge billing. Outgoing champion Jenson Button made an excellent start, despite being out the running for this year’s crown, overtaking Fernando Alonso to put a major dent in his hopes of taking a third World Championship title. This move turned out to be crucial as the Ferrari would fail to trouble the frontrunners for the remainder of the race. To cap an underwhelming comeback season, Michael Schumacher exited the Grand Prix early after being spun into the path of Vitantonio Liuzzi by his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Elated: Red Bull’s Christian Horner
It was both unfortunate and deeply disappointing for the race’s many spectators that after a brief period under the safety car, racing resumed with virtually no successful overtaking manoeuvres. The outcome of the race would instead come down to a tactical battle between Red Bull and Ferrari, after the former made the call to bring in Mark Webber on lap 12, and Ferrari ill-advisedly decided to react. This resulted in Alonso spending a dismal 40 laps unable to pass the Renault of Vitaly Petrov and close in on the front-runners, leaving Vettel to storm to a historic victory in the desert, claiming the title by just four points.
Fencing weekend a pointed success UEA Fencing Vice-President Jason Gillan describes the recent five-team BUCS tournament hosted by his club Last weekend UEA Fencing Club hosted a BUCS tournament, where all the teams in the same divisions as UEA’s men’s and women’s sides were invited to come down for the weekend and fence all of their BUCS matches over a few days. In the end five teams attended the Sportspark tournament, with eight matches taking place on the Saturday and one on the Sunday. All teams fenced strongly, producing several unbelievably close matches in a friendly but competitive atmosphere. UEA’s men’s squad began against Staffordshire, with the opening foil round producing a dominant 45-14 win for the hosts. The sabre category was slightly closer; after a rocky start both teams began to find their feet but UEA were again too strong, eventually winning 45-28. In the final epee phase, the two sides were deadlocked at 30-30 before UEA secured 5-1, 5-2 and 5-3 victories in the final three bouts to complete their match win. The hosts were not able to
Razor sharp: UEA Fencing put on a strong display in a series of close matches
repeat this performance against fencing powerhouse Oxford, though, suffering a total reverse and losing all three categories. UEA’s final match against Nottingham II now gained
added significance, and developed into an enthralling contest. Despite several notable individual efforts and a timed victory for UEA in the epee, Nottingham’s slight superiority
So You Think You Know Karate? Sports Correspondent Kirsten Wade previews a fighting fit sports club hungry for success
Not every sports club at UEA is prominent purely in BUCS competition. Some are more important because they give students the chance to try out a sport they’ve never played or participated in before – and UEA Karate Club, which has reformed this year after not running in 2009-10, is a perfect example of that. A dispute with the club’s previous instructor resulted in it being without a suitable replacement last year, and this has forced UEA Karate to start again from scratch. Karate is one of the most recognised forms of martial art throughout the world, and one of several on offer at UEA. It translates literally from Japanese as ‘empty hand’, which comes from the fact that karate is based on non-weapon techniques, with a focus on both physical and mental skills. Karate Club President, Shotokan instructor and Sensei 3rd Dan Simon Russell explains that the aim of karate is to “teach people how to act, to give them the knowledge to keep calm in a situation and to be able to act and think when needed.” While various styles of karate exist, such as Goju-Ryu, Shito-Ryu,
Wado-Ryu and Uechi-Ryu, the most practised style today is Shotokan. Shotokan karate differs slightly from these other styles, mainly in that it is highly accessible, even for beginners. The discipline is often recognisable from its line formations during training, which serve the purpose of promoting familiarity and rhythm of moves.
Training hard: A new club on the up
Karate, like other martial arts such as taekwondo and judo, has the advantage of being applicable in the real world in terms of selfdefence. Training allows participants
to use what they learn in the dojo (or ‘training room’) in everyday life if a dangerous situation presents itself. Russell explains that karate is about taking both the physical and mental skills learnt in training and applying them: “You learn to manipulate what you’ve been taught, so you can apply it to a practical situation”. In terms of competitions, UEA Karate is essentially a new club since reforming at the beginning of the academic year. As such there are many beginners involved, meaning that the club is unlikely to be entering into tournaments at least until next year, due to the standard involved in such events. Furthermore, as Russell explains, the club doesn’t compete in BUCS competition due to its specific idea of kata, meaning ‘form’ and relating to particular stances, from amongst 100 different styles across the various forms of karate. The UEA Shotokan Karate Club attempts to incorporate all of these aspects of karate and promote wellrounded training. The Club meet twice a week for training, Thursday between 5:30pm and 7:00pm and Sunday 3:00pm to 5:00pm, in the martial arts room at the Sportspark.
allowed them to edge the foil and sabre categories, handing UEA its second loss of the weekend. Having produced a battling display in a narrow defeat to muchfancied Warwick, UEA Women’s second and final match was against Staffordshire. The foil began with a near-repeat of the men’s tie against Staffordshire earlier in the day, UEA coming through 45-23. Sabre was a much closer affair; after a difficult start for UEA, Megan Proctor produced an amazing display to earn UEA the lead en route to a 4538 triumph. In epee UEA once again displayed its strength in depth, winning 45-25 after a great start. Despite the mixed results both UEA teams displayed impressive ability and athleticism. The weekend was a huge success all round, with UEA Fencing quite possibly the biggest beneficiary of all.
For regional and international sports fans alike there is much to whet our appetite over the next couple of weeks. First up is the much-anticipated East Anglian derby, making its return to the sporting calendar for the 2010-11 season. The game at Carrow Road on Sunday is set to be the most competitive between the two teams for a number of years, with both now harbouring promotion aspirations and putting in promising performances early on in the Championship season. As for international cricket, the Ashes first test begins on Thursday, with England hoping to hold onto the urn recaptured from Australia last year, and avoid another devastating whitewash along the lines of their 5-0 defeat down under in the 2006-7 series. Finally, in the previous issue, a joke, designed solely to be humorous and in no way based on our opinion, was regrettably printed in the sub-heading of an article. We offer our unconditional and unreserved apologies to the person concerned for any offence we may have inadvertently caused. - Chris King and Rob Schatten -
Boxing Audley Harrison and David Haye’s WBA Heavyweight title fight disappointed fans and didn’t live up to the hype
Formula One Sebastian Vettel steals the World Championship from under the nose of rivals Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber at the Abu Dhabi GP
DRAW LEAVES FOOTBALL WITH BLUES Matt Scrafton
UEA Men’s I Cambridge Men’s I
UEA Men’s Football I squared off against Cambridge I in the BUCS League this week, braving a chilly Wednesday afternoon at Colney Fields and putting on a highly competitive display in a close-fought game. Both sides had enjoyed impressive starts to the season - UEA went into the match unbeaten in their last three outings while the visitors were in imperious form, having won both of their previous two fixtures, scoring seven in total and failing to concede on both occasions. It was the hosts who began the brighter, forcing the majority of the early action to be played in the Cambridge half. It was this pressure which fashioned the first real opportunities of the game, the most notable of which was a Cambridge defender coming dangerously close to scoring an embarrassing own goal, as his attempt at a clearing header smashed against his own crossbar. UEA looked determined to maintain their momentum and came close to scoring moments later when pacy striker Chuka Obi was set through on goal, only to fire disappointingly wide. It looked as though UEA could be made to rue missing their early openings as Cambridge grew into the game, yet an incisive breakaway resulted in a well-taken opener from Neil Hurren, who struck across
Greg Mann Competitive: UEA striker Chuka Obi (centre) bursts through the Cambridge defence during a spirited and close-fought draw at Colney Fields
the Cambridge keeper to put UEA deservedly ahead. Instead of building on their impressive start to the game, however, UEA became complacent and sat back, a dangerous tactic against a clearly talented Cambridge outfit. The away side began to put pressure on the hosts, with a succession of dangerous Rory Delapesque long throws disturbing the
UEA defence. Yet the half time whistle was blown before Cambridge could forge any notable opportunities, UEA maintaining a slender lead. The visitors were level soon after the interval. The ball was drilled into the bottom corner by the Cambridge number 8, following yet another dangerous throw from the left, punishing the home defence for failing to clear their lines and leaving
goalkeeper Adam Burlett stranded. The goal galvanised the away side as they continued to pile on the pressure. Cambridge came close to taking the lead on a number of occasions in the second half, yet failed to find the killer touch in the final few moments to secure all three points. The two sides traded penalty appeals in the last ten minutes of the game, only for the referee to wave
away their protests, and so it proved that both sides would have to settle for a point apiece. A solid performance from UEA centre-back Dan Morphew saw him voted as the home side’s man of the match. These two universities will meet again on a football field in a week’s time with UEA travelling to Cambridge, this time to play Cambridge II in the BUCS Cup.
on Wednesday at Easton College. The former were up against tough opposition in Leicester, but got off to a great start with Ross Culley and Nathan Briscoe winning their doubles match in three sets. Captain Henry Durrant made an important decision, selecting Dominic Noakes from UEA II to replace the injured James BaseyFisher. This turned out to be an inspired move, as Durrant and
Noakes combined well to craft a three set victory in their doubles match, and Noakes went on to triumph in the singles. Briscoe and Durrant were then unfortunately defeated in two highly competitive singles matches to leave the tie in the balance, but an impressive performance from UEA’s No.1 Culley proved to be the difference. He won in three epic sets to secure an 8-4 victory, a very
impressive result given that Leicester had won their first two games 12-0. UEA I’s victory continues their unbeaten run, which has so far featured two victories and a draw. UEA II meanwhile made history, securing their first ever victory by defeating Oxford Brookes 8-4. Captain Chris Thompson lead by example, winning in the singles (6-3, 6-4) and combining well with
BUCS debutant Elliott Brookes in the doubles. Brookes also triumphed in the singles (6-4, 6-3) to put UEA II in control. Theodore Chakos and Alex Howard were narrowly defeated in a competitive doubles match, before Howard compensated for this defeat with a stunning victory (6-2, 6-2) in the singles to round off an excellent day for both UEA Men’s Tennis sides.
EASTON COLLEGE SUCCESS FOR TENNIS Toby Martin
UEA Men’s I Leicester Men’s I
UEA Men’s II 8 Oxford Brookes Men’s I 4
UEA Men’s Tennis I and II enjoyed successful outings against Leicester I and Oxford Brookes I respectively
VENUE Editor-in-Chief>Danny Collins| email@example.com Venue Editor>Duncan Vicat-Brown| firstname.lastname@example.org
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I’m on the pavement, thinkin’ ‘bout the government... So yeah, about our cover photo... Probably best to establish right now that I am not going to address the Millbank incident, or even reference it in this issue at all after this. This is Venue after all, and there’s plenty of juicy material on the protests in Concrete. Mostly, that picture is there because I think it’s a fantastic, iconic piece of art. In fact, our consistently excellent team of photographers really did us proud on 10/11/2010. Moving on from the cover (which often helps when reading something), we’ve also got lots of great stuff for you inside this issue. Head over to Page 16 to see what happened when I met Johnny Knoxville, and on Page 12 there’s a comprehensive review of Call of Duty: Black Ops. We’ve also got a look at the fantastic new season of Misfits, and the adventures of McGrief on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!, both on Page 10. There, that ought to keep your mind off the Guv’mint...
Have a week,
n a c un
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Photo by Geraldine Morizet The nice bit of the protest. For people who are sad about this naughty government, they don’t half look cheerful!
23nov10 ISSUE 248
Kate Moss 2007
Eva Mendes in PETA campaign
“I’d rather go naked than wear fur”. I wouldn’t when skiing. And that’s why people first started wearing the fur of dead animals - to keep warm. That’s why the stupefyingly dull Doctor Zhivago had all the characters wandering round with racoons on their heads. It’s chilly in Russia. Of course, it probably wasn’t as chilly as that when Kanye West and then-girlfriend Amber Rose dressed themselves from headto-toe in fur and went to the Louis Vuitton menswear show in Paris. This led PETA VicePresident Don Matthews to say “Kanye can't help making himself look like an idiot. He and his girlfriend look like pathetic creatures from a shabby roadside zoo”. Who says vegetarians have no bite… Now I’ve been to a few shabby zoos in my time (thank you Holy Innocents R.C. Primary School), and can’t recall seeing any animals wearing the fur of other animals. Perhaps that’s because polar bears aren’t usually prone to cannibalism. Perhaps they’ve no sense of style. And ultimately, that’s the main point. Sure, it’s ethically a little dubious, a bit cruel and maybe a tad sick, but it looks awesome. Obviously on a student budget, there is no way I could actually afford it without franchising my liver. But I did look at those photos of Kanye, and thought he looked damn good. You might think I’m heartless, and the coats of dead animal never, ever look good. It’s all a matter of taste. Or, as Kanye so much more eloquently put it, “Remember clothing is a choice. We were born naked!!! Fresh is an opinion, love is objective, taste is selective, and expression is my favourite elective.” You said it, Kanye. Robert Van Egghen Josephine Lister We’ve handcuffed fashion and slung it in a cell. This issue we look at the moral and political debates surrounding fashion that bend the law or challenge the rights of its creators, consumers and the controversial impact it has on society. We focus on opinions of fur and what the future holds for extreme fashion, along with a crime inspired photoshoot. Fashion can be more than just everyday style, it shows individual beliefs and can bring to light topics that question our own principles.
Kanye West with girlfriend
Fur conjures up the glamorous feeling of old Hollywood in our mind; when men were dapper and women were dolls and no one watched the road when they were driving. But let us not over-romanticise the image. If you don’t watch the road, you’ll crash. And the fabulous coats they wore are nothing more than road kill. Fashion is not great enough of an excuse for the slaughter of animals to keep happening, the fashion world has moved on, we have new materials to use, faux fur among them, so we don’t need to use real fur to feel glamorous. Fashion has always been about looking at the past, taking inspiration from what has already been done and transforming it into something new and fresh; recycling old ideas and moulding them into something unique. If we continue to coat our skin with the skin of another then surely our fashion sense is stuck in the past, gathering dust and accumulating an unpleasant musk. The challenge is to capture the glittering aura of the golden age but translate it through new forms and ideas, otherwise surely there would be no need for fashion designers, we could simply just have factories churning out the same goods. I understand that no other fabric has the feel and sensation of real fur, so by all means; you have my blessing to wear it. But only if you can go out and hunt the creature, kill it and skin it yourself. But if you can’t handle the facts, you have no right to put it on your back.
Marilyn Munroe 1959
FASHION UNDER ARREST
Although anti-fur campaigns have been evident in the fashion world, particularly via PETA, there seems to have been little impact against the use of fur. Fur sales reached a record in 2005, whilst last year more than 1000 tonnes of fur arrived in Britain. One iconic figure from the fashion industry that originally joined the fight against fur was model, Naomi Campbell. In about 1994 she, along with four other iconic supermodels, declared they would ‘Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur’ in a PETA campaign. The fact that five of the world’s best-known supermodels took part in this campaign, when previously many catwalk outfits they may have worn were made of fur, looked like a major breakthrough. However, 15 years on, Naomi appears to have developed a case of amnesia. In a feature on the 1st September 2009 Naomi was shown in a campaign for New York furrier, ‘Dennis Basso,’ wearing a sable coat. One of these coats costs as much as £126, 750, suggesting designers are willing to cash in on cruelty to animals, whatever
the consequences may be. This points out just how fickle the fashion world can be. The basis of their support seems to be focused more on publicity and almost a ‘trend’ at the time to take part in antifur demonstrations; fashion has little real conscience. The main shows I attended at September’s London Fashion Week did not contain much fur, but high-end designers such as Burberry are not set to give up on fur yet. Fur is once again a huge trend for A/W10 and whilst high-street brands may use fake fur, high-end brands do not. Fake fur now looks so realistic that it does seem hypocritical to wear it if we oppose the use of real fur. Unless asked, most cannot establish between real and fake; wearing fur is promoting fur whether real or not.
I am not entirely sure where I stand on the issue of fur in fashion. A little like houmous, I’m not sure if the idea of fur is delicious, or if it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I find the idea of slaughtering, skinning and stitching defenceless little animals into apparel repulsive. But, I am perfectly happy to stomp around in boots which used to be a cow. I also eat meat, and am partial to the odd kebab (donner preferably, made up of whatever the takeaway owner ran over on his way to work that week...) Is it not then hypocritical for me to bitch and moan about people wearing fur? I do not believe so. Firstly, one can argue that at least when you eat an animal, you do so in order to live. If you wear leather, you can be safe in the knowledge that the rest of the cow has been used to make Big Macs and marshmallows. What happens to the rest of a chinchilla after its skin has been peeled from its flesh? Secondly, regardless of morality, people were fur for one reason - fashion. Okay, so Siberians may wear fur to keep out the freeze, but the weather in England is nothing
that nice fitted trench can’t keep out. A small amount of fur, adding accents of texture to a bag, can be interesting. But a whole coat is just too much fur for me to handle. Seeing tiny legs poke out of the bottom of a huge fluffy coat makes me feel a bit sick. You look like a lollipop. A fluffy one. Fur may be warm but then again, so is a duvet. Your fur coat is about as flattering to a figure as strapping a 14 tog around yourself. You look like a fur ball. Faux fur is even worse. You look like a fur ball that a cat just coughed up. If you still insist on wearing fur there is a loophole. Buy vintage fur. We don’t need new additions to the fur industry, but we may as well recycle the old. High end brands should stop slicing and dicing little animals that cannot say no, cannot run away, for the sake of fashion. No rabbit should die for the sake of some smug skank who wants to prance around like a princess in a fur coat. However, that decomposing chinchilla would have wanted you to make bloody good use out of his coat. Don’t let that chinchilla die for nothing. Hannah Britt
Topman has an awesome choice of headgear in store for the young gent so, head to 15/17 The Haymarket Norwich, Norfolk NR2 1QL 01603 629 154 Students get 10% discount
Miss Selfridge supplied the lovely girly head toppers and they offer a 10% student discount all year round. At the moment, if you sign up to their in-store loyalty card you can bag an extra 10% of your purchase. Find Miss Selfridge at 22 St. Stephens Street, Norwich, Norfolk NR1 3SA. 01603 626 803 Thank you to James and Hannah for modelling and to Laura Smith for taking the photos. Venue would like to thank Sasha from Topman and Bex from Miss Selfridge.
Chokin’ Cheryl Cole
Ballet Shoes - so pretty, but leave you unable to feel your toes
Designer Bunny Ears
This quirky young lady caught our eye this week. Simplistic, yet stylish. Bravo!
Stripes on Stripes
Watch out UEA, next week we will be shaming the next “Worst Dressed”. Don’t say we didn’t warn you...
The Coca Cola Christmas Advert
The Usual Suspects
times: our grandmothers made the most of what they had; rationing food, sewing holes in socks, sharing bath water etc. Surely we are doing the same. We are being economical in using every part of the animal. This primitive concept can also be seen in the shark tooth necklaces around the neck of a man and rabbit skin gloves on the hands of a well-to-do lady. We are strutting around like proud peacocks, embracing our top-of-the-food-chain status. Where can we go from here? This is a sordid choice of subject even in our modern western society, which is generally quite open to newness and the impact it can create. However, after initial observation of said meat dress, it poses a similarity to a piece of art by the Canadian artist Jana Sterbak. Sterbak assembled a garment entitled “Flesh Dress” out of fifty pieces of cured steak.The artefact explored the role of the human being through power, control and sexuality. These themes mirror the reaction to the contemporary meat dress; provoking a mixture of fear and excitement, it lures us in. In an almost surrealist fashion, it approaches the status of a fetish, an unknown unsure how to act. So it seems the future of fashion lies in the past. Previous ideas and impressions are waiting to be dusted down and recycled into avant-garde pieces. Fashion is rapidly becoming less about wear-ability and more about morality. Kat Jones
Lady Gaga seems to be splashed across the tabloids in stories relating to her eclectic choice of outfits rather than her musical achievements. We’ve seen the lobster hat, the bow made out of hair and the latest jawdropper: the ‘meat dress’ she wore to the MTV awards. This is not an article about Lady Gaga; it is about the surreal development that fashion is taking. It appears that the hunter-gatherer instinct of our humanity is becoming more apparent in the world of fashion. We’ve killed the animal, skinned it and wrapped ourselves in its fur. We’ve been draped in feather boas and clutched crocodile skin purses. Yet it seems it is not enough to just take on the look of an animal, it’s been done darling, done to a very literal death. Now, fashion has taken to the brandishing of raw meat, with cold, bloody, dead flesh touching pure, warm, living skin. For a field where perceptions abound with all things superficial, this is certainly an ethical debate to sink our savage teeth into. Yes, we know that Gaga’s dress was not made of meat and was only an allusion to it, but the principle is the same. The intention is the same, it cannon-bolted the questions out into the world of how much more extreme fashion can get and how much of a superior species we regard ourselves to be. To be honest, meat is just a material; but not a good one for dress-making as I imagine it to be quite tough on the old needle and thread. Circa the war
Killer Instinct: Fashion goes savage Hotlist
23Nov10 ISSUE 248
UEA Literary Festival>Melvyn Bragg A rather cliché hush fell over the crowd as Melvyn Bragg ascended the steps and ran his fingers through a suspiciously brown head of hair, promising us ‘quite an evening’. This was the last time he would give a public talk about The South Bank Show and the air was thick with nostalgia as Bragg delighted the audience with his bizarre anecdotes, namedropping shamelessly, interspersing his memories with his thoughts and beliefs about the arts. Within the hour Bragg led us gently through The South Bank Show’s conception, success and final programme with warmth and a smile; when he became especially passionate, urgent and sweeping gestures were added bending the microphone into a variety of unusual positions. The stories ranged from Harold Pinter’s rather peculiar ‘fetish’ for ‘pre-punctuality’ with whom Bragg competed (unsuccessfully), arriving up to half an hour early for their meetings only to discover Pinter waiting for him. They included memories of a private performance by Pavarotti’s father which Bragg imitated, belting out Italian Opera at a pitch and volume LT1 has not seen in a long time. He told us of Laurence Olivier’s dismissal of film as an ‘anaemic medium’ and of the frustration felt by the film’s editor when Noel Coward’s tended, to ‘bugger off
to the Ritz’ when not in a particular scene.
“...he opened new ways of thought, reminded us of old ones and perhaps most importantly prompted us to find our own” He preached his belief that Art should be treated equally whether Beethoven or McCartney and that was what The South Bank Show was there to do: remove the ‘stigma’. He believes that the only element which divides art from great art is time, when it is allowed to ‘marinade’. There is now a new battle, or if not a battle a quest, for the source of art, a search to understand human imagination. Bragg tells us that the new frontiers are in neuroscience, and modestly dismisses all the broadcasting he has done up till now as nothing compared to the research and exploration into the arts which is to come. And after an hour of enchanted silence the
Credit: Lloyd Smith Photography
audience has been whirled from country to country, from pop music to actors, directors, and all manner of artists. He talked with a refreshing simplicity about the ‘economy of the arts’ and the effect industrialisation and the technological revolution had on art. Though the significance Bragg attributed to The South Bank Show sometimes seemed stretched, commenting on how Shakespeare plays were examples of The South Bank
Show as they were all explorations into different mediums, at other moments he was astonishingly modest. The audience were humbled by this man who saw high and low art as one and the same, he opened new ways of thought, reminded us of old ones and perhaps most importantly prompted us to find our own. Gwen Hanauer
23nov10 ISSUE 248
Hamlet has always been one of Shakespeare’s most celebrated tragedies and every different production does the play justice in various ways. On the small stage of the Norwich Playhouse, the story of Hamlet came to life with what can only be described
as a highly surprising performance. Despite the complexity of the character, Giles Roberts gave Hamlet a rather onedimensional personality. Even though his take on Hamlet’s sanity may seem simplistic, it ended up adding to the excitement of the production. Given only two sides to him the audience were never fully prepared for the drastic extent of Hamlet’s madness. There was certainly never a dull moment as Roberts switched between overwhelming anger, to literally rolling on the floor in laughter. His character developed an almost schizophrenic attitude, which was sometimes amusing but overall rather frightening. Hamlet’s relationship with Horatio was not as fully developed as it could have been but it was interesting to see a female play the role, giving their relationship romantic connotations. However, all insinuations aside, Dani McCallum held surprising stage presence as Horatio. First found on the night watch, talking to the guards as the ghost appears, instantly we were shown the concern and selflessness associated with her character. Leaving Horatio as a
straightforward character drew the play away from too many complications. With so much intricacy involved with all the characters, she was the only noble moral focus of the play and McCallum acted with enthusiasm.
“the story of Hamlet came to life[...] a highly surprising performance” There were two dramatic breakdowns that managed to shock the audience into disbelief, from both Ophelia and Laertes. Loren O’Dair’s naïve yet graceful Ophelia descends into madness after her father’s death. Beforehand, O’Dair shows Ophelia’s fragility but one is not given any indication of her later breakdown. Nick Holbeck also does Laertes justice. After Gertrude tells him of his sister’s death, Holbeck had the entire playhouse entranced by the emotional intensity of his breakdown. There was no passionate scream of anger or a look of faux shock. Instead, he realistically crouches
down, and weeps. He gave, without a doubt, one of the finest performances of the evening. Though all the actors gave intense performances, it was John Paton’s portrayal of Claudius that stole the show. He definitely lived up to the “less than kind” disposition of the murderous Uncle, and he was able to capture the aggressive hatred of Claudius’ soliloquies brilliantly. He handled the subtle manipulation of Laertes with the true zeal of a usurper trying desperately to keep his secret. But, regardless of the darkness of Claudius, Paton added humour to the character. Both Paton and Munow spurred on the absurdity of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Tobias Deacon (Rosencrantz) and Omar Ibrahim (Guildenstern) made a perfect slapstick pair, giving welcome comic relief between the intensity of the other scenes. Overall the play was entertaining, often funny and definitely powerful. Constantly intriguing, with numerous compelling insights into individual characters, it certainly allowed for an interesting night. Catherine Morpeth
On November 9th, Concrete had the pleasure of viewing a Tate-Modernorganised exhibition featuring work by Fine Art students at the Norwich University College of the Arts. The exhibition, which has been curated by the students involved, shows work created in collaboration with fellow students from Bath and Winchester on Tate Modern’s No Working Title project earlier this year. No Working Title is a project managed by the Tate Learning team which encourages students to team up using rules, systems and strategies conceived by conceptual artists whose works are on display in Tate Modern, including Yoko Ono and Douglas Huebler. The students were paired off with others from the Bath School of Art and Design or the Winchester School of Art and asked to devise a set of instructions, based on their own practice, by which their partner would make a piece of work. The project culminated in an earlier event at Tate Modern in March where each student revealed their work and engaged in a day of critical debate alongside academic staff and the Tate Learning Team. The student’s instructions were extremely thought provoking and many
revolved around asking the other to ‘think outside the box’ and to view their surroundings as they would not normally have done. Artists pushed the boundaries with regards to gender and expression of sexuality as seen in ‘Dolly with a Dick’, by Emma Clark, about a troubled drag queen. Some pieces invited the viewer to question art itself. Does it have to be purely functional or is it meant to be impractical and hard to understand? An example of this was seen in one work of art which consisted of three seemingly ‘random’ photo frames placed on a pedestal, with no real explanation of why they were there. The event comprised a two level space at the University campus, where students’ work was placed on walls and pedestals alongside a typed up copy of their instructions from their partner. The artists were available to talk about their pieces and many seemed enthusiastic about the results of the project. “We are all very excited to be involved in No Working Title, discussing subjects surrounding ownership, authorship and the presence of instructions in art making,” said Fine Art student Peter May. “Overall, working in collaboration with Tate Learning has provided us with a fantastic opportunity.” Victoria Highfield Following its showing on the NUCA campus the touring exhibition will travel to the Bath School of Art and Design and Winchester School of Art over the next two months.
The current production of Measure for Measure continues nightly at Maddermarket Theatre until Saturday 27th November, when there is also a matinée performance.
LISTINGS COMEDY FILM
hit ‘Paradise City’, and a cast packed with pimps and prostitutes, this performance may not be what you would usually expect of a Shakespeare play, but it is definitely not one to miss. Sula Deane
Art>NUCA>No Working Title
“A humorous but equally chilling performance”
of power, pride and religion to question whether justice is ever achievable in a world in which “we are all frail”. Each character bears some form of human imperfection, which was translated
we are all painted with passionate red and white righteousness, not one of us perfect, which is perhaps why these characters are still so easily related to. This human frailty, performed to perfection by each actor, is what makes this performance so memorably poignant. With a soundtrack that includes the rock
Although Shakespeare wrote Measure for Measure over 400 years ago, this remarkable performance certainly proved its timelessness when it was performed at Maddermarket Theatre. The play uses ideas
on stage into a humorous and equally chilling performance. The casting was faultless, their pronunciation meticulous, and not once did they fall out of character. Angelo, the strict Puritan who legislates against sex despite his own sexual promiscuity, was performed with icy perfection. The Duke was performed equally well, with an honest display of both pride and sincere regret. Yet the star of the show was most definitely the cheeky vagabond Lucio, who provided a welcome comic relief from the dark, serious mood. On the page, Lucio is an unrepentant character whom we cannot help but feel some disdain towards. On stage, however, Noel Jones brings Lucio to life. With a perfect mastery of comic timing, pelvic thrusting and cheeky expressions, we soon learn to love this naughty vagabond. The stage was modest but well utilised as it was transformed from a bleak dark room to a thriving brothel, to a vandalised street with ease. The most prominent colours of red and white reflected the dark and light aspects of all characters, who, in turn, were transferable to all humanity. In a sense,
Theatre>Maddermarket>Measure for Measure
23nov10 ISSUE 248
23Nov10 ISSUE 248
Words and Images
Life of the Artists
with apologies to Kawabata
Glassy eyes leave glassy stares at every stroke The cautious brush, the careful pen had undertook. To read, upon the canvas, painted words, To see, beyond those words, each coloured shape. Until by squinting everything unearths, And cracks the glaze for all emotions to escape. In art the truth is bare, one thing is rife. Beneath the surface dwells the artist’s life.
Watching her sleep her breath like a sweet wrapper rustling, and him back where he stood the night before
Games Remember how they used to make us play famous statues, lichen-encrusted memories march upon your pretty face. A lifetime of emptied promises, smiles rehearsed, set Tired eyes that crumble, lonely, fine lines that never meet. How your eyes wouldn’t look into hers, never once eroding that childish conceit. Listen to ME when I’m talking to YOU! You rise but the words fall to nothing, their nothings incomplete.
wondering if she would wake when touched. The falling leaves tattooed on her back are aching to be traced, her left arm bent, knees folded, her right hand fingering the edge of the sheet, chest rising, and him motionless as if he were asleep and she the one awake.
Fingers twitching, legs prepared to flee, Afraid of what your eyes might chance to see. Does it tell too little? Or worse – is it too much? Their life to all the world now magnified. A far-fetched dream, a broken past, the painful touch Of one lost love, a diary entry amplified, A slip, a luckless blunder meant to laugh and taunt, The prickly bruises inflate the fiery haunt. Vulnerable it is for those in such a trade! For fruits so lush a special price demands be made. One fine idea unlocks the past confined. Should their emblazoned work be destined to go far, Their fate and fiction have to intertwine, Ripping ruthlessly each long forsaken scar. Yet artists have no choice: they must pry out the heart, Then their blood turns to ink and their soul becomes art.
Robert Van Egghen Remember how we rescued tried and tortured Daddy Long Legs, repatriating body parts from here to the end of the street. “You’re it” was then but this is now, so stop your complaining, food’s on the table, think of all them starving children in — Autumn shrugs indifferently, shed ideas put us to sleep.
Creative Writing Events Saturday December 4th Aisle 16 is Ten - The UK’s top poetry collective turns ten years old this winter, and to celebrate they invite you to The York Tavern in Norwich for poems & pints. There will also be readings from poets & writers who have gigged with Aisle16 over the years. The York Tavern, 1 Leicester Street, Norwich, NR2 2AS. 8pm-11pm. Free entry.
Next Issue Theme for next issue: ‘Dreams and Nightmares’ Email your submissions to email@example.com by December 1st
Creative Writing Websites etcetera http://etceterart.blogspot.com/ Running regular features on UEA-affiliated writers, as well as featuring reviews and works by talented writers from across the globe, etcetera is well worth checking out for writing that offers something different from the usual mainstream poetry sites. Cafe Writers http://cafewriters.awardspace.com/ The website of Norwich’s premier poetry organisation, promoting new and established writers throughout Norfolk and beyond, with details of their monthly meetings, annual competition and news RobertVan Egghen Poetry http://robertvanegghenpoetry. blogspot.com Blog of Concrete Creative Writing Editor featuring poems, prose and reviews
The moss is bright, the houses dull The moss is bright, the houses dull The sky now black so I wait for the rain; you’ll only see the ground when it’s slush.
We let the warmth seep through our skin We let the warmth seep through our skin We sat on the Green, now we sit on the Brown but you go to sleep as the gold flutters down.
We leave the bus for a random field We leave the bus for a random field A random field of fallen leaves from golden trees and I sit there, rich, as you go to sleep.
Spitting leaves since the bonfire left like a Guy burning forked to the spot. Smoke choking me for all the words you wouldn’t let out, stuffed up inside me cotton mouthed like that dumb toy animal you bought back when you got me birthday presents, wrapped up with a dress so small I broke the zip trying to make it fit and you replaced it, like you’ve done with me now. Something new, still nice, but not quite the same, not quite as good, not quite... too much, a girl that you can take, doesn’t burn so bright, a firework when set alight doesn’t rise quite as high, but as you watch me fade and die, beside her at the back of your mind, do you repeat the way I shined like the pattern of our bodies intertwined.
Fields of Gold
This issue, we invited submissions based on the painting ‘Autumn Leaves’ by John Copley...
23Nov10 ISSUE 248
REALITY: I’M A CELEBRITY, GET ME OUT OF HERE
E4, THURSDAY 10PM
The past weeks have seen the return of Misfits, the comedy-drama featuring a group of young people as they ‘pay their debt to the community’. The second series picks up only days after the first ended, Nathan has discovered his power of immortality at a reasonably inconvenient time, Simon has killed yet another probation worker and the appearance of a heavily clad mystery character with a taste for parkour have set the scene for the opening episode. The series opener takes care of the most significant of these issues within the first ten minutes, with Nathan being freed from his coffin, and quickly moves to more important problems, mainly a shapeshifting apparently ‘mental’ girl harbouring a slight obsession with Simon. Her introduction reminds the audience of the one of the most gripping features of Misfits: complete unpredictability. Anyone who describes Misfits as ‘that chavvy version of Heroes’ is sorely mistaken and has clearly never watched the show. There is something completely different about
COMEDY : UK VS THE USA
it, something that comes across in much of British television and is often distinctly absent from American drama, namely the emphasis and importance of character. It is the characters in Misfits who draw audiences, whether it is Nathan, the highly irritating, parentless, homeless, immortal; Simon, the lonely invisible guy; Curtis the ex-athlete turned time-traveller; Alisha who causes uncontrollable lust; or Kelly the gobby mind-reader: there is something for everyone to relate to. The key to the characters within Misfits is in the title: a group of social deviants, dressed in orange jumpsuits, completely different from each other and yet forced together after they kill their rabid probation worker. Misfits is loved by many, loathed by some, and often simply misunderstood; yet there can be little doubt that it represents a welcome change from the standard weekday line-up of repetitive soaps and unnecessarily dramatic reality television.
It could definitely be said that most of the best, current comedy in the UK is linked to stand-up. This link comes from panel-based shows, comedy road shows and individual comedians claiming their own shows. Michael McIntyre, Russell Howard, and all other types that might feature on Mock the Week are usually the big winners. Obviously, there are sitcoms and sketch shows still churned out by the machine (with The Inbetweeners being a
‘churned’ exception, if you’re a fan), but the loyalty, for the time being, seems to be with comedians. All things considered, this is a shrewd move with the channels producing simple programmes and then screening popular American ones cheaply. Very clever. But limiting home grown comedy?
USA Over in America they’ve stuck with the true and noble sitcom. Comedy Central does make stand-up programmes, but beyond
Gillian McKeith hasn’t had a good first week in the jungle. In her pre-jungle interview, the TV nutritionist claimed not to have realised she’d be required to camp outdoors, had a mini-meltdown on her arrival into camp when she spotted, of all Australia’s deadliest horrors, a spider’s web, and then fainted and had to be revived by medics during a challenge where she was shut inside a rodent–filled crate. Given the fact that Gillian has a selfconfessed “phobia of anything that moves”, one is lead to question just what exactly she thought she was getting herself into when she signed up to take part in the famously slimy, insect-filled shindig that is I’m A Celebrity...Get me out of Here! Yes, the jungle-based reality show is back, with the usual bunch of unknown ‘celebrities’ forced to eat kangaroo penises and recite nursery rhymes whilst a horde of angry eels flap about their heads, all for our, the Great British Public’s, sadistic entertainment. And so did we, after her disastrous first task, decide, in our
sympathy, to spare Gillian further anguish by letting her off the next trial? No, we decided the best thing for Gillian to do would be something that would both target her fear of insects and offend her strict-vegan sensibilities in one fell swoop the notorious ‘eating’ bush-tucker trial. After struggling to cross the bridge to even reach the trial, (yes, that’s right, Gillian’s scared of heights, too), the only course Gillian managed was the first, a cheese-fruit mix on a pastry base. Her fellow campers understandably disappointed, tensions soon began to rise, with everything coming to a head in a heated and intense exchange over the best way to sharpen a stick. Let’s hope things start looking up for the camp soon. Natalie Fletcher
Natalie Stephenson takes a closer look at British and American comedy, in a bid to see who comes out on top.
that comedy is seen through characters’ lives and situations. I’m certainly not saying that they’re all good – Shit my Father Says was translated from a twitter feed. No great explanation is required as to its quality – but there’s something very sleek and professional about the American comedies. Compare Cougar Town with Three Pints and you’ll get the drift. Plus, the long length of their seasons (not just six episodes!) gives more space for a show to grow and improve. The Americans do still have that loving feeling towards the UK, keeping the
mockumentary going in Modern Family, The Office and all, and attempting at every given moment to adapt our programmes. They do love us but they’re so much better at being themselves. Overall, comedy is obviously one of those subjective things, and the form it takes is, too. It’s most likely true that the main stream love affair with the cheeky, geeky stand-up comedian will probably run out fast, so perhaps it’s a good idea to keep our eyes on the Americans. We can always try to adapt some of their programmes if we run out of ideas!
think he’s dead ? By using the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse, The Walking Dead is able to strip back all the unnecessary mundane details of life and focus intensely on the humanity of these situations. In a world full of flesh-eating monsters it strives to ask: how capable are we of becoming monsters ourselves? British drama has struggled to be as innovative as this when dealing with the same issues; perhaps this is because of the shortness of British series, which gives characters a little time to develop. Or it may simply be the lack of a believable apocalypse situation happening in Britain; as Shaun of the Dead proved, the British solution to a zombie apocalypse is to head to the pub. Kate Allen
The television audience can be, broadly speaking, divided into three categories; those who never watched Lost, those who lost interest when the series changed channel, and those who stayed with it until the bitter end. Those that stayed were rewarded with six series of gripping, complex drama that demanded the audience’s full attention, contributing to one of the most ambitious television projects ever.
What made Lost so special was its mythology; it is impossible to name another TV show that could sustain a website with thousands of pages, each
greatest quality is undeniably Hugh Laurie’s portrayal of Dr. House. Laurie is one of the few actors who manage to make the ultimate anti-hero into someone who’s both laugh-out-loud funny and brutally unsympathetic. With his drug addiction to Vicodin and various medical misadventures, the show’s biggest casualty is sometimes the medic himself and it’s always interesting to see how the dynamic between House and his team changes when he’s the one in the hospital bed. But why is the US medical drama House a far superior show to any British hospital dramas? Can you imagine Charlie from Casualty asking his team to collect their boss’s underwear as a part of an employment dare? Enough said. Eleanor Brown
dedicated to an individual item on screen, in case it played a part in the bigger picture. The appeal of the show was the way in which everyone thought they knew what was going to happen. The ensemble cast required viewers to keep abreast of numerous storylines, with flashbacks employed so that the audience could understand what made the characters what they were now. Ultimately, a show such as Lost could never be produced in the UK; the pilot episode cost over $10 million. A whole BBC series would cost far less. The large number of episodes in each series also contributed to the way in which the story arc was created. It is unlikely that a series will come along on either side of the Atlantic anytime soon that will be able to live up to the great drama and suspense that Lost brought. Phil Turtle
Blood, bones, and bizarre medical cases mixed with humour, drama and sex only scratch the addictive surface of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. Every season, millions of viewers are doomed to surrender wholeheartedly to creator Shonda Rhime’s magical medical world. The question is, why is this season of the American drama worth watching, when we have our British counterparts? Undeniably, they have Hollywood’s financial backing, providing greater episode budgets, their own studio complex in Los Angeles with medical equipment that is the envy of many real hospitals. But what maintains the show’s prominence is its compelling melodrama. The heart-wrenching sentimentality within their tight-knit environment is what British medical dramas strive towards.”The season that changes everything” is a tagline that has not yet disillusioned viewers.
The Season Six finale left characters reeling after a mass shoot out within the hospital. Season Seven follows the staff after their life-changing experiences, having looked death directly in the face. The shooting motivated the writers to raise the stakes, producing a calibre of highly-charged, addictive medical drama unlike anything previously written. Balancing this with some laughout loud, comedic moments and oneliners, they maintain the show’s appeal. Expect exceptional break-ups, gratifying marriages, shocking break-downs and hilarious drunken antics, all beside medical miracles; I’ll never forget the spider that crawled out of an arm mid-operation. Do not dismiss this new season of Grey’s Anatomy as a guilty pleasure; truly, its genre-defining production and writing is back. Kathryn Deighan
When it comes to medical dramas, House has to be regarded as one of the very best that TV has to offer. Set in Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital, the show follows the grumpy genius that is Gregory House and his team of diagnosticians as they battle to save patients from an array of mysterious diseases. Although House’s premise might seem a little tried and tested, what sets this hospital drama apart is that many of the episodes feel like a detective drama. For House and the team, it’s not just a race against time to save a patient’s life: it’s also a rush to discover whether a patient is being entirely honest about their symptoms. Besides the slick camera action and perfect balance between the characters’ professional and personal lives, the show’s
SKY ONE, SUNDAY 10PM
Following in the footsteps of True Blood and Buffy, there is a new American drama gracing our screens that packs a vicious bite. The Walking Dead is bringing zombie action to the small screen, focusing on the daunting prospect of everyday life after a zombie apocalypse. Following a small group of survivors in and around the desolate streets of Atlanta, it focuses on tough small town cop Rick Grimes and his search for his wife and son. The Walking Dead is a strong character drama as well a satisfying zombie horror. Written and directed by Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile), this drama is not afraid of asking the questions that most zombie films shy away from. Is it right to leave a racist brute to be eaten by zombies? Is it acceptable to start sleeping with your best friend’s wife if you
FX, FRIDAY 10PM
THE WALKING DEAD
Here’s our pick of the best American Drama in recent years, and why Britain simply can’t compete.
23Nov10 ISSUE 248
television AMERICAN DRAMA
make for an entertaining break from the regular multiplayer. However, what really makes the Black Ops multiplayer so good is how well balanced it is. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was plagued with issues, such as the ability to obtain infinite grenades for your grenade launcher when using a certain perk, and the ability to knife people from a huge distance when using another perk. Although it’s still early days for Black Ops none of the perks give players an unfair advantage or allow the game to be played using cheap tactics and, unlike in Modern Warfare 2, the guns actually require skill to use, meaning it’s no longer just a case who shoots first wins. If you’re not a fan of the previous Call of Duty games, this game won’t change your mind, but if you’re already a fan then you definitely need to pick up Black Ops as it takes the series to the next level and provides hours of entertainment. Alek Stoodley
The Good to survive a zombie apocalypse with your flatmate next to you begging for you to revive them. The final mode that Black Ops comes with is online multiplayer, and this is the mode most people will be buying Black Ops for. The greatness of the multiplayer lies in the fact that Treyarch haven’t tried
Treyarch’s understanding of what makes a good game. For example, one of the modes gives every player a pistol with one bullet, so you have to be careful; if you kill someone you earn a new bullet but if you miss then you’ll have to attempt to knife them. This is just one of the four wager mode game types and they’re all fun and
- Frantic and intense single-player campaign - Balanced multi-player that fixes over the cracks of Modern Warfare 2
The Bad - Essentially just more of the same from the franchise.
Play. Create. Share. When Little Big Planet was released late in 2008 it seemed as if Playstation 3 owners finally had something to shout about. The Sony exclusive game gave us fresh and exciting family entertainment (that really is fun for all ages), it gave us great co-operative gameplay for up to four players, it gave us a massive online community, and - perhaps most importantly - it gave the PS3 a much needed mascot in the form of the adorable and ever-changing Sackboy. It’s not surprising then that since its formal unveiling in June 2010, Little Big
Planet 2 is fast becoming one of the most anticipated games on the PS3 ( a right no longer held by Gran Turismo 5 alone). The only downside is that it won’t be here in time for Christmas (expected January 21st 2011). The basic concept involves “some kind of inter-dimensional, hyper-spatial, 1800 watt vacuum that appears in the skies, causing quite the ruckus and sucking Sackboy up into its musty bowels,” so you can imagine the scope for gravity and physics manipulation here. As with the first game, however, it’s Little Big Planet 2’s customisable aspects that will make it stand out as a wonderfully
Take A Weird Break Everybody has seen those lifestyle magazines: Take a Break, Pick Me Up etc. Well, this website takes the weird and wonderful front page snippets and gives you a chance to see what’s going on without ever having to buy a magazine. Unless, of course, you want to read one... http://www.takeaweirdbreak.com/ Is It Thursday? Does exactly what it says on the tin. Great way to find out if its Thursday or not when you’re not sure. http://isitthursday.org/ Look At This F***ing Hipster A massive compendium of Hipsters from all over the world and the ridiculous pursuits they embark upon to seem ‘cool’ and ‘bohemian’. Plenty of love, headphone and music connections, and pictures to make you laugh and smile, even if it is at the expense of hipsters. http://www.latfh.com/ Zero Punctuation Highly critical and incredibly funny animated video reviews of the biggest games out there, all done with zero punctuation. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll become addicted. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/ videos/view/zero-punctuation
Incoming: Little Big Planet 2 unique and innovative game. Whereas Little Big Planet gave us the opportunity to create levels, the sequel places emphasis on creating games (and is accordingly being marketed as a “platform for games”). Players will not only be able to play a variety of game types (racing, shooting, puzzling), they will be able to use the ‘direct control seat’ – an intricate Move compatible system - to create malleable levels and games from these genres and more. So... if you want to play an RPG with guns and cars, guess what? You can, and you can make it! The creation aspect is made all the more rewarding with the introduction of Sackbots, AI NPCs that can help, destroy or follow you. They can be configured to act in certain ways and react to certain actions and events, and they will no doubt add another challenge to the vastly spreading ocean of custom-built content. Oh, and you can even make your own full-blown videos this time around if you fancy yourself a filmmaker. And then there’s the online dimension, with over two million existing levels already
Fun links to pass the time between socialising and learning.
available, including all the unlockable and/or created material from the first game; there is a lot to sink your teeth into, and that’s before you step into the LBP2 web portal. The portal will act as an online database offering individual profiles for every player and their creations, making it incredibly easy to find levels, games and content that appeals specifically to you. It’s also a great tool for displaying your own handiwork... With Move control options, insane physics, endless creation opportunities, millions of online levels and the possibility of 3D compatibility, Little Big Planet 2 promises to be the next big thing for PS3 owners.
- Exiting new ways to play, create and share in the little big planet world!
- Could be more wading through terrible user-created content to find a hidden gem.
Some of the best, most interesting or just downright funny people tweeting right now! @housematewisdom Peculiar ideas and foolish words straight from the mouth of one man’s misunderstood housemate, and the best part is this guy has no idea that he’s famous! Fun for anyone fond of life’s strange little moments. @TheBig_A Ever wondered what happens when a law student meets a musical genius? Welcome to the multiple personalities of Anwobo Amihere. Caught between an insatiable desire to learn French and a cold dark search for some TNA (and all while emulating Kanye West), this man’s struggle is a bittersweet montage of life in the concrete ghetto. @iamweeman Remember Jackass? Remember Wee Man? He loves skateboarding, tacos and modestly random tweets about life as a diddy man. This one is worth it for the old school nostalgia! DJ Turner
When the iPad was unveiled little under a year ago, people just stood back and went ‘what?’; so many felt that it was a pointless device that would find no place in modern society, and today, many people still feel the same. However, to argue that it hasn’t been a success is just pure stupidity; the iPad sold over three million units in the first 80 days of its launch, and so many companies have begun to imitate Apple’s device, the Samsung Galaxy Tablet for one. Now, a new American company called Kno are trying their hand in the market, and this time they are looking at students as their target market. The Kno Tablet (such an inspired name) comes in two packages, either dual screened (like a book) or a single tablet (similar to the iPad), and can be used not just for browsing the web, watching videos and being a small portable computer, but also functions as your notebook and textbook reader. Working similarly to Amazon’s Kindle Reader, the Kno bookstore allows users to buy and read books on the move and without the bulk of carrying multiple textbooks, and it sells over 1000 books at a discounted price. Not only can you read the textbook on the move but you can also highlight pages, write notes all over it and back up everything to a central server for access even when you are away from your Kno Tablet. There is also the satisfaction of knowing that when you are done making notes all over your books you can just wipe everything clean, knowing that you haven’t ruined a page of the book or highlighted
COMPS the wrong piece of text. It also means that you’ll never have to worry about running out of ink in your highlighter midway through a strenuous article! This technology isn’t just applicable to books downloaded from the Kno bookstore but to all PDF based files; this means that you can download all those articles you’ll need from Jstor, Broadsearch and even the Portal, which means you’ll
Here is the single screened tablet
save yourself tons of money in paper and ink printing them off and highlighting your way through them. With a 14 inch screen the unit itself is not too dissimilar in size to a laptop, especially the dual screened version. The dual screened version weighs in at 2.4 kg (5.5 lbs), which is just a bit heavier than your average laptop,
and with the single screen retailing at $599 (£375) and the dual screen at $899 (£560) it’s of a similar price bracket to a laptop and much cheaper than an iPad or a Macbook which so many students now have. Of course, for said price, compared to a laptop, it does lack a disk drive, but in a society where everything is moving towards downloads, is that such an issue? It also only currently holds 16 gigs of information, which is about the same as a mid range iPod Touch or iPhone, however text files take up little to no space; but this does leave very little room for music, pictures and videos. When put side by side with a laptop, they do both offer different uses, with many students only using their laptops to browse the web, watch videos and do their work every now and again, it does make sense for the Kno Tablet to exist. For around £100 less than a laptop you can get something that you can use the full capabilities of and, as it says on its website, after one term of owning one and buying textbooks, especially the bulky Medical, Science and Law ones, you have made your money back in savings. It is currently only penned for the US, with a release early next year. If it is the runaway success that they hope it will be, it’s inevitable it will be washing up on the shores of Europe before the end of next year. Kno have thrown themselves into a relatively fickle market, but it will be interesting to see if it pays off and maybe in a couple of years paper will be dead. Vaughn Highfield
Free and Easy
If you’ve ever had the problem of compatibility when opening a text document then Open Office will be a relief as it’s capable of opening almost all common formats including Microsoft Office files, HTML and XML. Open Office is also available in over 40 different languages and provides spell checking and thesaurus dictionaries in over 70, making it a good choice for international students. Open Office will run on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Sun Solaris.
With all the viruses travelling around on the Internet and the potentially expensive repercussions of having your computer get infected with one, virus protection is extremely important. Which is why Avira AntiVir is such a useful program. Although it’s the free version of a more advanced program, it still comes with an excellent virus detection system. According to independent lab, av-comparative.org, Avira always scores with flying colours. In fact, most of the time, Avira achieves the highest detection rate. It’s also very light on resource use and you shouldn’t notice any slowing down of your computer whilst it’s running.
http://www.avira.com GIMP Interested in graphics design or photography but don’t want to splash out on expensive programs like Photoshop or Illustrator? Then GIMP is the perfect program for you. GIMP, which stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free image manipulation program similar to Photoshop. GIMP supports graphics tablets and comes with a range of advanced tools such as the pen tool (which is extremely easy to use for beginners), dodge tool, burn tool and clone stamp tool. http://www.gimp.org/
to reinvent the series, or add a whole load of gimmicks; they’ve simply listened to what the fans have said and produced an extremely well balanced and fun game. The “Wager Mode” game types are by far the most addictive mode. These are fun and inventive game modes that really show
amount of time you can spend trying to perfect your strategy is ridiculous thanks to the large variety of weapons and upgrades to be found on each map. The split screen mode is one of the best way to play Nazi Zombies, although limited to only two players, there’s nothing quite like trying
The big question behind Call of Duty: Black Ops is; ‘Can Treyarch develop a Call of Duty game as well as Infinity Ward (the other Call of Duty developer)?’ After the success of Call of Duty 4 (made by Infinity Ward), Treyarch released Call of Duty: World at War, which was successful but generally considered inferior to Call of Duty 4. Until now, Treyarch have been considered the worse of the two developers but with many fans of the series becoming disillusioned after Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s release, this is Treyarch’s time to strike. And strike they did, Black Ops may not be the huge leap that CoD4 was but it marks a new high for the series and could even be the best Call of Duty game to date. The campaign mode encapsulates everything that makes the Call of Duty single player great. It takes place over a variety of locations and time zones but is mainly set during the Cold War period. The action is fast and frantic and the missions are packed full of set pieces and great atmospheric moments. On one of the early missions (a particular highlight of the game) you have to fight your way out of a Russian Gulag with your fellow prisoners; the mission captures the atmosphere perfectly and totally involves the player as well as containing some great set pieces, and a Gatling gun. The much acclaimed Nazi Zombies mode makes its return. Just as good as in World at War, the zombies mode is addictive and intense. The game only comes with two maps but they’re both huge and the
Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops
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HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1 Director: David Yates Release Date: 19/11/10 Well, this is it: the last six ﬁlms in this franchise have built up the heroes, and built up the villains, to the point where the only solution is an epic ﬁnal showdown, and everyone involved in this ﬁlm knows it. The landscapes are bleak, the tone is darker from the word go and the camera jerks about like a ‘Cloverﬁeld’-style disaster movie. This is deﬁnitely the end. Almost. From the time it was announced that the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were going to take place over
two separate ﬁlms, this ﬁrst entry has been eyed warily by critics and fans alike, with fans having an even higher expectation of the ﬁlm’s faithfulness to the book than they would normally, and critics being concerned that with this new freedom the makers of the ﬁlm would slow the ﬁlm itself down unbearably. While there are bound to be those who retain these criticisms when they see the movie, it strikes a good balance between the two. Structurally, this ﬁlm is very diﬀerent from the past ones in the series, swapping the usual ‘boarding school’ structure for wild empty plains and dark cold tents, as Harry, Ron, and Hermione
juggle hiding from a Voldemort-run wizard dictatorship, and try to ﬁnd the remaining horcruxes, pieces of Voldemort’s soul
on, could mean newcomers are lost - but the ﬁlm casts a much more suitable, dark mood because of it, and, to be honest, if you’re a
which must be destroyed. This, coupled with the fact that very little explanation is given for any of the past events that this ﬁlm relies
newcomer to this series, why are you starting with the seventh ﬁlm? This new structure places a lot more emphasis
LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS: THE OWLS OF GA’HOOLE
on the three lead characters than the previous ﬁlms, and it is largely because of them that it survives, particularly in a long second act that is light on the explosive set pieces this series has made its name on. Each of the three stars turn out career-best performances that clearly demonstrate the personal touches each have given their characters over the last few years. Their chemistry exists with a strength that can only come at the end of a long movie franchise. Taken as an individual ﬁlm, it’s not perfect; by this point of the series, a lot of casual fans will come out complaining that it is light on the action they might
have expected. There is a tension running through this ﬁlm that draws towards an epic climax which doesn’t arrive; dramatic moments in the ﬁlm tend to be low-key and over in an instant. But if the ﬁnal ﬁlm delivers on the new, darker direction that this ﬁlm takes stylistically, and its total reliance on audience and characters’ own expectations, it is going to be looked back on in the series as damn near perfect, and taken together, I have a feeling they’ll make something great. This is a company that knows what it’s doing. But we’ll have to wait until July to see. Tim Bates
Director: Todd Phillips Release Date: 5/11/10 Due Date is exactly what a child of Trains Planes and Automobiles and The Hangover would look like. This is the story of an uptight businessman, Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr) who, through a series of unfortunate events, ends up on a no-ﬂy list and ﬁnds himself having to make the rest of his journey home to his pregnant wife in a car driven by Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galiﬁanakis), the same man who got him kicked oﬀ the plane in the ﬁrst place. Inevitably, things don’t go according to plan. The comedy in this ﬁlm ﬂows naturally and the gags are well timed and skilfully delivered by the
actors. The situations Peter and Ethan ﬁnd themselves in are genuinely funny and watching their reactions, especially Peter’s, to their increasingly dire situation creates some real laughout-loud moments in the audience. Both Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galiﬁanakis play their characters to perfection. Downey, as the arrogant and slightly obnoxious businessman, becomes increasingly frustrated with his incompetent travel companion. Zach Galiﬁanakis might as well be playing ‘Alan’ in another chapter of his life either before or after the events of the Hangover. This ﬁlm is a deﬁnite must watch. Drew Nichol
Director: Zack Snyder Release Date: 22/11/10 For a man who has previously directed such profoundly dark tales as Watchmen and 300, a children’s ﬁlm about owls is perhaps not the most obvious next move. On a basic level, Legend of the Guardians is an adventure story. Based on a series of novels for young adults, there are several narratives at work within the ﬁlm. Superﬁcially, it’s friendly animation concerning two brothers - Soren and Kludd (voiced by Jim Sturgess and Ryan Kwanten) - who, along with their younger sister, fall out of a tree and get lost. But, as to be expected from Synder, its not quite that simple.
The three youngsters are taken from home by what can only be described as borderline fascist owls. Lead by Metal Beak (Joel Edgarton) and Nyra (Helen Mirren), these characters are unnervingly sinister. Below the surface there are arguably biblical allusions. Sibling rivalry echoes that of Cain and Abel and the legendary guardians, the Owls of Ga’Hoole, seem to be an analogy for God. This aside, the 3D graphics are outstanding. The attention to detail here does draw attention to the lack of it in the plot, but the animation is so good this almost doesn’t matter. Vimbai Mukwenha
Director: Mike Leigh Release Date: 5/11/10
A new Mike Leigh ﬁlm carries a certain weight of expectation. Reknowned for his naturalistic style and unconventional, often script-free approach to ﬁlm-making, he’s also one of Britain’s most consistent directors. Another Year, a warm but bleak meditation on the inherent cruelty of advancing age, sees him continue this trend and, arguably, reach a zenith. As Gerri, masterfully played by Ruth Sheen, observes, ‘life isn’t always kind.’ Though she and her husband Tom (Jim Broadbent) have been lucky, their friends, like chaotic divorcee Mary (Leslie Manville, in Oscar-
worthy form) and grossly overweight Ken, have not had the same fortune. Lonely, drinking heavily and stuck in dull jobs, we are forced to watch as they try but fail to improve their situations while time marches on, taking with it their last chances at happiness. Happy-Go-Lucky this is not. This is as emotionally devastating a ﬁlm as you’re likely to see this year, and Leigh’s heavy themes are carried well by a noteperfect ensemble cast. It’s far from an easy watch: Mary’s drunken breakdowns and spiteful attacks are particularly painful, and Leigh’s close-ups will often linger far longer than is comfortable. However, if you let it, Another Year will play on your mind for days. Duncan Vicat-Brown
LET ME IN
this ﬁlm. It boasts excellent animation, a decent vocal cast, is occasionally funny, but most importantly, it has plenty of heart. Considering the amount of recent releases that have boasted much in the way of spectacular action but have also ﬁelded some pretty bland characterization and little in the way of likeability, it is refreshing to have a feature with enjoyable drama and characters – even if it does include a healthy dose of juvenilia. George Gilbert
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
IRON MAN 2 Director: Jon Favrean Release Date: 25/10/10
Iron Man 2 once again stars Robert Downey Jr in the role of businessman Tony Stark, who in the guise of his alter ego Iron Man, single-handedly orchestrated peace between the Western and Eastern worlds. The political utopia does not last long as Stark is soon embroiled in a legal battle with the US government who want to seize his Iron Man technology on the grounds of national security. To make matters worse, a crazed supervillain is on the loose, and Stark is dying due to a part of the Iron Man suit which remains
Director: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders Release Date: 15/11/10
permanently attached to his heart. As expected, Iron Man 2 boasts an array of visually impressive action sequences. Yet it quickly becomes a bewildering stream of glossy techno-babble amid the dizzying haze of gargantuan explosions, briefcases that can turn into robots, and shameless product placement. The dialogue appears to have been inspired by an instruction manual for a games console. Meanwhile, the talents of the surprisingly
to befriend humans. Over the course of the ﬁlm, Hiccup becomes very attached to his new friend. The story is simple, and the thinly veiled metaphor of tolerance, depicted through the human ignorance Hiccup discovers, will feel well worn to those schooled in ﬁlms at least partly aimed at children. Unlike Pixar, Dreamworks studios have traditionally employed a nuts and sledgehammer approach to storytelling, and the trend is in evidence here. However, there is much to like about
This ﬁlm comes at the tailend (we can only hope) of Western remakes of world cinema success stories, which have ranged from eﬀective (The Departed), to dire (The Grudge 2), to utterly, utterly pointless (Quarantine). As one of the most critically-beloved ﬁlms of 2009, Tomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In is seemingly an obvious choice for this distasteful trend. However, like the thankfully stalled remakes of Oldboy and The Lives of Others, there’s a feeling that the story wouldn’t work outside of its native Sweden. Even with director Matt Reeves’ success with Cloverﬁeld,
early buzz around the prospects of Let Me In were, at best, lukewarm. Happily, Reeves has pulled it oﬀ - mostly. The two leads are arguably better than those in the original, particularly Chloe Moretz who, it appears, can do no wrong. Despite worries that the remake would tone down some of the content for sensitive Western eyes, Let Me In is, if anything, more graphic. Unfortunately, the blockbuster direction and occasionally syrupy score feel very out of place with themes as dark as those covered here. Nevertheless, this is a solid remake of a modern classic, which, while not an improvement, is at least worth of mention in the same breath. Duncan Vicat-Brown
Director: Matt Reeves Release Date: 5/11/2010
You Again is like snuggling up in a familiar, slightly loathed, knitted jumper that your Grandma gave you. The plot is so predictable it is possible to look like a psychic. A few laughs were extracted, but whether they were the result of merriment or pain is debatable. You Again follows Marni, a former outcast who discovers to her badly acted horror that her brother is marrying her former high school enemy Joanna, and he knows nothing about it. Things are made worse when it turns out that Joanna’s mother (Jamie Lee Curtis) happens to be the nemesis of Marni’s mother
(Sigourney Weaver). Hilarity allegedly ensues. There are a few jewel moments when the comedy does seem to hit the right note, but these are memorable due to their infrequency. Marni and Joanna hold no attention at all and it is left to the mothers to valiantly attempt to carry the ﬁlm. It is noticeable that any sniggers produced were of their making, but seeing two good actresses in something like this sucked any fun out of it. The men are quite likeable – but this may be due to the fact that they didn’t have characters. In conclusion – bearable, but there are deﬁnitely better ﬁlms to see.
high proﬁle cast, including Mickey Rourke, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson and Gwyneth Paltrow are wasted in a ﬁlm as carnal as this. Iron Man 2 does not translate well into a smallscreen DVD format, the natural habitat of big budget extravagance such as this being the big screen. However, for two hours of unintelligent escapism on a rainy afternoon, there are worse ways to pass the time. Michael Lovelock
Featuring the voice talents of Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill and our very own former Time Lord David Tennant, Dreamwork’s latest oﬀering centres around the story of a young Viking boy, Hiccup (voiced by Baruchel), who sets out to ﬁght the dragons that plague his island, but, on downing one of the beasts, ﬁnds he can’t bring himself to kill it. In the plot sensibility of this picture, dragons are not the ferocious man-eating creatures of yore, but are intelligent, sensitive and want
Director: Andy Fickman Release Date: 12/11/10
Skyline, the latest oﬀering in the already exhausted alien invasion genre, sees Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and Elaine (Scottie Thompson) taking a weekend jaunt to LA. It’s not long before aliens arrive and shine a blue light, entrancing everyone who looks at it. And with that minor plot point, there ends any shred of originality in what is essentially a mash-up of every other sci-ﬁ/monster movie ever made. From the moment our insipid group decide to leave the safety of their building, the ﬁlm turns into a joyless ride of painful
predictability, stupidity and ridiculous plot devices. Whilst this might still just sound like brainless fun, especially to fans of Roland Emmerich’s big disaster ﬁlms, it isn’t. Skyline is potentially the most boring disaster movie ever made. Yes, the CGI is pretty impressive, but more is needed than just pretty special eﬀects to make a decent ﬁlm. And, as this is basically the directors showing us their CGI prowess with occasional cut-ins of Eric Balfour looking serious or screaming in slow motion at the camera, it is not a decent ﬁlm. Don’t be fooled by the pretty blue lights.
Director: Colin Strause, Greg Strause Release Date: 12/11/10
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The Interview - Johnny Knoxville, Jeff Tremaine and Spike Jonze Is there ever a time when you think ‘This is not a good idea’? JK: Yeah, and that’s when Jeff says ‘Action!’ JT: Most of what we do would be considered ‘not a good idea’ by most people. ‘Not a good a idea’ is how we make a living. There’s a disclaimer at the start saying that you’re ‘trained professionals’, but presumably when you first started out you weren’t.. JT: We paid each and every one of them, so technically.. Also, one of the first things we spent any money on was printing these t-shirts with ‘Professional’ written across them, thinking that might get us a little more leeway – ‘what do you mean he’s not a professional, read his shirt!’ Were you ever trained? SJ: (Indicating Johnny) He’s been vocally trained.. JK: (Laughs) Trained in being douchebags.. Steve-O was actually.. he went to Barnum & Bailey’s clown school, he dropped out of college and then did that.. SJ: And then got kicked out of the circus, right? JK: We got him kicked out of a circus inside a flea market in Fort Lauderdale, and he was a clown, and he’d come out and the kids would start crying.. SJ: But he’s skilled, and a lot of the guys are skaters, so they’re pretty athletic and they know how to fall. And they’re fearless? JT: Well.. not exactly fearless.. SJ: Maybe fearless is the wrong word, they definitely have fears, they just know how to talk themselves out of having fear for a moment. JK: We had two or three cries. Bam officially cried. JT: It was a bit sad, but if you think about it up to that point Bam had pee’d on everybody, he’d ‘Rocky’d’ everybody.. JK: He was on his way to knock out Jeff.
Duncan Vicat-Brown met up with the star, director and producer of the painfully funny trilogy-closer Jackass 3D, to discuss professionalism, Shetland ponies, and, of course, poo, head injuries and throwing up...
JT: Exactly. So, he had it coming. It’s funny on set, you’re not allowed to tell your fears, because if we figure that out you’re gonna face it, y’know?
What made you want to film in 3D? JK: The studio suggested it and we did some tests and it worked out really well for us, we thought it could be fun.
Is it still as easy to nerve yourself up? JK: I think I’m more willing to do stunts now than I was when the TV show started. Maybe it’s due to the concussions.
Was it harder? JT: It was easier in a way and it was a lot more difficult, there were a lot more people. It was shot in 3D, using 3D cameras, and
The guy who stood up to you when you were making out with your ‘granddaughter’ was almost as heroic as you.. JK: Two and a half days we tried to do that and people were just ignoring us. I was like, really? No-one cares? We had her pregnant at one point, because nobody gave a sh*t and finally we were like uhh, and somebody said they had a pregnancy suit, so.. Are you ever paranoid on set? JK: Constantly. Every time we’re on set. JT: Right now. SJ: I have my crotch covered at all times.
Up and Coming Justin Bieber is a Canadian teenager living the American Dream; that is, if the American Dream involves becoming a marketable commodity and being flaunted across the globe. Following in the footsteps of other teen stars such as Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers, Bieber’s upcoming film will be in 3D. Never Say Never is intended to be a biopic charting his rise to fame and following him around on his My World tour. Director John Chu, the man to blame for Step Up 3D, describes the film as ‘fun’. It will be fun for Chu when the dollars start to roll
those cameras are big and bulky, and you need like three, four people per camera. But really, on this test we did we shot just a few things, and the energy.. it was just so obvious that it was time to shoot a movie. [Johnny] and Pontius and Steve-O got together, and the energy was so big that it didn’t matter what kind of camera we were going to shoot it on, it was going to happen. About halfway through, we discovered the Phantom Camera, which is the camera that shoots like a thousand frames per second, super slow motion; that we wrote more ideas for than we did for 3D. We had a custom built Phantom 3D camera and we
just shot the stupidest things you can think of with the most expensive, highest-tech device out there. Are they any stunts you wanted to use that you weren’t allowed to, or that you wish you’d used? JK: No, anything we wanted in the movie is in. A lot of great things got left out because we wanted to keep it to ninety minutes, so Jackass 3.5 is coming out in January, we’ve got the entire cast in London shooting wrap-arounds for it. There’s some great stuff in there. SJ: It’s also a lot to do with the flow of it, not having too many bits that are the same, we keep moving stuff around and dropping things in and out. Sometimes you need to give the audience a break, if you do something really gross you need to do something really G-rated next; the ‘Wee Bar Brawl’ was a nice thing to do after the ‘Volcano’. JT: You know there’s something funny that’s not in that. We had one of the midget cops on a miniature horse, but it would just not go into the bar, we kept pushing it like ‘Go! Go! Go!’ but it wouldn’t budge. JK: I had a Shetland pony when I was little, called Bo Diddley. He lived to be like 34. Was there a lot of throwing up on set? JT: Yeah, there always is, and it’s always the same few. Cordell, Lance Bangs, Rick Kosick.. I have cameramen that are all set just to film our crew. SJ: Also, sometimes if we’re in a small room, if Dave ends up pooing in the corner.. it smells really bad and the ones that are gonna get hit probably the strongest are those three. JT: I bully Lance and Rick into getting close – ‘Gimme a close up shot on that!’ - ‘cos I know that it’s bothering them. JK: I wish we had a highlight reel of you going ‘Kosick! Film the poop! Film the poop!’ Steven Soderbergh never yells that out..
With the face of Justin Bieber becoming virtually impossible to avoid,
Mukwenka explores the teenager’s persistence to break into film in early 2011.
in. Bieber, discovered on Youtube by manager Raymond ‘Scooter’ Braun and mentored by Usher, has a legitimate amount of industry power behind him. He is also an internet sensation. His Twitter account is taken as verbatim and serves to counteract the numerous rumours that surface. Boycotts have included an attempt to get ‘Justin Bieber Syphillis’ to the top of Google search, and another to have North Korea added as an extra location for his tour. For all the Bieber-fever there is a
great deal of contempt. Presumably not towards the boy himself - who at 16 can hardly be blamed - but towards everything he represents. Due for release on Valentines Day 2011, the film will probably sell some kind of generic rags-to-riches story to reassure the audience that Bieber is still just ‘Justin from the block’. Shamelessly timed to lure in hormonal teenage girls, it will offer some kind of hope that Bieber, or his real-life clones, are attainable. There will be catchy music, bold graphics and nauseous cliches.
You have to wonder whether Bieber does have a ‘world’ beyond the performing and the products. There is a book deal with Harper Collins and an apparent need to somehow create him by relentlessly telling his ‘story’. The boy’s existence outside of the films, the books and the glossy magazines is negligible. Never Say Never? Perhaps one day Bieber will go to North Korea - because, let’s face it, that would be more realistic than this film promises to be. Vimbai Mukwenha
Photo By Alec Plowman
Photo By Greg Mann
gig as Jamie Reynolds’ psychedelic rhetoric echoed about the LCR for the remainder of the show. The lively atmosphere and high energy levels were sustained throughout as they performed new album tracks; ‘Same Space’, ‘Echoes’ and ‘Venusia’ alongside the successful singles; ‘Golden Skans’, ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’ and ‘Magick’.
exciting and refreshing during a time when substance and creativity are being placed on the backburners. Keiren Cordery
“Norwich never fails to impress...”
Many critically acclaimed acts have fallen foul to the intimate size of the LCR and have received a very mixed crowd response. The Klaxons, however, were never in danger of this and displayed both a commanding and interactive presence on the stage, leaving their fans pleading for more once the show reached its eventual climax. The audience was not disappointed as they were presented with stunning renditions of ‘Atlantis To Interzone’ and ‘It’s Not Over Yet’. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that The Klaxons will reach the dizzying heights of 2007 on the back of this year’s mixed album reviews. However, what they provide the music industry with is a sound that is new,
James Righton (Keys/Vox)
The Klaxons’ latest tour for their second album Surﬁng the Void arrived at UEA on Friday the 12th November. Their most recent live show marks the culmination of three years of hard work for the band, which had their initial album rejected by label Polydor for being too experimental. However, after working with ‘The Godfather of Nu Metal’ Ross Robinson, responsible for the likes of Korn and Limp Bizkit, the group have managed to emerge from the album making process with another successful instalment of their psychedelic sound. Their new songs worked perfect balance alongside those which had propelled the band into the mainstream and created the foundations for an exceptional gig. The new rave pioneers kicked oﬀ with the album’s title track Surﬁng the Void, combining the twin energies of rave and punk, they whipped the LCR crowd into a frenzy. The band’s ability to dissolve genre boundaries is something that they have become renowned for since achieving commercial recognition, and their ambition to stand apart was clear from an intense and energetic performance that remains unmatched by their hordes of rivals. The opening song set the tone for the rest of the
THE KLAXONS: LCR 12/11/10
stage and the crowd has been perfected to be an art form. They communicate with the audience rarely, but when they do it’s with an honesty that grounds them from any potential perceived rock-star temperament. As they casually stroll through numbers from ‘Diamond Eyes’, you can’t help but notice an inherent weakness in the songs that fail to capture the hearts and minds of those who love ‘Adrenaline’, ‘Around the Fur’ and ‘White Pony’ so much. ‘Passenger‘ expectedly brings the crowd to its knees with its dark, Tool inﬂuenced melodies and hedonistic undertones. Nearly two hours into the show and it’s a wonder how Chino keeps on screaming how he does. ‘Change (In The House of Flies)’ closes the show with a romantic f**k you. Guitarist Stephen Carpenter, and temporary bassist Sergio Vega [Quicksand], remain onstage to tune up, and tease the encore with a melancholic jam before the whole band come back on to smash their way through three tunes oﬀ ‘Adrenaline’ including the nostalgia inducing ‘Birthmark’. Deftones executed the show beautifully and are still undeniably at the top of their game. Never miss an opportunity to see this band. Faultless. Ant Firth-Clark
‘The Next Episode’ by Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg might not be every metal band‘s conventional entry song. But this isn’t any normal metal band. With tense relationships, underachieving new material and a bassist in a coma, it’s uncertain what to expect from these Sacramento veterans. The lights go dark and The ‘Next Episode’ just keeps blasting. A hint of the strong aﬃnity west coast entities have with each other regardless of taste. Strobes blind as a cave full of atmospherics and oscillating bass echo round and tension builds. As Chino Moreno (vocalist) walks onto his raised platform over the stage the crowd goes ballistic. They drop straight into that spine crunching noise with Chino’s signature vocals which continuously alternate between oﬀ kilter melodic whining and the angsty screams made by a late teen stuck in a thirtysomething year-olds body. The calm swagger of Moreno commands the crowd. Songs from Around the Fur, including ‘Be Quiet and Drive’ and ‘My Own Summer’ get blasted with the pride as if they had been written yesterday. The DJ swirls atmospherics in and around the stage heightening the moodiness of this timeless band. The beautifully constructed ‘Knife Party’ succeeds in elating the crowd to an airy, shoe-gazing state. The eﬀortless control they exert over their sound, the
DEFTONES: LCR 18/11/10
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Photo By Greg Mann
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JIMMY EAT WORLD: LCR 13/11/10
FILM MUSIC WIRED tV CREATIVE WRITINg ARTS fASHION
Photo By Geraldine Morizet Seventeen years on from their formation and Jimmy Eat World’s members still look 18. It’s eerie and a little bit disconcerting, but the really astonishing part is, they play with all the energy and joy of their adolescent selves. Of course, opening with ‘Salt. Sweat.
Sugar’ and ‘A Praise Chorus’ is almost cheating, there’s more shout-along potential in those two songs than at a student demonstration, but on the whole, the new material is given the same treatment. ‘Coﬀee and Cigarettes’ is naïve and sincere in a way that only Jimmy Eat
FOALS: LCR 10/11/10 “We’ve been told that we will get a ﬁne if we run over 11pm…but we think you’re worth it”. Those were the welcome words of front man Yannis Philipakkis after what can only be described as a set of pure excellence. Pulling out all the stops to entertain a heaving crowd in the LCR, Foals proved that they are no longer a small, up-and-coming band from Oxford but landed with musical greats. Flawless performances of ‘Cassius’, ‘Two Steps, Twice’ and ‘Hummer’ inﬂicted awe upon the enigmatic crowd of Foals devotees who, judging on oral participation, have clearly followed the band from their beginnings with the debut album ‘Antidotes’. Whilst thrashing around onstage the ﬁve piece miraculously maintained inspiring
note to note fusion of percussion, guitar and synthes with Philipakkis even mounting the speakers on occasion, revelling in the dynamic atmosphere. Tracks from Total Life Forever displayed the maturity of the new album, from funky house party homage’s to melodic masterpieces. ‘Spanish Sahara’ went down well with the crowd bathing in a sea of blue light. Despite these intermittent periods of relaxation there were of course a lot of crowd surfers, with ultimate respect going out to Philipakkis for bravely joining in with the risqué behaviour. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem likely that this exciting band will be disappearing anytime soon. Amelia Sullivan
World could pull oﬀ the new single ‘My Best Theory’ recalls the darker moments of 2004’s Futures. New and old material is balanced perfectly, without appearing forced as they lurch between ‘Get it Faster’, ‘For Me This is Heaven’ and ‘Invented’ seamlessly. The seven and a half minutes of unlikely live favourite ‘23’ are heart-wrenchingly brilliant, but only made more astonishing by the short sharp punk hit of ‘Blister’. It was written 11 years ago, but it sounds like it was written yesterday. Fellow Arizonan Courtney Marie Andrews guests on half the tracks and adds the softer touches that are worked in so well on record, bringing ‘Hear You Me’ to a magniﬁcent climax and never once looking overawed by playing a world tour with a band 15 years her senior. The only slightly uncomfortable moment is the refrain of the otherwise beautiful ‘Goodbye Sky Harbour’ as Jim Adkins puts down his guitar and picks up a microphone; he’s clearly trying to look like Morrissey, but he just ends up looking like Cliﬀ Richard. Even still, by the time the last chords of ‘Sweetness’ have rung out, there’s not
a soul in the LCR without a sore throat and a grin on their face, which goes to show everything that makes Jimmy Eat World a great band; there’s all the raw emotion and personal politics that you’d expect from a band who came from the original emo movement of the early 90’s, but there’s more than enough glorious pop sensibility to drag anyone unsuspecting along with them. Alex Ross
Photo By Geraldine Morizet
LESS THAN JAKE: LCR 05/11/10
Remember, remember the 5th of November, gunpowder treason and plot? Less Than Jake don’t, but they still brought ﬁreworks... Opening with ‘Plastic Cup Politics’ the band’s Friday night performance was a pyrotechnic display of abundant energy, jokes about getting drunk and a multitude of brass ridden antics. The infectious drive of ‘Nervous in the Alley’ set the benchmark for the most outrageous skanking of the evening. From that point, there was no let up. Needless to say, the hits oﬀ Hello Rockview, their strongest and perhaps bestknown album, received the best response. At the set’s midway point, just before the brilliant, brass ﬁlled ‘Conviction Notice’,
a member of the audience was coaxed onto the stage with the promise of free beer, but quickly found himself stage diving oﬀ. Along with an irreverent interlude of old TV theme tunes with a twist, a moment that epitomised ska’s sillier side. A commendable guitar solo from Chris Demakes, however, was a powerful reminder of the band’s musical prowess. With a setlist ranging from old to new, Less Than Jake ﬂawlessly catered to fans of the old as well as the new. Topping oﬀ the evening with ‘All My Best Friends Are Metal Heads’ and ‘Look What Happened’, the band managed to do what Guy Fawkes couldn’t. They set the building on ﬁre. Fiona Howard
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IAIN MAHANTY (KIDS IN GLASS HOUSES) VS. SEB CRANE
Do you think the band has come a long way since then? I know its such a clichéd thing to say but we have deﬁnitely matured as a band in that time and I think, as band, what we want now is a lot diﬀerent to what we wanted back then. I mean back then, we were still kind of starry eyed at being on tour even and now we want to put on more of a show and are thinking a lot more about our set, our set design and things like that. I think we have come a long way, we have become men. Do you have any particular highlights from
I remember last time we played ,the Prophets lighting tech was testing all the lights out while we were on, so our show looked wicked and then someone spilt a pint on the lighting desk so the Prophets ended up playing with no lights. We ended up looking a lot better. They were still awesome obviously, but we had a little leg up that day.
played with Bonnie Tyler actually. Ha-ha. Yeah we did a Children In Need event with her actually. So Tom Jones is the only one that’s left. What’s next for KIGH after this tour? Writing and then hopefully recording the new record in March. There will be a new record next year as long as we can still write songs by then.
Are there any bands you really want to play with but haven’t as yet? It’s quite nuts that we have been able to play with a lot of bands that we dreamt of playing with when growing up, like Prophets and Phonics, who were local boys. They were the sort of the bands that pushed us and made us think ‘why cant we’? To be able to play and tour with them and get to know them is pretty mind blowing. And I used to say with Funeral and Manics as well; pretty much every Welsh band is an inspiration when you’re growing up. So to be able to play with pretty much all of them, I mean, maybe not Tom Jones and Bonnie Tyler, oh no we have
Photo By Laura Smith
JIMMY SMITH (FOALS) VS. ALEX THROSSELL
Pretty much yeah, he likes to get amongst the crowd…from a height! (laughs) Is it more diﬃcult being raucous now with this more emotional record (Total Life Forever)? Well, no, cause we still play the old songs, but it’s just better, I think, before it was a bit more one dimensional; it would always be raucous and like non-stop energy. This time something like ‘Spanish Sahara’ actually creates a moment in the set which you can remember you know? It makes it a bit more three-dimensional and makes the more energetic moments, more energetic. I mean the crowd are pretty fucking mad when ‘Sahara’ kicks oﬀ anyway, but we get to kind of stand back and look at it a bit. The album is more autumnal than the summer release suggested, would you have rather done it the other way around?
Do you remember anything from your previous Norwich gigs? The ﬁrst show I can remember we played here was with Foals Mk.1, we had this guy called Andrew in the band and that was at this place called the boat menders or something (The Ferryboat Inn). This guy got arrested; the landlord was the Ipswich murderer who killed all those prostitutes, it was a really weird pub with all these lizards in the front room and we just played an awful show to, like, 2 people, I don’t even think the support band watched. But then we played here before and I remember it being good, but I think we are a lot better now, it’s something about the new stuﬀ. So you’re on a big tour and have a swanky bus; has that brought a change in the band dynamic?
tV CREATIVE WRITINg
Having seen a few other performances is Yannis (vox/guitar) still a fan of the stage dive?
It’s just more boring, like there was a lot of fun in that old van (the Foalsmobile, a red Transit), it saw a lot of things and it’s just diﬀerent. It’s a bit more professional now, a bit more regular, all the backstage stuﬀ runs like clockwork and there are all these people working the show and you’ve gotta remember everyone’s name, you start feeling like some rock star arsehole. The shows are just really enjoyable which is basically all it comes down to, but yeah I do miss the heady days of the Foalsmobile (laughs). Are you writing on the road? No! (more laughter), we had intentions, we brought two acoustic guitars and me and Yannis were like “yeah, we’ll ﬁght the boredom and write some songs”; that hasn’t happened, I dunno, time just goes.
Yeah it’s good, we are near the end of the tour now, only 3 more shows…
Well I’d rather tour in the summer yeah, but I think the album has some summery moments on it, like ‘Miami’ is a hot and sweaty song (laughs). But yeah, it was written through Christmas and into spring and I remember when the ﬁrst hot day happened we wrote a few songs then, but then we recorded it in Gothenburg and it went from summer to winter and was pretty gruesome; that had an eﬀect on a few songs.
So what’s in the foreseeable future for the band I like to think it’s going to be more of the same, we wanna push the pop side of things even further and the experimental side too. I don’t think the next record will sound anything like total life forever though, I hope not anyway, it’s nice to keep on moving forward.
How’s it been going, you have been touring for a while?
We’ve done Waterfront before; supported Hundred Reasons there and then eventually headlined there, which felt like a big step. Then we obviously did the Prophets show at the beginning of this year here and so to be able to step up and headline it is wicked, pretty mind blowing.
playing in Norwich?
Welcome back to Norwich. This is your ﬁrst time headlining UEA; are you looking forward to it?
Photo By Laura Smith
© 2010 Daniel Boud Photography
23nov10 ISSUE 248
CD REVIEWS FRANK TURNER - ROCK AND ROLL EP
FILM MUSIC WIRED tV CREATIVE WRITINg ARTS fASHION
Frank Turner should not be listened to in the cold, the new Rock And Roll EP especially. The collection of ﬁve songs, released just in time for Christmas, bring to mind the summer memories of sitting in sunny pub gardens drinking cider, not the endless rain and wind of British winter. Lead track ‘I Still Believe’ is already a well established live song, popular with Turner’s fans since he began playing it at festivals back in the summer. The sing-a-long chorus, complete with crowd participation, suggest that this is going to be his new anthem. ‘Pass It Along’ is a reminder that whilst the music may be folk-based and gentle on the ears, Frank Turner is considered – by himself
KELE - ON THE LAM
at least – a punk artist, with a heavy dose of political lyricism and deeply passionate vocals sharpening the edge of this song. A mid-album break from the ﬁst-pumping, audience aimed songs of the EP, ‘Rock and Roll Romance’ is a sweet ballad that sounds as though it was written to be whispered under bed sheets, to one person, rather than screamed out to a crowd of ﬁve thousand. It is the shortness of the track that makes it perfect. One of Frank Turner’s signature moves is that he writes songs about real people, name-dropping and dedicating to his friends, which gives the listener an idea of what Frank Turner’s personal life is really like. ‘To Absent Friends’ is no diﬀerent, and the scattering of anecdotes in the song make this one of the EP’s highlights. The EP ends on a melancholy note. ‘The Next Round’ has a mournful air, with Turner turning his attention away from politics and trying to spread some message about alcohol. The song is good, but the meaning isn’t clear to the listener. One thing about Frank Turner’s music is obvious; it is the simplicity of the song writing that makes it so catchy and is testament to the power of “guitar and drums and desperate poetry”. This EP is brilliant sample of Turner’s work, and fans will not be disappointed by the quality of the songs. Ellie Kumar
LINKIN PARK - WAITING FOR THE END
BEADY EYE - BRING THE LIGHT
The time has inevitably come to ask the question – why are Linkin Park still here? After starting out as nu-metal poster boys, their latest single ﬁnds them trying to be the next U2. Unfortunately they’ve made a wrong turn somewhere, and have ended up writing half-arsed stadium rock for the clinically depressed. Fans of their early stuﬀ will be waiting expectantly for something, anything to happen – a slickly-produced guitar riﬀ, maybe? A screamed, angst-ﬁlled chorus? Not a chance. Actually, the only positive thing to be said about ‘Waiting for the End’ is that it doesn’t sound anything like Linkin Park. It’s a clueless chant-fest with some synths thrown in, seemingly just to stay in with current trends. There are vapid echoing vocals and that voice-layering thing that bands do when they want people to sing along at their concerts. Seeking greater success by alienating your fanbase is an interesting strategyand one that is unlikely to pay oﬀ. And yet Linkin Park are inexplicably still here, abusing the airwaves with would-be anthems like this.
Does Liam Gallagher care more about music or fashion these days? Will the break-up of Oasis spur Andy Bell and Gem Archer to actually write some decent tunes? Is Beady Eye the worst band name ever? All these questions and more are posed by the return of this new Noel-less incarnation of Oasis.
Kele Okereke has ditched guitar-driven indie for the synths and drum machines of electro, having seized Bloc Party’s indeﬁnite hiatus as an opportunity to release his debut solo album, The Boxer. As the third single taken from Kele’s solo eﬀort, ‘On The Lam’ essentially demonstrates a talent that goes beyond mainstream indie anthems. Elements of dubstep, drum and bass, garage and house clearly feature- but render the track diﬃcult to categorise. Confusion is magniﬁed by high-pitched vocals barely distinguishable as male, let alone as Kele. The result is that ‘On The Lam’ lacks a clear identity as a single and, although the electro hook ensures it will get playing time, this kind of thing has been done before, and better. It would be a decent, if not outstanding track, were it not for the fact that fans know Kele can reach greater heights. Ultimately Okereke has laid a solid foundation to build on as a solo artist, or at least illustrated that a Bloc Party reformation could yield something new: which no doubt indie kids abound will be calling for. Jordan Bright
GUILTY HANDS - RAZOR
Unsurprisingly, their debut single is a rock n’ roll tune; however it does sound diﬀerent from anything you’ve ever heard Liam’s distinct Mancunian snarl over before. Combining a piano riﬀ straight out of the Jerry Lee Lewis rulebook, a George Harrison guitar ﬁll, lyrics about “taking you drinking” and an idiot simple chorus (“Baby come on / Baby hold on”) the song sounds absurdly out of place in 2010 and takes some listening to get used to. However, once you’ve wound your ears back to 1964, it’s actually a bit of a tune. Welcome back, Liam and co.
Slightly angular guitar pop is out of date. The addition of synths, listen up Guilty Hands, does not make it any better. It’s not that the song is bad per se, it’s just decidedly average. The simple verse/chorus/verse/chorus structure and predictably clean cut 80s resurgence production result in an OK track, but one that could have been great if written by any number of bands 5 years ago. In the present day, Guilty Hands’ eﬀort ends up emulating the edgy riﬀs and cutting vocals of mid-noughties indie bands, but the plaudits that came as a result back then ultimately elude them. While you can forgive the outdated musical devices, the track’s grating one line sample isn’t so easy on the ears. The source is irrelevant and if you didn’t really listen to the song it might not register, but after hearing the track multiple times, the soundbyte of “Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against” is possibly the most aggravating thing about ‘Razor’. Vapid rebellion is so out dated it almost feels right again, note almost. Keep trying.
09nov10 ISSUE 247
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The Pope came out this week. The use of condoms ‘in certain cases’ has been deemed acceptable by the Vatican. In a U-turn from traditional Catholic teachings, the Pope, in his new book, has given his blessing to the use of condoms as appropriate contraception under particular Papal conditions. It is rumoured the Pope may have changed his mind after an employee of Trojan condoms was planted to work inside the Vatican without the knowledge of His Holiness. When the Vatican was contacted directly for comments on what brought on the Pope’s change in direction, Concrete was told he was too busy. Shortly after, a spate of water balloon attacks occurred in the Vatican, causing a number of raised eyebrows. The change in policy has caused
rifts amongst those within the church. More orthodox members believe that the move is a disservice to the sanctity of sperm. Liberal members of the Catholic Church have been practicing condom use for years. One commented: “Once you get into the habit, there seems little point in not using them. You wouldn’t want to upset the Mother Superior, after all.” Condom manufacturer Durex have expressed doubts concerning the effectiveness of holy condoms but have given their full support to the Papal mission. The Finish Association for Real Condoms Enterprise will be working with the Vatican and Durex to ensure that the programme works appropriately. FARCE will be guaranteeing that the condoms are to global standards, whilst safeguarding the amount of holiness as prescribed by Papal discretions. Despite the furore bound to follow him in the upcoming weeks, the Pope will honour all of his Papal commitments. He will, however, be requiring extra protection.
tV CREATIVE WRITINg ARTS fASHION
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Death of Comedy?
Pope Withdraws Condom Ban
The internet ruins everything, doesn’t it? It’s got it in for the commerciality of print media, the careers of struggling musical artists and the self-respect of hung-over students. But it could be good for comedy. Television comedy suffers from the same problems as the rest of its medium. It’s up against YouTube and its army of short-term instant distractions: musically talented cats, homemade skits and, most threateningly, free bootleg versions of comedians’ own shows, both watched and uploaded by well meaning fans not knowing or caring about the potential damage in lost DVD sales. However, broadcast comedy can rely on a hook it shares with its deadliest rival for screen time - the reality show - and that’s the water cooler effect. While few people talk about good Mastermind questions, the instantaneous effect of a fresh gag or potentially classic clip creates good gossip. Once the classic moment is created, comedy comes into its own: it has longevity, with people happily watching clips and programmes that are decades old. Whereas other TV broadcasts sag as time moves on, a good gag is forever. Because of this, it makes sense that many channels are driving their own online presence. Channel 4 has put a lot of its classics online, potentially
creating new fans of old shows. Meanwhile, last year the BBC created an impressive new website offering blogs, ‘making ofs’, additional content and web only exclusives. So far, comedy is finding a way of surfing the wave rather than getting swallowed by the wash of new content. If we’re honest, live comedy has little to worry about and everything to gain from new technology. Live comedy fans know nothing beats the thrill of the live gig. Like music fans, they’re not going to give up the chance to see something for real just because they have the recorded version. Instead, the web becomes a massive promotional notice board, none of it detracting from the main event. In different ways, comedy is surviving and, in some cases, thriving in the second wave of the dot-com boom. Finally, something the internet is good for. Christian Pierre
YOUR GUIDE TO WHAT’S GOING ON IN NORWICH November -
* Squeeze + special guests The Lightning Seeds - LCR - 7:30pm (£33.50) * Livewire Unsigned - UEA Blue Bar - 7pm ( * Music At One: Daniel Law - The Assembly House - 1pm (£4)
* Cave Rave - LCR - 10pm (£3.50adv) * Alun Cochrane (comedian) - Norwich Arts Centre - 8:30pm (£10-£12) * The Merry Wives of Windsor - Theatre Royal (plays until 27th) - 7:30pm (£5.50£22)
* Ministry Of Sound Clubbers Guide Summer 2010 Tour - LCR - 10pm (£6-£8) * Film - Iron Man 2 - LT1 - 7:30pm (£2.80)
* The Skints - The Marguee - 7:15pm (£5.50) * Larking Gowen City of Norwich Half Marathon in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support - Royal Norfolk Showground 11am
* Rich Hall - The Playhouse - SOLD OUT * MediaBall 2010 - Sainsbury Centre - 7pm (£15)
* The Human League - LCR - 7:30pm (£22) * GET LOW ft. Toddla T - Havana (free)
* Silent Disco - LCR - 10pm (£5.50) * Talk of the Dead presents An Evening of Clairvoyance - Norwich Puppet Theatre 7:30pm (£10) * Film - Four Lions - LT1 - 7:30pm (£2.80)
* Arthur Smith At Large - LCR - 8pm (£7£10) * The View - The Waterfront - 7:30pm (£10 call for availability)
Not to be missed!
* The all new Cave Rave theme and (making its return to the calendar by popular demand )The Disney LCR promise to be sell-outs... so hurry up and get those tickets!
VENUE INVITES YOU TO GET TO KNOW ELLIE GOULDING Don’t mind if we do Ellie…. With the return of Ellie Goulding to our humble LCR stage, we at Venue thought it only right to let our readers know a little bit about our home-grown songstress. Twenty-three-year-old Elena Jane Goulding was born in Herefordshire, England and was destined for stardom from a very young age. We at Venue don’t love her merely for her impeccable taste in men - she is currently dating our very own UEA graduate and Radio One DJ Greg James - but for the fact that she is an immensely talented singer, songwriter and musician; she has written music for the likes of Tinie Tempah, Diana Vickers and Gabriella Cilmi, to name but a few. With such chart-topping hits as Starry Eyed and Guns and Horses, she has become widely known for her unique brand of indiepop and her refreshingly different voice. With both of her gigs at the UEA being
a total sell-out within days of their release, it seems that her popularity hasn’t faltered, especially here at UEA. Venue asked a student at the university their opinion on Ellie and this is what she said: “Ellie Goulding is so different; it’s nice to see a real artist who writes her own songs and plays her own instruments, not to mention being absolutely beautiful in a totally natural way.” With several awards and nominations under her belt, she truly is a force to be reckoned with. After winning both the BBC Sound of Music Award 2010 and a 2010 BRIT Award for Critic’s Choice, she has broken through to the mainstream music scene with a bang. Her debut album Lights has reached number one in the album charts and, as a result of its success, is set to be rereleased at the end of November under the title Bright Lights. With this and much more to come, Ellie will undoubtedly rocket her way into the musical stratosphere.
“Why don’t you be the writer?”
* Ross Noble 2010 - Theatre Royal - 7pm (£6-£21)
* The Disney LCR - LCR - 10pm (£3.50adv) * Chess - Theatre Royal (plays until 4th) 2:30pm/7:30pm (£6-£35)
* Skunk Anansie - LCR - 7:30pm (£20) * Young Guns - Norwich Arts Centre SOLD OUT * Sticky Flange : The Popcorn Party Mercy (free admission with flyer before 11.30pm) * Fat Poppadaddys LUAU - Lola Lo (free entry before 11pm on guestlist) * Film - Exit Through The Gift Shop 0- LT1 - 7:30pm (£2.80)
* Club Retro + Club Neo - LCR - 10pm (£4.50) * The Glow Party - Mercy (£2.00 off Admission with flyer before midnight)
British singer Ellie Goulding will be performing live at the UEA on the 24th
Photograph from the annual Sparks In The Park event held at Earlham Park
* Aisle16 Poetry Collective’s 10th Birthday Celebration - York Tavern (free) * Now 90s + Vibe in the Hive - LCR - 10pm (£4.50) * Norwich Alternative Salsa - The Waterfront - 1oam-5pm (£1 on the door) * Hal Cruttenden (comedian) - The Playhouse - 8pm (£12-£14)
* Film - Splice - LT1 - 7:30pm (£2.80)
* Ellie Goulding - LCR - SOLD OUT * Rose Tremain - UEA Literary Festival SOLD OUT * Much Ado About Nothing presented by UEA DramaSoc (plays until 26th) - UEA Drama Studio - 7:30pm (£4.50-£6)
23NOV10 ISSUE 248
23nov10 ISSUE 248
11 13 14
Across 1: Sexual orientation towards a person of the same sex. (13) 7:Stupid individual; American colloquial. (5) 8: To make ashamed or uneasy; disconcert. (7) 9: A male chicken. (7) 11: Muhammed_____,greatest sport’s man of all time(3) 12: To be without the instrument used to row or steer a boat. (7) 13: Sea ________, spiny sea creature. (6) 14: A shortened name for a football replacement. (3) 16: The representation of an object or being. (5) 19: _______ Oddysee; popular 1997 PlayStation game. (4) 20: Lacking worldly experiences or understanding. (5) 22: A member of the big cat family, with black stripes. (5) 23: The giant in Harry Potter. (6) 24: To give consent or approval. (6)
competitions Down 1: The Odyssey, a major Greek epic poem by _____. (5) 2: Italian inventor; best known for his development of a radio telegraph system. (7) 4: To be behind the times; or prefer things and values of the past. (13) 5: Son of Abraham and Hagar. (7) 6: A mix of Hebrew and German; Jewish language. (7) 8: An extreme or irrational fear of heights. (10) 13: State or quality of having existence. (5) 14: Strong alcoholic Czech beverage. (7) 17: Simple plants which grow in both fresh and sea water. (5) 18: When something is strange and frightening. (5) 21: Book of ____; a film featuring Denzel Washington. (3)
Win UEA’s very own Arthur Smith is a long-serving alternative comedian, prolific voice0ver actor and professional Grumpy Old Man. He and his legendarily gruff voice will be taking to the LCR stage on December 6th, for what promises to be a painfully funny night.
For a chance of winning a pair of tickets, just bring your completed crossword to the Concrete Office by 3pm on 2/12/10. Name: E-mail: Mobile:
Win The Human League, one of the greatest electro bands of all time, will be playing the LCR on November 29th. To be in with a chance of winning tickets, just circle the correct answer to the following question and bring it to the Concrete Office by 3pm on 25/11/10. The Human League’s most well known single is ‘Don’t You Want Me?’ Complete the lyric: ‘You were working as a waitress in..’ A) A restaurant B) A cocktail bar C) The LCR Name: E-mail: Mobile: