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The Streets

Tim Key Venue’s Susanna Wood talks Edinburgh Fringe Festival, poetry and Esther Rantzen with the erudite funnyman.

Venue reviews The Streets’ eagerly anticipated final album, Computers and Blues

Tuesday 15th February 2011 • Issue 252 • UEA’s Independent Student Newspaper • Twitter: @Concrete_UEA Photo by Harriet Jones

No sex please, we’re students • Union of UEA Students blocks Concrete’s annual Sex Survey, despite prior approval. • Officer admits to “contentious” nature of decision. Danny Collins

Editor

Concrete’s annual Sex Survey has been blocked by the Union of UEA Students following the publication of last fortnight’s edition. The survey, which has been run for ten years without obstacle, was suspended after originally being approved by the Union before publication. However, a reversal of this decision saw the

anonymous questionnaire, which was hosted by the Union’s SurveyMonkey account, pulled after the final draft of the paper had been sent to print with the survey’s details on its front page. The Union have stated that the survey was pulled until a University ethics body approves its content, a stipulation that was not declared when Concrete published the Drugs Survey in November.

UEA’s favourite bus driver, Clive Ashcroft, answers all your concerns and worries in his guest column Clive Cares. Lifestyle page 16

Continued on page 4

NEWS: Police crack down on parking scam

NEWS: Oxbridge set to COMMENT AND OPINION: Dresses and charge £9,000 in fees drama queens

FEATURES: The darker side of sex

COMPETITIONS: Win Shakin’ Stevens tickets!

Students who have been tampering with parking tickets to get free parking face disciplinary action. Page 3

A Cambridge consultation paper has revealed the intention to charge the maximum £9,000 for tuition fees. Page 6

Lauren Razavi examines the sex industry in the UK and our interest in all things “sex”. Page 12-13

Bring your completed crossword to the Concrete office for your chance to win tickets to see Shakin’ Stevens! Venue Page 24

Stephanie Stevens asks whether we can learn anything from the female travelling community. Page 11


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UEA’s Independent Student Newspaper

concrete.news@uea.ac.uk

Medical Centre stop sexual health checks for men • Men must now go to Norfolk & Norwich University hospital for sexual health check-ups.

Concrete Newspaper Union House UEA Norwich NR4 7TJ

concrete.editor@uea.ac.uk

Editor:

Editorial: 01603 593 466 Advertising: 01603 592 507

Danny Collins

Deputy Editor:

Steph McKenna

Chief Copy Editor:

Mia Wecker

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

Emma Parrott

Nishavitha Murthi Adam Fenwick

Turf Editor:

Anna Tomson

Lifestyle Editor:

James Dixon

Travel Editor:

Tom Hunt

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

Davina Kesby Ed Leftwich

Chris King Rob Schatten Greg Mann

Laura Smith Jean Wills

Rob Schatten

Contributors:

Ben Briceno, David Murphy, Alex Mansell, Philip Thomas, Rianne Ison, Susanna Wood, James Hughes, Dan Pirozzolo, Jaap Rozema, Jack Brinded, Luke Smith, Stephanie Stevens, Beth Wyatt, Lauren Razavi, Pia Langeheine, Charlie Wallace, Greg Lewry, Hasina Allen, Emma Williamson, Rebecca Bell, Kerry Lane, Krishnaveni Padala, Rachael Lum, Tim Miller, Ashley Lewis, James Schofield, Ian Hobbs, Simon O’Meara, Freddie Magee, Mark Roach, Chris Teale, Matt Scrafton Proofreaders:

Amy Adams, Amelia Edwards, Carmina Masoliver, Ann Hartigan, Kate Llewellyn

Ben Briceno News Reporter

Concrete has discovered that the UEA Medical Centre will no longer test men for sexually-transmitted infections. The UEA Medical Centre adopts a stern policy regarding sexual health care in their refusal to provide men with sexually transmitted infection testing, forcing male students instead to visit the hospital for a full sexual health screening. There are exceptions to the policy, with the Medical Centre continuing to provide men with Chlamydia screenings, sexual advice and support. Students have been left shocked by the decision to stop providing full sexual health screenings for men, with one student remarking: “Surely on a university campus, this is exactly the sort of thing that needs to be concentrated on?”. Over the past decade there has been a substantial increase in the amount of sexually transmitted

infections (STIs) diagnosed in the UK, especially among the younger generations. Young people aged less than 25 experience the highest rates of STIs in the country. According to the Health Protection Agency, in 2009 there was a 3% increase from the previous year in the number of newly-diagnosed STIs, with a total of 482,696 new cases. The variety of infections, ranging from

chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV, are regarded as some of society’s most common contagious diseases and therefore require serious prevention and treatment. Considering the rates of gonorrhoea, chlamydia and genital herpes diagnoses in men peak in those aged between 20 and 23 years, as well as the efficient and economical methods

Lizzie Margereson

available for the relevant tests, it is surprising that the Medical Centre’s policy remains. The policy surrounding women’s sexual health checks at the UEA Medical Centre is comprehensive, involving a three-tier approach to sexual health care. The UEA Medical Centre’s representative was unavailable to make any comment at this time.

UEA Investment Fund needs you Horatio Troller News Reporter

UEA is following in the footsteps of some American universities in setting up an investment fund run entirely by students, and is currently searching for its first board of directors. The proposal of the fund is to provide real world experience of managing investment portfolios, whilst simultaneously generating financial benefits for UEA, in the form of direct financial aid and scholarships for talented prospective students. The aim of setting up this fund is to create a longterm organisation that will

put UEA a step ahead of its competitors in terms of business and economics. The fund will utilise the skills and experience of UEA Alumni in the role of mentors to help the achieve its goals. The election for the board of directors is due to take place on March 11th for the 2011-12 academic year. There are seven positions open to application. Nominations are open to any student studying fulltime at UEA. The deadline for applications is 26th February. Those interested in applying, or want any more information, should email chriswlee1@gmail.com.


ISSUE 252

Tuesday 15th February

Professor Green pulls out of Project opening night

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Students dodge car park fees • Police crack down on students who have been evading car park tickets, with fines being handed out to offenders. • Transport Office at UEA says that guilty parties may face disciplinary action from the University. David Murphy

News Reporter

The ever unlucky Project nightclub has once again been hit by bad news, after Professor Green pulled out of the club’s opening night due to prior recording commitments. The nightclub, formerly Lava/ Ignite, is situated on the Riverside complex and has witnessed its fair share of unfortunate incidents since its closure in 2007. The problems for the Riverside club began after structural complications caused the original closure of Lava/Ignite. A lengthy legal process followed which was eventually settled and allowed work to recommence under Luminar Leisure, formerly of Liquid Norwich, and the new owners behind the £2million renovations. This latest set-back hasn’t dented the heightened sense of anticipation surrounding the new nightclub, as Project have moved quickly to announce a Chase and Status DJ set, along with Kiss 100’s DJ EZ and MC Kofi B for the VIP opening night on the 24th February. Chase and Status are no strangers to Norwich, having played at the LCR as recently as 12th May 2010. After setting the bar high with this performance, much is expected on their return. Alex Mansell

National Student Survey UEA have been encouraging third year students to complete the National Student Survey. This year’s survey has recently been launched, and aims to provide comparable information from all higher education institutions to gauge student satisfaction. UEA has fared particularly well in student satisfaction surveys, consistently being in the top five and even coming joint first in previous years. All schools have forwarded links to the online survey to third years; this is your chance to have a say about your time at UEA.

Several students have been caught attempting to avoid parking charges at UEA and face disciplinary action from the University. No students have been named but it is understood that so far the University is dealing with all cases of fare dodging internally. The students will be dealt with by the Disciplinary Officer and are most likely to receive a fine for their actions. A statement released by the Transport Office at UEA says: “Several students have been dealt with by the Disciplinary Officer and several more currently face disciplinary proceedings. They and their vehicle have been readily identified by checking ticket issue time against CCTV.” One student, who wished not to be named, admitted to Concrete that they had illegally left the car park without paying. They told this reporter that “you hardly ever get caught and it’s easy to do if you know what you’re doing. “All you need to do is damage your ticket in the right way and the machine can’t read it properly. Then it raises the barrier and you get drive off without paying a penny.” They also admitted to

The University is taking a hard line on students who have been avoiding paying for parking on campus

Greg Mann

having a friend simply lift the barrier up so they could drive underneath it. When asked why they would risk the potentially serious repercussions of doing this they said “I already struggle to run a car here. I can’t rely on getting buses to

uni from where I live so I have to find some way of bringing the costs down”. The Transport Office has stated that it “prefers to deal with this issue internally at present” but has not ruled out legal action or the involvement of the police.

They wish to remind students that evading parking fees is “an offence of fraud” and that “the police are aware and may prosecute in future”. No one from Norfolk Constabulary was available for comment on the issue at this time.

may be available for staff within the new structure. A spokesperson for the University said: “A range of support services that are currently delivered either in faculties and schools or by various offices in the Registry are being integrated into a set of services to be delivered across the University. “This is in response to the pressure on public finances which is affecting all universities but also reflects a wish to make services more consistent across the University, with the aim of providing a ‘one-stop’ approach to answering questions and solving problems”. Out of the 3900 members of

staff at UEA, 580 are expected to be affected by the changes. An estimated 32 posts will be lost, with the University determined to keep the number of redundancies to a minimum. The effect of these cuts is being diminished by a voluntary severance scheme and redeployment. The issue of staff redundancies was brought up in Union Council on the 3rd February in an emergency motion. The motion stated that “the student experience will be drastically harmed if experienced front line staff are moved from their posts or made redundant”. After a debate surrounding whether the Union’s policy against cuts to education funding applied

in this case, the motion was pushed back to a later date, so that the issues could be looked into in greater depth. The motion is expected to be re-drafted and will be presented to the next meeting of Union Council. Annie Ogden, Head of Communications at UEA, said: “The University believes that this integration will not only achieve essential efficiencies, but will also bring benefits in the way that students are supported”. These arrangements are planned to come into effect on 1st August 2011, with more communication expected nearer the time in order to clarify any changes.

Programme of “integration” begins to take effect across UEA

Davina Kesby

News Editor

A restructuring operation at UEA has left some members of staff facing redundancy. In the process of “integration”, many people working in the social or support services of faculties and schools are being redistributed to other parts of the University or face losing their jobs altogether. The University wrote to all administrative staff informing them that they would be holding meetings regarding their future positions. Consultation meetings with members of staff who may be affected are currently underway, in order to clarify what opportunities


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Concrete Sex survey pulled Continued from page 1

Dan Youmans, Community and Student Rights Officer of the Union, said: “The Concrete Sex Survey can be a really good, fun way to get people to talk about sex. But it’s also important that surveys meet certain criteria - like being anonymous and treating respondents with respect that are best assessed by an ethics committee. Although I recognise the decision to remove it was contentious, the Union had to prioritise student welfare above all else.” The move by the Union will be seen as controversial given the popularity of the light-hearted and voluntary survey, which is currently being scrutinised by the University’s ethics commission. If approved, the survey will be recommissioned later in the academic year. Features Editor, Adam Fenwick, who commissioned the survey, said: “I was very disappointed with the Sex Survey being withdrawn. It’s one our biggest features of the year and a Concrete institution. We’ve always thought of it as a tongue-in-cheek look at students’ attitudes to sex. I hope that we will be allowed to proceed with this year’s survey in what we hope to be our biggest yet.” Danny Collins

Derby Day campaign begins Preparations are well under way for the 11th annual UEA vs. Essex University Derby Day. On 23rd March, sports teams from both universities will compete at UEA to once again fight for the Derby Day crown. An extra addition for this year will be the introduction of exhibition games. Rob Bloomer, Finance Officer of the Union of UEA Students, said: “we are going to make sure the whole atmosphere is great – setting up a stadium using marquees and floodlights is the ultimate goal.” These games have the added incentive of being counted in the final points tally. Though Essex won last year on home soil, UEA are still leading 7-3 overall and Bloomer is hopeful of yet another win. “Our sports clubs are pumped for the occasion - we are more than ready for them. UEA will be going out there to win.” Alex Mansell

concrete.news@uea.ac.uk

First buses raise fares as quality of service is questioned • First buses increase fares by a further 10p. • Norwich North MP launches survey asking for residents’ views on bus service. An increase in bus fares has left many Norwich residents feeling disgruntled about the service being provided by First buses. A further 10p is being added to many tickets, with a single from the University into town now costing £2.30. A spokesperson for First said: “The increased fare revisions have been kept to a minimum, mindful of our commitment to making the bus the preferred travel option. This is the first price increase the majority of our single and return fares have seen in nearly two years”. The increase has been criticised by some as families have already been hit by the increase in VAT. The leader of Norwich City Council, Steve Morphew, said: “Any increase is disappointing and will add further pain to hard-pressed family budgets”. He added: “prices are already very high and this is unlikely to encourage people to switch from their cars to public transport”. Norfolk County Council is also

proposing cutting the number of hours when bus pass holders can get free travel, planning to close the information desk at the bus station, and making park-and-ride travel more expensive in a drive to make £155m of savings over the next three years. The MP for Norwich North, Chloe Smith, has launched a survey asking for views on buses. She says she recognises that “bus services are a big issue” and “if fares go up from the private sector, people want to get a better service in return”. She continued, saying: “companies such as First do seek to listen and they will not know what needs improving unless we tell them”. However, several customers appeared to be infuriated by what Chloe Smith was implying and said that she had been trying to get First to not just listen but to respond to her concerns for months but had left feeling totally ignored. Miss Smith concluded: “The public sector has naturally had to review what it can afford to do on behalf of taxpayers and I want to hear what they like and what they don’t like.”

Maintenance work has been taking place across campus to resolve a problem with waterproofing,

particularly on the upper walkway outside Waterstones. The building work is taking

Dan Pirozzolo

News Reporter

The service provided by First buses has been called into question

Pippa Artus

Campus walkways renovated to improve waterproofing

Lizzie Margereson

place in order to rectify a problem that has been plaguing some of the shops in The Street. A few of the outlets have experienced water ingress from above, with these renovations set to provide a safer environment for those working in the affected areas. The waterproofing under the paving slabs on the upper walkway is almost 50 years old, so has come to the end of its life expectancy, with disruption to staff and students being kept to a minimum. Some students have, however, been left puzzled as to how to make their way across certain parts of campus, with access to the library from the Hive being blocked off. In addition to this, some

students have remarked on a pungent smell that lingered around campus approximately a week ago. The Arts building in particular was affected by the smell, the cause of which is unknown. According to Justin Rhys, Customer Liaison Officer for UEA’s Estates and Buildings Division, the smell could have been caused by the work of local farmers. He said: “We are unaware of any work on campus that may have caused any airborne smell. At times, the odour of agricultural products used by local farmers on the fields may be carried on the wind and this could account [for] it”. My Rhys accentuated that “this is just a possible explanation and by no means definitive”.


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UEA launches Forensics MSc The University of East Anglia has announced the launch of a unique new course in forensic provenancing. The taught MSc will be the first of its kind in the world and will have a distinctly ethical theme, with places being available from September 2011. A diverse selection of schools from Medicine to Museology will be delivering the degree, entitled Forensic Archaeometry and Provenancing Studies. The interdisciplinary nature of the subject requires broad expertise in the areas of forensic chemistry, geochemistry, food science, archaeology, and genetics. Specialist training students receive will include practical work and will offer broad job opportunities. Course director and leading forensic geochemist, Dr Jurian Hoogewerff, said: “There is a worldwide demand for people with the kind of cutting edge scientific skills this degree will provide”. Philip Thomas

Fairtrade fortnight

Oxbridge set to charge maximum fees • Cambridge consultation papers reveal intention to charge £9,000 in tuition fees from 2011. Rianne Ison

News Reporter

Oxford and Cambridge Universities have announced their plans to triple tuition fees in September 2011, meaning they will both be charging the maximum amount of £9,000 per academic year. Indications of this decision came from a consultation paper, which showed that Cambridge intended to bring about this change in Autumn of this year and that the amount per semester will be a staggering £3,375. This internally published paper also detailed Cambridge’s plans for students from lower income families. Those families whose total earnings equal less than £25,000 will be entitled to a maintenance bursary of up to £1,625 and will pay £6,000 per year, double the current amount that students have to pay. However, once the total income exceeds £42,000, the reduction will no longer stand. As well as the rise in tuition fees, there have also been numerous national cuts to teaching, which have instigated the claims of Oxford’s ProVice Chancellor, Tony Monaco, that charging less than £8,000 would lose the University considerable amounts of money. Monaco furthered these claims during a formal meeting with members of Oxford University by declaring that Oxford subsidised undergraduates by £80m and that

Cambridge university is set to charge £9,000 in tuition fees, with many universities expected to follow

if they were to “charge £9,000, the additional income would be £14m a year”. Oxford will make its final decision on fees in March. With news from other universities emerging, UEA are expected to announce their decision in the foreseeable future, with prospective students already looking around the campus. ProVice Chancellor (Academic), Tom Ward provided a statement which read: “We are currently planning for the new regime and will, of course,

Students shaken by attack

This year’s Fairtrade Fortnight commences on 28th February, with a variety of events taking place across campus. Union shops will be running promotions throughout the fortnight, including discounts on selected products in the UFO and chocolate tasting outside the Papershop on 9th March. University catering outlets will also be doing their bit, with Cafe Direct offering a free fairly-traded banana with every baguette and fairtrade drink purchased. Annie Ogden, Head of Communications at UEA, said: “The University and the Students’ Union work closely to ensure that we maintain Fairtrade status. This is a good opportunity to join in and enjoy the best that Fairtrade can offer.

Susanna Wood

News Reporter

Police are yet to apprehend youths who staged an unprovoked attack on a UEA student in the Golden Triangle. The incident, which happened in the early hours of Saturday 29th January, has left the student with a broken foot. The second-year student, who was walking home with four other UEA students following a night of light drinking at the Fat Cat pub on Nelson Street, was approached outside the Mr Chicken fast food restaurant on Warwick Street, just off of Unthank Road. Preferring to remain anonymous, the student told Concrete: “Some lads came out of the shop and were immediately aggressive towards us,

asking if we were laughing at them. One of them threatened my friend, and then proceeded to punch him in the face for absolutely no reason. “At that point I tried to intervene and break things up; I pushed between them but one of the other lads rounded on me. He punched me on the jaw. I then got kicked in the ankle while I was lying on the floor, and it cracked my lower fibula leg bone.” The student has described the attackers as a group of four white males, around the age of 18, who had clearly been drinking. The student added: “I was in the wrong place at the wrong time as I usually feel really safe on Unthank Road. Hopefully I will be able to claim some compensation from the Government even if the lads aren’t caught”.

need to digest and take into account the newly-announced details of arrangements underpinning fair access”. He reassured prospective students by declaring: “The recent information about the plans being discussed by Oxford and Cambridge will not influence our own thinking.” His statement went on to say: “We will decide how to respond to the huge reduction in public funding for teaching in light of our own commitment to an excellent

Greg Mann

student educational experience and to continuing our efforts to widen access to university. Our priority will continue to be the provision of the high quality of education and resources that we have established here over many years”. Many other universities are expected to raise their fees to £9,000 and are intent on doing so to combat the problems that the cuts have caused, leaving many concerned that individuals from lower income families will be unable to afford the

UEA scientists secure £30,000 Philip Thomas

News Reporter

A UEA spin out company Intelligent Fingerprinting has secured £300,000 investment in revolutionary technology. The technology combines fingerprint recognition with the identification of illicit substances, serving to aid in the apprehension and prosecution of criminals. The combined investment from the Synergis Technologies together with Iceni Seedcorn specifically concerns the development of reagent kits, which can be issued to law enforcement, border control or punitive agencies for rapid and non-invasive application in forensic science, roadside policing and homeland security. Professor David Russell

(CTO and Founder, Intelligent Fingerprinting), said: “By simultaneous detection of personal identity and illicit substances, we are able to offer law enforcement agencies the ability to create personal profiles which are, otherwise unavailable”. The kit works on the principle that it can first provide a positive identification of the suspect, and secondly can ascertain from sweat deposits on the finger, the presence of illegal substances. Metabolites can be identified on the finger, which are impossible to wash off. The high sensitivity technology can already detect cannabis, methadone and cocaine, and development work continues for the identification of other illegal substances, individual biomarkers and even explosives.


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Students reject Union smoking ban motion James Hughes

News Reporter

The powerful force that is student democracy has been exercised again this week after the Union of UEA Students called a referendum on two issues affecting campus life. The referenda, which were held between the 10th and the 14th February, addressed two separate issues that had been raised at Union Council. The first vote was regarding the matter of the NUS’s ‘No Platform’ policy which prevents fascist organisations from being able to speak or promote their cause on campus. This issue was put to a referendum in 2007 where it was rejected by the students of UEA; however, according to the Union constitution, it must be reviewed. The ‘No Platform’ policy has been criticised on the grounds of a right to freedom of speech

and demonstration. Sam Hilton, a third year student and member of Anarchist Society has stated “We need to beat [the fascists] both physically and intellectually” suggesting that it would also be detrimental not to allow them to speak at all. However, those promoting the ‘No Platform’ policy have come to its defence claiming that “it guards the rights of minorities on campus who would undoubtedly become targets for abuse if fascists were permitted to speak on campus”. The call for restrictions on smoking around campus was put to a referendum at a recent meeting of Union Council. The changes would not rule out smoking in its entirety on campus, although it would restrict smokers to designated areas and shelters around campus. The locations and number of these areas are yet to be decided. This has already sparked debate amongst students with

each manifesto promoting reasons for and against the action raising equally pressing points. Those for the restrictions maintain the argument that the second hand smoke is unavoidable when smokers stand at the entrance of buildings, subjecting those also using the entrances and exits to its harm unwillingly. Meanwhile, those against the ban suggest that it is ‘unreasonable, unworkable and unfair’ with untold consequences on Union revenue, which they explain in detail in their manifesto, found at www. ueastudent.com. Communications Officer of the Union, Tom Dolton, remarked that it is essential that students “make their voice heard” when it comes to future voting or referenda of this nature. Both motions fell, with 359 votes against the NUS ‘No Platform’ policy and 378 votes against the Smoke Free UEA policy.

attendance. Professor Ward said that the panel were there to give councillors an opportunity to ask questions on what he called a “monumental disaster”. An emphasis was placed on the fact that communication and coordination had been extremely difficult, leading to different schools being given different extensions. The panel acknowledged that in future it was important to ensure coordination across different faculties. Jonathan Colam-French said

that a major review was ongoing as to how services are being provided to students. The replacement part that was sent to overcome the problem is now being kept as a spare in case this should happen again. The circumstances were described as “wholly exceptional”, with departments being concerned about how to guarantee students had received information. The lack of use of the UEA Facebook page was met with criticism, but Professor Ward accentuated that

Voting has taken place on whether to enforce a campus-wide smoking ban

Tom Ward addresses Union Council over technology failures Davina Kesby

News Editor

The first meeting of Union Council this semester took place on Thursday 3rd February. The meeting began with an address to Council regarding the technology failures at the end of last term from Tom Ward, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic) and the Associate Deans from the faculties of FMH, SCI, SSF and HUM. Jonathan Colam-French, the Director of Information Services, was also in

posting things on Facebook could not guarantee that all students would get the message. After the address, Council continued with its usual business. A selection panel for appointing a new external trustee was elected and Tom Dolton, Communications Officer of the Union, presented the Strategic Plan to Council. In addition to this, the constitutions of STEP UK and Laser were approved after concerns about overlap with other societies were answered.

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Motions to improve IT and communication facilities, to lobby for a fair deadline extension policy and to keep the post public were all approved. Council also voted to approve a motion that proposed zero tolerance for sexual harassment. The final motion to be approved was one to condemn kettling, after students were trapped in confined spaces at protests against tuition fees. Council also voted to hold a policy ballot on a Smoke Free UEA and NUS’ ‘No Platform’ Policy.

Email concrete.editor@uea.ac.uk with the sections you’d like to write for


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Tuesday 15th February

COMMENT AND OPINION 9

The Union referendum: a smoking gun? The Union of UEA Students last week held a referendum to decide whether they lobby the University to enforce a campus-wide smoking ban. Jaap Rozema argues against such a stance. Jaap Rozema

Between February 10th-14th the Union of UEA Students staged a referendum concerning a smoking ban on campus. As this has already provoked a lot of comments, particularly on Facebook, it becomes superfluous to cover them here. However, both the protagonists and the contesters of the smoking ban have used the same rhetoric and line of argument, largely glossing over the deeper dimensions in the bigger scheme of things which the referendum may lead us to. I will outline two viewpoints which should be privileged further attention by the wise creatures that we are. Primarily, there is a semantic flaw and an inherent bias in the main campaign argument as there is no such thing as clean air. It simply doesn’t exist. Clean air assumes that a certain ideal or given atmospheric condition is possible to establish. The atmosphere is in a constant state of flux. In fact, air can’t theoretically be clean as it is composed of various gases. However, if I allow myself to be flexible enough to interpret

the clean air outcry, whatever that may mean, as a protest against campus air pollution, what about the abundance of cars on campus? As a foreign student nurtured in a bicycle-friendly environment, I am amazed by the number of cars among UK students. Getting rid of the many cars in the heart of campus would be much more effective than a smoking ban. Secondly, and much more frightening behind this seemingly technical discussion on campus topology and air quality, is that repression and the decrease of natural entitlements is here entirely citizen-led. Unfortunately, this country has a vast experience with the curtailment of civil freedoms in recent years. New Labour has made it a national sport to install as many CCTV cameras as humanly possible, making it the most watched society at a global level. The mantra of counter-terrorism has provided legitimacy to a whole array of measures that are utterly restrictive to people’s movements and so-called ‘undesired’ behaviour. Health & Safety is another exclusion and prohibition mechanism. Previously solely belonging to the realm of semitotalitarian policy makers, the

Will smoking on campus become a thing of the past following the Union’s referendum?

no-smoking zealots at UEA have apparently infatuated themselves with the Orwellian notion of a controlled campus life, creating a student peasantry that sheepishly obeys the Health & Safety lunacy and many more of these

Students, get creative!

management dictums. We, the students, should resist these social straitjackets opposed from above. Smoking outside is a basic right and a ban against it should be rightfully fulminated against. I leave in the middle whether I

am a smoker or not as this is quite irrelevant. All I want to argue is that the UEA campus, our campus, should be a bastion of youthful spirit freed from bans, prohibitions and ‘no go’. Don’t copycat the mad ramblings of New York.

Turf Editor, Anna Tomson, argues that students should find new and creative ways to protest in the face of the increasing pressures faced by the higher education system.

Anna Tomson

As another student demo rolls around the corner and banners are clutched, voices raised and Cameron pretends he can’t hear the angry cries of ‘Tory scum’ from Parliament Square, a politically active and engaged youth rises to challenge educational hierarchies once thought to be set in stone. After the heated debates of last term over the use of violence and direct action, some students are beginning to consider new ways of protesting; perhaps the idea of

marching from A to B fills you with despondency, perhaps visions of balaclavas and burning placards aren’t your thing, perhaps some new tactics are needed; enter creative campaigning. There is a growing national movement to bring constructive ideas and art into the protest movement. Arts Against the Cuts is an umbrella organisation that has sprung up in the last few months for students and non-students alike to swap ideas and plan artbased campaigns to counteract the searing cuts to the public sector. At the last demonstration in London a book bloc appeared; a library of students waving shields in the shape of books in a literal - or literary! - demonstration of

the power of education against the police batons. And this wave of creative campaigning isn’t just on a national scale, it is happening right here at UEA; last week a workshop titled ‘Reimagining Political Dissent’ took place as part of a week of events on alternative living. During the meeting, students and lecturers discussed alternative ways of campaigning and creatively putting a message across. Following the meeting a group of students decided that ‘the cuts are a joke’ and dressed as clowns at the anti-cuts march in London on January 29th. In a movement to demonstrate the vitality of university, a group of UEA students have set up ‘The Really Open University’: a

two-day event of free lectures, workshops and skills shares with demonstrations from sports clubs and societies as well as from members of staff. “University is an experience that everyone should

“...now more than ever is the time to celebrate the education we have.”

be able to engage with and be entitled to,” say the group. “This is a way of celebrating that.” Inspired by a similar project at Leeds

University, the event will run on campus on the 24th and 25th of February and all clubs, societies and lecturers are encouraged to take part. There is certainly still a need for more ‘hands on’ tactics; the recent student riots in France are a clear example of the success that direct action can bring, but a diversity of strategy not only includes more people but demonstrates the multiplicity of talent and character of our student body. In the face of disappointment as the vote to increase tuition fees was passed, now more than ever is the time to celebrate the education we have.


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concrete.opinion@uea.ac.uk

Is it time to riot like an Egyptian?

After a week of widespread rioting and demonstrations in Egypt, Jack Brinded asks why our international leaders are suddenly getting behind the Egyptians and questions whether our liberal democracy is really a system we can be proud of?

Jack Brinded

The ‘crisis’ in Egypt, as Sky has so subtly dubbed it, has taught us in two short weeks as much about Western hypocrisy as it has about Egypt itself, perhaps more. As Hosni Mubarak’s reign finally comes to an end, the richest nations on Earth have conveniently forgotten their own crows of victory, having previously regarded a globalised world as proof of capitalism’s success, whilst the poverty-motivated struggle abroad has been wrongfully painted as a quaint Arabic uprising we could draw no parallels with. Because corrupt, elitist governments ignoring public opinion, victimising society’s most vulnerable, using force on dissenters; that doesn’t sound familiar at all. As protests progressed, the USA and UK tried desperately to exert influence over the goings-on in Cairo, attempting to claw back some of the hegemony slipping through their fingers, as well as to dupe people into believing their governments were taking the moral high-ground on this one. This led to 1970s stand-up comedian William Hague (of the coalition that brutally repressed

students), and perhaps more sickeningly, Hilary Clinton voicing support for peaceful protest (albeit with all the conviction of Microsoft Sam), despite the fact Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia’s regimes had all received military aid from the United States. So the theoretical position here is to support those on the streets, but also to supply the weapons that the regimes subsequently fire on them. A contradiction, I think. Mind you, when it comes to hypocrisy, the West does have form. Noam Chomsky pointed out (in a rare article for The Guardian) that Washington maintained its support for Nicolae Ceausescu, “the most vicious of the east European dictators”, until in 1989 when his regime collapsed. Then Washington hailed his overthrow and the victory of freedom over tyranny. But then again, America didn’t have the Islamic bogeyman at their disposal. Now, rather than switch allegiances out-right, the media in particular seems to be rather cynically ignoring the bottom up movement on the streets, instead crediting the Muslim Brotherhood with more influence than they have, quoting the group encouraging people to keep protesting. As if, without the Brotherhood, they’d have decided “It’s a fair cop, bring on another 30 years of Mubarak”

and gone home. It’s odd how when something the government doesn’t like happens, it’s always claimed a tiny minority is responsible, the Muslim Brotherhood, Anarchists, the French… Meanwhile scare-mongering, war-criminal Tony Blair, cheerleader of authoritarianism, praised Mubarak and bleated that if Egypt moves too quickly towards democracy it may allow the Brotherhood into power. That’s not how democracy works; democracy is people taking action themselves and winning change from the bottom up, and it’s something our established order seem keen to hush up. Whilst a wave of unrest sweeps across North Africa and the Middle East, it seems conveniently forgotten that similar sentiments are sweeping Europe’s streets too, as people across the ‘civilised’ West rally against crippling austerity budgets and the unrepresentative governments implementing them. Ultimately the capitalist West, with all its empty liberal rhetoric, is willing to sell out the rights and freedoms of others in order to preserve its own perverted, profitdriven idea of liberty. That’s why, tired of being ignored, people across the world are realising it’s time we had some Egyptian democracy of our own.

David Cameron and his Chamber of Secrets

How necessary are the never-ending spendings cuts? How did our level of national debt become so high? Luke Smith looks at what tricks the Coalition has up their sleeves to promote spending cuts.

Luke Smith An interesting move was made by the Government recently, something that may have slipped under the radar, mostly owing to the fact it was not accompanied by an official announcement: UK national debt is now higher than the £816bn figure published up

until now. This is because the liability (debt) of the Government’s stakes in the part-nationalised banks has been added to the butcher’s bill. Northern Rock alone makes up some £100 billion of this. The number now stands somewhere around the £2 trillion mark. But why have the Government made this decision? For the last couple of years there have been individuals at The Telegraph and The Taxpayers Alliance that have argued for a total revision

of the figures that would see the inclusion of various PFI’s and public sector and state pension liabilities. The Telegraph stuck to using the Institute of Economic Affairs calculations based on ONS statistics to give us a projected debt £4.8 trillion or £78,000 for every person in the UK; The Taxpayers Alliance seem to have lovingly crafted their own. Whilst the Government have partly resisted travelling down into this economic cul-de-sac of a view, they have made part of the journey.

The fairly obvious reason for not including the pension liabilities in the national debt is that this is not what the Government are spending now, nor do they have any need to borrow for it. The figures reflect a changing state of affairs that successive Governments have begun to tackle. The transfer of the banks’ liabilities is another matter though. Its real debt, right now, and just enough extra on top of the existing national debt to seemingly strengthen the Conservative’s

argument for savage cuts. The funny thing about the stakes in the nationalised banks is that in a couple of years time when they are sold, and they will be sold, the Conservatives will no doubt afford themselves the luxury of sitting back and saying, ‘look at the mess we sorted out’ when it bears no real relation to the debt problem that actually exists in the UK that the Conservatives purport to be addressing. A clever accountant’s sleight of hand, but no one’s fooling us!

The views in Comment and Opinion represent those of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect those of Concrete


ISSUE 252

COMMENT AND OPINION 11

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Tuesday 15th February

Dresses, drama queens and domestic bliss Big Fat Gypsy Wedding has proven to be a massive TV success, with people tuning in to be shocked by the outrageous dresses, but Stephanie Stevens asks whether there is anything we can learn from the female travelling community?

Stephanie Stevens

Channel 4’s latest documentary series ‘Big Fat Gypsy Weddings’ has proved a ratings smash, with over seven million tuning in each week. The series lifts the lid on the world of the travelling community and aims to go beyond the lavish wedding ceremonies and look further into what it means to be a traveller in modern-day Britain. It’s easy to see why the show has proved so successful. It walks a fine line between insightful and exhibitionist programming. The culture presented to the viewer is one of great diversity. It’s a world in some ways lost in time. Girls leave school before their teens to look after younger siblings, cook and clean, whilst the men are solely responsible for providing for the family. To 21st century eyes the shock value of such traditionalist beliefs is high. My initial reaction to the plight of the gypsy woman was one of horror. In a culture where girls are married on average by 16, their

entire childhood is centred round preparing for their future as a wife and mother. Gypsy girls are groomed for a domesticated life of dependence. Many leave school young keeping literacy levels low, and most do not have wealth independent of their husbands. This lack of freedom seems disturbing, however, for most of the gypsy girls interviewed, they wouldn’t have it any other way. The view of a woman’s place being in the home is old-fashioned; however, in today’s career-driven society, the prospect of a woman happy and content with being a housewife and mother is refreshing. A sole commitment to motherhood

is a luxury many a working mother would envy and shouldn’t be looked down upon. The major criticism comes when this lack of independence traps women in unhappy or abusive relationships. Dressmaker for the series’ brides, Thelma Madine claims that women expect to be dominated by their husbands. The dating ritual of ‘grabbing’, in which a man will use physical force to get a kiss from a woman highlights this, and provides the most compelling contrast to conservative values. Yet despite this, few of the young girls would choose to reject their culture. It’s easy to judge the role of a gypsy woman by one’s own

cultural ideals, as I fear was my initial reaction. However, in spite of appearances this is a culture with high moral standards. Marriage and commitment to family is greatly valued and whilst courtship methods are questionable and certain aspects of the culture hard to reconcile, if a woman is happy in her role as a homemaker and mother surely that is the most important thing? Society outside of traveller culture has developed past traditional gender roles, however for many gypsy women, a family unit controlled by a strong, patriarchal figure is a worthy aspiration, and who’s to say that desire is wrong and we are right?

Musical documentary or moral disgrace? With the news that the Ipswich murders of 2006 are to be made into a musical, Beth Wyatt looks into other tragedies which have been immortalised in theatre and asks why we can’t just leave them be?

Beth Wyatt

The people of Ipswich probably look like those of any town, but if you look deep enough you will find that all is not what it seems. During the run-up to Christmas 2006, we were horrified when five women were found dead. Gemma Adams, Tania Nichol, Anneli Alderton, Annette Nicholls and Paula Clennell were prostitutes who were brutally killed by Steve Wright. The murders are still a sensitive subject - and that is why I was disgusted to hear that the National Theatre has turned them into

a ‘musical documentary’. Brian Clennell, father of Paula, sums up the premise perfectly by describing it as “so sick”. Instead of pulling the plug on this insulting show, the theatre has commented that it will “not be sensationalist.” The theatre clearly has no respect for the victim’s families - who only last year had to sit through the BBC drama Five Daughters. Sadly, there are other cases like this. Former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith and student Meredith Kercher are both suffering the same fate. Anna Nicole, who died of an accidental prescription drug overdose, is the subject of a Royal Opera House production.

The opera has of course been described by the opera house as “thoughtful and sad” not “a sleazy evening”.

“These families are all having to relive their worst nightmares because of the sensationalist ideals of producers”

I fail to see how the opera will not be sleazy, what kind of entertainment value is in the death of a woman who died only five months after the birth of her daughter and

the death of her twenty year old son? The exploitation of Meredith Kercher’s death is also sickening. DVD to air in February, a US drama depicts scenes showing Meredith screaming as she held down by her murderers. It’s a shame that a fantastic actress like Hayden Panettiere is involved in such a film. Understandably, Meredith’s father John deemed it as “absolutely horrific”. These families are all having to relive their worst nightmares because of the sensationalist ideals of producers and directors. Perhaps one day it will no longer be in fashion to exploit people’s deaths, and we can leave them to rest in peace.

Things turn sour for Sugar Davina Kesby

The shocking news broke last month that Sugar magazine, a positive institution for teenage girls, will cease to exist as of February, owing to a 75% drop in circulation over the last decade. My teenage years would have been significantly worse without Sugar guiding me on my way. Yes, I’ve made the transition to Heat now - stop judging me, please - but I still hold a torch for the once great teenage Bible. Where else will teens read the freaky stories about people’s strange bits? Where else will they learn how to kiss? The ‘back of your hand’ tactic was foolproof advice, as was ‘kiss a peeled grape’. I wish I was exaggerating with that last one, but I distinctly remember us crowding around canteen tables, peeling grapes for experimentation. Where else will teenage girls be whipped into a frenzy about why he just isn’t that into you? And how on earth will they know how to change themselves to force that totally adorable guy into seeing them in that way? What else will girls do in their lunchtimes other than read Cringe? Aren’t you just so glad you’re not the girl who got her braces caught on her jumper in the changing room and it was, like, so totally cringe! As for the pièce de resistance, the glory of the Sugar problem page will never be equalled by any magazine. Bliss and Mizz just won’t cut it I’m afraid. They were hilarious. A personal favourite of mine: “I sat on a boy’s knee at a party…could I be pregnant?”. On a serious note, the page also gave teenage girls everywhere the reassurance that what they look like and feel like is entirely normal. So, as you read news, reviews and all about the teenage blues on the internet, spare a thought for the girls who will have to find their way in life without the Sugar handbook, paranoid about what they look like, whether they’re normal and whether they’ll ever find a boyfriend.

Have an opinionated itch you’re desperate to scratch? Email concrete.opinion@uea.ac.uk and we will get your voice heard


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The Law on

PROSTITUTION

for money Interestingly, the act of performing sexual acts place to in laws are there ver, is not illegal in the UK. Howe ult for diffic more it make and n itutio heavily restrict prost s: selve them et mark prostitutes to

lling prostitution for Causing, inciting or contro aning the roles of being a personal gain is illegal – me pimp and madam is illegal. Running a brothel is illegal – a brothel being defined as one or more persons offering sex for money in the same building.

The darker side of sex

sex or loiter It’s against the law to solicit et. on the stre Since 2001, adverts in phone boxes have been banned.

Ahead of the upcoming Concrete Sex Survey, Lauren Razavi looks at the undiscovered world of a UK industry worth over £1billion

A

s citizens of the contemporary world, we’re all too aware of sex. Sex is everywhere, and we’ve never been so blatant about it. Throughout the nineties, the hugely influential Sex and the City franchise was forwardthinking in its approach to sex and the issues surrounding it. This signalled an important change in our attitude towards sex generally. So, will our attitude to the industry surrounding sex be next thing to change? From government STI campaigns to Hollywood films about 40-year-old virgins, the world has sex on its mind. But what about the work that surrounds the ever-elusive concept of S-E-X? The UK’s sex industry is worth more than £1 billion and encompasses everything from lads’ mags to street prostitution. But what do we think of it, and are we already involved in it more than we think? On 28th September 2007, Billie Piper – formerly a teen pop sensation who first entered the public eye aged fifteen – made her debut appearance as Belle du Jour, a high-end London call girl. The series is based on the reallife experiences of Dr. Brooke Magnanti, and centres on Belle’s adventures working as a selfemployed London prostitute who

earns more than £100,000 per year. She even employs an accountant, as any good businesswoman would. Secret Diary of a Call Girl averaged 1,242,125 viewers on ITV2 over the course of its twelve-episode first season. This gives us clear insight into the nations’ attitude towards the sex industry, or at least towards high-end prostitution. Actually, we’re pretty fascinated by the whole thing. But the world of prostitution isn’t all glitz and glamour; on the flipside, there’s an altogether darker flavour to it. It’s been estimated that a massive 80,000 sex workers currently operate in the UK, and of that figure, a shocking 4,000 women and children have been trafficked into the country to work as ‘sex slaves’. Combine this issue with the idea that some people only enter the world of prostitution in an attempt to feed addictions or because they lack feelings of basic self-worth, and it becomes clearer why the grittier world of prostitution is approached with a hush-hush attitude. Back in 2009, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith suffered public embarrassment when her husband’s fondness for pornography was revealed during a series of scandalous reports over

It’s been estimated that a massive 80,000 sex workers currently operate in the UK, 4,000 of which are women and children working as sex slaves.

vided Kerb-crawling is banned pro was son it can be proven that the per . nce causing an annoya

MPs’ expenses. The nation seemed to explode in judgement not only over the expenses implications unveiled, but also over the fact that Jacqui Smith’s husband was watching pornography. Ms. Smith publicly apologised and expressed embarrassment at the situation, saying she had “forgiven” her husband. But it’s been estimated that 80% of men in the UK watch pornography, and that 50% of couples watch pornography together. Despite a huge percentage of our population engaging with porn, it seems any public mention of it sends the nation into either a fit of giggles or a frenzy of disgust. But why are we so ashamed of this widespread activity? We can accept that our MPs are human, can’t we? And what man in his forties hasn’t watched porn at some point? The sex industry was one of the first commercial areas to realise and utilise the power of the internet, and as a result, pornography has never been easier to access. And that applies to everyone no matter what their age. Clicking a tiny little box confirming that you’re an adult is all it takes to convince websites you’re worthy of their custom. As a result, the average age of first exposure to porn for boys is just eleven years

old - that’s primary school children. 63% of 15-19 year old girls would rather be a glamour model than a nurse, teacher or doctor. Maybe it’s shocking statistics like this that have created a national taboo over pornography, particular with the older ‘parental’ generations. But the figures become less startling when you consider the messages relayed by today’s media industry. We are bombarded by pornographic images in all aspects of our daily life – from not-quiteexplicit music videos by the latest pop-stars to the sex-stained photoshoots of high fashion magazines, nods to pornography are everywhere. Our society is more sexualised than ever, and we seem to be modelling our next generation into provocateurs, with even children’s fashion being edgier and sexier than the world has ever known. Whether this is encouraging a more positive, liberal approach to the sex industry in general or simply damaging the next generation of our society beyond repair is an important and separate debate, but the fact that the debate exists certainly highlights the ways in which the sex industry is beginning to dominate the way we live. Even if on the surface we have a psychological crutch about

Whether this is encouraging a more positive, liberal approach to the sex industry in general or simply damaging the next generation of our society beyond repair

prostitutes and pornography, it’s undeniable that our media is beginning to incorporate these things into everyday life. Our interest in all things sex is often sparked further by observing our favourite celebrities engaging with it. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt take proud trips to designer sex boutique Coco De Mer when they visit London, candidly spending thousands on sex toys and the suchlike; ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria have both talked during interviews about their use of sex toys. Oxford graduate and world famous actor Hugh Grant was famously caught with a prostitute back in 1995, and both actor Colin Farrell and scientist Stephen Hawking have frequented lap-dancing club Stringfellows in London over the past few years. Anybody surprised by Hawking’s extra-curricular activities might be interested to know that one in four lapdancers has an undergraduate degree, and the majority earn between £24,000 and £48,000 per year from dancing. Prostitution and pornography are areas that we can clearly identify when we think about the sex industry, but there are ‘softer’ areas that we may not always

associate with its scope. How many of us have innocently enjoyed the services of a stripper at a stag or hen party, or know people who have? How many of us have bought a naughty little fancy dress outfit in Ann Summers for an extra special occasion? Things like this might seem more mundane than their counterparts, but nevertheless, they’re clear indications of our engagement with the sex industry and the way it is impacting on us. There are valid indications that we are moving forward, changing our attitudes and consciously opening our minds to the sex industry, and it’s clear that more and more of us are involving ourselves in the sex industry in one way or another – whether it be through watching internet pornography, buying sex toys or naughty outfits, or even just being tantalised by Lady Gaga. But it’s important to remember that the sex industry is not without its problems. Perhaps if there wasn’t such a taboo around the subject it could be better regulated and we could protect the victims of this ultra-powerful multi-million pound industry.

SEX INDUSTRY FACTS

Prostitution is the world’s oldest known profession.

One in ten British

men have visited a

prostitute.

There are at least 921 brothels in London alone, spread across almost every borough of the city.

In the US states of Alabama and Miss issippi, sex toys an d vibrators are bann ed.

More than 10,000 hardcore porn films are made in LA every year, compared to a Hollywood average of 400 entertainment films.

The first ever pornographic film is believed to have bee n ‘A l’Ecu d’Or’ (also known as La Bonne Auberge), wh ich was made in France in 1908.

The world’s oldest known dildo is from around 30,000 years ago. It is 20cm long and made of siltstone. It was found in Germany.

There are approximately nin

ety sex shops in the UK.


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After returning from a work trip to Zimbabwe, Pia Langeheine discusses her experiences in a country preparing for fresh elections

T

o be honest, when I first received the opportunity to go to Zimbabwe to work with micro-business groups and to join a cultural exchange program, I didn’t know much about the country. I started to research the basic history and political facts about the country and what I found out made me feel a little uneasy. Most articles spoke about the ruthless and corrupt dictator Robert Mugabe and his political party ZANU-PF, which has been in power since the country’s independence in 1980. Other headlines focused on violent government initiatives to redistribute land or to crackdown on illegal settlements. Also the recent economic crisis and the ensuing hyper-inflation was a prominent topic. Everything I discovered sounded negative and the prospect of visiting the country was frightening. However, what I learnt from spending time in Zimbabwe is that one should never base their impressions of a country on what they read and hear in the media. After all, a country is not the state alone, especially if the government does not represent the people. A country is not the events that the media finds newsworthy. A country is the beauty of its landscape, the citizens that are proud to live on those lands and what those people make of it. The people I have encountered in Zimbabwe are, without exception, the most friendly and hospitable people I have ever met. It is true that the situation there is not great. People have been hit hard by

the financial crisis. Nevertheless, even if people have little, they will treat their guests as generously as possible. They will not hesitate to give you the best piece of meat or the warmest blanket. They will make sure that you always feel comfortable and that you are never alone. The community spirit in this country is truly admirable. The family with which I stayed in Harare were members of the Christian Pentecostal church. Pentecostalism is currently one of the fastest growing religious movements, particularly in the global South. Religion gives hope in desperate times and accounts for a lot in people’s everyday lives. The links between members of the community are as strong as family bonds. If a friend needed help with repairing his car, all private duties would be dropped and forgotten. People do this because they feel responsible for each other but also because they know that one day they will need a helping hand in return. I had to get used to the relaxed nature that everything was approached with. We would literally spend entire days at the garage just to get one auto part replaced. At first I was rather irritated by this attitude. I was not used to this sort of tranquillity. In Europe, efficiency and timing is everything. In Africa (or in Zimbabwe at least) the joy one gets out of things accounts for more. There is a saying that goes - ‘Europe has the clock, Africa has the time’. The previous, tragic experience of losing monetary value by the minute, finding the grocery shop shelves empty, and the struggle to

make a living has brought people together and made them stronger. Everyone seemed to be a survivor. With creativity and plenty of ambition people can build a castle out of a grain of sand. They have great business ideas and do not hesitate to give it a go. Something I was involved in was the development of self-help groups. A group of people get together and regularly try to put a small amount of money into a communal pot until they’ve saved enough to invest in something that they can generate money with, such as a peanut grinder or a corn mill. This is one way a business can start with few resources. It is amazing how much effort and dedication people put into making something that they believe in. And with all the assistance they receive from their community, with their extensive social networks, including all sorts of professionals, Zimbabweans know they can make almost anything work. The problem, however, is sustaining a business. What is yet lacking in Zimbabwe is stability and a functioning market. Currently much of the economy is unofficial and any illegal business remains under threat of destruction by the authorities. At the moment, people are awaiting the upcoming elections. Although the dates remain undetermined, the elections have announced themselves with the resurgence of strategic violence by the Mugabe ZANU-PF co-ruling party. However, at the time when I was in Zimbabwe, people were optimistic and had much confidence in the coalition government.

In Europe, efficiency and timing is everything. In Zimbabwe, the joy one gets out of things accounts for more. There’s a saying ‘Europe has the clock, Africa has the time.’

The government of national unity was a compromise solution to the 2008 elections. Although the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) opposition party, Morgan Tsvangirai, had received the majority of the votes, Mugabe was unwilling to hand over leadership. Consequently, it was agreed that Mugabe retained his presidential power whilst Tsvangirai was inaugurated as Prime Minister. However, it took another eight months for the parties to agree on the division of ministries between them. Elections have always been related to political violence. The ZANU-PF party has roamed the country, pressuring people to support them or using violence against opposition candidates. This year, people fear that another disaster will overcome Zimbabwe. The approaching elections are the second opportunity for Zimbabweans to engage in the democratic process. From my perception, most people were in favour of the MDC. However support for ZANU-PF remains strong in the more vulnerable rural areas. With the market slowly but surely stabilising since the legalisation of foreign currencies in January 2009 and the acceptance of the US dollar as the main currency, the country has rapidly redeveloped. People have much faith in improvement and will go to great lengths to make positive changes for their country. The question is whether politicians have the same endeavour and whether Mugabe will accept that his legitimacy has long run out.


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TRAVEL 15

Mapping the Atlas Mountains

Savannah’s Southern Comforts

ISSUE 252

Tuesday 15th February

What lies at the top of Mount Toubkal, Morocco and how hard is it to attain the summit? Armed with a friendly local guide, some donkeys and a handful of oranges, Charlie Wallace sets off to find out... At 4167 metres Mt Toubkal is the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains, North Africa. Located south of Marrakech, an early start can see you at base camp in the village of Imlil then onto Neltner Refuge by nightfall. A final ascent of approximately 900m to the summit the next morning, pending good weather, can see you back down by evening. Most advise midsummer for the climb, however, in the summer there is a high storm risk and no snow, whereas in early April the snow-cap transforms brown rocky desert into searing, soaring white majesty. Such is the enormity of the climb that it is a good idea to take a tour guide. Several small companies offer a full service including cooked meals and bunkhouse accommodation for a reasonable price. On this occasion I was lucky enough to get a guide to myself, a Moroccan named Mustapha, a friendly, knowledgeable man who provided good company. He gently nudged me beyond my usually poor levels of fitness to keep up a pace that saw us reach the refuge in below average time. The path follows the Imlil valley up into the Atlas Mountains. The lasting impression the route gives of Toubkal is that of a mountain of colour; the blue streams, the white caps streaked with red rock; and the vendors dotted in huts along the pathway, selling bright patterned Berber coats, coloured crystals and dyed patterned throws. You are struck by the ingenuity

of a people that, impoverished as they are, manage to run successful businesses from precarious shacks halfway up a mountain, with no running water or electricity to speak of and only donkeys for transport. Bottled drinks are kept

“Bottled drinks are kept cool suspended from string dancing in the flow of ice-cold rushing mountain streams.”

cool suspended from string dancing in the flow of ice-cold rushing mountain streams. Oranges are grown in abundance here and along the valley path orange juice is sold, freshly squeezed. Nothing is better after hours of climbing in the hot

sun. You can stop for lunch at the village surrounding the sacred shrine of Sidi Chamharouch, a giant whitewashed boulder at a drop in the river which has a religious significance that is said to pre-date Islam. Further up, you reach the snowline and the pack donkeys carrying your excess baggage cannot go any further, leaving you to carry everything the rest of the way. The Neltner Refuge at 3207m is a large stone building resembling a small fortress. It sits at the top of the valley, snowy peaks rising up on all sides, so sharp and tall that they appear to overhang, as if the refuge sits in the palm of a great rocky giant’s grasping hand, with looming stone digits. The final ascent is made in the early morning for the best conditions. Because of the snow it is necessary to use an ice axe and crampons. They are relatively straightforward to use and only require a short safety lesson which your guide delivers. As you start to climb the sun rises, hitting the snowy peaks and jagged rocks, making them burn like red gold in the morning light. A large metal triangle marks the summit, which gives a panoramic view of the surrounding Atlas Mountains. As with all summits it’s a surreal place, strangely quiet apart from, preposterously, bird song. The tiny animals nest nearby to pick off the crumbs left by climbers’ snacks. The descent is made in a day. The initial drop down to the refuge is steep, jarring and can be hard on the joints. However, from there on in, it’s an easier, brisk walk back to the lower slopes where a taxi awaits to return you to Marrakech, a world away from the mountain peace.

Greg Lewry

Travel Writer

A stroll through Savannah’s sultry, sun-drenched streets is enough to tell any traveller that they have arrived in America’s most distinctive and intriguing culture, the Deep South. Savannah, located eighteen miles off the Atlantic coast in the state of Georgia, oozes antebellum decadence. Its ancient trees, draped with Spanish moss, hang over the quiet roads of the inner city, letting only a few rays of the unrelenting Southern sun peep through. Savannah’s glorious architecture, dating from the colonial era, was built from the wealth of slave trade exports with Europe and the opulence is staggering. Grand mansions and gothic churches stand in the middle of the city, protected by black wroughtiron gates. Savannah’s founder, James Oglethorpe, used the city to create his idea of Utopia and his greatest gift to the ‘Hostess City of the South’ is its unique design, celebrated across the world. Walk for two blocks in any direction and you will come across one of Savannah’s twenty-two public squares. These squares, named after famous American people and events,

intercept the grid system, providing a place to sit in the shade and watch Savannahians go about their day. The best way to see Savannah is to simply walk around these beautiful oases of parkland. Those who have never heard of Savannah may recognise it from the famous bus stop scenes in Forrest Gump (located at Chippewa Square) from where Tom Hanks narrates the story and others may be interested to know that real life events at The Pirates House in Savannah were the inspiration behind Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island. This small but perfectly formed city hides many surprises behind its grand exterior and it is well worth visiting for the quintessential Deep South experience.

Sarajevo’s Scarred Façade

Susanna Wood

Travel writer

Looking out over Sarajevo from the hills that encircle it, it is hard to believe that this was recently a war zone. Minarets from the city’s numerous mosques lean next to modern tower blocks as peaceful church bells ring alongside calls to prayer. Nearly twenty years on from the siege that threatened to destroy it forever, Sarajevo’s culture, history, and energy survive. The picturesque Turkish quarter is a good place to start exploring. Here, the UNESCO-protected copper workers produce anything from traditional Bosnian coffee pots to delicate jewellery while birds and thirsty workers alike flock to the ornate drinking fountain in Pigeon Square. Stopping to sample some Bosnian street food is a must; the enduring popularity of burek (filo pastries stuffed with meat, cheese, or potato) and evapi (kebab-like patties cooked on an open fire) means that McDonalds is noticeably absent from the eateries that line the narrow streets. Walking along the Miljacka River you will pass the extravagant,

yet imposing, shell of the National Library, the contents of which (hundreds of unique manuscripts as well as thousands of books) were destroyed by shelling in 1992. The inside is slowly being replenished, but the landmark remains a symbol of the casualties of the war. On the hills, massive graveyards, with dazzling white Islamic gravestones, watch over the re-born city; a grim reminder of the many lives lost in the siege of Sarajevo. The locals are anxious to put their dark history behind them, but it is the very nature of this history which has helped shape the capital into the fascinating place it is today.


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Multiculturalism’s impact on life at university In the light of recent comments made by David Cameron, Concrete looks at the undeniably positive impact multiculturalism has had on the UEA Hasina Allen

Lifestyle writer

Universities are often considered to be an intensified microcosm of society; a space where people from different backgrounds and cultures live and work together in a manner reflective of the general structure of our country. In the wake of David Cameron’s attack on multiculturalism in Britain this reflective potential increases in significance. Cameron’s statement that multiculturalism has failed in no way applies to the experience of students at our university. UEA was built with the founding ethos of a mixing of intellectual disciplines, the walkways of the original campus all leading to a central space, and it has grown to a be an environment where cultures as well as areas of academic interest are merged and given space to combine and socialize. Cameron’s announcement at the recent Munich security conference has fuelled debates about the success and benefits of multiculturalism in modern society. Multiculturalism can be defined in a number of different ways and the Prime Minister’s statement has been criticised for linking multiculturalism to terrorism and extremism. If multiculturalism is to be understood in the context of one of its most common definitions – the acceptance or promotion

of multiple  cultures existing peacefully and equitably – then multiculturalism is actually not only one of the most incredible features of our society but also a vital element. The tentatively-proposed move towards a tougher application procedure for student visas as part of a new Conservative attempt to curb immigration, gives these recent criticisms of multiculturalism a sharper edge for universities. While the Government are determined to try and reduce the financial impact this will have on universities (one thing they understand is the importance of foreign fees for university finances) they have failed to consider the impact this will have on campus diversity. One of the concerns that has been raised as part of the recent debate is that multiculturalism can lead to racial or cultural segregation, with different cultures existing separately side by side. Londonborn Film and Philosophy student,

“Diversity is

something to be celebrated ”

Chris Gaisie, tells us his concerns that societies that are focused on a particular culture may seem to cause social segregation fail to recognise the inclusive nature of

these societies. Societies like the African Caribbean host events that everyone, whatever their background, can and is encouraged to get involved in. The International Students’ Society is a further place where the multicultural nature of our university is celebrated. Their website states their main aim is “to bring people together from different parts of the world” and to “provide students at UEA with opportunities to try new things learn about different cultures and above all have fun.” They offer a wide range of events from different cultural

Clive Cares

Dear Clive,

I feel like a fraud on my course; everybody seems to know what they are studying and I always leave a lecture with a panicky feeling as though I need to start the entire year again so I can actually understand what the lecturers have been saying to us. I complete my coursework and somehow just about pass but often I haven’t the slightest clue what I’m writing about. I feel overwhelmed by how much I need to learn to catch up - I don’t even know if I need to “catch up”, or if the content is simply beyond my understanding. I really loved my subject until university. What can I do to get help?

Clive Says:

conversations have been strained and we’ve fallen out over the smallest things. I feel like she’s leading a different life which I am not part of. I have started to have feelings for a girl on my course and I know she feels the same. Do you think I should cut my losses or try to make it work with my current girlfriend?

Dear Clive,

Clive Says:

Please may I suggest you continue with your course. Nerves and peer pressure may distract you from your work but perhaps a talk with your lecturer may help your selfconfidence. The love you have for your subject should give you the strength to carry on with your coursework. Good luck and take care! I’m a first year History student with a bit of dilemma. I’m currently having problems with my girlfriend of just over a year. Going to separate universities has taken its toll on the relationship, whereas before I felt we had a lot of fun and spoke to each other on a regular basis, recently

Please may I suggest you talk with your girlfriend and discuss your true feelings due to the separate lives you may be living. Suspicion, jealousy and flirting are all very common factors which may lead to arguments. Any relationship is based on trust and this factor is the core of a strong relationship. Follow your true feelings and take care!

backgrounds, including regular film nights, and recently, a very successful sushi night in collaboration with Japan Soc. Multiculturalism is one of the things that makes UEA such a dynamic and vibrant place to study. Students from over 100 different countries live, study and work here, and 9% of full time undergraduates are international students. As second year Literature and History student, Freya Barry, emphasises over a plate of egg fried rice in Zest: “Even the food on campus demonstrates our multiculturalism! It’s diverse, tasty and introduces me to the cuisines of a range of different cultures

and lifestyles. It accommodates as easily for the religious or cultural dietary requirements as it does for vegetarians.” Diversity is something to be celebrated and should remain so. Cameron claims that Britain has “failed to provide a vision of society that [people] want to belong to.” Well belonging to UEA’s diverse student body is something students are proud of, and by living and learning in such a culturally diverse campus, students both from the UK and abroad are given the opportunity to learn lessons that cannot be taught in schools or dictated by government policy.

UEA’s favourite bus driver, Clive Ashcroft, answers your questions and worries Email Clive your concerns anonymously @ clivecaresconcrete@gmail.com


ISSUE 252

LIFESTYLE 17

www.concrete-online.co.uk

Tuesday 15th February

Sugary somethings for those special people in your life Nutty chocolate truffles

A perfectly unique cup cake

Lauren Razavi

Lifestyle writer

The cupcake, at least as an image, has become noticeably trendier in recent months. From cupcakecovered notebooks to seasonably themed cupcake offerings. The cupcake is everywhere at the moment. If you fancy jumping on the bandwagon, the following recipe is a perfect introduction to making your own unique collections of cupcake goodness. Whipping up a batch on a dreary day will be sure to brighten the mood too! They also make a cute and tasty gift for almost any occasion. Ingredients: • 100g softened butter • 100g caster sugar • 2 medium eggs, beaten

• •

1tsp vanilla extract 100g self-raising flour

For the butter icing: • 100g softened butter • 200g icing sugar • Warm water as required

Sprinkles of your choice: • Hundreds of thousands, chocolate flakes and so on. Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a muffin tray with cupcake cases – there are all sorts of colours and patterns available. 2. Cream together the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy. 3. Gradually add the egg and

vanilla, followed by the flour. Mix until all ingredients are fully absorbed.

4. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cases – don’t fill too far as they rise up a surprising amount. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. 5. While the cakes are baking, mix together the icing ingredients until you have a smooth paste. For a new twist on this icing, try adding cocoa powder, vanilla extract or coffee.

6. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool.

7. Once cooled, add a generous amount of icing to the top of each cake. Add sprinkles and serve.

All aboard for those studying abroad

Rebecca Bell explores the intricacies of spending a year in America With many of the courses here at UEA, a year out in another country is often part of the degree - and this reporter is off to America. This means the experience of a US university in all its glory. There are several expectations when it comes to discussing an American institution. A difference in the actual academic work is rather interesting. Students who have already been abroad say there are constant pop quizzes, testing students on, for example, the book they are reading. There will be more assignments to hand in, but it’s supposedly rather easy and simple. It’s just to make sure you are constantly active with your studies. This is in contrast to the UK system, whereby weekly reading

is given with most courses, and, rather than tests and pop quizzes, we discuss the week’s topic and reading in seminars.

“People...jump to the stereotypes”

When people think of American universities, they immediately jump to the stereotypes of the Greek system, the football team and, of course, the roommate experience. Coming from the UK system of usually having a single bedroom (as small as that may be), the idea of living with someone you have never met is quite a daunting prospect. Have you seen the new trailer for the film The Roommate? There is a small part

within the application process that is dedicated to the allocation of a compatible roommate. Here, you can specify things such as music tastes and living preferences. A messy person and a neat person, obviously, would not be sharing a living space together! In a UK university, leaving the communal kitchen space and going into your private room and closing the door are almost second nature. But in the US, that is a different story. The anticipation of realising your roommate is your best friend is rather unrealistic. You can only hope! But there are certainly a lot of reasons to get out, indulging in American traditions such as American football games and attending a frat party or two!

Emma Williamson Lifestyle writer

Here is a simple and easy recipe for delicious chocolate truffles

Ingredients: • 300g of good quality chocolate • 30g of unsalted butter • 250ml of double cream • A pinch of salt • 100g of mixed nuts, such as pecan nuts, roasted hazelnuts and almonds • Cocoa powder (to dust) Recipe: 1. Bring a little water to a simmer in a pan. Place the chocolate and butter in a large bowl, then set the bowl over the simmering water. Stir with a metal spoon until melted and glossy. 2. Heat the cream in a separate

3. 4.

5. 6.

saucepan until almost boiling (do not allow it to boil). Pour the hot cream over the melted chocolate and mix together until smooth and well combined. Stir in a pinch of salt. Line a roasting tray with greaseproof paper and pour in the melted chocolate. Set aside to cool, then chill in the fridge until set. Once the chocolate mixture has cooled and set, mix the chopped nuts together and sprinkle onto a baking tray. Roll the chilled chocolate mixture into small balls using your hands, then roll each ball in the chopped nuts until completely coated, repeating the procedure with the cocoa powder. Place the truffles onto a baking tray or plate and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.


18 FOCSOC

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concrete.editor@uea.ac.uk

N&N NHS Trust: Have your say Students at UEA are being encouraged to have their say on the plans of a local NHS Trust which aims to ensure local people along with current and future NHS staff have a greater say in the delivery of local community-based health and care services. Entitled ‘Come on Board’ – to encourage local people to become members of the Trust and even sit on its Board of Governors – Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C) has recently launched its public consultation and membership recruitment drive. NCH&C has a strong relationship with UEA and, in particular, the Faculty of Health as many students graduating from the University will work for the Trust during their career. As members of the Trust, students will be able to enhance their CVs while taking advantage of work placement opportunities. Chief Executive, Sheila Adams-O’Shea explained: “Our Trust has many graduates from UEA working across the wide range of services that we offer to the local population; from community and school nursing to occupational and speech & language therapy. By becoming a Community Foundation Trust (CFT), we firmly believe that we can give local people and patients much more influence on how local community-based

services develop. As well as our current staff of 2,800, we wish to hear from our future staff members so that they also contribute to our development. “Anyone over the age of 14 can become a member of our Trust for free, and any member over 16 could potentially sit on our Board of Governors and represent the views of their community. As such, we really want to hear from all students about their thoughts on our future plans”. Students can take part in the consultation in a number of ways: • Online at www. norfolkcommunityhealthandcare.nhs. uk/consultation • Pick up a hard copy of the consultation from the reception areas of the Faculty of Health buildings, UEA Campus • Request a hard copy from 0800 731 0319, or email nchandcmembership@ nhs.net • Attend our Norwich Public Meeting at The Forum, Millennium Plain on Monday 21 February, 10.15am-12.30pm. At the meeting people will also be able to air their views on the key consultation issues and to find out more about the Trust

Laura Smith

UEA student organises charity karting event Interested in saving money and the environment? At Edenel Toners we sell a wide range of recycled printer ink cartridges suitable for all major printer brands. These are manufactured to the same quality standards (i.e. ISO 9001; ISO/IEC 24711) as original branded printer ink cartridges, but are up to 50 % cheaper. We also provide free UK delivery.

So if you are interested in saving money on your printer ink cartridges and reducing your carbon footprint, then why not visit us at

www.edeneltoners.com

The EACH Grand Prix is charity karting event in aid of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices organised by third year Film and TV student Oliver Larkin and his fiancée Claire Ballam. This is the 6th charity karting event organised by the pair, who have at present raised over £8000 for four different charities, and the format of the event remains the same as ever: Three

Greg Mann

Sponsored drivers form a team who race during an hour grand prix in an attempt to compete for the Super Final and claim victory for the event. If anyone is interested in forming a team and getting involved (experience is not necessary) then email Oliver Larkin at o.larkin@gmail.com or phone 01362 690303.


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The year of the rabbit: a time for celebration As the year of the rabbit is welcomed in, Concrete International’s Krishnaveni Padala and Rachael Lum report on some of the celebrations that have taken place at UEA Rachael Lum

International Writer

The Lunar New Year, for China, is an event as momentous as Christmas. On the eve of this festivity, it is tradition to return to one’s hometown and have a reunion dinner with family or, in other cases, extended family. Since this celebration usually coincides with UK university term time, international students are unable to carry out this annual custom. To make up for this, the UEA South East Asian Society organised a Chinese New Year meet and greet event on the 2nd of February to welcome the year of the Rabbit this 2011. Red was the main colour theme for the evening as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. With most attendees observing this, it was easy to spot the group dressed in scarlet hues upon reaching Congregation Hall. The entrance fee was priced at £1 for S.E.A Society members or £2 for non-members. It was quite the bargain as students were able

to enjoy a buffet dinner as well as a night full of games for such affordable prices. In accordance with the reunion dinner, the buffet became the main event. The delicacies in the line up included fried rice, chicken drumsticks, salads, curry and sushi, with desserts and fortune cookies distributed to each table. Additionally, there were several group activities conducted for the rest of the evening to assist the crowd in getting to know each other. Throughout the night the music consisted of traditional Chinese New Year songs and pop hits from various other Asian countries, which brought out a festive mood among the students. All in all, the event managed to achieve its aims. Many students got to honour the tradition of having a reunion dinner with the UEA community despite not being back in their home country. Others had a chance to experience something different. The S.E.A. Society is looking forward to planning other such events to promote more cultures and camaraderie.

Indian Society relaunch Bhangra night Krishnaveni Padala

International Writer

Kung Hei Fat Choy! Welcome to the year of the rabbit! With the many events that have taken place this week there has hardly been any time to eat. The South East Asian Society hosted their very own meet and greet event, with a Chinese New Year-themed party. There was wonderful Chinese food cooked by the South East Asian society committee members and many fun games to play. The night started with food, followed by games and ended with dessert. It became such a successful event that the members requested for even more games after it had ended! The Indian Society bounced back into the New Year with a return of the Bhangra night. Students and members from all over Norwich came along to have a great night. It was admirable to see so many new faces and many different ethnic groups being involved. There was a table of Indian snacks which people helped themselves to; and the entire night was filled with energetic

dancers who moved to the distinct beats of the vigorous drum players. This event was so successful that the DJ was requested to stay for much longer than he had bargained for! Unfortunately, a wonderfully planned kite party was cancelled by the UEA Hindu Society due to delivery problems; however, this was covered by a samosa and masala chai party. There was a brilliant turnout for this event which started off with a traditional Hindu prayer followed by plenty to eat and drink. Parties have certainly been the order of the day recently. The Medical Society have organised several events in order to raise money for their Half-way Ball. The ball marks the half point in the journey to becoming a doctor, something which they are studying for five years. Japanese society had a delicious sushi night where they made and ate their very own sushi filled with chicken, fish, cucumbers and soy sauce amongst lots of other delicious ingredients. And, as always, UEA’s very own International Society have been organising events every week, and this week’s theme is

Bhangra is a traditional Indian subcontinental form of dance

the obvious topic of Valentine’s Day. Other events organised by the ISS include their Icebreaker event for the January intake of students and a sushi night. The pictures for all of their events

• Body-shaping Vibro Plates - slims, improves circulation no sweat, £35 for 24 10 min sessions • Collagen Skin Treatment Booth - diminish scars, wrinkles, age-sports and stretch-marks - £75 for 12 10 minute sessions

• Super-fast 48 tube tanning cubicle - £25 for 72 mins (£2.50 for 6 mins)

can be found on their website. As you can see, there is no shortage of events at this university. They are just waiting for you to grab the opportunity to enjoy them.

01603 638894

Unique Studio on London St. Norwich City Centre (next door to Subway)

Open 10am - 6pm Mon-Fri, 10am - 4pm Sat


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Saddle up and change the world! • From Lands End to John O’ Groats, Kerry Lane reports on a cycling adventure like no other Kerry Lane

Turf Reporter

As sheets of rain lashed across the Edinburgh Royal Mile, we watched anxiously as even the mime artists abandoned their posts to run for shelter. It was the height of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and we were supposed to be performing in five minutes time. Then, miraculously, the skies cleared and all thirteen of us emerged from our various sheltered spots and converged on our pitch. As Mike announced our performance to the passing crowds we all got into position – this was it, we were actually going to perform on the Royal Mile. I tried not to laugh at Sam having to curl up in a ball on the soaking wet ground and then we were off… We had cycled into Edinburgh the day before over the gorgeous Scottish borders. As we were carrying our lives on our bikes and towing three bicycle trailers between us, with our cooking equipment, bike tools and workshop materials, we had been a wee bit nervous about scaling the Scottish mountains. But the preceding 100 miles had given us more than enough practice and we all made it to Edinburgh in great time. The

feeling of achievement I got from standing on top of the highest point surveying the heather-covered hills and (appropriately) wind turbines was immense. We had no doubts now about whether we would make it to John O’Groats; we could do anything! We were about half way through the Otesha Project’s twomonth ‘Lands End to John O’Groats’ cycle tour. The thirteen of us had spent the last month cycling up the country, stopping along the way to perform our play and to run workshops in schools and youth groups, at festivals and for communities on subjects from food to fashion - showing how small everyday actions can make a big difference. We were staying in all kinds of interesting places along the way: on the floor of barns, in community centres or camping in gardens, and everywhere we went we were spreading the Otesha fun and enthusiasm for changing our world. We tried our best to walk the talk, eating local vegan food, travelling everywhere by bike, composting and recycling all of our waste. We were teaching by example – of course it’s possible. Look, we are doing it already! The Otesha Project is a youthled charity that is encouraging our

generation to change the world through everyday actions. As well as many other amazing projects, it runs these fabulous cycle tours every summer. Last year’s was a bit more epic than normal – longer and further – but this summer it is back to the six-week tours travelling around an area rather than up the country. There are two tours to choose from – Northern Soul, which

will traverse the north of England, and Tartan Trail, which roams the Scottish highlands. So if you’re looking for something to do this summer, love your bicycle, are a budding actor, can rustle up veggie meals for big groups, want to live in a travelling community, enjoy working with young people, want to meet some great friends, or just want a world-

changing, life-changing experience, then an Otesha tour may just be what you’re looking for. I would thoroughly recommend them to everyone. Anyone from 18 to 28 can apply, whatever skills they have - enthusiasm is the only requirement. Find out more on the Otesha website - www.otesha.org.uk/ programmes/tours.

is also unclear. The irony of these plans speaks louder than a chainsaw: Cameron told us he wanted the greenest Government ever, yet that which helps keep the earth at a habitable temperature and allows us to breathe could face the well-worn Tory axe - the Government have promised to remove the red tape of planning permission, which would protect the woods. It also doesn’t go unnoticed that 2011 is the UN’s International Year of the Forests. The Forestry Commission, which currently manages state-owned woodland, has commitments to replace conifers with native broadleaf trees such as oak, beech, ash and lime. The forests are expected to be sold with no requirement to honour these

commitments. The privatisation of the forests will doubtlessly incur the opposite – our remaining native forestry being replaced with more and more monocultures that are not supportive of ecosystems. Another issue with selling off the country’s natural heritage is that the forests will be owned by ‘leasehold’, meaning that access can be restricted. So if the highest bidder found a more profitable use for the land, the forests could be fenced off. In a certain sense, we are all in this together, as everything from ecological stability to dog walking is under attack. If forests aren’t chopped down, they could potentially be used as tax loopholes: commercial forestry in the UK is free from income tax, capital gains tax from timber crop, corporation tax and even

inheritance tax. Funnily enough, the debt the Government wish to clear from selling off the forests could easily be raised through dealing with tax avoidance. Before the trees have even fallen in the woods, public outrage at the plans has already been heard: protests have been held at locations such as the Forest of Dean, where thousands gathered and burned a statue of Big Ben. Celebrities have also voiced their concerns, raising support for the issue. The privatisation of stateowned forests has yet to go through the House of Commons, so now is the time for everyone concerned with the future of rural Britain to sign petitions, contact MPs and, more pertinently, consider action that will more directly challenge this environmental vandalism.

Got wood? Britain’s public doesn’t Tim Miller Turf Reporter

Just 10% of Britain’s land surface is wooded, compared to an average of 25% in other European countries. The United Kingdom is unique in that this figure is rising, but a return to a more beautiful and ecologically supportive country has been threatened by government plans to sell off all state-owned woodland in the next ten years. Along with the other substantial changes being made to the country, we could see our woods being cut down for timber or turned into golf courses and holiday parks, with nearly 40 public forests in the Lakes alone potentially under threat. The future of the 1200 jobs in the Environmental Department


ISSUE 252

SPORT 21

www.concrete-online.co.uk

Tuesday 15th February

Rugby move to top of BUCS tree BUCS

Results WEDNESDAY 9TH FEBRUARY 2011

Badminton Nottingham W1 8 UEA W1 0 Football Bed’shire M1 UEA M1

1 3

UEA M2 2 Nottingham M4 3 Hockey Nottingham M4 0 UEA M1 3 Bed’shire W1 UEA W1

5 1

Lacrosse UEA W1 3 Birmingham W2 14 Ox. Brookes M1 6 UEA M1 9

Netball UEA 2 Nottingham 4 Rugby Lincoln M2 UEA M2

Bed’shire W1 UEA W1

33 39 10 17

7 33

Tennis Cambridge M2 10 UEA M1 2

UEA M2 12 De Montford M1 0 ---

BUCS CUP - Golf Warwick 2 4 UEA 1 2

THE INDEX

Every issue we’re running a comparative table of UEA’s sports teams as listed on the BUCS website, www. bucs.org.uk. The table compares the various teams UEA �ields in university sports by win percentage and points difference. Win percentage (furthest-right column) is the primary means of sorting the teams, with goal difference as the tie-breaker. Only teams who have played at least �ive games are included, so special mention goes to Water Polo M1, who have won all three of their games this season.

Ashley Lewis

Sports Correspondent

Bedfordshire Men’s I UEA Men’s I

21 23

UEA Rugby Men’s I swept to the top of the BUCS Midlands Conference 2B thanks to a brave performance and victory by the tightest of margins, 23-21, against promotion rivals Bedfordshire Men’s I. For the majority of sides, away victories in BUCS Rugby Union competition are dif�icult to come by, but a spectacular display of discipline and tenacity ensured UEA came out on top. Captain Scott Golding, who led from the front all afternoon, kicked UEA into a 6-0 lead but Bedfordshire soon struck back through a converted try. Whereas in the past UEA out�its may have allowed their heads to drop, Golding’s team dusted themselves down before quickly reclaiming the lead, when full-back Stuart Dighton’s one-handed of�load put in Stephen Wilson. The game was somewhat marred by a serious injury to the Bedfordshire hooker, which stopped play for nearly an hour, and following the restart UEA struggled to maintain their momentum. Bedfordshire carved out a �ive point lead in the second half but missed three kicks,

and an excellent opportunity to extend their margin. UEA then sparked back into life with a scintillating break from deep within their half, which almost resulted in a try for winger Mark Perkins. With ten minutes to go the UEA forwards mauled twenty metres to the try line before Golding swerved through for the

try to level. Golding then converted to make it 23-21 to UEA with just a few minutes remaining. Bedfordshire did have another chance before the �inal whistle – the hosts’ �ly-half kicking wide – to ensure that it would be UEA celebrating a remarkable victory, and their ascent to the top of the division. Ashley Lewis

Determination: Dominick Baron demonstrates the type of spirit which saw UEA clinch victory

Steelers pack up under Green Bay onslaught Sports correspondent James Schofield reviews the action from a thrilling Super Bowl XLV The Green Bay Packers triumphed in Super Bowl XLV after an exciting 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Dallas. The Packers were aiming for their fourth Super Bowl against a plucky Steelers side, who showed signs of a possible comeback during an entertaining third quarter. The Packers dominated the �irst half, storming into a 21-3 lead after two excellent throws from quarterback Aaron Rodgers (right) and an interception return from Nick Collins. Successive Pittsburgh touchdowns either side of half time from wide receiver Hines and running back Mendenhall reduced the lead to just four.

The third quarter ended on tenterhooks at 21-17, after a wide 52-yard �ield goal from Pittsburgh’s Suisham meant that the Steelers missed out on an opportunity to draw within one point of their opponents. Green Bay scored early in the fourth quarter, a f u m b l e f r o m Mendenhall compounding Pittsburgh’s woes – twenty-one of the Packers’ 31 points came after turnovers. There was a possibility that the match would

become the �irst Super Bowl to go into overtime after a Steelers’ touchdown and two-point conversion reduced the Packers’ lead to just three. However, it simply wasn’t Pittsburgh’s day and Mike McCarthy’s Packers scored one more �ield goal to complete a famous victory.

“The match was not without controversy, with Christina Aguilera singing a wrong

line during the US national anthem”

For the Packers the famous trophy holds a special signi�icance, as it is named after Vince Lombardi, the coach who led them to victory in the ’67 and ’68 NFL-AFL Championship, the precursor to the Super Bowl. The match was also not without its controversy. Following in the footsteps of Janet Jackson’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Super Bowl, Christina Aguilera added to a string of celebrity mistakes by singing a wrong line during the US national anthem.


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U:EA

UEFA shuts the transfer window

Update: East Anglia

Chris King Ian Hobbs

Sports Correspondent

High-�lying Norwich City have a knack of coming up with late winners, and grabbed a crucial one against Millwall at Carrow Road. After falling behind just before the hour, on-loan Arsenal mid�ielder Henri Lansbury (right) inspired a comeback for the hosts. First his superb free-kick smashed off the post leaving Elliot Ward to score the follow up. He then grabbed his �irst goal in yellow and green to seal a win with the last kick of the game. The club were given a further boost last

week thanks to a £2 million investment by deputy

chairman Michael Foulger, which will signi�icantly boost Paul Lambert’s transfer kitty to attract future signings. City’s eightgame unbeaten run came to an end against Burnley, despite a superb improvised �inish from talisman Grant Holt. Lambert will undoubtedly be disappointed with the

defending that led to Jay Rodriguez’s late winner for Burnley. Norwich bounced back, though, with another win against ten-man Reading. Lansbury opened the scoring and after a Shane Long equaliser it was Holt who made the headlines once again with a stoppage time winner at the far post. Ipswich Town have gone from strength to strength under the leadership of Paul Jewell. Town came from behind to beat Derby 2-1 thanks to a sublime 30-yard volley from new loan signing Jimmy Bullard. Captain David Norris, who may be leaving the club at the end of the season

following a breakdown in contract talks, then won the game for the Tractor Boys with an exquisite �inish. Jewell’s side followed this victory with a 3-0 demolition of Shef�ield United at Portman Road. Teenager Connor Wickham scored the pick of the goals with a fantastic solo effort, dribbling from his own half to blast home. At the weekend, Jason Scotland (left), recently linked with a move to old club Swansea, opened the scoring late on against Barnsley. However the Tykes pro�ited from some abysmal defending by Town to grab a last-gasp equaliser.

Athletics cross country for success Sports correspondent Simon O’Meara reports on Athletics’ most recent BUCS performance

UEA Athletics recently made the journey across the Midlands to Birmingham to take part in the BUCS Cross Country Championships, a unique opportunity to go head-tohead with fellow students in an ultimate test of endurance. Previous races in the East Anglia League had resulted in a string of strong performances from the ladies’ team and an exceptional campaign from the men. The race was held in Senneley’s Park, a course featuring long hills interspersed with shorter but much steeper ascents, in contrast to the rather �latter typical East Anglia League course. The strong headwind exacerbated the potential for exhaustion amongst the runners. First up was the Men’s ‘A’ team. As the leaders began to stretch their lead on the 10km course, UEA runners jostled for positions. After a quick start in which elbows were scraped within the leading pack, Richard Henderson and Josh Entwistle fell slightly back. Meanwhile the steadier Nick Earl closed in, pressing past his fatigued team-mates on the uphill sections to �inish 78th ahead of Entwistle’s 89th and Henderson’s 110th. Alec Beaney

and Simon O’Meara came in 132nd and 230th respectively. Darren Southcott – unable to recover from an unfortunate knee injury – was forced to withdraw from the meet. In his absence, the team dropped one place to 19th compared to last year, an overall improvement given that 43 teams �inished compared to 35 a year ago. UEA Ladies dealt adeptly with the undulating course, the team’s abilities having been spread well. Ellie Sprake experienced a joyous return to Championship racing, �inishing a splendid 94th following a smooth performance throughout. Club secretary Heather Fisher came home in 184th and Tilly Hudson put in a determined performance for her �irst BUCS Cross Country, �inishing 211th. All in all it was a signi�icant improvement on last year’s result – 29th out of 33 teams – as their combined effort saw them to 30th of 41. Men’s ‘B’, made up of runners Jimmy West, Nick Pullen and Man Ming Cheung, were one member short, but had plenty of ambition going into the �inal race of the day. An energetic start saw West join several other runners in an early tumble, but

he quickly arose unaffected. Team veteran Pullen placed 211th behind a very exciting �inish between Cheung and West, who

traded places before Cheung’s decisive �inal 400 metre pace saw him �inish 151st, one place ahead of West.

Allan Rooke

Battling display: UEA’s Josh Entwistle was a frontrunner in Birmingham

Sports Editor

UEFA’s recent announcement of fresh ‘Licencing and Financial Fair Play’ regulations, which will require clubs competing in European competition to adhere to a ‘break even requirement’, appear to have sounded a new era in European football. Extravagance looks set to become a thing of the past, as the ‘haves’ of the Premier League will no longer be able to operate in �inanciallyunstable manners, and spend colossal sums of foreign money on over-valued players. Yet UEFA’s new rulebook, an attempt by President Michel Platini to “put stability and economic common sense back into football”, could just sound the death knell for the opulence of the transfer window. To the surprise and consternation of many, on just four players, Liverpool, Chelsea and Aston Villa conspired in January to spend £135 million.

“Only Arsenal and Tottenham would currently be eligible for the Champions League”

Some top Premier League clubs may not �ind the changes too much of an issue. Of the current top six, only Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur would be eligible to compete in European competition under the new regulations. For clubs such as Manchester City, Platini’s European order is a devastating blow, despite claims by those involved with the club that they can realistically spend now and break even later. So it appears that the dramatic transfer deadline day phenomenon will soon be cast into the pages of history, to be replaced by an era in which clubs may be forced to simply work with the squads they have. Only time will tell how this will impact upon European club competition in the long-term, but in the meanwhile it might be pertinent to expect the spending on Andy Carroll and Fernando Torres to become the hallmarks of a bygone age for Europe’s top clubs.


ISSUE 252

SPORT 23

www.concrete-online.co.uk

Tuesday 15th February

So You Think You Know Baseball? Superb table manners give Sports correspondent Chris Teale reviews America’s ‘national sport’

Baseball is often referred to as the ‘Great American Pastime’, but it is also growing in popularity in the United Kingdom. Despite what the cynics say about baseball being little more than rounders played in strange uniforms, the growth of the game in the UK is seen especially at university level. The game is governed by the British Universities’ Baseball Association (BUBA), which was founded in 2007 and is now responsible for ten university teams across the country. One of the oldest of these is the UEA Pistols, who previously played under the name of UEA Blue Sox. UEA’s baseball team is one of the most successful in the University’s history, winning a number of tournaments including

the annual Fall Cup in Hemel Hempstead. Comprising the best teams in the country, the Fall Cup is played every October at the Hertfordshire Baseball Club, and is where UEA have enjoyed their greatest success. This year already, UEA have competed at the Fall Cup, holding their own against the eventual winners Imperial College London, and have been invited to take part in a number of pre-season tournaments in Nottingham. The club’s president is Sam Rounce, and he puts UEA Pistols’ success down to new players who are willing to work hard to improve, and in doing so additionally help the more experienced players to develop. “We pride ourselves on being

a completely inclusive sports club, welcoming players of all abilities, both male and female. Often, many of our players are keen cricketers who are interested in trying something different, and baseball offers them this. “Such is the number of tournaments through the year that we try and give a good percentage of our players a chance at playing competitive baseball against other universities, particularly if those people regularly attend training and are enthusiastic about the sport.” UEA Pistols train three times a week: Mondays indoors in the Sportspark from 3-4:20pm, and then on Wednesday and Saturdays from 1-4pm at the Colney Lane playing �ields.

Renault F1 driver Robert Kubica has suffered a potentially seasonending hand injury while competing in a rally event in Italy. The Pole crashed his Peugeot into a perimeter wall on the way to a stage start, and a section of the barrier smashed into the car’s cockpit, trapping Kubica and partially severing his right hand. Kubica was rushed to hospital

and underwent a seven-hour surgical procedure to save the hand, which doctors have described as successful. However, the injury and the expected six months of recovery time will have drastic implications on his season. Renault have been left with the predicament of who should replace Kubica, with the leading candidate at the moment appearing to be

German veteran Nick Heidfeld, who didn’t have a permanent seat in 2010 but returned for the �inal �ive races of the season with Sauber. Heidfeld con�irmed his ability on Saturday’s test day at Jerez in Spain, topping the time sheets on his very �irst drive of the car. The other candidates are Renault reserve driver Bruno Senna and free agent Vitantonio Liuzzi.

the lighting-quick skill and accurate shooting of their playmaker and primary shooter, Yearwood; the point guard �inished the game with an astonishing 34 points to his name. Nevertheless, the hosts put up a valiant effort in the face of a strong side, and had their own talented player whom they could rely on in the form of Dwight Dunston, who scored heavily during the opening two quarters. Despite being outworked and outrun by the away side, UEA kept the game within touching distance until half time, with the visitors leading 36-29. However, the third quarter saw Cambridge take the match by the scruff of the neck and score heavily, courtesy of ruthless punishment of every UEA mistake. While UEA offered plenty of enterprise, their �inishing was found lacking and they couldn’t handle the visitors’ incessant

counter attacks, with Yearwood at the heart of every move. Not only did Cambridge press ahead with their advantage, they routed and looked like scoring every time they ventured forward, and went on to outscore UEA by 22 points in the second half. Matters were made worse for the home side, who began to lose their defensive focus, as centre Greg Smart fouled out of the game in the �inal quarter. The contest �izzled out towards the end with Cambridge perfecting their composed and drilled defence, ensuring their comfortable victory by an impressive margin. UEA Basketball Men’s I are currently level with Oxford Brookes and Anglia Ruskin on three points each at the bottom of the Midland’s Conference Men’s 2B league, having won two of �ive matches so far this season, but enjoy a superior goal difference.

UEA a shot at promotion Chris King

Sports Editor

UEA Table Tennis Men’s I have the opportunity to win promotion to the BUCS Premier League having �inished �irst in the Midlands Conference 1A Division. In order to secure the right to progress, UEA will have to compete against fellow promotion hopefuls St. Andrews and Leeds. Whichever team wins the most number of games in this ‘play-off’ of sorts will move up to the Premiership.

Table Tennis would become the �irst BUCS team at UEA to compete in the Premiership, a testament to the tremendous success the club has enjoyed and its excellent structure and organisation. The �irst match will take place at the Sportspark on February 23rd, against St. Andrews, before a trip to Leeds. Over the course of a remarkable season, UEA Table Tennis Men’s I have amassed three victories, losing just once, and despite being level on points with Loughborough at the top, have played fewer games.

Kubica hit by horror hand injury

Lizzy Margereson

Big opportunity: just two games will decide whether or not UEA progress

Basketball fall victim to late collapse Matt Scrafton

Sports Correspondent

UEA Men’s Basketball I Cambridge Men’s I

51 80

UEA Basketball Men’s I slipped to a disappointing 80-51 defeat against an impressive Cambridge side at the Sportspark, leaving them rooted to the bottom of the league. The visitors travelled to East Anglia as current league leaders of the Midlands Conference Men’s 2B division, and their dominant display proved just why they had been so successful so far this season. The �irst quarter began in an entertaining fashion with the two sides exchanging shots, as they both endeavoured to �ind their feet in the game. Yet it was Cambridge who took the early initiative and began to take the upper hand, thanks largely to

Lizzy Margereson

Action-packed: Point guard Dwight Dunston (5) was UEA’s leading scorer


sport

Super Bowl Concrete reviews this great American sporting institution, and the media sideshow with which it is inevitably associated

UEFA Regulations Sports Editor Chris King looks at the pending changes to the way English clubs spend money, and what it means for the transfer window

Water Polo make a splash in BUCS Freddie Magee

Sports Correspondent

The invincibles of UEA Men’s Water Polo have achieved what even Manchester United couldn’t – the team have come through their entire season with an unbeaten record. Sitting pretty at the top of BUCS Tier 2C, the UEA boys have had a great season, �inishing with a goal difference of 43 (third best throughout all BUCS leagues). The team brushed aside all competition, drubbing both Aston I and Cambridge II in the process. President Sam Parry says his personal highlight was the tightly fought victory over a highly rated University College London side, UEA scraping through a nail-biting game to win 15-11. The secret to the club’s success is simple according to treasurer Andrew Kinch, who readily attributes the achievement to one main factor - an increased intensity in training. With swim training included, the team now meets four

times a week for practice. Coach Joel Clovis, a lecturer in Economics at UEA, volunteers his time to help the team out. His methods are less aggressive than previous coaches. yet he seems to have instilled a

winning mentality. As a result of winning Tier 2C the team has been drawn alongside UCL, Bath and Plymouth in the BUCS National Trophy semi-�inals. With a long trip to Plymouth presenting a

logistical nightmare, not to mention a stern test in the pool, it remains to be seen how UEA will fare at this heady stage of competition. If their commitment to the cause is anything to go by then Plymouth Sam Parry

A season to remember: Water Polo reigned supreme in the pool all year to advance to the National Trophy semi-�inals

should face a tough challenge; travelling to Wymondham College to partake in regular training sessions is quite an ask. The men haven’t been the only team on a winning streak. On Sunday, 6th February 2011, the UEA Ladies Water Polo team travelled to Nottingham to play the last of four big league games that had been packed into eight gruelling days. An early Nottingham goal was a set-back for the weary UEA players, but team captain Claire Judge rallied the squad and led by example, ending the game with an impressive tally of 4 goals. Exciting fresher talents Emma Kitchen, Jessica Wass and Catherine Firth worked tirelessly, and spot-on defensive work left goalkeeper Ellie Scutt with little work to do. The game was a heroic team effort, sheer hard graft paying off to leave UEA assured winners at 9-3. The future looks bright for UEA Water Polo, with both men’s and women’s teams set to make the national �inals in Cardiff, later on this year.

Football reach dream Carrow Road final Mark Roach

Sports Correspondent

UEA Football Men’s I Harleston Town

5 2

UEA Football Men’s I have a Carrow Road �inal to look forward to following an exciting 5-2 semi-�inal victory away at Harleston Town in the Norfolk Junior Cup. The home side started the brightest, pressuring a UEA back line struggling to get the ball clear on the boggy and uneven surface. Against the run of play however it was the visitors who took the lead after only ten minutes, Josh Kelly �iring a de�lected shot into the bottom corner after a well-worked move. The goal seemed to make Harleston more determined as they continued to create chances in and around the box, but the hosts failed to really test Adam Burnett. The visitors looked dangerous on the counter, but despite this it

was Harleston who remained in the ascendancy, eventually netting on 27 minutes when an in-swinging corner was bundled home. UEA settled down after this, and Blackaby, Obi and Kelly all had chances towards the end of the �irst half as the visitors grew into the game. Fortunate to go in level at halftime, the Yellows came out after the break �iring on all cylinders. They quickly forced a corner, and when Kelly’s delivery dropped to Chris Evans, his powerful shot struck the arm of the Harleston defender and the referee pointed to the spot. Evans tucked away the penalty to put UEA ahead and from there the visitors increasingly dominated possession. Just eight minutes later, Evans’ through ball was dummied by Matthew Wedlake into the path of Kelly who bent a sweet left-footed strike around the ‘keeper to make it 3-1. Harleston continued to work

hard but struggled to break through the strong UEA back four. Evans soon added a fourth as another classy run proved too much for the Harleston defender, who felled him inside the area. Evans converted his second spot kick as the team moved into a seemingly unassailable three goal lead. There was brief hope of a comeback for the home side, who scored a neat free kick through Jake Imrie, but UEA withstood the pressure. A �ifth goal was added on 86 minutes when a whipped free kick from Mark Roach was nodded in by Blackaby, sealing a crushing 5-2 victory. It was a physical and challenging game for the visitors, who managed to right the wrongs of last year’s semi-�inal defeat, with a determined and hard-working second half performance. UEA Football Men’s I will now face Kings Lynn side Ref�ley Royals in the �inal at Carrow Road.

High-scoring affair: Attacking was the order of the day as UEA dominated


p.16

p.14

p.12

THE OSCARS

DEAD SPACE 2

our failsafe tips

where to go

our verdict

firth or fincher?

not for mums..

kazu-oh yeah!

NEVER LET ME GO

venue ISSUE 252 15/2/2011

< INTERVIEW > venue vs. COMEDIAN TIM KEY .17 < FASHION > feature CATWALK ANDROGENY .4 < MUSIC > reviewed THE STREETS AND JAMES BLAKE .18 p

p

p


why not write for

?


venue ISSUE 252 15/2/2011

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

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

concrete.arts@uea.ac.uk| Arts Editor>Liz Jackson Arts Contributors>Imogen Steinberg, Matthew Morton, Ruth Gaukrodger, Harriet Jones

concrete.creativewriting@uea.ac.uk| Creative Writing Editor>Robert Van Egghen

And now, some uncensored and deeply self-indulgent words from the editor... It’s been a fortnight for unexpected happenings.

First of all (pretty much immediately, in fact) the much loved Concrete Sex Survey disappeared.. More about that on Concrete’s front cover. Then, the clouds disappeared, and the sun came out! A pox on all the haterz who said we’d never see it again. Then the new album from The Streets (review on p. 18) came out, and surprised us by not only being pretty good, but also by having The Ziggurats on the cover. And he got red light bulbs in the kitchen, the lucky bastard; imagine what those would do for your chances after post-LCR ‘coffee’.. On p.4, model Andrej Pejic surprised everyone by definitely not being a girl, and in other androgenous news, Lady Gaga’s new single surprised all her fans by sounding almost exactly like ‘Express Yourself, and being total toss. And then, of course, there was THAT Radiohead announcement yesterday morning. No relevence to this issue, but if you aren’t excited then we can’t be friends. Have a week!

n a c un

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Creative Writing Contributors>Adetola Adepoju, Rachael Lum, Robert van Egghen

concrete.tvdigital@uea.ac.uk| Television Editor>Tasha Golley Television Contributors>Sherie Harkom, Helen Jones, Kate Allen, Beth Wyatt, Helen Eaton, Natalie Stephenson, Kathryn Deighan, Tom Theedom

concrete.wired@uea.ac.uk| Wired Editor>Vaughn Highfield

Courtesy Taxis

Wired Contributors>William Moran, Chris Axe, Alek Stoodley, Vaughn Highfield, DJ Turner, Richard Joslin

Prince of Wales Rd, Opposite Roccos/Mercy

concrete.music@uea.ac.uk| Music Editors>Alec Plowman & Alex Throssell Music Contributors>William Stielman, Alex Throssell, Tom McInnes, Duncan Vicat-Brown, Alex Ross, Catherine Martin, Rianne Ison, Oliver Brooks, Steph McKenna, Ed Leftwich, Lizzy Margereson

WEAR FOR A CHEAP FARE!

concrete.film@uea.ac.uk| Film Editor>Paul Martin

COURTESY TAXIS DISCOUNT

Deputy Film Editor>Catherine Watts Film Contributors>Beth Davison, Andrew Wilckins, George Gilbert, Anna Eastwick, James Burrough, Helen Jones, Grace Carruthers, Lorna Pontefract, Beth Hulett, Radosava Radulovic, Tim Bates

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

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

WRISTBAND

50 SEAT WAITING AREA IN THE HEART OF CLUBLAND OPPOSITE MERCY/ROCCOS PRINCE OF WALES ROAD

44-66-44 WWW.COURTESYTAXIS.COM


The Hotlist Smokin’ Jessie J So. Much. Swag.

Hooped Earrings preferably gold.

COMPS tV

WIRED

MUSIC

FILM

Topknots THE hairstyle of the Spring.

Tom Ford’s New Womenswear Collectionthe king of the sex dress is back.

Chokin’ Neat Makeup it’s all about being unkempt and smudged this season.

CREATIVE WRITINg ARTS

concrete.fashion@uea.ac.uk

That Jack Wills Gilet stop being a sheep.

Hey Boy, Hey Girl. With fashion blurring the boundaries between male and female, what we choose to wear seems to have become a better indicator of which gender we identify with than the body we were born with. Over the past 50 years the personal goals of self-assertion and mastery to which men used to aspire, and the communal goals of affiliation that typically controlled women have become less prevailing than they used to be. That’s not to say men no longer strive for the rippling muscles that they used to open any fashion magazine and you’re certain to see advertisements depicting a semi-naked, six-pack bearing man alongside a beautiful woman, but it’s certain that fashion is becoming more open to gender-swapping style. Take Andrej Pejic, the fresh 19-year old beautiful blond from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who recently ended the Jean Paul Gaultier SS11 women’s wear fashion show wearing a wedding dress. Pejic’s long blond hair, full pouting lips and incredible facial bone structure would lead you to think that you’re looking at a woman, but don’t be fooled as ‘she’ is in fact a ‘he’. Pejic is not the only one making us question what’s underneath their trousers. Since Givenchy’s creative director Riccardo Tisci's decided to feature transsexual colleague Lea T in an upcoming campaign, she has taken the fashion world by a storm and has recently graced the front cover of UK magazine Love locking lips with the iconic Kate Moss. But don’t go thinking it’s just boys dressing as girls. Electropunk band Le Tigre’s front women Jocelyn Samson, better known by her stage name of JD Samson, has appeared in many fashion magazines thanks to her manly looks. And lets not forget Lady Gaga’s ‘man’

Celebrity Dress Spy

photo-shoot for last September’s edition of Vogue Homme Japan, where she posed as Joe Calderone in a black suit with her hair styled into a short, black crop. But when did the cross-gender dressing phenomenon become so popular? The last 50 years have seen fashion transform from being predominantly a symbol of status and social class to a means of individual self-expression. This revolution originated in the 60’s, when men and women became less constrained by their occupational identities, and began to experiment with clothes as a medium to communicate their self-identities to the society surrounding them. Since then, culture has become increasingly more complex and far more confusing, causing countless boundaries

Venue Loves

Figure Hugging bodycon is out, floaty is in. So, yes, you can have that cookie.

French Connection £29.99

Lucy Thorpe

What were they thinking?! This colourful muppet caught our eye this week.

Frankie Sandford from The Saturdays was spotted out in London last week in this red Zara dress. Grab yours before they sell out, for just £39.99...

New Year’s Resolutions broken them already? So have we.

across all aspects of society to become a little hazy and gender is no exception. Whether we’re man, woman, gay, straight, hermaphrodite, transsexual, or transgendered, it no longer seems to matter - just look at the popular unisex trends of skinny jeans and fitted V-neck vests. They are all testimonies to the fact that fashion is no longer defined by sex and gender. As with anything in fashion it is impossible to predict how long this trend will last, but for the time being at least it seems that gender-blurring fashion is here to stay, so expect to see more designers hopping on the androgynous fashion bandwagon.

Trangender supermodel Lea T locking lips with Kate Moss on the cover of this months Love magazine.

That jumper... That hat... Those trousers...

Topshop £29.99

fASHION

fashion

Many men seem to shy away from the term. ‘Fashion’.It’s up there with ‘cupcake’, ‘women’s problems’ and ‘Rom-Com’ but while the latter are associated with making men recoil into themselves with a fearful shudder, should ‘fashion’ be so commonly associated with the female gender? This issue explores the roles that men and women take when it comes to beauty, grooming and power.

COMEDY

LISTINGS

ISSUE 252 4 15feb11 Is Fashion Sexist?

This week we are obsessed with MAC’s lipstick in Neon Orange (£13.50). The fresh colour is an interesting alternative to the pinks and reds which coloured the lips of Autumn/Winter.

Those trainers... Remember to dress well UEA, we’re watching you!


5

The Journalist; From front row fashion shows to column inches, the journalists, editors and writers take first hand observation of what’s hot and what’s not and are quick to spread their finds across the glossy pages between our fingers. With harsh opinions and personal comments on new designs, this group have a profound effect on fashion retail. Liz Jones a journalist for the Daily Mail lives and breathes fashion, and is not afraid to state her mind. The High Street; Thank heavens for the High Street! Reproduction of designer labels at an affordable price brings catwalk trends to the cobbles. The Consumers; The public, the majority, the minorities, old, young, yummy mummies, students, city slickers all play a part in how fashion is dispersed. Influenced by icons, muses, media and adverts, music and films, the development of culture within a society plagued by judgement and reputation unconsciously effects the fashion we choose. This results in everyone conforming by some degree, which highlights how manipulated individual style and purchases actually are. Seeds planted by the puppet masters can exploit what we think of as ‘our’ identity.

Greg Mann Photography

“Who Pulls The Strings” Photoshoot Clothes: dress and shoes by Vivenne Westwood at Catfish, Exchange Street. Thanks to Alice and Nick. Makeup: Tanya Helen Skinner, freelance Make-up Artist and Beauty Therapist specialising in Fashion and Photographic make-up. Models: Louise Sawle and Phil Jones. Photographer: Greg Mann. Stylists: Kat Jones and Hannah Britt

<<< A word from Tanya Helen Skinner, our makeup artist for this issue’s photoshoot. “I am a Freelance Make-up Artist specialising in Fashion, Media (photographic, tv/films and magazines) and Bridal Make-up. I design my own styles and like to interpret influences from different cultures and eras. I work in and around the Norwich and Norfolk area” www.tanyamakeupnorwich.co.uk

FILM MUSIC WIRED

The Model Models can have just as much influence as the designer as they embody how fashion fits the figure. Crystel Renn hit the headlines as being one of the first plus-size models to show off her runway walk to the fashion world. Her luscious curves gave inspiration to women with a fuller figure that fashion is not just for skinny waifs and can be embraced by all.

tV

The Stylist; We’ve all seen, only too often, stars in the “When bad clothes happen to good people” sections of magazine as they attempt to dress themselves. Those A-listers with money to burn hire stylists to drape them in the finest garments straight off the catwalk. This promotes the designers, the celebrity, the new trend, and the stylist. The down side of this, in the case of Rachel Zoe, is that the media is filled with images of stars all looking the same. Remember the “zoe-bots” of Li Lo, Paris and Nicole Richie.

CREATIVE WRITINg

The Designer; They are the source of all fashion creations, the thought behind each piece. Karl Lagerfeld has built up quite a reputation (and ego) with regards to his fashion. Prententious? Perhaps. Ambitious? Yes. The drive of the designers will always filter down the pyramid so that even us low budget students can emulate high-end fashion.

COMEDY

LISTINGS

COMPS

Fashion: Who Pulls The Strings?

ARTS

concrete.fashion@uea.ac.uk

15feb11 ISSUE 252

Shop the look - go nude in these leg lengthening heels

Topshop, £62

New Look, £24.99

River Island, £69.99

Kurt Geiger, £180

Aldo, £65

fASHION

fashion


concrete.arts@uea.ac.uk

Theatre>Theatre Royal> Hairspray Hairspray tells the story of early 60s America in Baltimore, a place where segregation is so ingrained in the societal consciousness and which shows no indication of changing, that blacks and whites are not even allowed to mix on television. Tracy Turnblad (Laurie Scarth) is a teen whose dreams of TV stardom are marred by her chubbiness and unconvinced parents. In her bid to get on to the ‘Corny Collins Show’ she meets a bunch of black teenagers and discovers they love rock ‘n’roll just as much as her and together they storm the TV studios. It would be easy to assume that the stage production did not differ significantly from the film version starring Zac Efron and John Travolta, however the subtle differences in this performance made the performance all the more watchable and stopped it from becoming a stagnant re-hash of the film and the original musical itself. Although some of the songs were a little weak, both lyrically and in power, they were generally executed well by the cast and were more than made up for by some good big show tunes - such as the belter ‘I Know Where I’ve Been’, sung by the frankly remarkably voiced Sandra Marvin. Similarly in ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’ (the closing song involving the whole cast) the song retains a

catchiness that rendered it stamped to this reporter’s ears for days afterwards. Michael Starke (of Brookside fame) stole the show as Tracy’s mother Edna, bringing down the house with some classic panto lines, adding to the entertainment without distracting from the central issues of the musical. Velma Von Tussle (Gillian Kirkpatrick) was also terrifically evil without becoming too much of a caricature as the face of both ‘skinny’ show business and racist white America in the 60s. This kind of musical also depends almost as much on its eye-catching costume design as the actual performance. Any stage production with a Head of Wigs (David Birt) with four assistants is going to be impressive looking and this was no exception. The costumes really set the scene with colourful pencil and full circle skirts also aiding the swing of the dances, but credit must go to the fabulous headwear which just got higher and higher as the show ran on until it was twice, even three times bigger than the dancer’s heads. The audience was mainly made up of women and this proved important in focusing the show on the issues affecting women, not just other ethnicities. With the song ‘Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now’ emphasising

the rejection of the blonde, skinny ideal (and the star-crossed lovers side plot), it would be easy to dismiss this work as trivial and overly mushy. However, it actually deals with big ideas and the conflict and then reconciliation develops character and narrative to a pleasing degree. Combined with the theme of acceptance running throughout, the production brings about

an overall feel-good factor that makes Hairspray an excellent musical everyone will enjoy. Imogen Steinberg

Theatre>Norwich Playhouse> Caucasian Chalk Circle

CREATIVE WRITINg ARTS fASHION

ARTS

ARTS>THEATRE ROUNDUP

tV

WIRED

MUSIC

FILM

COMEDY

LISTINGS

COMPS

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15feb11 ISSUE 252

Lies in his ability to be ahead of his time the Blackeyed Theatre Group kept this spirit alive fifty-three years after the play’s theatrical debut ensures this production’s quality. In Brecht’s signature anti-realist style, the play employs the framing of narratives: whilst the story begins and ends with a dispute over territorial collectivisation

in the Soviet Union, the majority of the plotline follows the rights of maternity over a noble-born baby in a turbulent Georgia. Throughout the years, some critics have lambasted Brecht’s dramaturgical concept of ‘epic theatre’ as, despite the use of framework and analogy as elemental illustrative points, they felt it did not provide

a sufficient attack on the evils of the world that it supposedly hints at – namely the rise of the National Socialist Party in the previous decade. Where, however, those critics are disheartened at the loss of a brutal diatribe, it is clear that Tom Neill’s production delighted in proving the timeless dramatics of The Caucasian Chalk Circle in a way that would have also delighted Brecht – a play so wonderfully done as to be applicable to any time. Though the play sporadically employs musical accompaniment (done by Ron McAllister) – based loosely on the widelyused score of Georgian folk polyphony – this production is not at all as interrupted as it could be; as soon as the audience realises the players are virtuosos in their musical fields, the addition is as essential as Brecht would have it to be. This production by the Blackeyed Theatre Group not only managed to – seemingly instinctively - follow the theatrical core of Brecht over half a century on, but also to subtly create space for their own innovation. On occasion, vicious tableaus would take place (such as the simultaneous beating of an army officer pitted alongside a peasant woman’s assault) whilst contemporary images would blaze upon the necessarily sparse backdrop: the furore of the G20

protests and of Ian Tomlinson’s death; strobe images of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Barack Obama, and other world leaders; and, at the time when the Governor is to be hanged “by Holy Law”, images of the Pope sidle by. As well as this, the players engineered their direction so as to actually transform their musical asides into instrumental [sic.] pieces of the play: the baby Michael is portrayed as Grusha’s violin which, when played or fought over, heightens Brechtian symbolism incredibly. The play consisted of few – some five actors, leaving some roles without individual identity. However, it was clear that this was in fact intentional as, through incisive prop changes and deus ex machina, the multiplicity of character representation created a dichotomy of morals that this production can deservedly credit itself as its own. Raucous, tragic, hilarious and, as all Brecht, to be read at one’s own discretion, this unique production would have received fantastic applause from the great playwright and, indeed, deserves much more than that. Matthew Morton


concrete.arts@uea.ac.uk

15feb11 ISSUE 252

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Leontes of Bohemia (played expertly by George Chandler) suspecting his wife, Hermione, and his friend, Polixenes, of betraying him. When he forces Polixenes to run for his life, Leontes sets in motion a chain of events that lead to death, a ferocious bear, an infant left in the snow, young love, and a statue coming to life. The play contains the possibly most famous stage direction ever: ‘Exit, pursued by a bear’, foreshadowing the death of Antigonus (a loyal defender of Hermione). This, however, is not the oddest event in the performance, as we also witness traditional folk dances, strangely placed fruit and a vast selection of wizard-esque beards to add to the enjoyable chaos of the play. Director Joe Wright seems to have loved the play as much as the audience “I have enjoyed every minute of the process, and have had the privilege to work with some astounding talent both on and off the stage; I can only hope that you, gentle spectator, [have enjoyed] this ‘old tale’ as much as I have’. This reporter can speak for everyone by saying the performance formed a great platform for showcasing how much talent there is at our very own university; well done to the whole team for what was a brilliant show. Harriet Jones

WRITE FOR US! > concrete.arts@uea.ac.uk

LISTINGS COMEDY FILM MUSIC

Ruth Gaukrodger

WIRED

The Winter’s Tale is not necessarily the first Shakespeare play you’d think of, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth seeing. Seen as one of Shakespeare’s underrated classics, the play explores a variety of themes (some still topically relevant today) and holds a distinguished place in the world of theatre. Presented by Minotaur Theatre Company on campus and directed by Script Writing student Joe Wright, the show does not disappoint. Drama, humour, charisma and confidence are all on display displaying a standard almost reaching the heights of performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company. The audience seemed to agree and an impressively full drama studio showed their appreciation for an excellent performance. Neither really a comedy nor tragedy, this is a play of two halves. The plot proves ambiguous and surprising with its dramatic and emotionally gripping first half, followed by a comedic and happy, heartfelt conclusion. This apparent contrast is engrossing and the audience moved from being straight-faced and miserable at its controversies, to just ten minutes later laughing uncontrollably and revelling in an ‘it’s all been sorted out finally’ ending. For viewers of TV’s Shameless, the plot might seem familiar. It follows King

entire life of the town through Katie and are able to appreciate the importance of the issues it raises.

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Theatre> UEA> The Winter’s Tale

awkward sympathy we feel for her. And this is the greatest difference, I think, between Thorne’s previous work and Bunny – instead of being absorbed into a world of a singular person, we witness the

CREATIVE WRITINg

easy to draw parallels in the play with Thorne’s other work - certainly, his ability to illustrate subjects too difficult to judge. Katie voices the inevitable discomfort the audience feels with addressing racial issues in a multicultural society, as she introduces her boyfriend, Abe, who she describes as good looking, before saying “He’s also black. Not that...I just never know how to bring that up.” The whole play is filled with a itchy, uncomfortable feeling as Katie goes on to suffer various types of humiliation. Particularly, when she’s left semi-naked in a car with one of the characters, who then rejects her with the line “You’re too easy for me” - you can’t help but squirm a bit, feeling awkward for her as she hides her breast back inside her school shirt. Thorne fills the dialogue with clichés and hackneyed sayings borrowed from newspapers, the repeated racism that the characters spew ironically illustrating the genuine problems of multicultural societies. We’re left with a kind of slice of life in Luton, without there being any butchering or clumsy handling of the issues weighing heavily on Katie despite the play’s tendency to encourage the

ARTS

Jack Thorne’s preoccupations with racial aggression and sexual violence bleeds through all his work, as it does with Bunny, yet Bunny still seems vastly different from any of his writing for Skins or This is England. At the opening, Rosie Wyatt (playing Katie- the central, and only vocal, character of the play) comes on to the stage with a gawky-yet-confident attitude, and goes on to detail the jarring of her counterpart lives - one of a middle-class 18-year old, and one of a young girl, just beginning to slide under the aggressive lifestyle of racial violence and sexism in Luton. We follow Katie’s evening, after school, as she’s pulled into a clash between the men she has somehow become attached to and a young Asian man, who aggravated her boyfriend. The backdrop to this story is just as moving as the action of the play - designed by Ian William Galloway and beautifully illustrated by Jenny Turner depicting Katie’s journey as she travels through Luton. The bare sketches capture the bleakness of the town and the starkness of the landmarks, which sit at odds with the warmth and vivacity of Katie. It is

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concrete.tvdigital@uea.ac.uk

television

PrimeTime> Download> Secret Diary of a Call Girl Gary: Tank Commander Currently Available on BBC iPlayer

ITV 2, TUESDAY,10pm

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Back with a bang, ITV’s Secret Diary of a Call Girl is as raunchy as ever. Based on the books by Belle de Jour, a former call girl, the show gives viewers an intimate look at prostitution through the eyes of a high class London call girl Belle (Billie Piper). Belle leads a double life, lying about her profession to her friends and family, to whom she is known as Hannah. Although Piper plays the role fantastically some of the other actors, most notably Iddo Goldberg who plays Belle’s best friend Ben, are a little wooden. Still, the show is very entertaining and a loveable main character, plus the ironic comedy, makes it a great watch.

“It is incredibly explicit and covers everything; fetishes, S&M, sex toys, Viagra, the list goes on” Secret Diary takes sex on television to a new level. It doesn’t dance around the subject, not that we would expect it to given its title, but if you have never seen it before you may be in for a shock. It is incredibly

explicit and covers everything: fetishes, S&M, sex toys, Viagra, the list goes on. Secret Diary has been met with a lot of criticism for seeming to glamorise prostitution. It does ignore all the less attractive aspects: sexually transmitted diseases, unattractive clients (for the most part), giving a perhaps fantastical and inaccurate portrayal of the profession. This is to be the show’s fourth and final series, and after the previous three jam packed series there was the worry that the fourth wouldn’t find any new material to cover. There is only so much you can do, and only so many new sex scenarios you can think of. However, this series is proving just as entertaining as the last, and comes with a new challenge for Belle, taking over her ex-boss’s business while she is in jail and becoming a ‘Madam’. Also, with Belle’s decision to enter into a long anticipated relationship with best friend Ben, there are high hopes that the show will have a great finishing series. Helen Jones

With his blonde hair, chubby camp appearance and a perma-tan, Gary is an unlikely soldier. In fact, Gary is a Scottish gay man living and breathing the life of a Corporal in the British Army. With him are his friends and colleagues who, during the many hours of apparent boredom in their working lives find themselves in hilarious situations. Shot and produced by BBC Scotland and available on BBC iPlayer, the second series sees Gary lose a tank and try to locate it using posters which say “Have you seen this tank?” much to the dismay of his boss, the typical shouting enforcer. In one amusing episode, Gary decides to swap tickets on a much delayed flight from Afghanistan for an even later flight in return for VIP tickets to Shark World. Every episode is full of short clips where Gary comments on himself and other issues such as the difference between a soldier’s wages and that of an assistant working in Greggs. Although these do nothing to help the plot it does give the audience a glimpse into Gary’s odd thoughts.

This unlikely format clips of videos shot by Gary and his friends are reminiscent of a video on YouTube that real-life soldiers shot of themselves having a bit of fun and dancing to Lady Gaga. Gary’s team of soldiers perform hits such as Single Ladies, Telephone and others on what appears to be a home video.

“...light-hearted and entertaining, something that has been long overdue for a while in the realm of the armed forces.” Although the heavy Scottish accent is difficult to appreciate at first, the entire premise of Gary: Tank Commander is lighthearted and entertaining, something that has been long overdue for a while in the realm of the armed forces. Every episode is guaranteed to get you laughing.

HD TELEVISION - WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT? They burnt down the Old Vic for it, they’ve had to develop new thicker make-up for it, and yet nobody is too bothered about it. HD TV has arrived and no one has really noticed. This is because although many people have HD ready televisions, having a HD receiving digital box or Sky HD is still not that common. With the advent of the digital one off payment HD receiver this may soon change, but before you go rushing off to buy one consider what high definition will do for you. Technically HD has two million pixels per frame, which is roughly five times more than that of standard digital channels.

This means that when watching sports you can see the faces of the spectators, the grass looks sharper and the sound is slightly louder however when watching Eastenders or Hollyoaks the difference is less distinctive. You will spend most of your time forgetting to switch over to the HD channel, which is an annoying reminder that HD TV is still not mainstream. So until every channel has converted to HD it will remain an expensive extra that will not ultimately change your viewing experience. Kate Allen

Sherie Harkcom


concrete.tvdigital@uea.ac.uk

9

REALITY CHECK

This issue, Venue looks at the ultimate guilty pleasure, television that we love to hate.

SNOG MARRY AVOID?

TOOL ACADEMY

A fan of the tan? Think less clothing is definitely more? Have no problem leaving the house looking like something Claire’s Accessories spewed onto the street? Yes? Then you need a make-under from POD, the Personal Overhaul Device. Snog Marry Avoid? is the ultimate guilty pleasure, except that there is little guilt involved. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to spend time watching ‘fake’ members of the British public being transformed just to find out what lies beneath the layers of make-up

Tool Academy: you know what you’re going to get and by Jove, are this mixed bag of mugs amusing. A few individuals are a bit scary, especially overly angry Jake who blows up with scary, swearing rage without just cause. Even the other aptly named tools (‘Twinkle Tool’, ‘Jealous Tool’, ‘Geezer Tool’..) think he’s bloody insane. He should just be renamed ‘Potential Wife Abuser Tool’. The tool-on-tool interaction is probably the best aspect in the show. They’re all

BBC THREE, TUESDAY, 8PM

Channel Four’s Big Fat Gypsy Weddings has more in common with Big Brother than just record-breaking audience figures. The episodes allow a first-hand glimpse into the unique world of the travellers; a people isolated yet unable to free themselves from mainstream society. Their lifestyle is yin to our modern day yang, and it is hard to comprehend some of the medieval Catholic gender ideals they cling to, which can unnerve post-feminists. However, if you put aside the political and

cultural messages, it is not hard to find a humorous guilty pleasure from a series that manages to make Jordan look classy. Girls as young as six enjoy Hip-Hop, their dance moves inspired by Shakira, looking like fake-tanned pole-dancers. Some of the frock horrors that grace special occasions would make any Disney princess look like a PA on Dress-Down Friday. If you want your jaw to drop, this show is a must! Kathryn Deighan

Desperately annoying and devastatingly addictive to an almost all encompassing level, The X Factor is surely the ultimate ‘Reality TV we love to hate’. There is something so addictive in seeing, people making complete and utter idiots of themselves, then the God-complex within us takes over when the fate of the twelve or so finalists are put in the hands (and phones) of us, the viewing public. Credible popstars? Do we really care whether these guys make it big outside of

the show? Every year the show rolls around and many of us tell ourselves “I am not going to watch that tosh again this year”, desperately trying to convince ourselves that it is going downhill faster than Steve Brookstein’s post-show career. But those thoughts soon morph into “I will just watch the auditions” and then, before we know it, we’re injecting the show directly into our veins. Tom Theedom

WIRED tV CREATIVE WRITINg

BIG FAT GYPSY WEDDINGS THE X-FACTOR Channel 4, tuesday, 10pm Returns Autumn 2011

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Helen Eaton

instantly ‘maaates’, proving that bloke bonding is simple, only alcohol and laddish behaviour required. That T4 bloke Rick Edwards also adds some wonderfully sarcastic commentary so we can feel even more smug and grateful that we don’t resemble these people. Let’s hope not, at least. Can they be cured? Just give them a few sessions of therapy, make the girlfriends find someone better and a give the little beggars a right good spanking. Natalie Stephenson

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and tan? Even better are the judgements from the public which are usually received with utter shock and horror; quite rightly so, who wouldn’t avoid a woman wearing a huge wig, florescent pink blusher, topped off with a next-to-nothing outfit and fluffy legwarmers? Snog Marry Avoid? provides the ultimate in mindless entertainment and the feeling of ‘well at least I don’t look that bad!’

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This issue, we invited submissions based on ‘two figures in a room’ by francis bacon, from uea’s sainsbury centre for visual arts Two Figures in a Room Crouched, huddled like the world sits on your shoulder, it seems as though you find it hard to think of anything but the scarlet smudges on your skin bare against the emerald wall. The other waits for you, their shape nothing more than that. Perhaps if you would lift your head, but it is as if you did, the space, void yet there, would close in around and slowly swallow you whole. Smears of colour block your attempts to move. You remain stuck in a cold frame, seen but not seeing, forever being two figures lying still on a floor. Robert Van Egghen

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Reposed, thy still form Imposed upon, my fluttering thoughts dreams of heaven inspired beseeching from shadows

Always in our minds a room Conceals the shattered glass In abandoned corners of restless dust. Always in the room, silhouettes Of two lost souls. One belongs to you. The other wears a hundred masksWrinkled as old Gramps, lips as blue As that child’s last winter, Vague as your vagabond friend Soft as a wishful parent, Beautiful as one you’ve once lovedCarved by omniscient grains, From where we came and so shall return, Into what you long is true.

Fascination, a child’s playground clarity, my misadventure. A gaze into emerald Quiet, unseen wailings the heart predicts Passion, the lovers’ deception Innocence, a-walk-in-the-dark Zeus implores: Venus’ nymphs corrupt. Sainty be mute Insanity offers excoriation The stable master pledges The horse of the King’s affection Mermaids prepare lavendered delights Molluscs and pink prawns

Always in our minds the room Is shut where none but you have seen And you would enter each daylight ponder For what was or could have been.

Adetola Adepoju

Rachel Lum

QUOTE OF THE WEEK “There is a view that poetry should improve your life. I think people confuse it with the Salvation army” - John Ashbery, (1927-) American poet. Having received every major award, Ashbery continues to incite debate as to whether his poems “mean” anything at all. They do and they don’t.

NEXT ISSUE The theme for the next issue:

‘White Lies’

Please email your submissions to concrete.creativewriting@uea.ac.uk by 23rd February

WIRED

Always In Our Minds

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Mantequilla

CREATIVE WRITINg

“There is a view that poetry should improve your life. I think people confuse it with the Salvation army” John Ashbery, (1927-) American poet. Having received every major award, Ashbery continues to incite debate as to whether his poems “mean” anything at all. They do and they don’t.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Wednesday 16th February - headCRASH

Cabaret @ The Birdcage Russell J Turner presents a shed load of tip-top poetic and comedic talent. The most fun you can have with two quid apart from glueing the ends of a short piece of string to each coin thereby constructing a tiny pair of maracas. From 8:30pm at The Birdcage, Pottergate, Norwich. Tuesday 22nd February - Andrea Levy at UEA Spring Literary Festival Prize-winning novelist Andrea Levy will

be reading from her latest novel The Long Song which is set in the last days of slavery in Jamaica. From 7pm in LT1. Tickets are available for £6. Monday 28th February - Word of Mouth presents Pete the Temp vs Climate Change High-octane stand-up poetry from Pete the Temp with support from Captain of the Rant, John Simpson Wedge and MC Dan Gregory. From 8pm-10pm at The Norwich Arts Centre on St Benedict’s Street. Tickets

available for £5. Monday 28th February - The After Hours Club - Spoken Word Open Mic Norwich’s naughtiest spoken word open mic is back. All forms of live literature welcome, slots are 5 minutes each with free drinks available for performers. From 10pm in The Ten Bells, St Benedict’s Street, Norwich. Sign-up on the night.

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Tuesday 15th February - Norwich Poetry Club feat. Adam O’Riordan Adam O’Riordan will be reading from his new collection In the Flesh, supported by Faber New Poet Sam Riviere and Norwich Poetry Club residents Hannah Jane Walker, Martin Figura and John Osborne. Hosted by Luke Wright. From 7:30-9:30pm at The Bicycle Shop, 17 St Benedict’s Street, Norwich. Tickets are £5.

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Creative Writing Events


The Death of PC Gaming?

The death of PC gaming is a phrase thrown around a lot these days, and not by people who play on computers. It seems to be the common opinion that consoles have completely taken over and there remains a last, battered few who still persist with the PC. Are PC gamers part of a dying breed or a largely unknown, yet thriving community? Let’s start by having a look at some of PC gaming’s biggest giants. Routinely, when polls are held as to which developer is the best across all platforms, three come out on top – Blizzard, Valve and Bioware. These three also happen to be some of the biggest PC games developers. Blizzard, in itself, is a PC only company making huge titles such as the Starcraft, Diablo and Warcraft series (including World of Warcraft); the console arm of Blizzard is Activision – publisher of the Call of Duty franchise. Their projected earnings for 2010 were around $4.28 billion, a staggering amount. Valve, as well as developing genredefiners such as Half Life and Counter

Strike, provides the Steam service. Steam is a program that allows you to download and subsequently run games through it, including most large games released by any developer. Steam users at last count were over 30 million and Valve made an estimated $1 billion last year. Bioware are well known master story tellers, producing Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights. However, both Valve and Bioware have only made tentative steps towards console platforms. Gabe Newell, CEO of Valve, had previously derided S o n y ’s Playstation but has now mysteriously changed his mind (I’m sure you can guess the

reason we all suspect). Bioware are just getting round to releasing the phenomenal Mass Effect 2 on Playstation, but the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series remain the companies’ only recent stabs at the Playstation and Xbox. The developers seem to appreciate that there is clearly a lot of money in the console arena, but their aim still seems to be to cater to PC users. There is also an incredibly strong community within PC gaming. A perfect example of this is the game Minecraft. So far, by attracting the interest of the community alone, it has more than a million players and hundreds of mods being pumped out for it. What makes it special is the fact that it has not even been released! It is produced by the tiny, new developer Mojang Specifications,

Fun links to pass the time between socialising and learning.

William Moran

Alek Stoodley

TV Tropes TV Tropes describes itself as the Wikipedia for the tricks for writing fiction, only a ‘buttload’ more informal. Funny and surprisingly addictive this site puts an interesting descriptive spin on many classical television and film clichés. www.tvtropes.org Shadowness Still an extremely new site, Shadowness was only set up in January of this year but it’s already picked up a loyal and dedicated fanbase and looks set to increase significantly in popularity. Shadowness is essentially a site where artists and designers can post their work and receive feedback on it. You can make a portfolio and favourite other people’s submissions. Unfortunately, Shadowness is currently invite only but that’s set to change in the near future and it’s still a fun site to browse with a great community and some fantastic artwork on display. www.shadowness.com My Life is Average Following an idea similar to www.fmylife.com, mylifeisaverage allows users to submit short, and often hilarious anecdotes displaying how average their lives are. Be careful, it’s easy to waste entire afternoons on this site. www.mylifeisaverage.com

Tweet This

Wired were lucky enough to snap up an invite for the reveal of the GAME Award 2010 shortlist for the 7th Video Game BAFTA Awards. The Video Game BAFTAs are the largest industry-awarded video game awards (the Golden Joysticks are done entirely by the public), and the GAME award is decided by public vote from a shortlist compiled by a panel of thirteen judges from the industry, including Dara O’Briain and representatives from leading publishers and developers. T h e shortlist was announced on February 10th at BAFTA headquarters in London. After being ushered into a theatre inside the rather understated (for BAFTA) building, Wired was met with a stage, lectern and television personality M i c h a e l Underwood from CBBC and CITV fame. It was all very much

You Groupie

and is available to buy online and play as a beta version. Modders, people who independently produce modifications for PC games, provide new ways to play any game and near infinite replayability. The mod ‘Defense of the Ancients’ for Warcraft 3 became so popular it has spawned an entire new genre of games, and Valve’s hit Counter Strike began as a mod. You shouldn’t look at this as the death of PC gaming, instead see it as the rise of console gaming. PC gaming will always be more of a niche appeal, something that provides for a community of modders and dedicated players with their own culture. Consoles however, have far more accessibility, being both cheaper and a lot easier to use. It’s no surprise that this is a winning formula, but the ascendancy of one platform does not crush another, especially when it has the most devoted user base of all. Whatever happens, do not write us off.

Some of the best, most interesting or just downright funny people tweeting right now!

With Facebook users expanding everyday, there are groups springing up for every occasion, here are some of the best!

@popurls A genuine news aggregator for the latest web buzz. A great feed for internet, reddit, and general humour. This twitter stream will send you links (popurls) to hilarious pictures, stories and reddit threads.

<3 Animal Lovers United <3

Chris Axe

Richard Joslin

@gmpolice Just in case you want to know about every criminal incidence happening in the Greater Manchester area, the GM police have become the first police force in Britain to embrace Twitter and improve their public relations and transparency to the people. @TechCrunch If you’re reading this section of Concrete, you probably like technology. That makes this twitter stream perfect for you, since it’ll bring you brand new tech news, comments and opinions. From smartphones to the latest Apple and Google innovations, it’s all here.

‘Animal Lovers’ they call themselves. A simple look at this group and it is easy to see what’s going on. Photos, videos and stories are welcome. Ever wondered what it’s like to fall for your pet dog (or even better, ‘the cats and dogs of Egypt,’ as one member is so fond of)? Forget human love. This is animal love. The group page boasts over 13,000 members and can be recognised for its close-up photo of a bald dog covered in kisses (I’m guessing they shaved it for smooth sex), and quite frankly, these guys are into anything and everything about loving animals. The flavour of the month seems to be a big black dog named Bailey, who never tires of a good game of tug of war, and neither will you with Animal Lovers United. Fetch! DJ Turner

a surreal experience, being surrounded by fellow journalists from esteemed publications and websites such as IGN. The shortlist itself was filled with what some may feel are expected games, however there were a couple of surprise entries on the list, due in part to the unique criteria needed to qualify for a BAFTA award nominee. BAFTA themselves look not for what game sold the best in the year but instead for what title has pushed the boundaries of the genre or shown great artistic merit. O n e interesting fact that Wired managed to wrangle out of a lovely Public Relations man is that Call of Duty: Black Ops was never once mentioned by anybody on the panel as a viable nominee; its inclusion only came about because of the sheer numbers it sold in 2010, with sales that high and considering

the public has a say, it was a title just begging to be included in the shortlist. And here is the list itself: -Call of Duty: Black Ops -Red Dead Redemption -LIMBO -Halo: Reach -Mass Effect 2 -Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit -Super Mario Galaxy 2 -Dance Central -Fifa 11 -Heavy Rain Again, a list with few major surprises, however the fantastic inclusion of LIMBO, developed by Playdead Games, is a sure sign of a maturity in the industry and the realisation that Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network are both viable formats for small developers to grow and become noticed. Even games that weren’t as commercially successful as they rightly should have been, such as Heavy Rain and Dance Central, still have a fighting chance at claiming the top spot. Results will be announced at the main awards show on March 16th when they are hosted by Dara O’Briain and shown live online at the BAFTA website. It’s well worth taking the time to vote on your favourite game of 2010, or even the title you feel deserves the award the most! Go out there now and vote at the BAFTA website www.baftagameaward.com Vaughn Highfield

Cheap and Cheerful Launcherpro

Audiogalaxy Audiogalaxy is an Android and iPhone app which enables you to listen to your entire music collection on your smartphone without actually storing it on your phone’s SD card/s. It streams the music from your computer via an Audiogalaxy server to your phone with remarkably good speeds. Simply download the client for your PC, select the folders you want it to draw music from, and leave it running in the background (it takes up little system resources) while you go out. Very useful, but the interface could be perfected and there’s no 5.1 mode, so you should probably retain some music files on your phone in case you can’t access 3G. Available from the Android Market and iPhone App Store.

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BAFTA are getting their GAME on.

accentuate the tension, most notably the Gothic cathedral and colourful, cheery primary school – both of which look right at home in the dark futuristic setting. When Necromorphs do come, they come with great shock value, which they retain throughout the game, often leaping out to attack when least expected. The most remarkable new feature is the inclusion of a multiplayer mode. These four-on-four matches see teams of engineers going up against a variety of player controlled Necromorphs. Maps are objective based and, after one team has won, the roles are reversed. Engineers can use tools and weapons, stomp, perform melee attacks and use the Stasis ability seen in the single player. Players are also able to control a range of Necromorphs with different abilities. It is entertaining enough, but nowhere near as gripping as the single player, and could become boring fast. This is Dead Space on a bigger scale, but it’s more than gore, horror and action. It’s the personal story of a man understandably disturbed by what has happened to him, told very effectively. This mesh of different elements makes for a compelling game that can easily be played more than once, if not multiple times; combined with the newfound online multiplayer, this gives good replay value. Whether a horror survival veteran, or just a gamer looking for a great gaming experience, Dead Space 2 is well worth your time and money.

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Dead Space 2 is like the original Dead Space in that it is still set in Space and pretty much everything in it is still dead (sort of). It is also similar to the original game in that it is excellent. Protagonist Isaac Clarke continues to prove his worth as the unluckiest man in the history of games. Placed in situations where bloody death seems all but certain, there is always a palpable sense of relief when he barely manages to kick, scream and stomp his way to safety – although safety is never absolute. Isaac is doggedly hunted by hordes of ravenous husks that once were men. The monsters, Necromorphs, are defeated by removing their mutated limbs. Issac’s only means of survival is his resourceful use of technology, knowledge of engineering, careful application of brute force and his ‘Resource Integration Gear’ (RIG) suit. Not much has changed in terms of the game’s formula but what has changed is the setting. Having barely got away with his life at the end of Dead Space, he is rescued only to awaken three years later to the same awful situation. In fact, just about the first thing he sees is a man’s face being ripped apart in front of him. The action now takes place aboard an enormous city-like space station named ‘the Sprawl’. Isaac is controlled in the third person, and thanks to the return of the ‘RIG’ interface, everything that would normally

aboard the Ishimura. He’s haunted by his dead girlfriend, and the guilt he feels for encouraging her to work on the doomed ship. It’s a firm reminder that Isaac is not a superhero, but an ordinary man, and from that weakness comes a very strong character, one with whom players can certainly empathise. Combat is intense and panic inducing, but this is not where Dead Space is most powerful or at its scariest. It’s in the interludes between combat that the atmosphere takes over, players will find themselves nervously glancing back behind Isaac, checking every corner and listening out for any sign of Necromorph presence. The sounds are very effective, especially those that serve as a reminder that the Necromorphs were once h u m a n . Mutated children and babies are particularly unsettling, whether visible on screen or not. Dead Space 2 is often at its creepiest when there are no enemies around. The brilliant designed great environments

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Format: PS3, PC, 360 Release: Out Now Price: from £29.99 - £39.99

clutter the screen on a HUD is instead on Isaac’s suit. Health status, menus, video communications and ammunition meters are all projected directly from the RIG. Voice acting is fairly top notch, with Isaac making more of a starring role in the dialogue. Compared to the silence of the last game, his newfound dialogue is often simplistic but well fitting, and very occasionally darkly funny. If anything, players might find that Isaac often says just exactly what they’re thinking. His communication with others also makes for a more decisive and assertive character when tackling problems, which blends well with his background as an engineer. Issac’s mental state is also prominent, however the player doesn’t get any insights into the mids of the other characters. His internal struggle is one of the more engaging elements on show. Isaac is a broken man having lived through the horrific e v e n t s

concrete.wired@uea.ac.uk

WIRED

Dead Space 2

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Launcherpro is a wildly popular and incredible alternate user interface for your phone’s homescreens/ launcher. It gives you massive amounts of customization, allowing you to set the number of homescreens you have, enable virtual looping, change the default screen, the number of columns and rows on each homescreen, fully customize your dock, and a multitude of other things. If you buy the ‘Launcherpro Plus’ version, which is fully recommended, then you get access to the several amazing features including being able to resize widgets, and Launcherpro Plus widgets such as the Facebook, Twitter, and calendar widgets which are very high quality. Available from the Android Market. Richard Joslin

CREATIVE WRITINg

concrete.wired@uea.ac.uk

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concrete.film@uea.ac.uk

film

Never Let Me Go Director: Mark Romanek Release Date: 11/2/11

Every book-to-screen adaptation is released to an audience already rife with expectations and Never Let Me Go is no exception. This month, fans of Kazuo Ishiguro’s unique creation wait with baited breath to see whether director Mark Romanek can do justice to the powerful novel. Without giving too much away, Romanek’s film is difficult to categorize. On one level, the narrative depicts a love story riddled with the usual elements of pain, confusion and romance; but on another level, it’s so much more. For protagonists Kathy, Tommy

and Ruth, ‘normal’ life is a world away from the reality we know today. Beginning with a caption describing a fictional medical development in the 1960s it becomes clear early on that this is not a simple love story but a harrowing tale about fighting the odds in a bleak world where in fact good rarely comes to those who wait. Fans will not be disappointed to see that the film is remarkably faithful to the novel as Ishiguro was closely linked to the project from the beginning. Growing up as children at Hailsham (an austere establishment reminiscent of the boarding schools of post-war England), the three characters, like the

The Fighter

audience, are privy only to mysterious hints at their true purpose in life. With the specific vernacular of ‘donations’, ‘carers’ and the hauntingly tragic concept of ‘completion’ the film owes its uniquely affecting script to the spectacular source material. However, the story is brought to life by the three leads. Carrie Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield come

together to make a trio of performances that cannot be faulted. Understated and yet empathetic, Mulligan brings grace and sympathy to the character of Kathy, so sheltered that it would be easy for her to be a boring protagonist. Similarly Knightley (with no irritating pout in sight) forces the audience to take a closer look at Ruth, finding sympathy in the tragic life of a girl so

True Grit

easily condemnable for her youthful selfishness. However, the standout performance is that of Andrew Garfield. Nominated for the rising star award at this years BAFTA’s after the success of The Social Network, Garfield proves what a diverse and talented actor he is in the heartbreaking innocence of Tommy’s faith in love. Avoiding clichés Never Let Me Go is more a story of growing up and living a life tinged with tragedy than that of boy-meetsgirl. Viewers expecting to be spoon-fed may have trouble as the narrative doesn’t overdo the emotion. It is often coldly clinical in the face of an

unbearably tragic concept, but therein lies the beauty of the film. Poignantly subtle, yet charged with emotion throughout, this may be one of the best adaptations of the year, leaving only the coldest heart untouched. Beth Davison

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Director: David O. Russell Release Date: 2/2/11 It is undeniable to state that the boxing movie has developed into a cherished but predictable sub-genre in Hollywood cinema. David O Russell’s The Fighter does indeed resorts to many of these predictabilities but the true story of boxer Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) is no doubt a thoroughly refreshing and entertaining Oscar contender. The film chronicles Ward’s early career, from his status as a ‘stepping stone’ nobody to a true contender for the welterweight title all, of which is expertly threaded together by director Russell. Subplots concerning Micky’s brother Dicky Eckland (Christian Bale) and his drug addiction feel

integral and essential to the narrative focus of the film, enabling it to become more about the tribulations of pursuing a boxing career rather than a glamorization of succeeding in it. The film’s strength comes primarily from its acting most notably from Christian Bale whose performance is unquestionably Oscar worthy. Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams also do a very commendable job throughout the movie but ultimately Bale is the one who steals the show. This stressed emphasis on Bale’s character does become the film’s only minor weakness, but regardless, The Fighter is a must see movie for any fan of brilliant storytelling and knock-out performances. Andrew Wilkins

Dir: Ethan and Joel Cohn Release Date: 11/2/11 Revisionist Westerns have been in vogue for decades now, but this True Grit reboot is justified twofold: firstly, it’s nothing like the original picture, and secondly, it’s an excellent film in almost all respects. Like the original, the film is a simple tale of a rough-hewn sheriff (Jeff Bridges rather than John Wayne) hunting down an outlaw who murdered the father of Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld). Particular credit needs to be given to Jeff Bridges for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn, not so much portraying the character as inhabiting him. Colin Firth is hot favourite for the Best Actor Oscar for his excellent

portrayal of King George VI, but Bridge’s performance is a couple of notches above. Like Cogburn, the West in this film is grimy, smelly and unromantic – both sheriffs and outlaws are loveless men who spend their lives killing. The supporting cast is very strong, particularly Steinfeld’s performance, which represents a very sure-footed and accomplished screen debut. The Coen’s ‘Grit’ is all about realism, with some No Country for Old Men style meditation on the pointlessness of violence thrown in for good measure. This interpretation succeeds so well because of fine cinematography (Roger Deakin) and the Coen’s excellent editing, which recognises that good action is sustained by good acting and suspense. George Gilbert

Director: Alistair Grierson Release Date: 11/2/11 When James Cameron’s name is attributed to a film, it is natural to think of a high-quality blockbuster of epic proportion. Unfortunately, it would be a big mistake to have such expectations when considering Sanctum 3D. The 3D action-thriller follows a team of underwater cave divers on a treacherous expedition to the largest, yet least accessible, cave system on Earth. When a tropical storm forces the crew deep into the caverns, they must battle against raging water and looming threats as they search for an unknown escape route. The 3D aspect of this film is very unnecessary

and does not effectively add another level to the experience. This is just another ploy, like many recent films, to try and make a badly produced film seem remotely appealing. Here the 3D falls flat, making this underwater adventure not as deep as it should be. For a film based on real events, it is surprising how unattached to the characters you feel. The amateur acting from the cast could be held responsible for this, often engaging in overdramatic heated exchanges or delivery of cheesy one-liners. It is hard to get behind such characters and their hope to survive, when all you’re really hoping is that you can endure the film, and make it out of the cinema. Anna Eastick


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Rabbit Hole

Grace Carruthers

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Dvd Releases Winter’s Bone

The Runaways

Director: Debra Granik Release Date: 31/1/11

Dir: Floria Sigismondi Release Date: 7/2/11

Based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell, Winter’s Bone recounts the harrowing tale of Ree (Jennifer Lawrence), a teenage girl living in the Osark Mountains of Missouri. Carer to a mentally ill mother and a younger brother and sister, she remains tied to her childhood home. Her situation worsens when the Sherriff appears with news that her absent father, the area’s local drug dealer, has posted their home up for bail. If he doesn’t appear for next week’s court date, they will become homeless. Forced into action, Ree begins knocking on doors and

The Runaways tells the tale of the first all-girl rockand-roll band in the 1970s who changed the face of rock history. The movie conveys the band’s raise and rapid descent through drug-taking, jealousy and their uncontrollable lust for fame. This is director Floria Sigismondi’s first full-length feature and was successful when it came to casting Kristen Steward, from the Twilight saga, as well as Dakota Fanning. The actresses give convincing performances and their enthusiasm is certainly apparent on screen. Yet even Stewart and Fanning’s

asking questions in a bid to find him. However, she quickly becomes embroiled in the neighbourhood’s tangle of secrets, lies and corruption. With a glowing report from the Sundance Film Festival and nominations for a string of Academy Awards including Best Picture, Winter’s Bone has so far been surrounded by a halo of success. Director Debra Granik uses grey filters to emphasise the bleak state

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Nicole Kidman gives her best and most genuine performance so far, meriting our sympathy as a mother struggling to cope with the accidental death of her son. Coupled with a stunning portrayal of a grieving father from Aaron Eckhart, the film focuses on a couple facing the complexities of coping with grief. We witness their search for sanity, from God to guidance groups, desperately trying to overcome the tragedy. The couple head off on divergent paths as Howie (Eckhart) befriends a female member of the therapy group and

Becca (Kidman) seeks comfort in the friendship of a schoolboy for reasons that later emerge, toying with the concept of a parallel universe where happiness can be found. Don’t be put off by the seemingly simple plot as the film remains gripping from start to finish. As the first film to solely focus on the subject of life after loss, Rabbit Hole approaches the topic delicately, avoiding the typical cop out Hollywood ending. You are guaranteed to be moved by this film and, although the conventional ‘feel-good factor’ is far from present, the ability to sustain a marriage through the hardest of times is an uplifting message in itself.

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Director: John Cameron Mitchell Release Date: 4/2/11

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Just Go With It, is the new romantic comedy produced by and staring Adam Sandler. Sandler plays plastic surgeon Danny who, after a traumatic experience on his wedding day, discovers that wearing a wedding ring and making up fake wives is the perfect way to pull young women without getting his heart broken. However, when he meets Palmer (Brooklyn Decker), a young gorgeous girl who he actually begins to fall for, he becomes submerged in lies to try and keep her, asking his assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) to pretend to be his ex-wife. Aniston and Sandler

make a good comic duo, bickering like old friends, but they are not convincing as a couple. Bailee Madison and Griffin Gluck play Maggie and Michael; Katherine’s two children, and are possibly the best aspect of the film, with Maggie’s supremely awful fake accents generating many of the laughs. True to Sandler the film had a relaxed style seeming more improvisational than fully scripted, and there are some good moments that come out of it. However considering the heavyweight rom-com actors involved, it could have been much better, and there is something that just doesn’t quite hit the mark. Unfortunately it did disappoint. Helen Jones

of the neighbourhood as the camera pans over countless yards filled with abandoned cars and machinery. In the end though, this film is incredibly slow moving and requires a lot of patience. Regardless of its success so far, it felt dull and uninspired, trying just a little bit too hard to fulfil the notions of an edgy documentary-style thriller. Lorna Pontefract

performances cannot disguise the poor quality of the script. Most of the scenes, even the ‘intense’ ones, seem timid and lifeless. The other members of the band might as well be invisible as none of them have more than ten lines of dialogue throughout the entire film. Yet, this focus makes sense creatively as well as legally as the producers never secured life story rights for the other band members.

Overall the film tells the predictable story of girls struggling with the world of fame, who could have used more parental supervision. Sigismondi makes the film seem underdeveloped and she never conveys why The Runaways were so important. Still, it fulfils the role of lightweight entertainment with its portrayal of a band that burnt the candle at both ends. Beth Hulett

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James Burrough

Director: Dennis Dugan Release Date: 11/2/11

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When a photograph linking Pinkie (Sam Riley) to a recent murder falls into the hands of naïve waitress Rose (Andrea Riseborough), it is up to him to make sure that she doesn’t go to the police. The vulnerable Rose instantly falls for the knife-wielding gangster, who strings her along to ensure that she won’t testify against him. Rose’s boss Ida (Helen Mirren) sets about trying to rescue the girl from Pinkie, believing that he would sooner kill her than pay for his crimes. Rowan Joffe’s reinterpretation of Graham Greene’s iconic Brighton

Rock has received many unfair reviews following its release, criticising the director for making controversial and arguably unnecessary plot changes. However, Joffe’s decision to shift the drama to 1964 creates an exciting and chaotic backdrop that compliments Greene’s story. The most gripping scenes in the film are those shared between Riseborough and Riley. The moment Pinkie reveals his true feelings about his new wife as she watches obliviously happy on the other side of soundproof glass is particularly heartbreaking and displays the undeniable talent of both leading actors.

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Director: Rowan Joffe Release Date: 4/2/11

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Oscars Special Radosava Radulovic rolls out the red carpet and give the lowdown on the anticipated Oscars nominations

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he release of the Academy Award nominations last month has left Hollywood, along with the rest of the world, buzzing with predictions. Although recent award ceremonies have given us some clues as to who’s ahead in the polls, the Academy have shown in past years they aren’t as predictable as they may seem. Obvious front runners to win are Natalie Portman in Black Swan for Best Actress and Colin Firth in The King’s Speech for Best Actor, each having swept the awards season so far. And deservedly so. Both actors give tremendous performances; Firth singing about the mistreatment he suffered and Portman’s Swan Lake finale will definitely stick with you. Yet, although the Oscar is basically on Firth’s mantelpiece already, the category is filled with other brilliant actors; Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network seems to be the favourite behind Firth, along with James Franco in 127 Hours, who managed to hold an audience almost independently

for 95 minutes. If Franco was to win he’d be the first host to do so in over 50 years, almost certainly guaranteeing an interesting acceptance speech. Other categories, however, prove more tricky to predict: Best Picture, for instance. Whilst The Social Network picked up the Golden Globe, it has nine tough contenders. Some people are pegging The King’s Speech for the win, with The Fighter, 127 Hours and Black Swan giving it a run for it’s money too. Also nominated is Toy Story 3, though while this will probably win Best Animated Feature it’s unlikely to snag this one (but it’s just nice to be nominated). Although it’s difficult to choose, The Social Network

The Popcorn Chart Cuba Gooding Jr., ‘Jerry Maguire’, 1996:

You know that uplifting orchestral music that starts playing over a speech when it’s gone on too long? Good. A p p a r e n t l y, Cuba Gooding Jr. doesn’t. After babbling delirious thank yous for his allotted time, the signal of the music reminded him that he had planned t o

seems to be the most deserving as it’s strong all-round; with brilliant acting, directing, and screenplay, with the added bonus of being a generation defining film. Something of it’s like we’re unlikely to see any time soon. And let us just take a moment to remember the people who were shockingly snubbed. Andrew Garfield The Social Network, Ryan Gosling Blue Valentine and Chris Nolan’s Inception your contribution to film in 2010 was much appreciated, but not so appreciated to receive nominations. The films this year have been of a high standard, with a good variety of genres and stories and all enjoyable. That being said,

it would be nice to see a variety of winners; a best actor here, a best screenplay there. There’s nothing worse (or less entertaining) than a film ‘doing a Slumdog’ and collecting them all. Not cool, guys! People are eagerly awaiting the Grandaddy of award ceremonies and the BAFTAs will perhaps be able to shed light on who’s favourite to win. Even if we aren’t psychic, with James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosting this year and people such as Tom Hanks, Robert Downey Jr and Oprah Winfrey confirmed to be presenting, it’s sure to be both a star-studded and thoroughly entertaining evening. Right now we’ll have to keep guessing and wait for the 27th February. Radosava Radulovic

This week, Tim Bates nominates a star-studded countdown of the worst academy award speeches

thank some people, and proceeded, in between his jumps for joy, to rattle off the names of everyone in Southern California, and, when he was worried some people may not yet have understood that he was

of the orchestra that would play the deadly music, saying she would be there ‘for a long time’. What followed was an excruciating few minutes, punctuated by more threats, and a laugh that wouldn’t sound out of place with the hyenas from ‘The Lion King’. This speech is also very useful for charting the steady decline of polite applause and laughter, as the collective thought spreads: ‘Wait, that thing she said at the start… she really meant it…’

Vanessa Redgrave, ‘Julia’, 1977:

grateful, everyone else on Earth.

Julia Roberts, ���Erin Brockovich’, 2000: Julia, perhaps learning from Cuba Gooding Jr.’s mistake, began her speech with a direct warning to the ‘stick man’, the conductor

Having just won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, faced with all of Hollywood, Vanessa decided now would be the best time to confront the ‘Zionist Hoodlums’ (known to the rest of the world as the Jewish Defence League, picketing her support of Palestine outside the theatre). This slur actually drew a comment from Paddy Chayefsky, presenting a later award, to express his anger at Redgrave for offending every Jew present, reminding her that ‘a simple thank you would have sufficed’. The only speech to be

actively booed by the academy, it was fifteen years before she was nominated again. Tim Bates


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It’s an avant-garde poetry recital. I hope that’s encouraging. I can promise elements of black and white European-style one minute films. It also has a bit of basic clambering over the audience. I like to get up in their faces, and walk amongst them. Are there any specific poets that have inspired you? Ha, no. Not really. It wasn’t a case of me reading one of the great poets and me thinking “maybe I have something that I need to say”. It was more just a case of me starting to write shitty little verses on scraps of paper, and then doing it live. I mean there are one or two poets I like, but I’m not really inspired by poetry. It’s more that the poetry has worked out as a nice kind of prism to work my comedy through. Plus I like having a notepad with me on stage because I can’t remember anything. The notepad is an integral part of your act, isn’t it? Yeah, the ones I use are made by a company called Paperblank. I think I’m onto my 26th. I’m quite obsessive with them. As some of our readers may not have heard your poetry before, perhaps you could give them a sample? Yeah, I can bash one out! I went out with a model, but I found her dull. And also she was one of those slutty models, not much to

look at. Short and sweet. Got a bit of an edge to it though, I feel. UEA has a famous MA in Creative Writing, so it’s pretty good for poetry. Oh really? I don’t remember going to see any when I was a student. I’ve been to poetry nights since though. It’s variable like any art form. Sometimes I go on bills with other poets and when you get a good one it’s really staggering. But bad poetry is pretty tough to bear. What are your plans for after the tour? I just got told we’re doing some more episodes of Mid Morning Matters; a Comic Relief one definitely. I’m also writing a new book at the moment, getting all the poetry out of my system! I must purge myself of all this poetry! No more We Need Answers I’m afraid, it’s been cancelled. We made 16 episodes which was loads, so it’s a glass half full kind of situation. However, it was crazy meeting a celebrity every week. Going to work and meeting Esther Rantzen; it was surreal.

used to wear glasses on shows with Alex Horne [co-presenter on We Need Answers] in Edinburgh. He wore glasses, but I took them off him and I started wearing them. Whenever I’m doing a show with him, I put the black glasses on. I don’t really need glasses. Well, I do, but I prefer to let my eyesight gradually wither away. I think that would be quite a good look as well. Me staring into my poetry book could become quite iconic. How did it feel to win the Edinburgh comedy award in 2009? It felt great, and sort of overwhelming because I’d heard of most of the people who’d won it already. The only annoying thing was that I became really reclusive that year; I find it quite difficult to watch other stuff when I’ve got my own show on. I had a really good time in Edinburgh in 2010 though. I particularly enjoyed Daniel Kitson; he shuns TV and radio but he’s pretty much the best comedian in the country. Definitely worth going to watch if he comes to Norwich.

You wore fantastic glasses on We Need Answers. Are you a style icon?

You first came to attention through Footlights, though famously you weren’t attending Cambridge. With Cambridge being so nearby, would you recommend this tactic to UEA students?

Yeah, I guess I probably am. I always

Yes, if anybody is in Norwich and

fancies infiltrating Cambridge, I can testify that it’s quite easy. It involves a bit of lying; I said I was doing a PhD in Nikolai Gogol’s Ukrainian short stories. That’s the scary thing about lying. They don’t often pick you up on it. Anyway it was fine, no-one really minded. They all found it pretty funny actually. Did you always want to go into comedy or did it just come upon you?

Any advice for any budding comedians at UEA? Just try and write. Write quite a lot. Try it out, and don’t get worried about the results it brings. Write some more. Throw it away. Get into the habit of writing and performing. What you shouldn’t do is hole yourself up in your room and try to write the perfect thing. Just get out there and do something!

Getting to Know: Tim Key Tim Key (34) is a comedian, actor and performance poet. After graduating from the University of Sheffield with a degree in Russian Literature, he got his breakthrough performing with Footlights, despite not being a Cambridge student. Key has had a busy few years working alongside some of the biggest names in comedy, the highlight being winning the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 2009 with his stand up show ‘The Slutcracker’. He recently joined Norwich’s very own Alan Partridge (previous Perrier award-winner Steve Coogan) for a series of online episodes called Mid Morning Matters as ‘Sidekick Simon’, and created and hosted comedy news quiz We Need Answers with friends Mark Watson and Alex Horne. He has also won widespread popularity as the resident bard on Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe, amusing viewers with his poetic slant on current affairs. His real passion, however, remains in stand-up, with his show ‘The Slutcracker’ being described by the Observer as ‘the kind of artistry and strange beauty that is unlike any other hour of stand-up you are likely to see’. He performs this award-wining show at Norwich Arts Centre on Tuesday 15th February.

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What can people expect from ‘The Slutcracker’?

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I first performed in Norwich about 10 years ago; I was doing a tour with Mark Watson, at the Arts Centre. I think I did a show a couple of years ago at the Arts Centre too, it’s a nice place.

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Not specifically, but I did have that pang when I was 15 or something of “I want to do that” so I suppose it was always there. It was certainly never a game plan. I was 24 when I graduated and I thought that was all my opportunities for doing it over. I did plays at University but that was it. It was surprising that I had one more final chance at it by virtue of living in Cambridge and being free and just going for auditions. It’s one of those jobs that when you’re doing it, it seems perfectly rational how it happened; you have a few opportunities and you work hard, you latch onto people that you like working with.

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Is this your first time performing in Norwich?

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Venue’s Susanna Wood catches up with the erudite comedian prior to his performance at Norwich Arts Centre on February 15th.

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It’s a precious thing, an album. It’s a piece of art, a carefully crafted whole and a window into the life of the creator. It’s actually a marvel that such a thing still exists, but fighting against the ever obtuse and immediate popular music industry are a group of artists who still write albums and expect them to be appreciated. One of those artists is James Blake. Let us for a moment remove all the hype surrounding this release and imagine that the debut from the 22 year old Londoner could remain as tender and untarnished as it is upon first listening. The first thing that comes to mind is that, like Nick Drake’s Pink Moon, Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago and other records of that ilk, it seems intrusive to even be listening to the songs on the album. It’s very odd, the intimately insular creations are presented in such a beautifully sincere way that they allow the listener, if they wish, to take a seat in the upper circle of James’ home studio. From this position they can witness a man compose frankly amazing songs, yet at the same time it almost feels uncomfortable being in the presence of such raw emotion like that on ‘Why Don’t You Call Me?’. Nevertheless, the result is outstanding. The problem is that the hype around James and the furore that came out of that Feist cover won’t go away though, and the album as a whole might be overlooked. Yes, ‘Limit To Your Love’ is the most accessible song on the record; the one which best

blends his jazz piano, heart-wrenchingly soulful voice and his penchant for post-dub production, but within the album lay so many more moments of brilliance just waiting to be discovered. For the album to be bought on the merit of that, albeit brilliant, track alone would be a great shame, although the wide appeal of ‘Limit To Your Love’ might allow more people to explore this masterful album, and that would certainly be no bad thing. For those that do choose to fully invest in the album you should immerse yourselves in it; not only do songs like ‘The Wilhelm Scream’, ‘Lindisfarne I’ and ‘Measurements’ triumph through focussed appreciation, but even the silence in between tracks becomes enthralling. Put on some proper headphones, shut your laptop, press play and you will be treated to one of the most accomplished, unique and undoubtedly critically acclaimed releases of a generation; this year’s Mercury award may as well be given pride of place on the Blake family mantelpiece already. Trying to explain why this collection of songs is so powerful is difficult, as in reality, it won’t be loved by all and you really have to make up your own mind. Even with most people’s expectations being so high though, this is one of those rare and sublime moments which not only lives up to, but supersedes the hype with consummate ease. Alex Throssell

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Yet Mike Skinner has aged and you’d be forgiven for thinking that this album is completely different in content to previous efforts. Now a dad in his thirties, he still comments on the everyday, but now with a sense of wisdom. This will turn many off but Skinner cannot maintain the geezer veneer forever and so perhaps now is a good time for The Streets to die? If you’re looking for more than this though then Computer and Blues is totally worth checking out. With the exception of ‘ABC’ which is largely a failure, every track delivers on real pontification, punctuated by satisfying loops and some very accomplished hooks. If anything the label of ‘The Streets’ has become a hindrance for Mike Skinner now, he can’t truly move on from the urban poet image he had under the first album, no matter how much he changes. Here he encapsulates what The Streets has really been all about, albeit from an older perspective. Mike Skinner is done with The Streets, and so are we. Having changed British music forever, he gives his modest goodbyes poignantly on ‘Without a Blink’ saying “I’ll go out without a blink/Out without a blink/I’ll go downtown without thinking and shout over a drink”.

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Computer And Blues is the last we will ever hear of The Streets and in many ways it is a fitting end. Musically, Mike Skinner has reached a new maturity. Previous release Everything is Borrowed was a complete departure from form with it’s use of orchestral backing and minimal electronica which was arguably incompatible with Skinner’s vocal style. In this album though he has set out to create upbeat electronic instrumentals which chime more with his earlier work. The approach is more layered and has a more complete quality than his early work. ‘Trust Me’, ‘Roof of Your Car’ and ‘OMG’ are probably the most successful tracks and set the tone for the album with Skinner’s musings fitting in snugly with the electronic production. Lyrically, this album is in keeping with what The Streets is all about. If Everything is Borrowed was too philosophical and The Hardest Way To Make an Easy Living was too candid, then Computer and Blues is a return to the introspective, almost self-removed, thought and attitude of the first two albums. With the exception of ‘Trying to Kill M.E.’ and ‘Blip On A Screen’, which centres on Skinner’s relationship with his unborn child, words centre on the mundane aspects of life and stoner reflections as much as they have done in previous records.

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Just how much does a band need to sound like another band before it becomes a major obstruction to your ability to enjoy them? It’s an old standard, but another factor that isn’t as frequently debated is whether it just depends on how much you like the band they’re stealing/borrowing/ homaging. It’s impossible to deny that Ringo Deathstarr’s sound owes a lot to My Bloody Valentine. But this isn’t in the same way that Oasis owe a lot to The Beatles. Nah, Colour Trip sounds so much like Loveless that it’s entirely possible that it’s just been in the back of a drawer at 4AD since 1991. Kevin Shields could release it under the MBV moniker tomorrow and no-one would bat an eyelid. So, should Ringo Deathstarr be publicly flogged (or sued, whatever) for flagrant breach of copyright? Again, nah. Clever buggers, they’ve only gone and bothered to write proper songs,

In the four years since Conor Oberst’s last Bright Eyes album, 2007’s dense, sprawling Cassadaga, he has released two fulllength self-titled records, two collaborations, an EP, a feature documentary, a handful of one-off tracks for various causes and charities, organised benefit gigs, played at presidential rallies… the list goes on (and on). Amongst these endeavours, he also found the time to write The People’s Key. To call The People’s Key a career-defining record would seem a somewhat arbitrary statement, as every record Oberst has released under the Bright Eyes moniker has defined his rather exceptional career; there isn’t one, since 1998’s Letting Off the Happiness (recorded when he was just 17-years-old), that doesn’t make for essential listening. With The People’s Key, Oberst’s career has come full-circle. It’s a coming-of-age story that can be traced from its humble roots on a 4-track machine in a middleAmerican basement, all the way to the Big City, across the world, to hell and back and now ready to envelope our auditory canals. It’s the most cathartic, most uplifting, most life-affirming record you’ll have heard this year (BOTH months of it).

From the brooding slow-build of opener ‘Firewall’ to garage-rocker ‘Triple Spiral’, via pop-punk anthem ‘Haile Selassie’ and sparse piano ballad ‘Ladder Song’, Oberst subverts expectations at every turn. Any one of the ten songs found here would be the standout track on the albums of his indie-rock contemporaries. There are no real standout tracks here, every song is just as exciting, powerful and deeply satisfying as the last; each one as essential to the work as a whole. Interspersed with spoken-word monologues regarding, amongst other things, Sumerian tablets and celestial ‘Serpents of Wisdom’, and peppered throughout with double-kick bass drums and electronic flourishes this sure ain’t your granddaddy’s Bright Eyes. It is, however, a record only ex-wunderkind, ex-poster-boyfor-the-disenchanted, ex-“New Bob Dylan” Conor Oberst, firing on all cylinders, at the absolute peak of his powers, could have written. Fans will find themselves in sonic bliss and past detractors will be won over. In short, this is the only album you should be listening to. All of you.

something most revivalist bands forget (Shoreditch elite, looking at you). Whereas Loveless, sent by the Gods though it be, largely eschewed traditional song structures, Colour Trip is a far more melodic, verse-chorusverse affair. ‘Imagine Hearts’ may make you check to see if your speakers are fucked, but it’s propelled by the most addictive of chord progressions, and ‘So High’ has the melodic heart of The Cure at their poppiest. Never once dropping the pace or the ball, Colour Trip also never outstays it welcome at just 35 minutes. It’s not original. It’s not trying to be. You’ll probably enjoy it a lot more if you just think of it as the shoegaze Chinese Democracy, but not so shit that it causes cats to involuntarily die.

“No sax, please”, asked John Peel of bands sending demos to his show forty years ago. Such advice clearly didn’t reach the depths of the great American Deep South. Sam Beam, better known as Iron and Wine, would have risked derision from the late great broadcaster had Kiss Each Other Clean found its way to his desk in the mid1970s. And yet, on Beam’s latest offering, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you were in the back of your friend’s station wagon with the radio on and a stolen beer in your hand on your way to see Fleetwood Mac circa 1976. Kiss Each Other Clean is in some ways Beam’s most accessible offering yet, in spite of a remarkable change of direction from his early albums. But this doesn’t mean that he’s sacrificed any of the lyrical lucidity or structural simplicity that made

Duncan Vicat-Brown

Tom McInnes The Creek Drank the Cradle or Our Endless Numbered Days works of stripped down majesty. Even when the sax is let loose on the funk driven ‘Me and Lazarus’ and ‘Big Burned Hand’ or the Afro beats sear through ‘Rabbit Will Run’, Beam sounds as comfortable as he did when delicately moving through ‘Sunset Soon Forgotten’ seven years ago. It means that Kiss Each Other Clean ends up as an album of immense subtlety and substance rather than the sound of another frustrated songwriter trying in vain to escape the narrow confines of his genre - though such a conventional fate was never likely to befall Sam Beam. Most eerily of all, it leaves you believing that Beam can stroll into any style of music he wants and instantly hit his stride. Alex Ross


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seem rather repetitive, but do not be mistaken, anyone with a capability to hum will be doing so; once you’ve heard it you will not be able to get it out of your head! Jessie J certainly proves that she has the vocal capability of a true artist with her signature belting notes that have accelerated her into the British music scene. The message may be cheesy; the concept that music has lost its real meaning and that the industry must centre around music and talent as opposed to financial gain, however, it certainly does the trick in making this worthy message explicit. The lyrics only add to the whole song as a package with its toe tapping beats and Jessie’s own quirky style which is sure to guarantee that she will become a critically acclaimed artist, and r a t h e r i r o n i c a l l y, pretty rich too! Rianne Ison

It would be easy (and naïve) to suggest that Architects have ‘sold out.’ True, The Here and Now, Architects fourth album, is their most diverse effort to date; but the Brighton mob, much to their credit, have never been a band afraid to experiment with their sound. Architects have always willing to take risks, notably departing from the ‘mathcore’ technical barbarity of their debut album Nightmares and sophomore effort Ruin, to flirt with a stripped back, raw metalcore sound, enacted with supreme venom on the genre defying, Hollow Crown, the band’s third and most critically acclaimed album to date. The Here And Now subsequently feels like the product of natural evolution, the process of a young band honing their sound. Despite their impressive and relatively extensive back catalogue, it is of note that vocalist Sam Carter is still only 22. The greatest deviation from the Hollow Crown blue print, evidently to the irritation of a handful of disillusioned fans, is the implementation of clean vocals, with Carter demonstrating his versatility and talent as he effortlessly switches between throat ripping screams and hook laden choruses; a formula exemplified by opening ‘Day in Day out,’ a track more akin to the sonic diversity

of Alexisonfire than the technical prowess of Converge that encapsulated their early sound, or the aggressive accessibility of Bring Me The Horizon or Parkway Drive that defined Hollow Crown. Despite this deviation from their widely heralded path, there is plenty of material on the album to satisfy those with the desire for standard metalcore fare. ‘Stay Young Forever’ is a blistering anthem destined to be a live favourite - think Comeback kid’s Wake the Dead put into a blender with Misery Signals. The track also features guest vocals from current Comeback kid vocalist Andrew Neufeld, exemplifying both the bands continuing relevance and prominence within the scene. The Here and Now is a masterful musical exploration of contrary states, and an exhibition in contrast, of darkness and light, of peace and aggression. To dismiss the developments Architects have made is to miss the point. They are among a handful of bands injecting life into a stagnant scene; get on board or get swept away. Oliver Brooks

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Catherine Martin

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After being crowned with the prestigious Critics’ Choice award at the Brits this year, Jessie J has begun to storm the charts, with her first single ‘Do it like a Dude’ debuting at number 25, but later soaring to the top at number 2. Gone are the days of YouTube videos and time spent writing hits for other artists such as the chart topping ‘Party in the USA’ by Miley Cyrus, Jessie now stands as an artist in her own right having just scored herself her first number one record with ‘Price Tag’ in which she teams up with acclaimed artist B.o.B. It’s a catchy number and has a clear message which is relentlessly drummed into its listeners in the chorus of the song, which hears Jessie’s stunning voice declare “it’s not about the money, m o n e y , m o n e y , money...” O n f i r s t hearing, it may

album isn’t interested in taking the weird risks that Adele’s first album 19 did. On 19 Adele goes falsetto or baritone in places where someone with a different voice would sound goofy, but she just sounds good. On 21, she remains in a vocal range that is clearly her most polished, but not her most interesting. It is a poor contrast to Adele’s first album. Those songs on 19 were about flawed relationships, but the lyrics often focused on the flaws of the singer, which was endearing. The subject matter is similar on 21, but it’s not as endearing if there isn’t exciting musical composition to go along with the words, like there was on 19. For some reason, Adele makes flawed people a lot more fun to hear about in upbeat tunes than in ballads, but upbeat tunes are scarce on 21. On 19, it felt like a real personality was shining through the voice and lyrics. The songs sound like music from a couple generations back, and yet they were written this decade. They felt familiar yet fresh. 21 doesn’t feel fresh; it just feels all too familiar.

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The first single from 21, ‘Rolling in the Deep’, which was leaked last year, promised great things: the song has good drive and instrumentation, and it doesn’t get old after the first couple of listens. It is immediately recognisable as an Adele song, but it also sounds like the singer has matured as an artist, and is reaching for new, exciting musical places. But this, unfortunately, is false advertising for the rest of 21. It is apparent that with her new album, Adele is indeed trying to become a more mature song writer. However, in an effort for mature, she accidentally took a page out of the book of Randy Newman and wrote a bunch of piano semi-ballads that are nice but upon repeat listening, are found wholly unremarkable and blend together into one tired sound (Eds’ Note: What’s wrong with Randy Newman?). The songs of 21 showcase Adele’s lovely and extraordinary voice, but it’s clear that they weren’t written to do much beyond that. The album has a hopeful start, with the fun song ‘Rumour Has It’ and the haunting ‘Turning Tables’, but once you get to ‘Set Fire to the Rain’, a lackluster song trying and failing to capture the intensity of ‘Rolling in the Deep’ it’s clear that the

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It’s that time of year again, when the energy drinks start flowing and stricken parents throw their jittery offspring onto campus to blow off steam…the Kerrang! wagon has rolled back into town. This year, one of the country’s leading music magazines proves that pop punk certainly isn’t dead, with a super all-American lineup. The queue outside, unsurprisingly, is almost entirely composed of sixteen-year-olds, with a few nervous -looking elders scattered few and far between. It’s difficult to calculate just who they may be here for; headliners Good Charlotte have gradually lessened in prominence since their breakthrough hit ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ eight years ago. Are they still as relevant to teenagers now as they were to us back in 2003? Opening act The Wonder Years are newcomers to Norwich and, despite being little known by the crowd, they are determined to motivate their listeners and open the show with some energy. Musically akin to pop punk victors New Found Glory, the band stormed through their set, setting fists pumping with their obligatory stories of college angst and PMA morale. The tone then rapidly changes as illfitting Framing Hanley make a brooding entrance through the mist. Like the musical reincarnation of Metro Station

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The Wombats came to fame with the addictive, yet simultaneously annoying, hit ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ a few years back. ‘Jump into the Fog’ is certainly a leap for the band, apparently in an obscured direction. Much less “happy-go-lucky” than previous singles, here The Wombats seem to be trying to suggest that there is a deeper, darker side to the band. Creeping synths coupled with what may well be an honest attempt at desolate lyricism, are failed, utterly, by a plodding and mediocre

r h y t h m , completely destroying any mood and wasting the almost atmospheric synth

UEA LCR, FEBRUARY 7th 2011 GOOD CHARLOTTE, FOUR YEAR STRONG FRAMING HANLEY, THE WONDER YEARS with equally dreadful sweeping haircuts and disappointing vocal proportions, one is left wondering what the draw is here nevertheless, the pop/rock/synth outfit have clearly struck a chord with the younger melody. The lyrical highlight for Venue was “It’s just that life tastes sweeter when it’s wrapped in debauchery”. This really speaks to all the 13-14 year old hedonists that hang on to The Wombats every word, this is frankly the best of a bad bunch. This reviewer is caught by a nagging feeling that the band themselves may actually be proud of this effort. It’s half an attempt at a serious anthem, a comment on the desperation of our times, but falls flat on its face, sounding like Hard-Fi without the lyrical accomplishment; “I’m only here because/I want to twist the structure of my average day”. If this is a rock star’s life is that boring, what hope is there for the rest of us? Ed Leftwich

generation, who owned every t-shirt and sang every word. For the unconverted listeners, the sombre tone is fortunately broken when Four Year Strong open a storming set

UEA LCR, FEBRUARY 6th 2011 It is no secret that White Lies sound a little bit like Joy Division. Some might say that in fact they are a reincarnation of the original darkest of the waviest. And their performance on the 6th of February only served to strengthen this blood tie, with a stoical but weirdly energetic and uplifting set. Despite White Lies’ reputation for wonderful yet somewhat repetitive tunes they have a handful of massive crowd pleasers; past singles such as ‘Death’ and ‘To Lose my Life’. To plough through the macabre melodies and then be met with one of the classics kept the audiences attention and enthusiasm. As focus waned during the less well-known songs, the band brought it back instantly with a hook like “lets grow old together”. Genius. Of course this band knows how to deliver the giant tunes, but they also know how to put on a great technical show. Something about the giant panels of lights behind Jack Lawrence-Brown

with ‘On A Saturday’. Connoisseurs of an addictive combination of melodic pop punk and hardcore gang-vocal, the band give one of the strongest performances of the evening, playing the majority of material from their definitive record, Enemy of the World, which stands as one of the greatest records of 2010. As Good Charlotte take to the stage, we’re all keeping our fingers crossed that their worldwide celebrity status isn’t about to blow our childhood nostalgia into pieces. However, we’re in luck because despite the added years and Joel Madden’s bout of flu, the Maryland quartet are absolutely determined to maintain their crown as superstars of cheeky pop rock. They’ve also got a good idea about what their fans are hoping for, as the set is dominated by tracks from The Young and the Hopeless and The Chronicles of Life and Death, with a couple of songs from their self-titled debut too. Still, recent singles ‘Like It’s Her Birthday’ and ‘Sex on the Radio’ get a louder reception than expected, coming across much better as live sing-along anthems than juvenilia on record. Tonight, Good Charlotte proves that this type of music is about staying young and having fun and, by the end, even the half-adozen parents and twenty-somethings are jumping along. Steph McKenna (drums) and the intense use of lasers that, coupled with Harry McVeigh’s dead pan expression and heart-wrenching vocals created the charged atmosphere and aided the ecstatic reaction from the captured crowd. Unfortunately, as successful as the band were at delivering the great tunes, the set order could have perhaps been better thought out. While it’s understandable that a band doesn’t just want to play in order to perform their three best known singles, but putting ‘Farewell to the Fairground’, ‘Death’, and ‘To Lose My Life’ in a big excitable chunk in the middle was not necessarily the way to tackle this problem. So although in the middle of the set these grabbing songs were delivered perfectly, there was not a lot of choice left for their final few songs which would ordinarily be delivered in a triumphant encore. However, due to earlier technical problems suffered by guitarist Charles Cave the encore was skipped and the set built to a finish with the band’s latest release ‘Bigger Than Us’. Although an oddly ordered set it was refreshing not to have to clap for the encore as if we didn’t all already know it was coming. Perhaps we should manufacture more minor amp issues. All in all, judged on the boys ability to create the euphoric atmosphere they did, this tour should be a damn good one. Lizzy Margereson


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James Woodward is branching out into video interviews Check him out on twitter @Hypemusicuk

...he also conveniently stumbled into lead singer Chad Elliot afterwards and had a natter Hi, welcome to Norwich, nice to meet you. First of all, your new album came out in the UK last month. How has the reception been? I’ve heard two reviews and they have been mixed, but the shows have been great. They’ve pretty much been all sold out so far so that’s been a great response. This is not the first time you have been to the UK, so I’m guessing you are getting used to it. What would you

say are the main differences between here and LA and the American scene in general? Well, in fact, we haven’t played in America for quite a while. Every time we go back we are either resting or writing so I’ve kind of forgotten what it’s like to be honest with you. We’ve been here at least nine or ten times now… So would you say you prefer it over here now then? Yeah, I’m getting more and more used to it so it’s starting to feel like home. You guys have come out of an LA scene which you have said in previous interviews was very hardcore/ punk orientated. Would you say this has had any influence on your music? Umm…I don’t think so. There is this energetic kind of rawness to our

music, but I wouldn’t be sure if it stems from hardcore. Would you say it is more of a natural thing then? Yeah, definitely. Over here you are well known for the backyard parties and the dodgy stuff that went on at your gigs (stabbings, fights and guns etc.). Would you prefer people to just concentrate on the music or do you enjoy the rough reputation being coupled with your music? Well in a live context it’s cool because people go mental because they think that is what we are used to so that makes for a better show. But overall, yeah, I hope they are listening to the music as well and not just breaking bottles and moshing. Well, what’s the craziest thing that’s happened on this tour? I got pushed in the crowd yesterday by my guitarist and somebody was licking my face! They were trying to get to my mouth and I

don’t know who it was, whether it was a guy or a girl, but I just felt a tongue licking my face. I was like ‘Wooah’ and scrambled back on stage as quick as possible. You’ve played small venues as well as festivals in the UK. Would you say you prefer these small shows where you get members of the crowd licking your face or do you prefer the festivals with the bigger audiences? The festivals are a whole different experience. I like them for other reasons but for the small shows it’s nice to have that intimacy with the audience. After this tour when can we catch you next in the UK? Will it be before the next album is out? We’re definitely going to be coming back before the next album is out. I know we’re back for press around March time but as far as shows go I am not too sure but hopefully there will be a few festivals. Check out a video of the interview at www.youtube.com/thehypemusicuk

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that sent lead singer Chad Elliot’s voice ricocheting around the former church’s vaulted ceiling. The lack of energy in the audience was reflected in the lack of movement and vigour from the quintet on stage. They

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enthusiasm was perhaps indicative of the timing. Nevertheless Funeral Party played a very tight and professional set made up of tracks from their new album The Golden Age of Knowhere including a beautiful rendition of ‘Postcards of Persuasion’

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It is a long way from east LA to Norwich, but that is where American dance-rockers Funeral Party found themselves one Sunday night. For a gig at the very end of the week the audience was plentiful, however their energy levels and

looked crowded on the rather small Arts Centre stage cluttered with keyboards, amps, guitars and cowbells. Cramped as they were, this sized venue is meant to be Funeral Party’s speciality having grown up in the LA scene of house parties, flash-gigs and a general DIY attitude. Maybe with this reputation the audience expected the band to instantly whip them up into a manic frenzy that for 45 minutes would transport them to LA, or maybe it was that half the audience had turned up on a whim after hearing Zane Lowe proclaiming them as the hottest new American band, but for whatever reason the connection between performer and audience that is necessary for those ‘great gigs’ was missing. This was the case at least until Funeral Party unleashed ‘NYC moves to the Sound of LA’ to close the set. Whether it was the fuzzy bassline shaking the audience into response or the irresistibly dance-y beat that got feet moving, it didn’t matter. Suddenly stage diving, dancing, singing and a sense of raw emotion engulfed the venue. Suddenly, for four and a half minutes at least, Norwich did feel like east LA.

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Venue’s James Woodward caught the LA Rockers at their Arts Centre gig on 6th Feb...

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YOUR GUIDE TO WHAT’S GOING ON IN NORWICH

February -

Friday 25th

* Film - Despicable Me - LT1 - 7:30pm (£2.80) * The Old Skool Disc0 - Mercy -(free admission with flyer before midnight)

Tuesday 15th

* A Night At Hogwarts - LCR - 10pm (£3.50adv) * Propeller - Richard III and The Comedy of Errors (playing daily until 19th) - Theatre

* Film - Milk - LT1 - 7:30pm (free) * Norwich School Sport Partnership presents: Musical Showdown - OPEN 4:30pm/7:30pm (£6.50) * KAOS Fashion Show 2010: The Fat Poppadaddys Social - 10:30pm (enquire for guestlist) * Nightline Guestlist at Fat Poppadaddys10:30pm (check out Facebook for guestlist)

Friday 18th

* Grab A Grand - Mercy - 10:30pm (free admission with flyer before midnight)

Saturday 19th

* Club Retro +Club Neo - LCR - 10pm (£4) * Acoustic Extravaganza - Norwich

Tuesday 22nd

* Where’s Wally? - LCR - 10pm (£3.50 * Example - LCR - SOLD OUT

Puppet Theatre - 7:30pm (£6.50)

Sunday 20th

* Gruff Rhys - Norwich Arts Centre - 8pm (£13.50) * An Audience with Psychic Sally Morgan - Theatre Royal - 7:30pm (£5:50-£20.50)

Monday 21st

* Ocean Colour Scene - Moseley Shoals Tour - LCR - 7pm (£23.50/£24)

Wednesday 23rd

* Alice & The White Rabbit - Norwich Arts Centre - 2pm (£5-£7) * The Midnight Beast - The Waterfront SOLD OUT

Thursday 24th

* The Go! Team - The Waterfront - 7:30pm (£12) * Project: Grand Opening with Professor Green + DJ EZ

Sunday 27th

* Roll Deep feat. Platnum + Mz Bratt, + Angel + TJ Lyricz - The Waterfront - 7pm (£11) * Tina Dico - Norwich Arts Centre - 8pm (£10)

Monday 28th

* The Streets - LCR - 7:30pm (£7.50) * Devlin - The Waterfront - SOLD OUT * Don Broco + Atlas&i - The Marquee - 8pm (£5) * Word Of Mouth presents Pete (the Temp) - Norwich Arts Centre - 8pm (£5)

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Kitch is a relative newcomer to the Norwich scene, opening its doors only in January of 2011. Besides having a name that literally means “a worthless imitation of art of recognized value” (quoted directly from Wikipedia), they boast £1 Jägerbombs and their supposedly signature brand of ‘mischief and mayhem’. They appear to have made an immediate impact on the impressionable student. However, Venue remains steadfast in their opinion that the only night worth getting off the sofa for is Fat Poppadaddys, every Thursday at Lola Lo. Established in 1998, this club night has been creating its unique blend of current chart hits and everything funky since most of us were still swapping Pokemon cards. With award winning DJs and speakers blaring out the best of Funk, 60s, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Dubstep, Motown and Drum & Bass, they are a veritable veteran of the club scene. With an impressive list of clubs holding their nights every week without fail, from London to Southampton, they are clearly a popular

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When the word ‘Norwich’ is mentioned, the vast majority of the population would likely not even give a sniff of recognition when it comes to hard nights out; the obvious choices being London, Manchester, Newcastle: the big cities. However, Norwich has been working its way up the nightlife ladder and becoming a fairly respectable player in the club destination stakes. With over 14,000 students studying at the UEA alone, the breadth of possible custom for clubs and bars is immense. A popular destination, particularly within the student community, is the newly opened tiki-themed bar and club Lola Lo. An instant hit, it attracted organisations from all over the county to join in on the success and launch their nights there. Some of these include ‘Trashed!’ Mondays and ‘Zombie Nation’ Saturdays, sending forth their respective themes and DJs to put their own unique stamp on the night. However, recently there has surfaced a subtle rivalry between two club nights at Lola Lo in particular, Kitsch and Fat Poppadaddys.

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CLUB RIVALRY IN NORWICH?

Which club night will prove to be more popular with the students of UEA? choice nationwide. Not only do they span ten major cities across the country already, they are growing more popular every week. Possibly the best thing about Fat Poppadaddys is that no other night treats their customers better. With free entry, t-shirt give-a-way’s, themed parties, complimentary drinks for UEA groups and societies they truly are the

students’ best friend.. Nowhere else will you find generosity on such a scale. For more information, you can find Fat Poppadaddys on Facebook or by visiting their website prepare for a great night!

Elise Labram

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Thursday 17th

This fortnight’s LCR takes its theme from the popular childrens book “Where’s Wally?”. Can you find him?

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Wednesday 16th

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* The Kings of Swing - Theatre Royal 7:30pm (£5.50-£18.50) * The Other One Feat. Beat A Maxx + Elektricity - LCR - 10pm (£4.50) * Yuck presented by Twee Off! - Norwich Arts Centre - 8pm (£6)

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Saturday 26th

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* Senses Fail - The Waterfront - 7pm (£11)

Royal - 2pm/7:30pm (£5.50-£22)

* Scrubs Night Featuring: The Blanks (Ted’s Band From Scrubs) - LCR - 9pm (£7:50-£10) -SOLD OUT * The Comedy Store - The Forum - 8pm (£10.50-£12.50)

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1: ____ Murdoch, Writer (4) 3: Straightens out (8) 9: Israeli city (7) 10: Exceed (5) 11: Oarsman (5) 12: Argot (7) 13: Be preoccupied with (6) 15: Bleach (6) 17: Waterlessness (7) 18: Proposition(5) 20: Passage to _____, E. M. Foster Novel (5) 21: Irreligious (7) 22: Disregards (8) 23: Impression on a surface (4)

1: Questioning (13) 2: Relative by marriage (5) 4: U.S State (6) 5: Use of plants for healing (12) 6: Beg earnestly (7) 7: Impulsively (13) 8: Overrate(12) 14: Party (7) 16: Clerical worker(6) 19: Wooded Wealth (5)

Win Shakinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Stevens is finally coming to LCR on Wednesday the 23rd of February to celebrate 30 years of hits we can all sing along to. If the sounds of Shaky is your sort of thing and you fancy winning yourself a pair of tickets then all you have to do is bring your completed crossword to the Concrete Office by 3pm on 21/02/11.

E-mail:

Crytogram

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Concrete - Issue 252 - 15-02-2011