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VENUE Issue 273

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Music - Review: The John Peel Festival of Music, page 4-5.

Fashion - A Comprehensive Guide to Satchels, page 9.

Competitions - Win Bat For Lashes Tickets, page 22. Photo: Chloe Hashemi


Be the Voice of your School Represent your School on Union Council. This is your chance to be:

ďƒ° A Rep for all 1st year or 2nd year or 3rd year students ďƒ° A Rep for your School Board/SSLC or a Rep for PG students

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union.academic@uea.ac.uk | ueastudent.com/voice Campaigns & Democracy The Union of UEA Students is a registered charity England and Wales no 1139778


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VENUE

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CONTENTS

Tuesday 23 October 2012

ISSUE 273

concrete.venue@uea.ac.uk

Editor-in-Chief | Amy Adams Venue Editors | Rachael Lum and Matthew Tidby Music | Editors | Hayden East and Sam Warner Music Contributors> Ayoola Solarin, Tom Duffy, Maddie Russell, Henry Burrell, Nathan Packham, Danielle Hutley, Lucy Jobber and Hayden East Creative Writing | Editor | Matthew Mulcahy Creative Writing Contributors> Erin Michie, Tom King, Marguerite Christine and Chester Bowerman Arts | Editor | Hatty Farnham Arts Contributors> Sophie Szynaka, Matt Jennings, Jessica Burgess, Angeline Dresser and Kerry Johnson Fashion | Editors | Jess Beech and Lucy Jobber Fashion Contributors> Imogen Steinberg, Claire Kidman, Jess Beech and Lucy Jobber TV | Editor | Ellissa Chilley TV Contributors> Billy Sexton, Romy Higgins, Jack Parker, Adam Dawson, Indigo Griffiths and Jay Slayton-Joslin Film | Editors | Kieran Rogers and Andrew Wilkins Film Contributors> Danielle Hutley, Adam White, Joseph Holmes, Ayoola Solarin, Rebecca Markwick, Chris Gaisie, Kerr Cameron and Kieran Rogers Gaming | Editor | Oliver Balaam Gaming Contributors> Marlowe Hill, Sam Emsley and Oliver Balaam Competitions/Listings | Editor | Amelia Edwards

From The Editors Greetings and Salutations, dear reader!

As if that particular afternoon wasn’t odd enough, we decided to pop along to Quidditch practice with the Norwich Nifflers on the way home. Team Hufflepuff Forever. So, you know, we’ve been busy. Hope you like this autumnal issue, we think it looks fab, Brooms up, Matt and Rachael

Photo:Holly Maunders

Not that we’ve been trying to distract ourselves from reality or anything, but during the production of this issue, Team Venue have indulged in a fair amount of well-meant whimsy. Firstly, in readiness for our Sci-fi and Fantasy Special (coming next semester- watch this space...), we sent a heartfelt love letter to Matt Smith, UEA alumnus and famed Doctor (we refuse to refer to him as Doctor Who). If the good Doctor proves uncontactable, it’ll have to be Gimli (John Rhys Davies).


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MUSIC

concrete.music@uea.ac.uk 23.10.2012

the john peel festival of new music

TOTALLY ENORMOUS EXTINCT DINOSAURS Open 11.10.12 Ayoola Solarin Orlando Higginbottom, the man behind the tongue-twisting Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (TEED), really has the golden touch when it comes to UK Garage. His debut album Trouble, released earlier this year is an example of the intelligent direction House music has been taking as of late, putting TEED in league with other artists such as Disclosure and Bondax, who are currently leading the pack. Tracks like Tapes & Money and Your Love quickly had the crowd moving in all directions as the 90s influenced, feel-good tunes are tailor-made club bangers designed to dance to. However, it is TEED’s incorporation of other music styles into his own work that really sets him apart from standard DJs. The subtle use of afrobeats in some songs as well as the European electro influence (a la Daft Punk and Justice) in Household Goods and the insta-classic Garden (recognizable from the Nokia advert) were received very well by the heaving mass of TEED lovers.

PALMA VIOLETS Hog In Armour 12.10.12 Tom Duffy “I was just trying to be rock’n’roll.” The words of Palma Violets singer Sam Fryer, bashfully nursing the self-inflicted boo-boo caused by an ill-conceived stage-dive at the end of their Friday night set on the Artrocker Stage. It would be easy to denounce Palma Violets as imitators. Not a year goes by without an indie

Callum Pawlett-Howell Supporting was Roosevelt, bringing with him his own brand of euphoric electro-pop. Though he was initially dismissed by the crowd, clearly waiting for TEED to occupy the stage, interest was soon piqued. Beginning with recent single Sea, Roosevelt showed his ability to fuse musical styles with a mixture of funk

and chill-wave. Roosevelt’s set was unpredictable, upbeat and inspired, setting the tone for the rest of the night. It is clear why he was chosen to support TEED as both artists offer up refreshing takes on dance music. Higginbottom’s layered, synthy beats combined with his ghostly vocals

manage to sound youthful but far from amateurish, a tough balance to achieve. It’s no wonder he’s tearing it up at big name festivals such as EXIT and Bestival, as Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs is fast becoming more than just a name not everyone can say in one go, but a pioneer of the new UK House and Garage scene.

band, selected by the music press seemingly at random, being announced to herald the dawn of a new era of British guitar music. Such bands tend to ultimately drown in a sea of plaudits and platitudes before sinking without trace. But it would be just as easy to be won over by their jangly postpunk swagger. You can see why they leave certain quarters foaming at the mouth, the band allegedly signed to Rough Trade earlier this year on the basis of just one track. Looking and sounding like The Libertines, the band’s sharp cheekbones, tousled hair and scruffy, ragamuffin charm may

well be the jewel in the John Peel Festival of New Music’s crown, having been featured only a week prior on the cover of NME. Predictably, their headline slot proves to be one of the biggest draws of the weekend, the venue crammed well past its modest capacity as fervent indie kids rub shoulders with Norwich’s regular gig junkies. Not bad for a band with only one single to their name. All cynicism aside, Palma Violets do boast a couple of decent tracks, and had they performed without any media buzz, they no doubt would have still impressed. Debut single Best of Friends is,

admittedly, a bit of a banger, and provides the cue for the crowd to go mental, whilst Fourteen stands out for its melancholic beauty as well as simplicity. Co-frontmen Fryer and Chilli Jesson’s vocals (somewhere between Ian Curtis’ melancholia and the howl of Joe Strummer) and shabby, boisterous charisma echo the bromance of Pete Doherty and Carl Barat. Overall, it’s a decent performance from a talented group on the cusp of stardom, but Venue remains unconvinced as to whether Palma Violets could really be the musical revolution that indie rock needs, or just four kids “trying to be rock’n’roll”.


MUSIC

23.10.2012 concrete.music@uea.ac.uk

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JOHN PEEL: LIFE AND LEGACY Maddie Russell

Liam Dwyer

LIARS NORWICH ARTS CENTRE 13.10.12 Hayden East On the surface, it’s surprising that Liars – with 12 years and six albums to their name – are bringing the John Peel Festival of New Music to a macabre conclusion. However it’s fitting in a sense, as the experimental rockers are renowned for constant reinvention; from the dancepunk of their debut to the psychotic Sisterworld to the hypnotic synths of most recent album WIXIW, each new release brings with it an eclectic update on Liars’ live persona. Frontman Angus Andrew’s vocals complement the unpredictability of the band’s career-spanning set. At times his delivery is a measured drone – “believe me, I will break your heart” he eerily slurs on the bass-heavy Octagon as the stage quickly fills with smoke. It’s

brooding enough to get under your skin yet also incredibly enticing. When the pace quickens however – during the chaotic Let’s Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack! for example – he breaks into a frenzied shriek, his falsetto colliding with industrial electronics and two equally frantic tribal drum beats. Make no mistake, Liars are a band that thrive on audience reaction. In fact, whatever sound they’re tackling, the common thread throughout is how pagan it all comes across – particularly on older cut Broken Witch, which is given a much more riotous overhaul. Hands in the air, eyes closed, Andrew’s voice becomes unescapably ritualistic. “We, we are the army you see through the red haze of blood” he howls: it’s completely terrifying – that much is obvious – but the more interesting point is that alongside heavy percussion and repetitive beats, Liars emerge as a band that are surprisingly easy to dance to. Whereas live staple Scarecrows On A Killer Slant fails to replicate the unhinged guitar riffs of the studio version, new single Brats is much more powerful in a live context, sounding like LCD Soundsystem if James Murphy

ever developed cabin fever. Encore The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack is a sobering comedown, showing Liars at their most stripped back. “If you need me, I can always be found” Andrew mournfully repeats over a delicate guitar. Liars habitually shock, but they rarely provoke such heartfelt emotion as this. Indeed, the way the band constantly adapts is a testament to their level of musicianship. Above all else, what makes Liars such a dynamic live prospect is the way they tease the audience with tone and style. They understand that an endless barrage of one-note guitar noise is a dated approach. Instead, their diverse back-catalogue allows the band to opt for a much more effective method: first they disarm you with WIXIW’s synth textures, lure you in with danceable rhythm sections, and then implode with noise while always maintaining complete focus. Liars’ performance proves that despite their uncompromising nature, they nevertheless remain current. These, then, are the modern punks: at times quietly unnerving, at others outrageously frenetic, but always exciting.

John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, OBE may not be a name you recognise. Perhaps you’re more familiar with his radio persona, John Peel, the man who launched the careers of countless bands between 1967 until his death in 2004 - bands like The Smiths, Queen, and The Black Keys. The man even paid for The Undertones’ first EP. DJ, radio presenter, producer and journalist, Peel began his radio career in America before returning to England and landing a midnight2am slot on offshore pirate station, Radio London. During his time as a radio pirate, John Peel was born, both in name and reputation, establishing a strong connection between himself and his listeners by encouraging twoway communication. Around 2,500 acts performed on The Peel Sessions (think the original Live Lounge), which ran on Radio One for 37 years. The sessions allowed an artist to showcase their talent to the nation, with four tracks recorded and mixed in a day. The result was roughly cut tracks, with low production and a raw, live feel. He had a true passion for music, and inspired musicians across the nation. Billy Bragg famously delivered the hungry DJ a mushroom biryani and a copy of his record – the resulting airplay launched Bragg’s lifelong career. John Peel Day is annually celebrated by musicians on October 13, the day of his last broadcast, in honour of the man who fought for new and diverse music throughout his career.


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There was excitement in the air and the expletives of 212 on everyone’s lips as Norwich prepared to experience hip hop’s dirtiest young female, Azealia Banks. The opening act for the show was Zebra Katz, a rapper with nostalgic dress sense as if he had just come out of golden age hip hop Harlem. He was joined by Njena Reddd Foxxx who contributed vocals to his most well-known song, Ima Read. There was great camaraderie between the two performers, often interacting flirtatiously with each other during numbers and wiping the sweat off each other in between. Shortly before her arrival there was a short set by Banks’s longtime DJ, Cosmo. His set was an incredibly eclectic and entertaining mix of songs, ranging from the old school hip hop of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air to classic disco grooves such as Rick James and early Michael Jackson that eventually segued into the arrival of Banks herself. The set began with Banks whittling through the early tracks of her Fantasea mix tape including the first track Out Of Space, which heavily samples Prodigy.

She then introduced a track from her acclaimed 1991 EP, Van Vogue with the opening lyrics to the song, “bang, pop, pop this thing go pow” being a great reflection of the sizzling atmosphere of the Waterfront audience. She was initially wearing a glowing mermaid outfit, which made her seem both playful and very alien at the same time. During costume changes, her dancers took it in turns to go solo, each on one of the songs on the Fantasea mix tape respectively. Both looked like they had come in a time machine from Larry Levan’s paradise garage in the 80’s with military attire to boot. Banks really got going with the remaining numbers from her 1991 EP, exclaiming that the title track was her favourite track recorded to date and putting in an incredible performance, spitting the lyrics in a far punchier manner than on the EP itself. Then it was time for the song half the crowd had been waiting for (Azealia even admitted this), 212. If 1991 was punchy, then this was an all-out lyrical assault, with the responsive crowd screaming the expletive lyrics before Banks rapped the final verse with similar aplomb. Her final song was Esta Noche, the best song off her Fantasea mix tape thanks to its sample of Montell Jordan’s Get It On Tonite and a brilliant way to end the show as Banks revelled in vibrantly expressing her musical influences to the crowd.

Bearsuit are another Norwich staple but their set fails to impress the previously invigorated crowd. While undoubtedly competent musicians, their synth-inflected tunes do not stick long in the mind. With material drawing mainly from new album The Phantom Forest, it remains to be seen whether their sound translates any better on record. Tonight the main support comes from The Undertones-Lite. Without talisman leader Feargal Sharkey, they merely come across as a really good cover band. Wistful strutting and bad hair cover nearly an hour of songs that

unfortunately sound completely the same. The Fall’s headline set promised much and delivered some of it – the band is tight as hell, particularly the rhythm section, but frontman Mark E. Smith is determined to ruin the performance. Clearly wasted and messing with the amps all night, his demeanour gives the room a whipcrack tension that serves them well, but ultimately fails to save the set. Save for the few hardcore fans down the front signing their hearts out, they get a muted reception. It seems The Fall are a spent force.

Nathan Packham

Henry Burrell As part of a fundraising performance, legends The Fall headlined Epic TV Studios with support from the enduringly appealing The

concrete.music@uea.ac.uk 23.10.2012

live reviews AZEALIA BANKS The Waterfront 07.10.12

THE FALL + THE UNDERTONES Epic Studios 10.10.12

MUSIC

Undertones. Despite the former’s undoubted position in rock history, the evening fell flat thanks to inflated ego and thinly veiled posing. But before all that, we have great local band Dingus Khan opening the evening. They play with magnificent gusto and, more importantly, genuine heart. Dressed in all white save for the frontman, who conducts himself without irony as a musical shaman, they knock out catchy affecting pop songs with the added bite of three bass guitars. Besides the airing of Teenage Kicks later in the night, it’s the best show here.


MUSIC

23.10.2012 concrete.music@uea.ac.uk

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album reviews

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BAT FOR LASHES THE HAUNTED MAN Lucy Jobber

ELLIE GOULDING HALCYON Danielle Hutley

Two years since the release of her first album Lights, Ellie Goulding presents us with new material in the form of second album Halcyon, showcasing a mature and comfortable style from the singer/songwriter. The majority of the album has a kind of new age/trance-like feel, with each track having a distinct stylistic influence from the likes of dubstep, gospel, and the Middle East, giving Halcyon a multi-cultural, worldly atmosphere. First track Don’t

After three years away from the music scene, Bat For Lashes’ follow-up album The Haunted Man has been much anticipated. Best summarised by the cover, the album strips back to strong vocals and heartfelt lyrics, steering in the opposite direction of her overlygarnished preceding album Two Suns. Most clearly demonstrated in the opening track Lilies, Kahn steps away from her alter-ego Pearl and her world of magical realism and instead celebrates the rawness of life in its natural form, reaching deep into existential vibes with the lyrics “thank God I’m alive,” in a bittersweet celebration of life. In contrast, All Your Gold sparks out with its mix of synths, strings and sudden bursts of electric guitar, whilst Oh Yeah flawlessly meshes a combination of bright hip-hop beats Say A Word even sounds like a film soundtrack with its opening. Debut single Anything Could Happen brings indie pop to the album, which is then continued by the following track Only You. However, this is short-lived, as vibes rapidly return to that of Goulding’s roots in folk, beautifully demonstrated by title track Halcyon. Tracks such as Figure 8 and Hanging On (minus Tinie Tempah) have dubstep elements, which many will point as the result of Goulding’s relationship with US dubstep star Skrillex. Hanging On also has an oriental feel to its opening which allows Goulding’s pure soprano vocals to shine through, until a dubstep beat is introduced, giving the track its hitworthy kick. The Tinie Tempah version is included in this album where a rap element comes as an unexpected turn to the rather mundane second half. Ritual comes as a nice change towards the end of the album; a slightly faster paced, catchy song, which is the most similar to material from Lights. Another track that catches attention is Without Your Love, which sounds like Goulding put her own vocals to Friendly Fire’s Kiss Of Life. Goulding really has laid herself bare on Halycon. Although it’s still about her signature voice, it also explores new territory. It will not neccessarily grab you straight away, but in evoking a variety of moods give it a few listens and it will find a way into your heart.

and psychedelic synths with the sombre sounds of a male voice choir. Winter Fields is smothered by structured orchestral passages, driven by weepy strings and emphatic percussion. Yet, the album eases amongst its mixture of styles, effortlessly combining the blend of the organic and electronic. Just like Daniel from Khan’s last album Two Suns, the first single released from the album, Laura, hits a raw nerve which detaches itself from the rest of the songs. Featuring an addictive piano refrain, whilst her voice acts as the guiding force throughout, the influence of co-author Justin Parker - best known for his work on Lana Del Rey’s hit Video Games - seems distinctly obvious, with both singers “swinging with old stars/ Living for the fame.” Frequently likened to Kate Bush,

DEATH GRIPS NO LOVE DEEP WEB Jack Enright

In the context of the modern music industry, where album releases are scheduled and promoted with meticulous precision, the release of Death Grips’ NO LOVE DEEP WEB was one of refreshing originality. Upon hearing that Epic Records wouldn’t set a date for release “till next year sometime”, Death Grips took matters into their own hands by splurging the new album into every corner of the blogosphere, all free of charge. Take into

Khan’s vocals haunt throughout, however the lack of variation in contrast to the striking background accompaniments can admittedly jar upon repeat listens. The Haunted Man may also have lost some of the quirky punch of previous Bat For Lashes albums in her quashing of the overzealous Fur and Gold style, but Khan no doubt appears surer in both her skin and lyrical crafting. She opens herself up to vulnerability and by doing so, gains a more personal interaction with her listeners. The album came with expectations heaped upon its shoulders, roughly approximate to that of a naked man in fact, but she has certainly reaffirmed her well-deserved place in musical history. Look out for that third Mercury prize nomination, Khan! account that the album artwork consists only of a photo of an erect penis and you’ve got quite an explosive album launch. What’s clear from the offset is that Death Grips have stripped the production right back for this album. Compared to the carnage of The Fever (Aye Aye) from their recent offering The Money Store, the initial impression from sophomore opener Come Up And Get Me is one of a much more minimalist approach. The track opens with an unbelievably heavy, brooding bass line, one that holds centre stage throughout. In terms of instrumentation there’s not much else going on, but Andy Morin’s incredible work on the synth more than makes up for any lack of frills. Put this track through any pair of decent headphones and it’s going to give your skull a serious battering. Stand out track No Love, is a proper gem - Burnett puts such an unbelievable amount of raw, visceral energy through his lyrics that you can barely tear yourself away. Zach Hill provides a huge, ponderous drum beat while Morin’s menacing bass paves the way for Burnett to lay down the album’s killer chorus in all its brutal, anthemic glory. Any record coming from a band this fascinating deserves more attention than is possible here, but what’s evident is that Death Grips are in a minority of genuinely boundary-pushing bands. NO LOVE DEEP WEB is the newest chapter in their paranoid anti-everything manifesto, and it’s a bloody good listen.


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FASHION @conc_fashion

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Winter Beauty Essentials

SMOKIN’ Mary Berry’s patterned jackets We hope we’re this chic at age 77.

Gradual Fake Tan No more indian summers.

concrete.fashion@uea.ac.uk 23.10.2012

Tips on how to stay in fashion as the season takes a chilly turn Claire Kidman Autumn is definitely here, which means it is time to put away the bronzer and try out some beauty products that will see you through the winter. First up, it’s lip balm. It may not be the most exciting of beauty items, but Clinique have managed to combine glamour and practicality in their Chubby Sticks. If you can look past the £16 price tag, they are a must-have. With 16 colours to choose from it’s tough to pick a favourite, but “Heaping Hazelnuts”, a glossy nude colour, is perfect for every day and the colour is sheer enough to apply on-the-go.

When it comes to night time, dark coloured lips are everywhere this season. Red may be a classic, but something darker is guaranteed to make a statement. Try Topshop’s “Beguiled”; at £8 it is a bargain and an easy way to update your look. Keep eyes simple to achieve the look seen on Gucci’s models for their Autumn/Winter collection. As for nails, put away the bright colours this season, the darker the better. OPI’s “Lincoln Park After Dark” is my all-time favourite. Almost black, it stays on the glamorous side of Goth. For a more pursefriendly option, try Topshop’s Nails in ‘Lead’,

a metallic black that goes on perfectly with just one coat. If black nail polish isn’t your thing, try grey; Essie’s “Chinchilly” is a classic that goes with everything. Finally, while it may be chilly outside, it’s not quite cold enough for mittens, so don’t forget the hand cream. Show off your new manicure with L’Occitane’s Shea Butter Hand Cream, which comes in a travel-sized tube, perfect for keeping in your bag. These essentials should see you through the cold weather in style, but a hat, scarf, and a Pumpkin Spice Latte are also highly recommended.

Exclusive Interview with Henika Patel UEA Student and Miss India finalist 2012

Kate Moss’ Matte Lipsticks We predict dark berry pouts will be lasting far past Halloween.

CHOKIN’ Leggings We’ve seen far too many pants in public, leave it for lounging!

Nike AirMax The hipsters fave!

Baggy Sweat Tops Failed Sports Chic once again...

So how did you get started in beauty pageants? I’ve been a freelance model for roughly two years. I attended a magazine casting over summer and was spotted for the pageant there, so Miss India was my first professional beauty pageant. How is the competition judged? Did you have to demonstrate any special talents? The competition is judged on a few key factors: beauty, grace, charity, intelligence and talent. There were a variety of rounds, the first few demonstrated beauty and grace through our catwalks for the fashion houses that sponsored the event, the second was the talent round - where I performed a fiery Latin salsa dance and the third was a question-and-answer round where we were tested on our public speaking, intelligence and charity! Can you tell us what pageants such as this are like behind the scenes? Were there any tensions among the contestants, or with the coordinators based on your experience? Behind the glitz, glam and sparkles of the pageant world is a lot of hard work! Unfortunately, it’s not just the evening of the competition. We had numerous rehearsals and a lot of preparations in terms of the talent and question-answer round. Aside from that, I had a strict

training regime with lots of nutritious food, exercise and sleep to ensure I was looking healthy for the pageant. Quite contrary to the stereotype of pageant divas, I found the girls were a very down-to-earth and friendly bunch! We ended up all spending a lot of time together during rehearsals and backstage where we were all “in the same boat” despite the competition between us. I came away with some great friends who I hope to keep in contact with. Do you have any tips/advices for those who are currently joining a beauty contest or for those who are planning to join? I’d say to adopt the “keep at it” approach - you’ll have good days and bad days and often, it’s a test of mental endurance but if you keep a positive attitude throughout and work with professionalism towards your counterparts, you’ll find yourself flourishing. At pageant events, there is a lot of networking opportunity - there are often a lot of scouts, agents even make up artists and couture houses who are contacts just waiting to be made! Act upon them! Along the learning curve, you get to learn a lot about not just the industry, but also about yourself whether they’re your strengths or your weaknesses, make the most of it as you’ll come away knowing you’ve learnt something from the experience, no matter if you win or lose!

See concrete-online.co.uk for the full interview and tips on how to get into pageants.


FASHION

23.10.2012 concrete.fashion@uea.ac.uk

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Leather Look

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Modelled by: Shanice Beckford, Stylist: Madz Abbasi, Photographer: Chloe Hashemi

We take a look at the Royal Arcade’s selection of satchels in The Tannery...

A guide to The Tannery and styling those satchels with Imogen Steinberg The Tannery is a lovely boutique situated in the middle of the Art Nouveau Royal Arcade with an exciting range of quality leather products. Upon walking in, the gorgeous smell of new leather and a member of the helpful, knowledgeable staff greets you. There are a variety of brands to choose from including large, well-known ones such as Longchamp and Orla Kiely. A huge range of bags are on offer including shoppers, wash bags, luggage and jewellery boxes. A range of shoes are available from Church’s, Crotchet and Jones, and from the shop’s eponymous own brand which look comfortable and timeless, as well as shoe care products including horns and polish. Many of the products on sale are beautiful and, crucially, won’t date which is a nice counter against instant fashion with its often ridiculous unbearable looks and throwaway culture. However, all of this does not come cheap. The real deal is all about quality and that is expensive. A small

clutch bag retails for around £65 with prices going up to £250 for large handbags and knee-high boots. If these are out of your price bracket, they also have a panoply of real leather purses, glasses cases, iPad cases, wallets and belts in a wide variety of colours as well a selection of scarves and gloves, including a luxurious cashmerelined style imported from Rome. These would also make excellent presents for parents or grandparents as they are thoughtful, useful and attractive. They also have a good men’s section, which is utilitarian without lacking in style. With “man-bags” very big at the moment, the vintage style briefcases are desirable and long-lasting. The satchel range comprises many different sizes all with a collection of useful pockets. Satchels are no longer just for the boys. The satchel first gained popularity in the 1600s but after some time came to be associated with the English schoolchild, exemplified in literature and poetry. It has had somewhat of a renaissance in recent years however,

developing a cult following among the fashion pack. This is in part due to the fervour surrounding the brand the Cambridge Satchel Company. The first satchels of the company were created by British mother Julie Deane and her mother Freda in response to the demand from her children to own bags like those in the Harry Potter books. Deane transferred her daughter from the comprehensive where she was being bullied into a public school and to help fund it saw the potential in the idea, founding a satchel-making company. The initial £600 has since become a turnover of £1m a month practically overnight thanks mainly to fashion blogs going crazy for the designs. The company starred in the latest Google Chrome advert and Deane hopes it will be an incentive to people to start up small businesses. Similar styles are now widely available in designer and high street shops and the satchel is now one of the most practical and stylish bags on the market.


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ON THE ROAD (15) Director: Walter Salles 124 mins Starring: Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Tom Sturridge, Amy Adams, Viggo Mortsensen From the critically acclaimed novel by Jack Kerouac, On the Road tells the story of three young men, whose relationships are put to the test in a whirlwind of drugs, sex, and travel on the roads of America in the 1940s. Sal Paradise (Sam Riley) is an aspiring writer, who when introduced to Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund) by good friend and poet, Carlo Marx (Tom Sturridge), becomes entranced by Dean and his wild lifestyle, which leads to his own vicariousness. Dean is married to 16 year-old Marylou (Stewart), whose liberated character exposes Sal to a life unknown, while her own relationship with Dean is on a path to destruction.

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FILM

concrete.film@uea.ac.uk 23.10.2012

REVIEWS

Having premiered at the Cannes film festival, On the Road has a raw edge that is evident of independent filmmaking and allows Walter Salles’ adaptation to express a realism that Kerouac intended, as it’s based on the author’s own experiences of travelling across the United States. The film’s soundtrack is brimming with jazz classics, boasting artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Charlie Parker, along with original material from composer Gustavo Santaolalla, which envelopes audiences in the vibrancy of the time. Rights to the novel have been in various stages since the seventies; even in the fifties Kerouac wrote to Marlon Brando, asking him to play the role of Dean Moriarty. Since then, portrayals of Dean were reserved for the likes of Brad Pitt and Colin Farrell, yet rumours were never followed through. In a twist of irony, Hedlund indeed bares similarities to the masculine visage of Brando and Pitt and, in doing so, maintains the stereotypical “bad-

boy” image that Kerouac originally articulated in his novel. Riley (Brighton Rock), as Paradise, is strikingly reminiscent of Emile Hirsch in Into The Wild; the same narrative dialogue is present throughout the film. Images of Riley traipsing through deserted landscapes, with juxtaposing camera shots of travel and stillness, depict a lonesome young man who is finding his way in life. As a modern film released in 2007, Into The Wild can’t be compared to the adaptation of a classic 1950s novel, but as a precedent in the film world many parallels can be recognised. Kristen Stewart (Twilight) yet again shows that her acting skills have no limits, as she plays the role of mature adolescent Marylou. Her experiences of the world render her matter-offact persona, though her marriage to Moriarty soon leaves gaping holes of naivety and a longing to conform. Elsewhere, though not the characters with the most screen time, Tom Sturridge (The Boat That

Rocked) and Kirsten Dunst (SpiderMan), as Carlo Marx and Camille, are crucial to the web that Dean is weaving within the storyline. Dunst, in particular, successfully adopts the role of a mistress who, on winning her man, just as quickly wishes for his disposal. Parallels can be made here to Michelle Williams’ Alma in Brokeback Mountain. With a talented and diverse cast, the quality of acting exceeds expectation in On the Road, leaving very little to scrutinise. A top-notch cast list, however, doesn’t prevent a complex script from leaving audiences puzzled in places and character development lacking. With an ambiguous ending, and heavy interrelating plots, this isn’t the kind of film that is likely to be an instant favourite, nor prone to a rewatch. It will, though, leave impacting after-thoughts that suggest it can be considered a successful adaptation of such an iconic novel.

Danielle Hutley


FILM

23.10.2012 concrete.film@uea.ac.uk

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Director: Stephen Chbosky 103 mins Capitalizing on that universal desire to connect and be accepted by others, The Perks of Being A Wallflower follows Logan Lerman’s Charlie, introverted and guarded since the recent suicide of his best friend, as he strikes up an emotionallycharged, eye-opening friendship with two older students (Emma Watson and Ezra Miller). Stephen Chbosky, adapting his own acclaimed young adult novel, cycles through a variety of adolescent milestones, from sexual awakenings and school cafeteria antagonism, to pot brownie wackiness and “wow, you like The Smiths, too!?” bonding sessions. Most importantly, though, is that he manages to keep a level of authenticity intact. Practically every moment sparkles with a relatable enthusiasm that pushes the knowledge that these are all experiences that have been truly lived, and not just

Adam White

SINISTER(15) Sinister is the latest horror film from director Scott Derrickson, and tells the story of a semi-successful crime writer (Ethan Hawke) who moves his family into a house, that was once the scene of a grisly quadruple murder, to write his magnum opus. As this synopsis suggests, Sinister is riddled with clichés. It has the haunted house, creepy kids, foreboding sheriff and pretty much everything else you’d expect in a run of the mill horror movie. One of the main problems with Sinister is its failure to handle these tropes in new or inventive ways. While Derrickson works hard to create a seriously unsettling tone, he throws it out the window with cheap jump scares, an unexpected shift towards the paranormal, and dialogue which ought to sound purposely cheesy but only serves to highlight the film’s pretensions. Despite its fundamental problems, Sinister does have its virtues; most

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tossed together by an imaginative writer. Chbosky has also assembled an innately watchable group of actors. Their characters are so engaging that they are, ironically, nearly detrimental to the film. The problem is that they’re almost too vividly drawn for the short amount of time they actually appear, making you long to see more of them. It’s the very best kind of criticism, but an expected side effect of bringing prose to the big screen. Watson is probably the star attraction here, and while she’s far better than you’d imagine, it’s Miller who practically walks away with the movie, delivering a showy, endearing performance as her haunted yet secure-with-himself stepbrother. Mae Whitman is also adorable as a gothic Buddhist. The warmth and depth of feeling in Perks is incredibly moving. Its third-act trip to far darker areas of storytelling never feels exploitative, instead promoting this real semblance of hope and the undistinguishable magic of high school friendships.

THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER (12A)

Director: Scott Derrickson 110 mins

@Concrete_Film

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (U) importantly the fact that it is a legitimately scary film. It consistently delivers without falling into the trap of overloading itself with unnecessary gore. It uses found super 8 footage of families dying in gruesome ways in a manner that avoids being distasteful. Also worth mentioning is Ethan Hawke’s central performance; his slow descent into desperation and madness never feels too camp, although there are times where you must seriously question his character’s poor judgment. Audiences have been crying out for a great original horror film for a long time, but time after time get served poor 80s remakes and lazy sequels. Sinister isn’t the antidote to this, it’s nothing new and it won’t breathe new life into a stagnant genre, but it does deliver on everything it promises. Anyone looking for a neat little horror film on a Friday night could do a great deal worse, but those waiting for the next David Cronenberg or Dario Argento had best keep holding their breath.

Joseph Holmes

Director: Genndy Tartakovsky 91 mins If you’re looking for a film to get you in the mood for the Halloween season then Hotel Transylvania is not the film for you. It is, however, perfect if you need to distract a five year old for an hour and a half. The film is jam packed with Halloween clichés, monster cameos and yet another example of why Adam Sandler should stop doing weird, unconvincing accents (see: Don’t Mess With The Zohan). Dracula (Adam Sandler) is an overprotective father whose plans to keep his 118 year-old daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) away from the ‘evil’ humans in the outside world, by building a five star monster hotel, backfire un-hilariously. The only plot twist occurs when a backpacker, Jonny (Andy Samberg), stumbles into the hotel, unaware of what monsters and ghouls await him inside. Consequently, it all builds up towards a predictable plot, which is not aided by

the fact the film has to rely on worn out clichés to get laughs. Cameos from Uncle Frank Stein (Kevin James), Wayne the Werewolf (Steve Buscemi), Murray the Mummy (Cee Lo Green) and Griffin, the Invisible Man (David Spade) are mildly humorous for about 15 minutes, as you see the well known characters leading uncharacteristically ordinary lives, until the set up jokes become tiresome and it is apparent the plot leaves something to be desired. Hotel Transylvania is clearly a film targeted at children but that is little excuse for a poor storyline, as other child-friendly Halloween inspired films, such as Casper and The Addams Family, have managed to become classics without such heavy reliance on cheesy gimmicks. If you’re still in desperate need for a scare, hold out until the end where a shocking auto-tuned song featuring a rap from Adam Sandler is enough to leave anyone emotionally scarred.

Ayoola Solarin


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@Concrete_Film

HALLOWEEN: THE NIGHT THE CASH COW CAME HOME

Rebecca Markwick Halloween; the time of year to wear scary costumes (including the one bloke who thinks a skeleton t-shirt counts as a costume), go to horror themed parties and binge on sugar; the time of year when the supernatural world is at its closest, and souls revisit their homes. As such, Halloween has become a veritable breeding ground for horror movies. With an almost guaranteed audience of horror fans craving their yearly fix, the film industry complies most readily. However, compared to the excellent horror films of the past, the movies released around Halloween of recent times tend to play on film goers desire for cheap, late night scares, by trading on names that people will pay for; with reboots and dire sequels that never should have been made (Halloween: H20 I’m looking at you) filling the Autumn listings every year. Such sequels tend to care little about the despair of ardent fans, with iconic characters and mythologies tainted by poor execution. For the cynics amongst us, the conveyor belt films of Halloween are only after our money, rather than our fear. This year there’s yet another Paranormal Activity being released, the fourth in the franchise, which will undoubtedly fail to have the charm and chills of the original: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D - a sequel to one of the most famous films of all time, is also on the horizon, with what looks to be a very sketchy plot (isn’t Leatherface a little past it now?). But where there’s a trick there’s always a treat, and with it there is hope; this year we have the promising stop motion Frankenweenie – an original Burton take on horror. Terrible horror movies have become somewhat of a Halloween staple. It is depressing to see so much unoriginality and fake blood around, though the odd gem can more than make up for it. Ignoring the pessimism, perhaps All Hallows’ Eve is special, the one night when a plotless gore fest can be received gratefully. Adopt the mindset of a hyper, young child, light the pumpkins and go and get spooked.

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NEWS

FILM

concrete.film@uea.ac.uk 23.10.2012

Festivals open and close across the globe; tributes paid to Harris Savides

Chris Gaisie Festivals abound aplenty in this week’s news, with film enthusiasts and industry practitioners coming together to celebrate all things film. The 56th BFI London Film Festival kicked off with Tim Burton’s latest animated film Frankenweenie, receiving a warm reception. The festival is said to be making more of an effort to up play its awards section in a bid to compete with other top film festivals around the world. This year boasts over 200 films from a variety of 50 countries, screened over the 12-day festival. Norwich had its own share of festival excitement with the third annual Norwich

Sound and Vision Festival that took place between 11-13 October. While the event has a large emphasis on music as well as film, there was plenty going on to please both crowds. Special screenings and talks from industry experts took place during the festival. Overseas, New York’s Comic Con is becoming increasingly noticed by Hollywood as a place to dazzle punters with upcoming releases. Little brother to San Diego’s Comic Con (taking place in the summer), recently the New York edition boasted its biggest year yet. The greater interest from Hollywood isn’t really surprising considering the continued influx of comic book movie

adaptations that seem to dominate the box-office. Speaking of which, Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip is being brought to the big screen by Fox. Will this be a sincere, heartfelt adaptation or will Snoopy become a talking dog, bursting out of the screen in “full 3D!?” In much sadder news, cinematographer Harris Savides passed away on 9 October at the age of 55. Harris was an expert of his craft, as evidenced in his work on David Fincher’s Zodiac, Gus Van Sant’s Elephant, and Ridley Scott’s American Gangster, to name just a few of his many achievements. Many paid tribute to him in the days following his death; he will be sorely missed.

ALFRED HITCHCOCK: THE LEGACY OF A GENIUS As the BFI’s Hitchcock season ends, Venue casts its eyes on the master of suspense Kerr Cameron In the late 1930s The New York Times proclaimed that there were “three valuable institutions” that America did not have: The Magna Carta, Tower Bridge and Alfred Hitchcock. This was 20 years before Rear Window, Psycho or North by Northwest. It would be an impressive feat to overstate the extent of Alfred Hitchcock’s influence on cinema and popular culture over the last 90 years. Shrieking violins as a woman takes a shower, a man in a suit being pursued through a field by a plane. Whether or not you have seen Psycho or North by Northwest, his imagery has had an indelible effect upon the cultural landscape, an accomplishment only a select few directors have emulated. Hitchcock himself has become an icon too. How many other directors can you recognise from their silhouette alone? Clues to how he adopted his inimitable style can be gleaned from his childhood. He was lonely and reserved at school on account of his obesity; it can not be coincidence that the conflicted loner is such a familiar Hitchcockian trait. Look no further than Anthony Perkins’ detached and solitary motel owner in Psycho, or James Stewart’s voyeuristic photographer in Rear Window. The idea of being on the outside looking in is one that permeates Hitchcock’s work. His father was strict, once asking the police to lock his son up for 10 minutes as punishment. Unsurprisingly, mistreatment and strange behaviour are themes that occur frequently in his work. Hitchcock’s creative career began modestly. While working at an engineering firm, he submitted short stories to the company publication. These introduced the Hitchcock we’ve come to imagine – all

dark shadows, fear and danger. His first told the story of a woman being assaulted in Paris by drunks, only for her to wake up in a dentist’s chair after anaesthetic. His thirst for the creative lead him to a production studio in London, rising from title card maker to director in five years. He made his mark quickly, his first thriller The Lodger raising heads. Alfred Hitchcock has the unique distinction of directing the first ever British produced ‘talkie’ (Blackmail) after which his reputation as an innovator only grew. He experimented with 3-D in Dial M for Murder. Rope was filmed as if in real time, shots lasting up to 10 minutes, a radical idea then and now. He invented

the idea of a MacGuffin, generally an object or goal in a story which serves as a plot motivation, but has little to do with the message of the film. The MacGuffin is a device still used in film today, but it is a footnote in the legacy we have been left by Alfred Hitchcock. His films are more respected, and he more revered, than ever. The BFI’s “Genius of Hitchcock” season is culminating this month, and two films (Hitchcock and The Girl) about his personality and work are out soon. Put simply, Alfred Hitchcock is owed a debt of gratitude by all those involved in the making and appreciating of film as art, because he is one of its masters.


FILM

23.10.2012 concrete.film@uea.ac.uk

www.concrete-online.co.uk

in conversation... Nigel

@Concrete_Film

Floyd

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From exhibition to criticism, in conversation... explores aspects of, and the challenges facing, Norwich’s film industry. In this concluding part to the series, Venue interviews film critic and uea alumnus Nigel Floyd about the relevance of film criticism in the 21st century. and the obscure amount of swans that happen to be outside the window of his Mistley home. We could talk for hours, but an interview needs to be done, professionalism needs to take hold. Floyd would understand this more than anyone. We stop talking about films and get to the serious stuff … talking about films. Venue: On the whole, and it’s quite a broad question to ask, what makes a good film? Is it a case of technicality? Is it about cinematography and the work that goes into it on that side of things, or is it more about narrative? Or even a combination of both?

The biscuits are out. A glass of water is half full. It’s fair to say that Venue has been treated worse. The man to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for such fine hospitality is Nigel Floyd, film critic for BBC Radio 4 and 5 (where you may have heard him voice his opinions while standing in for Mark Kermode), Time Out magazine, and UEA alumni. When we catch up with him, he’s just returned from Film4 Fright Fest, a film festival dedicated to horror, comprised of “five days of disembowelment and rape…an awful lot of rape.” Such are the stresses of a film journalist. For many in Concrete Film, Floyd’s position is exactly where one would want to be, and thus the conversation is full of admiration (think Peter Parker meets Doctor Octavius in Spider-Man 2). If there are two things that are clear, this is a man that after a 30-year career (something he jokingly describes in three words as being full of “misery, misery and misery”) has made a home within the industry and, like any critic should, not only knows cinema but loves cinema. He regards the best film he has ever seen as Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull, and the worst to be the ludicrously titled Oversexed Rugsuckers from Mars. His career highlight remains, to this day, an interview he conducted with David Cronenberg for 1988’s Dead Ringers, a man he considers a hero. In all honesty, our interview takes a good while to begin. Venue is extremely content to pass time by listening to tales about bonding with Guillermo Del Toro, discussing DVD collections

Nigel Floyd: It’s nice to have the technical stuff but frankly I would forgo that if there’s an interesting idea and if there’s an interesting story. I love story. I love narrative. Though there’s nothing wrong with films pushing technical boundaries, it’s just I’d rather have a low budget movie with a strong story, like Memento. There are films I like which have failed to live up to their intentions but at least they have a bash at it. V: What attracted you to film criticism as a profession? Was it a desire to explain a love for cinema? NF: I have a lot of opinions. That always helps. Being opinionated is a good start. I always loved films. I always went to see films, certainly from my teenage years onwards. V: Again it’s quite a general question, but what do you feel is the true purpose of a film critic? Especially when you consider that a person’s experience of a film is subjective. NF: Inevitably all film reviews are subjective, and frankly thank God for that. I would rather hear somebody like Mark Kermode come on the radio and, in an entirely subjective manner, talk about a film that he absolutely hates and that I personally think is good, in a passionate and informed way, than listen to somebody who knows nothing about film. The things that you have to have are three-fold. You’ve got to have context, you’ve got to have information, and you’ve got to have opinion – but in that order. You can’t have an opinion if you don’t have the context. V: I believe Mark Kermode has also argued before that it’s about entertainment. Is that something you’d agree is important,

to entertain an audience like a film would?

spoon-fed.

NF: I think it’s important to entertain people with your writing. The problem with that is, and I’ve been guilty of it myself, you can start to write a review where you get clever with the language, at the expense of talking about the film. It is tempting. There’s a certain vanity that can creep in, a certain clever kind of quality. Occasionally you can do that, especially if you don’t like a film; then you can get away with constructing clever metaphors or puns or whatever, but you’re not really helping people to understand what the film’s about. You’re sort of becoming a little bit concerned with your own image, as it were. You’re sort of just being a bit too self-conscious about it. I think that’s a bad thing, because I think you do have to maintain some sense of distance.

V: What advice can you give the aspiring film critics at UEA?

V: Oscar Wilde famously said that criticism is sometimes about educating the public. Is there ever an elitism involved? If so, is that a bad thing? NF: I don’t think so, but that’s because I’m an elitist … apparently. I, for example, hate star ratings. The whole concept of star ratings is despicable, lazy, pointless. When they first introduced them at Time Out, I wouldn’t put star ratings on my reviews. I would just send them in and say, “Put as many stars as you think there should be”. In the end they read the riot act, which is fair enough, but at least I tried to resist. To me that’s not really film criticism, just saying “FIVE STARS”, because every film sheds five stars if a publication runs an 18 page, full colour, all access article on the latest film. If that’s the case then of course it’s going to get four or five stars. Even if it were the worst film in the world it would have to get four or five stars because they’ve expended so much time in getting you interested in it and negotiating exclusive deals. Evidently, they’re going to have to review it in that context. Now, if it’s elitist to say that that’s wrong, to be in the pockets of the studios and to be so beholden to your audience that you can’t actually express a true opinion, then yes I’m elitist. I believe my job is to express a proper opinion, and if you think the latest Chris Nolan Dark Knight Rises film is actually not all that then you need to say that, and you need to say that very clearly. That’s your job. You’re the only person standing between the studio, the PR industry, and the public. Without a film critic that’s all there is: there’s only publicity. There’s only what you’re being

NF: I think that the best advice I can give to anyone who wants to be interested in film is to get something down in writing. There are many, many options for people. They can set up their own blog, they can write for Concrete about film, they can involve themselves in the local film scene, perhaps through Cinema City. All these are things you can do from very early on, you’ve just got to find an outlet, or with social media make yourself an outlet. Follow people on Twitter who are involved in film, watch lots of films. The one advantage that your generation has now is that all this stuff is available. We lived in the dark ages with VCR, where stuff just wasn’t around. There was little opportunity to see films. Now, it’s all out there: stuff from America, stuff from Hong Kong. Get it wherever you can, but make sure you watch it and get involved. V: Finally, what do you think the future holds for film criticism? NF: If I knew that I’d be a much richer man than I am now. I think that criticism has changed and it will never go back to what it was before. Now there is a myriad of outlets available. I’m envious, in some ways, that this is the case, but the downside of this is that it’s quite amorphous. There’s so much of it out there. How do you choose between what’s good and what’s not? There is much less quality control on the interweb. It’s daunting, a lot more daunting for you than it was for me when I started, because there was always a sense of career trajectory that would end in earning some money. The terrible fact is you can now get yourself online but you may not get paid for it. People have got so used to young people who are so enthusiastic and want to get a start that they are prepared to write for nothing. Everybody is undermined. Websites think they can get away without paying their contributors, which means: yes, you have an outlet for your ideas, and yes, you can parlay your enthusiasm into some kind of writing position, but are you going to get paid for it? For everybody’s sake, I hope so.

words: Kieran Rogers You can follow Nigel Floyd @nigelfloyd Look out for the full interview on www.concrete-online.co.uk/film


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TELEVISION concrete.television@uea.ac.uk 23.10.2012

HOMELAND

The hit US show returns for a second season but Venue investigates whether the writers are treading controversial ground

Billy Sexton Fans and critics alike received popular television series Homeland with open arms last year as Damian Lewis (Nicholas Brody) and Clare Danes (Carrie Mathison) collected Emmy awards for Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress. The show also saw off the likes of AMC’s Breaking Bad and HBO’s Game of Thrones

to take home the mantle of Outstanding Drama Series. Therefore coming into its second series, Homeland and Showtime were on top of the television world, and could do no wrong, right? Wrong. The opening episodes of the second series are arguably very anti-Islam and very pro-Republican

THE PLANE CRASH

with numerous examples to choose from. With Brody having increased status, and arguably an increased wage due to being a Congressman, his daughter is sent to a new private school and whilst engaging in a debate regarding American treatment of Middle Eastern countries, blurts out that her dad is a Muslim. This is laughed off as a joke and one of the world’s key faiths is compared to Scientology. Of course, viewers of the show will be aware that Brody is indeed a Muslim, but why is this laughable? Is there something funny or wrong with being a Muslim? When Brody’s wife, Jess, learns of this revelation she is reduced to tears. She then proceeds to claim that “it can’t happen” and is utterly disrespectful of Islam by launching Brody’s Qur’an to the floor and desecrating the holy book. Jess’ portrayal in the show, as an innocent, hardworking, suburban Mum, would suggest to many that this behaviour is acceptable, which cannot be further from the truth. Also, why can Brody believing and practicing Islam “not happen”? Is it illegal? Having said this, Showtime try to salvage some credibility at the end of the episode, and Brody and his daughter Dana respect Islam practices by wrapping

the Qur’an in cloth and burying it in the ground. However, even this practice isn’t acknowledged to the full extent as the Qur’an is buried in his back garden, which is not holy ground and is likely to be trampled upon. Homeland treads a very fine line with its portrayal of Islam. On top of this, Showtime appears to convey a proRepublican message in the second episode of the new season. Barack Obama is seen in the opening credits for every episode and therefore could lead viewers to believe that when the fictional characters refer to “the President”, they are referring to Obama. Therefore when the fictional vicePresident claims that “the President isn’t protecting his country, he’s just riding out his term”, one cannot help but link this to the current political situation across the Atlantic, where Obama is in a rigorous re-election process, facing stiff competition from Mitt Romney. Give Homeland as many positive reviews as you like and hand Showtime as many Emmy’s as you like too, but as much as one enjoys the show, it must seriously reconsider and re-evaluate its attitude towards and portrayal of Islam. Make up your own mind, and tune in at 9pm every Sunday, Channel 4.

remember next time you’re jetting off on holiday. Listen to the safety briefing, sit within five rows of an exit and towards the back of the plane, always wear your

seat belt and in the event of a crash get out as fast as you can. While the chance of being in such an accident is less than one in a million, it’s best to be prepared.

4oD, available now

Romy Higgins We’ve all wondered while boarding a plane where the best place is to sit. Whether it’s to get a view from the window seat, be first to get served dinner or to have the shortest journey to the loo, we all have our favourites. But viewers of Channel 4’s The Plane Crash might now have different priorities thanks to an unprecedented experiment led by an international group of scientists. This show documents the deliberate crashing of a Boeing 727 so that crash investigators, scientists and airlines can learn more about what happens to both the plane and the passengers. I was a little wary of watching this, because I like holidays and don’t want to be a nervous wreck for the whole journey, but it certainly made for fascinating viewing. The set up, involving turning the 727 into the biggest remote controlled plane in the world, was interesting, but honestly we were all waiting for the main show: when pilots deliberately crash landed the

plane into the Mexican desert. Now, we have all seen crash footage on the news or on YouTube, but they’re very rarely anything more than a few minutes of shaky filming from someone’s iPhone. But with dozens of high-resolution cameras fixed inside the cabin, this show offers a unique perspective of what might happen if the worst comes to the worst. As well as these, crash dummies reveal our fate depending on whether we brace, wear a seatbelt or even where on the plane we’re sitting. Some viewers might think that this whole scheme is just scare mongering, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s one of the most informant pieces of television in recent times, and by drawing in viewers with a real plane crash, it makes them more likely to remember the important bits, of which there were many. Although no two plane crashes are ever the same, this show recreated the most common, and highlights the main things you should


TELEVISION 23.10.2012 concrete.television@uea.ac.uk

www.concrete-online.co.uk

STAND UP TO CANCER

new: ME AND MRS JONES

As if the smooth sound of Idris Elba voicing the adverts weren’t enough of a reason to watch it, Channel 4’s Stand Up To Cancer, which aired last Friday, was presented by Davina McCall, Alan Carr, and Dr Christian Jessen, and was the televised fund raising show of the year. With the event being opened by Gwyneth Paltrow earlier last week in London, the star studded hordes are behind not just the one off live programme itself, but behind the whole UK movement of SU2C, which was brought over here from the USA by C4 and Cancer Research UK. Not just raising money, but raising awareness, the live show was an

Not another new BBC sitcom that lacks any substance. Sadly, yes. It felt like a replacement for My Family – a safe, middle class comedy that doesn’t push boundaries but still makes watchable TV. There is, however, no shortage of acting talent in the show. Neil Morrissey (Men Behaving Badly) and Robert Sheehan (Killing Bono, Misfits) top the list but there’s not too much for them to sink their acting teeth into here. It’s not that they can’t act, especially given Sheehan’s amazing performance in recent BBC drama Accused. But the script fails to provide anything that would push any of the actors’ abilities. The script itself is average. The jokes

Jack Parker

attempt to not only let the viewers in on the statistics and facts of cancers, and show what can be done with more research and our help, but it was also to provide an excellent night of entertainment as well. A host of celebrities and SU2C merchandise have backed this charity event for weeks, and as it’s all going towards a great cause. You can donate any time too (and get the shirts!) as Cancer Research UK is always happy to accept donations, as well as Stand Up accepting too, so if you missed it, you can still donate whilst watching. A good laugh, for a good cause - so make sure you get donating!

Adam Dawson

are so predictable they won’t even make you inwardly smile. The unadventurous jokes don’t detract from the show as a whole because it’s that kind of show – anything other than this style would be completely out of character for a Friday night BBC sitcom. Having said this, it is really easy to switch off brain functions and watch, or have it on as background noise. Even knowing that it’s going to be the same, week in week out, it’s good for a Friday after a week of working when you really don’t want complex wit or puns. Catch Me and Mrs Jones on BBC 1 at 9.30pm on Friday, first two episodes on iPlayer now.

MODERN FAMILY returns

FRESH MEAT returns

Jay Slayton-Joslin

Indigo Griffiths

Fans of genius comedy rejoice because ABC’s Modern Family is back for another spectacular season. Those who missed out on the first three seasons can tune in for an episode of the Emmy award winning comedy at any stage, without fear of missing out on plot lines. Essentially, Modern Family follows three homes from one family. Whether it is the Dunphy household with highly entertaining father Phil - a man who thinks he is a cool dad for knowing all the words to High School Musical songs and is much like his son Luke. Daughter Alex is the genius of the family, while mum Claire is the Dunphy voice of reason, yet is constantly worried that her eldest daughter Hayley, is going to be just as wild as she was in her teen years. The Tucker-Pritchett household is home to Claire’s brother, Mitchell,

an uptight lawyer whose partner, Cameron, is carefree enough for the both of them despite being a stay at home father for their daughter Lilly. The third household belongs to Claire and Mitchell’s father, Jay, and his wife Gloria, a beautiful Columbian woman whom Jay married after the death of his first wife. Jay has adjusting to do when dealing with being married to such a passionate woman, and meanwhile, her son Manny, manages to be more mature than the pair of them, despite only being 13. It may seem complicated but even if the family tree is hard to follow on paper, you pick it up in no time - and the new episode ‘Bringing Up Baby’ is Modern Family at its best: funny and smart, yet touchingly emotional. Find Modern Family on Sky One, Fridays at 8pm.

When Fresh Meat first aired last year its gritty comic realism was a reminder of why we previously loved programmes such as Skins or The Inbetweeners. This week the hit Channel 4 programme returned for a second series and is not to be missed. Fresh Meat is an anarchic comedy interspersed with genuinely effective moments of realism. It is both sitcom and drama, depicting believable, funny, yet sometimes disturbing portrayals of university life ranging from relationships to one night stands, coping with everything from searing hangovers to the death of a loved one. The humour and familiar awkwardness of a cocktail of different cultures, backgrounds and vodka should be familiar to any student.

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We have posh boy JP (played by the hilarious Jack Whitehall), the nervously awkward Kingsley (The Inbetweeners’ Joe Thomas) and his would-be-but-never-quite girlfriend Josie (Kimberly Nixon), alongside the desperate to impress Oregon (Charlotte Ritchie), the nerdy Scotsman Howard (Greg McHugh) and of course the legendary Vod (Zawe Ashton). On the basis of the opening episode, the latest series will not disappoint. Our characters are now second year students and while some appear to have changed – Kinglsey is sporting facial hair and Josie has a new BFF – others thankfully are largely unimpaired, notably JP who is just as ridiculous, yet somehow believable, as ever. So tune in to the series on Channel 4, Tuesdays at 10pm, or catch up on 4oD.


NO MORE LIES To raise the cap on tuition fees is wrong. We will resist, vote against, campaign against, any lifting of that cap. Nick Clegg, 2009

REALITY: “There’s no easy

way to say this: we made a pledge, we didn’t stick to it and for that I am sorry”. Nick Clegg, 2012

NATIONAL dEMO 2012 21.11.12 | FREE COACHES | UEASTUdENT.COM Campaigns & Democracy Union of University of East Anglia Students (UUEAS) is a registered charity England and Wales no 1139778


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CREATIVE WRITING

23.10.2012 concrete.creativewriting@uea.ac.uk

www.concrete-online.co.uk

Flash Fiction

A Selection of ‘Quick Fic’ for all you jolly busy types

A Shot

Her

Nobody ever believed that Todd would be capable of this.

There I was, my mind resting against the headboard, staring into the spaces around me as she shuffled tenderly around the room. Her expression was blank, yet suggestive; her hands offered life to the most benign and inanimate of objects as she swayed over pens, pencils, mugs and the blinking lights of the computer screen, which reflected her subtle features as I stared, bewildered, at new feelings and emotions laid before me. I felt as if this beginning would end at any moment. Some foul truth or unknown realisation

By Erin Michie

He held the rucksack tightly, clutching it in his fists, watching with satisfaction as the material twisted and scrunched between his fingers. He’d found it outside a storefront on his way to school. There it was, sitting right in the middle of the pavement, as though somebody had deliberately placed it there; though it had probably just been forgotten, or dropped. Dropped for him? Todd wasn’t sure. Probably not. But here he was, plucking it from the floor, and running the zipper down its teeth to reveal what was buried deep within. His hand reached into the dark stomach, tentatively at first, then aggressively as he rummaged. He felt keys, an old Nokia-style phone, what he presumed to be a wallet, and then – bingo. Treasure. Chilled metal rested against his palm, weighty in his grip – Todd found himself at a crossroads. He ran his fingertips gently over the barrel of the gun, coldly, possessively, until he had made his decision. Nobody believed Todd would have been capable of this. He loped his way through the school corridors, shoes squeaking, the rucksack bumping against his thigh with each lumbering step. No longer would he be himself; he would be something worse. He would change so permanently and violently that he would scar – himself and others. It didn’t really matter. Familiar faces watched as he strode past; he looked down, not around, and followed the pathway set before him. His decision was made, his resolve hardened. Knocking on the Headmaster’s door, he waited and heard, “Come in, Todd.” Nobody believed. The voice, so curt and detached, distorted his vision as it gradually sunk into his bones. So he entered. “Hello, Dad.” Afterwards, Todd shut the door behind him slowly. He was grinning.

By Chester Bowerman would land me in my previous life of shuffling through packed dancefloors, gazing desperately into the eyes of men and women sharing moments together which I never had. More special than she could realise, I could not help but wonder what she saw in me. I felt like it would all end, but it didn’t, and through her graceful movements and her unspoken words which uplifted everything around her, she too has uplifted me.

Poetry

Nelson’s Column

When I Retreat

The silence creeps through the valley of misunderstanding.

When I retreat from my life outside

The lies grow as weeds in an unkempt garden.

Leave the cars and the flowers to lose value

Who are you to tell me how to live, how to be.

In solitude, I am confronted by the mass

By Marguerite Christine

By Tom King

Of a working machine Trust is essential here, in this foreign land.

That talks endlessly of money and never of dope

Belief in ourselves, disciples of our own religion.

A machine that never sleeps –

I am trusting you with myself, trust me.

At night climbing through my ears From my bedpost as I rest

This is not a battle.

There to conduct my dreams –

We are no Trafalgar.

And in the morning it has eaten my breakfast

You are not Nelson.

So I wait for lunch In what can only be described as A sorrowful state At my empty plate

Next Issue concrete creative writing

is looking for work according to the theme of...

ROUTINE

please submit all contributions by tuesday 30th october to

concrete.creativewriting@uea.ac.uk Happy Writing!


18

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GAMING

concrete.gaming@uea.ac.uk 23.10.2012

Review: Dishonored

Oliver Balaam

“The boldest measures are the safest” reads the plaque above the entrance to Dishonored’s dystopian city of Dunwall. A plague ridden fusion of gothic, British turn-of-the-century and brutalist sci-fi architecture, it’s a beautifully twisted

sight that, as supernatural assassin Corvo Attano, you’re most likely to survey from the rooftops. Dishonored’s design sensibilities are a shrine to player choice and consequence, so what you do from those rooftops is your decision. You could use the game’s central traversal mechanic, blink, to teleport a short range. Elegantly zipping through the Dickensian streets, you can assassinate your target and ‘blink’ right out of there again, undetected. Alternatively you can take a more direct approach and blast through the front door with a supernatural gust of wind and your blunderbuss blazing. Importantly the combat, which combines fierce melee duels with supernatural and firearm support options, is just as viable and enjoyable as the stealth approach. A minor complaint could be levelled at the disappointingly conventional arsenal of weaponry but the inventive kills made possible by combining these weapons with the supernatural powers make up for this.

Dishonored’s combat is at its best when players bend and combine gameplay systems, approaching enemies as puzzles to play with rather than simple cannon fodder. It encourages players to experiment in every facet of its gameplay. Factor in supernatural powers and you will be possessing your target and making them commit suicide; attacking them by spawning plague rats and even escaping by possessing a fish and swimming for freedom. In its bold, playful and inclusive approach to player empowerment, Dishonored sticks to the aforementioned mantra of its totalitarian government closely. Although through sharp writing and subtle environmental storytelling, the aristocracy that rules Dunwall reveals itself to be a corrupt and detestable establishment, Corvo has a personal stake in his quest for blood. Framed for the murder of the empress, he joins a loyalist campaign to dethrone the murderous conspirators and place the empress’ daughter and rightful heir on the throne. Dishonored tells a tale of

power, politics and poetic justice and, with a fantastic voice cast including Susan Sarandon, Chloë Grace Moretz and Lena Headey, it’s up there with Bioshock as one of the best tales ever told in the medium. Concern has been voiced about the length of the game after a speed run was posted online that came in at little over four hours. Thankfully, with important but completely optional side quests, there is far more to the game than some reports would have you believe. You can complete Dishonored in four hours in the same sense that you can beat Super Mario World by playing 12 of the 96 levels. While our exhaustive playthrough came in at over 20 hours, the ability to miss content is an unfortunate side effect of Dishonored’s faith in player freedom. Often resembling a painting in motion Dishonored is a beautiful, multifaceted and inventive game that respects its audience. In a marketplace crowded with sequels, it proves that the boldest measures are the safest.

Review: XCOM: Enemy Unknown Marlowe Hill

XCOM: UFO Defence is one of the few games of the nineties that stands the test of time. The game’s ability to create unnerving tension while building a connection with your troops made it a cult classic. Firaxis

Games had a huge task when they decided to remake the original but under the guidance of Sid Meier, master of the turn based strategy, what could go wrong? XCOM: Enemy Unknown puts players in control of an extraterrestrial defence force and immediately succeeds in recreating the eerie atmosphere of the originals. Storytelling, something Firaxis don’t attempt in their seminal but emotionally abstract Civilisation series, is one of the elements that set the game apart from its predecessors. Narrative ties the entire experience together and, told through cut scenes and conversations with members of staff, it guides players through what could easily become confusing and overwhelming freeform experience. Guidance doesn’t mean the game is easy though, you always feel on the back foot with the alien menace staring you down and a council of nations (upon whose funding you depend) watching your every step. While a weighty narrative might impress and surprise strategy fans,

they will be happy to hear that the meat of the experience is the still the gameplay. Split between base management and turn based combat, these micro and macro systems are interconnected and confidently balanced. The base is where you research alien technology, produce new armaments, manage your aerial fleet and scan the globe for missions and UFO sightings. Missions force you to pick a nation to save, causing panic in the nations you ignore. If eight nations pull out of the project, it’s game over. The constant need for diplomacy adds an element of political tension and makes XCOM much more than just a bug hunt. The ground combat is also elegantly paced; each unit has two phases, a movement phase and then a secondary movement or attack phase. Cover, flanking and outmanoeuvring are key to your squad’s survival. Frustratingly, aliens get a free movement turn when you spot them, making planning ahead vital. Playing hastily can leave your

squad dangerously exposed and even get them permanently killed. The game is punishing but fortunately the controls help keep the combat smooth, both keyboard and mouse and controller provides equally accessible experience. Your squad remains the main pull of the game and the connections you form as they play against the odds, level up and specialise are only amplified by the dynamic cinematography. Indeed the turn based nature of XCOM allows it to look fantastic without sacrificing control fidelity or environment readability. The multiplayer allows you to create a squad to pit against others across the world but lacks the dramatic weight of the core game, making it a nice but needless addition. XCOM is a phenomenal experience with soldiers that you grow to care for, rewarding and hard fought battles and emotive touches like the memorial wall. The fate of humanity is in your hands and this game is not to be missed.


GAMING

23.10.2012 concrete.gaming@uea.ac.uk

www.concrete-online.co.uk

Review: Borderlands 2 Sam Emsley

Where to begin? A game that proudly boasts “a bazillion guns just got bazillioner” along

with infinite levelling and loot, Borderlands 2 is expansive to say the least. A sequel to one of the most surprising and successful games of 2009, it builds upon and out-does everything in the previous game, and that is no small feat. The storyline is admittedly simple, but the gameplay is so engaging and varied that you’ll seldom notice. Weapons and gear are randomly generated resulting in rare, precious finds and armaments with the most ridiculous and varied characteristics, including ones that explode when you reload them. This produces unpredictable combat situations that only become more chaotic when you throw in inventive grenade mods, class abilities, challenging opponents, and cacti that shoot lightning rather than prickle. Pandora, the frontier planet on which all of this madness takes place, has also evolved since the last game. The sci-fi meets western aesthetic is still present but new locations, weather conditions and a talkative cast of characters really flesh out the world. Perhaps

the biggest improvement is the characters and the writing. Gone are the mission dispensing mutes of the original in their place are a diverse, well voiced and genuinely funny cast. Comedy in games is risky and largely uncharted territory but Borderlands 2 manages to do it really well. With inventive cussing, zany personalities, a minefield of cultural references and genuinely witty dialogue, it knows its audience and will have you laughing. The epitome of the game’s humour has to be the two foot robot with a six foot ego. Clap Trap. He alone is reason enough to check this game out. A heavy criticism of the last game was that he wasn’t featured enough but now he’s a central character (indeed he thinks he’s the protagonist), regularly providing amusing commentary, benevolently referring to you as his minion, and inviting you to his birthday party. Borderlands 2 is better with friends and co-op is aided by vastly improved online lobbies, and a split screen function for local

@Concrete_Gaming

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play. Splitting the screen does result in a minor performance hit and can make some of the menus difficult to navigate but this it’s worth it for the experience. Whilst the singleplayer campaign is great fun, the excitement of impromptu duels with teammates, combined powers, more resilient enemies and the added enjoyment of playing such a light-hearted game with friends is not to be missed out on. The splitscreen option affords no excuses for not roping a housemate into what could be well over 30hrs exploring Pandora completing various side quests and killing everything in your path. Borderlands 2 is a fantastic sequel that looks to get even better thanks to the imminent release a ‘season’ of downloadable content. Indeed the recent free release of a fith character class is a kind gesture, but only the beginning. Gamers looking for a serious, story driven narrative with realistic gameplay and aesthetics should definitely look elsewhere but as jovial, quirky, celshaded gaming goes, this sets the bar.


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@concrete_arts

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ARTS HISTORY : THE LIFE AND WORKS OF OSCAR WILDE

Matt Jennings When one thinks of Victorian literary greats, one thinks, perhaps, of the likes of Dickens, Hardy and the Brontë sisters, rather than of the charismatic and decadent figure of Oscar Wilde. Indeed, despite his extreme intelligence and unbridled literary excellence, Wilde is often regarded as more of an early pop celebrity than a serious writer. Urbane, erudite and monumentally sophisticated, Wilde thrived in London’s high society after graduating from Oxford with a double first. He occupied that liminal space between the bourgeoisie and the aristocracy of the English capital with considerable comfort and style, regularly dining with the most fashionable and influential figures of the day. In 1997 the novelist Michael Bracewell stated that “urban luxury was to Wilde what daffodils were to Wordsworth”, suggesting that it was from this environment that Wilde sourced his spiritual, intellectual and artistic sustenance. It is probably Wilde’s only published novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, which demonstrates Bracewell’s assertion most accurately. Primarily found in the dining

rooms and smoking lounges of London’s elite, the novel’s eponymous hero possesses a striking resemblance to the author himself. Although The Picture of Dorian Gray was never intended to be semi-autobiographical, the arrogant and hedonistic protagonist embodies many of Wilde’s most discernible idiosyncrasies, perhaps most significantly his reverence of the aesthetic, an artistic ideology that informed most of Wilde’s work. This is not a character assassination; calling Oscar Wilde “arrogant” is like describing the Pope as “Catholic” or Nick Clegg as “spineless”. After all, this is a man who wrote that “to be in love with oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance” and also famously said, “I have nothing to declare but my genius”. Instead, this is a celebration of Wilde and his work, especially his plays which were incredibly popular during his lifetime, and indeed still are today. Although it is his comedies, particularly The Importance of Being Earnest, that claim most of the limelight, it is conceivably his biblical tragedy Salome that deserves the most attention. Powerful and poignant, it is perhaps the

text that best demonstrates Wilde’s skill as a playwright. As a counter-cultural icon and oneman cult, it is likely that Wilde will forever overshadow even his best work. However, as long as his work is held in the regard that it merits, he has probably earned all the attention he can get.

Jessica Burgess

began; a red light focused on a lone giant man centre stage, head tilted with his wide eyes glaring unendingly into the crowd. His brief monologue (to be repeated several times throughout the performance) set the high standard of acting that we were to be treated to over the next two hours. The entire cast gave an incredibly strong and

concrete.arts@uea.ac.uk 23.10.2012

REVIEW: UEA’s Creative Writing Anthology Readings Angeline Dresser

REVIEW : ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST UEA’s Minotaur Theatre Company

Last week, the Minotaur Theatre Company performed their production of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The disturbing direction and content of the play became clear as soon as the curtains rose in the UEA drama studio to reveal a minimalistic set comprised mostly of a stark white colour. An unnerving sensation rippled through the audience as the opening sequence

ARTS

believable performance. Despite the simplistic costumes that the setting dictated, each actor claimed their own footing on the stage. A great deal of effort had evidently been taken to individualise the characters; the consistent accents and mannerisms were particularly impressive. Jonathan Moss, who played the charismatic McMurphy, did not disappoint. From his dramatic entrance, he carried the narrative, providing eccentric comedy whilst also highlighting the darker plot motives. His stage presence was only challenged by Nurse Ratched, played by Izzy Daws, whose presentation of the sickeningly calm and collected nurse certainly turned stomachs. In fact, if it hadn’t been for the shocking finale, I would be tempted to question Nurse Ratched’s humanity. However, McMurphy’s sorry end did manage to break her cold composure. The script itself is very well composed; despite the gritty subject matter the play wasn’t all doom and gloom. Slips of comedy appeared at welcome intervals to lighten the mood and of course it was the most childish quip of the “bare butt” that received the loudest chuckle. On a more serious note the scene changes were so slick that they were hardly even noticeable, and at the interval it was a surprise to look up to find the University drama studio, not the midst of a London Theatre.

With the end of another Creative Writing MA programme has come another edition of the always anticipated Anthologies. The launch opened with the question of whether creative writing is something which can be taught at all. In conclusion, the process was described as more of a joyful conversation between intelligent people who are impassioned by writing. This intelligence and persistence in experimentation is evident in the pieces of writing. Whilst consisting mainly of poetry, prose and scriptwriting the readings also included work from life writer Adrian Ward. Ward identified himself as the senior of the group and strikingly, cited his wealth of experience as less of a disadvantage. Though the forms of poetry were varied, there were many pieces which explored the omnipresence of nature and anthropomorphism. Eleanor Stuart’s poetry compared humble seeds to the journey of Apollo 13. It could be read as seeds caught up in a breeze or a surmise on life as a first burst, the momentary weightlessness of youth quickly followed by the inevitable fall back to the fertile earth. Whatever image intended, in this poem, as in many of the other works, the subtley and grace allowed space for interpretation and contemplation. With stark difference there was a splash of comedy with Chris Ogden’s more comical poems. Ogden read a poem about Star Wars, and written purely as a challenge, another was ‘Waiting for Robbo’. Gayna Clemence read a section from her novel. This snippet formed a peculiarly precise account of a funeral reception; she hit it like a rusty jewel. She talked of the tensions surrounding politeness and the inevitable numbers of triangle sandwiches. It was so apt, uncanny. It is clear that the crop of last year’s MA was a fruitful and varied one and you can catch them again at London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place at 7pm on Wednesday 24 October.


ARTS

23.10.2012 concrete.arts@uea.ac.uk

www.concrete-online.co.uk

ARTS POLITICS: ART IN REVOLUTION

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Adamovich and the porcelain plate “Kapital” Sophie Szynaka Throughout the October Revolution of 1918, art was essential for communicating communist ideology, because the majority of Russia’s population, the peasantry and proletariat, were largely illiterate. Their success in fighting off the realities of foreign invasion and civil war, both of which threatened to take advantage of Russia’s current political instability, depended on the organization and leadership of the Bolshevik party. They united the country by allying with the peasants and working classes, who would provide the food and man power needed to defend Russia. This desire for unity amongst the proletariat is seen clearly in Adamovich’s futurist style “Kapital” plate. This was inspired by the 1918 revolution and made to celebrate the creation of the world’s first communist state. Centrally placed in the distance is a factory, the source of economic power crucial to Marxist theory. Painting the factory red indicates it belongs to the workers (not their capitalist bosses), and the white smoke puffing out is evidence of its healthy

productivity. From this smoke a vast yellow sunburst represents the new possibility of an enlightened communist future, which is banishing the dark forces of the repressive capitalist past, shown by black clouds to the edge of the margins. On the left side (unsurprisingly) a red silhouette of a man strides forward into the image. The figure of a working man has no identifying detail as he is not individual, but represents the entire industrial proletariat, moving into a brighter future that they will create themselves. He tramples over an area of barren ground where the letters of the word “Kapital” (capitalism) lie broken. Overall, art played a decisive role in transforming Russian society and shaping the new Soviet citizen. It set the stage for a new era of heroic portraits and political art that could inspire, be easily interpreted and related to by the Russian population and the rest of the world. The art of this time, such as Adamovich’s plate, helps us to understand the communist’s ultimate goal; to convert all nations to their ideology and create a completely new world.

REVIEW: T.C. BOYLE UEA’s Literature Festival 2012 Kerry Johnson T. C. Boyle, author of 23 novels, returned to UEA after his last visit in 1993. At the beginning of the evening, Boyle apologised for his appearance saying, “usually I’m an elegant professor; I blame this look on my Ryanair flight today”. Despite his rather sarcastic tone, he greatly emphasised the importance of deep research when writing. The Chanel Islands off the coast of California formed the basis for his novel When the Killing’s Done, where true events, such as an animal activist who was highly against the idea of killing the diseased rats infecting the islands, took place. Despite the rats eradicating the bird population, the activist chose to liberate the rats, destroying the birds as a consequence. When referring to the issues attacking our earth today, Boyle says “There is nothing better for fiction than misery”. Boyle follows this theme in his novel, A Friend of the Earth, where he highlights the commotion we have caused to our

precious planet. Similarly, in Drop City he highlights the urgency to slow down our consumption of these resources. He asks “Can we escape these conditions?”, “Can we control the environment?”, “Are we all doomed?”. His fiction provokes us to answer these questions for ourselves. Indeed, Boyle was eager to recite his short story, The Lie. His highly descriptive style was a first person narrative asking us to think about the way we handle our mistakes and how we often hurt or exploit others. Boyle certainly has no interest in transforming his books into films, explaining that he wishes only for his fiction to live within our imaginations. That said, many a student have interpreted his works on film, and The Lie has been transformed into a fiction film. After a successful interview and reading, Boyle was asked by a member of the audience “how novelists deal with lack of hope?”, so which he replied, “art, creativity, music. How does any human being deal with the absence of hope?”.


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COMPETITIONS

www.concrete-online.co.uk 1

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concrete.competitions@uea.ac.uk 23.10.2012

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across

2. Author of Dracula (surname) (6) 5. Nocturnal flying mammals (4) 8. Fear, disgust (6) 10. 1922 Classic Vampiric Film (9) 12. Famous Satellite (4) 15. Giant tentacled fictional god (7) 16. Strange (10)

4 5

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9

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down

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1. Large orange fruit (7) 3. The tenth month (7) 4. Spirit of the dead (5) 6. Spells sung or spoken (6) 7. Creator of a monster (12) 9. Quoth the ----- (5) 11. Toil and ------- (7) 13. The pumpkin king (4) 14. Preserved corpse (5)

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SUDOKU

© Kevin Stone [www.brainbashers.com]

Each 3x3 box, row and column must contain the numbers 1-9.

EASY SUDOKU 8

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THE CROSSWORD COMPETITION

WIN BAT FOR LASHES TICKETS! Bat for Lashes, the work of British singer/ songwriter, multi- instrumentalist and visual artist Natasha Khan, is coming to UEA on Friday 26 October! The singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is on a full UK tour in conjunction with the release of her third album The Third Man, on 15 October. Since releasing the universally acclaimed album Two Suns in 2009, which has now sold over 250,000 copies, Natasha toured South America with Coldplay in 2010, collaborated with Beck to write a song for the Twilight film, Eclipse, headlined two sold out shows at the Sydney Opera House in June 2011 and covered Depeche Mode’s ‘Strangelove’

for Gucci’s Guilty campaign, released on limited release on 7” vinyl for this year’s Record Store Day.

To enter and win two Bat for Lashes tickets for Friday 26 October at the LCR, simply complete the crossword above and hand it in, with your name and email address written on the reverse, to reception at Union House by Wednesday 24 October.

Bat for Lashes tickets can also be bought at the Box Office on campus, at www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk or by calling 01603 508050


LISTINGS

23.10.2012 concrete.listings@uea.ac.uk

www.concrete-online.co.uk

23 October - 5 November Tuesday 23 October Bowling for Soup Price £18.50 Advance 6pm UEA LCR Radio 1’s Greg James Price £3.50 Advance 10pm UEA LCR Toy w/Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs plus Eyes @ The Waterfront Studio Price £8 Advance 7.30pm The Waterfront Wednesday 24 October The Cribs Price £18 Advance 7.30pm The Waterfront

Thursday 25 October Conor Maynard Price £17.50 Advance 7.30pm UEA LCR 8th Time Luckie Vs The Ocean’s Eyes The Knockout Co-Headline Tour 2012 @ The Waterfront Studio Price £5 Advance 7.30pm The Waterfront

headliners

Thursday 25 October LCR

Hazel O Connor Greatest Hits Tour including Breaking Glass Live Price £20 7.30pm The Waterfront Friday 26 October Bat for Lashes Price £17.50 Advance 7.30pm UEA LCR Color Birthday Party - Music in HD Price £9/£8 NUS Advance 10pm-4am The Waterfront Saturday 27 October Meltdown + Wraith Spooktacular Price £4.50/£3.50 NUS Advance 10pm-3am The Waterfront The A List Price £4.50 Advance 10.30pm-3am UEA LCR Sunday 28 October A Loss For Words w/ Save Your Breath, Decade and LYU (Light You Up) @ The Waterfront Studio Price £8 Advance 7pm The Waterfront

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Spector - Enjoy It While It Lasts:The Tour Price £10 Advance 7.30pm The Waterfront

Friday 2 November Sub Focus + ID Price £10/£8 advance NUS 8pm-12pm UEA LCR

Saturday 3 November The Pistols + Hotwired + Ziplock @ The Waterfront Studio Price £10 7pm The Waterfront

Tuesday 30 October

RAG Zombie Run 2012 Price £4 3.45pm UEA Woods

Wednesday 31 October

Halloween Ball with Liqueur (A Tribute To The Cure) + Witchers Price: £6/£5 NUS Advance 7pm The Waterfront The Waterfront Halloween Ball 2012 Price £4.50/£2.50 NUS On Door 10pm-3pm The Waterfront This Town Needs Guns Price £5.50 8pm-11pm Keir Hardie Hall Thursday 1 November Sabaton + Eluveitie + Wisdom Price £15 Advance 7.30pm The Waterfront

Sunday 4 November Shinedown Price £16 Advance 7pm UEA LCR Monday 5 November Twin Atlantic + Charlie Simpson Price £13.50 Advance 7.30pm UEA LCR Jakwob@The Waterfront Studio Price £9 Advance 7.30pm The Waterfront UEA Ticket Bookings Visit the Box Office on Campus Online: www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk Or Phone 01603 508 050

venue recommends three highlights of the next fortnight

Conor Maynard Price £17.50 Advance 7.30pm

Sunday 4 November LCR Shinedown Price £16 Advance 7pm

Friday 2 November LCR Sub Focus Price £10/£8 Advance NUS 8pm


VENUE Issue 273

Photo: Max Hetherington


Venue 273