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VENUE

ISSUE 291 Juliette Pailo


concrete.venue@uea.ac.uk

www.concrete-online.co.uk

14.01.13

VENUE

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contents

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procrastinate in style Welcome back! We hope you’ve had a relaxing and gluttonous Christmas, and are ready to start the semester full of zeal and energy. The festive period means that Venue is stocked with reviews of the big T.V. and film moments that filled your screens through December and January. Meanwhile, Music catches the tail end of list season with a rundown of the past year’s finest releases. Looking onwards, though, there plenty of must-see events this year, including some fine standup from comedians such as Jimeoin, Miles Jupp and Rich Hall. There will also be a visit from Alastair Campbell at UEA as part of the Literary Festival. Who knew?

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the spoken word

Calling all photographers: Venue would love to have some new and original photography for the front and back covers of our publication. In collaboration with UEA Photo Soc, we will be running fortnightly competitions to showcase talent. Whether you make the cover or not, all entries will be featured in our website’s brand new online gallery. To enter, contact Jonathan Alomoto at ueaphotosoc@gmail.com for more details. Stay cute, Ciara and Hayden

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all is lost review

Editor-in-Chief | Sidonie Chaffer-Melley Venue Editors | Hayden East and Ciara Jack Music | Editors | Jack Enright and Alex Flood Music Contributors: Hayden East, Flo Evans, Alex Flood, Olivia Grosvenor, Laura Higgins, Jack Lusby, James Mills, Mike Vinti Fashion | Editors | Madz Abbasi and Ella Sharp Fashion Contributors: Laura Deakin, Hayden East, Olley West, Arts | Editor | Callum Graham Arts Contributors: Lewis Buxton, Amelia Lytton, Jono Oliver, Rom Treiman Creative Writing | Editor | Holly McDede Creative Writing Contributors: Eleanor Chandler, Jake Reynolds, Apollonia Roman Gaming | Editor | Sam Emsley Gaming Contributors: Daniel Delargy, Sam Emsley Television | Editor | Robert Drury Television Contributors: Adam Dawson, Neven Devies, Melissa Haggar James Szumowski, Phil Turtle, Holly Wade Film | Editors | Holly Wade and Adam White Film Contributors: Matthew Atwood, Neven Devies, Alex Flood, Thomas Hall, Saul Holmes, Luke Keleher, Josh Mott, Ha Nguyen, Courtney Pochin, Chris Rogers Holly Wade, Adam White Competitions/Listings | Editor | Saul Holmes

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MUSIC

www.concrete-online.co.uk

concrete.music@uea.ac.uk

ALBUMS OF THE YEAR: 2013

Venue writers list the past year’s top ten releases DISCLOSURE SETTLE Olivia Grosvenor

Ever felt compelled to scrawl a squiggly white line over a picture of your face? Probably not, that is until Disclosure’s debut album Settle took 2013 by storm. The young British duo, Guy Lawrence and his younger brother Howard (awww, sibling solidarity) have gone from humble beginnings to being one of the biggest influences in Britain’s unstoppable House music obsession. And it’s all down to a 14-track pearler of a record. Settle, released in June 2013 and nominated for the 2014 Grammy’s ‘Best

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Dance Album’, creatively combines 1am floor fillers, chart-ready successes and soulful vocals from a selection of pop music’s finest. But luck is a factor the size of a dust particle in the success of the album; instead, what Settle possesses is the input of a track listing master plan. In just over 60 minutes the boys demonstrate an ability to seamlessly roll from the minimalistic vibes delivered in ‘Fire Starts to Burn’ straight onto an MTV lottery winner like ‘Latch’, and that’s only the beginning of this genius design. Pop-bopper ‘Voices’ featuring Sasha Keable, a showcase of pop-garage revival (…anyone remember Misteeq?) is cleverly placed in the lead up to ‘Stimulation’, subtly reeling in the daytime radio heads and injecting them with a huge dose of ravey wholesomeness. So a round of applause is in order for Disclosure’s success, most notably in the creation of a blueprint for the unity between underground dance music fans, now compilation listeners, MTV watchers and nostalgic ex-raving dads. And, of course, thumbs up to Guy and Howard for maintaining diversity and a true House music vibe in the face of the mainstream populous. An album that serves to please a pop culture as well as a rave culture, aren’t we all glad that’s now been settled?

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HALF MOON RUN DARK EYES James Mills

The National - Trouble Will Find Me Arctic Monkeys - AM Speedy Ortiz - Major Arcana My Bloody Valentine - MBV David Bowie - The Next Day Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Push the Sky Away Boards of Canada - Tomorrow’s Harvest James Blake - Overgrown Janelle Monae - The Eleectric Lady

Hailing from Montreal, Half Moon Run garnered much critical acclaim upon

DRAKE NOTHING WAS THE SAME

Upon its release, Canadian rapper Drake’s Nothing Was the Same came as somewhat of a shock compared to his hugely successful 2011 effort, Take Care. Littered with high-profile guest spots, it bore an air of immediacy, and celebrated the success of an artist reaching the peak of his powers. Comparatively, Nothing Was the Same is a stripped back affair, as we find Drake confronting his success and its effect on his relationships. Unlike his previous, Nothing Was the Same refrains from a lengthy features list.

An unwelcome ramble by rap oligarch Jay Z on ‘Pound Cake’ is the only high-profile appearance to make the cut. The result leaves Drake and his long-term producer, Noah ‘40’ Shebib, free from clutter and allows the rapper more room to ruminate. This isn’t an underdog story, however. On ‘Started from the Bottom’, the rapper celebrates his rise to the top. Elsewhere, on triumphant opener ‘Tuscan Leather’ - a 6-minute chorus-less beast - Drake boasts “my life’s a completed checklist”. Famously a sensitive soul, Nothing Was the Same could be described as Drake’ most personal yet. He confronts his diminishing friendships on ‘Tuscan Leather’, “not even talking to Nicki, communication is breaking”, whilst on the Sampha-sampling ‘Too Much’ he proves no one is safe from his lyrical scrutiny. He laments the effect his success has had on his family “money got my whole family going backwards”, and blasts his mother reportedly for not coming to his shows “I hate the fact that my mom cooped up in her apartment.” Album highlights include the aforementioned ‘Too Much,’ but its best is opener ‘Tuscan Leather’. Drake poses on the latter that “we’ll see who’s still around a decade from now” – from this showing one name is surely already pencilled in.

the release of their debut album, Dark Eyes, in mid-2013. Although released in Canada the previous year, the band took to remixing and remastering the album before its UK release last year, and in addition included a new song titled ‘Unofferable’. Despite barely knowing each other upon forming the band in 2010 (it took a Craigslist ad to bring them together), the album that these four musicians have crafted together is about as powerful a debut record as any band could hope for, and offers an original and slightly darker take on the folk-tinged indie-rock sound (Mumford & Sons et al) currently peaking in popularity. From the opener, ‘Full Circle’, with its three-part vocal harmonies and foundation of finger-picked acoustic guitar, through more fast-paced and energised anthems such as the single ‘Call Me In The Afternoon’, and on to slower songs like ‘Need It’, with its sexy groove

nicely juxtaposed by more sombre lyrics, Dark Eyes continuously offers quality songs, each with their own distinct and memorable feel. Half Moon Run seem to have struck the perfect balance in the crafting of these songs, displaying musical prowess but with enough space between the parts to suggest a sort of unspoken agreement to avoid showboating. Paired with its smooth, rich and yet spaciousfeeling production, the album makes for an engaging listening experience that is sure to win Half Moon Run a place in the hearts of many. It’s a sound that translates well live too, as evidenced by recent sessions for BBC Radio 1, and with the arsenal of songs displayed on Dark Eyes, Half Moon Run look set to be the next big thing.

Jack Lusby

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MUSIC concrete.music@uea.ac.uk

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ALBUMS OF THE YEAR: 2013 HAIM DAYS ARE GONE

Jack Lusby

Every year, a few albums are released that manage to transcend critical acclaim into genuine commercial success. 2012 had Frank Ocean, the year before that Fleet Foxes’ Helplessness Blues cemented their position in the hearts and minds of many, whilst The XX were the darlings of 2009. This year Haim, much like The XX, built up their reputation slowly but surely. Over a year after the release of their debut single ‘Forever’, the album Days Are Gone reached number 1 in the UK Albums Chart. A product of college degrees and

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touring with former Strokes’ frontman Julian Casablancas, the sisters Haim were a refreshing success in 2013. As an all-female band they are refreshingly non-sexualised, with the quality of their song-writing shining through. Evolved from traditional indie rock, Days Are Gone contains elements of electro, R&B and classic rock. Whilst not wholly original, their sound bears a breezy sheen as the sisters intertwine vocally and musically. Early highlight, recent single ‘The Wire’ finds Este, Danielle, and Alana trading off verses over a guitar-led groove as they contemplate a stunted love life. Elsewhere ‘Honey & I’ finds the band succeeding in making an anti-romance sound so sickly sweet that it wouldn’t be out of place on the Matilda soundtrack. Most interestingly yet is ‘My Song 5’, which finds Haim at their most experimental, with pitch shifts, synthesised lines and a ridiculous powerpop middle eight. From a promising indie outfit to a number one album, Haim’s growth in 2013 has been remarkable. Featuring heavily on end-of-year lists and boasting an early performance on Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage last year, at this rate the band will be much higher on the bill next time around.

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ARCADE FIRE REFLEKTOR Alex Flood

Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold Atoms For Peace - Amok Kurt Vile - Walkin’ On a Pretty Daze Fuck Buttons - Slow Focus The Flaming Lips - The Terror Palma Violets - 180 Chance the Rapper - Acid Rap Burial - Truant/ Rough Sleeper MIA - Matangi

Following the astounding success of their Grammy-winning, musical commentary on social middle-class fury The Suburbs, and previous tentative trips into dark and sinister themes on Neon Bible and

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With a three year gap between Foals’ second and third studio album, the wait for Holy Fire has been a long one, and it was always going to have to be something pretty special to top Total Life Forever. However, extensive touring and lengthy hours in the studio from the British Indie rock band seem to have paid off for them and their third album was well worth the wait when released in February 2013. Their fan base, although large and devoted prior to the album’s release,

has grown significantly since Holy Fire, particularly with their heavy presence on the festival circuit in the summer of 2013. Lead single ‘Inhaler’ was aired near the end of 2012 and is a powerful number that enticed fans, creating excitement and anticipation for the album’s release. The single showcases Foals slightly edgier new sound, heavier than seen before in Total Life Forever. With other highlights such as ‘My Number’ its lyrics ‘You don’t have my number, we don’t need each other now’ are sure to have been stuck in listeners’ heads for weeks on end after the album’s release, not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to Foals. ‘Late Night’ is also a gem within the album, providing softer listening compared to the rougher and harder sound of much of the rest of the album. There is something about the hypnotic feel to the rhythmic songs that require them to be played at full volume, in order to fully immerse ones self in the spectacular spidery sounds of the guitars. This is music that would well and truly get a room moving, the vocals of frontman Yannis Phillapakkis draw the listener in and for that Holy Fire deserves its place in the top albums of 2013.

Funeral, it seemed about time for these melancholic magicians from Montreal to let their hair down and have a good party. Hell, maybe even kick off your snowshoes and have a dance guys. And that’s what Reflektor has turned out (rather surprisingly) to be, a dance record. This tantalising troupe of weird and wonderful instrumentalists has fused their own brand of indie folk-rock with producer (and LCD Soundsystem man) James Murphy’s electronic whizz and bassy beats to create an all-round thrilling floor filler, with a bit of Haiti’s witchdoctor voodoo thrown in to keep us all from getting too comfortable. From the disco daring-do of the eponymous opener, right down to the more self-reflektive closer ‘Supersymmetry’, which sounds like the Velvet Underground & Nico catapulted out into the ether, Reflektor is a masterpiece from start to finish, and well worthy of this list. Even a cameo from His Majesty David Bowie cannot reduce its levels of seriousness from anything other

than anthem-laden, sonically charged, o v e r b e a r i n g - a t - t i m e s - i t ’s - s o - g o o d sensational-ness. And that’s just the music! Before even starting on how flippin’ cool Win Butler is nowadays, displayed on Reflektor in all his pointyshoe, Mountie magnificence, but let’s stick to the record. Reflektor deserves to go down as one of the top records of 2013 for several reasons other than it being mindbogglingly marvellous. Arcade Fire have made something here so stratospherically out of their comfort zone that even the Queen should get off her royal arse and plonk a twinkling tiara on Win’s greasy locks. They even pull the darn thing off! With Reflektor, Arcade Fire have morphed into the thing the music scene needs most, an outrageously good rock band that can actually be progressive and still sound out-ofthis-world good. O Canada.

FOALS HOLY FIRE Laura Higgins

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PEACE IN LOVE Flo Evans

NME magazine certainly weren’t wrong when they listed Peace in their Ones to Watch in 2012: since then, the band’s acclaim and popularity has done nothing but increase. Having gained many new fans and a reputation for sublime live performance when they performed in the NME Awards Tour in February, the Birmingham quartet did not disappoint when they released their debut album shortly afterwards in March. In Love opens with the uplifting ‘Higher than the Sun’, with lead singer Harry confidently vowing that “everything’ll turn out right”, and it seems that for Peace,

BLOOD ORANGE CUPID DELUXE Hayden East

In both life and art, Devonté Hynes has spent his 27 years as an outsider. A young black male raised in London within a tight-knit circle of gay schoolmates, he spent his childhood mercilessly bullied. It’s

MUSIC

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concrete.music@uea.ac.uk

ALBUMS OF THE YEAR: 2013 everything will, in fact, only get better for them. The second track on the album is single ‘Follow Baby’, offering screeching guitar in a contrast to the melodically smooth backing vocals of Doug and Sam. They aren’t trying too hard to be grungy though – ‘Follow Baby’ is an effortlessly cool single. The outrageously catchy ‘Lovesick’, another brilliant single, exudes the essence of classic teenage angst, the youthful desire for that little bit of adventure and excitement in life. ‘Float Forever’ is elegant and exquisite, with smoothly beautiful guitar that washes over the listener and complements the thought-provoking lyrics: “swim down through the fathoms of your soul.” the song’s artful charm makes it almost impossible not to do so. ‘Wraith’ and ‘Delicious’ both have incredibly infectious melodies; it would be hard not to be swept along by Peace’s rhythm and catchy choruses. The latter half of the album does not fail to impress, with ‘Waste of Paint’ bringing an echo of nineties Britpop and ‘Toxic’’s offering of memorable guitar riffs. The penultimate and closing tracks, ‘Sugarstone’ and ‘California Daze’ leaves the listener lulled into a dreamy state, after a journey through an album of refreshingly vibrant lyrics and heavenly guitar to accompany it.

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unsurprising then, that he would find his muse in the New York City ball culture of the mid-to-late 1980s, in which the gay and transgender community gathered for highly structured competitions during a time of extreme oppression and poverty. Though only one track specifically references this world – the jazz-funkindebted ‘Uncle ACE’, which offers a window into the lives of homeless LGBT teens who seek refuge in the ACE subway line – the idea of the ‘other’ is one that suffuses Cupid Deluxe. Hynes’ career has always been one marked by guises (first, his post-punk band Test Icicles, followed by a folk-pop reincarnation as Lightspeed Champion) and this record sees him assume more practical roles, including straight man, straight woman, and the LGBT community. Hynes’ biggest success has always been as a producer, so it’s no coincidence that Cupid Deluxe’s wide range of guest musicians, samples and references are used with precision and purpose. Spaced just ten minutes apart, ‘Clipped On’ and ‘High Street’ create a transatlantic narrative, using the disparate accents of rappers Despot

SAVAGES SILENCE YOURSELF Flo Evans

If you are one of the masses who is taking the semi-serious and mostly-from-ahorizontal-position approach to your degree, then you might have come across Savages before they released their album – hitting that YouTube related search bar with directionless curiosity. They received almost overnight acclaim after a black and white video of their performance at The Shacklewell Arms, Dalston, went online. For many less savvy YouTubers (or medical students), globally, May 6th 2013 was a noteworthy day. Silence Yourself isn’t just a debut album from a group of ferociously and Skepta to articulate Hynes’ current NYC dwelling and his Ilford upbringing, respectively. He remains as astute a musician as he is a sonic architect, however – some of the record’s most affecting moments are directly his own contributions. Closing track and ‘It Is What It Is’ coda ‘Time Will Tell’ ensures it ends on Hynes’ terms with a delicate one-take vocal. Cupid Deluxe runs the gamut of 80s touchstones with a masterstroke, but always as a means to a much more important end, enabling Hynes to form a topography of his memories. Blood Orange is hardly the first act to fetishise outsiderism, but never has it sounded so artistically and emotionally pure. Like with all good collaborative albums the line between guest and star, becomes blurred. What makes Cupid Deluxe better, however, is that it goes one step further, blurring the lines between gay and straight, male and female, native and immigrant, insider and outsider.

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talented musicians; it’s a war cry. Since being picked up by Pop Noire records in 2012, Savages have unapologetically commanded our attention with a painfully accurate assessment of the dehumanising effects of technology. Ironically, their oppositional stance has sky rocketed them into Tumblr #fame. In the lead up to their tour for the album, the band released posters which read, in no discreet terms: “WE BELIEVE THAT THE USE OF PHONES DURING A GIG PREVENTS ALL OF US FROM TOTALLY IMMERSING OURSELVES.” Antagonistic politics, monochrome clothing, and darkly theatrical presence on stage – this is acutely post-punk and dripping in patchouli. Savages are serious. Contrived, perhaps, but deeply cathartic. It’s strange but somehow sensible that drummer Fay Milton has her percussion roots in the UK Garage scene. Guitarist Gemma Thompson cuts through the sound like a live chainsaw, while Ayse Hassan’s bass is almost backing singer to lead singer and powerhouse, Jehnny Beth. As a vocalist Beth is arresting, but her lyrics have depths which can only be truly respected with attention and patience. The sound leaps out at you and grabs you by the throat. Put simply, her lyrics come from frustration as a musician, as a woman, and as a human.

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ALBUMS OF THE YEAR: 2013 KANYE WEST YEEZUS Mike Vinti

No album this year has had more column inches dedicated to it, both before and after its release, in every corner of the media; from Worldstarhiphop to the Guardian, everyone has an opinion on Yeezus. The constant debate over the merits and flaws of the album analysed every beat, every rhyme and every brag, however what makes Yeezus so important goes beyond the mere musicality of it.

Yeezus’ impact is far more than musical, it’s cultural. Tracks like ‘Blood on the Leaves’ and ‘Black Skinhead’ see Kanye take his loudmouth reputation and use it to address race in modern day America, a subject often ignored by rappers’ of his stature once they’ve ‘made it’. ‘New Slaves’ attacks the commercialism he continues to peddle and ‘Bound 2’ eclipses anything R.Kelly released last year as the greatest love song to be released in the last decade. Yeezus’ feature list seems infinite and the production credentials read like a pitchfork writer’s dream team, including Hudson Mohawke, Daft Punk and Lupe Fiasco. Throughout the album Kanye’s bars tackle race, religion, money and class, in a spectacular blend of tongue in cheek and stone faced honesty. The true genius of Yeezus is in these contradictions and ambiguities which make the album open to thousands of interpretations and do more to expose experimental hip hop to the mainstream than any other artist in the game right now. No other artist would think to get drug rap extraordinaire, and general hater of sobriety, Cheef Keef and Bon Ivor’s Justin Vernon to feature on the

same track, let alone be able to craft it into one of the standout tracks of album. Hip hop fans and Telegraph journalists alike have dismissed Yeezus’ for its offensive and often overly simplistic lyricism, failing to realise Kanye knows exactly what he’s doing when he spits “get this bitch shaking like Parkinson’s” or “eating Asian pussy all I need was sweet and sour sauce.” Taking a leaf out of Odd Future’s book of ironic, yet sinister braggadocio and Death Grips’ anarchic approach to production ‘I’m in It’ is the most offensive song on the album by a stretch, home to the lyric “black girl drinking white wine, put my fist in her like a civil rights sign” and a beat built around the moans and gasps of various women, it’s not exactly subtle nor is it supposed to be. Yeezus’ production is a as diverse as the quality of Kanye’s lyrics, opening with Daft Punk produced experimental choral banger ‘On Sight’ before transitioning into the stripped back, industrial style beats of ‘Black Skinhead’ and ‘I Am A God’ and back into the auto tune heavy 808’s and Heartbreaks reminiscent ‘Send It Up’ and ‘Bound 2’. Kanye’s classic sampling mastery is given new, darker

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emphasis on ‘Blood on the Leaves’ with its mind-bending fusion of Nina Simone and neo-trap duo TNGHT while ‘Hold My Liquor’ warps and drawls along, soaring high pitched guitar riffs wailing underneath Justin Vernon’s oscillating vocals. With Yeezus Kanye West takes the dark experimentation and self- reflection of 2010s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and projects it onto society at large, dismissing consumerism and raging against the machine in which he is a vital cog. It’s an album full of contradictions, praised by the late Lou Reed and railed against by many of Kanye’s fans. Yeezus is a rejection of the hip hop establishment and an album that perfectly encapsulates the uncertainty and contradiction of twentieth century life. Throughout the album Kanye West is brash, unafraid to offend doesn’t give a fuck about what you think. Now hurry up with his damn Croissants!

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Editors’ Pick Who and what will be big in 2014 Lupita Nyong’o

Incredible in 12 Years a Slave, and one to admire on the red carpet

FASHION

concrete.fashion@uea.ac.uk

Welcome to 2014!

Olley West forsees the fashion future According to the ancient fashion zodiac, 2014 is the ‘Year of Beyoncé,’ so at Venue we have been staring into the depths of her visual album trying to commune with the fashion gods. Follow us as we share our mystical fashion visions. Warning: ahead lies colour, lots of colour! First on the agenda is a trend that is creeping back onto the scene this spring: pastel colours. The high-street is very into this trend; already we’ve seen several statement pastel beauties appearing in Topshop and New Look. The beauty of the pastel colour palette is that it allows you to wear a multitude of shades without looking garish. You can also create outfits with a unified theme that will never look monotone. Our top tip to make this trend work for you is to purchase pastels in different forms: a soft pink jacket, teamed with a lilac purse and a few jade bangles will allow you to look colourfully harmonic without looking too contrived.

So refresh your spring wardrobe with a few pretty pastel pieces! Lady Gaga’s latest album, ARTPOP, preached a new wave of pop culture that would find itself becoming infused with art, and it seems certain the fashion world is listening. Chanel took the bull by the horns at their Spring 2014 catwalk, bringing actual artworks into their runway to further blur the lines of art and fashion. Venue particulary loved the bright colours applied like paintbrush strokes. We hope to see last years William Morrisstyle printed sweaters and flower patterns move in a more art-themed direction. Later in the year we are expecting to see an influx of renaissance figures and classical artworks draped across our t-shirts. A favourite site of Venue’s is Romwe, an American clothing company that offers some beautiful prints. You’re going to be a walking masterpiece! Venue have spotted three trends

emerging for the year in makeup. Orange is the word for lip colours, with bright oranges and orange-based reds looking to be big during summer. For eyes, we think that 2014 is going to be the year of the kahjal, a new type of smudgy eyeliner that has been very popular in the Middle East, and we’re probably going to be using these eyeliners in a sixties-style revival. Our tip for an instant retro update: dot the eyeliner under your eyes and, using a kahjal cone, wing it out big on top. Shoe addicts please be seated for this next piece as Carrie Bradshaw is bringing out her own shoe range, sort of. Sarah Jessica Parker has announced her first collection coming later this year, working with who else but Manolo Blahnik. Whilst the price will probably be a little out of student budget, we can’t wait to see what will happen when one of the most iconic shoe-lovers is allowed to get creative.

London Collections: Men

Mickey Mouse Used from Damien Hirst to Katie Eary: expect big things for this little mouse

Feminine trends for men and women Don’t be afraid to show off your softer side

Alexa Chung Her first fashion line is set for the rails in 2014. Surely a sell out

Hayden East talks Autumn/Winter 2014

There’s often little to be made of a sponsor, but there was something about day one’s early unveiling of Penhaligon’s as the official scent of London Collections: Men that would frame the proceeding days. Just as the fragrance has “continually adapted” with “a flash of heritage flourish,” so too has British fashion pushed forward in terms of innovation, always retaining a penchant for nostalgia. As such, the first major trend of LCM is surely one that everyone saw coming: the nineties revival. Brands have been inspired by the era for years, but A/W 2014 sees designers wholeheartedly embrace turn-of-the-century chic. Jonathan Saunders’ collection featured vibrant stripes and bright check prints alongside a slew of bomber jackets, while Astrid Andersen’s grunge-inflected output (pictured) saw staples such as American football jerseys and joggers alongside aquamarine accents. More surprising is the season’s overall colour palette, largely monochromatic but willing to flirt with some unlikely hues. Lou Dalton’s Britpop-inspired collection revealed pink bleached double denim, but the most transgressive colour to mark A/W 2014 by far was Campbell’s tomato soup red. Seen on the runway on more than one occasion, it’s a daring but effective move, particularly with knitwear.

And on that topic, let it be known that turtleneck is the new crew-cut. In fact, the catwalk nodded to an oversizing of almost all casualwear, with Topman spearheading the movement. Expect double-breasted coats that hit well below the knee and bulky jackets cut just above the hipbone. Design director Gordon Richardson seems keen to reflect both aesthetics and practicality – ironically reflecting the nation’s recent storms, his models were drenched in rain as they walked the runway. Formalwear is equally as dynamic this season, with the advent of coord for men as an alternative to the suit. Still, staunch

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advocates of tailoring will find much to love in Richard James’ work, with highlights such as big, statement lapels and blazers with a metallic sheen. Expect these trends to receive particular crossover attention, as the likes of Tinie Tempah, Mark Ronson, and the ever-charming Oliver Cheshire were all in attendance. Of course, with every season there are fashion statements more idiosyncratic than others. Venue would advise you to stay clear of JW Anderson’s handbags and gaffer tape bangles, but Bobby Abley’s grills were a pleasant surprise to proceedings, and that’s a look that this guy is prepared to rock.


FASHION concrete.fashion@uea.ac.uk

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14.01.2014

Photographer: Matthew Morton, Stylist: Rachel Hayllor, Model: Anna Knell

Procrastinate in Style

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It’s New, but You Laura Deakin Once that loan hits your student bank account, the allure of the aisles can be too overwhelming to ignore. Fear not, Venue is here to tempt you away from spontaneous splurging. It’s time to give your worn down winter wardrobe a fresh spring makeover. Do-It-Yourself Don’t be tempted to fritter away your loan when you can do-it-yourself. Charlotte Olympia’s Cat Face Flats have been seen everywhere on the most stylish of A-list feet. Rather than fork out on the designer, grab that old pair of black pumps and follow blog ‘Trends and Benefit’s’ tutorial for a copy-cat flat. Slogan tops will be huge for spring, but those thousands of generic tops saying LOVE and PEACE are old news. Make something unique with a stencil set, fabric marker, and any plain top. Stencil down your favourite quote, lyric, word to make it your own. Venue recommends Shopruche’s DIY handmade doily

peter pan collars to up-cycle those worn out dresses and tops. Want something less permanent? Pick up a Peter Pan collar for less than £5 a piece on Ebay, wear over a floral dress for a vintage feel and tap into the contrast collar trend for the new season. Make Your Wardrobe Work Overtime Re-examining the way you pair your clothes can instantly make over worn clothes feel fresh. Intentionally clashing florals and stripes is a huge trend for the spring season. Never thought that breton top and vintage floral skirt go together? Now they do. Or why not try adding a pretty collar to any dress by simply wearing a shirt underneath. Accessorising is a classic wardrobe reinvention tip for a reason. Accessories like a bowler hat or a patterned retro scarf can become the showpiece in an otherwise plain outfit. Layer to make the most of abandoned seasonal pieces. Take inspiration from boho veterans the Olsen twins and pair that summer maxi skirt with ankle boots and a tough biker jacket. Rather than chucking that

favourite sundress under the bed for next summer, throw a chunky cropped knit over it for effortless chic à la Alexa Chung. Transform Those Old Basics Basics can be just that, basic. Bored of that old maxi dress? Cut a slit down the side, making sure to hem to avoid fraying, for a sexier take on the classic. Grunge is here to stay, and nothing says effortless style like a casually ripped up pair of jeans. Those old jeans hanging in your wardrobe will already be aged and roughed up, so why not add a rip or two, or if you’re advantageous, get experimental with bleach. It’s all in the detail. Tartan elbow patches will transform that old cardigan and hit all the fashion notes. Add embellishment like pearls and studs to forgotten shirt collars and battered leather jackets. Transform those old heels just in time to be ready for Valentine’s Day with some adorable heart shoe clips from Jessica In Your Ear. Creativity doesn’t cost a thing, so keep your pennies for a rainy day and get customising!


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Spoken Word Poetry

Lewis Buxton gives a run down of who to look out for in 2014 WhyBlueMatters The Arcadian Project

Spoken word is poetry designed for the stage. Though it has a long history, Youtube has provided the opportunity for spoken word poetry to be shared with millions of people. Concrete has collected 10 of the best artists, both old and new, from across the world, who are doing especially exciting things in 2014. All can be found at the click of a button and a few punches on the keyboard. Andrea Gibson Gibson is a North American spoken word poet and activist. Her work is a prime example of the best kind of metaphors: ‘Our mouths were fire escapes: the words coming out couldn’t care that they were naked.’ She puts spoken word next to folk music, has made six albums, and tours across the US Look for her new album Truce but also look back on some of her older work like The Madness Vase. Poems: ‘Thank Goodness,’ ‘Photograph,’ ‘Gospel Salt.’ Shane Koyczan His poem ‘To This Day’ went viral in 2013 when he explored bullying and campaigned for more to be done about it. A topic we all thought was worn dry by GCSE drama is shocked back to life with his poem. Tragedy moves seamlessly into humour for this Canadian poet and his soft words punch audiences in the gut.

Poems: ‘To This Day,’ ‘The Crickets Have Arthritis,’ ‘Stop Signs.’ Kate Tempest Tempest has just won the Ted Hughes award for innovation in poetry. Born in South-East London her work as a rapper blends perfectly with the UK performance poetry scene. With a new touring show Brand New Ancients Tempest is creating a thunderstorm across the UK. Poems: ‘Brand New Ancients,’ ‘Cannibal Kids,’ ‘Icarus.’ Malika Booker Family, gender, nationality and identity permeate her new collection Pepper Seed like strong spices in a Caribbean dish. Her performances are impeccable and there is a lilting jazz tone to her voice which makes an audience feel totally safe in her hands. She makes you gasp with joy, horror and hilarity all at the same time. Poems: ‘My Mother’s Blues,’ ‘Saltfish’ ‘Warning.’ Anthony Anaxagorou Softly spoken, Anaxagorou slips controversy and pertinent issues into his impeccably crafted poems. A master story teller with a musicality that lifts his work to the top of UK poetry. His recently released EP uses classical music alongside spoken word to tell stories most of us would be too scared to tell. His is a voice for people who don’t have one. Poems:

‘What If I Told You?’ ‘This is not a poem,’ ‘There I Was.’ Sarah Kay Founder of spoken word educational project known as VOICE, Kay is known by many for her TED talk ‘If I should Have a Daughter’. Though young she has years of experience, and it shows in the fluidity of her poems and her performance. Poems: ‘Brother,’ ‘If I Ever had a Daughter,’ ‘Private Parts.’ Hollie McNish Her upbeat and tightly knit poems talk about motherhood unabashedly. She makes the audience question why we ever thought talking about breast feeding and nappies was shameful in the first place. Her work for local councils informs her poems on racism and immigration. A Cambridge based poet not hard to find on stages around the UK. Poems: ‘Embarrassed,’ ‘Touch,’ ‘Language Learning.’ Joshua Bennett Part of American poetry collective ‘The Strivers Row’ Bennett is a wonder to watch. His glowing poems seem to quiet loud rooms full of people. His tight rhyme schemes and apt metaphors show him to be an artist who has studied his craft and exhibits it regularly. He toured the UK in 2013 and hopefully will return again this year. Poems: ‘Hip Hop,’ ‘Dear

Stevie,’ ‘Baleanoptera.’ Russell J Turner Turner is a Norwich local who has years of experience in the Norwich poetry scene. His collection The Dead Start Fires and his one man show The Vodka Diaries show how a collection of hard and rough experiences can translate into incredible art. You can tell Turner is an admirer of poetry well as a practitioner of it. Dark, rich and always surprising, his one man show will be touring East Anglia in 2014. Poems: ‘The Dead Start Fires,’ ‘The Oslo Girls,’ ‘The Rusted Guns of Milan.’ Jasmine Cooray Having just finished a six month residency at the National University of Singapore Cooray’s work has spread itself across continents. In 2014 she will be back in the UK. Imagery heavy and never a word out of place, her work addresses mental and emotional health in a unique and engaging way. Poems: ‘Mother Theresa,’ ‘Breath,’ ‘How a Caged Bird Sings.’ The wonderful thing about spoken word is that it is easily accessible and through the wonder of Youtube is for the most part free. The poets collected here are really just the tip of the iceberg as there is such a plethora of strong and exciting work out there.


ARTS

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14.01.2014

What is JMAC?

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Amelia Lytton and Jono Oliver explore the new Art Collective CargoCollective

The Joint Manoeuvre Arts Collective (or JMAC for short) is a newly formed collective of young people showcasing their creativity through writing, music and experience. Based in Brighton, a talented crew produce music, creative writing, artwork including illustrations and graphic design as well as, in the near future, hosting and promoting parties and club nights under the JMAC title. A number of artists have started to release music under JMAC title, from D&B to trap and acoustic to hip-hop beats. It’s an exciting platform for artists to promote their material and get it into the public eye and for the public in return to experience great new talent. LEFT, Siqqed, Laska and Boneless to name a few. The musical side of JMAC exists to draw attention to music that might otherwise

not get much exposure online, for artists and bands that share the same positive, DIY attitude. New Years celebrations provided a new and exciting prospect for JMAC. A student house in Brighton was chosen and hosted JMAC’s first party. The house was transformed with a PA system, fairy lights, a strobe, throw and posters, turning it into a trippy den for the night proceedings. Six of the crew Djed the night, spinning bass heavy music at a loud volume, and the party raged until 9am, despite one super angry neighbour. The success of this party has led to bigger and better ideas for JMACs future including hosting house parties and small club nights along the South coast and over the UK. Aside from producing music, some

of the JMAC crew draw, illustrate and design. A number of these designs have recently been used for promotional stickers and t-shirts. The two aims of JMAC are original content creation; putting out as much creativity in as many different areas as possible, and finding and funding other like minded people; producing t-shirts and CDs for artists/bands/illustrators that share their attitude, taking them into the crew and promoting them and supporting them in all their endeavours. Into 2014, JMAC are looking to expand the family, finding more creative young people who need support and want to be part of the movement, and to show that you don’t need big business and labels to create something awesome, you just need a good attitude, and good friends.

JMAC

An Introduction to Rom Treiman on the Art of UK Electronic Music Highly acclaimed Keysound Recordings is a label anyone interested in any form of electronic music should know about. Launched by London producers Dusk & Blackdown, the label takes its name from the presence of a sonic keystone within their productions, a sound which suggests an environment, space or culture within a city. The label has continued to push the boundaries of UK electronic music from its inception in 2005 to its most recent release in December 2013. Dusk & Blackdown however are not solely producers, but hold a monthly radio show on the infamous once-pirate radio station; Rinse FM along with Blackdown writing for online music outlet Pitchfork and his own blog, where he has interviewed artists such as Burial and Mala. Blackdown describes Keysound as having undergone three stages, the first of which was a means to release their own material. Initial releases include ‘Drenched,’ a track which centers around a journey beginning in South London, heading to locations synonymous with dubstep; Streatham, Norbury, Norwood and of course ending in Croydon, along with, in my opinion, perhaps Burial’s best non-Hyperdrub release; a fantastic remix of the Dusk & Blackdown track ‘Crackle

Blues.’ Another particular noteworthy track from this era is ‘The Bits,’ featuring East London grime MC Trim over a beat that uses Chinese music samples. The second era of Keysound was the result of Dusk & Blackdown working on their second album Margins Music, and deciding to release music from the producers around them. The first release of this era, ‘Knife and Gun’ is a beat produced by Rinse FM founder Geeneus, and features big names in the grime scene; Wiley, Riko and Breeze. It is a track which will make any grime or dubstep fan feel nostalgic for better times. The release also has a frantic 2-step remix by Dusk & Blackdown on the B-side. This era also produced one of Skream’s finest productions, ‘Sweetz,’ a fantastically simple, spacy dark piece of music reminiscent of the work on Big Apple Records and 2005 dubstep sounds, along with the classic ‘Angry World’ on the B-side, which had been played for a long period of time by DJs before finally seeing a release on Keysound. EPs falling somewhere between dubstep and jungle released in this era from London collective LHF showcase some of the most interesting drum programming on the imprint. At present the label is in its third era and is the result of dubstep expanding into

new genres and the majority of grime MCs switching to road rap. Feeling isolated, Dusk & Blackdown began seeking out new producers for their label. Norwich producer Sully’s album ‘Carrier’ was perhaps the first release in this era, and features tracks with a range of influences, from the grimey ‘Let You Know’ to the UK funky style ‘Enconda,’ to even juke inspired tracks. 2012 saw the release of Dusk & Blackdown’s most recent album ‘Dasaflex’ which featured a collaboration with Burial on ‘High Road,’ which was a return by Burial to sounds more reminiscent of tracks such as ‘Pirates’ and ‘Southern Comfort’ on his self-titled album. Another of my favorites from ‘Dasaflex’ is ‘Lonely Moon,’ a beautiful tranquil track with grime-esque drum sounds and interesting vocals. Leading onto the most recent releases, 2013 produced some of the label’s finest work. Wen’s ‘Commotion’ EP is perhaps the label’s darkest most eerie release, and shows the young producer’s love for grime and dubstep, with eski style synths and halftime rhythms, this EP is, in my opinion, perhaps the best release of Keysound to date, and features the incredible ‘Nightcrawler’ production. Keysound’s most recent release is Logos’

‘Cold Mission,’ an album critically well received by websites such as Resident Advisor and Fact, websites that fans of electronic music will be well aware of. ‘Cold Mission’ placed 7th on Resident Advisor’s list of albums of the year and 13th on Fact’s. The album features sparse drum programming reminiscent of grime devil mixes. Sounds such as guns cocking, rewinds and strings are used throughout. Fans of classic grime will be pleased to hear such sounds used in Logos’ unplaceablewithin-a-genre style, comparable to the work of Jam City. Track 7, ‘Menace’ will leave you feeling both stunned and amazed. Releases to look forward to from Keysound include the brilliant Wen remix of the 2004 ‘Strings Hoe’ instrumental produced by Dizzee Rascal. For those now interested in Keysound Recordings but unsure where to begin I advise you to do any of the following: search for Keysound Recordings within iTunes (where many of the tracks mentioned are available), listen to Dusk & Blackdown’s Rinse FM radio show, find the ‘Roots of Keysound’ mix hosted on Soundcloud or check Blackdown’s blog at www.blackdownsoundboy.blogspot.co.uk. Perhaps the best option is to see one of the Keysound artists play in a club.


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CREATIVE WRITING

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concrete.creativewriting@uea.ac.uk

13

The following pieces were published on

@ UEA140Story Tweet stories of 140 characters or less to @UEA140Story

Inevitably though, there was that moment when someone asked her where she was from, and then it felt like the beginning all over again.

*

I was abducted by aliens when I left work this evening. But they had me home before dinner. So it all turned out ok. * 1 Jan. Everything same as last year – toaster, dog – but now some bitch with crazy eyes staring at me, thinking we belong together.

1:12

Eleanor Chandler

Island NationControlled

To shed the skin is to be reborn, but, with a new language; it is, at first, untranslatable.

Apollonia Roman

Recently he’s been dreaming about his childhood hermit crabs and their redundant carcasses, porous shells covered in infinite hairs, hidden in tiny graves that were marked by pebbles, shaded by the serrated leaves of an aloe vera plant.

I sit on the rocks lapped by the sea. The tide comes in at noon, sweeping all into a bandying dance. Gulls call, and I step into gentle wavelets. Barnacles, broken mussels, sea grass all waiting beneath the tender froth.

He pulls, heaves and sometimes bleeds, revealing something new: a pink and tender platform that barely remembers the way he was last tickled. It’s flaking off before he can dispose of it properly and soon his floorboards will be littered in dead skin.

Worried filled tide pools call for resting. So so frustratingly animated. What must it be like to be trapped, Simmering with boundless energy, Only in a puddle in the sun, yet Connected to the world infinite.

Plum Lips

Jake Reynolds Year unknown: everyone’s in their holocells, on Nap. There’s set to be an awakening in a minute and twelve seconds.

I croon to a snail, urging it out to answer my queries. How can one be so free and so contained in such vast harbors? Sea lichen edges rocks, reminding us of our restrictions. Let it drop, into open ocean.

Eleanor Chandler Icy asteroid capped gumboot landside, liquidised by central heating, peel the wool from my shoulders and pour me into me ongegai

There’s a fault in the Network; the servers are up and down like fingernails scratching a head, a hiccup, a poem that won’t rhyme.

My plum wine lips for dessert Too soon lurched from tatami Mats to bar pedestal, rite before saccharine coos from star sublime.

but not Badge-Names, and hold hands without gauntlets and go outside without Block.

His head spun enough to replace my name Call me kimi, call me her with that tender cartoon familiarity, this is it, heads lolled and I settled, yen spilled from my hands,

Now the servers are haywire; Naps are closing, the fault is spreading across the broad bands of the Network. Cause for concern, like an invention or divine intervention into people’s own ThinkTanks,

but legs trapezoidal without tessellation, the real japanizi evaporated between him defined me, to be untouched plastic receiver cold airport glass divide. Flickr: Quinn Dombrowski

Nocturnal potted gardens watched As my ungloved finger aimed for the moon, Barely reached neon Lawson.

Island NationFree Apollonia Roman I sit on rocks lapped by the sea, biting seagrass and barnacles grow towards stairs my father built. I seep into the tide, willing gull calls to rest worried filled tide pools with organelles that simmer skyward. I wonder what it would be to be a part of a stretch so vast, to reach to Europe and be bound by a pool warmed by the sun. I unstick a shell from the rock and croon to the snail urging it out of its shell. How could one be so free and so contained, in such a vast harbor? Birds scream, answering anon. Sea lichen skirts around shallow pools maintaining the aberration of freedom

fork stroked the surface of a cheesecake moon forming tendrils of sculpted sweetness; raking rather than listening.

Nap-adventures are becoming lucid again; S34 and S35 are sharing a nap-fantasy where they have names

saying this, now, clear: you, all of you, have one minute and twelve seconds to change the future of yourselves.

Peel

Flickr: Elio Assuncao


GAMING concrete.gaming@uea.ac.uk

www.concrete-online.co.uk

Look Back: Fallout

Sam Emsley

Games of

2013 was a momentous year for gaming which saw endless releases of huge, AAA titles as well as smaller indie games making their mark on the scene, not to mention a console or two. However a few stood out to be considered as some of the best games of last year. Metro: Last Light The sequel to Metro 2033 and perhaps the pinnacle of immersive, atmospheric gameplay, Last Light allowed us to explore the metro of post-apocalyptic Moscow to attempt to salvage the wasteland above. This game has everything: incredible graphics which add to the absorbing gameplay and mechanics, providing one of the most realistic shooters ever made. Every detail is considered and acknowledged, and every variable considered in Metro, making it a game which is certainly worthy of your time.

deviantart.com / Interplay Entertainment

Daniel Delargy It has been sixteen years since we were first introduced to the Fallout series. Over the years, the series has seen many developers, but this has not stopped the game from moving from strength to strength. Having been five years since Fallout 3, and three years since the release of Fallout: New Vegas, many expect another addition to a franchise which has captured the imagination of millions of players. In Fallout 3 it is hard not to be spellbound from the moment one steps out of the Vault into the world outside; when all you can see is a blinding whiteness, and then the world gradually comes into focus. The gameplay itself is an innovative move from the mechanics of the previous games which relied on turn-based gameplay, to real-time combat in largely first person perspective. Whilst it changes some aspects of the game, it keeps its core details, such as the jazz age influences, ranging from the music to the decor. Blended with this aged quality is a distinct classic science fiction feeling. The retro-futurism, referencing a wealth of works like Mad Max, Dirty Harry, Dune, 1984, Star Trek, and Doctor Who, really keep the player constantly amazed at the post-apocalyptic Fallout world. There have been many rumours recently

about a Fallout 4 – the most notable being hoax website thesurvivor2299.com, which faked a countdown along with an ARG using morse code to provide messages. There was also a recent submission by Kotaku.com of leaked casting documents for a project code-named ‘Institution.’ The voice actor who played Three Dog in Fallout 3 also tweeted saying that Three Dog would be returning, leading to huge speculation over a sequel finally being announced. Although it is only fan theories at the moment – with Bethesda warning that if you don’t hear it from them, then all rumours and speculation are false – it is worth noting that all theories appear to have a common trend. In Fallout 3, the Commonwealth (New England) is home to the mysterious ‘Institution,’ a mysterious organization known to possess advanced technology, including the ability to produce androids of high enough quality to pass off as humans. From the rumours, it is clear that the fanbase at least believes that these superior scientists should have some significant part to play in a future instalment of the Fallout franchise. Until an announcement is made, Venue shall continue to explore the wonders of the Capital and Mojave Wastelands.

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Papers Please An indie title which places the player as a border control agent for a communist state. As the entry requirements become more and more draconian, players must ensure all entrants are qualified and slipping up may cost you your job. However moral decisions have a profound impact and will call into question the banal evil of your daily life. Dota 2 Perhaps the standout game of this year in terms of scope and perfection, Dota 2 is

dota2wallpapers.com/Valve Corporation

Valve’s entry into the MOBA scene which has already soared to outstanding heights. A thriving competitive scene as well as over six million active monthly players ensure the game is always enjoyable. The learning curve may seem like a vertical ascent, but climbing even an inch delivers one of the most rewarding experiences in recent memory. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag After so many years and so many games, one might think the franchise would be past its apex, but Black Flag has shown that this is yet to be reached. The naval combat explored in AC3 was a good start, but lacked the polish which has been applied in Black Flag. The game leaves one helpless to battle for hours amongst other ships, visiting exotic locations, searching for buried treasure, and maybe meeting a Templar or two along the way. Bioshock Infinite A masterpiece from Irrational, Infinite reopens the world of Bioshock in Columbia, a city amongst the clouds. If Infinite is remembered for anything it will not be for any gameplay mechanics or graphical fidelity, but for its story. Perhaps the most interesting and daring story ever to grace a game, it moves the medium forward. It proves that superb writing is not limited just to literature or film, but can be present in gaming too, something which is seldom attempted, but in Infinite, executed perfectly.

Flickr: Javier Dominguez Ferreirio


16 T

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he issues with

TELEVISION

concrete.television@uea.ac.uk

Mrs Brown’s Boys

We take a look at the divisive Comedy’s Festive Specials

Holly Wade As a certified fan of Mrs Brown’s Boys the proposition of both a Christmas and New Year special brings nothing but excitement. The Irish maternal figure, played by Brendan O’Carroll, can be something of an acquired taste. The show revolves around the exploits of Brown and her large family (most of which are played by real-life family members). The show has built up a huge following, including sold-out tours as well as staggering viewing figures of the television series. Both of the festive episodes reached up to nine million viewers but why is this so? At face value the BAFTA winning Mrs Brown’s Boys seems to be nothing more than a man pretending to be a woman and swearing like a trooper. The poor quality Christmas television this year is something to go by. The real highlights come from its adlib sections. There is a long running joke where Brown’s youngest, Dermot (Paddy Houlihan), reads long tongue-twisterlike sentences as part of his general conversation. When O’Carroll pops out of character to taunt his fictional son

The Independent

into repeating this dialogue the awkward look on his face says it all. As such these breaking-of-the-fourth-wall sections really make the show what it is. The acting is, surprisingly, of quite

a high quality considering most are just members of O’Carroll’s family. This familial dynamic makes the show seem more comfortable and actually helps build the comedy, with the entire cast

Catherine Tate’s Nan - Review

BBC

Phil Turtle Catherine Tate reprised her Nan character over the Christmas period in a one-off episode with a view to producing a full series focusing solely on the character. With her nephew (Matthew Horne) away in Africa and only available via Skype, Nan is assisted by a local school girl in her fight to get the council to fix her tap. All of Nan’s trademark characteristics were present: the punchlines laden with swear words, fat people and gingers (a favourite of Tate’s) the target of many jokes, not to forget her trademark raucous laughter at the expense of others.   Having appeared in numerous charity specials since the original series concluded in 2006, Tate’s  Nan, or

completely at ease with one another and being able to laugh at themselves. Sometimes the humour can be a little crude: one prolonged joke in the New Year episode revolved around Mrs Brown’s bowels after her having eaten a curry, perhaps not for everyone. It is true that the finale of the group singing has become a little tiresome but this certainly shouldn’t detract you from watching. It seems that for most audiences Mrs Brown’s Boys is particularly refreshing. It has come under criticism for its repeated swearing but often swearing is a natural part of life. Isn’t Mrs Brown just saying exactly what we all think when we come across people such as Maria’s mother, Hilary (Susie Blake)? Thinking of shows like Eastenders, full of murder and adultery, it does seem strange that none of the characters there are actually telling each other to ‘feck off’ to quote Mrs B. Though it isn’t perfect and often leaves a little to be desired regarding plotlines and occasionally its humour, with an Australian tour and a feature film to come it looks like Mrs Brown’s Boys will only move from strength to strength.

The Bridge - Review

BBC

Joannie Taylor as she is known, had almost became a caricature of herself, resorting to easy humour and relying on the fact that seeing an old woman swear was enough to carry a show. Fortunately, this new episode brought a depth to the character, necessary should any further series arise. Her interaction with numerous other characters, plus the fact that she left the confines of her flat, resulted in new and interesting comedy situations.   Catherine Tate clearly has skills as both a writer and performer, and this show was an undoubted return to form for a character that had previously been getting stale. Whether the BBC will consider a full series to be worthy remains to be seen, but the viewing figures are likely to support such a return.

Neven Devies Highly anticipated Scandinavian crime drama, The Bridge, returned on BBC4 following the acclaimed first season. Picking up a year after the revelation of the Truth Terrorist, the unconventional duo of Saga Norén (Sofia Helin) and Martin Rohde (Kim Bodnia) reunite after a Danish ship mysteriously veers off course, colliding with the Øresund bridge which connects Denmark and Sweden. On board the investigators find no crew, but five teenagers are chained below deck and infected with a strain of bubonic plague. Unlike season one’s visceral opening, with its disarticulated corpse meticulously placed on the borders of both countries, season two appeared fixated on character as opposed to shock. Martin, stuck in

an office job and still suffering from the aftermath of his eldest son’s brutal death, was quickly shaken out of his victim mentality by no-nonsense, straighttalking Saga. The chemistry between both performers remains as brilliantly natural as before, reaching emotional heights in one particular sequence: Saga purposefully turns up the radio, drowning the sound of Martin’s grieving sobs as they cross the border. Although the series starts on an unexpected calm, The Bridge still manages to intrigue with a suffocatingly beautiful atmosphere and its slow-boiled mystery. With a bizarre eco-terrorist group, a manipulative, over-achieving lesbian student and a boy willing to please his bullies, the audience, are never quite sure in what direction they are heading next.


TELEVISION concrete.television@uea.ac.uk

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14.01.2014

The 7.39 - Review Adam Dawson Three of Britain’s best acting talents got together last Monday and Tuesday night to answer the question everyone has wondered about at some point: will I fall in love on public transport today? Of course, it certainly helps if the stranger who strikes up a conversation with you is as dashing as David Morrisey or as pretty as Sheridan Smith.  Not so helpful when the man is married to Olivia Colman, with whom he has two kids, and the other woman is engaged. Such is the premise of The 7.39, a two-part drama.   David Nicholls, writer of One Day (the excellent book and terrible movie) scribes this grown-up love story. It doesn’t come remotely close to being as good as it could have been. This is mainly Nicholls fault – his script is as thrilling as cleaning the kitchen floor. When a huge chunk of the drama takes place in a confined space you’d expect the dialogue to be good enough to keep you hooked; oh, how disappointed you will be. It’s not that the script is cringeworthy, it’s just perfectly okay – and that’s

BBC

simply not good enough from a bestselling author and we should all shake our heads vigorously in his direction. It’s not all average though, there are a few moments where it really hits

the mark. Unfortunately these mostly happen in the second episode, so if you’re not bored to tears by the first then you might find yourself curious about how it all ends. Predictably,

The Taste - Review

Coming courtesy of Channel 4, and with a format taken from the American version, is The Taste – a reality cooking show featuring judges Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain and Ludo Lefebvre. This glossy new series seems to be aiming to incorporate the dramatic flair of X Factor and the warmth of The Great British Bake Off in order to create some sort of intense fusion of uncontrollable weeping and ridiculously small portions. The premise of the first episode is 25 cooks (from professional chefs to home bakers) going head-tohead in a fight for 12 places on the judges’ teams (4 for each judge). After the gruelling elimination, the remaining cooks then battle it out in the upcoming episodes to stay in the competition and receive the coveted winner’s title. In case

unfortunately is the answer. Really, if you don’t see the ending coming you should get yourself down to Specsavers.  The three main actors do what they can to make up for its flaws, but there’s only so much they can do– even when they’re as talented as Sheridan Smith and Olivia Colman. They only really get to show off in the last portion of the finale. In fact, the first episode barely uses Colman at all. It should be a crime to give someone that talented so little to do. It’s just a shame David Morrisey doesn’t get the same chance. Instead, he’s left scraping the script barrel for anything that might remotely challenge him. If you need proof of his acting pedigree, he was The Governor in The Walking Dead. Muse on that if for some unknown reason you find yourself watching The 7.39.   Don’t worry if you choose to completely ignore The 7.39, no one is going to be talking about it anytime soon. It’s a thoroughly average piece of drama that misses more than it hits. If it wasn’t for the excellent actors doing their best with what they were given, it would have been a complete disaster. Well done them.

The Undateables - Review

Channel 4

Channel 4

Melissa Haggar

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that wasn’t dramatic enough for you, following the premise of The Voice, the judges will taste the spoonfuls without knowing who cooked what - oh, and the contestants are also sitting right behind them while they taste - awkward. Overall, The Taste has all the elements of a great reality-cookery show – the conflicting judges (sugary sweet Nigella vs. Mr. Stone-Face himself, Anthony Bourdain and the ‘very, very French’ Ludo), the dramatic, hunger inducing close-ups of food, the weepy contestants and the ever elusive hope of culinary success. Altogether, despite being slightly clichéd, systematic  and possessing a weird mash-up of existing shows, The Taste is propelled by its charmingly charismatic judges and the new element of the one spoonful of food to decide whether you make it onto someone’s team, or end up going home. 

James Szumowski After a year where great leaps were made in raising mental health awareness due to high-profile headline cases, The Undateables has become outdated, uninformed and, quite frankly, cruel. Returning to Channel 4 for its third series, the show claims to change the perceptions of its audience in relation to the stars of the programme; to show them as the normal members of society they are and to open viewers’ eyes to the trials and tribulations of the ‘undateable’ façade. It has, however, also been lauded as not much better than the bastard child of a Victorian freak show and Blind Date, allowing audiences to point and laugh at the things that make these people different, rather than inform the audience or even inspire a sense of togetherness. In this series’ first episode we meet

Mary, Daniel and Hayley, all of whom would be categorised as ‘different’ (Mary has a common form of Dwarfism, Daniel has Autism and Hayley has Apert syndrome), and get to know them as the programme progresses. The interviews are presented tastefully and with respect, although the interviewer frequently condescends and simplifies her questions, coming across as unprofessional and poorly informed. As we follow our new friends through their dates with potential partners, it’s almost impossible not to feel voyeuristic and even uncomfortable. One wonders if audiences would watch this programme if it weren’t for the fact that the people it follows are ‘different’. It becomes a viewings boosting freak show for the masses to snigger at, disguised as a sensitive programme chronicling three people’s quests for love.


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FILM

concrete.film@uea.ac.uk

At Cinemas Near You

American Hustle

Director David O. Russell Starring Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams Cert 15 Runtime 138mins Luke Keleher “You’re nothing to me until you’re everything.” David O. Russell’s American Hustle is an instant classic, and arguably one of the better films to come out of the past decade. Subsequent to his critically acclaimed Silver Linings Playbook, Russell has again proved himself a truly gifted director and script writer. With a stellar lineup including Playbook’s Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence (who picked up the academy award for Best Actress) as well as Christian Bale, Jeremy Renner, Amy Adams, and a fantastic cameo from Robert De Niro, the film was presumably at no risk of slipping too far away from the greatness of his previous work, yet the true power of the film lies in the flamboyant and skilled performances of the aforementioned cast. The chemistry between Bale and Adams is highly commendable, but Lawrence again steals the show in her performance of Bale’s young wife, and another nod for

an Oscar would not be surprising. Some of the most amusing and entertaining touches in the film are during her screen time. However, it is a shame that we are only given fleeting glimpses of the true depth and dynamic of her character. Stylistically, the film is in places influenced by directors such as Wes Anderson, with sweeping interior pans and close-up holds on seemingly irrelevant details which inter-cut the flashes between narratives. The attention to detail reaches even to the performances of the cast, with Bale reportedly gaining over 40lbs and herniating two of his disks in order to create the paunched physique of Irving. Perhaps a key frustration felt when encountering the film is in the very deceit of the con; the metaphorical rug is constantly being pulled from under the feet of the audience without much comprehensive rug-laying in the first place, leading to points of confusion and, some may feel, boredom. It is here that I should also mention The structure of the film is also strange, the traditional narrative organisation is discarded and, combined with the heavily layered plot, proves to dent an otherwise outstanding piece of cinema. The opening credits even feature the 1970s Columbia Pictures logo, which is the first instance of the film giving one

Business Insider

impression yet delivering something quite different. The blunt inter-title which precedes the film reads “Some of this actually happened”, which feels somewhat unnecessary when in fact what we are given is a series of indulgent performances and artistic license which make the film less about the ABSCAM operation and more about the extent to which the film can con and entrap the audience. The way in which the performances are predominantly improvised is apparent in the naturalistic ease of the interactions throughout the film, with touches such as the antagonistic kiss in the bathroom between Bale’s respective wife and lover in the film, which was apparently the idea of Adams. The setting of 1970s New York is adhered to with real passion, filtering the film with rich nostalgia which is felt in the

beautiful costuming by designer Michael Wilson, who drew inspiration from both Goodfellas and Saturday Night Fever. American Hustle is loveable for many reasons, not least the impeccable performances and soundtrack, but for the obvious big-heartedness at its core, which is the ultimate redemption for any of the film’s frustrations. Russell’s forte is shaping the madness of Americans and the careful handling of out of control personalities. The way in which he has surrounded himself with a family of actors which he has previously worked with serves the nostalgia and warmth and ties a big bow around it at the conclusion.

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The Hollywood Games

Courtney Pochin on why American Hustle’s Jennifer Lawrence is 2013’s victor Fashnberry

There are arguably hundreds of reasons why it is so incredibly easy to love Jennifer Lawrence, who at such a young age already has an Oscar for Best Actress under her belt and a wildly successful franchise resting happily on her shoulders. The most obvious reason, however, is perhaps the simplest of all, her quirky personality. It may come as quite a shock in this day and age, where we’ve endured having spoiled socialites and celebrity scandals force fed down our throats by the media, that the Hunger Games star appears completely unfazed by the fame and fortune being thrown her way. Instead of revelling in her success, the 23-year-old is instead seen to laugh it off and poke fun at both herself and her career, and it’s these jokes which make her seem, as clichéd as it may sound, more like “one of us”. Her easy-going and shockingly honest nature has caused quite a stir with the

public and press alike, especially during interviews, where Jennifer is known for saying anything and everything that comes to mind. This has included sharing embarrassing childhood stories (such as thinking that at the age of thirteen it was cool to pee her pants) and usually involves a joke or comment about food, an obsession of hers that she recently has blamed for her untimely tumble at the Oscars last year, where she was apparently distracted by the thought of cake and subsequently forgot how to walk properly in her Dior Couture gown. Despite her carefree outlook on life, the star has never been afraid to stand up for what she believes in. The star has always been particularly vocal about her feelings towards the subject of weight and has admitted that in the past she has refused to shed any extra pounds to gain a movie role. But it was her recent announcement that she thought “it

should be illegal to call someone fat on TV” that really got people talking. This refreshing stance, which in turn saw her being labelled as “fat” by Hollywood’s extremely harsh standards, is just another piece of the puzzle that ultimately caused her to become one of the most talked about stars of 2013. This feat alone is another reason to be in awe of the actress, who effortlessly dominates the media with so much charisma and wit that it’s quite easy to see why David Letterman told the star during an interview back in November, that “there are no people that don’t like you”. While this may not be an entirely accurate statement, it demonstrates just how popular Lawrence has already become. Tipped to be in the running for another Oscar for American Hustle, the star is likely to win over not only the hearts of the Academy, but more of those of the general public as well.


FILM

concrete.film@uea.ac.uk

www.concrete-online.co.uk

At Cinemas Near You

Diavasinet

All is Lost

Director J.C. Chandor Starring Robert Redford Cert 12A Runtime 106mins Ha Nguyen It has been a year of survival. Not only lesser-known, independent films strive to attain their fame next to the hyperanticipated blockbusters, different films take turns to depict individuals

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Director Ben Stiller Starring Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Sean Penn, Shirley Maclaine Cert PG Runtime 114mins Josh Mott Walter Mitty does not have much going for him. He lives a mundane life with a mundane apartment working at a mundane job. However, when his mind drifts he leaps from buildings and saves people, living his “secret life”. When his employer Life magazine effectively closes down, Walter is tasked with developing its final cover, an apparent “antithesis of the human condition” sent in by the adventurous photographer Sean O’Connell (Penn). The negative is nowhere to be found and Walter, motivated by the lack of any life experiences on his eHarmony profile and

in critical situations. Robert Redford’s nameless protagonist is the latest to find himself stranded in a vast space, having to struggle for his own safety against nature. Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity stylises the film’s agoraphobic floating with Sandra Bullocks’s short gripping exhalation and frequently frantic monologues to exert solitude, but All is Lost has the complete opposite approach. Redford’s character, credited as Our Man, expresses few words as his journey slowly turns to

an internally brooding sense of idealism, decides to track O’Connell down. Walter begins his journey around the globe and the volume of his daydreams begins to decline as his real life becomes more exciting and meaningful. Walter is arguably Ben Stiller’s best role yet. Unlike many of the other comedy-stars-turned-directors of the past decade, he has the ability to be understated. Walter is about as far from Derek Zoolander and White Goodman as you can get, and if one is looking for a comedy in this vain they will find themselves disappointed. Stiller’s ability to seem like a normal person is key to the film’s charm. Walter Mitty is very funny but the film is not a comedy, think Crazy, Stupid Love rather than Tropic Thunder. The laughs are understated and memorable, focusing on the situations Walter finds himself in. There are one or two occasions that Stiller falls back on cheap laughs (in particular the Benjamin Button sequence) and these often feel jarring and out of place but taken as a whole the understated funniness wins through.

the worst. A lone traveller of unknown cause and destination, he wakes up one morning to find a drifting container has smashed into his boat, piercing a large hole. The next sequences follow him seeing to his boat, improvising a patch for the hole then holding against a raging storm. All the actions are depicted slowly, hinting at his old age in opposition to the forever young and wild sea he has to fight. What an unbalanced clash it is, the man tossed in spirals in his boat, thrown continuously into the roaring waves. Cinematographers Frank G. Demarco and Peter Zuccarini takes turns to orchestrate the battle over and under water, respectively. The underwater footage comes in as unexpectedly as Our Man’s fall, crisply shown to address a claustrophobic struggle at hand. Above water and in the boat, the tumultuous pace means the camera sometimes turns away too quickly and doesn’t let the audience immerse themselves enough in the character’s fear and solitude. Yet Robert Redford makes it his mission to carry himself and the viewers along through this doomed voyage. He approaches the predicament with thoughtfulness, calm that is thin enough

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to let loose the desperation beneath. As the sea takes away the necessities he relies on, Our Man is brought forward by his soul and body, which shine determinedly in the centre of the storm like the central figure in a Renaissance painting. There is no scream, only little of a stutter at the ignorantly disappearing ships, a dry, long curse after two thirds of the film. Redford’s silent, meditative reactions pose questions at our own reactions to stages of danger. His acting holds solid throughout the jump cuts and the humming background music intending to ‘shove’ the fear and confusion of danger into the viewers’ mind. Our Man, at his lowest point of surrender, still stands above the sea as a proud figure of defiance. Even if he sinks he still beams with the victory of holding up to every trial Nature tauntingly puts against him this far. Soul and body are all the hero has left, but they are also the things the audience cannot escape from. And so we may never lose him, Our Man against the Sea.

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Hollywood Reporter

Another plus that Walter Mitty has going for it is the beauty and spectacle of the cinematography. The movie is a splendid tourism advert for Iceland as the scale and wonder of the volcanic island is on show for all to see. The shift from Walter’s tedium and daydreaming to his actual adventures are handled well, with one only occasionally wondering if this is, in fact, all in his head. The cinematography is much like Mitty

himself, understated on the outside but full of beauty and romance. This ultimately defines Walter Mitty as a film; it is an uplifting journey of whimsy and discovery sure to appeal to anyone with a penchant for travel and dreamy adventure.

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14.01.2014

FILM

www.concrete-online.co.uk

Matthew Atwood

concrete.film@uea.ac.uk

Josh Mott

The scene in Iron Man 3 in which the titular superhero must rescue thirteen people who have been sucked out of Air Force One, director Shane Black adding a bit of humour towards the end of the scene, which gives a bit of relief to the audience who witnessed the adrenaline-pumping rescue.

The final scene of Captain Phillips is a complete encapsulation of all the emotions throughout the film. Both the Somali pirates and Phillips himself found themselves in untenable situations, and both did what they needed to do to survive.

Thomas Hall

Alex Flood

The scene in the surprisingly good Evil Dead remake involving an electric turkey-carver, which made pretty much everyone in the screening wince and turn away.

Supercalifragilistic! Mrs Travers finally gives in to Mr Disney’s demands in Saving Mr. Banks and dances her proverbial off to a romping rendition of Let’s Go Fly a Kite from the Sherman brothers. Wonderfully uplifitng stuff to soothe the soul.

Jack Lusby Park Chan Wook encapsulates the disturbing tensions rife throughout his English language debut Stoker as Matthew Goode and Mia Wasikowska’s uncle and niece play out a chilling piano duet to disquieting crescendo.

Luke Keleher

(L-R) Concert Poster, Fact, Raymond Yeung, Ace Showbiz

The opening of Django Unchained, when Dr. King Schultz first takes Django away from his slave owner, before leaving the other, injured owner to the brutal mercy of Django’s fellow slaves.

Best in Show

We asked our writers to name their favourite movie scenes of 2013

Pop Culture Crusader

Ha Nguyen Ryan Gosling tears open the stomach of the cold corpse of a loved one in Only God Forgives. These scenes of silent disgust and repulsion sum up their love-hate relationship with ironic regret and physical warmth – the two’s only connection.

Saul Holmes Every frame is measured to perfection, but it is A Field in England’s tent scene, featuring Reece Shearsmith’s manic grin and doll-like movements, that made it one of the most disturbing moments of 2013.

Neven Devies

Intensified by slow motion, Mia Wasikowska’s self-pleasuring shower sequence in Stoker is strikingly perverse. Beautiful yet gloriously repulsive.

Adam White Greta Gerwig, in glorious black and white, skipping through Manhattan’s streets in Frances Ha to the sounds of Bowie’s Modern Love. Pure cinematic joy.

Holly Wade Played to Lana Del Rey’s Young and Beautiful, The Great Gatsby’s stunning montage when reunited lovers Gatsby and Daisy frolick amongst his shirts; utterly heartbreaking and an absolute tear-jerker.

Chris Rogers When Sharni Vinson’s character in You’re Next decides that the combination of a blender and the human skull is a match made in heaven, set to the jovial chords of Looking for the Magic.


FILM

concrete.film@uea.ac.uk

www.concrete-online.co.uk

14.01.2014

Upcoming Events

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Keep the January blues at bay with some of these exciting special screenings Slackers Club That Awkward Moment Wednesday 28th January Free Screening at Cinema City Book Your Tickets Now

Notable Upcoming Screenings: Short Term 12 (15) Tuesday 14th January, 6pm Alien: Director’s Cut (15) Friday 17th January, 11pm The Company of Wolves (18) Monday 20th January, 8.45pm

Cinema City

Moon (15) Sunday 26th January, 5pm

Free UEA Screening Ashens and the Quest for the Game Child Wednesday 15th January 6-9pm Thomas Paine Lecture Theatre

Ashens and the Quest for the Game Child is a wild action adventure that has been described as Monty Python and the Holy Grail meets Indiana Jones, following the comedic pursuit of a long-forgotten video game known as the ‘Game Child’ Norwich-based comedian Stuart Ashen stars alongside Red Dwarf’s Robert Llewellyn and Star Wars legend Warwick Davis. The screening will be followed up by a live Q&A session with Ashen and director Riyad Barmania.

MCM ComicCon


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14.01.2014

LISTINGS

www.concrete-online.co.uk

concrete.listings@uea.ac.uk

14th - 28th January live music 14th January

Hip Hatchet / Blood Bird The Bicycle Shop £5

18th January John Galea Waterfront Studio £5

15th January Max Raptor + Fort Hope + Making Monsters Waterfront Studio £7

Dying Breeds w/ Not Penny’s Boat + Couch Waterfront Studio £5 Road to Horizon B2 £3

Gerard and the Watchmen/ Will Varley/ Mari Joyce The Birdcage £4

19th January The Blackout w/ Rat Attack + LostAlone The Waterfront £15

17th January

25th January

22nd January Skindred w/ Soil + Viza UEA LCR £17.50 23rd January Brook Williams The Bicycle Shop £8

Nervana (USA Nirvana tribute) + Pearl Jam Tribute Waterfront Studio £10 Mayday Parade w/ Man Overboard + Decade + Divided By Friday The Waterfront £13.50 God Damn Norwich Arts Centre £6.50 Jefferson Starship 40th Anniversary Epic Studios £25

Ruby Turner The Playhouse £16.50-18.50 26th January The Doors Alive Waterfront Studio £12.50 28th January Thy Art Is Murder w/ Heart Of A Coward, Aegaeon + Aversions Crown Waterfront Studio £8 Spectro Norwich Arts Centre £5

comedy 14th January Foggy and Whit The Playhouse £20

16th January Miles Jupp The Playhouse £12-14

Russell Howard The Playhouse £15

14th-18th January Boudicca: The Pantomime Norwich Arts Centre £8-10

20th-23rd January

17th January Sean Hughes The Playhouse £14-16

24th January Adam Kay The Playhouse £12-14

theatre 14th January Welcome Back Week PJ Party LCR £2-5

18th January Welcome Back Week A List LCR £4.50

17th January Welcome Back Week Club Retro LCR £3.50 Emma Mackilligin

25th January The A List LCR £4.50

21st January Disney LCR £2-5

28th January Australian Beach Party LCR £2-5


COMPETITIONS 14.01.2014

www.concrete-online.co.uk

concrete.competitions@uea.ac.uk

the venue crossword Across

2. Precious yellow metal (4) 5. Used to make candles (3) 6. Navigational or mathematical instrument (7) 10. Surname Fry, a building on UEA campus is named after her (9) 11. The name given to the east of England (6) 12. In Norwich there is one ___ for every day of the year (3) 13. Unit of liquid measurement (4) 14. Academy Award winner’s trophy (5)

Down

1. Name given to the rivers and lakes of Norfolk (6) 3. Final thesis completed by undergraduate students (12) 4. The first month of the year (7) 7. Football club based in Tottenham (7) 8. Proud African predator (4) 9. Male monarch (4)

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VENUE Harry Swann


Venue - Issue 291 - 14 January 2014