Got a camera? Want an opportunity to use it? This semester Venue’s front cover will showcase student’s photographs on the theme of ‘Fall’ Email your image, your name and some words describing the photo, to email@example.com by November 4th. (Photos will need to be portrait) The winning image will be printed on November 8th and the photographer will recieve two gig tickets.
Concrete’s fortnightly culture pullout
issue 259 | 25/10/2011
creative writing | wrote some travel poetry | p. 9 arts | saw cleopatra at theatre royal | p. 13
Photo by Lottie Allen
music | interviewed bombay bicycle club | p. 8
ssue 259 | 25.10.2011 ditor-in-Chief | Chris King | firstname.lastname@example.org
enue Editor | Alex Throssell | concrete.event.uea.ac.uk I’m not sure if any of you have heard the new Gary Barlow endorsed, shamelessly middle of the road, and at times nonsensical Children in Need bastardisation of Massive Attack’s Teardrop, but it’s quite possible the most vapid, dirge of a song I’ve heard recently, and this is coming from someone who’s endured William Shatner, Blazin’ Squad, Maroon 5 and N-Dubz in the space of about 12 hours. I don’t care if it’s a charity single, I’m not buying it, end of. Anyway, the boycotting of children’s charities aside (Political correctness disclaimer: My own actions are not affiliated with Concrete or the Union of UEA Students) this week has actually been pretty impressive. Even with other deadline commitments, absentees and the general apathy that comes from the ever appraoching winter winds, this issue of Venue is arguably our best yet. Major props go out to Jordan Bright who had to witness the dark hours of Concrete’s production Monday, and the rest of my editorial team who have come on leaps and bounds since week one. So, I hope you enjoy it.
Music | Editors | Alex Ross & Jordan Bright Music Contributors> Annie Rhodes, Hayden East, Harry Denniston, Tom Duffy, Matthew Weddig, Joe Murphy, Charles Crisp, Amelia Sullivan.
Creative Writing | Editor | Ella Chappell Creative Writing Contributors> Alexander Lambert, Laura Westerman, Bethan Williams. Fashion | Editors | Hannah Britt & Milly Sampson Fashion Contributors> Josie Lister, Pandora Key. Arts | Editor | Emma Webb Arts Contributors> Leigh Horan, Greg Manterfield-Ivory, Katherine WIlson, Carl Long.
Film | Editors | James Burrough & Anna Eastick Film Contributors> Matt Francis, Tom Moore, Jack Rice, Radosava Radulovic, Sam Warner, Beth Wyatt, Harry Denniston, Tim Bates, Joseph Murphy. TV | Editor | Matt Tidby TV Contributors> Ellissa Chilley, Bridie Wilkinson, Beth Wyatt.
Photo by Laura Smith
Wired | Editor | Josh Mott Wired Contributors> Josh Mott, Leo Hunt, Andrew Leightfield, Richard Joslin, Joe Fitzsimmons.
Photo by Lottie Allen
Laura Marling Norwich Cathedral 20.10.11 For a singer-songwriter whose latest album is permeated with lust and rage, and has at its heart the pulsating presence of a character called “the Beast”, a tour of England’s cathedrals may not have seemed like an obvious choice of venues. But as the congregation in Norwich Cathedral were settled and silenced by a single bell ringing out, and Laura Marling, pale and petite, emerged on stage, the audience knew they were in for a unique and magical service. In a few short years, Marling has developed from a shy teenage performer into a confident young woman, who is prepared to fill huge spaces with her sound. The When
the Bell Tolls tour was announced in the wake of the release of Marling’s third studio album. A Creature I Don’t Know is a bold and blistering masterpiece which shows a new level of maturity and complexity in her song-writing ability. Marling opens with a taste of the new album (I Was Just a Card, The Muse) and an old favourite (Ghosts). Marling effortlessly moves between the sun-drenched dystopia of Salinas, into the eerie and foreboding darkness of The Beast, a song that builds into a powerful and heavy crescendo of sound that rises to fill every crease and crevice in the vaulted ceiling.
Although her voice has matured and developed a new strength, it can still become overwhelmed by the almighty sound produced by the accompaniment of electric guitars and crashing drums. However, when the band leave halfway through, Marling acknowledges that “it’s just you and me now” and begins an intimate acoustic set which allows her tremendous talent to stand alone. She includes deeply personal and emotional songs such as Goodbye Old England and Night After Night, as well as a stunning newly written song, which is imbibed with a sense of mystery. Some feel that Marling’s onstage presence, although
endearingly modest, leaves something to be desired. However, part of Marling’s charm is her ability to let the music speak for itself; as she struggled to communicate her hopes for the show, she simply let the sentence hang on “I hope… just that, I hope”. She ended the set with the same old spiel about her disbelief in encores, before playing us out with Rambling Man and the last track of her latest album, All My Rage, a joyous burst of song that leaves the cathedral ringing with an altogether different and thoroughly human call to the heavens. Annie Rhodes
Noah & The Whale
UEA LCR 19.10.2011
For an on-campus venue, there are a remarkable range of ages at the LCR, dominated by minor adolescents and their parents, most of who have probably driven to get to the venue. Indeed, for every youthful face in the crowd, there’s a much taller thirty-something either side of them. It’s all rather safe, but it makes sense, as everyone waits for folk-pop purveyors Noah and the Whale in equal anticipation. Charlie Fink is an enigmatic frontman; he keeps audience interaction to a minimum, yet still retains his charm, even when he “forgot what he was going to say”, the crowd simply scream louder in adoration. His vocals are as authentic as ever, particularly on Life Is Life, and is coupled with some crazy guitar solos and violin playing that serve to bolster their live sound. This allows their earlier work to sit comfortably with more mainstream-ready tracks from latest album Last Night On Earth. A sharply dressed Fink declares “the set of 2011 has three sections” which makes it all the more easier to identify the highs
and lows of the night, neatly ordered into a meander. It wouldn’t be rash to assume that, with three records’ worth of material, a typical set list would almost seem like a greatest hits collection. However, besides the bold opening of Give It All Back, the set list simmers to a tiring middle section, dubbed the “romantic” portion of the night, which in actuality, created less than the desired effect, especially given that many of the songs selected came from an album devoted to the breakdown of Fink’s relationship with Laura Marling. Fortunately, the night is saved by a redemptive ending segment, in which the band reel through the standout tracks of albums old and new, such as recent single L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N. and fan favourite 5 Years Time. There are undoubtedly sparks of brilliance amongst the waning ballads and forgettable album tracks; it’s just a shame that the night ended before it properly began. Hayden East
Photos by Maddie Russell
Bombay Bicycle Club
UEA LCR 10.10.2011
Three albums later and Bombay Bicycle Club have only gotten better, and tonight the band hurtle through a mammoth set in order to fit in every song their devoted crowd wants to hear, unifying their different-feeling LP’s with their enthusiasm for the music. After a rousing warm-up from fast rising folk-rockers Dry The River, Jack Steadman and his troupe take to the stage as Shuffle’s jittery sample begins to ricochet around the LCR, and by the joyous romp of follower Your Eyes every foot is tapping furiously, while Steadman blasts around at the front, only stopping to offer his trademark voice to the fray. Open House serves as a reminder of how good the band’s oldest material is, and as the audience respond gratefully the band look relaxed and comfortable. The amazingly well-crafted songs swell and contract between choruses; on stage the band sweat to keep up with the pace they have set themselves with their latest album A Different Kind of Fix, which offers more space for sounds and samples as well as the familiar
dual guitar lines. Many different genres and ideas have been expertly woven into the set, and while one or two songs are not quite done justice to live, their ambition is still hugely appreciated. Leave It’s spectacular refrain is circled by its spiralling verses, and after the blue-light disco groove of Lights Out/Words Gone the band re-incarnate two songs from acousticfolk second album Flaws, which the crowd are equally happy with; they chant along to the rather sickly bounce of Ivy and Gold, but the room begins to really stir again when Beggars falls into the pleasantly apocalyptic Cancel On Me, complete with its magnificent ending. A smile spreads across Steadman’s face as every word of Always Like This is sung back at him, and the group seem pleased but focused; keen to give the crowd what they want. This is a live show with brains and brawn, from a band that is as equally for the people as the music. Harry Denniston
Photo by Rosie Bell
UNION OF UEA STUDENTS PRESENTS
KING STREET, NORWICH 632717
TUE 25 OCT
POP WILL EAT ITSELF WED 26 OCT
CONCERTS NOAH AND THE WHALE
WED 19 OCT
SOLD OUTSOLD OUT SUN 23 OCT
SUN 30 OCT SOLD OUT
SAT 5 NOV
£10 FRI 28 OCT
WHOLE LOTTA LED JOOLS HOLLAND THU 3 NOV £11/£9.5 and very special guest MEGADETH UK CHRIS DIFFORD (SQUEEZE) Belle & Sebastian’s
TUE 8 NOV
£28.50 (£19 NUS)
THU 3 NOV
MAVERICK SABRE HOWARD MARKS IS MR NICE WED 9 NOV £10.50 £15/£12 NUS ADRIAN EDMONDSON & SAT 5 NOV THE BAD SHEPHERDS FLOGGING MOLLY THU 10 NOV
£17.50 SUN 6 NOV
SAT 12 NOV
SUN 13 NOV
MON 14 NOV
TUE 15 NOV
WED 16 NOV
THU 17 NOV
FRI 18 NOV (10-2) 18+£12/£10 NUS
HIGHER ON MAIDEN
FRI 9 DEC
+ TOM MORELLO THE NIGHTWATCHMAN THU 10 NOV £18.50
SOLD OUTSOLD OUT FRI 11 NOV
SAT 12 NOV
MON 14 NOV
THESOLD DARKNESS OUT
£10 THU 24 NOV
SAT 19 NOV
AN EVENING WITH SUN 20 NOV £12 CHRIS PACKHAM THE NAKED & FAMOUS 'A WILD-LIFE EXPOSED!' AYNSLEY LISTER
MON 21 NOV
Y U C K
£14 SUN 27 NOV
WED 23 NOV
THINK FLOYD (Tribute)
THU 24 NOV
£15 (£10 NUS)
SOLD OUTSOLD OUT WED 30 NOV
THE BLANKS (TED’S BAND FROM THE SCRUBS)
£13 THU 1 DEC
FRI 25 NOV
SAT 26 NOV
MARIACHI EL BRONX MON 28 NOV
PROFESSOR GREEN + RIZZLE KICKS SUN 11 DEC
£12.50 WED 14 DEC
TUE 29 NOV THU 1 DEC
£11 FRI 16 DEC
FISH ACOUSTIC TOUR THE BEAT
THU 8 DEC
THE DOORS ALIVE
WED 14 DEC
THU 15 DEC
SOLD OUT £17.50 MON 6 FEB SOLD OUT
MON 5 DEC
SAT 10 DEC
THU 9 FEB
MON 13 FEB
M C F L Y
TUE 3 APRIL £27.50 (ON SALE SAT 26 NOV)
WITH MANY MORE SHOWS ON SALE CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE FOR FULL DETAILS
Photo by Max Hetherington
01603 50-80-50 TICKETS FROM UEA UNION AND SOUNDCLASH
NME Radar Tour | Waterfront 13.10.2011 What a grand and noble tradition is the Radar Tour, allowing those relentless tastemakers at NME to have yet another pop at inflicting a motley array of up-and-coming artists upon the masses. Over the year’s we’ve been blessed with the likes of Crystal Castles, Friendly Fires and La Roux, who have gone on to enjoy success, and others who have fallen by the wayside. (Does anyone remember Team Waterpolo?) Tonight’s lineup is a particularly mixed bag. The festivities kick off with formidably noisy Australian duo DZ Deathrays, filling the venue with gargantuan, thrashing distortion,
and causing the audience to retreat to the far side of the room. After a short, deafening set that careens between frenetic psychadelica and pounding riffage, Deathrays trudge offstage to be replaced by East London ‘doom-pop’ outfit S.C.U.M, embarking on their first tour since the release of debut Again Into Eyes. With their immaculately sculpted fringes and synth-drenched songs, S.C.U.M could not be more different from DZ Deathrays. They also manage to scoop the coveted ‘Most Pretentious Frontman of the Night’ award with lead vocalist Thomas Cohen, thanks
largely to his decision to wear a suit and no shoes, and his tendency to caress his own face. Posturing aside, however, they are sadly just another wearisome 80s-nostalgia band. Finally, the headline act graces the stage. 2011 has been a watershed for Wolf Gang (aka Max McElligott): from supporting Editors in March, then The Killers in June, his star continues to rise. Tonight’s set consists mainly of material from recent (and excellent) sophomore release Suego Faults. The understated disco vibes of Lions in Cages, Where Are You Now and Killers-esque lead single The King and All of His Men are
particular stand-outs, but Wolf Gang is unable to galvanise the crowd. A couple of bold stabs at rapport from McElligott elicit little response from this rather solemn audience. Wolf Gang deliver a solid performance of glittering indie-pop, but had they been given a warmer reception, they probably could have played with more fire and fervour. Nevertheless, given their current trajectory, they will undoubtedly soon be playing to baying crowds wherever they go.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds When the long-overdue split finally happened last year, Liam Gallagher gained custody of whatever was left of Oasis and rechristened it as Beady Eye. Somewhere towards the end of their debut album earlier this year (Different Gear, Still Speeding), Liam sang that “Life’s too short not to forgive / You can carry regrets but they won’t let you live / I’m here if you wanna call / Staring at the spot on the wall”, which is a rather hilarious verse for a couple of reasons. The most obvious one, of course, being that Liam and Noel Gallagher’s sibling rivalry is among the most infamous in rock and roll and the two can hardly go a month without
Tom Waits Bad As Me It must be hard being Tom Waits, having to live up to a reputation for consistent brilliance and originality. If Dylan’s recent Christmas album and Lou Reed’s baffling collaboration with Metallica prove anything, it’s that even the best reach a point where they’re just not that good anymore. Clearly nobody has told Tom Waits this, and with Bad As Me he delivers an album that is both instantly recognisable and yet
M83 Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming The double album is a bold statement, which will induce reactions of pomposity and selfindulgence if not pulled off, however M83’s latest effort is primed to dispel such reactions. Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is an electric mix of shoegaze tinged electronic dream pop; and that’s just scratching the surface. It sees French musician Alex Gonzalez diverge from predominantly instrumental/electroniclead material, in favour of more pop-based and melodic approach. In tracks such as
having a go at the other one in the news, much less “forgive”. Just as significant, however, is how bad Liam’s songwriting is, which puts the whole thing in a rather hilarious concept of someone who has no idea he lost the breakup. In light of that then, what does Noel Gallagher sound like flying solo at last? Gone are the soaring guitar solos or blaring electric guitars of Oasis. In their place, dominating the music, is a wall of sound composed of strings, choirs, pianos, and horns. The electric guitars are driven rather deeply into a subtle position in the background, only surfacing for a short solo or flourish every few tracks. It’s not as if Noel has no interest in rocking out anymore, but
even the rockier numbers sound more like Coldplay than Oasis. As lush and charming as it all sounds, none of it is particularly inventive or distinctive. Each song sounds very similar to the others, and most are a bit excessive and go on a bit long, which is really the only similarity it has to Noel’s work with Oasis. In short, Noel’s long-anticipated solo outing isn’t quite as brilliant as it’s being made out to be, nor is it (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?, but it’s a more fitting evolution for the musicians responsible for it than Beady Eye’s dumbed-down mis-shapen retro rock efforts.
never anything less than inspired. The Captain Beefheart comparison that has followed him in recent years rears it’s head on Satisfied, but for the most part this is quintessential Waits. It certainly wastes no time in letting you know that he hasn’t lost it, with manic opener Chicago offering a slew of urgent horns and primitive percussion so frantic that the entire song sounds as if it’s about to careen out of control. Fortunately for the sake of our ears, the album splits neatly into stomping displays of insanity and more restrained ballads like Talking At The Same Time; a song that seems to have been lifted from a jazz bar run by David Lynch. Having such an extensive back catalogue allows him to pick sounds from each of them; Raised Right Men has the swirling, stomping,
carnival feel of Rain Dogs, while Back In The Crowd could have been lifted straight from one of his Seventies albums. By far the strangest song on the album is Hell Broke Luce, a song so unhinged that it features explosions and the sound of machine-gun fire: even by Waits’ standards, it’s genuinely mad. When the crashes, claps and droning guitars abruptly stop and are replaced by a lone trumpet, it doesn’t even come as much of a surprise. This is the kind of inspired insanity that we’ve come to expect, and on those grounds the album is hard to fault. It may be Tom Waits doing what he’s done before, but when he does it this well, does it really matter? It isn’t a revolutionary record, but it is a brilliant one.
Steve McQueen he strikes a decent balance, reconciling the peak of his past efforts with a fresh approach, culminating in a refined package of what Gonzalez does best. Likewise, Wait displays Gonzalez’s vocal prominence and experimentation, ranging from a hushed whisper to a howling scream, whilst appealing to his melodic sensibilities. The bold Intro (which features an powerful contribution from Zola Jesus) achieves the same effect, smoothing off the hardened edges of the synth melodies that keep this album on its toes. The albums’ highlight and first single, Midnight City, a synth driven infectious track, is rounded off with a fantastic saxophone solo at the end, adding to the 80’s influence that pervades the album. Lyrically, Gonzalez assumes a darker tone, yet he retains the ability to deal with common themes that prone to cliché and exhaustion in a refreshing manner. The double album format gives Gonzalez the freedom to create an immersive soundscape
that combines pop sensibilities- where each crash, yelp or whisper is perfectly crafted, especially in New Map. However, the similarity of both records affirms the belief that they are best viewed as a single cinematic-esque journey and not as a pick ‘n’ mix of tracks. With the album clocking in at just under 74 minutes, this journey feels more lush than laborious. However, whilst the choir-assisted Splendor and the flamboyant My Tears are Becoming A Sea are grandiose moments, they are unable to reach their peak as Gonzalez drenches them in layers to compensate for a lack of direction. Nevertheless, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is an ambitious personal effort which pushes into new territory whilst taking with it the gems of his previous work, culminating in an aural journey that incites the broadest of emotions and relieves itself of the double album curse.
Bombay Bicycle Club IInterviewed by Amelia Sullivan
Thanks for taking time to speak to Concrete, it’s great to have you back! How’s the tour going? Jamie (Guitar): Good! Feeling pretty hungover today. Ed (Bass): Incredibly hung-over. Jamie: We were in Lincoln last night. You wouldn’t have thought it but it was one of the best gigs. Our two best gigs have actually been in the least expected places. Ed: In fact they happened to be the two slowest selling places as well. Do you have any fond memories from previous gigs in Norwich? Have you been able to explore the City? Ed: We played on our acoustic tour at the Arts Centre. It was a really nice venue actually. Jamie: Yeah, there seems to be a good appetite for live music in Norwich. We’re a bit out of the way here to have a wander round though. The main fact I know about Norwich, which everyone seems to bring up, is the number of pubs and churches there are. You released A Different Kind Of Fix at the end of August to critical acclaim, has the success of the album taken you by surprise at all? Jamie: Critically its definitely been the best received album. I think it’s always difficult for our actual fans because the album is quite different and if you’re particularly attached to the sound of either of the first two albums then its always going to be hard to instantly like something new. Were there any influences that helped to shape the new sound? Ed: It’s not really a continuation from Flaws at all; it’s more a continuation from the first
album. Flaws was more of a sidetrack so we were kind of picking up where we left off. Songs like Always Like This share some of the electronic elements. Jamie: Rather than having specific artists that influenced the album it was more about a way of making music like they do in a lot of hip hop and dance music. A lot of the songs are built from one idea; taking one loop or riff to the extreme and seeing how much you can get out of it! How did the collaboration with Jim Abiss and Ben Allen come about? Ben Allen is known for his work with Animal Collective and Deer Hunter, what did he bring to the song writing process? Ed: All I listen to at the moment are Ben Allen recordings. He did the new Washed Out album, he did The Givers record, he did the Animal Collective record. Yeah, he’s incredible. He has a unique way of working that really suited itself to what we were doing. Jamie: I think the reason that working with him particularly appealed to Jack was that his studio wasn’t big and fancy. It’s more like where Jack has always made the demos… which is in his bedroom! It was a good environment for being creative. How long did it take to record the album overall? Jamie: The writing process began before we’d even started Flaws so about two years and then it was about 6 months recording it. Do you have a favourite track from the new album? Or perhaps one that you are particularly proud of? Ed: My favourite track to play live is Lights Out, Words Gone and I think my favourite
track to listen to would be Still…which I don’t play on at all. Jamie: I think my favourite song is How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep, and then my favourite song to play live is Your Eyes.
‘up’ on new music as I was when I was sixteen or seventeen. I used to trawl Myspace for new bands. Ed: There’s a band called Repertoire who are really good.
Lets talk about what you got up to over summer. The reaction to your Reading and Leed’s set was amazing… Jamie: Yeah both of those gigs were pretty mad. There were something like 25,000 people in an 18,000 capacity tent at Reading. It was a bit on the edge of being dangerous probably! Reading seemed like a culmination of everything with the album being released on the Monday after so I suppose it was a good turning point for us.
Do you listen to music together on tour? Ed: We used to do that when we toured in a van. We had band CDs and would have a sing along every night. We don’t do that anymore because we’ve got more people on board so it’s more spread out…shame…we should probably do that more!
After performing do you get a chance to don your favourite Wellies and soak in the festival atmosphere? Ed: Yeah we used to, but I think playing in the band has ruined festivals a bit… Jamie: Up until the summer of 2010 we were still camping but I think we’ve gone past that point. Ed: We’ve gotta’ be more professional now. We always went, stayed out and partied, then played the show. Jamie: The first time we went to Glastonbury we played three or four times over the weekend but we weren’t in any state to play most days! Are you listening to any new bands at the moment that deserve a special mention in this issue’s Concrete? Jamie: All the bands that are supporting us are good. Particularly Dog is Dead. They’re really, really good. A band called Theme Park too who are also supporting us tonight. I’m not as
So if you’re not partaking in band karaoke, how do you spend the long hours leading up to a performance? Jamie: (Picks up his water bottle and shrugs) Doing this…. Ed: Complaining about how hungover we are… Jamie: We’ve been trying to go to the gym too. Quite a few of the universities let us use their facilities. Although I couldn’t use the gym today. They said I needed an induction and I couldn’t be bothered! What are your aims and goals for the foreseeable future? Where do you see Bombay Bicycle club in a year’s time? Jamie: We just want to keep writing and touring. We haven’t really done a proper international tour yet, as in going to America for a month. Ed: We’ve spent the last two years recording and putting out albums as opposed to going around touring. So with this album I think we’re really going to focus on promoting.
- travel SPOTLIGHT
Fast Train Through The Station Alexander Lambert
Q&A with UEA writers. This week - Bethan Williams
I am sitting beside this gravel filled gorge, This steel and soot wound in the earth. Rows of tarnished ladders Climb, in the meditative silence, towards the horizon. A pair of crimson orbs levitate in the stillness, Incandescent guardians of this island in the black.
What’s your favourite word?
I wouldn’t say I have one particular favourite word, but I do like onomatopoeic words like “splurge”.
Without warning serenity’s fragile flesh is punctured. Violent, shattering, clattering Steel tears a tender yielding hole in the silence. Invading, shaking, molesting Our placid isle with sonorous fury.
How do you defeat writer’s block? I find it really helpful to listen to music, particularly songs with good lyrics. Sometimes I might start a poem with a stolen lyric, and then gradually phase it out.
Panic, shaken free from its shackles, Devours its jailors And marches impetuous from The depths of my stomach, Determined to burst out from The brittle osseous bars of its prison.
What inspires you?
Still, Stunned, It is over as quickly as it begun. The air grasps at its eviscerated innards, Quivering it returns them to its perforated belly. Panic retreats And I am left wounded as the silence heals. Photo by Harriet Jones
Next Issue - Wildlife Poems The UEA Wildlife Trail is a new project with funding from the Big Lottery Community Wildlife Fund. The Wildlife Trail around the UEA Lake will help to inform and engage people with the wildlife and provide a route through the site that is enjoyable, educational and sympathetic to the sensitivity of the natural environment. The Wildlife Trail are going to publish a collection of poetry about the nature, history, geography and anything else inspired by the trail. If you would like the opportunity to see your poetry in print, submit your wildlife poems to email@example.com
I’m president of the Creative Writing Society and hearing the work that people produce in our workshops or open mic nights really inspires me. There are some amazingly talented writers at UEA and I think it’s great that there’s somewhere where people can come together to practise and share their writing in a supportive enviroment. If anyone wants anymore information, they can find CWS on facebook, or email us at ueacws@ gmail.com.
Who are your favourite writers?
A Sonnet To Drown By Laura Westerman Pang in Tom’s jaw –– relentless. He swims in the dark sea of workers –– platforms. The rub of shoulders. Scrunched foreheads. Tired, merciless eyes. Glorious chaos –– tedious. Consumed beneath an auburn clock –– Tom slides and dives, past ladies with fur hats. Screaming child. Guy with briefcase. Guy’s hair: scruffy. Scarf hangs. Dead-like. Melancholy mouth –– he looks a lot like Tom. Tangled with the swarm of bodies. Heat –– inexorable. I can’t –– breathe. I look at the clock. Big hand hits six. It melts –– no time. The cloak squeezes, devours skin. Mind. Woven with a hundred thoughts. I reach a woman –– selling roses. Hand clasps my arm. Grip unforgiving. Her voice bites: “My heart would be black, if I had one” –– words chew the air: “What colour would yours be?”
I’m going to come out with it and say that I absolutely love Carol Ann Duffy. I think she gets a lot of hate because she’s seen as a poet for people who don’t read poetry and because people study so much of her work in school, but I think she’s brilliant. I also really like performance poets like Taylor Mali and Luke Wright.
What’s the weirdest thing that’s inspired you?
I write a lot of poetry about not being able to write poetry, which is a bit of a paradox, but I find writers block to be quite inspiring sometimes!
Where do you write?
In my bedroom, usually at strange times of the night.
Read Bethan’s poems at the Creative Writing blog
go round again
Josie Lister on velvet being back in fashion
The Hotlist Smokin’ Beyonce Always be yourself. Unless you can be Beyonce. Always be Beyonce.
Feane Cotton So. Damn. Cool. Turn to Features to read our interview with the lady herself.
Snoods It’s like Siberia out there. Time to whack on the sexiest of all knitwear.
You run your hands through the rails of clothes. It’s freezing outside and your wardrobe just doesn’t cut it when it comes to layering up. You just want to be warm. You’d do anything to be warm. Your fingertips feel the tingle of plush, soft, inviting warmth. It feels a little familiar. There’s a little thrill of nostalgia. Then it hits you ... velvet’s back. Oh yes. And she’s got her game on. Every designer and high street store has been seduced by that vixen of a fabric once more this autumn. It’s warm. It’s luxurious. And honey, it’s oh-so-sexy. You may have moved on, bored with velvet’s games, but don’t be so hasty. Velvet’s changed and she’s more seductive than ever. Designers have taken velvet underground; she’s a little dirty, a little too revealing and more than just a little tempting. So take your velvet fetish to the underwear department and indulge in
fashion’s offering of velvet bralets, but don’t keep them all to yourself like some dirty little secret; let the whole world know your dark side and embrace the classic fashion trend of underwear as outerwear. It screams sexy and the deluxe feel of velvet makes it sophisticated rather than slutty. Thanks velvet. You babe. Still sounding all a little too similar to before? Smelling that old musk of decaying pheromones from your mum’s teenage wardrobe? Want velvet to really prove that it’s grown up? Just check out those heels! Both Topshop and Urban Outfitters are really delivering the goods this year in the downstairs department. Grab a pair of chocka-block, oh so high-heeled velvet boots and feel your feet cry out in gratitude. There’s a style for every
mood: Chelsea boots, chunky heels, ankle boots... velvet’s spoiling us rotten. velvet shoes may sound a little strange but believe me, they’re empowering and sexy. It’s like Beyonce in a shoe.
“Velvet’s back. And she’s got her game on.” For those who lust for the retro 80s vibe of velvet don’t worry, this autumn’s fashion delivering can satisfy your deepest desires completely. The object of your affection? velvet skater dresses. The velvet skater dress is a key fixture in Topshop’s autumn collection and is the perfect dress to don when dancing at those retro discos. With the plush warmth of velvet keeping those winter winds at bay, it’s got to be said that they are the only companion you’ll need to take you out on the town this season. So there we have it. The seductress velvet is back and up to her old tricks but in new, more satisfying ways. Believe me, you really don’t want to miss out on this ... it feels way too good. Now excuse me while I go stroke myself.
Fashion Fois Gras
Controversy in the world of fashion this fortnight
The Black Wedding Dress
Milan Fashion Week
Snotty noses More common on campus right now than that Jack Wills gilet.
Anna Wintour The ice queen of fashion was deemed a “monster” this week by designer Jean Paul Gaultier.
Janet Devlin wannabes Everyone’s dying their hair orange right now. And everyone looks the same.
Would you? Could you?
Vogue is angry about Italy’s decision to have Milan Fashion Week start during New York Fashion Week. Conde Naste say if they don’t change it back to the original schedule, none of their editors will be attending.
So practical. So naff.
Photo: Laura Smith / Hair and Make Up: Becky Evans / Stylists: Katie Nertney & Jess Beech / Model Charlotte
Photo: Laura Smith / Hair and Make Up: Becky Evans / Stylists: Katie Nertney & Jess Beech / Model: Charlotte
Pandora Key on how to do leather the right way Right at the top of my autumn/winter wish list is a Faith Connexion Leather biker jacket. It’s simple, it’s elegant, it’s pure jetblack beautifulness. It’s also way out of my price range so unfortunately it will remain on that list for many winters to come. My justification for this irrational lust is that I see it as key piece for that awkward summer to autumn transitional stage where a jumper doesn’t cut it but a coat is too far. Leather in general is a great way to team pieces from your summer wardrobe with ones from your winter. For example, a leather jacket teamed with a tea dress and ankle boots is a great way of subtly preparing your former sun kissed, microshort clad body for the reality of the cold
days ahead. However, there are certain rules to bear in mind when jumping on the leather train. Firstly, think of leather as an accessory to an outfit, using key pieces to tie it together rather than to dominate. Think Alexa Chung‘s style of matching feminine textures such as a classic chiffon blouse with a contrasting leather skirt to give that delicious tomboy edge to an otherwise mundane ensemble. Secondly, don’t get carried away with leather. Too much and you just look like a dominatrix and no-one needs to sit opposite that in a seminar. Less is definitely more, so as a general rule, if you’re wearing it on your legs, keep it soft up top and vice versa. Don’t get caught
up thinking it works in the same way as double denim; it doesn’t, and you will get awkward questions about where you parked your Harley Davidson. Chloe Sevigny’s 2012 collection for NYC fashion house ‘Opening Ceremony’ is a great example of how to do leather right. She uses leather in all the pieces but mixed with other raw materials, such as denim, to create what she calls a good/bad girl theme. For me, the most notable piece in the collection is a stunning black leather mini dress with laser cut detail fringing the hem, giving the effect of soft lace. Perfect. The most important thing about wearing leather is to have fun with it. It’s meant to be daring, it’s meant to be provocative and
if it sucks in those little imperfect lumps and bumps then that’s a bonus! I’m aware how hypocritical it is that I’m writing this article as I am, in fact, a vegetarian, but fear not fellow creature loving friends. The fashion world does occasionally think of us, and there are many sites/stores that offer faux leather alternatives to jackets, trousers and dresses. Yes, some of these items do look like they belong in the adult section of a fancy dress shop, but others are great. So as the nights start to draw in, I think we should all embrace our inner biker chick. And hey, if you decide it’s not for you, unwanted leather items always work well for Halloween costumes.
For all students it is easy to become embroiled in self-pity at being separated from family, friends and the entity that is ‘home’, but, for the majority, this hallowed place is but a train journey away. Most forget or simply neglect to acknowledge just how much more difficult the university life is for those international students who find themselves without all of the above and with a vague sense they have been abandoned in an alien country. Crossing the Lines comes as an insightful, and at times emotional read. The product of the International Student Short Story Competition, held by the Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts, the book is a collection of fourteen memoirs of differing degrees of writing talent, though largely this is estimably high. Mainly autobiographical, each entry aims to give an insight into the past experiences and feelings of the writers, and quite often a glimpse of what may be in their future. Some pieces, such as Danielle and The Conversion are more accurately described as stories and as a result are perhaps lacking such a personal response. However, the allusions to drugs and disease respectively within the pieces reveal a sense of danger and constraint, born perhaps of
the isolation and barriers experienced by the authors. Contrastingly, pieces such as Chinese Seasons in the Heart of England and Shards, written by one of our very own, David Molloy from Australia, beg a more emotional response and although the latter is particularly fragmented and disconnected, it turns out Shards is an accurate title for the author’s style of embedding memories and imagery. This gives insight into the displacement international students often feel, “I felt at home but then it occurred to me that perhaps I was feeling like home never existed in the first place.”(Final Year Crisis - Adji Hafiz Sjadzali). For native readers it can be amusing to perceive what is most unusual about the United Kingdom from another’s perspective. This knowledge is surrendered in most of the pieces, the most common items of scrutiny being the unreliable train service, Cornish pasties, snow and the great love harboured in all Brits of that elusive sunshine. “Crossing the Lines” is a solid source of inspiration for creative writers with the ability to remind us just how much bounty there is to write about on our little island. Leigh Horan
Adam Hills - Norwich Playhouse
Since the title of Adam Hills’ current tour is “Mess Around”, it seemed only fitting that he should walk on stage backed by the Ray Charles song of the same name. However while most comedy shows would have dimmed the house lights at this point, Hills keeps the audience entirely visible at all times. He quickly explains that this is due to his desire to complete a successful comedy tour armed with nothing else but a couple of stories and a genuine interest in the people who have paid to come and see him perform. As a result, the entire show, and the entire tour, is done without a clear script or structure, leaving Adam to rely on audience inspiration and participation. With the lights firmly up, Hills began testing the waters of the people sat in the front row. Some ardent fans of his, who saw the last performance Adam gave at The Playhouse, have brought the same large stuffed monkey they brought before, which the Australian comic immediately starts riffing off. But it doesn’t take long before the penetrating cackle of a woman in the corner catches the attention of everyone in the room. Whilst most comics would only comment on such a distinctively piercing giggle if they could get a cheap laugh out of it, Hills spotted the comedy potential in this woman (Nicky) and investigated her backstory. After mistakenly saying she was single, only to quickly remember she had a fiancé whose engagement ring she had lost and who she had banned from coming to the gig with
her, it was clear that the essence of the show had been found. The rest of the night consisted of Hills taking a phone off one of Nicky’s friends and calling her fiancé (whose nickname was “Jimmy Fat Cock”, or “JFC” for short, a name that her and her friends swore he deserved) with the phone in front of the microphone so the audience could hear too. Culminating in “JFC” singing The Proclaimers’ “500 Miles” down the phone to the audience, with the phone positioned in front of a microphone that was placed at the mouth of the stuffed monkey from the beginning of the evening. Although the Nicky and JFC saga stole the show, there were other highlights that allowed Hills to demonstrate his talent as a comedian. An incredibly romantic elderly couple, a fan of Adam Hills called Adam Hill and a few of the comedian’s well-practiced stories about his daughter and his experiences performing at the Royal Variety Performance peppered the evening with the diversity needed to make a show like this work. Considering the improvised nature of the performance, Hills’ vision of a tour built around the audience seems to be successful when put into practice. It was an evening of well-rounded entertainment and spontaneous humour that showcased his talents as a comedian, as well as allowing the audience to feel a sense of inclusion in the formation of his comedy. Greg Manterfield-Ivory
Cleopatra was the last of the Pharaohs. The drama of her reign is vividly recaptured in the Northern Ballet’s new production bearing her name. We see her climb to power, as well as her relationships with Caesar and Antony, before she dies at the hand of the god Wadjet, protector of the Pharaohs. As a ballet, it is somewhat unconventional. In the opening scene, David Nixon’s choreography seems broken as Cleopatra (excellently performed by Martha Leebolt) unfurls into typically “Egyptian” positions before one of many pas de deuxs, this time with Wadjet. However, this is soon rectified by the arrival of the corps de ballet, who bring the Egyptian palace to life. The audience is soon thrust into the story of Cleopatra and her brother Ptolemy, and quickly understand Cleopatra’s plight. The two argue over the throne and it is not long before Cleopatra’s ruthlessness is revealed, drowning her brother as he bathes. But this soon gives way to a beautiful passage between her and Caesar as she seduces him. Here the choreography settles into traditional arabesques, pirouettes and lifts, Caesar chasing Cleopatra as she jetés across the stage. But even here it lurches back into the more animalistic, the two rolling on the floor as Cleopatra succeeds. Her reputation as a femme fatale is played excellently, the audience left in no doubt as to who is in charge. The orchestra plays a pivotal role in Cleopatra. Where sometimes the choreography leaves the viewer a little cold,
Cleopatra - Theatre Royal it is more than made up for by the score that rises and falls through each scene. The bombastic introduction of Mark Antony (Tobias Bately) is one example. As he tries to woo Cleopatra, her handmaidens block his path. But he is not deterred; youthful and oozing with confidence, he lets his steps speak for themselves: a passage loaded with yet more jetés showing his pure athleticism if nothing else. When he was not dancing, his relationship with his wife Octavia (Georgina May) has the sensation of appearing in a play, not a ballet. The same goes for Cleopatra, who leaves Octavia in no doubt as to where her husband’s affections lie. However the storytelling is the greatest success of this ballet. The set and costumes are fantastic, all evoking the time period and setting, be it Egyptian women in their flowing dresses or Roman men leaping about in their military uniform. It comes as no surprise to hear the dancers undertook acting lessons with a coach from the Royal Shakespeare Company. But its greatest strength is also its weakness. The story tends to take priority over the choreography, raising the question: is this being done to enhance the story, or simply show off the dancers’ ability? That said, it is the asset that is left in your mind at the end of the show. Technically, it may not be perfect, but it has been a long time since a ballet has engaged so fully, and so brilliantly, with the story. Katherine Wilson
This Week In Arts History ... 1992
29 October marks the 19th anniversary of the death of one of ballet’s most talented sons, Sir Kenneth MacMillan. Whilst also a dancer, he is best remembered for his choreography. He was the creator of some of the 20th century’s
greatest dance works, notably Romeo and Juliet in 1965. MacMillan was born to a poor Scottish family in Dunfermline on 11 December 1929. During the 1930s, he and his family moved to Great Yarmouth. Here he met
Phyllis Adams, a dance teacher, who helped mould the ambitions and free the mind of the young MacMillan. At 15, he gained a scholarship to the Sadler’s Wells Ballet School under the stewardship of the godmother of English ballet, “Madam” Ninette de Valois. It was here, for the first time, that he did not feel like the outsider, and his abilities flourished amongst newfound kindred spirits. These feelings of isolation would be the theme behind most of his works; the protagonist of the rebel, the down-trodden and the unhappy. To MacMillan, ballet was not a fairytale but a mirror of human frailty. It was a life long effort for a more honest, theatrical form of ballet. “I had to find a way to stretch the language, otherwise I should just produce sterile academic dance.” With this, he also found a life long struggle against the establishment to break ballet out of entrenched tradition, which he did with honesty and compassion. In many ways, the work reflected the man. He was a tortured soul who suffered
from feelings of rejection and loneliness. Despite possessing prodigious ability in his art, and having danced important roles, he suffered from serious bouts of stage fright. It was this that partially led him away from performance towards choreography. Between 1966 and 1970, Kenneth MacMillan was the director of ballet at the Deutsche Oper. He became director of the Royal Ballet Theatre from 1970 to 1977 and thereafter, until his death, their Principal Choreographer. During this time he also became associate director of the American Ballet Theatre, in 1984. He was knighted in 1983. He married Australian artist Deborah Williams in 1974; the couple had one daughter, Charlotte. He died on 29 October 1992, at the Royal Opera House, of a heart attack backstage during a presentation of his Romeo and Juliet by the Birmingham Royal Ballet Company. During the curtain call, the announcement was made to the company and the audience. Carl Long
Forza Motorsport 4: Review
The latest instalment in Microsoft’s Forza Motorsports franchise Forza 4 promises to deliver the most realistic driving simulation ever, but does it deliver, or is it just as repetitive as much of the plethora of circuit based racing games on the Xbox 360? In terms of gameplay, Forza 4 has improved greatly over previous titles in the series. AI drivers are more intelligent than in other racing games, often breaking from the racing line if they spot an opportunity for an overtake. On the other hand, they also make mistakes and go cruising off into the gravel pits. However races often seem to be a little too easy, even on the hardest difficulty setting. Like in previous titles, Forza 4 allows players to rewind the race if they make a mistake. This is a useful, if unrealistic feature, especially when you progress to longer races in your career where slip ups can spell the end of your race. However, sometimes the rewind creates problems with the AI, causing them to shoot off the track or brake unnecessarily. Another area of improvement is the games sound design. Each of the 500+ cars has its own unique sound, whether that be the aggressive growl of 70s American muscle or the high pitched scream of a Le Mans car. Other new features include the Auto Vista; a garage containing a selection of unlockable cars which the player can browse. There are
small commentary snippets from Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson about each car which are interesting and amusing. In order to unlock the Auto Vista players must complete challenges on the Top Gear test track. These include knocking over bowling pins and playing car football. The Auto Vista cars are incredibly beautiful and graphically recreated to a superb standard, including the engines and interiors. However the Auto Vista feature is for the true petrol head and others may find it a little dull. In terms of online features Forza boasts more than most. The online auction house returns allowing players to bid on and sell cars, paint jobs, and car setups. New to this edition are Auto Clubs that one can join or create, such as the Fiat Punto Appreciation Club. Regular online
Uncharted 3: Preview Uncharted 3 sees the return of ruggedly handsome Indiana Jon... oh sorry, Nathan Drake, as he sets out into the Khali desert in search of a legendary lost city. Gameplay wise the Uncharted series has always been a mixed bag of 00’s third person action mechanics; free running platforming sections a la Prince of Persia, cover based shooting a la Gears of War and heavy thematic influences taken from Tomb Raider and of course Indiana Jones. Although I don’t think anyone could accuse the series of being original, the first two games proved popular, mainly due to the high levels of polish developers Naughty Dog applied to the grab-bag of ideas. Uncharted 3 looks set to deliver more of the same to fans of the series, with the E3 demo showing Drake engaged in some mischief on board a cruise ship in stormy seas. The game’s art design is very much of the photorealism school. The cruise ship environment looked convincingly storm swept and slippery, with Drake appearing unsteady on his feet while moving around deck. After sneakily dispatching
race modes return, with the addition of new modes like cat and mouse and the exceedingly entertaining car football. Overall Forza 4 offers more value for money than most games on the market, with hundreds of hours worth of content to explore and enjoy. Graphically, the game is stunning especially the all new Bernese Alps location. This is coupled with the fact
that every single car model is beautifully graphically recreated. Forza Motorsport has always appeared in the shadow of its Playstation rival, Gran Turismo, however with this instalment the developers, Turn 10, have firmly placed the Forza franchise at the top of the podium as the most complete driving game of all time. Josh Mott
Retro Column: Resident Evil
some soldiers in a decidedly Metal Gearish fashion, Drake finds himself engaged in a gunfight in the hold of a fast sinking ship (his own silly fault for using grenades in a boat.) He takes out the guards and is then faced with an interesting platforming section set inside the now vertical cruise liner, as water boils into the hold from below. Judging from what Wired saw the gameplay looked slick, the graphics crisp and the gameplay comfortingly familiar to anyone who’s played an action game in the last 5 years. Naughty Dog promises online co-op and deathmatch modes alongside the single player campaign, with possible DLC to follow the release. Although Wired does not think Uncharted 3 will change the way anyone looks at video games, for fans of the series and PS3 owners looking for a well executed action game, Nathan Drake is unlikely to disappoint you. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception will be released in the UK on November 2nd. Leo Hunt
Halloween is fast approaching, and whilst others may look to Paranormal Activity 3 or an old Saw DVD to get their kicks, gamers turn to the “survival horror” genre for theirs. No title better showcases this category than Resident Evil for the Playstation 1. Released in 1996, Resident Evil set the standard for future survival horror games with its nightmarish enemies, macabre setting and, above all, chilling atmosphere. Right from the opening cinematic, gamers were thrust into a sinister world in which a group of Special Forces agents, known as S.T.A.R.S, became trapped in a zombieinfested mansion after investigating the disappearance of their partner unit. Choosing to play as either Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield, players were tasked with exploring their demonic new surroundings in order to find their missing comrades and find a way out, but, above all, survive. Veterans of this game will know how much every bullet counted, with ammunition being a rare luxury players could ill-afford to waste. The sense of dread felt when the player came face to face with some manner of undead beast, only to hear the condemning *click* of an empty handgun is a feeling that fails to be recreated by the gun-toting “horror” games of today. It wasn’t the game play alone that brought Resident Evil such acclaim, but the
atmosphere that Capcom created to go along with it. From flashes of lightning that revealed the silhouettes of creatures at the window, to the unmistakable sound of creaking floorboards in the distance, players were put in a situation where walking down even the most unassuming of corridors became a dire test of one’s bravery. Despite being nearly 15 years old Resident Evil should still be regarded as one of the most immersive, and genuinely scary, survival horror games around. Andrew Leightfield
Android 4.0, the latest version of the world’s most used mobile operating system, was debuted in Hong Kong last Wednesday (19 October) alongside Samsung’s flagship Android phone, the Galaxy Nexus. Named Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), following the tradition of naming each iteration of Android after a dessert, the new revamp of Android includes exclusive features as well as a complete redesign of the user interface. However, with the iPhone 4S selling millions in its first few days, the competition is incredibly tough. One of these new exclusive features is facial unlock, or facial the recognition screen unlock. The phone cleverly recognises your face using its front camera and unlocks automatically. If this didn’t work well, it could be dismissed as a gimmick no one would use, but according to testers, it works perfectly and is actually faster than manually unlocking the phone. If you have doubts about its accuracy, when setting it up you are required to add a secondary lock code. This means you can still unlock your phone in low light levels, when the camera may struggle to recognise you. It also means others can access your phone if you’re kind enough to share your lockcode. Another of the big exclusive 4.0 features to make its debut with Ice Cream
Sandwich is Google Beam. By using Near Field Communications technology that recent Android phones include, you can now transfer just about anything in between phones by simply touching devices
ICS also comes with a variety of small but great additions that add up to make this the most impressive mobile OS out there. Widgets can be added to the homescreen and resized to suit your preferences. The
together. Webpages, contact info and pictures can be shared instantly and easily by beaming the data. Apple will probably introduce a similar feature next year.
keyboard comes with a spellcheck function and suggests alternatives to the words you’ve typed. There’s also speech to text conversion, allowing you to seamlessly dictate to your
Appy Corner: Scribblenauts Remix Scribblenauts, released for Nintendo DS in 2009, achieved wide critical acclaim for its unique premise of giving the player the ability to spawn anything they can think of in-game thanks to a “magic dictionary” held by the main character, Maxwell. Recently ported to the iPhone, Scribblenauts Remix contains 40 levels from the original (and its sequel Super Scribblenauts) as well as 10 brand new levels, along with various iPhone exclusive features, such as gesture control and use of the iPhone keyboard. The game is very much based around the mechanic of letting the player use their imagination to spawn items and tools that will help them solve the various puzzles the levels throw up in order to collect starities, the ultimate goal of the game. For example, in the first level you are required to retrieve a Staritie which is stuck in a tree and the method by which you do this is left entirely up to you. You could, say, spawn an axe to chop the tree down, or spawn a ladder to climb to the top.
Scribblenauts remix starts out well; its original gameplay mechanic potentially providing any number of puzzles and challenges, however it soon becomes very obvious that the gameplay does not use this mechanic to its full potential. To put it bluntly, Scribblenauts’ puzzles are not puzzling and it’s challenges aren’t challenging, it’s just far to easy. Almost all the levels can be solved with a combination of a gun, a rope and a jetpack and there’s no incentive to use anything else. Soon you’ll find yourself spawning the same items to complete the same basic puzzle of retrieving something for someone over and over again. In summary, Scribblenauts Remix has exciting potential that is let down by poor level design and a lack of variety. Its also worth remebering that for an App Store game it is relatively high priced (£2.99) and if you’ve already played the original then you’ve already played most of the levels, which means you’ll be paying for more of the same thing. Joe Fitzsimmons
device with no delay. The internet browser has also been improved: you can run 16 tabs; store pages for offline reading and there’s a button to request the desktop version of a site, something that will definitely come in handy. The camera app has also been updated, additions include: on-device photo editing and a panoramic photo mode. Google Books and Gmail have undergone changes as well. The new app carousel is impressive; it allows you to close apps by swiping to the right. ICS also features ondevice data usage monitoring. This means you always know how much internet data has been used and allows you to cap usage. The hardware of the Galaxy Nexus is very impressive. Although not as good as the Galaxy S II, the phone comes with a dual core processor and a whopping 1280x720p HD screen, which puts the 960x640p on the iPhone 4S to shame. Android 4.0 is a very impressive piece of software. It’s incredibly smooth, packed with exclusive features, offers extensive customisation, and is more accessible to the average user than previous versions. Expect to see this OS on a smartphone near you soon. Richard Joslin
On The Wire
MMO DC Universe goes free to play both on PC and Playstation 3. Sony Online Entertainment admitted that the free to play model was one they wished to follow from the launch.
12’s Ultimate team feature. Microsoft has highlighted an issue with EA’s server which is leaving user details vulnerable to hackers. Only a handful of players have been affected so there is not too much to worry about.
Gears of War 3 tops 3 million sales worldwide in the first week. In an experiment commissioned by the internet retailer Amazon over 2 million virtual monkeys are close to randomly finishing the complete works of Shakespeare, proving the age old theory correct. Despite selling over four million copies L.A Noire’s development studio Team Bondi is set for closure after the company went into administration.
Id Software’s new IP Rage is released. Dark Souls is released, ready to rival Skyrim for this holiday seasons fantasy RPG. This game is very hard so prepare to die a lot!
Mass Effect 3 to have a multiplayer component. A four player co-op horde mode will exist in Bioware’s much anticipated title. Details have emerged of possible hacking of Xbox Live accounts in order to get the Gold Pack for Fifa
Halo: Anniversary Edition will have Kinect functionality, mainly voice commands though. Forza 4 becomes the fastest selling racing game on the Xbox 360. The new release also tops UK sales charts toppling FIFA 12. The Playstation Vita has a release date. 22nd Feb will be the day on which we will be graced with the Vita’s presence. £279.99 for the 3G version and £229.99 for the Wi-Fi only version.
Batman Arkham City is finally available with Batman, Catwoman, and Robin (pre order from GAME) available as playable characters. More characters such as Nightwing are set for DLC in early November. Blizzard Softwares big conference kicks off today in California. Fans are hoping for the announcment of the new World of Warcraft expansion.
Director: Shawn Levy Country: USA Starring: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly,
With Real Steel, director Shawn Levy has made one of his better films. The director of Night at the Museum and Cheaper by the Dozen takes a more serious approach here and produces a fairly entertaining family film. Any boxing film made after 1976 is always going to be compared with Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky, and it is impossible to ignore the obvious similarities here. With 80 times the budget of Rocky, Real Steel is not quite a rip off and not quite homage. It places the underdog story back in the ring but this time with, you guessed it, robots. Set in the near future, where Robot Wars has gotten bigger than prime time TV, Hugh Jackman plays a down-on-his-luck robot boxing trainer named Charlie. With his son, Max, he decides to train up an old sparring bot called Atom. As they climb up the robot fighting underworld, Atom gets a shot at the big time. The film climaxes with Atom landing a fight with the Apollo Creed of WRB (World Robot Boxing) a robot called Zeus. The relationship between father and son, of course, blossoms nicely towards the
crescendo, and although it is not quite able to match “Aaddrriannn!” it still might make some top lips quiver. This slightly predictable affair is heavy on clichés and will not leave you surprised at any point. From the second Max arrives, you can guess where the relationship is heading between him and Charlie, nor is the final fight particularly shocking. Hugh Jackman’s brooding character is nothing you
In The Debt, a remake of the 2007 Israeli film of the same name by Assaf Bernstein, John Madden presents a mission undertaken in 1966 by three Mossad agents to capture and extradite infamous war criminal Dieter Vogel, also known as “The Surgeon of Birkenau” and its fallout 31 years later. Sam Worthington stars as one of the Mossad operatives and, for once, the Australian actor’s expressionless visage is put to good use as the emotionally repressed David Peretz, tormented by the loss of his family in the Holocaust. Worthington gives an understated but memorable performance. Dame Helen Mirren and Jessica Chastain predictably produce fantastic portrayals of
haven’t seen before, and his performance is pretty standard; not his best work, but by far not his worst. Dakota Goyo puts in a good performance as Max considering his age, although there is something slightly irritating about him. This is epitomised by the extremely cringe worthy robot dancing scenes. Real Steel is a genuinely good effort at a family film and succeeds on a lot of levels. It’s great fun, it’s got heart, and of course it
has robots punching each other. It may be restricted by its 12A certificate and the 127 minute running time which is not very child friendly. It is by no means a masterpiece, or even the best boxing film you’ll ever see, but Real Steel creates a nice balance between a heartfelt story and good old fashioned robot boxing. Matt Francis
Midnight In Paris
Rachel Singer, a well trained but emotionally fragile agent, as her life unravels in both her past and present. Unfortunately, The Debt’s carefully woven narrative begins to unravel in its unnecessarily protracted final 20 minutes. Devoted to tying up loose ends, the closing sequence is plagued by wearisome scenes which slightly reduce the impact of the film’s tense dénouement. Aside from this, during its quieter moments The Debt is a sharp analysis of the codes of morality, truth, and honour, and the extent to which some must violate them in the name of self-preservation. Tom Moore
A delightfully offbeat contemplation on nostalgia, Midnight in Paris is Woody Allen’s affectionate love letter to the inherently romantic city. Disenchanted screenwriter Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) believes that he was born into the wrong era, and would rather belong to the golden age of 1920s Paris, living amongst the great artists of the early 20th century. Accompanying the parents of his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) on her father’s latest business trip to the city of light, Gil plunges himself into writing a novel, growing distant as he embarks on a series of midnight walks. Whilst Gil is hypnotised by the city’s allure, Inez loses herself to the charm of an
old flame, the obnoxious and pedantic Paul (Michael Sheen). What follows is a whimsical tale of magic and desire, as Gil escapes the trappings of his relationship in an attempt to pursue creative inspiration. Owen Wilson is a remarkably able vehicle for Allen’s trademark self-deprecation and endearing social awkwardness, stumbling wideeyed through a narrative memorable for its sheer audacity. Despite a constant bombardment of literary and cultural references that might be a turn-off for some, the excitement, mysticism, and unrelenting positivity of Midnight in Paris makes this one of the director’s most entertaining films in years. Jack Rice
After moving into a new house with her parents and sister, young Laure is mistaken for a boy by the kids in her area and she decides to play along, adopting the name “Mikael”. However, with the start of school looming and the continual realisation that she is not the same as the other boys, Laure must come to terms with her assigned sex. Tomboy is an interesting depiction of gender and the inevitable role it plays in the moulding of a child. Although it is comfortable to see Laure in the role of a boy, the supporting characters, especially that of pink-loving, tutu-wearing sister Jeanne, emphasised the differences imposed on girls and boys from the moment they are born. The film is a sensitive and subtle exploration of a girl discovering her sexuality, and whilst there is no giant plot twist or moments of spectacle, it moves at a steady pace and keeps your attention throughout. The performances are extremely natural and as a result, the film comprises of many charming scenes between Laure and members of her family and friends. This French film from writer-director Céline Sciamma is sweet, intriguing and delightfully funny. It will leave you warm and smiling. Radosava Radulovic
It’s an epidemic! Hollywood has been plagued (pun intended) in recent years by a slew of disaster movies, however Contagion is an exception. This latest work from Steven Soderbergh centres on a deadly virus that spreads worldwide through the simple act of human touch. Multiple storylines portray the sprawling pandemonium, backed up by a stellar cast including Kate Winslet, Matt Damon and Laurence Fishburne. The strength of the cast does not detract from Contagion’s viral subject matter, containing a stark relevance for our times (à la swine flu). This contemporary significance is further supported by Jude Law’s acrimonious truth seeker, shedding light on the political aspect of the circumstances, as well as the psychological aspect of fear. Unfortunatley, the inclusion of a few stock characters, due to the size of the cast, detracts from the overall action. Nevertheless, the film maintains its pace throughout, keeping the viewer engaged through Soderbergh’s slick direction and the enthralling medical storyline. Taken as a whole, Contagion is a smart thriller that rarely loses its informative drive, allowing the viewer to think for themselves rather than have the four horsemen appear on screen to explain it all. Sam Warner
Slackers Club Attention Slackers! This November, Cinema City brings you Miranda July’s new indie gem, The Future. Sophie and Jason decide to take the next big step in their relationship: they are going to adopt a cat called Paw-Paw. With the big day marked on the calendar, they soon begin to fret over the consequences of their commitment. So, in a last-
In recent years, remaking popular 80s films has been something of a craze. Hairspray was a revelation, but more often than not the second offerings fall flat, such as the lacklustre Fame. Footloose sits in the second category. The film tells the story of Ren MacCormack, who moves to small-time town Bomont, only to find that it enforces a ban on public music and dancing. Whilst struggling to fit in, Ren develops a romance with the preacher’s daughter, Ariel, and fights to revoke the ban. He may grow to appreciate his new life, but sadly there is little enjoyment to come from Footloose. The sense of fun ingrained in the original isn’t present, the only entertaining character being Ren’s friend Willard, whose attempts at learning to dance are hilarious. However, Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough are inferior in comparison to the original leads. Kevin Bacon’s Ren was much more engaging and loveable than Kenny’s. It is also a travesty that so much of the original movie was incorporated; many scenes and even the leads’ prom outfits were transposed. Footloose may have succeeded more if it had taken inspiration from the much-loved West End show, rather than this copycat offering. Beth Wyatt
Ranter’s Corner ditch bid to taste freedom, Sophie and Jason quit their jobs, cut off the internet and embark on a journey of self-discovery.
The Future is coming to Cinema City on the 3rd November. Book your tickets online at www.picturehouses.co.uk
“Welcome to Rantsville”
Harry Denniston takes on Hollywood taglines It is often the case that the taglines on film posters annoy you so much that you actively don’t want to watch the film. They are often ill-fitting, underwhelming and sometimes hilariously stupid, and are at their most dangerous when the film is intended to be taken seriously. Such is the case with the five-star splattered, Cannesendorsed poster for We Need To Talk About Kevin, which sports the tagline “Mummy’s Little Monster.” Not only does this serve to completely undermine the film, it also positively vomits all over both the novel and the film’s compelling take on the nature-nurture debate. Earlier this year, the horror film Insidious provided another example of how self-destructive these lines can be. The poster consisted of a creepy looking house in the background, and then, very much in the foreground, a hell-child with scratched out eyes. The tagline was “Its not the house that’s haunted.” Definitely no second-guesses there, then. The list goes on and on, but it seems that one of the most poetic and harmonious taglines to have come to light so far is the one for 2010’s Clash of the Titans, which advertised itself beautifully with, quite simply, “Titans will Clash.” What more need be said?
Venue discusses the re-release of cinematic classics, from Ghostbusters to The Lion King In the midst of the big budget comedy/action movies and gritty dramas dominating the October box office, there is one film that seems out of place. It has been at number two in the chart for more than two weeks, beating out big budget new releases like The Three Musketeers and Real Steel. In America, it’s actually topped the domestic box office. That film is The Lion King, or The Lion King 3D, to give it the full title, and from Disney’s original expected gross of $12m in America, it has grossed $29m, and its run isn’t even over yet. Not bad for a film released in 1994. The habit Hollywood has of looking backwards for its inspiration is nothing new. From sequels, prequels and gritty reboots, the film industry, perhaps more than any other entertainment medium, thrives on the past. While a few critics have complained against this approach, until now most have forgiven Hollywood these things because many new projects have, feasibly, brought some artistic originality to the table. However, with the development of 3D film technology, and its
acceptance into the mainstream, Hollywood appears to have found a new way to get more money out of its past greats without a spark of creativity; the re-release.
Many have objected to the apparent milking of filmgoer nostalgia, and Disney is not the first to attempt this. Last year, Universal Studios re-released the original Back to the Future to celebrate its 25th birthday. Ghostbusters and Jurassic Park have also recieved cinematic re-releases, and next February, George Lucas is set to re-
Competition This Halloween, Cinema City is excited to bring you a special screening of the digitally remastered Ghostbusters. To be in with a chance of winning two free tickets, just answer: Which member of the Ghostbusters cast appeared as himself in 2009’s Zombieland?
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release Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace in new 3D glory. It’s easy to see the cynical side of all this; it is hard to say just what the 3D adds to the experience, and you can guarantee that many cinemagoers will have The Lion King DVD/Blu-ray waiting for them at home. But supporters could argue that these films are a celebration; a timely reminder of how great cinema can be; a chance for those that missed seeing something unique on the big screen to get
their turn. All of the films referenced above (bar one) are great. They are remembered for a reason. We have The Lion King 3D, but we are unlikely to see a re-release of The Flintstones Movie. And the one thing those critics can’t argue with is the overwhelming number of people who went to see it. Expect more classics to start appearing at a cinema near you, very soon. Tim Bates
Competition Closes: 28/10/2011
The Popcorn Chart Top 5
The Exorcist (1973)
There is a reason that The Exorcist remains such a classic, and the quintessential horror movie of choice. It’s a film that always knows exactly what’s it doing, and never puts a foot wrong. A brilliant, genuinely chilling film that has had none of it’s impact lessened by the fact that just about every horror movie made since has in some way stolen bits from it: Paranormal Activity and it’s seemingly endless slew of sequels, Poltergeist, The Exorcism Of Emily Rose, The Amityville Horror. None of these come close, however hard they try. The Exorcist still tops them all.
The Thing (1982)
A monster movie in which we barely see the monster. Instead, fear and paranoia are the villains, as the crew of a remote Antarctic research station begin to realise that something has killed and replaced one of their number. As they begin to suspect each other, the film reaches a claustrophobic intensity, helped by
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the unbelievably gruesome special effects. Maybe it’s the fear of total isolation in the face of death, the horror of not knowing which of your friends is actually an imposter, or just the idea of a huge great monster running around that makes it so scary.
Eyes Without A Face (1960)
Even if you’ve never heard of this one, you’ve almost certainly seen it’s influence in everything from Halloween to the Saw films. A deranged doctor kidnapping women and performing macabre surgery on them to try and reconcile his own guilt was a shockingly original idea back when the film was released, with audience members leaving in shock and one critic nearly being fired for writing a positive review. Fortunately the years since have done nothing to make it any less chilling and disturbing, with the critics who maligned it now hailing it as a masterpiece. An intelligent and original classic.
Evil Dead II (1987)
Shaun of the Dead and Ghostbusters nearly made it into the list, but in the end Sam Raimi’s cult classic, essentially a more ambitious remake of The Evil Dead I, proved more than a match for them in terms of blood and laughs. In how many other films does the hero fight the forces of evil by chopping off his arm and replacing it with a chain saw? Especially surreal considering this is the same guy that
directed Spider Man. Brilliantly funny, insanely violent, endlessly quotable and featuring a laughing moose head. Every movie should have a laughing moose head.
The Shining (1980)
It may be the image of Jack Nicholson smashing down a locked door and manically snarling the iconic “Here’s Johnny!” that immediately springs to mind, but the real scares here come from the Overlook Hotel. Kubrick managed to make the building itself into a terrifying enemy; it’s echoing, cavernous halls, endless corridors and ominous locked doors
would be enough to drive anyone mad. There are rooms where there weren’t before, windows where there shouldn’t be, doors that can’t possibly lead anywhere. It’s an unnervingly nonsensical house of horrors and when Jack reaches for that axe, it’s almost a relief. Joseph Murphy
HOLY FLYING CIRCUS As BBC 4 resurrect the Pythons, Venue look at why they deserve their legendary status
If you are alive, then chances are you will have heard of Monty Python. For the long dead among us, 1969 saw three Cambridge Graduates, two Oxford graduates and an American animator decide that being incredibly silly was great fun and even better if you could make a television show out of it. Four series later, Monty Python’s Flying Circus had brought forth some of best loved and well known sketches in comedy history. As you sit reading this now, you are probably no further than a few feet from someone who would happily enter into an impulsive recreation of the dead parrot sketch (John Cleese arm gesticulations optional). Not only were the sketches themselves memorable, but the chaotic style with which they were presented still remains a Python trademark. Alongside the television series and the tours which arose out of them, the Python troupe found time to write, direct and star in four films; one of which is still widely considered one of the best comedy movies of all time. Monty Python and the Life of Brian follows the fictional life of a man who, owing to a misunderstanding and despite his continued protestations, is mistaken for the Messiah and develops a following that he cannot
shake off. To this day it is the most hotly debated topic of Python interviews owing to the religious outcry that greeted the 1979 release of the film. It is this climate of hysteria which Holy Flying Circus (BBC4) has sought to evoke. Writer Tony Roche’s (The Thick of It) biopic, which aired on the 19th, promises all the exaggerated cross-dressing, ironically relevant irreverence, spoken-to-camera asides and perfectly captured Python personalities that fans will recognise and love. As a selfconfessed ‘Pythophile’, I am known to place higher importance in choice of favourite Python than that of Hogwarts house. Of course, there are no wrong answers, as I’ve always found that their ever-hilarious group banter is just one more thing to delight in. While the Python reaction to the biopic remains generally quiet, Terry Jones has tweeted his on-screen doppelgänger, Rufus Jones, to say: “I don’t envy you having to get into bed with Charles Edwards [HFC’s Michael Palin] but it���s all in a good cause. Hope he washed his feet.” And if that isn’t enough to spark your intrigue, Stephen Fry features in the role of God. Ellissa Chilley
ITV, Sundays, 9pm
In the first episode of Series Two of Downton Abbey, heir-turned-solider Matthew remarks that “War has a way of distinguishing between the things that matter and the things that don’t”. Despite the cheesiness of the line, it does reference the difficulty the show faced as it embarked upon a new series. After being celebrated for its portrayal of the feuds, terribly British romances and stately scandal that dominated the lives of the Crawley family and their staff at Downton, the declaration of war at the end of the last series created a challenge for the writers. Would previous plotlines of inheritance and a dead Turkish diplomat be eclipsed by the outbreak of war? How easily would scenes of bloody trench life intertwine with the grandeur of Downton? What would matter more, story or historical accuracy? It’s true that upon its return the show has been criticized for its confusing timelines and a fumbled dealing of the war. But when the focus is away from the frontline and upon those at Downton, the benefits of a wartime setting become clear.
Characters such as Edith and Sybil, who were previously side-lined by their sister Mary and her suitors, now blossom in their new responsibilities. We see them tending to wounded soldiers, driving tractors and convincing their relatives to turn parts of their lavish home into a functioning ward. Even the villainous Thomas and O’Brien unveil a new side in contrast to their usual conspiring nature. Scenes of Thomas caring for a blinded solider and O’Brien’s empathy for a valet suffering from shell-shock reveal that the baddies actually have hearts. But there is no greater war-induced change of heart than Mary’s, whose unspoken love for Matthew manages to dominate the show, even when the latter is off defending the country. It is here, within its characters, that Downton Abbey finds what matters most, and through them continues to be captivating Sunday night escapism.
BBC1, Saturdays, 8:15pm
After weeks of anticipation, Merlin fans were finally appeased when the show hurtled back on to our screens with an emotional two parter. The title, The Darkest Hour, is enough to guess the tone of this series. A myriad of previous episodes were dominated by “hilarious” events, such as Uther marrying a troll, but these have seemingly been swept aside for more ominous happenings. Another clue is that Morgana has turned into an evil goth overnight, her usually immaculate dress giving way to tatty clothes and fierce dark makeup. Clearly living in a mangy cave isn’t doing much for her. The endearing magic (no pun intended) of Merlin’s portrayal of its characters is that whilst Uther was often a terrible human being, you still had a tear in your eye as he passed away. Anthony Head was excellent in his final performance, and Bradley James was also terrific as the grieving son. Lancelot’s death hardly needs to be mentioned, as he will no doubt return. The massive shock of the third episode, besides from Uther dying so early on in the series, was the aftermath of Merlin’s
actions. Hearing Arthur utter “magic is evil,” unravelled everything the young warlock had been trying to achieve. Fans of the two characters, dubbed “Merthur” because of their “bromance”, will now wonder whether Merlin will be able to confess his secret anytime soon. Colin Morgan has to be congratulated not only for his excellent performances as the lead role, but also for his brilliant turn as the older Merlin. The hilarious shuffle and odd, ranting voice make for an entertaining character. We should be seeing more of Elder Merlin soon, as Morgana believes him to be Emry’s destiny and her doom. Alas, with Morgana setting her unsubtle villainous sights on the new king after destroying the old, the tension continues to build. All we need now is an appearance by the adorable, but deadly, Mordred, and one of Gwaine’s classic bar brawls to make this series perfect. The BBC seems to agree as a fifth series has already been commissioned. Beth Wyatt
EMPLOYABILITY Your future career You may have only just arrived at UEA but you should already be familiar with the E word. Which E word do I mean? Whilst there are a few to choose from (employers, enterprise, the latest episode of Entourage or a slice of eggy bread), the most important one is employability, also known as: “What can I do to get a job after graduation?” Before you stick your fingers in your ears and sing “La la la. I’m not listening!” hear me out. The meaning of employability changes depending on who you talk to, but here’s a helpful definition: Employability: a set of achievements, skills, understandings and personal attributes that make graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations, benefitting benefits them, the workforce, the community and the economy. This definition highlights that employability is not just about you and your employer. It’s about your skills going forward and playing an economic and social role in the wider community, here or anywhere else in the world. It’s also about what benefits you, and what helps you to be successful, however you choose to define success. So, wherever you are in your studies, what can you do to keep the E word on your to-do list? In many respects, it’s not that difficult and should form part of your day-to-day study and life.
About the ‘E’ Word My top 5 list of the week:
GET INVOLVED: If you’re not already in a club, society, volunteering or fundraising then now is the time to start. When possible, take on new responsibilities, offer to organise events, put your name forward and learn new skills. GET THINKING: Whether you have no idea what you would like to do or already have a firm plans, thinking is good. Ask yourself questions like: “What do I enjoy?”, “What am I good at?”, “What gets me out of bed in the morning?”, “How do I access more information about this career?” and “What am I gaining from my studies that can translate into the workplace?” There is a range of resources and help, and people to talk to. Visit Employability.
GET ADVICE: Careers and Employability are here to help you with these questions through individual appointments, group sessions, information, and events. Your school of study also offers employer talks, presentations from alumni and much more. Talk to us and your school for more details. GET CONNECTED: Use the resources on Blackboard, the Careers and Employability website and external links to employers and careers information (prospects. co.uk). Connect to employers and alumni by attending events here on campus and use these to find out more about what’s possible, what kinds of jobs are out there, and how others have made the transition into work.
GET EXPERIENCE: From one day of shadowing to a summer internship or placement, all experience is good. Employability and UEA Volunteering advertise opportunities, as does your school. Keep an eye on Blackboard and the Careers and Employability news briefing (it drops into your inbox each week). Remember – we are here to help, but only you can take the next steps! Adrienne Jolly is the Graduate Employability Developer in Careers & Employability.
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