Concreteâ€™s fortnightly culture pullout
music | interviewed tinchy stryder | p. 4 wired | discuss the gta v trailer | p. 8 fashion | talk menswear | p. 10
Photo by Maddie Russell
issue 260 | 08/11/2011
FREE COACHES TO STUDENT ACTIVISM 2011
INTERESTED IN ACTIVISM?
We’re running free coaches to this event in London on Saturday 19th November The UK’s biggest ever student activism conference. Student Activism 2011 aims to bring together student activists from across the political spectrum to learn, share and inspire a generation of campaigners. The FREE event will enable students, students’ unions, student groups, NUS and other campaigning organisations to debate, discuss and organise for both local and national action on the issues affecting students today. The event will be delivered through a huge menu of workshops, talks, discussions, master classes and debates, and culminate in a mass rally.
If you’re interested in attending register at: ueastudent.com/campaigns/studentactivism2011 or email: email@example.com Union of University of East Anglia Students (UUEAS) is a registered charity England and Wales no 1139778
ssue 260 | 08.11.2011 ditor-in-Chief | Chris King | firstname.lastname@example.org
enue Editor | Alex Throssell | concrete.event.uea.ac.uk It’s been a ridiculously busy week for me. I say busy, I’ve been busy thinking about all of the things I have to do, but actual work has been more than often replaced with general worry and feelings of deeply self-involved pity, I’m sure it all sounds familiar. With all the lack of essay writing going on though, it’s nice to come into the Concrete office and be surprised. It’s a sentiment that sounds a bit disparaging, but truthfully, all of you who contribute and all of my sub-editors consistently do amazing work and have come on leaps and bounds since the start of the year. The photos which have graced this issue are brilliant, and praise should go out to everyone who submitted their images for the front cover competition. Inside this issue more and more surprises reveal themselves. Music, in a rare moment of vulnerability let their ‘cool and aloof’ facade slip and interviewed pint-sized grime artist Tinchy Stryder, Wired let their imagination run wild with the seeds planted by the GTA V trailer and Arts took a slightly more sombre turn, looking at Wilfred Owen and his war poetry. To be perfectly honest, everything’s good this issue, so get reading...
Music | Editors | Alex Ross & Jordan Bright Music Contributors> Lauren Cope, Harry Denniston, Christopher Ogden, George Hamilton-Jones, Joe Murphy, Cheri Amour.
Wired | Editor | Josh Mott Wired Contributors> Andrew Wilkins, Theo Cresswell, Tom Mott, Robert Austin, Josh Mott. Fashion | Editors | Hannah Britt & Milly Sampson Fashion Contributors> Jess Beech, Anthony Shaw. Arts | Editor | Emma Webb Arts Contributors> Harriet MacDonald, Rachael Lum, Chloe Seager, Hannah Thomson.
TV | Editor | Matt Tidby TV Contributors> James Sykes, Lucy Etherige, Matt Mulcahy. Creative Writing | Editor | Ella Chappell Creative Writing Contributors> Michael Drummond, Matt Mulcahy, Marco Bell, Chun Shun Xuan. Compeitions & Listings | Editor | Sam Tomkinson.
Photo by Rika Yudate
Film | Editors | James Burrough & Anna Eastick Film Contributors> Tim Bates, A. J. Hodson, Meg Fozzard, Gemma Morris, Radosava Radulovic, Kieran Rogers, Sammie Rogers, Joseph Murphy, Darren Jamieson.
It’s been a busy couple of years for Tinchy Stryder: opening the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, supporting Akon and Rihanna on tour, launching his own iPhone app, as well as a national tour and the release of new single Off The Record. He manages to squeeze in ten minutes to talk to Venue about Calvin Harris, football and the X Factor. So the new single is out on the 6th November and is produced by Calvin Harris. How did that collaboration come about? Yeah, me and Calvin are cool. I like the sound of his music, so when I was recording the album I reached out and he sent me about five tracks. It was pretty hard to choose between them, but I went for the one that I thought people wouldn’t expect from me. This is the second single from your fourth album, have you decided on a name yet? No, I keep going back and forth between about three names. It’s a personal thing I think, like it should be, and I’m the sort of person who overthinks things. I’ll probably end up going back to the one that I started with. Do you want to name it for me? Yes please, if I can get some credit for it! You’re also going on your first nationwide tour since 2009 in November. Where did the name The Rollercoaster Tour originate from?
Yeah, well normally people go on tour after an album but I thought I’d do, like, a mini tour. It’s not massive at all, so everyone feels like a part of it. Obviously, in my new single it’s got the lyrics “my life is like a rollercoaster” so it came from there really. Do you prefer the intimacy of smaller gigs to larger audiences then? I do like larger audiences but I feel the more intimate ones are closer and more personal. In the big arenas you can’t reach out and touch people.
finding new talent and helping them start out in the business, must have been very rewarding. Yeah, definitely man. It’s not even a business so much, but friendships that have been built. It’s more personal. These people have been doing it for a while so their opinion is key.
Do you still get nervous performing in front of large crowds? No I don’t really, it’s more of an adrenaline buzz.
So how do you feel about shows like the X Factor? When I was coming up you didn’t really have them. A lot of people work for it and you have to have that hard work to appreciate it. You do find talent on them, but they didn’t take the route I took and they don’t understand what gives them the “x factor”. They can’t understand the pain it takes.
You’re obviously part of this year’s Children in Need single Teardrops and participated in 2009’s War Child Charity song I Got Soul. Do you feel like you get a lot back from charity singles? Yeah I do. They approached me a while back and I just thought “yeah man, no reason why not to”. It’s nice to give something back. Going back to a lot of people on set, a whole collection of us, was nice.
You’ve also got your own clothing brand Star in the Hood. How creatively involved are you with the brand? Yeah, I am really involved with it because I really like clothes and fashion. I can base it on things I like to wear, and I speak to the designers. I can obviously approve whether I like it or not, although it’s not just what I like because you have to reach a wide range of people.
But you’re a businessman as much as a musician; founding Takeover Roc Nation with Jay-Z, where you spend a lot of time
Is the business side something you’d like to expand more or is performing your first love?
Yeah, performing is definitely my first love. You have a degree from the University of East London. As a student, it’s obviously a time when I’m deciding what I want to do with the rest of my life. Did you know what you wanted to do when you were a student? I’ve read you were going to be a footballer when you were younger. You know what, I was on a three-year course but on my final year I was mainly on tour with N-Dubz, so I wasn’t there a lot, but football was a hobby. I did gain a lot of knowledge in the time I was there. Who do you support now? Manchester United! (Laughs when I say I’m an Arsenal supporter). Who were you listening to at the time? Well, I’ve always liked hip-hop and R&B but all different things really. I’ve always been open-minded; if I hear something I like that’s different it doesn’t matter. At university I liked Green Day, which you wouldn’t expect. I really like The Script. So lastly, you’re performing at The Waterfront in Norwich on the 12th November; do you think you’ll be able to make time to come visit us at UEA? Yeah, course, course. I’ll be in Norwich all day so if I can, definitely!
Florence + the Machine Ceremonials It can certainly be easy and indeed often fashionable to dislike Florence and her almighty Machine, but it seems that second album Ceremonials gives a deeper, more interesting reason to add to the cause of this dislike. To her credit, 25-year-old Florence Welch seems not to have felt what must have been the immense pressure of following up the phenomenal success of her debut, and the twelve songs certainly seem confident and assured, to say the least. The problem lies in the fact that the music seems all too often to brush the individual listener aside in its desire for scale, grandeur and impact. Ceremonials is, effectively, an exhausting collection of singles. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this; this is pop songwriting at its most powerful and, arguably, best. Every song contains a juggernaut of a chorus, ready to be sung along to by gigantic swathes of stadium crowds and festival goers, but from this magnitude, combined with Paul Epworth’s impenetrable production, springs a disengagement: the songs fail to build a
Coldplay Mylo Xyloto
personal relationship with the listener. Indeed, you feel you can only watch them as they hurtle by, and not actually engage with them. The album centres around themes of love,
death and its demons, and it is obvious that Welch has tried to progress both lyrically and musically, but the “ghostly” theme gets tiresome very quickly, and the album is full
With its glaring graffiti album art and its exotic title, Mylo Xyloto sees Coldplay attempting to build upon their successful Brian Eno-led reinvention in Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends as a stadium band for the iPod generation. Rather than continuing to embrace Viva’s baroque stylings of gloomy cemeteries and winter snow though, here the band explore a futuristic space full of flashing city lights and the synthetic textures of electronica, pop, and R&B. A swooning introduction leads into the glitterting tunnel rush of Hurts Like Heaven, and once Paradise launches into its military rhythm section and helix falsetto run, it’s patent that Chris Martin and company are gunning for a larger sound than ever before: Jonny Buckland’s expressive guitarwork rings clear and bright, with thumping bass and drums shoved right to the front of the mix; you can even hear festival-ready clapping during the crescendo. Charlie Brown blends the skyward reach of Muse’s Starlight with M83’s earnest atmosphere, and a song named Every Teardrop is A Waterfall needs no help in expressing its
own sheer grandiloquence. Even softer, potentially soggy songs like Us Against The World and U.F.O, the acoustic fundamentals of which wouldn’t have been incongruous on Parachutes or A Rush of Blood to the Head, are made to soar with the support of echoing arpeggios and strings under Eno’s slick production. The ballad Up In Flames starts with a skeletal dubstep click-beat and staccato piano before Martin coos tenderly over them, as if James Blake wrote songs that weren’t vaguely uncomfortable. In this comfort lies Mylo Xyloto’s main stumbling block, a problem which is regularly seen to undermine Coldplay’s music as a whole: the music is indisputably rich, but in trying so hard to be evocative to everyone, it ends up easily digestible but only briefly filling, like a fat slab of Galaxy Caramel. Catchy melodies are regularly preferred over any evocative storytelling or emotional subtlety: anthemic open vowel choruses are abound, and the only indications of this being a ‘dystopian concept album’ (Chris Martin’s words) are a few 1970s computer warble samples in
of lyrical annoyances about interpreting animal entrails, kissing eyes and burying horses. Opener Only If For A Night sets up the template for what is to follow; snappy drums, harp flourishes and a chorus of backing Florences leave the song oversaturated. Welch’s voice can at times be emotive, but largely she chooses to bellow her words over the cacophony of the other musicians. Lover to Lover’s 70’s rock vibe still feels opaquely modern, and Seven Devils stabbing, Exorcistlike piano is utterly grating. Breaking Down is almost crescendo-free, and serves as brief respite from the assault. Lead single Shake It Out comes close to a stand-out, but the song peaks with the first rendition of its enormous chorus, and does not trough again for the rest of its four minutes and thirty seconds. There is a sense that Welch should just calm down, instead of throwing chorus after chorus at her music, to make it resonant and meaningful. One could argue that Welch’s epic attitude is what makes her refreshing and great, but her music is not actually good enough to support the ambition and demeanour that she is channelling. Indeed, whatever she is trying to exorcise or “shake out” on Ceremonials is simply quite boring, and the album exudes a sense of transience. When held against the music of her chart companions, Ceremonials may seem like a brief light in the dark, but in attempting to step up to the big league Florence falls drastically short, due, ultimately, to just trying too darned hard. Harry Denniston
the instrumental M.M.I.X. and Martin’s notoriously patchy lyrics, which veer the menacing Major Minus towards Bill Bailey territory: ‘They’ve got one eye watching you, one eye on what you do, so be careful who it is you’re talking to.’ The polished exterior is a distraction from what is lacking within. Princess of China is the most shameless attempt at crossover, more Rihanna’s song than Coldplay’s, with moody, stuttering electronics and shimmering oriental guitars only existing for her to turn up with a heavy R&B thump and drop meaningless majorkey platitudes on top of them. Ultimately, it’d be mean-spirited not to laud Coldplay’s ambition on Mylo Xyloto. There’s skill and magnanimity in writing songs as unabashedly huge as Don’t Let It Break Your Heart, and the sonic textures here are kaleidoscopic. Like the Bonfire Night fireworks this past weekend or the band themselves visiting campus, Mylo Xyloto is dazzling at first but it’s better to recognise the carnival as temporary. Christopher Ogden
CD Reviews Summer Camp Welcome to Condale Boy-girl duo Summer Camp’s debut Welcome to Condale sits easily with current trends stateside. With its granular melange of retro 80s and 90s sounds, it is right at home with the products of the chillwave boom. Its summer holiday lyrical sensibilities lend weight to comparisons with the group Tennis. Condale has an excellent starting five song run. From Better Off With Out You to Summer Camp, it’s a kitchen sink approach to pop
David Lynch Crazy Clown Time David Lynch has made an electro-pop album. Allow that statement to sink in for a few minutes. If you’re still totally baffled then don’t worry, you’re not alone. You would have thought he’d be content with being one of the most acclaimed directors of all time, responsible for masterpieces like Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet, Inland Empire and The Elephant Man, but apparently not. The
These Ghosts Footsteps On A Frozen Lake [Single] The digital age is upon us. Way back in 2004, the front page of music industry bible Billboard declared that after nearly 20 bumper years, the reign of the compact disc might be coming to an end as digital downloads made a bid for the throne. Everyone, from pop tart Ke$ha to post-punk pioneers Gang of Four
with nods aplenty to synth sounds of the 80s and 90s Euro dance. Brian Krakow combines their ebullient pop stylings with the grumps of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s Kill Surf City. I Want You combines the big drums of 80s power ballads with the slicing synth pads of Cold Cave’s Heaven was Full and slowly turns the dial for pounding contemporary beats. Summer Camp just dares you to call its synth refrain cheesy. The album clocks in at 37 minutes; fairly short, but it is all Raw Power needed. It’s a good move that demonstrates a desire to avoid filler material. It’s ample time to showcase the Summer Camp box of tricks: short but very sweet. The boy-girl duets, the syrupy guitar modulation effects, the knowing referential sensibility, it all lends texture to a genuine effort at pop to get you out of your chair. The production is punchy and brings to the
foreground great programmed sounds and the power of the dueting vocals. When they are good, they are very good. When they are soso, they are still worth listening to. A lot has been said in recent months about so-called retro-mania and music’s retrospective posture, but look at the playfulness on show here. Albums like this, that rely so much on retrospection and dreamy recall, tend to have a dark-side. It’s well negotiated here with the bad girl break-up anthem Better Off Without You and the isolation of Nobody Knows You, as well as the aforementioned Jesus and Mary Chain touches. If granules are your thing then why not go further and check out David Speck’s wonderful project Part Time on Youtube or Spotify—the album What Would You Say is a perfect manifestation of the granular approach. George Hamilton-Jones
most surprising thing about the whole affair however, is not that it happened, but that some of it is actually very good. Opener Pinky’s Dream benefits from some inspired guest vocals by Karen O and the song’s shifting, disjointed synths strike a balance between the eerily beautiful and the downright creepy. It’s a balance that carries on throughout the album, made even more delicate by Lynch’s high, nasal whine of a voice. The same thin line is walked throughout the album’s best tracks, and it comes as no surprise that it often sounds like the soundtrack to a Lynch movie. He’s certainly learned from the melodic brilliance of his film soundtrack composer Angelo Badalamenti. His lyrics are as cryptic as any of his plots, but the biggest surprise is that the music is often fairly straightforward.
Highlight Good Day Today is a radio friendly synth-pop tune with the less appealing aspects of Lynch’s voice hidden under layers of effects. Fans of Lynch may know of the care that goes into the sound design of his films, and Crazy Clown Time seems to have undergone the same level of attention. It’s an impeccably produced album, which makes listening to even the most obscure tracks worthwhile. There are many places in which it simply doesn’t work, and it is far too long, but for the most it’s a fascinating and often enjoyable listen. David Lynch’s films are many things: brave, bold, eerily beautiful, infuriatingly ambiguous, often flawed but always fascinating, and his move into music is no exception. Joe Murphy
have embraced this new era, often only for the mere cost of parting with your email address. Even prog masters Pink Floyd finally settled their disputes over downloading their concept albums in order to allow distribution of their individual tracks from such seminal releases. Disputes aside, digital downloads are certainly a powerful tool for bands in this modern age and local three piece, These Ghosts are wielding their trump card with new single Footsteps on A Frozen Lake. Having already received rave reviews from Artrocker and Huw Stephens himself, their new single is not only entirely free but also well worth the download. A celestial delight of swirling delay and choral decadence snatched from the fingers (and desk) of some of Bright Eyes’ finest digi moments, Footsteps creeps in with looming
bass line and heavy reverb. Yes, it’s ambient and almost cinematic, but above all, this is simply captivating. At points, some might say that These Ghosts carry the same dark atmosphere of hipster NY types Interpol with their intricate guitars and brooding vocals but there’s more than moody minimalism here. This trio offer something more refined than that; something more ethereal and something quite unlike any other band is currently making, and you don’t need the rise in download popularity to tell you that. While Footsteps might implore you to “open up, it’s all you’ve got,” this most certainly isn’t all that this bright young band have to give. Download your copy now: http://theseghosts.bandcamp.com. Cheri Amour
SIGN THE PETITION! So far Jools Holland, Zane Lowe, Brian Eno, Huey Lewis and Coldplay have all
signed it along with nearly 4000 others! http://bit.ly/vyfqRx
JOIN THE PROTESTS! There will be a demonstration on the 9th Nov in the square, come and show
SPREAD THE WORD! Get singing and strumming as much as you can on campus and in the
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READ THE UNIVERSITY’S REVIEW OF THE SCHOOL! See what you think of their reasons! http://scr.bi/ sqwVtw
Visit saveueamusic.org.uk for information on the campaign! Facebook: Save UEA Music | Twitter: @SaveUEAMusic, #saveueamusic Contact: email@example.com
Campaigns & Democracy Union of University of East Anglia Students (UUEAS) is a registered charity England and Wales no 1139778
Revealed: Grand Theft Auto V
“Why did I come here? I guess it was the weather, or because of the, well I don’t know, that thing, that magic…” When viewing the latest announcement trailer for Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series, this mention of magic is exactly what comes to mind. After months of speculation and rumours, the Grand Theft Auto V trailer has arrived worldwide, bringing it with it many answers and many more questions. Arguably the most important question on everybody’s mind was where the new game would be set. Rockstar’s decision to remake Liberty City in GTA IV led many fans to
speculate that GTA V would follow suit and remake the world of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which combined Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas. Although it’s too early to be sure of all the geographic details, GTA V is definitely going to be set in Los Angeles with a large and accessible surrounding countryside. The trailer shows off a much brighter and more diverse world than that of Liberty City. Glimpses of beaches, mountains, downtown skyscrapers, ghettos and high-rise apartments show that Rockstar has given a unique identity and feel to each area in the game. The new GTA protagonist is almost always
Retro Column: Metal Gear Solid While it’s safe to assume that snakes don’t really belong in Alaska, Konami’s Metal Gear Solid (1998) does belong in every PlayStation owner’s collection. One of the earliest members of the stealth action genre, Metal Gear Solid set a high that very few have even approached more than 13 years on. How is a game this old still the best in its genre? To start with, the plot, in contrast to the stealth based meticulous game play, is rather fast moving. Without giving too much away (because you have to go and play this game), it provides a mature and tense atmosphere while weaving an epic story around a team of genetically-enhanced special forces soldiers (known collectively as FOXHOUND) that are threatening the U.S with a massive nuclear-capable war robot known as Metal Gear R E X .
The player must defeat this team of misfits as protagonist Solid Snake, a previously retired expert in infiltration, sabotage and hiding in cardboard boxes to remain undetected. This last “special skill” comes in handy more than you might expect against the angry henchmen of FOXHOUND, so when you buy this game don’t forget it. The game’s levels are designed with stealth as the primary solution to nearly all problems. Consequently, the player will find it difficult to complete the game “all guns blazing.” The tension created by sneaking past guards and avoiding the gaze of countless security cameras becomes so addictive that you will soon find yourself gladly taking part in the true tactical espionage elements of the game. Finally, each section is punctuated by a boss fight, all of which are nothing short of fantastic. Personal favourites include an invisible ninja cyborg, a half naked Alaskan shaman and a nightmareinducing, gas mask sporting psychic able to read your memory cards, see what other games you play and then scare you with this information. He even asks that you put down your controller and then proceeds to move it via vibration. Scary stuff! Theo Creswell
as important as the new environment, and this time Rockstar has taken an intriguing approach. Players appear to take control of a retired Mafioso who is trying to restart his life in Los Santos. Offering a character who not only wants to steer clear of the criminal path, but who also has children, is a bold step for the series and shows that Rockstar always has a way to make the same formula feel emotionally fresh. If GTA V is going to be a remake of San Andreas, then fans will be expecting at least some of the old features to be brought back. The trailer gives the impression that GTA V will offer a greater level of character customisation than the previous game. Shots of people going for runs, hiking up mountains and working out in their homes suggest that physical fitness and appearance can be more directly controlled by the player. The ability to buy a home and own a pet is hinted at, which could see some fans complaining of a move too close towards something like The Sims. This however, hardly seems to be the case, as Rockstar will almost certainly maintain the emphasis on action and entertainment. The vehicles should send fans into hysterics, with jet skis, crop dusters and harrier jets all making
subtle appearances. Until further information is released the finer details can only be speculated on. But what is certain is that Rockstar knows how to deliver a superb and immersive gaming experience and by the looks of it, Grand Theft Auto V will be just that. Andrew Wilkins
Preview: Skyrim The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an open-world RPG, developed by Bethesda to be released on November 11 2011 on most major platforms. It is the fifth instalment in the series, following The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion; however Skyrim is not a direct sequel to Oblivion, but a new chapter in the series. The game is set two hundred years after Oblivion, and in this preview Wired will give you a brief introduction to the events that unfold before and during Skyrim. As there was no heir to the Emperor’s throne, the Empire began surrendering its territories to the Elven nations it once ruled. After the king of Skyrim’s assassination, civil war broke out amongst the native Nord race who wished for Skyrim to split from the Empire.
As with Oblivion, the game begins with the player as a prisoner, on the way to their own execution for involvement with the Stormcloaks, the group founded by the king’s assassin. You escape, and eventually learn that Skyrim’s civil war is last in a sequence of prophetic events foretold by the Elder Scrolls, which also foretell of the return of Alduin, the Nordic god of destruction. Taking the form of a gigantic dragon, Alduin is prophesied to burn the world to ash. The player is the last Dovahkiin, a dragon hunter chosen by the gods to defend Skyrim and Tamriel from Alduin. With Skyrim boasting a staggering 300 hours of content, it’s fair to say that come 11.11.11, many will not be venturing out of their rooms for some time. Tom Mott
What Does The Future Hold For Microsoft Game Studios ?
2011 has been an interesting and exciting year in the world of gaming. With the rise of first person shooters Battlefield and the annual Call of Duty series dominating the adult gaming market, and a new generation of gaming studios emerging, Microsoft’s own game studios have a reason to be worried. Microsoft Game Studios (MGS) was created in 2002 to coincide with the release of the Xbox. MGS creates and publishes games for all Xbox and Windows XP exclusive releases. After nearly 10 years of unparalleled success though, question marks have begun to arise about the company’s future as one of gaming’s elite developers. Following the lukewarm and shy introduction of Kinect and a host of heavily criticised game content created for the Xbox’s ‘revolutionary’ new platform, does Microsoft have a future as a studio? Following the finale from the Gears of War franchise and the efforts of Microsoft to resuscitate Halo, Xbox’s definitive game, into a new trilogy of games, it would appear that the studio is running out of time, patience and creativity to produce new games. Halo and Forza Motorsport,
also created by Microsoft, and a host of Kinect featured games such as the Kinect Adventures series is all Microsoft have left to cling on to. Besides Kinect based games, Halo 4 is the only scheduled release for the studio, but we’ll have to wait until Christmas 2012 for its main protagonist, Master Chief to return and save Microsoft from gaming blues. The company’s general manager, Dave Luehmann admitted Microsoft needed to step up, and in particular lead the way in PC gaming, but with delays on several titles earlier this year including Fable 3 and the updated Age of Empires multiplayer, fans and critics alike have taken shots at the unprofessionalism an apparent lack of interest from the studio to deliver
Byte Review: Battlefield 3 After a $100 million marketing campaign, Battlefield 3 found itself as one of the most anticipated games of the year. Promising an unparalleled multiplayer experience and a single player campaign to rival that of the Call of Duty series Battlefield 3 was gunning for the top spot in first person shooter hierarchy. The single player part is in fact very forgettable, with players following the cliché storyline of trying to thwart a terrorist plot in several locations around the world. However the Battlefield series is not known for its single player components and it is the multiplayer features where this game exceeds itself. Co-op provides several varying scenarios for players to progress through, which in fact prove difficult as there are no checkpoints meaning when you die you return back to the beginning of the level. Conquest, rush,
and team death match return as the only modes in the online multiplayer, however the depth of each mode is vast. Vehicles offer added interesting gameplay features and the inclusion of jets is welcomed. On console versions there have been problems with the EA servers and players have been finding it hard to connect. EA have been working rectify these problems, however at the time of going to print these problems persist. Graphically, Battlefield 3 is top class with jaw dropping texturing and animation. The game also has fantastic sound design, with all the wizzes, bangs, and cries of warfare captured perfectly. Overall Battlefield is a solid shooter with one of the best multiplayer components in around. Josh Mott
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compelling and investment worthy games across more than its infamous 360 console. Microsoft as a company is still thriving, and despite it being the oldest modern console in comparison to its rivals, the PS3 and the Nintendo Wii, the Xbox 360 remains the number one best seller, but as for the studio, who has the responsibility of filling the console with what it perceives to be the best games, it is not delivering the quality Microsoft needs for it to be a fierce competitor. If nothing changes, the definitive Xbox games, which defined a generation of gaming and gamers will define the next generation, the one after that and that one after that. With a brand new console in the works and a rumoured 2015 release, the questionable future of Microsoft’s
juggernaut status hangs in the balance; whether they can fill the new console with new classics like they did with the inception of the original Xbox remains to be seen. Right now Microsoft’s Kinect shows little signs of a revolution, though despite its numerous flaws, Kinect is a step in the right direction, but it’s not Microsoft’s finished product. Old games and old characters can’t live forever, no matter how big, no matter how popular. Microsoft’s reliance on the past could make or break the studio, but with little to look forward to one can only be optimistic Robert Austin
Appy Corner: Doodle Jump Few can deny the influence that Lima Sky’s Doodle Jump has had on the app market in recent years. Since its release on iOS back in April 2009, the four legged alien has jumped his way up to 10m downloads worldwide. Players take control of a loveable little creature called Doodler, who must navigate his way up a series of platforms to get a high score. Doodle Jump is very much a throwback to the old online games of the high school era, as a means of filling the void of a boring ICT lesson by any means possible. Some may mistake it for any of the thousands of platform jumping games on the market such as Winter Bells or PapiJump, but Doodle Jump takes this recycled idea to creatively fresh new levels. Doodler encounters a variety of obstacles on his journey, including several exotic looking monsters, black holes, and UFOs. Even the platforms themselves present a threat for players and are recognisable by their individual colours.
Brown platforms break in half, blue platforms move horizontally and red and white platforms explode and disappear. Players tilt their handheld device left or right to guide Doodler across the screen enabling more momentum to be created with more precise movements. The ability to fire projectiles from Doodler’s nose and take down oncoming enemies diversifies the game even further and makes it a constant attention grabber. With free updates for the game always available online, doodle jumpers are able to download new maps and enemies at their leisure. The Christmas map and space map are notably memorable but even without these additions, Doodle Jump remains at its core one of the best gaming apps ever. Its enjoyment is rivalled only by its addictiveness, which can be so lethal, you’ll be fighting your own hand to put it down. Andrew Wilkins
Menswear: More Than Just Metrosexual... Smokin’ Justin Bieber He raps now. Next step, fitness DVD.
Steve Jones Apparently now seeing Nicole Scherzinger. Lucky girl.
new season menswear. With an abundance of men now using the phrases “oh it’s vintage” and “I just picked it up in a charity shop” when complimented, the idea that men do not take an interest in fashion is being turned on its head. The previously clear line between men and women’s interest in fashion is becoming increasingly blurred. When high street chain H&M revealed a preview of their much coveted collaboration with fashion house Versace, it came as no surprise that the range included cutting edge men’s wear. The range is not for the fainthearted, including statement pieces such as graphic monochrome print shirts and pink blazers. It is definitely nice to see men being given a helping hand in looking good from the high street. Hopefully soon gone will be the days when men are forced to resort
to womenswear in search of a good fitting pair of skinny jeans. Too many times have I heard guys complaining about the shame of having snide remarks and even heckles made at them in shops. One friend of mine has even been escorted across shopping centres by staff from Topshop to try jeans on in the Topman changing rooms. But it does show the high price of their dignity that some men are willing to pay to get the kind of look they see in the press and on celebrity icons. Do not be fooled into thinking all men are ready to throw off their tracksuit bottoms and pore over the next issue of Glamour, but men’s fashion is becoming more and more acceptable and accessible. But, a word of warning, no matter how popular male grooming becomes, guy liner is, and always will be, a step too far. Jess Beech
Photographer: Helen Haines / Models: Jamie Freeman, Alexander Maciag, Jamies Leatherbarrow
For those amongst us that have been stealing our boyfriend’s jackets and shirts for years, it has been clear that they must be getting something right. You only have to look around campus to see that men have had their finger firmly on the fashion pulse for much longer than we have realised. Men’s fashion is big news. In comparison to the amount of direction given to women in fashion through magazines and TV segments, men have been left almost entirely to their own devices. As a result of this lack of guidance has sprung out many individual and eclectic styles, but also some serious fashion faux pas. But this is set to change as magazines such as The Sunday Times style supplement, Look and ASOS magazines are frequently dedicating pages and whole issues to men’s fashion. London Fashion Week earlier this year also debuted a day devoted entirely to
James Cordon So wrong. So right.
Chokin’ MUggs Joey Essex wears them. You shouldn’t.
Kris Humphries Dumped by Kim Kardashian after only 72 days of marriage. Ouch.
Frankie Cocozza We hear the X Factor stage has to be sprayed with spermicide after he performs.
If anyone actually stole any of my clothes, shoes, colognes, whatever, I would not notice and I would not care. I would go to the nearest shop and just buy another... but if they stole my guitar I would flip a shit. Check out www.concrete-online.co.uk for just what the boys wear and care about, by Madz Abbasi, as well as this season’s menswear trends and where to buy them in Norwich, by Helen Haines.
Photographer: Harriet Jones / Model: Carl Silverstone
Photographer: Harriet Jones / Model: Carl Silverstone
Vanity Unfair You’re in a rush. You briskly walk in and before you’ve had a chance to properly survey your situation you come face to face with the most awe inspiringly beautiful man you’ve ever seen. For a moment you stand, mouths agape, your eyes level. You reach up to ruffle your hair and he does the same, you take a step closer and so does he, could this symmetry be a sign? Could this be the most perfect moment ever? It would be if not for the sink in the way and the tooth paste spatter all over the mirror. We’ve all been there, locked in a photo-finish staring competition with our own reflections, but there has to be a limit to how much attention we lavish upon face time with ourselves. Mirrors as we know them today have been around since about the first century
AD and these days several can be found in any home, handbag, or mirror shop in the country. However it doesn’t stop there; reflective surfaces themselves have been around long before even Jesus had invented water. As a man I have not only noticed others but found myself using ever more innovative reflectors to check that I still look the same as I did when last I checked (30 seconds ago). Any and all windows, the side of a car, someone you’re meant to be listening to’s sunglasses, phone screens, TV screens, small change, polished forearms, even judging how bouffant you’re hair is by your shadow. I have seen all of these methods used by men to make sure they’re still looking dapper, often accompanied with a Facebook worthy pout or checking the triceps under the cover
of a stretch. But where does this obsession with self image come from? It’s possible that most men just prefer their own company and a reflection is a lot more tangible than an inner monologue. Maybe it’s an infatuation with the self, but then again I don’t think I’ve had the privilege of witnessing same sex identical twins/lovers. More likely is the fact that most of us are so judgemental that it appears to go without saying that we are going to be under an intolerable amount of scrutiny ourselves. Charles Horton Cooley summed this up beautifully in his statement: “I am not what I think I am and I am not what you think I am; I am what I think that you think I am”. The clothes, the hair products and the moisturisers: all attempts to keep us
simultaneously in and out of the spotlight. As such you would be forgiven for a degree of vanity, it is a coping mechanism to make one feel comfortable in a world full of clandestine sentience. However any self respecting gentleman wouldn’t be caught carrying a mirror around with him (I appreciate the need for women to apply make-up with a compact), but using every passing pane of glass to smile at yourself is quite frankly a copout. As such I think we could all stand to benefit from stepping back from the pool Narcissus died by and looking at the clouds or something instead.
Top Hat - Theatre Royal
Summer Strallen as the beautiful Dale Tremont, object of Jerry’s affection and original role of Ginger Rogers.
It has taken 77 years but finally Top Hat, the motion picture that Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers made so famous, has taken to the stage. American tap dancer Jerry Travers, played by 2008 Strictly Come Dancing winner Tom Chambers (Holby City, Waterloo Road), flies to London to appear in his first West End show. Whilst tap dancing in his hotel room he wakes up beautiful Dale Tremont, played by Summer Strallen (Sound of Music, Lover Never Dies, Hollyoaks) who asks him to keep the noise down. From then on Jerry does all he can to win her heart - he sends her masses of flowers, follows her to Italy and of course, shows off many of his tap dancing skills. There is an evident chemistry between Tom and Summer, particularly demonstrated in their dancing scenes together. The most renowned scene of the film is Fred and Ginger’s performance of Cheek-toCheek; Summer and Tom certainly do the scene justice with not a tap out of place. Although the imitation of Ginger’s iconic ostrich feather dress worn by Strallen is not flattering; with too many feathers it does not have the same sophistication as the original. The play boasts many comic elements, especially the much-loved character Bates the butler (played by Stephen Boswell) and Dale’s admirer Alberto Beddini, played by Ricardo Afonso. Both had the audience in hysterics: Bates with his awkward, nerdy mannerisms and Beddini, particularly so, in the scene when he prepares for his wedding
night; sproudly tripping down to his tight all-in-one under piece and sock suspenders. Unfortunately there was a technical hitch in the first half of the play, when the setting did not open at the right time, but being the first performance this can be forgiven and it did not affect the rest of the show. Overall, the production was a fantastic experience. The musical score included a host of Irving Berlin classics: Cheek to Cheek, Isn’t It A Lovely Day to be Caught in the Rain?,
Top Hat, White Tie and Tails, Let’s Face the Music and Dance and I’m Putting All My Eggs in One Basket. Each song was performed spectacularly and the glamour of the 1930s pervaded the theatre, created by the talented and well put together ensemble and the many enthusiastic audience members who chose to come dressed in evening dresses, suits, gloves, glitter and, of course, top hats. Harriet MacDonald
All The Fun Of The Fair - Theatre Royal
Funfairs are not all about bright lights and exotic thrills, as shown by Jon Conway’s All the Fun of the Fair. The musical production strips away its glamorous front and tells a heartwarming tale of a fairground owner, Levi (played by 1970’s pop star David Essex),
who tries to balance between finding closure following his wife’s death and maintaining his relationship with his son, Jack (Rob Compton). In the meantime, they have a travelling funfair to run and love affairs to handle.
Jack becomes romantically involved with the daughter of a gang leader, which causes trouble for their funfair family. The touching storyline explores what it means to be stigmatized as an ‘outsider’ and the realization that such ‘outsiders’ share the same everyday problems that people have beyond the colourful tents. Essex may not be the smooth crooner he used to be, but there is now a rasp in his voice that fits perfectly with Levi’s weary character. Despite his shaky start during All the Fun of the Fair (the song in which the musical is named after), Essex’s overall delivery is emotional and nostalgic. Adding to the nostalgia are some of Essex’s old hits, such as A Winter’s Tale, Gonna Make You a Star, Me and My Girl (Nightclubbing) and Rock On. There are also other soundtracks that are written for the play, some of which are commendable especially Dangerous and Here We Are All Together. Louise English, who plays the gifted gypsy Rosa, steals the limelight with her captivating rendition of A Winter’s Tale. Tim Newman and Susan Hallam-Wright, on the
other hand, deserve recognition for their refreshing takes on the doe-eyed Jonny and the heartbroken Mary respectively. One of the most alluring features of the musical is undoubtedly the set design. A desolate street bursts into the beautiful funfair in a matter of seconds, carousel horses descend from the ceiling during the song He Noticed Me, cable cars race onto the stage and a motorcycle levitates in Silver Dream Machine. The detailed props and creative stage settings capture the vibrant nature of the fair, the spectacle of which leaves the audience constantly in awe. Throughout the musical, Essex alludes to his younger days as well as both past and contemporary cultural references. While some of these jokes may be lost to the younger crowd, they are definitely treats for die-hard Essex fans. In other words, All the Fun of the Fair can be described using one word: entertaining. Sad moments exist but they do not last long. More often than not, it is a feel-good ride that brings you to that surreal fairground of your imagination. Rachael Lum
Observe The Sons
Ulster Marching Towards The Somme
Somme - Drama Studio The first thing to note about DramaSoc’s production of Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme (not including the mouthful of a title!) is the ambition of staging a play set in the First World War. The horror of war is a difficult subject to convey and it is a testament to the cast’s acting that the vast amount of psychological trauma in the play was expressed. This was particularly true of the leading male Jon Moss, whose portrayal of the young soldier Kenneth Pyper accurately conveyed the character’s absorbing instability. Congratulations are also due to the cast for their convincing Irish accents, which rarely slipped and never detracted attention from the scenes. The first act was set purely in the army barracks and relied on the soldiers’ banter and bonding, which was very entertaining. The second act began with the soldiers on leave, and the stage was split with the eight actors in four pairs performing different scenes. This was occasionally difficult to follow and the lighting was at times distracting, but it nonetheless gave the play a little more movement and intensity. It also provided an opportunity to delve deeper into the character’s personal lives and relationships, and here the play further explored the themes of God and religion
(especially the divide between Protestants and Catholics), and homosexuality. The sexual tension between Pyper and his comrade David Craig (Matt Carson) was an interesting twist that was unexpected and extremely well executed. The split scene that worked particularly well was between characters William Moore (Sophie Greenham) and John Millen (Charlie Mealings), with each actor positioned in a different window above the audience. Sophie’s moving portrayal of Moore’s dangerous journey on the bridge had the audience on the edge of their seats. The play’s visuals were simple without a large range of colour or shade, but certain elements were very effective; the costumes (traditional army outfits) worked well with the naturalistic scenes, and the live musical accompaniment was a great addition and very appropriate for the tone of the play. Overall Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme was a good performance, full of skilled actors dealing with difficult topics; the issues raised by the play gave the audience a lot to think on afterwards. It was tragic, provocative, amusing and most certainly a success. Chloe Seager
This Week In Arts History ... 1918 To commemorate Memorial Sunday, Hannah Thomson discusses Britain’s most tragic war poet. For centuries, soldiers have used poetry to describe the horrors of war while honouring the loss of young men’s lives. Among the many celebrated war poets, there is one who is widely recognised as the great voice of the genre through his haunting descriptions of the realities of World War One: Wilfred Owen. Through his poetry he depicts his personal experience of the physical and psychological trauma of war; Owen is the poet who, for many, has built the memorial in our minds from which we can remember those who have been lost in war. Wilfred Owen was born in 1893 in Shropshire and from the age of nineteen he wanted to be a poet. However, up until 1917 Owen had written almost no poetry, but his deployment in France that same year gave him a first-hand account of life on the front line. It was this immersion in the horrific action that inspired him to write. By the summer of 1917, Owen was diagnosed with neurasthenia, or what we now know to
be shell shock, and was sent to Craiglockhart Hospital in Edinburgh where he met the already known poet, Siegfried Sassoon. It was here, with Sassoon’s influence and guidance, that some of Owen’s greatest poems were written. Dulce et Decorum est is Owen’s most famous poem. Translated from Latin, the title is finished in the last line of the poem: “That old lie: It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country.” Overwhelmed with bleak realism, the poem conjures up the images of the devastating effects of gas: “If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood/ Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs/ Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud/ Of vile incurable sore on innocent tongues.” These brutal and graphic lines confront the reader with Owen’s intention, put forward in his preface, that “…all a poet can do today is warn.” Once recovered, Owen returned to the front line, where he was awarded the military cross before he was killed on 4th November,
aged just twenty-five. This year, Remembrance Sunday commemorates the 93rd year since the end of World War One and the 66th year since the end of World War Two. The poignancy ingrained in Owen’s lines holds the memory of those lost in war to this very day. What is striking about Wilfred Owen is that he is not only the voice of that generation, but as the poet Dylan Thomas states, “He is a poet of all times, all places, and all wars.”
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn Director: Steven Spielberg Country: USA Starring: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel
Tintin has always been a cultural oddity; very popular in his native Belgium, France, and to a lesser extent, here in England, he has never been able to translate his particular brand of boy’s-own adventures anywhere else. With this, the first film to star the character, Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson have attempted the impossible; to translate a classic hand drawn comic series into a photorealistic piece of animation, and to bring the wild adventures of a mild mannered Belgian reporter to American audiences. We’ll have to wait until December to find out if they’ve succeeded in the latter, but it’s already clear that they’ve hit the former out of the park. For those of you unaware of the titular wonder-kid, Tintin (Jamie Bell) is a young investigative journalist whose adventures spanned 24 graphic novels over more than 45 years. If Spielberg and Jackson wanted this to become a franchise, they’ve chosen excellent points to start, detailing the meeting of Tintin with his constant travelling companion in the series, Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis). Together with Snowy, Tintin’s faithful white terrier, and the buffoonish Interpol agents
Thomson and Thompson (Nick Frost and Simon Pegg), they set out to uncover the mystery contained within three models of the same ship that may reveal the location of a long forgotten treasure. It is a story that will take them from Tintin’s home in Belgium across the high seas to the African desert and Morocco, all the while pitting them against the villainous Ivan Sakharine (Daniel Craig). For anyone who has ever read a Tintin
Talk About Kevin
Indeed, we do need to talk about Kevin, for it is a film that just works on all levels. The story focuses on the relationship between a mother and her son Kevin, (who appears to be, throughout his childhood and teenager years, for want of a better word, “evil”) before and after a horrific incident that he has caused. In the hands of a less talented director this could have easily turned into some unsubtle, moralising film about bad parenting. Instead, director Lynne Ramsay leaves us largely in the dark about who is to blame in the end for the atrocity that Kevin eventually causes. Was it nature or nurture that created the monster? This isn’t a film for the faint of heart, particularly with its use of rather disgustingly
exaggerated images and sound effects that make even a jam sandwich eerily significant. We Need to Talk About Kevin really excels in its combination of this tapestry of cleverly conceived images, which will have most avid film critics talking for hours, and a plot structure that keeps the audience guessing for want of that final piece of crucial information: what exactly did Kevin do that was so abhorrent? Tilda Swinton excels as the psychologically and socially tortured mother who has become hated and excluded by her community whilst Ezra Miller and Jasper Newell both reach Hannibal Lecter heights as Kevin. It is truly an exceptional piece of filmmaking. A. J. Hodson
story, it would appear impossible to translate those action packed still frames into continuous moving shots without gutting the series’ trademark look. It doesn’t take more than one action sequence to put those fears to rest, and make you realise you are watching a perfect meeting; Herge’s aesthetic looks are made for Spielberg’s direction, and the whole thing is held together by a great cast and witty, energetic script (as to be expected from Doctor Who writer and director of Hot Fuzz
and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Edgar Wright). The debate about whether or not the animation ever crosses the line into creepy will continue, but when the spectacles on show include a desert transforming into a pirate ship, and a literal crane fight, it’s hard to argue. If you’ve ever picked up a Tintin book, or you’re just sad that there hasn’t been a decent Indiana Jones movie since 1989, you need to see this film. Tim Bates
While “inspirational” and “revolutionary” are words often used to describe time around the civil rights movement in America, “funny” is not really one that springs to mind. This film, however, can use all three. Adapted from the bestselling novel by Katheryn Stockett, it is told from the rare perspective of black maids known as “the help”, as they take a stand by sharing their stories of both their affection for and conflicts with the white families they work for. If you think this sounds like emotional viewing, you’d be correct. However, the stories and the characters behind them are also brilliantly funny, usually at the expense of the detestable
housewife, Winnie, who makes the suburban bitchiness of Desperate Housewives seem tame. Emma Stone is perfectly cast as the gutsy writer Skeeter who refuses to fit in, using her comedic skill from previous films to deliver some of the wittiest dialogue, whilst still proving she can handle a more serious role. Only occasionally is the film guilty of glossing over the hardship or segregated America. Think Forrest Gump, or The Green Mile: both Oscar-winning films that The Help deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as. Meg Fozzard
Anonymous is not quite your typical Roland Emmerich film. Yes, there are one (maybe two) explosions in it, but, for the most part, earlier Emmerich actioners such as Godzilla and Independence Day remain firmly out of mind. Through a series of flashbacks, the film reveals that the man we all assumed to be William Shakespeare was actually an illiterate actor, whilst the real hand behind the world’s most famous plays and sonnets was another man altogether: the Earl of Oxford. Shakespeare loyalists: beware. If you can suspend your disbelief for two hours, Anonymous is a fairly entertaining film. The set-pieces and costumes are beautifully designed, and special mention must go to Rafe Spall’s hilarious portrayal of Shakespeare, with Rhys Ifans managing well as the brooding and tragic Earl of Oxford (though there a few moments of ham acting that had the audience giggling). However, the tone of the film awkwardly meanders between grave and sombre to flamboyant and silly, and more than once the CGI looks a little off. Although the plot is riddled with historical inaccuracies, and the amount of poetic license used may incense some viewers, at the very least you’ll have fun playing “guess-the-historical-figure”.
Tension is high in George Clooney’s latest directorial venture which follows Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) as he gets caught in a world of political scandal whilst working on a pre-presidential campaign for Governor Morris (George Clooney). Clooney shows not only his acting talent but also his directing ability; the film is laden with striking and inventive cinematography which perfectly captures the tone and emotions. Although the film quickly sets out how many plot points will develop, there is a rather surprising, but at the same time ironically obvious twist, that turns the film on its head. However, performances from such a well chosen cast are truly the shining element of the film. Clooney, with his charm and incredible knack at speech-making, is easily believable as a presidential candidate, while Gosling successfully portrays the effect that loosing your faith can have on a person. Nailing the fast paced political spiel, Gosling’s golden moments are perhaps those with limited dialogue, saying much more with a look. The concept of dirty politics is hardly a revelation, but Clooney and Gosling, along with Giamatti and Seymour Hoffman, offer an excellent example of loyalty, power and how much a person is willing to give up for another.
few words from...Gerard
In terms of a challenging role, where does this one rank? GB: In terms of acting chops and what it took, the complexity of the character, the journey he goes on and the emotional depth it was the hardest role I’ve had to play and it took the most out of me. It was the most challenging but ultimately the most rewarding as well for that reason. Would you consider it a role of a lifetime? GB: It felt like a great opportunity to say so much and really pack a punch or not, which is why it was exciting because you could also do this and fail miserably and there are a lot of ways to play this badly. It was a fine line to traverse and to try and get all those different things that are Sam [Childers]. Before I met Sam I’d never heard a man described in so many different ways because the director, the writer would say “this is who he is...” and it was always different.
What did you expect when you first met him? GB: Well, you see the guy that you read about in the script and so you expect to see this gun toting wild man, maybe screaming and shouting, loud and obnoxious. I expected somebody larger than life with a lot of energy and what I experienced was that, yes, there’s a lot of energy and he is very charismatic, but it’s very contained. I was also well aware that this is Sam now and also he’s not in a warzone and not currently fighting for his sanity. So the man I actually met was a man who was quite considered, he would sit back and he was studying me and studying the situation and kind of enjoying the attention in a way; this was what all of his hard work had come to. Just like I can say I enjoy it when people enjoy a movie I’ve made, well, this was his moment to shine and kind of go “look, Gerry Butler has come to visit me…” [laughs] Did you feel as though he was sizing you up? GB: Oh I am sure he was thinking “are you up to the task Mr Gerry Butler?” and there’s me with my Scottish accent. He didn’t say anything at the time but he has since told me that that’s what he was thinking and I knew, I could see his mind working. Not just thinking about me, but about all of these people who had come from such a different world to his and that even though he knew he could harvest that and it would be great for his cause, there was kind of a lack of trust because he is, in some ways, a simple hardworking guy. Check our website for our review of Machine Gun Preacher.
Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 cult-hit Straw Dogs was designed to shock audiences at a time when violent cinema, particularly concerning British film, was crossing taboo. 40 years on, the problem facing Rod Lurie’s remake is whether it remains relevant in an era defined by “torture porn”, where audiences have become desensitised and subjected to all forms of violence. James Marsden replaces Dustin Hoffman as David Sumner, who travels back to his wife Amy’s (Kate Bosworth) hometown to encounter some antagonistic neighbours, whose atrocities escalate. There’s an immense tension that builds between Sumner and his wife’s former friends, of false smiles and accusing glances, before it all explodes in the final brutal act. Here, the violence doesn’t hold back. You feel every blow. Yet, besides a change in location (from rural England to southern America), the changes between old and new are incremental. There are still messages to be read about religion, the over-empowerment of women, and the animalistic morality of men, that the original so controversially contained. The difference is that, whilst the violence is uncomfortable to watch, it’s lost its shock value in cinema’s contemporary landscape. Without it, it’s possible to question the necessity of this release. Kieran Rogers
Ranter’s Corner This week, Sammie Rogers targets the literary adaptation If there is one thing that has always been in ample supply in the film industry, it is the film adaptation. A vast amount of both books and plays are being transformed for the big screen. But is this a problem? Some may say that it is inspiring to see their favourite novel or play in movie format but for others it is tiring and unimaginative. Where is the originality in the film industry? Where are the writers who formulate their own ideas instead of using pre-written stories? Is it so hard to actually come up with your own storyline? It is extremely frustrating when movies ignorantly ruin brilliant books, such as My Sisters Keeper, which literally changed the final plot twist to suit the Hollywood format. It is also infuriating when non-readers get to indulge in new worlds without even bothering to pick up a book just as many did with Harry Potter. Yet adaptations are still popular for readers and non-readers alike. Does the industry know this or do they just have nothing better to do? Whatever the reason behind this excessive trend, it is one that is always full of mixed views.
Following the controversial remake of Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, Venue reflects on the highly debated topic of Hollywood remakes. Looking at recent cinema releases, you’d forgiven for thinking that Straw Dogs, Sam Peckinpah’s highly controversial study of revenge and violence from 1971, had been given a rerelease. Instead, this is a brand new remake: inexplicably switching the action from rural England to the American south, replacing Dustin Hoffman’s unhinged original performance with the offensively dull James Marsden and removing all of the film’s moral complexity. It is genuinely puzzling as to why anyone would consider this a good idea, as it will alienate lovers of the original while not being good enough to find new fans. But remaking (calling it rebooting or reimagining isn’t fooling anyone) movies for no apparent reason other than profit seems to be Hollywood’s new obsession, most notably with horror films. In the last few years we’ve had pointless new versions of A Nightmare On Elm Street, Halloween and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, to name just a few. All of which removed everything that made the originals unique, exciting and provocative, replacing it with a standard horror colour pal-
lette of dull browns and a cast hoping for work in the next series of The O.C. So strong is the call for anything and everything to be remade, that even the notorious grindhouse shocker I Spit On Your Grave has been remade. This is by far the most baffling remake of recent years, as the few who didn’t find the original morally repugnant will surely see no reason for a new version. One of the best examples
from recent years is Neil LaBute’s universally maligned remake of The Wicker Man, which has at least found a second life as an unintentional comedy due to the ludicrous sight of Nicolas Cage punching an old woman while dressed as a bear. Obviously this problem has not been limited to horror films, as the remake of Straw Dogs proves, but it is the area where it seems to be most widespread. And we’ve
not even touched upon the issue of English language remakes of foreign films, or shot-forshot remakes, both of which deserve a debate entirely of their own. Remakes don’t have to be bad. Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu, John Carpenter’s The Thing and Cronenberg’s The Fly all prove that when those involved have something genuinely new to add to an old story, the results can be spectacular. But there are some stories that are just best left alone. Joseph Murphy
Slackers Club Attention Slackers! This month, Cinema City offers all students free entry to Miranda July’s new indie gem, The Future.
The Future is coming to Cinema City on the 17th November. Book your tickets online at www.picturehouses.co.uk
The Popcorn Chart Top 5 Movie Soundtracks
33 years down the line, the incredibly popular musical will forever remain a contender for having one of the best film soundtracks of all time. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (along side a stellar cast) capture the teen-angsty spirit of the 1950s, immersing the viewwe in a nostalgic soundtrack. With unforgettable and joyous pop classics, including Summer Nights, Greased Lightnin’, You’re the One That I Want and We Go Together, several of which achieved pop-hit status, the soundtrack carries a repeat value that will continue to stand the test of time forever (and succeed).
timeless classics. Releasing a burst of adrenaline as soon as Miserlou kicks in, it delivers a number of delights, including Son of a Preacher Man and Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon, continuously reminding the listener of the film’s unforgettably chilling events. The soundtrack is a demonstration of Tarantino’s exquisite taste when it comes to film music. In the words of Jules, it’s simply “Kool and the Gang”.
Quentin Tarantino is renowned for carefully handpicking each track to accompany his cult masterpieces. Featuring memorable snippets of the film’s dialogue, Pulp Fiction’s soundtrack contains a powerfully diverse selection of songs, ranging from rock ‘n’ roll to a number of
a perfect complication alongside a charming romantic comedy, one could only wish that its playlist was infinite.
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008)
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pulp Fiction (1994)
storming down the hills of Helm’s Deep, hairyfooted Hobbits in the Shire, and the picturesque New Zealand landscapes. Shore’s approach to the soundtrack completely enhances the mood and setting, ultimately adding to the considerable immersion of a believable world that encompasses The Lord of the Rings.
Howard Shore’s attempt to evoke the visual spectacle of Middle-Earth results in a stupendous soundtrack of similar epic proportions. The sheer grand scale of Peter Jackson’s trilogy is juxtaposed with truly evocative and immense orchestral music, transporting the listener to the film’s memorable moments: ferocious Uruk-hai
Since music is a predominant focus in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, a well-chosen soundtrack was essential to accurately convey a narrative revolving around the characters’ passion for music. Well, arguably, it’s the film’s prime highlight. Offering an array of contemporary material by some of indie rock’s finest artists (Vampire Weekend, The Submarines and We Are Scientists), each song is a sweet compliment, creating a rich and eclectic mix of 15 tracks. Its soundtrack will inspire listeners to get acquainted with the artists’ other work. With
The Social Network (2010)
Undoubtedly, Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) and Atticus Ross fully deserved both a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Score for The Social Network’s haunting soundtrack. Its dark ambient and minimalistic sound, composed of electronic instrumentation, warm and subtle orchestration, and hypnotic rhythms sets a distinct tone for the film’s darkest moments. From the gentle and beautifully melodic Hand Covers Bruise, to an experimentation of the classic In the Hall of the Mountain King, Reznor and Ross’ debut score creates the perfect atmosphere to express every depth of human perception, bringing one of the finest scores to cinema. Darren Jamieson
The Student On Screen With Fresh Meat recommissioned for a second series, Venue ask whether the student life is represented well on TV?
If you think about how you would go about representing students ‘fairly’ on television, it’s really not that easy. Students are probably one of the most difficult groups of people to get right on TV, because there is so much scope for getting it horribly wrong. Recent attempts such as Off the Hook (BBC3) have aimed for the middle of the road and as such have been mercilessly run down. However, the latest student-centred show Fresh Meat (C4) falls somewhere more intriguing, between surprising success and lacklustre failure. Where it gets it right is in attempting to depict a variety of student archetypes. The effort to do this is clear and should be applauded. At least it is not the grossly misconceived and bafflingly alienating Skins, anyway. It is all very well to say all students get hammered constantly, sleep with everyone on campus and can cook nothing but pasta, but that’s not actually true, is it? People are a little more complex than that, and reducing such a wide and varied group of individuals to such basic characters is bound to be a little unsatisfying to watch. Fresh Meat features two ‘average’ students: the blonde girl who bonks Jack Whitehall, and the guy played by Simon
off The Inbetweeners, who is essentially playing Simon from The Inbetweeners. This is partly due to the script, but also the fault of his one acting trait apparently being to ‘do funny eyes’ whenever something awkward
The X Factor
BBC1, Wednesdays, 9pm
If there is one thing that the BBC consistently gets right, it is the making of an epic nature documentary. Their recent efforts, Human Planet and Ocean Giants, narrated by the silky tones of John Hurt and Stephen Fry, were compelling and widely watched, but it is when the BBC collaborates with Sir David Attenborough that television heaven is made. Frozen Planet premiered to 6.8 million viewers on BBC1 and, alongside the name David Attenborough, became a Twitter trending topic across the world. Focusing on the Northern and Southernmost parts of our planet, it follows the changing seasons and the effects of these transformations upon the animals that live there. Mesmerizing camera footage tracks no fewer than 10 species which, combined with Attenborough’s sensitive and unique narration, shows an aspect of our world that few of us will ever experience. The show creates a narrative that allows the viewer to become personally involved with its animal cast, so that they care if the penguin outruns the sea lion or
happens. As the average student goes however, they are not bad portrayals. They worry a lot, and drink a lot. Which, for me at least, is quite a reassuring thing to see on television because it means I don’t feel so
bad about myself (obviously the only reason why anybody watches television). Plot-wise is more where student shows fall down, because they are more often than not comedy shows, which need to be more exaggerated and more ridiculous if they wish to remain funny. This inevitably results in shows becoming too removed from reality to fairly represent students. But you could also argue that a show which did represent the ‘average’ student’s life, without the added drama of TV, would just be plain dull. A show, for example, catering to my student life would be an epic in which I drink obscene amounts of red wine and watch old episodes of Doctor Who. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing to be doing. It’s not. It’s brilliant. But I’m not sure many people would want to watch it. And I already live it. Nevertheless, Fresh Meat is a definite step in the right direction, but I’d suggest that a show with less overt comic intentions is the way forward. You can’t escape silliness but perhaps a show aiming for something higher might achieve something more satisfying and more genuine.
ITV, Saturdays and Sundays, 8pm
the wolf catches the bison. This process of anthropomorphism is a key ingredient of every modern and successful nature epic. Taking four years to make, Frozen Planet is a seven-part documentary and, like its classic predecessors, contains images that are unforgettable, such as David Attenborough, who is eighty-five, presenting literally from the south pole. However, the main difference with this series to his previous work is that, in the final episode, Attenborough will divulge his opinion on Global Warming, an argument that he has previously refrained from becoming embroilded in. Indeed, the ratings for Frozen Planet speak for themselves; the public know what to expect with shows in the Planet series and will undoubtedly continue to watch everything under the Attenborough seal of quality.
Having been a staple of British television and popular culture since 2004, numerous concerns have been raised about the state of the current series of The X Factor. For a show so resolutely and unashamedly formulaic, its problem has always been the creation of engaging ‘drama’. However, the headlines this year have been unusually negative: tabloids nationwide continue to question whether ‘the next generation’ of X Factor judges (consisting of Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland, Tulisa Constotavlos and the ever-present Louis Walsh) are up to the task. Rowland’s absence from the panel on Saturday night due to a mysterious and apparently very rare throat infection added fuel to the journalistic fire, and rumours abounded that the ‘illness’ had something to do with her public spat with Constotavlos the previous week. Both judges have independently denied any such claims, with Constotavlos claiming that “What happens on the panel, stays on the panel.” The argument, which stemmed from
Rowland’s act, Mischa B, being accused of bullying the other contestants, caused some controversy, but one has to ask whether an X Factor judge would really miss a week of mentoring their acts because of a petty feud. It seems unlikely, after all, arguments among the panel are as much part of the programme as each week’s performances, and are often the most enjoyable parts of the show. Nevertheless, regardless of any frosty relationships between the judging panel, one cannot deny the raw talent of some of this year’s contestants: the energetic and soulful Marcus Collins is a joy to watch and listen to, while the sweet, haunting voice of Janet Devlin (best displayed during the recent Halloween-themed special) never fails to give me goose-bumps. If the panel does really fall apart, hopefully the contestants’ performances will be enough to hold the show together.
4. A brand milkshake
6. The capital of Cameroon
4 5 7
8. The biggest manufacturer of gummy and jelly sweets in the world
10. The star sign name for the crab
13. Chelsea player caught up in a race row 14. A method of hiding
14 15 16
16. A person who moves from one place to another without a permanent abode 18. A carved stone grotesque
18 19 20
19. A house robot from Robot Wars designed to resemble a dinosaur 21. The name of unsuccessful song by Andrew Cole
22. Pakistani cricketer recently charged with corruption
1. The windy city 2. Name of the jedi in the Star Wars franchise played by Liam Neeson
This week we are giving away tickets to BOTH Adam Cohen and The Damned at UEAâ€™s LCR!
3. The name of failed perpetrator who has a day named after him
Adam Cohen, Leonard Cohenâ€™s son, is bringing a special, early evening (7-10pm) seated acoustic performance to the LCR on Saturday 12th November, whilst The Damned will be celebrating their 35th Anniversary Tour in suitably raucous style on Monay 14th November.
5. The reality star under fire over divorce
To be in with a chance of winning, bring your completed crossword to the Concrete office by 3pm on Friday 11th November. You will be contacted by telephone and email if you have won. Name: Telephone number: Email address:
7. Confectionary mounted on a stick 9. A yellow vegetable 11. Veined I talian blue cheese 12. Freshwater crustacean that resembles a small lobster CONTACT DETAILS 15. Old number seven 17. Finnish multinational communications corporation 20. To hold in an affectionate manner
19 Tuesday 8th LCR Club Nights: Pyjama Party (10:00pm 1:30am) Price: £3.50UEA LCR
NOVEMBER 2011 Wednesday 9th Waterfront gigs: Maverick Sabre (7:30pm) Price: £10.50 The Waterfront Go Spike Volleyball (7:00-9:00pm) Price: £3.50 UEA Sportspark
Waterfront Gigs: Turin Brakes (7:00pm) Price: £18 The Waterfront
LCR Gigs: The Damned 35th Anniversary Tour (7:00pm) Price: £18 UEA LCR
High School Rocks (6:30pm) Price: £12.50£15
Waterfront Gigs: Alkaline Trio - 15th Anniversary Tour (7:30pm) Price: £16.50 The Waterfront
Friday 18th Waterfront Club Nights: The Wonderful World of DJ Yoda (10:00pm) Price: £12/ £10 NUS The Waterfront
Saturday 19th Waterfront Gigs: Higher On Maiden (7:00pm) Price: £10 The Waterfront Waterfront Club Nights: MELTDOWN + METAL LUST (10:00pm) Price: £3.50 NUS The Waterfront LCR Club Nights: The A List (10:00pm) Price: £4.50 UEA LCR
Thursday 10th LCR Gigs : Rise Against (7:30pm) Price: £18.50 UEA LCR ‘Freedom’ (7:30pm) Price: £8.00 Norwich Puppet Theatre
Tuesday 15th Waterfront Gigs: Guillemots (7:30pm) Price: £15 The Waterfront
Friday 11th LCR Gigs: Motorhead (plus special guests UK Subs and Anti Nowhere League) (7:00pm) Price: £26 UEA LCR Waterfront Club Nights : Color (10:00pm-4:00am) Price: £10/£8 NUS The Waterfront
Wednesday 16th Waterfront Gigs: Dimmu Borgir (7:30pm) Price: £16 The Waterfront
Saturday 12th Waterfront Gigs: Tinchy Stryder (6:30pm) Price: £12.50 The Waterfront Waterfront Gigs : MELTDOWN + BRITPOPPIN (10pm) Price: £3.50 The Waterfront LCR Gigs: Adam Cohen (7:00pm) Price: £14/ £9.50
Thursday 17th Waterfront Gigs: Madina Lake (7:30pm) Price: £12.50 The Waterfront
The Comedy Store Listings (7:00pm-10:00pm) Price: £12.50 The Forum
Sunday 20th Waterfront Gigs: Aynsley Lister (7:00pm) Price: £12 The Waterfront
Monday 21st Waterfront Gigs: The Naked and Famous (7:30pm) Price: £14 The Waterfront Waterfront Gigs: Exit Ten + Fei Comodo + Never Means Maybe (7:30pm) Price: £8 The Waterfront
Tuesday 22nd Flamenco Dance Classes + live Flamenco guitar Every Tuesday (7:45-21:00pm) Price: £7.50 Heather Millan School Of Dance & Performing Arts
Photo by Aliya MacKenzie
When Concrete Met Coldplay brain just switches on, I can’t really explain it. I’ve had a few gigs where I’ve thought, “oh I won’t really try”, because I’m not feeling well. But, when it comes down to it, you can’t help but go for it. Which is why sometimes you end up getting sick or something. I never feel like I don’t want to do this. Have there been many times that you’ve been poorly and you’ve had to go on? Not that many, touch wood. Look at like what Adele has to do, she has to do it all on her own, she doesn’t have a band. So she has, like, four times the workload. The only thing that stops someone is when their body kind of collapses, but the brain never does. Is it true that Norwich was one of your first gigs as a band out of uni? Yeah it is true. In fact, it was in the same room downstairs where we were sound checking just now. The LCR? Right. We realised that there were more people in that sound check just now than there were when we first played here. We heard that the doors weren’t even open by the time you first started playing… Ha! Were you supporting someone? We were supporting three people... Oh right, were you bottom of the bill? Yeah, we were opening for the openers of the openers. And now look at you! Well what’s funny is that it’s still the same four/five people, you know? That’s what makes it fun. How have you kept that going? So many bands fall apart, or at least a couple of members drop off. We share credit. And we share money. You promote fair trade and equality, does this ethic extend to the working of the band? In 80% of what we do, yes.
s far as dignified actions go, running in wellington boots after Zane Lowe is not in the top one hundred. But there we were, chasing after one of the coolest men on the planet. Concrete wanted Coldplay and, in the hours leading up to this moment, every avenue had been tried. And, one by one, we had failed at every turn. Zane had to help us. And he did. Taking his advice we stood outside the backdoor of the LCR and, upon the band’s arrival, we yelled. We yelled like a 14 year
old from Kansas would at Justin Bieber. It worked. Chris Martin himself came over to see what we were making a fuss about. Grabbing his hand, we asked him for an interview. He agreed and, after the band’s sound check, we were led into the green room. The most striking thing about Chris Martin in person is his eyes. He has the most intense stare, the kind that takes your eyeballs in its hands and won’t let them go. He’s fascinating to talk to, measured and careful, yet relaxed and funny. For
all the bravado about Coldplay being the “biggest band in the world”, Chris Martin was humble and un-starry. It was a genuine pleasure meeting him.
It is lovely to meet you, Chris. What was it like coming back and playing a small venue? [Coldplay recorded a live lounge for Radio 1 in the Blue Bar]. Well it’s wonderful. It’s humbling and it reminds you why you’re doing it. If you still enjoy that, then you’re still in the right job.
Do you know what I mean? Without all the smoke and the mirrors and thousands of people watching. We realise that actually we’re a little band and we just love playing. To a load of pissed students! Do you ever get up on stage and think, “ahhh it’s just another 30,000 people?” Do you become numb to it? No, not at all. Even if you’re feeling terrible, there’s an adrenaline that kicks in as soon as you think that anyone has paid or made an effort to be there. Something in your
So there’s no animosity? No there’s no animosity at all over money. If one of you is much, much richer than the other and arrives to work on a skateboard whilst another one lands on the roof in a helicopter, it’s going to cause problems. I’m sorry for eating whilst talking to you by the way. [Chris is eating his dinner, chunky vegetable soup]. It’s fine! Keep going. How do you feel when you listen to Parachutes? I don’t.
[Laughter]. Not that it’s a condensed album but it’s stripped down. And now that you’ve got bigger as a band, your sound has evolved hugely. Is that something that you’ve done consciously because you’ve been playing to bigger and bigger audiences? We’re always doing what we think we like. On our new record there are some stripped down moments but we haven’t done a whole stripped down record since then.
Yeah turquoise I like. Anything kind of marine…
Thank you, Kevin! He doesn’t let me speak to anyone!
Are you going to be Beyonce and Jay Z’s godfather? Are you a fucking tabloid journalist?! You’ve gone from a lovely lady into… [laughter].
We are forever indebted, we feel very honoured… What is the best gig you’ve ever done? Glastonbury, this year 2011
I’m just throwing it out there! We’re curious. I have no idea. I’ve never even met them.
Who would you say is your biggest influence? Now? Bruce Springsteen.
Would you like to do another one? I don’t know. I like varying it. I like jumping from small to big and from big to small. I think since Parachutes you could probably make another whole album that sounded like it by taking bits off the other records. But then we did that and... I don’t know. Each time we just follow what we’re excited by.
Har har. What I will say about Beyonce is that at Glastonbury, she was the best thing there. Secondly, she was pregnant and feeling sick and she still beat everyone else into the ground.
Your favourite Coldplay song? Er, they’re all the same.
What are you excited by? It could a keyboard sound. Or, it could be the idea of playing Glastonbury. What was it like playing Glastonbury? Because that’s something that we, well never say never but…we’re going to say are probably not going to experience. That for us is as close as we can get to having a home, albeit one which only exists once a year. But often when we’re writing and we’re putting stuff together, when we close our eyes, that’s the view that we see, in terms of a frame for how the music is going to be. So that has an influence on certain choices of songs. We’ve written an awful lot of acoustic things but in my head I’m always conscious of the Glastonbury stage. So the things that I don’t think would work there, don’t make it. It’s a wonderful place because it’s so natural and so uncorporate. It’s still a family event, as in it’s still run by Michael and Emily. Did you go to it? [Joe] Yeah I was there! It’s wonderful isn’t it? It’s insane. And you guys were amazing. Thanks man. We really worked hard for that. What’s so great about Glastonbury is that it’s kind of all the positive things of life. If you don’t like one thing then you go and watch something else. And if you don’t like that then you go watch something else. So you don’t have to moan about anything… Apart from the mud. That is true… The mud is part of it though. Chris, it’s serious question time. Is your favourite colour yellow? Ha! No. What is your favourite colour? Blue. Interesting. We’d have said turquoise…
She’s phenomenal … It was phenomenal at the time but after I learned how she was feeling I felt even more depressed. I was like, “we gotta try a lot harder!” The new album is fantastic. Thank you. The album hasn’t been out long… But, where are you going to go from here? I don’t know. Maybe nowhere... Is it possible to get bigger and better? No. In this day and age it’s only possible to get smaller, which I’m sure we’ll do. And worse, which hopefully we won’t. Hopefully we’ll get smaller and better. Well, hopefully not smaller but you know what I mean, bands aren’t as much of a big deal as they once were. However, like I said, we love it, be it in a student union or headlining Glastonbury. If someone’s interested in listening, we’re interested in playing, you know? Do you feel maybe that you break that mould? You say you’ll become smaller but you saw here at UEA that people queued overnight to get tickets to see you. I don’t really know how we are, I think if you start taking in all that positive stuff, you have to take in all the negative stuff. So for every new fan you get, you get another person who really thinks you’re shit. And, being British, we’re always very aware of both sides. So we try to put blinkers on. Does it upset you, even now, when someone says something negative? No, it doesn’t upset me, I’m just aware of it. I don’t want to get too full of myself because of that faction. I don’t care if someone doesn’t like us, that’s fine. Go watch some TV or listen to Oasis. Whatever. You know what I mean? It’s music, not a fascist regime that we’re trying to impose. So, it’s completely fine not to like us but, like I said, that’s the thing that stops you from being too “rockstar-y”. [A man walks up behind Chris]. This is Kevin by the way, he’s allowed this interview to happen, he’s the chief of our label.
Ha, that’s a quote right there! Not like that! What’s your least favourite Coldplay song? We don’t play it. It used to be a song called Talk, only because Guy (Coldplay’s bassist) doesn’t like it. So, I don’t like playing it because I know he doesn’t like it. Oh, and speed of sound because we never got it right. Favourite fruit? Mango. [Chris is picking bits of kiwi out of a bowl of fruit salad]. Is there any mango on that platter? Nah there’s not. There’s some melon though… That’s close enough… This is Jonny by the way. [Jonny, the lead guitarist strolls over to see what’s going on]. He plays, um… I think he plays drums but I’m not sure. Ha! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. So do you guys want to do this when you’re older? That’s the plan. Do you get to see many people that come through UEA? Yeah we see a few people when they come to Norwich. [Hannah] You were bloody hard to get hold of though. Do you know what it is? It’s because if we do too many bits of talking, we end up saying stupid things. But you grabbed me and asked me so I agreed. Yeah thank you so much! And it really didn’t take long once you asked me! No it didn’t! If you want to do this as a job it’s good to be outgoing and to take your chances. Are you wearing wellington boots? I am. I was walking my dog on the Norfolk broads earlier today and then I got a text saying I should come and try talk to you. So I came dressed for walking Muffin. It’s cool, it kinda adds to the local theme. Well, when in Norfolk after all…
Max Hetherington Six BRIT Awards, 50 million albums sold worldwide and 15m “likes” on their Facebook page. The band is Coldplay, and they are headlining the LCR, a room described by Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe as a “shitty little box.” The atmosphere is electric, and unsurprisingly so. Some waited all day and all night in the cold and slept in the Hive to secure their place. Others, like this writer, got lucky with the great ticket scramble that followed the mammoth queue. Immediately, you realise this is no ordinary gig. As Zane Lowe limbers up on stage; playing the sort of set that would be worth at least a fiver and more than satiate a typically inebriated LCR crowd, the excitement builds. A couple of famous faces join the New Zealander on stage, namely Fearne Cotton
and UEA alumnus Greg James, and are greeted by the spine-chilling sound of the assembled crowd chanting “Oh UEA is wonderful,” claiming the packed arena as their own. The lights go down on Lowe’s set, and Coldplay emerge to rapturous applause: Chris Martin dominated the LCR stage with the prowess you’d expect from such a seasoned artist of international renown. They open with Hurts Like Heaven, a song from new album Mylo Xyloto. Those fearing a barrage of songs from the new album needn’t have worried, as the hits poured forth from the “best band in the world.” The LCR was sweltering, the sweat visible on Martin’s face even from as far back as the end of the dancefloor, but the heat diminished not his energetic
performance. The entire set was a triumph of the virtues of intimate venues such as the LCR over the sanitised, commercial and distant feel of stadium gigs and branded arenas. God Put A Smile Upon Your Face was unarguably the highlight, with a longer intro building to crescendo as the crowd sang along to every word. Predictably, the ever poignant Fix You provided the evening’s emotional peak, as Martin dedicated the song to Jordan, who died when he was just eight days old, at the request of his father Carl Lake, on the 12th anniversary of his passing. Enormous credit must be given to Martin for this dedication, which far too many bands would have ignored. Few would have criticised Coldplay for doing just this. However, the lead singer was suffering himself, and the band’s encore
was thus shortened to three songs to allow Martin to fly off and see his father. The set ended with an obscure trio of songs, including Green Eyes and two tracks from the latest release, but Coldplay had already more than satisfied their brief. As the band walked off to another cacophony of noise, and the lights came up on the now empty LCR stage, the feeling gave way to an almost palpable numbness. Around 1,700 people just saw Coldplay headlining the LCR, a venue they played some years ago almost bereft of support. Such an event will likely never happen again, and nowhere else could it have generated the sort of frenzied excitement that shrouded this most special of gigs. Chris King