VENUE Issue 270
Tuesday 15th May 2012
Music - Marina and The Diamonds, new album, page 3. Arts - Norwich becomes Unesco City of Literature, page 12.
Photo: Whye Tchien Khor
Film - The ground-breaking technology behind The Hobbit, page 8.
Tuesday 15th May 2012
Editor-in-Chief | Amy Adams Venue Editors | Rachael Lum and Matthew Tidby Music | Editors | Hayden East and Sam Warner Music Contributors> Joe Murphy, Savannah Lotz, Emma Price, Sam Warner and Hayden East Creative Writing | Editor | Matthew Mulcahy Creative Writing Contributors> Issy Mitchell, Ellie Kumar, James Sykes and Jyoti Patel Arts | Editor | Hatty Farnham Arts Contributors> Charlotte Cox, Jack Maughan, Emma Webb and Hatty Farnham Fashion | Editors | Jess Beech and Lucy Jobber Fashion Contributors> Madz Abbasi, Katie Nertney, Melissa Taylor and Tom Ritchie TV | Editor | Ellissa Chilley TV Contributors> Katie Gibbs and Emma Price Film | Editors | Kieran Rogers and Andrew Wilkins Film Contributors> Rebecca Hazlewood, Saul Holmes, Joshua Mott and Fiona Grundy Gaming | Editor | Oliver Balaam Gaming Contributors> Matthew Weddig and Oliver Balaam Competitions/Listings | Editor | Amelia Edwards
FROM THE EDITORS Greetings and salutations, dear reader! This may be the last issue of a wonderful year, but it’s the first of our new youthful, dynamic and sexy editorial team. We’re very excited for the challenge of carrying on Venue’s fine work, heeding the immortal words of our predecessor, “it’s art, innit?”- a mantra that we wholly intend to uphold. The keen-eyed amongst you will have noticed a few changes within these pages - we hope you like them as much as we fear your hatred of them. By way of introduction, we are two science fiction fangirls who cannot be stopped, so be prepared for an unexpected journey into student culture, whatever horrors that may entail. On a slightly more serious note, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank the previous editorial team for their kind words of advice and efforts in making our first issue possible, and leaving us with the nuclear codes, so to speak. In short, read, procrastinate and enjoy your summer,
Rachael and Matt
MARINA AND THE DIAMONDS ELECTRA HEART Hayden East
Marina Diamandis has stated in interviews that Electra Heart “stands for the corrupt side of American ideology, and basically that’s the corruption of yourself ”. However, it’s perhaps more appropriate to state that her Bubblegum
RICHARD HAWLEY STANDING AT THE SKY’S EDGE Joe Murphy
At some point over the last decade, Richard Hawley went from dependable backing man to one of the finest singersongwriters in the country. When he lost out to Arctic Monkeys at the 2006 Mercury prize, Alex Turner declared: “Somebody call 999, Richard Hawley’s been robbed”. If his previous material was the aural equivalent of being afloat on a calm ocean, then Standing at the Sky’s Edge
Bitch alter-ego represents Marina’s battle for sonic identity. Her 2010 debut was praised for quirky yet intelligent theatrics, but this sophomore effort is an exercise in commercial pop pastiche. This is hardly your average case of selling out though – Marina once remarked that “Shakira and Lady Gaga could be my peers”. However, only once does her latest material truly follow through with this somewhat arrogant claim: promotional track Radioactive makes use of Rihanna’s producer Stargate to create a chart-friendly house track that goes toe-to-toe with We Found Love, making its omission from the standard album unjustified, particularly when compared to album-cut Homewrecker. Introduced by a sloppy spoken-word delivery, its sub-Womanizer drum beat is dated and uninspiring. Elsewhere, Marina – or rather, Electra – attempts to save herself by deploying the biggest
hook of the record on Power & Control as she cries “women and men we are the same / but love will always be a game”, though at times it’s not too difficult to imagine her so-called musical sister Shakira delivering its chorus. These unavoidable pop star comparisons raise the question: where is Marina? Unsurprisingly, when she’s not suffocating under chart-pop conventions as Electra the line between alter-ego and Marina herself blurs, unearthing the album’s redeeming moments. In closer Fear and Loathing, Marina and Electra duke it out Western-style through the line “got different people inside my head, I wonder which one that they like best”. Embracing her trademark vocal histrionics, the mid-tempo ballad builds to a triumphant final chorus that nods to the Marina of old. Teen Idle stands as a logical step forward, with its glossy production positioned
more comfortably as an embellishment. Lyrically, the track is a rare instance of Electra Heart as a somewhat convincing concept – her dream of being “a Prom Queen fighting for the title” echoes the demands of conformist Mean Girls highschool culture, where girls want “blood, guts, and angel cake”, only to ‘puke it anyway’. It’s a startling reminder of the American Nightmare, however the track remains an anomaly. Yes, the approach to this subject matter is meant to be sarcastic; of course the lyrics are intended to be ironic, but in restraining herself to an over-(easy) baked pursuit of one of music’s most covered concepts Marina is crippled by her own ambition. Indeed, in a desperate attempt at pop stardom, the otherwise talented Marina has ultimately become homogenised, under-delivering with a mostly disposable collection of material lacking in personality. That’s real irony.
is a raging storm. The lush instrumentation is gone, replaced by a swirling squall of distorted guitar that recalls The Verve’s A Northern Soul. Gone too are most of the elements that led to so many earlier Roy Orbison comparisons. On Down in the Woods he shows off a riff that bears more in common with The Stooges than with Johnny Cash. Now we’re presented with Hawley the rock star. The extravagant title hints at wide eyed, fully fledged psychedelia, and opener She Brings the Sunlight, with its intro of rising distortion and muffled sitar, seems to promise just that. Certainly the music contains enough psychedelic tropes – guitars drone, solos spiral and the vocals drift lazily through the middle. However, Hawley does not push off into space entirely. His previous albums were all tempered by an earthy realism, and Standing at the Sky’s Edge sees him with his feet still firmly planted on the ground. For example, the title track is an odyssey of grim violence, opening with a man murdering his family and ending with a teenage stabbing. Many musicians have taken a gamble with new albums, but few have played against all their accepted strengths. And of those that have, most have not fared well. If Standing at the Sky’s Edge proves anything, it’s that Richard Hawley is not most musicians.
THE CRIBS IN THE BELLY OF THE BRAZEN BULL
with lazy vocals. While over the course of the album the two sometimes claw at each other for the limelight, this only serves to add to The Cribs’ chaotic charm. It soon becomes obvious that their sound lacks the pretension and monotony that outsiders of the genre secretly suspect of most generic indie musicians. Bands of a similar style can give off the impression of keeping the listener at arm’s length, however The Cribs’ tracks such as Uptight have a spontaneity to them, almost as if you are listening to the band perform in your own garage and at any moment Ryan Jarman is going to ask you to fetch him a beer. There is vulnerability and self-deprecation hidden within the lyrics that you may miss at first, but it makes tracks like Anna seem less pretentious while still retaining a roguish charm. In the Belly of the Brazen Bull maintains its energy throughout the album, not once noticeably dragging its feet or fumbling for the ball. Each track has its own personality, from the edginess and out of control sound of Jaded Youth to the more languid Confident Men. This is definitely not the kind of album that turns into white noise if you leave it on in the background; the chaotic unpredictability of the vocals and riffs grab hold of your attention and cling on to it.
If you had never listened to The Cribs before and were handed In the Belly of the Brazen Bull you may mistake them for being just another indie band – the kind of band whose fans pre-order all their albums in vinyl – but from the moment you’re hit with the opening track, Glitters like Gold, you know you’re in for a very different ride. The song is an interesting mixture of abrasive instruments matched
live reviews and breaking artists
LADYHAWKE THE WATERFRONT 08.5.12
You could almost be forgiven for thinking you were in New Zealand as natives from the country, in the form of She’s So Rad and Ladyhawke, took to the stage at The Waterfront. The three-week tour is an opportunity for Ladyhawke to test the waters with new songs from Anxiety, the follow up to her self-titled debut, released on the 4th of June. Opening the evening was lo-fi indie rock duo She’s So Rad. With a sound comprising of layers of heavy synths, washed out guitars and drum machines, the band certainly made an impression with their combination of shoegaze and electronic sounds. Tracks from their debut album In Circles, which was released last year, in addition to a cover of a song from Twin Peaks, highlighted their talent. They may have failed to get the unresponsive crowd going, but they were certainly an excellent live band. The static crowd were forced to move after a fire alarm, probably triggered by the excessive use of smoke machines, meant the whole building was evacuated in-between bands. Finally, with fairy light covered microphone stand in place, it was time for Ladyhawke, otherwise known as Pip Brown, to take the stage. Bursting onto the scene with her catchy electro pop in 2008 it was interesting to
see how Ladyhawke had progressed since her debut; frankly, it was a letdown. This is not the say that Brown and her touring band played badly, but her newer material did not translate well live and after four years since Ladyhawke, much more was expected. However, even the songs from her debut album lacked the enthusiasm and energy that they once had; indeed, her lacklustre performance was hindered further by an unmotivated audience who seemed bored and uninterested. And whilst not known for being a talkative performer, the small talk still felt very forced. Nevertheless there were some high points throughout the set, in particular the 2008 singles Paris is Burning and the ever-popular set closer My Delirium, whilst upcoming single Sunday Drive was one of the few new songs that provoked genuine interest. Overall, it was an incredibly underwhelming evening, and whilst many fans left the venue proclaiming how much they loved the performance, the standard was disappointingly below par. Hopefully her forthcoming album will impress more, but after this performance I wouldn’t hold your breath – the new material is nowhere near as good as her debut.
BREAKING-NEW EXCITING ARTISTS KYLA LA GRANGE Sam Warner “This is a new experience for us as we’re normally quite a loud rocky band,” quips Kyla La Grange as her band warms up for Guillemots at the Norwich Waterfront in November. Loud and rocky – whether that be Iron Maiden, The Postal Service, or neither – Kyla clearly has a sense of humour. Born in Watford, but of both South African and Zimbabwean ancestry, Kyla studied Philosophy at Cambridge and has been busy on the music scene for the past year. Blending beautiful folk melodies with a hauntingly mesmerising substance, La Grange certainly looks set for the big-
time. With the recent uber-success of folkies Mumford, as well as Marcus’s ex Laura Marling, Miss La Grange undoubtedly has a foundation on which to build. Her gorgeous Robyn-esque vocals affix a unique quality that sets her apart from many of her counterparts, and on songs such as Been Better she creates an anthemic quality that is both eclectic while simultaneously individualistic. And it’s this individuality that may just propel her to greater heights. Whether she reaches those of her forbears Florence, Marling et al. remains to be seen. But with debut album Ashes released on July 30th as well as multiple dates over the next few months, she is certainly moving up in the world. So make sure that you check her out at all the usual interweb stops. Recommended: Walk Through Walls, Vampire Smile
Madz Abbasi’s 8 Step Tutorial to Festival Make Up YOU WILL NEED:
Festival make up is fantastic. Only in the midst of all the creative-funk can you truly experiment with wild looks and transform your face into a work of gorgeous, fun art. Before you start it’s important to have a light, protective base such as an SPF tinted moisturiser set with mineral powder. Mineral powder blends easily to your natural skin tone – tanned or pale, plus its soft texture is gentle on the skin and won’t run the risk of causing acne and blackheads. If you’re attached to a specific air-mouse or liquid foundation, mix it with some sunscreen to create tinted moisturiser.
Start with the pencil eyeliner and line your eye shape – the liner should be heavier on the top than underneath the eye. With a clean finger, smudge the liner from the top lash line into the lid – for a heavy, dramatic eye you want smudge slightly past the crease of the eye.
Use your pencil eyeliner to create a ‘wing’ made up of two lines. Line one: start at the bottom corner of your eye and draw up and out towards the end of your brow, stop when level with the crease of your lid.
For line two, angle your pencil horizontally and lightly join line one across the top of the upper lash line. This should look as if you’re lining the upper lid again. Use the pencil to gently fill in between the two lines.
Use liquid eyeliner to go over the ‘wing’ and the original outlining of the pencil liner in step 1.
With a clean finger, place some shimmery beige eye shadow on the brow bone and directly underneath the eye, just below the liner.
Finally add some volumising mascara, your base and a nude lipstick. This look works great with all hair styles and to really jazz it up you could: - Place some facial glitter or sequins extending out from the winged eye liner onto the temples and cheekbones - Enjoy the festive rainbow and try coloured eyeliner or mascara as the main look or to create spiral/ flower patterns extending from the outer edges of the eye. There’s no right or wrong here so however you chose to personalise this fun festival look, don’t hold back, go for it!
With another clean finger, dab a bit of metallic eye shadow onto the centre of the upper-lid – it should be heavier as you approach the inner corner of your eye.
Using pencil eye liner, Line your upper water line fully and only the outer half of your lower water line.
Talking Festival Fashion: From Emma Watson to Portaloos ... Katie Nertney Ahh, festival season! It comes around so fast. Those long, dreamy weekends waking up under canvas to the sound of your neighbour relieving himself against your tent. The fragrant aroma of long-drop toilets, the queue for the showers, and the heady haze of dry shampoo. These are the days when a flat Strongbow becomes breakfast in a can, and anything not served between two buns is considered haute cuisine. Dressing for such adventures, though, becomes somewhat of a minefield. When I did my Duke of Edinburgh at school, my rucksack was filled with waterproof trousers, walking boots and a highly attractive anorak. I was warm, dry, and as snug as a bug in a rug. If bugs did their shopping at Millets. But although I would be the first to sing the praises of thermal undergarments, a festival tends to call for something a little more flattering. I don't care if it was in California; Emma Watson looked
banging at Coachella, and she wasn't wearing a Millets fleece. That said, bringing all your finery and that beautiful vintage jacket that you secretly cradle in your arms before going to bed might not be your smartest move either. Not when there are guy ropes to trip over. They take no prisoners. Not even for beautiful vintage jackets. In fact, even the best laid festival clothing plans can often go awry. One unfortunate year, my friend's bag got taken out of his tent. He found it a couple of hours later, lovingly dumped in a puddle. It was never quite uncovered as to whether the thief was a stickyfingered member of the public, or if this was all the result of a cruel, cruel prank. What did become clear, however, was that the bag had been emptied of all its garments besides a woollen poncho and a pair of Lycra cycling shorts. So this poor chap had little other option than to spend the weekend wandering around
like a mountain biking member of a Mariachi band. To be honest, I think he quite enjoyed it. But my point is that the very environment of a festival means that even the most considered and discerning of bag packers aren't always safe from a potential wardrobe disaster. Especially when their friends have been drinking wine out of a cardboard box. For me, the difference between a great weekend versus one spent sobbing in a port-a-loo can be as simple as a pair of tights. Pop them on at the start of the day under a twirly swirly dress or a pair of shorts, and then should the sun decide to make an appearance, just whip them off and stash them in your bag. Wrap yourself in layers- a cropped top here, a chunky knit there- like a game of Pass The Parcel, and go and have yourself a lovely time. But please, save those waterproof trousers for the rambling community only.
Model: Katie Nertney Photo: Elizabeth Margereson
Melissa Taylor on Battling the Elements
Mastering ‘Lad’ Chic with Tom Ritchie
Festivals are tough. Not only is it imperative to look the coolest you’ve ever looked in your life, you have to do so whilst living in a tent. Whilst no one’s suggesting you should entirely forgo your Florence Welch/Stevie Nicks inspired outfit, it is definitely worth considering the reasons why people on camping trips usually wear clothing by the North Face. Although festival chic equals freespirited cool; don’t try to assemble any new looks in your tent. Whatever it is you may feel like you’re in touch with, you will only have a tiny mirror and poor light. You will probably end up looking like a mess. Select your outfits at home. It’s worth bringing spares in case of flying cups of urine (it happens). Controversial, but maxis are not
Lets’ face it. It’s eight o’clock, on a wet Sunday in a field somewhere in Reading. You’ve spent the last five days drinking an unholy amount of Lidl brand white cider and the last hour moshing to some Enter Shikari. You’re just about to spend your last tenner on a giant Yorkshire pudding. You shouldn’t really care about the clothes you’re wearing; you should be thankful that you have clothes on your back at all. You can boil down men’s fashion at a festival to a pretty simple formula: a sturdy pair of wellies, an old pair of jeans that have seen better days and a vast array of band t-shirts. It’s comfortable, it’s practical, and it’s the optimum outfit for a weekend of debauchery. Festival t-shirts are an absolute
necessarily the best festival attire. Yes, they do look phenomenally Woodstock, but can you guarantee nobody will stand on the back, ripping it and exposing your booty? Even if you do somehow manage to avoid this, at some point it will rain, caking your luscious maxi in mud and probably cow poo. The midi was invented for a reason. Definitely bring welly boots. However, do not buy them at Tesco at 11pm the night before you leave. As cute as that faux Cath Kidston print looks, they will disintegrate on contact with any liquid. Go to an outdoors-y place and buy proper wellingtons. Green ones, like farmers wear. Not the prettiest but you can always write “Hunter” on them to jazz them up a bit.
necessity. Sure they’ll set you back £20 that could be spent on booze, but your credentials go up infinitely. You want that puny sixteen year old standing across from you in the Wall of Death to recognise that this ain’t your first rodeo. And hey, even if you leave the festival without a shred of dignity, at least you’ve got a cool t-shirt to show for it. Whilst I wouldn’t suggest straying from the pack too much, festivals are a great opportunity to test out those guilty pleasures that have been sitting in the wardrobe for far too long. It’s amazing how a poncho and bandana combination becomes eminently cooler. I mean, where else is a relentlessly middle class grammar school student going to rock a basketball vest in the real world?
Rebecca Hazlewood Director: Kevin MacDonald Runtime: 144 mins Cert (UK): 15
Marley has the power to entertain and elevate any level of vague interest into complete and utter awe and respect for the musical legend that was Bob Marley. The film progresses from his humble beginnings, from running bare foot in a rural village, often going to bed hungry, to the end of his life, having become a global icon admired the world over. The story becomes more and more intriguing as parts of his character are revealed through interviews with his closest friends, fellow musicians and family members. Although a bit slow to start off, with the documentary style taking some getting used to, there are interesting elements regarding his childhood and the story behind the start of what was to become the roots of reggae music
in Marley’s earliest compositions. Quaint historical recollections of the teenage “Robert” and the early wailers cycling round to deliver copies of their records to local people and businesses provides a stark contrast and insight into how the music industry has changed so quickly in so little time, and highlighted how modest his beginnings were, compared to the astounding levels of his later popularity. Marley’s mixed race is a strong theme throughout the film, something that caused him to be treated as an outcast in his Jamaican village, and later when he moved to Kingston. It was this treatment that inspired his early music. Later on, he was able to bring together two white leaders of opposing Jamaican political parties, and he travelled widely, striving for his music to reach people of all races. Finally, it was his white genetic makeup that caused him to develop a melanoma, and sadly cancer spread throughout his whole body. As Marley’s fame grew, so did
the significance of the events in his life. The film becomes progressively captivating, as the audience are shown fantastic footage of his energy and passion fuelled performances, his bravery at performing in a war torn Jamaica – despite having just been shot, and simple scenes of him relaxing and playing football. The layers of Marley’s personality and unique and interesting character are peeled back as the film goes on, from the stereotypical, relaxed smoking lifestyle associated with Reggae and Rastafarianism, to the real man behind the music. Each stage of his life is presented in a logical progression in line with his music and songs from that period. The interviews and voice over provide a greater understanding and deeper meaning to the wellknown songs we are used to hearing. By the end of the film, we see Marley as not just a musician who created a groundbreaking style, and one that carried Jamaica and its
culture into the global eye, but as a father, lover, spiritualist and global political peacemaker. He is portrayed as completely selfless in his pursuits, wanting his music to reach all people the world over, as well as freely giving away lumps of cash to local people. Yet, in other ways he’s shown to be unaware of the emotional burden he was placing on his family, his string of girlfriends, children and his dedicated wife, who was a key supportive figure to Bob throughout his life, both as singer and guardian. Hearing his closest acquaintances recount their memories helps to paint a picture of the musical legend, but there is very limited footage of interviews with Marley himself, which left his character as still something of a mystery. For Bob Marley fans it’s a must, but also definitely worth a viewing for those without a strong love of his music, who will gain something from the engaging storyline and cultural insights the film provides.
Venue considers the excessive role of marketing in contemporary cinema
‘19 things we know about Prometheus’ reads the title of one, assuming blog. The only problem with this is that Prometheus has not yet been released. In fact when you really think about it, 19 things is a lot of things to know about a film before it hits the silver screen. There have been three separate trailers released for Prometheus, with the latest ‘full’ trailer being just over two and a half minutes in length. The trailer reveals significant amounts of dialogue, action and most importantly, what seems to be the turning point of the entire film. Just as a point of comparison, the original Alien film released one trailer that was under two minutes long and was mostly composed of shots from the film, rapidly fading in and out of blackness. It gave away nothing of the plot of the film, simply conveying the sci-fi/horror premise. However, this is not a problem that is limited to Prometheus
alone. It seems that distributors want to torture people into watching their films; take The Dark Knight Rises prologue for example, essentially showing people six full minutes of footage from the film, then leaving the audience to wallow in suspense for months before the full release. Increasingly, action films put all of their biggest explosions into their trailers; comedies include many of their funniest gags. The art of composing a film trailer which garners interest (and therefore revenue) for a film is clearly dying out. There is a certain irony in the fact that this excessive marketing is only killing audiences’ interest in upcoming films. The modern film industry is increasingly forcing promotion of its produce, but aggressive marketing only hinders the interest of the public and it is deeply worrying that plot driven films are now being sucked into this method of promotion.
AN UNEXPECTED FRAME-RATE
Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit has been causing a fuss, and explains the technology behind the criticism
Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is touted by many in the movie industry to be the biggest release of the 2012 Christmas period, so why did a screening of a short ten minute clip at last month’s Movie-Con in Las Vegas have fans and critics up in arms, comparing it to a soap opera? Supposedly, The Hobbit’s frame rate is to blame for its “television” looking picture; now bear with us as we attempt to explain why this is. For the last 80 years films have been shot at 24 frames per second (fps), whereas American television is broadcast at 29.97 fps and British television at 25 fps. These differences do not sound like much but they do create the dissimilar “looks” of the two mediums. The Hobbit differs from such conventional filmmaking in that it was shot using high-resolution RED Epic cameras that shoot at 48 fps. Depending on one’s viewpoint this doubled frame rate is supposed to create a more authentic picture. In laymen’s terms the difference can be compared to that of watching
the new Avengers Assemble and watching a Premiership match on Sky Sports, which would be displayed on an HDTV at 60 fps. The Premiership match picture is much more lifelike but the Avengers picture has that “movie” aesthetic, which prevents sets and makeup from appearing too real, and this is what people feel is lacking from The Hobbit. Jackson responded to the criticism by stating, “[when shooting in 24 fps] there is often quite a lot of blur in each frame during fast movements, and if the camera is moving around quickly the image can judder or strobe.” Shooting at 48 fps does go a long way to eradicating these issues and it also dramatically increases the quality of 3D, an additional contemptuous issue in the film industry. All things considered it will be up to the viewing public to decide the merits of high frame rate movie making when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is released on December 14th.
Fiona Grundy Pixar has brought us masterpieces such as Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. and Up in a collection of 25 years, bringing laughter, tears and a bucket-load of one liners that you will always hear, even as we descend into our adulthood. That is the beauty of Pixar. It entertains the young and appeals to the old. It is timeless. However, is all of this set to change? Pixar’s upcoming release is Brave, the story of a young Princess Merida and her adventures as she uses her bravery and her impeccable archery skills to defend her kingdom. It doesn’t seem like your standard Pixar film. In fact, it seems to lean more towards Disney’s formula, a story of a young princess with lots of singing and dancing. Yet, something tells you that Pixar wouldn’t let this be. Merida herself is a strong-willed beauty, with large bouncing auburn hair, who will no doubt be a butt-kicking role model for the modern young girl. Meanwhile, its Scottish setting is another indication that Pixar don’t like to play it by the conventional book and, given their visual track record, the highland surroundings are set to be a stunning sight. Brave looks to be a completely different challenge for Pixar, but haven’t we heard that one before? From the company that made a feature length about an old man and a house carried by flying balloons, talking cars or a chef and his rat, Pixar know how to make it work. The animation and the humour tells us that they won’t be messing up anytime soon. Brave may look different but Pixar’s track record suggests this is not to be feared, but to be welcomed.
TELEVISION 15.05.2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
something old, something new
This issue, Venue presents you with two more ways to procrastinate this exam season
STAND UP FOR THE WEEK Katie Gibbs Stand Up For the Week, another in the long line of comedy programmes ridiculing the week’s news, has returned to Channel 4 for its fourth series. If you’re a fan of Russell Howard’s Good News, Mock the Week, or Have I Got News for You then this show may be right up your street. Following a similar format to that of BBC’s Live at the Apollo, Stand Up For The Week sees host Jon Richardson introduce a range of stand up comedians from the big names to the fresh-off-the-comedycircuit regulars, who use topical news stories as their subject matter. The show offers a more relaxed and less indulgent satirical view of the news than news-based programmes offered by the BBC. Jon Richardson provides a fresh alternative to the line of comedy hosts with his awkward style of comedy, heading a team of some of Britain’s best comedians each with a unique outlook on the week’s events. The series broke back with style as Sean Walsh tackled the week’s entertainment news, notably the
rivalry between The Voice and Britain’s Got Talent, and tried to figure out exactly who The Voice’s fourth judge is. Josh Widdicombe took on sport, with the Olympics being a key topic to look out for. Making a name for the female comedy circuit, Sara Pascoe tells of who is up and down in the news this week, with Katie Price providing excellent gag material in this first episode back. Paul Chowdrey gave us the breakdown of the multi-cultural news each week, and uses his skills to approach the difficult subject of racism. Finally, Andrew Lawrence, the newest act on the show, provided the satire for the global events of the week, showing off his French accent. Each comedian has a unique take on their topics and provides something different from the panellist format of similar news-based panel shows. Stand Up For The Week is all about offering an alternative to the other programmes available in this genre and its main stand out feature is that it is a filmed live show
Stand Up for the Week’s host, Jon Richardson
in a small London venue, the small audience seated around tables giving it an authentic and edgy feel. Check out the
first three episodes on 4oD now, and catch the rest of the series every Friday night.
to amalgamate the variety within their respective teams into performing the one song together. Whilst it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, The Voice is
definitely one way to wile away the hours that should be spent revising for that exam you have in a few days.
THE VOICE UK Emma Price We all expected it to be yet another show packed with sob stories and forgetful, untalented contestants (an X Factor rip off). However The Voice, the BBC’s £22 million risk, is, wait for it, actually entertaining to watch; far better than I expected. With consistently high ratings, the nation has certainly taken to the show’s fresh format, in which contestants are judged not on how they look but, unsurprisingly, on their voice in a bid for a record deal with music giant Universal. In an age where the image-conscious media are ever present, it makes a refreshing difference when age, size, and appearance do not determine success. The series begun with a blind audition process, lasting several episodes, in which contestants sing for the judges, who have their backs to them, and if they like what they hear, they turn around. When the judges picked the 10 members of their teams, contestants then battled internally against one another to be one of five who progressed to the current live shows. The lack of hilariously bad auditions may be disappointing to some, however, I
personally prefer to avoid the potential for onscreen awkwardness and public humiliation, where possible. With The Voice we are spared these cringe-worthy scenes, and instead the focus lays on quality singers and constructive criticism, not Cowell-esque diva moments. The internationally popular show appears to have paid off, thanks in part to its famous judges: the ever-cool Black Eyed Pea’s founder and producer will.i.am and chart-topping singersongwriter Jessie J (can’t help feeling her involvement is slightly ironic given that she is very image based, but I’ll go with it). In addition to the legendary Sir Tom Jones, who constantly provides amazing name-drop stories from his long musical career, and the increasingly popular Danny O’Donoghue, frontman of The Script, also known as that Irish bloke that everyone is fawning over. This weekend’s episode features two collaborations between the contestants and their mentors, this week being will.i.am and Tom Jones’ teams. It will be interesting to see how they manage
A selection of Poetry
Distort and Change
By Issy Mitchell
By Ellie Kumar
outside is brightness inside
which heavy feet distort
reflection of the nerves
and change with every turning
beyond high looming corners
however it is thrown
base of burning curves
for as the wheel is lurching
centre states of floorless
rotations turn to stone
symmetry flowing through
That if you leave me now, I’ll fall The shifting of my dress
And I’m scared to death
As it falls to the floor,
By how you make feel
The sound of silence breaking
Just don’t leave me alone tonight
As you close the door
My heart is on my sleeve But it’s made of glass
And I choke on the words that I want to say
And wrapped in steel and glitter
in shards of fractured ripples as floating pools improve frozen sheets are lifted exchanged by firm boardwalks or never setting concrete
That if you let me go now I’ll fall
I’m saving it for you, all you have to do is ask
And I’m scared to death
But I choke on the words I want to say
By how you make me feel Just don’t leave me alone tonight
That if you leave me now, I’ll fall And I’m scared to death
You steal the breath from my chest
By how you make me feel
When your fingertips tingle down my spine
Just don’t leave me alone tonight
It’s your off key smile that brings me to my knees
Your heart, beating under mine
By James Sykes
And I choke on the words I want to say
Untidy beyond attractive chaos I ‘won’
Resisting the press of any sort of pin
pitying looks from concerned mothers
against my second-hand moth wings,
on my journeys to the Co-op, buying
I considered several dimly-lit alleys
large bags of pumpkin seeds as part
of reinvention: a few hazy days
of a three year whim set upon
in a Parisian hostel, an amateurish foray
to ‘make my life happier’.
into meditation – focus placed on breathing
Time continued to slip through
and then guesswork after that, a stay
precision nets and calculated traps
in a monastery perhaps? Becoming
while my girlfriend occasionally
a full-on Buddhist? Maybe I’ve always
poked her head around the door
had the wrong approach. All this time
asking what is all this, I almost tripped
I’ve been looking for a way out when
on this enormous stack of mundane worry.
maybe I should’ve been looking for a way in.
Just don’t leave Because when you do I choke.
Cinquain By Jyoti Patel Morning Calls for fresh tears You cling to your warm bed Like dew to a misty window . It rains.
THE REAL WORLD PROBLEMS OF FICTIONAL POLITICS
Matthew Weddig Presumably, few people are unaware that Activision’s Call of Duty series has been one of the biggest entertainment franchises in the world for a few years now. The newly released trailer and marketing videos for the next entry, Black Ops 2, certainly have people talking. The trailers indicate that the game’s main premise is “what the war of the future is going to look like.” Increasingly advanced weaponry and “drone armies” are presented, and it is speculated that the enemy of this future warfare will be hackers turning our own technology against us. Amidst the explosions and machines, we also have soldiers on horseback and, of all things, dubstep. “Tonally imbalanced” is an apt description. Call of Duty has always been mindless fun. The problem is not speculation on hypothetical modern war to create a fictional video game
premise. Who doesn’t love a good cold war conspiracy? Black Ops 2’s particular fantasy is one of science fiction future warfare where hackers are the enemies, but at what point do these fantasies stop being mindless and start being worrisome? This is not to say that video games can’t get intellectual and explore serious issues, but, like all art forms, they must be careful. The Propaganda Games episode of web series Extra Credits, explored a video game’s responsibility to communicate the question “Why am I killing these people? [Why are they] my enemies?” and the subsequent dangers of failure. Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw similarly criticized Black Ops for its representation of this issue, asking “Who are the good guys in this game again?” and debating the possibility that maybe “we no longer care if we’re the good guys or not.” In the Black Ops 2 trailer, the
infamous but non violent real world hacker group Anonymous is not-sosubtly implied to be the “bad guy”. In another promotional video, Oliver North, retired US Marine Corps officer, is framed as the “good guy”, presented documentary-style as he describes his “nightmare scenario” that is Black Ops 2. North is also well known for his involvement in the Iran-Contra affair, an incident that ended in his conviction. The worrisome implications of all this can be best summed up in the Kotaku headline “Oliver North Sold Weapons to Iran. Now He’s Selling Call of Duty”. While certainly an interesting premise, at the moment Black Ops 2 seems disturbingly nonchalant about how it communicates its politics. This issue of representation makes the difference between entertainment and fear mongering, and the video game industry needs to be more mindful of how important this is.
REVIEW: CODE RUNNER Oliver Balaam
Smartphones have changed the face of portable gaming. Less than five years ago phone gaming was deemed little more than a diversion but today it’s so successful that analysts are questioning if the 3DS and Playstation Vita still represent viable business models at all. While this success is a story in itself, the most interesting thing about the rise of smartphone gaming is the new experiences that the platform makes possible. From the tactile flick
of your catapult in Angry Birds to the always connected, asynchronous multiplayer of Draw Something, the best phone experiences are ones that can’t be replicated elsewhere. Code Runner, a new GPS-guided alternate reality espionage game, is one of these experiences. “That is NOT a secure location, get out of there now!” is the first thing that crackles through your headphones when you start the game. Obediently, maybe a bit too eagerly, I dashed out of my house and onto Bluebell Road. “Slow it down, act natural, I’ll explain as you go” breathes my handler into my ear. He explains that I have been recruited as an agent for the “department of privacy”. “You’ll be great,” he says, “We’ve seen your work on Facebook. I wouldn’t call it stalking ... its normal behaviour.” My first task is trailing a thief who has stolen an MP’s phone. I follow his signal on the GPS map onto Earlham road, towards the school (the game tends towards recognisable locations so it’s easier to navigate). Once at the gates, I’m prompted to hack the phone wirelessly. This reveals conversation logs and a few lewd photos of a woman, not his wife.
While I study this evidence my handler makes a few jokes, there is some light commentary on political corruption and phone hacking throughout the game. The believable voice acting and dialogue is crucial to the game, transforming a walk around Norwich into an engrossing, if contrived espionage narrative. Next I was asked to leave the evidence in a “dead drop” for collection by a fictional journalist, as well as other players in the area. This involves GPS tagging a location and either leaving a password in the area or choosing a password based on what is already there. Other players need to work out this password in order to access the data you left. I chose the local advertisement board at the Bluebell Road Co-op, the password is on there for anyone to discover. The game carries on like this for hours, introducing new gameplay elements and weaving a plot of double crosses and conspiracy. Then it started to rain and I called it a day. Thankfully you can pick up where you left off and mission locations are regenerated on the fly, meaning you can play the game anywhere you are.
If you allow yourself to become wrapped up in it, Code Runner is one of the most inventive smartphone games available. It’s not the future of videogames but it is your own spy narrative in which everyone around becomes an unwitting extra. There’s nothing else quite like it, highly recommended. Code Runner is available on iOS for £1.99.
12 norwich’s got talent www.concrete-online.co.uk
Since Norwich has recently been deemed England’s first Unesco City of Literature, Arts takes a look at the City’s emerging young literary talent
ARTS POLITICS: NEW YORK’S ONE WORLD TRADE CENTRE Hatty Farnham
Dance Yrself Clean
White Paint Magazine
Luke Boobyer, a local student, created Dance Yrself Clean as a means of sharing the music he loved whilst providing radar artists with appropriate online coverage. DYC is a music blog, but with the help of his contributors Luke will shortly be releasing a magazine and begin organising gigs with local record companies. DYC has over 30 contributors, some of whom are UEA students, and the blog has had 40,000 visits since it started. DYC are looking to focus a little more on the up-and-coming music scene in Norwich, setting up sessions and interviews with local bands and record companies, in order to give small bands a chance to do what they love, and get the coverage they deserve. If you would like to contribute, or just find out a little more please visit www. danceyrselfclean.com
Sean Purdy started White Paint magazine a year ago as a means of nourishing his passion for graphic design, and takes inspiration from 90s designers such as David Carson and Neville Brody. The magazine originally started as a one off project, but there was a positive demand for another issue. White Paint is an arts magazine and each issue is inspired by a general theme. The content, however, is extremely flexible, with articles ranging from travel to fashion to photography. White Paint is written in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek style, so as not to come across as too serious, making it more accessible. The fifth issue of White Paint is scheduled for release on 31 st May, with a launch night at the Birdcage pub in the city. Magazines are £1, and will be available for purchase on the launch night, and later, on campus and in Frank’s Bar and Dogfish. If you’d like to get involved please visit www.facebook.com/whitepaintmagazine For previous issues visit www.issuu.com/ whitepaintmag/docs
Charlotte Cox EXIT is a collaborative magazine project run by an intimate group of young creative writers in Norwich, providing the local writing community with a platform for experimenting and refining their ideas and techniques. The first issue, which came out in February, was an informal experimental piece with a monochrome colour scheme and remarkable illustrations. The launch was held in the Bicycle Shop, and was crowded with people who took pleasure in the contrasting hilarity and solemnity of the readings. The second issue will run along the theme of alchemy, and will be available for purchase soon. Copies of the first EXIT are on sale in Waterstones, and the next launch will be held at The Bicycle Shop on the 23rd May, and there will be live readings from the magazine at 9pm. If you are a budding creative writer, would like to get involved in writing or illustrating, or simply find out a little more about this exciting new project, then visit www.facebook.com/exitmagazinenorwich for details.
Carol Ann Duffy Performs in Norwich Poet Laureate brings live reading to Norfolk and Norwich festival Jack Maughan On the 24th May, the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy will be performing live in Norwich as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Britain’s highest profile poet, Duffy will be reading her work at the Norwich Playhouse to a musical accompaniment. Her groundbreaking appointment in 2009 made Duffy the first openly homosexual, and the first female Poet Laureate to hold the position. She has since had her royally commissioned work widely published in the media, often bringing a cynically politicized edge to the role. She will however, be more familiar to the current student generation for her poetry appears in the secondary school syllabus across Britain. Since her first published collection in 1985, Duffy has at times been a controversial figure. She was almost appointed Poet Laureate in 1999, but was vetoed by Tony
Blair, perhaps because of her sexuality. She became the subject of debate again in 2008, when her sinister poem “Education for Leisure” was removed from the school syllabus for its exploration of psychopathic violence. When finally awarded the Laureateship, Duffy interrupted the literary culture of aristocratic male Laureates stretching back to the position’s creation in the 16th Century. With previous Laureates including William Wordsworth and Lord Tennyson, her presence and popularity disrupts Britain’s vastly male literary canon. With her working class background, and simple style in which she engages with topical subjects, Duffy has been seen to renew the position’s social relevance. In her first poem as Laureate, “Politics” saw her lambast the Expenses Scandal with heartfelt vitriol embodied by the vividly physical imagery that is a hallmark of her style.
Her somber, pensive reflections, unassuming language and blank verse give many GCSE students their first opportunity to engage with contemporary poetry, and are chosen for their approachability. However, the decreasing popularity of poetry has made this a challenge, and leads us to question whether poets still have a social role. It will be indicative of modern poetry’s public perception, and Duffy’s success as Poet Laureate, to see how many choose to receive some “Education for Leisure” on the 24th.
The Statue of Liberty represents Jefferson’s doctrine that ‘all men are born equal’; the Empire State Building symbolises America’s strength in times of depression; the Twin Towers suggested global power. Reaching heights of 1,271 feet, however, America’s Freedom Tower reminds us of Osama Bin Laden’s death this time last year, and of America’s long struggle for freedom from the traumas of 9/11. When finished the building will be 1,776 feet high, becoming the highest in the US, and honouring the Declaration of Independence with its reminder of the year of 1776. This month, the Freedom Tower became the tallest building in New York’s skyline since the twin towers were destroyed in the 9/11 attacks, but what does its height symbolise? Architecturally, the beautiful ‘One World Trade Centre’ will represent a unity and harmony which Manhattan has long since missed. The completion of the building will evoke rebirth throughout the city, and yet the death of Osama Bin Laden lurks beneath the surface of any closure available to America. How can a building, or indeed any art form, express the rebirth of a broken nation, whilst honouring those who died in the attacks? How can a tower built on the ground of its predecessor symbolise freedom, without also reminding America of terrorism? An inability to communicate a national trauma whilst expressing patriotism is a tension seen throughout many post 9/11 art forms, but a problem the Freedom Tower refuses to accept. Repressing the controversy over its dangerous and contentious height, the colossal structure will dominate the skyline of Manhattan and despite the recent history it connotes, the architectural achievement also reminds us of the same relentless energy which brought America its independence, and built its citizens their new nation, all those years ago.
Iain Banks: UEA literary festival
Hatty Farnham The evening opened humorously when a UEA lecturer hosting the event read a scathing review he had written about Banks
nearly 30 years ago; “The Wasp Factory is the most obscene thing I have ever read”. No doubt Banks could recall the criticism of his most famous mainstream novel from some years before. Nevertheless, he roared with laughter along with everyone else, wiping a tear from his eye, and proceeded to clean his glasses in front of the large audience. His relaxed and informal attitude throughout the evening appeared to represent his life as a whole. Banks described how when writing on a typewriter, he used to set himself a target of 10 pages a day, stopping mid-sentence when he reached the end of the last page, entirely confident that he could finish the sentence just as well the next morning. Further, the whole audience pined with jealousy when he revealed that he only writes for three months of every year, leaving himself nine to “just chill”, and to pursue his musical hobby. The writer refused to conceal his vocation behind romanticist ideals of art
and literature, but openly referred to his career choice as a business, admitting how lucky his was to succeed financially in both sci-fi and mainstream fiction. When comparing the differing skill sets required for sci-fi and mainstream, Banks described his “Rolf Harris approach to sci-fi” as “ like writing music for a big fuck-off organ”, whereas “writing for mainstream is like writing for the piano, it is delicate, it has light and shade and exquisite emotional tone”. His latest novel Stonemouth, like much of his work, is set in an imaginary Scottish town. The neorealist content then, which addresses everyday Scottish experiences and places, merges with the imaginary worlds he creates when “mucking around with Scottish geography”. Fascinatingly, Banks describes how he prefers not be restricted by the real life physicality of existing places, but instead enjoys, with an almost childish “guilty pleasure”, the construction of
realistic train routes, buildings and contour lines, stating how “you have to invest imagination and yourself into writing, and if it works, that’s when you can really believe”.
This Week In Arts History ...1894 Dancer Martha Graham was born on may 11th 1894
Martha Graham, the “Picasso of dance”, was born in Pennsylvania on May 11th 1894. Living until the ripe old age of 96, choreographing over 90 ballets and creating the entire movement of modern dance, the influence of Martha Graham in the world of dance can be felt as strongly today as during her years of active choreography.
Graham studied at the Denishawn School of Dancing and Related Arts, and in 1926 started her own initiative, the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance. She created various pieces with undeniable success through the 20s and early 30s, but it was “Chronicle”, first performed in 1936 that was a breakthrough for Graham personally, and the first significant milestone in the movement that was to become contemporary dance; a movement studied by dancers all over the world today. Taking inspiration from the war and economic depression that plagued America at the time, Graham’s work approached dance from a completely new angle and revolutionised the nature of drama and plot in the traditional threeact ballet. Graham was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honours (awarded to her in 1979), the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest civilian honour available in the USA. Graham also received the French honour Key to The City of Paris and the Japanese Imperial Order of the
Precious Crown, and was also the first dancer to be invited to perform at the White House. Dance was as significant a part of Martha Graham as she was to it; her final performance is generally recognised to have been in the 1970 production of Cortege of Eagles at which point Graham was 76 years of age. Once her dancing career was finished Graham, traumatised by the image of the young dancers who had replaced her in her old roles, suffered bouts of severe depression, alcoholism and a nervous breakdown that saw her hospitalised for some time. Divorced from her husband who had also been her partner and male lead in many of her treasured ballets, Graham attempted suicide in 1971. By 1972, however, Graham was on a steady climb upwards once more – she rehabilitated herself from drinking and returned to choreography, completing 10 more original pieces before her death at 96 in 1991. Graham’s ashes were scattered at the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico. The Martha Graham Dance Company still remains the oldest dance
company in north America, continuing to perform Graham originals all over the world.
1. Ordained minister in the Catholic Church (6) 3. Recently deceased British hair stylist - surname (7) 5. Author of Wolf Hall - surname (6) 8. Creature starring in Dark Shadows (7) 10. First man on the moon (9) 14. Weapon used by Hawkeye (3) 15. Shape found on the Burmese flag (4) 16. Assassinated British PM - surname (8) 17. Newly-elected French President - surname(8)
7 8 9
1. Shawl made of pashm (8) 2. Exceedingly drunk (8) 4. The social network (8) 6. Taunting (5) 7. Heroine of The Hunger Games (7) 9. Ex Chief Executive of News International - surname (6) 11. Wine aged in oak barrel (5) 12. First computer to beat a world chess champion (8) 13. Only country beginning with ‘Q’ (5)
Each 3x3 box, row and column must contain the numbers 1-9.
As with sudoku, each 3x3 box, row and column must contain the numbers 1-9. In addition the purple x must not contain any repeated numbers.
Each row and column must contain the numbers 1-5, obeying the greater-than and lesser-than signs (> and <)
SUDOKU X FUTOSHIKI WIN FOUR TICKETS TO “ANYTHING BUT CLOTHES” LCR! The LCR has come up with a brand new night for UEA students on Tuesday 22 May. At “Anything But Clothes” you can wear anything you like- so long as it’s not really clothing! This is a great chance to get creative- try wearing bubble wrap, cardboard boxes, or even copies of Concrete! Tickets are available for £3.50
from the campus box office or ueaticketbookings.co.uk. For your chance to win four tickets to this great night out, just submit your completed crossword to Union House reception by 2pm on Friday 18 March. Write your name and email address on the back, and the winner will be contacted by 9 am on Monday 21 March.
15 May - 28 May
Tuesday 15 May
Literary Festival: Jackie Kay Price: £6 6:30pm Lecture Theatre 1 Club Retro: 80s & 90s Video Games Special Price: £3.50 10pm UEA LCR
Wednesday 16 May
Sennen + Cathedrals and Cars Price: £6 Advance 8pm Norwich Arts Centre
Thursday 17 May
Metal Lust Presents: Bloodstock Metal 2 the Masses Band Competition (Heat One) @ The Waterfront Studio Price: £3 7:30pm The Waterfront Blancmange + Army of Mice Price: £15 Advance 8pm Norwich Arts Centre Pete Roe, Polly & the Billets Doux @ The Bicycle Shop Price: £5 8pm The Bicycle Shop
Friday 18 May
Waterfront Gigs: The Tilting Sky Presents Chasing Tigers @ The Waterfront Studio Price:£5 7pm The Waterfront
Monday 21 May
Joanna Chapman-Smith @ The Bicycle Shop Price: £5 8pm The Bicycle Shop Tuesday 22 May
Norwich Sound & Vision Presents: Holy State + Tenebrous Liar + Reno Dakota Price: £5 Advance Norwich Arts Centre
Anything But Clothes LCR Price: £3.50 10pm UEA LCR
Saturday 19 May
Thursday 23 May
Spectro Presents: Nathan Fake & Luke Abbott + Mammal Hands Price: £10 Advance 8pm Norwich Arts Centre
The Neutrinos Preview: Butcher of Common Sense Price: £5 7pm Westlegate House
Latitude Poetry Club Presents: Simon Armitage + Molly Naylor + Simon Mole Price: £12/£10 NUS 8pm Norwich Arts Centre
Sunday 20 May
Waterfront Gigs: It Boys! @ The Waterfront Studio Price: £6 7pm The Waterfront Waterfront Gigs: Inspiral Carpets Price: £17 7pm The Waterfront
Friday 24 May
Metal Lust Presents: Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Band Competition (Heat Two) @ The Waterfront Studio Price: £3 7:30pm The Waterfront
Paper Aeroplanes @ The Bicycle Shop Price: £5 8pm The Bicycle Shop Comedy Club with Russell Kane Price: £14.50/£9.50 NUS Advance 7:30pm UEA LCR
Saturday 25 May
Hysterics Promotions Presents: Odessa @ The Waterfront Studio Price: £6 6:30pm The Waterfront Studio Twee OFF! Presents: Zun Zun Egui + Ill Murray Price: £8 Advance 8pm Norwich Arts Centre
Sunday 26 May
Gangpol und Mit Price: £10 Advance 8pm Norwich Arts Centre
Monday 27 May
Admiral Fallow + Matthew P Price: £8 Advance 8pm Norwich Arts Centre
For more information visit:
Are you a Finalist? Get Set To Go! UEA Careers & Employability services are here for you before and after your graduation. Services include:
Job listings and tools to help research opportunities and employers
Events and workshops
Advice and guidance
CV and application feedback
Careers library and signposting
AND BOOK ONLINE NOW for the last careers event of the academic year: ‘If I can do it ..’, Wednesday 13th June UEA alumni will tell you the most important do’s and don’ts of their careers so far! See website for more info.
T 01603 593452 E email@example.com W www.uea.ac.uk/finalists