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The Sex Survey Edition

Arts Kate RomaiN Film Willa Hope + Louis ‘GENTLE GIANT’ Pigeon-owen Fashion Emily CLaridge Creative Writing hugo ‘double-d’ Douglas-Deane 19 Gaming Kirsty ‘sex tortoise’ McAlpine 23 Television Denise ‘KINKY’ Koblenz 26 Music aLice Mortimer + Lois ‘lovin’ young Apologies to Lucinda Swain for accidentally not using her illustration in issue 334 for the Amber Run article. Her illustration, along with the full music article can be found online.

Art And design assistant: Emily Mildren This week’s front cover: wiki commons, ADAM CUERDen

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Concrete.venue@uea.ac.uk


Sensual editorial sexies-in-chief Dougie ‘LIL d’ dodds + niamh ‘HUG ME’ Jones

Venue

deputy editor: Melissa ‘HAPPY’ Haggar eady for some sexy, sexy VENUE? I mean, it’s sexy every issue, but here we have an excuse to have some sexual content: Concrete’s annual Sex Survey. You may have noticed the absolute stunner on the cover. His name is Eugene, a vintage strong man from the late 19th century, and he warmly welcomes you to this issue. Let his leopard panties soothe the February woes, and his cheeky moustache release all that stress you’ve been storing up. Dougie

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t’s sex survey time. I know you’ve all been waiting for the highlight of the Concrete calendar, and here it is. This time, VENUE is joining in, with sex related content from all our sections. Check out our sex music playlist on p29, or maybe get Galentine’s day inspiration from Fashion. Valentine’s day is a day for… awh who am I kidding? It’s the same as any other day. If you want to treat your loved ones to a meal out, that’s lovely. But don’t feel the pressure to give each other expensive gifts, or feel bad that you’re single. Shout out to my mate Hannah who has her birthday on Valentine’s, it sucks but we’re here for ya. Niamh

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y my, I suppose I should start off with some sort of sultry intro considering that it's Valentines Day and that is the custom but frankly, that would be too much effort (and rather creepy). So just sit back, relax, and let our smooth content serenade you this issue. We’ve got some sumptuous interviews, randy reviews and saucy snaps of our beloved UEA. Do it right this Valentines, do it hard, and always, do it Concrete. Melissa

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arts

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‘I realised I was growing up in an area where music was thriving.’ Arts editor Kate Romain interviews Britt Quentin, who stars in Thriller Live at Norwich Theatre Royal.

FEATURE

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‘This is not a cry into my ice cream day. You are not Bridget Jones.’ Over at Fashion, we’re celebrating Galentines Day, and our writers have excellent advice on how to ‘treat yo’ self’ and make the most of the day with your best girl friends.

music

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‘That’s what I go to school for!’ In case your university life couldn’t get more exciting, Busted have landed from the year 3000 right into this issue! Editor-in-chief Megan Baynes reports on her out of this world experience at the LCR.

Concrete.venue@uea.ac.uk

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ARTS 03

Concrete.arts@uea.ac.uk

Lets talk about sex (and art)

mirea molina

exploring the relationship between sexuality and art through the ages

Sexuality has been a recurrent theme in visual arts since ancient times; paintings and ceramics involved erotic and sexually explicit scenes. In Ancient Greece, though both masculine and female nudity was portrayed as idealised and mathematically proportioned, explicit sexuality scenes were still present in artistic works. Expression of sexuality in European and Western after the rise Christianism during the medieval age was muted; nudity was used in art as a religious theme only. The Renaissance and other modern stages of history have used nudity as an allegoric, mythological and idealistic conception of especially the female body. Goya’s The Nude Maja (1797-1800) could be considered one of the first paintings that subverted the notion of female body as non-sexual and idealised. As opposed to a mythological creature, the figure in the painting represents a more real and sexualised woman. She maintains direct eye contact to become the observer rather that the observed. Her selfconfidence transforms her into the owner of her body and her sexuality. The nineteenth century supposed the challenging of conventions in the academicism of art. Through Realism and Expresionism, French artists bexplored

new forms of representation in art that were considerd scandalous and obscene. The theme of sexuality was becoming more widely represented; yet it was it was still rejected as the norm. Manet’s Olympia (1863) could be considered a development of the themes Goya’s painting exhibits. Her self-confidence emphasised by the way she is sitting and the position of her hand.

It was the famous and controversial The origin of the world (1866) by Gustave Gourbet, that first dismissed any kind of idealisation and displayed an explicit painting of female genitalia. Not only did he represent an intimate part of the body in a realistic and detailed way, but he also used an unusual perspective, presenting the part of the body as it truly is: the subjects sexuality and eroticism is emphasised and the femaile form is

presented as a reproductive system and as a symbol of fertility. The nineteenth century provided space for sexuality to start developing itself as a more accepted theme in visual arts. Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele involved a high range of erotic and even at the time considered pornographic works. Although the artistic

c on ve n t ion s still rejected and persecuted such themes, both artists used art as a means to express their sexuality and also to portray a powerful female body involved in the sexual act. “All art is erotic”, Klimt once stated. His work liberates sexuality mostly through female eroticism, portraying women as an idealisation of beauty by using flowers and bright colours in his work. His work

also focuses on the beauty of female ecstasy in sexuality and of female discover of sexuality, seen in works such as Danaë (1907) and The Maiden (1913). Schiele’s work focuses on many aspects of sexuality through auto-eroticism and the portrayal of the sexual act. His work does not present an idealised perception of nudity, but emphasises in the emotional aspect of sex, often transmitting a feeling of anxiety through the facial expressions of his figures, the rawness of his style and the sharpness of his stroke. Sexuality is liberated through the emotional individualism that Schiele puts into his work. From the nineteenth and the twentieth century, sexuality has been an increasing theme in visual arts and its role was strengthened by the sexual revolution in the 1960s and the rise of feminist art. The increasing presence of sex in many artistic disciplines has lead to the expansion of it in disciplines that may not even be considered art; the boundaries between art and pornography can sometimes be unclear. In any case, the evolution of western visual arts has contributed to the liberation of sexuality from traditional taboos to sexual empowerment.

Photo credits to Wikipedia by Google Art Project


Concrete.arts@uea.ac.uk

04

love, war, and bravery

ARTS

WINGMEN: A LITTLE KNOWN NOVEL THAT HELPED PAVE THE WAY FOR TODAYS LgBTQ movements abi walton World War II was a pivotal event in the modern history of social change. In many ways, it was the changes that took place in World War II that led to todays array of LGBTQ communities and movements. The war allowed for liberation, and revealed that among the millions of young men and women who were thrust into the largest military organisation in America’s history, there were hundreds of thousands who felt, or where about to discover that they felt, same-sex attraction. As we know, several post war novels explore the theme of samesex attraction: John Horne Burns’ The Gallery (1947), Loren Wahl’s The Invisible Glass (1950), and Lonnie Coleman’s Ship Company (1955). Yet most readers are unaware of a realistic WWII novel of superb quality that rejects stereotypes and provides a testimony to many male veterans. The novel is Wingmen by former Navel officer, Ensan Case. I found this book hidden in Norwich’s second hand bookshop and finished it within a weekend; I could not put it down. It is a beautifully written and extremely thought provoking novel about homosexual love and relationships during war time. It provides a fascinating insight into the complexities of homosocial spaces and bonds at a time when homophobia was rife. It also deserves to be recognised

as an effective narrative of combat during WWII. When researching the author Ensan Case, I found that he was an ex-Navel officer who wrote Wingmen when he was just twentyeight and still in the military. Avon Books published his work for one print run but as sales stopped Case went on to other pursuits. However, back in 2010 when Case Googled Wingmen on a whim, he was astounded to find that the novel had become a cult classic and was hugely popular. As I did more research into Case’s life I discovered a true story that changed how I viewed Wingmen. The story is about a man, known here as Jack, who was an army air force piolet in 1941. Jack was a highly decorated and well known soldier; he was also one of the Army’s first ever aces (an ace is someone who has brought down more that five enemy planes). When the war ended Jack returned to civilian life where he became a successful business owner. (If anyone reading this article has read Wingmen, I am sure you are beginning to see the similarities to this story and Case’s). When Jack left the military he wrote a book about his experience in the war as a womanising, heavy drinking, hell-for –leather fighting pilot breaking all the rules in search of a good time.

This was all true of course, except for one detail: there were no women in the real story. Jack had been in a relationship with one of his piolets throughout the war. Ensan never asked Jack what happened to the piolet and Jack never mentioned it, but he manoeuvred successfully through civilian life as an unmarried man with a close and life long male companion. In 2015 Case wrote a letter saying: “Jack gave me the greatest accolade an author can receive: he told me that Jack and Fred’s story had been his story as well, and he regretted being unable to be honest with the world.”

the struggle for people to be together, and to love each other, during a time of intense homophobia was not in vain. I feel this book has a lot to tell us not just about the underground world that became more prominent in WWII, but today’s community and society as well. Wingmen is a remarkable and valuable novel that I am so glad I discovered. The social and psychological insight the novel provides is just as significant today as it was when the book was first was published back in the 20th century. Time has only increased this significance.

In 2014 Wingmen was reI have written here about published as an e-book, and is Jack because, for me, this now easily available to read. story really demonstrates how I would highly recommend far we now have come, forty Wingmen as not only a years from when this book was love story but an accurate first published. Of course, we portrayal of the desperation still have a long way to go, that war brings. but this beautiful novel , set in a time of war and Photo credits to Wikimedia Commons RAF Serviceman by and Wikipedia desperation, shows us that by by Unkown Author


venue catches up with star of thri

britt

kATE ROMAIN This

February Norwich Theatre Royal has the pleasure of welcoming Britt Quentin, the Michigan born star of Thriller: Live to its stage. Though Britt has already performed the lead role 2,320 times in the West End, I wondered if he still gets nervous. After all Michael Jacksons was, and is, a legendary and extremely influential musician. ‘Often I do get nervous’, Britt admits . ‘I have those feelings before the show starts. But the way the audience react to you and what you’re doing quickly changes that. Especially because Michael isn’t with us anymore, people just want to experience his music. And when you feel that reaction from the audience those feelings of nerves tend to go away’. Despite always having wanted to be a performer, (he was in a children’s choir when he was young, and tells me he ‘hasn’t stopped singing since!’) Britt surprises me by admitting that he didn’t always look at Michael Jackson as an inspiration:

‘Because of my high voice and the way I looked, people always compared me to him. But I didn’t want to be Michael Jackson, I wanted to be Britt’. He tells me, a little sadly. ‘It wasn’t until I got older I decided to embrace it.

“because of my high voice and the way i looked, people always compared me to him. but i didn’t want to be micheal jackson, i wanted to be britt” And it seems Britt has embraced it, in a big way. He tells me that it is a ‘love for the music, and a passion for what we do’ that keeps his energy levels and enthusiasm up after every performance. It also helps that occasionally the performance is slightly altered. ‘You can’t fit all of Michael Jackson’s songs into a two hour show, so over the years we have had to swap things out’. And Britt’s favourite song to perform? ‘Generally the newest one we’ve added!’ he jokes ‘so it’s human nature at

the moment. But ask me again in a few months and it will be something different’. Though Britt has experience as a both a director and a performer, it is on stage he is the most comfortable. ‘I’ve been performing so long it’s become second nature. There’s been times I’ve gone on stage to perform something five minutes after I’ve learnt it, but I’ve only been directing for the last decade’. Though directing is becoming second nature, Britt admits that he ‘hasn’t quite gotten there yet’.

I wonder if he will get much time to explore Norwich while he is her; he sounds a little disappointed as he tells me this is not the case. ‘After six and a half years of performing in London, I have only just started touring. My schedule is usually jam packed – you can’t rest like you usually rest! Days off are often spent on the road or in airports. As I director I often have to hold rehearsals, so when other cast members get to go and explore the city, usually I’m still working’.


iller: Live

t quentin We shouldn’t expect to bump into him in Chapelfields or the Lanes anytime soon then! I am interested to hear about Britt’s early musical career and about his childhood growing up in Detroit; a city that both the home of Motown and in terrible decline. He tells me that it was a conflicting place to grow up as a musician, and talks animatedly and fondly of the musical inspirations that came from the area.

“I realised i was growing up in an area where music was thriving. detroit is my foundations”

‘Early on I realised I was growing up in an era where music was thriving. Detroit is my foundations: it was a

privilege to be trained there and grow up around that sort of music. But I also realised that, because of the decline, I had to get out of there and go somewhere where music was still thriving’. Sadly, my time with Britt was coming to an end, but I still had one more burning question to ask him: how did he manage to master the moonwalk? ‘You know,’ begins Britt ‘we don’t all have to do it. The moonwalk was very specific to one era of Michael Jackson, so it’s only showcased in one part of the performance. There’s only five people in the show who have to do it, and luckily for me, I’m not one of them!’ So, after seven years performing in Thriller as both a performer and a director, two years as the lead counter tenor soloist for the contemporary classical work Café Desire (2002-2004), and the conductor of the All State Jazz Choir of Colorado (2007), Britt certainly has an impressive résumé. What could the future possibly hold? ‘I’m currently working on a solo album, and my own tribute show. I also still do vocal arranging for performance

groups’. I ask him if he sees himself staying in the performance industry indefinitely. ‘Absolutely’, he tells me with conviction. ‘I want to stay until I can’t d

oit anymore. What I’m doing may change, I may move on to full-time directing. But I’ll always be in the performance industry. This industry is where my heart is’.

“there’s only Five people in the show who have to do the moonwalk, and luckily i’m not one of them!”

Thriller: Live is being performed at Norwich Theatre Royal Feb 13-18

Photo credits to Norwich Theatre Royal


imag

Film 07

Concrete.film@uea.ac.uk

denial

coralie bastiaens Denial retraces the real life court case of David Irving versus Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt, in which the British author accused the Holocaust scholar of libelling him in her book Denying the Holocaust. English libel law placing the burden of proof on the defence, we follow Lipstadt and her legal team as they prove that Irving deliberately misinterpreted historical events to adapt them to his ideological and anti-Semitic views. It becomes clear that the trial is not a simple libel case, but a battle to keep the truth intact.

jack barton Cinematic accompaniments for historical tragedies have been a modern trend that has led to some of the most emotionally driven and socially relevant pictures from the last 40 years. Pablo Larrain’s Jackie joins the best of these factual/dismal dramas. The events of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are world known, but instead of formulating another piece driven by JFK, as Oliver Stone did in 1991, Larrain takes a different approach and examines the turmoil and grief that his betrothed, Jackie Kennedy, endured after his death. The ultimate fundamental structure creates an opportunity for a consistent

The film is as long and scrupulous as the case. The dialogue is tedious at times and Rachel Weisz‘s over-thetop American accent puts an unfortunate strain on the energy she brings to Lipstadt. But it is an intellectual film rather than a sensational one, not designed to be loved but to make a point. And in a time where ‘alternative facts’ have become acceptable, it is a very important film. There is something truly powerful in watching the protagonist remain mute during the main passages of the movie, as she is forbidden

to speak by her lawyers who take charge of her defence. Lipstadt explains to her head barrister (the compelling Tom Wilkinson) the difficulty of enduring Irving’s attacks in silence at her own trial, to which he responds: “The trouble is, what feels best isn’t necessarily what works best. I mean by all means, stand up look the devil in the eye, tell him what you feel, why not, it’s very satisfying. See what happens. But you risk losing. Not just for yourself but for all the others. (…) Or stay seated, button your lip, win.”

This reflects the core message of the film: even if we are offended, hurt and frustrated, the only effective way to discredit bigots is through patience and logic. The film’s emphasis on Lipstadt’s refusal to argue with Holocaust deniers, as well as her claim at the end of the film that “not all opinions are equal” is a crucial reminder that however important free speech is, prejudiced views should always be contested and the spreading of lies and hatred is unacceptable.

jackie style of dynamic filmmaking. There was always a possibility for a standard uninventive

melodrama, but Larrain takes the artistic route. An interesting visual style and fantastic musical score is linked with a narrative that flickers from the events of the assassination, shown in bloody and horrific detail, to the emotional damage afterwards. These events are all cleverly framed through the first journalistic interview that happens after her husband’s death. Natalie Portman melds with Jackie, showing the lifelessness and grief of a recently widowed woman, which is emphasised through having to deal with funeral plans, her very young children and a moral, personal and political self-reflection. A stand-out scene that is

divided up amongst the film is a meeting with a priest (John Hurt), who counsels her and attempts to inspire a modicum of hopefulness within her. This acts as the binding and much-needed positive force throughout. Jackie is an insightful and eye-opening look into a historical event from a completely different perspective. Not only is it an interesting and very detailed examination of Jackie Kennedy and her story, but it tackles a very human story about the complexities of grief, morals, family and faith.

Image: Flickr, Paul K, O Cinema


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Concrete.film@uea.ac.uk

t2 trainspotting

08 Film

gus edgar T2 Trainspotting has returned to the station after a twenty year absence, carrying with it all the world-weary baggage of its predecessor. It’s a more sombre affair, the gang disbanded and silently plotting against each other, bereft of the persistent energy that made the original so enthralling. In a way, this is the most sensible choice returning director Danny Boyle could make in tackling the sequel of such a beloved British classic: the film isn’t replicating the frantic highs and lows of life as heroin addicts, but rather looking back to those times through the context of middle-aged mundanity. By focusing on nostalgia, and its effect on our four central characters, Renton (Ewan McGregor), Spud (Ewen Bremner), Begbie (Robert Carlyle) and Simon (Jonny Lee Miller), Boyle provides a self-referential wink to an entire generation that remembers its parent film fondly. Boyle knows that he has no hope in reproducing the original’s ground-breaking tone or infrastructure, so he approaches T 2 Trainspotting with a rich cynicism and melancholy that proves the whole film’s existence worthwhile. Still, the film is a frustrating one. While its exploration of the past and of reminiscing is riveting, Boyle crams in many other themes and threadbare

plotlines with limited success. A half-hearted attempt to build on Begbie’s crazed demeanour by involving his family feels like a first draft, and Spud, lovable though he may be, doesn’t quite crack it as the Irvine Welsh-in-training the film wants us to so readily accept. And while Boyle showcases the spine necessary to take on the sequel, the film itself is in dire need of a narrative one. The plot meanders under the shadow of half-baked ideas, before devolving into an oddly clichéd final set piece. Of course, the story is hardly important considering T2 Trainspotting is essentially a four-part character study, but the lack of breathing room for a narrative drive results in a sequel full of incredible moments (The ‘Choose Life’ scene is as good as, if not better than what it’s trying to

memorialise) that don’t quite add up to the sum of their parts. Though it must be said, in the context of a character study, the film captures the emotions and mannerisms of each character perfectly, even after twenty years. Visually, T2 Trainspotting is interesting and often exciting, overloaded with flash and flair, though largely as a detriment. Boyle’s familiarly dynamic approach is contradictory to the film’s ennui, where the many, many stylistic techniques prove distracting, leaving the audience unable to pin down a particular tone. It’s a confused film, a patchwork of sentimental ideas and styles messily executed, but also a brave one, confronting the past through four wonderfully realised characters, rather than replicating it.

ex machina (2015) This is a romantic thriller ... with robots. Ex Machina is an A.I. film like you’ve never seen, dealing with the beauty, bizarreness and devastating consequences of robotic programming. Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander are a dream cast who help to bring generous portions of humanity to a story that deals with inhuman humans and humanoid robots. This has heart, balls, and brain and will basically break you emotionally, but in all the right ways. - Louis Pigeon-Owen

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) From the incredible Wes Anderson, Fantastic Mr. Fox is a beautiful portrayal of the classic novel. With an A-list voice cast with George Clooney and Meryl Streep, this film is not only brilliantly comical, but utterly satisfying in its aesthetics. Not one to miss, whether you’re a Dahl fan or not. - Willa Hope

birdman (2014) You won’t have seen a middleaged crisis like this. This offbeat comedy is about an actor who tries desperately to save his obsolete acting career with a play he stars in, writes, and directs himself. Further weirdness arises from a constant, off-beat drum soundtrack and continuous tracking-shot that will mesmerise you and leave you with a migraine. It’s also a meta-masterwork with as many self-referential winks at Michael Keaton’s old Batman career as it has scenes with Edward Norton and Keaton wrestling on the floor in their Y-fronts. - Louis Pigeon-Owen Image: Dougie Dodds


Film 09 flora mavra

Concrete.film@uea.ac.uk

method or acting?

Method acting as it is now known was first developed by Russian actor and director Konstantin Stanislavski at the beginning of the 20th century and was later developed by three teachers: Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler and Stanford Meisner. Method acting is essentially a range of techniques that help actors inhabit the role they are playing. An actor should not just know their lines off by heart, they should comprehend the motivation behind those lines and every detail of their character’s life both onstage and offstage.

days to be more convincing for the torture scenes in the film The Marathon Man (1976) in which they both starred.

Some may look at this approach as pretentious and in recent years, following performances such as Heath Ledger in the The Dark Knight and of Daniel DayLewis in well... pretty much everything he’s done, Method Acting has been mystified and has become a source of mockery for many. In fact Laurence Olivier once told Dustin Hoffman, a wellknown method actor: “Why don’t you just try acting my child?” Olivier said this to Hoffman after the latter chose to stay awake for three

‘Why don't you just try acting, my child?'

Undoubtedly, this hard technique has helped create some of the greatest cinematic performances of all time. De Niro’s Travis Bickle in Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976), DanielDay-Lewis in My Left Foot (1989), or Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and The Godfather (1972) are only a few superb examples. If you aren’t very familiar with these ones then

what about Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight (2008) and Christian Bale in The Machinist (2005)? ‘Very little mention of female method actors’ you say? Well yes, dear reader, but before we get trapped

Christian Bale, The Machinist (2005)

Marlon brando, streetcar (1951) into thinking that it is a boys-club kind of thing, only being associated with showy, masculine feats of endurance, let us consider women in cinema. Female roles are unfortunately mostly limited to secondary, ornamental characters rather than main, meaty ones that require much physicality. When female actors are praised for their (method) acting it is usually because they were brave enough to not appear beautiful on screen. One example is Hilary Swank in Boys don’t Cry where she played a young transgender man. Swank prepared for her role by dressing and living as a man for a month, wrapping her chest in bandages and putting socks down the front of her trousers. It would be wrong to use Method Acting as an example of gender bias in cinema because Method Acting is simply a way that some actors choose to prepare for their role. What is the case, however, is that it is a technique now used and marketed to create a sense of importance,

legitimacy and provocation around a performance and, as a result, around a film. In an era of award-centred rather than purpose-centred film-making, it is difficult to draw the line between the pretentiousness and the honesty of a performance. Actors may use different techniques to inhabit their role, be it Method Acting or ‘Alexander Technique’ among many others. Different roles require different types of preparation by actors and in some cases they use a combination of many techniques simultaneously to achieve their goal. As for Method Acting, the most celebrated actors of all time, like Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and the great Marlon Brando were trained to be Method actors. If you still think that it is pompous and overblown, I will leave you with a quote from the New York Times: “Simply put, in film acting, there is before Brando, and there is after Brando. And they are like different worlds.” Image: Flickr, abagaleciara, 219DuBois


Concrete.fashion@uea.ac.uk

10

Fashion

GALENTINES IS THE NEW VALENTINES, HERE’S HOW TO SPEND IT LEAH MARRIOTT Galentine’s Day is the perfect time to get the girls together for a day of relaxing and bonding without a care in the world.

BRUNCH Cooking brunch together is a great way to start the day however, if you’re looking for a hassle-free day you could always head out for a lovely meal. A sitdown meal is the perfect opportunity to exchange some heartfelt gifts.

PRESENTS Leslie Knope treated her friends on Parks and Rec to hand crocheted flowers, mosaic portraits and 5,000 word essays on how much she admires them; but I’m sure a box of chocolates would go down a treat!

PYJAMAS Galentine’s also calls for a pyjama day, there’s no need to get dressed up or put make up on when

EMILY CLARIDGE you’re hanging out with the girls. It’s the time to get comfortable in front of the TV, watching a classic rom-com (or even a horror) with your favourite snacks or takeaway.

“Hand crocheted flowers, mosaic portraits and 5,000 word essays” PAMPER You could also get pampering with facemasks and manicures. At the end of the night you could even make some cocktails to celebrate a successful Galentine’s Day!

Officially on the Friday before Valentines Day, Galentines is the day for celebrating all the loves of your lives, your friends. This is the day traditionally for spending time with your female friends but no one’s stopping you guys having a day of Bromance. Galentines is just a better pun isn’t it? First year Norfolk Terrace entailed Galentines Day as chinese takeaway in the kitchen and screaming any time one of the boys from the flat walked into the kitchen, slightly unfair but it is Galentines after all! Second year was a evening in at one persons house with pizza, painting nails, bunting and one girl just having a nap. That’s the beauty of Galentines, you’re amongst friends that won’t mind if you just pass out in their living room at 7pm. This year the plan is, dinner out and cocktails - see we’re so much fancier than first year now! Who says uni doesn’t teach you anything?

If you want to do presents some of the cutest things you can do (on a budget) are homemade. Try baking cookies or cupcakes for your friends, or particularly sweet is getting a little jar and write on little shreds of paper compliments so when they’re feeling down they can just pick one out of the jar! If you’re trying to plan something to do on the day you can treat it just like a regular date and plan going to see a film, (Trainspotting 1 or 2 very good, if not quite romantic). Museums or concerts are always fun and lovely to do something different but at the end of the day if you just want some VK’s and the LCR than that’s what your Galentines will be all about. It just a day for you and your friends to remind you all how much you appreciate one another and at the end of the day, who can resist a pun?


Fashion 11

Concrete.fashion@uea.ac.uk

A DAY TO SPEND WITH THE ONE YOU LOVE MOST, YOURSELF SOPHIE BUNCE As Valentine’s day draws closer we ask ourselves: is it that time of year already? I am sure I just went through this? Not all of us have dates for Valentine’s. That’s fine. But how do we fill this, for most singletons, dreaded day? My advice is;

treat yourself. It’s a day to celebrate love, and this year the person you love most is you. So take yourself on a date. But please remember, this is not a pity party. This is not a boo hoo I’m alone and going to cry into my ice cream day. You are not Bridget Jones. This is a day to look after

yourself. You get to have a day off whilst the rest of the world force themselves into societies narrow version of love. You get to do something actually fun. This Valentine’s day do all the things you haven’t had time to, and pay attention whilst doing it. Be present. It’s as simple and taking the time to properly wash and condition your hair. Take off your nail polish and cut your nails. Cook yourself a proper meal and not just what you can whip up in 15 minutes because you don’t have the time. Maybe even buy from the Tesco finest range instead of own brand, you deserve it. If you want to, take yourself out for a meal or a drink and try not to pick up your phone. Order the cocktail

“This is not a cry into my ice cream day. You are not Bridget Jones”

Enjoy spending time with yourself. You could even go to a movie afterwards. I have found that going to the cinema alone is one of the most empowering experiences and the best part is you get to pick the film. You don’t have to share the popcorn, or settle for salted when you really wanted sweet, it’s all your choice. Alternatively, you could do nothing. You are under no obligation to change your routine for St Valentine. The reality is, that most people do nothing at all, they just won’t admit it. But whatever happens, at least for this year, dedicate the day to you.

off the menu that you’ve been dying to try, but are too scared of judgment to ask for. You can watch people around you or read a book whilst sipping on your tiny umbrella laden refreshment.

Images: WikiCommons: Dawn Hudson, Unsplash, Christoph Illustration by Emily Claridge


Concrete.fashion@uea.ac.uk

12

Fashion

DRESS TO IMPRESS WHOEVER YOU’RE WITH REBECCA EVANS Valentines day is approaching, and the pressure is on to find something to wear that will knock your date’s socks off. Whether it’s that guy from the flat opposite you, your boyfriend, your bestie, or even your dad (there’s no judgment here). We’re here to point you in the right direction to help you look smokin’. So lets Marvin Gaye and get it on… If you’re going on a date with a love interest or boyfriend, you want to wow him, am I right? If you feel like going all out, why not opt for a dress with black or red hues (it is

valentines, after all) or if you feel like keeping it extra classy, nude tones are always a safe bet and look super chic. Team with statement earrings, simple minimalist strappy heels, or if you’re feeling daring, knee high boots to get some pulses

Kendall, Kylie and Kim sporting this new trend, and transform your ripped jeans into a more playful, dressier look. Layer

“Can friendship get any more romantic than this?” racing. There’s some amazing Misguided ones, guaranteed to keep your date coming back for more every Valentines Day. Having a girls night out with your bestie, because you’re both strong independent women who don’t need no man? It’s time to up those sass levels. I have one word for you- fishnets. No need to recoil in horror, spy the likes of

the fishnet tights (which can be found on clothing sites such as miss pap) under your jeans and team with a cute bralet and jersey kimono on top. Finish the look with some statement ankle boot heels, and get dancing girl. If you’re planning a movie night in with your gal pals, look no further than the oh-so-cute range of matching “bestfriend” t-shirts from Esty. Can friendship get anymore romantic than this!? Pair these with fluffy socks, any rom-com

and a big tub of ben and jerry’s and you’re good to go. Or if you’re meeting family for a valentine’s dinner, perhaps you’re looking for something a little less daring and racy? Play it a little safer, and go for a jumper dress. Jumper dresses are everywhere at the moment, plus they allow you to eat all the food without any sight of bloating, oh, and did I mention how super comfy they are? It’s a win- win. Dress your look up with a fur gilet and heels, or go casual pair it with some trainers for a cool daytime look. Topshop, Boohoo and Asos all boast a great selection of jumper dresses, so be sure to check those out. Here’s to your cosiest Valentines Day yet!


A E yU

Whether you’ve been at UEA for 3 minutes or 3 years, chances are you’ve taken a look around the our vast campus and fallen in love (or just fallen after a risky night out). Yes, we may have some serious safety hazard steps in the Ziggs, and more rabbit droppings than you can count, but gosh darn it, we love our imperfect UEA, and all of its loveable quirks. But hey, as these snaps prove, there’s plenty to be joyous about. Who else has the epic Broads and eerie, enormous trees that would make Slender Man happy? Us, that’s who! Photos courtesy of Tony Allen and Dan Salliss.

e h #


C. Writing 15

Concrete.creativewriting@uea.ac.uk

doors, windows, and walls Much can be contained in a door, window or wall. Doors are barriers, gateways to the future, (or maybe shut in your face). Windows are the catalysts for daydreaming, the openings onto pastures new, or ruminative looks out to rainy days. Walls – well... they separate, block out, and divide, but it’s important to remember in these times of talks of division that walls can be navigated, climbed, scaled or even broken down; that doors can be opened. - Hugo Douglas-Deane

the other side — saoirse smith-hogan

M

y enemy.

My

nemesis.

As I looked at the accumulation of bricks, the shades of brown, the crumbling corners, the grey cement that separated one ally from another, I noticed a decaying slab that had left a slight hole, large enough for me to wedge the tip of my shoe, which would firmly prop me up. Whilst analysing the challenge I was faced with, the green weeds that scattered the wall caught my attention – they flew in the wind and they drooped in the rain. The vines twisted up the barrier like a snake slithering towards his prey, as he holds back just enough to strike when the moment is right. Everything around me was murky and melancholy, but what I could see was the golden hue of hope escaping from the other side. Lodging my foot in to what seemed to be my only chance, I propelled myself up and grabbed the top of the wall, hauling my body higher and higher, scraping my stomach on the surface of hell – burning, stinging, grating. The opposition groaned in agony as I kicked my feet against the bricks, climbing and launching as I rose. I had made it! Rolling over the smooth top, I slowly and carefully lowered myself on to the ground, wary of the fact that the darkness was manipulating my warped view. Freedom invaded my senses as I span around on my heels, smelling the open air, tasting the liberty. Oh, look, another wall…

grandma — alexandra parapadkis Memories are hidden within the creases of her skin. Her face is a wall which may fold, but will never crumble or collapse. She hides more than what you think in the knots of her grey curls, or buried beneath the soles of her sensible loafers. People say that eyes are the windows, but she has placed her windows in the frames of her glasses, and always has the curtains drawn. Photographs are all I have to go on ¬– when her skin was tight and dewy, when her hair was like corn, her eyes unveiled. She stands in the photos full of pride, face directed at the lens of the camera, armed in pantsuits. Now she is armed in beige tights, by the perfumes of a doughy baker, and by closed lips.


Concrete.creativewriting@uea.ac.uk

16

C. Writing

mirror mirror — ella dorman-gajic She looks in the mirror, doesn’t always plan it, can’t stand it. But she looks in the mirror each day the mascara brush, lipstick to lips, perfume spray ‘go away!’ She looks in the mirror, sometimes she prays; sometimes she prays for it all to go away, away where she can spend all day like the women on the runway, on America’s next top role-model, cover girl, get gorgeous, scouted, scouted. Looks back to the mirror. Maybe if she pouted, pouted? But still she thinks her lips look thinner than strawberry shoelaces, the ones she chews with her mates, a smile painted baby pink on her face before rushing to the toilet to scream them back up. She claims she doesn’t feel stuck, not stuck, never stuck just caught in a rut of pouring eyeshadow to the lids which fold over her disfigured vision. The powder light, dark, silver - can’t really get it right -‘I can’t go out like this another night!’ She takes selfies on her front camera; the ones that make nails look like hammers; the ones that turn pimpled skin to diamonds and plastic; the ones that show her how she could look, how she should look. But they don’t really look like her, not like the girl who picked Forget-me-nots in a field where no likenesses existed, where the only reflections she saw were in the eyes of those who love her. Now her reflection is warped by the boys who call her a four and hopes that by April she can up the score to a six, when she will have a smaller waist and wider hips, maybe bigger boobs, plumper lips. The mirror is still there as she goes to sleep, the Instagram pages, the Tumblr feeds: the incessant needs of these unrelenting screens. And she dreams and she dreams and in her dreams

she can hear the mirrors whispering in her ear, enticing her to come near and uncover their glistening remedies. With a touch, the looking glass consumes her, to a place where she is God making porcelain dolls in her divine image: moulding each feature to perfection in her bare hands, running her fingers through the plastic of their hair. She fires the blow torch to melt her own face into a pretty little case, inserts plastic to her boobs and bum and takes pictures of her looking glossy like Kim Kardashian’s body and waits for the likes to pour in. But there are certain things the mirrors don’t tell her. Can’t tell her. They don’t reflect entities beyond the surface of her skin, and no matter how hard she tries, she will never even begin to acknowledge what is within. Because a man dressed as a Cheshire cat keeps returning, murmuring riddles in her ear instructing her to live in fear. Each spell keeps her trapped in the looking glass where her impressionists grow wild and illusions of dots and lines pull her cheeks and eyes until she is blind, boxed in and confined inside this futile frame of femininity, the dresses as narrow as the walls that continue to close in on her mind and body.


C. Writing 17

Concrete.creativewriting@uea.ac.uk

one blind, one deaf — gus edgar

photo wall — tony allen Binded by me blinded I fell behind did I, dead eye. Dead eye disclosed this exposed globe close to closed, I sigh.  On my watch the world watches whirled wishwashes, I wish. hen I look up at my photo wall, Wishing days stopped to stop daze and glaze my eyes glazed, it’s pish. My face smiles down at me I count as a cunt, can’t canter, see I see my stupid stupor, my eyes sear. Forty-two times. Sear the lively life I’ve loved and lived here, Hear, Hear! At least I can hear. If only those in the pictures knew, If only the visitors to my room knew, __________________ If only I, myself, knew, About the darkness Deafened I defend dead-ends of death, detest this test I attest. Movies move me move out of mouths licks lips and lapse, into Behind unrest.those smiles. Silence in islands of white wight noise annoys quite quiet I riot, and rot. Rot away and weighed down way down in doubt for grotty ears I forgot. Muffled my muscles ache and ate til gone, the shrill gong is knotted not for me. For me it wavers like waves that weave I bereave in the sea; at least I can see.

W

hide and seek — tom cascarini There is a lot of shouting outside. But Mummy told me to stay in here. Don’t come out, she said. Under any sir-come-stan-says. I am okay. I have Moonlight with me. I am hugging him now. He feels fluffy and nice. Smells of fresh air. It is dark in here. Moonlight is looking at me with one eye. What was that? Bang. Bang. Bang. Was that Mummy? Yes, it was. She’s talking to someone. He does not sound nice. At all. I don’t like him. He talks weird. He said.. hail? Is it hailing outside? No, don’t hit Mummy, please! Don’t come out the cupboard, Jack. You stay in here with Moonlight, where you are safe. There is a long line of light. It is so bright. Oh, I do want to come out so badly! But Mummy said I must not. I hear that man. He sounds heavy as he walks. I’m scared, Mummy. Oh help me, please! He’s here. He is here in the room. I can hear him now. Will he go soon? He is making the floor shake. The light keeps going out. It keeps becoming black. He is blocking out the light. I keep not being able to see anything. Ow, I hurt! I have a hurt all over. I cannot move. Mummy said not to move. This cupboard is so small. Don’t look behind the shelf, you horrid man! Stay away from me! Mummy, make the nasty man go away! Is he going? I cannot hear him. What was that sound? I heard a thing. Was that the man? Did you take away my friends? Did you steal my neighbours too? Did you take them all away? Keep away from me, you horrid, horrid man! Don’t go, Moonlight. Please. I love you, Moonlight. Stay with me. I think I hear him. He is leaving. He is going now. I can get out. I can go find Mummy. Mummy, where are you? The nasty man is gone now. Mummy? Where have you gone, Mummy? Mummy! Mummy. You left your gold star behind. Illustrations by Hugo Douglas-Deane Photos by Hugo Douglas-Deane


Gaming 19

Concrete.gaming@uea.ac.uk

pokemon go get drunk

Ryan Thorpe and Chrisp Shirley Pokémon Go took the world by storm last summer, but it has experienced a rapid decrease in players in the previous few months. But we believe we have a solution to this lull: add booze. We all know that drinking makes everything better, so why not combine the two? Whether you’re on a pub crawl, finishing your predrinks on the road, or enjoying a refreshing beverage in your local tavern, this game will keep the drinks flowing. Drink 1 finger - For every Pokéball used to catch a Pokémon. - For every Pokéball you get from a Pokéstop. - Distribute 1 finger for every Normal type Pokémon you catch. - Distribute 1 finger to each

Gotta drink ‘em all - If the “GPS signal not found” warning appears.

player if you use a Lure Module (you mooching bastards using my lure). Drink 2 fingers - If a Pokémon runs away from you. - For every Razz Berry you get from a Pokéstop. - Every time a Pokémon escapes a Pokéball. - Distribute 2 fingers if you catch a new Pokémon. Drink 3 fingers - For every Potion or Revive you get from a Pokéstop.

- If you hatch an Egg. - If a captured Pokémon transforms into a Ditto. - If you use an Incense or a Lucky Egg. - Distribute 3 fingers between the other players when your buddy gets a candy. - Distribute 3 fingers if you get a new Pokémon via evolution. Drink 4 fingers - If you give up trying to catch a Pokémon. - For every Egg you get from a Pokéstop. - If a Pokéstop says “Try Again Later”

Drink 5 fingers - If a gym you are defending is taken down. - If you level up. - If you disconnect from the server. - Distribute 5 fingers between the other players if you get an achievement. Down it - If another player in the drinking game takes down a gym you are defending. - The first person to catch a Pikachu must sing the Pokémon theme song while the other players down their drinks. - If you hatch a Baby Pokémon. - If you buy any items from the Shop (you sweaty prick).

Maverick reviews: Mirrors edge a retro review of a spectactular throwback Jovi Maskell Just over 8 years after its release, Mirror’s Edge is still one of the most memorable games of my youth. Returning to it today, it continues to be one of the most fluid in the

genre, despite being one of the earliest inspirations for the trend of movement and free-running in games today. There are few games that I ever care to replay and

fewer still that fill me with joy at every turn, but this is definitely amongst them. There’s a near endless joy in perfecting your movement through a level, always a high score time to beat, a way to take less damage or be more efficient with takedowns and ample room for experimentation.

The flow of the movement, that soundtrack that I continue to listen to today, the stunning art direction. The beautiful reds offset against that dusty Martian landscape…the endless blood mixed with the thumping METAL, the visceral endless SCREAMS OF THE DYING AND THE DAMNED…shit I was playing DOOM wasn’t I? oh well…

10/10 Would play DOOM again.

Photo Credits: YouTube, Spyrus lolis + Wikicommons, EA DICE, en:Game Freak


20 Gaming

Concrete.gaming@uea.ac.uk

Review: dating lessons Become the neckbeard of your dreams with a few simple steps helen jones As a heterosexual female in a long-term relationship I can’t say that I have often found myself pondering over how to get with multiple women. But naturally, when I came across Dating Lessons in the run up to Valentine’s day, my curiosity was piqued. The game, starring none other than dating coach Magic Leone, promised me not only the secrets of how to sleep with lots of women, but even how to get my ex-girlfriend back – lucky me! Alright, I might be being a little tongue-incheek here. The truth is that I thought this game would be a hilarious way to poke fun at the pick-up artist mind-set, but the reality was that the game barely gave me enough material to do so. In fact, the “game” has practically no material at all. Dating Lessons by Cerevrum inc. offers an educational “dating training” VR experience: a “comprehensive program on how to generate attraction”, and the ability to practice these lessons by talking to women in “realistic” virtual environments, all while in the comfort of your own home. The problem is that while Cerevrum appear to make a concerted effort to advertise their game in a positive, confidence-

building, and respectful light the game itself, and Magic’s own lessons, still come off as creepy, seedy, and insidious. Part of the issue is that the practice sessions don’t remotely contain the interactivity or the believability that the website promises. In the ‘humour’ practice session I am told to make jokes at the blonde hologram of a woman in front of me, but it doesn’t matter what I say. Even if I say nothing at all the model will laugh politely as soon as I indicate that I am done, and a heart meter rushes up to a random percentage to tell me how well I’m doing. Unsurprisingly, this does not help me feel like I’m learning how to flirt with women. Even worse, it’s clear that even to the most desperate person it’s unavoidably apparent that your actions don’t matter and the praise heaped upon you is false. How that improves someone’s self-confidence is beyond me. Next I get to stand around in a studio as I watch Magic on a screen, standing next to a woman in a park, as he demonstrates the correct way to touch a woman’s hair. If you’d asked me I would have told you to that there is no correct way to touch

a stranger’s hair, but Magic disagrees. Later I find myself on a street corner being introduced to the same blonde woman as before. Her name is Jessica and she’s a lawyer from California, but Magic assures me that her actual answers to my questions don’t matter – we’re just gathering information to use later. Then I get to try complimenting her dress, and am told that the best way to do this is by “value framing”: I say that it’s a nice dress, and imply that I usually have great conversations with women who are interested in fashion. Magic tells me that the compliment and its implied expectation mean that “if she does not continue to act this way then she risks losing value in my eyes”, so I’m encouraging her to “comply with my requests”. How romantic! By this point I was feeling rather sickened by the dehumanising approach that Dating Lessons recommends. But worse than that, I was enraged by the sheer lack of content or care put into the game itself. The practice sessions are as hollow as the girl’s programmed responses, when the audio isn’t bugging out the theory lessons are little more than boring,

padded out youtube videos, and there simply is no ending or final goal at the end of your eleven sessions. It just stops. But what angers me most isn’t the gross objectifying approach to picking up women, or even the shoddy lack of content that the game provides, it’s the exploitative manipulation of the vulnerable customers who actually think they need help learning to talk to women. This game is simply conning desperate people out of their money, and so since it took less than two hours to play, I’m refunding it. With all sincerity, I hope that you all have a great Valentine’s Day whether you’re hanging out with friends, seeing someone special, or just taking time off for some self-care. Nobody should ever feel like they can’t go and have a genuine conversation with somebody new, and nobody should ever think that giving money to Magic Leone is a way to accomplish that. Gaming communities have a lot to offer in regards to dating advice, connecting with others, and building new relationships, but this game does not represent that.

Photo Credits: Kirsty McAlpine Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


Gaming 21

Concrete.gaming@uea.ac.uk

Meet ‘N’ Fuck Kingdom Because it’s the sex issue Kirsty McAlpine Meet n Fuck Kingdom is one of the main titles of the Meet n Fuck series, currently available to play for free on Newgrounds. As a simple flash game, the player must collect the correct ingredients for a potion required to cure the king’s impotence, usually as a reward for finding hot anime women and ploughing them. These hot women include the queen herself, an elven tavern owner, an inn maid, and a witch. Only by finding and banging all of the women in the game can you complete the potion, and earn the appreciation of the king and his subjects. Your name is also Murray, which I don’t really get. The first thing one notices about Meet n Fuck Kingdom is the beautiful art style. The creator of the game is clearly an accomplished manga artist, and this accomplishment manifests itself in some of the best drawn anime characters available on the online flash game community today. It’s clear than an extraordinary amount of effort went into the design of this title, and, as I clicked my way through to the

first bang, I couldn’t help but appreciate the attention to detail and the incredible display of talent on offer. The animation is (on the whole) very smooth, the girls move in ways one could consider to be almost realistic, and the artwork is very neat and visually appealing. The lead up to the strange, clunky intercourse is simple enough: the player is given three options of dialogue with which they can woo their target. These options tend to follow three main themes: rude, sexually aggressive, and socially acceptable. Clicking the right series of dialogue options will lead to sex. What’s amusing is that most of the socially acceptable options are lies. For example, when approaching the queen, you are encouraged to lie and claim that the king told you to pork her. It’s quite

uncomfortable. It’s even more uncomfortable when you approach his barely-of-age daughter and claim that you have been sent by the king to teach her how to please her future husband. I didn’t enjoy that. On the spectrum of morality, that probably sits on the more dubious side. If you have any respect for women or are indeed a woman yourself, you might be quite hesitant to accept the behaviour you see in this game. Alternatively, it’s quite funny in all its desperation, so you might also love it for the same reason. Sex in Meet n Fuck Kingdom is approached mechanically, with little mutual benefit. Sexual satisfaction is achieved by filling a bar on the side of the screen, and achieved by moving through the ‘stages’ of intercourse. By touching the woman in the correct sequence, one can complete foreplay and move onto the actual sex. The player will begin with their schlong out in the open, and, as the bar increases, will be able to push things further towards a climax: slow vaginal intercourse, hard vaginal intercourse, slow anal intercourse, and hard anal intercourse. The women don’t typically show signs of achieving orgasm unless in a rare circumstance that it might also be visually sexy (i.e. if the female lactates

upon orgasm), and the lack of attention to the female partner is a notable disappointment. The sex scenes are somewhat appealing to look at but the obvious neglect does stick in the back of your mind. Maybe. I guess it depends on your outlook. To conclude on my review, I must state that the games themselves were quite entertaining. Being sat with my friends, clicking through the options, we laughed pretty much non-stop. I can definitely appreciate it as a tongue-in-cheek mockery of selfish and negligent sexual partners, but as a simulation of real sex, it is pretty uncomfortable. I don’t want to bleat about unrealistic expectations of women, but if you expect to be allowed to fling yourself lubelessly onto the dirt path with a complete stranger, you’re probably going to have a bad time. Photo Credits: Wikicommons, Illustration byPaul Kirsty McAlpine. Tanemori, Mercuri


Television 23

Concrete.Television@uea.ac.uk

Queer representation in TV ‘Inclusion for inclusion’s sake is not representation’

Rachel Innes When simply looking at the statistics, queer characters on TV are more prevalent than ever before. Most shows will feature a queer character at some point, and it is not really a surprise to audiences anymore. However, this is not enough. Inclusion for inclusion’s sake is not representation. If you are writing in queer characters only to deliver ‘sassy’ remarks, or create relationship drama or, as was overwhelmingly the case in 2016, kill them off for shock value, then you are doing absolutely nothing for the LGBTQ+ community.

New show Riverdale, an adaptation of the classic Archie comics that sells itself as a One Tree Hill meets Twin Peaks, hits you over the head with the camp, scathing gay best friend trope within its opening ten minutes, and does nothing but perpetuate the age-old idea that queer (male) characters are only there to drool over the straight lead and provide sharp commentary on the storylines without ever actually being fully emerged in the plot themselves. Some shows, of course, do manage to get it right. I was an absolute wreck when midwife Patsy Mount was written out of Call the Midwife the other week to care for her dying father in Hong Kong. I was

devastated not simply because I might possibly be endlessly in love with her, or that she was one of a few regular lesbian characters on TV, or even that she left her secret girlfriend Delia behind. No, it was because Patsy is one of the rare queer characters on TV who is fully-realised outside of her queerness. We see how she has been shaped by her childhood experiences at a prisoner of war camp, resulting in the death of her mother and sister, and her career as a competent nurse, as well as her friendships with the women around her. We get to see all of that, as well as the struggle she has being a lesbian in a time when such a thing was not spoken of. It was so hard to see her go because of how incredibly rare it is to see complex, well-written queer characters like this. Other examples include Supergirl, a brightlycoloured, fun, not always well-written, romp of a show. Though the show certainly struggles structurally at times, the recent storyline involving Supergirl’s sister, Alex, who, realising she’s gay and analysing her experiences with compulsory heterosexuality has been, frankly, nothing short of ground-breaking. The late, great Person of Interest also did the unheard of and, influenced by positive fan

response, made the decision to romantically involve their two female leads, giving us an amazing series-long queer storyline between a bisexual, neuro-divergent, woman of colour and a lesbian villainturned-somewhat reluctant hero. But even these impressive shows suffer from neglecting queer characters. Both Call the Midwife and Supergirl, whilst featuring amazing queer characters in Patsy and Alex, side-line the characters respective love interests, Delia and Maggie. The departure of Patsy will hopefully allow Delia more focus, but Maggie, despite being a regular in season two of Supergirl, and a cop in a city full of crime and extraterrestrial drama, has not yet been given a storyline outside of her relationship with Alex. There is nothing wrong with including secondary minority characters, but if these characters are the only minority characters in their shows, then all it does is send the message that queer individuals or people of colour do not deserve to have their stories take centre stage. And not only is this just plain wrong, but also wildly irresponsible. Queer individuals deserve to have their stories told, and it is time that TV gives us the platform to do so through the inclusion of regular, complex queer characters. Illustrated by Dougie Dodds


Concrete.television@uea.ac.uk

24

Television

First Dates

Katie Broadbent When First Dates swooned onto our screens in 2013, audiences were captivated by maître d’ Fred’s suave suits and heart-melting opinions on love. With his team of restaurant staff; CiCi, Laura, Sam, and bartender, Merlin, they have been serving mouthwatering dishes and

romantic advice to those on blind dates for four years now. This year though, the staff packed their bags and flew to the sunny south of France. Moving from a central London restaurant, to Province, the staff currently occupy a fourstar luxury hotel. A 13thcentury building overlooking a picturesque valley in the Castillon-du-Gard village, with hot sunny climates (and the occasional thunder storm), the venue is the perfect metaphor for love. Location aside, there are new staff too. Receptionist Julia, and wine-expert Xavier, assemble with Fred’s old cupids to assist hopeful singletons in finding a holiday romance. Just like First Dates, the couple will first lock eyes in the hotel’s restaurant for a delicious meal, and awkward conversation. If love seems on the cards, they will then stay overnight in the hotel and go on a second date the following day. Second dates on the show have included thus far; a romantic bike

ride, a trip to the local village market, and even a champagne picnic with life drawing. Yet for those unlucky singletons who do not fall for one another, sadly, they are sent home straightaway, with not even a quick dip in the pool to cool down from the scorching burns of their failed date.

we continue to entertain ourselves by watching hopeful lovers sweat under the steamy pressures of the First Dates Hotel in hope that they find their perfect match. You can catch First Dates Hotel on Monday’s at 9pm, Channel 4.

With all expenses paid for, it is no surprise that applicants for the show have swarmed in. All ages are welcome; from nineteenyear-olds searching for their first holiday romance, to sixty-year-olds who are looking to add that next chapter of love to their life - all are welcome to stay at the First Dates Hotel. If you have been captivated by the thought of an all-inclusive romantic rendezvous, unfortunately applications are currently closed. However, the hotel still operates all year round, with an average night setting you back between £98-£257 a night, if you are able to save a few pennies from your student loan. Whilst we wait for applications to re-open,

Image Credit: Flickr - Kevin Dooley, Ashley Campbell, Per Olesen


Television 25

Concrete.television@uea.ac.uk

Oldie But goldie John Hurt

Hannah Brown If you had a childhood like mine, you grew up with a wizard called Merlin and a very grumpy dragon voiced by the brilliant John Hurt. The dragon is a character I can remember so well, despite not having watched the show for years, and his voice is so distinctive that it could only be one person. Merlin has, and always will be, a pivotal show for me; something I used to watch continually in childhood, the Great Dragon will always have a place in my heart.

needed to fulfil the role; a Doctor both remembered and forgotten.

And of course, we cannot speak of Hurt without speaking of Ollivander from Harry Potter. The Einstein-esque character moves Harry (and all of us witches and wizards, of course) to his journey in the wizarding world. The story would not be the same without him. Hurt managed to be a part of the three on-screen performances that have shaped my life, playing some of my favourite characters on screen. It may come as a surprise to some to find that Hurt lived and died in Cromer, Norfolk – a seaside town less than an hour’s train from UEA.

In 2013, the plot twists of Doctor Who revealed that there had been another Doctor, the ‘War Doctor’. Hurt, with his raggedy appearance, gravelly voice, and puppy eyes full of years past, stepped up and won us over with the anger and yet also the compassion

His talent and many TV and film roles will be remembered all over the world. Image Credit: Wikimedia, David Shankbone

Broadchurch Beth Papworth The ITV thriller is moving away from the murder mystery angle and entering a new realm of investigating sexual abuse. Broadchurch fans are currently waiting the return of the show for its third series to be released later this February. Carefully thought out and executed, the executive producer Jane Featherstone has said that the show is set three years on from the last series, five years on from the start. This will not be a rushed and poorly devised program because Chris Chibnall, the series writer

Returns this February has said that it is not about another body on another beach. Rather, Chibnall is in the process of producing television drama that is sensitive and appropriate, with a different type of story that is set in the same world. It is taking a completely different approach by looking at a different kind of crime, shedding light on sexual assault as an offense that is not taken lightly. There is so much to look forward to with David Tennant starring as the irascible Alec Hardy alongside Olivia Colman, who is playing DS

Ellie Miller. These two adored television actors return with the supporting cast Arthur Darvill (vicar Paul Coates) as well as Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan, who played the role of Danny’s bereaved parents, Beth and Mark. In the previous series they gave an emotional performance and it is exciting to welcome their return later this month. Season three is set to be the most diverse and emotionally stimulating show yet as former Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondalgh, who plays Trish, the victim of the

assault is the main focus of the show. Bringing a familiar actress into a thrilling, crime setting is bound to keep fans talking. Series creator, Chibnall has insisted that the third series of Broadchurch will be the last, with the writer set to replace Steven Moffat as showrunner on Doctor Who from 2018. It is a show that I am looking forward to that will keep me on the edge of my seat. Shedding a tear or two, it is going to be a series to remember.

Image Credit: Wikimedia, Bob and Anne Powell


Concrete.music@uea.ac.uk

26 Music

SEX SELLS

OBJECTIFICATION VS. EMPOWERMENT Georgina Hewison ‘

Sex drives the music industry. It has done from the beginnings of rock and roll in the 50s to the rise of disco music in the 70s. But with the shift in how we interact with music now, the emphasis on desirability is now greater than ever. With unlimited access to images of musicians through music videos, TV appearances, or a social media presence, comes more exposure to an artist’s image. Young adults, the main market for popular music, are increasingly accepting of sex and their bodies; something that is reflected in content for almost all genres, with artists cashing in on providing us with soundtracks to our promiscuous doings. In this sense, the music industry is just another part of a society saturated with hypersexualized images trying to sell us something. But, when does sex in the music industry cross the line into themes of sexual objectification and aggression?

to have sex with an artist can be seen as controversial as these women are portrayed as passive objects, relaying the message that women are easily attained and that they exist for the sole reason to please men. This theme also crosses into sexual aggression as lyrics normalize rape culture. Rick Ross and Future’s ‘UEONO’ speaks of their power through money and fame, rapping “put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it / I took her home and enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it”. With

pop/rock band Maroon 5, Adam Levine sings of hunting down women like “animals”, with a music video that promotes stalker tendencies and violence with sexual reward. These messages mixed up with portraying an image of success and respectability further masks the implications of rape involved in this content. However, this outlook ignores the power that female artists can carry with their own sexuality. Popular artists such as Madonna, Rhianna,

and Gwen Stefani have fought this passive stigma by using their sexuality to empower. Rapper Nicki Minaj’s lyrics are filled with references to sexual acts performed by men, judging their pleasing power, and stating her dominance over her male counterparts. In her music video for ‘Only’, portrayals of dominatrix introduce Minaj’s verse, speaking of denying featured Drake and Lil Wayne’s desires to have sex with her, and celebrating her “big titties, big butt, too” as a tool of power. Fighting music’s emphasis on sexuality as a whole are female-fronted indie and punk rock bands, who without the hypersexualized image, take control of their own pleasure. Frontwoman of new-to-the scene fourpiece Estrons, Taliesyn Källström expresses sexual dominance in ‘Make A Man’, singing “I’d like to fuck you and fuck you, I’d like to make a man of you”. Female punk rock duo, Honeyblood explore sexual independence in ‘Sea of Hearts’, while their music video portrays a naked woman discovering sex for the first time at a party.

R&B artist, The Weeknd thrives off of a reputation based on his partying habits and the women he meets doing so - strippers and coked-out rich girls with “lips like Angelina, and ass like Selena”. The majority of Schoolboy Q’s videos are filled with slow motion shots of women in bikinis, rubbing their bodies over him while he raps about all the women he has in relation to his credibility as an artist. This consistent need to brag about the amount of ‘bitches’ willing

While these resistant bands may not have the selling power of Rhianna’s sexual appeal or desirable lifestyle of The Weeknd, there is power in a growing number of artists making clear the blurred lines of sex in the industry. Sex, indeed, sells, but there are positive, forward-thinking ways for the industry to do this. Illustration by Emily Mildren with permission from the model


Music 27 NEW RELEASES

Nick MAson All These Countless Nights Deaf Havana

Concrete.Music@uea.ac.uk

BUSTED THe lcr @

With All These Countless Nights, Deaf Havana’s fourth full length effort, there is not a note out of place. Wonderful guitar work, brilliant lyricism and soaring melodies make this a record that hits, every song blending everything the band have released. After Old Souls, an underrated album in my opinion but hated by many others, Deaf Havana were written off as a joke, early 20-somethings with no real place in a changing music scene. That isn’t the case anymore.

Tony ALlen

I

can’t be the only one who cried a little when Busted announced their reunion tour, Pigs Can Fly, last year. When they announced they were coming to UEA for a two-night special I was far too excited to see them, more than any normal 23-yearold should be. It was the chance to relive my year nine glory days and finally sing along with Charlie about crushing on Mrs Robinson. I received the album Night Driver in the post about a week before the gig and decided to give it a test run: three songs in I was bored and switched back to ‘Crash the Wedding’, dancing around the room and singing until my flatmate told me to shut up. I left the CD in the car and promptly forgot about it’s existence.

Fin Syd

Syd’s personal writing and smooth vocals switch between the assured on ‘Nothin to Somethin’ and ‘All About Me’, and the tender on closing track ‘Insecurities’ and sensual second single ‘Body’, the album’s highlight. Another standout track is ‘Dollar Bills’, which features a verse from Internet guitarist Steve Lacy, who also appears among the stellar cast of producers. A successful exercise in developing Syd’s own artistic identity.

MORE GIG SHOTS: CONCRETE-ONLINE.CO.UK

Yet, the night of the gig it was clear that I wasn’t the only fan who hadn’t bothered listening to their album all the way through. The evening began with support act, The Natives. I hadn’t heard of them before, but their music was catchy and I found myself tunelessly singing along by the end of their set. Then came the moment that the crowd had been waiting for. Charlie,


28 Music

Concrete.music@uea.ac.uk

Georgina Hewison Yesterday’s Gone Loyle Carner

WHAT WE WENT TO SCHOOL FOR . . .

Matt and James came on to the stage to the sound of audible swoons from the crowd: it may be over a decade since their debut, but they still have it. Busted opened with three songs from their new album and the crowd politely bobbed along, swaying and pretending to know the words. Then they switched to an old classic ‘Air Hostess’, from their 2003 album A Present for Everyone and the crowd lost it (myself included). Swaying energetically and belting the lyrics at the top of my lungs, I felt as if I was in high school again: all that was missing was my blue mascara and black waistcoat. Four minutes later it was back to the title track of the album ‘Night Driver’ and the polite bobbing returned. A few hard core fans at the front sang along, but a lot of people at the back used this down time to head the bar and stock up on drinks. The rest of the gig continued much the same way, the classics balanced out with new music. The crowd would scream along with the classics (“You stupid lying bitch, who’s David?!”) only to sway mildly to the new songs. By the end of the gig it was all

beginning to feel a bit forced. I had had my 2000s fix, but found myself getting bored whenever a new song came on — perhaps I should have done my homework a bit better. Whilst the boys danced about the stage when performing their old songs, they stood motionless behind synthesisers, heads banging, as they belted out their new material — and I’m not sure I can quite forgive Charlie for forgetting some of the words to the classics. James barely moved from behind his keyboard all evening — I missed the spiky-haired rockers who use to outrageously flip their way across the stage and at these points, I was grateful for the saxophone player that stole the show every time he appeared. Perhaps I’m not as hard core a fan as I used to be, or perhaps I’m perpetually stuck in 2003, but let’s be honest, the sequel is never quite as good as the original. Busted, I love you, you were what I went to school for, but perhaps it’s time to graduate and move on. WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY: MEGAN BAYNES

Yesterday’s Gone is an impressive introduction to Croydon-native Loyle Carner, his signature softspoken rhymes telling intimate vignettes of family, love, and his own downfalls. Playful skits, spoken word and a heartfelt poem by his mum add depth and distinguish Carner from most of the UK hip-hop scene. But, it is his eclectic sample choices that make his debut a worthwhile listen; a powerful gospel choir in ‘Isle of Arran’, electric guitar riffs, a range of jazz and soul and an acoustic guitar finale lift his heavy themes.

Dom CLarke Modern Ruin

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes

Frank Carter has once again proven that he can reinvent himself as he moves away from the hardcore style of previous album Blossom and towards the more radio-friendly sound of Modern Ruin. The album still manages to embrace his trademark anger but with acoustic track ‘Bluebelle’ - and a move to much cleaner singing and larger stadium-style choruses - it is clear that he has chosen to take a further step away from his Gallows roots.


Music 29

Concrete.music@uea.ac.uk

songs of sex

claud letts

Music can represent a meaningful moment in your life, something indescribable by words, much like sex. Here are the songs to listen to when making love...

aggravated and uncontained vocals leave no doubt to the imagination concerning his attraction to Yoko Ono.

‘Darling Nikki’ - prince

You might recognise this song from Friends when Ross and Rachel first make love. Also, check out the video, which is reminiscent of the beach scene in From Here to Eternity.

Prince’s music was designed to get you into bed. The raw, live feel of the song is engineered deliberately compared to the romantic, corny feel to Purple Rain.

‘I Wanna Be Yours' - arctic monkeys AM is full of sexy and romantic classics, but it’s this slow pounding finale that sets itself apart: “Secrets I have held in my heart/Are harder to hide than I thought”.

‘Pull up to the Bumper’ grace jones The possessive thump to this funk classic oozes sex. As well as lyrics such as “Pull up to my bumper baby/Drive it in between”.

‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’ the beatles Lennon John was passionat e and musically sexually. His

‘wicked game - christ isaak

‘Je T’Aime…Moi Non Plus’ serge gainsborough Condemned by the Vatican as being offensive, and banned in numerous countries thanks to the sounds of a female orgasm. Gainsbourg labelled this “the ultimate love song”.

‘Let’s Get It On’ - marvin gaye A close toss-up between Sexual Healing and Let’s Get It On, the latter scrapes it. Gaye’s soulful voice embodies the liberation of sex and all its pleasures.

‘Lay Lady Lay’ - bob dylan This song about forbidden love was intended for Midnight Cowboy in 1969; a film about a young cowboy who moves to New York in pursuit of older prostitutes.

Illustrations by Lois Young

beth ramsay If you’re a little bashful in bed, curating a sex playlist may seem like a daunting and downright sleazy mission to undertake. And yet you might just find that, armed with a set of tunes perfected for a night of getting down n’ dirty, you’ve been missing out all along. Here are a few of my top jams to throw on as the clothes are coming off...

‘Cry to me’ – Solomon Burke If you’re feeling bewildered as to where to start on your sexy sonic journey, a top tip is to steal one from the movies. This 1962 gospel gem is nestled in what may be one of the best film soundtracks of all time, Dirty Dancing. And who could ask for more than a shirtless, oh-so-attractive Patrick Swayze?

‘Ball White

and Biscuit‘ – The Stripes

With all their bizarre brother/sister or husband/ wife mythology, The White Stripes’ Jack and Meg White are one seriously dynamic duo. If you can cultivate just a little of their charisma heard in the sleazy slur of guitar licks and crashing drums, I’d say you’re in for a hell of a good night.

‘Dancing Barefoot’ – Patti Smith Time for some truly kickass girl power. There’s something entirely intoxicating about Patti’s gravelly, unapologetically deep drawl in this song which will make you wanna take charge. Give this a spin and prepare to feel empowered, my barefoot young friends.

‘Your Flesh Is So Nice’ – Jeff Buckley It may be that you’ve only heard Jeff Buckley’s warbling vocals in his famed cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’. And while that’s certainly swoon-worthy in its sweetness, this is as spicy as it gets. Definitely one to keep restricted to the bedroom zone.

‘Foxey Lady’ – Jimi Hendrix I will declare anyone to a duel who doesn’t agree that Mr. Jimi Hendrix wasn’t one of the sexiest specimens this here planet Earth has ever seen. I mean, the man could play guitar with his teeth. And if that doesn’t convince you, give this insanely sultry groove a listen and you’ll be down for some lovin’ in no time.


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