A note from the editor
“The unexpected March snow fall along with the continued disruption caused by the strikes has meant this semester has been a particulary unusual one” -Tom Bedford
Deputy Editor It seems that our previous editorials about the onset of spring were a little premature! As such, I will not mention the weather or the seasons in this editorial. All has been sunny in the film industry recently, with Film editor Gus giving us his perspective on the recent Berlinale Film Festival on page 7, and the annual movie talking-point, the Academy Awards, being covered on page 9. The office has been engulfed in fierce debate about the latter this week! We’ve seen student artists spring in to action this week too. Our central features spread on page 14 and 15 showcases some amazing student ‘zines, with an amazing range of art and creative pieces shown. The passion and talent of students is incredible! On page 5 we interview two students who’ve started their own theatre company, which is equally impressive! There is an impressive deficit of negative articles through all the sections this week, and it’s great to see that people won’t let the mid-semester blues rain on their parade. Have a good week everyone!
With a gorgeous snow scene as our front cover, and a collage of students’ best snow pictures on page 30 (my personal favourite is Daniel Finch’s photograph of a semi-frozen lake) it’s hard to believe this is our last issue of Venue before Easter. But this was the most picturesque snowfall I have seen in all my four years of living in Norwich – my Instagram feed was full of beautiful snowcovered Norwich for a good three days – so, here at Venue, we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to showcase some of UEA’s best amateur weather photographers. The unexpected March snow-fall, along with the continued disruption caused by the strikes, has meant this semester has been a particularly unusual one. For many students, the absence of routine has been extremely frustrating – but it’s also been a great time to spend time doing the things that normally get pushed aside in favour seminar reading. I have spent many a chilly afternoon in Café Nero writing (for fun!) and reading a good book, all whilst enjoying a caramel shortbread. And it seems Venue’s writers have also been making the most of their free time: this issue, we’ve got some great articles ranging from photojournalism to beauty banks, from foreign films to an interview with local band Ducking Punches. And of course, despite the unexpected arrival of the Beast from the East, Easter is on the way (and I’ve got the one-pound bunches of daffodils from the Coop in my room to prove it.) So, with a whole month of free time ahead, now is the time to get creative; whether that means dusting off your camera, getting your paint brushes out, or just reading that book you that’s been gathering dust on your shelf. So, happy Easter from Venue. I hope it’s a creative one!
Arts Editor - Mireia Molina Costa Film Editor - Gus Edgar Fashion Editor - Leah Marriott Creative Writing Editor - Saoirse Smith - Hogan
Venue Editor Gaming Editor - Amy Nash Television Editor - Dan Struthers Music Editor - Nick Mason
Arts and Design Assistant - Emily Mildren
13th March 2018
Emily Hawkins takes a look at the powerful artistic tool of photojournalism
Sara Lapinova reviews Lady Bird, which “bursts with charm”
Charlotte Manning sheds light on beauty banks, an important aid for those living in poverty
Nick Mason talks to Ducking Punches and reviews their recent gig
Harry Routley reminisces on the Sly Cooper games and their enduring appeal
Joel Shelley explains why Legion should be the next show you watch
Front and back cover credit: Juliette Rey
Saoirse Smith-Hogan tells us the story of the moon and her stars
The creators of student ‘zines show you the fruits of their hard work
Photojournalism: documenting suffering
“A picture can tell a thousand words” isn’t something, as someone in the industry of words, I usually think about. But behind the genericness of the statement, there is a truth. The writer Susan Sontag wrote in the 1980s that “today everything exists to end in a photograph,” and almost forty years later, this is truer than ever. Established news organisations can now reach an audience of billions through social media and their own networks, whilst the rise of “citizen journalism” has seen people take news reporting into their own hands via sites like Twitter. Today, we are more visually focused: where bloody pictures from conflicts or moments of uncontrolled grief used to be a novelty on the evening news, now they are constant and all around us. “To photograph people is to violate them, by seeing them as they never see themselves, by having knowledge of them that they can never have; it turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed,” Sontag said. The Vietnam War was a turning point for journalism; the horrors of a modern war were immediately exported to a widespread audience for the first
time. Professor Liam Kennedy writes that, with on-the-ground reporters on television, photojournalism “constructed a visual grammar for looking at Vietnam”. Helicopters, young men in the US army, injured children running down the streets and damaged landscapes all became fast emblems of the conflict. “In a war of confusing patterns, resistant to conventional forms of interpretation, it often proved to be the still photograph rather than the moving image that framed and defined moments of insight and brought some clarity to the scenery of confusion,” Professor Kennedy wrote. The most famous photographs of the war were taken by American photographers, with relatively few photographs from North Vietnamese combat photographers being published. An increased availability of technology across the globe has meant that now, many caught up in war zones are able to control the presentation of suffering. Bana al-Abed, a Syrian child from Aleppo, has documented her family’s experiences of airstrikes in the country through Twitter. Some, though, have questioned the validity of the account.
Photojournalists have been at the receiving end of criticism in the past, not asking for the consent of those pictured or not sharing the profits of a particular image if it ends up having a widespread reach. National Geographic’s famous image of an Afghan girl with striking green eyes, taken at a Pakistani refugee camp during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, was scrutinised after the photographer Steve McCurry did not ask the subject’s name. Ultimately, National Geographic found Gula, the girl in the picture, in the early 2000s after years of looking. They paid for her family’s medical costs in addition to the foundation of the charity Afghan Girls Fund, aimed at improving education opportunities for young women. In other cases, this has not happened. In a war zone, there often isn’t time to check names after all. As Sontag said, “Just as a camera is a sublimation of the gun, to photograph someone is a subliminal murder – a soft murder, appropriate to a sad, frightened time.”
Images: (left) Photo by Steve McCurry, Olaf Torsu, Flickr; (centre) Photo by Dorothea Lange, trialsanderrors, Flickr; (right) Wikimedia Commons, Adn Montalvo Estrada.
The short story: undeservedly undervalued
Over the last ten years, I have attempted to build up the most extensive knowledge I can manage (without those pesky life distractions getting in the way) of the short story form and its variety of modern and early writers. A shattered attention span, combined with a desire for fiction to be shorter and pack a bit of a punch led me into the wonderful, and often quite bizarre, world of the short story.
And why? I’ll tell you why. Because short stories are that perfect length wherein barely any action can take place, but you finish reading feeling like you’ve been spun upside down and around repeatedly on an emotional rollercoaster. They could consist of just a page worth of text, but you could experience the same sort of reader satisfaction that one would get after finishing a five-hundred-page novel.
Pretty much all of your favourite authors have tried their hand at short story writing at some point in their career, but very few have actually made a name for themselves as successful short story writers in addition to being novelists. Authors such as Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, and Sylvia Plath immediately spring to mind as writers who have achieved this almost impossible juggling, some stories of which have led to successful movie and radio adaptations.
As well as authors who dabble in the form, there are also those who have built a career around writing short stories. Regrettably, however, writers like Shirley Jackson, Katherine Mansfield, Ray Bradbury and Ben Okri tend to receive less credibility due to the relative unpopularity of the short story as a medium. Some think that this is due, not to a lack of writing quality, but to a supposed long-standing academic view that the short story is a bit inferior to the
Sean Bennett and Keelan Swift-Stalley are two second year students who, alongside Ruby Lambert (Birmingham City University), run their very own theatre company, Inkwell Productions Limited. I sat down with them for a quick chat about the origins of Inkwell productions, their upcoming shows, and the direction they plan on taking their company.
a base in “small, immersive, intimate productions” with their last show, Waiting for Godot, selling out on the second night. The focus is very much on putting together “high quality shows” and making their productions available across a range of locations.
novel. I, obviously, disagree.
From its roots in fables and fairy tales to its development as fictional pieces in Victorian magazines following a strict word count, it is an important part of literary history, and deserves to be treated as an equally valuable medium. Along with the development of modern technology, the short story can now be accessed in a variety of different forms; the traditional story within a written anthology, a free sample on the old Kindle, or even through an emotive Twitter thread. Perhaps the most prolific medium, however, is the former. There is nothing more weirdly satisfying than a story that begins as soon as your train pulls out of the station, or your bus out of the terminal, and ends – preferably and often – when you need to get off and get on with your life. Very tidy, and
UEA students’ very own theatre company
It all started back in 2014 when the trio were working on a fundraiser whilst at school, under the name of Three Walls Theatre Group. They put together a pantomime-esque production, which they described as “great fun”. Since the 11 January 2017, Inkwell Productions has been an official company which has been designed to allow room for expansion and development. Although the company started with a pantomime, they have now established
Wednesday 14th March will see them take over Bookable Room 1 for their next production Title and Deed (Will Eno), a one-man show that really brings out their dedication to intimate productions. It will be performed by Swift-Stalley himself, who said that was excited at the prospect of working on such an “interesting thing”. The show was chosen by the pair because it “deals with ideas of the other, which is very topical at the moment”. Tickets are £5 and can be purchased at tickets.inkwell@ gmail.com. Another branch of their production
team are working in Cambridge on the production Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, which the pair are equally excited for, despite not working on it personally. But perhaps most exciting is their upcoming production of Uncle Vanya which will take place in Camden as part of a collaboration with another theatre company. Although this is a bigger venue in comparison to their usual shows, the pair are confident that it will retain their Inkwell spirit. In terms of future productions, the company has nothing else officially planned, but are hoping to have another five shows in the diary by September. The pair are really enthusiastic about the company and performing in Norwich itself, assuring me that, “UEA is a really good place to run a theatre company. Lots of very talented actors and technicians… there are some fantastic people to work with.”
Which one tells it better? Prose “No matter how good a phrase or a simile he may have, if he puts it in where it is not absolutely necessary and irreplaceable he is spoiling his work for egotism. Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over.”
we speak or think, often reflecting the progression of our rational thought process which makes it easy for a reader to follow. It is then no wonder why prose is used in everything from storytelling and speeches, to journalism and law. It is accessible to the masses, a perfect form for meditative escapism, and is constantly being reshaped. There is no end to the power of prose.
-Ernest Hemingway Prose gives voice to a limitless array of characters, forming an ensemble of colourfully memorable personas and giving an introspection into the most complex, compelling, and human of minds. Prose creates worlds of endless possibilities, plunging the reader into ski slopes and sand dunes, seascapes and the Spanish countryside, testing the limits of our imaginative power and whisking us away to wherever the writer wishes. Prose is also malleable to suit the author’s purpose: whether they want us to cry or laugh, think and wonder, or see something new in the very world we live in, there is no end to the motivations of a writer and the goals which their work can achieve. Ambiguity exists in prose as it does in all language, but nowhere near the extent of that in poetry. Each and every reader can absorb a piece of prose and make from it their own decisive interpretations and have their own unique and personal reactions. On the other hand, poetry is slippery and often tricky to pin down; some bits of verse can be infinitely perplexing and only serve to give a headache to all but the most astute and intent of scholars. There is therefore no doubt why prose fills the shelves of every bookshop whilst poetry gets only a dusty corner. The former comes in sentences that try to match how
Images: stux, Pixabay.
Poetry “Poetry is the music of the soul, and above all of great and of feeling souls. One merit of poetry few persons will deny; it says more and in fewer words than prose.” –Voltaire Poetry is raw feelings, pure emotions, its naked author and their direct expression, or the sound of the sea under a sunny, windy afternoon. Prose might tell you how to sea sounds, but poetry will make you hear it. As opposed to an often descriptive prose, poetry evokes rather than explains. While sentences can scare a reader, provoke sadness, mystery, or joy, verses throw such emotions so that reader is able to feel directly from the page, rather than understand the feelings depicted. “Don’t be descriptive; remember that the painter can describe a landscape much better than you can, and that he has to know a deal more about it,” said Ezra Pound. Of course, there are many types or poetry. Common patterns such as rhythm, aesthetics, imagery or rhetoric figures are often found in it, which, in excess, might
make a piece seem overly complicated and unnecessarily decorated. However, poetry is no longer restricted to specific forms, and it can also be free, plain, or even simplistic. Take some styles of modernism and imagist poetry, or haiku, for instance. Using the simplest figures, a short poem can present life and make the reader directly experience its evocative emotions. “Soon I’ll find the right words, they’ll be very simple,” Kerouac once wrote. The truth is, not everyone engages with poetry or understands it in the same way, and some poems are indecipherable even after reading them dozens of times. While one might believe a poem is talking about their most inner self and absolutely adore it, others might not understand what the fuss is about. However, perhaps it is such freedom of expression that makes poetry beautiful, allowing specific pieces to engage with specific people only. Poetry’s beauty lies on the fact that, when it is understood, it is understood from the heart.
What’s on in Norwich Fat Friends The Musical 12-17th March - Theatre Royal Photo exhibition by Howard Denner 13-24th March - Anteros Arts Fdn. Carry on Jaywick by Dan Murphy 14h March - Norwich Arts Centre Volta! Poetry & Open-Mic 15th March - The Birdcage Japanese Bookbinding 22nd March - The Forum
Berlinale film fest
Film festivals are the proving ground for new filmic talent, and Berlinale International Film Festival, which took place in Berlin 15-25 February, was no exception. Venue’s roving Film editor Gus Edgar watched over 30 films to find the best of the fest. Here, he shares some of his favourites.
Madeline’s Madeline Josephine Decker’s heady, swooning babble of a film proves that drama classes are just the worst. She’s created a film about the making of a play about the making of her own film, where identity is temporary and power struggles are permanent. Madeline’s Madeline focuses on Madeline, a teenage girl with an unspecified mental disorder. In the opening scene, she’s a cat – next, a turtle, images bleeding into one another and creating an impressionistic collage of the senses. It’s abstract stuff, and would perhaps be alienating if not for the film’s fierce emotional core. This core is anchored by Madeline and her mother, whose concerns over her daughter’s well-being meld the lines between maternal love and paranoia. Complicating matters is Madeline’s pregnant theatre instructor, who clearly sees her as a trial-run daughter, but also the show-piece for her next production. An enthused and compelling take on mental disorder fetishism and power roles, Madeline’s Madeline is so full of wonderful ideas that its protagonist’s headspace seems barren in comparison. Image: BIFF
An Elephant Sitting
In Hicham Lasri’s Moroccan pseudoanthology, no-one is content. There’s a suicidal construction worker who has his death all planned out; a woman, fighting staunchly against her arranged marriage, chained by her feet for fear of escaping her own house; a blind father, who is, ironically, a dedicated racist; and a wife/house servant whose dreams of becoming a belly dancer have all but disappeared.
The best film of Berlinale goes to Hu Bo’s An Elephant Sitting Still, a fourhour electric epic and a staggering achievement in pacing, moodmustering and thematic integration.
These characters, and many more, populate Jahilya’s kooky, half-tragic half-screwball world, where everything is off-kilter (including the camera). Tellingly, the only figure who seems to have fun is a young boy; it’s difficult to know whether he’s too young to understand the gravitas of the violence surrounding him, or if he’s already desensitised to it. Jahilya is a fascinating microcosmic dreamscape. Structured through 12 seemingly randomly separated segments, the narrative is a discombobulating concoction that weaves a furious indictment of the state of its country with plenty of farce, shock, and fancy camerawork.
We follow a day in the life of four discontented individuals through a smog-soaked city in Northern China as their lives intertwine. They each talk of a fable, where an elephant in Manchuria is said to remain still in spite of the mass of spectators that prod and poke at it. It’s a symbol of the apathy that Bo is claiming to have consumed mainland China – yet to these four individuals, it’s a monument of introspection and connection for them to work towards. Novelist-turned-director Hu Bo committed suicide last year at the age of 29, and it’s impossible not to look at his debut – and his magnum opus – through that lens. The four hours fly by before culminating in a rigorously powerful final stretch that sneaks up on you; by the end, you feel both emotionally and physically exhausted.
- Gus Edgar
Lady Bird “bursts with charm”
Lady Bird is a love letter to girls turning into women, and to mothers who love their daughters. Set in 2002 Sacramento, we follow Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan), who is navigating her way through first love, friendship and plans for the future, while breaking and mending bonds with her mother (Laurie Metcalf ). Greta Gerwig’s witty and spirited semi-autobiographical coming of age tale avoids its genre’s traps of clichés and mediocrity through remarkable characters and flawless comic timing, which remains persistent throughout the film and will have you laughing, crying and cringing in equal measure.
The most impeccably crafted aspect of the film however, is the unflinchingly
candid portrayal of its mother-daughter relationship, which makes this debut feature feel like it has been handled by a master filmmaker. Both Lady Bird and her mother are simultaneously endearing and frustrating characters. Their relationship is by no means ideal - it is often painful and flawed - but it is also strong, beautiful, and full of love. It is this three dimensionality that makes this story so human and easy to connect with. Besides Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf ’s sensational performances, Gerwig’s dialogue and pacing make the film come to life. The choice of cuts, which lead us through scenes that don’t always have clear beginnings or endings and flow through snippets of dialogue, make the film feel raw and fresh, and force you to observe Lady Bird’s life the way she observes Sacramento. These brief snapshots also give the impression of a series of scrapbook entries, and build up a sense of bittersweet nostalgia throughout the film. By the end, Lady Bird had me smiling from ear to ear, and I already can’t wait to see it again.
Lady Bird is a film bursting with charm and melancholy and Gerwig does an amazing job of balancing the conventional experiences of coming of age with an explorarion of the concept of identity: what it is, how class shape it, and how it changes. Gerwig depicts the restrictions that Lady Bird feels through her Catholic school without portraying the religious institution as the antagonist. Rather, she shows Lady Bird’s desire to shake herself off this religious background as a way to assert her independence and her desire to outgrow her small-town roots.
Game Night is a non-trivial pursuit
Max ( Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) are an ultra-competitive couple whose weekly game nights are disrupted by Max’s older, more successful brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler). He offers to hold a different sort of game night at his mansion in the hills. Things take a turn for the kidnappy, however, when Brooks is abducted by a pair of men, leaving Max, Annie, and their friends to try and work out what’s part of the game and what isn’t.
the characters become more involved in the criminal underworld. There are brilliant payoffs to running jokes about fight clubs and Denzel Washington, and the film even manages to deliver a new take on the removing-a-bullet-from-your-arm scene. Bateman (playing completely to type) and McAdams (playing completely against type) both give fun, likeable performances, with Lamorne Morris and Sharon Horgan standing out amongst the supporting cast.
There are some clumsy early scenes featuring Jesse Plemons as a creepy, divorced neighbour which don’t bode well, but the laugh count soon begins to rise as
Despite being first and foremost a comedy, Game Night also works as a legitimate thriller, thanks to some solid direction by John Francis Daley and Jonathan
Goldstein. Early establishing shots give the impression that houses and cars are nothing more than pieces on a board, and there is an impressive one-take sequence featuring the frantic handover of a Faberge egg. The plot also takes some surprising twists towards the end which wouldn’t feel out of place in a David Fincher film. There are a fair few jokes that don’t land, but as a fun, action-packed comedy that isn’t afraid to go to some dark and gritty places for its humour, Game Night delivers the goods.
- Tom Hall
Image: Universal Pictures
And the Oscar goes to... The 90th Academy Awards ceremony always promised to be a challenge. Since the last Academy Awards ceremony the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the birth of the #metoo movement rocked Hollywood, alienating many film fans from the institute that previously represented quality and respectability in film. Jimmy Kimmel returned to host the event after a debut hosting the 89th Academy Awards, and he made sure to address the room’s many elephants right from the start. Yet it quickly became obvious that his greatest ideas for the show had been used up for the previous ceremony, with many spectacles like celebrities visiting a nearby film theatre to surprise an audience being suspiciously similar to events from last year. The technical awards were distributed fairly evenly. Blade Runner 2049 won Best Visual Effects, the category usually used to celebrate blockbusters, but the film fell short of replicating Mad Max’s monopoly on technical awards from 2015. Instead most technical awards went to Best Picture nominees, notably Dunkirk for Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. Best Foreign Language Film was awarded to A Fantastic Woman from Chile, directed by Sebastian Lelio. Star of the film Daniela Vega, who later introduced one of the musical acts, became the first transgender presenter in Academy Awards history. One of the most uncomfortable moments of the night was when Mark Hamill, Oscar Isaac, Kelly Marie Tran and a robotic BB8, all stars of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, presented the awards for Best Animated Short & Feature Films. The presentation was awkward and obviously scripted, lacking the charm that other presenters had. The actual awards they presented were unsurprising. Best Animated Short Film went to Dear Basketball, about player Kobe Bryant’s resignation from the sport, and Best Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Animated Feature Film went to Coco, Pixar’s latest. Whilst a Pixar film winning Best Animated Feature may seem unsurprising, there were last-minute rumours that Boss Baby might cause an awards upset and win. It didn’t. The Documentary awards were rushed through, which is a shame as they highlight ed some important political issues. Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405, winner of the Best Documentary – Short Subject award, took an in-depth look at mental health, and Icarus winner of the Best Documentary Feature award, explored the recent sports doping scandal, with reference to cycling. The latter is available on Netflix currently. The most eagerly anticipated awards were those for screenplays. This is usually one of the first awards in which the Best Picture nominees duke it out, and can serve as foreshadowing for the final award. Best Original Screenplay went to Jordan Peele for Get Out. In his acceptance speech he documented the trials he went through to get the film made, so the various nominations and the fact he is the first black screenwriter to win the Best Original Screenplay award testifies to the success of his drive. Best Adapted Screenplay went to Call Me By Your Name’s James Ivory, who became the oldest person to win a competitive Academy Award. To collect his award he wore a shirt with the film’s star Timothee Chalamet on it. Best Original Score went to Alexandre Desplat’s work on The Shape of Water and Best Original Song went to Remember Me from Coco. Through the show the various
nominees for the latter category were performed, with a particular noteworthy performance by Surfjan Stevens for Mystery of Love from Call Me by Your Name. The acting awards went to the expected winners – Allison Janney in I, Tonya and Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards received the supporting awards, and leading awards went to Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour and Frances McDormand in Three Billboards. Likewise, Best Director went to Guillermo del Toro, a result that surprised no-one. Del Toro’s Shape of Water crowned the event by winning Best Picture, a rather divisive victory with some expecting Three Billboards to win. Many other nominees for this category were forgotten in the ceremony, with neither Lady Bird nor The Post winning a single award. Compared to previous ceremonies this one was forgettable, which was a particular feat given Hollywood’s turbulent nature currently. Running for over four hours, and including few award upsets or interesting speeches, the awards ceremony had the lowest U.S. viewership in Oscar history. The ceremony faced no particular backlash for awards choices, presenting style, or production decisions, and with the current political climate it had the potential to champion current events in the industry and the world. It’s a shame then that it fell so short expectations.
8 great foreign films Our writers share their favourite films from around the globe...
Argentina’s Wild Tales is a collection of comedic short films, including a scuffle between two motorists and a bride’s realisations of her groom’s infidelity. Each film examines the tentative line we tread between civility and barbarism, and just how easy it is for small things to push us over that line. -Tom Bedford
Amores Perros Before Birdman and The Revenant, Alejandro Iñárritu’s Amores Perros, will always be my favourite. Often referred to as a more mature Pulp Fiction; Amores Perros depicts three interlinked stories of the brutal violence of the Mexican slums. Intense, gritty and deeply emotional, Amores Perros pulls no punches -Marco Gagetti.
The White Ribbon
Set in a rural village shortly before the outbreak of the Great War, this film offers no invitation for nostalgia. Pale monochrome cinematography and a meditative pace lend Das Weisse Band the qualities of an insidious think-piece: the acts of physical and verbal abuse administered therein are given little in the way of explanation. -Liam Heitman-Rice
Well is the movie that inspired me to keep an eye out for other Hungarian releases. In addition to its stunning cinematography and solid acting I particularly love this gritty action-drama for its offkilter mood, biting humor, witty dialogue, and fun, exceptionally memorable characters! -Balázs Kökényesy
Rashomon is hypnotic to watch: its uneasy atmosphere and mounting tension indicates to the audience that all is not what it seems, and invites them to make their own deductions. Its unconventional structure and raw performances are particularly refreshing for those tired of the Hollywood format. -Charlie Hunt
The Hunt The Hunt is a searing, heartfelt investigation into the notion of mass hysteria as Mads Mikkelsen’s teachers life plummets after being falsely accused of sexually assaulting a little girl. Mikkelsen gives a career best performance in this minor-key masterpiece, in a change from his typical villainous English-language roles. -Oscar Huckle
Oh, Amélie! This French treasure tells the stories of the smallest details that make life magical, with an adorable guardian angel protagonist who playfully turns everyone’s mundanities into miracles. However, she too needs to learn how to turn her own life into a dream, and discover the awkwardness and sweetness of her shyly-desired romance. -Mireia Molina
Youssef Chahine’s Egyptian classic is a deeply unsettling and surprisingly touching hodgepodge of genres: thriller, romance, character study.. It’s the little details that make Cairo Station: the fourth wall breaks, its antihero staring at knives, its blatant betrayal of luvvy-duvvy tropes. -Gus Edgar
Images: Wikimedia Commons (flags); UCG-Fox Distribution (Amélie)
Beauty banks It’s easy to take for granted everyday essentials. Toothpaste, shower gel, soap and tampons are all items that we stock up immediately once we’ve run out, or make sure to always have a spare. But what happens when the idea of a blissful warm shower becomes a luxury and you have to choose between being clean and eating? We often don’t think of toiletries as luxuries as they’re so ingrained in our daily routine, but if you had to live without them for a little bit you would more than notice.
people in the UK have had to cut down on toiletries or even go without due to simply not being able to afford them. The charity distributed £2.2 million worth of toiletries last year, a rise of 67 percent from 2016.
This is where Beauty banks come in. Like food banks, they were set up as non- profit organisations to help those in poverty in the UK. Beauty banks were an initiative established by journalist Sali Hughes and friend Jo Jones after the pair discovered the extent of hygiene poverty in the U.K. The pair hope to encourage people to donate toiletries to Beauty Banks, and push the movement even further with the help of those in the beauty industry.
After hearing stories from friends working as teachers who had to bring in extra sanitary supplies for girls in their classes, and Hughes having experienced homelessness herself as a teenager, the pair started researching the issue of hygiene poverty in the UK. A report by Kind Direct found that 37 percent of Images: Vecteezy
clean and be able to look after their bodies.
So how can we help? Many of us have unwanted toiletries, whether that be from sets at Christmas, or maybe accidentally buying too much of something and then preferring a different brand. Hughes says: “you can help by collected anything new and useful, from babies toothbrushes to men’s shaving gel, from soap to roll-on. When you’ve gathered together enough for a parcel and removed any restricted solvents, pack it all into a box and kindly write ‘Beauty Banks’ on every side, then post it to: It’s a harsh reality to live in a world where people are having to choose between eating and looking after their personal hygiene, and it’s something that’s often forgotten about when the issue of food banks and poverty is spoken about in the UK. We are often shown pictures of stacked tins and pasta, but rarely do we consider the implications of those living in poverty not able to access basic toiletries and hygiene products. Everyone should have the right to feel
Beauty Banks c/o Jo Jones The Communications Store 2 Kensington Square London W8 5EP It doesn’t take much to help improve someone’s life and a little can go a really long way. -
Spring cleaning your wardrobe Spring time is the perfect time to have a clear out. The transition from winter to spring feels like a fresh start, so why not reflect that in your wardrobe? You probably got some clothes for Christmas, or stocked up on some more layers because of the recent snow fall. It’s always good to clear up some space.
Make a plan
In order to have a successful clear out, you’ll need to have some sort of a plan. It can be rather overwhelming to empty everything out into your room, so going drawer by drawer may be easier.
Keep, donate or throw away?
Once you’ve worked out whether you’re focusing on small sections or facing it all at once, start sorting the clothes into piles. What you want to keep, throw away, donate, stash, give away to family and friends etc.
Has it been a year?
A great way to decide to keep or get rid of an item is questioning if you’ve worn it in the last year or two. If there are some pieces you can’t help but cling onto, you could stash it away for a while and if wearing it never crosses your mind, it may be time to get rid of it.
Set time aside
Give yourself some time to complete this task in the most stress-free way. Dedicate an evening or a day to yourself to get it all done, listen to some music, and you’ll be finished in no time!
Stick to a reason
Keep in mind your decision to have such a big clear out. Whether you just want a declutter, reinvention, or make it easier to find the only clothes you wear.
Does it fit/suit me?
Don’t be too hasty
Reconsider items you’re thinking of clearing out. You might rediscover some great pieces that you could get more wear out of. It’s a great way to mix up your looks without spending any money.
You may be hoarding items that look good on the hanger but completely different on your body. It may by worth trying to sell pieces worth a bit more money. Selling on eBay and finding the time for a bootsale, however, can be challenging, so be realistic.
- Leah Marriott
Images: (top to bottom) Unsplash, Lauren Roberts, Micheile
Men’s jewellery Jewellery for men is nothing new. Kings and nobility have been bejewelling themselves for centuries and its perfectly common to see a guy with a simple wedding band on his finger (although which hand he wears it on is a matter of some contention). Yet decorative jewellery is not nearly as popular now as it once was... but that might all be changing. So, if you decide that a bit of jewellery might be for you, here are some tips.
In general, there are two colours of metal jewellery – silver and gold, though occasionally you might come across a coppery colour as well. Regardless, there is one basic rule – match your metals. As with anything in fashion, any rule is there to be broken, but if you’re going for a clean and classy look, you’ll want all of you jewellery to be the same colour. All silver would be my preference, as you can have quite a lot of it and it will still not look like overkill. Gold, on the other hand, can get a bit over the top with just a few items. And don’t forget about your watch, either. It’s just as much a piece of jewellery as anything else, so you should try to match it as well. If you really want to mix metals, it’s advisable to at least keep each colour on its own hand, gold on one, silver on the other.
Statement rings are starting to come back into fashion, but they still aren’t particularly common. As such, wearing one, or more, definitely does make a statement. Which finger you wear a ring on and how many you wear both affect the way that the jewellery will be perceived. Rings on the little finger are the traditional statement piece, usually reserved for large signet rings and the like. It is, in my opinion, the finger in which a ring will draw the most attention, so make sure you chose a piece that you love and that you will be absolutely confident in wearing. The ring finger is almost always used for a wedding band or some similar piece that denotes your relationship, so that’s something to be aware of.
“As with anything in fashion, the rules are there to be broken” The middle finger, index finger and thumb are all good choices for fashion rings, with the middle finger being the safest option to draw the least attention. As for how many? Well, that is very much up to you, frankly. Personally, in order to keep things clean and understated, I would keep it to two per hand and avoid having two rings next to each other, keeping one empty finger between rings. However, breaking these rules will work wonderfully with other styles of dressing, so make the most of it.
Match your metals (as always) and, on the whole, avoid wearing them in the same arm as a wristwatch. If dressing smart, you’ll want thin and tight fitting bracelets, any other time, pretty much Image: (top to bottom) Unsplash: Nick Karvounis, Jose Carrasco
whatever you want.
Try to match metals, but don’t worry about it too much. Tie bars are great for sprucing up a smart casual outfit, making it look smart, or for adding a bit of flare to a formal suit.
The main thing here is that they match the tie bar in metal, rather than the rest of your jewellery. These are an absolute must for the most formal events when you’re wearing a double cuffed shirt, otherwise the cuffs will just unravel.
Not technically jewellery perhaps, but worth a mention. They should only be worn when you’re also wearing a waistcoats and should never be worn when also wearing a wristwatch. Two watches is too many watches. The colour of the chain matters more here than the colour of the watch itself, so try and match that if you can. Keep the watch in the waistcoat pocket on your dominant side and hang the chain through on of the vests button holes. The chain should fall in an arc that falls down from the button, before flicking upwards towards the pocket, but the bottom of the arc must not be lower than the bottom of the waistcoat itself.
- Sean Bennett
Some of the best examples of student creativity can be found in the pages of ‘zines. From creative writing anthologies to explorations of real life stories and images, the variety of ‘zines on display at UEA is impressive. Venue spoke to creators of some of the best ‘zines, to showcase their talents.
“A zine is a passionproject - made with love and guts and scissors and sand sellotape”
We feature between 7 and 10 pieces of non-fiction of about 200 words on a chosen theme. The genre of flash nonfiction is really exciting. It tests you as a writer. It leaves no room for flab and makes you sweat a bit.
If I met someone in a bar and they said they made a zine, I’d be instantly attracted. A zine is a passion-project – made with love and guts and scissors and sellotape; the best things, basically. Extra Safe is a non-fiction zine born from the idea that human stories both galvanize and protect us, and should be something that everyone should keep in their wallet. With this in mind, the zine is printed double-sided on A4 and it folds up into a tiny square.
- Jess Morgan
The Queer Review is a brand-new student publication and UEA society about queer literature and media. We feature book reviews, TV & film, opinion pieces, and some creative writing. Our first issue is themed queer women, and our second one (coming in April!) will be all about queer YA literature. We feature books and media new and old, and we have a variety of exciting themes planned - queer men, classics, fantasy and sci-fi, gender, etc. Our opinion pieces go along with our themes, and so far we have discussed sexualisation, witchcraft, the ‘bury your gays’ trope, and the issue of using sexuality as a plot twist.
We are always looking for contributions, be it creative writing, opinion, or reviews - and, of course, you can come pick up a copy of our first issue at the UEA Book Fair!
- Yaiza Canopoli
Diaspora Diaries is a student-led print publication which serves as a platform for students of colour to share their experiences and opinions. We publish printed copies termly, with themes to guide creators in their submissions. Our editorial team is composed of student volunteers with the energy and experience to meet the needs of a campus magazine.
writings and art pieces, from recipes to cartoons, poems to opinion pieces. Our submissions offer fascinating insights into marginalized communities, promising both an education and entertainment. We hope our publication is a refreshing reminder that diversity on campus is rewarding, needed, and most importantly, more than just a buzzword.
- Rahul Mehta
Our publication was established as a response to concerns on campus that people of colour felt they were not well represented. We wanted to create a publication that could not only empower people of colour, but also to channel their talent and drive into something tangible. So why read Diaspora Diaries? Our publication presents a wide array of
As a collaborative effort between UEA and Norwich University of the Arts, it collates all types of creative work, from visual pieces such as artwork, photography, and collage, to writing, be it prose, poetry, script, or any combination of these forms!
Egg Box Publishingâ€™s latest zine, Globetrotting, combines poetry, prose and photography in a celebration of the wider world around us. UEA students came together to provide a broad array of pieces allowing the collection to explore the theme to the fullest. Much of the photography features faroff locations visited by our students around the globe, yet the zine also includes many written works which consider location in amongst more personal issues. As a student run society, the focus was, and will always be, for students to pick out the aspects that meant the most to them. Each piece is a small insight into what individuals get up to outside the borders of Norwich. As one of the fortunate contributors to this collection I am pleased to say Globetrotting is also a fantastic demonstration of the bounty of creativity at this university. During the editing process, it was fascinating to discover the wealth of global experience students have already gained and we hope that this zine will equally inspire its readers to continue their global ventures.
- Ellie Reeves
Third Eye Third Eye is an upcoming student-run arts zine designed to both give young creatives inspirational material to tackle creative block and also a platform on which to showcase their work.
It also provides students who are thinking of going into an artistic industry the chance to get experience in their fields such as editing, formatting, or marketing. The aim of Third Eye is to create a creative and professional platform where we can play around with words and art in a way that can hopefully inspire and motivate!
- Lucy Caradog
350 issues of music 1992: the year Concrete began. In a decade defined by Brit-pop, shoegaze and the Spice Girls, it is easy to suggest music was so much better back then. A lot happened in the world of British music in the nineties’ formative years, before Oasis had even written Wonderwall. BBC Radio 1 had a big year; Radiohead’s debut singe Creep, a notable ’92 release, was shunned by Radio 1 for being too depressing, and that was before Fitter Happier truly captured what it’s like to live in the modern world. They had also secured the broadcasting for The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for Aids Awareness, which played to 72,000 people at Wembley stadium. The legendary frontman’s death in the late months of 1991 sparked a royal beginning to ’92 as Bohemian Rhapsody took number 1 spot to guide us into the year. BBC’s link with Norwich strengthened when Carrow Road hosted the launch of Radio 1’s Sound City. What better way to put us on the map than broadcasting a hundred-strong kazoo orchestra belting We Are the Champions? (not to be confused with
the aforementioned Freddie Mercury tribute concert.) UEA students must have been pleased with the year with many bands visiting the humble city. Our trusty music feature, then called Happenings, welcomed iconic shoegaze band Ride, with support from The Verve, just months before they hit the big time with their first EP, Verve. Another paramount visitor, this time to Waterfront, was Velvet Underground’s Maurice “Moe” Tucker, with a turnout Happenings described as probably less than one hundred people. Whether that was down to capacity restrictions or not is undisclosed, but the reporter seemed optimistic about Moe’s solo future. It was not all pop, rock and glamour however. The alternative-beyondbelief band Pixies had their first breakup, leaving the remaining years of the ‘90s without their surreal lyrics and jarring riffs. Also, Connor Maynard was born. Opened by Queen and finished off by Simply Red, 1992 was another iconic year for music, which paved the way for many now household name bands.
- Zoe Dodge
Musical memories of Norwich
Sometimes, days that go terribly wrong make for great memories; Emma Blackery’s gig in Norwich was one of those occasions. I attended the gig with a friend and my girlfriend, and the night became a bit of a disaster when we had to rush to the hospital. We sat around for so long that we ended up ordering pizza to the waiting room. But the conversations that happened that night are one of the fondest memories I have, being the firsttime my girlfriend told me about her life and herself. In a way it was the worst night of the year—but in a way it was my favourite one. -Yaiza Canopoli For two years, I have been playing viola with the Norwich Philharmonic. We’ve played obscure songs and stalwart favorites. Feeling the music come together on stage never gets old. The last concert included Bohuslav Martinu’s Symphony #3. The piece, written at the height of WWII, is emotional and deep. It was a moving experience, envisioning soldiers in battle, longing for home. At a couple of points in the concert, everything came together in a particular way. Everyone was listening to each other and reacting. In these moments, the music feels alive. That probably sounds cliché, so you’ll just have to trust me.
Image: Ride, Greg Neate, Wikimedia Commons Images: Francis Butler
Since coming to UEA, going to the LCR for gigs has become an almost monthly habit. One gig that stood out to me was The Kooks on 8 May last summer. They were performing their The Best Of …So Far tour. I had seen the band before back home when they were touring their album Listen. However, the combination of hearing all their best hits and the fact that I had no phone (don’t drop your phone down the toilet kids) meant Instagram and Snapchat weren’t a distraction and I could throw myself into the atmosphere and the music.
Ducking Punches: one almighty homecoming Norwich locals Ducking Punches released their third album, Alamort, to rave reviews. We caught up with them before their hometown release show at the Arts Centre.
Alamort came out yesterday, how have you found the reception?
Dan: Great, we’ve had such a positive response from everyone. We were really nervous, it’s such a big change in sound. It’s heavier, I think people always like heavier.
What triggered the sound change?
D: Well, we had a line-up change with Marcus and Ryan coming in and I was fed up with playing acoustic guitar. We all play electric now, which naturally changes the sound, and these guys put their own stamp on it. Marcus: Some songs on Fizzy Rain were leading to a rockier sound anyway so it shouldn’t be too much of a departure for some people but it is definitely a big step away.
You have always been unashamedly a Norwich band, has that affected the music at all?
D: We do reference Norwich in songs and it helps to write about your locality and things that affect your life. Ryan: It keeps you grounded as well, big rock stars, am I right? Is there a way you approach local shows that’s different from others? M: I think we try to be grander. D: People have seen us play tiny venues and pubs in Norwich for years, so we want the release show to be big. We also are really careful with picking our support lineup. M: We also look at what we can do like making special merch or putting stuff on stage. To make it more fun. Like with the skeletons we have, we want to make a statement and have people remember it.
M: Wait until you see the stage.
How would you describe Alamort in one sentence for those who haven’t heard you before?
R: A heavy, honest declaration of who we are. M: Wow. It’s a… I don’t know, whatever I say’ll be rubbish compared to that. D: A heavier, more honest declaration of who we are. In a sentence, I guess, it’s an album we made with our entire heart and soul bare and it’s an album that was really cathartic to right and it’s an album that focuses on positivity far more than previous releases. M: It’s an album that is the sum of influences and experiences in our lives so far.
Live at the Arts Centre
One day after the drop of their criticallyacclaimed fourth album, Alamort, Ducking Punches were preparing to play the official release show at the Arts Centre. There’s an awareness that today is a moment the band will look back on in years.
With a bumper setlist spanning their career so far, the band celebrate Alamort and their new direction without forgetting their roots. It’s intimate and sweaty, like any good punk show, but you almost feel like you are part of the family. Frontman Dan gets his brother to do a birthday stagedive, goading him with a reminder of the time their dad did it. With a heartfelt tribute to lost friends who couldn’t be in the room tonight before playing Six Years, there’s a feeling of loss shared by all in the room. Triumphant, affecting and raw, Ducking Punches homecoming is a damned fine punk show. It’s a celebration of music, friends, family, Norwich and being together. With the power the band show on stage, it’s safe to say that 2018 is Ducking Punches’ year.
Warming up the crowd are Grieving, a Cambridge alt-rock band. Despite technical issues, they put on on an admirable show, made even more respectable by the fact they did it with a broken guitar. Following Grieving are Watford punks Nervus. With an undeniable charisma and catchy choruses, it is impossible not to fall in love with the quartet. Bouncing, dancing and joking the band get the room moving, laughing and ready for Ducking Punches. As the lights go down, the intro tape plays and 10 foot paper mache are the only thing lit up, Ducking Punches emerge to their coronation as the city’s favourite sons. Opening with I Was Uncomfortable, the band show what they set out to do tonight: put on the best damned punk show Norwich has seen since Nirvana graced the same stage over 25 years ago.
Image: Nick Mason
The Front Bottoms: live at Waterfront New Jersey emo icons The Front Bottoms stopped off in Norwich on their UK tour in support of their latest LP Going Grey. Norwich has been deprived of many U.S emo bands, so when The Front Bottom got announced you could pre-empt the excitement which would encapsulate the room when a band of this caliber took to the stage. Opening the night were electronic, indie rock duo Brick + Mortar and boy did they open the night in style. The duo filled up the stage with a hilarious stage performer holding up enormous signs that had the band’s lyrics printed on them. The duo’s experimental mix of poppy electronic indie infused with ska influences and even hints of drum and bass won the crowd over in seconds and not a bad reaction was to be seen. I’ve never heard or seen anything quite like this: flailing nipple tassels, shirtless hairy
men and an infectious energy to die for. Brick and Mortar kicked off the night in style. The Front Bottoms also brought Aussie rockers The Smith Street Band on this tour. From the get go there seemed to be a few technical issues with the mic, but the guys managed to pull it together and deliver their classic lovesick punk sound to an engrossed crowd. With some Alan Partridge puns thrown between songs, the crowd gravitated towards them and The Smith Street Band finished the set in emotive style, delivering a song about a failed relationship. The headliners took the stage next with a rapturous reception from the adoring crowd. Kicking off the set with You Used To Say, the crowd were instantly hooked, screaming every lyric alongside lead singer Brian Sella. With smiling
faces all round, The Front Bottoms ripped through their set playing fan favourites such as Au Revioir, Flashlight and The Beers. Accompanying the sonically captivating tunes, two on-stage projectors visualized imagery relating to the songs being played. When the band whipped out the leading single for their latest album, Vacation Town, imagery of beaches and sunny shores appeared. The charming nature of The Front Bottoms radiated off the stage, as they performed their encore and old school classic Twin Sized Mattress and new song Ocean. The Front Bottoms demonstrated that they have grown immensely as a band, and that they have a beloved and dedicated fan base who will follow them through the rest of their journey.
Piratefest: welcome to the LC-arrr It’s not every day you spend the evening surrounded by those in full fancy dress, complete with disco lights, songs about sea monsters, excessive drinking and regularly stealing people’s possessions – but that is what Alestorm’s Piratefest managed to achieve. Pirate-folk musicians The Dread Crew of Oddwood opened the show, singing and stomping their way about the stage. As well as being the only acoustic band on this tour, their costumes and instruments serve to make their show a full performance. Whilst vocals were mostly commandeered by the featherhatted, accordion-wielding Wolfbeard O’Brady, the Cordwain brothers, with a mandolin and whistle, frequently lent their support along with double bass player Smithy Crow and drummer T-Bone.
In contrast, Rumahoy offered their own twist on the traditional pirate image, as each member wore a black balaclava. Consisting of vocalist Captain Yarrface, guitarist Bootsman Walktheplank, bassist Cabinboy Treasurequest and drummer Swashbuckling Pete, the band’s sense of humour is evident in their names as well as from the Captain’s booming voice, such as when he announced that the next song was titled Netflix and Yarr.
in itself ), and finally his instrument of choice - a keytar. Completed by guitarist Máté Bodor and bassist Gareth Murdock, it became clear the band’s skill lies in their ability to blend humour with genuine talent. The audience reacted enthusiastically to songs old and new, with the lyrics to Drink shouted long before being played and recent song Mexico giving a party feel to the venue as fans bounced about.
Pirate metallers Alestorm made their entrance with an enthusiastic rendition of Keelhauled, and a huge inflatable duck that took centre stage in-between keyboardist Elliot Vernon and drummer Peter Alcorn. Singer Christopher Bowes presented a striking image in his distinct lack of pirate attire: he wore a hat emblazoned with the words OH WOW!, a t-shirt announcing “I got lost in the Gay Dolphin,” a red kilt, a pair of sandals (which should be a crime
The last song of the night, as Bowes jests, is to tell the crowd “exactly how we feel about each and every one of you!” Fucked With An Anchor definitely isn’t one to sing in front of your mum, but it was greatly appreciated by the crowd. The night closed much as it began - in a wave of energetic singing, many grins on faces, and pirate hats.
ALSO AVAILABLE FROM SOUNDCLASH RECORDS, ST. BENEDICTS ST
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+ BLACK DAHLIA MURDER + IN ARKADIA Tue 13th • 19.30 • WF £17.50
Tue 3rd • 19.30 • WF £20.00
Thu 5th • 19.30 • LCR £15.00
GBH + THE VARUKERS
BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT
+ HOTWIRED Fri 6th • 18.30 • WFS £16.00
WHOLE LOTTA LED
THE METEORS - “THE POWER OF 3” TOUR
Wed 14th • 19.30 • WFS £9.00
Thu 15th • 19.30 • WF £15.00 / £14.00 CONCESSION
+ EPILEPTIC HILLBILLYS Sun 8th • 19.00 • WFS £17.50
Thu 15th • 19.30 • WFS £14.00
WALK THE MOON
FEROCIOUS DOG “THE ENEMY WITHIN TOUR”
+ NOBLE JACKS Fri 16th • 18.30 • WF £15.00
Tue 10th • 19.30 • WF £18.00 Wed 11th • 19.30 • WF £17.50
Mon 30th • 19.30 • WFS £14.00
Tue 1st • 19.30 • WF £17.50
PLANET OF ZEUS + LIONIZE Tue 1st • 19.30 • WFS £12.50
THE MARLEY EXPERIENCE
Fri 4th • 18.30 • WF £14.00
THE HANDSOME FAMILY
Wed 21st • 19.30 • WF £25.00
Sun 15th • 19.00 • WF £11.50
GUANA BATZ “35 YEARS ON TOUR”
+ TOSELAND + BAD TOUCH Mon 19th • 19.00 • WF £24.00 + DRUNKEN PRAYER Tue 20th • 19.30 • WF £17.50
Wed 22nd • 19.30 • WF £16.50
+ HOTWIRED Thu 22nd • 19.30 • WFS £18.00
+ MARY EPWORTH Sat 24th • 18.30 • WF £15.00
ITCH (THE KING BLUES UNPLUGGED)
+ LOUISE DISTRAS + MILLIE MANDERS Sat 24th • 18.30 • WFS £15.00
THE BO NANAFANA SOCIAL CLUB Thu 29th • 18.30 • WF £15.00
+ FRANC MOODY + HAUS Fri 30th • 18.30 • WF £17.50
APHRA ‘A WONDERFUL ADVENTURE’ EP LAUNCH PARTY
Sat 14th • 18.00 • WF £25.00 + KID LUNA + THE EVERLAINE Sat 14th • 18.30 • WFS £6.00
+ YONAKA Wed 18th • 19.30 • WF £25.00 + CKY + DANKO JONES Thu 19th • 19.30 • LCR £24.50
+ I SAID GOODBYE + THE VISITORS Sun 6th • 19.00 • WFS £6.00
+ PLANET Tue 8th • 19.30 • WF £15.00
+ CATTLE & CANE Sat 21st • 18.30 • WF £18.50
+ CAMERON A.G. Sun 22nd • 19.00 • WF £16.00
Tue 24th • 19.30 • WF £20.00
TAX THE HEAT
Tue 24th • 19.00 • WFS £8.00
OF MICE AND MEN
Tue 3rd • 18.30 • LCR £20.00
THE BRITPOP REBOOT FT OASIS, BLUR AND PULP TRIBUTES
TESTAMENT + ANNIHILATOR + VADER “BROTHERHOOD OF THE SNAKE” TOUR
Sun 6th • 18.00 • LCR £28.00
Sat 21st • 18.00 • WF £15.00
+ BOOTHBY GRAFFOE Wed 25th • 19.30 • LCR £30.00 + WAGE WAR + SYLAR Thu 26th • 19.30 • LCR £17.00
THE PRINCE EXPERIENCE Sat 28th • 18.30 • WF £13.50
+ ROUGHNECK RIOT + JAKE & THE JELLYFISH Sat 28th • 18.30 • WF £13.50
FOR FULL LISTINGS & TO BOOK TICKETS GO TO
+ THE PALE WHITE + BELLEVUE DAYS Wed 30th • 19.30 • WF £17.00
JUNE + THE DOWNSETTERS Fri 1st • 18.30 • WFS £15.00
THE SMYTHS “UNITE AND TAKE OVER - THE BEST OF THE SMITHS & MORRISSEY” Sat 2nd • 18.30 • WFS £15.00
PUBLIC IMAGE LTD Wed 6th • 19.30 • WFS £15.00 BUZZCOCKS, THE PROFESSIONALS (EX SEX BRYANT PISTOLS) , THE VAPORS (ALL DANNY Thu 7th • 19.30 • WFS £15.00 ON FULL / EXTENDED LIVE SETS) THE OVERTONES
RHYTHM OF THE 90S
+ SPECIAL GUEST: HUGH CORNWELL & BAND Sat 5th • 18.30 • LCR £25.00
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+ LUCY GRUBB + ELLY BISHOP + POPPY READ Fri 30th • 18.30 • WFS £5.00
Sat 31st • 18.30 • WF £12.50
Sat 5th • 18.30 • WFS £18.00
CROSSING THE LIMITS
Fri 20th • 19.00 • LCR £6.00
Sat 26th • 18.30 • WF+WFS £28.00
+ THE BON JOVI EXPERIENCE + WALKWAY Fri 4th • 18.30 • LCR £22.00
Sun 18th • 19.00 • WF £13.00
+ PUMAROSA Thu 12th • 19.30 • WF £10.00
THE EXPLOITED + THE MEMBRANES + SPEAR OF DESTINY + CRISIS + ANDY BLADE TWIN ATLANTIC
+ THERAPY? Mon 19th • 19.30 • LCR £27.50
Fri 25th • 18.00 • WF+WFS £28.00
ONE NIGHT OF QUEEN - PERFORMED BY GARY MULLEN & THE WORKS
+ CREATURES + VALERAS Thu 12th • 19.30 • WF £10.00
SHAM 69 (1977 LINEUP) + UK SUBS + RUTS DC + EXTREME NOISE TERR
Wed 9th • 19.30 • LCR £27.50 Sat 12th • 18.30 • LCR £22.50 + WHENYOUNG Tue 15th • 19.30 • WF £15.00
HEATHER SMALL - THE VOICE OF M PEOPLE
Wed 16th • 19.30 • WF £28.50
TOM CLARKE (THE ENEMY ACOUSTIC) Thu 17th • 19.30 • WF £16.00
JIZZY PEARL’S LOVE/HATE STICKS ‘N’ STONES TOUR FT. DOOMSDAY OUTLAW Thu 17th • 19.30 • WFS £17.50
FM + DARE
+ TOBY JEPSEN Sat 19th • 18.30 • WF £14.00
CHANTEL MCGREGOR PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS Sat 19th • 18.30 • WFS £14.00
+ RAMZI Sat 9th • 18.30 • LCR £25.00
Sat 9th • 18.30 • WF £13.00
CLOUDBUSTING - THE MUSIC OF KATE BUSH Sat 9th • 18.30 • WFS £16.00
Sun 10th • 19.00 • WF £18.00
THE TOTAL STONE ROSES & OAYSIS Fri 15th • 18.30 • WF £13.00
PETER & THE TEST TUBE BABIES Sat 16th • 18.30 • WFS £12.00
THE DOORS ALIVE
Fri 22nd • 18.30 • WF £14.00
Sat 23rd • 18.30 • WF £22.50
A WILHELM SCREAM
+ DARKO + OTHER HALF Sat 23rd • 18.30 • WF £12.00
COMING UP... THE ADICTS
July 1st • 19.00 • WF £28.00
THE GUNS N ROSES EXPERIENCE
+ RENEGADE 12 + BLIND TIGER July 14th • 18.00 • WFS £14.00
& THE DOGS TRAGEDY - A METAL TRIBUTE SLAUGHTER + BRAINDANCE + SMART ALEX TO THE BEE GEES AND + THE DOGTOWN REBELS + BEYOND HOTWIRED Thu 24th • 18.30 • WFS £10.00
Aug 2nd • 19.00 • WFS £20.00
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Of mice and ‘mon When Pokémon Go was released in July 2016, everybody with a phone and a halfforgotten childhood dream of owning a band of cute animal companions threw down their university coursework, threw down their part-time jobs, threw down that Concrete article they should have been writing, downloaded the app, and charged out the front door into a new world. For an all-too-brief time parks, forests and downtown areas saw activity the likes of which only normally happens when it snows. People of all races, genders, ages and creeds were united in the hunt for the ‘mons. I was one of those people. The game’s release coincided with the end of the second year of my degree, in that postdeadline and pre-summer lull. I had more time and energy than I knew how to use, and so the game’s release came at the perfect time. I remember sunny days spent alternating between drinking in the square and marching down Chancellors’ Drive to find a Pokéstop or hatch an egg, and nights spent swapping stories of hatching the hundredth Magikarp or comparing stats. But in the two years since its release, the game has died a slow and quiet death. The
only stories being shared about the game now begin with “do you remember when Pokémon Go was still a thing?” At the beginning of February Niantic, the game’s persevering developers, released a trailer and a slew of press releases detailing the future of Pokémon Go. The updates included the full roll-out of third generation Pokémon, a long-awaited expansion, and many other tweaks to the social and competitive elements of the game. Their creation, they insisted, was ready for a second wind, and they seemed jubilant with anticipation for the day when Pokémon Go was once again a dominating economic and cultural force. That day never came. The release of the new Pokémon, including favourites like Salamence, Gardevoir and Wailmer, was such an understated event that, upon redownloading the app after the update, I couldn’t even find any of the newbies. The game was almost silent - where once every street corner and lecture theatre was packed to brimming with Rattatas and Pidgeys, now I couldn’t find a soul. The flat, unremarkable sprawl of Dereham filled my screen instead, devoid of all
life or action. After a little walking I found a Shuppet, but that dashed away immediately, and I couldn’t be bothered to hunt down another. Yet I can’t help but empathise with the forgotten game. The Norwich of Pokémon Go two years after release is the same for the game as it is for me, a student in their final year at university. I used to spend ages patrolling the lake with friends on Poké-patrols but now I barely have time to make a cup of tea between study sessions and careers meetings. Where once I was dashing about trying to catch ‘em all now I’m barely leaving the study areas of the library. Pokémon Go has grown quiet and lazy, and so have I. I loved Pokémon Go when it came out, but this “renaissance” only lasted three days for me. Two years from release, the game holds a different place to all its players, and Niantic can’t expect the millions of people that played it originally to leap back into its folds. I am one of those players, and the game doesn’t work for me now like it once did. After all, I like my games to function as an escape from my degree, not as a metaphor for it.
Images: Norwich Skyline - Wikimedia Commons - Andrew Hurley, Pokemon - Niantic. Image edited by Tom Bedford
A look back at Sly Cooper The Sly Cooper games are stealthbased platformers where the player takes the titular raccoon and friends through a number of daring heists. Sly may have been overshadowed slightly by Playstation’s other big platforming mascot Crash Bandicoot, but he always maintained a unique appeal.
Although Sly was the protagonist of the series, it may be difficult to call him a hero most of the time. Our lead comes from an ancient line of thieves and initially takes up the role to avenge his father. But, on many occasions, Sly and his crew steal simply for profit. This unique morality among platformer leads may have been part of the appeal; Sly always had a good heart and looked after his friends, but he was decidedly a criminal. It is a testament to the game’s writers that Sly never seemed sinister or an advocate for poor morals as the games explored his backstory and ethical code in impressive detail for a platformer. While Mario games have rarely deviated from “rescue the princess” and Sonic’s adventures are often overblown and gimmicky (a Werehog, really?); the anthropomorphised world that Sly inhabits involves tales of murder, treachery and romance. While the aforementioned mascots have a timeless appeal to them, Sly evolves as a character over the series, becoming less selfish and more appreciative of his friends. Ultimately, the maturity with which the games treated their audience in both the challenging stealth gameplay and the relatively complex story themes make them absolutely worth reliving. For some, memories were made in Mega Man 9’s Dr Wiley Stage 3, for others
Super Mario Galaxy’s Luigi’s Purple Coins For me it was Sly 3’s Canal Chase. Often, a strong and lasting connection with a game can emerge from one of its most challenging moments and I have family and friends who can attest to just how testing this particular mission was. This first act sequence marked a shift from sneaking over rooftops and pickpocketing guards to racing along a Venice-inspired canal in a gunboat to stop hired goons from hurting Sly’s friends. The level’s change of pace and gameplay style instantly threw me off-guard, resulting in many early restarts. Even once I had become used to controlling the boat, the addition of falling debris, a timer and enemy boats resulted in increasing frustration. Luckily I had a friend over at the time, and I enlisted them and two largely willing parents to help me finish the level, losing only a small amount of pride in the process. Having had a habit for a leaving games once the difficulty resulted in frustration, it is again a testament to the developers for creating a world that sucked me in enough to recruit a team in order to continue playing. Recommending a game or a series based on nostalgia can often be dangerous; there’s no guarantee that you will find the same experience that I did with Sly Cooper after all. But the fact that my parents had paid enough attention to the game that they already knew what the stakes and characters involved in the canal chase were before they started playing shows that Sly is something special even without the rose-tinted goggles.
By far the most striking thing about Orwell is how it feels a hair away from reality: the sleek, minamalist style of the game really does make you feel like you could be using software developed by a company like Apple. This helps to sell the game’s unsettling premise - what amounts to a more extreme version of the Snoopers’ Charter allows a fictional government to spy on its citizens. You are under the employ of said government, and your particularly nasty job is to extrapolate information from the members of a suspected terrorist group via their emails, phone calls, and personal messages. What separates Orwell from games which share a similar premise is the amount of freedom you’re allowed as a player. You choose what statements to upload, devoid of context, to your superior. You can frame an innocent person by twisting their words against them, or cause catastrophe by accidentally passing on false information. The knock-on effect of your actions is also something special to behold; your choices genuinely matter, and your mistakes can very easily come back to haunt you. Variety in paths and possibilities means that, what is initially quite a short experience, has plenty of replayability.
Images: Wikimedia Commons, slycooper; Wikimedia Commons, Osmotic Studios; Sanzaru Games
The halcyon haze of home
I’ve always had a particular soft spot for games about returning home after a long time away. As much of a cliche storm as they can become, there’s just something appealing about narratives that address how it feels to come back to a place that hasn’t changed despite everything that happened to you while you were gone. This is the kind of nostalgia that games like Life is Strange and Night in the Woods thrive off of, especially since they manage a fairly genuine portrayal of how alienating this situation can be. When Max returns to Arcadia Bay in Life is Strange and Mae returns to Possum Springs in Night in the Woods, their comeback is bittersweet. Both games take care to really capture the temptation to regress to old habits and behave like a child when faced with going back to your childhood home. They clearly were inspired by elements of Catcher in the Rye, although Life is Strange wears that influence on its sleeve a lot more proudly: NitW picks up on the themes of addressing the gulf between childhood and adulthood,
while LiS bombards the player with constant allusions to J.D.Salinger. Though it makes some small attempts to be subversive - the protagonist might have the surname Caulfield, but is much less like Holden than her best friend Chloe is - it can be heavy -handed.
timing for a coming of age story, for covering that strange in-between state we students often find ourselves in whenever we head back home. You don’t want to be treated like a child anymore, but there’s still a sense of longing for before you had to be concerned with deadlines and careers and the future.
The level of interactivity that games offer presents an opening for completely different level of immersion in stories like this compared to literature or film. When you are literally placed in someone else’s shoes and control their actions and the bulk of their decisions it adds a unique personal investment in their experience, particularly if it coincides with your own. Sure, they have their supernatural elements, but they cover enough common ground to still feel grounded in reality.
Addressing how mental illness impacts how young adults process leaving their childhoods behind is crucial to the emotional impact of LiS and NitW. They both carry the message that moving on from your past is important, but are careful to consider how that experience might differ depending on your mental wellbeing. Considering how high rates of mental illness are in our generation, it’s wonderful to see some reflection on this. Going home can be hard, especially this time of year when exams start to loom for everyone and Easter break seems all-too-short, but nostalgia can still be a comfort so long as it’s kept in small doses.
I think it’s no coincidence that both are set at the tail end of October: it’s a convenient midway point in autumn where the wistful looking back on the summer hasn’t quite ended, and winter still seems far off. This is perfect
- Amy Nash Images: Flickr, Videogame Photography
Coming soon to a small screen near you... A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 2 The first season of the Netflix adaption A Series of Unfortunate Events has been given much deserved praise, particularly for Neil Patrick Harris’ dynamic and creepy performance as the villainous Count Olaf. It is then, perhaps, unsurprising that the public’s first tease of the second season came with a message from Harris’ monobrowed menace in a New Year’s message. Much of the earlier advertising focused on Patrick Warburton’s (also wonderfully portrayed) Lemony Snicket, but the trailers released for the new season suggest that the show will become even more Olaf-centric. While this direction may have seemed mildly concerning for those who would prefer Olaf not to hog the spotlight, the first real footage from the show promises that just as with the books,
Netflix is allowing the depressing and varied settings the Baudelaire orphans find themselves trapped in to become the real stars. From the drab and oppressive Prufrock Academy to the more colourful yet equally sinister Caligari Carnival, Netflix have already proven that they can faithfully recreate
the extremes of Snicket’s environments. Even though the trailers revealed familiar characters and set pieces
from the novels, we remain blissfully unaware as to whether or not any new plot strands will be introduced, like the brilliantly crushing storyline with the Baudelaire parents from the first season. While fans of the books always expected to see a cruel Olaf facing off against the ingenious orphans and their unwitting guardians, the unexpected additions to the show make it stand out by itself. While the film was forced to compress the books into a confused mess, the show has ample time to not only adapt the books but to explore the elements that have made them so fondly remembered. On the 30 March, if you are in the mood for a meticulously designed continuation of one of the bleakest shows on Netflix, I urge you to give the new season a watch. Otherwise, look away, look away.
Jessica Jones Season 2 Having watched the first season in about three days back in 2015, the long awaited second season of Jessica Jones could not come any sooner. Krysten Ritter’s portrayal of the titular character is so good because she is so believable; the way she responds to threats is true to character and Marvel never try to turn her into a hero, because she’s not one. Season one was great in the way it told a story. It might have been easier to obey a simple linearly structure: start with Kilgrave and then deal with the events afterwards. But the flashback structure not only created hooks and questions for the audience but reflected Jessica’s PTSD which was almost another character and certainly a theme unto itself. It would be a shame
if this reflection of Jessica is lost in the editing process of the show - perhaps some choppier or more aggressive cuts to reflect her “new” state of mind would be refreshing.
So, can we expect any of this from series two? The new trailer appears to be a combination of clips from the new series and the old, but if you haven’t watched series one in a while you might never notice. It also suggests Jessica’s mental health is the focus again, and if you’ve seen series one you
Images: Wikimedia Commons ( Jitterro), Pixabay (CC0 Creative Commons)
need no clues as to what issues the new season will explore. We can also hope to see more of Jones and her interactions with her sexual partner Luke Cage again, although he last appeared to be dating that nurse who is everywhere… And David Tennant is apparently set to return, although Kilgrave definitely died. But most importantly the trailer implies we are set to discover more details of her past, and the origins of her abilities: I can’t wait. I’m excited regardless and hope I won’t be let down.
- Evlyn Forsyth-Muris
The editor’s Netflix picks: The League of Gentleman (1999-2002, 2017)
Take a trip back to the late 90s/early 00s to the comedy-horror The League of Gentleman. Set in the fictional Northern town of Royston Vasey, throughout the three series (and a 20th anniversary series last year) we are treated to a look in the lives of the bizarre residents that reside there. From the hilarious depiction of the educational theatre company Legz Akimbo, to the innuendo heavy German tour guide Herr Lipp to the disgusting xenophobic couple Tubbs and Edward there are plenty of characters to amuse and disturb. When it appears that the show is veering towards dodgy Little Britain sketch territory it pulls the rug from under you, submersing you with its trademark dark humour. As well as providing some genuine laughs, with the house proud Dentons and their peculiar nudity habits, it provides some genuine disturbing and nightmarish imagery perhaps most chillingly of all a mass death caused by a weird asphyxiation machine that goes wrong. Give this BBC dark comedy a chance and you might just be wishing you were there in Royston Vasey to witness the absurdity... Or probably not.
Images: Flickr (norbet1)
Grace and Frankie season 4 is “the most emotional so far” “Grace and Frankie remains one of the only shows to put elders at the centre, and certainly the only one to intersect age and sexuality” After three amazing seasons, Grace and Frankie returned to Netflix with a fantastic fourth. The ending of season three left viewers in a bit of a worry with Frankie moving to Santa Fe, leaving Grace behind to run their business (vibrators for elderly women) on her own. Season four starts with a visit from Frankie, who is shocked to find that Grace has made a new friend and business partner, a bubbly woman played by none other than Lisa Kudrow. This ‘lodger’, as Frankie calls her, has moved into her old room, and prompts her to finally admit that she actually really hates her new home, and wants to come back. Once again Grace and Frankie has it all: brilliant writing, a funny yet emotional plot, character development, diversity, hilarious lines, and a moving vision of what it’s like to get older. Season one dealt with Grace and Frankie’s husbands coming out as gay and marrying each other, the two women having to adapt and restart their lives; season two explored relationships, cheating, and regrets; in season three we witnessed Grace and Frankie start their vibrator business, attempting to break into the market as older women, trying to be taken seriously by both their families and friends and the wider world. Finally, in season four, the main theme is age: while it has been an underlying concern throughout the show, it now comes to the forefront. Insecurities about bodies that are slowly ceasing to function, beauty, dementia, independence, needing help—these issues are explored in a
sensitive and delicate way, Grace and Frankie never losing their hope and sense of humour even as they seem to lose confidence in themselves. This season also brings to life some characters who initially only existed in the background. Nick, Grace’s new lover since the ending of season three, is a particular favourite: he is charming, rich, handsome, funny, and absolutely devoted to Grace. Being a younger man, his relationship with her is one of the fundamental aspects of Grace’s understanding of her own age, and their conversations kick off the discussions around a majority of the problems she is facing. Another interesting addition to the show is Roy, a younger man who gets flirty with Sol, and in a hilarious plottwist ends up saving their relationship. The elders’ children all once again have their own stories — Brianna has her mother’s business to run; Mallory is recently divorced and dealing with her anger, kick-starting an endearing friendship with Coyote, who has been sober for a while and in his first serious relationship; and Bud and Alison finally have their baby, initially a source of joy for grandmother Frankie, but ultimately a saddening contribution to the realisation of her age. Once more ending on a light cliffhanger, season four is perhaps the most emotional one yet Grace and Frankie remains one of the few shows on Netflix to put elders at the centre, and certainly the only one to intersect age and sexuality. Whatever may be in store for the two women, we will be there to cheer them on.
- Yaiza Canopoli
Image: Max Pixel (CC0 Public Domain)
You should be watching Legion Coming off the creative success of Fargo, in 2017 Noah Hawley continued his streak of hit adaptive TV shows with Legion. Taking the Marvel Comics character of the same name from panel to screen, Hawley brought something fresh and inventive to television, but it had little traction compared to other superhero shows such as Netflix’s The Defenders series. Legion is immersed partially within the world of X-Men in which the comic is based, yet the show is almost completely seperate from those roots, and shows only the slightest hint of a greater universe that we know from the many film adaptations. Instead, Legion is much more a psychological thriller and a bizarre surrealist nightmare than a savethe-world superhero flick, focusing more on the mental health and surrounding issues of the eponymous hero in a way which had not yet been explored in the genre. We are introduced to David Haller, played brilliantly by Dan Stevens, who is detained in a psychiatric hospital and suffers from schizophrenia. Interrogations by government officials about his true condition, as well as introductions to other colourful characters, bring him out into a world of warring factions where he must realise the reality of his situation and face his (very real) inner demons. Due to his tormented psychological condition, Haller is one of the most unreliable of narrators ever to exist on television, and the traipsing through of horrific dreamscapes and disturbingly warped memories create a very tangible— if not disturbing—introspection of such a troubled mind. Legion is not a case of a protagonist needing to learn a lesson or realise that “with great power comes great responsibility.” It is a look at the internal, subconscious battles that they must fight and the issues this causes for Image: Distrubution (20 Century Fox)
their relationships and acknowledgement of reality. Amongst the cast, Jemaine Clement’s Oliver Bird is a particular highlight. It is worth waiting through the first few episodes just to see him come to life with all the wackiness and eccentricities that are to be expected from the Flight of the Concords star. Perhaps equally outlandish is Lenny Busker, played by Aubrey Plaza. She starts out as one of Haller’s friends before manifesting inside his mind, ambiguously seeming to be both an angel and a devil on his shoulder. The confusion that Haller experiences is shared by the audience thanks to inventive cinematography, postproduction effects, and narrative twists. A grounding factor is Sydney Barret (Rachel Keller), who provides a tether for Haller’s humanity when they meet and she becomes his girlfriend, but ultimately proves to be capable of just as much chaos as him. The second season of Legion is set to come out in the UK on 17th April this year. Unfortunately, it isn’t on Netflix so you may have to use Now TV to view it, but the show is definitely worth watching and supporting. The extremely troubled lead character and the portrayal of mental health are but a few magnetically compelling reasons to watch.
- Joel Shelley
The editor’s Netflix picks: Toast of London (2012-)
You may know Matt Berry as “that guy from the IT crowd with the voice” but it is here, in this slightly surreal comedy, that he gets a chance to truly prove himself as a comedy talent to be reckoned with. Toast of London follows Steven Toast, a struggling and up-his-own-arse actor, and his constant wish to be relevant and dignified even when forced to record soul-destroying voiceovers with Clem Fandago (an annoying millennial). Its probably most similar to the brilliant Extras, with a desperate actor wanting more, than he has arguing with his useless agent and ultimately seeking recognition from his peers and the public. Toast of London, however, takes more off-beat chances and has a much more compelling lead who we simultaneously find irritating and loveable in equal measure. While there are jokes that are so random they come off as just plain weird, like someone getting a facelift that makes them look like Bruce Forsyth, there are equally some spot on observations about the noble profession of acting. Although weird at times, this is one Netflix show that is worth the binge
-Dan Struthers Images: Wikimedia Commons (Benmeadowswiki)
The snowman who ate your mum Did I ever tell you about the snowman who ate your mum? No? Well, I’d better tell you it now, then. This is a true story, about when I was a young man, and your mum wisna even ten years old. This was back when we got snow in winter. The earth wisna quite covered in ice, that was a few years beforehand, when I was a wee nipper like yourselves. But it was a long time ago, when it sometimes got so cold that the rain would freeze and fall slowly to the ground as snowflakes. Ach, it was beautiful. It didna fall like rain, mind. It was like confetti from heaven, spiralling down and covering everything in a bright, fluffy blanket of white. It was so bonnie, it could make even Glasgow look pretty. Almost. But this story disnae take place in Glasgow, this was when your Gram and I lived in Norwich, way down in the south before it was a lifeless desert. Before it was a desert, I mean. We had four foot of snow in the night, and when we woke up, we had to dig our way down the garden path to get to the shops for bread. And you had to fit skis to your car wheels to drive down the street (aye, this was back when folk drove cars). But it was perfect, ye ken. You canna imagine the sight of drifts and drifts of snow just sweeping into the distance, puffing off the rooftops, and dancing down fae the sky every now and again, like angels on pilgrimage. Fools. Nothing toworship here. Anyway, that afternoon we made ourselves a snowman. We took the dust from heaven and moulded itin our image. It always seemed a shame at first, to spoil the unbroken blanket. But when we played with it, we were giving it life! When we rolled up the snow into the shape of a person, and gave it eyes, and a scarf, and your mum’s cute wee double bobble hat (aye, they were in fashion once), it became a hero! A Greek champion for mortal gods to play with: this one’s tallest, that one’s fattest, this one’s a snowwoman, that one’s Ricky Gervais (he was a funny fat dude who liked taking bath selfies with his cats). A hideous, unnatural life, it’s true, but it’s better than laying around looking pretty and then melting the next day! Orsowe thought ... until it started melting. And ‘cos of the way you compact the snow to make it stronger and longer-lasting, it’s the last to go. It can take days after the rest of the snow’s gone, and it’s just there, a miserable carcass on the lawn, imploring you with its helpless eyes of coal. But of course, there was nothing we could do. And that’s why, one day, when the rest of the snow was gone, and your mum went to get her scarf and hat back ...it grabbed her ... with its cold, hard, stick hands. She screamed, but there was nothing she could do, ‘cos it was angry. We’d brought it to life, only to leave itt o melt, and it didna want to go. It had dreams. It had ideas. Soit ate your mum. And when I came out to see why she screamed, only her left foot was sticking out of its mouth ...and it turned tome and said... that’s for the polar bears. That snowman took a week to melt. Your mum had pretty bad frostbite. Sweet dreams kids.
- Jono Mcdermott
Image (left to right): Max Pixel, Pixabay
Travelling light I can’t untie my shoelaces. I think my feet have been swallowed by these scatters of ice that pool along the pavement. I was raised to believe that if it’s bright outside, you shouldn’t be indoors. This brightness hurts my eyes, like a hole If to borrow is to take then we have taken a country; this heaviness doesn’t fit right over our houses, rooftops too small like someone tried to erase them. Their streets were built in needles to keep in the heat, and ours fill up, like too much water. Look out, a flooding cat’s cradle, an atlas tangles and I shudder, numb. A roaring bear, a constellation from Siberia. Two points meet, where our lands were folded and stitched, doesn’t the world feel small when it stops?
- Lucy May
Ascension She trembles above the waterline as my hands and feet hold, and hold against the strain. Return? Now? Or back again across the bay beneath the lighthouse? We choose, of course, and return to plane towards the horizon.
- C. E. Matthews
Seclusion past the swallows past the people alone in the water free by choice
- C. E. Matthews
Port manec’h Governed by sea or, when the water calms and the tide stretches before choosing a direction, in late evening when indigo rocks litter the shore, and the tourists stroll back along the jolly cliff path, then a calmer spirit, fresh and cool, descends within and does not govern, but influences and persuades with Nature’s keen heart.
- C. E. Matthews
Image: (top to bottom) PXhere, Wikipedia Commons, Katsushika Hokusai
The moon and her stars It was a starry, starry night, and the sky was a palette of blues and greys. Unreachable ovals twinkled bright amongst the swirling shades, and there was not a cloud in sight. The clouds were nice, but the clearest blue was nicer, or so she thought. The Moon was happy this evening. She had just said hello to the sun, before he rested for the night, and the surrounding stars were giggling about something that S45 had said. The moon resided on her bean bag, and watched the world go by underneath her. Currently, her favourite people to watch were those youths who continued to be wild and free – she loved the way they sprinted through the fields, jumping over rabbit holes and sneaking in to private land. She didn’t mind the responsibility of being a watcher in the sky, but she wished for something a little less binding. The stars depended on her, as did the sun, and as did the surrounding planets. There was a lot of pressure for her to deliver, for her to shine bright and make herself known in the evenings. Although, from conversations that she had overheard across time, there were humans who recognised her presence within themselves – through their moods, through the way their specific stars aligned, and through the discourse of love, which the Moon liked to tamper with every now and then - not in a bad way, because that wasn’t her - in a way that she saw fit. Tonight, with love on her mind, the Moon presided over a couple she spied in a little shadowed house, at the very top of a rounded hill, perched precisely amongst the sketches of trees and daffodils. Through the window, she could see a lady. A young lady, arranging a bunch of fiery flowers that brightly blazed against the stark, white wall. She preened the flowers until they were perfectly standing, each single stalk placed in a 45-degree angle against the edges of the hand-blown vase her stepfather had made for her, as a gift for her 21st birthday. She placed the vase in the middle of the dining table, and smiled at it adoringly. This was one of the most beautiful, and thoughtful presents she had ever received. Every time she looked
at it, she could see the weathered face of her mother’s new husband, hunched over his tools, treating his materials as an artist does with his loving hands. He would smooth down the sides, and mould the glass in to a uniquely curved shape, like the sensual body of a devoted woman. He hadn’t made anything in a while, after being made redundant, and it was a nice release from the stresses of life – to come back to the one hobby which always uplifted him. He hoped his stepdaughter would find comfort and solace in this piece, the same way he did.
“Funny, that. I stopped by Helga’s this morning. I know you’ve had a busy week, and I appreciate that. So, I thought I may buy you something.” He said, revealing from behind his back the most electric violet haze known to the Moon. The petals drooped perfectly outward, and the pistil shone like the morning fields of amber grains. She couldn’t quite believe it. She looked up, and in to the ocean of her beloved’s eyes. She had never felt love like this before. “I also bought you a little something extra. Look in the bag.” The flower was vertically stood in a small black bag. She peered inside, and lifted from the bag a small, blacker box. She prized it open a little, and peered inside. The silver diamond band felt like an explosion upon her vision, as its middle pulsated with the clearest wave of crystal. The man who stood in front of her had once again taken the words from her mouth, and the thoughts from her mind. “I want to be with you forever, crazy flower lady. Will you do me the honours?”
And she did, she really did. She always made sure to have a fresh bunch every week, because she knew how happy it made her husband - it was the first thing that caught his eye when he walked in to the room. His eyes watched the world every day, but they always landed on her and her flowers. “These colours change hue every single week, but the shape always stays the same. How do you do it? Where are these from?” “I got them from the little market on the corner of Dawney Street, just outside of work. Helga gives me recommendations every week, because every week I tell her what I think you may like. Her stall is a kaleidoscope of colours, and I can never truly decide what I may want for that week. So I ask Helga, she gives me a suggestion, and I bring them home with me. It has been the same for 5 years.’”
Image: Wikipedia Commons, le Voyage dans la Lune
A yelp left her mouth. She hadn’t realised she had been waiting for this moment her whole life, until the moment had finally made itself known. “Yes. Yes. Yes!” The moon smiled a deep, heart-warming smile. It was moments like these which made her realise why she had been picked for a role such as this. She found the purest joy in watching love blossom before her, and knowing that she had played a part in this portrait of devotion only added to her contentment. The Moon reclined further in to her bean bag, and opened her hand, so that her palm hovered over the little cottage. From her palm flew a stream of detailed snow-flakes. They floated in front of the window which framed love in its purest form, and settled peacefully on the virgin snow.
Saturday 17th March In The LCR // The A-List Playing the biggest Chart // Pop // Dance
In The Hive // A-Xtra Playing the best in RnB // Hip Hop // Grime // International
In Blue Bar // Play-List
Playing UK Bass // House // Garage // Drum & Bass
3 Rooms of music // 5 Bars // 2000 Students //
£5 advance via www.uea.su // £6 on the door