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Editor-m-Chief Oanny ~ollins I concrete.editor@uea.ac.uk Venue Editor> Ouncan Vicat-Brown I concrete.event@uea.ac.uk

Fashron Contributors> Kat Jones, Hannoh Bntt

Arts Contnbutors> Chnstophe Prerre Young Hazel Compton Vrctona Highheld Stephen Pester, lmogen Stemberg Lrz Jack son

Paul Turtle Beth Wyatt Kate A en Tom Theedom Yvon e Popplewel Helen Eaton Adam Fenwrck

Mu c Contnbutors>Carm no Masol ver, James Woodward Steph McKenno Alex Ross, Emma Webb Frona Howard, Davrd Murph~ Alec Plowman, Alex Throssell

Frlm (ontnbutors> Trm Bates, Jonothon Brody, lorno Pontefroct, Andreo Toylor Helen Jones, Jomes Dockeroy Duncon Vrcot Brown Mrchoellovelock, Josre lrster Tom Mclnnes Amy Grifhns Beth Wyott

Comedy Contributors> Tom Theedom Honnoh Speed Soroh Arnold

Lrstmgs (ontnbutors> Ion Hobbs

Compelltrons Contnbutors>Henry Croft

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FASHION concrete . fashion @uea . ac . uk

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Fashion Editors l<at Jones and Hannah Britt tal<e a fool< a t the trends of Autumn/ W inter.

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Watch out as next issue we'll be shaming UEA's worst dressed. Don't say we didn't warn you ..

Hannah focuses on th e importa nce of embraci ng y our femi ninity, wh ile J<at shows the importance of a good suit with refe rence to a Great British film icon.

James Brown once crooned, "lt is a man's world". Well right now, Mr Brown, your words are out of place. Pipe down. This season , it is most definitely a woman's world. And she's sensual, she's stylish and she's stacked. Yes, this autumn, ladies, it's all about embracing the curves that God gave you. Down both the Lou is Vuitton and the Prada Autumn/ Winter 2010 catwalks, the bones of the super skinny were shunned in favour of the breasts of the voluptuous Models such as the shapely size 14 Lara Stone shouted loud and cle.ar to the fashion world that the star of size zero is fading. In the 1950's, celebrated photographer Norman Parkinson championed curvaceous women in British Vogue. The same vibe of attire can be watched weekly in Mad Men, arguably the most stylish programme on television. Christina Hendricks' hourglass figure is the epitome of femininity- her clothes are prim yet womanly, they reveal everything and yet nothing Harking back to the femininity of the 195o's, the sk1rt shape of the moment is midi. Take a moment now to hide your summer mini-skirts at the back of your wardrobe (along with your Ugg boots, while we're at it). The midi

skirt can be hard to wear if you're conscious of chunky ankles. If this is the case then play with the proportions of the skirt, adding an underskirt to volumise, drawing attention away from that ankle area as we ll as making your pins appear slender by contrast. Cinch in your waist w ith a skinny be lt to emphasise your hourglass. And legs should be tig ht less, although on a particu larly co ld Norw ich day, the sheerest natural shade wi ll suffice. Goldie Hawn once said, "I'm not afraid of my femininity and I'm not afraid of my sexuality". This season, wear her words stitched into your hems. Embracing one's sexuality should not be confused with dressing for men; it is about dressing for yourself. For further inspiration, look no further than Nigella Lawson to show you how it's done. Sexy, not slutty; men fancy her, women want to be her. She makes men hot under the collar whilst making women feel good about themselves. Oh, and she makes a good lasagne too .. The winds are changing, and they're blowing in the direction of dessert. Sod what Marie Antoinette says - don't let them eat cake, eat it yourself. Make mine chocolate fudge. Extra sauce. Hannah Britt


FASHION ~------------~--------~--~--------~------~~_____concrete.fashion@uea.ac.uk ____________________________

The Hot List

Suit Up!

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Venue celebrates the return of the Great British suit. For those not familiar with this term, 'suit up' is frequently heard by the character Barney in US sitcom How I Met Your Mother. The sitcom, love it, loathe it, or not heard about it, is not up for discussion, but the statement is very important to men and is a concept that Venue thinks all those born with theY chromosome should live by. Barney implies the phrase as a verb, i.e. 'to suit', merely omitting the 'to' for the slang connotations that the audience it's aimed at can only function by. 'To suit up' is the masculine response of what to do when a certain situation should arise, be it a crisis, a celebration, an interview, a date etc. When such an occurrence happens, the man will stride over to his wardrobe and put on (you can imagine it being lasered on for optimum effect) the most powerful, luxurious suit ever, woven in confidence and dripping with sex appeal. This man is now 'The Man', and can conquer the world. 'Suit up' is the masculine, nononsense equivalent of when women say, "let's have a cup of tea" or "a bottle of wine will do the trick". For us women, a good chat over a beverage will solve any drama life has to offer, and if we're in a real pickle then only a large tub of vanilla Haagen-Daz or a spot of retail therapy is the solution . 'To suit up' is a definite plan of action wh ich can be carried out individually or with an army of men, all of whom are to be 'suited up'. The suit is, of course, the key to the new strength a man acqui res, and the catwalks and designers brandishing their Autumn and Winter collections have done men proud. The line that Paul Smith has to offer is reminiscent of the style of a truly iconic Great Britain. He is the man every young boy wants to be and yes, you'll be pleased to know that women drool over him, he really does have that all important 'Lynx-effect', and his constant wearing of a really good suit is

Beauty Bite In the Concrete office, we're loving the new solid gel eyeliner-in-a-pot phenomenon. Easier to apply than its liquid counterpart, we recommend you stock up!

a vital part of his persona. He goes by the name of Bond, James Bond . While many men have played this role, Sean Connery, in the very first film adaptation Dr No, provides excellent inspiration for how to wear the suit of this season . The 196os movie shows Bond in a stone blue suit with a white shirt and red tie . The slim line trousers adhere to his trim figure and the contrasting of hot red with cool blue is evidence that his style is as shaken as his martini and goes down just as easily. The Paul Smith collection mirrors the shape and cut of the Bond suit, the trousers in particular. The jackets are modernised to be slimmer fitting over the shoulders and there is less emphasis on the lapels. The collar of the white shirt has been smoothed into a curve and the red tie follows a thinner form. The blue of the suit is much more decadent and indulgent, pushed to a brighter turquoise;

it retains sophistication in the gentle sheen of the fabric, appearing crisp, defined and untouchable . As well as this colour, the line shows an ensemble in royal blue with the addition of a very gentlemanly overcoat in the same striking tone . There is also 路 a deep aubergine sample for those who bring a natural swagger. These suits are statements, the colours are the focus, the power, the choice of the beholder, and Paul Smith certainly provides a magical realm of chocolate box delights for every aspiring Bond to delve into. The purple one, the green one, the blue one, they each will a provide special quality to the wearer. So men, save up a note or two each week and come Christmas you'll be able to 'suit up' in style.

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levi's lock-In. iTeaming up with Red Bull, the Levi store in Chapelfield are hosting a student night on iTuesday nth October. With complimentary drinks, a live DJ and (most importantly) 30% off everything in store, it is a fashion must. e there.

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14th October Gok Wan Book Signing "Oh, he's so lovely" are the words of my mother, and she's so right. Who can resist taking fashion advice from our favourite gay best friend? Well, he's coming to Jarrolds to promote his book at 1pm-2pm on Thursday 14th October. Don't worry if you can't make it as Venue will get the story and signed books are kindly being provided by Jarrolds as prizes for readers in the next issue.

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ARTs>LITERARY BEGINNINGS EvENT>UEA LITERARY FESTIVAL>JoNATHAN FRANZEN

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Jonathan Fra nzen is a mode rn literary hero. He is current ly more of a celebrity than most r- authors cou ld dream of and his latest novel, Ul Freedom , is garnering immense praise. The _1 Guardian, for example, somewhat riskily hai ls it as "the novel of the century", New York Magazine calls it "a work of total genius" and the The New York Times labels >- it "a masterpiece". The notoriously picky ~ novelist Bret Easton Elli s, via his twitter, :r called it "the best socia l-rea li st nove l since 0 [he] started pub lish ing books." Franzen is u also a major ido l to manyi his 200l novel The Corrections (which has now sold almost 3 million copies) was the novel that made ~ thi s take literature seriously, providing the _J inspiration to study literature and to write. 1.1... But they do say never to meet your heroe s. Franzen has a reputation as a prickly character, famously snubbing Oprah Winfrey in the wake of the relea se of Th e u Corrections which caused controversy in the US (that 's right, he spurned a slot on ~ Oprah, but not at UEA - crazy). Alongs ide L this, recent events have consp ired to push his temper as far as it will go: the first UK edition of Freedom, which was nine years in the making, was an accidental print of an 0 early, mi sta ke -ridden draft. Hi s trademark w a: black-rim glasses were also stolen off his face at his London book launch last week, 3 and held for ransom before final ly being returned in what appeared a frankly farcical l!)

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event. So it seemed inevitable t hat this reporter's hero and the literary co lossus of the moment would prove to be an immense grouch. Thankfully when he came to open the

\\A painfully acute understanding of human flaws, cultural sensibility and[ ...] dry, mordant wi t " UEA Literary Festival Franzen was nothing of the sort. In front of a packed out lecture theatre he read a short extract from Freedom that demonstrated hi s painfully acute understanding of human flaws, his cu ltura l sensibility and of course his dry, mordant wit. T his wit remained while, after the reading, Franzen fielded questions on his novel, hi s disastrous UK tour, about US culture and even on whether or not he wanted to be a rock star (he doesn't, thank goodness). Given his run of luck at the moment, it was also nice to see that he was not attacked by a rogue kestrel, that his chair didn't co llapse beneath him, and that his shirt didn't spontaneous ly combus t.

So a successful opening to the Literary Festival then . The reality of the author lives up to the greatness of his work, continu ing to encourage embarrassingly geeky fan boys to get hold of yet another of his signed books rather than creating disillusion. And these are books whic h, by the way, you must read. They are landmarks of modern literature - truly wonderful novels for our time - and what an honour it was to have encountered their creator. Christo phe Pierre Young

The UEA Book Group Society ts holding an informal discussion on Franzen's Corrections on the 28th October in the Hive at 7pm. For more information contact Alannah at a.chilvers@uea.ac.uk, or visit their Facebook group.

LITERATURE>AsHLEY STOI<Es>ToucHING THE STARFISH Not many books are set at university, much less our own , UEA. Even fewer are written from the point of view of a cynica l creative writing lecturer. Touching the Starfish follows Nathan Flack, failed nove list and condemned lecturer of adult education creative wr iting seminars at UEA, as he goes insane. The story li ne hangs upo n a uni q ue idea: Flack and his ex Francis once discussed the possibility of a literary genius coming to their classes, one who would reveal Nathan as the counterfeited bluffer he feels he really is. This character infiltrates Nathan's mind, turning him into a puppet and creating a dramatic fight within Flack for his sanity as he attempts to carry on his mundane life around the UEA campus. Stokes has created a first person narrative in a character everyo ne can re lat e to: t he underdog. Nathan Flack hates his job, hates himself and hates what he is becoming , for he realises he is now the kind of lecturer he never wanted to imitate, sitting on the side of his desk with that stereotyp ical slant of the head, making "go on" noises to every awful entry his students read . Stokes' brilliance

is in the novel 's style. Flack has become the routine lecturer to such an extent that he _has written his own story in the exact specifications of a creative writing

\\The plot is remarkable, twisting in ways that surprise[ ... ] highly poignant" handbook, complete with footnotes and a "create-your-own -story! ine" exercise. This book teaches you all the rights and wrongs of the craft, giving examples from the lowest form of sty le to the hidden tips and tricks of impressing the tutor, the agent and the pub li sher. lt te ll s yo u all about the plight of giving readings and of the unfair nature of the business. lt is comparab le to Stephen King's memoir On Writing , a respected and recommended work, and Touching the Starfish is on a par with its teaching methods, ideas and encouragement. The plot is remarkable , twisting in

ways that surprise with no implausible issues in its writingi the story itself is full of high ly poignant comedy, making the reader's emotions flow effortlessly from pity for Nathan to laughing out loud at his dilemmas, whilst Nathan himself is a character with a drol lness grounded by his cynical views. The sett ing of UEA is thril lingi it's painstak ing ly acc urate, from the concrete walkway to the grad bar, all of it easy to place. The book was written a few years ago and a few place s in Norwich ha ve changed, but if you have lived in Norfolk all of your life it evokes a strange nostalgia as it reminds you, for example, of how the Costa Coffee in Waterstones used to be filled with the bigwigs of literature as they looked down upon your lattes To top it al l is the lecturer's code for the students around campus, guaranteed to have you fretting your position and laughing at the definitions of a 'folder holder' or a 'sensitive plant'. And if that doesn't get you, the relations between the lecturers are certainly hilarious enough to keep you desperate to know who ends up getting their comeuppance. This unique novel will change the way

you see the tutors, UEA and your fellow students. lt will also inspire you to act on your own creativity. So grab a copy, pick up a pen and start your creative writing lesson. Hazel Compton


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LJTERATURE>BooJ<ER PRIZE The Man Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best novel of the year. The much talked about prize is the world's most important literary award and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and even publishers. The prize, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2008, aspires to reward the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland . The prize consists of a large £so,ooo sum, plus guaranteed worldwide readership as well as increase in book sales. The history of the previous Man Booker Prize winners speaks for itself. The 2009 winner was Hilary Mantel with her novel Wolf Hall. Aravind Adiga won the prize in 2008 and his impressive novel, The White Tiger, went on t o become one of the fastest selling novels 1n the prize's history. Anne En ri ght, who won t he prize in 2007 for her novel The Gathering, embarked on a world tour following her Man Booker triumph, proving how winning the prize can elevate authors to stardom. The authors and novels shortlisted this year are: Peter Carey's Parrots and 0/iver in America, Emma Galgut's Room, Howard Jacobson's The Finkler Question, And rea Levy's The Long

Stof}''and Tom McCarthy's C. The winner will be announced on October nth, 20:1.0. The Man Booker judges are selected from the country's best critics, writers and academics to ensure consistency in the prizes reputation for excellence . The judging panel for the 20:1.0 Man Booker Prize will consist of: former Poet Laureate, Sir Andrew Motion (Chair), Rosie Blau, Deborah Bull, Tom Sutcliffe and Frances Wilson. All the judges have years of experience in the literary section, and will have some extremely ~ough decisions to make before they announce the winner on October nth, made more difficult by the remarkable selection of novels to choose from. However, one novel in particular stands out. In a Strange Room is the story of a man who is possessed by the need to travel, from Greece to India and Africa . His journeys both end in disaster and change his life, yet all the while he is still disconnected and, in a sense, alone. lt is also Concrete's favourite to win the 20:1.0 Booker Prize. Why? Because In a Strange Room is a bril liantly unusual book, in a way which is both gripping and fascinating. This novel is surprising in several aspects -firstly, in that it has actually been published

ART>'ART ·OF FAITH ' EXHIBITION

The latest exhibition to grace the walls of the magnificent Norwich Castle Museum (free with a campus card) brings together a multitude of artefacts of different media, from the region and from different eras including Roman pottery and more modern digital art. lt travels chronologically through six different periods beginning with early Pagan worship and Anglo-Saxon work and explores the relationship between belief and the act of making objects, encompassing many religions such as Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhism. There is an emphasis on the importance of creation as an act of faith, as the exhibition effectively conveys how extensive craftsmanship was put into works with no actua I purpose other than to function as devotional objects. This idea that only the most beautiful objects were used for worship is highlighted

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before, in The Paris Review. lt was also published in three short stories in its original form, before being united in this format. The unusual way the book as a whole is structured is reflected on a smaller scale in the narrative itself. Notably, the story drifts from third person to first, reflecting the seeming disassociation between the narrator and his confused, isolated past self. Further, Galgut constructs a narrative where significant periods of time pass in the course of a paragraph, leading to a sense of drifting and a feeling of emptiness in the main character's life. Yet the separation into these three journeys - 'The Follower', 'The Lover' and 'The Guardian' -demonstrates the dramatic changes in the narrator's life and the revealing truth behind his travels: the way in which the land around him might change with periods in his life, but ultimately, he never does. Perhaps most notably of all, Damon Galgut has the ability to express profound emotion with very simple language. Short, sharp sentences express much oft he meaning of the story with words no more complex than an unassuming use of 'circumstances'. A deceptively simplistic narrative structure and use of language belies a much more profound

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and poignant text, making the novel a highly u refreshing read and one that this reporter predicts will be a strong contender if not easily the overall winner of this year's Man (I) Booker Prize. t!J Victoria Highfield and Stephen Pester

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P oETRY> NATIONAL PoETRY DAY

in the exhibition as a way of pushing forward technology and skills and advancing society as a whole as these skills become transferable into other aspects of culture . Moving into the medieval period, the tattered faces of the angels on an intricately patterned velvet cape demonstrates the aspect of religion as destructive, using the Lollards as an example of iconoclasts who destroyed 'idolatrous' artworks. After a mummified cat from the :18th century and a gigantic oil painting there is a case full of objects on loan from ordinary people's homes, where a Catholic devotional icon sits happily between Baha'i prayer beads and a Jewish mezuzah. Finally, there is Chris Newby's Something Understood, a specially commissioned film about personal and communal acts of worship interspersed with serene scenes of the East Anglian landscape which demonstrates continually changing relationships with faith: in this case, how the natural environment has the power to inspire religious awe. If you are in Norwich and have a spare few minutes I would recommend looking around this small exhibition, even if you don't identify with an organised religion . ln particular the last two stages in the exhibition really represent its focu., which seems to this reporter to both demonstrate the huge variety and effort that is put into the religious art, and to argue that spirituality is an innate human quality that art with its unique power to 'convey and provoke emotions that words cannot' provides a fulfilling medium to express this in every individual. lmogen Steinberg

As some of the more literary-minded amongst us may know, National Poetry Day was this week. This year's theme was 'Home', an important one for many people given the increasingly multicultural and multi -identity population of the UK, and the continued close relationship between family and friends as valued sources of support through tough times; whether financial, emotional or otherwise . However, these interpretations of the themes were by far not the only ones, and selections for the website this year took the idea of home from a physical room to a landscape, a recipe and even music, images and smells.

Perhaps most interesting were the other aspects of the event, which asked individuals to include a line from some of their favourite poems as their Facebook statuses, and the conversion of the winning

poetry entry into a short film - highlighting the fast-changing means of communication by which we can all keep in touch and access 'home', in addition to expanding the traditional reach of NPD so that as many different people as possible all over the country could get involved . Events up and down the country also took place including tea parties, poetry readings, activity days and cake sales advertising 'edible poetry'. This year's specially featured poem was one by Phillip Gross's The Room Inside, a simple yet powerful poem which highlights the hugely varied role just one room can play in many individual's lives. Yet undoubtedly one thought which springs to mind is the importance of the idea of 'home' for our nation as a whole . Whether the idea of home conjures up traditional military images of the British Empire, a simple memory of Sunday Roasts with the family, or reminds us of Rupert Brooke's infamous poem The Soldier, it is a theme which recurs throughout British history and is perhaps a unique obsession of ours. When we consider it in detail it's easy to come to the same realisation as NPD in deciding upon the theme of home; and it's not just because oft he role it plays in British national identity. As they state on their website, 'poetry helps us to revive, hea l or endure'- and in the same way, home does too- whatever it means to us. Liz Jackson

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Union Council Key Dates October 21st

••••• •

November sth November 25th December gth

• • •

. Fill out a Nomination form, avialable from Union House reception or your school office by Thursday 14th October

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What We Have Been Up To

Working with the Liberat ions Ofncers to set up the Equal Opportunity

Set ting up Student Safety Week - Week 8 Working with Voluntary Norfolk owards an award schem·e for Union

Writing the Student Experience Report from student feedback Organising and ru nni ng student rep training Running the Hungry for Feedback Campaign

Working towards the recruitment of the Union ' s new CEO . Organising and running training for Clubs & Societies Working towards a Focus Sports Programme

Setting up National Demo Countdown Organising Union Council Working with the Student Officer Committee for the Priority Campaigns Pol l Working towards producing the Un ion Newsletter Rabbit & eRabbit


TELEVISION

TWO AND A HALF MEN ... AND TWO MORE MEN, TWO WOMEN AND FOUR MORE I<IDS...

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Adam Fenwick takes a look at Modern Family, an unusually good American sitcom. You'd have been forgiven for thinking that it was another American show to jump on the British bandwagon of the hugely successful 'mockumentary' format, but Modern Family is a refreshingly different take on suburban family life, compared to the recent spate of devastatingly unfunny US sitcoms. The show 'documents' the lives of three inter-related families: the archetypal nuclear family, Claire and Phil (and children); the classic 'older-rich -husband and young-attractive-wife', Gloria and Jay (with son Manny); and newly-adoptive gay parents, Mitchell and Cameron (with Lily) . The basic plot is a 'show within a show', as the families are being filmed for a reality TV show. Think The Office meets 8 Simple Rules and you'll have the general idea. The somewhat large main cast is unusual for a comedy, yet each plays their own part and they complement each other perfectly. Brother and sister Claire and Mitchell spend most of their time raising

their families and looking after their sometimes needy partners, particularly Phil, who appears to be constantly going through a mid-life crisis, providing a range of laugh -out-loud, cringe -worthy moments. Claire's family is a rather stereotypical one; the dumb younger boy, the intellectual 'middle -child', and the coming -of-age young woman. Perhaps even more stereotypical is the portrayal of the gay couple, Mitchell and Cameron . Although camp, and the couple sometimes effeminate, manage to transcend the obvious and all too often used 'gay character' and turn it into so much more. Mitchell's relationship with his father (Jay), and the adoption of baby Lily are subjects that would not have been covered by US comedies years ago. Maybe this positive portrayal will help to change some minds and break down certain cliches. After winning an Emmy for 'Outstanding Comedy Series' after its

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first season last year, Modern Family was picked up by ABC for a full second season. But can it pass the test of time, especially in a TV market that demands around 24 episodes per season? The genius of the mockumentary is in its simplicity, and it is questionable whether this can be carried

out over such a large number of episodes. u_ But one thing's for sure; the ratings aren't showing any sign of giving up. The first three episodes of the new season are up from the first three of the previous one by u several million- it can't be bad, then.


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TIELEVISION

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u There's been a noticeable spike in the quality of British te levis ion late ly. Here's our pick of the litte r.

AN IDIOT ABROAD: Sl<y One, Th ursday 9 pm

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SPOOI<S: BBC One, Monday 9 pm

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Th e premise is simp le: put a narrow-minded perso n in places full of strange t hi ngs, and, _j naturally, let the fun unfold. The person also has to be round headed lL and uni nte ntiona lly hilarious. Karl Pil kington came into our li ves t hroug h Ri cky Gerva is and comedy partner Stephen Mercha nt's LJ (loving) pub lic mocking of him, seen in boo ks, blogs and The Ricky Gervais Show ~ podcasts. ~ In the first episode, Karl is in China t aking on various tourist act ivities, and in th e second he's in Ind ia to 'fi nd spi rituality'. But t hat's not the po int; it's his be haviour 0 and absu rd narration of what's going on that w rr keeps your attention. He fin ds som e pub li c squ attin g t oilets 3 in China th at don't have doors, w hi ch rea ll y ~

disturbs him ; "Those are the easy parts, you've got the wa ll s," he sa ys. Wh en in India, he's horrified that the cow sanctuary workers ca ll hand-shaped cow dung slabs 'cakes', because they are defin itely not food. He also sme ll s hi s hand afterwa rd s, to check t hat it is actually poo, not mud. The thing is that Karl tries to be ph il osoph ica l (somehow, he conc ludes tha t sp iritua li sm is li ke f rie ndshi p), but it cou ld never wo rk with Gervais and Merchant undermining him with fact and logic, and all t hat. Shame. Next time, he's in India, w here he'll have amp le opportunity to criti cise t he toilet facil ities ...

Nata lie Stephenson

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MERLIN : BBC One, Saturday 7:45pm

For t hose who haven't seen it, Spooks can loose ly be described as a Brit ish 24, following the efforts of the team of agents tasked with protecting Britain . Gone is the stee ly Ros (Hermione Norris), afforded th e tra diti onal, series-open in g funera l. In her place are the mysterious Dimitri, and Beth, whose entrance to the service comes around in pecu liar circumstances. Eac h ep isode con t ains a specific threat that the team are attempting to face down, as well as several ongoing storylines, the most prominent involving the curious reappearance of characters from Lucas North's (Richard Armitage) past, not least his ex girlfriend (played by Laila Roua ss) So far, t he series has already offered an attempted coup in Western Africa, a bomb

plot aimed at t he Houses of Parliament and a WMD located somewhere in t he city of London, as we ll as issues in the personal lives of those working on 'The Grid'. Spooks has always been known for its high prod uctio n va lues, utili zing techn iques such as split screen to convey the fast paced nature of the unfolding action. This wi ll ingness to try d ifferent storytelling methods is also demonstrated in t he seco nd episode, with a Vantage Point like narrative, te ll ing the story from the viewpoints of severa l cha racters. For those with an interest in co nspiracy drama, or just a genera l inte re st in the often hidden world of the security services, then Spooks is definitely wo rth a watch. Paul Turtle

THIS IS ENGLAND '86: Available on 40 0

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audiences on Sat urday nig hts. In autumn 2008, Merlin , the story of the wa rl ock as a young man, hit screens, and was a mass ive success. Now in it s t hi rd (I) r- series, Merlin still co nst antly prov ides rr elect rifyi ng drama. <( T he programme aims to dazzle you w it h its intense battl e sce nes and devious sorce rers. Howeve r, it's the comedic Z elements which steal t he show. Th e love/ 0 hate re lationship between res ident heartthrob Prin ce Arth ur and Merlin is hil ario us, I Ul espec iall y th e rece nt ep isode w hen Merl in <( fig hts off a new riva l in order t o remain lL Arthur's favourite. Also, Art hur be lieves th at Merl in is a se nse less idiot, w hen

actua ll y he often saves the Prince's life . More great comedy fo ll owed w hen Ga iu s is possessed by a Go blin w ho pl ays t ri cks such as giving macho Arthu r t he ears and voice of a donkey. In add iti on , t he future roma nce betwee n Arth ur and Gui neve re was hinted at once more, w ith Merlin teasing the prince about his jea lousy when he spots her ta lking affectio nate ly to Gwaine. Th is j ea lo usy coul d spark aga in if th e love ly Lance lot rid es back into Came lot to comp lete t he eminent love tria ngle. There are many reasons t o watch t hi s fres h t ake on t he lege nd, w ith mo re thrillin g pl ot s to un rave l t hi s se ri es. Let 's hope it's recomm iss ioned for a fourth. Beth Wyatt

This is England '86 revisited the likeable sk inhead gang from Shane Meadows cult fil m (w in ne r of Best Briti sh Film at t he 2008 BAFTA's), three years on from Combo's brutal attack, which crushed Shaun's world. W hat started off as a nostalgic, humorous retu rn to the lives of Woody, Lol and Shau n was quickly rep laced with a darkening sense of unease as Meadows revealed the cracks that would soon fracture the group's happy world of footba ll, video games and wa it ing in line at the dole office. Written by Shane Meadows & Jack Thorne, t he te levis ion se ri es moved away from th e fi lm s f ocus on Shau n and prov ided an opportunity to explore the lives of the other characte rs. Th orne, who has written f or Skins an d Sha meless, broug ht his own

unique wit to the series, most notably Shaun and Smell's romantic barking session. Th e rape scene, uncomp romisingly directed by Meadows, proved difficult to watch, and the dialogue resonated with uncomfo rt ab le undertone s. Meadows has a fantasti c grasp of t he powe r of sil ence and guttural sounds; the use of the same song over the world cup final 1 the rape and Combo's return proved tru ly chilling. Brit ish TV needs mo re stro ng dramas like this; with fearless directors like Shane Meadows and brilliant writers like Jack Thorne, it 's a crying shame that Brita in isn't producing more te lev ision of this calibre.

Kate AIIen


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PRIMETIME: JAMIE'S FOOD REVOLUTION Channel4, Monday 10pm

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Could Jamie Oliver please step forward? The Naked Chefs 2006 British campaign to change the eating habits of schools has crossed the Atlantic, in the guise of Jamie's

American Food Revolution. The setting is Huntingdon, claimed to be America's most unhealthy town, where over half of the adult population are medically obese. He faces obstacles in the form of stubborn dinner ladies (sound familiar?) and local radio DJ Don Willis, who takes immediate opposition to his campaign. Here lies the shows main weakness; firstly, we've seen all this before in Jamie's School Dinners where he faced all the same issues. As with Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares, which was given a dramatic makeover, Revolution's noble and sobering cause has been trivialised in order to create 43minute dramas. In the first episode we see Jamie immediately face resistance, break down in tears and have to explain himself to the press, but ultimately he succeeds in his first task of turning around the eating habits of an overweight American family.

For all its contrived storylines and planted characters, it cannot distract from the serious subject matter that constantly grounds the show. For every moment of humour (the reveal of the freezer full of pizza's in episode one), there are moments that shock; the child who mistakes a bunch of tomatoes for potatoes, the school that serves pizza for breakfast, the supersized coffin and an emotional scene in which a morbidly obese girl explains how she was given only a few years to live. This is the programmes' saving grace and its main appeal. No matter how many times the show has been fed through the American dramatisation machine, it cannot hide the fact that Jamie is trying to achieve the seemingly impossible and change the eating habits of a nation. America loves superheroes, and as we're reminded from the start, Jamie is there to save the lives of our friends across the pond, and for that he deserves our undivided attention. TomTheedom

True Blood may have ridden in on the coattails of the recent vampire craze, but anyone looking for an innocent romance is in for a surprise. Created by A/an Ball, of Six Feet Under fame, and based on the popular Southern Vampire Mysteries series by Charlaine Harris, True Blood follows the exploits of waitress/telepath Sookie Stackhouse (Ann a Paquin) as she negotiates a world in which Vampires have 'come out of the coffin'. Season three loosely follows the plot of Club Dead, the third novel, but deviates from the book a lot more than previous seasons (as any avid Charlaine Harris fan will tell you, very loudly, and without warning). But do not fear, all the key elements are there, including the introduction of broodingly handsome werewolf Alcide Herveaux (Joe Manganiello), who takes Sookie on an eventful road trip to Mississippi. True Blood has one of the largest casts on American television and, to his credit (or detriment) A/an Ball employs a 'no man left behind' policy. Fans of Jason, Tara, Sam, Arlene and Terry, Pam, Andy or Hoyt and

Jessica will not be left disappointed, as they all have their own storyline this season. Of course there's plenty of Sookie and Bill, who seem to spend most of their time breaking up (and having creepy make-up sex), but it is Viking vamp Eric's revenge plot that steals the show. There are plenty of things that have people talking this season, but anything that involves Denis O'Hare's Russell Edgington, the kick-ass 'King of Mississippi', warrants special consideration. His love for his husband Talbot, a crazy vendetta against the human race and what is arguably the best news report ever to air on television help make Russell Edgington one of the most intriguing villains of the year (luckily, he's rumoured to be returning next season). . So, put on your Fangtasia t -shirt, grab a bottle of 0- Positive and find a light-tight room because, love it or loathe it, True Blood certainly gives you something to talk about come Monday morning.

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to the aesthetics of the 3D format; while episodes of top US dramas, such as Lost and Heroes, could have reaped the benefits of 3D television, it is difficult to see how the UK could possibly keep up. The focus of much of Britain's television drama is on plot, mainly due to considerably lower budgets than US dramas. Would Miss Marple really work in 3D? Though it is clear that the film industry can benefit from 3D features, could it be a step too far for the world of television 7 Watching a football match in 3D may well be incredible initially, but eventually the novelty of the experience will surely wear off. The real question, therefore, is not if, but when, this will happen .

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Electronic Arts' latest instalment in the Medal of Hono r series, simp ly entit led Medal of Honor, sees a reboot of the brand from the classical scenario of the Second World War to the contempora ry setting of the current Iraq War. The game draws many comparisons w ith Infin ity Ward 's Call of Duty Modern Warfare series, both take place around the idea of an Afghanistan war, pitting UK and US troops against an Islamic terrorist force. After th e con t roversy around Modern Warfare 2, it is now Medal of Hon or's turn , the latest of the releases, to draw in the most damaging criticism. The controversy began when it became known that players could take on the role of the Tali ban in the on lin e mu ltip layer mode, a feature that under heavy pressure has subsequent ly been removed. Fam ili es of curre nt sold iers, along with se nior figures such as Liam Fox, the UK Defence Secretary, ex pre ssed outrage that EA wou ld all ow players to

emula t e the actions of a group who are cu rr entl y f ighting, and ki lli ng, Briti sh an d US servicemen , even though no Briti sh troops feature in the game at all . At the same time, others have argued that the nam e change from "Taliban" to "OpFor" (Opposing Fo rce) represents a drop in realism ; after all , a war is fought on two sides and, if one force is represented , then surely the other must be represented also, in order to truly recreate the scene . EA's initi al re sponse was to defend

war which the game portrays. This is not the first tim e that a game such as this has attracted criticism for its content . Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's mission "No Russian" essentially placed the player in a position of a terrorist, all ow ing players the choice to mercilessly gun down innocent civilians at an airport. Although the use of the word Taliban has been removed from online multiplayer play, "No Russian" made the final cut of the game, albeit with an option for

the inclusion of the name "Tal iban". The publisher argued that, as in most video games, " if someone's the cop, someone's gotta be the robber ... in Medal of Honor multiplayer, someone's gotta be the Taliban ". Sound reasoning, one wou ld feel. For EA, sensitivity is not the is sue; if they are to achieve the level of realism that will propel their franchise above the ranks of Call of Duty (a tough task), then every detail of the game must be as close to reality as possible , inc luding the proper names of the combatants fighting in th e

players to skip it due to its content. Th e pressure to remove the Taliban from the multiplayer mode increased when the US military confirmed that it was banning sales of the game from all of its bases. A s a business , EA's reaction was understandable - to remove the explicit us e of the word Taliban, otherwise stores and perhaps governments may follow suit, thus affecting sales of the game. The phrase "all publicity is good publicity" could not be more true with Medal of Honor, and those at EA are likely

almost three years . Between Guitar Hero upping the ante with full band play and Rockband 's successful track record you may find yourself wondering what you can expect from Harmoni x thi s time around. The most obv ious addition to the franchise is a brand new in strument: the keyboard. This is a two-octave 'half' keyboard which comes in the handy form of a keytar, and yes, it looks awesome. If you've ever wondered what it wou ld be li ke to bust out some funky keyboard riffs alongside Morrissey and Elton John, now

is the time to find out. Th e eclectic range of songs that Rockband 3 has to offer is, in part, due to the arrival of the keyboard, but there are plenty of other reasons to admire the extensive track li st: David Bowie, Metric, IN XS, B-525 (Rock Lobster') and The Doobie Brothers all make an appearance. Salivating? Perhaps the most exciting development in Rockband 3 is the advent of 'p ro ' mode. For those who have conquered expert difficulty in the previous games, 'pro' mode will offer a unique and innovative challenge that requires you to actually 'play' your instrument . T his wi ll rely on the individual playing actual notes opposed to the old familiar button-bashing found in standard modes, and once you have seen the Fender Mustang controller with it s 102 buttons (designed to simulate frets and strings) you wi ll see how fun and diverse th e game could be . So while 'p ro' expects you to have previous knowledge of actually playing the instrument (whether this be guitar, keyboard or drums), it is also a great way to

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to be more than happy with th e level of interest in the game that has occurred due to the Taliban controversy. One cr ucia l fact sti ll remains, however: players are still able to shoot and kill US troops, simp ly under a different name. The Defence Secretary Liam Fox argues that it is "shocking that someone would think it acceptable to recreate the acts of the Taliban against British so ldiers", yet very littl e was made of the fact that in Ca ll of Duty: Modern Warfare , players could do the same , simply under th e different name of OpFor (a move that EA has also taken). lt seems that EA ha s buckled under th e pressure of se nsitiv ity. lt was inevitable that a game such as Medal of Honor wou ld face oppos iti on, most ly due to the content of the game, although ve ry little has been ment ioned about the leve l of realism in the vio lence of Medal of Honor, even though the source of the violence has been the key issue. lt seems trivial that opponents of the game wou ld take issue w ith the name Taliban : sure ly, if they were truly offended, they would call for the game to be scrapped altogether James Schofield

learn and develop your musical ski ll s in the real world. Furthermore, the game gives you th e ability to mix and match modes as you please, so a 'p ro ' and a beginner can jam togeth er without feeling the heat. By making these two modes available and compatible together, Rockband 3 should appea l to a w ide audience , from those who are simply curious about the game to those who consider t hemselves passionate guitarists and riff-masters - that's right hot stuff 1 In summ ary: So+ starter tracks, plus the opt ion to upload songs from previous titles and downloadable content (that is over 2000 songs'), the freedom to bash buttons or be a pro and play some actual chords, the introduction of the keytar and authentic stringed guitar controllers and .. . er m ... Amy Wine house 's Rehab (?) will make this one for the Christmas list. The music video game genre is growing up. DJ Turner


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Fun links to pass the time between socialising and learning . http://www.fiftywordstories.com This is for all of you out there who want to read, but never seem to get around to it! it's exactly what it says on the tin quirky, funny and occasionally serious stories of exactly fifty words. For a sense of just how short that is, this description is longer! http://mylifeisaverage.com Short, user submitted stories that are at best funny and interesting and at worst a distraction from doing any work! There are many similar websites to explore too . http://explosm.net/comics A 'mindless fun' kind of comic, called Cyanide & Happiness . Warning : can get hilariously random and violent at times! http://www.jabberwacky.com Th1s is an AI you can talk to, and compared to most others on line, it is fairly sophisticated . You can choose an emotion with your text, and although none of these websites feel like real conversations, they can be anything from interesting to funny! Stephen Pester

Since the tu m of the century, smartphones have been taking the mobile phone market by storm . For one reason or another, mobile phones are no longer just for making calls or texting . They are tak ing on functions that make them almost unrecognisable from the brick-phones of the 1g8os, and even the fancy flip top phones of the gos, and it seems that the market is showing no sign of slowing. Soon to join Google, Nokia and Apple in the race is Microsoft, with the release of its new Windows Phone 7 Series. As with any innovation, there is excitement in some quarters and mistrust in others. Declarations that, "the world will never be the same!" come from many iPhone lovers, and each upgrade of the Blackberry manages to ign1te a flurry of handset upgrades; however one thing that is evident is the fact that all fans love to propose radically different visions of what this smartphone future will involve and whether they approve of it. One of the biggest possible changes to everyday life is that with a smartphone in your pocket, there is no more wasted time in the day. Spare moments on a bus or between appointments, that would previously have been wasted, can be used instantly to perform any number of tasks . If a news story is breakmg on the other s1de of the world, there is no longer any need to check Sky News or the BBC website, an update can come right to your pocket, and your incredibly interesting and urgent life can be tweeted to the rest of the world wherever you are! Downloadable 'apps'

(small bitesize computer programmes) allow the user to tailor their new phone to exactly the tasks they intend to use it for. Efficient, intuitive and timesaving the smartphone is, so far, the technological icon of the 21st century.

instead of using our own minds. The sheer immediacy of communication via smartphones engenders impatience and increases the expectations opon individuals, both socially and professionally. lt is expected that someone will reply to an email within a few hours and being away from your computer is soon to be an excuse of the past. Today, 37.6% of handsets sold in UK are smartphones. A considerable number, but clearly they are yet to convince everyone. The increasing diversity of smartphones available will help them appeal to a wider audience. Those of you who dislike touchscreens now have the option for both keys and a large interactive screen . As the Internet continues to become more important in every aspect of our lives it is probable that more and more of us will conclude it is impractical to be separated from it. lt seems likely that within the next decade the smartphone will become the default when considenng which phone to

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@brian_badonde - everybody's favourite Facejacker character has his own twitter! Follow the escapades and general insights into the mind of an art, film, food and drink connesseur. Boh 1 @s**tmydadsays - Some key insights from a great parent to his son, an ever growing collection of wise words that will have you on the floor in pieces! Hopefully you can figure out what two letters to replace the'**' with . @charltonbrooker - You may recognise him from great TV shows such as You have been Watching and Screenwipe, and now you can follow his condescending journalistic attitude as he makes extremely valid quips about some of the most major issues of the news. @chucknorris_ - All those brilliant Chuck Norris jokes bundled up nto one ea sy to find twitter account. Oh Chuck Norris, 1s there nothing you can't do?

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on contract in Iraq , who wakes up 'buried' six feet underground with on ly a zippo light er, a mob ile phone, and a knife . From

There is a small subgenre of fi lms t hat exist outs ide of _1 mainstream Hollywood that take pla ce almost enti rely in one location, suc h as 12 Angry Men. Buried enters > that category as probab ly 0 the most limited one yet; a w ;:r film that takes place entirely 0 in a box the size of a coffin , u with a single character. This is not the fi lm to see if you are cla ustrophobic. The character in ::!: _j question is Pau l Conroy (Ryan Reynolds in a role I.L very different from his usual romant ic comed ies), an American t ruck driver

there we fol low him as he makes a se ri es of cal ls in which he is put on ho ld, calling all the 'help line s' he knows, and his fam ily. Finally, he makes lasting contact, first with the kidnappers, then with the hostage relief service set up in Iraq, and they all have their own plans for him .. The rea l drama in Paul's situation is that it's a great mixture of genius and incompete nce; being buried underground, he can make calls, and li sten to the kidnapper's request s, but can't te ll anybody w here he

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and un spec ific (they initially want five million dollars, but lower it immediately to one mill ion), which only makes the prospects for Paul more terrifyi ng. For their part, all the behind -the-scenes work is expertly done, which is good because this is a film that lives off its script and

direction . The script, written by Chris Sparling, pushes unbelievable constraints onto the director, not allowing him any shots of the people on the other side of the phone. Yet, despite that, it's a script that works, and whic h knows the value of quiet moments as we ll as inten se ones. Clearly this is something that director Rodrigo Cartes understands as well. However, his real achievement is being able to simply film ninety minute s of one man, in one tiny location, and keep the audience interested with a wide variety of shots which are punctuated by flashy close-ups of Paul 's eyes or mouth. The music

outside of the fi lm's many silent interludes is punchy, and carries we ight, and the lighting editor gets the easiest job in show business, as the only lights are provided on scree n. But, of course, this is a film that lives or dies on the performance of Ryan Reynolds, and he brings out one of the tightest and best performances of the year. Th ere isn't a single shot in the film without him in it but he never gets tiring; he completely understands the subtlety and weight the director and scriptwriter are trying to convey here, and that's w hy this fi lm works Thi s is the best pure thril ler to come out in a long time. Tim Bates

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Harking back to l96o's East London, Made in Oagenham shows the booming industry, suave haircuts, and un ion stri kes that heralded a revolutionary era for Britain. An era when labo ur cou ld be unskilled, black and wh ite TV's were rented, children we re t aught by co rpo ral punishment and inequal ity was not ju st a workp lace problem. Sal ly Hawkins (Happy plays Rita Go -Lucky) O'Grady who fronts a strike demanding gender equa lity at the Ford motor factory in Dagenham. Hawk in s settles into the lead role with a qu iet confidence that beautifully reflects the rags to roll-ups story of the wo rking class

seamstresses who fought to be recognized in a male dom inated workp lace, and , indeed the world. As production at Ford stal ls, the bosses soon realize where the ir chauvinism is getti ng them. Bob Hosk in 's character arrives as a re f res hin g advocate of the strike, providing light comedy scenes and a penchant f o r t hat 6o's working class spirit, fighting not just for equa l pay, but equal opportu nit ies. Yet it is even less a film about women's rights than a documentary - that is a documentary with dramatic license - which is unafraid of stereotypes. Thi s fi lm is archetypica l in celebrating the solidarity of small communi tie s overcoming large socia l problems. Jonatha n Brady

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Gordon Gekko is back. lt just took O li ver Stone 23 years to rev ive him. Wall .S treet: Money Never Sleeps

is th e muc h be lated seque l to the l987 origina l wh ich won Michael Doug las his first Oscar as the slick, egotistical trader. But it is Shia LaBeouf who takes centre stage this time round as Jacob Moore, an ambitious young Wall Street trader working as the market wavers on the point of col lap se in 2008. Un surprisingly, it just so happ ens that his pro-green girlfriend Winnie (Carey Mulligan) is Gekko's very own resentful daughter. So when Jacob's mentor is forced to commit suicide, Jacob uses the

fragile father-daughter relationship as leverage to conduct a ser ies of 'trades' with Gekko in order to exact revenge. But can Jacob really trust a man who introduced the motto 'Greed is good '7 Occasionally this film fee ls slow, dawd li ng over countless pans of the New York sky line and indulging heavily in long sequences of unnecessary cinematic effects which make it seem like Stone is trying a little too hard . Yet it creates an interesting insight into the world of stocks and shares without succ umbing to the easy mistake of getting lost in a sea of trading jargon and figures. Lorna Pontefract

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• Takers tel ls the story of a group of elite ban k robbe rs (Chris Brown and Michael Ealy) who plan their heists ca refu lly t o avoi d ca pt ure by the police. Th e film opens with a predictable and poor ly scripted 'tough guy' conversation between the robbers which pretty much sets the tone for t he rest of the film . Whilst the thieves concoct a plan with an exteam member to steal $20 million, a troubled and selfdestructive detecti ve (Matt Dil lon ) is hot on their heels . The story unnecessarily relies upon exposition to centre on the characters' personal lives, adding litt le to the overall plot which is somewhat lacking in

depth. Further headaches include shaky camera work used during fight scenes, doing little else but to disorientate the audience who struggle to keep up wit h who's shooti ng who. The flimsy plotline is almost saved by impressive st unts , f ran kl y unnecessary car chases and a few we llblanced gun fights, w hich gives t he fi lm a fun and frivolous feel. A film which requires min imal concentration , Takers is a safe bet if you're looking for explosions, guns and Russian gangsters. An d rea Taylor


••••••• •••••• •Director: Ryan Murphy : Re lease Dat e: 24/9/1o : • : ••••••••••••••••••• : Realising that she has lost her appetite for life, recently divorced Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) decides to leave her American life behind to cross the world in search of herself. She finds food in Italy, prayer in India, and Love in Bali. Eat Pray Love could have been wonderfully original, with a big star heading it, and a lovely idea behind it, the film had all the ingredients for great success. However, the reality was very different, and having to sit through two hours of this film was very difficult. The film sparked no emotion whatsoever. From start to finish the film did nothing, achieved nothing, and

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romantic comedy, with all the trimmings . Helen Jones

: • : : •••••••••••••••••• : The 12A has come a long way. Deep in the murky of Hollywood's depths condos producers have decided to unleash some genuine horror on the delicate imaginations of young teenagers . T!u:: i-!u!o:: fo::atures some of horror's most long standing motifs; walking and talking dummies, dead children, a conspicuous use of blood and lighting and camera shots that make you want to scream "Look behind you!!! ". But what really makes it special is that, surprisingly, The Hole can also be characterised as a family drama. Moving home, absent father figures, young love,

and sibling rivalry all take place in a separated sphere to the horror elements. There is even a cameo by Alan, mum's new boyfriend . This is something of a schizophrenic film, and characters such as Alan come and go, but don't let the duality of the film put you off. The makers of The Hole have dreamed up a sub genre of their own, unleashing Chucky, The Candy Man and that dead girl from The Ring on to a conventional go's drama. Not surprisingly, the result is highly watchable. Know any 6 year olds with fragile minds? Now is the time to turn the screw and welcome them in to the modern age (in 3D) . James Dockera y

: •••••••••••••••••• : For an industry that churns out more films than Hollywood, it's pretty shocking that more Indian cinema (alright, Bollywood .. look, technically it's not, there's loads of different .. fine, whatever) doesn't break out to a global audience . Discounting the crossover atrocities of Gurinder Chadha, which you pretty much have to, you could probab ly count them on one hand. Peepli Live has, in it's own small way, made a splash further abroad. So what is it about this low key comedy that makes it stand out7 it becomes obvious almost immediately. A far cry from the camp

we come to expect from Indian cinema, Peepli has more in common with Chris Morris than Shahrukh Khan . Brimming over with a kind of dark humour rarely seen outside Europe, Peepli is fearless and witty, somehow drawing humour from some pretty serious issues (the recent spike in suicides amongst Indian farmers; dark enough for ya?) without getting too cynical or preachy. it's not perfect; the script runs out of steam in the last act, and there are some distinctly amateur performances. But this still beats the majority of western comedy, and only Four Lions tops it for satire in 2010. India's government and press, consider yourself told off. Duncan Vicat- Brown.

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• •••••••••••••••••••• A grotesque slice of gruesome body horror, The Human Centipede is the tale of Lindsay and Jenny, a pair of American tourists who, after a flat tyre, find themselves stranded in a forest somewhere in Germany one dark and tempestuous night. Foolishly seeking aid at a nearby house, the two are soon in the clutches of Dr Heiter, a sadistic and psychopathic surgeon who intends on using the girls, and a third victim a hapless Japanese man - in a horrific scientific experiment. Heiter plans to turn

(.!)

them into 'Siamese Triplets', connecting them by their gastric systems to fulfil his demented lifetime fantasy of creating a human centipede. Whilst the premise may sound disturbingly original, The Human Centipede in fact plays out like a tedious checklist of every horror cliche known to man, a mercifully short ninety of screaming minutes women, frantic chase scenes, gratuitous violence and jolts that fail to be particu larly jolting.

That said, the centipede itself is a stomachchurning creation and when Heiter begins to train his creature like a domestic pet, things do become more interesting, if extremely bizarre. Yet the whole film is drastically overacted to the point of cringe -worthy hysteria, and its claim of being "one hundred percent medically accurate" is, frankly, laughable . Overall, a terrible disappointment . Michael Lovelock

(eo-directed, produced and Kidulthood and Adulthood's Noel Clarke) shadows the individual stories of four best friends with the plot centred around a diamond heist that they all manage to get muddled up in. Though the acting is dubious at times, and the plot consists of one cliche after another (as every has possible storyline been chucked in for good measure), the film does develop well. In the end, underneath the gritty, London subculture that has been done to death in

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modern British cinema, the touching truth of the girls' friendship surfaces. This is where the rough, grimy London scene comes in useful as it prevents this subtlety of the plot from being nauseatingly sweet, with it instead succeeding in being quietly powerful. The beauty of this DVD is how it masks this subtext with the thriller/drama tone making it suitable for all audiences rather than alienating male viewers who may not find these friendships as poignant.

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The film as a whole is a clean production,; a: well directed, with sharp U camerawork managing to stylishly sew the four separate accounts (I) together. rAil in all, a perfect film a: if you want something <( good but easy to watch on a night in, but not so good that you'll go out and get 2 Fresher's Flu just so you o have an excuse to stay in and watch it from the (I) I comfort of your bed. <(

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UPANDCOMING ... The Coen brothers, whose prolific ca re ers have spanned over two-and-aha lf decades at this point, have only really dropped the ball twice - the 'meh' of Burn After Reading and the 'eh'' of The Ladykil/ers. Th eir eclectic backcata logue is a rattlesnake of consummate excellence weaving its way through the dark undergrowth of genre definitions, art-house se nsi bi lities, mainstream staying-power and Steve Bu scem i. In 1996, th ey made one of the best films eve r. Yes, it's Forgo (th oug h Barton Fink is actually their best film, by... not a considerab le margin, but a margin). Th ey rocketed

back into the mainstream again in 2007 with No Country For Old Men - a bleak, vio lent neo -western with Javier Bardem doing his ' I'm not from here ' thing with a wig on (it might not be a w ig; we can on ly hope it is). lt seems the critical and commercia l market leans pretty strong ly towards the quote-unquote 'serious Coen picture s', the ones with wood -chippers and long , ponderous desertscapes and a pressure ca ni ste r that shoot s holes through people's heads. True Grit is a neo-weste rn remake of a revisionist John Wayne weste rn, sta rring Jeff 'Lebowski' Bridges, Josh ' No Country' Brolin an d

' TALI<ING MOVIES Twenty-five years have ::l路 passed sin ce Back To Th e ;r Future first skidded onto the silver screen with blazing tyre trails. To commemorate thi s milestone Unive rsal ha s D re -released the first of the w rr trilogy into cin emas. The re release of this 8o's classic 3 raises th e question of whether or not re -releas es are just cash cows. Is it > worth paying for a cinema r- ti cke t in order to see a film that could be bought on DVD and watched at home ' All three Back To The (!} Future films wi ll soon be z released on Blu Ray with r- digitally remastered audio and visuals. Is the choice (/)

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to show the first film in cinemas again an elaborate promoti'onal event for t he upcoming Blu Ray release' Theatrical re-re leases can be incredibly lucrative . There is still a large demographic of cinema goers who will pay to see a good film, be it contemporary or a classic. When Ku bri ck's A Clockwork Orange was re-released in 2000 it grossed a furth er 拢2.1 million on top of its origin al profit. Whil e film companies are losing a lot of money through piracy , can fans understand that the film indu stry needs all the money it can get' If this

TRUE GRIT

Matt 'I Haven't Been in a Coe n Brothers Fi lm Before ' Damon. Th e brothers have state d th at, much like No Country For Old Men, the film wi ll be a more-or-less entirely faithful adaptation of the origina l novel. From the looks of the trailer, it wi ll also look and fe el entirely like No Country for Old Men. Which is great, right' I mean, that's what we want, yeah' Well .. . What really places the Coen Brothers above their contemporaries is a consistent and immediately distinguishable vo ice - a sound, a rh yt hm - the heart of the ir pictures is dancing to quite different beat. Th eir first novel -

> ToM MciNNES looks forward to the Coen Brothers路 first western (sort of} ..

adaptation , No Country is a good film , but it's not really a Coen Brothers film. Cormac McCarthy's vo ice is too strong, and it permeate s every scene with its exi stential gloom. No Country is a great nove l, from a powerful novelist, shot through a filter of topnotch cinematic technique -it's a beautiful portrait of a person you don't know. True Grit will , no doubt, be much the same - a great film, for sure; but not a Coen Brothers film . Still, at the rate they're firing them out t hese days, maybe it's good we're getti ng a more eclectic selection. The brothers are at a crossroa ds in their careers;

no longer the new kids on the block, not nearly the old guard. They seem to have subscribed to the midd leaged- fi I m maker-as - shark ph il osophy, in const ant fear that they'll keel over dead if they stop working. Morgan Freeman appears in every other film you see for the same reason; same with

Christopher Walken. If the two ever met on screen, it's t ota lly plausible that they'd either immediate ly die, or turn into some sort of ce lestia l bird.

Tom Mcln nes

A MY G RIFFINS debates whether the Back to the Future re-release keeps this 80s classic timeless or the cash flowing for the film industry.

is the case, th en ca n they be forgiven for rather blatantly t rying to in crease an old

re -introd ucing classic films to a younger generation. Th e film m ay focus

film 's profitabi lity' A less cy ni ca l way of looking at the re-release of Back To The Future is that the film companies are simply

heavily on the concept of time, but it remains quite timeless. Today's teenagers can still re late t o Marty's fear of rejection, and the

stu nts w ill skateboa rd always be impressive. The pop culture refere nces continue to be appreciated by most of th e aud ience. After twenty- fi ve years the humour is re levant and even the slightly dated jokes entertain the generation who experie nced the 8o's first -hand . With one fifth of all moviegoers be in g aged over 45, the theatrical rerelease of this classic fi lm can provide a nostalgic night out. lt makes sense for a cinema to offe r the older generation of cinema-goers the chance to see a film that th ey know that they will

definite ly enjoy. In spite of the recent advancements in home theatre technology, the atmosphere of the cinem a is unmatched. The experience is infused with the scent of popcorn and the great fee ling of laughing along with fellow fans, not to mention the unrivalled sound quality. Anyone who has always wanted to hear Alan Silvestri's memorable score roaring out of a cinema screen's sound system is lucky enough to have another chance don't miss out. Amy Griffins

THE PoPCORN CHART T he Twilight Saga

Sca ry Movie Franchise

A teen phenomenon, the Twilight Saga has rece ived some scathing reviews yet has been lapped up by the public. Cinemas played vic tim to all t he sc reaming Tw i-hards fans practica ll y hyperventi lating when Robert Pattinson appears on the scree n (or when Taylor Lautner takes his shirt off) . Twilight is a class ic guilty pleasure, because even though it is sicke nin gly cheesy and Bella needs a slap, it bring s yo u into a fantasy world of sexy vamp ires and we rewo lves . What more could you want'

The Scary Movie fi lm s have been a massive hit, collecting around $818 million at the box-office. The franchise has also led the way for more spoof

film s, such as the disma l Epic Movie. Critics have

universally poured scorn on these films. But for teenagers, the Scary Movie franchise is ent ertaining - with the Scream parody being one of the best known - and fans will be pleased that a fifth addition is due to hit screens ne xt year.

Evely n) it still features fun moments suc h as the entrance of giant Yetis, and Evelyn's hilarious brother Jonathan still features. In my opinion, the origina l film is the best but beware if you are sq ueamish- the scarabs are not pretty.

The Mummy Fran h1

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The Mummy films offer acti o n, exciti ng plots and exotic desert locations. The third film was espec iall y mauled by critics, but although it was t he weakest of the three (one reason being that Rach el Weisz is replaced in her role as

This comedy/horror show was an int ernet sensat1on before it was released. For snake-phob ics th e premise of the film wasn't enticmg, but actua ll y it is a hilarious ride. Samuel L. Jackson has fun as an FBI ag ent, and so do the writers - constant ly

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in compet iti on to find disgusting ways for the cast t o become snake food . Th e toilet scene, in particular, earns the 'disgusting' tag . So, if yo u want t o watch a film which doesn't take itself seriously, then this is the one for you.

have not in clud ed the first film in this list as it is adored by critics and fans alike. The sequels are viewed less favoura bly for their length and 'confusing' side-plots. However, I persona ll y love the sequels as Johnny Depp is sti ll spot on as the love ly Captain Jack Sparrow, and the introduction of the tentacled Davy Jones is very interesting (but sl1 ghtly scary). Bet h Wyatt


LIVE REVIEWS Tonight The Waterfront hosts the first and flooded the Waterfront with a wash of iteration ofthe NME Radar Tour for this year sound. Lewis Bowman stood serenely at the and the usual question comes to mind: is mic, juxtaposing Alex Parry's frantic guitar tonight a true showcase of talent, or simply strumming, which invigorated the band, another 'bands of tomorrow' gig that never seguing into 0 Maybe I with consummate comes to anything? ease. Lewis's vocals bowed the set toward With funky bass riffs, off beat ~i-hat old Joy Division records and Paper Thin, provided by their female drummer and full with its intertwining, chiming guitars, was band vocals, Wilder delivered a sonically technically adept, but some of Chapel Club's pleasing set of alt-pop songs and impressed songs verged on becoming a bit dull. A// in their half hour opening slot. The Eastern Girls was the height of their set, Flats then provided an anarchic blow and wonderfully written, but they perhaps to the head of the indie hordes and blitzed haven't convinced everyone yet. through their dizzying punk set in just Headliners The Joy Formidable were anything but. Their friendly disposition and over 20 minutes. The discerning fan could probably have found flaws, but the crowd 路 endearing charm meant the crowd were won't forget them anytime soon . already on their side, not that they needed any help. Diminutive frontwoman Ritzy Chapel Club distinctly calmed the mood

Bryan has the lungs and the gusto that some twice her size may lack, bassist Rhydian is a picture of cool, and drummer Matt, with his hair flying around his kit, kept the frenetic three-piece together. They play a hazy mix of pop and grunge that coaxes you in and then fires you back out in a cathartic surge. Sample-oriented The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade was a fan favourite, ending with a refrain of "Happy for you, happy for you ... " And indeed people are. The JF have come this far on the back of incessant touring and are finally getting recognition. On the evidence of this gig; a triumphant show, ending in a riot of feedback, crashing cymbals and a military siren wound by Ritzy herself, they are definitely ones to watch . AlexThrossell

THE NEUTRINOS -ARTS CENTRE

Herefordshire six piece Talons had the honour of taking the main support slot at the Arts Centre tonight. With their debut album set to drop before the end of the year this ambient-rock act are in the process of making waves all over the country, and this was evident in the size and response from an audience that obviously came with high expectations. With an unorthodox string quintet consisting of two guitarists, a bass player and two violinists, Talons stood out from t he off. Backed up by powerful rock-laden drumming, the unusual mixture sparked into life with /sis. From then on their nerves evaporated and their sheer musicianship took over. Their mix of string driven classical

25/09/10

Despite having a cold, singer-songwriter Marie Uzor, aka Girl In A Thunderbolt, was a brilliant start to a threesome of talented Norwich bands. She began with her own songs, her voice warbling over acoustic guitar, then halfway through explained that all the acts that night were performing covers of each of the other band's songs. Using a loop pedal, she covered the headliner's song Six Noughts with her own unique style. She spent the rest of her set with three more members playing guitar, drums and flute, as the already busy Arts Centre filled up. Sargasso Trio blended 198o's synth sounds with contemporary twists, with members hopping on various instruments such as the keytar, and switching

microphones. lt was easy to see from their A personal highlight was Sharkbait, with smiling faces that they were really enjoying its sing-a-long chorus . lt wpuld have been themselves . This energy bou~ced back into nice to hear a few more favourites, but at laJ the audience as the band members joked least they left you wanting more, shown a: with the crowd, who laughed along to lines by the eruption for an encore as they left such as 'just stick it in the hole". Although the stage. They returned moments later 3 you couldn't call any of the bands polished, and the camaraderie between the bands it was the rawness and frivolity of each act was shown as the female members of the that made them so likeable. The Trio ended previous two bands joined Karen at the > their set on a high with The Drum, at which microphone, dedicating their final song to tpoint the crowd was moving along in full a drunken group of friends dancing at the swing . front, one of whom invaded the stage to The Neutrinos provided an eerie sound . sing with them. (.!) and broke into the atmosphere with Horse Pills and Dog Meat. The lead singer Karen's Carmina Masoliver Z voice, reminiscentofPJ Harvey, ranged from high and soft, to low and loud in a heartbeat with her next song Mother's Mother Tongue.

warmth and heavy edge is unique and will develop with maturity, making Talons a band to keep an eye on . Main act This Will Destroy You were greeted by a stillness settling over the crowd . As the Texan post-rockers took to their instruments a sense of intimacy between them and their audience became apparent. The band played a set dominated by material from their highly anticipated album Tunnel Blanket; the vast dynamic changes and hauntingly beautiful melodies that drive tracks such as Freedom Blade become even more vivid when heard live. With few ofThis Will DestroyYou's tracks being shorter than five minutes long each song they played took you through a journey

of emotion with a majesty that befitted the vaulted wooden arches of the old church . On a rare occasion one of the members would use the microphone to address the audience, but then only to show their appreciation of the amazing support. With This Will Destroy You's other UK dates being in Manchester, London and Glasgow, the number of people who attended this gig shows how well supported and diverse Norwich's music scene is. Bands of This Will Destroy You's calibre are not a common occurrence, and for them to play to a highly appreciative and numerous crowd demonstrates how lucky we are to have a scene of this strength on our doorstep. James Woodward

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Wh en The Joy Formidable h eadlined t he NME Radar tour at t he Waterfront on September 28th, Venue 's own Alex Throssell was there to oo witness the madness unfold. He even managed to catch up w ith t hem for a few words before the show ... £.!)

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Defin e yo ur so und fo r t hos e th at do n't know yo u; ha ve you got a pa rt y lin e ? Rhyd ian (Bass) - No, I we wish we did l Ritzy (Lead vocals, guitar) - I don't wish we did, I'm really glad; I like t hat fact t hat people get easi ly confused by the sonics. Ry - I don't know, you write what you write, I think when you start defining it, it becomes l1mited in some senses. We do things more on a song by song bas1s but I like to th1nk we would be capable of doing anything. Matt (Drums) - The ne xt album might be ragga 1

You se e m to always play bet t er live and have a fantastic reputat ion fo r it . Rz - (Laughte r) I don't know about that ' There have been plenty of m1stakes, but we are a three piece you know, you are qu1te naked, you have to maybe work at it a little bit harder. We certainly make sure we are as powerful and as dynamic as we can be. Ry - Really just so much gigging has been the key thing, that's where you really hone in on things. We have been rehears1ng Incessantly before th 1s tour but we have been say1ng , noth1ng compares to actually do1ng a couple of shows and gett1ng back 1nto 1t .

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Have you be e n to No rw ich before ? Rz- Yeah, we love Norwich , this is pract1cally our adopted home. u. Ry - A lot of people 1n the med1a even think we are from Norw1ch . Rz -We have done a lot of shows here though , especia lly at the Arts Centre, even some of our very first shows were 1n Norw1ch. Ry - 1t's JUSt great to be back here, the crowds are always amazing , people are always saying that but they really are. _j

How does it feel to now be headl ining th e NME Radar tour? Rz - lt means that we can run over and not get mto as much trouble; we have ple nty of songs, so 1t's eas1er to please everybody when you aren't just g1ven half an hour ' it's just n1ce to know that maybe the aud1ence is a l1ttle b1t more yours 1f you are domg a headline show. Ry - You have more control of t he atmosphere, lights and things. I mean we

aren't really the type of band that re l1es on that kmd of stuff, but 1t's n1ce that the 1deas we have can be given a b1t more thought and freedom. Oh and you get a ha lf decent sound check, mstead of being thrown on and not really heanng a th1ng. Do you put in more effort live now physical albums sales seem out-dated? Ry - I suppose there IS no doubt that the l1ve s1de of thmgs IS thnving, but 1n terms of longevity they have to be great songs first. Rz- I think w1th th1s album, we want people to enJOY 1t, there is the eternal optimism, we want people to start go1ng back and actually find an album that they want to invest 1n, not JUSt flick in and out. The whole fick leness, how everythmg is qu1ck and JUSt · a quick fix, I th 1nk 1t's d1fficult to know how 1t will resonate, but that's something we have certa1nly thought about; that we want this to be a l1stenmg experience and something that has got a lot of depth and meaning to it, and hopmg that in some way 1t'll be more of a proper album, ra t her t ha n just a collectio n of songs that no-one really connects with.

~INTERVIEW: ARCHITECTS Tech-metalcore five piece Architects threw down at the Waterfront on October 8th, and released their latest single, Day In Day Out, at the end of the summer. Steph Mcl<enna tall<ed to Sa m Carter from the band in anticipation of the gig. we're a band , we're fr iends w1th them. Architects new album, The Here and Now, is due out in early 2011. How was that process for you personally? I feel that on this record I had more of a creative input, that I was workmg hard and making something important at an important time. Th is record defin1te ly has a whole new sound for us - 1t's a progress1on, l1ke every Architects record. The way we worked 1n the studio this time was completely different; every song has got a d1fferent guitar sound, none of the vocals have been touched up, its all 100% natural. it's n1ce to say that this IS completely us, as if you were just walking into band practice.

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You are halfway through your first headline tour of the UK for what seems (I) 1- like a long time. How are you feeling? 0: lt feels pretty good 1 London and Manchest er <{ so ld out and everywhere else is extremely close, which hasn't happened before, so thmgs are really going somewhere for us. z We've spent about 9/10 months of this year 0 tounng 1n other countries, and aher these UK dates we will be in America and Canada I (I) for seven weeks before hitt ing Aust ral ia. <{ We fina lly head back home in December. it's u. crazy 1

Why do you think that your fans have such a close affinity with you? We're five guys who love playing music and hav1ng fun , and we've somehow managed to get away with it. I think that's what people want. We've never taken ourselves too senously, or been the kind of rock stars that sit on the bus and shut t he door. No matte r how many people are at the show, I wan t t o ha ng out w1th people. I've always wanted to be the guy who hangs out with a k1d at t he end of a show and then when they go to school the next day they're stoked, you know' Which is why I think people can relate to us- 1t's not like

The new single, Day in Day Out, has received a mixed fan reaction . How do youfeelaboutthat? One thing that always blows my mind is people saying t hat we've 'so ld out'. We haven't, this sounds exactly like Arch1tects. People who criticise in t hat way ... t hey real ly have n't listened to us properly before. There IS a change 1n direction on this album, but if anything, it's heavier and rawer than some of the songs off Hollow Crown. Maybe the fact that we've moved away from the technicality of things has scared people a litt le but it's just like Follow the Water 1 If that song goes down

best l1ve, how can we be selling out' You have said that there is a theme of 'questioning what you do' on this record. Can you expand on this? Anyone who IS 1n a band sees 1t as the best JOb in the wo rl d, but if you're to uring ten months out of the year, it's extremely difficult to hold down relat1onsh1ps. You go away from the people you love, do your job and then come home to have to try and rebuild those relat10nsh1ps. it's the same as those people who go to university really. You have to put things 1nto perspective, and the record straig htens out a lot of questions we had about what we were do ing , and maybe about eachother. lt was a nice positive vibe at the end. You seem to creep up on a lot of other band's records? I seem to be like 'Rent-a-Voca list' ! I sang on the new Your Dem1se record , on Comeback K1d, I've su ng with Bnng Me The Honzon. it's so fla ttering and a lot of fun , you get a new perspect ive w1th other music1ans. We have guest vocals on our new record, and when people hear them they are going to be shocked and very happy ... 1 know I defin1tely freaked out 1


THE TURKEY LIST:

2000-2010

Ever get the feeling that you've been cheated? Sometimes, your favourite bands just go ahead and make albums that just plain suck. While it's inevitable that not everyone is going to be great all the time, it still annoys us here at Venu e. That's why, this issue, we're taking aim and m firing at the cretins who had the guile to not remain at a consistent level of awesome throughout their long and varied careers. A middle finger (!} z salute t o you all! Try being less rubbish in the future ... t-

HoLE: Nosoov's DAUGHTER

More than a decade after Courtney Love's Hole gave us the genre-defining Celebrity Skin, and almost twenty years since the abrasive and obtuse Pretty on the Inside, the least pleasant, but most made-up woman in rock music returned earlier this year with an Axl Rose-esque desire to dismantle any legacy her former band might have had . Of course, the media circus around Nobody's Daughter was to be expected. Mellissa Auf Der Maur's insistence that nobody had contacted her, Love's childish

CHRISTINA AGUILERA: BIONIC

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Bv ALEX Ross petulance; "[Hole is] MY Band, MY name and MY Trademark" and legal battles with former guitarist Eric Erlandson reminded us that, like Axl, Love's music has been secondary to her neuroses and her public image for far too long. For proof, look no further than leading single Skinny Little Bitch which sounds like a Garbage tribute band, with lyrics written by a seven year old who stayed up late to watch The Wire . Pacific Coast Highway sees Love attempt some sort of horrible Bob Dylan impression, faking his nasal southern drawl with embarrassing and genuinely distressing results . Yet, the most remarkable thing about this record is Love's ability to saturate every song with as many teen angst cliches as possible, whinging on How Dirty Girls Get Clean; "I've lost my mind yeah, I've lost control/l've the lost the feeling in my arms, I'm a lost soul". Courtney Love turned 46 this year. Any optimists who held out hope that the addition of former Larrikin Love guitarist Micko Larkin's involvement would provide some much needed relief to the mind-numbing repetition were only subjected to further disappointment. Having traded West London for the Hollywood hills, Larkin's creative flair is only notable by its absence. His guitar on the indescribably insincere Letter To God ends up sounding like the result of Nickleback and The Script playing a benefit gig for tinnitus sufferers. If Nobody's Daughter had been released as a Courtney Love solo record, as was the original intention, it would have been quite rightly ignored, and pitied as a less than average album by a woman who long ago lost the faith of her fans. But by scribbling this new album title onto the end of Hole's discography, Love has needlessly and cynically interfered with

the public's perception of a once great band, and that is surely the ultimate disappointment.

Apparently, this parrot is audition ing for the new Hole lineup. Eric Erlandson will be t hrilled.

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Bv EMMA WEBB

At one time or another, the majority of the world's favourite musicians have some kind of slump- whether related to an embarrassing public scandal, a disappointing album or a regrettable navigation away from their signature sound . One time 'Queen of Pop' Christina Aguilera has achieved two out of three this year, with her fourth studio album Bionic failing to even scratch the surface of her multi-platinum past. it's had critics slamming her new sound as 'robotic and noisy', and attracted comparisons between her new wilting dance 1mage and the sensationally eccentric Lady GaGa . lt is possible that Aguilera was trying to appeal to a new wave of dance music that has catapulted the likes of lyaz and Tinie Tempah to global stardom with just a handful of hits. More likely, though, Christina Agullera's career is in genuine peril of the same curse that turns so many high hopes tnto faded one-hit-wonders: is our blue-eyed soul singer simply going out offashion? Dubbed a 'new Madonna' in her early years, Aguilera sat comfortably in a small niche of powerhouse women with the likes of Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston. Now, thanks to the X Factor-induced success of Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke, bolshy women with big voices are popping up all over the music industry making claims to her throne. lt seems the Queen was toppled only by the arrival of a true musical magnificence, and has made all the wrong moves to win back her status . The disappointment surrounding Bionic aside, it seems absurd that a woman brimming over with exceptional talent would ever feel a need to replicate another songstress in such

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see herself as a 'bubblegum pop singer' and was capable of writing her own hits, which she has repeatedly proved to be the case . Also a hugely generous and active philanthropist, Aguilera donates hundreds of thousands of her star salary every year to charities supporting women in violent relationships; she also served meals to Haiti survivors and donated all her wedding gifts to charities supporting those devastated by Hurricane Katrina . it is surely not in the interests of either her or those whose lives she has contributed to so selflessly, to chase the image of a woman currently wearing an outfit made entirely of raw meat. Whether a victim of changing trends or an excusable human error in judgement, Christina Aguilera fans everywhere are waiting for her to dust of her perfectly-executed legato and return to being the singer we know and love - after all, why be GaGa when you can be

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a way. lt is easy to forget that whilst her big and memorable number ones- Genie in a Bottle, Dirrty and Beautiful to name but a few - guaranteed her commercial success in Great Britain and the USA, it was Mi Reflejo, her little-known Latin album, and collaborations, such as the Lady Marmalade video for the 200~ movie Moulin Rouge, that fast-tracked her way to stardom . lt was also Aguilera who chose to break away from her original management, insisting she didn't

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Yeah, that's right . We're that annoyed off at the occasional failings of our favourite artists that we've spread this article over two pages. To every band/sol o act that made t his list, we say, for shame! Sort it out next time guys, lest you make this list in 2020. The people have spoken! (J} (!}

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Until 2004, you'd most likely ha ve associated Green Day wit h catchy pop-punk tunes about the joys of masturbation and getting high. American Idiot, on the other hand, was a plethora of hits w1th a hard-hitting political and emotional message of disillusionment, essentially becoming less snot-nosed and more Bruce Springsteen. For all intents and purposes the album was nigh on flawless, providing hits and awards in an overall new, more grown up and relevant manner. While most bands have to worry about the difficult second album, Green Day had proved that your eighth could be the real clincher. American Idiot sky-rocketed the band to a commercial success unlike anything they had seen since ~994's Dookie. American Idiot had garnered enough respect and critical revenue for a sold out world tour and a spin-off Broadway musical. Four years on, however and fans were jonesing. With the announcement of 2~st Century Breakdown in 2009, the question remained whether this

new album would pick up where American Idiot had left off or go back to their well-loved roots. Unfortunately for most discerning fans the album wasn't so much a follow on but a rehash of their bigger and better 2004 hit. Being released 1n the wake ofObama fuelled hope and change, the record's enthrallment with Bush hatred was no longer relevant to a new age of fans and left-wing America. The stories of St. Jimmy and Extraordinary Girl had been heartbreaking and told through beautiful lyrics over exciting and varied riffs and beats. This new album, however, was a disappointment. The distorted beginnings of Holiday that achieved an eerie feeling of a call to arms became an effect overused on songs such as Last of American Girls and Viva la Gloria 1, ending up grating and overdone. Sounding like it had been made up of bad B-sides from American Idiot, 21st Century Breakdown could have been

scraped together at the last minute, rather than the four long years it took. Springsteen continues to capture the voice of the working class hero. Green Day have fallen flat. Th1s album is destined to be part of your collection as a dedicated fan, but only ever listened to when you're really desperate looking for a laugh.

While many recording artists would crave albums on a par with Hybrid Theory or Meteora in their back catalogue, no one would want to follow them up. Linkin Park's first attempt to do this, with Minutes to Midnight back in 2007, was met with mixed reviews and a general conclusion that fans wanted more songs in the nu-metal vogue of their older releases. More guitars, more screaming and more energy. After a long and anxious wait what the fans have got IS A Thousand Suns. They've still been left wanting. To its credit, ATS is not without some standout moments. Blackout has all the depth of a band on the1r fourth studio album with some well balanced p1anos and electronic rhythms, and Chester Bennington's signature scream on the chorus . Wretches and Kmgs moves to the other end of Linkin Park's spectrum. A homage to classic hip-hop acts like Public Enemy, it blends the best of M1ke Shinoda's rapping with a distorted, guitar driven beat that begs for a hefty sub woofer. Unfortunately these are two peaks in an otherwise barren landscape of ari album. Waiting for the End and Iridescent both appear to be songs meant for other artists.

They don't hold any of Linkin Park's character, charm or intensity. On Iridescent the band descend into banal pop melodies that could have been reeled off a computer in any adolescent's bedroom. The soundbites of speeches from Mart1n Luther King Jr. and J. Robert Oppenheimer placed between songs ultimately add little in the way of substance. The closing track, The Messenger is a real horror show. A band which is perfectly suited to layered, nch and intense songs attempts a bland acoustic that feels pinned on in a last minute decision based on what other 'esta blished' acts have done. it leaves listeners with the terrible notion that Linkm Park, who are often been praised for their innovation and diversity, are playing this album by the numbers. Perhaps no new album would have glowed in the shadow of their earlier work but is this disappointing attempt foreboding a disappointing trend for the band 7 With the group's insistence that this is their best album to date however, we might have to brace ourselves for what follows.

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CHINESE DeMOCRAcv: GuNs N Roses Bv ALEc So, here's the thing Chinese Democracy was always gomg to suck. If 1t takes you eleven years to write an album, you're gomg to be 1n trouble. If your whole band quits/gets fired and is replaced by a plethora of bizarrely attired session musicians/circus sideshow freaks 1n the process, you're up the creek w1thout a paddle. Given that expectations were so low in the first place, can Ch1nese Democracy even be cons1dered a d1sappoint1ng release7 Yes. A Resound1ng yes. Yes with bells and whistles on 1t. The worst thmg about the album IS that 1t's not all bad. If you can strip back the g1nger dreadlocked one's bizarre penchant for apeggiators, hip-hop loops and lyncs about beatmg up h1s ex-w1fe (no joke; listen to Sorry and gnmace), he's actually wntten some halfway decent songs. They may be miss1ng the welcome presence of everyone's favounte top-hatted guitarist, but, 1f you can be bothered to listen to the record more than once, tracks like There Was A Time hold up reasonably well. Unfortunately, Axl put the Guns N' Roses

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stamp on Chinese Democracy, and it is everything that goes w1th that tag wh1ch makes 1t a car crash of a record. Guns N' Roses called themselves the most dangerous band 111 the world. In the1r heyday two of the1r members were, at vanous pomts, declared legally dead. The Guns N' Roses of ~987 wouldn't have made an entire record that was a lament to the relationship with their ex-w1fe. They would have shagged her s1ster, ra1ded her liquor cab1net and wntten a song about that. They would probably have OD'd on her lawn as well. Ult1mately, Chmese Democracy 1sn't an album. it's an act of public mdecency, the kmd that should get you an ASBO or 30 days in a cell. What makes things even more worry1ng is that Axl Rose has prom1sed two sequels 111 the future. We can just hope that he'll put them out under h1s own name, rather than tarn1shmg the drug addled legacy of h1s former companiOns. Well, that or wa1t until there's democracy 1n China before releasing them.


120CT10 ISSUE 245

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To Float Away

Breezy

I would love to float away To fill my lungs full of helium and rise above the crowds Higher and higher

lt seemed best to buy her a red balloon to match the colour of her hair as her hand slipped into mine as easily as lemonade on a sticky summer's day

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Higher and higher...... . I would watch the people all day Never fretting about getting back down Blissfully content, not having to think about life far below

Soon my blissful time is up With every breath I use to take in the wondrous view I move slowly ever closer back to my world

Loss

Theme for the next issue: 'Just a Feeling' Em all your submissions to:

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Hannah Griffin

Next Issue

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His eyes were locked in a lifeless stare and his mouth rolled open as we turned and ran from that place and locked the door and locked the door

As soon as I land, I crave that helium lift I want to float away, higher and higher From my world

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She giggled a little as I kissed her against the cream-washed walls before opening the rickety old blue door to find a man lying on the floor

I would see the world with a birds eye view My people seeming so small, insignificant, lonely How easy life seems here in the clouds, above my world

When UEA's Creative Writing Society took over The Birdcage on 6 October to host Speakeasy - a showcase of some of the society's best open mic talent from the last academic year. - it was packed out with keen writers and students from all over the city. Mr John Simpson Wedge- a man often accused of being Norwich's answer to Dr. Seuss- hosted the night in top hat and waist coat, guiding the audience through a fantastic night of spoken word. There were poems about love, sex, death, and zoo escapes (every poet's favourite things to write about), London-based prose with all the voices performed, as well as some touching fairytales. UEA CWS is soon to be holding a Freshers and Newcomers open mic particularly for people who have never performed at a CWS event before. "Like a Virgin" will be held on the 25th of October at 7.3opm in the UEA Grad Bar, upstairs from The Hive.

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Thistles and dandelions rose from the lawn by the shed with the blue door as we went through the squeaking gate while clouds skated across the sky

Mr Jefferson hadn't noticed her. He sat slouching in his chair behind the counter, the same way he did all those years ago. At least he was one thing in the town that didn't change- he might be greyer, but he was still the same in every other way. As she approached the counter, Mr Jefferson looked up. 'Oh! Are you ... Cloe?' he asked . She nodded. 'I haven't seen you in years! How have you been7 What brings you back here?' Mr Jefferson smiled at her with animation . 'I'm fine. I'm here for my grandmothers' funeral.' Mr Jefferson's' grin dropped quickly. 'Of course. I should have realised. lt was so tragic. So unexpected.' 'I remember how you used to come here so often,' Mr Jefferson continued nostalgically. 'You brought those packs of red balloons so often. Where do I keep them now, I wonder7' 'Here,' replied Cloe. She put down a pack on the counter. Mr Jefferson looked at it in surprise, before exclaiming, 'for old times sake, eh?' ' .. .You could say that.' 'Fa1r enough.' Cloe held out a hand with money, but Mr Jefferson waved 1t away. 'No need . Not least today.' She thanked him and left the store, walking towards her grandmothers old house. Her phone rang. lt was her mother. 'Cioe, dearest, where are you? I thought we were going to walk together from the hotel. You do realise it's only half an hour to the funeral, right?' 'Yeah. There's something I need to do first, I'll see you there.' 'Are you feeling okay7 I know it's hard,' she said sympathetically.

'I'm okay,' Cloe replied untruthfully. Her mother was perceptively unconvinced . 'Well, we've all got each other to work through this. We'll be okay.' Silence. 'Oh' I've got to go Cloe. Promise rne you won't be late.' 'Of course not. Bye.' 'Love you! Bye!' 'I love you too mum,' she said, but she had already hung up. it's funny how rarely those three words are spoken, she pondered . Especially given how temporary everything is. Arnving at the house, it was a bleak contrast with the place of the past. The whole house was gathering dust, with wallpaper worn away. Above all, there was a sad silence, an emptiness about the place. The saddest part, however, was in the garden. The blue wooden door was battered and the walls dirty. The previously carefully maintained garden had been overrun, a single wilting flower the only testament to its former days. Everywhere the place was a sign for decline. Cloe sat cross-legged on the grass. Her balloon stood boldly defiant against the decay around her, bright red in the garden of dark greens and browns. lt reminded her of those lost days in the past. Days spent running, laughing,imagining. Days when all her grandparents were still alive. Then she looked to the light blue sky, filled with b1rds flying in all directions. No matter how much life is taken out of this world, thought Cloe, there will always be some left in it

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THE TV ROADSHOW: GOOD FOR COMEDY OR TAJ<JNG THE MICHAEL? Michael Mclntyre's Comedy Roadshow has returned for the second series and that is testament to the success and appeal of the roadshow formula. Mclntyre shot to success thanks to his appearance on Live at the Apollo and since then he has sold-out tours, and is now hosting his own programme The show offers comed ians the chance of exposure they previously wou ld not have received. PreRoadshow, the best that comedians could hope for is to sell out pub gigs, or to land a role in a sitcom . We've seen Jason Manford ga in exposure resu lting in so ld-out tours and eventua lly a regular prime-time slot on The One Show. John Bishop gained enough popularity from being on the show to earn two programmes on the BBC, and a good measure of the shows va lue can be seen by riva l channe ls attempts at rep licating t he formula (see Channe l 4's Stand Up For The Week). Before the show, the stand-up comedy market suffered from monopolisation. Comedians often had to earn their right to perform through award winning sitcoms (Ricky Gervais in The Office) or long, hard-earned careers (Bil ly Connelly). Comedy is very much alive at the moment, and that is largely down to Comedy Roadshow. On t he othe r hand, is it a reflection of t he throw-away

nature of society that the Comedy Roadshow formula has become so prevalent7 Its popularity has surpassed that of even Mock The Week, which can only demonstrate that our attention spans have shortened further in the past three years, cheapening the art of comedy to Youtu be friendly clips. Th is creates two problems; the first is th at as a nation we are quick to jump on bandwagons and catapult people into the lime light before we've seen them fu lly. On the back of Comedy Roadshow, comedians who are not funny or talented have had successful nationwide tours. Because they have not had a chance to prove themselves over a period of time, their success will be short lived and the ir fame limited. The second prob lem that has occurred is down to the short nature of the windows on the programme. Now comedians do not have to have a wealth of comedic material in order to become successful; all they need IS to fill a 6 minute slot. By digestmg comedy in these bite-sized chunks we are stunting the growth of true comedians, and watering down stand-up to fit on our iPhones. Save British comedy and bring back real stand-up and talented comedians. TomTheedom

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GET TO I<NOW ARDAL O'HANLON Ardal O'Hanlon brings to mind Craggy Island and endearing images of Father Dougal McGuire, accompanied by his down to earth yet hilarious sound bites, such as "Oh right, yes Ted" and "God Ted, he's probab ly very co ld now that his towel has blown away". Han lon's ro le in FatherTed rivals My Hero as his most f amous achievement. But, aside from these, you will find that he has made many appearances in both the British and Irish comedy scenes. Hanlon first started as a stand-up comedian whilst studying communication studies at Dublin City University. Here he founded one of Dublin's first stand-up clubs, The International Comedy Cel lar, on Dublin's South Wicklow Street. In 1994, he wo n the Hackney Empire New Act Award where he was scouted fo r Father Ted, which ran between 1995-1998. Between 1998 and 2000 he starred in the award

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Picture the scene: it's eleven o'clock at night. You're in Scotland. A man in a gimp mask has just leapt out of a laundry bag and started be lting 'Don't Stop Be liev in g' in your face. If you're finding th is at all hard to picture, you either have a - fortunately - limited imagination or you've never been to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Despite now in its 64th year, the Fringe shows no sign of falling behind in experimental, bare-faced innovation, and Late Night Gimp Fight, a five-piece sketch troupe wearing, as you've probably cleverly deduced, rather a lot of leather, only served t o further t his opinio n. Ind eed , g ive n that mo re than a third of the shows performed here eac h yea~ are world premieres, the Fringe has become something of a home for all the envelope-pushing carnivalesque you cou ld possibly wish for (or not, as in the case of the now-notorious Sex Idiot -a one-woman show about the perils of Chlamydia, in which the artist takes clippings of the audience's pubic hair for the purposes of making herself a rudimentary moustache. No, we didn't go and see it). However, for those of you who prefer your comedy pubefree (as I'm sure a healthy number of you do), the Fringe Festival also plays host to a smorgasbord of stand-up and sketch talent, many comedians either beginning or ending their annua l tours here. If you're thinking of going to see any of the myriad stand-ups visiting Norwich this semester, chances are they've used Edinburgh as their comedic petri

dish. We were lucky enough to catch shows from the likes of Stephen K. Amos, Kevin Eldon, An drew Lawrence, andalbe it fl eeting ly and in t he pitch black (as part of t he fair ly Ronsea l-esque t itled Comedy in the Dark) - Greg Davies and Josie Long, before they were let loose on the unsuspecting public this Autumn. A coup le of us even had a go at a bit of stand-up ourse lves and, despite the already fairly small audience being comprised of eith er people who wanted to get out of the rain or peop le who wanted somewhere to eat t heir tu na sa ndwiches, it all we nt down fair ly adequate ly and we were warmed by t he thought that we had become a part of something much greater than ourse lves. Then it all got a bit existentialist and we went and had some lrn Bru. Our tips for next year7 Book shows well in advance (the ticket office is teeming and there's nothing quite as disappointing as having queued for an hour only to find out the only way you'll get to see your heroes is a via quick stalk around the chip shop), don't expect much in t he way of sleep (shows can start anytime bet ween 1oam and midnight. Bring Pro Plus and staple open your eyelids.) and don't be afraid to try something a bit different. Yes, even if it does have the word "gimp" in the title. Although, in that circumstance, you should probably read a synopsis or something. You know, just to be on the safe side. Sarah Arn old

winning short film Flying Saucer Rock and Role. From 2000 to 2005 he played the lead in the BBC's My Hero. From then on, in the UK, he has taken part in many one off projects: Ben Elton's Blessed; Robbie the Reindeer; Skins; and Comic Relief. More recently he has had success w ith the Irish shows; Val Falvey, So You Want To Be Taoiseach and Leagues Apart. This brings us to 2010. Hanlon is a veteran to the Edinburgh Fringe festival, and this year his show Come in, Come in produced a narrative of everyday life and the makings of his new tour; Arda/ 0' Hanlon is Trying to be Positive. His tour, which started in September brings prom ising new additions to his Edinburgh materia l. Hannah Speed

Peiforming at the Playhouse on the 12th and 13th October.


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1 20CT10 ISSUE 24~5'

LISTINGS

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---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- m {!) ~~u~ z * Where's Wally's Flange- Mercy r10:3opm (free entry before 11:3opm)

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* Local Farm Market- LCR- 11-3Pm * P~jama Party - LCR- 1opm (£3.soadv) * The MOBO Tour ft. Skepta- Waterfront - 9:3opm (floadv) * :: -SUS - Norwich Arts Centre- 7pm wn:Mho~!mv7

~U4mn * :: ~ - Letters to Juliet- LT 1- 7:3opm (£2.80) * Sloppy Flange, The Gunk Tank- Mercy1o:jopm (free entry before 11:3opm) * Meltdown @ UEA feat Gal) Powell LCR- 1opm (£4NUS £5 non-NUS) * Ardal O'Hanlon- LT1- gpm (£12.50) ·

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* -:: ~- -Get Him To the Greek- LT17:30pm (£2.80) * Thank F*!K Its Friday- Mercy10:3opm (free entry before 11:30) * S tr - LCR • gpm (£8 .50 NUS, £11 non- NUS adv)

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* The Othe One + Elektricity- LCR- 1opm (£4-50) * Meltdown + POW! Party Boys- Waterfront- 1opm (£3 .50/£4.50 on door) * How The Koala Learnt To Hug- Norwich Arts Centre- 2pm (£6) * The Full Moon UV Rave Party- Mercy * Little Red Robin Hood - Norwich Puppet Theatre- 2:3opm (£5-£7)

* Fozzy- Waterfront- 7:3opm (£12adv) * Word Of Mouth Presents Attila The Stockbroker- Norwich Arts Centre- 8pm (£5)

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plished website where you can check out the latest events, reserve a table or book a party for you and your friends. it would be wise to purchase a privilege card for £4, which gives you a notable discount on drinks. They offer a wide range of alcoholic beverages, from six shot sticks to pitchers. If you're really up for burning the student loan before Halloween you can get hold of the 'Directors Pitcher' for £so. This contains Russian vodka and champagne amongst other ingredients but it's probably the kind of beverage for a Norwich City end of season promotion party rather than the average student. Add this to the open plan design of both floors and you get a communal feel, ideal for mingling students. Opposite Vodka Revolution in Norwich is Knowhere, an underground bar. If you can put up with the lack of phone signal you can enjoy student triples for £3.50. These two venues complement each other very well and are certainly worth a try if you're looking for something a lit-

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THE EVOLUTION OF REVOLUTION Nightlife in the fine city of Norwich has been ever changing over the last few years. Since the closure of Lava/Ignite more than four years ago, students have drifted away from Riverside towards the City Centre. Prince of Wales Street has been the main hub for student nights out in recent years - however a new nationwide chain has brought its lot to the table. Vodka Revolution opened this month on Queen Street, in the location that was formerly occupied by the Orgasmic bar. Their first bar opened in Manchester fourteen years ago, and Vodka Revolution, known affectionately to many as Vodka Revs, now has over sixty bars nationwide . One attribute that Vodka Revolution has that its rivals Optic and Mercy lack is a wide range offood as well as drink. As well as your standard dishes such as steak and pizza, they offer unique cuisine in the form of a vodka burger and vodka pizza, which contain vodka chilli for those who enjoy a spicier dish . Vodka Revolution also have an accom-

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* Manic Street Preachers - LCR -

* c: .,., -AI ice In Wonderland- LT1· 7:3opm (£2.80) * The Hot-Tub Party- Mercy- 10:3opm * Bowling For Soup - LCR-

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act of making louder (~3) 6: Britpop band (S) 7: Name of famous postman (3) 8: Roundish reproductive body produced by the female of certain animals (3) g:A rule or law usually expressed by an equation or formula (7) u : To defraud; swindle (5) 12: Vehicle (3) 13: Franz Ferdinand hit, Take me _ (3) 14: A picture usually made up of small coloured stones (6) 15: The buttocks, US slang (3) 17: A small structure, usually a news or refreshment stand (S) 19: An lnuit's house (5) 21: Something that is published or distributed

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Canadian punk rockers Sum 41 will be 路tearing down the LCR on 27/10/10 as part of the Eastpak Antidote tour and, courtesy of the Union, we have two tickets to give away! Best known for singalong crowd-pleasers like 'Fat Lip', 'In Too Deep' and 'The Hell Song', Sum 4~ are renowned for their relentless touring and thril ling performances. They'll be joined on tour by up-and-corners Black Pacific, The Riverboat Gamblers and Veara . For a chance of winning just bring your comp leted crossword to the Concrete Office by 3Pm on Friday 22!10/10 .

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3

7

3

5

9 1

3

8 6

1

7

5

3

9

7

8

1

6

8

4 2

3

4

7

4

4

1

3

8 3

7 9

5

9

8

1

3

8

4

3

Hard

Medium

Easy

4

6

2 8 4

6

2

3

4

9

2 5


Venue issue 245 12 10 2010