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Editor-in-Chief Donny Collins I concrete.editor@ueo.ac.uk Venue Editor Duncan Vicat-Brown I concrete.event@uea.ac.uk Deputy Venue Editor> Fiona Howord

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Fashion Editor Kat Jones

Deputy Fashion Editor Hannah Britt Fashion Contributors>Lu(y Thorpe, Kat Jones, Hannah Bntt l.!.!l.l.l.n:AIL!1C.U

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Arts Editor> liz Jack son

Arts Contributors>lmogen Steinberg, Matthew Morton, Ruth Gaukrodger, Harriet Jones ~u.Y3..1~:J.!IU\~>..II~~k'=0.:~\!1l.!.L~ I

Creative Writing Editor~ Robert Van Egghen

Creative Writing Contributors> Adetola Adepoju, Ra(hael Lum, Robert van Egghen ~~L!ZiJJI.!q!J~~:I.!I!Ill.!.l!JI.!.Lt.l l Television Editor> Tasha Golley Television Contributors>Sherie Horkom, Helen Jones, Kale Alien, Beth Wyott, Helen Eoton, Nota lie Stephenson, Kothryn Deighon, Tom Theedom

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Wired Editor Vaughn Highheld

Wired Contributors>Williom Moron, Chris Axe, Alek Stoodley, Voughn Highheld, DJ Turner, Ri(hord Jaslin IS!.W~.::ll.W~~~:C.J.n:~ l

Music Editors> Aiec Plowman & Alex Throssell

Mqsi( Contributors>Williom Stielmon, Alex Throssell, Tom Mdnnes, Dun(an Vi(ot-Brown, Alex Ross, Cotherine Martin, Rionne Ison, Oliver Brooks, Steph M(Kenno, Ed Leftwi(h, Lizzy Morgereson ~~.:lJ.lllll-'.\;O~L!.Ii!.L~ I

Film Editor Paul Martin

Deputy Film Editor Cathenne Watts Film (ontributors>Beth Dovison, Andrew Wil(kins, George Gilbert, An no Eostwi(k, Jomes Burrough, Helen Jones, Gro(e (orruthers, Lorno Pontefroct, Beth Hulett, Rodosovo Rodulovi(, Tim Bates

Courtesy Taxis Prince of Wales Rd, Opposite Roccosj Mercy

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50 SEAT WAITING AREA IN THE HEART OF CLUBLAND

Listings Editor> Georgina Wade Listings (ontributors>Eiise Labrum

Competitions Editor> Henry Croft Competitions Contributors> Henry Croft

OPPOSITE MERCY /ROCCOS PRINCE OF WALES ROAD


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concrete . fash i on@uea . ac . uk

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fASHION

SexisT?

Many men seem to shy away from th e term. 'Fashion'. lt's up there w ith 'cupcake', 'women's problems' and 'Rom-Com' but whi le th e latter are associated with making men recoil into the m selves w ith a fearful shudder, shou ld 'fashio n' be so commo nly assoc iated with the female gender? This issue exp lores the roles that men and women take when it comes to beauty, grooming and power.

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THE HOTLIST

HEY BoY, HEY GIRL.

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With fashion blurring the boundaries between male and female, what we choose to wear seems to have become a better indicator of which gender we identify with than the body we were born with. Over the past SO years the personal goals of self-assertion and mastery to which men used to aspire, and the communa l goals of affiliation that typica lly controlled women have become less prevai ling than they used to be. That's not to say men no longer strive for the rippling muscles that they used to open any fashion magazine and you're certain to see advertisements depicting a semi-naked, six-pack bearing man alongside a beautiful woman, but it's certain that fashion is becoming more open to gender-swapping style. Take Andrej Pejic, the fresh 19-year old beautiful blond from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who recently ended the Jean Paul Gaultier SSll women's wear fashion show wearing a weddmg dress. Pejic's long blond hair, full pouting lips and incredible facial bone structure would lead you to think that you're looking at a woman, but don't be fooled as 'she' is in fact a 'he'. Pejic is not the only one making us question what's underneath their trousers. Since Givenchy's creative director Riccardo Tisci's decided to feature transsexual colleague Lea Tin an upcoming campa ign, she ha s taken the fashion world by a storm and has recently graced the front cover of UK magazine Love locking lips with the icon ic Kate Moss. But don't go thinking it's just boys dressing as girls. Electropunk band Le Tigre's front women Jocelyn Samson, better known by her stage name of JD Samson, has appeared in many fash ion magazines thanks to her man ly looks. And lets not forget Lady Gaga's 'man'

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Topknots THE hairstyle of the Spring .

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Hooped Earrings preferably gold.

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Tom Ford's New Womenswear Collectionthe king of the sex dress is back.

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Neat Makeupit's all about being unkempt and smudged th is season.

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This co lou rful Fra nkie Sandford from T he Sa t urdays was spotted out in London la st week in this red Zara dress. Grab yours before t hey se ll ou t, f o r j ust

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across all aspects of society to become a little hazy and gender is no exception. Whether we're man, woman, gay, straight, hermaphrodite, transsexual, or transgendered, it no longer seems to matter - just look at the popular unisex trends of skinny jeans and fitted V neck vests. They are all testimonies to the fact that fashion is no longer defined by sex and gender. As with anything in fashion it is impossible to predict how long this trend will la st, bl!t for the time being at least it seems that gender-blurring fash ion is here to stay, so expect to see more designers hopping on the androgynous fashion bandwagon.

rangender supermodel Lea T lock1ng lips w1th Kate Moss on the cover o th1s months Love magazme

stop being a sheep.

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photo-shoot for last September's edition of Vogue Homme Japan, where she posed as Joe Calderone in a black suit with her hair styled into a short, black crop. But when did the cross-gender dressing phenomenon become so popular? The la st SO years have seen fashion transform from being predominantly a symbol of status and social class to a means of individual self-expression. Thi s revolution originated in the 60's, when men and women became less constrained by their occupational identities, and began to experiment wi t h clothes as a medium to communicate their self-identities to the society surrounding them. Since then, culture has become increasingly more complex and far more con fus ing, causing count less boundaries

Figure Hugging bodycon is out, floaty is in . So, yes, you can ha ve th at coo kie.

French Connect ion

£29-99

This week we are obsessed with MAC's lipstick in Neon Orange (£13. so). The fresh colour is an Interesting alternative to the pinks and reds w hich co loured th e li ps of Autumn/Winter.

Those trainers ...

Rem emb er to dress we ll UEA, we're watch ing you 1


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FASHION: WHO

PULLS THE

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STRINGS? The Designer;

They are the source of all fashion creations, the thought behind each piece. Karl Lagerfeld has built up quite a reputation (and ego) with regards to his fashion. Prententious7 Perhaps. Ambitious? Yes. The drive of the designers will always filter down the pyramid so that even us low budget students can emulate high-end fashion . The Stylist;

We've all seen, only too often, stars m the "When bad clothes happen to good people" sections of magazine as they attempt to dress themselves. Those A-listers with money to burn hire stylists to drape them in the finest garments stratght off the catwalk. This promotes the designers, the celebrity, the new trend, and the stylist. The down side of this, in the case of Rachel Zoe, is that the medta is filled wtth tmages of stars alllookmg the same. Remember the "zoe-bots" of Li Lo, Paris and Ntcole Richie. The Model

Models can have just as much influence as the destgner as they embody how fashion fits the figure . Crystel Renn hit the headlines as being one of the first plus-size models to show off her runway walk to the fashion world . Her luscious curves gave insp iration to women with a fuller figure that fashion is not just for skinny waifs and can be embraced by all. The Journalist;

From front row fashion shows to column inches, the journalists, ed itors and writers take first hand observation of what's hot and what's not and are quic k to spread their finds across the glossy pages between our fingers . With harsh opinions and personal comments on new designs, this group have a profound effect on fashton retatl. Liz Jones a journalist for the Daily Mail lives and breathes fashion, and is not afraid to state her mind. The High Street;

Thank heavens for the Htgh Street! Reproductton of designer labels at an affordable price bnngs catwalk t rends to the cobbles. The Consumers;

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The public, the majority, the minorities, old, young, yummy mummies, students, city slickers all play a part in how fashion is dispersed. Influenced by icons, muses, media and adverts, music and films, the development of culture within a society plagued by judgement and reputation unconsciously effects the fashion we choose . This results in everyone conforming by some degree, which highlights how mantpulated individual style and purchases actually are. Seeds planted by the puppet masters can exploit what we think of as 'our' identity.

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<«A word from Tanya He/en Skinner, our makeup artist for this 1ssue's photos hoot. "I am a Freelance Make-up Artist specialising in Fashion, Media (photographic, tv/films and magazines) and Bridal Make-up. I destgn my own styles and like to interpret influences from different cultures and eras. I work in and around the Norwich and Norfolk area"

"Who Pulls The Strings" Photoshoot Clothes: dress and shoes by Vivenne Westwood at Catfish, Exchange Street. Thanks to AIice and Nick. Makeup: Tanya He len Skinner, free lance Make-up Artist and Beauty Therapist specialising in Fashion and Photographic make-up. Models: Louise Sawle and PhiI Jones. Photographer: Greg Mann. Stylists: Kat Jo nes and Ha nnah Britt

Shop the look - go nude in these leg lengthening heels

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New Look, £24.99

R1ver Island, £69 .99

Kurt Geiger, u8o

Aide, £65


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Hairspraytel ls the story of early 6os America

in Baltimore, a place where segregation is so ingrained in the societal consciousness and which shows no indication of changing, that blacks and whites are not even allowed to mix on te levision. Tracy Turnblad (Laurie Scarth) is a teen whose dreams of TV stardom are marred by her chubbiness and unconvinced parents. In her bid to get on to the 'Corny Co llins Show' she meets a bunch of black teenagers and discovers they love rock 'n'roll just as much as her and together they storm the TV studios. it would be easy to assume that the stage production did not differ significantly from the film version starring Zac Efron and John Travolta, however the subtle differences in this performance made the performance all the more watch able and stopped it from becoming a stagnant re -hash of the film and the original musical itself. Although some of the songs were a little weak, both lyncally and in power, they were generally executed we ll by the cast and were more than made up for by some good big show tunes - such as the belter 'I Know Where I've Been', sung by the frankly remarkably voiced Sandra Marvin. Similarly in 'You Can't Stop the Beat' (the closing song involving the whole cast) the song retains a

catchiness that rendered it stamped to this reporter's ears for days afterwards. Michael Starke (of Brooks1de fame) stole the show as Tracy's mother Edna, bringing down the house with some classic panto lines, adding to the entertainment without distracting from the central issues of the musical . Velma Von Tussle (Gillian Kirkpatrick) was also terrifically evil without becoming too much of a caricature as the face of both 'skinny' show business and racist white America in the 6os. This kind of musical also depends almost as much on its eye-catching costume design as the actual performance . Any stage production with a Head of Wigs (David B1rt) with four assistants is going to be impressive lookmg and th1s was no exception. The costumes really set the scene with colourful pencil and full circle skirts also aiding the swing of the dances, but cred1t must go to the fabulous headwear which just got higher and higher as the show ran on until1t was twice, even three times bigger than the dancer's heads. The audience was mainly made up of women and this proved important in focusing the show on the issues affecting women, not just other ethnic1ties. With the so ng 'Mama, I'm a Big Girl Now' emphasising

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Lies in his abil ity to be ahead of his time the BlackeyedTheatre Group kept this spirit alive 0 fifty-three years after the play's theatrical I debut ensures this production's quality. ffi In Brecht's signature anti-realist style, <( the play emp loys the frammg of narratives: u. whi lst the story begins and ends with a dispute over territorial collectivisation

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an overall feel-good factor that makes Hwrspray an excellent musical everyone

will enjoy. lmogen Steinberg

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THEATRE ROYAL

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THEATRE>NORWICH PLAYHOUSE> CAUCASIAN CHAU< CIRCLE

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the rejection of the blonde, skinny ideal (and the star-crossed lovers side plot), it would be easy to dismiss this work as trivial and overly mushy. However, it actually deals with big ideas and the conAict and then reconciliation develops character and narrative to a pleasing degree. Combined with the theme of acceptance running throughout, the production brings about

in the Sov iet Union, the majority of the plotline fol lows the rights of maternity over a noble-born baby in a turbulent Georgia. Throughout the years, some critics have lambasted Brecht's dramaturgical concept of 'epic theatre' as, despite the use of framework and analogy as elemental illustrative points, they felt it did not provide

a sufficient attack on the evils of the world t hat it supposed ly hints at - name ly the rise of t he National Socia list Party in the previous decade. Where, however, those critics are disheartened at the loss of a bruta l diatribe, it is clearthatTom Neil l's production de lighted in proving the timeless dramatics of The Caucas ian Cha lk Circ le in a way that wou ld have also de lighted Brec ht- a play so wonderfu ll y done as to be app licab le to any t ime. Though the play sporadica ll y emp loys musica l accompaniment (done by Ron McAI Ii ster) - based loosely on the wide lyused score of Georgian folk po lyphony - this production is not at all as interrupted as it could be; as soon as the audience realises the players are virtuosos in their musica l fie lds, the addition is as essential as Brecht would have it to be. This production by the BlackeyedTheatre Group not only managed to - seemingly instinctively - follow the theatrica l core of Brecht over half a century on, but also to subtly create space for their own innovation. On occasion, vicious tableaus would take place (such as the simultaneous beating of an army officer pitted alongside a peasant woman's assault) whilst contemporary 1mages would blaze upon the necessarily sparse backdrop: the furore of the G2o

protests and of Ian Tom li nson's death; stro be images of Mahmoud Ahmad inejad, Barack Obama, and other wo rl d leaders; and, at the t ime when the Governor is to be hanged "by Holy Law", images of the Pope sidle by As wel l as th is, t he players engineered t heir direction so as to actua lly transform the ir mus ica l as ides into instrumenta l [sic.] pieces of t he play the baby M ichae l is portrayed as Grusha's vio lin w hic h, w hen played or fought over, heig htens Brecht ian symbolism incredib ly. The play consisted of few - some five actors, leaving some ro les without individual ident1ty. However, it was clear that this was in fact intentional as, through incisive prop changes and deus ex machina, the multiplic ity of character representation created a dichotomy of morals that this production can deservedly credit itse lf as its own. Raucous, tragic, hi larious and, as all Brecht, to be read at one's own discretion, this unique production would have received fantastic app lause from the great playwright and, indeed, deserves much more than that. Matthew Morton


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Jack Thorne's preoccupations with racial aggression and sexual violence bleeds through all his work, as it does with Bunny, yet Bunny still seems vastly different from any of his writing for Skins or This is

England. At the opening, Rosie Wyatt (playing Katie- the central, and only vocal, character of the play) comes on to the stage with a gawky-yet-confident attitude, and goes on to detail the jarring of her counterpart lives - one of a middle-class 18-year old, and one of a young girl, just beginning to slide under the aggressive lifestyle of racial violence and sexism in Luton . We follow Katie's evening, after school, as she's pulled into a clash between the men she has somehow become attached to and a young Asian man, who aggravated her boyfriend . The backdrop to this story is just as moving as the action of the play - designed by lan William Galloway and beautifully illustrated by Jenny Turner depicting Katie's journey as she travels through Luton. The bare sketches capture the bleakness of the town and the starkness of the landmarks, which sit at odds with the warmth and vivacity of Katie. lt is

easy to draw parallels in the play with Thorne's other work- certainly, his ability to illustrate subjects too difficult to judge. Katie voices the inevitable discomfort the audience feels with addressing racial issues in a multicultural society, as she introduces her boyfriend, Abe, who she describes as good looking, before saying "He's also black. Not that ... l just never know how to bring that up." The whole play is filled with a itchy, uncomfortable feeling as Katie goes on to suffer various types of humiliation. Particularly, when she's left semi -naked in a car with one of the characters, who then rejects her with the line "You're too easy for me" - you can't help but squirm a bit, feeling awkward for her as she hides her breast back inside her school shirt. Thorne fills the dialogue with cliches and hackneyed sayings borrowed from newspapers, the repeated racism that the characters -spew ironically illustrating the genuine problems of multicultural societies . We're left with a kind of slice of life in Luton, without there being any butchering or clumsy handling of the issues weighing heavily on Katie despite the play's tendency to encourage the

awkward sympathy we feel for her. And this is the greatest difference, I think, between Thorne's previous work and Bunny- instead of being absorbed into a world of a singular person, we witness the

entire life of the town through Katie and are able to appreciate the importance of the issues it raises . Ruth Gaukrodger

THEATRE> UEA> THE WtNTER's TALE The Winter's Tale is not necessarily the first Shakespeare play you'd think of, but that doesn't mean it's not worth seeing . Seen as one of Shakespeare's underrated classics, the play explores a variety ofthemes (some still topically relevant today) and holds a distinguished place in the world of theatre . Presented by Minotaur Theatre Company on campus and directed by Script Writing student Joe Wright, the show does not disappoint. Drama, humour, charisma and confidence are all on display displaying a standard almost reaching the heights of performances by the Royal Shakespeare Company. The audience seemed to agree and an impressively full drama studio showed their appreciation for an excellent performance . Neither really a comedy nor tragedy, this is a play of two halves. The plot proves ambiguous and surprising with its dramatic and emotionally gripping first half, followed by a comedic and happy, heartfelt conclusion . This apparent contrast is engrossing and the audience moved from being straight-faced and miserable at its controversies, to just ten minutes later laughing uncontrollably and revelling in an 'it's all been sorted out finally' ending . For viewers of TV's Shameless, the plot might seem familiar. it follows King

Leontes of Bohemia (played expertly by George Chandler) suspecting his wife, Hermione, and his friend, Polixenes, of betraying him. When he forces Polixenes to run for his life, Leontes sets in motion a chain of events that lead to death, a ferocious bear, an infant left in the snow, young love, and a statue coming to life. The play contains the possibly most famous stage direction ever: 'Exit, pursued by a bear', foreshadowing the death of Antigonus (a loyal defender of Hermione). This, however, is not the oddest event in the performance, as we also witness traditional folk dances, strangely placed fruit and a vast selection of wizard -esque beards to add to the enjoyable chaos of the play. Director Joe Wright seems to have loved the play as much as the audience "I have enjoyed every minute of the process, and have had the privilege to work with some astounding talent both on and off the stage; I can only hope that you, gentle spectator, [have enjoyed] this 'old tale' as much as I have'. This reporter can speak for everyone by saying the performance formed a great platform for showcasing how much talent there is at our very own university; well done to the whole team for what was a brilliant show. Harriet Jones

WRITE FOR US! > concrete.arts@uea.ac.uk

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Back w ith a bang, ITV's Secret D/Ory of a Call G1rl is as raunchy as ever. Based on the books by Belle de Jour, a former call girl, the show g1ves viewers an intimate look at prostitution through the eyes of a high class London call girl Belle (Billie Piper). Bel le leads a double life, lying about her profession to her fnends and family, to whom she is known as Hannah. Although Piper plays the role fantastical ly some of the other actors, most notably lddo Goldberg who plays Be lle's best friend Ben, are a little wooden. Sti ll, the show is very entertaining and a loveable main character, plus the ironic comedy, makes it a great watch.

"lt is incredibly explicit and covers everything; fetishes, S&M, sex t oys, Viagra, the li st goes on"

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Secret Diary takes sex on television to a new level. it doesn't dance around the subject, not that we would expect it to given its title, but if you have never seen it before you may be in for a shock. it is incredibly

explicit and covers everything: fetishes, S&M, sex toys, Viagra, the list goes on. Secret Diary has been met with a lot of cr1t1cism for seeming to glamorise prostitution. it does ignore all the less attractive aspects: sexua lly transmitted diseases, unattractive clients (for the most part), giving a perhaps fantastical and inaccurate portrayal of the profession. Th1s is to be the show's fourth and final series, and after the previous three jam packed series there was the worry that the fourth wouldn't find any new material to cover. There is only so much you can do, and on ly so many new sex scenarios you can think of However, this series is proving ju st as entertaining as the last, and comes with a new challenge for Belle, taking over her ex-boss's business while she is in jai l and becoming a 'Madam'. Also, with Belle's decision to enter into a long anticipated relationship with best friend Ben, there are high hopes that the show will have a great finishing se rie s. Helen Jones

With h1s blonde ha1r, chubby camp appearance and a perma-tan, Gary is an unlikely so ldier. In fact, Gary is a Scott1sh gay man living and breathing the life of a Corporal in the Brit1sh Army. With h1m are his friends and colleagues who, during the many hours of apparent boredom in their working lives find themselves in hilarious situations. Shot and produced by BBC Scotland and available on BBC 1Piayer, the second series sees Gary lo se a tank and try to locate it using posters which say "Have you seen this tank'" much to the dismay of his boss, the typical shouting enforcer. In one amusing episode, Gary decides to swap tickets on a much delayed flight from Afghanistan for an even later flight in return for VIP tickets to Shark World. Every episode is full of short clips where Gary comments on himself and other issues such as the difference between a soldier's wages and that of an assistant working in Greggs. Although these do nothmg to help the plot it does give the audience a glimpse into Gary's odd thoughts.

Th1s unlikely format cl 1ps of videos shot by Gary and his friends are rem ini scent of a video on YouTube that real-life so ld1 ers shot of themselves having a bit of fun and dan cing to Lady Gaga. Gary's team of soldiers perform hits such as Single Lad1es, Telephone and others on what appears to be a home video.

'' ... light-hearted and entertaining, something that has been long overdue for a while in the realm of the armed forces." Although the heavy Scottish accent is difficu lt to apprec iate at first, th e ent ire premise of Gary: Tank Commander IS lighthearted and entertaining, somethmg that has been long overdue for a while in the realm of the armed forces. Every episode is guaranteed to get you laughing.

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HD TELEVISION- WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?

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They burnt down the Old Vie for it, they've had to develop new th1cker make-up for it, and yet nobody is too bothered about it. HD TV has arrived and no one has really noticed. This IS because although many people have HD ready televisions, having a HD receiving digital box or Sky H D is stil l not that common. With the advent of the digital one off payment HD receiver this may soon change, but before you go ru shing off to buy one consider what high definition will do for you. Technically HD has two million pixels per frame, which is roughly fi ve times more than that of standard digital channels.

This means that when watching sports you can see the faces of the spectators, the grass looks sharper and the sound is slightly louder however when watching Eastenders or Hollyoaks the difference is less distinctive. You will spend most of your time forgetting to switch over to the H D cha nn el, which is an annoying reminder that HD TV is still not mamstream. So until every channel has converted to HD it wi ll remain an expensive extra that will not ultimately change your viewing experience. Kate Alien

Sherie Harkcom


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This issue, Venue looks-at the ultimate guilty pleasure, television that we love to hate.

SNOG MARRY AVOID?

TOOL ACADEMY

BBC THREE, TUESDAY, 8PM

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A fan of the tan7 Think less clothing is definitely more? Have no problem leaving the house looking like something Claire's Accessories spewed onto the street? Yes7 Then you need a make -underfrom POD, the Personal Overhaul Device . Snog Marry Avoid? is the ultimate guilty pleasure, except that there is little guilt involved. Let 's face it, who wou ldn't want to spend time watching 'fake' members of the British public being transformed just to find out what lies beneath the layers of make -up

Tool Academy: you know what you're going to get and by Jove, are this mixed bag of mugs amusing. A few individuals are a bit scary, especially overly angry Jake who blows up with scary, swearing rage without just cause . Even the other aptly named tools ('Twinkle Too l', 'Jea lous Tool', 'Geezer Tool' ..) think he's bloody insane. He should just be renamed 'Potentia l Wife Abuser Tool'. The tool-on-tool interaction is probably the best aspect in the show. They're all

Even better are the judgements from the public which are usually received with utter shock and horror; quite rightly so, who wouldn't avoid a woman wearing a huge wig, florescent pink blusher, topped off with a next-to-nothing outfit and fluffy legwa rmers' Snog Marry Avoid? provides the ultimate in mind less enterta inment and the feeling of 'wel l at least I don't look that bad 1' Helen Eaton

instantly 'maaates', proving bonding is simple, only alcohol and laddish behaviour required. That T 4 bloke Rick Edwards also adds some wonderfully ~ sarcastic commentary so we can fee l even :l: more sm ug and grateful that we don't resemb le these people. Let's hope not, at least. Can they be cured? Just give them a few sessions of 0 w therapy, make the girlfriends find someone a: better and a give the little beggars a right good spanking . 3" Natalie Stephenson

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BIG FAT GYPSY WEDDINGS THE X-FACTOR CHANNEL 4, TUESDAY, 10PM RETURNS AUTUMN 20 1 1

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Channel Four's Big Fat Gypsy Weddings has more in common with Big Brother than just record-breaking audience figures . The episodes allow a first-hand glimpse into t he unique world of the travel lers; a people isolated yet unable to free themselves f rom mainstream society. Their lifestyle is yin to our modern day yang, and it is hard to comprehend some of the medieval Catholic gender ideals they cling to, which can unnerve post-feminists . However, if you put aside the political and

cultural messages, it is not hard to find a humorous guilty pleasure from a series that ma nages to make Jordan look classy. Girls as young as six enjoy Hip-Hop, their dance moves inspired by Shakira, looking like fake -tanned pole-dancers. Some of the frock horrors that grace special occasions would make any Disney princess look like a PA on Dress-Down Friday. If you want your jaw to drop, this show is a must' Kathryn Deighan

Desperately annoying and devastatingly addictive to an almost all encompassing level, The X Factor is surely the ultimate 'Reality TV we love to hate'. There is something so addictive in seeing, people making complete and utter idiots of themselves, then the God-complex within us takes over when the fate of the twelve or so finalists are put in the hands (and phones) of us, the viewing public. Credible popstars? Do we really care whether these guys make it big outside of

the show7 lEvery year the show rolls around a: and many of us tell ourselves "I am not <( going to watch that tosh again this year", desperately trying to convince ourselves that it is going downhill faster than Steve z Brookstein's post-show career. But those 0 thoughts soon morph into "I will just watch I the auditions" and then, before we know it, (I) we're injecting the show directly into our <( LL veins . Tom Theedom


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Two Figures in a Room Crouched, huddled like the world sits on your shoulder, it seems as though you find it hard to think of anything but the scarlet smudges on your skin bare against the emerald wall The other waits for you, their shape nothing more than that. Perhaps if you would lift your head, but it is as if you did, the space, void yet there, would close in around and slowly swallow you whole. Smears of colour block your attempts to move . You remain stuck in a cold frame, seen but not seeing, forever being two figures lying still on a floor.

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QUOTEOFTHEWEEK "There is a view that poetry should improve your life. I think people confuse it with the Salvation army" John Ashbery, (1927-)American poet. Having received every major award, Ashbery continues to incite debate as to whether his poems "mean" anything at all. They do and they don't.

Mantequilla

Always In Our Minds

Reposed, thy still form Imposed upon, my fluttering thoughts dreams of heaven inspired beseeching from shadows

Always in our minds a room Conceals the shattered glass In abandoned corners of restless dust. Always in the room, silhouettes Of two lost souls . One belongs to you . The other wears a hundred masksWrinkled as old Gramps, lips as blue As that child's last winter, Vague as your vagabond friend Soft as a wishful parent, Beautiful as one you've once lovedCarved by omniscient grains, From where we came and so shall return, Into what you long is true.

Fascination, a child's playground clarity, my misadventure. A gaze into emerald Quiet, unseen wailings the heart predicts Passion, the lovers' deception Innocence, a-walk-in-the-dark Zeus implores: Venus' nymphs corrupt. Sainty be mute Insanity offers excoriation

QUOTE OF THE WEEI< "There is a view that poetry should improve your life. l thmk people confuse 1t with the Salvation army" - John Ashbery, (1927-) American poet. Having received every major award, Ashbery continues to incite debate as to whether his poems "mean" anything at all. They do and they don't.

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The stable master pledges The horse of the King's affection Mermaids prepare lavendered de lights Molluscs and pink prawns

Always in our minds the room Is shut where none but you have seen And you would enter eac h daylight ponder For what was or could have been.

concrete .creativewriting@ uea .ac. uk

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Rachel Lum

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Creative Writing Events 'Tuesday 1sth February - Norwich Poetry Club feat. Adam O'Riordan Adam O'Riordan will be reading from his new collection In the Flesh, supported by Faber New Poet Sam Riviere and Norwich Poetry Club residents Hannah Jane Walker, Martin Figura and John Osborne. Hosted by Luke Wright. From 7:30-9J0pm at The Bicycle Shop, 17 St Benedict's Street, Norwich.Tickets are £5. Wednesday 16th February - headCRASH

Cabaret @The Birdcage Russell J Turner presents a shed load of tip-top poetic and comedic talent. The most fun you can have with two quid apart from glueing the ends of a short piece of string to each coin thereby constructing a tiny pair of maracas. From 8:3opm at The Birdcage, Pottergate, Norwich. Tuesday 22nd February - Andrea Levy at UEA Spring Literary Festival Prize-winning novelist Andrea Levy will

be reading from her latest novel The Long Song which is set in the last days of slavery in Jamaica. From 7pm in LT1. Tickets are available for £6. Monday 28th February - Word of Mouth presents Pete the Temp vs Climate Change High-octane stand-up poetry from Pete the Temp with support from Captain of the Rant, John Simpson Wedge and MC Dan Gregory. From 8pm-1opm at The Norwich Arts Centre on St Benedict's Street. Tickets

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available for £5. Monday 28th February - The After Hours Club- Spoken Word Open Mic Norwich's naughtiest spoken word open mic 1s back. All forms of live literature welcome, slots are 5 minutes each w1th free drinks available for performers. From 1opm in The Ten Bells, St Benedict's Street, Norwich. Sign-up on the night.

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Dead Space 2 is like the original Dead Space in that it is.still set in Space and pretty much everyth ing in it is sti ll dead (sort of) it is also similar to the original game in that it is excellent. Protagonist lsaac Clarke continues to prove his worth as the unluckiest man in the history of games. Placed in situations where bloody death seems all but certa in , there is always a palpable sense of relief when he bare ly manages to kick, scream and stomp his way to safety- although safety is never absolute. lsaac is doggedly hunted by hordes of ravenous husks that once were men. Th e monsters, Necromorphs, are defeated by removing their mutated limbs. lssac's only mea ns of survival is his resourceful use of technology, knowledge of engineering, careful app licat ion of brute force and hi s 'Resource Integration Gear' (R IG) suit. Not much has changed in terms of the game's formula but what has changed is the setting. Havi ng barely got away with hi s life at the end of Dead Space, he is rescued only to awaken three years later to the same awful situation. In fact, ju st about the first thing he sees is a man's face being ripped apart in fro nt of him. The action now takes place aboard an enormous city-like space station named 'the Sprawl'. lsaac is controlled in the third person, and thanks to the return of the 'R IG' interfa ce, everything that would normally

clutter the screen on a HUD is instead on lsaac's suit. Health statu s, menus, video communications and ammun iti on meters are all projected directly from the RIG. Voice acting is fairly top notch, w ith lsaac making more of a starring role in the dialogue. Compared to the silence of the last game, hi s newfound dialogue is often simpl isti c but we ll fitt ing, and very occasiona ll y darkly funny. If anything, players might find that lsaac often says just exact ly what they're thinking. Hi s communication with others also makes for a more decisive and assertive chara cter when tackling problems, which blends well with his background as an engineer. lssac's mental state is also prominent, however the player doesn't get any insights into the mids of the other c h aracters. His internal strugg le is one the more engaging elements on show. lsaac is a broken man having lived through the horrific

aboard the lshimura. He's haunted by his dead girlfriend, and the gui lt he feels for encourag ing her to work on the doomed ship. it's a firm reminder that lsaac is not a superhero, but an ordinary man, and from that weakness comes a very strong characte r, one with whom players can certa ;nly empathise. Combat is intense and panic inducing, but this is not where Dead Space is most powerful or at its scariest. it's in the interludes between combat that the atmosphere takes over, players wi ll find themselves nervously glancing back behind lsaac, checking every corner and listening out for any sign of Necromorph presence. The sounds are very effective, especially those that serve as a reminder that the were

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h u m a n Mutated children and bab ies are part ic u Ia rly un sett ling, whether visib le on screen or not. Dead Space 2 is often at its creepiest when there are no enemies around . The brilliant great environments

accentuate the tension, most notably the Gothic ca thedral and colourfu l, cheery primary school - both of which look right at home in the dark futuristic sett ing . When Necromorphs do come, they come with great shock value, which they retain throughout the game, often leaping out to attack when least expected. The most remarkable new feature is the inclusion of a multiplayer mode . These four-on-four matches see teams of engineers going up against a variety of player contro lled Necromorp hs. Maps are objective based and , after one team has won, the roles are reversed. Engineers can use tools and weapons, stomp, perform melee attacks and use the Stasis ability seen in the single player. Players are also ab le to control a range of Necromorphs with different ab ilities. lt is entertaining enoug h, but nowhere near as gripping as the sing le player, and could bec ome boring fast. This is Dead Space on a bigger scale, but it's more than gore, horror and action. it's the personal story of a man understandably disturbed by what has happened to him, told very effectively. Thi s mesh of different elements makes for a compelling game that can easily be played more than once, if not multiple times; combined with the newfound online mu ltiplaye r, thi s gives good repla y va lue. Whether a horror survival veteran, or JUSt a gamer looking for a great gaming experience, Dead Space 2 is we ll worth your time and money. W illiam Moran

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The death of PC gaming is a phrase thrown around a lot these days, and not by people who play on computers. it seems to be the common opinion that co nso les have comp lete ly taken over and there remains a last, battered few who still persist with the PC. Are PC garners part of a dying breed or a largely unknown, yet thriving community? Let's start by having a look at some of PC gaming's biggest giants. Routinely, when pol ls are he ld as to which deve loper is the best across all platforms, three come out on top - Blizzard , Va lve and Bioware. These three also happ en to be some of the biggest PC games deve lopers. Blizza rd, in itself, is a PC only company making huge titles such as the Starcraft, Diab/o and Warcraft series (inc luding World of Warcrajt) ; the conso le arm of Blizzard is Activision - pub lisher of the Call of Duty franchise. Their projected earnings for 2010 were around $4.28 bi llion, a staggering amount. Va lve, as we ll as deve lop ing genredefiners such as Half Life and Counter

Strike, provides the Steam service. Steam is a program that allows you to download and subsequent ly run games through it, including most large games released by any deve loper. Steam users at last count were over 30 million and Valve made an estimated $1 bi ll ion last year. Bioware are well known master story tellers, / producing Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights. However, both Valve and Bioware ha ve on ly made tentative steps towards console platforms. Gabe Newel!, CEO of Va lve, had previously der i ded Sony's

Playstation but has now mysteriously changed his mind (I'm sure you can guess the

reason we all suspect). Bioware are just getting round to releasing the phenomenal Mass Effect 2 on Playstation, but the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series remain the companies' only recent stabs at the Playstation and Xbox. The developers seem to appreciate t hat there is clearly a lot of money in the console arena, but their aim stil l seems to be to cater to PC use rs. There is also an incredibly strong community within PC gaming. A perfect example of this is the game Minecraft. So far, by attracting the interest of the community alone, it has mo re than a million players and hundreds of mods being pumped for it. What makes it spec ial is the fact that it has not even been released I it is produced by the tiny, new developer Mojang Specifications,

and is available to buy online and play as a beta versio n. Modders, peop le who independently produce modifications for PC games, prov ide new ways to play any game and near infinite replayability. The mod ' Defense of the Ancients' for Warcraft 3 became so popu lar it has spawned an entire new genre of games, and Valve's hit Counter Strike began as a mod. You shouldn't look at this as the death of PC gaming, instead see it as the rise of console gaming. PC gaming will always be more of a niche appea l, something that provides for a community of modders and dedicated players with their own culture. Conso les however, have far more accessibility, being both cheaper and a lot easier to use. it's no surprise t hat this is a winning formu la, but th e ascendancy of one platform does not crush anot her, especially when it has the most devoted user base of all. Whatever happens, do not write us off. Chris Axe


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Fun links to pass the time between socialising and learning .

Wired were lucky enough to snap up an invite for the reveal of the GAME Award 2010 shortlist for the 7th Video Game TVTropes BAFTA Awards. The Video Game BAFTAs TVTropes describes itself as the Wikipedia for are the largest industry-awa rded video the tricks for writing fiction, only a 'buttload' game awards (the Golden Joysticks are more informal. Funny and surprisingly done entirely by the pub lic), and the GAME addictive th1s site puts an interesting award is decided by public vote from a descriptive spin on many classical television shortlist compiled by a panel of thirteen and film cliches. judges from the industry, including www.tvtropes.org Dara O'Briain an~d------=== representatives Shadowness from leading publishers and Still an extremely new site, Shadowness developers. was only set up in January of this year but T h it's already picked up a loyal and dedicated · fan base and looks set to increase significantly shortlist was in popularity. Shadowness is essentially a site announced where artists and designers can post their February work and receive feedback on it. You can on 1oth at BAFTA make a portfolio and favourite other people's submissions. Unfortunately, Shadowness is headquarters in currently invite only but that's set to change London . After in the near future and it's still a fun site to being ushered browse with a great community and some into a theatre fantastic artwork on display. inside the rather www.shadowness.com u n d e r st a t e d (for BAFTA) My Life is Average building, an idea similar to was met with a Following lectern www.fmylife .com, mylifeisaverage allows stage, users to submit short, and often hilarious and television anecdotes displaying how average the1r p e r so n a I it y lives are. Be careful, it's easy to waste entire M i c h a e I afternoons on this site. Underwood from CBB C and CITV www.mylifeisaverage.com fame. it Alek Stoodley all very

a surreal experience, being surrounded by fellow journalists from esteemed publications and websites such as IGN. The shortlist itself was filled with what some may feel are expected games, however there were a coup le of surprise entries on the list, due in part to the unique criteria needed to qualify for a BAFTA award nominee. BAFTA themselves look not for what game sold the best in the year but instead for what title has pushed the boundaries of the genre or shown great artistic merit. 0 n e interesting fact that Wired managed to wrangle out of a lovely Public Relations man is that Call of Duty: Black Ops was never once mentioned by anybody on the panel as a viable nominee; its inclusion only about of the sheer numbers it sold in 2010, with sales that high and considering

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Some of the best, most interesting or just downright funny people tweeting right now! @popurls A genuine news aggregator for the latest' web buzz. A great feed for internet, reddit, and general humour. Th is twitter stream will send you links (popurls) to hilarious pictures, stories and reddit threads . @gmpolice Just in case you want to know about every criminal incidence happening in the Greater Manchester area, the GM pol ice have become the first pol ice force in Britain to embrace Twitter and improve their public relations and transparency to the people. @TechCrunch If you're reading this section of Concrete, you probably like technology. That makes this twitter stream perfect for you, since it'll bring you brand new tech news, comments and opinions. From smartphones to the latest Apple and Google innovations, it 's all here. Richard Joslin

With Face book users expanding everyday, there are groups springing up for every occasion, here are some of the best!

DJ Turner

Go out there now and vote at the BAFTA website www.baftagameaward.com

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<3 Animal lovers United <3

'Animal Lovers' they call themselves. A simple look at this group and it is easy to see what's going on . Photos, videos and stories are welcome. Ever wondered what it's like to fall for your pet dog (or even better, 'the cats and dogs of Egypt,' as one member is so fond of)7 Forget human love . This is animal love. The group page boasts over 13,000 members and can be recognised for its close-up photo of a bald dog covered in kisses (I'm guessing they shaved it for smooth sex), and quite frankly, these guys are into anything and everything about loving animals. The flavour of the month seems to be a big black dog named Bailey, who never tires of a good game of tug of war, and neither will you with Animal Lovers United . Fetch!

the public has a say, 1t was a title just begging to be included in the shortlist. And here is the list itself: -Call of Duty: Black Ops -Red Dead Redemption -LIMBO -Halo: Reach -Mass Effect 2 -Need for Speed: Hot Pu rsuit -Super Mari o Galaxy 2 -Dance Ce nt ral -Fifa l.l. -Heavy Rain Again, a list with few major surprises, however the fantastic inclusion of LIM.BO, developed by Playdead Games, is a sure sign of a maturity in the industry and the realisation that Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network are both viable formats for small developers to grow and become noticed Even games that weren't as commerc1ally successful as they rightly should have been, such as Heavy Rain and Dance Central, still have a fighting chance at claiming the top spot. Results will be announced at the main awards show on March 16th when they are hosted by Dara O'Briain and shown live online at the BAFTA website. it's well worth taking the t1me to vote on your favourite game of 2010, or even the title you feel deserves the award the most!

Audiogalaxy Audiogalaxy is an Android and iPhone app which enables you to listen to your entire music collection on yoursmartphone without actually storing it on your phone's SD card/s. lt streams the music from your computer via an Audiogalaxy server to your phone with remarkab ly good speeds . Simply down load the client for your PC, select the fol ders you want it to draw music from, an d leave it runni ng in t he background (it t akes up little system resources) while you go out. Very useful, but the interface could be perfected and there's no 5.1 mode, so you should probably retain some music files on your phone in case you can't access 3G. Available from the Android Market and iPhone App Store.

Launcherpro is a wildly popular and incredible alternate user interface for your phone's homescreens/ launcher. lt gives you massive amounts of customization, allowing you to set the number of homescreens you have, enable virtual looping, change the default screen, the number of columns and rows on each homescreen, fully customize your dock, and a multitude of other things. If you buy the 'Launcherpro Pius've rsion, whic h is fully recommended, then you get access t o the several amazi ng feat ures incl ud in g being able to resize w id gets, and Launcherpro Plus widgets such as the Facebook, Twitter, and calenda r widgets which are very high quality.

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audience already rife with expectations and Never Let Me Go is no exception. Th1s month, fans of Kazuo lshiguro's unique creation >- wait with baited breath to 0 w see whether director Mark Romanek can do ju st ice to ~ 0 the powerful novel. u Without giving too much away, Romanek's film is difficult to categorize. On one level, the narrative _J depicts a love story riddled with the usual elements of pain, confus ion and romance; but on another level, it's so much more. For protagonists Kathy, Tom my _J

and Ruth, 'normal' life is a world away from the reality we know today. Beginning with a caption describing a fictional medical development in the 1g6os it becomes clear early on that this is not a simple love story but a harrowing tale about fighting the odds in a bleak world where in f act good rarely comes to those who wa it. Fans will not be disappointed to see that the film is remarkably faithful to the novel as lshiguro was closely linked to the project from the beginning Growing up as chi ldren at Hail sham (an austere establis hment reminiscent of the boarding schools of post-war Eng land), the three characters, like the

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audience, are privy only to mysterious hints at the ir true purpose in life . With the spec ifi c vernacular of 'donations', 'carers' and the hauntingly tragic conce pt of 'comp let ion ' the film owes its uniquely affecting script to the spectacula r source material. However, the story is brought to life by the three leads . Carrie Mulligan, Ke ira Knig htley and Andrew Garfield come

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................... .• it is undeniable to state that the boxing movie has developed into a cherished but predictab le sub-genre in Hollywood cinema. David 0 Russell's The Fighter does indeed resorts to many of these predictabilities but the true story of boxer Micky Ward (Ma rk Wahlberg) is no doubt a thoroughly refreshing and entertaining Oscar contender. The fi lm chronicles Ward's early career, from his status as a 'stepping stone' nobody to a true contender for the welterweight title all, of whic h is expertly threaded together by di rector Russell. Subp lots concerning Micky's brother Dicky Eckland (Christian Bale) and his drug addiction fee l

integral and essential to the narrative focus of the film, enab ling it to become more about the tribulations of pursuing a boxing career rather than a glamorization of succeeding in it. Thefi lm'sstrength comes primarily from its acting most notably from Christian Bale whose performance is unquestionably Oscar wo rth y. Mark Wa hlberg and Amy Adams also do a very commendable job throughout the movie but ultimately Bale is the one who steals t he show. This stressed emphasis on Bale's character does become the fi lm's only minor weakness, but regard less, The Fighter is a must see movie for any fan of brilliant storytelling and knock-out performances. An drew Wilk ins

together to make a trio of performance s that cannot be faulted. Understated and yet empathetic, Mulligan brings grace and sympathy to the character of Kathy, so sheltered that it wou ld be easy for her to be a boring protagonist. Similarly Knig htley (with no irritating pout in sight) forces the audience to take a closer look at Ruth, finding sympa th y in the tragic life of a girl so

TRUE GRIT

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Revisionist Westerns have been in vogue for decades now, but this True Grit re boot is justified twofold : firstly, it's nothing like the original picture, and secondly, it's an excellent film in almost all respects. Like t he origi nal, t he film is a simp le tale of a rough -hewn sheriff (Jeff Bridges rather than John Wayne) hunting down an outlaw who murdered the father of Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld). Particular credit needs to be given to Jeff Bridges for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn, not so much portraying the character as inhabiting him . Colin Firth is hot favourite for the Best Actor Oscar for his excellent

portrayal of King George VI, but Bridge's performance is a couple of notches above. Like Cogburn, the West in this film is grimy, sme lly and unromantic - both sheriffs and outlaws are loveless men who spend their lives killing . The supporting cast is very strong, particularly Steinfeld's performance, which represents a very sure-footed and accomp lis hed screen debut. The Coen's 'Grit' is all about realism, with some No Country for Old Men style meditation on the pointlessness of violence thrown in for good measure. This interpretation succeeds so well because of fine cinematography (Roger Deakin) and t he Coen's excellent editing, which recognise s that good action is sustained by good acting and suspense. George Gilbert

easily condemnable for her youthful selfishness. However, the standout performance is that of Andrew Garfield. Nominated for the rising star award at thi s yea rs BAFTA's after the success of Ti)e Social Network, Garfield proves what a diverse and talented actor he is in the heartbreaking innocence ofTommy's faith in love. Avoiding cliches Never Let Me Go is more a story of growing up and living a life tinged with tragedy than that of boy-meetsgirl. Viewers expecting to be spoon-fed may have trouble as the narrative doesn't overdo the emot ion. lt is often coldly clin1cal in the face of an

unbearably tragic concept, but therein lies the beauty of the film. Poignantly subtle, ye t charged with emotion throughout, this may be one of the best adaptations of the year, leaving only the coldest heart untouched. Beth Davison

SANCTUM

..................... . •Director: Ali sta ir Grierson • :Release Date : 1.1./2/u •

When James Cameron's name is attributed to a film, it is natural to think of a high -quality blockbuster of epic proportion . Unfortunately, it would be a big mistake to have such expectatio ns when considering Sanctum JO. The 3D action-thriller follows a team of underwater cave divers on a treacherous expedition to the largest, yet least accessible, cave system on Earth. When a tropical storm forces the crew deep into the caverns, they must battle against raging water and looming threats as they search for an unknown escape route. The 3D aspect of this film is very unnecessary

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and does not effectively add another level to the experience. This is just another ploy, like many recent films, to try and make a badly produced film seem remotely appealing. Here the 3D falls flat, making this underwater adventure not as deep as it should be. For a film based on real events, it is surprising how unattached to the characters you feel. The amateur act ing from the cast could be held responsible for this, often engaging in overdramatic heated exchanges or delivery of cheesy one-liners. it is hard to get behind such characters and their hope to survive, when all you're really hoping is that you can endure the film, and make it out of the cinema. Anna Eastick


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• • • ••••••••••••••••••• When a photograph linking Pinkie (Sam Riley) to a recent murder falls into the hands of na·ive waitress Rose (And rea Rise borough), it is up to him to make sure that she doesn't go to the police. The vulnerable Rose instantly falls for the knife-wielding gangster, who strings her along to ensure that she won't testify against him. Rose's boss lda (Helen Mirren) sets about trying to rescue the girl from Pinkie, believing that he would sooner kill her than pay for his crimes. Rowan Joffe's reinterpretation of Graham Greene's iconic Brighton

received many unfair reviews following its release, criticising the director for making controversial and arguably unnecessary plot changes . However, Joffe's decision to shift the drama to 1964 creates an exciting and that chaotic backdrop compliments Greene's story. The most gripping scenes in the film are those shared between Riseborough and Riley. The moment Pinkie reveals his true feelings about his new wife as she watches obliviously happy on the other side of soundproof glass is particularly heartbreaking and displays the undeniable talent of both leading actors. James Burrough

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....................• Just Go With lt, is the new romantic comedy produced by and staring Adam Sandler. Sandler plays plastic surgeon Danny who, after a traumatic experience on his wedding day, discovers that wearing a wedding ring and making up fake wives is the perfect way to pull young women without getting his heart broken. However, when he meets Palmer (Brooklyn Decker), a young gorgeous girl who he actually begins to fall for, he becomes submerged in lies to try and keep her, asking his assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) to pretend to be his ex-wife. Aniston and Sandler

make a good comic duo, bickering like old friends, but they are not convincing as a couple. Bailee Madison and Griffin Gluck play Maggie and Michael; Katherine's two children, and are possibly the best aspect of the film, with Maggie's supremely awful fake accents generating many of the laughs. True to Sandler the film had a relaxed style seeming more improvisational than fully scripted, and there are some good moments that come out of it. However considering the heavyweight rom-com actors involved, it could have been much better, and there is something that just doesn't quite hit the mark. Unfortunately it did disappoint. HelenJones

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Director: Deora Granrk Release Date: 31/1/11

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Basedonthe ~~~elby D~~iei Woodrell, Winter's Bone recounts the harrowing tale of Ree (Jennifer Lawrence), a teenage girl living in the Osark Mountains of Missouri. Carer to a mentally ill mother and a younger brother and sister, she remains tied to her childhood home . Her situation worsens when the Sherriff appears with news that her absent father, the area's local drug dealer, has posted their home up for bail. If he doesn't appear for next week's court date, they will become homeless. Forced into action, Ree begins knocking on doors and

Becca (K man) see comfort in the friendship of a schoolboy for reasons that later emerge, toying with

:. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Nicole Kidman gives her best and most genuine so far, performance meriting our sympathy as a mother struggling to cope with the accidental death of her son. Coupled with a stunning portrayal of a grieving father from Aaron Eckhart, the film focuses on a couple facing the complexities of coping with grief. We witness their search for sanity, from God to guidance groups, desperately trying to overcome the tragedy. The couple head off on divergent paths as Howie (Eckhart) befriends a female member of the therapy group and

the concept of a parallel 0 0 universe where happiness can be found . Don't be put off by the seemingly simple plot as the film remains gripping from start to finish . As the first film to solely focus on the subject of life after loss, Rabbit Hole approaches the topic delicately, avoiding the typical cop out Hollywood ending . You are guaranteed to be moved by this film and, although the conventional 'feel-good factor' is far from present, the ability to sustain a marriage through the hardest of times is an uplifting message in itself.

performances cannot disguise the poor quality of the script. Most of the scenes, even the 'intense' ones, seem timid and lifeless. The other members of the band might as well be invisible as none of them have more than ten lines of dialogue throughout the entire film. Yet, this focus makes sense creatively as well as legally as the producers never secured life story rights for the other band members.

Overall the film tells the predictable story of girls struggling with the world of fame, who could have used more parental supervision. Sigismondi makes the film seem underdeveloped and she never conveys why The Runaways were so important. Still, it fulfils the role of lightweight o entertainment with its portrayal of a band that ~ burnt the candle at both <f. ends. IL Beth Hulett

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asking questions in a bid to find him. However, she quickly becomes embroiled in the neighbourhood's tangle of secrets, lies and corruption. With a glowing report from the Sundance Film Festival and nominations for a string of Academy Awards including Best Picture, Winter's Bone has so far been surrounded by a halo of success. Director Debra Granik uses grey filters to emphasise the bleak state

ofthe neighbourhood as the camera pans over countless yards filled with abandoned cars and machinery. In the end though, this film is incredibly slow moving and requires a lot of patience. Regardless of its success so far, it felt dull and uninspired, trying just a little bit too hard to fulfil the notions of an edgy documentary-style thriller.

Lorna Pontefract

The Runaways tells the tale of the first all-girl rockand-roll band in the 1970s who changed the face of rock history. The movie conveys the band's raise and rapid descent through drug-taking, jealousy and their uncontrollable lust for fame. This is director Floria Sigismondi's first full-length feature and was successful when it came to casting Kristen Steward, from the Twilight saga, as well as Dakota Fanning. The actresses give convincing performances and their enthusiasm is certainly apparent on screen. Yet even Stewart and Fanning's

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RADOSAVA RADULOVIC

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he release of the Academy Award nominations last month has left Hollywood, along with the rest of the world, buzzing with predictions. Although recent award ceremonies have given us some clues as to who's ahead in the polls, the Academy have shown in past years they are n't as pred ictab le as they may seem. Obvious fro nt runne rs to w in are Nata lie Portman in Black Swan f or Best Actress and Coli n Fi rth in Th e King's Speech for Best Actor, each having swept the awa rds season so far. And deservedly so. Both actors give treme ndous performances; Firth singin g about the mistreatment he suffe red and Portman's Swan Lake fina le wi ll definite ly stick with you . Ye t, although the Oscar is bas ica lly on Firth's mante lpiece alrea dy, the category is fill ed w it h oth er bril liant actors; Jesse Eise nberg for The Socia l Network seems to be th e favo urite be hind Firth, along wit h Ja mes Fra nco in 1 27 Hours, w ho manage d t o hold an audience almost ind epen dently

rolls out the red carpet and give the lowdown on the anticipated Oscars nominations

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for 95 minutes. If Franco was to win he'd be the first host to do so in over so years, almost certainly guaranteeing an interesting acceptance speech. Other categories, however, prove more tricky to predict: Best Picture, for instance. Whi lst The Social Network picked up the Go lden Globe, it has nine tough contenders. Some peop le are pegging The King's Speech for t he win, with The Fighter, 127 Hours and Black Swan giving it a run for it's money too . Also nominat ed is Toy Story 3, though whi le th is w ill probab ly win Best An imated Featu re it's un li ke ly to snag this one (but it 's j ust ni ce to be nomi nat ed). Alth ough it 's di fficu lt to choose, The Social Network

seems to be the most deserving as it's strong all -round; with bri lliant acting, directing, and screenplay, with the added bonus of being a generation defining film. Something of it's like we're unlikely to see any time soon. And let us just take a moment to remember the people who were shockingly snubbed. Andrew Garfield The Social Network, Ryan Gosling Blue Valentine and Chris No Ian's Inception your contribution to film in 2010 was much appreciated, but not so appreciated to receive nominations . The films t his year have been of a hi gh standa rd, wit h a good varie t y of genres and stories and all enjoyab le. That be ing said,

it would be nice to see a variety of winners; a best actor here, a best screenplay there. There's nothing worse (or less entertaining) than a film 'do ing a Slumdog' and collecting them all. Not cool, guys I People are eagerly awaiting the Grandaddy of award ceremonies and the BAFTAs will perhaps be able to shed light on who's favourite to win. Even if we aren't psychic, with James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosting this year and people such as Tom Hanks, Robert Downey Jr and Oprah Winfrey confirmed to be presenting, it's sure to be both a star-studded and thoroughly entertaining evening. Right now we'll have to keep guessing and wait for the 27th February. Radosava Radulovic

This weel<, T1M BATEs nominates a star-studded countdown of the worst academy award speeches Cu BA

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You know that uplifting orchestral music that starts playing over a speech when it's gone on too long7 Good. Apparently , Cuba Goad ing Jr. doesn't. Afte r babb ling de lirious t han k yous for his allotted t ime, the signa l of t he mus ic rem ind ed him t hat he had

thank some people, and proceeded, in between his jumps for joy, to rattle off the names of everyone in Southern California, and, when he was worried some people may not yet have understood that he was

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of the orchestra that would play the deadly music, saying she would be there 'for a long t1me'. What followed was an excruciating few minutes, punctuated by more threats, and a laugh that wouldn't sound out of place with the hyenas from 'The Lion King'. This speech is also very useful for charting the steady decline of polite applause and laughter, as the collective thought spreads: 'Wait, that thing she said at the start ... she really meant it .. .'

Julia, perhaps learning from Cuba Gooding Jr.'s m istake, began her speech with a direct wa rn ing to the 'stick man', the co nduct or

1977:

Having just won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, faced with all of Hol lywood, Vanessa decided now wou ld be t he best t ime to confront t he 'Zion ist Hoodlums' (known to the rest of the world as the Jewish Defence League, picketing her support of Palestine outside the theatre). This slur actua lly drew a comment from Paddy Chayefsky, presenting a later award, to express his anger at Redgrave for offending every Jew present, reminding her that 'a simple thank you wou ld have sufficed'. The only speech t o be

act1vely booed by the academy, it was fifteen years before she was nominated again. Tim Bates


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VENUE MEETS ••• TIM I(EY Venue's Susanna Wood catches up with the erudite comedian prior to his performance at Norwich Arts Centre on February 15th. Not specifically, but I did have that _j pang when I was 15 or something of "I want to do that" so I suppose it was always there . lt was certainly never a game plan. I was 24 when I > graduated and I thought that was ~ all my opportunities for doing it ~ over. I did plays at University but 0 0 that was it. lt was surprising that 1 had one more final chance at it by virtue of living in Cambridge and being free and just going for ~ auditions. it's one of those jobs _j that when you're doing it, it seems 1..1. perfectly rational how it happened; you have a few opportunities and you work hard, you latch onto people that you like working with . U

Is this your first time performing in Norwich?

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I first performed in Norwich about 10 years ago; I was doing a tour with Mark Watson, at the Arts Centre. I think I did a show a couple of years ago at the Arts Centre too, it's a nice place .

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What can people expect from 'The Slutcracker'? it's an avant-garde poetry recital. I hope that's encouraging. I can promise elements of black and white European-style one minute films. lt also has a bit of basic clambering over the audience. I like to get up in their faces, and walk amongst them.

Are there any specific poets that have inspired you? Ha, no. Not really. it wasn't a case of me reading one of the great poets and me thinking "maybe I have something that I need to say". it was more just a case of me starting to write shitty little verses on scraps of paper, and then doing it live. I mean there are one or two poets I like, but I'm not really inspired by poetry. it's more that the poetry has worked out as a nice kind of prism to work my comedy through . Plus I like having a notepad with me on stage because I can't remember anything . The notepad is an integral part of your act, isn't it? Yeah, the ones I use are made by a company called Paperblank. I think I'm onto my 26th . I'm quite obsessive with them.

As some of our readers may.not have heard your poetry before, perhaps you could give them a sample? Yeah, I can bash one out!

I went out with a model, but I found her dull. And also she was one of those slutty models, not much to

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look at. Short and sweet. Got a bit of an edge to it though, I feel.

UEA has a famous MA in Creative Writing, so it's pretty good for poetry. Oh really 7 I don't remember going to see any when I was a student. I've been to poetry nights since though . it's variable like any art form . Sometimes I go on bills with other poets and when you get a good one it's really staggering . But bad poetry is pretty tough to bear.

What are your plans for after the tour? I just got told we're doing some more episodes of Mid Morning Matters; a Comic Relief one definitely. I'm also writing a new book at the moment, getting all the poetry out of my system! I must purge myself of all this poetry! No more We Need Answers I'm afraid, it's been cancelled . We made 16 episodes which was loads, so it's a glass half full kind of situation . However, it was crazy meeting a celebrity every week. Going to work and meeting Esther Rantzen; it was surreal.

You wore fantastic glasses on We Need Answers. Are you a style icon? Yeah, I guess I probably am.l always

used to wear glasses on shows with Alex Horne [eo-presenter on We Need Answers] in Edinburgh. He wore glasses, but I took them off him and I started wearing them . Whenever I'm doing a show with him, I put the black glasses on . I don't really need glasses. Well, I do, but I prefer to let my eyesight gradually wither away. I think that would be quite a good look as well. Me staring into my poetry book could become quite iconic.

How did it feel to win the Edinburgh comedy award in 2009? it felt great, and sort of overwhelming because I'd heard of most of the people who'd won it already. The only annoying thing was that I became really reclusive that year; I find it quite difficult to watch other stuff when I've got my own show on. I had a really good time in Edinburgh in 2010 though . I particularly enjoyed Daniel Kitson; he shuns TV and radio but he's pretty much the best comedian in the country. Definitely worth going to watch if he comes to Norwich .

You first came to attention through Footlights, though famously you weren't attending Cambridge. With Cambridge being so nearby, would you recommend this tactic to UEA students? Yes, if anybody is in Norwich and

fancies infiltrating Cambridge, I can testify that it's quite easy. it involves a bit of lying; I said I was doing a PhD in Nikolai Gogol's Ukrainian short stories. That's the scary thing about lying . They don't often pick you up on it. Anyway it was fine, no-one really minded . They all found it pretty funny actually.

Did you always want to go into comedy or did it just come upon you?

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Just try and write. Write quite a lot. Try it out, and don't get w worried about the results it brings. a: Write some more. Throw it away. Get into the habit of writing and 3 performing. What you shouldn't do is hole yourself up in your room and try to write the perfect thing . Just > get out there and do something! r-

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Tim Key (34) is a comedian, actor and performance poet. After graduating from the University of Sheffield with a degree in Russian Literature, he got his breakthrough performing with Footlights, despite not being a Cambridge student. Key has had a busy few years working alongside some of the biggest names in comedy, the highlight being winning the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 2009 with his stand up show 'The Slutcracker'. He recently joined Norwich's very own Alan Partridge (previous Perrier award-winner Steve Coogan) for a series of online episodes called Mid Morning Matters as 'Sidekick Simon', and created and hosted comedy news quiz We Need Answers with friends Mark Watson and Alex Horne. He has also won widespread popularity as the resident bard on Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe, amusing viewers with his poetic slant on current affairs. · His real passion, however, remains in stand-up, with his show 'The Slutcracker' being described by the Observer as 'the kind of artistry and strange beauty that is unlike any other hour of stand-up you are likely to see'. He performs this award-wining show at Norwich Arts Centre on Tuesday 15th February.

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CD REVIEWS Computer And Blues is the last we wi ll ever

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hear of The Streets and in many ways it is a fitting end. Musical ly, Mike Skinner has reac hed a new maturity. Previous re lease Everything is Borrowed was a comp lete departure from form with it's use of orchestra l backing and minimal electronica which wa s arguably incompatible with Ski nner's vocal style. In this album though he has set out to creat e upbeat electron ic instrumentals which chime more with hi s earlier work . The approach is more layered and has a more complete quality than his early work . 'Trust Me', 'Roof of Yo ur Car' and 'OMG' are probably the most successfu l tracks and set the tone for the album with Skinner's musings fitting in snug ly with the electronic prod uction. Lyrical ly, this album is in keep in g wit h whatTh e Streets is all abo ut. If Everything is Borrowed was too phi losophical and The Hardest Way To Make an Easy Living was too candid, then Computer and Blues is a return to the introspective, almost self-removed, thought and attitude of the first two albums . With the exce ption of 'Trying t o Kill M .E.' and 'Blip On A Screen ', which centres on Ski nne r's relationsh ip with his unborn ch il d, wo rds centre on the mundane aspects of life and stoner reflections as much as they have done in previous records .

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Yet Mike Sk inner has aged and you 'd be forgiven for thinking that this album is complete ly different in content to previous efforts. Now a dad in his thirties, he sti ll comments on the everyday, but now with a sense of wisdom . This will turn many off but Skinner cannot maintain the geezer veneer ¡ forever and so perhaps now is a good time for The Streets to die7 If you 're looking for more than this though th en Computer and Blues is tota lly worth checking out. With the exception of 'ABC' which is largely a failure, every track de li vers on real pontification, punctuated by satisfying loops and some very accomp li shed hooks. If anything the label of 'The Streets' has become a hindrance for Mike Sk in ne r now, he can't truly move on from the urban poet image he had und er the first album, no matter how muc h he changes. Here he encapsulates what The Streets has really been all about, albeit from an older perspective. Mike Skinner is done with The Streets, and so are we. Having changed British music forever, he gives hi s modest goodbyes poignantly on 'Without a Blink' saying "I'll go out without a blink/Out without a blink/1'11 go downtown without thinking and shout over a drink".

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it's a precious thing, an album . it's a piece of art, a carefully crafted who le and a window into t he life of t he creator. it's actual ly a marve l that suc h a thing st ill exists, but fighting against t he ever obtuse and immediate popular music industry are a group of artists who still write albums and expect them to be appreciated. One of those artists is James Blake. Let us for a moment remove all t he hype surrounding this release and imagine that the debut from the 22 year old Londoner cou ld remain as tender and untarni she d as it is upon first listening. The first t hin g that comes to m ind is that, like Nick Drake's Pink Moon , Bon lver's For Emma, Forever Ago and other records of that ilk, it seems intrusive to even be listening to the songs on t he album. it's very odd, the intimate ly insular creations are presented in such a beautifully sincere way that they allow the listener, if they wish, to take a seat in the upper circ le of James' home studio. From th is posit ion they can witness a man compose frankly amazing songs, yet at the same time it almost fee ls uncomfortable being in the presence of such raw emotion like that on 'Why Don't You Call Me7'. Neve rt he less, t he result is outstand ing. The problem is that the hype around James and the furore that came out of that Feist cove r won't go away though, and the album as a whole might be overlooked. Yes, 'L imit To Your Love' is the most accessibl e song on the record; the one which best

blends his jazz piano, heart-wrenchingly soulful voice and his penchant for post-dub product ion, but w ithin the album lay so many more moments of bril liance j ust wa iting to be discove red. For the album to be bought on the merit of that, albeit brillia nt, track alone would be a great shame, although the wide appea l of 'Limit To Your Love' might all ow more peop le to explore this masterfu l album, and that would certain ly be no bad thing. For those that do choose to fully invest in t he alb um you shou ld immerse you rselves in it; not on ly do songs li ke 'Th e Wi lh elm Scream', 'Lindisfarne I' and 'Measu rements' triumph through focussed appreciation, but even the silence in between tracks becomes enthralling. Put on some proper headp hones, shut your laptop, press play and you will be treated to one of the (llost accomplished, unique and undoubted ly critically acclaimed re leases of a generation; this year's Mercury award may as well be given pride of place on the Blake fami ly mante lpiece already. Trying to explain why this collection of songs is so powerful is difficult, as in reality, it won't be loved by all and you really have to make up your own mind. Even wit h most people's expectations being so high though, this is one of those rare and sublime moments which not only lives up to, but supersedes the hype with co nsu mm ate ease. AlexThrossell

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CD REVIEWS From the brooding In the four years since slow-build of opener Conor Oberst's last Bright 'Firewall' to garage-rocker Eyes album, 2oo7's dense, 'Triple Spiral', via pop-punk sprawling Cassadaga, anthem 'Haile Selassie' he has released two fulland sparse piano ballad length self-titled records, 'Ladder Song', Oberst two collaborations, an EP, a feature documentary, a THE PEOPLE'S KEY subverts expectations at every turn . handful of one-off tracks Any one of the ten songs found here for various causes and charities, organised benefit gigs, played at presidential rallies ... would be the standout track on the albums the list goes on (and on). Amongst these of his indie-rock contemporaries. There are endeavours, he also found the time to write no real standout tracks here, every song is just as exciting, powerful and deeply The People's Key. To call The People's Key a career-defining satisfying as the last; each one as essential record would seem a somewhat arbitrary to the work as a whole. Interspersed with spoken-word statement, as every record Oberst has released under the Bright Eyes moniker monologues regarding, amongst other has defined his rather exceptional career; things, Sumerian tablets and celestial there isn't one, since 1998's Letting Off 'Serpents of Wisdom', and peppered the Happiness (recorded when he was just throughout with double-kick bass drums 17-years-old), that doesn't make for essential and electronic flourishes this sure ain't your granddaddy's Bright Eyes . lt is, however, a listening. With The People's Key, Oberst's career record only ex-wunderkind, ex-poster-boyhas come full -circle. it's a coming-of-age for-the -disenchanted, ex-"New Bob Dylan" story that can be traced from its humble Conor Oberst, firing on all cylinders, at the roots on a 4-track machine in a middle- absolute peak of his powers, could have American basement, all the way to the Big written . Fans will find themselves in sonic City, across the world, to hell and back and bliss and past detractors will be won over. In short, this is the only album you now ready to envelope our auditory canals. it's the most cathartic, most uplifting, most should be listening to. All of you. . life-affirming record you'll have heard this year (BOTH months of it). Tom Mclnne s

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Just how much does a band need to sound like another band before it becomes a major obstruction to your ability to enjoy them? it's an old standard, but another facto r that isn't as frequently debated is whether it just depends on how much you like the band they're stealing/borrowing/ homaging. it's impossible to deny that Ringo Deathstarr's sound owes a lot to My Bloody Valentine . But this isn't in the same way that Oasis owe a lot to The Beatles . Nah, Colour Trip sounds so much like Loveless that it's entirely possible that it's just been in the back of a 4AD since 1991. Kevin Shields could release it under the MBV moniker tomorrow and no-one would bat an eyelid . So, should Ringo Deathstarr be publicly flogged (or sued, whatever) for flagrant breach of copyright? Again, nah . Clever buggers, they've only gone and bothered to write proper songs,

something most revivalist bands forget (Shored itch elite, looking at you). Whereas Loveless, sent by the Gods though it be, largely eschewed traditional song structures, Colour Trip is a far more melodic, verse-chorusverse affair. 'Imagine Hearts' may make you check to see if your speakers are fucked, but it's propelled by the most addictive of chord progressions, and 'So High' has the melodic heart of The Cure at their peppiest. Never once dropping the pace or the ball, Colour Trip also never outstays it welcome at just 35 minutes. it's not original. it's not trying to be. You'll probably enjoy it a lot more if you just think of it as the shoegaze Chinese Democracy, but not so shit that it causes cats to involuntarily die.

"No sax, please", asked John Peel of bands sending demos to his show forty years ago . Such advice clearly didn't reach the depths of the great American Deep South . Sam Beam, better known as Iron and Wine, would have risked derision from the late great broadcaster had Kiss Ea.ch Other Clean found its way to his desk in the mid 1970s. And yet, on Beam's latest offering, you'd be forgiven for thinking that you were in the back of your friend's station wagon with the radio on and a stolen beer in your hand on your way to see Fleetwood Mac circa 1976. Kiss Each Other Clean is in some ways Beam's most accessible offering yet, in spite of a remarkable change of direction from his early albums . But this doesn't mean that he's sacrificed any of the lyrical lucidity or structural simplicity that made

The Creek Drank the Cradle or Our Endless Numbered Days works of stripped down

majesty. Even when the sax is let loose on the funk driven 'Me and Lazarus' and..,... 'Big Burned Hand' or the Afro beats sear through 'Rabbit Will Run', Beam sounds as comfortable as he did when delicately moving through 'Sunset Soon Forgotten' seven years ago . lt means that Kiss Each Other Clean ends up as an album of immense subtlety and substance rather than the sound of another frustrated songwriter trying in vain to escape the narrow confines of his genre - though such a conventional fate was never likely to befall Sam Beam . Most eerily of all, it leaves you believing that Beam can stroll into any style of music he wants and instantly hit his stride. Alex Ro ss

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CD REVIEWS The fi rst sing le from 21 , 'Ro lli ng in th e Dee p', w hi ch was leaked last year, promised great th in gs: the song has good drive and instrume nta ti on, and it doesn't . get o ld afte r t he fi rst coup le of list ens. lt is im med iat ely recogn isab le as an Ade le song , but it also so un ds like the singer has mat ured as an art ist, and is reac hi ng fo r new, exc iti ng mu sica l places. But t hi s, unf o rtunate ly, is fa lse advertisi ng f or t he rest of 21. lt is appare nt that w it h he r new album, Ade le is in deed trying to become a more mature song writer. However, in an effort for mature, she acc identally took a page out of the book of Randy Newman and wrote a bunch of pi ano se mi-ballad s that are nice but upon repeat listening, are found who lly unremarkable and blend togeth er into one tired so und (Eds' Note: Wh at 's wrong with _..,.Randy Newman?). The songs of 21 showcase Ade le's love ly and extraord inary vo ice; but it's clea r th at they weren't written to do much beyond that. The album has a hopeful start, w ith the fun song 'Rumour Has lt ' and the haunt1ng 'Tu rning Tables', but once you get to 'Set Fire to the Rain' , a lacklu ster song try1ng and fai ling to capture the intensity of 'Roll1ng 1n the Deep' it's clear that the

album isn't interest ed in taki ng the we ird risks t hat Adele's fi rst album 19 di d. On 19 Adele goes falsetto or baritone in places where someone with a different voice wo ul d sou nd goofy, but she ju st so un ds good. On 21, she remains in a vocal range th at is clearly her most po lished, but not her most in t eresting. lt is a poor contrast to Ade le's first album. Those songs on 19 were about fl awed relationships, but the lyrics often f ocused o n t he flaws of the singe r, wh ich was endearing . The subject matter is similar on 21 , but it's not as endearing if there isn't exciting musical composition to go along with the words, like there was on 19. For some reason, Adele makes flawed people a lot more fun to hear about in upb eat tunes th an in ballads, but upb ea t tunes are scarce on 21. On 19, it felt like a rea l personality was shining through the voice and lyrics. The songs sound like music from a coup le generations back, and yet they were written this decade . They felt familiar yet fresh. 21 doesn't feel fresh; it just feels all too fami1 1ar.

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After be1ng crowned with the prest1g1ous Critics' Choice award at the Brits th1s year, Jessie J has begun to storm the charts, with her first single 'Do 1t l1 ke a Dude' debuting at number 25, but later soanng to the top at numb er 2. Gone are the days of YouTube vid eos and time spen t wri tin g hits f or oth er art1sts such as th e chart topping 'Pa rt y in the USA' by Miley Cy ru s, Jessie now stands as an artist in her own right having ju st sco red herse lf her first number one record w ith ' Price Tag' in which she teams up wit h acclaimed arti st B.o. B. it's a catc hy number and has a clear message wh ich is re len tl ess ly drummed into its li stene rs in t he chorus of th e so ng, w hi ch hea rs Jessie's stunning voice dec lare "it 's not about the money, money, money , money. .. " 0 n f i r s t h earing , _jt may

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seem rather repetitive , but do not be mistaken, anyone with a capabli1ty to hum wi ll be domg so; once you've heard it you will not be able to get 1t out of your head 1 Jessie J certa inly proves that she has the voca l capa bility of a true artist with her s1gnature belting notes that have acce lerated her into the British mus ic sce ne. Th e message may be cheesy; th e concept that music has lost its real meaning and that th e industry must centre around music and talent as oppos ed to financi al gain, ho weve r, it certa inl y does t he trick in making this worthy m essage exp licit . The lyric s only add t o the w hole song as a package with its toe tapping beats and Jessie's ow n quirky sty le wh ich is sure to guara nt ee that she wi ll become a crit i cally accla i med art ist, and rather i ro n ically , pretty rich too 1 Rianne Ison

lt would be easy (and na1ve) to suggest of Alexisonfire than the technical prowess that Arch1tects have 'sold out.' True, The of Converge that encapsulated the1r early sound, or the aggress1ve accessibility of Here and Now, Architects fourth album, IS the ir most diverse effort to date; but th e Bring Me The Horizon or Parkway Drive Brighton mob, much to the1r credit, have that defined Hollow Crown. Despite this never been a band afraid to experiment dev1ation from their w1dely hera ld ed wit h their sound. Architects have always pat h, t here IS plenty of material on th e album to satisfy those with the desire wi ll ing to take risks, notably departing from the 'm ath co re' technical barba rity of their for standard metalcore fare. 'Stay Young Forever' is a bli st ering anth em destin ed to debut album Nightmares and sophomore effort Ruin, to flirt w1t h a stripped back, be a li ve favourite - think Comeback kid 's raw metalcore so und, liiiiii.WiiOiiiiiiiiil Wake the Dead put enacted with supreme ..ftl~-=="'ii'iii====;~..., into a blend er w ith ve nom on the genre ~~~â&#x20AC;˘ I Mi se ry Signals. The a~~:"'(J~.;,;l track also features defying, Hollow Crown, the band 's third ~,.,.t-......~~~'r'"~' guest voca ls from Co meba ck and most criti ca ll y acc laimed album to kid voca li st date . The Here And Now Andre w Neufeld, subsequently fee ls like . exemplifying both the product of natural t he bands co nt inu ing evo lution, the process relevance and of a yo ung band hon in g prominence within their sound. Despite t he scene. t heir impressive and The Here and relati vely ext ensive Now is a masterfu l musical exp lorat ion back catalogue, it is of note that vocalist Sa m Carter is st ill on ly 22 . of contrary states, and an ex hib ition in Th e greatest deviation from the Hollow con t rast, of dark ness and lig ht, of peace and Crown blu e print, ev iden tl y to the irritation aggress ion. To dismiss the developments o f a ha ndfu l of disillusioned fans, is the Architects have made is to miss t he imp lementat ion of clean voca ls, w ith Carter poi nt. They are among a handful of ba nds demonst rati ng his ve rsat ility and talent as injecting life into a stagnant sce ne; get on he effort less ly switches between t hroat board or get swept away. ripping scream s and hook laden choruses; a formu la exemplified by open ing 'Day in Day out,' a t rack more akin to t he sonic d iversity Ol ive r Brooks

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it's that time of year again, when the energy drinks start flowing and stricken parents throw their jittery offspring onto campus to blow off steam ... the Kerrang! wagon has rolled back into town. This year, one of the country's leading music magazines proves that pop punk certainly isn't dead, with a super aii-American lineup. The queue outside, unsurprisingly, is almost entirely composed of sixteen-year-olds, with a few nervous -looking elders scattered few and far between. it's difficult to calculate just who they may be here for; headliners Good Charlotte have gradually lessened in prominence since their breakthrough · hit 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous' eight years ago. Are they still as relevant to teenagers now as they were to us back in 2003 7

Opening act The Wonder Years are newcomers to Norwich and, despite being little known by the crowd, they are determined to motivate their listeners and open the show with some energy. Musically akin to pop punk victors New Found Glory, the band stormed through their set, setting fists pumping with their obligatory stories of coll{:!ge angst and PMA morale. The tone then rapidly changes as illfitting Framing Hanley make a brooding entrance through the mist. Like the musical reincarnation of Metro Station

WOMBATS JUMP INTO

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The Wombats came to fame with the addictive, yet simultaneously annoying, hit 'Let's Dance to Joy Division' a few years back. 'Jump into the Fog' is certainly a leap for the band, apparently in an obscured direction. Much less "happy-go-lucky" previous singles, here The Wombats seem to be trying to suggest that there is a deeper, darker side to the band. Creeping synths coupled with what may well be an honest attempt at desolate lyricism, are failed, utterly, by a plodding and mediocre

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with equally dreadful sweeping haircuts and disappointing vocal proportions, one is left wondering what the drayv is here nevertheless, the pop/rock/synth outfit have clearly struck a chord with the younger melody. The lyrical highlight for Venue was "it's just that life tastes sweeter when it's wrapped in debauchery". This really speaks to all the 13-14 year old hedonists that hang on to The Wombats every word, this is frankly the best of a bad bunch. This reviewer is caught by a nagging feeling that the band themselves may actually be proud of this effort. it's half an attempt at a serious anthem, a comment on the desperation of our times, but falls flat on its face, sounding like Hard-Fi without the lyrical accomplishment; "/'m only here because// want to twist the ,..~~ structure of my average day". If this is a rock star's life is that boring, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Ed Leftwich

generation, who owned every t-shirt and sang every word. For the unconverted listeners, the sombre tone is fortunately broken when Four Year Strong open a storming set

WHITE LIES • UEA LCR, FEBRUARY 6th 2011

lt is no secret that White Lies sound a little bit like Joy Division. Some might say that in fact they are a reincarnation of the original darkest of the waviest. And their performance on the 6th of February only served to strengthen this blood tie, with a stoical but weirdly energetic and uplifting set. Despite White Lies' reputation for wonderful yet somewhat repet1t1ve tunes they have a handful of massive crowd pleasers; past singles such as 'Death' and 'To Lose my Life'. To plough through the macabre melodies and then be met with one of the classics kept the audiences attention and enthusiasm . As focus waned during the less well-known songs, the band brought it back instat:1tly with a hook like "lets grow old together'. Genius. Of course this band knows how to deliver the giant tunes, but they also know how to put on a great technical show. Something about the giant panels of lights behind Jack Lawrence-Brown

with 'On A Saturday'. Connoisseurs of an addictive combination of melodic pop punk and hardcore gang-vocal, the band give one of the strongest performances of the evening, playing the majority of materic* J from their definitive record, Enemy of the World, which stands as one of the greatest records of 2010. As Good Charlotte take to the stage, we're all keeping our fingers crossed that their worldwide celebrity status isn't about to blow our childhood nostalgia into pieces. However, we're in luck because despite the added years and Joel Madden's bout of flu, the Maryland quartet are absolutely determined to maintain their crown as superstars of cheeky pop rock. They've also got a good idea about what their fans are hoping for, as the set is dominated by tracks from The Young and the Hopeless and The Chronicles of Life and Death, with a coupl ~ of songs from their self-titled debut too . Still, recent singles 'Like it's Her Birthday' and 'Sex on the Radio' get a louder reception than expected, coming across much better as live sing-along anthems than juvenilia on record . Tonight, Good Charlotte proves that this type of music is about staying young and having fun and, by the end, even the half-adozen parents and twenty-somethings are jumping along. Steph McKenna

(drums) and the intense use of lasers that, coupled with Harry McVeigh's dead pan expression and heart-wrenching vocals created the charged atmosphere..._ and aided the ecstatic reaction from the captured crowd. Unfortunately, as successful as the band were at delivering the great tunes, the set order could have perhaps been better thought out. While it's understandable that a band doesn't just want to play in order to perform their three best known singles, but putting 'Farewell to the Fairground', 'Death', and 'To Lose My Life' in a big excitable chunk in the middle was not necessarily the way to tackle this problem. So although in the middle of the set these grabbing songs were delivered perfectly, there was not a lot of choice left for their final few songs which would ordinarily be delivered in a triumphant encore . However, due to earlier technical problems suffered by guitarist Charles Cave the encore was skipped and the set built to a finish with the band's latest release 'Bigger Than Us'. Although an oddly ordered set it was refreshing not to have to clap for the encore as if we didn't all already know it was coming . Perhaps we should manufacture more minor amp issues. All in all, judged on the boys ability to create the euphoric atmosphere they did, this tour should be a damn good one . Lizzy Margereson,..

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enthusiasm was perhaps indicative of the timing. Nevertheless Funeral Party played a very tight and professional set made up of t rac ks from t heir new album The Golden Age of Knowhere including a beautiful

that sent lead singer Chad Elliot's voice ricocheting around the former church's vaulted ceiling. The lack of energy in the audience was reflected in the lack of movement and

looked crowded on the rather small Arts Centre stage cluttered with keyboards, amps, guitars and cowbells . Cramped as they were, this sized venue is meant to be Funeral Party's specia lity having grown up in the LA scene of house parties, flash -gigs and a general DIY attitude . Maybe with this reputation the audience expected the band to instantly whip them up into a manic frenzy that for 45 minutes would transport them to LA, or maybe it was that half the audience had turned up on a whim after hearing Zane Lowe proclaiming them as the hottest new American band, but for whatever reason the connection between performer and aud ience that is necessary for those 'great gigs' was missing . This was the case at least until Funeral Party unlea shed ' NYC moves to the Sound of LA' to close the set. Whether it was the fuzzy bassline shaking the audience into response or the irresistibly dance -y beat that got feet moving, it didn't matter. Suddenly stage diving, dancing, singing and a sense of raw emotion engulfed the venue. Suddenly, for four and a half minutes at least, No rwich did feel like east LA .

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... he also conveniently stumbled into lead singer Chad Elliot afterwards and had a natter

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Hi, welcome to Norwich, nice to meet you. First of all, your new album came out in the UK last month . How has the reception been? I've heard two reviews and they have been mixed, but the shows have been great. They've pretty much been all sold out so far so that's been a great response.

Th is is not the first time you have been to the UK, so I'm guessing you are getting used to it. What would

say are the main differences between he re and LA and the American scene in general? Well, in fact, we haven't played in America for quite a while. Every time we go back we are either resting or writing so I've kind of forgotten what it's like to be honest with you. We've been here at least nine or ten times now...

So would you say you prefer it over here now then? Yeah, I'm getting more and more used to it so it's starting to fee/like home.

You guys have come out of an LA scene which you have said in previous interviews was ve ry hardcore/ punk orientated. Would you say th is has had any influence on you r music? Umm. .. l don 't think so. There is this energetic kind of rawness to our

music, but I wouldn 't be sure if it stems from hard core.

Wo ul d you say it is more of a nat ural t hing then ? Yeah, definitely

Ove r he re you are well known for the backya rd parties and the dodgy stuff that went on at your gigs (stabbings, fights and gun s etc. ). Would you prefer people to just co ncentrat e o n t he mu si c or do you enjoy the rough re putation being coupled with your mu sic? Well in a live context it's cool because people go mental because they think that is what we are used to so that makes for a better show. But overall, yeah, I hope they are listening to the music as well and not just breakmg bottles and mashing.

Well, wh at 's the craz iest th in g that's happened on this tour? I got pushed m the crowd yesterday by my guitarist and somebody was licking my face' They were trying to get to my mouth and I

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don 't know who it was, whether it was a guy or a girl, but I just felt a tongue licking my face . I was like 'Wooah ' and scrambled back el on stage as quick as possible Z

rYo u've played small venues as well as festivals in the UK. Would you say you prefer these small shows where you get members of the crowd licking your face -or do you prefer the festivals with the bigger aud iences?

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LISTINGS

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concrete.iistings@uea.ac.uk

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* - Despicable Me- LT1- 7:30pm (£2.80) * The Old Skool Disco- Mercy -(free admission with flyer before midnight)

- LCR- 10pm * (f3.5oadv) * Propeller - Richard Ill and The Comedy of Errors (playing daily until 19th)- Theatre

*

Senses Fail - The Waterfront- 7pm (£11)

~HIIil * The Kings of Swing- Theatre Royal -

Roya l - 2pm/r3opm (£5.50-£22)

7:3opm (£5.5o-£18 .5o)

*

v1axx + Ele- LCR - 1opm (£4.50) * Yuck presented byTwee Off1 - Norwich Arts Centre - 8pm (£6)

* (Ted's Band From Scrubs) - LCR - 9pm (£]:50-£10) -SOLD OUT * The Comedy Store -The Forum - 8pm (£10 .50-£12.50)

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- Milk- LT1 - nopm (free) Norwich School Sport Partnership presents : Musical Showdown - OPEN 4:3opm/r3opm (£6.50) * KAOS Fashion Show 2010: The Fat Poppadaddys Social- 10:3opm (enquire for guestlist) * Nightline Guestlist at Fat Poppadaddys 10:3opm (check out Facebook for guestlist)

~~* Grab A Grand - Mercy- 10:3opm (free

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- LCR - 1opm (£4)

Acoustic Extravaganza - Norwich

~Diir§J - LCR- 1opm (£3 .50 *

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PuppetTheatre - 7:3opm (£6.50)

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Gruff Rhys - Norwich Arts Centre- 8pm (£13 -50) * An Audience with Psychic Sally Morgan -Theatre Royal - 7:3opm (£5:50-£20 .50)

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AI ice & The White Rabbit - Norwich Arts Centre - 2pm (£5-£7) * The Midnight Beast - The Waterfront SOLD OUT

~MIIil * The Go! Team - The Waterfront - 7:3opm (£12)

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Devlin - The Waterfront- SOLD OUT Don Broco + Atlas&i -The Marquee- 8pm o (£5) w * Word Of Mouth presents Pete (the Temp) a: - Norwich Arts Centre - 8pm (£5) 3

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CWB RIVA' RY IN NORWICH? When the word 'Norwich ' is mentioned, the vast majority of the population would likely not even give a sniff of recognition when it comes to hard nights out; the obvious choices being London, Manchester, Newcastle: the big cities . However, Norwich has been working its way up the nightlife ladder and becoming a fairly respectable player in the club destination stakes. With over 14,000 students studying at the UEA alone, the breadth of possib le custom for clubs and bars is immense. A popular destination, particularly within the student community, is the newly opened tiki-themed bar and club Lola Lo. An instant hit, it attracted organisations from all over the county to join in on the success and launch their nights there. Some of these include 'Trashed!' Mondays and 'Zombie Nation' Saturdays, sending forth their respective themes and DJs to put their own unique stamp on the night. However, recently there has surfaced a subtle rivalry between two club nights at Lola Lo in particular, Kitsch and Fat Poppadaddys.

Kitch is a relative newcomer to the Norwich scene, opening its doors only in January of 2011. Besides having a name that literally means "a worthless imitation of art of recogni zed value" (quoted directly from Wikipedia), they boast £1 Jagerbombs and their supposedly signatu re brand of 'mischief and mayhem'. They appear to have made an immediate impact on the impressionable student. However, Venue remains steadfast in their opinion that the only night worth getting off the sofa for is Fat Poppadaddys, every Thursday at Lola Lo. Established in 1998, this club night has been creating its unique blend of current chart hits and everything funky since most of us were still swapping Pokemon cards. With award winning DJs and speakers blaring out the best of Funk, 6os, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Dubstep, Motown and Drum & Bass, they are a veritable veteran of the club scene. With an impressive list of clubs holding their nights every week without fail, from London to Southampton, they are clearly a popular

choice nationwide. Not only do they span ten major cities across the country already, they are growing more popular every week. Possibly the best thing about Fat Poppadaddys is that no other night treats their customers better. With free entry, t -shirt give-a-way's, themed parties, complimentary drinks for UEA groups and societies they truly are the

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students' best friend .. Nowhere else will you find generosity on such a scale. For more z information, you can find Fat Poppadaddys 0 on Facebook or by visiting their website

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Welcome to Rabbit The Union of UEA Students' newsletter. This Month find out about: • How to nominate yourself for election • Details on all the officer roles you can be elected to • The Student Union Evaluation Initiative (SUEI)


There ore 17 positions to be elected from full time paid positions to port time roles which people do alongside their degree . Full Time Student Officers ore paid re prese nta tives who take a year off during or after their course . They will start their term of office on the 1st August 201 1 and fi nish on 3 1st July 20 12. Al l of the Full Time Offi cers ore tru stees o f the Union, os we ll os direc tors o f the Unio n compa nies that run the shops, b ars, LC R and the Wate rfro nt.

The four Full Time Student Officer positions ore ; Academic Officer Secures positive change for UEA students in their education and research. Works with members of University staff, through forma l mee tings and informal discussions, to achieve improvements in education and research . Has overall res p o nsibility for developin g, supporti ng and tra ining stud e nt represen ta tives from ac ross th e University. The current Academic Officer is Rachel Handforth if you ore thinking about running contact her on union.academic @uea.ac.uk

Communications Officer Has overall responsibility for all Union communications including those with external and student run media . Is responsible for the Union 's communication with students, including news le tters , Union House notice board s and the use of new media. Has overa ll respo nsib ility for developing stra tegies to engage wi th groups of students recognised os having low involvement in the Union The current Communications Officer is Tom Dolton , if you ore thinking about running contact him on union.communications@uea.ac.uk


Elected Positions Community & Student Rights Officer Extends and defends the rights of students on issues relating to access to education, equality of opportunity and student welfare. Strengthens and develops relationships between students and their local community.

Part Time Officers fulfil their responsibilities whilst still on their course. They are unpaid roles. These 13 positions are not suitable for students currently in their final year. They will start their term of office at the Easter break 2011 and finish at Easter 2012. The positions available are;

Mature Students Officer

Ethical Issues Officer

Engages with the University and other relevant organisations to achieve improvements on matters relating to access to education , equality of opportunity and student welfare.

Represents the interests of mature students and be their voice on the issues they face at university.

Develop the Unions ethical policies and increase awareness of current practices.

The current Community and Student Rights Officer is Don Youmans , if you are thinking about running contact him on union.community a uea.ac.uk

4 Non Portfolio Officers

Students with Disabilities Officer

Change anything they layout in their manifestos

Represents the interests of students with disabilities and be Women's Officer their voice on the issues they face Represents the interests of women at university. students and be their voice on the issues they face at university. Ethnic Minorities Officer Be responsible in representing the interested of ethnic minority LGBT Officer students and be their voice Represents the interests of LGBT on issues they face while at students and be their voice on university. the issues they face as LGBT students at university.

Finance Officer Ensures that the Union is well-developed and well-resourced in order to enable it to make students' lives better. Is responsible for the overall allocation of the Union's resources. Ensures that the Union's commercial and non-commercial services are planning for the changing needs of the Union's members. Improves the student experience by developing successful clubs , societies and peer support groups.

Postgraduate Officer International Officer

The election for this position is run by the Graduate Student's Represents the interests of Association. international students and be their voice on the issues they face Please see more details and how to contact them here: http:/ /gsa. at university. uea.ac.uk/

Is responsible for ensuring that the Union operates within agreed ethical and environmental standards. The current Finance Officer is Rob Bloomer, if you are thinking about running con tact him on union .finance a uea .ac.uk

• •

For full details on the officer roles check out ueastudent.com/voice/elections

•• •

Environmental Officer Develop the Unions environmental objectives.


Election Nominations The Nomination s for the Union elections open on Monday 21st February! If you ore intere sted in campa igning to become one o f the o fficers described within ju st follow these simpl e instruction s to become nominated: Step

0

Get a nomination fo rm (these ore a vailable from Union House Reception or via ueostud e nt.com/voice/elections) Step

E)

Complete the nomination form (including 50 word s to be included on ueostuden t.com) Step

You 're Union is always c hangi ng , continuously striving to provide a b etter experienc e for o ur members . Here 's how:

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Submit the no mination form at Union House recepti o n

lt's that simple! By completing a nomination form you ore agreeing to participate in the Union 's candida te tra ining, being held in week 9 (week comme nci ng 14th Marc h )

DON'T FORGET ...

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We w ant you to we' re ma ki ng . Wh ether it 's to o ur sho p s o r services, o ffice rs or o pp ortunitie s, we' re changing to meet your needs . In order to do this, we want to make it easier for you to speak to us: if you've got a comment, suggestion , or bright idea , we want to know abou t it. Th e Unio n 's here to he lp improve yo ur time at UE A- a nd to get your voice heard- we wan t yo u to shape our campaigns and the issues we talk about . If you'd like to know m ore abou t the changes we're making , check out

ueastudent.com

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Venue issue 252