ViBE £2.50 UK ♦ May 2013
The American pornstar bares all... Almost!
Plus! TopMan present you the hottest summer trends!
Michael Georgiou Get yourself groomed for summer!
GAY MARRIAGE IN THE UK Why it’s time for equality Ceri Dupree ♦ Paloma Faith ♦ Ryan Dolan ♦ INNA
First of all, I’d like to say thank you for purchasing this brand new gay-men’s magazine for South Wales. I never initially thought of creating one, until one day I realised I’d have more chance obtaining stories which are more gay orientated than that of the original field I intended to venture through. I’ve met and spoken to some fabulous people who I am absolutely honoured to take the time and fit their selves into this magazine. You may see some familiar faces - the little British singing gem, that is Paloma Faith. Along with International acts such as Inna, all the way from Romania! I may have reached my limits and done an interview with somebody, I thought would never happen - mainly because they’re a pornstar, but not only that, as you will read. Brody Wilde is by far once of the nicest people I have ever spoken to without meeting them! I thank him deeply for his patience with our conflicting time-zones. My 9am emailing is a 3am resting time for him! Another big thank you goes to Michael Georgiou, a man I envy for his life of luxury and the people he works for! Thank you for contributing such an amazing male grooming piece. Not forgetting Mark Lee, who contributed an opinion piece about gay marriage. I know for sure it won’t be long until we see Mark in the House of Lords, making a difference to this country in the near future. Thank you once again! Dan Johnston Editor
C O N T E N T S
INTERVIEWS Ceri Dupree - Page 4 The welsh drag artiste speaks of his fantastic career, and what lies ahead. Brody Wilde - Page 8 The American pornstar tells us his career beginnings and what life’s like off the camera. Inna - Page 12 The Romanian singer talks exclusively about her third album, ‘Party Never Ends’. Ryan Dolan - Page 13 Ahead of the Eurovision, the Ireland entry tells us why he’s got what it takes to win for his country. REVIEWS - Page 16 Pulse - Page 18 How the Welsh nightclub is spreading the beats across South Wales Paloma Faith - Page 14 A reflection on the success of her second album ‘Fall to Grace’ Male Grooming - Page 20 Michael Georgiou gives us his hair styling tips for this summer. Fashion - Page 22 TopMan present us with the hottest summer trends
Life is but a drag for Ceri Dupree
It was at a very young age that Swansea born Ceri Dupree decided to be a drag artiste. Drawing early inspiration from the legend himself, Danny La Reu, as well as Stanley baxter and Dick Henry. He used to watch them on television, “And I always showed an interest in the flamboyant side of theatre - anything to do with dressing up popstars like Boy George and performers like Liberaci and Elton John” explains Ceri. “It’s in you to be a performer - I don’t believe anyone can ‘teach’ you it.”
The man in action: Ceri impersonating Tina Turner Vibe Magazine
After doing shows across Wales, a friend suggested that Ceri should move to London and do shows there. Only because, all the actors up there mime to their acts, whereas Ceri is purely live. “Within a matter of months, a hell of a lot of work came in - I was working 7 days a week. I supposed I was doing well, and it’s grown from there.” Ceri’s sister Ria - also a successful performer of the West End stage - I wondered if there were a historical background to their success, or are they the first of the entertainment stardom in their family.
“Both my parents were singers” he says “My mother being an opera singer, and my father a cabaret, but my mother retired early after meeting my father. But before that, no, there’s been no history of it” I always ask people if they hadn’t have ventured into what they do now - what would they have done. “I would’ve gone along the lines of interior designer, or costume/set designer. I would still like to do it, but I won’t, because I’m too far gone in the career I’m already in - I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and to change direction now would be mad”. We couldn’t agree more, and life wouldn’t be the same without Ceri Dupree, and that’s a fact! He jokes by saying “There’s an old saying ‘A cobbler should stick to his last’, and that’s true!” Ceri is known for doing shows in places such as South Africa, and I wanted to know why there, and what he likes about it - aswell as what people there make of him. “I go there a lot. I like Capetown - I like the climate and lifestyle. I’m yet to go to America, which I’m hoping to do this year. We’re going
Behind all the make-up. The man himself.
“It’s in you to be a performer - I don’t believe anyone can ‘teach’ you it.” 5
to go to New York, Las Vegas, but we’ll see.” Just like impressionists, like Jon Culshaw and Debra Stephenson, they’ll agree that they can’t impersonate everybody. I wanted to know who Ceri has had to admitt defeat with. “I’ve never been able to do a good Judy Garland or Barbra Streisand - though I’m not a huge fan of the latter; she takes herself too seriously.“ How I didn’t end the interview there, I’ll never know, but I did make my point clear that I myself am a big fan of the Streisand! He continues by saying “One person I did try, and it just didn’t work was Kylie Minogue; we tried everything - re-working the script, different costumes - and it just didn’t work, it wasn’t funny.” Even if it didn’t work, I think we’d still like to see her, even if it was just once! “But, new one’s for me that I’m working on now are Hilary Devey, Adele and hopefully something can be done with Nieglla Lawson and quite possibly, Jessie J.“ I’m not sure who we’re looking forward to seeing the most! I also wonder if people just like Ceri, get ored of seeing or hearing the people he impersonates, because of the job he does. “Gosh no, you can never get bored of seeing Shirley Tina or Cher, because they’re fabulous at what they do. What I’m fed up of seeing is seeing these reality shows, and they haven’t got any talent!” Let’s take a moment and imagine Ceri sat alongside, or even replace Gary Barlow on the X Factor... I wanted to know which of the people he’s impersonated, he’s met. For those who have never seen Ceri live, personal favourites of mine are Nana
Miskouri, Shirley Bassey, Cher and Tina Turner, but has he met any of them. At first, he was shocked that I knew who Nana Miskouri is. To which I had to point out that her song “Only Love” was played during my parents wedding video - and that’s a fact! As I said that, he bursts into the song. All we needed was the costume! “I’ve met Dorthy Squires and Ertha Kitt, both people I used to impersonate. I’ve met Nana Miskouri twice, although she’s never seen me perform her. Along with Samantha Fox and Bananarama.” I was shocked to know that he hasn’t met Dame Shirley! “I would love, love for Dame Shirley to see me and for me to meet her. My ultimate one would probably be Tina Turner, though it would never happen.” How can Ceri doubt such a thing, you’ve seen it here in black and white that Ceri doesn’t think he’ll ever meet them. Watch this space...
Ceri in character, as Joan Collins Ceri is also known for doing Christmas Pantomines in the Welsh capital, I asked if he’d like to do one in Swansea, and make it that little more special. “Yes I would, but I’ve never been asked, and they could ask me, but I’m past caring now.” I personally have always wondered Ceri has never featured in one of the Swansea Pantomines, especially that he was born and bred here. “They know I’ve been doing it for 30 years; they know where and how to contact me whereas now I think “I’ve done Cardiff twice and I’ll probably do them again for a couple of years.” I asked if he’s in Cardiff this year. “No, not this year, I’m in Wolverhampton. So Swansea can whistle dixie. I’ve asked over the years, and I don’t bother now!” And quite frankly, that’s them told! Sticking to pantomines, I can’t personally say
“I would love, love for Dame Shirley to see me and for me to meet her. ” 6
I have a favourite, but I wanted to know which would be Ceri’s “Aladdin - only because Widdow Twanky starts off as a poor wash woman, and then when Aladdin finds the gold lamp she becomes rich, and you can really go for it.” says Ceri. “Another would be Sleeping Beauty, playing the Queen, because she’s rich all the way through, so you can wear fabulous costumes.” I think we get the hint that as long as Ceri can look fabulous as always in his costume and jewels, he’ll play the character, but not so! “But I do like ones where the dame is poor, although my dame never looks poor, and then all of a sudden - boom! - they become rich. So Aladdin would be a prime example.“ Just like his idols, is there any pantomine he is yet to play a queen he’d want to. “I’d love to play Mother Goose, again, because the story is she’s a poor old lady with grey hair, she keeps a goose and finds out that it lays eggs and she becomes richer and richer and richer, to the point where she bathes in the magic pool - and when she does so she becomes all glamorous and rich. That would be ideal, because you’ve gone from this old grey-haired woman, to a rich fabulous one instead. That would be an ultimate one for me to do.” I think as much as we’d like to see that also, I think we can agree that Ceri looks fabulous no matter who the character, or the person he’s impersonating! But besides pantomines, Musicals also tickle Ceri’s tastes buds - such as Hello Dolly. “I’d love to play Dolly herself, along with Zaza in La Cage aux Folles, because he was, and still is fabulous, but not as much as he was - but I’m too young to play him yet, because I think Zaz should be played by somebody in their mid 60s.”
INTERVIEW I think we can wait until then to see that too! In 2012, Ceri appeared in “Brenda’s Big Night Out” which featured a string of shows at Swansea’s Dilwyn Llewelyn Theatre. I wanted to know if appearing in stage comedies would be something he’d like to pusure, quite bluntly he responded “No, because it’s too stressful - with that I wrote, produced, directed, along with creating costumes, plus I was in it too, just made it too much work”. For those who missed it, don’t worry, it’s coming back! “We’re doing it again this year, only because we have the set, costumes and script. But it’s too much, if I were to do something like that again, I’d have to get a director and producer, and I’d simply be in it.” any volunteers? Raise your hands now! I wanted to know what was the inspiration behind Brenda Llewelyn. The character which Ceri plays in the show “It’s based on a scenario I came up with myself. The name comes from a friend I knew years ago; a local grand pianist. I liked the name and we gave her this life - she owns a hair salon
and boutique and she has two friends, Blenda Mogg and Blodwyn Tattws.” Reflecting on his 30 years, I asked will Ceri ever, in the words of Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand say “Enough is Enough” or keep on going. “I’d like to keep going until I’m 68, only because I would’ve done 50 years then, so I’ve got 20 years left.” I joked an asked if he’d do a Cher farewell tour, and keep coming back or actually call it a day “I’d simply do a tour, and when the final date of the tour comes, I’ll simply say ‘This is the last date’ and that would be that.” One question I hoped would put Ceri on the spot, was asking him ‘If he were to carry on impersonating one person from his show - past, present or even yet to perform - who would it be and why?’ After a hard think, Ceri decided on Bette Davis, simply because, in his opinion “She was, and still is one of the greatest actresses in the world, and I think I do her the best.”
I admire and respect his admiration for the stage and it’s quite clear, this is not the end of Ceri Dupree, and it looks a far cry from it too! Ceri will be holding a show at the New Theatre in Cardiff in on July 19th and 20th. Titled “The Faaaaaabulous Ceri Dupree Show” we couldn’t think of a better title ourselves! The show will see appearences from Cher, Hilary Devay, Lady Gaga, Bjork, Adele, Camilla, The Queen and even the late Bette Davis, as well as many more! Brenda’s Big Night Out will be held at the YMCA Theatre in Swansea in September. You can check Ceri’s diary, along with a host of clips and a gallery of his fabulous wardrobe, at his website. ceridupree.co
It was an absolute pleasure to interview, not just one of Wales’, but the UK’s best show man.
Ceri as Brenda Llewelyn
Ceri as Dame Edna Everage
American pornstar Brody Wilde dares to bare all about his lifestyle off the camera... M any gay men are probably grateful there’s over 1,000 porn websites for them to access for whatever reason – and that’s just the free ones! Some may have a favourite site, or even a favourite actor. Many would ask why? What’s so fascinating about somebody who performs sexual acts for money? But people pay to see a local football team play, or a concert at their local arena, so what’s the difference? Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a porn star, or to even be one? Do they even have such called ‘social life’ – what attracted them to the most grossed industry in the world? I chatted to San Diego born Brody Wilde about his rise to stardom! “I think there was some part of me that always knew I was gay but growing up in a small country town, being gay was not something that anyone did. Not really in the bad way but more that it was kind of just something new and when I did come out it was much easier than I thought
it would be.” explains Brody. I asked him were his family and accepting of his sexuality. “I guess I’m really lucky for having family and friends that have accepted me for being me.” I’m always curious to know as to what men find ‘attractive’ about other men - it can be anyting from the way they look, or if they have a favourite body part which can be an instant hint! Brody straight away says “Physical attraction is something that has made me interested in guys – they just turned me on, and that’s what floated my boat.” But it wasn’t just the boys, Brody does compliment the girls too! “I tried dating girls and I always had emotional connection to them, but it was boys that gout me hot every time!” I wanted to cut to the chase and ask him about his venture into porn. I specifically wanted to know, why he wanted to do it, was he introduced t oit by somebody, or was it off his own accord. “When I moved out away from home, I was on the net a lot, watching porn and I really got into doing web cam shows jerking off with guys and giving shows.”
I have to compliment this guy for his clear honesty. I saute him already! “It was a huge turn on for me!” he laughs. “If I hadn’t been in the military then I would have tried porn earlier.” It’s a shame Brody didn’t share with us a picture of him in all his gear, but I’m sure we (yes, including me) would rather see him with less clothes on!), Brody continuted by saying “I did make a lot of friends who were already in the porn industry, so when I did get out of the military, it was very easy for me to get started since I already had connections”. I believe today that no-matter where in the world, if you want a job you long for, or you’re interested in. Sometimes it’s who you know, not what you know. I’ve always wondered aswell if porn actors do the job on a full time basis, or is it a hobby, or if they have another job, and this is their ‘escapism’ “If I could, I would do porn full time, but it’s hard to make that work, so most models have some other form of income.” says Brody. In my opinion, I’d be too tired if you
“Physical attraction is something that made me interested in guys – they just turned me on” Vibe Magazine
Is Equal Marriage the End for the Tories?
I should hope nobody sighed as they read that! Another thing I notice from seeing a lot of gay men in porn, to a degree ‘promote’ is underwear. I notice a lot of big-brand names being worn, but it doesn’t seem heavily focussed in straight porn - they more or less focus on what the scene is about whereas in gay porn, there appears to be a contrast - everything from where the shoot is taking place, to the underwear being born. I wanted to ask Brody if a surge in underwear sales could possibly be because of what gay men see in porn? “I think the big difference for the gay vers the straight is that gay men are all about underwear, and looking good in them!”, we can’t argue with that! “So I think it’s that fetish that feeds into the porn.” he adds. “Many pornstars sell their underwear online and some of the sites will have signed underwear to be sold or a donation is made to charities.” yes, even Brody is generous enough to sell his off!! On why he thinks it’s more a ‘hit’ with gay men rather than straight, he concludes by saying “I think most straight men and women don’t really have the kink of enjoying underwear that much.”
n March, we saw the Bill for Equal Marriage for Gay couples go to a Parliamentary vote. The bill went through, but this is only because of the support from Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs. It was estimated that about 180 Conservative MPs prepared to oppose or abstain, including a significant number of Cabinet members, junior ministers and party enforcers, and some have already resigned over this Bill. They are asking Mr Cameron that if the bill is passed this week to postpone or slow its implementation until 2015 and to focus on the policies in the coalition agreement. This ultimately could mean the end to any dream Mr Cameron has of a Conservative government at the next election as he has his back benchers rebelling against him and splitting over this bill, and as it passed, he he faced a backlash from the voters. One Tory MP said “The anti-gay marriage push by backbench rebels is likely to drive crucial centre-ground swing voters away. They will decide the next election, not All images courtesy of Rex Features
It’s been an absolute pleasure to interview a pornstar in depth, and not just get to know what the person does for a living and in their day to day life, but know that they’re quite simply human too. They do what they do, because they want to by choice not because they have to. Brody doesn’t yet have his own website, but you can follow him on Twitter. @BrodyWildeXXX
All images courtesy of Brody Wilde
can read between the lines! Over the past year, Brody has been working for a TV and movie casting company, and in September, will be going back to school to study web design. Nice! Aside from the porn, it’s nice to know what porn actors, or at least Brody got upto in his spare time ”I’m very low key.” - again, that doesn’t surprise me, from the moment I took the courage and asked if I could ask to interview this chap, he was upto the challenge and gave it his all with no hesitations quite simply in a humble way! He continues by saying “From being in the military I got to travel a lot and did all kinds of fun stuff, but my idea of fun is just dinner and a movie with friends.” He’s stolen my heart for sure. You can NOT beat the old fashioned classic of dinner with the company of your friends. You don’t ALWAYS need a night out to enjoy yourself... Something I’ve been telling myself for ages! “I like to go out to clubs and bars too and have a good time. Mainly, it’s all
OPINION PIECE about just being with the people I love and having a good time.” I swear this man is reading my mind. Now can you understand why I wanted to salute him for his honesty and humbleness? I wanted to ask Brody what his advice would be to somebody who was interested venturing into the porn industry and is it any different to that of the UK? “If anyone was considering venturing into the industry, or to anyone who was about to start, I always tell them to be sure they’re doing it for the right reason.” says Brody. “You can make good fast cash filming a scene but you don’t want to do something you will regret and you shouldn’t do it to get attention.” He reflects on what he knows; that pornstars he knows simply do it because they enjoy it. “For me it’s a turn on being watched and meeting or talking to people who jack off to my scenes. It really gets me off the money and attention is just a bonus.” don’t get any ideas now guys!! “I haven’t worked or even visited the UK yet, but I’m sure there are differences.“ I hope you’re as gobsmacked as I was when he said he hadn’t visited the UK!! He does explain some differences that he’s noticed in the American filming industry. “Even here in America, filming is different for every studio company, but like any job there are always basic rules that will apply. And once again, he gives us an honest answer we simply have to agree on “An easy example would be you have to be able to get hard and get off no matter who you work for or where.”,
“Whatever Mr Cameron decided to do was going to spell the end of his leadership and make it very hard for the Conservatives to win the next election.” 11
anti-gay Conservative MPs and constituency associations.” Basically whatever Mr Cameron decided to do was going to spell the end of his leadership and make it very hard for the Conservatives to win the next election. More than anything, and even though he allowed his MPs a free vote to avoid a backlash, it turned out to be a very embarrassing week for our PM and demonstrated his lack of leadership and influence within his own party. I thank you on two
levels Mr Cameron, one on a personal level as a member of the LGBT community, and the second for laying the foundations for the end of your leadership at the next election which in turn leaves very little hope of a Conservative Government. Thank you again and again. Yours with gratitude Words Mark Lee
The Party Never Ends for INNA Throughout late February, INNA presented three songs a day on her YouTube channel, for the joy of her fans all over the world, gearing up to the release of her third album “Party Never Ends” The songs were recorded in London, Mexico, Bucharest, Copenhagen and Los Angeles, as important producers (some of them even Grammy nominees) have been working on this album, like Steve Mac, Frank E, Play&Win, SoFly & Nius, Lucas Secon, The Insomniax, Thomas Troelsen, Orange Factory Music, Shermanology, and also composers like Ina Wroldsen, Wayne Hector and Ameerah.
Why only Ryan Dolan will survive this year’s Eurovision for Ireland
Collaborations are also included in this new album and Daddy Yankee, Reik (a well known Mexican band), Play & Win, Brian Cross are the names that can be found on some of the songs on “Party Never Ends”. “This album represents the result of the on going work throughout a year and a half. It wasn’t an easy mission, given INNA’s busy schedule, but I’m really excited about the songs and the whole result.” says Inna “I know she’d like to thank all her colleagues from Global Records, Roton record label, the boys from Play & Win and every single person that has been part of our team and made this album possible”, says Stefan Lucian, INNA’s manager. “Thank YOU, club rockers, for always believing in me! I thank my manager, Lucian, and the entire team that worked with passion and dedication, day and night, until the last moment of the release of this album. I want you to know that I couldn’t have this without them! And I thank myself for trusting you! I promise with all my heart that “the party never ends” and that you will always be a part of my heart! Don’t let the music die!”, is INNA’s message on the occasion of the album’s release.
The album is already available across parts of Europe, and is pending a UK release date.
We chit the chat with Ryan Dolan, Ireland’s entry for this year’s Eurovision! How do you feel about representing Ireland in the Eurovision this year? Eurovision has always been big in our house so for me to be representing my country is a huge honour for me. It’s a dream come true for me.
why I am here. I can’t get over the support and it’s all been good feedback. I couldn’t ask for more.
What makes ‘Only Love Survives’ in effect ‘a winning’ song? What’s so different about it to all the other countries that are participating? It’s an upbeat song with elements of Dance so I know everyone will love the performance. It will definitely get people on their feet. When we wrote the song we wanted to write a song with a message and this is what we came up with. I think people can relate to the song.
Do you think Ireland can win it this year, and repeat the success of 1996? I definitely think were in with a chance this year. I think we have a great song and a great team behind me and I’m just going to go out there and do my country proud and enjoy myself.
How has the support been across Ireland for you? The fans have been amazing! Without sounding cliché at the end of the day it’s all about the fans this is
Win or not, will we be seeing more of you? I’m currently working on my debut album as we speak and I hope to tour it later this year so big things ahead.
We’ve seen Ireland appear in the top 10 in certain years - what do you think is the secret to getting a song for the whole of Europe to support and get it in that top 10 at least? It’s something you can How did you get to represent the country; either get completely right or completely what made you want wrong. You could have to do the contest? an amazing song that I have always been a everyone’s certain is a huge fan of the winner but you can’t Eurovision since I was gage what the European a kid and it’s been a family tradition for us all audience think on the to sit around the TV and night so I suppose you just need to go out there watch it. I think myself with a brilliant song but and Wez Devine the the key is to have an co-writer had a good amazing performances song so the time was that they will remember. right.
Besides Ireland, are there other countries entries you really like? My favourite song in this year’s contest would be Robin Sternberg’s You.
“It’s something you can either get completely right or completely wrong” 13
PALOMA FAITH’S RISE FROM GRACE
tepping out as a solo artist back in 2009, it was immediately and abundantly clear that Paloma Faith was the complete (and petite) package. A captivating chanteuse, a rabble-rousing entertainer and theatrical fashion chameleon, Faith’s debut album, ‘Do You Want the Truth, or Something Beautiful?’ remains a glossy collection of retro-referencing soul and sassy pop.
“At the beginning I wanted to do something that was more of a performance and I still have that element because it is part of me,” she explains, “but I feel like where I’ve been most successful is when I’ve just relaxed and been myself. I feel totally, wholeheartedly behind this album. I feel like it belongs to me and I belong to it.” Recorded in 2011 with the help of producers Nellee Hooper (Madonna, Massive Attack, Bjork) and Jake Gosling (Ed Sheeran), Faith arrived at a crossroads, not in the studio, but during time spent with none other than Prince, who handpicked Faith to perform at NPG Music and Arts Festival in Copenhagen last summer. “I wasn’t just supporting him, he was teaching me,” says Faith. “He made me watch all the other acts and gave me little lessons. I was completely bowled over. It began as, let’s do a gig, and it turned into spending the weekend with Prince. That was a real turning point for me. I was in the middle of writing the new record and when I left for the festival I felt I’d got to the top of a certain ladder, but when I went home I felt like I was on the bottom of a new ladder. It was scary because I’m at the bottom of something, but I felt that with his encouragement, I could go out there and achieve something.”
From the brass-blasted stomp of ‘Stone Cold Sober’, to the epic sweep of her biggest chart hit ‘New York’, the record went on to sell over half a million copies, earning Faith a nomination for Best British Female at the Brit Awards and the honour of closing the 2011 ceremony singing with Cee-Lo Green. At the behest of Chaka Khan, Faith performed ‘I’m Every Woman’ in front of 50,000 people and earned plaudits from Annie Lennox, who selected Faith join her onstage in support of International Women’s Day. So much more than just a standard pop artist, one of this 31-year-old’s greatest assets is her wicked and wry sense of humour, she’s outspoken and unafraid: she has an opinion. As an artist she pulls from a wide range of sources, her experiences diverse. With a degree in contemporary dance and a Masters in Time Based Arts from Central St Martin’s, Faith is tri-lingual (English, Italian, and conversational Spanish), and a talented actress to boot (she played the romantic foil to Tom Waits’ Devil in the Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus’). You’re as likely to find Faith on the red carpet or on the fashion front row as judging London’s Next Top Tranny at the local working men’s club.
On record Faith takes the reigns, moving away from the reference points that characterised her first record – Etta James, Billie Holiday – guiding her compositions into a new, contemporary realm. Collaborating with songwriters such as Ed Harcourt, Dan Wilson (Adele), Wayne Hector (Britney Spears and Westlife), and even film score composer David Arnold (countless James Bond films, Independence Day and Narnia), ‘Fall to Grace’ is sonically varied, but completely cohesive. From the disco throb of ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ and the giddy dance-pulse that runs through ‘Agony’, to ‘Freedom’ (produced and co written by Al Shux), with its shuffled beats and soaring peaks, Faith’s vocals offer bluesy power and reveal husky emotion.
Faith flipped the page and wrote the next chapter of her story, this Hackney-born girl is keen to express a new level of intimacy with her music. That’s not to say she lost any of her sartorial and performance panache, but Faith’s focus is on her songwriting. On her second album ‘Fall to Grace’, she’s made the decision to strip herself
Gracing the stage: Paloma during her Fall to Grace tour 14
Backed by spectacular strings and gospel singers, lead single ‘Picking Up the Pieces’ finds Faith exploring the struggle of living with the shadow of a lover’s ex, while ‘Black & Blue’ is peppered with astute social observations. On the twinkling pop of
’30 Minute Love Affair’, she recounts a true experience, a fleeting meeting with a busker in London’s Leicester Square when she was just fourteen. “I asked him if he’d be there the next day and he said he would. When I went back he was gone and I’ve never forgotten it.” But for Faith, ‘Just Be’ is the album’s crown jewel. “It’s supposed to be a realistic love song for real lovers,” she explains. “It’s saying, ‘He gets on my nerves, but I love him.’ I find that more endearing than, ‘There’s no one out there but him.’ That seems naive. I have a lot of admiration for people who’ve been in relationships a long time, married for years. This is a more knowing take on romance.” Of the album’s title Faith takes the well-worn phrase, “fall from grace” and with ‘Fall to Grace’, gives it a positive twist. “It’s a journey and I think it’s hopeful, so I wanted to fall to grace rather than from,” she explains. “I’m taking bad things that have happened and letting them turn me into a more complete person. Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea that inevitably, when anything bad happens to you in life, you always lose a bit of yourself, but then you heal over. In hindsight, even though you’ve lost something, you become stronger. I feel more equipped.” She adds: “I like the fact that in old songs when people used to sing about heartache there was a real romance in it. I feel like that’s lost in contemporary music, like everyone’s so abrupt: ‘this is terrible’, or ‘this is brilliant!’ It seems so clear cut. So I wanted to bring some of that old-style back – tears can be beautiful. ‘The Beauty of the End’ is about ending a relationship, but indulging in the romance of what you had. I find it strange that people often demonise exes. Unless an ex has done a dreadful, terrible unforgivable thing, I feel like a lot of the time you just go your separate ways and that’s okay. This song is about saying I love you but we’re not going to be together and this is better for both of us. The accompanying string arrangement (arranged by Guy Barker) is kind of like Dr Dre meets Fellini.” From the off Faith has always been meticulous in mapping the visual imagery to accompany her music, be they videos, photographs or set design. Ever the film fan, Faith looks on this second record as the union of her first two loves: film and music. It’s the
soundtrack to her life. “I wanted it to be a homage to film, for everything to look and feel and sound like it was part of a movie.” There are nods to her favourite film directors Wong Kar Wai and Federico Fellini, traces of Jean-Pierre Jeunet and even Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. “It’s visually very saturated and emotional,” she says. “I’m crying in a lot of the photographs because I was looking at all those iconic images of Marilyn Monroe when she’s about to go onstage and I was trying to make everything look like it was pre-mask. This idea that for me, the show is I’m smiling, I’m always prepared, but before that there’s always real life. All the imagery that I’ve art directed is about capturing that moment of reality and vulnerability before the show begins.” Of course where these songs, and Paloma Faith, truly come alive is onstage. It’s before an audience that every aspect of her vision is fully realised. It’s in the live delivery that Faith connects with her audience. “A lot of people write songs because they want to record them in a studio, they want put their feelings out there,” she says. “I don’t write songs for that reason: I write songs so I can perform them.” The album was digitally re-released in October 2012 to feature a cover of INXS’ Never Tear Us Apart, which saw the song feature in the John Lewis Adverts that season. The album went on to sell 300,000 copies in the UK alone, and recieved two BRIT Nominations at the 2013 ceremony - Best British Album and Best British Female. To support the album, Faith toured the album across America in the Autumn of 2012, and continuing with an extensive UK tour in the spring of 2013. A second leg of the UK tour is due to commence next month, playing the mighty O2 Arena in Lonon, and then playing a series of dates across England in beautiful picturesque parks in the Summer. Faith has already confirmed she has started writing her third album. It is likely to be released in 2014, but I think we all have the patience to respect and admire one of Britian’s gracious gems until then.
REVIEWS Little Boots has most certainly filled her boots by making a return with her second album, Nocturnes. She may have been a one-hit-wonder to some people in 2009, but her dedicated fans have waited for the day her sophomore album would arrive, and it’s been worth the wait! Victoria Hesketh, known by her stage name Little Boots returns with Nocturnes - a darker approach than her debut Hands. We open with ‘Motorway’, a song that atmospherically gives a night-night drive appeal. Other stand-out tracks are ‘Shake’ and ‘Broken Record’ – the first and current singles off the album – they both contain that deep impulsive beat which could have you warming up on the dance floor – the latter definitely echoing memories of ‘Earthquake’ from her previous album. ‘Beat Beat’ and ‘Every Night I Say a Prayer’ play more of a retro sound – something you’d expect to hear from Alphabeat – but less cheesy! ‘Crescendo’, ‘Strangers’ and ‘All for You’ bring a subtle approach to the album, they delve more into the keyboard and effects avenue – songs which leave you in a mood of wonder. The former for definite, you’d think you’re about to float away! The album concludes with ‘Satellite’, a contrast of subtlety and liveliness. “Like a satellite… I’m falling down to earth” she sings over a melody you’d expect to hear on a soundtrack to outta space! I think the whole aura for this album is to feel like we’re being transported elsewhere – purely by imagination we hope! But I think it’s a clever effort how the melody alone can suggest that. Miss Hesketh has most definitely filled her boots with this great collection of synth-pop tunes, and we a-wait what’s next on her adventure, wherever it may take us!
Lady Antebellum - Golden The American trio return with their fourth instalment, Golden. Their known for their sunset-feel ballads and touching lyrics, but the opening tracks appear to have taken a backseat, considering the mighty success they’ve had with all three previous albums, especially ‘Need You Now’. The album doesn’t exactly scream ‘wow’. It’s not until ‘Better Off Now (That You’re Gone)’ kicks in, that you’re glad there’s a sense of liveliness on the album – it merely picks up from this point, 16
but still, there’s no foot-tapping or track that makes you want to sing along, or at least hit the repeat button. ‘It Ain’t Pretty’ sees Hilary trying to sing a sweet ballad, but she doesn’t exactly have the Carrie Underwood effect to it, and it feels pretty mediocre. ‘Long Teenage Goodbye’ sounds very much like something Taylor Swift would write – it’s shocking to think she didn’t. To sum up the album, to the disappointment of sum, there’s no sign of an ‘Owned the Night’, ‘Need You Now’ or ‘I Run to You’. The album seems more like a debut effort than a step above from all their works before. The songs are beautifully written, but it quite simply needs a bit more welly! Armin van Buuren - Intense Three years after his moderately successful third album ‘Mirage’, the six-time Dutch ‘Top 100 DJ’ returns with his fourth chapter of progressive-trance music ‘Intense’. Opening with the album-name track featuring Israeli-born violinist, Miri Ben-Ari, lasting a near 9 minutes, it’s not long before we delve into the standout track of the album, featuring the vocals of Trevor Guthrie, ‘This Is What It Feels Like’ – a song which just like the accompanying video; one to blast when driving down the motorway at top speed with the windows down on a Friday night. I think that one song alone sets the whole mood for the album – The grinding beats of ‘Beautiful Life’, contrast with ‘Sound of the Drums’, as another belter ‘Won’t Let You Go’ has a pulsating beat which at your local nightclub or amongst the crowd at a festival, will have you pounding the dance floor with your arms in the air. There is a sense of calmness on the album – instrumental track “10 Years from Now” is probably a cue for you to round up your next load of drinks at the bar, but it’s not for long until we’re getting geared up to tear up the dance floor once more – which tracks “Love Never Came” and “Who’s Afraid of 138?!” seem to do – all before it’s restored to the calmness again with ‘Reprise’ – a guitar driven song which portrays the sunrise effect of the early morning. The album features appearences from Aruna, NERVO and Laura V. plus many more names who fans would know if they’re familiar to the trance-music scene. Is it time for this 36 year old to step away from the decks? I think not. His music may-not be to everybody’s tastes, but to fans of Buuren’s music across the world, I don’t think we’re bored of him just yet. 17
PULSE IS PULSATING ACROSS SOUTH WALES!
INTERVIEW Pulse plays host to the annual pride street party, and has welcomed some successful headline acts - have you anyone in mind for 2013? Timing is key when deciding who we’re going to have at the Street Party. The event pretty much runs at a loss so we have to be careful how we spend our entertainment budget. Last year we had Charlotte Church and Alexandra Burke and we were quite fortunate that they were both doing promo tours around the time of the street party. That doesn’t mean they did it for nothing, by any means (we blew the budget) but we had a far better rate than if they hadn’t had material they were looking to promote. We also have to be careful with regards to who we choose due to the way our event is approved by Cardiff Council. We couldn’t have someone with an intense fan base like Lady Gaga or One Direction as it would be likely to get refused for safety reasons. There was an incident in Birmingham involving JLS when fans were injured and I think the council were implicated somehow. Most councils have been reluctant to endorse similar events since then. With all that in mind, I think an act like Steps would be great for the Street Party. They are still incredibly popular with a wide range of ages, and yet don’t have the crazy fans of some other well-known acts. They’re also very camp and it fit in with pride.
Pulse is quite literally becoming the G-A-Y of Cardiff. It’s booming with popularity, and thousands of people month after month either keep coming back or are experiencing their first time at one of Cardiff ’s most popular gay venues. I spoke to manager Mat Styles about the clubs success and how they’re spreading the word across the rest of South Wales!
Pulse Swansea - has it gone down a storm and is it more popular than it was 2’Ten, because people recognise ‘Pulse’? In addition, what can we expect from Pulse Swansea in 2013? As the Swansea scene has been very steadily dying over the last few years, we always intended Pulse Swansea to build up a trade slowly. We weren’t expecting the instant success we had with Cardiff. However, things have been a lot better than we could have ever imagined. The opening night took us totally by surprise, as everyone came to see what we’d done to the place. Over January things have died down a bit, but they’re still way above expectations. People know what they get with Pulse and I think the brand certainly helps. Our plans for the year involve introducing a weekly entertainment lineup to the bar in order to boost regular evening trade, the start of daytime trading with food service and we’re also bringing our trademark big name acts to the club. We’re looking forward to Swansea Pride, which we have always supported in the past anyway.
Charlotte Church and Alexandra Burke, backstage at the Pulse Street Party 2012
What makes Pulse so different from any other gay venue? (in Cardiff especially)
“What we have now is gay people going to Oceana with their straight friends, but at the same time, straight people going to Pulse with their gay friends” Vibe Magazine
All images courtesy of Mat Styles
Above and Rigt: Pulse Swansea has a splash of colour since it’s take-over from previous name, 2’ten in December 2012.
We opened at a time of great social change when it came to sexuality. Gay people started to feel more comfortable going to mainstream venues with their straight friends, and many were saying at the time it was the beginning of the end for gay bars. We deliberately positioned Pulse as a serious competitor to any club in Cardiff, with our advertising, big name bookings and commercial music, along with our location which was a lot more prominent than other venues on the scene at the time. All of this meant we were better equipped to deal with the effects of social change. It’s something that a lot of gay venues have found themselves having to do recently in order to survive, but when we started doing it, it was groundbreaking in its own little way. So what we have now is gay people going to Oceana with their straight friends, but at the same time, straight people going to Pulse with their gay friends. We are still very much a gay club, but were better set out from the very beginning to deal with those social changes.
X Factor 2011 contestant, Kitty Brucknell entertained the crowd at the Pulse Street Party 2012
THIS IS A MAN’S WORD
MALE GROOMING frizzy or any other issue you may have. It’s all about being natural, it doesn’t matter is we spend £16 on a bottle of shampoo or if we use 4 different products to get what we want, it should look natural. I urge you all so say goodbye to your GHD’s and or Cloud Nine irons, no one should be walking around with a burnt fringe or poker straight quiffs. You don’t see Zain from 1D or Channing Tatum looking like they’ve been electrocuted.
Celebrity Hair Stylist, Michael Georgiou has worked for Coray and Co. in Cardiff for over 10 years, and has styled the likes of many Welsh TV ladies, such as Alex Jones (The One Show) and Weathergirl, Sian Lloyd. Michael booked us in for an appointment and tells us why the male grooming market is easily catching up with the ladies... Scissors at the ready!!
he world of hairdressing is an ever changing one with celebrities wearing new styles and colours daily, good or bad it’s something we all focus on. The mens market is suddernly a massive business. Going from an annual of 820 million in 2009 to 2.5 billion in 2012. Theses figures show how fast the male hairdressing industry is catching up with its counterpart. We have all heard the saying metrosexual and it can be defined in many ways. • The straight man who looks gay • The modern man • The well groomed man • The man who takes care of himself The list is endless but whatever makes him, he is spending the money on a variety of different items The top 5 for 2012 were
My perfect tip for the sleek look is you must be using a hair dryer with a nosel on the end to concentrate the heat to the right place. Use a vent brush to dry the hair into place and then follow with either a spray wax ( Redken have the perfect product in “ Wax Blast” ) to create the sweeping smoothness you need and finally the most import thing is hairspray, and a good one at that. Cheap hairspray is like cheap perfume, it’s nasty and not worth the saving. We have the likes of Johnny deep, brad Pitt and even our very own Russell Brand to thank for the long hair. Normally associated with the Europeans or hillbilly Americans the male ponytail is something many people get very wrong. Just because
Long hair should be shiny and clean, if you have long hair don’t use wax or pastes on it, it will make it dull and seem unclean. Using a pre styling product will be your best friend, the latest crase comes in the form of Argan oil and if your going to use it, it should be the original and market leader Moroccan oil. It’s a natural anti oxidant that creates
Moroccan Oil, a product Michael recommends for men with long hair shine and smoothness for all hair types and works especially well on thicker rough hair types. There was a time when men would not been seen dead with colour in their hair or sitting in a unisex salon on the high street, having head massages and asking about the latest products on the market but how this has change.
In 2013 the theme for men’s hairdressing is set in stone. It’s sleek and its defined with an air of sophistication, the parting is back and if you’re brave enough the ponytail had shown its face again after a long break.
Men’s colouring for the 4 seasons is a mixed bag. Dark hair has gotten darker and light hair lighter. Global (full head) colouring is the most popular to show off sharp lines and smoothness. To create texture lighter sections can be
The male model look as I like to call it has made our streets a much prettier place in my opinion. The sleekness and sharp shapes coming out of barber
your hair is long it doesn’t have to be back all the time, men often make the mistake of thinking that they must wear it back in a low ponytail, I personally don’t agree.
added, mostly to front sections of the hair but this is something that has a fine line between natural and fake. As a hairdresser who works with colour, completed the loreal colour degree and has a particular passion for it I can not stress enough the importance of patch testing before you have a colour. The men’s hairdressing industry is becoming a massive business fast catching up with the female market. Everyday a new wonder product and a style is being released amied at men wether it be for the young or old, the funky or sophisticated or the long or short there is a product for us all. Something which I have noticed is that the manufactures of these products such as Loreal, Redken, Wella and Sebastian just to name a few have all realised a total men’s range hair care. It means we now have the same products in different bottles in my opinion so don’t always be fooled into thinking that coz it says “Homme” on a bottle it’s better for you, speak to your stylist, ask questions about what and how you should be using them. We are used to it,we like to share knowledge even your local barber shop will have something on sale and will know all about it because we only sell what we like. For the summer you need to be thinking about what works best with your hair, if you have Curly unruly hair don’t spend hours trying to make it smooth, and same with straight hair or
Why do I do it? Understanding why you move the brush the way you do and why you use the paste instead of the wax is important and this information should come from your hairdresser. If they can not provide you with it then please find a new hairdresser. You wouldn’t go to a doctor who couldn’t tell you why he was giving that tablets!!!
A little tip for those of you who don’t want colour but are having the ageing process happen. I.e grey hairs if your hair is black or dark brown invest in a water proof mascara of the same shade and gently dab a small amount into the area, but please make sure its waterproof incase it rains!
How did I learn this? Your hairdresser is where you learnt to do this, any good hairdresser will show you how you do your hair. In a time where the average male haircut it costing £22.50 in South Wales you should expect a lot more than a quick trim. Hairdressers have so much knowledge it’s key you ask and ask and then ask again.
Something I see in south wales more than London is the divide between kept and unkept men. Now there is a huge spectrum to this and it goes from the hobo who doesn’t even own a hair product to a over the top glam’d 24/7 Malibu ken look alike with so many products they could open a shop. We should all be aiming to be somewhere in between this with a regime. This is my word of the month, Regime. It will serve us all well and could be the answer to your prayers depending where you are on the spectrum. I want you to answer yourselves 3 simple questions:
My final thoughts on men’s hair for 2013 is keep it natural keep it sexy but most of all keep it groomed. Talk to your hairdresser about products, products are so important to getting the right look. I’ve heard it over and over that men can’t achieve the same results at home as i do in the salon and it’s because they are using cheap products, buying the professional products is what makes the difference from the shampoo right down to the hairdryer and brush. I relate it to you wouldn’t buy a BMW Z series and get 3rd party insurance, it just makes no sense.
• What do I do to style my hair • Why do I do what I do • How did I learn to do it If you instantly know the answer to those questions then congratulations. You have a regime and you understand it, you’re probably at the top end of my spectrum. If however you know 1 or 2 or god forbid none at all then here is how to understand them
All images courtesy of Michael Georgiou and NHF Inspire
• Haircut • Hair removal • Colour • Shaving • Tanning
shops and hair salons alike are much more flattering to the eye and for the man wearing it. The cone peak spikes have certainly had their day and and the straight down fringe was no ones friend.
David Beckham has saved the summer by bringing back to parting and it’s gone to a new level. I find myself using the clippers to create the line for the parting, using an open razor and even for some fashion work using highlighters to get the sharpest of lines.
morning? Are you just wetting it? Do you have any products to use and what are they.) Styling the hair wet to dry is always the best way, it will allow you to sculpt the hair into place. Have your core products on show, having a blow dry lotion and styling products is as important and toothbrush and toothpaste.
What do I do? (Are you washing your hair every
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