Jason Derulo’s latest single ‘Want to Want me’ is almost unrecognisable from his older work; transitioning from R&B club anthems such as the early ‘Ridin’ Solo’ or even ‘Talk Dirty’, into a falsetto-fuelled 3 minutes 25 seconds of pure seduction. From the press of the play button, everything is different on this track: his iconic whaling of his name opening all his tracks being replaced with a subtle whisper of ‘Derulo’ before the beat kicks in. Without this, I doubt I would have realised this was a Jason Derulo song! Derulo hasn’t missed a trick, as heavy elements of synth highlight clear 80’s pop influences on the track. He is one in a wave of current artists taking inspiration from retro genres that’ve stood the test of time, rejuvenating them and producing not only universally-appealing dance tracks, but popular, current chart-toppers.
Although his sexy lyrics may be concealed in a cover of 80’s dance vibes, they’re accentuated by the accompaniment of a near-explicit video. If his silky smooth vocals aren’t enough to make you melt, shots of JD, his super-ripped physique and his love interest getting intimate in the bedroom as he sings "It's too hard to sleep, I got the sheets on the floor, nothing on me” definitely will. Luckily enough, along comes the well-needed rain to cool down this steamy rendezvous, yet this ups-the-ante and sends the sexuality into overdrive. The video showcases talents of Derulo’s other than the bedroom though; such as his flawless dance moves. Despite performing on a derelict stage, his presence is Wembley-worthy! With Justin Timberlake-like showmanship, MJ inspired moves and effortless swag that’d put Justin Bieber to shame, Derulo has created a piece of timeless art that sounds better every time. If you want to witness the magic yourself, tickets for his Jan/Feb 2016 tour are now on sale. Don’t miss out!
One of my favourite British bands this year has to be Don Broco, having been into their music for quite some time now I personally believe the guys keep getting better and better as 2015 progresses. With the release of their debut album, Automatic, imminent the band have teased fans with official music video Superlove â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the next single to be released from the album. The actual track itself is a catchy little number, which you instantly find yourself humming and swaying along too. Superlove will most likely be one of those songs which is going to be popular favourite over the summer especially when played at one of the many festivals and UK shows in August. It is hard not to listen to this song and be drawn in by the enticed by the powerful and charming vocals of frontman Rob Damiani, especially when he hits those high notes during the chorus â&#x20AC;&#x201C; wow man its so heart warming! As for the video, it gives you an insight into what to expect if you were to invite the band to dinner. For someone still trying to learn more about who Don Broco
are as people â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Superlove is a great starting point to see all the different personalities and characteristics that all four members bring to the band. If you are not lucky to head over to Leeds and Reading Festival this summer, do not fear as the band will be undertaking a number of intimate shows throughout August at some of the venues which have being such an important part of their careers especially during the early days. This in itself illustrates how humble the 4 piece from Bedford are to ensure they stay true to their routes and have total respect to those who have been such an important support to their progress so far. With the album due for release on August 7th 2015, a tour and the release of videos such as Superlove, no doubt this will be like a dream come true to anyone wanting to the ideal UK band to party to!
As music evolves and genres develop, artists arise from their backstreet studios and come into their own. Shura is one of these; a vocalist of the new wave, indietronica scene that, similar to the likes of Grimes and Jessie Ware, is changing the music scene and creating subgenres to the subgenres. Signed to Polydor Records and awaiting the release of her first debut album, Manchester-born Shura creates her masterpieces drawing on influences from the hip-hop/R&B genre, experimenting with the synth and accompanying them with her early-Madonna-like vocals to create tracks with universal listener appeal; whether it be alone in your bedroom, in the basement of an indie bar or laid in the grass under the summer sun. Her music reflects her personal style; seemingly effortless but with underlying organisation, edgy, and a regeneration of 90’s pop culture and street style. Her latest single ‘White Light’ is no exception. In the video, two lone individuals, both with high fashion faces and elfin beauty seem to be lost and on a journey to find something, perhaps their ‘white light’. As Shura is only seen between shots in low-lit shadows, the focus of the film is on the journey where the two find each other in a tranquil valley. It’s unclear if it’s sexual tension, a past love affair or some other context all together, but there’s a unique connection between the two characters; a supernatural-seeming one as Shura sings ‘I don’t mind if we never go home’. How far from home are these people: metres, miles, light-years?
The Maccabees have always been synonymous with progression, and “Marks To Prove It” is no exception. The band have been hidden away for the past three and a half years in their private Elephant & Castle studio, sculpting this ambitious album, which will firmly cement The Maccabees’ place in your record collection. The album opens with “Marks To Prove It” - the band’s first single release and the title track of the album. This song is much heavier than you’ll probably be used to, it takes the best parts of “Pelican” from their last album, and really works on that layered guitar sound. Towards the beginning of the track, the
band create this spacious cacophony that is unique to The Maccabees. The reception this song has already received has been promising, and has become a solid track in their live shows. “Kamakura” is set to become a firm fan favorite, with its patient, relaxed approach to the music, yet the lyrics are anything but relaxed, as Orlando Weeks (vocals) sings “given a bloody nose to the best friend he knows”. This song is a potential single, as it is one of the more commercial songs and it also introduces for the first time the female vocals to the album. These vocals become a feature on several of the tracks including “River Song” and “Slow Sun”.
The good thing about The Maccabees is no matter how much they develop their sound and change, they always have this sense of familiarity about their tracks, a signature sound which is instantly recognizable. “Ribbon Road” is no exception to this. The strumming patterns in this track has similarities to “Can You Give it” from the album “Wall of Arms” and even “Toothpaste Kisses” from debut album “Colour It In”.
why they have been away since the 2012 release of their third album “Given to the Wild”. They wanted to get every element of this album perfect.
“Something Like Happiness” is one of the major high points of the album. A charismatic song with a sense of fellowship, it is a very exciting track to listen to, due to the vast alterations in dynamics from the very start. Beginning with the chorus, sinking into the cultivated, carefully written verses, the song in itself An interesting move by the band is experimenting with the lead vocals. Orlando lets the music evoke the emotion, whilst the lyrics tell the story. The choruses takes a back seat in the track “Silence”, as Hugo White (guitar) instead takes the represent a sense of elation, as they are the most musically built up parts of the lead in this elegant, hopeful piece which really slows down the pace of the track, mainly due to the horns enhancing the already refined sound presented album. This is definitely one of the interesting changes that the band has made by The Maccabees. The relatively simplistic verses go on to emphasize further for the album. It really highlights The Maccabees’ experimentation and it shows the message of the song, which is to be happy for one another.
The intuition of Orlando Weeks’ lyrics strike a chord in “WWI Portraits”, a darker track for the album. It’s a clever piece of music, taking Weeks’ perception of propaganda, and writing his own. It’s intriguing in terms of lyricisms, and an exploration into a more narrative pathway, brimming with vivid descriptions but with sinister undertones. Penultimate track “Pioneering Systems” is the most bare song on the album, a piano led track which is a new addition to The Maccabees setup. Without piano,
this album wouldn’t have quite the same power and prowess as it does. This song carefully leads to the final track of the album, “Dawn Chorus”, a reassuring album finale. It really collects together all that makes this album great, the pace in the music, and the haunting female vocal line towards the end leaves you going away from listening to the album feeling fulfilled. The lyric “break it up to make it better” really exudes the feeling of hope and is a perfect end to the album.
Darkus Magazine: Are you enjoying your summer so far?
DM: With your latest material what direction did you want to take things?
Hugo: I think so yea. Its been pretty hectic lately especially with the run up to our record. We went to America which was fun as well as playing at Glastonbury.
H: The thing about making a record is when you start out you never really know how its going to evolve until you actually start writing. One of the things we aimed for though was not just to produce the same style record as the others. We just wanted to take things at own pace, so it felt more natural. It was important that we came across as sincere and stayed true to ourselves.
DM: As you say, you went to the USA – what was the most valuable thing you got out of that visit? H: I was searching for a new guitar haha! Seriously though it was really good as we were out their touring with Mumford & Sons. It gave us the opportunity to play to new crowds as well as more experience of playing outside of England. DM: ‘Marks To Prove It’ comes out at the end of July. Having worked on it for a while, are you happy with the end product?
DM: When you have been in the studio for so long, how easy is it to adjust back to playing live shows or going on tour? Hugo: I wont lie, I think it can be pretty overwhelming and hard to adjust sometimes. For the past couple of years we were producing the album – working pretty much 16 hours each and every day. It sounds a bit strange to say but when your in their for so much time, and then have to be somewhere else, you actually start to miss it haha.
H: Yes – really happy, but then we are always happy haha! It is a bit of an odd time at the moment too because none of our fans have really heard it, especially DM: How do you think you have matured as a band? as we have not realeased that many singles from the album. We feel very much that were in limbo at the moment until the record is finally released. This being H: When we first started we had no idea. There was no management, PR etc, so said, me personally I have a lot of confidence with what we created. we had to learn everything for ourselves. There is more support and resources for musicians these days. I wish I could go back though and teach my 16 year self DM: Are there any particular songs on the record that you are proud of? what I know now. H: I wont give too much away as you will have to check it out for yourself. We I would definitely say that we have change for the better, and through all the all have our own favourites, however I am pretty excited on the tracks where I years our friendship has always stayed the same which is such a beautiful thing. actually do the majority of the singing for a change. DM: For you Hugo, what does Maccabees symbolise? H: Its not easy for many people to keep going after such a long time. We have been together since we were teenagers – yes we have had ups and downs, but we have still remained unified thus show just how strong our friendship is with each other. DM: You have a number of festivals lined up this summer. Is there any you identify as being the event of the summer? H: Glasto and of course Reading and Leeds. At the start of the summer, we also played an intimiate show at the Corenet near our studio at Elpehant and Castle.
It's that time of your again Leeds festival is beckoning, many are counting the days down till we are all carrying our tents to a field for three days of musical heaven. And 2015's line up seems to be the most diverse and electric line up of the UK festivals in which headliners come in the style of Mumford and Sons offering their newly founded rock record but also embarking back to their folk roots, the return of indie heroes The Libertines that will almost certainly play classics as well as new material and for the most defying of all metal heads Metallica.
We at Darkus are particularly excited by this year's Dance To The Radio Presents The Welcome To Leeds on the 27th of August, the stage kicks off the whole weekend by offering great new bands in the form of Domino Label's new signing The Bohicas from Essex as well as four piece Vitamin and Sheffield indie rockers RedFaces which we believe summaries the ethics of Leeds festival in general and solidifies the festivals morals to unearth new inspiring talent in the UK which gives bands a grand scale for their music to impress thousands of festival goers.
Although these may be new acts to you, headliners of Dance To The Radio stage will be non others than Leeds very own cult heroes and main stage veterans; Pulled Apart By Horses. After unfortunately pulling out of Leeds festival in 2014 the band are out to provide one of the most defining moments of the weekend. Equipped with a new drummer and an album that proved a major success last year the band are undoubtedly a must see alongside stage sharing rock five piece Carnabells who also call Leeds home. There is no question whether Leeds will be worth the money as we are fortunate to have alongside Dance To The Radio stage several more tents and stages which will include big names in the form of Catfish and The Bottlemen, Manchester Orchestra, Bring Me The Horizon, Royal Blood, Jamie T, Alt-J and Kendrick Lamar and many more. Tickets for Reading and Leeds are now on sale. Weekend tickets including camping costs ÂŁ205.00 including booking fee. Individual day tickets cost ÂŁ59.50 including booking fee. Tickets are available from See Tickets.com or by calling 0871 231 0821
Darkus Magazine: What is the most rewarding thing to happen to you so far this year? Henry & Rupert: Supporting George Ezra for four weeks on part of his US tour was perhaps the most rewarding thing to happen this year; travelling the length and breadth of the states was a fascinating experience, and better still getting to play shows at the end of each day in legendary venues! DM: The Summer Sun EP is being released in August – what is going through your head knowing that soon people will be able to check it out? H&R: I think there’s always a little bit of anxiousness when you release something. Will people like it? Will they get it? Ultimately that’s always out of your control, so there’s no point getting too caught up in that. There’s excitement; we get to share something we’ve been working on for a while now. A lot of time and love went into it. DM: Having worked on the EP what were the important points you wanted to put across? H&R: We wanted to give fans a taste of the album and reflect the range of music and experiences that influenced the creation of Point Dume. Hopefully there’s something in there that everyone can relate to in one way or another.
DM: For anyone yet to discover your music – tell us a couple of quirky things about yourself? H&R: As a youngster Henry wanted to dig up dinosaurs and Rupert wanted to be a deep sea diver. We’re both vege, and have been since we were born. All for ethical reasons. DM: You have been playing a string of festivals and shows already – what has the reaction of the crowd been like?
DM: Is there anything you think that makes you stand out that little bit more? H&R: Maybe our influences that have filtered through to our writing. Rupert studied classical music for many years which helps us expand on our song ideas by finding ways to improve them; if we hear a nice melody or chord progression, whether it be in an old musical or modern song, we try analysis why we like it and incorporate the idea into our stuff - so there’s a few not too commonly heard elements in our music. Also, recording our demos from an early age (initially on a four track cassette recorder) has lead us to create an identity in our sound through trial, error and experimentation. We also focus on singing close two part harmonies which isn’t heard so much these days. It’s hard for us to get
H& R: It’s been great. It’s nice to see all the support at such an early stage. It’s rewarding to see people singing the words to our latest tracks which can’t even be purchased yet! We recently played our first headline show in London for a long while. We had fans who’d made the trip from America and Germany! That’s crazy for us! DM: Being brothers at what point did you decide you wanted to pursue a career in music together? Was it an easy decision?
H&R: It wasn’t really a decision, we both kind of gravitated towards music probably through hedonism. That made it easy for both of us to write and play music together from a young age and likely the reason we’re still doing so! Maybe it was Rolling Stones concerts we’d go to as kids with our parents that first inspired us; there was always music being played in the house - made it quite hard to avoid picking up instruments and trying to play along!
away from, perhaps because we’re brothers!
there. For that we thank our label and Rick.
DM: How valuable was your time spent at Shangri-La DM: By the time this year has finished what would Studios in Malibu? you like to have accomplished? H& R: Incredibly valuable. It was a peaceful and very relaxed atmosphere with little distraction, so it allowed us to focus totally on the music. You stay at Shangri La through the recording process. So everyday you wake up, wander 20 feet and you’re there ready to go. With the exception of the odd day or so, we were working from noon till 1-2am. We threw the kitchen sink at each song and Rick Rubin did the plumbing. It was one of the most amazing experiences in our lives to date. We were very fortunate to be able to spend as much time as it took to make the album
H&R: Releases and a shed load of gigs. We are very excited to get on the road this autumn and share more music with the amazing people who support and believe in us. DM: What does Summer Sun and Ruen Brothers represent to you? H&R: Summer Sun is a metaphor for finding a comforting place. Somewhere your mind settles. We wrote it at a time where we knew we had a lots of bright things coming to us, but they were still distant. Ruen Brothers is just who we are. Ru & (H)en. It’s our purpose. Without each other we’d be lost.
Desolately scrolling through your ‘SAD SAD SAD’ playlist for the ideal song to put you out of your post-break up misery may have just gotten a little less painful, due to the release of KIDD’s new single, ‘Broken’. The Darlington quartet’s depiction of the unfortunate crumble of a relationship is minus the dramatic piano ballad and heart wrenching stroll through rain soaked streets (nice try, Westlife). The track opens with lighthearted, cheery guitar, provided by Kieran Elliott, emitting a kind of head-boppy-toe-tappy-type of sound that doesn't make you want to burn photographs and inadvertently Facebook stalk.
However, lead singer Joe Connor’s raw vocals, crooning ‘another fight is imminent, we have barely spoken’ add a sharpening contrast to the music, accommodating an emotional strain against the laid-back ambience. The heavier ascent into the chorus emphasises the band’s versatility and potential, as their ease of transferring dynamics and musical atmosphere is beyond impressive for the listener, and creates an insouciant disposition. The gentle alteration to Ben Connor’s almost psychedelic keyboard, followed by hints of bass and complimenting drums from Matthew Jenkinson allows the rhythm to cascade into a chunkier, more distinctive beat to end the track. KIDD, having just been signed to In Cahoots Music, are a band that are brimming with flair and potential, and the release of ‘Broken’ is guaranteed to only amplify their already flourishing popularity.
Following the release of “Barrio,” Teenage Time Killers have proudly teamed up with Noisey to unleash “Ode To Sean Hannity”—a fierce burst of punk rock fury featuring Jello Biafra on vocals and Dave Grohl on bass. The punk super group including Corey Taylor are banishing their familiar genres and have advanced, briefly, into a cohesion of what has been and what is hopefully to come-a punk revival beaming through the curtains of Rise Records on the 31st of July. Recorded at Gorhl's very own 606 Studios in Northbridge, CA and produced by John Lousteau. "Ode To Sean Hannity" ways up the hybrid combination of punk and metal and creates an overbearing and over the top statement. However it doesn't quite leave its mark although it may leave listeners
of the super groups normal fans left unsure what to make of it but that's the underlying beauty of the twenty track record. It's the super group's way of leaving 'a huge fucking cigarette burn in the fabric of society before the Reaper calls your name', and that statement flourishes to life throughout the tracks 'Barrio', 'Hung Out To Dry' and 'Egobomb' in which all songs have a banishing of regret at the core of their nature.
one on a larger scale.
The blossoming moment of the record comes in the form of a title that takes its glory as the albums name - 'Ode To Sean Hannity', which is the most ambitious attempt to foothold the tone of the album. The track opens in total individuality, with spoken language made just audible over distorted guitar and bass, that punk culturally summaries. The track then meets a thundering and lightning This album has allowed some great names to recre- quick kick start of crashing symbols, high energy ate their childhood love for metal and punk in the guitar riffs and Jello Biafra's vocals still sounding as eighties and shows on record the inspirations that prominent as ever. 'Ode To Sean Hannity' provokes lead them to become what they are today. Alteverything that punk stands for and there isn't a hough, the record musically disconnects mainbetter bunch of individual musicians to showcase stream listeners it finally allows a resurfacing of both the identity of punk and the anarchic symbolhard hitting, fast and loud music available to anyism of its rhythm.
Darkus Magazine: How does it feel knowing that you are celebrating the 15th year anniversary to your debut album? John: It’s really crazy how time goes by so fast. I feel very fortunate to be able to still be playing music and still loving it as much as I did 15 years ago.
to prepare physically. Anything you do at home is in a controlled environment; on the road there is no such thing so there’s no way to keep a routine. Mentally, leading up to tour you feel mad anxiety and stress, which can either fuel your efforts or buckle you and shut you down. Over time the mental aspect takes its toll, it defiantly weeds people out.
DM: How significant was’ Menace To Sobriety’ to your journey within the music DM: Word on the street is that you have a new EP coming our way soon? Tell us industry? a little bit about that and what things you wanted your fans to take away from it? J: Menace is so significant to our journey in that it was so successful. I guess it’s unique for a debut record to have an impact like that. We had no idea what we J: The new ep is called “The Minge Dynasty”. We co-produced it with Marshall were doing back then but that success has allowed us to continue to record and Goodman AKA Ras MG (Sublime and LB Dub All-stars). We also got back in the to tour and let us grow. studio with Big B for the first time in a while and it was just like old times. When we get in the same room it becomes a very creative environment. DM: At the end of August you will be back on the road for an epic 26 date European Tour. When you have something so intense how do you prepare yourDM: What has allowed OPM to survive as long as it has? selves physically and mentally? J: It’s a cocktail of: focus, drive, sweat, blood, tears, determination, vodka and J: It is really hard to explain how tough touring is. There’s nothing you can do lots of red bull.
DM: Many have described your upcoming tour as the party of the summer. For OPM what does your kind of party require? J: It is the party that you don’t want to miss! It’s all about love and positive vibes. I think when you hear our songs that have been the soundtrack to many of your summers growing up, you can get a bit nostalgic which makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. Next thing you know you’ve drank way too many cocktails and your running through the city center with nothing on but a brand new OPM baseball cap. The only requirement is that you come with an open mind and ready for fun! DM: Tours and EPs aside – what else is going well for you guys these days? J: Mostly have been working on kicking my new label MNO records off the ground. We have been signing a lot of new up and coming artists and helping them get their careers started. So lots of time in the studio working on music. I also just had a daughter, which is a life changing experience. I love it, she is so much fun. DM: Do you think you have the same hunger you had back in day 1 – or has it developed to something much more advanced now? J: The Hunger is still the same but the means by which the hunger is fed has advanced. DM: Where do you see your music going next? J: I think a big part of our sound is the production and as we have been producing other artists and really growing in that aspect. That has brought these new songs to another level. It was really exciting to work on new OPM stuff and it really ignited me to want to do more. Our workflow has evolved in a way that moves seamlessly, which enables the creativity to flow. Not enough can be said about how important this is to the creative process. So bigger, badder production, but still allowing us to do things in that raw OPM style. DM: Have you achieved everything you wanted to or is there still unfinished
business? J: Of course I would love to have continued success for OPM and really am working hard on my label. There’s plenty of work still to do. DM: Thinking of all the feedback you have received over the years, what is the one bit of advice you have always kept in the forefront your mind? J: The first thing that comes to mind was a lesson I learned from an old friend Fade Duvernay. I worked with him at Island Records way back in the day, he went on to run Quincy Jones' label. He told me when you’re sitting at a table with someone older than you, more than likely they have more knowledge than you. So in that conversation they should do most of the talking. There’s so much to learn if you just listen. It’s important to understand that when you're young and think you know everything. DM: While being in the band how do you think you have grown as individuals and collectively? J: We have all definitely grown in so many ways. We’ve become better musicians, writers, performers and better all around people for having had the experiences we’ve had. We are so lucky to have traveled so much and see how other people live. It really helps expand your point of view. Unfortunately, some of us have grown apart too.15 years is long time in a band and band relationships are complicated. On the flip side of all that is staying young, remembering that this is all about having fun and playing and acting like kids most of the time. DM: Given the years of experience and contribution OPM have given the music scene, how would you summarize this part of your lives? J: This is the part where we give back to the youth what we took from those before us. We’ve soaked up so much over the years and it’s really cool to pass that on to the next generation. The cycle of life.
'Momentary Masters' comes as Albert tempo as we go deep and dark with Hammond Jr third record and the first to Hammond Jr on 'Coming To Getcha', come from the now 35 former Strokes although his vocals are at their most man that hasn't been fundamentally tested and come across weak, it's a song influenced by Hammond Jr's public affair that the Strokes Guitarist is at his with drugs. Albert Hammond Jr has strongest, the moment he is in an awe of swapped heroin infulled inspirations for total honesty. The lyrics 'she never made it the provoking literature by Carl Sagan by back, she's stuck in transit' allows no room titling 'Momentary Masters' from the of debate it is crystal clear the song is a book Pale Blue Dot in which questions conversational piece towards his late mankind's place in the universe. However friend. In music, feelings that remain botlyrically Hammond Jr has adopted a tled up can disburse into song which confessional style that is advocated by allows the artist to fully release built in poet Anne Sexton. emotion, fortunately for music fans this makes for a great meaningful piece of Now, older and wiser 'Momentary Masmusic. ters' has made for a more cohesive record that shows that Hammond Jr has lost none 'Momentary Masters' does come with its of his enthusiasm that makes his records own downfalls however. Tracks like even more compelling. The excitement 'Losing Touch' and 'Touche' display bursts into life by the cohesion of conformity. They simply are misplaced creativity experimented by leading track upon the record-they simply do not and single 'Born Slippy' the possessive mid belong on a record bursting with -fi pop that allows everyone to embrace originality as we see Hammond Jr reform with open arms (ears) and makes for a back into the conventional American indie great hip shaker. Although following track music that has seen its peak come and go. 'Power Hungry' fails to capture any From an indie veteran more should be imagination 'Caught By My Shadow' expected. shows the first signs of a more dominant guitar that is followed by a discourse of From a moment of relapse, the album is high pitch and low pitch guitar riffs. set back on course with a staggering Hammond Jr, meanwhile places anthem entitled Drenched In Crumbs' and supplementary vocals over dominant after a full listen of 'Momentary Masters' guitar in which illusively surges to the speculation of what could The Strokes comparisons to the likes of Tame Impala possibly create next is staggering with and The Beatles but more noticeably 'Old Hammond Jr creating no absence of great Yellow Bricks' by Arctic Monkeys. writing. The addition of The Strokes could've enabled 'Momentary Masters' to The album finally hits a pause in style and become the new start for the five piece.
When festival season creeps round the corner following a generally miserable British spring, the first things on any fest-goer’s mind is music, lots of alcohol and dancing until the sun comes up. However, the idea of living in a field for 4 days can be quite overwhelming for a Rookie and when they pitch tent in their first campsite, it can become very clear that they have no real idea what they’re in for. Luckily, we do…
Don’t camp near a main path. After queuing for hours, the first available camping spot will look appealing but may not be the best idea. Have you wondered why no one else is camping there? When you camp next to a main path, you will get the footfall and noise of all the other campers at all times, day or not, so if you want any sleep all weekend, I suggest finding somewhere else. Also, you may become a prime target for any thieves, tent-divers or even become a makeshift urinal. Duct tape. Whilst a rookie is packing their neon face paint, flower crowns and bandanas, this will be the last thing on their minds to pack. But trust me, speaking from experience, duct tape can be a lifesaver in so many scenarios at a festival. Leaky tents, broken bumbags, damaged camping chairs… all can be salvaged with a little bit of gaffa tape to keep everything together. Don’t rely on your phone. In this generation where we rely on our smartphones to text, call, record, take photos, listen to music and check the weather, it’s not unusual to see some people watching a whole set through the screen of their iPhone. However, being so snap-happy with drain your battery so don’t rely on your phone to contact your friends if you get lost (the signal is usually less than average at festivals anyway). Before you venture into the arena, agree on a significant landmark you’ll use as a meeting point if anyone goes missing; just try to avoid vague spots in the busiest areas, in a field with 80,000 people, “the burger van” may as well be a needle in a haystack. Take a spare set of clothes for the journey home. After a weekend living in squalor, you really appreciate putting on some cosy, warm clothes than don’t stink of alcohol or are rigid in mud. Keep a set of joggers or leggings and a hoodie in the car over the weekend so they are guaranteed to be dry and smelling like civilisation. Don’t take anything you would miss if you lost, or things you can’t afford to lose. This applies to phones, cameras, jewellery, sunglasses, even makeup; I’ve seen girls crying at festival because their Chanel lipstick is a goner. Whether you lose something accidently or it gets stolen, you don’t want it to be your most valuable possessions. Buy a cheap phone for the weekend just to stay in contact or, if you really can’t go a weekend without your smartphone, make sure it’s insured for loss/theft.
Don’t be surprised when food vendors steal your eyeballs. £2.50 for water, £6 for a burger and £9 for a pizza are standard festival prices, and you know why? Because they know people will pay it. When you’re hung-over, soggy and have been living off cereal bars and cider, the notion of hot food is something a festival goer will pay any price for. I’d recommend taking enough money for a hot snack/ meal once a day, but take your own food also and don’t rely on the food vendors there- you’ll spend more money on food as you did for your ticket.
As much as you think you’re at Coachella, you’re not. Be practicwith what you choose to wear. This is Britain and yes, you can still have your festival fashion but be aware that it’s likely to rain at some point and audiences can get very rowdy. Avoid the open-toed sandals and opt for some decent wellies or a good pair of Doc Martens instead. Get a double-lined tent. A cheaper, less-hassle pop up tent may be more appealing when still at home, but a double lined tent can be a holygrail at a festival. Remember, this sheet of material is your home for the weekend; you want to keep your belongings dry and you don’t want to be a shivering wreck all night in your sleeping bag. Pop up tents, although cheaper, after leak at the sight of drizzle so spending a little more money on a decent tent would be a wise investment. Remember, it’s British weather. Be prepared to meet different types of people. The great thing about music festivals is that it unites people from all different locations and walks of life. Try and keep an open mind and be friendly when setting up camp as you don’t always get to choose who your neighbours are. Everyone is there to enjoy themselves but different people do so in different ways; some are louder, some like to stay up all night and party. If you really don’t want to be surrounded by the immediate campsite craziness, read online forums before you go about which campsites are good for quitter environments, families etc. Lots of festivals have campsites dedicated to these. Don’t look in the mirror. Take a alcohol fuelled weekend and subtract any real washing facilities and proper beds and I can guarantee you, everyone will be looking worse for wear. If you look in the mirror, you’re only going to frighten yourself. You’re not there for a fashion show and being concerned with your appearance will take a toll on your weekend. Remember what you’re there for, throw on a pair of sunnies and get yourself in the crowd.
DM: Greetings from the Darkus guys – has it been an eventful 2015 so far? Bryce: Hello! It has been eventful as far as our album is concerned. We have been promoting a ton. We can't wait to tour this fall … DM: Congratulations on the release of Out of the Wasteland LP; what was it like to finally get the record finished and released to the public? B: This is our seventh record and every time we release, it is a little different. We took a lot of pressure off ourselves by doing this independently but, at the same time, added new ones. It's still exciting and we are grateful to be where we are. DM: When you’re in a band such as yours, one that has had such a successful journey in the music industry already, is there such a thing as a ‘next level’ for you?
DM: In 2012 after releasing the previous album, Almeria, you decided to take some time out. How valuable was that time for you all? B: After 13 years of touring we were a little burned out. The break was necessary to recharge the batteries and explore other projects temporarily. We all had something new to bring to the table for this record which came from our own individual growth. DM: Thinking over your career, can you highlight any particular events which really symbolized the turning point for Lifehouse? B: Coming off our second record we went through some member changes and switched labels. The sophomore record wasn't as commercially successful as we had liked but our third record relaunched our career into a new level. We feel a new energy similar to that with Out of the Wasteland. We have made some changes, obviously going independent, and releasing an album that shows a conglomerate of all of our past records.
B: We try to challenge ourselves to raise the bar line every record and we would love to one day headline bigger venues of course. We like to feel our successes DM: You’re going to be heading back on tour soon, how is preparation going? but not get too comfortable. There is always room to make it to the next level B: We had a tour with Nickelback that was unfortunately cancelled this summer with success and creativity, but we are very happy with where we are in the so we've had extra time to prepare for our European tour. The preparation is present as well. going really well as we've put together a couple of sets that we are very happy DM: Compared to other records you have released, what was the main thing with. you wanted to achieve with Out of the Wasteland? DM: Is there anywhere you would like to take your music which you haven’t B: We wanted to get back to our roots and make a record that would appeal to managed to reach yet? our old fan base as well as show our growth to appeal to new fans. Most of all, B: I think we are somewhat satisfied with where were at but we can always we wanted to put out a record we were proud of. It's sort of a rebirth for us push to a new level. right now so it very much ties into our lives. DM: Is there such a thing as a typical Lifehouse fan? Or would it be fair to say DM: Having been together for 15 years or so, how do you think you have that your music has a more general appeal? changed from the Lifehouse your fans saw at the beginning? B: We have obviously changed a few members, Jason's voice has grown, sonically we have experimented with different production and we have evolved as entertainers and performers. The music industry has changed as well so we have put in the effort to stay on top of the changes without losing integrity. DM: Do you think you have preserved the same energy and excitement?
B: We have "super fans" which are the fans that wait first in line for shows, are in the front row, and give us the strongest support. I'd say the majority of our fan base is a broad demographic; all ages and backgrounds. DM: What makes Out of the Wasteland a good investment for new fans wanting to check out your music?
B: We try to! We try to stay fit on the road and maintain healthy relationships to B: Like we said before, it is a conglomerate of our past records all rolled into one. Check out “Flight” as a great example of that melding of old and new stay energised. Every show is still exciting so something is working! sounds.
Darkus Magazine: Welcome to Darkus Magazine. Lets start with something quirky – think of three quirky things you would like to do this summer that you haven’t already? Lea: Cheers! I live on top floor and I really want to try to climb up on the roof on a sunny day. I imagine that’s the closest I get to have a garden. I want to learn how to make cocktails (without raw eggs and stuff, that’s just disgusting) and I really want to go surfing when we’re in Cornwall later this summer. DM: Congratulations for the debut album Wonderlust. Has it been well received as you thought it would be? L: Thanks! Yeah definitely! I didn’t know what to expect to be honest, it’s my first album and the band has only existed in its current form for just over a year. I saw this big poster of the album cover in the window of Rough Trade, which felt a bit surreal. I’m still overwhelmed by the kind words and the fact that people want to buy it. DM: Lea having originally lived in Norrköping, Sweden, what was it about London that you fell in love with? L: I wanted to move away and London felt like the ultimate place at the time. There’s always something to do and the city has obviously got a pretty vibrant music scene. I have never lived in a country or city that shows such a massive interest and support in new music.
L: I think one of the most important things when writing is to not over-complicate things. It’s one of the hardest things in life in general, to keep things simple.
but a few. Whenever you are playing along bands such as this, what do you think Kid Wave brings to the party?
L: It starts out quite upbeat with Wonderlust and Gloom. Honey’s got more of a big roomy sound but still with tempo. Then follows Best Friend which is a pretty bouncy track and then Walk on Fire. Not sure if it’s a challenge but Walk on Fire stands out from the rest I think, bit slower to start with but with a build. It’s definitely one my favourites.
DM: With Mattias, Harry and Serra joining later – how did this change the dynamic of the band? Was the chemistry instant?
L: Two guys and two girls with long hair, getting DM: Take us through the album – any track in particu- sweaty and smashing their instruments (in a good lar which a bit of a challenge but worth it in the end? way ha).
The next side kicks off with Baby Tiger which is the heaviest track of the record. It’s great to play live. All I Want is a straightforward pop track with a lot of drive; the first song I wrote for the record and it’s followed by Sway. Sway’s in 6/8, which ironically has more of a swayish feel to it. Sway and the two next tracks, Freeride and I’m Trying To Break Your Heart, are a bit more mid tempo and I think they have the strongest choruses of the record. The last song of the record is Dreaming On, it’s like a little lullaby that grows. It really sums up the vibe of the record, maybe not tempo wise but the lyrics and feel. DM: When you signed to Heavenly Recordings in 2014 how did things change for Kid Wave?
L: All of a sudden I had the support of someone believing in the project. Confident wise it DM: You have recently returned back from Germany – was a real boost; just knowing you have a team of people around you who are really passionate about was it all fun and games? music and what you’re doing helps a lot. After reL: Oh yeah! We arrived in the middle of the heat leasing the first single things started to get a lot wave, it was about 40 degrees when we went on busier, we went on tour for the first time and startstage at midnight. We ate a lot of falafel wraps as ed to play more gigs. Since then it’s just been getwell, think Mattias had four in two days. ting busier and busier really. DM: When it comes to creating music – what qualities are important to you?
DM: You have played along some exceptional artists such as Toy, The Wytches and Childhood to name
L: The chemistry was instant for sure! I had been looking for the right band mates for a long time. Mattias and Serra joined first, I’d known them for a while and then we met Harry via mutual friends. Love at first sight! DM: For anyone new to your music, which track(s) do you think would act as the perfect starting point? L: I’d say Honey. I think that song represents our sound quite well. DM: I know you haven’t been together all that long yet – but in this short space of time how do you think you have progressed as a band? L: We’ve become a very tight knit group; we’ve been hanging out with each other so much and shared this whole journey. I think that shows both on and off stage. We’re best mates. It takes time and a lot of shows to be able to just “be there” in the moment on stage and enjoy the ride but I think we manage to achieve that now. DM: After summer is out of the way what else have you got planned? L: Touring! We got our own headline tour coming up in September and October, then we’re playing some festivals in Europe and it looks like we’re going to the US for some shows as well! And we’ll start to work on album number two.
DM: There is no denying the importance of something such as debut album – but for Kid Wave what else matters? L: I think nowadays live shows are really important but also to be able to create something more, if that makes sense. We hand paint and design our own merch and have set up our own online shop, we collaborate with artists at gigs with the idea of Kid Wave being more than just a band -we want everyone to join our gang. Stuff like that. I think in times like these it’s important to stand for something and like any good band I wish that Kid Wave stands for something more than just music. Not being indifferent is what matters. DM: For anyone yet to check out the new record, why is Wonderlust & Kid Wave as a whole worth the investment? L: I think Kid Wave as a whole is a very human thing – it’s a reflection of who we are; dreams, life, love and all that matters you know. Sounds cheesy but I think that a lot of people can relate to the vibe of the record, the music but also the band. I find that for me Kid Wave is a way of transforming thoughts and feelings into solid shapes and sounds, whether it is music, art or self painted merch.
Being into all genres of music, its hard to pick a favourite as there is so much variety to choose from. When you’re an editor this is even more of a difficult choice because you are introduced to a number of up and coming artists which many people may not of heard of. Recently the team over at 9PR informed me about the EP of The Caulfield Beats, titled ‘Mexican Smoke’. Officially released 17th July 2015, this is one of those EPs which really entrances the listener from start to finish. Consisting of 4 tracks I think for any one knew to these guys, this is also the perfect introduction to what they have to offer. Describing their sound as ‘garage electronics’,
Caulfield Beats are certainly a band which will bring together a mixture of people, whether they be indie enthusiasts or like to indulge to a little bit of acid and techno. The EP starts with the opening track, 90’s Love. The best way to listen to the track, as strange as this sounds is to close your eyes and let the music consume your soul. Gone are the days when you either loved or hated techno music, Caulfield Beats have successfully managed to give the genre a fresh new dimension. My favourite track on the EP has to be ‘Real Sun’, without sounding too cliché it has a smooth and stylish twist to it, which makes it a summer tune for grown ups. I can just imagine this played
anywhere and the listener just swaying away because they cant just help but feel enchanted. Without any hesitation when the EP came to the end I had it back on repeat straight away. Caulfield Beats are a two piece, consisting of Lawrence Northall and Molly Dixon. Having a total DIY approach to their music, and not conforming to the usual rules, I think this is why I enjoy their music even more because they are not afraid to be different, think outside the box and cause a bit of controversy as part of the process. I really feel from this EP that what Northall and Dixon have created a vibe that will seriously blow your mind.
Darkus Magazine: Welcome to Darkus – for anyone new to Behind The Façade tell us a little bit about how the story of your band began?
who was an incredible classical guitarist. Lastly, Paramore’s Hayley Williams showed me that fronting a rock band was more than just a possibility. The lineup has changed a couple times but things are finally Danielle: Thanks for having us! I started the band my solid and better than ever with Louie on lead guitar, junior year of High School for fun with friends from Nick on bass, and Matt on drums. They were all fans band class. At the time, I was a huge fan of the Cana- of the band and when the opportunity for dian show, Degrassi, which had a heavy focus on high membership presented itself, they did not let it pass school rock bands (yes, that includes Drake before he by. was Drake). I was also very close to my grandfather
DM: You have recently joined forces with our good beginning but having someone with more friends over at Anger Management. What are you experience and industry connections should really looking forward to the most about that partnership? help us get to the next level. D: We are very excited to be apart of the Anger Management family! This is the first time we are taking part in a partnership like this and we have very high hopes. I have managed the band from the
DM: How would you describe your style – musically and as people too? D: We call ourselves a pop-punk band but we definitely color outside of the lines. Some of our music is a little heavier with breakdowns, and then some of our stuff is super soft. I guess you can say we like to experiment and are open to pretty much anything as long as it sounds good. As people, we are all about working hard, being comfortable, and exuding positive vibes.
D: Thank you! We want people to feel good while listening to our music and most importantly, relate to it. Music is supposed to be an escape and we DM: Having done a little bit of research into your want to provide that for both people who are band, I have to congratulate you for creating amazing tunes such as Hypochondriac. When people experiencing hard times and those who just want a backing track for the good times. listen to your music what do you like them to
DM: You will be working on your first full length album this fall – any ideas of what kind of direction you wish to take it?
(with t-shirt sales/donations) to record our debut album. We crowdfunded about $400+ so far through Rockethub and Bandcamp, which we are greatly appreciative of! It’s still hard for us to beD: We have about 7 new songs so far. We are shoot- lieve that people are willing to give up their hard ing for 10. We will finish up with writing and began earned money so we can record some tunes. We recording following our Hi Felicia Tour. We definite- want our fans to continue to think it’s worth it so ly feel like this is our best music so far. Lyrically, it is we plan to put out our best music to date. extremely raw and honest. Instrumentally, it is a lot DM: As a four piece – what do you think you all more complex and experimental than ever before. bring to Behind The Façade? It’s definitely better heard than described so stay tuned! D: We all have pretty different musical inspirations DM: Your currently on your Hi Felicia tour – how are and writing processes/styles. It comes together you enjoying it? And secondly – who is Felicia? nicely though, because where some of us are more free-spirited and jam-oriented, others are more D: “Bye Felicia” is a term coined from the movie structured and methodical, which, when combined, “Friday” and is commonly used in our neck of the births something very special. woods (inner-boroughs of NYC). According to Urban Dictionary, the phrase is defined as “When DM: Who are your biggest supporters? someone says that they're leaving and you could really give two shits less that they are. Their name D: Our biggest supporters are most definitely our then becomes ‘Felicia’, a random bitch that nobody families. Closely following that comes our friends is sad to see go. Their real name becomes irrelevant and fans who constantly remind us how cool it is because nobody cares what it really is. Instead, they that we’re doing what we’re doing. now are ‘Felicia’.” We decided to call this tour the 12 months from now what would you like to hapHi Felicia tour because we want to meet and make pen? friends with as many people as possible! It’s meant to be funny. D: In 12 months, we will have released our debut DM: With it being the first time on tour – what are album along with a couple music videos, taken part your main priorities? in at least one more tour, and we hope to play at least one date (if not all) of Vans Warped Tour D: We just want to spread the word about our band, along with other music festivals. make new friends, and draw inspiration. The main DM: It may still be early days but have there been idea is to get people to download our music and any major highlights so far? sing along, but we are also hoping to raise funds
DM: There have been so many highlights in 2015! Firstly, we decided to write our debut album and tried crowdfunding for the first time, which worked out very nicely for us. We were featured as one of Alternative Press’s “One Hundred Bands You Need To Know”, which is a huge deal. They also posted an article online about our Hi Felicia Tour and battle to play Warped Tour (which we unfortunately did not win this year) but that got us a lot of attention and probably led to Anger Management reaching out to us. The year is young but so much has already happened. DM: Drawing on your own experiences, what are the main things people need to bear in mind when breaking into the US music scene for the first time? D: It is not as simple as recording a couple songs, playing a couple shows, and then BAM, you made it. It takes so much hard work to even get slightly noticed. Being great musicians usually isn’t enough. You have to market yourself, reach out to press, and treat it as a business without losing sight of the music. It’s tough but it only makes the success so much more rewarding. DM: We hope to one day soon see you over in the UK – but for now what are the main ways people can discover more about you? D: We would love to play in the UK one day! We are very active on social media, especially on Facebook (facebook.com/behindthefacadeband), so everyone should head over there to get updates about us. All of our information is also on our website: behindthefacade.net.
One of the best albums I was sent not so long ago by our friends at Chuff Media was the latest album, Currents by Tame Impala. Released world wide on 17th July 2015 via Fiction Records, this album really does give fans an experience which sees Tame Impala taking things to new height. Still a relatively new fan of their music myself, I was extremely impressed at the quality and strength of this record. The opening track ‘Let It Happen’ draws you instantly to the dreamy world and mind of Kevin Parker. You get somewhat of a Daft Punk meets psychedelic vibe, with Parker’s vocals bringing the whole song together. Straight away you know that you are listening to a Tame Impala album, which whether you have memorised the whole lyrics or not, will make you filled with excitement non the less. There is so much variety and freshness within Currents, thus making it one of those rare records where each song has its own identity. Therefore for me to pick out a few tracks to check out is a toughie because my short answer would be – all of them! If there was one song I did connect to almost quickly though, it was “Yes I’m Changing’. I think what I enjoyed about this was that it teaches us in a world of constant change, not to be afraid to embrace with lyric such as, “There is a world out there, and its calling my name”. When you have music which speaks to you, then you know that you have something special, because it shows depth, meaning and heart – something which Tame Impala have been incredibly strong at too. I don’t know about anyone else, but usually when I get a new album, their will always be that one song which as soon as you hear, you quickly identify as your happy song, or has you saying at the top of your voice to the people around you ‘Tunnnnne!”. My personal choice from Currents was ‘The Less I Know The Better’. Wow! Where do I start with this, the vibe you get throughout is just infectious and so classy and stylish too. Lyric wise it is neither a happy or sad song, but one about living for the moment and the honest thought process that goes along with that. With 13 excellent tracks, Currents is really an album which if you have a true appreciation of the beauty and care that goes into creating music, is worth the investment.
Darkus Magazine: Tell us a little bit about yourself?
ty via radio play. The crowds may recognise the songs and sing the lyrics back, but the acts don’t necessarily have that electric live performance down. Lucie: Well, there’s me, the music and the band. That’s probably the most Not all of them – but a fair few I watched. The best advice we ever got was prominent part at the moment. I’ve been spending a lot of time with the boys defiantly: gig, gig, gig. I wouldn’t even try and understand how the music lately; Cammy, the guitarist - who I used to be in a band with yonks ago, business works but if you are proud of your product and really feel like you we’ve been writing together for years, Andy on bass and Paul on drums. belong on that stage – that’s what matters and that’s what gives you the age We’ve been playing together for about two years, probably quite a long time old buzz. to wait before releasing anything but we wanted to earn our “live” stripes DM: How was the chemistry when Andy and Paul joined? first. So before we were going to do anything, I just wanted to write beyond the point of material that you just regard as “fun playing” and to a place L: Paul is a fucking amazing drummer. I have friends within the music scene, a where you realise you’re writing well. What’s fun to play isn’t always fun to bassist mate specifically, who said he’d like to get married to his left foot. As listen too! It was also important that we improve our live act, which I think a personality, he is pretty laid back, very dry – yeah, he’s cool; it’s easy to get we’ve accomplished; we’re pretty tight now and relaxed with each other and along with someone like that. Then we came across Andy on Twitter, who our sound is more mature. again is quite laid back. Having been together for two years we’ve played some very big gigs as well as some practically empty ones – so, we’ve certainDM: Most important piece of advice anyone has ever given you either in this ly covered all the necessary tick boxes you need to bond. band or previous bands? DM: Were there any significant shows which marked the turning point for L: You know what? In the band that me and Cammy were in before, we were your band? really impatient to get on with stuff. EMI got us into their demo studio in Oxford Street and our manager at the time kept saying ‘just play, just play, L: So, we played Ally Pally which was quite big and sold out and we played Hyde Park, which was equally valuable. At Hyde Park we headlined the Sony just play to two nuns and a whippet, an empty pub, whatever’. In our minds Music tent, which was an honour especially as no one really knew who we though, we were thinking ‘we’re ready now! Give us the record deal – we’re were. We weren’t quite sure we would be able to fill the place, which can be running out of time!’ Ha! We didn’t get it! quite terrifying. However partly due to my name, and the fact that Libertines We were so impatient; because we’re dealing with an industry where unless were headlining, it became obvious there were a lot of curious people and you’re four teenage boys in leather jackets, it’s so much harder to get anywe packed it, but at the same time they didn’t know our stuff. You don’t where. It’s frustrating because music is much more advanced than that, you know whether they’re stood watching thinking ‘you’re fucking awful, how don’t stop making music at a certain age, nor do you stop listening to it. But I can you be up there’ or ‘you’re alright but I don’t know your songs.’ So when guess that’s where creativity meets a money making business! you’re up on that stage all you see is a lot of faces looking at you. I don’t generally get nervous but in that situation, where there is so much expectaBut back then everyone was more interested in earning your gig flight miles, tion and we have no idea what people are thinking, that made us much more these days, it’s all very different. A lot of the newer headliners at the festivals determined to win them over. this summer I would regard as recording artists who have got their populari-
DM: Obviously it’s no secret to many that Carl Barat is your younger brother, but if he was in the room with us right now, what do you think he would say he was most proud of when it comes to Lucie Barat & The Au Revoirs? L: For the two years we’ve been gigging, we mainly went under the Au Revoirs, so Carl was like, you should include your name too. I obviously responded with a resounding, no! Because it would sound like a rip off version of Carl Barat and The Jackals! Haha Or like we were the understudies if you couldn’t afford the real deal. Seriously though, we played with the Jackals, we did three dates up North, and Carl thought I should seriously consider using my name. He thought that any uber Libs fans out there would know that I’ve been around for a while anyway, doing my own thing. The worst would be that people think you’re hopping on your little brother’s coat tails. But it’s a mature name. In his words, he said “You’re hardly the next young Horrors”. You only debut once, so you just have to get it right from the start and announce yourself. (Except I guess this is technically my second musical debut after the EMI debacle…) DM: With the upcoming track you’re due to release, what is it you want the fans to take away? L: It’s like I said before, when you’re playing live, it’s easy to get into that energetic, rawkus vibe that would get a drunk crowd going. But the more confident we got, the more we were writing music, rather than something which people can just dance to without really truly understanding who you are as a band. We wanted to push ourselves. Fallen is just one of those songs that wrote itself and is bigger than we are. DM: What are you going to do to celebrate the release?
the music industry. We’re honest and genuine and we are producing something means something to each of us - from the lyrics to the riffs and the tom hits – we’re proud of what we have to say, it’s relevant and we want to show it. DM: Music aside, you have another interesting part to your life. Tell us about that and how you merge those skills into what you do with the band. L: Writing? I’m a writer primarily. I used to be an actress, so I guess that’s where the performing comes from, but I’ve always written – poems, scripts... I’m a screenwriter mainly. I also had a little indie press and we published anthologies of poetry and short stories. We put on lots of events and the aim was to offer a platform to established as well as emerging acts to work side by side. We used the arts to raise awareness of addiction and mental illness. I think the written word is such a powerful empathetic tool. So, yeah. I did that. We sell those books on our merch stall, actually. DM: When people see you on the cover of Darkus this issue, what is it you want them to bear in mind when they see you? L: Oh, god… I hope it’s a positive message of you just fucking see it through! Do what you want to do. You don’t need appraisal from everyone, as long as you enjoy what you enjoy doing and it has meaning to you, that’s all that matters. You will find the right people will see that, respect and support you. DM: Favourite venue to play? You know what? I loved playing the Ku Bar in Stockton On Tees because everyone was so lovely there. King Tuts in Glasgow was brilliant as well, and of course the Prince Albert in Brighton.
L: We’ll do a proper campaign, rather than just release the track and it sink as DM: What was the first gig you went to as a youngster? a debut mp3 download or whatever haha! That’s the hope! Who knows how it L: I went to a Cyndi Lauper concert… I loved Cyndi Lauper haha! I was a bit of will be received… We wanted to do a single as opposed to an EP, just to give a weird youth. My brother had his bedroom wall covered with pictures from it its due. There will be the obligatory launch party and a mini tour, no doubt. Kerrang or whatever and I had an issue with idolising people. I don’t know DM: What can I expect to experience from one of your shows then? why, I did admire and even idolise people but the poster thing… I found it odd having all these faces watching me. Now I see it as aspiring to or being L: I really do think we bring it to the table, in terms of what we have to offer inspired by – but then, I was just a weird young thing.
DM: How does it feel knowing that your fans will be doing the same – posters on the wall etc? L: I’m not sure we have any yet! I guess any connection you have with someone else shows empathy and empathy hopefully illuminates the way for others, as clichéd as that sounds. It would be lovely to inspire or speak to people. Or, you know, be something people like to do the washing up to! DM: Can you think of any specific compliments fans have given you at a show? L: Aside from performance, I have had complements on my lyrics. That’s really nice. You know, part of it is confessional and the other part wanting to understood, so if someone has interpreted the song in the way you wanted, then that’s just beautiful. DM: Why would people not be disappointed by checking out Lucie Barat & The Au Revoirs? L: I think we have got to a point where we are ready to announce ourselves and I would hope that people agree.
If there is one song which really makes you smile, reflect and embrace the music lately, then my choice would have to be ‘Closer’ by Kelvin Jones. In an industry of a number of solo artists, Jones stands out for all the right reasons – style, substance and heart. ‘Closer’ really does compliment this young guys passion for the music he creates, and his qualities as a song writer. Looking closely at the lyrics, we can all interpret it in our own way. When I listen to this song, for me ‘Closer’ is about having the confidence to go that next level, whether it be an extra level of commitment between a partner, or quite simply not feeling scared to trust a friend. There will be times where we may be unsure how to deal life, but I think what Jones successfully manages to do is encourage the listener to have a look inside their own mind without fear. This is the first time I have heard any of Kelvin Jones’ material, but I can tell straight away that there is something great about this guy. More importantly though what he is doing is producing strong, positive music which is real, heartfelt and honest! I would quite happily listen to this guy whatever the situation, because despite being 2 minutes 41 seconds, it still manages to be an addictive and timeless tune that you will be humming to throughout and after.
Ontario based band, Counterparts have returned to the music scene with their third LP, titled, Tragedy Will Find Us. It has been quite a while when I have listened to these guys, so it really brilliant to be able to check this record out. Having last met the band a few years ago, its fair to see that the band have come a long way, developing their post hardcore sound to the nth degree, yet still maintaining their unique heart and style that they have had since day 1.
If your looking for that record filled with adrenaline where your able to not just connect to in depth lyrics, excellent vocal skills of Brendan, and excuse to mosh to your hearts content, then Tragedy Will Find Us is where its at. From listening to the album myself I would say that there are a number of tracks definitely worth looking out for. For instance ‘Burn’, I imagine would be one of those which would make a crowd going wild – with plenty of sweat and energy going into the song – not just onstage but offstage too. Although
being a predominantly fast paced song, I like how when you least expect it you get a slow and gentle ending, giving it a bit of sensitivity and gentleness. It usually the case that a song will start off slow, then kick in half way through but credit to Counterparts for doing things a little bit differently.
to song writing. Being the final track on the record as well, it’s the perfect conclusion to what I can only describe as a true hardcore masterpiece, as not only are you thinking about Solace, but also reflecting and contemplating about all you have witnessed throughout Tragedy Will Find Us.
For anyone looking for that slower paced track of the LP, where you can focus on the vocals of Brendan and really focus on the lyrics, then Solace would be an excellent recommendation. With this, you can really see into the mind of the band when it comes
Released on 24th July 2015 via Pure Noise, this is one record worth getting your hands on, and will prepare you for the intense yet electrifying atmosphere when this Canadian 4 piece return to their exclusive UK headline tour in October.
Darkus Magazine: Thank you for taking the time to speak to Darkus guys. How is everything going for Baby Chaos?
managed it. I feel in much better voice than in my youth and that, for me, as a performer is more than half the battle.
Chris: We are like cats lounging at the edge of an Olympic-sized saucer of cream, gently taking our fill then dozing in the afternoon sun but ever ready to pounce should a fat pigeon be fool enough to get too close. In other words we have taken the summer off.
DM: When you are on such a long hiatus, how do you use the time effectively?
C: Sheeesht, you just live I suppose. I had many other musical adventures in between in which I was usually joined by at least one member of the Baby Chaos squad. I learned to produce and make a living that DM: Skulls, Skulls, Skulls, Show Me Glory has been way, which was great because it kept me making out for a while now – how well received do you music through a time when I felt I didn't want to be think it has been? a performer anymore. Three of us have had kids and marriages and all the shenanigans that go with that. C: We've had some very complimentary reviews It was never meant to be a hiatus in the first place, [although I usually just have a quick scan and check when we stopped being Baby Chaos I don't think it the star rating hehehe] but really what has filled us ever occurred to any of us that we would make with glee is the reaction of the fans that we honestly another record. The idea to record again was just a didn't know we had. Of course we knew there were moment in time where the space opened up and we some people out there that still spoke fondly of the all felt inclined to give it crack. band, but we've been knocked out by the response on Twitter and the like and also at the small amount DM: Having returned with this new record, how do of shows we have so far played in support of the you think you have pushed yourselves since Safe new record. To a man, we were pleased with our Sex, Designer Drugs and the Death of Rock and Roll offering but it's always gratifying to have that fed was released in 1994? back to you; it stiffens your resolve that you may not C: Personally I have pushed myself all over the place in fact be delusional. in musical terms but for this record it was about DM: It was 17 years since you released any material – making an album that followed the lineage of the first two while also reflecting our own growth as was it an easy choice to make your return in 2015? people and musicians. It's a fairly limited diet using C: It was supposed to be 2014 but time flies and it guitars bass and drums but I had learned to stretch took us a while to collide on a regular enough basis what guitars can do through the years and hopefully to write and record an album. Was it easy? Well, yes, that keeps the sonics interesting and varied and on once we got going it was, once the rust and barnaoccasion unfathomable, as in ‘Oh that’s a guitar, oh’. cles were scraped away and the cows started to follow each other through the gap in the hedge with For me coming back to this “rock” format, that was a bit more regularity, it all felt pretty easy. We were the challenge, it had to be intriguing to me personalutterly determined that we would come back even ly or I would have lost interest. I had to feel like I better than the first time round and I think we've
was stretching myself be it in terms of the songs, the lyrics, the sounds, the singing. DM: From the current record, do you have any particularly favourite tracks? C: I like the last one, Habibi. It was the last to arrive but I think in reference to what I was talking about before, it stretched me. It felt a little different for us, but then so did Have Faith In Yourself or Out Of The Silence for example, I guess I bring up Habibi because it's the shiniest and newest. DM: What is the biggest lesson you have learned about yourselves? C: That being in a band with a major record deal is in fact NOT the most important thing in the whole world ever. And once that had sunk in a thousand other lessons in the personal growth department flowed like sand through an hourglass, slow but steady and relentless, and then you flip it over again. DM: There were some pretty impressive highlights in your earlier career, from a Five-K Review in Kerrang, and Love You Self Abuse being nominated in the 100 Best British Albums of All Time. How important is this kind of acknowledgment for a band such as Baby Chaos? C: To be honest the 5K review was a blast, it really tickled me and still does when I think of it now. I grew up reading Kerrang and buying albums based on their K system so I knew it was an awesome thing to have the full compliment. I suppose reviews are less important now as people digest music in a different way, they are more likely to suck a little and see for themselves rather than committing all their weekly allowance to a CD based on the word of a magazine or journalist. Everything is in flux but it's liberating.
DM: Many have stated that Baby Chaos would be a perfect match for fans into the likes of Biffy Clyro, The Killers and The Foo Fighters â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but what do you think Baby Chaos brings to the mix that those other bands may not have?
DM: Where would you like to take the band next?
C: We are going to get over to France at some point as we always had a strong following and a great time there. I imagine it will be next year. But perhaps your question was not geographical; if it was C: Everybody brings their own unique ingredients more to do with musical direction then I really can't to the musical omelette. You have three or more say. I have some thoughts and these thoughts are minutes to cook up something delicious and memo- not more of the same but perhaps a development rable that people want to bite into again and again. of certain newer elements. I think now that this I long ago realised that the kind of fame achieved album has doffed the cap in places to the bandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s by the stellar cast you mention were not for me but history, we can now let that go and be free to roam that never meant I would stop trying to do my very, the musical plains unshackled. It was necessary this very best each time I put my name to something. time but now we are free of it. The hope is that your efforts are recognised by DM: From your own view point, is the UK music individuals and that resonance is just as deep for those concerned whether there are 200 or 200,000 scene still the way you remember it? listening. Does that answer the question? No not at C: Not at all, it has changed many times since the all; well then, consider it the answer to another mid nineties and I am sure it will continue to do so. question as yet untroubled by the asking. Opportunity is open for all now and that is a fantas-
tic step forward; talent and hard work might even pay off for some hehehe. DM: With the latest record being an almost come back album, how easy was it to decide which tracks would be featured? C: We wrote 12 and left one off so not that hard really. I think a lot of the censorship happens before I even suggest an idea to the rest of the guys, so by the time it gets to them I am usually pretty confident it's going to work. This is something that has changed a lot over the last 20 years; back in the day I used to get very frustrated when the symphony in my head did not sound quite so braw in our shitty rehearsal room in Kilmarnock. Now even if it does sound kind of shitty to start with we know how to chip and chisel until it works; there is confidence borne from experience.
Birmingham duo, Malpas have made their mark on the UK music scene with their debut album ‘Rain River Sea’. From most albums that I am recommended by my friends over at Sonic PR, this is probably one that has pleasantly surprised me the most. The project of Ali M. Forbes and Andy Savours, Malpas are one of those artists where you listen to carefully and attentively and at the end of it say to yourself “hang on a minute this is actually quite good”. The song writing skills of Ali Forbes is more than just words – it’s a story, an adventure and a invitation to a world where music doesn’t have to be flamboyant. Malpas instead have a gentle and tranquil style to their songs, which still manages to be effective and powerful.
From the record I have a number of popular favourites which really hit the spot. ‘Sea Decide’ has a somewhat dreamy and reflective vibe to it, and within seconds the listener is made to feel relaxed. Coupled together with the lyrics and harmonic vocals you can really feel a true connection with the music. ‘Us Float’ for me was just one of those songs which represented who Malpas are. The lyrics within this track are just made to sound so poetic so again you feel almost a love for what they are trying to
achieve. Describing their sound as a mixture of ‘Intricate woven patterns of mandolins and acoustic guitar butt up against dark and craggy synth bassline’ when you read that line you question whether that would, but then you press and all your reservations are put to rest. It may sound like something, but Malpas show they clearly have this mastered. ‘June Exit Strategy’ is the final song of this album which is just presented with a beautiful edge to it.
When most things come to an end as a listener you feel sad, but I think with ‘June Exit Strategy’ this is a track where you are given the feeling that this is only the beginning. In all honesty this may not be the usual album I would listen to, but by simply opening my mind and really contemplating on the heart and soul that Malpas show us throughout this album, it has made me curious to want to discover what else this duo have to offer. Chances are with Forbes and Savours at the helm, its going to be something pretty special.
This July, New York joins London, Paris and Milan in holding a fashion week dedicated to menswear. Male demand for “affordable luxury” is on the rise and the rate of growth in menswear has begun to outpace womenswear – something which Euromonitor calls “the global menaissance’. Besides its timeless selection of quality leather boots and brogues, Dr. Martens has turned to a relaxed shape this season designing casual alternatives for a more laid-back approach to dressing. Dr. Martens’ Cruise collection for SS15 is all about lightweight footwear and encompasses a 3-Eye Shoe and a 2-Eye Desert Boot. Material choices are the light Twill Canvas in three colour options. All styles offer simple silhouettes, and are very light and extremely flexible. Open Airwair sandals from Dr. Martens’ Shore collection continues a tradition of fashionable yet practical sandals. The new adjustable Buckle Slide is clearly masculine and the thick panels are essentially a 1461 shoe sliced up for seasonal open-ness. The simple upper, yellow stitch and grooved sole are distinctly Dr. Martens. For the more fashion-conscious is the Geraldo; a gladiatorial Strap Sandal with two buckles, silver studding and a heel tag on the backstrap for pulling on. Both offer easy to wear, contemporary, refined styling. Shop the full collection at Dr. Martens Newcastle, 153 Grainger Street, NE1 5AE.
Photo captions: Sam wears: Mayport Boots, sand, £65 (also available in navy and black) Product shots: All Dr. Martens SS15 collection, 153 Grainger Street, Newcastle, NE1 5AE, Tel. 0191 261 8571 www.drmartens.com
Footwear brand Dr. Martens is set to hit the streets this summer with its latest range of summer shoes and sandals.
has drawn inspiration from the likes of the US Hardcore scene of the early 80s and Japanese tattoo art.
A favourite on the festival circuit, the Docs’ hotlist includes the Drench rubber wellington for waterlogged fields, statement sandals and core and seasonal 1461 3-eye shoes.
The range offers gladiatorial multi-strap, Z-strap and toe post styles and mixes casual comfort with bolder, chunky silhouettes in a number of seasonal colour options. Get the go-to shape with the Clarissa or Dr. Martens SS15 collection, 153 Grainger Street, Gryphon sandals. Newcastle, NE1 5AE, Tel. 0191 261 8571 www.drmartens.com
Dr. Martens’ Spring Summer 2015 sandal collection
Shop the full collection at Dr. Martens Newcastle, 153 Grainger Street, NE1 5AE. Photo captions: Sarah wears: Asha Sandal, white cristal suede, £90 (also available in black)
As the long awaited Minions movie opens in the UK this month, it seems the denim wearing, banana loving critters are taking over the fashion world too. With designers such as Giles Deacon and Rupert Sanderson taking their cue from Gru’s faithful goggle wearing Minions, it looks likeminion yellow (now officially a pantone shade), is most definitely in… In a collection exclusive to Selfridges, a collective of designers have come together to collaborate on Bello Yellow. Inspired by and featuring the minions themselves, the collection is every bit as fun as you’d expect, and yes, there are even dungarees. From the Rupert Sanderson on point Minion courts to the cute Piers Atkinson headbands, this is a collection which will please Street Stylers and Bloggers (myself included, natch) aplenty.
“The Minions have been a big part of my life with my family, in keeping with the unexpected and rebellious nature of the Minions, the idea of combining one of my shoes with their highly distinctive personalities makes perfect sense.” – Rupert Sanderson With urban cool designers Criminal Damage and Steve J & Yoni P on board, the collection is sure to appeal to da yoof. There’s a cool range of sweaters and sweatpants with a minion motif, as well as some super cute leggings with a matching cropped top (yes, I already own these). Criminal damage did a similar collaboration with Peanuts recently which was a huge success and with everyone going Minion Mad, there’s no doubt this one is sure to be too. Steve J & Yoni P have kept things simple and concentrated on denim, including two pairs of Minions inspired dungarees, and fun slogan tees which will doubtless appeal to the masses.
“It’s been a lot of fun – I’ve long been a fan of Illumination’s delightfully flawed characters. The resulting collection is a capsule very much inspired by London in the swinging 60’s and pays homage to their enduring style.” - Giles Deacon
In a nod to the storyline of the Minions movie set in sixties New York and ultimately, London, Giles Deacon has created a six piece mini collection for Bello Yellow including minidresses and tee’s which are actually, pretty damn cool. Using a monochrome palette and official MinionYellow (obvs.) it’s a pretty wearable collection that will be all over the streets of London (for the next month or so at least). Cult jewellery designers Tatty Devine are on board for the project and it’s right up their street with their quirky laser cut pieces taking centre stage. From their iconic T-Rex bones necklace to a simple keychain, there’s something for Minion lovers everywhere and before you jump in and criticise, remember, it’s just for fun, it’s not like anyone’s plotting to take over the world or anything…..
I think if anything can define personal style it’s definitely this, “Personal style is an elusive beast at best” [Kat Collings, writer at whowhatwear.com] and this perfectly reflects my idea of personal style. That idea being that a style of any kind is a constant evolving state meaning it grows and changes as we do. I see style as a way of expressing our own passions without words, we can portray any emotion through an outfit alone and it can be a way of highlighting our own self confidence within the world. In my experience, if I feel happy in myself it’s usually down to a pair of killer shoes I’m wearing or because I’ve managed to experiment successfully with an outfit. Personal style is something that helps express the happiness we have for our self. The best thing about our own personal style is that it changes, and it changes when we grow into a better person, meaning our style reflects our own personality. So even if you think back to those awkward adolescent ages of leg warmers paired with Nike airs (yes I wore that), we were just utilising clothing we thought reflected how we wanted the world to see us, that usually being the cult rules of high school where we followed the popular kids in their dress. But as we enter our adult lives, where we have to work and think for ourselves, our style begins to reflect this. We don’t have our parents telling us that those jeans definitely don’t go with that top or kids making jokes about our shoes, we now have complete control over our image and this helps shape the kind of person we want to be. The power of personal style is incredible but style can still be constantly disregarded as not being important in life but style is everything. Our style choice can determine how we tackle certain tasks and situations but most importantly, it helps us to start not caring how other people see us. To me, personal style is a way of saying who you are without having to speak, style is one of the only things we have that keeps us individual and that’s why it is so important to me. If I can portray a strong confident woman through just my clothes alone, I know I’ll be able to cope with anything that I am given throughout that whole day. Style helps you conquer anything. In regards to who I consider influential on my style choices, apart from the countless celebrity Instagram accounts I follow those being Alexa Chung, Ella Eyre and Nina Nesbitt (to name a few). My inspiration for outfits usually come from street style, I think the growth within personal style is down to your environment so definitely start to take note of the beautiful men and women that grace our streets every day. But still always remember these words of wisdom for the next time you’re in doubt about a certain style choice; “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” [Gore Vidal American writer]
Darkus Magazine: How did your journey begin? Darryl Hughes - It was Dan’s idea really, he was the push. It was the start of 2013 he approached me with the idea to start our own graphic design business, designing artwork for start-up and existing businesses. Both with the interest in an entirely creative job and the prospect of being self-employed. The ball was starting to roll quite well towards the end of the year but as much as we enjoyed it, it wasn’t fulfilling our desire to create due to the boundaries set by our clients. So we decided to steer towards the creation of our own brand which would allow us to release product’s expressing our own vision and inspiration. Dan Stephenson - Clothing was a decision almost made for us by our interest in fashion. We started putting all of our ideas down on paper and going over the inspiration, working out which designs were strongest and which ones didn’t quite make the cut. Some stuck, some didn’t. We had a set figure of styles for our first collection and an idea of where we wanted to go next. DM: The great thing about your collection is that it is ethical clothing – was that something you always wanted? DS - We decided this very early in the process. We really wanted to capture the feeling of a product, if you can look good on the outside that's great, but if it makes you feel good on the inside then that's something else all together. DH - People are really starting to care about these details now, where and how things are made. They care about the quality of the products they buy and the efforts in the manufacturing process. Its something we care about ourselves too and now we’re in the position to promote it. We really want to try and be as environmentally friendly as possible, or at least take small steps in efforts to influence others into thinking more consciously about what they could do in order to have an impact. If everyone contributes a little, we could make a big difference. DM: From your collection do you have any particular favourites that are popular with your customers? DS - The ' prelude.' collection has some very bold designs in it so favourites tend to vary. At the moment our TOMAHAWK | WHITE is our best seller. DH - Yeah i’d say there’s a good balance. In terms of designs, the TOMAHAWK features detailed, front/centre artwork of a wolf skull wearing a native American head dress and is quite loud. The CHRYSALIS is more on the subtle side of bold and features a large back-print with colour-matched left chest embroidery, whereas the LUNA and the STATIC are far more minimalist.
DM: In your head what kinds of people would you expect to be wearing your clothing?
DS - Everything that we produce, we wear everyday. If it’s not something that we want to wear, then we won’t produce it. We’re our own target market, our age and taste – and we know what people like us want to see. That’s why it works so well.
DH - To be honest, anyone who shares an interest in quality and attention to detail really, the brand itself is quite dark and grungy though so it works really well with that particular look. We’ve had an image in mind since the beginning that we'd like to DM: Relatively new – what would you say are your main goals of how you want Svengali Vesture to portray but ‘prelude.’ is still quite versatile.
progress? DS - We like to break down our goals into achievable steps, so really getting our AW15 ' Villain ' collection released is next on the agenda. In SS16 you will see a development in fit and cut and range to our products, a natural development which we have plotted from the beginning, but lets save that for another day.
DM: Brand aside – tell us about the people behind Svengali Vesture?
want all those things but we want everyone to know why. We respond mostly to those finer details that a lot of people over-look. For instance Alt-J wrote a song called DS: We have similar backgrounds, coming 'Taro' which was on their first album. Most from graphic design initially but through people will be familiar with the song but few other employment we have picked up other strengths which is great. I can have a concept will know where the inspiration came from. The lyrics at first made no sense to me until I idea but can only take it so far, that's where Darryl comes in and takes it next level. I main- found out about it. It blew my mind. ly look after the business side, manufacturing DM: How are some of the main ways you and logistic and Darryl takes care of our visu- market yourself? Is it purely online or do you seek other methods as well? als, all product specs and final artworks. DM: What else makes you that little bit different to others out there? DS - The main difference is our earthaware campaign, this is something we are really proud of so far and plan to elaborate when opportunity and time allows. The differences between us and other brands are not only the attention to detail but we like to share our inspiration behind the artwork. Each of our product descriptions have a short paragraph explaining the focus of the design. We really enjoy the reason of inspiration and the moment of detailing that makes people stop and think. A conscious decision for the sole purpose of making people appreciate it. 'The Drove’ was an idea we had to bring together everyone who falls into that category, the idea that people who were buying SVENGALI weren’t just wearing the brand but becoming part of it. DH - That’s the thing with a lot of brands around at the moment, a lot of their artwork is just for the sake of being artwork. Yes it might be cool and catchy - and yes people do buy it and wear it. But we wanted to be something more that that. Of course we
DS - We solely sell online from our store just now. So far word of mouth has been great to us but you can't depend on that forever. We have marketing ploys of course, but let's not ruin everything for people. Marketing is best effected unexpected. DM: What is the biggest lesson you have learnt about yourselves while pursuing the Svengali Vesture dream thus far? DS - The biggest thing we have learned is making the most of each others skillset, knowing when to cross them and when to not. Understanding each others visions has come quite natural to us. DH - We learn new things ever day which can be sometimes really exciting or a huge pain but that’s what its all about. No doubt we’ve got bigger lessons heading our way but for now we’re just going at a steady forward pace one goal at a time.
Darkus Magazine: Welcome back to Darkus Magazine, Alex. Its been over a year since we last spoke. How is life treating you? Alex: Helllooo again, glad to see everything is still well with you guys! Life is treating me very interestingly, the usual tests and the normal stubbornness from me. I'm in Greece as I am writing this enjoying the sun and relaxing (well deserved break if you ask me :P). I am currently living my life by the motto of "The higher the climb the more beautiful the view" , so I am trying to push myself in every aspect of life, from my photography to my academic career. DM: We featured you last year as one of our cover star photographers. How do you think you have developed as a photographer? (Pardon the pun ha) A: I still have a copy of the magazine on my shelf and thank you again for the honour of featuring me! Over the last year I feel like I have grown more confident with my photography, having had the chance to work with some amazing people, started a new project and even moved a bit into videography as well. One of the biggest developments since last year has been my attention to detail and criticism of my own work, it's too often that I just keep re-editing one photo until I am fully happy with it or I notice the most ridicules little detail that will drive me insane. Having said that it means I get fewer of those face palm moments when you've realised you've forgotten to do something to a photo :) DM: From keeping an eye I can see you are continually going from strength to strength â&#x20AC;&#x201C; therefore how would you summarise what goes on in that creative mind of yours? A: Now that's a dangerous question. I've tried to document what goes on in my head... I've got a little idea book for my photos, where I write down what I think and draw a little sketch. Besides the fact I can't draw to save my life , it is a good way to help solidify an idea. Now whilst on shoots with models it becomes a bit harder to try and replicate what was in my head as the scene isn't normally the same or the model isn't the same or any of those variable. So what ends up happening is me sitting there looking around with my tongue slightly sticking out and going through loads of photos in my head. Honestly, some of the best photographs I have taken have happened within 2 minutes of just crazy improvising.
DM: You have completed university this year. Does it all seem real? A: No. Simple as. The real world seems scary... So I am going to carry on with University and going to move on to doing a PhD in Complex Particulates and Processes Chemistry at Leeds University. Joking a side, I want to study a PhD in chemistry to gain more knowledge, then work in the industry for a couple of years and save enough money to start my own watch making company. Yes you've heard it here first. A watchmaking photographing chemist... But you know... that's the dream... and living by the sea side :) ... and owning a dog. DM: Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have been doing lately? A: One of my most exciting projects has been my dancers project. I have had the pleasure of meeting some amazingly talented people and working with them on some great photos. I find dancers so fascinating, they can move in such a mesmerising way, not to mention when they do some crazy stuff with their bodies too and you do that cringe face accompanied with " Ooohhh that looks painful " .
DM: We couldn’t interview you without asking you to supply some of your amazing work. Tell us a little about the photos you selected and what they say about you? A: So the work I have submitted to you is a mixture of my dance project and some other dark pieces I have made throughout the year. Going back to what I said earlier about dancers and their mesmerising moves, a lot of these photos try to capture a chaos and turn it into a calm scene and with that I feel lies some beauty. DM: Having graduated, and with the world as your oyster – where do you see your photography going? A: I hope to go and meet some photographers soon to do some collaborative photos with! I really enjoy talking to other photographers about projects as I feel they truly understand some of the problems that you go through as a photographer and it's always very interesting to see how someone else comes up with their ideas. I also want to go out and shoot more, I want to push myself photographically and maybe even get a few more exhibitions under my belt :)
DM: In your opinion, what is the best acknowledgment that any up and coming young photographer as your self can receive? A: Personally, I feel the acknowledgment received from photographers you admire is one of the best feelings ever. I still remember (might even have a screenshot of it) when Joel Robison commented on one of my photos saying that he thought it was great and that he loved my work ... I lost my mind! Joel is one of the most talented conceptual photographers and one of the guys that inspired me to chase up photography, not to mention that he has a crazy job and photographed the World Cup for CocaCola. I always tell people to aim high and push things. Never feel like people are too far out of reach , try your luck and message the person who has inspired you and see if they can help you further; we are all human after all.
DM: Is there anything you wish to explore which you haven’t yet? A: I want to explore motorsports and travel photography, I basically want to see some really fast crazy driving and experience different cultures. I think a lot of people share at least one of those desires with me ! :)
Two years in the making, months of planning and an iconic dress restored to its former glory just in the nick of time. - Of course I'm talking about the arrival of the hotly anticipated Yves Saint Larent: Style is Eternal exhibition to The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle, County Durham. Business Partner and one time life partner of Saint Laurent, Pierre Bergé arrived in County Durham on Wednesday ahead of the exhibition's launch accompanied by staff from his Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent, and long standing friend of the pair, Baroness Helene Ludinghausen. At 89, Bergé is still very much the lifeblood of the Fondation he so painstakingly created in order to preserve the legacy of Saint Laurent. He admits that still now, he is surprised when he comes across something in the archives that he had forgotten about and how Saint Laurent's genius is apparent in everything he ever created. Bergé had a reputation for being cold and hard in the days of the Yves Saint Laurent house of couture, and when Saint Laurent died in 2008 this appeared to soften him. At the press conference for Style is Eternal, Bergé was surprisingly open and frank in sharing his love for Saint Laurent.
Bergé had a reputation for being cold and hard in the days of the Yves Saint Laurent house of couture, and when Saint Laurent died in 2008 this appeared to soften him. At the press conference for Style is Eternal, Bergé was surprisingly open and frank in sharing his love for Saint Laurent. Saint Laurent is largely credited with bringing the discussion of gender in fashion to the table, cutting the first trouser suit for women which ultimately lead to the launch of Le Smoking, the now infamous women tuxedo, recognisable the world over. The designer was a perfectionist, and Bergé smiles when talking about this, "I've known him ask people to unpick a dress and start from scratch all for a millimetre." When asked about the perfect relationship between business and fashion, Bergé is resolute, “When Yves was sick in hospital, after he was dismissed by the house of Christian Dior and I went to see him, he said you know what we need to do? Create a house of haute couture." and from there the house of Yves Saint Laurent was born. "I didn’t want to be a business man. Absolutely not. So, of course, I became a business man.” laughs Bergé. He says that their success together was down to one thing, their respect for each others role. “I decided to respect the creation above the business. Creation comes first and business after.” Talking frankly, Bergé claims that although there are certainly talented designers around today, fashion is now all about marketing and not about the metier. “When we started, Yves and I, marketing meant nothing to us. That’s not a language I understand.”
Some of the most iconic pieces in fashion history have been created by the house of Yves Saint Laurent. From the safari jacket to the Mondrian dress, each is instantly recognisable. Described as a fashion maverick, in 1966 , he opened the first prêt-à-porter boutique to bear a couturier's name, Saint Laurent Rive Gauche and it's there that he worked to create the modern woman's wardrobe looking to art and history for inspiration.
real couturiers to allow the public to breathe in his work.
The Bowes Museum, already filled with predominantly French objets d'art, has cleared its existing fashion and textiles hall to make way for the exhibition comprising fifty iconic pieces from the YSL archives including the famous Zephirine dress, created by Saint Laurent during his time at Christian Dior and modelled by his favourite model Victoire Doutreleau So, why The Bowes Museum and not London? Given in 1958 at Blenheim Palace. The dress was recently the success of Savage Beauty at the V&A (you’ll rerediscovered in storage in the Palais Galliera in Paris member that from the last issue of Darkus Magazine) and painstakingly restored for this very exhibition - A some would say that Bergé has missed a trick hosting real coup for both The Bowes and the North East the first ever YSL retrospective in the North of Engregion. There are over 1000 YSL accessories on disland in a small market town of 5000 people; play too, from hats to earrings and headdresses as "Because they asked" says Bergé, "It's so very like well as swatches and buttons. France, I could be in Paris in this beautiful museum in The exhibition is delivered over three rooms on the such a beautiful part of the country, it's perfect and first floor; room 2 is where Joanna Hashagen, Fashthe weather is also beautiful." A 17th century style French chateau in sprawling English country- ion Curator at The Bowes Museum has used existing items from The Bowes' fashion and textiles exhibiside - it couldn't be more perfect for one of the last tion, to marry YSL's most recognisable pieces with
their historical influences. With the YSL creation as the headline piece in each of the five themed glass boxes, this room in the exhibition is heavily supplemented with period pieces. Room 3 is where the magic happens. In a similar vein to what Claire Wilcox did with McQueen’s Savage Beauty, Hashagen has created five main themes: Art, Spectaculaire, Transparency, Masculin / Feminin and The Alchemy of Style. The pieces on display in this room are all showstoppers. Put simply, this is the best of Saint Laurent and it's right here in the glorious North East. From the sheer pieces on display in Transparency, which Bergé says were "truly shocking" to people when first unveiled, to the striking tributes to artists Piet Mondrian and Picasso in Art, each piece has its own place in history and the craftsmanship is undeniable. With embroidery, paillette layering and harlequin patching taking centerstage, it's hard not to be blown away by the magnitude and importance of this small but perfectly formed exhibition.
There are previously unseen sketches, collection boards, toiles, hat blocks and of course, Saint Laurent's beloved paper dolls on display throughout the exhibition. The dolls were cut from his mother magazines in his teens and he would design outfits for them using paper, giving us a small glimpse at his early genius. I attended the press launch in advance of the exhibition opening and had a chance to chat with Helene Ludinghausen, former Head of Couture for Yves Saint Laurent who told me that "The Bowes museum is absolutely the right place for this retrospective and Yves would have loved it, everything about it." And I agree, whilst it's an unexpected choice for an exhibition of this stature, it's aesthetically and culturally perfect, you can’t fail to be wowed buy the towering French chateau. Bergé's parting statement about Saint Laurent is poignant; "You have to understand he was a very shy person, a beautiful, shy person. Shy people are always the strong, tough people.” With the exhibition opening to the public on Saturday, it's an absolute must for fashion lovers everywhere and for anyone who understands the cultural importance of Saint Laurent in fashion. Go, soak it up and then go again, it's probably the only chance you'll ever get to be around such iconic master pieces and it's well worth it. Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal is at The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham July 11th to October 25th. Tickets can be booked via www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk
Darkus Magazine: What does photography mean to you? Is it more than just pictures? Sharon: I think the fundamental part of what it means to me... Is that I feel good when creating images. As for meanings in my work, it depends what the subject is. I connect with my work on different levels; sometimes I just have a vision for a shot and other shots have a back story. Through experience I have found that when I connect with the subject I am much happier with the results. DM: Every photographer has their own style, so if we were to look inside the mind of Sharon Thompson what would we find? S: If you looked inside my mind you would probably faint ha! It's pretty crazy in there. I don't really know ... I think I'm pretty diverse and I'm experimenting and adding to my portfolio all of the time... Though people often pick up on my darker themed work and question where the ideas come from. I respond with... I am an artist. DM: How do you think the photos you have selected for your article best describe your work and style? S: The images only show a part of what I do... I have been concentrating a lot in the last 18 months on working with models, rather than just sports photography and street projects. So I guess you can say this the results of that.
DM: Can you think of some highlights from this year? S: Hmm... I guess I would say that I am currently in the build up of my highlights... My work is getting published in 2 magazines this month. One of them being Darkus and the other is a UK Body building magazine (as I said I do sports photography too). I am also looking forward to meeting with International photographer Frank Doorhof at a workshop I have been organising in July. I am also working towards publishing my first website. DM: With such a diverse culture within the North East, how easy have you found it to get recognition for your work in the local photography scene? S: It took me best part of 10 years to share my work publicly I was so shy... I would guess that I have only been sharing my work for almost 2 years but I've only really started to network with other photographers for the last 12 months and yeah they are really friendly and it's always a huge compliment when fellow photographers give good feedback. Feedback is so important when you're in this business so I always try to take the time and give it back when I see others work.
DM: Other than Facebook, what other methods do you use to share your work? S: I am pretty loyal to Facebook actually and due to limited time I don't really put much work into other social media platforms but I use Instagram, Twitter and YouPic. DM: People often talk of goals - but if you could achieve at least one thing this year with your work what would it be? S: There is no end goal for me this year... I just want to do more of what I am doing now... More photography work, more planning, and to be a few steps closer to having my own studio.
As we’re now officially in holiday season, I’m turning my attention to beachwear. Swimsuits in particular, bikinis are all over the high street and even in the local supermarket but this year like countless celebrities, I’m loving the sporty one piece. Sleek, athletic and dual purpose when teamed with Daisy Dukes, the one piece swimsuit is seriously stylish and there are some great ones available on the great British high street.
When I’m packing for my holidays I like to take a whole load of bikinis and swimsuits and switch them out each day, or wear them as part of a daywear outfit if I’m feeling particularly lazy. I don’t like anything that’s run of the mill, boring, or anything that you’re likely to bump into again and again on the beach so I’ve rounded up my ultimate favourites. My top styles of one-piece are either sporty or cutaway and I love to experiment with bold colours. Read on to see just some of the top picks on my holiday shopping list and well worth a look if you’re heading away on an exotic vacation.
1. My favourite swimsuit at the moment is this one from New Look £19.99, it’s cheap and cheerful and it looks just as good on the beach as it does when you’re out for a stroll wearing Daisy Dukes and a kimono. At a shade under £20 it’s a great way to inject a little fun into your holiday wardrobe and it’s guaranteed to turn heads on the beach or by the pool.
2. Agent Provocateur Mazzy £225. I have this swimsuit in two different colour ways but this one is my favourite. yes, it’s extravagant and yes, it will leave you with some pretty strange tan lines, but it’s oh so worth it because it looks uh-mazing. Agent Provocateur make some of the best lingerie around and their swimwear is pretty awesome too, this particular one is made of pretty thick bandage style fabric and looks very ‘Herve Leger’ close up. 3. Wildfox Couture Totally Rad 80’s Zipper one piece £118. I love this swimsuit because it’s so kitsch, I’ve worn it a few times on vacation and each time I’ve been asked where it’s from so that’s got to be a good sign, right? it ticks all the boxes for me: sporty, not boring and bright. 4. Jaded London Neon Mesh Insert Swimsuit £45. Easy choice for me, this swimsuit looks amazing on, it’s sporty and the panels are made of a strong, tight fishnet mesh which it’s actually possible to tan through. This is one of those swimsuits I like to break out towards the end of my vacation as it looks so much better with a tan! 5. Next up it’s another high street wonder from New Look, £19.99. This is a black mesh panel one piece with a halter tie at the neck. It’s a real crowd
pleaser too, it looks great on any size and it always attracts compliments. This is another one which looks great with a pair of shorts thrown over the top as day wear. 6. ASOS Fishnet Hooded Swimsuit £35. Let’s be honest, realistically, this swimsuit isn’t that practical – the shoulder straps are pretty wide and obviously, it has a hood. But my oh my does it look amazing! It’s a bit of a showstopper, everyone comments on this swimsuit. The hood is actually sheer, it’s just fishnet without the underlay that the swimsuit has so I use it to protect my hair when lying on my front, other than that, it’s just for fun! I often wear this with shorts or a skirt on vacation and it always makes me feel great! 7. Luxe Lane Mauritius Bandage Swimsuit ASOS £55. I didn’t actually by mine from ASOS as they’ve only recently started stocking Luxe Lane, I bought mine in the States and it’s a real slinky, luxury swimsuit. It’s strong, thick fabric and it takes a bit of work to get into, but once it’s on, it looks amazing. It’s built like a bandage dress and so sucks you in in all the right places. Available in a few different colourways but this one has a bit of shimmer, it’s almost silver when worn. A word of warning though, although it’s fine to swim in this one piece, the material snags easily so be careful!
8. Honolua Sports Luxe One-Piece by Melissa Odabash £220. This swimsuit comes in black or white, I have the black version currently but am seriously coveting the white version too. It’s a real sporty piece, perfect for an active beach vacation, the shoulders are made of tough fishnet and the zip can be undone to change up the look. This is another swimsuit that looks awesome with shorts as daywear. The great thing about this particular swimsuit is that it keeps you feeling secure all day!
that quite so well but it just gives the piece a real sports luxe feel. The mesh section on the waist is double layered too so it’s not so easy to snag and there’s an exposed zip at the back too which looks pretty cool. I have this in neon pink too from last season but this year it looks as though it’s only available in black. This is very similar to a Seafolly swimsuit but it’s £100 cheaper. Bonus!
So, if you’re heading off on vacation this year and you’ve got your itsy bitsy bikinis ready, why not stop and try a one piece? trust me, all the cool kids are 9. Double Scallop Trim Swimsuit Topshop £36. I’m breaking one of my rules with this swimsuit as it’s not at all sporty, more pretty and vintage inspired but doing it… I love it so it’s on my list! I re-buy this swimsuit each year from Topshop and have had it in gingham, Yellow and mink and now this version, it’s a great high street piece and it looks super cute on the beach or by the pool. The strap is detachable too so no additional tanlines. 10. South beach Maisie Black Mesh Swimsuit ASOS £22. As seen on the opening page of the article, this is a great example of a high street buy, from the front the neck to underarm detailing is square, this picture doesn’t show
To discover more fashion tips from Pixie head over to fashionvoyeur.net right now! 7
On 18th and 19th July 2015 the British Street Food Award 2015 whole atmosphere of the Boiler Shop was so overwhelming, heats came to Newcastle Upon Tyne’s stylish and cool Boiler as instantly you could see the majority of the vendors workShop. Consisting of some of the most up and coming vening their magic, and customers discussing amongst themdors in the street food scene, this event was not only an selves some of the things they have just eaten. I think that is opportunity for the various businesses to show off their what makes Street Food more that special, because it incooking skills, but also a chance for the British public to spires us as customers to eat, contemplate and share the come together to enjoy good quality food, entertainment experience with friends and loved ones. and in some respects experience their own unique ‘food Before doors opened to the public I had a chance to speak to high’. It has been quite a while since I have been to any kind some of the vendors taking part in this year’s northern of food festival – but this was an event on a whole different heats, here in Newcastle. My first port of call was Callum level, as you had a number of different flavours to tease and Mel from Crema Caravan. One of the only Scottish your taste buds, and freshly prepared food, with the finest entrants to be part of this year’s completion, this duo stand ingredients the UK has to offer made in front of you. out for their quirky caravan which serves custom made and delicious crème brules. As their expression goes – burnt to Having been kindly invited to the event by good friends over order. at Chuff Media, I went down to be part of the action. The
I asked the duo how they felt about the competition and what made them come up with the concept in the first place. Callum explained to me that originally they were thinking about going down the savoury route, however they soon saw a niche in the market, where no one seemed to be doing something like this. Having discussed the idea with Mel – in one of those midnight thought moments they decided to be brave and just pursue the venture to bring crème brule to the streets of the UK. Feedback from the places they have visited already has shown, that their customers are loving the whole concept, with many returning customer. One fa-
Obviously being for those with a sweet tooth, I looked around the venue and couldn’t resist the urge to ask them another significant question – which other vendors here at this weekends event would make the perfect accompaniment? The Pickled Porker was one of their top choices. Speaking to these two was such an absolute delight because you can really tell that they believe in what they do and have a great respect for the customers
mous person to try some of their delicious puddings was Camilla during a Royal Family visit to St Andrews. Being someone with a curious mind, I couldn’t speak to these two without asking the two important questions. Firstly – what is the best way to make the best crème brule? Without any hesitation Callum explained that it was all about having the best organic ingredient, and most importantly fresh ingredients. Combined with time and patience, then you have the makings of the perfect crème brule.
who invest their time in them. Although they may be they ensured they stayed focused, doing all the working in a caravan at the moment, I wish these necessary prep to make sure they are on top of their two all the best and hopefully one day we may see game for this weekend’s fun. them in their very own café one day soon. Some of their signature choices for this weekends From Crema Caravan I then walked over to speak to British Street Food Awards was their Yorkshire tapas, which they described as being that little more Yorkshire based Pickled Porker, run by a fantastic elaborate. When you do anything, the question I husband and wife duo. For these two, they treated this event just like any other working day. Admitted- always ask is what is the most rewarding part of the job? For Pickled Porker it was seeing returning cusly they did explain that their were a few delays but tomers thus making all the hard work worthwhile.
The great thing about Street Food, is that its also an opportunity to see what is available on our very own streets. One vendor to take part this year was Newcastle’s very own Fat Hippo. Having opened in 2011, these guys have slowly but strongly started to make their mark on not just the local scene but over other parts of the UK too. The important thing about any passion, is about keeping yourself visible and active. Fat Hippo have ensured therefore they don’t just take part in small events but bigger events in the likes of Edinburgh and Glasgow too.
new flavours. For example one of their signature burgers comes accompanied with Peanut Butter. The guys tell me – at first people are confused at the concept but the more and more you eat it, the more they realise they really like it. Discussing what the next stage would be for Fat Hippo, it would probably be for them getting their named known nationally. With 2 restaurants and three trailers under their belt, its no wonder why Fat Hippo are have the best burgers in the North East and Beyond.
feedback they have received from customers in the past, their dish ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ seems to be a popular favourite, with Richard adding that it can only be simply described as a ‘piggy orgasm’. What are their own views on Street Food? Sheer excitement! Street food is already in the media, so for these guys its great to be part of a culture where you are encouraged to try new things.
My final team of the day way KuKoos Street Food from Manchester. BSFA aside this has already been an eventful summer already – with KuKoos being Fat Hippo were actually a late entry to this year’s Three interviews down, and already my mouth is invited to this year’s Glastonbury festival, Manchescompetition, but after much thought they realised watering from the sight of all this freshly and invigor- ter IMF to name but a few. the chance was too good to miss, especially as one of ating food on display. However before I can dig in, I their dreams was to mix with the big leagues, so they What these guys do is a fusion of Indian and Lemust speak to a couple more vendors. My next port felt privileged to be involved. From speaking to the bonese food using only the best local ingredients and of call is ‘Bangers & Bacon’. From the outset the duo, guys its evident that they always thrive to be the best giving the customers excellent flavours which captiled by chef Richard, explain to me how excited they they can be, ensuring that they push themselves on a vate them and encourage them to come back for are to be chosen to compete in the competition bedaily basis. more. One of their most popular items on their menu cause it is a chance to be part of the scene and be has to be there own take on the classic chicken tikka. So then what gives the Fat Hippo that extra edge? recognised. Firstly they make their own sauces. And secondly When asked what makes KuKoos what it is, the guys What makes these guys that little bit extra is that they are not afraid to push the boundaries and take a respond quite simply with ‘Raw, Authentic Cuisine’. they make their own sausages and bacon. From the risk when it comes to introducing their customers to
Right interviews done for the day its time to go try some delicious food. With so much choice where do I begin? After much umming and ahhing – and walking around the venue at least twice trying to make up my mind, I start my food adventure with the Pickled Porker. My item of choice is the Braised Pork Cheeks served with mash and French bread. A very hearty meal. Priced at £3 you really do get high class food at affordable prices. The meat is of exceptional quality and is beautifully complimented by the mash. With these guys being around for a while – with this exquisite meal, its easy to see why. Choice Number two – The Claw Bar. Another local entrant, I decide to try out their ‘Sur & Turf’ sandwich priced at only £3. Served in a naan bread this is a lovely little sandwich. Nice, freshly cooked pieced of steak garnished then accompanied by a king prawn. If your looking for a ‘light bite’’ on the go that really hits the spot!. For anyone that knows me, will know I have one main weakness – ICE CREAM! Therefore without any hesitation I needed to pay a visit to Ginger’s Comfort Emporium’. I am looking at the menu and my mind just says ‘I WANT IT ALL’ ha – but no I must be good. After staring at the list for a good ten minutes, I decide to try the Blackberry, Rosemary and Sage Sorbet’. One word – WOW! This is just exceptional. I love creativity and I love ice cream so put the two together and I am in paradise. This was one of the unique and mind blowing sorbets I have ever tasted. The flavours are just sensational. Gingers Comfort Emporium has really taken the world of ice cream to new heights.
Keeping with my love for spice I move on to King Dong’s pork dish. The chef attempts to educate the customers of the true meaning of Thai food. One of the only vendors to have one item on the menu – is it a risk? Who knows? However the public seem to be embracing the dish Dong has introduced them to. I did like this dish, however I did feel that the spice was a little bit overwhelming even for a spice fan myself. It is worth checking out this vendor’s food though especially as we are given fresh, well made food – with quality meat. From here I then move on to ‘Bangers & Bacon’ for their ‘Swine Fine Tacco’. This was a bit of a strange one for me. I did like the concept. The chef used only the best ingredients. Perhaps a little bit tricky to eat, but based on flavours alone, this choice great promise. Times ticking away, I have already eaten a fair bit…but can I eat anymore? Of course I can! I haven’t really tried any sea food while being here, so I head over to Whitley Bay based vendor, Riley’s Fish Shack for their signature ‘Squid On A Stick’. I was pleasantly surprised. Squid is not really something I have given much attention to, however this has really changed my thinking on that. The quality of the squid was exceptional – combined with the flavours of the fennel salad you have something actually quite classy and divine. Definitely good value for money. Coming to this year's British Street Food Award heats didn’t just change the way I thought about food, but it also educated me on a beverage which has always had a love-hate relationship with me – beer! I am the first to admit that I have never been a fan of beer, but being bold I decided to accept an invite from Sharps Brewery to take part in a tasting session in their special secret bar. The main purpose of Sharps is to show that even when surrounded with high quality food, you should never be afraid to match it with a good ol' pint. The thing with the beers on show, is that they all have their own uniqueness, and surprisingly compliment the food you eat by bringing out the flavours even more. Once you get over your own reservations (like me) you actually forget that you are actually drinking beer. When people think of fine dining or high quality food there is a tendency to think of what would be the perfect wine to accompany the meal. This may be harmless, but what Sharps Brewery want us to do as the consumer is think of beer in the same light as well.
So with all this food and drink, and an environment which is just making me glad I came along, its that point in the weekend where the punters cast their vote and a winner is announced. I found it hard myself to pick a favourite, so have no idea how Chocolatier Paul Young, or the British public were going to decide. After working non stop for the past two days, all the vendors await in anticipation for the results to be announced. First up, Paul Young's 'Wild Card' choice. Having turned up to Newcastle before the doors opened to the public, it took him well over an hour to try everyone’s food. His choice in the end, for creativity, and giving a twist to a well loved food, was Newcastle's Scream Pizza. Being chosen by Paul, they too will be joining the other finalists in London in September. Now for the people's choice...everyone in the room with eyes on host Richard Johnson...and who have the public voted? In reverse order – Crema Caravan, Bangers and Bacon, Papa Ganoushe and just beating them to the post and securing their place in this year's final, none other than, Whitley Bay's very own Riley's Fish Shack! Feeling overcome with excitement, the owners of this amazing business thanked the voters for giving them the honour of representing the North East in London. What an event! As I have said throughout this article, the BSFA has really changed the way I see food. Street Food will always be something that will continue to evolve and grow and is one of the best revolutions you could ever be part of. I wish each and single vendor I met this weekend, all the best, because each of these business have their own personal style and the potential to go extremely far.
Darkus Magazine: Day 1of the BSFA Heats here in Newcastle â&#x20AC;&#x201C; How do you think its going? Richard: Fantastic! The atmosphere here at The Boiler Shop is just legendary. The smoke is hanging low and the smells of BBQ all over the joint, so yeah I am very happy. DM: Any particular vendors taking part in the northern heats who have caught your eye? R: I cant really say anyone specifically, what I will say though is that these are all personal favourites of mine and I am just encouraging other people
along and vote for their favourites.
R: A good vendor has to have a surprise about them. For example there are many people that make burgDM: How has preparation for been for these events? ers, but there are not many that choose the right R: As you know street food is my life, so I am always cut, the right balance of fat and meat, the right going up and down the country working with small amount of ageing, allow the right amount of cooking time so it caramelises on the outside, chooses start ups operating on one burner to the large six chain restaurants like MeatLiquor which started off the right type of bun etc and put it together in the in a car park which represents the gamma of street right way. I have seen people fall out over which type of cheese they should use. One bloke actually food. Therefore at the British Street Food Awards lost his relationship because he was filling his fridge we are trying to find the new talent of tomorrow. with too many cheeses. They are all obsessed with DM: What makes a good vendor? what they are doing, which I think you need to have if you are getting to this level.
DM: If you think about your own career, what was the best piece of advice that anyone gave you? R: I suppose care, care about what your doing. If your not going to care, its not going to be special and wont matter to anybody. DM: You have already done a number of other heats already this year. Just take us through the competition process?
along here is given a voting slip which they can pop into the receptacle of their favourite. Hopefully they will try, graze a little, eat lots of different things then choose their winner. Then of course we have got Paul Young the Chocolatier coming down tomorrow, and he’s lending us his pallet and he’s going to choose his favourite wildcard for the final. After here we will have one more heat which will be on the south coast, choosing the best of the southern traders and then from there we will be heading forward to the big finals in London this September where we will be competing for over 12 different categories from best burger, best snack, best desert etc to best looking trader.
R: The British Street Food Awards started in 2008 in a car park in Ludlow where the prize was a stick blender. We were struggling to fill a car park with good traders from across Britain, it was tough! However that was just the beginning, and now its at the stage where we have 4 regional heats. Newcastle is DM: What do you think it is about street food then number 3, and we will choose at least 2 finalists from that the British public seem to enjoy? here – one being a public vote. Everyone that comes
R: I think in Britain part of it is the cost, its cost effective and affordable way to eat. That doesn’t mean in anyway that you are lessening the experience. I think there is a huge amount of theatre involved. You go into a place like this, it’s a grade II listed building, wonderful smells, the music, the kegs of beer, people hang out on old oak tables – its just a great way to be. You could class it as a ‘food rave’ for the over 20s, who may be too old to be clubbing – so this is a good way to commune and come together. I think that street food has caught an anticorporate attitude that is developing, Consumers don’t just want the big brands, they want to be offer the option of one woman making her own ice cream and stocking it in her fridge with crazy flavours that big companies just may not do. They want the passion that those kind of businesses can bring.
DM: Can you think over the years while doing The British Street Food Awards of any major success stories?? R: Like I said before the very first winner was MeatLiquor back in Ludlow. A company that started in a car park in Peckham are now a restaurant chain with 6 branches to their name. They have recently opened a chain in Brighton, and are in London, Leeds etc and are still creating great burgers. Importantly though they have still kept their presence on the streets. At heart they are still street food traders. Café Moure over in Pembrokeshire still working away, but they are also in independent delis selling their range of seaweed salts. They were winners of the awards back in 2012 and took the best local title. So yes lots of different successes all unique in their own way. DM: Best food memory? There are lots of them. For example a falafel wrap in Israel in the old the city of Jerusalem, filled with broad beans and accompanied with pita and shoved at me through a hole in the wall. Or in Malaysia where I tried a salty fishy noodle soup. It was all street food that made me realise ‘we can do that!” rather than thinking that food has to be high end. Food can be and should be for everyone, and the fact is if we are going to sort out our food production in this country – the way we farm, the way we treat our kids, then we need to sort out a love of food. Something like this really involves people, engages them, makes them want to ask questions and everyone is all too happy to answer. Vendors will talk at length at why they use a particular cabbage, where they got that onion from and that’s what you want because we really need to understand our food chain and what is available out there.