Issuu on Google+

www.thecourieronline.co.uk Monday 30 April 2012 Issue 1250 Free

Festival Special

Violence and theft on campus

•Parklife•Leeds•Latitude •Bestival•Benicassim •What to wear•Health•Beauty

Uni must react to international student deaths

By George Sandeman News Editor Two men and a woman were arrested after trying to steal a student’s motorcycle. A 17-year-old man remains on police bail whilst a 16-year-old man has been charged with criminal damage and is due to appear before Newcastle Magistrates’ Court on 15 May. They were apprehended on 22 March by the University Security team after attempting to steal a red Honda motorcycle secured beside Merz Court. The three criminals were held after initially being spotted on CCTV trying to cut the securing chain with a pair of bolt cutters. However, security’s initial attempt to arrest the three was unsuccessful as a scuffle ensued leading to one of the males swinging at a security officer with the bolt cutters. The offenders then fled into nearby Exhibition Park with security officers giving chase and eventually detaining the individuals before handing them over to Northumbria Police. As a thank you gesture the owner of the motorcycle gave the two security officers involved 20 cans of beer. In addition, the security team has helped to arrest three bicycle thieves, including two at the Robinson Library who attempted to steal a student’s wheel, and one male armed with bolt cutters outside the Paul O’Gorman Building beside Richardson Road. The security team also investigated reports of cannabis smoke in Windsor Terrace that led to the arrest of a male student and his guest. They were found with a quantity of cannabis and a grinder and were given formal cannabis warnings by the police. In addition, upon further investigation of the flat, the fire alarm was found to have been covered by a condom, which is deemed dangerous by the University as it threatens to endanger the lives of other residents in the event of a real fire. Police presence was further felt last Wednesday morning when three young men were stopped and searched by horse-mounted officers. CCTV operators noticed the trio’s suspicious behaviour concerning locked bicycles but they were later released without charge.

• •

Goodbye text sent to mum before fall from Claremont Tower Body found on Tyne mudflats identified as third-year Hasan Albash

By Kat Bannon Editor and George Sandeman News Editor

Outisde Claremont Tower the day Xijia Zhang fell to her death Photography: Susie Beever

There are concerns that the University has not reacted satisfactorily to the tragic deaths of two international students. On 5 December, Chinese student Xijia Zhang fell to her death from Claremont Tower. At her inquest, which took place last week, it was heard that she deliberately took her own life, sending a goodbye text to her mother moments before plummeting from the University building. A few weeks after this incident, on New Year’s Eve, 21-year-old Marketing and Management student Hasan Albash, from Bahrain, was believed to have been seen throwing himself from the Tyne Bridge. In February, his body was found washed up on the mudflats in the River Tyne. These two incidents throw light on the experience of international students at Newcastle, and question whether the University is doing enough to ensure they are supported and happy during their time here. Dr. Alison Oldam, head of the Student Wellbeing Service said: “All our staff and students have been saddened by these tragic incidents, and every support possible has been given to all those affected. “We consider the health and wellbeing of all our students as a priority but particularly our international students, who we recognise face particular issues studying away from home.” In the immediate aftermath of Xijia’s death, the Wellbeing service worked to

ensure all those who had been affected by the incident received appropriate counselling and support. Also, meetings were held between the University and students to establish a working group in order to “hash out ideas about how things could be improved [for international students]”. However, Ben Giles, academic representative of Societies Exec, voiced his concerns that although there was a “good push” at the beginning for change, the “urgency died out a lot.” It was intended that the working group would include representatives from Welfare, the Anglo-Chinese society, the Chinese Student Scholars Association and possibly the Students’ Union in the form of the President. It was also the intention that it would invite other members of the university to attend depending upon what action was needed to be made, for example from the Accommodation sector. A number of ideas surfaced during the initial meetings, which included establishing a more structured ‘buddy’ system, Chinese-speaking councillors, and improving the staff understanding of the pressures international students face whilst at Newcastle. However, according to Giles, these plans failed to be implemented due to a “lack of drive from the Uni”. “Because this happened just before the holidays, the urgency was very in your face so everyone was getting very on top of it. But then after the holidays it just died a death. That’s the real frustration that I personally have. “The urgency is gone and so they [the University] don’t really feel like it’s continued on page 4


News

2

Monday 30 April 2012

News Editors: Wills Robinson and George Sandeman Online News Editor: Helen Lam courier.news@ncl.ac.uk

thecourieronline.co.uk/news

NEWS

5 9

BORIS FOR TOON?

Does Newcastle need a directly elected mayor?

PIMPED OUT

Girls look to upmarket dating site for extra cash

COMMENT

11 12 SPORT

LORDS REFORM

Is it time for change in the upper house?

STOP THE PARTY

Catering losses mean staff redundancies By Laura Wotton and Harriet Sale The University catering department is set to make a number of redundancies and reductions in staff hours as part of new cost-cutting initiatives. This comes following substantial loses incurred by various catering outlets around campus in the past year. From September, 25,000 working hours will be cut throughout campus, as vacation shifts are set to be reduced. This year Henderson Hall scrapped its status as a catered hall of residence. Similarly Castle Leazes, The Forum and Bistro have reverted to solely term-time catering operations, meaning that certain members of staff previously on a 52-week contract will now only work 34-weeks a year. The revision of catering departments of various units across campus by senior management has been taking place for the last two years. In the attempt to create a more agile and sustainable business, the University’s senior manage-

ment is initiating various cost cutting initiatives to induce a more financially viable system that means staff jobs are potentially at risk. The implications of this review mean that a number of staff will succumb to a shortened number of employment hours. Yet the scheme managers are set upon justifying the potential for compulsory redundancy. As of mid-April they will be offering voluntary redundancies to he amount of 1.75 times the statutory wage. Before redundancy pay is given, managers promise staff will continued to be paid until July, regardless of their notice period. The new scheme also means that staff must reapply for new full or part time posts, should they wish to continue working within the catering establishment. This is due to be conducted through a series of interviews that will be held over the next few weeks. Kay Jones, Head of Hospitality & Commercial Services, outlined that the process will be one of “selecting in, not selecting out” although staff with “blemished record” such as disciplinary

Should first year count towards your degree?

PRINGLE’S FLAME

All a hop, a skip and a jump for Torch bearer

AU BALL

Who was crowned Team of the Year?

The Courier

41 46

713

303

The Courier is a weekly newspaper produced by students, for students. It’s never too late to get involved in the paper, whether you’re a writer, illustrator or photographer. Just visit thecourieronline.co.uk/getinvolved for more information.

256

£85,140 £89,072

NUSU, King’s Walk, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QB. Tel: 0191 239 3940

warnings will be at a disadvantage. The review outlines that the small percentage of staff that are performing dual roles, will be required to choose between their posts due to complexities in managing a complex configuration of hours. The University’s entrenched condition sets out that staff must not exceed 37 contracted hours a week and the total hours of dual roles may be above this figure. However, in an effort to minimize the impact on long-term staff, the university has recently been employing casual and agency workers in places such as Henderson Hall. Although some staff, who had felt secure in their jobs claimed that the review was sprung upon them. However senior managers of the review have confirmed that the policy had been made clear to staff from the outset. Paul Bandeen, Housing Manager, confirmed that staff were offered a large number of group consultations followed by unit meetings and one to one drop in sessions not to mention fortnightly newsletters to update staff on recent alterations in the review.

£81,303

The number of books lost by year since 2008

Amount of money the library has collected in �ines since 2008

Editor Kat Bannon Deputy Editor Elliot Bentley News Editors Wills Robinson and George Sandeman Online News Editor Helen Lam Comment Editors Sophie McCoid and Susie May Beever Online Comment Editor Jack Torrance C2 Editor Aimee Philipson Lifestyle Editors Emma Balter, Ben Parkin and Lauren Stafford Online Lifestyle Editor Lauren Cordell Fashion Editor Victoria Mole Online Fashion Editor Rosanna Sopp Arts Editors Sally Priddle Online Arts Editor Lisa Bernhardt Film Editor Chris Binding Online Film Editor Hayley Hamilton Music Editors Ben Travis and Chris Scott Online Music Editor Graham Matthews Science Editor Mark Atwill Online Science Editor Shaun Butcher Sports Editors Colin Henrys, Harry Slavin and Rory Brigstock-Barron Online Sports Editors Grace Harvey and Charlie Scott Design Editors Gabe Mason and Tom O’Boyle Copy Editors Sarah Collings, Rachael Day, Dave Dodds, Grace Marconi, Rebecca Markham, Charley Monteith, Adam Rummens, Alice Sewell, Marleen van Os, Emily Wheeler

Despite this, members of staff have found the delay in the process difficult as their jobs become less secure. Rich Parry, president of Havelock Hall in Castle Leazes, stated that he does get “the sense there’s trouble in the mill” amongst members of the catering staff. Indeed the demoralization of staff as a result of the cuts has meant that there has been an impulse towards resignation in recent weeks with Parry confirming that at least one member of the bar staff has already left their post. With low morale prevalent throughout some of the staff, the friendly and high quality of service may be reduced to a solely functional system where staff, according to Parry, “may not be inclined to go the extra mile”. As outlined by Paul Bandeen, “the primary focus [of the review] is to improve services” without subsidizing this through student fees. According to Kay Jones, “everyone is in exactly the same boat as legally that is how it’s meant to be looked at” stressing that all staff will be treated equally”.

Number of missing library books double By George Sandeman News Editor The Robinson library lost more books last year than the two years before combined, despite seeing a drop of almost £8,000 in collected fines. So far this year, the library has lost only 104 books, but has acquired nearly £50,000 in fines. Financial penalties imposed by the library have been a constant problem with students. Last year The Courier reported the fact that students risked being able to graduate if they had outstanding library fines. In recent years, around 10 graduation parchments have been withheld each year due to accumulated and unpaid library fines. When a book is 33 days overdue, it is assumed missing and students can face a £50 fee for its replacement. Students do have the option of buying the book themselves, however in the majority of cases, the book exceeds the imposed penalty nevertheless. The £50 covers the administrative costs of re-ordering the book and then preparing it so it can be redistributed to students. The Courier is printed by: Print and Digital Associates, Fernleigh House, 10 Uttoxeter Road, Derby, Derbyshire, United Kingdom, DE3 0DA. Established in 1948, The Courier is the fully independent student newspaper of the Students’ Union at Newcastle University. The Courier is published weekly during term time, and is free of charge. The design, text, photographs and graphics are copyright of The Courier and its individual contributors. No parts of this newspaper may be reproduced without the prior permission of the Editor. Any views expressed in this newspaper’s opinion pieces are those of the individual writing, and not of The Courier, the Students’ Union or Newcastle University.


The Courier

news.3

Monday 30 April 2012

Marathon proves no walk in the park By Helen Lam Online News Editor They say a dog is a man’s best friend, but last Sunday third-year English Literature student Hamish Adams-Cairns, took the phrase to a whole new level. The 21-year-old ran the London marathon dressed as Gromit from the cartoon duo Wallace and Gromit, all in memory of his best friend’s Alby Shale’s father, who sadly passed away last summer. Not content however, with simply dressing up, Hamish decided he wanted to break the Guinness world record for the fastest marathon ran dressed as an animal, a record broken last year by Martin Indge who completed the Lon-

On the day however all the training became worth it, as Hamish said: “It is the best day to be in London, it’s an amazing experience. Every boy I know always grew up wanting to be a professional sportsman and no one really makes it, but then on the day it’s unbelievable it’s really one day you feel like a professional.” Hamish is raising money for both the British Heart Foundation and the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation, a charity set up in honour of his friend’s father who always dreamt of opening the first cricket stadium in Rwanda. The foundation was set up on a not to profit basis to construct and manage an international stadium, giving a home to the boys’, girls’ and full national cricket teams, whilst also enabling Rwanda to

“The idea for dressing up as Gromit came as his friend’s father was a massive dog lover” don marathon dressed as an ostrich. The idea for dressing up as Gromit came as his friends father was a massive dog lover and so it seemed only appropriate. Hamish, along with his friend and Politics student Alby Shale, who also ran the marathon, spoke to The Courier to discuss their 4-month training programme; “ The last thing I wanted to do was go for a run when it was windy and freezing in the winter. “I had to stop drinking for the last two weeks and all I was eating every day was porridge, bananas, pasta and rice, not very exciting.”

CHEESE GROMIT?

host international matches and tournaments. The ground will further be used by the Rwanda Cricket Association for the continued development of cricket in schools and universities, and amongst some of Rwanda’s most disadvantaged young people. Despite not breaking the world record on the day however, Hamish ran the marathon in a commendable 4 hours and 24 minutes and has currently raised around £6000 in total for both charities. More information on the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation can be found at www.rcsf.org.uk/.

Despite being unable to break the world record Hamish still managed to raise £6000 for his two chosen charities. Photography: Hamish AdamsCairns

Third-year claims Innovation Award By Kat Bannon Editor

TOTALLY SPEECHLESS

Marketing student Archie pitching business idea ‘triptab’ to a panel of entrepreneurs at the Business school at the first North East startup weekend. Photography: SW Newcastle

Third-year Marketing student Archie Wilkinson has stepped it up a gear since selling veg on the side of the street to passing cars as an eight-year-old. Last weekend he was part of team that scooped the Innovative Award with their proposal ‘Triptab’ in the Global Challenge Startup Weekend, hosted by the Business School. Making an appearance in the North East for the first time from Friday to Saturday, the event set 70 people the task to develop and present a business within 54 hours. Over 50 ideas were put forward by those attending, which were then whittled down to just 12, after those taking part highlighted their favourite ideas using a sophisticated post-it note voting method. The remaining few included a text service for car insurance quotes, an app for retail sales and an online recruitment portal. It was then the task of those remaining to sell themselves to those lucky few whose ideas had made the cut, in order to be part of their development team. Archie, after failing to make his first choice, a project called ‘Sharing Sporting Moments’, joined forces with Triptab. Their proposal was to produce an interactive tab for inflight entertainment to lower budget airlines such as easyjet and flybe. Having six or seven languages between them, the Triptab team’s backgrounds spanned from Cambridge Uni-

versity to Mumbai, while no one was over their mid-twenties. Clock ticking, they set to work immediately. “It was a bit like the Apprentice. We worked until 5am and then started work again at 8am. “As we had to leave the Business School at 11 o’clock all six of us crammed into my bedroom instead to continue working.” “I’ve never experienced the solidity of a team like that before. There was no pickering or arguing between us once. There was such dynamism and a real buzz.” Covering market research Archie took to Newcastle airport to conduct vox

the pitch, beginning his presentation with the dramatically rhetorical question “Are you frustrated with inflight entertainment?” Therefore, he didn’t quite expect Jonathan Goldman’s immediate ‘Yes’ response: “It completely threw me,” said Archie, “I froze, and couldn’t speak. Luckily we cut to a short clip of when we’d conducted market research at Newcastle airport and so I had time to recover and bring it back a bit. People were tweeting to say well done that I’d managed to get it back together, but I was really, really upset, I felt like I’d completely let the team down.“ However, he needn’t have worried, as

“It was a bit like the Apprentice. We worked until 5am then started work again at 8am” pops and interview regular flyers. He was also responsible for their team t-shirts, a visible display of solidarity and professionalism that had been entirely overlooked by other teams: “I printed them in the library, It took me ages to work out which tray of the printer to put things in.” At 4 o’clock on the Sunday they had to pitch their ideas to a panel which included Plan Digital’s Paul Lancaster, North East Access to Finance’s Stephen Lightley, Bridge Club managing director Caroline Theobald, Rivers Capital Partners director Jonathan Gold and Newcastle University Business School’s James Hayton. It was Archie that stepped up to take

after waiting 20 minutes for the panel to deliberate, Archie’s team were presented the Innovation Award, bagging them an investment of between £10,000£100,000. Speaking about the event, Wilkinson says we would “recommend it to anyone. “It was the biggest learning curve I’d ever experienced. There was such an amazing, vibrant atmosphere the whole weekend.” So does he see himself taking this into the future? “Who know where it’s going to go. A lot of my friends are jealous, they think I’ll be set for life.” Watch this space.


4.news

Monday 30 April 2012

The Courier

Entrepreneurs set SIFE on a better world By Wills Robinson News Editor

HITTING THE BIG TIME

Tyneside student entrepreneurs took London by storm as they presented concepts developing outreach projects between business and local communities Photography: Tom O’Boyle

An enterprise society from Newcastle University reached the semi-final of a national competition in London by promoting their business concepts. The team beat off competition from 46 other teams, 3,000 students and 266 projects from around the country, winning a cash prize for society diversity. However, they just missed out on a trip to Washington D.C to compete on the world stage. Next year’s president of the society Thomas Hoggan said: “The competition was incredible. All the teams’ presentations were so inspiring and motivating”. Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) is an international non-profit organization that motivates students to make a difference in their local communities by working with leaders in business. This is part of a process to develop their skills and mould the members into socially responsible business leaders. Their motto is: “To bring together the top leaders of today and tomorrow to create a better, more sustainable world through the positive power of business.” Participators look to improve the lives and living standards of people in need by forming teams within their university and using business concepts to develop outreach projects. In addition, it is also a chance for re-

cruiters to seek out emerging and enterprising talent and a great chance for students and alumni to get a job. The projects that SIFE have undertaken include; helping a local music group in Newcastle made up of refugees and asylum seekers, sharing business ideas with carers in North Tyneside and Gateshead, and one based on improving sanitation and farming techniques in Rwanda. The initiatives in the African country have been all the more significant, as they look to improve the lives of those affected by the 1994 Rwandan genocide. A member of the children’s charity Coco recently visited the community they are working with. They reported that the housing conditions were among some of the poorest in Africa, the sanitation was very poor and the security for the cooperative was even worse. Through the scheme they are attempting to develop irrigation techniques, improve the farmer’s accounting and construct new, sanitary toilets within the village. The competition in Canary Wharf was part of an annual series of regional and national competitions where teams can present their ideas to business leaders, with the winners of the national competition progressing to the SIFE World Cup in Washington D.C. Hoggan encouraged students to join the society saying: “It’s a great way to put your skills to the test whilst also empowering people in need. “

National Front rally on St. George’s Day By Peter Wood St. George’s Day last week saw the annual rally of the National Front in Newcastle city centre. From midday, members of the group were flying St. George flags gathered around Grey’s Monument and calling for the day to be recognised as a bank

ebration of our nation’s heritage, culture and history.” Northumbria Police, who had a small number of officers present at the event, said that they were there in order to “facilitate peaceful assembly” and that around 20-30 National Front members had attended the two hour rally. No arrests were made and the event passed without incident.

They chanted choruses of: “We’re England, we’re proud, we want our country back.” holiday. The group believes that the day is not currently a public holiday as it would “offend ethnic minorities.” They also chanted choruses of: “We’re England, we’re proud, we want our country back.” In addition, they handed out leaflets to members of the public that stated: “This isn’t a political day, but a patriotic cel-

Public reaction to the rally was not very positive, however. One passer-by described the group as “thugs”. Another Newcastle resident said that he is sickened “when they start talking about sending people home” and that “instead of focusing on real issues, [the far-right] come out with this rubbish.”

NF members call for St.George’s Day to be a bank holiday Photography: Peter Wood


The Courier

news.5

Monday 30 April 2012

Negative campaigning could be the norm with proposed NUSU election reforms By Elliot Bentley Deputy Editor The introduction of negative campaigning and the removal of facebook restrictions are two ways in which next year’s Students’ Union elections could change. The proposals, which are to be voted on in Union Council this Thursday, are part of a package of measures designed to make the elections process more straightforward for future candidates. Negative campaigning, to be allowed on “the basis of policies only”, is the most significant proposed change as under current NUSU rules campaigners are not allowed to write or say negative things about their opponents. Other changes include the removal of sponsorship, the release of publicity material without prior approval and the replacement of the Elections Committee with NUSU staff. Charles Barry, who wrote the proposals, said: “These reforms have been buzzing around in my head since I came to Newcastle and I tried to run for Convenor of Debates last year.” He added: “I found the process very frustrating and it required a huge amount of preparatory work and I found it very off putting. I think more candidates should be interested but those who aren’t really keen find it very difficult.” Liam Dale, this year’s Education Officer and current Chair of Elections Committee, told The Courier that he mostly supported the reforms. “They’re going to be voted on in parts so they don’t have to be taken as they are in total,” he said. “Which is very good because some of it is good and some of it is, in my opinion, not so great.”

He warned that: “Negative campaigning, in the way we have it at the minute, is very restrictive in what you say. But if it comes down to personal attacks on other candidates, then it’s too far.” Dale said that students can have a say in the reforms by coming to Council and “getting involved in the debate” at 5.15pm this Thursday in the History room. However, only elected councillors and NUSU was officers are able criticised dur- to take part in the ing the March vote. The Students’ elections for was critipoor promotion Union cised during the of the positions March elections along with an for poor promoembarrassing tion of the positions along with U-turn an embarrassing U-turn after the decision to extend the nominations deadline was reversed by the NUS’ Returning Officer. NUSU President Laura Perry was also questioned over a last-minute decision to re-run despite having stood as Chair of Elections Committee until then. The second point of the motion reads that Sabbatical Officers must declare four weeks in advance whether or not they wish to run for re-election, which Barry says, was “absolutely influenced” by Perry’s last-minute decision and the resulting difficulties. Perry told The Courier that she was concerned that this was the “wrong time” to introduce reforms. “We need to wait for feedback from candidates and the NUS’ Returning Officer before we make these reforms,” she said. Refusing to comment on any poli-

#WINNING

Electoral reform proposals aim to make running for NUSU positions easier for candidates Photography: Ed Banfield

cies ahead of Thursday’s debate she did however concede that “negative campaigning might be a concern for some students”. She later clarified via email: “I don’t believe that it would be wise to pass a motion containing fundamental reform to the elections procedure, without any review of the information that will be available in the near future. “There are no elections that would be affected by any changes made until November 2012 and there are at least two Council meetings between now and then, at which a well-considered proposal could be brought.” Jasmine Walker, who ran in the March elections for Activities Officer, said that she thought the proposals were tackling the wrong issues: “For a full-time posi-

tion, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be complicated. If people knew about the job they would think, ‘well, that’s not too bad, I might go for it’”, she commented. “It’s because people didn’t know about it.”

do it. And that’s what they fall down on, even if they’re a good candidate.” However, what these proposals do not appear to do is deal with the loud and busy campaigning outside of the Union, which some students are bothered by.

“Some people run and they haven’t been involved in anything else in the Students’ Union,” added Rachael Thornton, who also ran in the March elections this year. “And they’re expected to run this big campaign and they have no idea how to

“I think that’s a matter of courtesy,” says Barry. “People have to accept that it’s elections week. “People are very enthusiastic about these campaigns and if you don’t shell out enthusiasm just be polite. It’s only for three days.”

The proposals are part of a package of measures designed to make the elections process more straightforward for future candidates

“Families expect that they should do really well in their studies” from front page necessary to carry on trying to change things.” Speaking to The Courier, International Officer Adit Agarwal voiced the problems of many current international students: “A lot are just home sick and want someone to talk to because it affects whether they are doing well. It’s costing people back home a lot of money for them to be there, especially after currency conversions. Families expect that they should do really well in their studies. “A number of international students are sponsored not only by their families but neighbours and banks in order that they have the right financial support. I know a lot of students that don’t go out very much because they have to study. They know that if they don’t get the right results they wont get a job back home because there’s such a large population.” Despite accounting for less than 25% of the student population here at Newcastle, international student fees collectively amount to more than that of home and EU students. However, international students are falling significantly behind their peers in degree classifications. Last year, only just over 30% of international students graduated with a 2:1,

compared to over 50% of Home and EU students. Similarly, the number of International students that graduated with a third accounted for over 10%, compared to just 3% of Home and EU students. During the inquest into Xija Zhang’s death, Alan Gibson from Northumbria Police told the court that Xijia had phoned her mother on the morning of her death, upset that she’d had a piece of work handed back to her that required amendments. Later that day she had sent a text to her mother saying: “Sorry and goodbye.” The inquest also heard eyewitness testimonies of passers-by who saw the scholarship student plummet 40 feet last December. Computing Phd student Martin Emms described to the court at Newcastle Civic Centre that he was walking towards the Robinson Library at about 12.30pm on 2 December when a mobile phone fell to the ground in front of him. He said: “The mobile phone caused us to look up. We saw a young lady climbing out of the window. The windows don’t open very far. She had her head and shoulders out when we first saw her then she kind of squeezed out. When she was holding on the window frame, she suddenly just let go.” When asked if it appeared as if Miss Zhang had deliberately let go, Mr Emms

said yes. The 20-year-old, who was studying English and Linguistics on an exchange programme, died from multiple injuries at the scene. Head of Modern Languages Professor Máire Cross described how Xijia, from China’s Sichuan University, had been “recommended by her tutors as a tremendous student.” “Working as a volunteer, she taught senior citizens English and spent a lot of time with them. Xijia’s mother Yanhua Meng described how her daughter had been “slightly depressed” in November, two months in to her year long exchange. Pathologist Dr. Nigel Kirckham reported that she died of a fractured skull, major head injuries and a severely damaged aorta. Coroner David Mitford concluded that it was clear that the talented exchange student had intended to take her own life,but that nobody knew why. Oldam also commented: “Support for our international students is provided right across the University: by individual schools, the counselling and mental health team in the Student Wellbeing Service, our chaplaincy and the international office. The Students’ Union has a big role to play in this as well. “We know that significant numbers

of international students make use of the mental health and counselling services we have on offer, however, we are always looking to improve. That’s why from the start of the next academic year two members of the mental health and counselling team will have attended a course looking specifically at supporting the mental wellbeing of Chinese

Students studying in UK Higher Education. “To provide ongoing advice and guidance on what more the University should be doing, the students agreed to establish a working group on which student wellbeing services would be present, but this group has yet to be established.”

Undergraduate Degree Classifications awarded 2009-2011

Graph results based ased on 10760 Home/EU students and 690 International students


6.news

Monday 30 April 2012

The Courier

Pol Soc hosts hustings as council candidates try By Peter Wood A hustings for the candidates contesting the North Jesmond ward in this weeks local council elections was hosted by the Politics Society last week, giving students from the area a chance to voice their concerns. Chaired by the PolSoc President Luke Henman, discussions opened with questions about Europe and why there has never been a referendum on the subject. Conservative However, all James Bartle three candidates said that he stressed that as supports hav- councillor candidates, their priing a directly concern was elected mayor mary on local issues for the city, that affect Jesstating “there mond and Newcastle as a whole. is a massive e majority accountability ofThstudents gap between sent were prestill the public and undecided on the question of a the cabinet” directly elected mayor for Newcastle. Conservative James Bartle said that he supports having a directly elected mayor for the city, stating “there is a massive accountability gap between the public and the cabinet”. He he went on to cite examples such

as building on greenbelt land that have gone through in the current system with very few checks. In terms of faults

[Breaky] believes alcohol is the key issue that leads to problems between students and permanent residents in Jesmond in the current system he also pointed to successes in other areas in the north east that have directly elected mayors. He stated that the position would actually reduce accountability given that one individual wouldn’t necessarily represent as broad a cross section of the area as the current system allows. Mr Hickling is also concerned that party politics can come into play as an elected mayor of a given party could find themselves constantly blocked if there is a majority council of another party, pointing to North Tyneside as an example. Peter Breakey, the Liberal Democrat candidate who has served as a councillor since 2008, said that the Lib Dem

Want to have your say on a news story? Visit thecourieronline.co.uk

party in Newcastle was opposed to a directly elected mayor, but that there were arguments for and against it. He stated that he has “not seen any strong evidence of any great benefits for having a directly elected mayor.” Mr

been in the past. Mr Bartle highlighted that it is important to remember that students are a part of the community and have “an important role to play.” Acknowledging that anti-social be-

[Breaky] believes that one of the biggest issues is the night time noise in the area, stating that some families have been “driven out” of Jesmond [by students] Breakey was still undecided on which way to vote however he believed that the majority of people were either against or undecided. A major topic of discussion at the meeting, however, was the ongoing issue of relations between student residents and Jesmond residents. Mr Breakey believes that one of the biggest issues is the night time Labour’s Hick- noise in the area, stating that some ling said he have does not wish families been “driven out” to see students of Jesmond bein the area cause of anti-soscapegoated cial behaviour. He also believes that houses of Multiple Occupation in the area also contribute to the problems. Both of these issues are a key part of Mr Breakey’s re-election campaign. For Mr Breakey, alcohol is the key issue that leads to problems between students and permanent residents. However, Operation Oak was helping. Mr Hickling was more cautious on the issue. As a former Community Officer at Newcastle University Students Union, he does not wish to see students in the area scapegoated as has sometimes been the case, and that although tackling anti-social behaviour is important, we shouldn’t make the debate “students versus permanent residents” as it has

haviour in Jesmond is not entirely down to students, he is also concerned about the licensing laws in the Osborne Road area of Jesmond and thinks that this is a contributing factor towards the antisocial behaviour in the area and may be an issue worthy of review. Some of the students were sceptical of the “rigorous enforcement” line taken by Mr Breakey. They believed that more work could be done to make students more aware of the consequences of their actions. One also suggested that it could make a difference if students weren’t made to feel like temporary residents. This was echoed by the Labour candidate who believes that engagement from both permanent and student residents can help with these issues. Initiatives such as Welcome Packs and introductory street parties can help to make students feel a part of the community, which also helps relations and can “cool relations that are simmering slightly.” The session raised many issues yet remained civil throughout. Polls open on Thursday 3rd May with polling stations at St. Hilda’s Church Hall, St. George’s Church Hall, and Holy Trinity Church Hall. Local elections to Newcastle City Council and the mayoral referendum will be held on Thursday 3 May 2012. Polling stations will be open from 0700 to 2200.


The Courier

news.7

Monday 30 April 2012

tackle student-resident issues Tyne to decide if toon has mayor By Wills Robinson News Editor

QUESTION TYNE

The Politics Society got the chance to grill the candidates ahead of local elections and the mayoral referendum on Thursday 3 May. Photography: Peter Wood

Mayor brings transparency to local politics

YES

PETER WOOD COMMENT

T

he debate on whether to have an elected Mayor in Newcastle has often boiled down to the question: “Do we want our own Boris?” If that was indeed the question then I would be arguing resolutely no, we do not need nor – I hope – want a Boris, but that is not the question. The question to be put to voters this week is one of a systemic nature, and the answer is glaringly obvious. Who would you rather have as the figurehead of your city? Someone who has been chosen by the electorate or a person whom, although voted into the position of councillor, was never voted to assume the role of Mayor. The shadowy arrangement that has been in place in Newcastle for all of this time has simply served to exclude the electorate. Not only do the people of Newcastle deserve to have a say in who represents the city on a national level, but they should also make that person work for their position, not simply have it handed to them by others in their own party. We need a leader chosen by the city, not a handful of individuals. One of the main advantages to the Mayoral system as it is proposed in Newcastle is that the candidates for mayor would have to actively campaign for our votes. The leader wouldn’t be a person that was voted in to lead one particular ward to find

they are actually running the city; but someone that has had to canvass and convince all Newcastle residents that they are the person for the job. Accountability is one of the main advantages to having an elected Mayor. Once in office, a Mayor would be accountable to the electorate for the decisions that they take. A mayor that has campaigned on a particular issue must then address that issue. If they did not, then they would soon find themselves at the mercy of the people. A leader picked by others in their own party who is not democratically elected, doesn’t have any promises to keep (or break). They don’t have an entire city to answer to when they make a bad call. Above all, though, is The shadowy the importance of mainarrangement taining the principle of that has been democracy. We have in place in New- a democratic process many things in our castle for all of for lives now. Local polithis time has tics is just as important simply served as national politics in to exclude the my opinion. People are increasingly becoming electorate more concerned and involved with the politics of their local area. This is particularly prevalent in the north, where Scotland is currently striving for independence and the ‘north-south divide’ is showing signs of widening. Surely we should employ a democratic process to decide who should be mayor. The answer to this debate to me seems obvious. It’s simply a choice between whether or not we want democracy. It’s a surprise it has taken this long to even be asked.

This Thursday, Newcastle will be one of the many UK cities holding a referendum on the prospect of a directly elected mayor alongside local council elections. This comes as part of minister’s plans to regenerate cities and has received an enthusiastic backing from David Cameron. An agreement by the coalition has proposed that 12 of the largest cities outside London would have the position elected, if a referendum returned a positive result. These, include: Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Coventry, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wakefield. Leicester has already chosen its mayor and Liverpool city council is bypassing the referendum stage by switching straight to mayoral election on the same day. The powers that the position would possess are still being debated. However in places like Salford, where a mayor has already been elected, the policy areas they have influence include public transport, apprenticeships and aspects of housing. It is also unclear as to the salary they are likely to receive, which means that

the public have generally been left in the dark about what they are actually voting for. The debate on whether to have a directly elected mayor has failed to ignite in many of the cities across the country. Despite a handful of campaigns both for and against the position, it has not reached the general public and has remained amongst the more politically active members of the community. Campaigners have also suffered from a lack of financial backing, with many not affording to put leaflets through people’s doors. Despite enthusiasm from the government, a Guardian/ICM poll last week suggested that the majority of the UK population would rather be governed by a local council run mostly by councilors. The concept of directly-elected mayors came under Tony Blair, as he introduced an elected Mayor of London. Since then, the race between Boris Johnston and Ken Livingstone has managed to attract a lot of media attention, both locally and nationally and has encapsulated a large number of the capitol’s residents. However it is questionable as to whether this can be replicated in the rest of the cities around the country.

Mayors would lead to total political gridlock

NO

GEORGINA MOULE COMMENT

E

very referendum on elected Mayors, taking place in the 11 largest cities in England will cost the taxpayer £250,000. Every mayoral election that will take place in cities that vote yes will cost the state. This is despite the fact its not clear that elected mayors are any more democratic or provide any more change than the current leader and cabinet model. The claim that elected mayors are more democratic is untrue. How can giving so much power to one individual be more democratic than the power being shared between many? Yes, an elected mayor would be chosen by public rather than councillors, but an elected mayor would also be elected for four years, and would only be removed from office if they were sectioned or committed a serious criminal offence. The amount of power the mayor would hold would mean that to overturn it, two thirds of the council would need to vote against it, even on key issues such as the budget. There are examples of this system causing problems in cities across the country, as close to home as North Tyneside. There, the Conservative mayor oversees a predominantly Labour Council. For many years before that, a Labour Mayor was unable to make many changes because Conservatives dominated the council. Cur-

rently in Newcastle, the leader of the council is chosen by the councillors themselves, meaning that the leader will usually have their support, and important reforms can happen in the city. Elected mayors can also divide communities, as happened in Doncaster, where an extreme right wing mayor was elected, divided the community and made the town virtually ungovernable. - it had to be overseen by a squad of government “advisors”. Stoke-on-Trent was also dissatisfied with their elected mayor, so dissatisfied in fact, that amid allegations of corruption, they had another referendum and switched back again. On top of the cost of the referendums across the country here is the issue of the cost of paying Every referen- an elected mayor. dum on elected Currently, the mayor of Mayors, taking North Tyneside is payed than £60,000 a place in the 11 more year, while the leader of largest cities Newcastle City Council, in England will a much bigger and more cost the taxpay- significant authority, receives less than half that er £250,000 amount. In these hard financial times, can we as a country really afford to spend so much money on a system for which, consultation three years ago showed, there is no desire for in Newcastle? Turn out in regions that do have mayors has been incredibly low, sometimes less than 20%. This hardly shows that there is a genuine desire for an elected mayor in the city. The personality-obsessed media are in favour of elected mayors. We don’t do presidentialstyle politics in this country, and the way a city is run should be about policy and delivery, not about the cult of celebrity.


8.news

Monday 30 April 2012

The Courier

NUS President Liam Burns calls upon lecturers to have teaching qualifications By Ralph Blackburn University lecturers should have to acquire a teaching qualification, stated newly re-elected National Union of Students’ President Liam Burns last week. With tuition fees now standing at £9,000 a year, Burns said: “It is probably right that there is a continued professional development for those who teach.” Newcastle University is a researchbased institution where the focus is upon the quality of research, not necessarily teaching. Burns, particularly focusing on lectures and seminars taught by postgraduate students, described them as “casualised” with poor support for the postgraduate teachers. This system is employed by Newcastle University and has recently been criticised as a money-saving alternative to professional lecturers. Burns has been the first person to bring the idea up since the NUS showed a shift in policy from focusing on lowering the tuition fees to campaigning for better value for money. Student responses have differed with second-year Geography student Carla

Fernandez disagreeing with Burns’ suggested techniques. She commented: “There should be a certain teaching standard to ensure we are getting value for money. However, a more stringent selection process by universities would be most effective.” Rose Boyce, third-year English Language and Linguistics student, agreed with Burns that lecturers should be tested: “There should be some kind of teaching test as the difference in quality of teaching is huge. However, it should be done internally so as not to waste money or time.” An increase in teaching standards appears to appeal to students across the Newcastle University campus, even if the implementation may spark debate. Dr. Joan Allen, Head of History, responded to Burns’ claims by noting that Newcastle University “has had professional training in place for its academic staff since 1984.” Allen also pointed out that, “Anyone who is appointed to teach at Newcastle without a teaching qualification is required to get one”. Allen also said, in regards to postgraduate students teaching: “Postgraduates are offered the opportunity to teach, conditional upon the completion of the University’s postgraduate teaching qualification”.

Increase in tuition fees mean teaching YES imperative

F

LAURA WOTTON COMMENT

rom buying new shoes to choosing cheese at Sainsbury’s, I’ve always stood by the simple truth that ‘you get what you pay for’. Yet considering three-year university courses now make a £27,000-sized hole in your bank account, I have come to reconsider this stance. If we are to understand university as a means of further educating oneself, then surely it is reasonable to expect lecturers to have teaching qualifica-

tions. Burns outlined that “it is undeniable, with the increase of perceived payment of fees, that people have much higher expectations,” suggesting that students suffering at the hands of these so-to-speak ‘unqualified’ lecturers, ultimately will not get their money’s worth. Of course, I do not deny the probable existence of many hugely inspiring lecturers without a qualification to their name. Those with sufficient social and communicative skills will not disappoint when imparting their knowledge to a room of students. No, I am talking about those without these skills who, although perhaps deeply intellectual and dedicated to their subject area, ultimately fail to

make any sense at all to students without the same calibre of knowledge on the subject at hand. Given that many lecturers perform dual roles in teaching seminars too, it seems inconceivable that these smaller and more discussion-led classes can conceivably be lead by someone without the adeptness to teach. Indeed, an NUS report based on students’ university experience discovered that beyond admirable facilities and decent contact time, it was the teaching skill of lecturers that came up trumps in delivering a positive learning experience. Not all universities have the funds to employ solely leading academics and instead call upon inexpensive yet inexperienced postgraduate students to deliver lectures. This standardization and ‘one size fits all’ approach is, of course, both tedious and limits the prospect for academic individuality, yet I strongly believe that in order to eliminate wasted hours of incomprehensible lectures and to deliver the promised value-formoney learning experience, a teaching qualification for all lecturers seems a reasonable standard to ask for.

Form-filling irrelevant in providing quality academia

NO

JAKE UNSWORTH COMMENT

L

iam Burns wants all our lecturers to hold a qualification “similar to the PGCE” in order to be able to teach at univer-

sity. On the face of it, this is a reasonable suggestion considering the fact students will soon be paying £9,000 per year. However, I would argue that we must consider how successful the existing teaching qualifications are before they are rolled out across our lecturers. The PGCE, or Postgraduate Certificate of Education, is the main existing qualification which school teachers hold. However, it is of little advantage to them. That is not to say it’s easy. In fact, it takes a phenomenal amount of effort; regular 60-hour weeks for example, in order to fulfil this qualification, but those who pass it learn very little from all this effort. It is an exercise in late nights and early mornings of form filling rather than an intellectually stimulating course which provides in-depth information on how to become a great teacher. Attempts to revamp the course have focused too heavily on increasing the workload, rather than making it more developmental; as such, the only thing

that has increased is the number of hours taken to complete it, not the level of teaching required. Is this what Liam Burns wants for our lecturers? Indeed the planned replacement for the PGCE, the GTP, is a school-based programme where potential teachers learn on the job. Our lecturers already follow a system very similar to this, learning on the job and getting feedback during their first years of university teaching. One universal qualification could not reflect the importance of diversity in teaching styles and approaches. It is an exercise Another problem is that qualiin late nights fications breed and early complacency. In mornings of our secondary form filling education sector, prospective emrather than ployers (schools) an intellectutoo much ally stimulating focus on the quality of course the PGCE, when in fact this does not accurately reflect the ability of the teacher to stimulate learning and enthusiasm among students. In my opinion, universities should employ their lecturers based on more things than a single qualification can take into account. Liam Burns should take heed of the immortal words of Bert Hance: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”


The Courier

nationalstudentnews.9

Monday 30 April 2012

Sugar daddies seen as new way for girls to pay off student debts By Susie May Beaver British female students across the country have been taking drastic measures to help pay off vast debts. A US-based dating website, designed specifically to allow rich older men to meet potential younger ‘trophy wives’, is seeing record numbers of young female graduates sign up. SeekingArrangement.com, which was founded in 2006, has released figures showing the top 20 universities in the UK from which students are signing up to a life of dependency. The Universities of Nottingham, Kent and the London School of Economics have the highest number of students on the website, with 61 accounts coming

Job Title: Waiting Staff & Door Hosts Employer: Frankie and Benny’s Closing date: 01.05.12 Salary: Competitive Basic job description: Frankie and Benny’s are looking to recruit part-time Waiting Staff and Door Hosts in the Newcastle area. A recruitment open day is to be held on the 1st May at the restaurant on John Dobson Street, Newcastle. The Open Day will be held on Tuesday 1 May 2012 from 10am to 5pm, no appointment needed, simply come along and bring your CV. Person requirements: If you have relevant experience and a genuine passion for hospitality and providing excellent service we would love to have a chat with you. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Sales Advisor Employer: Topman Closing date: 07.05.12 Salary: National Minimum Wage Basic job description: A Sales Advisor is required to work 8 hours per week within the Lloyds Shoes Concession at Topman in the Metrocentre. Duties include providing excellent customer service, selling shoes and meeting targets. Person requirements: Previous retail experience essential, along with exceptional customer service skills, good communication and numeracy skills and the ability to work within a team. Location: Gateshead. Job Title: Office Assistant Employer: Next Closing date: 27.05.12 Salary: £4.98 - £6.08 per hour Basic job description: An Office Assistant is required to work 3.5 hours per week at the store in North Shields. You will assist with the day-to-day operation of the office environment, to ensure all aspects of store administration are completed in line with Company and audit requirements. Person requirements: Experience working in a customer service/office environment. Location: North Shields. Job Title: Personal Assistant Employer: Disability North Closing date: 03.05.12 Salary: £8.00 per hour Basic job description: A Personal Assistant is

from the university in first place. With the average student debt set to top £53,000 following the recent hike in tuition fees, young women across the country are seeking out the site in the hope of finding successful older men to help fund their courses. Cambridge University, which has been recently rated the world’s leading university, came fourth in the ranking with 46 students signing up to the website. The women, both students and graduates, can choose to apply to the website as ‘sugar babes’, before chatting to the men and arranging to meet for dates. One student, who graduated last year with a degree in film studies and £32,000 in debt signed up to the website, explaining she was “up to [her] eyes in debt... I met a range of men who on the whole were charming, funny and

great company. A couple were attractive but there was no real spark there for either of us. We went to dinner but didn’t take it any further.” The 22-year-old graduate from London told of meeting a man in his late forties who earned several million pounds a year: “We entered into what the site calls a mutually beneficial arrangement. “We were boyfriend and girlfriend but I was paid £2,500 a month, which was more than enough to cover my bills while I pursued my career in film.” Brandon Wade, the owner of the site, has become a self-made millionaire since the website was launched six years ago. “Your new tuition fees have been great for business,” he said. “We’ve had a huge influx of beautiful, highly educated young women.”

required to work 7 hours per week helping a lady who is engaged in disability issues. The position is subject to the satisfactory results of an Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check. Person requirements: Good household skills, common sense and a good level of general competence with computers are required. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne.

businesses to get a strong clear message into the student population. We place adverts on private cars in densely populated student areas. The cars are parked along routes that students most frequently walk down. Uni Car Ads is still looking for car owners - we have 70 cars on the road at present with adverts on them and we are looking for more ambassadors. Make your car work for you. Person requirements: Car owner. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne.

Job Title: Graduation Photography Assistants Employer: Success Photography Closing date: None given- Apply ASAP Salary: £70 for each full working day Basic job description: Success Photography are the official Graduation Photographers for Newcastle University. We are looking for 20 helpful individuals to assist us during the seven days of the graduation ceremonies. Your main responsibilities will include assisting the photographers, directing people to the studios, helping on the sales desk. You will need to attend a 1 hour training session on Sunday 8th July. Full working days will be: 9th – 13th and 16th – 17th July 2012 (7am start, 7pm finish). Person requirements: Smart, friendly, outgoing, individuals with excellent spoken and written English required. Must be available for all 7 days of work. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Sales Assistant Employer: Van Mildert Closing date: 07.05.12 Salary: National Minimum Wage Basic job description: A Sales Assistant is required to work 8 hours per week at the store in the Metrocentre. Duties include stock replenishment, liaising with customers, meeting targets and all other general store duties. You will be working evenings and weekends. Person requirements: Must have previous retail experience and good communication skills. A high level of customer service is required, along with brand knowledge within the target market preferable. Location: Gateshead. Job Title: Ambassadors Employer: Uni Car Ads Closing date: None given- Apply ASAP Salary: £30 per month Basic job description: Uni Car Ads allows

Job Title: Teaching Assistant Employer: Gateshead Council Closing date: 04.05.12 Salary: £16,054 - £16,830 pro rata Basic job description: Swalwell Primary School would like to appoint a hardworking and dedicated Level 2 teaching assistant from September 2012. Staff will be responsible for the specialist care and development of physically disabled children, working alongside the class teacher. You will be required to work 16 hours per week. Person requirements: The candidate must be willing to participate in specific training to ensure full integration of physically disabled children in the mainstream setting. Location: Gateshead. Job Title: Administrator - Flexible Hours Employer: LetsLiveHere Closing date: None given- Apply ASAP Salary: National Minimum Wage Basic job description: An Administrator is required to work in the Heaton office over the summer. The job will commence at the end of May and will last until mid-September. Your main duties will consist of: General admin work including copying files, answering phones, and completing tenant references. Also, during specific days checking houses at the end of tenancies and instructing cleaners. Person requirements: We need someone with the ability to work by themselves but also part of the team. You will be asked to complete tasks in a certain amount of time. You must be available to work on the following dates: 30th June, 1st and 31st July, 1st and 31st August and 1st September. You will also need access to your own car. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne.

Angry reaction Chaos on P&O after alcohol-free ferry caused by zone plans students By Clare Atkinson London Metropolitan University Students at London Metropolitan University have reacted angrily to the proposals by Vice-Chancellor Professor Malcolm Gillies to create alcohol-free zones on campus. The plans, which were covered in The Courier last week, are said to reflect “cultural sensitivity” for the Muslim students of the university, who make up around 20% of the student population. In a recent conference, Gillie said that for many students, drinking alcohol was “immoral”. How e v e r, representatives from the university’s Students’ Union said that the comments had “offended” Muslim students and refuted claims that there had been any calls to create alcoholfree areas. “He should retract the comments and apologise to the students he has offended,” said Claire Locke, a Students’ Union representative. “I think it’s been extremely unhelpful. I don’t think the Vice-Chancellor has thought this through properly.”

Halls evacuated after bomb hoax emails Bristol University Five universities across the country were contacted last week with anonymous tip-offs regarding bombs on their campuses. At the University of Bristol in particular this caused serious upheaval, as hundreds of students were evacuated from their halls of residence. The Metropolitan Police stated that the University of Bristol received an “anonymous warning email that is now being treated as a hoax”. Nick Boyce, Community Beat Manager for the University of Bristol, revealed the details of the anonymous email: “Two small bombs are hidden in Wills and Durdham Halls. They will explode later today. Take this warning very seriously.” Students were evacuated from the halls in question while the police and security services searched the area, which was declared clear. Photography: Peter Huys and Melanie Girouard(Flickr)

Manchester University Over 200 Manchester University students caused “drunken mayhem” on board a P&O ferry from Dover to Calais during the Easter break. Passengers noted that most of the students were “clearly drunk” and the group were reported to have exposed themselves in the bar of the ferry, before later causing a fight to break out. All other passengers, including many young families, were removed from the bar, so as to be “out of harm’s way”. A P&O spokeswoman said the behaviour was “wholly unacceptable” and refused to transport any of the students for their return journey. This is just one example of the problems ferry and crosschannel services experience with drunken students over the Easter period, as coaches travel to various parts of Europe.

Warwick and Queen Mary set to merge Warwick University A new partnership is on the cards between Warwick University and Queen Mary, University of London. The partnership, described by The Guardian as “the closest alliance yet between two universities” will involve shared lectures, research and cultural festivals. Academics from both institutions will teach in the other’s English, History and Science departments. Professor Nigel Thrift, ViceChancellor of Warwick, described it as a globally-connected university which chose to form close partnerships with “a select group of institutions” in order to make real impacts on global issues.

Notts most popular UK uni University of Nottingham The University of Nottingham has been declared the UK’s most popular university, having received the most applications this year. Statistics revealed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) showed that despite a national downturn of 8.7% in overall applications, Nottingham saw a 0.3% rise in applications.


The Courier

.11

Monday 30 April 2012

Comment

Comment Editors Sophie McCoid and Susie May Beever Online Comment Editor Jack Torrance courier.comment@ncl.ac.uk

How far would you go for extra cash? With students increasingly feeling the pinch, one female undergrad tells The Courier how her controversial part-time job isn’t as dumb as many assume Image: Mhatma (Flickr)

W

SUSIE MAY BEEVER COMMENT EDITOR

hat do you think of when someone says club promoter? The general consensus amongst students seems to be: countless facebook invites to places you’ve never even been, friend requests from people you’ve never even heard of and last minute disappointments upon arriving at the venue to find out that you still have to pay the full fiver to get in. However, times are austere, and it is undeniable that students will do pretty much anything to get their hands on a bit of extra cash these days. The prospect of searching for a part-time job seems to be another thing which students are having to add to the never-ending list of problems to worry about. But how far would you go for extra cash? Recent ‘promo girl’ recruitment in well-known student establishments is an increasingly popular choice as a

part-time job. Female students are expected to don a uniform of shorts, vest tops or in some extreme cases, bikinis and PVC leotards. Many see the job as ‘seedy’ and a ‘glorified form of stripping.’ However, given the chance, a job based purely on good looks and people skills as opposed to tangible qualifications seems a much more favourable option to some students. One female undergraduate, who preferred to remain anonymous, was approached by the manager of a popular student venue in the centre of Newcastle. “He messaged me on facebook asking if I wanted a job dancing a few nights a week. I was pretty apprehensive at first but second thoughts led me to accept the job. I wasn’t pushed into doing anything, and it sounded like fun.” The issue itself, of course, is undoubtedly controversial; ‘promo girls’ have been previously blasted by feminists who describe it as both objectifying and exploiting women. But surely this is missing the point: both men and women take on these roles, yet any job involving women in skimpy outfits is always going to cause a furore. Promotion dancers aren’t employed to shimmy up and down a pole for a few blokes to gawp at, the job is pretty much as it says on the tin - to create a fun atmosphere

and promote the night. The student added, “All the other dancers I’ve spoken to are there for the money, not the self-glorification. You might argue that it’s objectifying, but is

high street clothing chains, who recruit staff purely on the basis of looks and dress sense, as opposed to simple skills such as numeracy? Fitting the job around her full-time

You may argue it’s objectifying, but is it any different to some people you see who pretty much go out in their underwear anyway? it any different to some people you see out in Newcastle who pretty much go out in their underwear anyway?” With an average night’s takings of up to £60, unlimited free drinks and ‘V.I.P. treatment’, it becomes harder to see the flaws of the job when staff on the other side of the bar may be earning less than half the figure for far more physically taxing work. Besides, where do you draw the line between promotional dancers and some

degree, she told me, “It works out so much better than any other part time job, I’m basically just being paid to go out a couple of nights a week, which is pretty much what students do around their weekly routine anyway. I’ll certainly be keeping it on, if I work two nights a week I can earn enough money to pay for my bills, as well as it contributing to my weekly rent.” One thing is for certain, promotional dancing as a part-time source of income

has more perks to it than it sounds. There’s no obligation to dance on the podiums, and wages are paid tax-free on a cash-in-hand basis at the end of the night. “I won’t be putting it on my CV, obviously, not because I feel it’s in any way degrading but because it’s not relevant to future employers. But then what manual and low-skill part-time job is?” “Dirty looks” were described as something which came with the job, but the student did tell me her only worry. “I do fear that it’ll come back to bite me later on in my career, the job doesn’t faze me but it might if anyone else found out. Things always come back to bite you, and it’s not fair that a socalled scandal like this could jeopardise women’s careers when it only seems to glorify men’s.” I could certainly see her point, but surely every job has its pros and cons. One thing is for certain: part-time jobs in no way have to be relevant or beneficial to careers later on in life. Promotional dancing could be considered the equivalent to any other part-time job when it comes to earning a bit of money on the side, so why should women in particular worry about the later consequences? By making it an issue, we are ultimately spinning it out to be a taboo issue.


12.comment

Monday 30 April 2012

The Courier

It’s time for reform in the House of Lords AMY SHIELDS

T

he impression I have always had is that the House of Lords consists of a group of upper-class, bumbling morons whose existence is anachronistic. I therefore started this piece convinced of the need to abolish it immediately. However, having considered the proposals offered up to us by a recent government report, I am no longer so sure. Whilst some reform is necessary to ensure that the House of Lords represents modern Britain, neither abolition nor the current proposals would be satisfactory.

The reforms that the government are suggesting at the moment are incomplete to say the least. While they make grand claims to be making the UK’s governing bodies more democratic, the plans in fact do little more than describe the new structures of a second elected chamber. For example, it is being proposed that 80% of the members should be elected, they should only sit for fifteen years and should get a salary. But there appears to be little that explains how the balance between two democratically elected Houses will actually work. The House of Lords is fundamental to our political set-up, and any reform, especially to a largely elected chamber, is monumental. Having a second elected chamber seems to me to be pointless and unnecessary; the House of Commons already, in theory, represents the people as a whole. The purpose of the House of Lords is to review and amend

The House of Lords is fundamental to our constitution, and any reform would be monumental

laws, and that should remain its chief purpose. By filling it with party politics, it is likely to lose this role and instead simply create deadlock with the House of Commons when they disagree on particular subjects. Currently, the House of Lords consists of those with considerable expertise. Most members are life peers, who have therefore built up decades of experience in governmental procedures. Knowledge and experience in our often transient political system is not necessarily a negative thing. After all, following the majority vote isn’t always the best thing to do, and having a chamber that can recognise that may be in the country’s best interests. However, there are aspects that ought to be resolved immediately. In a multicultural and secular society, it seems absurd that there are currently 26 “Lords Spiritual” drawn from the Church of England. Modern laws should not have

to be vetted by a religion which cannot claim to stand for the entirety of the population. Also the whole concept of life peerages ought to be reformed as it can lead to members who are out of touch. Backward, unrepresentative aspects such as these urgently need to be addressed to drag the House of Lords out of the nineteenth century and into line with modern Britain. Some reform is definitely necessary to ensure that the House of Lords is accessible to, and more representative of, modern society. However, it should not become a fully elected Upper Chamber. Ultimately though, it is unlikely the House of Lords will experience any significant reform. The last hundred years has witnessed multiple attempts to push through changes that have all failed. After all, it would be unexpected for the Lords to approve their own demise.

Behind the mask of Anonymous ELLIOT BENTLEY

A

nother week, another group of ‘hackers’ attacking websites and stealing personal information. The latest is ‘MalSec’, who claim to be a force for good and provide their victims with helpful security tips. According to the media, they are yet another splinter group of ‘Anonymous’, who have been in and out of the headlines for the past few years. But who is this group, how are they producing so many offshoots, and more importantly, what do they want? Well, the first thing you need to understand about Anonymous is that it isn’t a regular organisation with a leader, or even an overall aim. Perhaps the best way to describe Anonymous is to trace it back to the online message boards it originates from, the biggest of which is undoubtedly 4chan.org (specifically the “random” board, or “/b/”) which allows anyone to post without registering. As well as classic memes like ‘lolcats’ and ‘rick rolling’ (as well as, unfortunately, the swapping of child porn), these anonymous forums bred an anarchic culture of “raids” - flooding other message boards or breaking into MySpace accounts to cause general havoc. The idea is that one person will suggest an idea, and if it’s good enough others will follow. Since these message boards are anonymous, the only way to lead is to inspire others. Initial raids organised on /b/ were childish and unsophisticated pranks like annoying users of Habbo Hotel en masse or prank-calling radio shows with hosts they disliked. But Anonymous - as members of /b/ had begun to call themselves - hit headlines when they moved into the real world in an attempt to protest against Scientology, donning V for Vendetta masks and protesting outside Scientology centres around the world - all in response to

the censorship of a leaked video of Tom Cruise extolling the virtues of his faith. See, if there’s one thing most members of Anonymous believe in, it’s the right to post anything they want - whether that be funny pictures of cats, internal films belonging to secretive religions, or someone’s Facebook login details. It’s an extreme form of anti-censorship where anything goes (in part because there aren’t any consequences when posting something anonymously online). This means that Anonymous isn’t an organisation as such: some would describe it as a virally-spreading idea, or a vision of a lawless anarchic internet - but that’s the romantic view. Anonymous is also out “for the lulz”, their political activity frequently overshadowed by a love of jokes and media attention. This side of Anonymous was best manifested by the short-lived LulzSec, a hacker group, who unlike Anonymous, consisted of a tight inner-group with a leadership structure. They gained global media attention after a series of high-profile but unspectacular hacks, including the CIA website, and cracking jokes on their wildly popular twitter feed. (The group unravelled with a surprise “retirement” after 50 days and arrests of several ringleaders.) Although LulzSec were originally a splinter group of Anonymous in the sense that they held the same antiestablishment views, they never pretended to be part of the group itself. But what happens when one person decides to hide behind the mask of Anonymous for their own personal vendetta? Back in March, British hacker James Jeffery stole a database containing the personal details of 10,000 women who had registered with the British Pregnancy Advisory Service. Jeffery, who was later arrested and sentenced to 32 months of jail, defaced the site with the Anonymous logo and a statement that said: “An unborn child does not have an opinion, a choice or any rights. Who gave you the right to murder an unborn child and profit from that murder?” Here’s the difficult bit: does that make it a work of Anonymous? When a single person uses its logo for their own pet project, are they legitimately acting as Anonymous, or merely pretending to be the group? It’s difficult to say, but certainly just reporting Jeffery as a mere “member of Anonymous” seems to be

NOT A REGULAR ORGANISATION Members of the online hacking group ‘Anonymous’ Image: Anonymous9000 (Flickr)

missing part of the picture. It’s a big topic, but hopefully we’re a bit clearer about what Anonymous actually is. It’s not an organised criminal gang,

it’s a social movement, a well-marketed geek brand and a mask for internet vigilantes to hide behind. It’s also sadly becoming just another antagonist for the

media to scare people with. I say ‘sadly’ not only because it’s a fudging of the facts, but because the truth is infinitely more interesting.


The Courier

comment.13

Monday 30 April 2012

THE NEWS THAT MADE ME EMILY RAE

#8 - Cringe When I saw a certain news article this week I just knew I had to write about it. As I started to read it, I began to cringe, imagining it had been my name hitting the headlines. Recently investment banker David Merkur found himself under the media spotlight when his meticulous spreadsheet, which chronicled all the dates he’d had since joining the popular dating site match.com, became a viral sensation. But what kind of person would keep a chart carefully detailing such intimate details? Me. From my first pull with a sexy Spanish exchange to my first proper boyfriend I kept a “Snog Log”. Yes, I even had that written as the title, crafted in bubble writing and carefully filled in with felt tip. Date, Occasion and Location of each conquest. This was kept at the back of a diary I kept sporadically throughout secondary school. Luckily for me, this top secret information has never been found. However, after Merkur’s spreadsheet came up in conversation on one of his dates, he was persuaded to send it to her. Naively, he emailed, “I hope this e-mail doesn’t backfire, because I really had a great time and hope to hang again soon.” But who would keep such a gem from their friends? I’m not sure whether the spreadsheet is genuinely an honest attempt to stay organised, or just plain creepy. I’m just glad my own colour-coded chart hasn’t been thrown to the media. Whilst at school, I used to have nightmares about a Mean Girls-esque ending and told myself I’d have to change schools if my Snog Log (still cringing) was ever distributed. The only reason I’m happy to write about it is that none of the guys listed go to Newcastle University. Although who knows about the mysterious “fitty in shades”... Poor David Merkur had no idea his spreadsheet would spiral across the Internet. But what I don’t understand is why he thought his spreadsheet, detailing appearance rating, dates of meetings and plans with other ladies, would impress the woman who asked to see it. He is pretty complimentary about the other ladies; describing one woman as “looks beautiful” and the worst being “mixed bag of pictures, but great bod”. I think the media would have taken a different angle if he’d been sleazier. In my diary entries, I bared my soul in the expectation that my future self would look back and pity my younger self. Little did I know I’d be grimacing with embarrassment and sharing the details for a newspaper audience. Touchingly, one page merely details the simple line, “I am so hurt.” However, this is followed by the chavvy: “He bl8s ent interested”, which kinda ruins the heartfelt confession of the previous line. David Merkur’s brief comments seem indifferent in comparison. Although he details the dates following successful communications, “A few conversations in mid-March; several Facebook and text chats”, the lack of enthusiasm behind his comments suggest that he felt no genuine connection with any of the ladies listed. In fact, as my diary and Snog Log continued, the amount of entries decreased and eventually tailed off when I found someone I really liked. Although games and the chase go hand in hand with dating, I think Merkur should stop attempting to date multiple women at the same time. After all, if he really liked someone he wouldn’t need a spread-

Should we turn the lights up on Freshers’ year-long party?

Following a motion put forward at Union Council, the Students’ Union are currently holding a referendum on whether first year marks should count towards overall degree classification. We asked two students their thoughts.

SALLY PRIDDLE

YES

B

efore I start I would just like to add a little disclaimer: I am not a complete geek that does nothing but work. I have friends and something of a social life (though that has deteriorated throughout third year) but despite all this I still believe that first year should count towards the degree. Particularly with the new fees, surely wasting £9,000 of doing nothing much doesn’t seem worthwhile? I know for a fact that some of my housemates’ attendance in first year was around 30% and they didn’t care what score they got as long as it was 40% or above, but then they had no reason to attend more lectures and no reason to put the work in to get higher marks. I believe that by making your first year count then you could be slowly integrated into the university way of life and the different style of studying and marking in a way that would still require some effort. I am not accusing all students of not putting work in for their first year essays and exams, but let’s not deny we all know someone who didn’t, and I am sure some of them might have got a shock in second year (or even third year) with what working was like and how differently things are marked at university. I don’t think that first year should be

given an even spilt with second year, but I think a 10%, 30% and then 60% divide would provide people with the best chance of quickly getting into the university way of life. I know what people will argue, first year allows people to let their hair down and learn how to live on their own away from their parents, and I love Sinners as much as the next person, but surely this is teaching people the wrong attitude towards life and, more importantly, work. For those who don’t care about their degrees, scraping through and putting in the same minimal effort for three years may be fine, but I don’t see why I should put in effort in first year if I am not getting anything out of it. Some also argue that first year gives people the chance to get up to scratch with each other, giving those who didn’t study certain things at A-level the opportunity to catch up, but why should certain people be given the year off ? I don’t think that £9,000 is a worthwhile fee to spend for a year out, especially with the number of students taking a gap year before they come to university - where they will have probably already learnt what independent living was - so I don’t see why people would need to take another one. Or for those that didn’t take a gap year, having to actually do some work on their degree would help keep some continuity between life before and life at university. I believe that making first year count would be beneficial for people and their degree in the long run. If it only counted for 10% then if there were any low grades, they wouldn’t count enough to affect the overall degree, but people would still be more inclined to put effort in. For £9,000 a year, particularly for degrees where teaching hours are minimal, I think that people deserve something out of first year

JOSEPH WOOD

NO

S

tage one should in no way count towards a student’s overall degree. If it did count, a person’s university experience would be altered in ways which every student (or person who has ever been a student) can sympathise with. For thousands of students who enter university, they are living away from home and independently for the first time. From personal experience alone, the stresses of moving from your home into a new city and surviving are massive. Therefore it would be ludicrous to burden first year students with the added pressure and responsibility of having their first year count. The first year of university should revolve around new experiences, discovering what things appeal to you and what things do not. It is a year to explore and decide which routes you want to take, both in your particular course and more generally in life. If this more relaxed year in which to choose these directions did not exist, there would be far less opportunity to explore, find new challenges and make mistakes. And surely this would be a huge disadvantage in terms of students’ development. There is also the important point to make that much of what is learned in

BEGINNING OF THE END? First years during Freshers’

Week at the Students’ Union Photography: Moises Bedrossian

Stage 1 is used for the benefit of the next few years. Mistakes can be made with little heartache in the first year as they are lessons in what to do right and how to hone your skills. This is vital to provide students with the potential for improving what they do, without the pressure of not achieving the degree classification they desire. Yet if the first year counted, that fantastic opportunity to better your skills and make mistakes which will be useful in the future would be lost. What must be remembered is that university is so far removed from simply being about the academic, it is a chance to do things that you never would. And in no year more than the first year of university is this true. With the freedom of not having to consider your final degree there are vast numbers of other things you can do with that lessened amount of pressure. Even if you don’t join any clubs or societies, with nightlife like Newcastle’s you will require a year minimum to learn how to fit lectures and seminars around migraines and bouts of incomprehensible nausea, which in itself is one of life’s invaluable lessons. In the end, it would just not seem fit for the first year to lose its carefree nature. Without that year, where any night might be the weekend or where every lecture is always half unattended, then the years to follow it would be all the same. However, because the first year doesn’t count and you have the chance to do whatever it is you want to, you can look forward to the following years without feeling pressured by the fact they count.

Follow us on Twitter: @CourierComment @CourierOnlne


14.

You’re hired!

The Courier

Monday 30 April 2012

Move over Alan Sugar, there are some new entrepreneurs in town. (And they’re not selling beetroot either). Editor Kat Bannon caught up with three groups of students that, as part of the Business Enterprise module, have established their own Newcastlegrown businesses set to take the Toon by storm.

Pamper me pretty

Serendipity is set to make the cost of a trip to the hairdressers or beauty salon a pleasant surprise

Photography: Yordanka Georgieva

Even students need to take care of themselves every once in a while, so that’s why all-girl group Lucy Saville, Erika Coakley, Bequia Prestt, Helena Walah and Rachel McCumiskey have produced the ‘Pamper Card’, offering exclusive discounts in beauty salons and hairdressers across Newcastle. Priced at £6, they offer a year’s worth of reducedpriced deals and offers, and already have the highly popular Boilerhouse in Jesmond as well as Blow on Northumberland Street on board. However, not happy being left out, they’ve also received interest from some of Osboure Road’s bars, such as Blanc. The idea is based on the Mojo and Q-Jump cards, which, although prove popular with Freshers’ (mainly because they don’t know any better), aren’t particularly well-used around Newcastle. “This is something people will actually remember to take advantage of,” says Lucy. In their preliminary research they produced a number of questionnaires for people to complete in order to try and gauge what the response would be. All given to girls, obviously. Although there was the occasional hitch: “The cards took longer to arrive than expected which delayed the process quite a bit. Looking back we definitely would have planned our time a bit better.” Already on sale in Boilerhouse and planned for a huge push in Freshers’ Week, ‘Serendipity’ are ready to prove that looking good for less is no happy coincidence with their Pamper Card.

Photography: Yordanka Georgieva


The Courier

.15

Monday 30 April 2012

t it to n a w e W “ ssity e c e n a become dent life” of stu

‘Trip It 2’ is day -tripping company created by George Squires, Jamie Levrant, Max Mcleod Rebecca Ward and Oliver Morgan Williams. When first set the task of producing their own business, they weren’t quite sure which direction to head first. Changing track, they decided to focus on audience rather product, and settled their sights on international students here at Newcastle. “We thought there was definitely a market to take them on trips around the UK that they might not be able to enjoy or experience otherwise. Short day trips that wont break the bank, or have to be booked miles in advance,” said George. Confident in the knowledge that something similar had already been done by students before, and worked, they were also aware that day trips were something often held by the University and similar. Therefore, competitively low prices was their first priority, as were incentives such as reduced entry to landmarks and cultural activities as well as travel refreshments. Although, they’re still waiting to hear back from Greggs as to whether they’ll be willing to provide any on-the-road pasties. Their first venture, and most successful trip so

Fed-up of over-active facebooks, these five have created an app that’s designed to let you know what you want, when you want, and give you rewards for it too. The best bit? No more wondering when Osboure Road Happy Hours are. ‘Student Playground’ is a free, exclusive app aimed at students from both Northumbria and Newcastle. It provides information not only from the city’s bars, clubs, culture, health and beauty as well as the surrounding student areas of Jesmond, Heaton and Sandyford, but exclusive deals and discounts too. Well aware that facebook has become saturated with event requests, notifications, more event requests and even more notifications, then also the popularity of discounting super giants such as Groupon and Living Social Deals, Tim Plail, Charlotte Ellerby, Paul Lake, Lewis Crosby and Felicity Macleod-Arnold set out to create a high-quality product that would combine both information and offers. The idea is that businesses can advertise their services to those who have the app, but then, more importantly for the user, give them one-off, adhoc deals to a specific audience, known as ‘push notifications’ for a limited period of time. It’s great for businesses because it provides 24hour advertising, but it’s also great for the student because they can customize their app how they like, meaning they wont receive notifications from places they know they’re not interested in. Although, it’s most innovative feature is definitely the interactive streetview. GPS can map and mark the user’s location, pushing the deals closest to where they are at that particular time. “This is a high quality product,” says Tim, “students can cater and customize it to their needs. “At the moment students are constantly faced with a number of facebook events, but your activity doesn’t make a difference - whether you click attending or maybe or whatever. However this product rewards loyalty. “It’s great for businesses because they can target a specific audience, at very short notice too. Say Newcastle have a number of tickets left one Saturday - in a click they can be offered at a reduced price to a certain amount of students who’ve already expressed an interest. It also gives details as to how long offers are valid for. However, there is also a limited number of ‘push notifications’ businesses can send too, ensuring they’re always worthwhile offers.”

(from left) Charlotte Ellerby, Tim Plail and Felicity MacleodArnold show off the app. Photography: Yordanka Georgieva

Day Trippers

Making student life a playground The app ‘home’ screen carries all the details of the latest offers, including how far away the deal is and how much longer it can be claimed for. They’ve already received a keen level of interest from a number of bars, clubs and restaurants as well as cinemas. Taxis are their next port of call: “We want to become a necessity of student life.” Other core information handy for student life is set to be logged, such as library and Students’ Union opening hours. Having secured investment, the app is currently under its main development, and will hopefully be ready within the next 2-3 weeks. The actual length of the products implementation was not something overally anticipated by the team, nor was the general reaction to the concept: “We weren’t sure what to expect at all, then began to realise how much credibility the idea actually had. “When we were first approached by businesses we were carried away, and really excited, really quickly. “We’ve been to breakfast and all day boardroom meetings, even headed down to Lincoln and Middlesborough to meet with potential investors. “Looking back we realise how naive we were to begin, some of the deals we were offered didn’t even add up or make sense.” Now working with a Tyneside company, they’re preparing for their launch in Freshers’ Week. “A lot relies on then. Luckily as Northumbria’s and Newcastle’s are staggered it gives us time to target both audiences, but Freshers’ Week will play a big part as to whether we get this idea off the ground!”

Trip It 2 makes day outs as easy as the name suggests: They don’t break the bank, and don’t have to be booked miles in advance either.

far, was to Edinburgh in February. Knowing this city had been marked as a point of student interest before, it was a safe option. Then, knowing what those previous trips had offered, they set to top it, offering even more value for money. The trip was priced at £19.95 which included for coach travel to and from Edinburgh, and then exclusive discounted entry to Edinburgh Castle in addition to regular of student discount, they booked out over 20 places, and received a lot of praise from those who ventured North of the border: “We had good feedback from the Edinburgh trip,” says Squires, “Those who attended thought we had a good approach to the day, that we were organised, helpful and informative. “Obviously we conducted research through questionnaires - we wanted to know what locations or types of trips really appealed to students, and where they’d like to go next.” The next day they organised was to Liverpool, which, although they spent a much longer time promoting, didn’t get enough interest to go ahead, which they attributed to the lengthy travel time. Their next focus is on a shorter radius, places like

Bambaragh castle, Alnwick and York. However, the group itself is keen to highlight the idea that Trip it 2 doesn’t have to be about cities, but also activities and interesting places. The name itself has an open-ended nature that promotes its versatility. “It’s meant to be a colloquialism” says George, “I adapted it from the idea of legging it somewhere. We wanted something that would catch on.” Although the majority of the group are away on placement years come September, there is a definite sense that this is something they can pick up again when they come back to Newcastle. “There’s a lot of opportunity to make partnerships with clubs and societies, both to promote each other and provide them with value for money.” The project in general, has, in George’s words, “given us the opportunity to develop real business minds. It’s really about thinking from a customers perspective, and performing well. “It’s made me realise how much you need to have confidence in what you’re selling.” Then, there is the merchandise they’ve been yet to make full use of: “We haven’t really had a chance to wear our gilets yet.”

Trip It 2’s next trip is paintballing on the 9 May for £22.89. The price includes return transport, entry, equipment hire, extra body armour, 100 free paintballs, refreshments and an extra 200 paintballs for £10 (28% discount). Email george. squires@ ncl. ac.uk for tickets.


16.

The Courier

Fabulously festival

Proving life’s a beach in Tynemouth with a day of sun, sea and summer chic

Photography by Moises Bedrossian Modelled by Rosie Leatherland (right) and Tillie Paul (left) Make up by Abi Heath Hair styling by Catherine Hadfield Directed by Abi Heath and Victoria Mole Pink bikini top by New Look, £5.99 Blue bandeau by New Look, £2.99 Orange top by New Look, £14.99 Blue top by Topshop, £10 Orange shorts by Topshop, £22 Purple playsuit by Topshop, £35 Pink shorts by Republic, £30 Floral playsuit by Republic, £30 Wellies from a vintage shop, £25 Sandals by Asda, £10

Monday 30 April 2012


The Courier

Monday 30 April 2012

.17


18.UKfestivalpreview

Monday 30 April 2012

Simply the fest

A round-up of the best student budgetfriendly festivals from around the UK

Planning which festivals to go to over the summer can be a real problem. Where are they? How much do they cost? Who’s playing? Will you be surrounded by kids, parents or students? There’s a lot to consider. But fear not, here we’ve got the low-down on our pick of UK summer festivals that won’t break the bank

Parklife

Where? Platt Fields, Manchester When? June 9 and 10 How much? £64.50 for the weekend or £38.50 for a day Who’ll enjoy it? Edgy Radio 1 listeners trying to make the leap to 6 Music Parklife Festival is a pretty all over the place festival this year. Not in a bad way, just that it’s incredibly hard to pigeonhole it. Still only in its third year, it’s gone from being small potatoes to one of the festivals people look forward to every year, which probably has something to do with its excellently diverse line up. They’ve picked the cream of the crop the Radio 1 lot love, from Madeon to Sub Focus to even Dizzee Rascal (he’s still around?) and slapped them alongside more interesting choices such as The Flaming Lips, Factory

The Courier

Win: Rough Beats tickets! The folks over at Rough Beats festival have given us a pair of weekend tickets to give away to one lucky reader! All you have to do is answer the following question and send the answer over to us at: c2.music@ncl.ac.uk

Q. Which fruit can’t wait to dance the night away at Rough Beats festival? (Hint: Check out their website - http://www.roughbeatsfestival.co.uk/ )

Rough Beats Festival

Where? Near the village of Clapham, Yorkshire When? June 8-10 How much? £65 Who’ll enjoy it? Those looking for the best new artists in a more intimate festival setting. Ever wanted to see bands like Pulled Apart By Horses, Django Django, Mausi, Black Cherry and Gruff Rhys at a festival without having to either view the stage from several miles away or risk being trampled to death by a horde of drunken 17-year-olds? Well, Rough Beats may be the festival for you. This festival brings you some of the best new artists on one fantastic lineup, all whilst playing to a more reasonably sized crowd, which maintains the festival atmosphere, but still keeps the whole experience feeling very personal and intimate. Alongside such a strong

bunch of headliners, other bands to look out for at the festival include Francois & The Atlas Mountains, BBC 6Music’s Craig Charles, Lovely Eggs and Newcastle’s own Mausi. If the lineup alone isn’t enough to entice you, the setting of the festival will; set in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, camping in this region is breathtaking enough. Add to that experience the music, the comedy and theatre acts in store and the student-friendly price tag, you have possibly one of the best festival experiences to look forward to this summer. Chris Scott

Floor and The Field. I suppose they’re getting the best of new and obscure left field music together but I never expected to see The Flaming Lips next to Dizzee Rascal on a poster. I guess that’s what Parklife is about. It’s probably one of the more eclectic line ups of 2012. With newer bands such as Spector alongside staples such as Justice, Parklife has something for just about everyone. And at £64 for a weekend ticket, even if there’s just one large band you fancy seeing, it’s probably worth the money! Chris Taylor

Beach Break Live

Where? Second left after Middle Earth, Pembrey Country Park, South Wales When? June 14-18 How much? £115, peanuts for four days of first class music and entertainment Who’ll enjoy it? To students, for students, by students. Just in case you’d forgotten Despite needing a sextant to get there, Beach Break Live is well worth the effort. Here lies a festival whose rapid rise to notoriety is due to an itinerary that caters for every student vice under the sun, and throws in a beach to boot. The monster lineup raises no eyebrows after the success of recent years, and boasts the likes of Chase and Status, Ben Howard and Dizzee Rascal. What is curious is the way that the long weekend remains one of the cheapest ways to lose your mind this summer, despite rubbing shoulders with the big boys in terms of the talent that it attracts. Those of you who only dine at the edgiest of musical tables, fear not, the menu is surprisingly snob-proof. Some of the best new music

available can be found in the Chai-Wallah tent, an annoyingly permanent fixture at this summer’s biggest festivals, and a great respite if you are tired of being shouted at by Toddla T et al. While South Wales isn’t renowned for its balmy, tropical summers, it would be cliché to cite the weather as a reason to avoid the party. However, if you, like me, cringed in your sneakers upon reading Beach Break’s catchphrase “Roll out the Beach & Roll on the Tunes”, beware. Fed up of playing the name game and spotting university hoodies? You may just want to elope from this particular student family reunion. Matt Valenzia

2000trees

Where? Withington, South East of Cheltenham When? July 12-14 How much? £66 (and you can take your 10-year-old cousin for free!) Who’ll enjoy it? Environmently-conscious indie lovers, anyone with an annoying ‘I knew them before you’ attitude O come, all ye faithful in British music, come to Gloucestershire! If there was ever a festival made for students and their budget, it is 2000trees. Founded by six friends who were sick of overpriced festivals which have great bands but a less-than-mediocre service to offer, this annual event near Cheltenham welcomes the best of the British newcomers and underground scenes. This year’s headliners include Pulled Apart by Horses, 65daysofstatic, Future of the Left, guillemots, Three Trapped Tigers, Gallows and probably Sunderland’s most successful band to date, The Futureheads. Other acts to take the stage are We Were Promised Jetpacks,

Max Raptor, The Computers and a range of acoustic acts such as Lucy Rose and Johnny Foreigner. And if you’ve ever worried about the tons of energy used up at festivals and sniffed at the rubbish mountains left by the visitors, you’ll be more than delighted by 2000trees’ dedicated green agenda. Recycling bins everywhere, eco-friendly electricity, vegan food and a parking discount if you give your friends a lift - you name it. No excuse for empty plastic bottles outside of your tent. And all of this for under 70 quid! That’s what value for money looks (and sounds) like. Lisa Bernhardt


The Courier

UKfestivalpreview.19

Monday 30 April 2012

Leeds Festival

Where? Bramham Park, Leeds When? August 24-26 How much? £197.50 Who’ll enjoy it? Pissed-up 15-year-olds, Radio 1 listeners, and everyone in between Leeds Festival (and Reading of course) is very much a rite of passage - for most people it’s their first ever experience of a summer music festival, handily coinciding with GCSE results year on year, ensuring hordes of teenagers descend upon Yorkshire getting away from their parents with one goal in mind: getting royally wasted. Whilst this demographic constitutes the majority of the crowd, there’s still enough to tempt music-lovers back year on year, despite ever-increasing ticket prices. OK, so the line-up’s barely changed in years and it’s still pretty much the same old headliners, but the sheer number of

acts performing means you’ll never be short of acts to see. Saturday night’s headliners are certainly the most interesting - The Cure should provide the perfect balance of singalongs and nostalgia, whilst the Foo Fighters, who take to the stage on Friday, are absolute seasoned pros when it comes to festival slots. Wrapping things up will be Kasabian, who are stepping up as headliners for the first time. Avoid the hyped-up kids on poppers, and Leeds still has its draws. Ben Travis

Latitude Festival

Where? Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk When? July 12-15 How much? £175 for a weekend camping ticket, £75 for a day ticket Who’ll enjoy it? The indiest of the indie, arty types and anyone who likes Mumford and Sons Situated in the very quaint Henham Park in Southwold, Suffolk, Latitude is a family friendly arts extravaganza, catering in music, comedy, theatre, poetry, literature, film... the list goes on. In terms of music Latitude focuses particularly on indie and folk bands, with this year’s line up headed by indie folk maestros Bon Iver, indie big dogs Elbow, and the Modfather himself, Paul Weller. It also features many more acts from across the music spectrum, from singer songwriters like Michael Kiwanuka and Laura Marling, to indie rockers like White Lies and The Horrors, and electro dance acts like

M83 and Django Django. There’s something for the older crowd too with Dexy’s Midnight Runners and Simple Minds. The sheer variety of stuff on offer is what defines Latitude; it’s not just a music festival, the comedy tent has some big names on too - for example Jack Dee, Mark Watson and Russell Kane. The great number of arenas means there is always something going on that’s worth a look, be it an acoustic set at the secret stage in the forest, a reading in the literary arena or dancing late into the night to DJs playing ‘Guilty Pleasures’. Tim Sewell

Hop Farm Festival

Where? Paddock Wood, Kent When? June 29 - July 1 How much? Weekend tickets are £150 for a limited time only, children under 12 go free. Who’ll enjoy it? Organic music lovers who look good in a straw hat. The ability to drink real ale is recommended, but not a necessity Founded five years ago by promoter Vince Power and hailed as a ‘back to basics’ event, Hop Farm Festival offers fans the opportunity to get up close to living legends. Last year Prince graced the stage, his first open air performance in England since 1993. Heavyweight headliners for 2012 include Suede, Peter Gabriel and the one and only Bob Dylan. As well as rock superstars, the farm in rural Kent also attracts an eclectic mix of smaller but equally noteworthy acts. Breathy singer-songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich promises a set full of emotional acoustics whilst Frightened Rabbit will bring a more aggressive strain of lyrical ingenuity, Scottishness and

Bestival

Where? Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight When? September 6-9 How much? £170 for students Who’ll enjoy it? The wary student who wants good value-for-money, or the all-encompassing hippy who wants to frolic in a pixie costume This year sees another incredibly eclectic line-up, with headline performances from New Order, The XX, Sigur Rós and the one and only Stevie Wonder. Other acts include Spiritualised, Friendly Fires, Bat For Lashes, Major Lazer, Annie Mac, Gary Numan, The Horrors, Azealia Banks, SBTRKT, Orbital, Earth Wind and Fire experience feat. Al Mckay, Django Django, Warpaint, Four Tet, B2B, Caribou, Gold Panda, Adam Ant & The Good, Little Dragon, De La Soul, Lucy Rose, John Talabot, Justice, Alabama Shakes, Lianne La Havas, 2ManyDJs, Daughter, Grimes, Friends, Clock Opera, Zulu Winter, Errors, First Aid Kit, Chairlift, Field Music, Porcelain Raft, Gallows and loads more!

This student, family or just about anyonefriendly independent music festival is curated by Josie and Rob da Bank, who are passionate about creating a unique festival atmosphere without having to sacrifice a solid line-up. Aside from the music performances, there are reams of other events going on and plenty of wacky places to explore, with a Bollywood Cocktail Bar, Roller Disco and the Wishing Tree Stage to name a few examples. Traditionally, festival-goers don fancy dress and as the organisers put it, the festival is ‘a wondrous world of discovery and adventure that will inspire peace, love and dancing, not only in September but all year round…’ Charlotte Krol

choice swearing to the table. Alternatively, if old school entertainment is what you’re after, then Sir Bruce Forsyth is your main man. Unbelievably, after 70 years in show business, Brucey’s never been to a festival but that’s all about to change, as come June 29 he’ll be sharing a stage with the likes of Primal Scream and Maximo Park . The weekend is free from the usual ties of sponsorship and branding. There are no super tents and no VIP exclusives, just Bob, his band and possibly some cattle grazing in a nearby field. Lauren Stafford


20.EUfestivalpreview

Monday 30 April 2012

The Courier

thecourieronline.co.uk/music c2.music@ncl.ac.uk

Viva la fiesta!

M

uch as a massive park in the middle of Yorkshire might seem an adequate enough location to get hideously drunk and wail along to some of the world’s biggest musicians, sometimes the lack of guaranteed sunshine just isn’t enough. However, tonnes of events all over Europe feature hugely impressive line-ups across all genres, and give you the best of a holiday abroad and a music festival all in one. Here’s our pick of the bunch Roskilde Festival

l Sónar Festiva Spain

Where? Roskilde, Denmark When? July 5-8 How much? £200 Who’ll go there? Glasto fans

Each year Denmark plays host to the largest festival in Northern Europe, drawing in some of the biggest bands in the world for four days in July. Roskilde brings together bands from all over the world, including many acts from Denmark and Scandinavia. The line-up has an alternative and indie feel, often bearing similarities to Glastonbury, but also indulges in acts from all over the musical spectrum. This year’s bigger acts include The Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, that crazy chilled Icelander Björk, alternative legends The Cure, and one White Stripe: Jack White. There are many other well-known names appearing

over the weekend such as Friendly Fires, Bon Iver, Machine Head, Santigold, Suicide Silence, The Vaccines, M83, The Shins, Django Django, Dry The River, Wiz Khalifa, and a host of other bands. With the acts appearing over eight stages, there is plenty to see at any time, and there are no ‘festival sets’ here; each band on whatever stage plays for a minimum of an hour (90 minutes on the larger stages)! A warm-up event takes place in the five days prior to the festival (made up of local bands), making the whole Roskilde event nine days long. Tim Sewell

Benicàssim, arguably Spain’s top music festival, has become one of the most popular destinations abroad for British festival-goers in recent years. Spread over a four-day period in the middle of July and situated on the shores of the Mediterranean, it is the ideal holiday for music lovers. They pride themselves on putting together a line-up that appeals to everyone, with the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Oasis and Blur having graced the festival in the past, and this year certainly no different. The legendary Bob Dylan will make his debut at the event with a set not to be missed and newly reformed Manchester band The Stone Roses take to the

If trying to sleep in a soggy, piss-covered tent in the English countryside after a day of being constantly hounded by the thought of becoming the next Poo Girl everytime you need the toilet isn’t your idea of a fun-filled festival, perhaps this year you should try Sónar. For three days this June, the city of Barcelona will be hosting a non-stop weekend of official and unofficial parties in and around the city, without a field or Portaloo in sight. The festival focuses predominantly on electronic music, and this year the line-up sees the likes of wellestablished names such as New Order, Dead

mau5, Fatboy Slim and Friendly Fires take the stage alongside up-and-coming talent such as Lana Del Rey, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, and Maya Jane Coles. Combining a variety of bands and DJs, and with an array of art exhibitions and installments to see during the day, Sónar is perfect for those of you who like to mix it up a bit, as long as you don’t mind the constant jumping on buses to get to the next hotel roof party. Sophie Coletta

Open’er Festival

Benicàssim cia, Spain Where? Nr Valen When? July 12-15 How much? £135 Who’ll go there? Anyone

Where? Barcelona, When? June 14-16 How much? £127 Who’ll go there? Arty hipsters

Where? Gdynia, Poland When? July 4-7 How much? £80 Who’ll go there? BBC 6Music listeners stage at the Spanish festival for one of their first shows since their reunion. Florence and the Machine make the step up to headline status whilst recently reunited post-hardcore band At the Drive-In and British rockers New Order occupy the final two headline slots. With acts including Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Vaccines, Chase & Status, David Guetta and Jessie J also on the bill, there is no doubt it offers the diversity to attract even the most modest of music fans. Matty Aston

A festival held on a former military airbase by the Baltic coast may not necessarily sound as summery as Benicàssim, but that’s Eastern Europe for you. Open’er Festival is one of Poland’s growing number of major festivals, and promises one of the best value-for-money weekends on the continent this summer. Headliners include Björk, New Order, Public Enemy, Mumford & Sons, Bon Iver, The XX, Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, and so on. The full line up has new bands paying their festival dues, mid-’00s indie acts repeating their festival dues, dance acts and DJs doing anything,

and some few tricky-to-pronounce Polish and European artists for good measure. Quite a mixture. Various ticket pricing options are available - expect to see some interrailers ‘splashing out’ their zlotys on the £30 day tickets and returning to nearby Gdańsk for the night in some Soviet-era Youth Hostel too. Overall, Open’er meets all expectations of any major festival, complete with Silent Disco and Kids Zone, (and, what with Heineken being the organising force, probably an unholy amount of beer adverts too). Becca Price

Exit Festival

Where? Novi Sad, Serbia When? 12-15 July How much? £120 Who’ll go there? ‘80s music lovers If your plan is to escape the potentially unpredictable British weather by making this year’s festival experience a foreign one, then Exit Festival is definitely an option to consider. Taking place in the Petrovaradin Fortress of Novi Sad in Serbia, it was originally a very grassroots operation started by students and with strong links to the local universities but is now one of the 40 largest festivals in Europe and was among 10 other festivals winning the “Best European Festival’ award - not bad! This year the festival takes place from the 1215 July and features Duran Duran, New Order, Plan B, Guns N’ Roses, Wolfmother, and Felix

Da Housecat to name a few - a pretty interesting line-up. Without a doubt though the best things about this festival are its price at £95 for the four days and an additional £25 for camping, band its location. Not only will you be sure to be dancing with an eclectic Eastern European crowd who have recently launched the music genre ‘turbo folk’, but you are also perfectly located to explore Eastern Europe with the best way to reach Novi Sad being a train from Zagreb, Budapest, Belgrade, or Ljubljana. With the excuse to explore a pretty cool place and head to an amazing festival, that is your Summer sorted! Olivia Mason


The Courier

health&beauty.21

Monday 30 April 2012

Skinted

health&beauty editor: Rosanna Sopp rosanna.sopp@ncl.ac.uk

Festival Essentials

All the necessities you need to survive a week of mud, music and mayhem. Not to mention those portaloos.

For all your camping needs

Elissa Hudson

Foundation

Baby Wipes Soltan moisturising suncare spray SPF50+ £2.74

Hassle Free Make-up

Benefit you rebel SPF 15 tinted moisturizer £23.50

At a festival, baby wipes will become your new best friend. They replace the luxury that is a shower during your weekend roughing it, as well as your usual cleansing wipes, hand wash and if you’re unlucky- maybe even loo

Make-up Staples Try to only take make-up that can’t smash, break or melt. Waterproof mascara is also a safe bet. Try taking a condensed version of the usual contents of your make-up bag to avoid the extra weight. Think about what items you really rely on to feel confident and just pack those. If you can, try to pick products that you know will last all day on your face, as it’s unlikely that you’re going to be retouching your make up.

Dry Shampoo Not showering for a good few days is bound to result in hair that you could fry chips on. Dry shampoo is amazing for refreshing greasy hair; simply spray onto the roots and rub it in. If you’re a brunette it’s advisable to buy the tinted version to avoid looking like you have the hair of a pensioner!

Nivea sun moistursing sun SPF15 £5.24

Waterproof Mascara Max Factor masterpiece waterproof mascara £8.99

Lip Balm Being outdoors for a full weekend can play havoc with the condition of your lips. Make sure you take a really nourishing lip balm and avoid Vaseline, as it just coats your lips rather than hydrating them.

Piz Buin in sun moisturising sun lotion SPF15 £12.99

Minted

Best Beauty Blogs www.alittleobsessed.co.uk www.lovelygirliebits.com www.madaboutmakeup.co.uk

E.L.F (Eyes Lips Face) is an online brand which sells high quality products at extremely low prices; items start at just £1.50!

Collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer £4.19

Body Spray The lack of opportunity for a shower means you’re not going to be left feeling, and possibly smelling, your best. Taking perfume in a glass bottle seems a little extravagant, but a cheap body spray will do the job without breaking the bank.

SPF It’s advisable to pack a bottle in case the sun makes an appearance. Try to avoid using standard suncream on your face at a festival though, because spots will have a festival of their own on your face.

Eye liner

L’Oreal absolute eye and lip make-up remover £4.99

Hand Sanitiser

Bargain of the week

Concealer

The portaloos at festivals are legendary, and you’ll leave one wishing you could sanitise your entire body. Don’t rely on the supplies of hand sanitiser at the toilets! It often runs out and isn’t replaced for a few hours, meaning that unless you bring your own you might find yourself left with all sorts of germs lurking on your hands. The travel bottles are nice and small, so carrying one around in your bag shouldn’t be a problem.

Sudocrem This little pot of antiseptic healing cream can be invaluable at a festival. Use it on spots, cuts, burns and bites to soothe and protect them from infection.

Lip Colour

Razor

This one is pretty self explanatory. Nobody likes to see hairy pits whilst you’re dancing around in the crowd, so make sure you pack a razor!

Revlon colorburst lip butter £7.99


22.fashion

Monday 30 April 2012

The Courier

thecourieronline.co.uk/fashion c2.fashion@ncl.ac.uk

campusfashion fashion Becky Miller

Top: Topshop, £20 (on sale) Cardigan: Topshop, £18 (on sale) Jeans: Dorothy Perkins, £25 Shoes: Debenhams, £20 Bag: Oasis, £20 (reduced from £40)

Second Year Architecture

Top: H&M, £15 Shorts: Warehouse, £16 (on sale) Satchel: Urban Outfitters £48 Shoes: ASOS, £30

Miles Freeman #8 Behind the scenes Many people think that the headquarters of fashion labels are full of swathes of designers that sit around drinking coffee and playing with books of material samples. Having worked over Easter at well-known menswear label Original Penguin, just off Oxford Circus, you begin to realise that there is a lot more to it. For a brand like Penguin, new collections are not just about being at the forefront of menswear but also understanding what actually sells. It becomes very easy for a brand to plough in the direction of cuttingedge design and unique fabrics that can so easily lose their customers. Penguin is a global brand that has customers spanning a huge demographic of sartorialists, so it becomes difficult to know which direction to go in. Through the culmination of some very talented business and fashion minds, a direction has emerged as to where Penguin will be going over the next couple of years. Original Penguin’s heritage lies within the golf world and their signature polos were worn by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Richard Nixon; the shirts became a symbol of US surburban leisure until well into the 1980s. In 2003, Perry Ellis International bought the brand and the birth of the staple menswear label was established. It did not take long for the embroidered Penguin emblem to appear back in the limelight, including on teenage female obsession Seth Cohen from the series The OC. With the backing expertise of Perry Ellis and recruitment of some of the best fashion minds in the industry, Original Penguin has released stronger and stronger collections. My time at Penguin made me realise that the most successful fashion houses are those that are business savvy. Creating a collection is not as simple as picking some styles and materials that work well together, but creating a brand image that works well on a retail platform. Penguin’s brand image is reflected by their employees, whose DNA is composed of ‘cool’ chromosomes; whilst wearing Original Penguin clothing they all bring to the table their own unique sense of style. However, in menswear there is no rivalry, no ‘Devil wears Prada’ situation where people make snide remarks about what each other is wearing. Instead there is a camaraderie of style for which dressing well is not a competition. Working at Original Penguin made me come to the conclusion that not everyone is suited to a regular black suit-wearing office job. At university it seems that the only avenues for employment afterwards lie in graduate schemes for large corporations in sectors that probably don’t particularly interest you. Whilst these jobs often provide a more substantial pay packet and added benefits, it raises the question of job satisfaction. Although working in menswear is not the most conventional route for a Politics student, it will mean that I am working in a sector that inspires me to wake up every morning. Aspire to work in an office surrounded by similar-minded people that have come to work for the love of their job, not just for the salary.

Hannah Walsh

What did you have in mind when you put this outfit together? “My bag is the latest addition to my wardrobe, it’s the perfect size to carry books and files around in on campus and goes with absolutely everything!”

What did you have in mind when you put this outfit together? “I usually keep my look quite minimal, but I love experimenting with stripes! My housemates recently bought me the satchel as a birthday present, and the colours on it match perfectly with my outfit.”

Fashionista’s Verdict? “Taking inspiration straight off the Louis Vuitton SS12 catwalk, Emma channels a youthful innocence look in a dreamy lace camisole. The striped cardigan harmonises her outfit giving it a subtle modern twist.”

Fashionista’s Verdict? “The classic nautical palette of navy and burgundy teamed with Becky’s new preppy satchel give her a look a true Parisian would approve of. Ditch the chelsea boots for a pair of brogues or white keds and you are ready to set sail into the summer season!”

Emma Rushby Second Year Architecture

On trend

Shop til you crop

Topshop, £30

Amanda Old finds beautiful bra-lets, the blossoming trend to mix and match with our old favourite: the high-waisted skirt

Topshop, £24

River Island, £16

H&M, £12.99


The Courier

stylingfashion.23

Monday 30 April 2012

Fashion Editor: Victoria Mole Online Fashion Editor: Rosanna Sopp

Lizzie Hampson and Elissa Hudson style four festival chic ensembles that are hot on the high street right now

Festival fashion

Fantasy wardrobe

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Urban Outfitters, £40

Urban Outfitters, £40

Urban Outfitters, £40

+

+

Day 4

+

Miss Selfridge, £35

+

Urban Outfiiters, £28

+

Topshop, £28

Topshop, £16

+

+

H&M, £12.99

+

Urban Outfitters, £16

+

Topshop, £18

+

Urban Outfitters, £30

+ Urban Outfitters, £32

Denim shorts are the perfect staple for any festival wardrobe. This pair from Urban Outfitters will work well with almost anything, whilst the fraying and the slight pink hue at the bottom of them add edge. A way to channel classic festival chic is to pair your denim shorts with a printed vest top like the one shown above. Here we’ve chosen a top with accents of colours picked up in the backpack to tie the whole outfit together. Add a simple pair of sunnies and off you go!

Miss Selfridge, £5

Here we’ve layered a retro tie-dye sweatshirt over a simple studded crop top to cover all weather bases! Tie-dye is a good way to immerse yourself in festival fashion; this jumper will keep you warm at night and is easy to carry around during the day. If the sun comes out, the crop top we’ve layered underneath will quickly transform your outfit from being stylish and practical to cool and summery.

Miss Selfridge, £5

H&M, £7.95

+

+

H&M, £4.95

Layering is key to festival chic, pile on the accessories over a bandeau and colour block top to achieve this look. A simple black bandeau will mean you can swap and change top colour depending on your preference. Here is a pastel blue top and an Aztec-studded headband with accents of blue. This creates the illusion of the outfit being thrown together whilst keeping a colour theme running through.

H&M, £4.95

For a more girly alternative, a floral dress will look at home amongst the festival crowd. This dress can be paired with a halterneck bikini top worn underneath to add interest to the strapless neckline of the dress. The shape of the dress will flatter most body types, making it an effortless festival staple. A hat will hide festival hair whilst being a cute addition to the outfit.


24.listings30thApril-7thMay

Monday 30 April 2012

The Courier

thecourieronline.co.uk/listings c2.editor@ncl.ac.uk

Monday Thoroughly Modern Millican

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday Mill Volvo Theatre After selling out all 120 dates on her debut Chatterbox tour, including nine nights at The Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre, Sarah Millican is back with a new show ‘Thoroughly Modern Millican.’ Ever wondered how to make a home made treadmill? The practicalities of an orgy? Or what to do when you don’t like parties but do like party food? Wonder no more. If your glass is half full, she’ll top it up. Tickets priced at £20 each. www.millvolvotheatre.co.uk

Tuesday Imagining Christian truth - Retelling the stories of our time

5.30-6.30pm Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building

The challenge facing Christianity in the West is not so much atheism or relativism as indifference. It fails to engage the imagination of many young people. It is considered to be moralistic and boring. Timothy Radcliffe OP will explore how the Churches can respond. There is a double challenge, that of communicating a ‘Christian imagination’, and that of entering and transforming the contemporary imagination. Free admission, no booking required. www.ncl.ac.uk/events

Comedy Night 8pm As You Like It

Every first Tuesday of the month, AYLI holds a fantastc comedy complete with 2 for 1 main courses in the main bar which has tasty dishes such as warm camembert studded with fresh garlic, rosemary & warm bread, Thai red chicken curry with jasmine rice and Newcastle Brown Ale beer battered haddock with mushy peas & proper chips. Headlining this Tuesday - Phil Ellis. www.asyoulikeitjesmond.co.uk

Red Raw

8.30pm The Stand Comedy Club

Our long-running weekly beginner’s showcase is regarded as the best open mic night in the UK. Catch up to ten new acts – some treading the boards for the very first time. This is where everyone starts and it’s your chance to see the stars of tomorrow today. Although watch out for older hands dropping in to try out new material too. www.thestand.co.uk

Table Tennis 12-2pm Venue, Students’ Union

Table tennis in the Union every Monday and Thursday lunchtimes. Just turn up and play for free! No need to register, just pop your name on the sign-up sheet, grab a bat and join a tournament, start your own, or just casually play with friends. www.nusu.co.uk/goplay

Lulu James 8pm The Cluny 2

This North East songstress is getting noticed all over the world with her fresh soul sound, Catch her for just £5 at The Cluny this Monday quick before she gets huge and it’s £50 a ticket! www.thecluny.com

Wednesday Rounders 2pm Exhibition Park

Meet near the tennis courts/gate to Town Moors. Look for the Go Play logo - free! www.nusu.co.uk

Moorbank Botanic Garden Open Evening 5-8pm Moorbank Botanic Garden, Claremont Road, NE2 4NL

Thursday Entrepreneurs’ Question Time 7pm King’s Gate Visitor Centre

Ever thought about starting your own business? Want to know how to go about it and how Newcastle University can help? Then the Rise Up Entrepreneurs’ Question Time is for you! We’re giving you the chance to hear from some of our current and past students/graduates who have successfully started their own ventures with our help. Register to attend this event at www.ncl.ac.uk/careers/ events/item/rise-upentrepreneurs-question-time.

Take a well-deserved break from the library and get some fresh air at Newcastle’s Secret Garden on their Open Evening. Admission: £3 for adults, children go free. All gate proceeds to the National Gardens Scheme charities.

Homemade Jam 8pm Mens Bar

Homemade Jam is back! And this time we’ve added... Karaoke! Every Thursday. www.nusu.co.uk/events


The Courier

30th April-7thMaylistings.25

Monday 30 April 2012

C2 Editor: Aimee Philipson

Friday

Something for the weekend Tynemouth Fake Festival

Gateshead International Festival of Theatre

The Fake Festivals 2012 Tour will be hitting the North East for the first time on 5 May and coming with it will be a whole host of up-and-coming raw regional talent. Taking place at the Percy Park Rugby Club, Tynemouth Fake Festival will not only see performances from internationally acclaimed tributes to Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kings Of Leon but also a showcase of some of the most exciting artists in the region. www.fakefestivals.co.uk

GIFT will showcase some of the most innovative and exciting new work created in the region within a programme of contemporary theatre from nationally and internationally recognised artists. This year GIFT will bring together artists from North America, Ireland, Portugal, Spain as well as the UK.

Saturday from 12.30pm Percy Park Rugby Club

Hospitality

Sat and Sun Gateshead Old Town Hall

Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair

Looking forward to... Lady Gaga tribute night

May 25th Holiday Inn, Jesmond

Love Lady Gaga? Can’t wait for her next tour? Catch the fantastic tribute night at Holiday Inn Jesmond this month. It’s just £19.95 per person and includes a two course dinner, a disco and of course the live act herself. Find Holiday Inn Newcastle Jesmond on Facebook for more information.

May 5, 12-5pm Northumbria University Students’ Union

11pm-4am Digital

The worldwide dupstep and D ‘n’ B night is set to make its latest return to Newcastle since November, featuring Highcontrast, Netsky, Fred V and Grafix. Tickets £13 adv +BF.

Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair has been providing vintage fans with affordable vintage clothing, homewares and accessories since 2005. Now the largest vintage fair of its kind and serving 30 cities it has been hailed by the national press as a ‘shopping phenomenon’. The Fair offers a selection of vintage, reworked and hand made stalls all hand-picked by fashion experts and price checked to ensure shoppers are paying up to 75% less than high street prices for their vintage products. www.judysvintagefair.co.uk

Make and Mend Market Sat 9am - 5pm Grainger Market

Newcastle’s biggest independent arts, crafts & vintage market has been running since 2008. They’re not just great places for finding something beautiful or quirky, but also a very economical way of shopping AND swapping! Check out 18 stalls brimming with design products from local jewellery makers to reproduction clothing & accessories and many more. Join us on Facebook for latest info. FREE entry always!

Canny Little Library 3-7pm Star and Shadow Cinema

The Canny Little Library stocks books, zines and pamphlets with a focus on titles with a more critical stance towards the society we live in and not available in most regular libraries/ bookshops. The collection includes graphic novels, art, feminism, queer, gender, lgbt, politics, sex, health, relationships, DIY, anarchism, philosophy, global struggles, science, nature and environment, worker’s struggles, history, prison struggles, cookery, anti-racism and information for action. All titles are available to browse and borrow for free. The Star and Shadow also houses a large collection of film, photography and theatre books available for browsing and reference. The library can be contacted at cannylittlelibrary@gmail.com. www.thestarandshadowcinema.co.uk

BioSoc Ball May 8, 7pm The Venue

BioSoc cordially invites you to the highlight of the social calendar – our Summer Ball! Last year was a sell-out with Dr Bevan outlasting most of you on the dance floor. Spaces are limited so don’t leave it too late. Formal dress - everyone is invited! Tickets are a mere £26, including Champagne on arrival. ½ bottle of wine per person, local Northumbrian themedbuffet, vintage style photobooth with free prints all night and DJ. Tickets are available from Union Reception (cash only).

Michael Bourne’s The Nutcracker May 15-19th Theatre Royal

Hailed by The Observer as ‘the undisputed king of dance theatre’, Matthew Bourne’s company New Adventures has produced some of the most successful dance productions of the last two decades including Swan Lake, The Car Man, Edward Scissorhands and last year’s sell-out hit, Cinderella. Catch The Nutcracker this month! www.theatreroyal.co.uk

Want your event listed?

Email c2.editor@ncl.ac.uk with all the details and any photos you have by Monday 12pm of the week before the issue you want to feature in.

Follow Listings on Twitter @CourierListings.


26.

Monday 30 April 2012

The Seasoned Traveller’s Ultimate Tips Lauren Cordell

With so many countries to visit, it can be mind-boggling deciding what route to take, which countries to visit and which to miss out. Checking out the different festivals and events going on across Europe can provide a good starting point. Have you always wanted to take your chance running with the bulls in Spain or are you more bothered about catching an open-air opera in an ancient Roman amphitheatre in Italy? Figure out a few must-dos and then plan your trip around them. Don’t just assume that buying an inter rail pass will necessarily be the cheapest way to travel. In some countries, particularly those with more expensive rail systems, you have to pay a supplement on top of the price of your pass. The passes also give you a certain number of days of unlimited travel and the price reflects that. They may be the best option if you want to cover huge distances at a time but if you are only going to destinations a couple of hours away check it won’t be cheaper to buy tickets elsewhere. Try and organize your trip so that you get out of the city sometimes. Once you’ve been to five in a row you stop appreciating things as much and everything seems to merge into one. When the centrepiece of Seville becomes just another cathedral it’s time to mix things up. Head out on more rural adventures. You won’t regret it and you’ll come back to the city refreshed. When deciding whether to take a tent, think carefully about where you plan to go and how long you’ll spend in each place. If you are more interested in visiting big cities be aware that campsites tend to be on the outskirts of town, which can be quite inconvenient if you’re not staying somewhere very long and will mean you’ll be spending more money on transport to get to the centre. It’s also worth remembering that most hostels have a kitchen where guests can cook their own food, whilst taking a tent with no cooking supplies will mean you’ll have to eat out. However, if you’re planning on visiting some smaller towns and more rural locations, such as Lake Bled in Slovenia, camping can be the best and cheapest option.

The Courier

All abroad!

With the end of term just around the corner and nothing but too much time with the family to look forward to, let us provide the perfect escape route: Inter-railing. Not necessarily sticking to the beaten rail track, it’s complete with practical tips, hidden gems and amusing anecdotes. Anyone for a 10p beer?

Czech Republic Skeletons of Sedlec

It is not often you see at least 40,000 skeletons at once. Until you decide to visit Sedlec Ossuary in the Czech Republic. Easily accessible by train and a short walk through Kutna Hora, makes it a perfectly distasteful day trip from Prague. Legend has it that the bones from the discovered mass graves would be exhumed and stacked in the chapel by a half blind monk. Centuries later, the bones were ‘put in order’ and the result is certainly a sinister spectacle. Garlands of skulls drape across the walls like bunting and a huge coat of arms dominates the back wall created from the ancient corpses. A huge chandelier hangs from Sedlec Ossuary shall Forget paying to go up the y: Kerry Mar the ceiling, made of at least Photograph towers in Old Town Square one of every type of bone from and on Charles Bridge, to get an incredtiny fingers to large bulbous ible view of Prague all you need to do is walk up skulls and every other surfaces is decorated to Petrin Hill. Yes, there is a funicular railway you match. Has to be seen to be believed! can ride up the hill, but that will cost you. If the Kerry Marshall weather is nice and you have some spare time, enjoy the walk instead. You’ll see incredible views

Prague

Hungary party atmosphere and everybody socialises under the water fountains, or in the fast moving current pool which is almost impossible to get out of once you’re in.

both on the walk up and once you get to the top, providing you with some perfect photo opportunities. There are lovely, quaint gardens to explore on the hill as well. And if you do have some extra cash and want to go higher, you can go up Petrin Tower, Prague’s mini version of the Eiffel Tower. From there you’ll see all of Prague’s historic sites surrounded by the city’s signature red rooftops. Alexandra Carr

buds. Whether you love the traditional goulash or not, there are so many other dishes to try. Langos, a street stall snack compromising of fried flat dough, smeared with sour cream and garlic and then generously sprinkled with cheese. For a hearty meal, Rakott Burgonya consists of smoked Hungarian sausage, boiled eggs and potatoes cooked into a bubbling casserole. Don’t forget to pop into a market and pick up a strudel for dessert whether apple, cherry or cabbage (not that you can tell when disguised with raisins, walnuts and sugar). Kerry Marshall

Emma Oulton

Szechenyi Baths, Budapest Inside Szechenyi they have a series of baths of varying temperatures, ranging from jacuzzi warmness to a bath so cold that it leaves you numb after only dipping in a limb. There is also a spa area complete with steam rooms, saunas and even a gym. Outside are swimming pools, also of varying temperatures and shapes. There is a real

Feeling Hungary? One reason alone is needed to visit Budapest or anywhere else in Hungary and it isn’t the annual Sziget Festival (also incidentally, that is definitely worth doing). It’s the food. Cuisine influenced by so many countries is ideal and suited to Hungarian specialities everyone’s taste Photography: Kerry Marshall

Szechenyi baths, Budapest Photography: Emma Oulton


The Courier

.27

Monday 30 April 2012

Italy

When in Rome... Rome was the last spot on our trip and funds were low so we decided to book the cheapest hostel we could find on hostelworld.com. The room was €10 and slept four which we thought was very reasonable. As there were four of us we’d have the room to ourselves - ideal! When we arrived, it turned out we were staying in a barn that was actually an old pig sty. They had split the barn into little ‘pens’ of four people. Surprisingly though, it was the best place we’d stayed in of the whole trip. The onsite restaurant sold great cheap food, there was free internet access and a swimming pool which was a real treat for the last stop. The site was full of backpackers and we made loads of friends that we’re still in touch with today. So if you’re looking for somewhere cheap to stay in Rome, with a pool and something unusual to report home about (that you’d slept in a pig sty) look up Tiber Hostel and Camping.

Cinque Terre Photography: Lauren Cordell

Lucy Boden

The Coliseum pub crawl This involved lots of drinking games under the pillars of this historic

Other must-do stops Montenegro

The bay of Kotor is picturesque itself, but turn around towards the mountains and you are literally looking at a postcard. You can get lost in the windy streets of the old town for hours, and there is some great jewellery shopping to be had. Head to the top of the fortress and you’ll be in for a sight you won’t forget.

Bulgaria

The cheapest country in Eastern Europe… except Romania. Our first stop was Varna on the coast, where the beer costs about 10 pence and they open your wine for you at the supermarket checkout. There’s a row of clubs all down the beach: great if you’re after a party and a tan. We then went onto Veliko Tarnovo which was a welcomed haven of relaxation. Nestled in a valley,

the old capital city also offers a serene place to recover. Our activities included visiting the fort for a great view, and in particular paying 4 lev to dress up in a ridiculous knight costume.

Croatia

An obvious choice but one that shouldn’t be missed. Hvar is by far the best island on the Dalmatian Coast. The Green Lizard hostel was our base, and we spent our days renting out power boats, sunbathing and generally lazing about. Make sure to hit Carpe Diem at some point, an island club. With beach volleyball, cocktails and music it’s an absolute must! If you’ve got time, check out the other islands too: Bol on Braĉ boasts the country’s “best beach” and you can camp just down the road.

Cinque Terre monument and making friends who would later help to carry you home. Our ‘cultural’ trip got off to such a high brow start! A word of warning though - Italian police do not have a sense of humour... Lorna Bonnington

Slovenia

Bohinj

A cheap, two hour bus journey from the train station in Ljubljana, Bohinj is located on the lake of the same name and provides stunning views across it. Of course if you are wanting to go out every night and sample a

Alice Holloway

On the North West coast of Italy, these are five idyllic villages linked only by a coastal footpath and train: a great place to kick-back and enjoy life in the slow lane. Lauren Cordell

good nightlife then this is not the place to be – there are very few bars in the village and it is a fair walk to the nearest shops. Nevertheless there is still plenty going on for travellers and tourists; all of the locals speak English and there is a good range of restaurants and cafes serving good food at really low prices. There was even a band playing in a storm drain while we were there, which is apparently a regular occurrence. It is possible to hire out rowing boats on the lake and there is an outdoor activity centre that offers excursions such as kayaking, zorb-walking and paragliding at really good prices. In terms of accommodation, for those with money to spend there are a number of four and five-star hotels but if, like me, you are travelling on a strict budget there are plenty of hostels too. Hotel Bellevue for example charges just £15 a night. Colin Henrys

Lake Bled

The bay of Kotor, Montenegro Photography: Alice Holloway

Lake Bled Photography: Kerry Marshall

Lake Bled is a stunning, unspoilt glacial lake, and an easy day trip of 35 miles from Ljubljana. There is a castle at the top of a colossal cliff and a beautiful environment in which to consume a few beverages and relax on the shore. The best way to see the lake is in a little wooden rowing boat that you can captain yourself, and use to explore the small island in the centre of the lake, make sure you scamper up the 99 steps to the tiny church. Taking a dip in the clear icy depths is obligatory…whether intentional or not as I discovered when disembarking the rickety little vessel. Kerry Marshall


The Courier

Monday 30 April 2012

sex&relationshipslifestyle.29 Lifestyle Editors: Ben Parkin, Emma Balter, and Lauren Stafford Online Editor: Lauren Cordell in association with:

Blind Date Katherine Mills, 2nd year History and Archaeology, meets Joshua Maunder, 2nd year Medicinal Chemistry Katherine on Josh

Josh on Katherine

First impressions? Josh made a great first impression by insisting that he came to my house to meet me before the date. Torrential rain hit the minute we left my house and we were forced to bond under an umbrella. That, along with a few jokes at my expense blaming the Irish for the weather, meant any nervous tension was immediately broken. Josh had suggested we go for drinks before the meal and this was a great way to get to know each other.

First impressions? I wasn’t able to do a quick Facebook stalk beforehand, so I didn’t know what to expect. I went over to pick her up at her house, she seemed pretty friendly and conversation flowed from the off, so it was a good start. I think we left her house in a bit of a hurry, but I was quite glad because I didn’t want to get judged by all of her housemates.

Did your date make any romantic gestures? None that come to mind! Except, he suggested that we share a dessert… Any striking conversation topics? Our conversation flowed throughout the evening with very few breaks, we talked about pretty much anything and everything from our courses and mutual friends to spending a lot of time admiring the restaurant - it had great character and the food was AMAZING. We also spent time analysing our great love of sport and interest in musical theatre. Any awkward moments? Really, I think that the date was free from awkward moments. If you were to get married and have babies, what would you want your baby to inherit from your date? It would most definitely have to be his musical talent. I never learned to play an instrument properly and as a great music lover it is one of my regrets in life. In addition, his flair for science would be pretty useful as it completely goes over my head. Did you open the ex-file? Not mine but it did come into conversation that his ex-girlfriend’s mother commented that he had a lot of tension in his back. Not quite sure how that relationship worked out, but it can’t have ended well. At any point did you understand why they were single? Josh was a lovely guy and a true gentleman; however, I am a stickler for wine etiquette and I like my date to be the one to pour my wine, although that wouldn’t be a problem for all girls. Perhaps between his demanding course and sport he doesn’t have much time for a lady in his life. Were you tempted to lean in for a kiss? I definitely made a new friend, however I don’t think there was any chemistry there (excuse the pun). If you were to take them home do you think your parents would approve? I’m sure my parents would approve, Josh has plenty to say and makes a great first impression. His interest in football would definitely go down a storm with my dad. Their only issue may be his English nationality… Marks out of 10? I would give him 8/10. I had a lovely evening, thanks Josh.

Did your date make any romantic gestures? Ermm, I don’t think so. We shared a pudding, is that romantic? Haha. I can’t really think what a girl could do as a romantic gesture on a first date, maybe that’s just me; it’s probably more of the guy’s role. Any striking conversation topics? We sort of chatted about everything really. We talked about interests, nights out (good and bad), sports, music, that kind of thing. I tried to keep my embarrassing night out stories to a minimum, I didn’t want to get judged too badly on a first date! We had quite a lot in common, so conversation was fun. We were also really impressed by the restaurant, so that brought on a few food-related topics. Any awkward moments? Not that I can remember. I don’t really get awkward much, I would just laugh anyway. If you were to get married and have babies, what would you want your baby to inherit from your date? Bit of an odd question! She was from Northern Ireland, so the accent would be good. She seemed pretty funny, or she understood my humour anyway, so that would be a good trait too. Did you open the ex-file? Not really, previous dates came up in discussion, but not much a ‘file’ as such. There was a bit of gossiping about other mates’ relationships though, which was funny. At any point did you understand why they were single? Not really, she seems quite busy, being in different societies and doing work, so potentially that’s a reason. She was nice enough though. Were you tempted to lean in for a kiss? Haha, there was never really that kind of ‘moment’ on the date, just lots of drinks and conversation. If you were to take them home do you think your parents would approve? Yeah they would, she seemed smart and she knew what she wanted to do in life, they like ambitious people. I don’t really know what they would disapprove of about her, my parents would probably like anyone they felt would be a ‘good influence’ on me to be fair. Marks out of 10? 8/10. The date went pretty smoothly, I think, and I had a good time.

Tashin’ on in the Toon Victoria Mole One, two, cheat We can handle near-death hangovers. We can handle childbirth and we can just about handle Jedward…but we cannot handle jealousy - it can be like having your confidence knocked out cold and taking a bitch pill. The worst kind of jealousy by far comes after finding out that your significant other has been unfaithful. I’ve never been in the position of ‘cheater’ or ‘cheated on’ but I have unknowingly been the ‘cheated with’, and upon finding out, thought: you just ruined your relationship for that, really? Even if we haven’t been on the receiving end ourselves, we know that it’s one of the most hurtful things you can do to someone and yet it’s still common for both sexes to be victims of infidelity. Lack of self-control is the biggest reason, and it’s hard to take the moral high ground when you think of all the times you’ve eaten a diet-defeating doughnut (although if it made your low-fat cereal bars cry, you’d probably think twice about it). Sometimes people cheat because they can; they know that they won’t get caught or they’ll be forgiven. However, most of the time it’s a moment of weakness rather than the product of a frisky ex-womanizer. You should know whether your beau is one, unless you’ve never seen them on a night out (a.k.a. the prowl). Your better-than-average pulling techniques are nothing short of dangerous, especially when less-than-average pulling techniques have an extreme success rate from 1am onwards... I was once classily approached in Sinners with the ambitious line: “I don’t normally come up to girls like this but you’re stunning and I just had to tell you”. After finding out that I was detoxing so had not had a drop of alcohol, he predictably bid adieu and headed towards the bar. It’s embarrassingly easy to be taken advantage of after having a routine treble (or two), but people take advantage of alcohol just as much by making it their excuse for everything from declarations of love (or hate) to public stripteasing. It can be a relationship’s kiss of death, being a tragic combination of overhonesty, impaired judgement and making people friskier than Berlusconi. So, with alcohol taking its familiar role as culprit in the hall of shame, there isn’t usually an emotional connection between ‘cheater’ and ‘cheated with’, although cheating can be emotionally motivated; feeling unappreciated can drive people to seek affirmation elsewhere. However, it doesn’t excuse straying and the guilty party never escapes scratch-free, be it losing someone they care about or hooking up with a bunny boiler (nature’s punishment, sort of like the clap); with lines like the aforementioned, you’re begging for the latter. Cheryl Cole is an example that you couldn’t be more desirable and still not be immune to infidelity. Being the perfect partner can’t always prevent it - it’s down to the other person and in Ashley Cole’s case, you become the country’s biggest tool. Everybody has an opinion on whether you can move on from infidelity; those who’ve been there know that you can’t just fall out of love but staying will mean never feeling secure with that person again. Every couple is different; the only universal truth that can be applied to every one is that if they both care about each other more than they care about themselves, they have the best chance at happiness and staying faithful.


30.lifestyle

Monday 30 April 2012

The Courier

thecourieronline.co.uk/lifestyle c2.lifestyle@ncl.ac.uk

The joys of spring

cooking with fresh produce Shorthand Rock Society

Who? The Rock Society. What are we talking here, geology or drums? The latter. But think around the stereotype - there’s plenty of variety. Hard to ignore the image of long-haired, head-bangers ‘moshing ‘ out to AC/DC… Ignore it! “Rock Society is not just a load of hairy blokes sat around drinking listening to music - we have a lot of female members (half of our committee, including our president, vice and social secretary are all female),” we are told. Girls?! Radical… Not as radical as the quiz nights, band nights, trips to various cities and bar crawls that take place every two weeks, or thereabouts. Fine, but what kind of rock are we talking about? I’m no expert, but there must be some sort of variety…? Of course - heavy metal is, apparently, the most popular but “we try to appeal to people interested in all types of rock music, whether it be punk, ska, classic rock to goth, metal, grindcore or whatever”. Yeah totally, whatever man. Funny. But seriously - everyone is welcome; the society aims to provide a friendly, open atmosphere where people can meet people with similar interests who otherwise might not do so. The society is well connected too; for example, the online music editor of The Courier happens to be the secretary of the society. Groovy. Any other perks? Plenty. Such as… Well, the society has deviously managed to obtain special discounts in Katman2, Doc Blacks, Dominos Pizza (Heaton collection only) and Friday nights at Legends night club. Wow, where do these people come from… ‘Legend has it that a guitar wielding dragon fought the Angel of the North and won so was banished to the edge of the city and hence the Rock Society was formed’ Really? Well, no. (We may have been told to say that.) The society was formed a while ago so no one’s entirely sure when it all began, but it’s certainly worth taking a look at anyway. How do I get involved? It’s a fiver to join, and you can sign up on the union website, as with any other society. Anywhere we can take a look at some pictures, events etc.? There’s also a website- http://nclrock.org/ and a facebook page http://www.facebook. com/#!/groups/nclrocksoc/. All the information about past and future events can be found there, and pictures too. Anything else? That’s all you need to know! Why not check it out yourself? To join and for more information email graham.matthews@ncl.ac.uk

As I sit here on a pretty grey afternoon, the rain is spluttering against the windows. It doesn’t feel like Newcastle has moved on from its dreary winter, yet thanks to the recent heat wave, greengrocers’ stalls at Grainger Market are brimming with fresh seasonal produce. Here are some suggestions of the best ways to celebrate these ingredients so that you can literally fill yourself with the joys of spring.

Spring vegetable risotto Shopping Basket Grainger Market: £3 ASDA: £8.34 (remember that includes a bottle of wine!) Serves 4

6. Taste the risotto to check the rice is soft. If not, add some more stock until you’re happy with it. 7. When the rice is ready, stir in the asparagus, peas and broad beans. 8. Serve and sprinkle with parmesan and black pepper.

1 bunch of asparagus 200g garden peas 50g broad beans 1x small pack of lardons I litre vegetable stock olive oil 1 small onion - chopped 1 fat garlic clove - chopped 300g risotto rice Sea salt and black pepper 125ml white wine A large handful of parmesan cheese

Sabatini’s

Sabatini’s, in two words, was fantastically brilliant, from service, to food, to décor. Although fairly small, the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling mirrors gave the illusion of added depth without stealing away any sense of intimacy. Seated on a raised platform at the back, we were provided the perfect spot for people watching in peace. The biggest issue of the evening was then posed by the three-fold menu; what to have? I eventually settled on garlic cream mushrooms on ciabatta toast, and, at the risk of sounding as though I hold shares in the place, it was one of the best starters I’d ever had. However, I’m hard pushed to explain how such a superficially simple dish was so delicious, maybe I just like mushrooms a bit too much. There was some definite food envy resonating from the other side of the table anyway. My housemate opted for the calamari and garlic mayonnaise, which were crisp and perfectly seasoned without overdosing on the batter. We also shared a selection of Italian breads. After the lengthy deliberations on what to choose for the main course we finally managed to agree on one thing: share and share alike. After all, we didn’t want food envy to occur again now did we. We began on tagliatelle with cream, cured ham, mushrooms and parmesan, which was my personal favourite of the two choices. Creamy yet

Shopping Basket Grainger Market: £15 Serves 6 (with plenty of leftovers) 2kg shoulder of lamb bulb of garlic a few sprigs of fresh rosemary 1. Put your oven on full whack. 2. Meanwhile, crush the cloves of garlic and pick the rosemary leaves from the sprigs. 3. Lay the shoulder in a roasting tin, slash the fat side of the lamb all over. 4. Cover it with salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary and olive oil. 5. Lay the shoulder skin side up and cover the roasting tin tightly with foil. 6. Turn the oven down to 170°C and roast the lamb for 3½-4 hours. Check the meat after 3½ hours; the meat should pull away from the lamb easily with a fork. 7. Serve with whatever you fancy! I made roasted potatoes, carrots and parsnips and fresh spring greens. 8. We also had so much meat left over that we had it the following night with homemade pitta bread, roasted peppers and mint and cucumber yoghurt.

1. Heat the vegetable stock on a low heat. 2. Grab another pan, add a lug of olive oil and put on a low heat. Add the onion, garlic and the lardons. Cook for a few minutes until the onion has softened and the lardons are golden. 3. Add the risotto rice and some salt and stir for 2 minutes. Pour in the wine until it has absorbed. 4. Add a ladleful of hot stock, stir and wait until it’s been fully absorbed before adding more. Cook for 16-17 minutes, adding more stock every minute or so. 5. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the asparagus, peas and broad beans. Cook for 3 minutes and then drain.

Restaurant Review

Slow roasted shoulder of lamb with roasted vegetables

Eliza Barrow

Opening Mondaytimes: Saturday 12.00 to 10.30pm

light as well as generously portioned the mushrooms were bursting with flavour and the ham succulently tasty. As eating long pasta elegantly has never been a personal gift, it’s not my usual choice, but is now definitely a habit I will have to reconsider. Next up was penne pasta with chicken and mushrooms in a tomato and cream sauce, which again was beautiful, although just slipping into second place in the sauce stakes. Despite being extremely full after our mushroom-saturated meal, we decided that we didn’t want to be rude and had to at least look at the desert menu. My staple choice is something warm double chocolate brownie and ice cream-related, but, given the I was beginning to push it in the waistband area, we decided on a twoperson selection of Italian desserts instead. Including tiramisu, a lemoncello-soaked cake, an amaretto cream cake and others that were still lovely but we couldn’t quite work out what they were. All seven mini desserts were delicately arranged and a perfect way to satisfy the sweet tooth without going too overboard. Although the two spoons one plate situation did get slightly too competitive for my liking. end the meal, though I am definitely not a fan of the two spoon one plate situation as it did become a bit of a competition between who could get to which dessert first.

Authentic Italian food in a cosy yet modern environment.

Overall, service was polite and attentive, the cherry on the top of a well-iced, authentically Italian evening. Sally Priddle


The Courier

lifestyle.31

Monday 30 April 2012

Lifestyle Editors: Ben Parkin, Emma Balter and Lauren Stafford Online Editor: Lauren Cordell

Penny Pincher

Rosie Jenkinson The doom and gloom of writing essays and revising seems like it will never end. Yet within eight weeks, it will all be over and it will be summer break! Take some time out from all your studying and book your holidays now - it’ll be something to look forward to and help you keep cheery when your head is buried in books. Once you’ve booked your summer adventure, make sure you don’t miss out on these great summer essentials deals: · Get half price on selected Soltan sun protection and aftersun products at Boots! This skincare brand can be quite pricey, but with this fantastic deal buy Soltan Sensitive Hypoallergenic Suncare Spray for £5.99 (RRP £11.99) and Soltan Moisturising Suncare Lotion for £4.49 (RRP £8.99). · Surprisingly, the best-value UK holiday insurance provider is insureandgo.com. Check out their website to find cheap travel insurance for singles and couples. Also depending on what your holiday entails, you can book insurance accordingly – whether it’s backpacking around the world or winter sports! · Make sure you take a camera with you to capture all those memories! Visit www.currys.co.uk to find massive savings on digital cameras. Whatever your budget, you are bound to find something for you. I love the

#6 Tapas, travel and taking pictures

What’s Hot

14 megapixel SAMSUNG PL22 Compact Digital Camera for £49.97 and the 12.1 megapixel SONY Cyber-shot DSC-W510 Compact Digital Camera for £59.97 (RRP £149.99!) · Don’t splash out loads on expensive designer suitcases and hand luggage, get yourself to Primark! I bought a suitcase from Primark and it lasted me a trip to America, a trip to Hong Kong and it’s still going strong! Also, like Mary Poppins’ handbag, Primark canvas bags are deceiving in that they can hold all sorts inside! Use one for your hand luggage. · Definitely shop around for your holiday currency, as there are different deals going on all over the place! Visit http:// travelmoney.moneysavingexpert.com/ to see the best rates you can get for your money, and don’t just buy your currency from the first shop you see with a ‘wedo-holidaycurrency’ sign in the window!

Get them before they’re gone! · I graduate this year, yet I’ve never been to the Northern Stage. I think this is a cardinal sin. Come join me and see a performance for 50% off ! Visit http://bit.ly/JpNBis to download the voucher and see the terms and conditions of use. · Get 2 for 1 medium/large pizzas with Pizza Hut delivery by ordering online and using the code VCHHGTYNT. Valid until 10th June. · Visit La Tasca on Grey Street or the Quayside and enjoy their £10 Feast Like A King offer on Wednesdays. No voucher is needed. If you’re not free on Wednesday, head down on a Sunday for All You Can Eat Tapas for £14.95 a person! · Start getting your summer glow now with Dove Summer Glow Body Lotion Fair/Norm. 250ml for £2 (RRP £4) at Tesco. Pretty pricey to buy, so get this before it’s snatched up. Illustrations: Daisy Billowes

You’ve got problems!

Are height restrictions limiting your love life, flatmates unappreciative of your baked goods, friend vanished into thin air? Don’t worry... Uncle Monty’s here to help! I’ve been single for a few years now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that at 6 foot 5, my height intimidates boys and makes them feel emasculated. Boys who are taller than me are few and far between, so what do you recommend as a way around this? I’m not sure what to suggest. Fortune has given you this frame for a reason, even if that reason is to infuriate everyone behind you at gigs. You could tie shoes to your knees and kneel down constantly, but your increased success with the opposite sex would come with the caveat of crippling kneecap pain. I think you should embrace your altitude, and know that eventually you will find the Colossus of your dreams. I take a keen interest in baking, and I regularly make loaves of bread for myself and my flatmates to share. However, I don’t think my flatmates treat my goods with the respect they deserve. Twice now they’ve destroyed my bread after nights out, playing baseball with the loaf, and last night they punched bits of uncooked pasta into it so now it is as good as inedible. What should I do? I don’t want to give up my baking, but this callous disregard for my goods has pushed me to the brink. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s disrespectful handling of baked goods, but you might be overreacting a little. However, if you want to make a point, try baking a large

ingot of steel into your next loaf and leave it in a convenient area. That way, if they try to muck about, there will be dire consequences for the structural integrity of your house and you might be able to move out and leave these philistines behind. Also, if you’ve got any loaves going spare, I’ll meet you behind the tennis courts in Leazes Park for what I believe drug dealers call a “drop”. A close friend of mine, Gary, has disappeared. We used to spend every Sunday afternoon together, discussing current affairs and taking tea in the park. However, when I went to meet him last week I was informed that he had left, possibly forever. He didn’t even say goodbye. Should I try to track him down or accept that things change and move on? At this point I should point out that Gary is an alpaca who lived in Jesmond Dene petting zoo. This is deeply distressing news. Gary and I have been close for a number of years now, and I’d be devastated to hear that he’d died without informing me. We bonded over long, cold nights in Jesmond Dene back in the terrible winter of 2007, and his winning smile and sunny demeanour endeared him to me immediately. However, Gary always was quite flighty and prone to whims, so check Newcastle airport and see if he’s hopped on a flight to Ayia Napa like he always said he would. Or maybe they’ve just moved the alpaca pen slightly. We may never know.

Student Loans Finally being able to afford things again, and not feeling you are forced to make the difficult choice between food and trebles. Summer Plans Gearing up for the summer holidays and finalising summer plans, which no doubt will help banish those pre-exam blues. Cinnamon Challenge However potentially ‘dangerous’ doctors may say the cinnamon challenge is, watching clips of people on YouTube eating a spoon full of cinnamon is far too amusing not to be done. Call Me Maybe Carly Rae Jepsen’s number one single is all over the radio at the moment. However annoying some people may find it, this is definitely the song of the moment. So catchy it’s hard not to have a dance when it starts playing. April Showers Sure, the weather might be getting warmer, but the increase in the amount of rain is far from ideal. Getting in to a club and looking like a drowned rat, and smelling like wet dog, is not hot in anyway.

# on Facebook For the last time, Facebook and Twitter are two different things. Hashtags are for Twitter, not for Facebook. It’s not difficult. And people who link their Twitter accounts to their Facebook are just as bad. Passing Out Getting so drunk that you don’t remember what happened is bad enough, but then waking up somewhere you weren’t planning on being is worse. Behind a bin, the top floor of the medical building or the floor of someone else’s room (when they aren’t in there).

What’s Not Indiana Murphy

Illustrations: Daisy Billowes


32.arts

Monday 30 April 2012

The Courier

thecourieronline.co.uk/arts c2.arts@ncl.ac.uk

The book that... is a fat-free guilty pleasure Superficially pretentious Grace Harvey proudly admits that John Grogan’s Marley and Me is a trashy treat she’s not ashamed of

W

e all have our guilty pleasure when it comes to reading, and whether it’s Stephenie Meyer, Jodi Picoult or worse, Katie Price, it’s hard to deny the appeal of the so-called ‘trashy novels’. While some hide their dubious preferences, others are totally oblivious to their shamefulness but I am proud to admit that Marley and Me is perhaps one of the greatest books I own. Judge me if you will, but the story of life and love with the world’s worst dog is just completely irresistible and gripping. I’m not talking about the film with Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, but the actual book, which, although truth be told isn’t actually much better, never fails to make me smile. John Grogan’s autobiographical memoirs about one man and his dog is without a doubt sold entirely by Labrador puppy Marley’s repertoire of mischievous antics, rather than actually professing to be a semidecent read. On paper the book is genuinely horrific; it’s badly written (Grogran apparently earns his money as a professional writer but I fail to see how this happens) and you follow the hugely clichéd story of John getting married, buying a dog, having kids, getting a new job etc, etc and all that other happy family jazz. And to make matters worse no one even lives happily ever after. But it’s an easy read that never fails to pull on my heartstrings and as the tear-sodden pages of my copy will tell you, it’s an emotional rollercoaster to rival Titanic, and I am completely unashamed to admit that I love this book. There is no malarkey about divorces, media scandals, political coups and the like, but it is a simple story about one man and his dog, and if you’ve ever stared blankly at Ulysses praying for inspiration you’ll understand what a relief it is to read something you can not only understand but enjoy. No one can deny that the book is endearing and a genuinely emotional story that ultimately ends in tears, but whether you weep or laugh it is a truly great read. Admittedly, I do flick straight to the various photos of Marley but we all do it. And as Grogan reminisces about Marley’s cheeky adventures you can’t help but smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside (as if the prospect of graduating and being a responsible adult isn’t real). Although it isn’t groundbreaking literature, neither does it pretend to be. Rather, it is a simple enough read that guarantees to make me smile, cry and laugh shamelessly, with the added pleasure of being completely guilt-free.

Top 10 stimulating literature lies

Sally Priddle investigates what is sexy about the deceptive art of scholarly seduction

I

t is not just Joey from Friends who has considered buying an encyclopaedia in order to pretend they are up there with Stephen Fry on general knowledge. If my housemates are discussing something over my head, you’ll mostly find me nodding along with an air of “I could interject with my opinion but I don’t want to make you all look like philistines”, whilst in my head I am really going “what? Jellyfish are on the rise?” If this sounds at all familiar, you are not alone - here is a list of some of the things that most of the population lie about reading on a daily basis.

good and wanted something to really put a damper on things.

10. Shakespeare

6. Financial Times

Nearly everyone endured Macbeth at school, but it is stretching the truth to breaking point if anyone claims that Shakespeare is still relevant purely on the basis that ‘it is a classic’. If you’ve experienced this from someone, you know it’s absolute BS and they haven’t read a word.

9. Nelson Mandela’s autobiography

Undoubtedly he is one of the most inspirational men in history, but I think I could summarise that in a page. The 600+ page book that documents this is for many a mountain that they would rather just take a picture of than climb.

8. James Joyce’s Ulysses

Phenomenally written, a perfect example of modernist writing, an utter classic (a highly confusing and complex book that nobody wants to read but everyone feels they should), a Telegraph survey says that 25% of people that claimed to have read Ulysses were lying. I feel this 25% is a lie in itself - no one has actually read this book unless they thought their life was just too

7. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

All men who have said they have read this book were either made to read it at school, flicked through and thought “what utter s*** but it’ll impress that girl” or have, in fact, just watched the film/TV series and believe that this is an adequate equivalent. I’m not just being sexist though; apparently 65% of people lie about reading the classics in order to impress others. We all pretend to know about the stock market, but in reality who actually does? The only economic debate I am interested in is regarding the inflation of Freddos (because yes I remember when they were 5p) and Sinners’ trebles going up to £2.50 (which was the moment when I realised that shit was hitting the metaphorical fan with the British economy).

5. Current Affairs

Having a quick glance at the BBC News website or The Guardian does not count as actually being up to date on current affairs, but I will go to my grave saying it is. Pretending to be up on the different perspectives of a current news story is, in my humble opinion, a full-time job and as much as I do care about what is going on in world, it is just not something I am willing to invest time in right now (and I know for a fact I am not alone in this position).

4. The Award winners

“Oh it was the Orange prize winner you say? It is the tale of how a dog symbolically represents the emancipation of housewives

in the 1970s, wow…err… well I will definitely read this, sounds….fascinating.” We are all thinking the same ‘maybe not’. 26% of men, in a survey done for World Book Day, admitted they had put an impressive award winning book on their bedside table to impress a woman.

3. Your text messages/emails

“Of course I read that email you sent and I would be happy to errr…” In reality “Yes I saw you were asking for something and so I clicked off it and thought I’d ignore you until later” This isn’t just a work thing though; 74% of men said they had lied to their partners about reading a text message from them to get out of trouble when in reality they had just opened and closed it straight away.

2. The Bible

Religious beliefs aside, it turns out that 35% of people have lied about reading the Bible to impress a member of the opposite sex. My track record may not demonstrate that I am a guru when it comes to the dating world, but I am pretty sure that if I was attempting to impress a man I wouldn’t whack out a verse from Psalms in the desperate hope he might ask me for a drink. In fact, I am pretty sure it would send him in the opposite direction, but then again I am single - so maybe this is a trick I am missing…

1. George Orwell’s 1984

Apparently this is the book most people like to lie about having read. I’ll join in here and admit I didn’t finish it, and I can safely say without any sense of sarcasm that this has done nothing to diminish my quality of life. I have managed to reach the age of 20 and make friends without having the trusty 1984 by my side to bring up any time there is a lull in the conversation. With my friends I would be more shunned if I told them that I hadn’t read Harry Potter.

Musical dos and don’ts

Singing, sex and SuBo - there are very few areas of life and history that musicals won’t tackle, but there’s a very fine line between pushing boundaries and simply scrapping the fungi-encrusted barrel of ideas? Catherine Langley debates

I

love the musical as much as the next person, but in recent times it could be said that some of the concepts for new shows have tried to push the boundaries that little bit too far in suggesting the most out there and absurd ideas possible. I’d probably be willing to give any new show a try, but some projects, such as Jade Goody: The Musical, Coronation Street: The Musical and an all-singing and dancing Fight Club, really do stop me in my tracks and make me lose the will to live. I am not normally a cynic but even my eyebrows are raised by the prospect of the typical Coronation Street twang being transferred into a musical phenomenon. What has happened to the classics of my childhood, Oliver!, The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins to name but a few, and why does the theatre world give such gems a bad name by creating these new monstrosities? Of the aforementioned insane new musical concepts, the one that shocks and confuses me the most is Fight Club, originally a novel and then adapted into David Fincher’s stunning 1999 film version, with a saintly Brad Pitt and Jared Leto. Surely a musical version would trample all over such a cult classic, while it seems pretty laughable cutting between singing and

extreme violence - do these really go hand in hand? Also, how does such a classic line, ‘Welcome to Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club!’ translate into a song? (And if by any miracle Bono is reading this, I personally veto the idea right now). I was more horrified to find out it is actually David Fincher at the helm of this bizarre project - why, David, why? Stop trying to kill the reputation of your film, and your reputation as a director! This concept clearly bothers me no end, but bringing sad nobodies of the ilk of Jade Goody and Susan Boyle to the stage seems still more abhorrent. I mean they both must be pretty scant on plot considering these figures’ lack of impact on society. Furthermore, hasn’t SuBo only been in the public eye for at most four years? How does this translate into a two hour musical? On the other hand, some questionable ideas have actually translated into huge hits, such as Mamma Mia which, despite its slightly flagging plot, charms through its use of Abba’s back catalogue, which you cannot help but sing along to. Or perhaps more recently Matilda: The Musical,

which won rave reviews, Olivier Awards and boasted songs by comedy genius Tim Minchin. These examples demonstrate that sometimes ideas are so wrong, they actually work, but a liberal sprinkling of masterful songwriting will always help raise musicals to the stellar heights of, say, West Side Story. Unfortunately, I cannot imagine such fare as Fight Club or Coronation Street: The Musical ever rising to such a level. Hopefully, they will be left to fall on the scrap heap of failed musicals along with Spiderman and Cannibal, and rightly so.


The Courier

arts.33

Monday 30 April 2012

Arts Editor: Sally Priddle Online Arts Editor: Lisa Bernhardt

Bringing the GIFT of previews theatre to the Toon Millie Walton explores the highlights of the city’s most unique, dramatic and expressive festival Newly founded in 2011, GIFT returns to bring together new theatre makers from around the world for an action-packed bank holiday weekend of performances, workshops and discussions held in various locations around Gateshead. With a vastly diverse programme of events, this year’s festival promises to be as successful and fun as its opening. Plus it gives you something to do at the weekend that is a cultural distraction from the library. Here are our highlights:

Friday 4 May 1.30pm-2.30pm (starts 1pm on Saturday), St. Mary’s Heritage

Centre GIFT Conversations with Noel Witts GIFT Conversations is pretty much what it says on the tin: a conversation between Noel Witts (Research Fellow in Scenography at the University of the Arts, London) and some of the festival’s featured artists. It may sound a bit dull, but it’s a great way to start your festival experience and learn about the artists’ work before you actually go and see it - so when you do, you can have that smug sense of superior knowledge over the rest of the audience. Also, if you miss it on Friday, Noel will conveniently be chatting again on Saturday.

2pm-4pm, various town centre locations

Performance Intervention Three theatre artists have been asked to invent three different performances for each day of the festival in three different sites. Who knows what they will come up with? It’s a bit like a hide and seek on a massive scale - the first one to find the ‘performance intervention’ wins.

Saturday 5 May 4pm-4.25pm, Old Town Hall I Searched for Love on Google ‘I Searched for Love on Google’ is a performance by Tenderfoot Theatre (final year students at Manchester Met University). It’s the tale of three unfortunate people trapped on a cruise ship, who are wrapped up in a never-ending search for ‘happiness’. They become totally submerged in the high life of champagne and dancing and the remembrance of moments that once were and may never be again. 4.30pm-5pm (approximately), Gateshead College ‘How do you say?’ ‘How do you say?’ is a dance/theatre performance by recent graduates from York St. John University, exploring the relationship between men and women. It promises to be amusing and thoughtful with the nonsensical moments in relationships revealed through bizarre movement and powerful speech.

Tender Napalm

I

n his first play for three years, Tender Napalm, award-winning playwright Philip Ridley combines brutality, fantasy and love in his moving examination of a relationship between an unnamed man and woman. This highly acclaimed play wowed critics at its premiere in Southwark Playhouse and is visiting the Northern Stage in May as part of its UK tour. It has been described as “wildly intoxicating” and “sensationally staged” and is already labelled one of the best shows of 2012. A lyrical stream of words is transformed through imaginary games into intense physicality offering an account of love in the face of disaster. The drama is delivered by up and coming theatre stars Lara Rossi and Tom Byam, but this small cast does not however denote a lack of variation or excitement. With a director nominated for numerous awards and a nationally acclaimed writer, alongside an enchanting, powerful and passionate script this play is certain not to disappoint and shouldn’t be missed. Tickets start at £14.50 and can be bought from www.northernstage.co.uk or their box office. Amy Bolton

Danza Contemporanea de Cuba

I

Theatre Royal May 3-5

f, like me, you’re depressed by the constant rain and gloomy skies, plus the thought of revision, treat yourself to a blast of tropical sunshine courtesy of Danza Contemporanea de Cuba. The troupe has been described by Carlos Acosta as ‘one of the most exciting companies in the world today’ and it only takes a quick YouTube session to see why. ‘Carmen?!’, a take on the operatic classic, sizzles with sensual Cuban spirit, right down to their vibrant shirts, with just the right amount of chest on show. The company seeks to meld Afro-Caribbean and Spanish styles and the result is exciting, unpredictable and completely spellbinding. ‘Sombrisa’, choreographed by Isreali star Itzik Galili marks the culmination of a cultural project ‘Seconds Out’ which aims to fuse the worlds of Boxing and Dance. Opening at the Theatre Royal, De Cuba will then embark on a nationwide tour, so don’t miss out on the chance to see this inventive and powerful performance. Tickets start at £16 and can be bought from www.theatreroyal.co.uk or their box office. Frances Stephenson

Jerusalem

A

The People’s Theatre May 1-5

fter much success in the West End and on Broadway, the North East welcomes Jez Butterworth’s multi award-winning play Jerusalem to The People’s Theatre. With a contemporary protagonist who spends his days drug dealing, drinking, throwing parties and reminiscing of his early days as a stunt motorcyclist, Jerusalem is both comical and moving. Peter Harrison takes on the challenging role of Johnny ‘Rooster’ Bryon, a man who everyone seems to be after. His son wants to be taken to the local county fair, the local council officials want him evicted from his caravan home, and a disgruntled group of thugs led by Troy Whitworth want his alcohol and drugs stash. Director Sarah McLane is thrilled to have the opportunity to direct such a remarkable piece of theatre and promises audiences a memorable three hours that ‘no one should forget’. Jerusalem is a must-see after being hailed ‘an instant modern-classic’ by Charles Spencer of the Telegraph in 2011. Tickets start at £9 and can be bought from www.peoples-theatre.co.uk or their box office. Beatrice Walker

reviews

Geordie Sinatra

Close the Coalhouse Door Northern Stage April 18

Sunday 6 May 10am-1pm, Old Town Hall Theatre Monkey Theatre Monkey kicks off with a two-hour workshop led by Amy Golding, Artistic Director of Theatre Auracaria, encouraging participants to share skills and monkey around together. This will be followed by an informal tea party, giving you a great chance to network and eat lots of cake. GIFT will take place on May 4-6 and tickets are available at www.giftfestival.co.uk

Northern Stage May 16-17

C

lose the Coalhouse Door, in a nutshell, is a patriotic Geordie history lesson of the mining age. That may sound quite unappealing, especially the history lesson part, but I can assure you that this production is much more lively. It’s a true Brechtian piece orchestrated by ‘The Expert’ who introduces the play, sets the scene and appears occasionally in the thick of the action to contribute some information or play the piano. The actors are vastly multi-talented, switching roles continually, adopting different accents and bursting into song. Even the character of the Grandmother whips out the guitar and energetically gyrates around the stage. The set is equally captivating and flexible and is adjusted by the characters themselves as they animate various ‘pitman’ anecdotes. It’s a bit slow in places and slightly alienating if you are, dare I say it, a ‘Southerner’ as the jokes are very localised and the Geordie accents thick, but the cast work their socks off to keep the audience entertained and at the very least you walk out of the theatre feeling more knowledgeable about the generally forgotten struggle of the miners. Also you get a free drink and a raffle ticket to win, bizarrely, some sausages or another meaty treat. All in all a great evening out. Millie Walton

Pole Dance Show

Live Theatre April 18 - May 12

S

et in an old nightclub in Whitley Bay, Geordie Sinatra tells the story of an ex-Frank Sinatra tribute artist and his current state of dementia. His spoilt daughter Nancy (Heather Saunders) has come home to deal with the illness and its unfortunate consequences, such as Geordie (Anthony Cable) stripping in Morrisons while serenading a bunch of youths. The plot unfolds at a steady pace to reveal some shocking, if not slightly unbelievable, twists. Fiona Evans’ combination of this convoluted storyline and witty humour lightens the mood of what could otherwise be a rather depressing evening learning about the realities of dementia. Due to poor Geordie’s hallucinations, there are a number of changes in time frames and characters, however the small cast of four are a strong team and top their performance with their musical talents to accompany Geordie’s Sinatra renditions. My only criticism was the length and it was only due to the trouser-less lead that we weren’t getting restless. Come fly with Geordie as he serenades the audience through the heartache of the illness and performs some of Sinatra’s great classics with a live jazz trio to an extremely high standard. Beatrice Walker

Venue, Students’ Union April 25

A

ny misconceptions about pole dancing were quickly turned on their heads by the end of this performance, as, over the course of two and a half hours, the performers really showcased the incredible skill that the dancing involves. As girls deadlifted their own weight and dangled upside down by their ankles awe was etched into the faces of the audience, and people could be heard exclaiming how strong the performers were. There was great variety in routines, ranging from the elegant to the near impossible to the downright hilarious. A special mention at this point goes to Lucy Gazzard, aka Freddie Mercury, who entertained the crowd with her interpretation of ‘I Want To Break Free’, complete with moustache and feather duster. The ever fantastic Charlie Rowley compered the evening, warming up the crowd and really getting into the spirit of the showcase, going so far as to climb the pole himself and even attempt to hold himself horizontally (something which most of the performers themselves can’t do). The combination of entertainment and sheer skill really added up to a great evening. The showcase donated all funds to Newcastle University RAG, totalling an impressive £305. Sally Priddle


34.musicreviews

Monday 30 April 2012

The Courier

Music Editors: Ben Travis and Chris Scott Online Music Editor: Graham Matthews

Blunderbuss

Sound of the Overground Sam Summers once again delves into this week’s chart, occasionally finding some of pop’s best-kept secrets, but more often than not, finding absolute drivel.

Houston? I think hot-right-now teen heartthrob Conor Maynard has a problem. ‘Girls girls girls, I just can’t say no’ he complains on his debut single ‘Can’t Say No’. ‘One thing they got in common, they all got a hold on me’. That’s right ladies, Justin Bieber may be off the table, but look over here! It’s the marginally less attractive Conor Maynard, and he will stick it in anything with a damp hole. Hear him lament his tragic lack of standards over a

‘minimalist’ beat he made by repeatedly smacking an iPad with his semi-permanent erection. Not to be outdone, Justin Bieber makes his return with ‘Boyfriend’, a song which sounds almost exactly like ‘Can’t Say No’, the key difference being I like it. I like it quite a bit actually, and as frightened as I am by this turn of events I’m going to try and explain why. He starts off by whispering about ‘taking you places you ain’t never been befo’ – I like to imagine he’s whispering it with his lips resting on the crown of my head, because that always makes me swoon – before undercutting everything with chants of ‘swag! swag! swag!’ and rhymes about fondue. He’s sexy but silly, a bit like another Pop Justin you might remember from your wet dreams, and I’m becoming worryingly fond of him. Dour-faced man-poppers Train have a new one out, and while I was listening to it my brother spat out a mouthful of coke and screamed like an alarmed dolphin. I followed him as he ran to the sink, hurriedly explaining that a solid object had unexpectedly passed his lips. We slowly emptied the coke can, the air dense with anticipation, and what should appear but a tiny ball of moss? Absolutely remarkable. Anyway, the song’s called ‘Drive By’ and it’s balls. ‘Primadonna’ is the really-rather-good new single from Marina and the Diamonds. The chorus is pretty fine, as it should be, but what really elevates it from ‘rather-good’ to ‘really-rather-good’ is the bit with the cheerleader backing vocals. ‘Ooh!’ ‘Yeah!’ ‘Wow!’ One day, someone will write a song with nothing but cheerleader backing vocals, and that song will remove the ‘rather’ altogether, becoming simply ‘really-good’.

Michael Bay’s favourite nu-metal holdouts, Linkin Park, further extend the world’s most painfully-outstayed welcome with ‘Burn It Down’, the lead single off of their sure-to-be-seminal new album Living Things. The first verse sounds to all the world like a new Foster the People track, raising the intriguing possibility that ‘The Park’ could have adapted their sound, evolved even, to suit the changing times. Unfortunately, all hope is quickly dashed as ‘The Link’ once again burst into the only chorus they’ve ever written; ‘We’re building it UUUUUURRRP...’ Download: Justin Bieber – Boyfriend

Jack White

I

t feels odd to be reviewing a debut album from Jack White, someone already entrenched as a senior figure in the rock world, but White has finally emerged from his many band projects to stand on his own. The freedom offered by solo work has clearly paid off, allowing White to craft more of a personal, layered album, fusing influences and styles without getting too self-indulgent. Relatively low-key opener ‘Missing Pieces’ gives way to the more dynamic single ‘Sixteen Saltines’, but that’s the closest we ever get to a White Stripes stomp - Blunderbuss is more of a complex, mournful collection of downbeat, melancholy blues. Indeed, much of Blunderbuss highlights White’s recent divorce and comparisons to Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks abound, but though there’s plenty of lyricism on hurt feelings and malicious female figures, the tone of the album remains more ambiguous than a simple break-up album. The jaunty piano tunes of ‘Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy’ cover lyrical dissonance, and the last few tracks take a more relaxed tone compared to the urgency of the album’s first half. The catchy, fuzz-covered riffs that White’s known for are still there, notably on bitter tirade ‘Freedom at 21’, but take more of a backseat

elsewhere, being incorporated into more wider ranging songs. Finale ‘Take Me With You When You Go’ epitomises this, an almost proggish fusion of strings, fuzzy guitar solos, and piano wrapped together with vocal harmonies.

Beware and Be Grateful

All the Crooked Scenes Ellen and the Escapades

Maps & Atlases

A personal, layered album, fusing influences and styles without getting too self-indulgent It’s an album that takes a few listens to settle in, not straightforward blues-rock, but still too deeply ingrained with its sensibilities (evidenced by a bombastic re-working of Little Willie John’s ‘I’m Shakin’) to seem experimental. It’s that mix of traditional and old-fashioned elements, but in a fresh sounding way that White does so well; there’s electric pianos and country influences aplenty as well as the riffs, and the mixing adds a depth and maturity to the songs on offer that puts Blunderbuss a cut above some of White’s previous work.

Recommended download: ‘Sixteen Saltines’

Ben Partridge

Master Of My Make-Believe Santigold

F

C

fter winning Glastonbury Emerging in 2010, the Leeds quintet have taken their brand of “alternative folk” to the mainstream, much to the dismay of the Folk Police. It’s a difficult place to be slightly folky - you’re either going to get labelled as “Mumford and Sonsa-like” or “way too folky for me”. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. You’re either generic and bland faux-folk, a sound which makes your average Pentangle listener weep, or too like the “proper folk” to be accepted by Radio 1 listeners. Somehow Ellen and the Escapades have managed to sit somewhere in between, trying out various different areas of folk whilst still being accessible to the masses. From the spaghetti western twangs of the title track to the slidey Americana guitar of ‘Run’, it feels odd that the band hail from the cold, dreary Yorkshire and not from the vast North American plains. There are hints of Conor Oberst, Sharon Van Etten and First Aid Kit here, alongside lyrics that wouldn’t look out of place on an Elliot Smith album. Alongside this, Ellen Smith’s gorgeous, crackly vocals add extra character to the songs and yet, despite lending her name to the band name, it doesn’t impose upon all the other elements of the band to become the dominant forefront ala Florence Welch.

A

or those of you who remember Santigold (she used to go by the name Santogold if that rings more of a bell) I’m referring to the American pop star who released a damn good self-titled debut album back in 2008, and whose infectious Switch-produced single ‘Creator’ found its way into the nation’s subconscious on a series of V05 adverts. Now with her slight change of name due to legal issues, her new album Master Of My Make-Believe marks a triumphant return. With inspirations ranging from the 1980s, to a dash of reggae, Nigerian music, James Brown, and Aretha Franklin, her influences certainly scream individuality. Often compared to M.I.A, Santigold disagrees, arguing that she’s less political and not just another woman voicing her opinion, however with track names such as ‘The Riot’s Gone’ it is not hard to see where the comparison comes from. However, while her debut album was definite, diverse, and exciting, the music scene has changed a lot since then. Master Of My Make-Believe does have the reggae beats, African drums, and plenty of pop and it fits in more with the music of today than it did back in 2008. This will definitely be an album you’ll be hearing lots of with eleven diverse, energetic, and upbeat tracks with Santigold’s beautiful vocals adding that vital touch.

Recommended download: ‘Silver Self ’

Recommended download: ‘Run’

Recommended download: ‘GO!’

hicago quartet Maps & Atlases have been around since 2004 but only got around to making their debut album proper with 2010’s Perch Patchwork. Fortunately, the time spent faffing about before releasing full albums seems to have paid off, as sophomore record Beware and Be Grateful is a terrific achievement. Perky Afropop guitars and lolloping drums form the greater part of Maps & Atlases’ sound, though there is a surprising but not at all unwelcome diversion on ‘Vampires’ toward late-80s-era Roy Orbison and Don Henley. Even more esoteric is ‘Old and Gray’, which sweeps neatly from vocoder-led XX-style niceties toward spaced-out skittering harmonies and ends up at clattering piano-based conclusion. As long as you can get past the fact that singer David Davison sounds an awful lot like tiny Mark Owen from Take That (a man who constantly sounds like he’s trying to sing with a pint of phlegm in his throat) it’s an extremely enjoyable album, stuffed with hooks and perfectly pitched for long summer days to come. Maps & Atlases have managed to navigate their way out of the math- and post-rock bubble (think stop-start rhythms, choppy guitars and more time signatures than a Dr Who autograph-hunter’s notebook) and into far more soothing, but no less invigorating, waters.

Tom Nicholson

For tonnes of web-exclusive columns and live reviews, check out The Courier music section online.

Chris Taylor

Olivia Mason

Follow The Courier music section on Twitter - @TheCourierMusic

Gig announcements, updates on the Newcastle music scene, track recommendations and exclusive articles. Oh, and plenty of #hashtags!


The Courier

featuresmusic.35

Monday 30 April 2012

thecourieronline.co.uk/music c2.music@ncl.ac.uk

Rediscovering reggae’s roots On the

W

Top 5 reggae artists

hen it comes to reggae, there’s inevitably one name in particular that springs to mind - inescapably, Bob Marley truly is the genre’s legendary king. And with documentarian Kevin Macdonald’s new two-anda-half-hour in-depth reassessment of the man behind the music, the critically-adored Marley, currently showing at the Tyneside Cinema (and reviewed on page 37), what better time to waft away the dodgysmelling smoke, put away the steel pans, stop dreading your hair and take another look at the music that inspired a million stereotypes?

(except for Bob Marley)

1

Peter Tosh A founding member of Bob Marley’s band The Wailers, Peter Tosh left to follow his dream of becoming a successful solo artist-cum-expert unicyclist. He’s primarily remembered today for smoking heroic quantities of marijuana, and the classic stoner anthems which followed. Classic Album – Legalise It

2

Toots & the Maytals Toots & the Maytals were influenced by gospel, funk and soul music, and were one of the first reggae bands to reach international audiences. They’re also one of the only early reggae acts still recording today, having released collaborations with No Doubt, The Roots and Shaggy among others. Classic Album – Funky Kingston

Stir it up: little-known Marley facts Now, we don’t want to go spoiling anyone’s fun by revealing all the secrets contained in the new Marley documentary, but just to whet your appetite a little, Rory Smith unveils a few facts you might have never known about the mysterious man.

Family Guy Now when it comes to bei a family man, you might ng expect Marley to be the not sor guy who took his kids to t of neyland and mowed the DisAs his wife and (many) chilawn. will testify, he had a stra ldren nge and separate existence fro m his family and didn’t do all well at the whole ‘one par that tne for life’ bit either. Naugh r ty, naughty Robert!

r, Who Our Fathe Sussex? . Art From.. f

It turns out there’s quite a few people who don’t know tha t som o eone took a pot shot at e subject th n o re e’ Bob back in 1976. And it While w o’d have thought wasn’t even a crazed fan or an ang family, wh actually a Royal ry as w ras ? ad ta hat d ex er s - no, it turns out it Bob’ nny Suss rry wa su m o fr e s all political. Where’s the Marin ey? So nnection h love man? Unusual coyou’re not really the gae, it’s g Jamaica, re f o ll -a end be-all and om just off the M23. actually fr

These are just a tiny proportion of the amazing facts to be found in Marley - not only is it a really well put together piece of journalism, it naturally has one of the best soundtracks to date. It’s quite long, so prepare for a numb, reggae bum, but it’s certainly not one to miss!

After the success of our last horrendous lyrics feature, we delved further into the abyss of terrible and equally questionable choices of words within their lyrics sheet. Do any of these make any sense to anyone? Rican, or “I like them black, white, Puertoor even e, nes Chi Haitian, like Japanese, y’ Bab lla ‘Ba , Asian” - Chingy “I am the table” - Lou Reed & M ‘The View’ etallica, e, I told “I met a girl, she asked me my namewhere ‘Som , ght orli Raz ” was it t her wha Else’

“I’ll make you call e daddy, even thou you’re not my daugm hter” - Tinie Tempa gh ‘Rip’ h,

Lee “Scratch” Perry As well as producing most of early reggae’s biggest acts – including Bob Marley & the Wailers – Perry pioneered the genre’s trippy, experimental offshoot, dub. His bizarre instrumental remixes, usually focussing on a song’s drum and bass tracks, have had a wide influence on today’s electro, hip-hop and, yes, dubstep. Classic Album – with more than seventy to his name, you should probably start with a Best Of

4

Attempted Assassination

Whack lyricals

3

Burning Spear Sort of like the Chuck D of reggae, Burning Spear is known for his overtly political lyrics, usually focussing on Rastafarianism and civil rights. He adopted a much darker sound than many reggae artists and was, as near as I can tell, a complete and unabashed badass. I mean, just look at the name! Classic Album – Marcus Garvey

5

Shaggy Laugh all you want, but cheesy ‘90s chart reggae is still reggae, and Mr Luva Luva himself did it better than anybody. Irresistible, irrepressible, and above all inculpable, Shaggy has succeeded Bob Marley as the reggae voice of his generation. Right? Classic Album – Boombastic Sam Summers

I own “Jump in my hoopty hoopty hoop, ,I nth mo this t ren my in’ pay t ain’ that, ips’ rsh ‘Sta aj, owe that”- Nicki Min

“I’m going to m blanket” - Fergieiss you like a child misses its , ‘Big Girls Don ’t Cry’ a ain’t love who y e attic to I e r a u o y th o “I love whAnn Frank. Let’s hit - Outkast, s” o k s e e e ’r w u o yo r bout tw hide out fo o Clean’ S ‘So Fresh,

“You take the w ord sex, and mix texting. It’s calle it with Hilton , ‘Drunk d sexting” - Paris Text’

record

Classic album Fresh perspective Until last week, I had never listened to Exodus by Bob Marley & The Wailers

Y

ou could write an article the length of the Yellow Pages on this album, I kid you not. Unfortunately, I only have 425 wise words to sum up one of the most important albums since Jamaica was formed as a land mass. Exodus, ladies and gentlemen, is roots reggae at its very finest. The album was recorded in London, while Marley recuperated from an assassination attempt, and released on June the 3rd 1977. Many see this as the album that really projected Marley to international stardom despite it being the ninth studio album created by Marley and The Wailers. Despite calling myself a follower of reggae, I have shamelessly never listened to Exodus the whole way through, but wow! On first impressions, this album is cooler than a Siberian snow storm during the ice age. It is impossible to be offended by any track on this album. It may be cliché to say, but this album is a purely blue sky, white sand listening experience. Even the darker sounding tracks such as, ‘The Heathen’ and ‘Guiltiness’ manage to convey their message with underlying optimism. Stylistically, it’s a combination of the offbeat, repetitive rhythms and staccato chord progressions that produces the hypnotic effect of the music and Exodus is no different. It’s easy to get carried away on the Caribbean calypso, but sometimes, that’s exactly what you’re looking for. Two tracks that display this beautifully are ‘Jamming’ and ‘Waiting In Vain’. ‘Jamming’ is not just my favourite track on the album but quite possibly one of my favourite tracks of all time. This track is cool as a coconut. It’s the gradual chug of the reggae steam train, passing slowly through the lushious, dense Jamacan rainforest. But where’s this train heading I hear you ask? – It’s heading wherever you want it to, just sit back and enjoy the ride. As for ‘Waiting In Vain’, here’s one to listen to as you watch the sun dip his hot head into the crystal blue, Jamaican sea. Marley exposes his romantic side through smooth lyrics, accompanied by mellow guitar rifts. Like the departing sun at the end of a rum-infused evening, this track fades with Marley’s sweet sound slinking off into the darkness; a true favourite of mine. Unfortunately, ‘Three Little Birds’ has succumbed to the almighty force of the media. It seems insurance companies have used it for the past 35 years to tell us in no uncertain terms that “every little thing’s gonna be all right,” even if your living room’s knee deep in water. Oh the power of the reggae vibe! As I mentioned, Exodus is the pinnacle of the reggae genre. It has inspired countless artists and albums to date, but the real beauty of the album is in the way it is seamlessly joined together. It’s an organic flow of Rastafarian rhythm and rhyme. Regardless of your musical leanings, it is impossible to not respect this album for what it is, and what it continues to be. Jah rules the world! Rory Smith


36.filmfeatures

5

Monday 30 April 2012

The Courier

thecourieronline.co.uk/film c2.film@ncl.ac.uk

Top

Worst musiciansturned-actors

5

Britney Spears Oops, she did it again. Britney ventured out of her pre-manufactured pop princess bubble in order to embark on a burgeoning career as an actress. Crossroads promised many things, but a cohesive plot was not one of them. Look out for a cameo from Justin Long. Seemingly, for him at least, acting alongside Britters launched a lifelong career in comedy films nicely.

Paris Hilton

The superhero renaissance

With the release of Avengers: Assemble and the growing summer anticipation for Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spiderman, Rollo Kirkman overviews the genre’s ‘new -wave’

W

hen Times film critic and action film cynic Kevin Maher gives Avengers: Assemble five stars, you can tell three things. Firstly, that that’s five more than he gave Breaking Dawn, and there’s still some sense in the universe. Secondly, that Joss Whedon’s done it again. And thirdly, that the genre of superhero films has finally come into its own. It’s not that there haven’t been successes beforehand; the darker side of comic book superheroes has been well explored with some

4

Anyone who’s listened to her smash hit ‘Drunk Text’ surely can’t question Miss Hilton’s integrity as a true musician. Her role in Jaume Collet-Serra’s House of Wax is equally brilliant. She commits wholeheartedly to the portrayal of her scantily-clad character who unfortunately meets her death via ‘pole in the mouth’ quite early on in proceedings. What a shame!

3

the air was filled with a mixture of begging, attempted bribery and more than one suggestion of decapitation in the competition for the tickets to the preview screening. A lot of this has come about because the standard of acting and actors has increased as the genre has developed. Serious names like Hopkins, Portman, Johansson, Downey Jr, Paltrow, Jackson, Weaving and Bridges have appeared in front of the camera while Whedon and Brannagh direct, introducing newer names like Hemsworth, Hiddlestone, Renner, Ruffalo and Evans. The perfect example of this occurred between Iron Man and the sequel; Terrence Howard thankfully left the project, replaced by Don Cheadle, an actor with a far better pedigree who gave a far better performance. Furthermore, scripts have gone from showing off the CGI to getting deeper into the character, the questions of what it is to be a hero, and the characters themselves are given room to develop beyond the traditional ‘get superpowers, fight crime’ line. There is, of course, still work to be done. Studios are still putting out howlers like Green Lantern, and the industry cannot get complacent. That said, given the hype of Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and the potentially brilliant The Amazing Spiderman, this summer could see the beginning of a new generation of high quality superhero films. And when the alternative is Transformers or Twilight, the question isn’t a hard one.

The ‘Ahhnold’ school of Acting

David Hasselhoff Jump in his car but maybe think twice about jumping in his pool. Hasselhoff plays the surreptitious and sinister lifeguard in the upcoming summer release ‘Piranha 3DD’. Not a lot needs to be said about a film that has the strapline ‘twice the terror, double the Ds’, but I have faith that the Hoff will certainly do the role justice.

2

Hilary Duff Duff found fame in the successful Disney series Lizzie McGuire and then went on to release an album with classic (and memorable) songs such as the brilliantly named ‘So Yesterday’. Needless to say, this set the precedent for her inevitably astonishing Hollywood debut. See her emotional, moving performances in both Cheaper by the Dozen and A Cinderella Story .

1

superb films, from DC’s Batman films from Christopher Nolan and Tim Burton, Zac Snyder’s Watchmen and V for Vendetta, to independent films such as the Hellboy duo. But the lighter, more colourful renderings, mainly maintained by Marvel, have always lagged a bit behind in terms of critical reactions, especially in the early and midnoughties. Films like Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider and the first Hulk may have brought in the money, but they were critically flayed, detracting from good work done by, among others, the second X-Men and Spiderman films. But, recently, Marvel’s lot has fared a lot better. X-Men: First Class managed to be both colourful, action-packed and intelligent, while the recent build-up to Avengers has been encouraging, with Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America all raising the standard in different ways. While there have been wobbles (Iron Man 2’s villains, the sheer oddness of Thor and the tone of Captain America), overall the project to create a ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ has paid off, with Avengers looking to be one of the standout films of the summer, both commercially and critically. To prove a point, at the last Courier film meeting,

Jessica Simpson

With a couple of multi-platinum albums under her belt, Jessica Simpson’s musical endeavours crept upon the world like a nasty rash. Her ascent to cinematic stardom was less subtle. Best known as Daisy Duke in Dukes of Hazzard, some forget she also starred in the ground-breaking Employee of the Month – who knew that a film shot primarily in Costco would receive mostly negative reviews?

Lauren Stafford

With the former Governator packing in politics and returning to film this year Luke Hearfield takes a look over the signature ‘method’ that made the Hollywood legend.

H

e’s a man who’s triumphed in the world of body building, became governor of California and practically has moons orbiting him. But the last action hero has become a household name primarily due to his ‘acting’ ability. If any

of you protein-shake-guzzling lads that dominate the free weights at the gym are considering a career in acting, here are a few helpful tips from The Terminator himself that demonstrate the ‘method’ behind the man.

Clarity?

Deliver dialog One of Arnie’sue as if you have a locked ja his ability to tu most distinguishable traits w. is the English lang distorted riddrn uage into square head isle of jargon. His remarkably a so compact that his outh only opens abou t a centimetrem .

s One-Liners. He may be

ne-liner has had more e king of o Become thonotone, but the man d Oscar eep has ha ym ridiculouslrases than Meryl Str s, we kill it” to “putcatch ph ns. From “if it bleedark delivery has im nominatio down!” his tradem itted badass. Oneiate ick-w that cookie him as a qu d on immed re tu mortalisedn more points if base fu l tentia liners gai t and can help in pogns. contex political campai

‘Emotion’ kes a real ac-

les but it tanot all about cin flex musc ca e the gs. It’s n o y n A e heartstriSntone, but expressingback. th at ll u p d n il o ch ar tor to h e S th get ging am with ination to gars and ban ded determr and eating ice -crerboman’ in -m le g n si g the dee to getting the ‘Tu terior From feedin mmando is gargauntuan ex . o C in y n Jen beneath h as mashed potato , ie m Ja for ally as soft re s e’ h

L et L o o

se

When Simply lofreaking out, a man and ok at Conan thlways go overb o makes soRobin. When hee Barbarian andard. ’s being th unds sim B challeng ilar to O rashed, atListen toed co-worker inpie the mentallyhe F it, if you don’t bealimily Guy. eve me.

Illustration: Hannah Scully

‘WTF Factor’

t for the Taking on high-concept films is a mus Arnold only , Penn Sean e asid Step . r’ ‘WTF facto giv... man ray port to scale has the range and al cruelty ing birth. Ugh . A healthy dose of anim g camels doesn’t hurt either. Whether punchin Way it’s the all e Jingl in s deer rein or in Conan wn ckdo sma the lay to g always satisfyin upon nature’s creatures.


The Courier

reviewsfilm.37

Monday 30 April 2012

Film Editor: Chris Binding Online Film Editor: Hayley Hamilton

Avengers: Assemble

the Transformers franchise, the final battle is a gorgeous whirl of colour, filled with genuine emotion, inspired team-ups, and with each character getting a chance to shine. And by shine, I mean murder hundreds of aliens. The movie’s crowning glory is a breathtaking tracking shot which flies through the city, showcasing each Avenger at their most badass, and culminating in the greatest Hulk moment of them all. By the end of it all, there remains obvious scope for a whole spew of sequels, and you’d better start praying now that when we finally reach Avengers 2 we see Whedon back at the helm. Oh, and let me save you five minutes of your life: there is one bonus scene, and it comes halfway through the credits; don’t bother waiting until the end. And for Marvel diehards, it’s an absolute corker.

J

oss Whedon’s highly anticipated superhero epic has finally reached British shores, albeit with a rather conspicuous name change. Mind, I imagine there’s quite a lot of overlap on the Venn diagram between ‘fans of 1970s British spy show The Avengers’ and ‘people who go to see movies based on the title alone’. Robert Downey Jr. returns as Tony Stark, continuing his run of electric portrayals of the character and getting the bulk of Whedon’s trademark oneliners. While it’s Tony’s style to steal every scene he’s in, it’s his effortless chemistry with Cap and Thor which makes the team feel so fully realised, when it could have easily felt like nothing but a few old movies spliced together. A lot of fans were worried that the human members of the team – Nick Fury, Hawkeye, and Black Widow – would get the short end of the stick, considering they haven’t had any movies of their own and lack any real powers to speak of, but these fears are well and truly put to rest. Fury is developed into the super-secretive, vaguely menacing anti-hero from the comics, and Hawkeye and Widow are given just as many asses to kick

as their teammates, although Hawkeye’s character did wind up a bit flat. Ultimately though, this movie belongs to The Incredible Hulk, who more than earns his obligatory adjective. Of the three Bruce Banners we’ve had in the last decade, Mark Ruffalo is by far the best. His Banner is jaded and sarcastic, having become so used to the Hulk that

he can crack jokes about it. As for the big green guy, he’s more fleshed out than ever, less of a rampaging monster and more of a character in his own right. Michael Bay, take note: this is how you do a 45-minute action climax. Worlds removed from the head-splitting shaky-cam nonsense of

Marley

Lockout

Breathing

W

A

VERDICT: At times morbid and always dark but with a sentimental centre, Breathing shows that Markovics’ directorial future holds great promise.

VERDICT: This film is definitely one for avid fans. While interesting information is thrown up, two and a half hours is a lot of Bob.

VERDICT: Lockout would be a smoothie concoction if you mixed Con Air and Escape from New York in a blender. However, it’s a little too chunky to savour, but any man with a sense of boyish imagination should enjoy it.

Tom Nicholson

hen the Jamaican sun dapples the camera lens with multicoloured sparks as friends and relatives of the late Bob Marley share their experiences with him, there is hardly a need to explain how the king of Reggae’s music came about. Marley contains the essence of the Reggae legend; the colours, setting and of course, soundtrack, come straight from the man. Director Kevin MacDonald’s build up from Marley’s humble beginnings in Saint Ann Parish to becoming not just famous but idolised, creates a gripping story, especially when contrasted with Marley’s philosophy and thus his own personal struggles which developed in this turn of events. And then there is the strange reoccurring motif of Marley’s love of football, a love which arguably contributed to his early demise, a melanoma on his toe neglected for so long in the belief it was a football injury. As the Rastafarian preachings of eternal life achieved through treating one’s body as a temple (aka fitness) are explained, it seems director Kevin MacDonald is possibly relishing this cruel irony. After all, any form of film, Rastafarian or not, is commercial. The inclusion of Marley’s children dipping into the family archives of video footage brings a personal touch to the film which is often missing from music documentaries, giving a deep personal insight into the man’s life which facts and performance clips can’t fully capture.

Mallory McDonald

Sam Summers

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

A

ustrian arthouse effort Breathing follows the life of Roman Kogler, a young offender attempting to reconcile himself with his violent past while also trying to contend with a snide co-worker intent on making his life hell, parole hearings, and finding out who his mother is. He’s got a lot on his plate, poor lamb. The spur he needs to take control of his life is provided by a sudden and unexpected move into the undertaking business, which director Karl Markovics uses to explore the film’s key themes – the fragility of life and the notion of responsibility – and establishes a dark, morbid tone, though there are flashes of wit and optimism throughout. Thomas Schubert is excellent as Kogler, managing to be likeable while giving an entirely believable portrayal of a frustrated eighteenyear-old; monosyllabic and surly to the point of being catatonic. Breathing was highly praised when it opened at last year’s Cannes festival, and Markovics’ direction is one of its strongest points: pleasantly unobtrusive, and mostly using static panoramas which force attention onto both the fine central performances and the subtle but powerful script, also written by Markovics. The only criticism one could make is that the climax is a little underwhelming, though arguably a livelier ending would have been completely at odds with the glacial pace of the rest of the film. Given that this represents Markovics’ first attempt at direction, Breathing is handled with great confidence and delicacy, and comes highly recommended.

VERDICT: While a five star rating may seem like the blind gushing of a fanboy, this is honestly the best we were ever going to get, and then some. In a world where disappointment seemed like the only option, the Avengers have, yes, assembled to prove the doubters wrong.

E

pril seems to be the time of the year when insanely stupid action films come out of hibernation and devolve the audience’s imagination into a soft sludge. First was the appalling Battleship and now Lockout has arrived to reach a new low of mindless escapism. Set in the year 2079, where the world’s nastiest criminals are housed in a freezing facility that orbits Earth, Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace), a humanitarian activist who just so happens to be the president’s daughter, is sent to evaluate the facility’s effects on its tenants. After a riot breaks out, the prison is overrun by its inmates leaving Emilie and the other workers hostages. With no other options, the government sends wrongly-convicted criminal Snow (Guy Pearce) on a kamikaze mission to retrieve her in exchange for a pardoning. Lockout is driven by its incredibly sarcastic script and moves with great energy. Pearce (who needs to invest in buying some larger t-shirts) delivers the quips and bad-boy attitude making him an amusing anti-hero but unfortunately most of the dialogue is rather hit and miss. There is a nice chemistry between Grace and Pearce but it’s not enough to redeem the film. It relies too heavily on the action sequences which felt like rip-off attempts of other sci-fi films like Minority Report and Blade Runner. And even CGI fans will find that the computer graphics don’t meet expectations. Lockout is a brain-at-the-door picture if ever there was one, but what did you really expect?

wan McGregor: this guy should be reason enough to watch this film. His role in director Lasse Hallström’s latest work might not be as dramatic as when he played the poet Christian in Moulin Rouge, drug addict Mark Renton in Trainspotting or the young Obi-WanKenobi, but then again, it’s proof of his diversity. As Dr. Fred Jones, he plays a marvellously stiff fisheries expert for the government who is charged with a project for an slightly eccentric and swearing, yet charming sheik (Amr Waked): introducing salmon and salmon fishing in the desert country of the Yemen. His colleague for the venture is Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt), a consultant fearing for her soldier boyfriend’s life. Despite their initial disagreement about the feasibility of the project, which is unremittingly pushed by the prime minister’s press officer (Kristin Scott Thomas in a hilarious underpart), the two grow closer together as the project progresses, becoming more and more relatable. If you’re a fan of dry British humour, taking the mickey out of bureaucracy and the characters that keep it alive, and stories of emotional human transformations (and Ewan McGregor with his adorable Scottish accent), this is the film for you. It has more substance to it than the average romcom whilst outshining them on both the romance and comedy by far. In addition, the contrasting settings of the Scottish highlands and the Yemen’s desert are a feast for the eyes. Word of advice: take a cup of tea and some scones with you to the cinema.

VERDICT: A lovely story with well-constructed characters and just the right amount of humour to not let the film become a blunt comedy. Oh, and have I mentioned Ewan McGregor is in it?

Luke Hearfield

Lisa Bernhardt


38.science&technologynews

Monday 30 April

The Courier

thecourieronline.co.uk/science c2.science@ncl.ac.uk

Science lessons from Sinatra

5 things you need to know 2012

Geordie Sinatra and what it teaches about dementia

5

Kim-bodia

The Mayan Calendar In about 238BC, the Mayans used the sacred Haab and Tzolkin calendars to predict the date of the beginning of a new cycle: 21 December 2012. In Mayan culture, this is actually something to be celebrated, only the interference of Christian conspiracy theorists has found tenuous links to end of days

4

Florin Hatmanu

The 2012 App

Apple has a 2012 Application that for the bargain price of £1 will offer handy tips and friendly advice to guide you through your ascension to an all-energy state or to stay happy when Niburu crashes into the Earth or whatever. A video advert for the App features a single comment: “This is the dumbest thing I have ever seen.”

3

DavidDennisPhotos.com

The Gringo Invention

According to myth, the mysterious Mayans completely vanished from the Earth soon after making the 2012 prediction. They didn’t. Over 7 million people of Mayan decent are alive today in Central America. The interpretation that their calendar predicts Armageddon is considered an insult to their heritage.

2

Y2K

In 1999 everyone made a huge deal of the Y2K, the mysterious computer bug that would bring the technology mediated destruction of the world as all computers simultaneously crashed. Nothing happened. Y2K-proofing was big business. 2012 gives unscrupulous people the new vehicle to make lots of money from the paranoia of the archetypal conspiracy hippy.

1

DERP

Coast to coast The end of the world (or not, whatever) will most likely be broadcast in its uneventful entirety on America’s hilarious paranoia radio station Coast to Coast AM. The host, George Noory is the peddler of the “omigod you guize” conspiracy geeks, worshipping Cthulu and hunting ghosts with a torch and butterfly net. Listen to it, it’ll be hilarious. Take Maya word for it.

E

ver wondered what it was like to actually have dementia? Maybe some of you have experience of it through an elderly relative, or even after a particularly heavy night. To inform the public on the necessity of their research into ageing, the Changing Age team has teamed up with New Writing North to deliver a play based on the science and experience of dementia. The three playwrights had personal experience of the disorder, and had worked alongside patients and carers who shared their thoughts and experiences willingly. Their experiences have informed the play Geordie Sinatra. Last week, there was a chance to meet the writers and Changing Age scientists Professor Jim Edwardson, founding director of the Institute for Ageing and Health, neuroscientist Professor Elaine Perry and senior lecturer in old age psychiatry Professor Elizabeta Mukaetova-Ladinska, who provided insight into the research that they perform into the disease on a daily basis. What About Me? A Conversation Between Arts & Science About Dementia took place before the play last Wednesday. The play itself has been awarded a fair amount of critical praise, and for those of you who are tempted, has the following press release. Geordie Sinatra by Fiona Evans, Live Theatre, Newcastle, Wednesday 18 April to Saturday 12 May. A new play presented by Live Theatre & Stephen Joseph Theatre in association with New Writing North. “That’s life, that’s what all the people say; you’re riding high in April, shot down in May… Welcome to the coolest party in town. Kick

Stevegarfield Flickr back, snap a Dunhill, help yourself to the liquor cart and let Frank ‘The Voice’ Sinatra serenade you till the wee small hours. That’s what’s going on in ex-club singer Geordie’s head anyway. His dementia-induced hallucinations are causing his daughter Nancy major headaches that make her wonder, what would Ava Gardner do? Geordie

...the Changing Age team has teamed up with New Writing North to deliver a play based on the science and experience of dementia.

Sinatra is a dark comedy that gets under the skin of dementia”. This is a fine collaboration of science and arts, almost as seamless as what happens in the centre section of The Courier every week. Work like this goes a long way to show the diverse manner in which science can be communicated to the public.

Putting paid to Parkinson’s

The world’s largest and most comprehensive Parkinson’s study is about to begin

T

he biggest and most in-depth study into Parkinson’s disease ever performed anywhere in the world is about to happen under our noses. With investment of over £1.6 million, the hope is that the mysteries of the disease can be unlocked and a cure finally found. The study will look at volunteers aged under 50 diagnosed with the disease in the last 3 years and their siblings. With the aid of Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Clinical Ageing Research Unit will be one of the key centre in the pioneering ‘Tracking Parkinson’s’ clinical trial. Professor of Movement Disorder Neurology David Burn is taking time out from music (not really) to lead up the investigative team. He said of the basis of the study that “Finding a cure for Parkinson’s is what every researcher in the field dreams about. Tracking Parkinson’s is a major new research project and we are very excited to be involved right at the beginning. This study really offers hope for the future for people with Parkinson’s and we need around 150 people in Newcastle and the North East to volunteer to help us make our vision of a cure a reality.” The main aim of the study is to identify the biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease that have until now eluded researchers. These could allow for the development of simple tests to use in early diagnosis, which is crucial to allow doctors to prescribe the appropriate medication to control, and halt disease progression. Parkinson’s is a distressing disorder,with patients developing symptoms like anxiety, memory lapses, dyskinesia, memory lapses, chronic indigestion and the prototype low

Photo Flickr EMSL

This study really offers hope for the future for people with Parkinson’s

frequency tremor. Response to treatment will be monitored closely for up to five years. Dr Kieran Breen, Director of Research and Innovation at Parkinson’s UK said: “Studies like ‘Tracking Parkinson’s’ could make a huge difference and help us to ultimately find a cure. Identifying biomarkers is key and would revolutionise the diagnosis and management of Parkinson’s. Finding a cure for Parkinson’s is like building a gigantic jig-

saw, but we still have a number of the pieces missing. This vital new study will help us fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge. “We hope ‘Tracking Parkinson’s’ will also help us to identify people who have a greater risk of developing Parkinson’s and we can monitor them more accurately.” A cure may be a long way off, but identifying the symptoms and treating them early could abrogate the distress experienced by disease sufferers.


The Courier

featuresscience&technology.39

Monday 30 April

Science Editor: Mark Atwill Science Online Editor: Adam Bristow-Smith

Technology

I am Awesom-o

Weird Science

What makes movies memorable?

The

“We’re going to need a bigger boat…” A classic quote from the film Jaws there. Here’s one from Star Wars “That’s no moon, it’s a space station”. Wasn’t that fun? Memorable lines in movies seem to have a way of ingraining themselves into the mass psyche, but can a computer recognize the thing that makes these quotes memorable? Researcher Cristian Danescu-NiculescuMizil at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, encountered resistance to his suggestion that the patterns in the speech that rendered it memorable could be broken down into a mathematical form a computer could comprehend; “It’s cultural” they said. “A computer can’t catch it.” Just like syphilis. ‘They’ may have to have a rethink. NiculescuMizil and colleagues have seemingly taught a

Picture this

computer to identify memorable movie quotes from databases of thousands, with much the same accuracy of a human test subject. Enter Awesom-o; the days of the movie robot thinking up memorable lines are dawning. The team amassed quotes from IMDb, which has a list of lines flagged by users as memorable. There are apparently a few key elements that make a line memorable, and one of the most important seems to be its context. Consequently, the team designed experimental controls using a memorable line coupled with an ordinary one from the same context. The lines were the same length, from the same part of the film and spoken by the same character. About 2200 pairs of quotes were analysed by the computer for key language patterns, unusual

South Park - Youtube words and word combinations. The computer was able to determine a pattern of factors that make a line memorable. As Niculescu-Mizil explained: “The phrases contain surprising combinations of words, but at the same time they have a syntactic structure that is common, so they are easy to use.” Memorable quotes also seem to have what the team dubs ‘generality’. That is, they are context-independent and can be used in any situation. For example, “we’re going to need a bigger boat” would never have been memorable if Chief Brody had said “we’re going to need THE bigger boat.” The computer guessed memorable quotes with an accuracy of 64%. Humans scored a mean of 78%, but it took them a lot longer.

Something pisci’s going on

James Ricketts Isaac Newton’s writings on gravity, the Principia Mathematica which has become one of the most important scientific works was almost never published by the Royal Society after suffering the expensive flop of the lavishly illustrated Historia Piscium

Space mining

R

ight now, a bored billionaire is buying a football team somewhere in the universe. Now it seems they have a new pet project. It may sound a little science fiction, but enterprising technology tycoons are attempting to get a business mining asteroids off the ground. Literally. The company will be called Planetary Resources, and outlined last week in Seattle its plans to mine near-Earth asteroids for precious metals. As company founder Eric Anderson told Wired Science “The resources of Earth pale in comparison to the wealth of the solar system.” The company is backed by billionaires at Google, Microsoft, Dell and is advised by NASA, and for some reason James Cameron? Apparently because he wrote a script about some future people mining a made up element on a distant planet full of blue people (called Dances with Smurfs or something) he’s an authority. Give Michael Bay a call, he made Armageddon and he’d be JDalisica-Flickr

Let’s hope the tech billionaires have a good space pilot, the best in the galaxy in fact

If the Royal Society had published the trivial ‘Principia’ by Isaac Newton rather than the influential and all-inspiring ‘Historia Piscium Volume II’ we would have been without our vital floating land-fish we rely on in our everyday lives

SO into this The first step is to build a small fleet of telescopes to identify potential valuable resources in nearby asteroids. This is due to happen ‘within the next few years’. Asteroids are apparently rich in platinum and nickel, precious metals that continually grow in value as Earth’s stores run dry. If the survey missions haven’t happened yet, how do they know that? You could say they’re made of buttermilk and the tears of mournful sailors. Then there are the logistics to consider. The Japanese space agency was almost ruined by the Hayabusa probe which was hit by a violent solar storm on a sampling trip to the asteroid Itokawa. The sampling device didn’t work properly, communications were disrupted, and the probe returned with only a few grains of dust. A better idea - apparently - may be to harvest resources from mini-Moons, which are asteroids that have become temporarily trapped in Earth’s orbit. The actual practical processes of drilling, mining and refining resources in zero-gravity have not even been discussed. Also, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty means ownership of asteroids is a complex issue. NASA cannot afford space exploration anymore. That is the harsh reality. If Planetary Resources can find a way to make mining missions commercially viable, they may find a way to fund space exploration, and who doesn’t love space exploration?


40

Puzzles

Monday 30 April 2012

The Courier

thecourieronline.co.uk/puzzles c2.puzzles@ncl.ac.uk Puzzles Editor: Laura Armitage

You can find the answer s to this week’s pu thecou zzles at rieronli ne. co.uk/p uzzles

Sudoku Easy

Hard

Medium

Crossword

Word Link Find the missing word that connects these three words together.

Injection

Solid

Tank

Cream

Powder

Slice

Dating

Jump

Jet

Fixed

Liquid

Stripper

Wordsearch

Keep fit AEROBICS ATHLETICS BALANCE BEAM BARBELL BICEPS BIKE BODY BUILDING DELTOID DIET EXERCISE FITNESS GYMNASIUM HEALTH HORSE JOGGING MEDICINE BALL MUSCLES NUTRITION PARALLEL BARS PECTORAL PHYSIQUE PUSH UPS RINGS ROWING MACHINE RUNNING SPORT SWIMMING TRAINER TRAMPOLINE TREADMILL TRICEPS WEIGHTS WORKOUT

Across

Down

1. Assortment (7) 5. Group of insects (5) 8. Large herbivorous mammal (5) 9. Pagan (7) 10. Unfeigned (7) 11. Ledge (5) 12. Lifted (6) 14. Appraise (6) 17. Notions (5) 19. Fruit (7) 21. Direction (7) 22. Taut or rigid (5) 24. Days of the month (5) 25. Embroiled (7)

1. Chart (3) 2. Inert gas (5) 3. Dissimilar (7) 4. Reverberated (6) 5. Photos (5) 6. Attain (7) 7. Public declaration (9) 10. Decorated food (9) 13. Imprecise (7) 15. Abridge (7) 16. Captured (6) 18. Secret agents (5) 20. Invalidate (5) 23. Conclusion (3)


41

Sport The Courier

Monday 30 April 2012

thecourieronline.co.uk/sport

Sport Editors: Colin Henrys, Harry Slavin and Rory Brigstock-Barron Online Sport Editors: Grace Harvey and Charlie Scott courier.sport@ncl.ac.uk

Once you hop you just can’t stop

Budding triple jumper and Olympic Torchbearer Emma Pringle talks to Sports Editor Colin Henrys One of Newcastle’s brightest athletics prospects is set to play her role in this year’s Olympics after being selected to carry the Olympic Torch.

Emma Pringle, a second-year Natural Sciences student, received her nomination through the Lloyds TSB Local Hero scheme and will now carry the Torch through her hometown of Alnwick in June. Talking exclusively to The Courier, she explained that she has been involved in Athletics since she was 10: “It was just a normal PE lesson. We were doing standing long jump and my teacher saw potential in my jumping so he gave me a few numbers. “I chose Gateshead Harriers and that’s where I still am now.” Having been a heptathlete, Emma now focuses mostly on triple jump. “The thought of doing another 800m in the heptathlon was too much! I’ve never been known to be able to run that far,” she laughed. “[Triple jump] started from a Sports Hall athletics session. We were doing standing long jump and we moved on to standing triple jump. I discovered I was pretty good at standing triple so it progressed from there.” Despite now specialising in the triple jump, she does still compete in other events too. “In competitions in the summer when I compete for Gateshead in senior league matches I will do other events for them. I’ve done hurdles, high jump, shot putt and javelin.” Her training is very much a family affair as she is coached by her mum, help she greatly appreciates: “Without her I wouldn’t have a coach so I’m very grateful for her stepping in when my long jump coach disappeared. She stepped in and literally it progressed from long jump to triple. “We have our moments but it’s fine!” When asked about her training Emma explained that she trains six days a week – Monday through Saturday – but laughs off the question as to whether it is an early morning affair: “Morning? Haha! I’m not a morning

person whatsoever! It’s more eveningbased training although on Tuesday and Thursday when I do strength and conditioning that’s through a different coach. “He’s from a funding scheme by Sport England. He’s called Luke and he fits our sessions in around my studying.” In terms of balancing training with studying, she confesses: “It’s pretty hard. But, having my mum as my coach, she understands that I have to study so she sorts my sessions out around my schedule. We can fit our sessions in so it’s not too bad.” Looking ahead to the summer, Emma can’t hide her excitement. As well as carrying the Torch, she will also be competing at the Olympic Stadium next weekend as part of the BUCS Outdoor Championships, one of the London Prepares Olympic Test events. She admits that she had not expected to be asked to carry the Torch, despite knowing that she had been nominated. “Through Lloyds I had to nominate myself and say why I deserved to run with it, and nominate one other person. I did nominate my mum but she didn’t get picked. “I was shocked when I got the phone call! I didn’t think I’d be asked to carry it. I knew I’d been nominated but I didn’t think it would go any further than that.” It also allows her to be a part of the Olympics, which she admits is “absolutely amazing.” “I knew I wouldn’t be involved as an athlete. I’m still a bit young. I’ve still got a way to go in the sport so just carrying the torch is good enough for me! “With having the Olympics here there has been a lot of funding going into the younger athletes at grassroots level, which is what you need in athletics. “For any team you need youngsters to come through in order to have a team in the future.” Alongside being asked to carry the Torch, Emma also received the boost of learning that she has been retained on the Lloyds TSB scheme for another year. “It’s extremely important,” she explained. “The funding is brilliant – of course – but they also give you media training and what to look forward to in the Olympics. “Of course, through them I got to carry the Torch so I have a lot to be thankful for from them! “It’s a brilliant scheme. It’s nice for people and companies to recognise other athletes’ potentials and get on board and help them to achieve what they want to achieve, and help you to aspire to your goals and aspirations in life.” At the BUCS Championships, Emma will be representing Newcastle in the triple jump. The event is scheduled for the Saturday, for which 40,000 tickets have been sold at the Olympic Stadium. “I know. How amazing is that? It’s absolutely fantastic that we get to use the

“I’m just taking the experience as it comes and hopefully I’ll be progressing in the right direction.”

Emma Pringle carrying the Olympic Torch, which she will do so again as part of the Torch Relay Photography: Northumberland Gazette

venue that’s going to be used for world class athletes in the months to come. “I was just told last night that all the tickets had sold out and I was like that’s 40,000 people! I’ve never competed in front of a crowd bigger than 100 so it’s going to be different. “It’s going to be a different experience, but it’s going to be one to take away definitely – something to learn from.” She enters the competition on the back of some good form too, having recorded a personal best at the Outdoor Championships in the autumn and then again at Stan Calvert this year. Her jump of 12.63m at Gateshead was nearly two metres longer than her nearest competitor. Nevertheless she is still looking to better herself. “I’m hoping to get nearer the 13 metre

mark this year. I need to get 13.10m to get the UK top 10 target on the Power of 10 (the rankings for athletes). “These past couple of weeks [training] has started to pick up and I’m starting to jump as far as I wanted to.” On her chances in London, she told The Courier: “My Mum has [seen the list of competitors]. I’m one of those people who goes with the flow. On the day whoever is above me could end up doing three no jumps and not even qualify for the final or qualify for the final and then do three no jumps and not record any jump. “It doesn’t really matter where I’m ranked or who I’m up against because at the end of the day it’s down to what you do.

“I got the bronze at the indoor BUCS so I’m hopeful and looking at getting any medal really. To get a medal at BUCS would be an achievement and something to come away with, especially at the Olympic Stadium – something to shout about.” As for the future, Emma has high hopes but is remaining grounded for the time being: “Well I am actually aspiring for the 2016 Rio Olympics. We’ll see how the next few years go. There are triple jumpers who are jumping big distances but they’ve got ten years on me. “They’re like 30 or even older than that so I feel I’ve got time. I’m not rushing anything. I’m just taking the experience as it comes and hopefully I’ll be progressing in the right direction.”


42.sportfeature

Monday 30 April 2012

The Courier

Formula One fails to flag up the issue

Freddie Caldwell looks at Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA’s conduct in allowing the Bahrain GP to go ahead The 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix turned out to be the most controversial sporting event of the year so far; not because of anything that happened on the track during the race weekend, but rather because of the politics surrounding the event which raised the question: should it have gone ahead in the first place? In 2011 Bahrain was one of the many countries caught up in the Arab Spring and violence in the country lead to the race being cancelled for that year. However, the race was included on the calendar for 2012 with motorsport’s governing body, the FIA, accepting assurances from Bahrain that the situation had improved. Before Formula One arrived in the Gulf this year it was apparent to most observers that whilst the situation may have been different from the previous year, it could still not be described as stable, which led to safety concerns. In addition to this, questions were raised as to whether the sport should be seen to be endorsing a regime that has been criticised by human rights campaigners for its violent suppression of protests since the unrest began. Despite these concerns, those in charge of making the final decision knew that the financial cost of not staging the race would be substantial and they decided to give the go ahead. All those in F1 hoped that once they arrived in Bahrain the focus would be on racing, however, it quickly became apparent that that would not be the case when a few days before the race, members of the Force India team were caught in the middle of a clash between protestors and police. Again questions were raised about security and some of the members of the Force India team returned home. There was a very real possibility that there could be protests at the race itself, the ramifications of which would be substantial.

Bernie Ecclestone and Prince Salman Bin Hamad prepare to talk to the assembled media in Bahrain after the controversial decision to allow the Grand Prix to go ahead. Photography: Getty Images

Political protests are not uncommon at sporting events, a recent example in this country would be the man deciding to take a swim in the Thames during the Boat Race. That event demonstrated how potentially dangerous and disruptive a protest from one person can be, and given that Bahrain has seen large groups involved in the unrest, a race day protest was a very worrying prospect. Luckily, the race passed without incident with Sebastian Vettel taking his

first victory of the season after an exciting battle with Kimi Raikkonen. Despite all of the fuss surrounding the politics of the race, the fact that it was entertaining is probably the factor that the majority of F1 fans watching the race will have paid most attention to. However, despite the fact that this was a positive end result in sporting terms, it does not mean that the political aspect to the event should be overlooked. In an ideal world, sport and politics

Back of the net

Video of the week

would never mix; they are not natural bedfellows. The political situation in Bahrain is very complicated and is not something that can easily be solved or helped by a sporting event. The hope will be that the international community is now more aware of the political issues that Bahrain is struggling with as a result of the race being held. In general though, sporting events should not be seen as an instrument of political change.

Spot the ball

Testing times

1.) Who was the last player to make his England football debut while playing for a club from outside of England? 2.) Which football club has the worst overall goal difference since the Premier League began? 3.) Who was the highest ranked player to lose in the first round of the Snooker World Championship last week? 4.) Which England international has scored the most alltime points in the Rugby Premiership? 5.) Who was the first English footballer to score a Premier League hat trick?

Geoff Shreeves tells Ivanovic he’ll miss the final

A

B

C

When deciding whether to hold a sporting event or not, the security of the participants and the spectators should always be the primary concern, and in this case it does appear that this may not have been the case. Whenever possible, politics should be kept separate; hopefully this is a lesson that the bosses of Formula 1 have learnt as a result of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

D

E

F

1 2 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrSFKbFCDMQ

Tweet of the week

-Gary Neville - @GNev2 “@WestwoodLee do you not get excited when see a 6 ft, with long blonde hair and legs out about to hit the target!! ” (25 April) Gary Neville attempts to justify his orgasm-like scream during commentary on the Chelsea-Barcelona Champions League clash the night before

1.) Jay Bothroyd (Cardiff City); 2.) Sunderland; 3.) Mark Selby (number two seed); 4.) Charlie Hodgson 5.) Mark Robins

In the post-match interview after their victory over Barcelona, Geoff Shreeves breaks the news to Branislav Ivanovic that he is suspended from the final.

This week in sport University Sport - 30 Apr 2006: Men’s Rugby Union were crowned Club of the Year at the AU Ball. Intra Mural - 30 Apr 2006: Athletico Jizzmen came from behind in a Cup Final penalty shootout to beat Inter Minan, spawning the headline ‘Jizzed On!’ World - 1 May 1930: Don Bradman scores 236 for Australia against Worcestershire on his maiden first class appearance in England.

4 5 6 Send the correct coordinates of the ball to courier.sport@ncl.ac.uk to enter a draw to win a £5 Mens Bar voucher.

Last week’s winner (hockey) was Charlotte Howatson. The ball was in B4. Please collect your £5 Mens Bar voucher from The Courier office.


The Courier

intramuralsport.43

Monday 30 April 2012

Forsyth promotion party put on ice INTRA MURAL FOOTBALL DIVISION TWO The Hurricanes

3

Borussia Forsyth

1

Division football next year after they were comprehensively beaten by a determined Hurricanes side. The result meant that Forsyth were unable to cement promotion and now have to rely on Lokomotiv failing to beat the Medics 2nds after Loko’s hard fought 2-1 win over Ecosoccer. Hurricanes seventh victory of the season meant they ended another disappointing season in mid-table obscurity and their convincing display only served as a reminder of their inability to fulfil their potential, a trait that James Butler will have to tackle if next season is going to be any sort of success. The opening period of the game much mimicked the fortunes of both sides this season. Borussia started strongly despite only fielding ten men for the opening 15 minutes, while the Hurricanes struggled to create any sort of momentum, pinned back in their own half despite their numerical advantage. It was Forsyth who opened the scoring within the first ten minutes, the goal coming courtesy of Jack Minshaw’s back post volley. Forsyth mounted an attack down the left and when the cross was sent over Hurricanes ‘keeper Hollis misjudged the flight of the ball and was caught under it, but Minshaw still did well to finish from an acute angle. The goal seemed to wake The Hurricanes up and the game swung in balance as a result of two tactical changes made half way through the first half. The first change was made by Forsyth, who finally made it back up to their full compliment of 11 men after their central midfielder found a spare set of shin guards in the changing room. The second change, made by Hurricanes cap-

Butler 35, Duckworth 51, 80

Minshaw 8

By Harry Slavin at LONGBENTON

Hollis

Hepsinstall

Mile

Laurence

Smedley

Smith

Gibby

Butler

Adams Duckworth

McCrory

Davis

Norman

Seymour

Rose

Minshaw

Fogarty

Turner

Barnett

Pritchard

Bell

Sewell

Borussia Forsyth will have to wait to find out if they will be playing First

Hand-bags: Duckworth’s second goal caused controversy in his sides win on Wednesday Photography: Hubert Lam

tain Nick Gibby, had a much more dramatic effect on the game as he changed the Hurricanes formation from the starting 5-3-2 set out to their more traditional 4-4-2 set up, and with it came the desired effects. The Hurricanes soon began to grow into the game, and only an offside decision stopped Adam Duckworth from levelling midway through the half. However the Blues didn’t have too long to wait until they drew level and they gained parity courtesy of James Butler’s right boot. The midfielder began creating chances after his switch out to the wing and when the ball broke to him on

the edge of the area with 15 minutes of the half remaining, he made no mistake, letting fly with an effort that ripped into the back of the net. The goal turned the tide in favour of The Hurricanes and they took that momentum into the second half, taking the lead in rather controversial circumstances. A cross from the right found its way to the back post where Adam Duckworth appeared to head the ball home from close range. However the awarding of the goal saw the entire Forsyth line-up flock to the referee, adamant that Duckworth had prodded the ball home with his hand. After an ensu-

League Tables

INTRA MURAL IN-BRIEF NETBALL

Wednesday 11-a-side Football

Division 2

Division 1 Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

Newcastle Medics 1sts

12

8

2

2

36

20

26

2

Barca Law Na

11

8

1

2

46

15

25

Division 3

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

(C)

Newcastle Medics 2nds

13

11

2

0

47

10

35

(C)

Roman Villa FC

13

12

0

1

52

7

36

2

Boroussia Forsyth

14

10

0

4

43

21

30

(P)

Politic Thistle

14

11

0

3

46

21

30* 20

Pts

3

Lokomotiv

13

9

1

3

49

30

28

3

Shakhtar FC

14

6

2

6

23

22

4

Ecosoccer

14

7

1

6

52

34

22

4

Brown Magic FC

14

5

2

7

34

35

17

5

The Hurricanes

14

7

1

6

49

34

22

5

NCL Galacticos

11

5

0

6

27

32

15

6

Boca Seniors

14

3

Henderson Hall

12

7

1

4

41

29

22

4

Dyslexic Untied

12

6

1

5

32

26

19

14

5

0

9

36

41

15

6

Jesmondino FC

12

4

2

6

19

25

5

Crayola

11

5

0

6

18

18

15

(R) Newhist FC

14

1

2

11

18

75

5

7

Newcastle Dynamos

13

3

0

10

21

48

9

(R) Aftermath

12

3

0

9

14

47

9

(R) Ar U Shavin A Laugh

14

1

1

12

18

67

4

8

Combined Honours

13

3

0

10

15

47

9

(R) Castle Leazes

11

1

1

9

12

42

4

Top Goalscorers

10: Liam McAllister (Hendo) 10: Daniel Rech (Crayola) 9: Dave Eccles (Aftermath)

14: Jamie Hurworth (Barca) 12: Dave Edwards (Medics)

Top Goalscorers 18: Josh Batham (Ecosoccer) 18: Adam Duckworth (H’anes)

Newcastle Medics 1sts 4 2 Castle Leazes

The Hurricanes Borussia Forsyth

Rugby Union

Netball

4pm-5pm

Division 1

3 1

13: Jake Wimshurst (Shavin) 12: Zack Goddard (Ecosoccer) 10: Archie Norman (Forsyth)

Ecosoccer Lokomotiv

1 2

Top Goalscorers

9: Lewis Cockerill (B Magic) 8: Rob Grady (Roman Villa) 8: Ollie Griffiths (Roman Villa)

16: James Dunn (P Thistle) 11: Tom Islip (Roman Villa)

Brown Magic FC NCL Galacticos

3 2

Roman Villa Combined Honours

P P

Mixed Hockey

Group A

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Team

Pld

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Armstrong

8

7

0

1

290

40

35

(C)

Uni Hockey

Intra Mural W D L F A <<<<>>> 11 0 round-up 3 212 109

Pts

1

14

44

(C)

Agrics

7

7

0

0

16

4

21

2

Titans

8

7

0

1

219

43

30

2

Mansoc

14

10

1

3

164

90

42

2

Larrikins

7

5

0

2

25

7

15

3

Agrics 1

8

5

1

2

161

104

25

3

Leazes Ladies

14

10

0

4

166

113

40

3

BioSci Hockey Legends

7

4

0

3

15

10

12

4

Southern Fairies

8

4

0

4

185

117

22

4

Net Assets

14

8

1

5

184

135

34

4

Oral Specialists

7

3

1

3

14

9

10

5

Larrikins

8

4

0

4

118

134

18

5

Biology Netball

14

7

2

5

137

126

32

5

Law School

7

3

0

4

12

15

9

6

Cheeky Ladies

8

3

1

4

133

179

18

6

CHS

14

4

2

8

141

144

20

6

Pink Panthers

6

3

0

3

7

18

9

7

Engines

8

3

0

5

98

150

14

7

Agrics B

14

2

2

10

94

172

12

7

MLS

6

1

1

4

5

12

4

8

Agrics 2

8

2

0

6

50

261

8

8

RRE

14

0

0

14

24

233

0

8

NUTS

7

0

0

7

4

23

0

9

Medics

8

0

0

8

46

272

1

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

(C) Netball Ninjas

12

11

1

0

178

73

46

1

Toon Raiders

4

4

0

0

16

2

12

2

Agrics

12

10

1

1

210

75

42

2

The Gunners

5

3

1

1

8

4

10

3

Polly’s Dollies

12

7

0

5

160

128

28

3

Green Sticks

4

1

2

1

9

6

5

4

Chem Eng

12

5

0

7

106

132

20

4

NUSSC

5

1

2

2

2

10

5

5

CHS

12

5

0

7

135

163

20

5

Black Panthers

4

1

1

2

5

9

4

6

NUSSC

12

2

1

9

64

150

10

6

Mojoholics

4

1

0

3

6

10

3

7

The History Girls

12

0

1

11 41

173

2

7

Combined Honours

4

1

0

3

7

12

3

5pm-6pm

This week’s Intra Mural Fixtures

Team

Football (All matches kick off at 2pm unless otherwise stated) Wednesday 2 May DIV ONE - Crayola vs Barca Law Na Longbenton 2 DIV TWO - Newcastle Medics 2nds vs Lokomotiv Longbenton 3G DIV THREE- NCL Galacticos vs Jesmondino FC Longbenton 3 - Roman Villa vs Combined Honours Longbenton 1 Thursday 3 May DIV THREE- Newcastle Dynamos vs NCL Galacticos

ing melee, the referee left the decision with the honesty of The Hurricanes’ forward, who vehemently denied using his hand, leaving the referee with no choice other than to award the goal. The incident saw a raise in temperature of the game, and things threatened to boil over minutes later when Duckworth and Will Pritchard almost came to blows after Pritchard had upended Joe Moffatt in unapologetic fashion. After the pair were finally separated, it was Duckworth who let his feet do the talking, ending the contest with a tidy finish after creating space for himself at the back post with only 10 minutes left.

Longbenton 3G (8pm)

Pts

Group B

The University Hockey team wrapped up the Intra Mural Netball Competition last Tuesday afternoon. The team had qualified for the final after they won their division and came through their quarter and semi- finals in the play-offs. The Agrics team provided the opposition in the final, having defied the odds to reach it, having only finished runners-up in the 5pm-6pm league, finishing four points off table-topping Netball Ninjas. Despite winning the Saturday league final only three days earlier, the Agrics were unable to complete a double that would have rivalled the efforts of their 1987 predecessors, missing the chance to engrave themselves in Agrics folklore after a narrow 31-29 defeat. Uni Hockey survived a last minute scare against Agrics Photography: Uni Hockey


44.intramuralsport

Monday 30 April 2012

The Courier

Martin goal gives Barca edge in nail biting final INTRA MURAL FOOTBALL CUP FINAL Barca Law Na

1

Dyslexic Untied

0

Martin (10)

By Nick Gabriel at LONGBENTON 3G

Wadhams

Beahon

McKee

Hoctor

Allinson

Ingram

Bagot

Rawlings

Foley Rakshi

Hurworth

Robson

da Silva

Davidson

Schofield

Smith

Wheelhouse Jackson

Windle

Hudson

Foster

Fletcher

Last Wednesday Barca Law Na clinched the Intra Mural Cup by edging out Dyslexic Untied in a hard-fought 1-0 win on the Longbenton 3G. An early goal from right-winger Rich Martin was enough to secure victory for the lawyers, however, the Intra Mural First Division leaders were made to work hard for their victory against a determined Untied side, who came close by way of hitting the woodwork twice within a matter of minutes late on. It was only 10 minutes into play when Barca got the goal that their early pressure deserved, the Reds’ defence being caught out by a hopeful ball over the top. Although the tireless Tim Rakshi’s effort was well saved by goalkeeper Nathan Fletcher, the rebound fell kindly for Rich Martin who was on hand to stab it home. Barca continued their early dominance of possession and were unlucky not to double their lead soon after. On this occasion Rakshi forced Fletcher to make a smart save at his near post, after he was picked out by a neat cross from right-back Phil Beahon. Dyslexic were struggling to assert themselves on the game, and could have

been out of the tie before half-time were it not for some heroic defending. First, amidst a spot of pinball in the Dyslexic box, forward Jamie Hurworth saw consecutive goal-bound efforts blocked by the Reds’ Chris Smith. Moments later the centre-half was once again on hand to deny the league’s top scorer, this time by way of a superb lastditch tackle when the striker appeared to have broken clean through on goal. The trailing side did eventually offer a response, and were presented with their best chance of the first period on the stroke of half time. Tony da Silva’s smart turn to create an opening was followed by a poor effort straight at Barca’s goalkeeper Paul Wadhams, after a corner had only been half cleared. The second half began in much the same vein as the first, with Barca, not unlike their Catalan namesakes so often do, enjoying the majority of possession. In spite of this, an improved Untied defence did well to restrict their opponents to the odd long-range potshot, none of which ever really looked in danger of troubling the proverbial scorers. In truth, the second half was one of very few chances, as neither side seemed able to gain any real momentum or build a period of sustained pressure. The lack of quality was not helped by the steadily worsening weather conditions, with both sides adopting an increasingly direct approach in the hope

Players from both sided contest an aerial ball Photography: Hubert Lam

RICH MARTIN

The Barca Law Na wide man’s tenth minute goal was the only difference between the two sides in a game that many believed would have been far more one-sided.

of forcing a defensive error that would have owed itself to the hellish North East climate. However, as the game wore on the previously comfortable Barca side appeared to grow steadily more nervous as the final whistle drew closer, dropping continually deeper in an effort to preserve their narrow advantage. Sensing that it was now or never the Reds soon began to throw more and more bodies forward in search of the elusive equaliser, with substitute Freddy Rose’s ambition and accurate set piece delivery acting as a catalyst for their efforts, laying siege to the Barca goal. First, as lively midfielder Simon Schofield stretched to meet one of Rose’s fine corner deliveries; he only succeeded in diverting the ball narrowly wide. Moments later, it was menacing forward Dom Robinson’s turn to be denied, this time by way of an excellent stop from

Goalscorer Rich Martin Photography: Hubert Lam

the ever reliable Wadhams in the Barca goal. Untied went onto hit the woodwork twice within a matter of minutes soon after, firstly from an inswinging crossshot from Rose, then once more when Schofield saw his looping header cannon off the crossbar following another flighted ball into the Barca box. Unfortunately for the Dyslexic side, that was to be the last chance, as the referee decided to call time on the thrilling finale soon after.

Whilst Untied will be able to take heart from limiting a side as irresistible as Barca this season to surprisingly few opportunities, they will undoubtedly be disappointed that they never really got going until the match’s final stages. Ultimately it was Barca’s day, and in spite of a tepid performance by their high standards, their clinical nature in front of goal and impressive defence organisation, both of which have been key to their success this season, saw them narrowly prevail.

Barca now require just one more win in their final league game to secure an unprecedented league and cup double, matching the Medic’s impressive feat from last year. The league leaders will have a tricky tie against Crayola who were impressive in their last league outing, beathing Henderson Hall 2-0 back in February. Preliminary plans for an open-top bus parade through West Jesmond have begun, but the side will not be counting their chickens before they have hatched.


The Courier

intramuralsport.45

Monday 30 April 2012

Medics take title race to the wire Lawyers must wait for league crown as Kay double compounds miserable season for Castle Leazes 2

Castle Leazes

Hyndman (83), Jones (87)

Newcastle Medics 1sts 4

Davison (20), Kay (31, 64), Edwards (48)

By Josh Duffield at LONGBENTON 3G

Cook

Levrant

Green

Hill

Parker

Barbour

Hyndman

Kay

M. Anderson Parkinson

Stride of pride: Barca boys strut back after taking the lead in the final Photography: Hubert Lam

Fretwell

Durkin

Mulhall

Duffy

Dacey

Jones

Davison

Edwards

Watson

Emms

Jones

D. Anderson

Barca Law Na must wait until this Wednesday to see if they are to win the Division One title after Newcastle Medics Firsts completed their season with a

comfortable win against bottom of the league Castle Leazes. The result means that the Medics returned to the top of the league, one point clear of Barca Law Na, with the Lawyers still to play Crayola in the final match of the season. The Medics outperformed their opponents in all departments. The final result was 4-2 but the game was less of a contest than the scoreline would suggest; in truth, there was only ever going to be one winner and it wasn’t the struggling Leazes outfit. Two late goals (the latter of which was the game’s highlight) served to take the gloss off an excellent Medics performance, but their manager, Rishi Dhand, was still delighted with the win. On a cold wet late April evening, the swirling winds had an unpredictable effect on any high balls and so the team who retained the ball better on the floor would have the likely advantage, as proved to be the case. This Medics team oozes class and even the centre-backs are confident with the ball at their feet. Spectators gushed with admiration, praising them with comparisons to Barcelona and other such accolades. They made their superiority pay after 20 minutes when forward Josh Davison landed a deflected shot beyond the Castle Leazes stopper’s reach. The match was not short of controversial refereeing decisions, some of which proved highly unpopular with the Leazes defence. They played a high line throughout and were frequently caught out, notably when second half sub Theo

Adjetey broke through at will. In the first half, however, the Leazes team were incensed when Chris Kay scored with an impressive finish but was evidently offside when receiving the ball. After a mix-up from a free kick sent the Medics ahead 3-0, controversy struck again when Kay scored his second, again appearing to be in an offside position when receiving the ball before finishing nonchalantly. The referee waved away Leazes protests and ignored the linesman who was doing his fair share of waving as well. After several contentious decisions had gone against his side, Leazes leftback James Duffy left his mark on Kay who reacted by pushing his aggressor. There were concerns that the referee was losing control of the game but he managed to keep the players in check with a stern dressing-down. A late decision went against the Medics when their fifth was disallowed for a shove but they knew the game was already won. This was despite the Leazes front pairing bagging a goal each. The first was smashed into the empty net after Anderson had been drawn off his line and the second was something special. After seeing his strike partner notch a goal, the big target man showed his skill by dribbling from inside his own half before despatching a thunderous strike over the Medics ‘keeper. Sam Turner kept the score at 4-2 when he made a goal-saving challenge on hattrick seeking Kay, but the Medics will be pleased with a great end to the season

nonetheless. Manager Dhand stated that their win kept the pressure on Barca to the end, whilst struggling Leazes were consigned to yet another defeat. Matt Anderson’s return from injury may have been the inspiration for the Medics classy performance but his supporting entourage were less than positive about his overall performance after several missed opportunities to increase his team’s lead. The defeat means that Castle Leazes’ torrid season has come to an end with just one win to their name. Their relegation adds to them having dropped out of the top league on a Saturday last season too, and for one of the oldest clubs in Intra Mural football the future looks surprisingly bleak. Attention will now turn to Barca’s clash against Crayola on Wednesday evening. Their superior goal difference means that just a point will be good enough for the Lawyers to end the Medics’ stranglehold on the league title, but Crayola have already played a big part in the title race with wins against Henderson Hall and the Medics - there could yet be another late twist in the search for league glory this season.

TOP OF THE TABLE 1. MEDICS P12 26pts 2. BARCA P11 25pts 3. H.HALL P12 22pts


46.sportBUCS

Monday 30 April 2012

NWR miss out on Team of the Year

continued from back page “They offer the overall full package, and have been overlooked for six or seven years before receiving it two years in a row,” added Kennedy. For Team of the Year there were multiple potential winners, including Women’s Lacrosse, Men’s Hockey, Netball Firsts and Women’s Squash. However, the real competition stood between Women’s Rugby and the Men’s Rowing First VIII. Undefeated all season NWR have left their league a whitewash, sitting pretty in the top of the table slot by a clear 15 points. During Easter they rounded off their Trophy campaign in Richmond with a hard-fought victory over UCL, their claim on the silverware proving the ultimate climax to a faultless campaign. Holloway was there to see the battle and commented: “The girls should be proud of every-

Commentary by Colin Henrys (Sports Editor) Don’t get me wrong, the Boat Club deserve all of the recognition they received at the AU Ball. It is a source of great pride for the University as a whole, not just for Team Newcastle, that we boast one of the most prestigious clubs in the country and their achievements both on and off the water have continued to impress. Nevertheless, it is hard not to sympathise with the Women’s Rugby Firsts, who have quite literally been unbeatable this year. After finishing an impressive third in the BUCS Northern Division 1A last season, they have exceeded all expectations. Under Phoebe Lebrecht’s leadership, the girls have beaten all before them and more often than not by impressive winning margins too. Their points difference in winning Division 1A was +277 from their 11 matches - some 230 more than their nearest rivals, Northumbria. Their performances in the BUCS Trophy were equally as impressive, and to travel down to Richmond and beat UCL in the final was a fantastic achievement. It is good to see that they did not leave without recognition though, and the Coach of the Year award for Scott Powell is certainly merited given the importance that the players themselves place on their preworked set play routines. However, to have labelled them as Most Improved was somewhat of a surprise. They have been a good club, fielding two sides for some time now and while they have obviously improved, they were already performing well as a club. Had they been awarded the Team of the Year instead of Rowing - who already have cause to celebrate on behalf of the Boat Club - it may well have paved the way for a club like Lacrosse to win Most Improved instead, and better reflect the breadth of high quality performances from across Team Newcastle this year.

thing they have achieved this year, and to finish the season with a Trophy win just topped it off for them.” Unfortunately, it was still not enough to pass the “absolute machine” that Men’s Rowing VIII have been the past 18 months: “The standard of the men’s team is as one of the best in Britain. They’ve moved above Durham, broken records at Henley, and won their race at BUCS. “Any other year Women’s Rugby would have won hands down,” said Kennedy. The Boat Club’s Ed Stephenson, who is also Deputy AU Officer, expressed his extreme thanks and gratitude for the awards: “Thank you so much for these fantastic awards! It has been an amazing year for us, and we’ve knocked up some of the best results we’ve had in a long time. “To see that our own Athletic Union recognises these feats and has decided that we should receive these awards makes it even more special. We are in a strong position right now and plan to keep it that way for the rest of our season to keep Team Newcastle held in the highest of regards. “Having said this, we recognise the dedication that all our other teams contribute to our Team Newcastle effort, especially those short-listed alongside us today who must have also put in a huge amount of personal time and energy. To be put above all these guys is such a great achievement, and one that we truly appreciate. “Thank you so much once again; this will give us such an incredible boost to finish our season on a high!” Women’s Rugby did not however go unrewarded, as their achievements instead saw them recognised as Most Improved Club of the Year. As one of only a limited number of institutions to have a second team in BUCS league, yet still able to welcome beginners to the sport they constantly “tick all the right boxes”. Holloway noted: “It’s a great thing for such an undervalued sport like Women’s Rugby to be doing so well.” For Administrator of the Year, the Netball Club’s Sally Burden was a close contender: “Sally was left to pick up the pieces at the beginning of the season and had to start everything from scratch,” says Kennedy. “I set her two or three major tasks at the start of the year yet she’s managed to complete them all.” However, she was pipped to the post by Docherty who this season has, according to Kennedy “taken things to a new level”, something that is evident from the fact he also received a nomination for Sports Writer of the Year. “He’s one of the best in terms of efficiency. His ideas for development and recruitment are exceptional; he’s absolutely on the ball. Jonny Clough from Canoe also deserves some recognition; his club’s results speak for themselves.” Last, but not least, John Fenn, or John ‘fingerless’ Fenn, as he is affectionately known, was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to University Sport. His dedication to the development of rugby at all levels within the University includes having helped establish the six

The Courier

Near miss: Despite finishing the year with a 100% record and winning the league, the cup, their Stan Calvert match and qualifying for the BUCS Rugby Sevens final in the process, NWR were beaten to the Team of the Year award at the AU Ball. They were awarded Most Improved Club instead.

University representative teams, two freshers’ teams, the Rugby Union Referees Society and a Rugby Board at Newcastle, and he has continued to be a regular contributor to the sport, something which Kennedy was keen to point out: “He’s still very much part of the club even though he retired last year, working tirelessly on the development of both refereeing and Intra Mural amongst other areas.” Those who have got to know him throughout his time at Newcastle would certainly not begrudge him this recognition.

Who won what?

Administrator of the Year:

Club of the Year:

Sports Writer of the Year:

Boat Club

Team of the Year: Rowing First VIII

Most Improved Club: Women’s Rugby

James Docherty (Fencing)

John Colville (Men’s Hockey)

Coach of the Year: Scott Powell (NWR)

Outstanding Contribution: John Fenn


The Courier

BUCSsport.47

Monday 30 April 2012

Newcastle’s Boat Club claimed Club of the Year for the second year running, and also saw their First VIII crowned Team of the Year Photography: Newcastle University Boat Club

...but they continue to beat all before them on the pitch

WOMEN’S RUGBY UNION BUCS RUGBY SEVENS By Phoebe Lebrecht in LEEDS

After a successful season for NWR, the girls headed to Leeds on Wednesday in the hope of qualifying for the BUCS Rugby Sevens Finals in Coventry next month. Despite their highly successful run this season, the prospect of competing against Premiership teams dampened their hopes. Having left Newcastle in the sunshine it was more than their hopes that were dampened as the heavens opened over Leeds on their arrival.

Newcastle 1sts Durham 1sts

BUCS IN BRIEF CRICKET

All four BUCS matches fell victim to the rain on Wednesday. The Men’s and Women’s Firsts matches, as well as the Men’s Thirds were completely rained off without a ball being bowled, while the Men’s Seconds took one point beforetheir match was abandoned.

17 0

With wind, rain and bitter temperatures against them, NWR stepped out fir their first game against local North East rivals Durham. Durham, having finished second in the Premiership this season were sure to test the Royals. However, following the kick off, NWR retained possession and played some excellent sevens. Support running and unbeatable defence kept the pressure on Durham and forced silly errors. As NWR advanced up the pitch, it was a Sonny Bill offload from centre Emma Boyle to partner in crime Rosie Neal that put the first the points on the board under the posts for Newcastle. NWR kicked off again, this time with some confidence, and they started to

have some fun. Some sweet offloads and quick turnovers allowed Holly Malins to steal possession and break four tackles resulting in her stretching her legs all the way from NWR’s 22 to under the posts. Lebrecht converted again, giving the Royals a sufficient lead. Entering the second half 14-0 up, the Royals didn’t hang around. Strong defence and consistent tackling was rattling Durham and it wasn’t long before Captain Lebrecht saw a break in the line and seized the opportunity. Excellent commentary from McShane whilst support running, advised Lebrecht to time her draw and pass perfectly, opening up the wing for Boyle who turned on the gas and dived over the line. After 14 minutes, the Royals had beaten the Premiership standard Durham 17-0. After attempting to keep warm in a pop up tent and avoiding the wind, the girls were back out on the pitch, this time to face last years BUCS Sevens Champions Leeds Met.

Newcastle 1sts Leeds Met 1sts

22 7

Leeds Met strolled on, unfazed by the cold, looking ready to put their stamp on the competition. NWR, shaking and going blue, decided to have fun and began dreaming of being warm in a cosy pub. Leeds Met kicked off and put on a big chase but their larger girls with their big hits were no match for NWR’s agile dancing feet. NWR may be a small side,

but they are quick, creative and play for each other. These qualities shone through as Malins wasted no time on a penalty to tap and go, a hand off to the outside winger left her for dead as Malins scored over the line. Lebrecht, seeing Malins’ placement allowed her to attempt the conversion instead! A 5-0 lead for NWR definitely put fire in the Leeds Met bellies and they came back with a vengeance. Nevertheless NWR stole the ball once more. It seemed that no one could handle the wet, muddy conditions - except for the Royals of course - and Neal made a break, drawing two players to open a Charlotte Flint-size gap in the line. A cheeky back-handed offload combined with the pace of the Flint, didn’t give Leeds Met a chance. Flinty casually walked the ball under the posts, allowing Lebrecht to convert. The second half witnessed more sloppy play from Leeds Met, allowing NWR to keep the pressure on and time their attack. A tackle from Lebrecht allowed her to get back to her feet and steal the ball. Play from the breakdown saw the ball go out wide and once again NWR were in Leeds Met’s 22. With three players committed to the breakdown, Lebrecht pulled out her “show-and-go” dummy to cut through the middle of the defence and score under the posts. Once on the attack again, NWR were being tired out by a multitude of scrums, so it left scrum-half McShane no choice but to go alone. For some one with such short legs, when McShane went blind there was no

catching her. A diving try put the Royals score up to 22-0. In last play, despite a valiant chase of Leeds Met’s no.14, NWR decided to let the Champions regain some pride and score under the posts; the final score being 22-7. Due to the weather, the competition was then cancelled. This meant NWR missed out on playing Sheffield and Leeds Uni, but having smashed the top two, they already felt like winners. Being the only team to have won both matches, Newcastle were clearly the best on the day. NWR have now qualified for the BUCS Sevens Finals on 12 May. Having now had a taste for BUCS finals, and knowing victory tastes sweet, the girls will be travelling down alongside the boys to get their hands on yet another cup.

ROLLOF HONOUR: NWR’SUNBEATABLEYEAR BUCS NORTHERN DIVISION 1A Played: 11, Won: 11, Pos: 1st BUCS TROPHY Beat UCL 19-10 in final STAN CALVERT CUP Beat Northumbria 10-7 BUCS RUGBY SEVENS Played: 2, Won: 2, Pos: 1st


Sport

www.thecourieronline.co.uk Monday 30 April 2012 Issue 1250 Free

thecourieronline.co.uk/sport

WINNING ISN’T EVERYTHING, IT’S THE ONLY THING:

BUCS SEVENS P47

Barca looking good for double after cup win p.44 Photography: Hubert Lam

Boat Club continue to make waves Athletic Union recognises another year of excellent work on the water By Kat Bannon Editor The Boat Club cleaned up at this year’s Athletic Union awards, claiming Club of the Year for the second consecutive season while still leaving room for their Men’s First VIII to receive the highly coveted Team of the Year. Meanwhile, Women’s Rugby claimed Most Improved Club, Administrator of the Year went to Fencing’s James Docherty and Sports Writer of the Year to Men’s Hockey Firsts’ captain John Colville. Coach of the Year was awarded to Women’s Rugby’s Scott Powell and the prestigious Outstanding Contribution

to University Sport to Rugby Union’s John Fenn, whose dedication has managed to outlive his recent retirement. Athletic Union Officer Alice Holloway presented the awards on Sunday evening at the annual Athletic Union ball, which took place in the Lancastrian Suite, Gateshead. She told The Courier: “It’s been a fantastic year for Team Newcastle topped off by a brilliant night tonight. It’s great to have everyone in the same room so we can celebrate a fantastic season.” Performance Sport Manager Fraser Kennedy was quick to highlight the difficulty this year’s Athletic Union Executive Committee encountered in choosing not only winners, but the original

shortlists. “In general, the standard this year has been exceptionally high, and it’s probably been the hardest year to have made

almost five hours, believed to have been the longest on record. Making comment on what is to be assumed was a highly comprehensive discussion, Holloway’s

In general, the standard this year has been exceptionally high, and it’s probably been the hardest one to make decisions for overall... decisions for overall that I remember. Even getting the nominations down to five was extremely difficult.” He is not wrong there, as the AU Exec meeting to decide the winners spanned

priorities were clear: “thank God we had biscuits.” For Club of the Year, it was a tightly fought race between the Boat and Canoe Clubs. Currently sitting top of the

BUCS points tally for Newcastle, after taking first place in the BUCS Wildwater racing event back in November, the Canoe Club have had their most successful season to date. Kennedy could not deny how little stood between the two clubs: “If I’d have been given a vote, I probably would have edged towards canoe. “However, there is no denying that the Boat Club’s performance, both on and away from the water, has been outstanding. The club has really developed this year, in both membership and the amount of money they have raised. Their overall general performances also speak for themselves. continued on p.46


The Courier 1250