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Monday 12 February 2018 Issue 1363 Free

Comment Discussions on sexism within charity Page 8

Film A rare five star film review, but who for? Page 27

Music Collaboration with NSR for 2018's top sounds Page 22 & 23

The independent voice of Newcastle students

Est 1948

Students vote against strike position Union will not support or oppose lecturers' strike Mark Sleightholm Student Council rejected two rival motions supporting and opposing the lecturers’ strike organized by UCU. Lecturers at 61 universities, including Newcastle, have voted to strike on 14 days across February and March in rejection of changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) that could see their pensions reduced. The USS plans to reduce the amount employers such as Newcastle University pay into the scheme, but UCU, the main trade union representing academic staff, argues that this will leave lecturers worse off.

“NUSU will fully focus on supporting all students that may be impacted by the action" Ronnie Reid, NUSU President

Ronnie Reid, the Students’ Union’s president, proposed a motion calling for NUSU to officially oppose UCU’s position. Emily Sherwood, Marginalised Genders Officer at NUSU, proposed a counter motion where NUSU would support the lecturers’ strike. Neither motion was ultimately accepted by Student Council. Reid’s motion fell well short of the required 50% support, while Sherwood’s motion gained 48% and so also failed. Reid’s motion developed from a statement he published on his official NUSU President Facebook page on 1 February. In this statement Reid expressed his belief that unless universities can contribute less to the USS they will be forced to either cut service provision or raise tuition fees. His motion at Thursday’s Council meeting was designed to engage students in discussion and develop NUSU’s official stance in a transparent and democratic manner. The motion, however, attracted widespread opposition from students, many of whom organised the motion in support of the strikes. While Sherwood

proposed and presented the motion, many other students, including other Part Time Officers and even whole student societies such as the Young Greens and the Working Class Students Network seconded the motion. A record number of students applied for the 20 casual places, and even those who were unsuccessful in earning a voting place still attended, making the History Room a crowded and stuffy room for the long meeting. Many of the Council members speaking for and against both motions had pre-prepared statements with well-researched arguments. Chair of Council Errol Kerr strictly enforced time limits on speeches and expressly stated that personal or offensive comments would not be allowed. At an open meeting about the strikes and their potential impact on students earlier in the afternoon Reid was heckled by audience members, and tensions were running high in the lead up to the Council meeting. After Reid’s motion was heavily rejected he shifted his position to argue that NUSU should not present a single stance on the strikes when there was clearly such diversity in student opinion. He also stressed that he respected the democratic process and commended the high turnout at Council. Sherwood’s motion specifically called for the Union’s Sabbatical Officers to “ensure NUSU expresses support for the actions of the striking lecturers”. Reid proposed an amendment removing this resolution, concerned that Sabbatical Officers would be locked in to a single stance which they would be unable to adjust regardless of future developments. Sherwood did not accept this amendment and so it went to a vote of Council members, who promptly rejected it. This was soon proved insignificant, however, since the motion was itself voted down. Sherwood then announced their resignation from their role as Marginalised Genders Officer. Reid said after the meeting: “As a result of the Student Council meeting of 8 February, it is right that NUSU will take a neutral stance on the proposed industrial strikes beginning on 22 February. “NUSU will fully focus on supporting all students that may be impacted by the action. This includes gaining ring fenced assurances on PEC forms for affected dissertations and assignments.’’

India Gerritsen gave an impassioned speech in support of the UCU strike Image: Jared Moore

Dramatic Council ends in resignation James Sproston Editor Emily Sherwood publicly resigned as NUSU Marginalised Genders Officer at Student Council following the defeat of their motion to ‘Support the Upcoming UCU Strike Over Pensions’. In a scathing speech, Sherwood denounced the Students’ Union for the lack of support in their, and other Parttime Officers’, campaigns and efforts throughout the year so far. After depositing their purple PTO hoodie and NUSU badge on the desk by the Chair of Council, Errol Kerr, Sherwood delivered their speech before returning to their seat in the Council Chamber. Sherwood had earlier proposed a

late notice motion to support lecturer strikes in protest of measures to change employer pension contributions. Holly Waddell, Newcastle University Feminist Society, Newcastle University Labour Society, Newcastle University Working Class Students Network, Young Greens, Hannah Fitzpatrick, and Zoë Godden seconded the motion. Afterwards, Sherwood said: “The tension in council was so thick you could cut it with a knife. A lot of people had registered who hadn’t ever been to council before because they were so passionate about the upcoming UCU industrial action. It was a surreal feeling standing up before a podium, as it’s something I’ve never done before. “I would normally avoid it at all costs but the motion to support the strike was crucial to determining the stance

the union would take. For me, this motion was critical in deciding what sort of union NUSU is and aims to be: either a union which acts like one and supports on-campus struggles, or an institution which functions only in the interests of university management. “After already experiencing a lack of support and feeling alienated by the actions of members of NUSU, I made the decision that I would not want to represent the sort of union NUSU has become. I resigned then and there, detective style, handing my hoodie and badge to Errol. "I am pretty disappointed about missing the raffle at the end though, but I guess that’s what you get when you decide to stick to your principles.” At the time of writing, no formal resignation has been received by the Union.

Inside today >>>

Legendary Lego

Valentine's Day dates

Graduates get creative with the little Danish bricks to bring games to life News , page 4

To get you in the mood, Maddy Raine gives us some ideas for romance's big day Lifestyle page 12

Overdone: TV shows that have lasted a little too long Charlie Isaac identifies what TV should have been turned off TV, page 25

Not alone in our monogamy Stan Calvert focus Identifying the animals which find someone and stick by them Science, page 32

A plethora of Stan Calvert features to get you pumped for the big weekend Sport, page 37


the courier

thecourier 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 for more information. Editor James Sproston Deputy Editor Alex Hendley Online Editor Jared Moore Copy Editor Laura Staniforth Current Affairs Editor Sunil Nambiar News Editors Valentina Egorova, Hanson Jones, Louise Hall and Isabel Sykes Comment Editors Jamie Cameron, Caitlin Disken and Alexandra Sadler Life & Style Editor Izzi Watkins Lifestyle Editors Sophie Henderson, Jaymelouise Hudspith, Lauren Sneath and Victoria Young Fashion Editors Chloe Bland, Sophie Schneider and Zofia Zwieglinska Beauty Editors Laura Greatrex, Lois Johnston and Susanne Norris Travel Editors Charlotte Hill and Talia Gillin Culture Editors Zoë Godden and Ciara RitsonCourtney Arts Editors Scarlett Rowland and Carys Thomas Music Editors Toby Bryant, Charlie Isaacs and Ally Wilson TV Editors Jacob Clarke, Joel Leaver and Alex Moore Film Editors Helena Buchanan, Daniel Haygarth and Christopher Wilkinson Gaming Editors Gerry Hart, Georgina Howlett and Richard Liddle Science Editors Jack Coles, Christopher Little and Ciara Ritson-Courtney Sports Editors Mark Sleightholm, Courtney Strait, Tom Shrimplin, Sydney Isaacs and Matt Proctor The Courier NUSU King’s Walk Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8QB Tel: 0191 239 3940 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.

From the archives


Union presidents overthrown

Such was the dissatisfaction with presidents of the Students’ Union in the 1990s that in 1998 students voted to remove the role altogether. “After all,” explained a full-page feature in the Courier explaining the rejigged sabbatical roles, “didn’t you think that the President had power over all the other Officers in the Union and was generally top dog? Exactly.” This apparent hierarchical power structure, combined with a feeling that the presidential role was “vague and poorly defined”, led to the abolition of student presidents. Also facing the chop were the sabbatical treasurer and secretary – both “three day a week jobs” apparently, with three new sabbatical roles created: communications officer, education officer and the catchily-titled finance and administration officer. Even the Athletic Union couldn’t escape the presidential purge, with the AU President being replaced with an AU Officer. The other sabbatical roles at the time, Editor of the Courier and Welfare Officer, survived largely unchanged. The ban on presidents set Newcastle apart from most other students’ unions and lasted until 2005.

The socialist-controlled Courier of 1974 showed support for a student at Edinburgh University who, thanks to a loophole in the constitution, had got himself elected as Rector. The role was usually a largely honorary position elected by the students and given to public figures such as MPs or authors. In 1971, however, the students chose one of their own, and by 1974 he was ruffling feathers amongst the University hierarchy by insisting on getting involved in meetings and the administration of the University. Rectors were expected to play a ceremonial role, and rarely exercised their right to actual power. The University attempted to negotiate with the power-hungry students, but the Rector himself refused to budge, stating that maintaining his position was “the only way students get a say in the government of their institution.” The Rector, one Gordon Brown, served out the remainder of his term before entering politics, eventually rising to the role of Prime Minister.


Rag future in doubt

Long before any claims of raising or giving, Rag was a time of debauchery and excess, officially in the name of charity. By the late 1950s, however, Newcastle’s Rag was in hot water, and in 1961 students debated the motion “that this house does not like Rag”. The Courier had taken a somewhat anti-Rag stance for several years, but by 1961 this dissatisfaction with both the bureaucracy and “hooliganism” of Rag led to the setting up of the Rag Investigation Committee. The organisers stood accused of claiming excessive expenses and of a disconnect with ordinary students. Rag 1960 raised £14,000; taking inflation into account this amounts to about 25 times more than 2017’s total. The debate itself was something of a damp squib, with both sides making broadly similar points that Rag was well-intentioned but had lost its way in recent years.


Suffragettes banned from Central Station

A group of women singing songs to commemorate the centenary of women’s right to vote were asked to leave Newcastle Central Station. The Women’s 100 Choir marked the anniversary by dressing in the suffragette colours of purple, white and green, and singing at Grey’s Monument before heading down to the station. Virgin Trains staff asked the choir to leave the station, citing concern for passenger saftey, but members of the choir have accused staff of acting aggressively towards them, including shouting at and grabbing some of the singers. In a statement Virgin Trains acknowledged the importance of the anniversary but maintained that they could not allow demonstrations in the station without prior permission.

CROSS-CAMPUS NEWS Edinburgh goes fully fossil free


Backing for Brown

Monday 12 February 2018

The outlandish stunts of the 1950s gave Rag a bad name Image: Newcastle University

vacancies online Did you know we are currently advertising over 800 graduate jobs, part-time work and placement opportunities? Sign up for alerts at:


The University of Edinburgh has once again led the way in divesting from fossil fuels. The University announced that over the next three years it will sell off all investments in the extraction and production of fossil fuels, include coal, tar sands, oil and gas. Edinburgh became one of the first UK universities to announce a move away from fossil fuel investments in 2015, when it decided to end many of its most environmentally damaging investments in coal and tar sands. Three years later and many other universities have followed suit, but Edinburgh’s decision to remove all fossil fuel investments from its portfolio marks a significant step forward in the Fossil Free campaign.



the courier Monday 12 February 2018

@TheCourier_News Current Affairs Editor Sunil Nambiar News Editors Valentina Egorova, Hanson Jones, Louise Hall & Isabel Sykes

Final chance to run for Union officer positions Lindsey Lockey

Nominations are now open for the 6 sabbatical officer positions and parttime officer positions that represent students in the Union, the University, locally and nationally. Any student can stand and can choose a full-time paid position or become a part-time (voluntary) officer to make a difference and gain some much needed skills and experience.

Nominations close at 12pm on Thursday 15 February 2018. More details and a full list of positions can be found on the NUSU website Sabbatical officer positions include President, Education Officer, Welfare and Equality Officer, Activities Officer, Athletic Union Officer and Editor of the Courier. Part time officers include Students with Disabilities Officer, Chair of Student Council and International Officer. More details and a full list of positions can be found on the NUSU website. This is an opportunity for students to kick-start their career. Those who are successful in running for a sabbatical position will find not only successfully found a paid full-time employment, but

will be able gain the kind of experience you wouldn’t expect to in a first job. Each sabbatical officer receives an annual salary of over £19,000 and is a fulltime member of staff. Leading an organisation with a £4 million turnover and a registered charity before they have graduated puts officers in a great position. They develop skills in leadership and organisation and learn about finances, democracy, education, event management and a whole host of other skills. All officers gain experience of chairing meetings, leading campaigns, managing budgets, communicating and team building, both full-time and part-time. It is a rare opportunity when a student gets to start a career at the very top of the ladder. Previous sabbatical officers have gone onto some outstanding careers and many state that they would never have got to where they are without the experience of being an officer. Ex-officers now have positions as Co-Producer for Sky Sports news, Assistant Director of Newcastle University Careers Service, HR Business Partner for Lloyds Banking Group, Management Consultant for Accenture, Radio presenter on BBC and Lincs FM and Deputy News Editor for ITV News. Nominations close at 12pm on Thursday 15 February 2018 and full details on how to run can be found on the NUSU website, along with more information about each role. You can also email who can organise some sabbatical officer shadowing for you.

The Union’s current sabbatical officer team Image: NUSU

Hugely popular Mobikes coming to Ncl campus Alex Hendley Deputy Editor Following its huge success in Newcastle, the Chinese bicylce sharing giants are imminently installing a station on Newcastle University campus. Despite not having an installation date set, it will only be a matter of time before Mobikes will be seen parked across our university buildings and, to celebrate, Newcastle students will be given a voucher code that will allow them to sign up for just £1, and will also grant users multiple free rides within a certain time frame. Normally costing £20 to subscribe, NUSU offers Newcastle students cheap access to the environmentally friendly bicycles that are picked up and dropped off using the app.

$3b Chinese bicycle sharing comes to Newcastle Image: Mobike

the estimated worth of Mobike in mid 2017, before their introduction to the UK market

First seen in Newcastle in October, the lightweight bikes have seen huge usership across the United Kingdom due to their ease of access and eye-catching design.

The company have, however, come under some criticism thanks to their openly available nature. Due to this, their is no compulsory place to leave the vehicle meaning they are occasionally left blocking paths, and they do not provide helmets meaning riders must use their own. The Bike Life survey in 2015 found that 71% of Newcastle residents felt that health and the environment would be better if people cycled in the city more, while 63% agreed that increased bicycle usage would improve the city as a place to live. This clear desire for an improved bicycle network has been jumped on by the Asian company, who had an original fleet of 400 and an eventual target of 1,000 units on Newcastle’s streets. The bikes are designed for shortdistance use, which could play into students’ hands, who would most commonly be using the service to get between university and their residential areas, although long distance and prolonged usage is not prohibited. According to Cycling UK’s statistics, students are the biggest cyclists of any occupation in the country, both for utility and recreational purposes, and therefore Mobike will be optimistic that the implementation of the station on campus will bring increased revenue and bicycle usage in the city.


the courier

Monday 12 February 2018

Graduates bring games to life with LEGO Gerry Hart In what is often perceived as a male dominated industry, a group of all female Newcastle University Graduates have recently been employed by video game developer TT Games. Nina Campbell, Ruth Caulcott-Cooper and Aishling Mulhern signed on to the Bolton based developer in March 2016, April 2017 and August 2016 respectively. A subsidiary of Warner Brothers Interactive, TT Games is known for developing several licensed LEGO themed games, including LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game.

Game development is a male-dominated profession, with men accounting for about 79% “I started a career in gaming firstly because I really enjoyed playing videogames, and have done so since a very young age” said Ruth Caulcott-Cooper, 22. “Secondly because it was a unique challenge that no one in my social circles or at my all-girls school took interest in.” In addition to TT Games, the North of England is home to a number of other notable game developers. These include the Liverpool based developers of Driveclub Evolution Studios as well as the Newcastle based Ubisoft Reflections, whose 2015 title Grow Home

received praise from numerous outlets including Eurogamer and Destructoid. The video game industry is often seen as a hostile environment for women. In 2014, the Gamergate movement, ostensibly predicated on promoting ethical video game journalism, saw multiple female game critics and developers harrassed online. More recently, allegations of widespread racist and sexist behaviour at French studio Quantic Dreams were published in French newspaper Le Monde. Studio founders David Cage and Guillaume de Fondaumière have since denied these allegations. Additionally, game development is more often than not a male dominated profession, with men accounting for about 79% of video game developers according to the most recent Independent Game Developers Association last year. “Women need to publicly show their success in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) industry to encourage other women to pursue it, and to progress the relevance of women in STEM roles”, Cooper said. “Many of the most talented people I studied alongside were women, and it has been such a failure that they weren’t encouraged into the Games Industry during its fledgling days”, Chris Stanforth, Head of Mechanics at TT Games also stated. “I, and TT as a company, will do what we can to change that and our association with Newcastle has been a successful step towards that goal.” Dr Graham Morgan, Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University School of Computing, said: “Due to the success of the students and close working links with industry partners, Newcastle enjoys a reputation for delivering high quality talent to the video games industry across many international markets.”

Aishling Mulhern at the TT Games Studio Image: Newcastle University


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Monday 12 February 2018

Newcastle launches Knicker Revolution Zoe Crowther Amidst the centenary celebrations of the Representation of the People Act, which allowed women the right to vote, #pressforprogress has been announced as the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day. Newcastle is taking this one step further, with the Knicker Revolution event set to promote pants for progress. This campaign called for women of all shapes and sizes to donate their underwear, which will be creatively transformed into knicker-bunting. On International Women’s Day, the 8th March, the bunting shall adorn a Newcastle landmark, presenting a public challenge to the perceptions of ‘socially acceptable’ gendered behaviour and dress.

Since the Suffragette movements of the early twentieth century, Newcastle has been at the forefront of women’s campaigning Julia Triston, a local textile artist, conceived the idea, and is among many others who have been organising and contributing to an array of campaign

events. By encouraging public participation and providing a creative and bold element to the protest, the aim is to undermine everyday sexual harassment and demonstrate female solidarity. This will be running alongside many other events organised by The Women’s 100, who have come together to celebrate and continue the work of the early Newcastle suffragettes, bringing attention to local feminist histories and the trajectory of women’s movements. Other organisations involved in this series of events include Newcastle University, Newcastle City Council, Northumbria University, TWAM, Newcastle CVS and Newcastle Libraries. Since the Suffragette movements of the early twentieth century, Newcastle has been at the forefront of women’s campaigning. It was one of only four cities in the United Kingdom to organise a SlutWalk in 2011 to protest against victim blaming culture. The exhibition “Women, Politics and Voice in Newcastle” shall showcase the long and illustrious history of local women’s voices, and make a case for why this work should be continued. This took place in the Long Gallery of the Hatton from 5th to 9th February. According to the International Women’s Day website, #pressforprogress is more necessary than ever: the recent Hollywood film industry scandal has thrown gender inequality in the workplace into the public light, and the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global

Gender Gap Report concluded that gender parity is over 200 years away. As part of the bid to bring equality forward, Knicker Revolution is particularly dependent on the donations from Newcastle women. Collection boxes were distributed across the city and Newcastle University Campus, and participants were encouraged to write their names and a message to accompany their underwear donations.

“Progress for equality for all, progress for ending violence against women, girls and other vulnerable people” Karen Ross, Professor of Gender and Media at Newcastle University

In addition to providing underwear bunting, new knickers and gently worn bras were collected for SmallForAll, a charity which redistributes underwear to women and children in Africa. Karen Ross, Professor of Gender and Media and part of Newcastle University’s Women’s Committee, outlines the mission behind #pressforprogress: “Progress for equality for all, progress for ending violence against women, girls and other vulnerable people.”

Knickers on the line Image: Flickr

Revolt Sexual Assault conducts new survey Jaymelouise Hudspith

Revolt Sexual Assault used Snapchat to provide a patform for victims Image: Pexels

Sexual violence at universities across the United Kingdom is a common issue that is set to be addressed. Sexual harassment and assault are issues that are often left unspoken, unresolved and normalised within society by the attitude that it is simply part of student life. A new survey is being conducted by Revolt Sexual Assault in partnership with The Student Room. The study aims to assess the extent of sexual harassment and assault on UK campuses and therefore the charity behind the survey are seeking students to get involved. Students’ participation in this research is so incredibly valuable: it gives evidence that can drive much-needed reform in higher education policy relating to sexual violence. It can compel universities to provide more support for survivors of sexual assault and harassment. This survey is the first of its kind to be conducted in a decade, in an attempt to shed greater awareness on the commonness of experiencing and witnessing sexual violence on and around university campuses but also, to what rate these crimes are being reported. The charity Revolt Sexual Assault was founded by Hannah Price, a Bristol student journalist who wanted to create a way to bring the issue of sexual assault and harassment into the public eye. What began as a simple campaign on her Bristol University campus has received such a positive response that it since has grown into a national movement. The charity began by using Snapchat to allow students to voice their own experience of sexual violence, protected by filters, facial and voice obscuration in order to conceal their identities for safety. Using the influence of the social media platform Snapchat, as social media use is second nature to millennials but

they also use it helps the organisation to reach a larger population and to humanise the issue that so often remains silenced. A recent study, the ‘Changing the culture’ report showed an initiative in higher education institutes to tackle the issue, however this report did not accurately represent student voices. Whereas, the Revolt study represent the frequency of sexual assault and harassment occurring at UK universities with student personal input. Price stated, “I am done with this behaviour being the norm and so should you because #ItsRevolting”.

“I am done with this behaviour being the norm and so should you because #ItsRevolting” Hannah Price Founder of Revolt Sexual Assault

The ultimate goal is to drive higher education policy reform to provide a basic standard of care to students, and to introduce extensive education on what constitutes consent, sexual harassment and sexual assault. But mostly, the charity states their desire is to create a society where filters and digital disguises are not necessary, where victims will feel secure and supported in coming forward with confidence that they will be cared for and heard. The survey is open to current and former students who have studied at UK universities, anonymity is guaranteed for all participants. If you wish to be included, head to revoltsexualassault. com before February 16th to help raise awareness on this ever-growing issue.


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Monday 12 February 2018

Students’ Union hosts third Disability Awareness Week Zoë Godden On 5-8 February, Newcastle University Students’ Union ran its third annual Disability Awareness Week. The campaign aimed to shed light on issues affecting disabled students by educating the wider student body. Topics covered in the week included recognising ableism, government changes to monetary aid, and students own lived experiences of being disabled at Newcastle. Many new unique events were organised for this year’s line-up, including a parasport fencing session led in collaboration with Inclusive Newcastle, which saw students of all abilities and levels taking part in an action-packed taster session.

“The collaboration between the PTO, DaNSoc, students, and external speakers has been inspiring” DaNSoc Secretary Sarah Main and LGBT+ Officer Hannah Fitzpatrick

A two-hour slot was also booked at the Student Advice Centre, allowing students to drop-in and get guidance on all things disability-related, from applying for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) to getting started with Disabled Students Allowance (DSA). The week also saw two guests speakers run successful sessions. Joanna Gower,

former Welfare Officer and LGBT+ Association President at Durham University, led ‘It’s All in Your Head: The Effect of Invisible Disabilities’, a discussion examining how wider society perceives what disability looks like and how we can challenge our assumptions about chronic illness. Sez Thomasin, an award-winning autistic genderqueer poet, also ran a popular poetry and zine workshop session, where students could create their own disability inspired talks.


the amount per week that you could recieve from the government via the PIP scheme

By far, the most well-attended session was the collaboration between the Disability and Neurodiversity Society (DaNSoc) and the Working Class Students Network, titled ‘I’m Not a Scrounger.’ This discussion looked at the intersections of disability and social class, and how we can challenge the benefit fraud stereotypes. The campaign concluded with a screening of Mad Max: Fury Road. The franchise has a history of having great disability representation, from amputees to dwarfism, and PTSD to Downs Syndrome. The Courier spoke to DaNSoc Secretary Sarah Main and LGBT+ Officer Hannah Fitzpatrick while they were running a stall to promote the week’s events.They reflected on the success of the week: “The level of response has been amazing, and the collaboration between the PTO, DaNSoc, students, and external speakers has been inspiring.”

Promoting Disability Awareness Week Image: Isabel Sykes

FWO 2018 team announced Alex Hendley Deputy Editor Newcastle University’s Freshers ‘Week Organisers for 2018 have been announced as Ciara Ritson-Courtney (third year Electrical Engineering), Sam Midwood (third year Film and Media), George Snape (fifth year Town Planning) and Becky James (third year English Literature), following an application and interview process which took place in November 2017. In March 2017, Student Council voted in favour of changing the FWO roles from elected through campaigns to appointed on an interview basis. This came following the arguments that for the previous two years, FWO teams had run uncontested, and that interested students were forced to find three others who also wanted to campaign with

“We’re going to use lots of data to see how 18 year olds act and have fun compared to when we were all freshers” Freshers’ Week Organiser 2018 Ciara Ritson-Courtney

them. The Newcastle University Students Union started its search for the team of four over three months ago and was looking for a crew to organise both day-

time and evening entertainment for the new students joining the university at the beginning of the next academic year. The process involved an application, and interview and finally an assessment day, where candidates were questioned on what they would bring to the team and how they would achieve their ideas. The team will not only have to arrange the activities but will also be responsible for the recruiting and training over 350 volunteers that will make the week a success.


As Science and Culture editor of the Courier, Ciara has never shied away from a challenge. With a passion for lighting, 2018’s Freshers’ could be the brightest yet

One of the new team, Ciara RitsonCourtney, spoke about the process and the months ahead. “Some of the people applying had met before, but before the interviews we didn’t know who else was applying. Now that we know who’s in the team, we’ve been for dinner together and got to know each other over the training days, so we’re really looking forward to getting started. “We’ve started planning this week, but it’s all going to be kept under wraps until the business plan week in Easter when all will be revealed. We’re hoping to create a welcome for new students that’s a little less stereotypical and cliché than is associated with Freshers’ Week events. “We’d like to cater for the more

modern music trends and try and let students have their say on the week, whether that’s from the new students themselves or from feedback on previous years.


number of UCAS enrollments at Newcastle University every academic year

“We’re going to try and use lots of data to see how 18 year olds act and have fun now rather than a few years ago, when we were all freshers, with a big welcome to Newcastle in order to show off all the attractions of the North-East.” With the number of admissions set to increase year by year, Freshers’ Week organisers face a growing battle to entertain the hoards of students who flock to Tyneside every year. This year’s team have stated that they want to put on a show within Newcastle University Students’ Union’s set of values, while also leaving the Freshers’ Week budget in a solid enough state for the years to come. With a tradition of big nights out, trips to the coast and sightseeing throughout Newcastle, Ciara also said that there was a need to push students in the direction of other historical and cultural locations. “It’s amazing how many third or fourth year students have studied in Newcastle and have never been to visit Hadrian’s Wall, so we will really be pushing days out like that so that new students discover the best parts of the region early in their academic careers.

the courier



Monday 12 February 2018

Bercow attracts biggest public lecture audience in 20 years Scott Houghton On the 1st of February, John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, gave a public lecture in the Curtis Auditorium.

Bercow can frequently be heard roaring “Order! Order!” at squabbling MPs The main focus of Bercow’s lecture series was on Parliament and its role in modern democracy. It took place as a part of Newcastle Universities’ INSIGHT public lecture series, where this particular lecture forms a part of a series of lectures running from February to July 2018. The lecture was an especially popular one, with Alistair Clark, a senior lecturer in politics at Newcastle University, mentioning on Twitter that it was the largest public lecture audience in twenty years. John Bercow is the 157th Speaker of the House of Commons and was elected in 2009 and has since been re-elected three times. The Speaker plays a uniquely important role in the House of Commons. This is because, whilst still being an MP,

the Speaker is expected to stand above ordinary party politics and hold the executive to account as well as mediating debates within Parliament. This is particularly clear during Prime Minister’s Questions when Bercow can frequently be heard roaring “Order! Order!” at squabbling MPs. Even though Bercow was a Conservative MP, as Speaker he must be neutral towards party politics. The role of Speaker is almost as old as Parliament itself and dates back to the Middle Ages. However, since becoming elected he has overseen significant reforms to the House of Commons and subsequently changed some of its outlook. For instance, Bercow aims to broaden the appeal of Parliament by engaging heavily in outreach work to schools, colleges, and universities across the UK, which has greatly increased since he was elected. As he mentioned in his lecture, he usually does multiple talks with schools via Skype, and recently visited a secondary school in South Shields. Previously, as he mentioned, some older Members of Parliament thought the job of outreach was beneath the office of Speaker. It was clear from the size of the audience at the lecture that this attitude has changed for good. Bercow has also sought to change the way Parliamentary business is conducted and has sought over his tenure to make Parliament more accountable to the public and to make Parliament more representative of the UK.

Bercow helped to ensure that MPs on select committees were to be elected by secret ballot instead of by appointment from the government of the day. This means that MPs are more independent in their decisions and approaches and under less influence from the governing party. He also championed the notion of backbench MPs being able to decide what debates could take place in parliament, rather than the order of business being chosen by the government. These debates, as Bercow noted in his lecture, have brought about changes in policy, such as the decision to hold an enquiry into the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

Bercow helped to ensure that MPs on select committees were to be elected by secret ballot instead of by appointment Bercow also noted the previous existence of a shooting gallery in the Houses of Parliament, and during his tenure ensured that it was replaced by a nursery in 2010 to help MPs’ work-life balance, especially young women MPs, noting “there were plenty of places to buy a beer, but nowhere to put a baby.”

The Speaker, John Bercow Image: Wikimedia Commons

Human rights campaigners speak at Newcastle University Helen Byrne The Amnesty International Society at Newcastle University recently hosted their first guest speaker event, inviting three speakers who campaign for and raise awareness of the importance of human rights across the world. The speakers, who attended the event as representatives of Amnesty International UK, shared their insights on a wide range of current affairs. The evening had a particular focus on the rights of refugees, the ongoing legal battle for gender recognition and raising awareness of the work carried out by the Children’s Human Rights Network.

The conditions in which refugees are kept has been hidden from mainstream media

Guests at Amnesty International Society event Image: Helen Byrne

Basia Giezek was one of the speakers who travelled to Newcastle from Amnesty’s Human Rights Action Centre in London and works as the Country Coordinator for Australia, Nauru, Malaysia and Singapore. She spoke about the offshore detention centre that the Australian Government has used on Manus Island and Nauru. Giezek explained how Amnesty International is campaigning for the protection of refugees and how they will continue to put pressure on the Australian Government until adequate living conditions are provided. Hidden from the mainstream media, the conditions in which refugees are kept has been highlighted by Iranian Kurdish refugee Behrouz Boochani, who has been detained on Manus Island for four years. Amnesty International honoured his work, awarding him as winner of the ‘Writing from Manus’ at the Amnesty International Media Awards. Richard Kotter is based locally in

Newcastle and works for Amnesty as a Country Coordinator across the European Union. He is currently the co-lead on the legal challenge against the Finnish Governmen, regarding the Finnish ‘Trans Act’. Kotter said, “It is extremely important for transgender people that the code corresponds to their chosen gender identity and that they are not forced to ‘out’ themselves as transgender every time they are required to reveal their personal identity code. The act also restricts the possibility to access legal gender recognition to individuals who have reached the legal age of maturity, which in Finland is 18. The whole process can take more than three years.” This is one of several challenges, which Amnesty has been involved with and is achieve the success as they have done, most recently in Norway. More information is available on the LGBTI Network blog. Russell Pilling, also a local to Newcastle, is a committee member of the Children’s Human Rights Network. He spoke about Amnesty International’s coordinated campaign with the ‘Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens (PRCBC)’. The PRCBC provides legal advice to children and their families, conducts research, and undertakes cases as well as campaigning. The current campaign the CHRN is calling for the improvement of the process for children in the UK who have been granted refugee status, but who are not currently British citizens, due to the £976 fee application. Amnesty International and PRCBC are calling for the removal of the profitmaking aspect of the fee; a power to waive the fee; and no fee for children assisted by a local authority. Anyone who would like to find out more about this campaign can reach out to uk. Students wishing to get involved with the Amnesty International Society and their campaigns can get in touch through their Facebook page: NUAmnestyInternationalSociety.

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the courier

Monday 12 February 2018

@CourierComment Comment Editors Jamie Cameron, Caitlin Disken & Alexandra Sadler

Presidents Club: Impeached Revelations about the Presidents Club lead Joe Holloran and Jaymelouise Hudspith to discuss sexism and its taint on charity Joe Holloran


n late January, the Financial Times revealed a spate of sexual harassment allegations against notable men during a children’s charity event organized by the so-called ‘Presidents Club’. The men-only event took place at a high-end London hotel, The Dorchester, and has been an annual social event for the Y chromosome possessing elites for over 30 years. There, women’s role was that of ‘hostess’. Not waitress. Not guest. But hostess. Basically, an item to stand there to be goggled at and suffer the wits of the groping, aging elites, in the hope that a slight show of cleavage will spur their conscience into action and have them divert enough blood back to their hands to write out a cheque. Around 30 women have come forward with accusations including lewd comments, groping, exposure and inquiries as to whether they were prostitutes. Since then the board of directors has resigned and the eye of the MeToo movement has fixed on the British establishment.

This money would have helped significantly. So why reject it? No one is (publicly) defending the un-gentlemanly behaviour of these loathsome, sad and pathetic men, nor the deeds of their wandering hands. But, here is my issue. The money raised at this event varies, depending on the source, from around £280,000 to £400,000. This much-needed money fills coffers of charities such as Great Ormond Street Hospital. They have since returned the money donated after the scandal broke. This, I believe, is a mistake. As someone with personal experience with this great institution, I know they incredible work they do on a daily basis. This money would have helped significantly. So why reject it? Why not have some good come from this mess? This event highlights several key elements of modern culture. Firstly, women no-longer feel the pressure to remain silent about their treatment at the hands of gropers and harassers. This is of course a great thing. Secondly, the economic and political elites (of both parties) who make up these gropers are incredibly out of touch with modern society. Their world of privilege has for too long protected them from criticism. No more. The last point however, is not a positive one. The affair, along with reaction to people like Matt Damon and

Al Franken, show that perspective and nuance is being lost in the age of 280 characters. In this binary climate, the losers are mainly celebrities, both male and female, who point this out. The current cultural movement from and for women’s workplace rights is of course a positive step forward for our society. Twitter has allowed these stories to be told and spread, but it also is a place that more than any other where nuance and debate dies.

Jaymelouise Hudspith


he Presidents Club was exposed for its recent scandal where wealthy and powerful men exploited young women. Allegedly 360 senior businessmen attended the all-male charity event were caught groping and propositioning the female hostesses, hostesses who were explicitly told to wear black underwear and heels. There are even reports that the men participated in an auction for lap dances and plastic surgery for their wives. The Presidents Club charitable trust has been running events and fundraising for 33 years and has raised millions of pounds to help disadvantaged and underprivileged children. However, following the recent scandal charities such as the children’s hospital, Evelina, aims to disband and decline or return the funding from the Presidents Club.

Why are these types of events, which encourage sexist behaviour... acceptable? The charities, in an attempt to separate themselves from the negative press surrounding the sexual harassment and assault scandal, are being criticised for rejecting the donations of a claimed raised amount of £20 million. Money that could help treat children, or improve the hospital units, and much more. Surely the money is at better use where it can do some good rather than returning it. Other issues with the return of the money include the legal complications. Charities have to provide extensive evidence that rejecting the money is the right thing for the charity and giving money back after acceptance is even more complicated. Personally, I believe that the money they have been given can do more good than harm. Whilst the sexual harassment by these men cannot be undone, no matter how horrific and entirely unacceptable I

deem it, children’s lives can potentially be saved with the money raised at the event.

The Presidents Club is an extreme example of how the system can go wrong Many people believe these issues have occurred due to men-only business clubs or events, especially those who hire female-only hostesses. This is out-dated and perpetuates a sexist culture rather than a safe space to discuss sensitive issues without fear of judgement, as originally intended. There are beliefs, at this level, that there are not enough equally high-powered women, which sheds a light on the preexisting sexism and gender imbalance within our society. The Presidents Club is an extreme example of how the system can go wrong. That women at this event are objectified for the purpose of entertainment is justification enough to ban all meetings of this type, and in turn ban all female-only meetings. Why are these types of events, which encourage sexist behaviours by excluding women and using female hostesses’ sexuality and alcohol consumption, in an attempt to receive higher donations, acceptable? Does the blame fall on the organisers for encouraging such behaviour, or the businessmen for acting on this

behaviour? I do not believe that it is fair or just to place blame on the women who were sexually harassed for working the event. Many of these women use the event to get more work for the rest of the year; or for wearing the lingerie and high heels, they were simply following their boss’s orders, without which they would have not been allowed to work.

Brexit: the grass isn’t always greener

In light of recent Brexit prediction reports, Louis Vanderlande argues that Britain should unite despite a bleak future ahead


n extract of a report was leaked this week which laid out an analysis of the economic impact Brexit will have on the UK’s economy. Three hypothetical versions of Brexit were examined with all three found to negatively impact on the UK’s predicted GDP growth rate. I’m now going to ask: what does publishing this report in full achieve? In short, the answer would be nothing other than increasing the punitive squabbling between a bunch of adults who are claimed to be some of the best and brightest minds this country has to offer. I can see no good coming from this report. Remainers will sit with a sense of self-righteous smugness that the economics align with their views

whilst the Leavers will call into question the validity of the report and the institutionalised bias they see themselves up against. Neither side will back down and will only entrench themselves deeper in their ideological bunkers.

I can see no good coming from this report The report was clearly leaked to Buzzfeed to deliberately to kick the hornets’ nest while it was already rattled. Of course, the MPs should have the right to vote to fully release the report but I hope that the majority will see past their own views and ap-

preciate the political climate that is being created: a politics on inwards thinking, division among party ranks and a lack of clear direction. To broker a deal, as Brexit is happening whether you like it or not (I don’t), you have to come in with as strong a position as you can, as united as you can, and with the aim of securing the best deal that you can. This age of fractious politics is leading to nothing but a weakening of the democratic process with the very structures of this country being challenged, such as the Supreme Court with Gina Miller, Civil Service bias and economic experts referred to as liars. Yes, a representative democracy is allowed to squabble, and it’s the gift of free speech to do so, but as factions such as the Tories’ ‘Europe-

an Research Group’ and ‘Momentum’ gain control, it is time to look at the bigger picture.

It is time to look at the bigger picture The solution I suggest is to set up a bipartisan group. They should discuss with as many academic experts as need be, listen to as wide a voter base as possible and finally but most importantly prepare to compromise. No deal is perfect for one side. Just like this report, it has flaws and faults, so keep it behind closed doors, sit down and talk. Get on with your job.

the courier



Monday 12 February 2018

Voting Age: Sweet Sixteen

Our writers debate whether lowering the voting age is an act of democracy, or blatant irresponsibility

Lucy Aplin


n an optimistic push towards a more modern democracy, the Welsh Labour Party have given over 16’s the right to vote in upcoming Welsh elections. The move has already happened in countries like Norway, Australia and Scotland. The change, which has been supported by the SNP, Labour and the Lib Dems, will encourage more young people to become engaged in democratic processes. Here in dusty old England, I am neither shocked nor elated to tell you that the Conservatives have no plans to introduce the change for English 16-year-olds.

The Welsh government are giving young people a voice But what is it about the 16-year-old vote that Theresa May and her turkey neck tribe of dusty backbenchers take such issue with? Well, they seem to believe that 16-year-olds do not possess the life experience to vote properly, which is just patronising. Opposition to the change also claim that 16-year-olds copy the vote of their parents, which is not only condescending, but also actually wrong. It’s been found that young voters tend to do more research than any other voting demographic, and as a result they often end up swaying their parent’s voting habits instead. The Welsh will now enjoy a more engaged, youthful and diverse democratic discourse, despite the baseless drones of the backwards Conservatives over in England. And it’s this young democratic engagement that is so vital for countries like Wales, where they have the highest rate of youth unemployment in the UK. By encouraging young people to vote, the Welsh government are giving young people a voice and a sense of responsibility. They get a say in their future and the policies that will affect them the most, and they develop a civic duty and sense of belonging in a community that may once have felt alien and inaccessible. It has also been found that the formative years of politi-

cal voting are the most fundamental. Once someone votes, they are likely to continue. Wales should now see more civilian voting than ever before. And who can argue with the benefits of prolonged democratic commitment?

...who can argue with the benefits of prolonged democratic commitment? If you are still in two minds about whether Wales lowering the voting age is a good move, I remind you that 16-year-olds are required to pay tax under UK law. In my opinion, anybody expected to pay tax deserves the basic right to vote. Don’t think that a 16-year-old is capable of voting? Then don’t demand a portion of their wage. If they are old enough to serve in the armed forces, they are old enough to elect a government. This is not only common sense, but also common courtesy. Well done Wales.

Jack Shannon


he debate surrounding extending suffrage to 16 and 17-year olds always involves wheeling out the same old tired arguments. Proponents of widening the electorate in this way make the case that if a 16-year old can join the army and legally get married then this should entitle them to have a say in the way our country is run. I disagree.

Reality TV is justification enough not to extend the vote to 16-year olds For me, the saccharine reality TV vomit known as “My Super Sweet 16” is justification enough not to extend the vote to 16-year olds. For anyone who doesn’t know, it’s a TV show where rich little brats get to have their perfect sixteenth birthday party, paid for by their enormously wealthy, indulgent and delusional parents. The apotheosis of the show for me was when one of these egocentric oxygen-

wasters threw a huge tantrum at her mum, because her $600,000 Ferrari 360 Modena was black, when the colour she wanted it in was red. This left me with that depressed and pessimistic feeling you get after watching an episode of Black Mirror and as far as I’m concerned, the show is enough reason never to enfranchise 16-year olds. However, if you want some more tangible reasons not to extend the vote, read on. In my view, the debate really should be focusing on why we already grant such inappropriate freedoms to individuals at such a young age, not whether we should be allowing them to vote as well. For instance, the admittance of 16-year olds into the army seems to me to be borderline child cruelty - how can we criticise the use of child soldiers by third world militias when we are perfectly at home with training up our own children to kill? Even if we aren’t sending them off to the frontline until they’re slightly older, surely there’s something unethical about training an emotionally underdeveloped teen, brave as they may be, to take another person’s life. Equally, with the case of marriage, do any of us really believe that a 16-year old is ready to commit emotionally, legally and financially to a life-long relationship? I don’t see why it’s such a hardship to wait just two years and then make such an enormous commitment. We wouldn’t, and don’t, trust a 16year old to drive – how is marriage any different? A recent article in the Daily Tory-graph highlighted a report by scientists arguing that adulthood now begins around 24 for most young people. To highly simplify the argument made by the report, since we are all living longer, we are all now delaying our break from adolescence to a later stage. Now, I’m not making the case that anyone should have to wait till they’re 24-years old to vote, get married or join the army. But surely it’s about time that we accept that the demographics of our society are changing, and this should be reflected by making all the legal privileges and responsibilities of adulthood available from 18-years onwards, but no younger.

Response: Criticise your own country before Turkey Adnan Eren Can responds to ‘Human rights: a cold Turkey’ on behalf of the Turkish Society


ver since the Korean War, Turkey and its Western allies have stood side by side against their enemies, through NATO. However, in recent times this relationship has become damaged, in part due to Eurocentrism. Unfortunately, there are those who see Turkey as the ‘other’ that needs to change. For some Europeans, Turkey will never be accepted as an equal part of Europe. In an article (Human Rights: a cold Turkey?) published December 2017, claims and allegations were made against Turkey that are the result of Eurocentrism. The article states that Turkey is moving away from secularism and can no longer be considered an ‘exemplary Muslim nation-state’. I would like to point out that Queen Elizabeth II, the UK head of state, is also the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. In Turkey, neither the President nor the Prime Minister, hold any religious titles. Yet it is Turkey that is criticized for leaving secular values. On the 7th of January 2018, the Turkish President, Erdogan, opened a grand Church in Istanbul. These facts were never mentioned in the article. Instead, it is argued that ‘fundamentalist Islamism’ is back on the ‘political agenda’, this we believe is offensive to Turkish people who have voted for a political party which is orientated as conservative. During the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, some people labelled the AmericanBritish alliance ‘the crusaders’. As we would reject these unacceptable labels we must also reject labels such as ‘fundamentalist Islamism’ when we talk about other countries. One of the articles questions the reality of the failed coup of 15th July. I personally visited the Turkish parliament that was bombed by terrorists on the night of the coup and can show the pho-

tos that I took that show the destruction. Turkey is fighting against three different terrorist organisations, namely the Gulenist Terror Group (FETO), PKK and Daesh. Turkey also fights PKK/YPG, which is a terrorist organisation according to the EU and USA. The Syrian branch of the PKK the PYD is known for forced displacement and war crimes according to Amnesty International. With all these problems, Turkey is doing the utmost to defeat terrorism, and the Turkish judiciary has punished many terrorists.

People continue to bash Turkey. This is a result of Eurocentrism This war on terror was described as limiting liberties in the articles. Why is it that following the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack, France was not criticised for its state of emergency and fight against terror, yet when Turkey is fighting terrorism it is heavily criticised? Why is it when France or any other European country rightfully makes arrests due to terrorist activities it is seen as necessary, but when Turkey rightfully arrests terrorists it is called ‘suppression’? Anti-terror laws in the West are all seen normal but when Turkey introduces similar laws it is labelled as a ‘police-state’. Turkey hosts 3.5 million Syrian refugees and expects its allies to support her in its fight against terrorism. Turkey continues its war on terror in Syria with Operation Olive Branch. The aim of this operation is to create safe-zones in Syria where refugees in Turkey and Europe could return to their homeland. However,

false criticism like that in the article does not help and slanders Turkey’s war on terror. The call for outrage against Turkey is interesting, as it is only defending its democracy. Yet where is the outrage against terror? It is not just to expect Turkey to support Europe against Daesh terrorism, whilst not helping Turkey against its war on terror. Those with a Eurocentric view of Turkey need to understand the change taking place. Those with a Eurocentric view of the world need to see Turkey and other nations as equals, not as inferior countries that need to be ‘civilised’. The April 2017 referendum is a good example of the development of democracy in Turkey as the voter turnout was 85%. This demonstrates the tradition of democracy in Turkey. A turnout of 85% has never been seen in a UK general election or US presidential election, and the 2016 EU referendum only saw a 72% turnout. The claim that there is a ‘Kurdish genocide’ is very dangerous. Many freedoms have been given to Turkey’s Kurdish citizens, as now Kurdish TV channels operate freely. Similarly, the current government receives a lot of support from Kurdish citizens during elections and there are Kurdish MPs and Ministers. Even with these significant positive developments, some people continue to bash Turkey. This is a result of Eurocentrism. This outlook firstly does not benefit those who make such claims, as they make wrong judgements about the world. Also, this does not benefit Europe’s relations with other nations, such as Turkey. A different relationship is possible where mutual trust and respect is created. When this is achieved, Europeans, Turks and others around the world will benefit from such a relationship.



Mhairi McGee

or many of you reading this, Pat Phelan is but a stranger, a man whose name you have not heard. For those of you like myself, whose social life collapsed during January exams, Pat Phelan has been the bane of your Coronation Street experience and thus, the only excitement that life at the moment has to offer. Pat Phelan is the Street’s worst criminal for years, killing his neighbours and exercising a regime of fear that North Korea would be proud of. Thus, I hope I do not speak alone when I ask, in a rather exasperated manner, when will Pat Phelan get his comeuppance? How much longer can ITV drag this out? As January exams become a memory of the near past, I hope that within the foreseeable future Pat Phelan suffers, and that the peak of excitement in my social life is not that of Corrie.

Talkin’ in the Mornin’


Alexandra Sadler

t’s 9am. You’ve dragged yourself out of bed, possibly hungover, and managed to make it to your lecture. Sometimes it’s immediately obvious, sometimes you manage to get halfway through the lecture before you find out…a group discussion. Look, I’m all for having a conversation, I do actually turn up to seminars after all. A large part of my degree is politics, and nothing makes me happier than ranting about Trump or inequality. However, in an early morning lecture of 100 people, I disagree. Firstly, how can you conduct an effective discussion with a large group of people? That’s part of the reason why we have a representative democracy, rather than a system of direct democracy. Secondly, ignoring the first point, it’s less of a discussion and more of a conversation between three people and your lecturer. There’s obviously a point to group discussions, but we have workshops and seminars to carry out these functions. Asking questions in a lecture is fine, but please don’t ask me to contribute to a discussion that is more public speaking than it is conversation.

New(castle) Rules


Rory Cameron

hank god the new term has started and lectures have commenced. Sure, it’s pleasant to go home for a bit, be spoiled with home comforts such as a full fridge, fresh laundry, seeing your pets (oh, and those other family members too). However, those home comforts, are exactly what makes it so frustrating. You’re an adult now. You’ve grown and matured into an independent member of the human race, or there abouts. Also, life is better at university: there’s more freedom and you find that you actually enjoy the structure of each day, as you strive towards your educational goals with a wavering degree (pun intended) of diligence. You are the captain of your own ship, realising your own dreams, making this New(castle) city your own. Just make sure that you don’t accidentally refer to your student house or accommodation in Newcastle as ‘home’ in front of your poor mother; it will break her heart.


the courier

student voice

Monday 12 February 2018

Disability Week: Zoë Godden Alex Hendley chats to the Students with Disabilities Officer about February’s Disability Week and its events, including sports, film nights and the year ahead Thanks for taking the time for this Zoë, I know we’re only half way through Disability Week now, but when this issue comes out it will be all over. How’s it going so far? Well, yes, usually the week is in April but this year I wanted to move it firstly as dissertations are due in May, and generally because student engagement is much better at the start of semester two rather than later on, for obvious reasons of stress and business. I’ve been planning this since November as I’ve wanted to make sure everything was organised such as external speakers, and getting funding and applications done. The week is to give students a platform to talk about what’s going on in their lives and other things that are all about disability across the world. We’ve got talks on #cripthevote, we’ve got collaborations with the working-class students’ network on disability in class, we had Joanna Gower who was the Welfare Officer at Durham last year and she did a talk on invisible disabilities, I did a talk on ableism 101 and we have poetry and design workshops. We had para-fencing too which was really fun, and a screening of Mad Max Fury Road.

The week is to give a platform to talk about what’s going on in their lives That all sounds very interesting, but why the film choice? The Mad Max films have fantastic disability representation, it’s filled with characters who are disabled and it’s not mentioned, they’re just.. there! The series as a whole has always had these

characters and in Fury Road, Mad Max himself clearly has PTSD. I’m not sure if it’s a stylistic choice, because it’s a post-apocalyptic world, but in these cultures the disabled people are the heroes. It’s also great because I’m looking into disability in film for my dissertation! You mentioned fencing, what did that entail and how did that go? Really good, I’ve been working with Liam Isaac, who’s head of Inclusive Newcastle, and he’ll get in touch with any para-sport opportunities that I can help promote. Essentially it’s just inclusive fencing, which is sort of vague but regardless of level, if you inform them of how they can adapt their sessions then they will. I was caught out though, as I turned up in heels, without even a pair of trainers! I actually did surprisingly well, I think being elevated off the ground almost gave me an edge. You clearly got a lot planned, but how has the turn out been? We’ve got our dedicated members who are from Disability and Neurodiversity Society who are always keen to come to those events, but for me I’m glad to see faces coming to discussions who don’t normally. Facebook even banned me temporarily for inviting so many people to the events! It’s been a little difficult to drum up support, despite the 9.1% of Newcastle students who have a registered disability, because I don’t quite have the reach and ease of access to students of some of the other officers. As well, it’s ingrained into our culture to just ignore or shun disability, so it has been difficult to spread out further than our close societies and get people to care and engage in our campaigns. It’s been an issue for other previous Disability Officers but it’s been good to see some new faces. Seeing people I haven’t before really fulfils me in some way. I tried to make the

variety of activities engaging, and I’ve tried to do different things to past Officers to make it varied and interesting. I have access to NUSU accounts and such, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be reaching the right people, or all the people, which is a problem especially when I receive things like graduate opportunities for disabled students that I want to tell everyone about.

It’s ingrained into our culture to ignore or shun disability, so it’s been difficult to spread out Well good luck for the rest of the week. Have you anything else planned for the rest of the year? For the rest of the year I’m working with Flo Stockley, the Widening Access Project Worker, and we’re currently in the process to see if we can remove the ‘PIP clause’ from applications to participation bursaries. Currently you can only apply for the bursary if you’re a disabled student who already has a Personal Independent Payment, and PIP is something that has become very difficult to apply for thanks to the government’s changing of their monetary aid for people with disabilities. Currently it seems quite feasible to change this, and that would be fantastic because then any disabled student can apply, and they can then get some aid, such as free entry into societies in first year which is important for disabled transport when money is tight if you’re having to pay for extra transport, and the like. Otherwise, keep an eye on the Courier for more events and activities!

Layla Xie gives us the first installment of Margaret’s plight to stay in the UK. Volume 1: Trouble at ‘mill


n January 1st in 2018, there were 18 days left for the Chinese student Margaret to stay in UK. She planned to pay a visit to Scottish Highlands before departure, but eventually failed to go. Her friends encouraged her, that it’s not necessary to go to Highlands at this time. “You must leave some desire here, otherwise you would have no chance to be back again forever.” As many international PGT students in UK, Margaret just arrived in England in the summer of 2016, and has no choice but to leave in one and a half year. For most of them, either be willing or unwilling, the postgraduate experience in UK is only a stepping stone of their future career. Once grasp the degree, they must turn around and leave. As Margaret herself says, the one half year staying in the foreign land is like a fancy dream. The dream ends, people have to embrace the exercrable reality. New year. Margaret looked through the pictures of the whole last year stored in her phone one by one. She posted at least a dozen of them to the social media groupchat she used to go, each picture presents so many smiles and laughters. She said that, “I would never forget how excellent my life is during the year I had here.” PGT courses run over at the end of every August. December, graduation ceremony. The 25th and 26th of next year’s January, is the expiration date of the tier4 visa for most overseas students. These three time periods constitute three huge waves for international students to go back and return between English and their motherland. Margaret is one of the students who insists on staying UK untill the last wave comes and goes. The due time of her visa is 25th January, while her ticket of departure is on 18th...

life & style


the courier Monday 12 February 2018

@CourierLifestyle Life & Style Editor Izzi Watkins Lifestyle Editors Sophie Henderson, Jaymelouise Hudspith, Lauren Sneath & Victoria Young

Blind Date

Rory Cameron, 24, 1st Year English and Creative Writing

Rory on Ella What were your first impressions of Ella? She was an intelligent and affable girl.

What did you two get up to? I don’t actually know the name of the bars we went to, though we started upmarket before deciding it was too expensive and the extensive gin menu was wasted on us. Did you have good conversation? Fortunately my first impressions proved right: conversation was pleasant, although too neutral for my liking. Did you have anything in common? I had a nice time with her and it was fun to do something different, but we agreed that the main thing we had in common was that there was no connection between us, so we haven’t spoken or planned to meet since. If Ella was a vegetable which one would

she be and why? If she were a vegetable I’d say she’d probably be a broccoli - she’s wholesome but unfortunately not my taste. What vegetable would she call you and why? I have no idea what kind of vegetable she’d call me - I’ve been likened to many things in my time, but never a vegetable. What was your favourite thing about Ella? My favourite thing was that despite the lack of ‘spark’ or things in common, the evening didn’t get awkward as we’re both comfortable people. Since the date have the two of you been talking? No. Did you both decide if you’d like to see each other again? We’ll give each other a nod and say “hi” if we cross paths on campus, and perhaps joke about how the editors butchered our responses, but other than that, no.

VERDICT: RORY ON ELLA She’d probably be a broccoli


Conversation Overall

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Fancy a date? We’ll set you up. Find us on our 2017/ 2018 Facebook page or email at

Ella Corrin, 20, 3rd Year History

Ella on Rory Tell us a little about the date- where did you guys go? We went to a few bars in town, starting off at Pleased to Meet You. Do you think it went well? I had a nice time but there definitely wasn’t that spark, we were quite different people at different stages. What was most noticeable in your first impression of Rory? Long hair! How was the conversation? Was he interesting? We had good conversation about travel and nights out. Rory had a lot of anecdotes... Did you find that you have things in common? He started out at Leeds uni and I’m from

Leeds, so we had been to a few of the same places/nights out. What was his best quality, in your opinion? Very easy going, and doesn’t take life too seriously. And on the other hand, any red flags? The conversation was a bit one sided, he didn’t ask me many questions. What was the most interesting thing he told you, or that you found out about him? The most interesting thing I found out about him is that he spent a night in a cell the day before he was meant to start uni. Do you want to see Rory again? I’d say hi if I bumped into him on a night out, or around uni. After the date, would you swipe left, right or superlike? Swipe left.

VERDICT: ELLA ON RORY Rory had a lot of anecdotes...


Conversation Overall

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the courier


life & style lifestyle

8 Things McDonalds Workers Want You to Know


veryone loves a cheeky Maccies but what is it really like to be on the receiving end of these customers? Here is a list of the top 8 things your McDonald’s server wishes you knew (from a McDonald’s worker).

1.Please be patient

When you see a queue out the door, and all the workers are in the back running about like headless chickens, please be aware that even fast food can’t take 30 seconds. If your order is being placed, it is going to get made as soon as possible, but we cannot cook the food any faster.

2.We can’t fix everything

We serve the food the best we can but we cannot help with trivial issues like, my fries are too salty for me, the food here is too expensive or why don’t you serve breakfast for longer or where our ice comes from (...seriously, all of these I have been asked).

3.Work out what you want before you get to the till / Drive-thru.

During a busy shift, there is nothing worse than a customer who comes to the order window and does not know what they want. If you don’t know yet, maybe take a minute and let someone else go before you.

Monday 12 February 2018

Valentine’s Day date ideas Maddy Raine shares her thoughts and ideas on how best to enjoy Valentine’s Day in the Toon


ith Valentine’s Day soon approaching, many of you will be wondering what romantic excursion you and your other half could be venturing on. For a classy night, The Botanist are offering couple masterclasses in the art of cocktail making. Try getting your hands on their famous French Martini or El Diablo, as well as indulging yourself and your significant other with the extravagant food menu. Despite the cosy atmosphere and good food, I would suggest making sure that you stock your wallets full and be prepared for a somewhat pricy evening; but then it’s a once a year event so why not go all out? If you’re on a budget and wanting something a little low-coster, why not book a table at the exotic Las Iguanas on Grey Street or down by the Quayside. Enjoy a free glass of fizz and two-for-one cocktails all night! Dinner, drinks, and a romantic walk to enjoy Newcastle’s best views. If neither of those catche your fancy, why not grab a romantic table for two at McDonalds where you can manage a three-course meal for just fifteen pounds! Although Newcastle is renowned for its eateries and drinking houses, it has so much more to offer its lovebirds.

Enjoy a free glass of fizz and 2 for 1 cocktails all night!

4.Order your meal in the right order.

Particularly when ordering multiple items, it makes things a lot easier if you say the meals in the right order. First say your main meal choice i.e. Big Mac or Nuggets and then, your drink order for that meal. This is also the time to say salt-free fries rather than waiting until the end. Plus it means we’re less likely to make mistakes.

5.If you’re going to use Drive-thru, don’t pay in ridiculous change.

Several times I have seen people come to the window and they can’t find their purse (some cases it’s in the boot) or they will pay for a £10 meal in 10ps. Sure, we all like getting rid of change, but we are being timed for this and have other cars screaming their orders in our ear at the same time, it is just not worth it.

If you’re fancying more of a chilled night but still want to get out of the house, Cineworld offers its customers sofas; perfect for those wanting a little more comfort (or the opportunity to cuddle up to your partner during the film). Just down the road and you’ll find yourself surrounded by the original and quirky architecture of the Tyneside Cinema. Opened in 1937, this petite building is broadcasting When Harry Met Sally as well as

Image: Flickr

offering couples the opportunity to grab a glass of wine, sit back and relax. If you’re more of an outdoorsy couple and fancy braving the coldness that is February, Saltwell Park in Gateshead is home to a gorgeous lake where pedalos can be hired to give you a different view of the city, or even the opportunity to spot some wildlife. Make sure to wrap up warm for this one though because with Newcastle’s weather it’s never certain. For those of you who are sportier, The Centre for Life’s ice rink is still open until the 16th of February. Why not hit the ice (hopefully not too literally)

Long distance love Charlotte Cooper helps you to a enjoy Valentine’s Day spent without your other half

6.Complicated orders

If you are giving a complicated order, i.e. things added and bits missing, please either make sure its correct before you pay and don’t say things like ‘make sure you get it right this time because it was wrong when I last came in’. Yeah, okay we get it; you don’t like pickles or onions, we’re trying our best.

7.Dumping rubbish.

This again, applies mostly to drive-thru. No, we cannot take your old McDonald’s cups or your Tesco energy drink and put it in the bin for you. We don’t know where it’s been; we don’t know what are in it so we can’t be your personal car garbage men. Why not try the bins in the car park or you know, have a clean car?

8.Keep listening for your order number

We are guessing that you would like your food as soon as it’s ready, so stick around to hear your order number. Try not to go to the bathroom or be in a deep meaningful conversation in the queue, save that until you’ve got your food, it’s just better for everyone involved. Ciara Clarke

Images: Wiki Commons and PIxaby

and impress your other half with skills Torvill and Dean would die for? The prospect of hot chocolate after your skating for only ten pounds is enough to get the clumsiest of people out there! Although for many of you Valentine’s Day is a date that you look forward to all year around, for those of you who despise this celebration or would prefer more of a ‘mate date’ can check out The Stand’s anti-Valentine show. This classic and popular comedy night offers an alternative to the stereotypical romantic settings that every other establishment in Newcastle typically offers.

Image: Flickr

Pal-entine’s Day

Scarlett Rowland has some ideas for appreciating your friends


eading into the new year, you can not help but see promotional campaign after promotional campaign about Valentine’s Day. Although this day may be more traditionally for people who are romantically involved, in more recent years this day has extended into the platonic realm. In the mainstream media, it’s easy to find examples of alternative ideas for Valentine’s Day. One good example is Parks and Recreation, which features an episode with ‘Galentine’s Day’, especially for the gals, or I have even heard of ‘Palentine’s Day’, a more ‘gender neutral’ friendly option. So, whether you are happily loved up and just want to show your friends some love, or on your lonesome looking for some company, here are some ideas of what to do this Valentine’s Day. Though it might seem a little odd, giving a friend a Valentine’s day card can actually be very sweet. Tell them about how much you appreciate them in your life; consider saying thanks for when they pulled back your hair, or when they paid for your takeaway after a particularly messy night. Or, you could buy them something to treat themselves with. As a student, self-care can be very difficult, so nothing can be more thoughtful than treating someone to a bubble bar or a face mask this lets them know that you are looking out for them and that you understand their own personal

space and time. Another way to celebrate friendship this 14th Februrary could be to go for a meal, or take a trip to the cinema. In fact, Fifty Shades Freed is released on Valentine’s Day- braving that ordeal with a group of friends would provide some laughs and give you the opportunity to hang out. Make sure to connect with those around you, and celebrate your friendship with an activity you will all enjoy.

As a student, self-care can be very difficult, so nothing can be more thoughtful than treating someone to a bubble bar or a face mask Ultimately, whatever you decide to do, make the day count. It may just mean buying a card or popping them a text asking how their day was - checking in costs you nothing, and shows them that you care.


ong distance can be the absolute worst. When Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, you probably can’t bare to see couples going out on dates. If your boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t going to be joining you, I’m guessing you’re disappointed… But fear not love birds, here are some ideas you and your date can enjoy without being in each other’s direct company:

The Skype/ FaceTime dinner

Most couples will be heading out for dinner come the 14th Feb, however no need to feel like you’re missing out. Create the perfect dinner setting right in front of your laptop. The virtual dinner setting will allow you and your date to be in the comfort of your own homes yet be eating together. If you want to make it extra special, why not order each other’s favourite take away and get it sent to their house. Light some candles, a glass of wine and the mood is set.

The personal gift box

If you’re both at uni then you’ve probably got assignment stress. Valentine’s is right in the back of your mind. Why not surprise your special someone with a personalised box, filled with their favourite chocolate, a photo or even a scented candle? Don’t think this doesn’t mean flowers, there are loads of different websites which send out artificial roses, so add a card and make your dates day.

The telephone film

You can still enjoy the classic ‘Netflix and Chill’ even without bae next to you. Put your phone on speaker and set the movie going at the same time (this may take some effort but its all part of the fun). You can laugh and comment on the scenes just as you normally would, and it will be like you’re in their company except for the cuddling, sorry.

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lifestyle life & style Rant of the Week: Lifestyle Editor, Jaymelousie Hudspith, reviews the new easy guide to better understanding Valentine’s Day the mechanics of your mind, your health and the science behind what makes you who you are - you’re tacky T and I hate you Monday 12 February 2018

Review: Mindapple’s Mind Manual

he Mind Manual is the brand new guide by author Andy Gibson, on how to better understand what’s going on inside your head, this book provides a practical break down to care for your mind and your health in a simple, yet direct way. Gibson uses popular psychology, and the wisdom of Mindapple’s global community to break down and advice so that you can better understand your mind with the use of easy to follow ‘how to…’ chapters including being yourself, being happy, kind, resilient, wise and in love. We rely on your minds for everything we do but we have little understanding of the mechanics behind our processes, how our minds really work, or what is best for them. The aim behind this Mind Manual is to change all of that, Gibson and the Mindapples community developed this as party of their campaign; 5 a day for a happy, healthy mind. This easy guide covers all the essentials leaving you with the tools to change your personality, bad habits, productivity, lifestyle, thought process and even your relationships, all for the better.

The use of easy ‘how to...’ chapters; being yourself, being happy, kind, wise and in love This book is easily accessible and discusses these concepts at a beginner’s level to give a crash course in appreciating your mind. With a clear insight into cognitive science, neuroscience and psychology to

support their work and ensure they are providing the best advice to improve your mental and physical wellbeing.

it also colour coordinates the pages of each section with the topics you are reading. Frequently using large diagrams and inspirational quotations to ensure that reading this book is light and easy.

There is no downside to having a better understanding of what makes you you I would recommend this book to all students, not only will it help improve your wellbeing but also your ability to cope issues such as stress and its side effects, which every student can relate too; insomnia, emotional distress, changes in appetite, etcetera. However, it will also expose you to the tools you need to better yourself, be more confident, and generally improve your life. Some of the sections cover topics familiar to us all, such as making sure your body stays hydrated but it simply reinforces the importance to avoid the repercussions so that your mind and body don’t suffer. This will not only help you day to day but also with exams and studies, job interviews, planning for the future and your mental health. There is no downside to having a better understand of what makes you you or why you act and behave the way you do. Gibson has succeeded in creating a fun and interesting guide on the mind when he could have so easily fallen into the trap and produced something of a heavy textbook style, full of research and studies no one outside of the respective field could ever full comprehend. Instead, the manuals use of interactive sections where you can set yourself goals to improve or highlight your weaknesses, but



Review: Coop Chicken House Lauren Sneath visits restaurant Coop Chicken House to sample their famous chicken wings


aving only tasted fried chicken within a ‘KFC’ context, my expectations for Coop Chicken House were very much in line with that traditional, greasy type of cuisine. So, when I stepped into the restaurant out of the blistering cold and was greeted by a friendly group of staff (very different to the silent, motionless clones behind KFC counters) I was pleasantly surprised, not only by that but also by the cool, farmhouse-minimalist décor and impressive array of beers and sauces displayed around the room.

I was amazed by the extensive list of sauces, served in shot glasses I was there to test out their Sunday deal- all the wings you can eat, for £10 per person- and so I took along a friend of mine who happens to be an expert in all that is fried. We were seated immediately and shown the huge variety on offer- I was amazed by the extensive list of sauces, served in shot glasses, which ranged from mild sauces like a honey-mustard to super-spicy concoctions, all helpfully rated from ‘no heat’ to ‘nuclear’. I, an orderer of korma and lover of mayonnaise to cool food down, ordered a mild sauce and, to be adventurous, a slightly spicier ‘African BBQ’. I would really recommend this one, actually, to anyone who loves flavour but nothing too spicy. I really liked how all the sauces were from interesting, often local, businesses, and that they were available to buy by the bottle if it took your fancy. When it came to the wings, I was instructed by

Image: Lauren Sneath

Image: Lauren Sneath

my companion that ‘the crispier, the better’. We ordered two sets of all-you-can-eat house wings (the milder of the two options with lemon, salt, and pepper rather than spice) with both regular fries and sweet potato fries (because why not) and three different sauces. We were reliably informed that the record for most wings eaten is 60, and optimistically my friend decided to give the champion a run for his money. The winner gets their picture taken with one of the many chicken ornaments around the restaurant, which is then posted to the business’s Instagram page. The wings come out in plates of ten, and each time you finish a plate another is offered to you. I managed a healthy 13 wings- they were really good sizes and very well cooked, but I was defeated by their sheer size. Perhaps two sets of fries was a bad idea, after all. My friend, however, powered through four full plated of wings, as well as fries, and made it to 42. He tried both house and spicy, saying that the level of spice was easily manageable (what a show off). The staff were really helpful and

knowledgeable about everything on offer, which was great given that this isn’t a type of cuisine I’d usually frequent. As it turned out, my lack of ambition with the wings came in handy later in the meal, when I felt I had just enough room for a portion of cookie dough pie (which was among an array of very decadent sounding desserts). It was a real slab: a combination of warm cookie dough and soft pastry, with a generous helping of ice cream and chocolate sauce, and it went down surprisingly easily given that for the last 15 minutes I had been complaining about my full, aching stomach. All in all, my experience at Coop Chicken House was great. The music was fun (plenty of bangers) and their unique way of doing things there was really refreshing. Add that to the great food, interesting sauces and helpful staff (who even boxed up my leftover wings for me- they taste just as good at midnight at home) and I’d give them five stars. I am, however, still full, days later- is that a good thing?

’m going to begin by saying – and totally not being facetious – how annoying it is that Valentine’s Day is immediately after Pancake Day? We are forced to get over it WAY too quickly. Pancake week should definitely be a thing… But hey, that’s just one thing that bugs me more than it should. This article isn’t a mushy spiel about having a crush on a boy, nor is it an incandescent, bitter moan about a silly holiday. I’m basically going to explain why V Day is just a V annoying Day. Forget all the lovey-dovey BS, Valentine’s Day is hyped up so much. Don’t you find that everything is made more annoying by social media? There’s just a huge feeling of competition, and a sort of ‘how can we prove to all of you how happy we are’ vibe. In other words, the day is spent trawling through feeds to see which couple can buy the biggest bouquet or box of chocolates or sparkliest necklace – will someone please tell me what you’re meant to do with a big-ass bear?? – somehow oneupping themselves from the previous year (top tips: chill out; wait til the 15th when roses are reduced to 19p – you’re welcome). And it goes both ways, whilst no-one cares about the Insta-collage of your boyfriend’s face, you also don’t need to share moody Tumblr posts or tweets about how much men suck and how much you loathe the creator of this God forsaken holiday. Also, does anyone even remember the true Saint Valentines story? Probably not, cause it’s not plastered all over Instagram and Snap.

Does anyone even remember the true Saint Valentines story? Probably not, cause it’s not plastered all over Instagram

Celebrate love, sure, but surely you can do that everyday of the year and not make a show of it – why today? People try to do all the stuff they “should” do throughout the year but crammed into one day with the rest of the world. How boring and generic (honestly, spice it up a bit), there are 364 other days of the year to surprise boo with sweet sentiments. There’s just overwhelming showiness on this day, and you should be sincere with yourself whether you actually feel the way you’re coming across. Generally speaking, relationships should be as easy as you want them to be, so what’s with all the unnecessary added pressure? I also think there is more focus on showering the woman with pink or fluffy gifts. Stupid Cupid, you excluded men?! They might want flowers too? Or like… bacon? Or money? (Look how stereotypical this day forces us to be). I think if people are going to celebrate V day, they should think a little outside the heart shaped box. By all means, celebrate; it’s a sweet occasion! I’m just questioning why there is so much pressure on Valentine’s Day, a day most likely a scam created by card companies. So there we go, happy celebrating your consumer-orientated, arbitrary, annual obligation day * eye roll *. Antonia Coleman-Harvey

@Courier_life @courier_lifestyle


life & style fashion

LET’S GET ETHICAL Eco Trainers: Positive step forward


the courier Fashion Editors Chloe Bland, Sophie Schneider and Zofia Zwieglinska

Monday 12 February 2018

Rom Com fashion icons Miranda Stoner reveals her favourite looks from chic flicks to watch out for this Valentines

Instagram: @veja

he movement for sustainable eco-fashion has seen a huge increase recently, and we are now seeing this gradual expansion into our daily clothing place its focus on our footwear choices. Worldwide, we are slowly becoming more ecoconscious; whether that means feeling proud after taking out the household recycling or after taking more dramatic action with protests, we are aware of the major responsibility we each hold in regards to caring for our planet. But how often do you stop to think about the impact of those, seemingly innocent, trainers that you’re putting on your feet?

It’s claimed that the production of one pair of running shoes emits a total 13kg of carbon dioxide Hugely popular brands such as Doc Martens have long been attracting attention for alternative options in footwear, notably with the release of their vegan options in an otherwise leatherdominated market. Doc Martens are, however, no longer the only brand offering such alternatives to those who are questioning the mass-production of fashion items. For someone who isn’t a vegan, this may seem simply irrelevant, but it is becoming increasingly more important today, as leather production no longer only raises concerns of morality, but also concerns about the environmental impacts created. Leather is most frequently produced from cowhide and, according to a recent Guardian article; the beef industry is the largest driver of deforestation, taking responsibility for an enormous 65% of greenhouse gas emissions. The tanning of the leather is next: another procedure that negatively impacts the environment through the production of toxic waste that compromises the health of soil and water. And, if the environmental consequences aren’t enough to convince you, then perhaps you will be persuaded by the link between workers in this leather industry and cancer. One alternative to lookout for is Piñatex, which instead makes use of pineapple leaves to construct a leather-like material. Unfortunately, the leather production isn’t the only part of the manufacturing that is ruining the relationship between our trainers and our planet. It’s claimed that the production of one pair of running shoes emits a total 13kg of carbon dioxide. Consider that shocking? When you realise that 25 pairs are sold each second by Nike alone, that figure becomes even more overwhelming. The combination of other noxious materials and the complicated procedure to make these beloved shoes concocts the perfect recipe for an environmental nightmare. Fortunately for us, more and more ‘eco-sneakers’ are appearing in the shops. For a long time, environmentally-friendly fashion has come with a huge price tag, scaring away even the most ecoconscious of us, but these brands are now trying to offer prices that make it possible for all of us to make the right decision. The brand Veja has become widely known for their ethical and sustainably produced trainers, with the V-10 model being particularly popular. Veja offers eco options for the fashion and pocket conscious, with gorgeous designs made from recycled materials at prices around £100, alike most major sports brands. Another favourite is The People’s Movement, offering designs made from the durable Ekocycle, an innovative material produced from old Coca-Cola bottles, starting from £40 so there’s no reason to say no to ecosneakers. Katherine Rawlings

Instagram: @legallyblondemovies

Elle from Legally Blonde It is arguable that no one in film history can mix sophisticated glamour with fun quite like Elle Woods. Her eye for fashion is undeniable, but what’s most impressive is that she always manages to dress perfectly for the occasion, from head to toe, without losing her own personal sense of style. Although her signature colour is pink, and her knitted baby pink tank top is an absolute wardrobe staple, one of her most memorable outfits is her sequined green blazer, with knitted collar. This spices up the plain white shirt and tie combination, mixing serious and silly in a beautiful balance.

If there’s something you want to wear, then you should wear it, regardless of what other people say Style to steal If you want Elle’s fashion status on campus, the most important thing to take from her look isn’t the all pink leather skirt suit or the fluffy bolero, rather her confident and positive attitude. If there’s something you want to wear, then you should wear it, regardless of what other people may say or think.

Instagram: @mollyringwald

Instagram: @cluelessthemovie

Christian from Clueless We all know Cher lays the style rules, but when it comes to fashion, men could also take inspiration from Clueless, namely from the casual chic of Christian’s classy layered look. He generally keeps his colours simple and fresh, opting for a tight t-shirt and buttoned down formal shirt. Whilst this look can be in danger of being a little generic, Christian always adds one small detail to confirm his style icon status. His straw hat or sunglasses are prime examples, but my personal favourite is his pink and black stripe jacket. He wears this with the usual belted beige trousers and a black shirt, quirky yet conventional at its best.

Sometimes the most innovative outfits are created through clever accessorising Style to steal The moral of this fairy tale fashion story is that sometimes the most innovative outfits are created through clever accessorising. The smallest details can make or break an outfit, so try mixing it up with stylish hats and scarves or even jewellery.

Andie from Pretty in Pink Andie is another character with a strong sense of personal style. She has a very mature look but she keeps young by dressing in pretty pinks and layering waistcoats over dainty dresses to maintain an androgynous silhouette. Her style is very over the top yet self-assured and I love her make it yourself attitude. I particularly love her dolly lace top and floral trouser combination, with a pale blue cardigan and flower embroidery. It’s almost granny chic, but modernised through her contrast of old and new. She proves that fashion doesn’t always have to match.


The year that Andie from Pretty In Pink hit the big screen

Style to steal Whilst pretty much everything you want is available in shops or online, sometimes it can be more exciting to if you want an original look like Andie to start making or altering clothes yourself. You can harness your creativity by looking through your local charity shops for patterns and shapes that you like and then using a YouTube tutorial or online advice to turn them into something more modern and wearable.

The hijab haute couture Natalya Baranovskaya shows us the cutting-edge modest fashion that’s hitting the catwalk


Image: @hautehijab

he issue of diversity in fashion industry becomes really important in our globalized world. Today, brands feel the need to expand their collections to satisfy each customer without marking the difference in age, height, weight, skin colour, ethnicity and religion. So, it has created a surge in modest Muslim fashion. The term ‘modest fashion’ has become known since the mid-2000s and a number of the brands have been created by designers and creative entrepreneurs who were themselves religiously motivated. Now, modest Muslim fashion is designed for people who would prefer to cover as much of their skin as possible. Modest Muslim fashion has a positive impact on diversity within the fashion industry. It is necessary to recognize that this new fashion sphere expands the range of clothes available for everyone to buy on the high street. The biggest challenge that Muslim women face in the world of fashion, is to find brands that are inclusive and have modest clothing as a part of their collections. Also, this expansion of accepting fashion brands, in turn, has smashed stereotypes by showing the world that women who wear hijabs can be stylish and fashionable. Moreover, modest fashion has changed the representation of Muslim women who can voice their own style whilst dressing according to their values. If we look at high-street brands and designer labels, we could notice that well-known brands such as Max Mara, Alberta Ferretti, Uniqlo, DKNY, Burberry, Mango, even Nike and Marks & Spencer, a massive UK retailer, sells burkinis, and have released lines aimed at Muslim women. Also, Dolce & Gabbana, a major Italian couture house, put a lux spin on abayas (long dresses worn by Muslim women) and offers them to their

customers in the Middle East, Paris and London. There are some brands based in America, which make an impact worldwide and empower other Muslim women around the world. For instance, Melanie Elturk is a creator of Haute Hijab, and she runs her online label with the mission to instill selfconfidence in hijab-wearing women. While Haute Hijab offers chic and fashionable modest fashion and hijabs for women, this label also intends to empower Muslim women and to make them feel stylish and fashionable, while representing and reflecting their religious views.

Muslim women voice their own style whilst dressing according to their values Also, Marwa Atik is the co-founder of Vela, a major L.A.-based online accessories store that caters to modest Muslim women. On her website, Atik sells hijabs and apparel for a growing market: Muslim women who want to look on-trend while maintaining their modesty. Vela is not a typical line of hijab and modest fashion, as it includes petaled and feathered headscarves expanding into abayas and other chic, modest clothing. According to the “State of the Global Islamic Economy Report”, produced by Reuters and DinarStandard, Muslim women spent $44 billion in 2015 in the industry. The number is expected to double by 2021. So we can understand that ‘modest fashion’ is about the possibility for Muslim women to wear clothes which are more stylish and fashionable, but not to go beyond their religious, traditional and cultural values.

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fashion life & style


Monday 12 February 2018

Ready for your Valentine’s date?

Jaymelouise Hudpsith finds us the very best outfits to stun your partner this February 14th in your romantic setting of choice Leather jeans from River Island for £45. Teamed with ankle boots for £65 at Topshop


ate night always comes with the stress of what to wear, but this week you have the added pressure of Valentine’s day looming over you. Not to mention Valentine’s falls on a Wednesday this year, blah am I right? I’m sure you will want to look your best and feel great in your outfit, but you don’t want to look over the top for your mid-week romantic treat. Whether you’re off to the cinema, out for dinner, or heading for a night out, these outfits will work for all possibilities.

Navy bralet from Lasula at £23, which can be teamed up with a black frill jacket from Misspap for £22!

p Misspa Image:

d r Islan

Rive Image:

It’s February so let’s stop being brave and just be warm, no skirts or short dresses - you’ll thank me later!

Image: Lasula

p Image: Topsho

It’s easy to transition from date to a night out Whereas, for the guys I’d suggest a decent pair of black or grey jeans, personally I’d always recommend skinny jeans but wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Pair with a simple fitted lightweight jumper and black Chelsea boots for an easy smart casual that will work with whatever you have planned. The Shearling faux fur jacket adds a casual feel to the outfit, while keeping you warm, making it easy to transition from a day date such as lunch or the cinema to a night out or a candle lit dinner.

Topman checked overcoat £85. A Shearling faux fur jacket would equally work here. (Topman £90) Image: Topman

Here, we have some grey jeans by levi for £80 which go perfectly with some black chelsea boots for £35 from River Island

Girls, its February so let’s stop being brave and just be warm, no skirts or short dresses, you’ll thank me later. Coco Chanel said, “a girl should be two things: classy and fabulous”. This timeless combination of navy and black gives you and

effortlessly sophisticated look. The leather look adds a dressier vibe to your outfit over regular jeans, but with added comfort. While the glitter embedded in the navy frilled bralet works to add some glamour to your look and eliminates the need for any statement accessories. Throw on a frilled blazer to tie in with the detailing of the crop top or for extra coverage for those of you who don’t like to have too much skin exposed.

Image: River Islan d Image: Topman

Image: Levi

Red burgundy striped jumper by Topman only £8! This can be teamed up to create an effortlessly stylish look. Image: Topman

... Or single and ready to mingle this year?

Image: Urban Outfitters

BDG Black Corduroy Sherper Trucker Jacket, £75, UO. This jacket would be great to throw with a t shirt and jeans for a night out or worn for days out and uni. It may not be the cheapest choice but this jacket is definitely worth the investment and will be staple item in the wardrobe.

zone for a kiss. For lads, it’s simple: dress to impress. Valentines is a day of romance and the single ladies will have the perfect date on their mind. Despite this not being an option in the middle of Soho Rooms dance floor, you can look the part. In jeans and a button-

UO Velvet Tie-Front Top, £32. This top again can be dressed up or dressed down to suit any occasion! I love the combination of the velvet texture and batwing sleeve.

Everyone knows the importance of first impressions so knowing what to wear is a must down shirt, subconsciously you are signalling you are ready for romance. If this is asking a bit much, then an ironed top and brushing your hair will pass in Sinners. Of course, not every singleton will be out grafting, and if it’s a night in with the girls with a chick flick and pint of ice cream, then your cosiest pyjamas and fluffiest pair of slippers will see you through.

UO Green Contrast Rugby Shirt, £38. This colourful over-sized shirt would be a great addition to any outfit, easy to wear for all occasions. Image: Urban Outfitters

Image: Asos Image: Urban Outfitters


he main date in February is the 14th, known as Valentines. For people in relationships, it is a chance to show their significant other how much they meant to them, in the form of chocolates, flowers, restaurant reservations and sheer underwear (and that’s just the lads). But for the singletons, it is an unwelcome reminder that they are alone. To numb the pain, many of Newcastle’s young and dumb will be hitting the Toon (Swingers, anyone?), downing trebles and grafting their hardest to find someone to spend the night with. Everyone knows the importance of first impressions so knowing what to wear is a must. For the ladies, anything red or pink is a classic. The colours are typically associated with Valentine’s Day and red, in particular, is scientifically proven to make women more appealing to the opposite sex. A red dress is therefore a great choice, or for a more relaxed look, jeans and a nice red top will send out all the right signals to the lads of the Toon. Pairing this with a matching red lipstick will bring the whole outfit together, as well as scream confidence and draw attention to the erogenous

KG by Kurt Geiger Ride Snake Print Ankle Boots, £169, Asos. Ok so this item is on the pricey side, but everyone needs a staple pair of red boots to spice up their wardrobe, right?

Image: Asos

Phoebe Bower advises all singletons on how to dress to impress this Valentine’s Day with her top February picks from the high street

Weekday Kick Flare Trouser with Exposed Zip, £35, Asos.. These trousers work perfectly for a combination of smart and casual, and could be paired with either heels and a nice top, or trainers and jumpers for lectures.

Asos Wide Balloon Trousers in Black, £30. An essential for any wardrobe, an item which again can be conpanied with an array of t-shirts or shirts for both casual and smart occasions.

Image: Asos

Topman HOUSE OF HOUNDS Nubuck Leather Derby Shoes, £89. The perfect transitional shoe, taking you from casual to elegant in a flash. Can be teamed with black casual trousers or a white linen shirt later in the year.

Image: Topman


life & style beauty Beauty Editors Laura Greatrex, Lois Johnston & Susanne Norris

the courier

Monday 12 February 2018

Variety this Valentine’s

No matter what you are doing for this Valentine’s Day, Sophie Hindhaugh has you covered with a look for every possible date


hether you’re celebrating Valentines with bae or Galentines with your girls, February the 14th is the perfect excuse to be that little bit extra. The Free Agent: Single? Celebrate it with your girls and rock a look you don’t need to worry about your boyfriend smudging within two minutes. Pull out your boldest lipstick (MAC’s Russian Red is calling your name) and experiment with your eye make-up. Think red, mauve tones, easily achievable with Anastasia Beverly Hill’s Modern Renaissance, or the more affordable Make-up Revolution’s ReLoaded Palette in Newtrals 2. If you plan on getting your make-up smudged- NYX’s Professional Make-up Setting Spray is an essential, as well as a sultry nude lip topped with gloss (a red lip done wrong might have you looking like Heath Ledger’s Joker – not what we are aiming for here). The Foodie: A date involving food poses two obvious risks: one, getting it all down your top, and two, your lipstick wearing away and leaving an unflattering 90’s reminiscent lip liner rim around your mouth (choking also perhaps deserves an honourable mention). To prevent this I’d recommend wearing something black, unless you’re considerably less accident prone than I am, and wearing a liquid lipstick. Liquid lipsticks tend to be more durable than your average lipstick. Kat Von D, Revlon and NYX all do excellent liquid lipsticks. Or you could, you know, relinquish your lipstick for some lip balm. Shock horror. The Cool Girl: Emily Ratajkowski channels Valentine vibes with her bold red look- which is surprisingly easy to achieve. Take a red shade from

any one of your palettes and sweep it across your crease with a fluffy brush. With a flat brush, pack a darker red, or experiment with plummy shades, on your lid. Keep your base make-up as simple as you’d like, and I would suggest a nude lip that won’t detract from your striking look. Emily’s brown eyes look especially dreamy from this complimentary look, and false lashes aren’t necessary – just a few lashings of mascara, and you’re good to go.

The Natural Beauty: For a more natural Valentine’s look, I would recommend staying away from powder products and keeping your eyes simple. Iconic London’s highlighting drops on the high points of your face will have you glowing without your skin looking cakey, and a glossy lip (I’m partial to NYX’S butter glosses) will tie your look together. Skin should be your focus, and Ardell’s fluttery Demi Wispies are all you need for your eyes. If you’d rather forgo make-up and focus on your hair, then loose waves are easily achievable with a large-barelled curling wand and are always a winner.

If you plan on getting your make-up smudged, setting spray is an essential

Image: @hungvanngo

The Art Chick: Graphic liner is having a moment right now and this is your time to shine my young Picasso. NYX’s Professional Vivid Bright’s Eyeliner will allow you to create art on your eyelids, such as pink hearts like Instagram user @strashme. Also seen on Instagram are some bold blusher looksinstead of applying the normal sheen to your cheekbones, some Instagram users are opting for a heart shape, as seen on user @DIADEMEE_99. The Stay In: Admittedly, this will probably be me February 14th. My look will consist of Glamglow’s Gravity Mud Firming Treatment,

Image: @strashme

which is the most extra skin care product I have ever bought. Its metallic silver colour makes it the coolest facemask around, and it will leave your skin soft and glowing, as will their new Glitter Mask version. While it is expensive at £42.00, you can try a mini for £7.00, which contains a considerable 15g of product. To finish this look, pair your shiny facemask with your dressing gown and slippers. I’d also recommend ordering a pizza- the ultimate edible accessory. Don’t forget to live your best life this Valentines, and remember to love yourself before anyone else.

Romantic ranges V-day self-love Emily Cartwright looks at all the different Valentine’s ranges out there and which ones will complete your desired looks


ith Valentine’s Day getting closer, it’s time for a little love in the makeup department. Brands like LUSH, Kiko, Lorac (if you’re willing to pay shipping) have gone into 2018 with a bang by launching Valentine’s Day collections, giving you (or your other half) the perfect excuse to get your hands on some make-up goodies. LUSH: Though being known for its infamous bath bombs, body scrubs and shower gels, LUSH has also dived into the world of makeup. For 2018’s Valentine’s collection, the line is filled with pink and red goodness and extends to the make-up category with lip products. There’s a lip scrub called ‘The Kiss,’ retailing for £5.95 to go with a matching lip gloss retailing for £6.50, also called ‘The Kiss.’ The scrub, just like their others, moisturises and brightens the lips, making a perfect base for the gloss. The gloss itself also serves to moisturise but unlike the scrub gives a shiny pink hue to the lips, perfect for a natural Valentine’s look. They both smell divine too. LORAC: Though the shipping and customs prices are admittedly hefty, if you’re feeling like a splurge to show yourself and your make-up collection some lovin’, this is the place to go. Lorac offer a bundle of products for just $23 with a $91 value - so the crazy shipping prices can be justified. It includes their Ruby lip lustre, Crimson blush, 3D liquid lustre diamond, Cobra mascara and Serenity eyeshadow. The collection will create a perfect natural look, or it could be paired with your normal base products to get a more glam pink look. I’ve tried one of the blushes myself and the pigmentation and longevity is amazing. I’d pay £20 for the blush alone so this bundle is a steal!!

LORAC A Beverly Hills salon makeover inspired LORAC creator Carol Shaw’s passion for make-up and skincare. The brand name is her forename backwards. Image: @loraccosmetics

Image: @kikomilano

KIKO: Kiko have come into 2018 strong with their Valentine’s collection called ‘Lip Me Lots.’ Featuring a highlighter, a blush, an eyeliner, two lip products, a brush and a make-up bag, you can create the perfect cohesive look - plus, getting out a make-up bag that matches the products inside it is extremely satisfying. The blush and highlighter are baked, in a heart shaped pan and retail for £11.90. The black double ended eyeliner has a heart shaped stamp on one end and the other is a felt tip liner. With a five star review on their website and retailing for just £7.90 I’d say it was a bargain because you can make a really unique look with it. One of the lip products is described as a lip enhancer that adjusts to your pH to create a unique colour for just £5.90. The other is an ‘extreme matte’ lipstick that comes in six shades from a hot red to a nude, to a deep purple through to classic pink tones. This retails for £6.90. The brush is a kabuki, retailing for £12.50 - you could probably do without this but the packaging is metallic red so it’s cute because it matches. And finally, the make-up bag, retailing for £12.50 is covered in kiss marks to match the packaging perfectly. All in all, I love this range and think it’s a good way to revamp your collection as a treat.

Miranda Stoner reminds us how important self-love is this upcoming Valentine’s day and her top five ways to go about it


n Valentine’s day we are told to show the people in our life how much we love them, but what about showing ourselves a bit of love from time to time? Whether you’ve got a date with your MCM or just a date with Netflix, make sure you put aside a bit of time to show yourself some love this Valentine’s. Pencil in a date at the salon: Beauty treatments and hair appointments are the most indulgent treats and it seems to me that no matter how much you spend on your shampoo and conditioner, there is nothing that compares to the feeling of a fresh trim. With just a few magic potions and a wave of their curling wands, hairdressers can give even the most beautiful hair a lift. If you don’t have time for a full on treatment though, then pop into the Body Shop or Lush and make an appointment with a beauty consultant. This is a really personalised service, which tailors product recommendation to your needs, they are free and the products you take home will last longer than a one night stand. Brush up your make-up collection: The brushes you use play an enormous role in how your look turns out. For an absolutely show-stopping makeover, the products and the tools you use need to complement each other like Romeo and Juliet. The trick to flawless and low effort eye-shadow and contouring is to choose blending brushes. Only use fine precision brushes for eye-liner, otherwise

Image: @ofleatherandlace

you’re in danger of looking blotchy or striped. In Boots you can buy a new 17 or NYX brush for less than the meal deal, and you won’t regret buying them when you see the results. Visit a Yoga Class: Beauty products are there to enhance your outer features, but bring some inner balance to your body with an hour or two of deep breathing. Yoga has so many benefits for your body, from stimulating your metabolism and encouraging smoother digestion to de-stressing the system and clearing problems such as spots or tired eyes. Try different styles to find your perfect match, if you prefer your exercise to be slow and gentle, then try yin yoga, but if you want to get your heart rate up then hot yoga is the one for you. Read a book: Beauty is more than skin deep, so make sure to give your brain a work out and indulge in a good book this Valentine’s Day. Whilst it’s lovely to read around the subject and immerse yourself in your degree or flick through articles on twitter, sometimes it’s a nice escape to be swept away into a story book. Studies suggest that reading improves our memory as well as our emotional intelligence, which means we are more capable of interacting with others and it’s also a great topic for conversation with your dinner date. Moreover, there are studies suggesting that as little as half an hour of reading a week can boost our confidence and self-esteem and help us to make better life decisions. There are so many books to choose from too, from a trashy rom-com to a more high-brow classic. Ask your friends and family for their recommendations. Cookery show: Not strictly a part of your beauty routine, but what you eat plays a huge role in your mental and physical health. Cooking for yourself is a fabulous way to be certain that what you’re eating doesn’t contain nasty preservatives or added salt and sugar, this will ensure your body feels and looks fresher and healthier and it will thank you for the healthy break. It’s also always nice to take time out of your day to cook for yourself and do something practical and watching a cookery show or reading a cookery book is the best way to find new recipes and try new flavours. What’s more you can also test what you’ve learned by inviting friends around for dinner.

the courier


Monday 12 February 2018


beauty life & style

Keeping up with KKW and Kylie

In 2018, it’s hard to avoid the never-ending phenomenon that is celebrity beauty ranges. Nam Hoang educates us on the celebrities that have worthwhile ranges, which products are the best and why some collections are more successful than others

Image: @kkwfragrance


ccording to WWD, Kylie Cosmetics was reported to have earned $420 million in retail sales over an 18 month period. Not only that but the company is also expected to be worth $1 billion when the owner turns 25. Her half-sister’s brand, KKW Beauty by Kim Kardashian, gained $15 million after Kim’s first collection of make-up sold out within 20 minutes. The enormous successes of the Kardashian-Jenner clan have left us to question the status of celebrity in the realm of beauty.

The last two years have seen a shift in celeb engagement within the beauty industry. From just having influence but leaving the real work to big brands, A-list entertainers are now directly debuting their autonomous labels. In fact, this is not a recent trend. During the 90’s, American actress Elizabeth Taylor launched her own perfume products. Later, stars such as Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and Mariah Carey also joined this market. However, it only really became a phenomenon after Kylie Jenner launched Kylie Cosmetics. Following

Lavish lip toppers

Beauty Editor Susanne Norris looks at lip toppers and explains why everyone should have them in their collections


et’s face it, if you love make-up then you’re probably also obsessed with glitter. No night out at Swingers or WHQ is complete without it, and even if you’re going for a classier or more dressed-up evening you swap the glitter for masses of highlighter, so you still look sparkling. But where does this addiction to sparkle stop? Glitter and highlighter can extend to most of your face, but not your lips. This, my lovely beauty addicts, is where lip toppers come in.

Image: @limecrimemakeup

Lip toppers are thin liquids (think of them like a cellophane), often with glitter or some other sparkle in them, which you apply either directly to the lip or over your favourite matte lipstick. They aim to make your lips pop and stand out by adding shine and vibrancy. Brands such as KKW Beauty, Lime Crime and Jouer have fully embraced them, selling a wide range or different colours and consistencies. But, are lip toppers a compliment to your already beautiful glowing face, or just a bit ridiculous? To be honest, there are lots of ridiculous trends out there. From Christmas brows to wavy eyeliner (yes, I said it, wavy eyeliner needs to be left in 2017), it would be quite easy to dismiss lip toppers as nothing but a quick trend for most to ignore. However, I do not believe this is the case. We are not talking about the highly impractical, extremely drying ‘glitter lips’ trend here, as lip toppers are effectively gloss-like in consistency.

Their texture means they nourish and moisturise lips, rather than drying them. They could easily be confused with a gloss, they just tend to be a bit more sparkly! They’ve also been around a long time, so can’t just be classified as a quick to disappear trend. Whilst popularised by KKW and Fenty beauty, Jouer and Lime Crime have been stocking lip toppers for as long as I can remember. Although these are often in bright colours (Lime Crime stock a popular shade called ‘Trip’ which is a lilac colour) there is very obviously demand for vibrant lip colours to complete dynamic looks. That’s not to say all lip toppers must be as daring as this, however, as there are lots of shades you could incorporate into daily looks. Lime Crime’s shade ‘Dope’ and Jouer’s ‘St Tropez’ are gorgeous nude colours that could create a subtle but shiny make-up look, either on their own or on top of your best nude lipstick. So, lip toppers cannot simply be dismissed as a fad. Whilst some of them require you to be happy with more daring looks, a lot of them simply aim to add that little something extra to your everyday look. With their gloss-like consistency, it would be easy to wear the subtler lip toppers out anywhere, even to your lectures. I imagine they would add that little bit of life everyone who has a Monday 9am needs! I really believe more people should look at incorporating lip toppers into their make-up collections – I know I did and I’ve never looked back.

Image: @jouercosmetics

this success, her half-sister Kim Kardashian broke into make-up world with KKW Cosmetics. More conventionally, celebrities’ names and faces are used as a form of endorsement. They appear on TV adverts, product catalogues, billboards, or online promotional campaigns, whose aim is to bring the goods closer to consumer. Historically it is seen as a win-win collaboration. While the brand benefits from gaining the popularity and sales by reaching huge fandoms, the celebrity can be paid anything up to a seven-figure income. To be more competitive on the market, beauty companies have been adding the celeb-ingredient in their product, in the name of collaboration. Last year, Maybelline signed Gigi Hadid to launch their newest range. However, rather than limit themselves to a selective range of products, other firms have often decided to extend to the whole brand of beauty in partnership with celebrities. In 2008, famous tattoo artist Kat Von D partnered with Kendo to launch her namesake brand. Last year, Kendo also introduced Fenty Beauty, a new label inspired by Rihanna.


minutes is all it took for Kim Kardashian’s first KKW make-up collection to sell out

The quality of celeb-fronted brands still remains controversial. Fenty Beauty has been receiving five-star feedback from customers due to its embracement of racial diversity. Meanwhile, both Kylie’s and Kim’s brainchildren have been

splitting the Internet into two opposing groups. Nevertheless, the success of both brands speaks for itself.

Those jaw-dropping achievements are the result of their original fame It could be said that those jaw-dropping achievements are the result of their original fame rather than the brands themselves. Their respective Instagram accounts have millions of followers. Indeed, it depends on who the customer is. In the case of Kylie Jenner, the millennial seems to dominate. Unlike the older generation, they are strongly influenced by consumerism and commodification. The customers are convinced that the celeb’s characteristics and ideologies are embedded in their product and that by consuming it, they can experience those values. This tendency also can be clearly seen from other female celeb’s, such as Drew Barrymore or Jessica Alba. They also own personal beauty lines by themselves. However, most of their fans seem to be women in their thirties as they are early 2000s stars. Hence, they haven’t achieved substantial market share or public attention.

Like us on Facebook @TheCourierBeauty

Post-exam pore probs

Nimra Rafique reveals all her secrets on how to banish those blemishes and smooth that skin after essay and exam stress


emester two has recently started, which gives you the chance to start fresh with new modules and lectures. Yet you might still be affected by the aftermath of semester one assignment and exam stress; I know I am. With all the stress from assignments and exams it can cause your skin to breakout, which makes it difficult to look forward to starting a new semester. Due to such stress my skin has not been very good lately, so I’ve trying to repair it so I can look and feel better when meeting new people this semester. Skin care is very crucial, even more than make-up. Whenever I’m having a bad skin day, applying make-up seems to be much more difficult, my foundation doesn’t apply as smoothly and the make-up ends up looking cakey and bumpy. The first, and arguably the most important, step in a skincare routine is removing your make-up properly. My personal favourite way of removing make-up is with micellar water, I find it much more cleansing and refreshing. During exam period I ran out of micellar water and couldn’t find the time to buy more, so I used make-up remover wipes, which didn’t work well as they irritated my sensitive skin. This proves you must select the right products for your skin. Another product that is a must in your skincare routine is an exfoliator. Three favourites of mine are St Ives Apricot Scrub (£5.65), which specifies in fighting blemishes and removing surface oil and dirt that lead to blackheads and spots. The Black Sugar Honey Mask (around £10) by the Korean skincare brand Skinfood, helps soften the skin and leaves it looking smooth and glowing. Lastly there is The Body Shop’s Drops of Light Pure Resurfacing Liquid Peel (£18), just like it says in the name this product peels away the dirt and impurities on the surface of your skin, leaving you with brighter, glowing skin. Like make-up, when it comes to skincare the tools you use are just as important as the products. With exfoliators it’s more efficient to use a facial buffer, whether it’s an electronic or manual buffer, the tool will allow for a deeper cleansing as it will be better at removing dead skin and cleaning your pores. To freshen and even out the skin including a toner is important for your routine. Try Dr. Organic’s Rose Otto Skin Toner. This specific toner

includes rose petals, witch hazel and aloe vera, which help get rid of excess dirt, soften and refresh the skin. If you breakout with large blemishes and you want a quick fix, a product which has really impressed me is the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. Apply this product before going to sleep directly on the blemish and when you wake up I guarantee you that it will have reduced significantly, or even removed it completely. Face masks are an essential for everyone’s skincare routine. There are so many different masks so you will find the right one for you. One option is sheet masks, such as the array of Tony Moly sheet masks (£5) or the Egg Cream Mask Pore Tightening (£5.50), as they hydrate, freshen and brighten the skin. If my skin is not in good condition, like during exam period, I use The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask (£17), this minimises the appearance of clogged pores and deep cleans impurities on the skin, leaving it soft and clean. There are also different versions of this mask such as Tea Tree, Japanese Matcha Tea and British Rose, which have different purposes, so I’m sure there is one to help with your skin. No matter what your skin type or what imperfections your skin may throw at you, The Body Shop offers a super range of fairtrade and cruelty-free products you can try.

Image: @thebodyshop


life & style travel

@Courier_Travel Travel Editors Charlotte Hill & Talia Gillin

Destination unknown Alexandre Amaral reports on the best societies for travel T

here are more than 200 societies at Newcastle University and throughout their time at uni, most students have thought about joining at least one. Although there isn’t one focused solely on travelling, the truth is that a huge variety of them include weekend trips and holidays as a part of their main activities. A number of different clubs and societies, from ski and snowboarding to cycling and dancing, use joint trips to not only develop their skills but also as a way to strengthen bonds amongst society members. Charlotte Hill, women’s captain of the Surf society, reveals the society’s travel schedule:

The week abroad always helps bring people a lot closer “We normally run two weekends away at the start of the year. One to Newquay in Cornwall and one to Scotland” says Charlotte. “Then we do an annual trip abroad in the Easter holidays”. While the surf society does take its preparation seriously for the weekend of competition at BUCS, Charlotte claims that most of the other trips are casual, with focus on having fun, partying and, of course, surfing.

“The week abroad always helps bring people a lot closer” she says. “You’re living, eating and surfing constantly together with them for 5 days and so you get a chance to mingle with people you might not have done so with on socials, or get to know better the ones you already have”. For that exact reason, it is not uncommon to find people who join societies with travel in mind. Brett Bradshaw, the current president of the 20 minute society, reveals he became a member because of the early Mystery Holiday the society hosts: “My friends had been on the holiday the year before and I heard how good it was”. Reminiscing on the details of his first trip with the society three years ago, a five day experience in Budapest that granted him great friendships, he claims the experience is “everlasting, we still have the same whatsapp’s group from the first time I went on the holiday going now, where people still comment and ask questions”. From there, the 20 minute society has also been to Krakow in Poland. So what’s next for the 20 minute society? As always, the location of its future trips remains uncertain. “That’s one of the main selling points of the society” Brett says, referring to the Mystery Holiday. “We give people the dates, the prices, everything. They just don’t know where they are going until we get to the airport”.

the courier

Monday 12 February 2018

Image: Wikimedia Commons

New year, new travels? Jenny Franken gives us her top travel resolutions for 2018


new year doesn’t only just signify a new beginning for your diet or your exercise plan. For travel enthusiasts, a new year can mean 365 days and chances to explore new countries, cities, cultures and meet people from all around the world.

Don’t let the lenses come between your eyes and the landscape After deciding to take a gap year at the end of high school, I was keen to head to the other side of the world and travelled around New Zealand, Australia and Vietnam. Whilst talking to the new travel acquaintances I had made about my native Europe however, I was made to realise just how little I had thought about exploring my own neighbouring countries and even my very own home country. Back home, my scratch map illustrated this better than I could have imagined. Whilst there were several colourful countries scratched off on different corners of the map, the countries closest to me still remained covered. Therefore, my first and most decisive travel resolution for 2018 is to swap airports for train stations and buy an “Interrail Pass”. My bucket list entails

seeing the Northern Lights in Finland, the art in Prague, the architecture in Copenhagen, sampling the tapas and Sangria in Spain and experiencing a festival in Croatia. It always seems that everything far away is automatically more exotic and I believe this is why I lost sight of the excitement that travelling through my own continent would involve. Upon reflection, travelling by train gives you the freedom to be more spontaneous. You can jump off the train when and where you want and can easily add different locations to your route. Another benefit is that for students, it is an extremely cost effective way to travel due to the special youth discounts available. A popular problem people experience nowadays when travelling is the pressure of taking the perfect picture. Indeed, most people go travelling with the motto ‘If you haven’t posted it on one of your social media accounts it hasn’t happened’. My second travel resolution therefore is to not let the lenses come between my eyes and the landscape too much and enjoy reality, thinking less about Instagram and co. My final travel resolution is to limit the amount of clothes I take on my travels. This will not only allow me to take back more souvenirs but also make my travel experience a lot more enjoyable (and lighter!). So here’s to 2018, a year full of new travels and finding new inspirations!

Words of the week

Image: Pexels

Student friendly winter holidays

Shiori Ozawa tells us about the wonders of Krakow, Poland


here is the ideal place for a winter holiday? Sunbathing in Spain? A night out in Amsterdam? Following my recent trip, I would personally say the ideal destination is Krakow, Poland. Firstly (and most importantly), the trip will not cost you too much. There are direct flights from Newcastle and if you fly from Edinburgh, like I did, you can get a round trip for less than £50. Nothing is too expensive during your stay aswell- I had a nice tasty dinner just for £5! The city is full of things to do. I spent a day walking around the Renaissance style town, enjoying a look at the churches and synagogues. The area has famous world heritage sites well worth seeing. Auschwitz-Bilkenau concentration camp is about two hour drive from the city. What you see there is beyond your imagination- no words are adequate to explain the experience. All I can say is make a visit there yourself and see what you feel. Another place to visit is the Wieliczka Salt Mine. One of the first world heritage sites, you can go 300 meters underground and explore the historical architecture. You will also find a breath-taking church inside with salt crystal chandeliers in the hall.

Portuguese - Português Hello - Olá How are you?- Como está? What is your name? - Como se chama? My name is - Chamo-me Have a nice meal - Bom apetite! Thank you - Obrigado Cheers - Viva!

Image: Public Domain Pictures

If you’re an adventure loving person, don’t worry! Take a bus for two hours and you’ll get to the city of Zakopane, one of Poland’s most famous ski resorts. Although I didn’t have time to go skiing, I hiked all the way up to lake Morskie Oko and it was incredible to stand on the frozen lake and see the mountains so close up.


for flights from Edinburgh and a ‘tasty meal’ in the Polish city of Krakow

Last but not least, Krakow has the perfect nightlife scene. Enough to satisfy the club loving students of Newcastle, you could try vodka tasting or have a pint of polish beer at the pub. If you want to go a bit classier, I recommend trying a Jazz bar with a glass of wine. You will find them on every corner of the city and they offer the perfect chance to experience live music. Prefer Dance music? Not a problem! Krakow also offers the perfect opportunity to party until the very early morning. This lively city has everything to offer so why not book a flight and have a visit yourself?

Image: Pexels

the courier Monday 12 February 2018

student activity

culture What’s on 19 Culture Editors Zoë Godden and Ciara Ritson-Courtney Student Activity Editor: Alex Hendley

Oracle Talk

Tuesday 13 February 3pm-5pm On the 13th of February 2018, the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Society are hosting an afternoon with two graduates from Oracle - the talk will take place in the Business school between 3pm and 5pm. The guests plan to delve deeper into the intricate nature of the blockchain, covering some technical ideas for the future; as the presentation develops, the graduates will then demonstrate how Oracle plans to integrate their current cloud services with the blockchain to make a hybrid product for their clients, adapting to the demands of the digital innovation. After the talk, the graduates are willing to discuss not only blockchain technology but also graduate employment prospects; Oracle are renowned for hiring young talent, making this networking event ideal for those who want to know more about a potential future career in technology, computer science, sales, consulting and more.

POETRY IN ACTION POEM OF THE WEEK Does a falling tree in a forest make a sound, if nobody hears it? No; tis as silent and as subtle as a deer that flits Its way through the woodland into clearings, to take sips From fast running rivers. And its loss will be glossed over as the scenery is of the delightful doe, Who, ears pricked, dashes back to the darkness at the sound of bulldozers. A falling tree in a forest makes no sound, because nobody wants to hear it; But if we all fall in unison, the chainsaws won’t be able to forbear but to be quiet.

Union University Campaign Society Monday 12 February

All Day Last day to buy your Newcastle University Theatre Society Season Tickets Location: Facebook/ 10am-3pm Christian Union Coffee Shop Location: Boiler House (Opposite NUSU) 11am-3pm Money Matters: Taste Testing Location: the Cube, NUSU 12pm-2pm Christian Union Lunch Events Location: Boiler House (Opposite NUSU) 7pm-9:30pm Christian Union Evening Meal Location: Boiler House (Opposite NUSU)

Tuesday 13 February

10am-3pm Christian Union Coffee Shop Location: Boiler House (Opposite NUSU) 11am-3pm Money Matters: Household Budgeting Tips Location: the Cube, NUSU 12pm-2pm Christian Union Lunch Events Location: Boiler House (Opposite NUSU) 3pm-5pm Oracle Talk with the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Society Location: Business School 7pm-9:30pm Christian Union Evening Meal

Student spotlight NEWCASTLE UNI BOOB TEAM Event: BoobBall and Pub Quiz, Friday 16 February 4:30pm & 7:30pm

The Newcastle Uni Boob Team, covered with glitter and dressed as giant boobs, have been very busy across campus this year all in the name of CoppaFeel! We’ve been covering people in glitter at club nights and raising money through bake sales all in aid of raising awareness of CoppaFeel! on campus. For those of you wondering who CoppaFeel! are, they are a breast cancer awareness charity who encourage young people to check their boobs regularly. As the Uni Boob Team, we have been trying to spread the message to all our guys, gals and non-binary pals out there to check your boobs and pecs. (If you haven’t already signed up to the free text reminders to remind you to check, then text ‘UBT NEW’ to 70500 – T&Cs on the CoppaFeel! website). You may be asking yourself what do we have up our sleeves next for you all to join in with… well its big!! We’ve joined forces with the Dodgeball Club and are hosting a legendary Boob Ball Tournament on 16th February from 4:30pm! The event is set to be a corker with teams from across the uni vying for the title of

‘Boob Ball Champions’. Everyone is welcome to join, whether playing or spectating. While cheering on the side-lines we’ll also be offering you the chance to be glitter-fied, get a boob-related temporary tattoo and take part in games, all whilst watching the teams battle it out. If you still haven’t got your fix of boobs by this point then don’t worry because after Boob Ball you’re invited to join us at the North Terrace for a pub quiz with some amazing prizes to be won. All the funds raised will be donated to CoppaFeel! So, gear up, bring along your boob spirit and join us at the Sports Hall on the 16th. See you there! Ellie Challinor Hughes

Location: Boiler House (Opposite NUSU)

Wednesday 14 February

10am-3pm Christian Union Coffee Shop Location: Boiler House (Opposite NUSU) 11am-3pm Money Matters: Make Your Own Valentine’s Card Location: the Cube, NUSU 12pm-2pm Christian Union Lunch Events Location: Boiler House (Opposite NUSU) 1.30pm GIAG: Valentine’s Cookery Class Location: Venue, NUSU 7pm-9:30pm Christian Union Evening Meal Location: Boiler House (Opposite NUSU)

Thursday 15 February

10am-3pm Christian Union Coffee Shop Location: Boiler House (Opposite NUSU) 11am-3pm Money Matters: Budget Advice Location: the Cube, NUSU 12pm-2pm Christian Union Lunch Events Location: Boiler House (Opposite NUSU) 6pm Virtual Reality Talk Location: Jesmond Library

7pm-9:30pm Christian Union Evening Meal Location: Boiler House (Opposite NUSU)

Friday 16 February

10am-3pm Christian Union Coffee Shop Location: Boiler House (Opposite NUSU) 12pm-2pm Christian Union Lunch Events Location: Boiler House (Opposite NUSU) 5pm GIAG: Chinese New Year, Fat Buddha Meal Meet: NUSU Front Entrance 7pm-9:30pm Christian Union Evening Meal Location: Boiler House (Opposite NUSU)

Saturday 17 February

1.30pm GIAG: St James’ Park Stadium Tour Meet: NUSU Front Entrance

Sunday 18 February

12pm GIAG: Sepak Takraw Location: Sports Centre 5pm GIAG: Badminton Location: Eldon Square, Grey’s Quarter


culture music

the courier Music Editors Toby Bryant, Charlie Isaac & Ally Wilson

On Campus NUJO Jazz Jam at Bar Loco ollowing the success of the inaugural jam


night last term, Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra (NUJO) in association with MUSSOC returned to host a jazz jam at Bar Loco last Thursday. Providing an ever-solid house band and rhythm section for the evening, the tunes ranged from classic ballads to swing numbers, blues, funk, salsa, pop and more. And plenty of improvisation, of course. Undeniably an event for all music lovers, musician or not, the jam saw a spectacular turnout of both players and audience members, on both accounts adding to the evening’s buzzing vibe. For anyone who had the misfortune of missing out, don’t fear; there is another scheduled for Thursday the 8th of March. Those who play, regardless of skill level, are encouraged to bring their instruments along and join in with the jam, as it’s a great chance to get to know other musicians and perform without fear of driving your housemates mad! If you’re not a musician then no problem; come and enjoy the music, soak in the atmosphere and have a few drinks with your mates. NUJO is a long-running big band based at the university. You have probably seen the full band play at a society ball or function you’ve attended. The jam night is a chance to see some of the musicians perform in a more intimate, less formal setting. Naturally entry is free, and guests can come and go as they like! Joe Davies and Charlie Isaac

Monday 12 February 2018

Spotlight UK: The Sound of the Toon Jordan Davidson speaks to Toby Bryant about what Spotlight UK do to showcase Geordie talent


he Newcastle music scene is bursting at the seams with fresh talent and exciting sounds. Spotlight Music UK are a young and fast-growing team that look to unearth these hidden gems. Jordan Davidson, an MA student here at Newcastle University, heads up the Writing Team and spoke to The Courier Music. Spotlight Music UK run events, gigs, publish articles and scout for talent across the city. Davidson says, “I adore the music scene in Newcastle, it’s so incredibly diverse and yet everyone is so interconnected.” He is also keen to stress the importance that social media plays in the availability of opportunities for up and coming artists. “The increase in social media and open minded smaller venues in Newcastle is helping a lot of talent that would usually really struggle to get noticed. There is no excuse not to discover it anymore, have a quick browse on social media or just pop down to the Ouseburn to see what’s going on.” The company also put on regular Spotlight Music Presents events which endeavour to give a platform to local artists who deserve to be heard. “We’re proud of every line-up we put together so it always feels like we’re presenting something special to the public.” These happen regularly throughout the

year with entry a mere £3 on guestlist, whilst the company have just announced their first ever gig in Sunderland to celebrate International Women’s Day. A host of female-fronted bands and acoustic artists, including Twist Helix, Human X and Eve Simpson, will take to The Independent’s stage. For artists with such great potential, it provides the perfect chance to get acquainted with future big names. The Courier Music spoke to Spotlight Music UK about what advice they would give to bands or artists taking their first steps in the industry. “Make use of social media and don’t be too scared to network, we’ve found that venues and promoters are always more than happy to offer help and advice. We’ve got a great local music community in the

Image: NUJO

North East, once you tap into that you’ll find everyone is very accommodating.”

We’ve got a great local music community in the North East, once you tap into that you’ll find everyone is very accommodating For students who love music and want to get involved with the Newcastle scene, Spotlight offer ways in for artists, writers and fans alike. Davidson tells us, “We love hearing from artists of all levels, even if you’ve just put your first song on SoundCloud or you’re playing your first gig, please get in touch. We can share links to your music or gigs on out social media, review them for our website to help it get more attention and we even do video sessions.” The Head of the Writing Team also calls for writers “no matter what genres you like or what level of experience you have, as long as you love the local music scene in the North East you can make some great content”. If you’re interested in getting in touch with Spotlight Music UK then you can reach the team at or at, as well as their socials.

The 2018 Festival guide Jordan Oloman takes us through the summer’s best Festivals C an you smell the mud in the air? Its festival season, fellow music fans, and by gum does 2018 promise to be a doozie. First, we must get this out of the way. The Arctic Monkeys are back to sow their musical oats across Europe this summer. Whilst we don’t have any music to gauge whether they’re doing a Libertines and phoning it in, you can catch them headlining Primavera in Barcelona, Southside in Germany and T in the Park homunculus TRNSMT in Glasgow.


Basically, if you happen to rock up in any major European city this summer you’ll probably hear Teddy Picker. Primavera is a good shout if you’re chasing the primates but want more varied quality. We’ve got Lorde, Tyler, The Creator, Rex Orange County, Father John Misty, CHVRCHES and A$AP Rocky. The range on display in Barca is palpable, and there is something for everyone.


Alternatively, head to Sweden for Way Out West festival in Gothenburg and you’ll catch Alex Turner and his mates with Kendrick Lamar, Arcade Fire, Jorja Smith and Brockhampton. Of course, it depends on your music taste, but Way Out West barely has a line-up and its already contesting the Spanish festival don.


day being a particularly potent display with Giggs, Lil Pump, Playboi Carti and Cardi B ready to light up Finsbury Park.


For perhaps the most varied and pristine catalogue available in our immediate proximity you would be foolish to miss Parklife. After somehow booking Frank Ocean in 2017 and providing one of the best nights of my life, the Warehouse Project squad are back again with some serious figures. Industry icon Pharrell and his Neptunes buddies will take to the stage as N.E.R.D to show off their personal chops after producing pretty much every great melody heard in the last century. Alongside Williams and Co., we have A$AP Rocky, AJ Trace, The XX, Eric Prydz and Liam Gallagher. More unbelievably, French electronic titans Justice will be there alongside Fashion icon Virgil Abloh of Off-White fame, delivering a typically excellent DJ set and not throwing any £600 hoodies into the crowd. Just don’t bring any potato peelers, Parklife has banned the kitchen appliance in accordance with Gallagher’s ardent fans and their viral tendencies.


Whilst we don’t have the 411 on Leeds just yet, after last year’s unequivocally poor show you’d expect a return to form, which most likely means an Arctic Monkeys headline and Slaves playing every stage twice. God speed folks!

If you fancy a more beautified trip further afield, take yourself to the Adriatic coastline where you can catch many impressive electronic artists including Four Tet, Horse Meat Disco and Floating Points in olive groves, secret islands and on boats as part of Love International festival in June.


Closer to home, rap, hip-hop and grime connoisseurs would be daft not to attend Wireless, which seems to be curating several (as-of-yet) exclusive UK performances. J. Cole, Post Malone, Lil Uzi Vert and Trippie Redd will be in attendance, Sun-

Image: Flickr

the courier

Monday 12 February 2018

Marble Skies O

nce upon a time it took nothing more than a great sound to gain a band a lifetime of attention. Motörhead, AC/DC, Daft Punk - all decorated artists with acclaimed catalogues of music, which in a lot of ways are filled with different versions of the same song. This isn’t cynicism, but a trait of the artist as a whole; Joseph M.W. Turner spent a lifetime painting landscapes, David Lynch makes surreal films. When we observe the work of actors, we rarely observe the fact that most spend entire careers playing different versions of themselves; Will Smith is Will Smith the Superhero in Hancock, and also Will Smith the Antihero in Suicide Squad. He’s sharp witted, funny, cool and relatable. My point is, there’s a lot to be said for artists who explore styles inconsistent with their back catalogue, and

often that exploration comes at the cost of a consistent fanbase. If Ed Sheeran’s next album sounded like Lou Reed’s Berlin, his fanbase would become divided, so it’s smarter to just focus on being the best version of Ed Sheeran he can be. What I admire most about Django Django is that they mine deep into the middle ground between these two approaches; they always sound different whilst ensuring they’re the best version of Django Django they can be. And they don’t just do it with a great sound, but rather constant artistic evolution across the multiple platforms contemporary music exists within. Their new album Marble Skies consists of the same furious Django Django rhythmic drums and bass that has personified the Django sound since their self titled debut LP, and progresses the wind-

Image: DIY Mag

The House

Machine Head





fter the critically acclaimed Pool, Aaron Maine brings new record, The House. Porches continue to follow the characteristic indie, synth-pop vibe and provide us with an excellent, moody soundtrack, especially for those who feel nostalgic. Lead single, ‘Find Me’, is so pop, that I wouldn’t be surprised to hear it make its way onto a club dance floor - the phenomenal beat and percussion are certain to get you moving.

‘Now The Water’ and ‘Country’ are equally impressive with their haunting vocals are impressive ‘Now The Water’ and ‘Country’ are equally impressive with their haunting vocals. ‘Ono’ is by far my favourite song off the record thanks to its beautiful chorus transition with the lyrics and background guitar (reminiscent of iconic “Hallelujah”) making for an enchanting, touching effect.

Image: YouTube The record, as Maine warned, has a rustic, unpolished feel to it, which add a raw authenticity. For some, it may sound like an unfinished demo but, for me, it gives Porches’ narrative a more honest emotion. The House is a joy to behold and one that will, without doubt, be stuck on repeat. Jagoda Waszkowiak

f you’ve been following the coverage of Machine Head’s latest release, then you’ll probably have received a less than complimentary impression. Even before its release, Catharsis was been slated, with many noting the worrying similarity to Machine Head’s godawful nu metal phase. Truthfully I was expecting the worst when I gave Catharsis a listen yet whilst its certainly not very good, its not exactly ‘The Burning Red’ part two either. In terms of its core instrumentation, Catharsis changes little from its predecessors, though there are some interesting new additions. In particular, strings are featured prominently on several songs such as ‘Heavy Lies the Crown’ and the title track ‘Catharsis’. Problem is, they feel pretty redundant where they are featured, and rarely gel succinctly with the rest of the song. This ties into a wider problem: the album’s tonal consistency. In some songs Machine Head stay pretty true to form, churning out heavy, punishing riffs, whilst others aim to be more melodious and almost ballad-like, whilst others still will switch between the two. However, this isn’t done in a manner that flows well or feels cohesive. Speaking of the riffs, whilst I think its unfair to say Machine Head have relapsed back into their failed late ‘90s nu metal phase, the comparison is fairly apt with some songs such as ‘Beyond the Pale’ which, to be honest, is simply dreadful. All that said however, I can’t help but admire the sincerity with which the band put Catharsis together. Though they’re no stranger to political commentary, Catharsis feels uniquely charged and is, at its core an expression of despair and rage by frontman Rob Flynn on a number of contentious issues in the United States, such as the resurgence of the far right. This is particularly apparent in ‘Bastards’, a moving plea from Flynn to his children to always fight for change and remain proud doing so, though unfortunately marred by some pretty cringey lyrics. Listening to Catharsis, its clear Machine Head bore their souls through the album. It’s a shame this passion didn’t translate to better songwriting. Gerry Hart



music culture

Django Django ing, hypnotic vocals that differentiated album one from follow up Born Under Saturn, but now the big sound on show moves far away from the indie driven and futurist experimental style of their preceding work and instead finds a late-seventies, early-eighties alternative psychedelic sound somewhere between Kraftwerk, Afrika Bambaataa and Miami Vice. It’s a maturation of sound similar to the growth arc that has defined The Horrors, and Django Django have retained a distinct identity whilst also being able to explore their style as artists.

They always sound different whilst ensuring they’re the best version of Django Django they can be. In reviewing the album, Guardian writer Alexis Petridis said that the band were “more alchemists than explorers” but I would argue that they’re closer to both than anything else. There’s a consistent chaos about Marble Skies which can only be found with the maturity of focus. It doesn’t lose its way like Born Under Saturn, nor does it play it safe like the self-titled debut. Be it in performance or on record, in their music videos, album covers, interviews or self criticism; Django Django are constantly exploring and evolving, with the reckless confidence that their audience isn’t invested in the Django sound but instead invested in the Django journey. They’ll either burn out or fade away, but isn’t that the best way to make art? We can’t all be Aretha Franklin, and nobody wants to be Ed Sheeran. Callum Costello

Editors’ Picks


ach week, The Courier’s Music Editors are working with Newcastle Student Radio to bring you the best new tracks from the week before... ‘Check (with RAYE)’ Kojo Funds Raye is one of the most exciting up-andcoming voices in the industry. She steals the show on Kojo Funds’ latest Craig David sampled single. Toby Bryant, The Courier ‘Postcard’ First Aid Kit The gorgeous Swedish duo are back with a third instalment of their sultry country music , and this is definitely one of the more upbeat entrants of an otherwise relatively slouchy, easy listening album. At times it can seem as though the whole album moulds into one, but the beauty of the harmonies and the nostalgic old-fashioned stlye of music is something you can easily relax to. Ally Wilson, The Courier ‘Arms of Pleonexia’ Cabbage Punk ain’t dead kids, and this new single from the hugely exciting up-and-coming Manchester group Cabbage, with its brutually sardonic attitude and highly politicised lyrics, serves as proof. Charlie Isaac, The Courier ‘Party Tattoos’ dodie Dodie Clark, or more simply known as Dodie, is a remarkle youtuber/musician. Her beautifully bittersweet melodies are as addictive as they are thought provoking. Her first 2018 single ‘Party Tattoos’ is a gloriously catchy and melodic piece, deserved of more attention. Meg Smith, NSR ‘Saturday Sun’ Vance Joy Most known for his hugely successful track ‘Riptide’, Vance Joy is back with his first single from his upcoming album Nation of Two. ‘Saturday Sun’ is an upbeat bundle of joy which is not only the perfect track to brighten up a cold winter’s day. Amy Woods, NSR


n this day, the 12th February, in 1961, Detroit group The Miracles’ song ‘Shop Around’ became Motown’s first millionselling single. Not only was this a milestone for popular music, but also an essential event in the discourse of African American culture in the US. Recorded at Hitsville, USA, the original Motown Records headquarters, the song was first released in 1960, and had huge commercial success. It boasted massive popularity, placing number one on the Billboard R&B chart, as well as a number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Image: YouTube The songs popularity was even revisited in 1976, over a decade later, when a cover version was released by husband and wife act Captain and Tennille. Arguably, however, it can be seen as an impossible task to even begin to replicate the soul and spirit of the Motown sound that seems almost literally audible in the original.

Represented a move towards the integration of black culture into mainstream America The quintessence of Motown Records was, and always has been, the celebration of Afro-Caribbean and Western cultures synergising through music. The soul, funk, and disco acts of Motown all represent this, combining sounds from both sides of the Atlantic and creating music that can therefore resonate with any audience. The million-sale success of this record within its first year of release represented a movement towards the acceptance and integration of black culture into mainstream America. In the years either side of ‘Shop Around’ becoming Motown’s biggest release, racial tensions within the US were at a fever pitch. Most southern states were rife with segregation, discrimination and violence, and being an African American citizen in America was far from a comfortable existence. However, it seems that alongside art, fashion and other cultural ventures, music is one of the vehicles for acceptance and understanding between societies. It could be said that the music of Motown, alongside other movements of the era, provided a soundtrack to the journey from a segregated western world towards the equality we still strive for today. The fact that this record sold one million copies to a diverse US audience, in such a trying time for the rights of the very people that performed it, speaks volumes of music’s true power. Liam Austen

@Courier_Music @TheCourierMusic Newcastle Student Radio: @NSRlive

Rex Orange County 1


culture music

the courier Music Editors Toby Bryant, Charlie Isaac & Ally Wilson


mere 19-years-old, Alex O’Connor, better known as Rex Orange County, had quite the 2017. Apricot Princess, his second album in as many years, had critics’ tastebuds tingling and a series of singles towards the back end of the year made it clear that O’Connor has more in the pipeline. Having first caught the attention of Tyler, the Creator through SoundCloud in 2016, the unsigned musician was flown out to LA to collaborate on two songs from Tyler’s highly acclaimed album Flower Boy. Since then his songwriting prestige has been well sought after and the youngster has gone on to work with the likes of Frank Ocean, as well as having great success with Apricot Princess. A self-taught drummer, Surrey-born Alex, studied at the BRIT School, which over the years has produced the likes of Adele, Amy Winehouse and King Krule, among others. It was during his time here that he decided he was better suited as a singer-song writer rather than being on the drums. “It felt like the exact right time to be myself and not just the guy at the back of the stage. I like being at the front – it’s where I’m meant to be”, he told NME.

His lyrics are simple, yet striking - they are a beautifully honest, sometimes brutal, testimony to being young and in love. This, along with his songs’ blissfully sweet sound is what makes him a breath of fresh air. When speaking to The Guardian, Rex Orange County reflected,“I’ve never been uncomfortable sharing stuff. It’s almost the opposite. I’ll say the most blunt, brutally honest thing about any situation. I won’t be the kind of artist speaking in riddles all the time – it will be lyrics that make sense the moment I say them.”

Monday 12 February 2018

London. With all this in mind, it’s easy to see why Rex Orange County has been voted our Sound Of 2018. Amy Woods

His lyrics are a beautifully honest, sometimes brutal, testimony to being young and in love He is currently on tour in America, with a few UK dates coming up later this month, along with featuring on several festival line ups, including Primavera in Barcelona and All Points East, in

The Courier Music & Image: YouTube

Newcastle Student Radio

The sounds of 2018 The writers of The Courier Music and presenters from Newcastle Student Radio have come together to pick the Top 10 Sounds of 2018. These are the artists that we believe have a big year ahead of them and you should keep you eyes and ears on...

2 Brockhampton 3 SG Lewis B

rockhampton is a selfstylised, modern boyband, full of diverse identities. They create rap music about a range of prevalent topics such as rape culture and homophobia, all whilst oozing a refreshing, creative spirit layered in fun! The

group met on a Kanye West fan forum, moved in together and are now living in the same house making music together whilst working jobs. Last year they exploded and dropped three (yep, really) fully fledged albums that are full of some of the best music you will have heard in decades. On top of that, count a TV show on Viceland, two tours, a documentary, merch drops and a boxset and we’ve got a walking millenial phenomenon on our hands that are still flying under the radar. Channelling influences such as Frank Ocean, Kanye and Wu-tang, as well as Tyler the Creator (through whom they now have a co-sign), Brockhampton have evolved from humble beginnings, using their hustle to reach the pinnacle of progressive music in their genre. They’ve already announced a new album, Team Effort, coming this year and look set to continue their rapid rise of 2017.

Image: YouTube

Jordan Oloman


ou’ll struggle to find an artist who has honed their own style more than SG Lewis with his silky-smooth sound. The 21-year-old producer and vocalist has announced his three-part debut album Dusk, Dark, Dawn and a headline tour for April this year, marking 2018 as his biggest year to date. SG rose to prominence after his sensual single ‘Warm’ was uncovered for Victoria Secret’s 2016 campaign and a first EP featuring the singles ‘No Less’, recently sampled by American rapper G-Eazy, and ‘Shivers’, with JP Cooper’s phenomenal vocals, came shortly after. From that point on the music came thick and fast with the Yours - EP and a sellout slot at London’s Koko cementing his place as a first-rate artist. 2017 was a quieter year for SG Image: YouTube

with only the spiralling ‘Times We Had’ and funky ‘Smart Aleck Kill’ being released but, with last month’s album announcement, it is clear to see why. Moving in the same circles as and working with the likes of Gallant, Ray BLK and Raye, as well as being chummy with last year’s breakthrough star Dua Lipa, everything seems to be falling into place for SG Lewis. If the uber-groovy ‘Aura’, the lead-single from Dusk, Dark, Dawn Dawn, is anything to go by, this debut album is primed for a huge impact. Toby Bryant

the courier


Monday 12 February 2018


ONAKA are on everybody’s ‘Sound of hip-hop, grunge, pop, punk and clas2018’ list, so it would be rude not sic indie rock, YONAKA have one to include them on this one. The of the most diverse, fresh and exciting Brighton band caught fire in 2017 and sounds out there. In a live setting their it is a fire that is sure to only spread energy is unrivalled, with Theresa Jarvis’ in 2018. towering vocals matching her Playing shows with The Libertines infectious dancing. and The Cribs, hitting the main Their live shows will inevitastages at festivals and headlinbly get better in 2018, a year which will ing the first ever Hopscotch culminate with their debut LP, as tour, everybody wants a bit of they revealed to NSR in an interYONAKA. view conducted Mixing influences from grime, last year. Johnny Rogerson Image: @Weareyonaka

6 Hrvy


aving grown up as a presenter on CBBC, Hrvy may be a face you vaguely recognise. Now focusing on his music career, the 19-year-old’s infectious pop looks set to switch from guilty-pleasure to number one hit in 2018. Comparisons between Hrvy and a certain Justin Bieber have been made by many and rightly so. Both fresh-faced teens when enjoying their breakthrough, the way ‘One Time’ fired Bieber into the mainstream is just the same was as Hrvy’s huge hit, and Radio 1’s recent Track of the Week, ‘Personal’ is doing.

The pop industry may be undergoing an evolution to a new, electronic sound but, with an incredibly fast-growing following and a number of catchy bops to his name already, Hrvy’s sugar-sweet pop has huge potential and is not something to be laughed off. Toby Bryant

5 Pale Waves


he gothic-glitter pop of Pale Waves has meant their rise to the top has been short and sharp. Mentored by The 1975’s Matt Healy, the Dirty Hit band are flying high and get better with each release. Their brand of pop is unique but accessible, mixing emo stories with sparkling party riffs, they are perfect for every mood. After a sell-out, debut, headline hometown show in Manchester in 2016, Pale Waves formally announced themselves at the beginning of 2017, but it has been non-stop

success since. They began by playing the inaugural Dirty Hit tour before heading out to America with label-mates The 1975, playing arenas such as Madison Square Garden. They then followed this with their debut headline tour, which was a huge success. With their debut EP on the horizon, the success will only continue to follow them. They’re a band who get bigger with each show and each release - stardom is inevitable. Johnny Rogerson

7 The Japanese House

Image: YouTube



music culture

Image: YouTube

8 Jacob Banks

blissful soulful sound, with blends of R and B and Hip Hop, singer-songwriter Jacob Banks is someone to watch after being on the radar ever since winning the MOBO UnSung regional competition i n 2012. His debut EP, released in 2017, The Boy Who Cried Freedom, resonates with a mix of piano and electric guitar riffs which are digitally touched to give that perfect electronic sound. ‘Mercy’, the EP’s standout track, is enchanting in sound, boasting gospel-like crescendos and incredible song writing. Having supported the likes of Alicia Keys, Sam Smith and Emily Sande, he now embarks on a headline tour of his own with a new record, Village, announced early this year. Kate Riley



he Japanese House is the solo project of London-based singer/songwriter Amber Bain. Brooding and obscure, the Japanese House commands the attention of listeners with poetic lyrics that resonate from within the dream-like melodies of her songs. With inspiration from Radiohead and Bon Iver, the musician possesses a similar, relaxed transience that becomes all the more affecting with the tonally varied and androgynous sound of her voice. Big things lie in The Japanese House’s path. It seems headlining festivals is a regular

9 Parcels L

Image: @mrjacobbanks

iving in Berlin but originally hailing from Byron Bay, Australian funk-pop band Parcels are certainly one to keep an eye on in 2018. If you enjoy your tunes with a dose of groove and an injection of late 70s influences such as Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan and Nile Rogers then we couldn’t recommend them more. Their sophomore EP, Hideout is a gorgeous blend of pop, dance, funk and even a smattering of jazz

occurrence and with the release of most recent EP Saw You in a Dream, they promise more of this novel brand of touching synth pop in the upcoming album.

Rory Ellis

with production by the likes of Daft Punk. Not only are their recordings fantastic, but they are also an incredibly tight, professional live act. With a number of songs with more than one million streams on Spotify, it is looking highly likely that 2018 will be the year that Parcels really start to make an impression in the mainstream. Sam Wildsmith


elf-proclaimed ‘dark electro pop’ artist Zand, formerly known as Seafoal, is set to make waves in 2018. Their name change accompanies their confidence in their gender non-binarity, paralleling their personal name ‘Zander’. Zand’s musical journey has seen a shift in style, ranging from the deeply dark and delicate earlier acoustic EP Lucid Living, up to their newer releases which boast more rock and punk musical influences. After touring in November, Zand has only grown in popularity. If you don’t remember the artist stopping by Newcastle on the 9th, you’d be correct. After having car problems travelling down from Glasgow, the Newcastle date was unfortunately cancelled, although we can only hope for a postponed date or a slot on a forthcoming tour.

Image: Ellie Mitchell

Megan Smith

Image: YouTube

The Courier Music Editors, Toby, Ally and Charlie will be joining Newcastle Student Radio’s Meg and Amy on the Music Show at 4pm, Wednesday 14th February. Tune in on to hear all the editors talk about the The Sounds of 2018 artists and play what they have to offer!

@TheCourierMusic @NSRlive


culture TV

Amy Gildert’s Take Me Out Image: Bruno Scramgnon (Pexels)



the courier TV Editors Jacob Clarke, Joel Leaver & Alex Moore

t its core, Take Me Out is shallow as a puddle, and has the intellectual stimulation of a wet paper bag. It appeals to the most superficial way we form our relationships, using instant attraction to determine if someone is worthy of winning a date and worthy of our time as an audience. If you’re looking for some thought provoking, deep blossoming romance, I suggest you look elsewhere.

How half of the men get dates is beyond me. As far as the male contestants go, I’m truly not sure where they find some of these guys. It feels less like a vigorous application process and more like they taped a flyer on a tree in the park for the weirdest, most offensive men they could find. How half of them get dates is beyond me. However, the panel of women also presents its own problem. While they do possess the power to choose their own dates, the way they are presented only furthers the blatant objectification that the show relies on. The women are required to be dressed to the nines, and the women who choose to dress differently, or are not conventionally attractive are ignored at best and receive outright criticism from the tactless contestant at worst.

Monday 12 February 2018

Television’s most iconic couples Becky and Steve - Him & Her


teve and Becky in Stefan Golaszewski’s Him & Her are, I would argue, one of the best couples on TV. Him & Her is a British comedy in the vein of The Royle Family, a lot of navel gazing, sitting around and talking. Steve and Becky are gloriously simple and completely endearing. Their main aspirations in life are to finish the Inspector Morse box-set, drink lager and eat pizza in peace. Sarah Solemani and Russell Tovey work together brilliantly, their chemistry and ease with each other adding to the believability of the pairing. Tovey and Solemani manage to perfectly portray the day-today minutiae of an established couple living together. The comedy in Him & Her sprouts from the placing of Steve and Becky as the ‘straight men’ in a world of overthe-top characters as they are perpetually bothered by friends and family. Honourable mention here to Kerry Howard’s Laura, one of the great TV villains. Steve and Becky are lazy, gross and utterly shameless as they scam free pizzas from their mates and spend entire days in bed. Despite all of this they are lovable, fun and a startlingly realistic depiction of a working-class 20 something couple. It’s a sitcom that is well worth your time and is currently available on Netflix. Beth Chrisp Image: YouTube & Wikimedia Commons (Tomchen1989)

Gomez and Morticia - The Addams Family


he conversation on what defines a great television couple begins and ends with the creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky heads of the all together ooky Addams’ Family (click, click). Affection is their affliction and they’re hopelessly addicted - the Addams’ love for one another is quite literally to die for. In these times of shameful sexual misconduct Gomez is a role model for the male romantic; utterly devoted to his wife with fiery Castillan lust. The strength of their bond is both physical and emotional - unlike most television couples they never stray from one another and Gomez’ physical wellbeing i s intrinsically bound to his relationship with his wife. Before they met Gomez was a sickly boy - she gives him life. If Gomez is the fire, Morticia is the ice. The matriarch of House Addams steers her husbands Latin spirit - she’s been his since the day he carved her name into his leg. When she’s not growing abominations in the garden Morticia maintains the transgressions that define the deplorable Addams family spirit. They’re the blackhearted Romeo and Juliet; lovable alone, intoxicating together, ’til death do they part. Callum Costello Image: Wikimedia Commons: Tomchen1989 & ABC Television

Santana and Brittany - Glee


o me, ‘Best TV Couple of All Time’ is synonymous with the concept of an ‘OTP’ (which stands for one true pairing) - its the idea of a particular couple being your ultimate favourite. Aside from Daphne and Fred from Scooby Doo, who are a close second, my OTP has long been Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) and Brittany Pierce (Heather Morris) from FOX’s Glee - shipped as ‘Brittana’. They’re a couple who truly grow into themselves with one another; they mature and become better versions of themselves as a result of the relationship. Santana begins Glee as a coldhearted bitch, but through B r i t t a ny ’s love and their relationship, Image: YouTube & Wikimedia she becomes Commons (Tomchen1989) a much kinder individual, albeit with remnants of sass and wit. Similarly, Brittany is a ditsy genius whom only realises her full potential through S an tana’s acceptance and patience. Whilst other couples on the show cheat on, manipulate and use their significant other for personal gains, Brittana show genuine love. The pair started the show as pinky-holding best friends, but through fan support and some killer chemistry between Rivera and Morris, the characters became a huge romantic focus of the show. They’re truly a fan favourite pairing and its no surprise that they’ve been long praised for representing and inspiring queer youth. Joel Leaver

Bad at Love? Have a look at our top anti-Valentines shows Image: YouTube

Sweet: But as is often the case, it’s not all bad. A reality TV show is often only as good as its host, and as far as presenters go, Paddy McGuiness is top notch. Not only is he witty, funny and charming, he also possesses the remarkable ability to turn around any awkward situation (which lets be honest, is a necessary skill having seen some of the answers these contestants give). Paddy is the master of the catchphrase, and it’s hard not to join in with the variety of phrases he’s coined, with such classics such as ‘No likey, no lighty!’, or one of the many variations on ‘Let the butter, see the crumpet’ that crop up every show.


The number of marriages Take Me Out has produced to date.

If you watch more than one episode, you’ll notice that the same girls stay throughout the series until they get a date. This of course prompts the development of favourites, and it can be quite entertaining to root for your favourites. And although Take Me Out might come across as another superficial dating show, it has had its love stories. Over the course of its seven year run, there have been seven weddings and two babies from the couples who met on the show, meaning that it can’t be all bad. I know when I watch Take Me Out that I’m not watching Quality Television, and yet I do it anyway. There is something appealing about cheesy, throwaway reality shows, and Take Me Out is no exception.

The Verdict:

Although Take Me Out does of course appeal to superficiality, it’s only fair to remember that the majority of dating conventions these days do too. People who use dating apps often form their opinion of someone before even reading their bio, and it would be unfair to say that first impressions don’t matter in real life too. For that reason, I for one am willing to overlook the bitter elements of Take Me Out in favour of the sweet, sweet, cheesy joy that it brings me.

Ugne Rinkeviciute offers some viewing pleasures for those not interested in a soppy romance


f you’re not that into roses and candlelight dinner, if mushy television makes you cringe, if you’d rather spend the day in your PJs steering clear of all the lovey-dovey couples, these two TV shows will help you forget that Valentine’s Day even exists.

The Unit This action-filled TV show follows a team of specially trained elite soldiers as they risk their lives on undercover missions around the world. Their missions and their very existence are closely-guarded secrets, protected by the soldiers themselves and their wives, who possess secrets of their own. The show also focuses on the effect that serving in the unit has on its members’ families, as well as the moral dilemmas they face. Clever plot lines, welldeveloped characters and brilliant actors will keep

you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire show. I mean, who doesn’t love to see their favourite character unexpectedly die at the end of an already intense episode? The best part is, since the unit men are constantly sent on missions, there’s hardly any time for romance. And when there is, it deals with the complex regulations of the US army rather than the corny drama we’re so used to seeing on TV.


If action is not really what you’re looking for and you’d rather have a laugh on Valentine’s Day, then Psych is for you. The show may have a couple of romantic scenes from time to time, but the real love story in it is the bromance between Shawn and Gus. Thanks to his ex-police officer father, Shawn has developed a remarkable ability to notice even

the smallest details in his surroundings. When he is wrongly accused of committing a crime that he actually solved, Shawn convinces the police he is a psychic. So the two childhood best friends open a private detective agency and work together with the Santa Barbara police to solve crimes. Because the reckless Shawn and neurotic Gus cause almost as many problems as they solve, what Psych turns out to really be about is having fun no matter what trouble you get yourself into.

Image: Flickr (yellowblade67)

Year of the Woman: Broad City’s Abbi & Ilana Beth Chrisp illustrates why Broad City’s two main characters are empowering female leads


bbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have created Broad City, one of the most empowering shows on television ever. Broad City follows the day-to-day life of two female, twenty-something New Yorkers. No subject is off-limits as the duo take on topics such as pegging, monogamy, politics, recreational narcotics and of course, bad jobs and bad apartments. Broad City is a celebration of all things female, through introverted aspiring artist Abbi and the extroverted, outrageous Ilana. It’s a show that allows women to get it wrong, to be dirty, funny and outspoken. Abbi and Ilana are just trying to get by, having fun while they do so and it’s a joy to join them on their pot-fuelled adventures. The attraction of Broad City is not only the female empowerment but also the inclusivity and diversity of the show. From Hannibal Buress’ Lincoln to Arturo Castro’s Jaime as well as including LGBTQ+ characters and storylines. Sex is discussed frankly and with an open-mind, Ilana’s character is a role model to be looked to for her

inclusivity and lack of judgment. Broad City is deserving of the hype that Girls received, and while Girls did an important (and entertaining) job it was overwhelmingly middleclass and white. Broad City is its cooler, naughtier sister presenting a world that feels real. Its goofy, funny and damn, its sexy. I defy you to finish Broad City without developing a crush on both Abbi and Ilana.

Image: YouTube

There can’t be talk of empowering women with-

out mentioning the guest appearance of Hillary Clinton in Season 3 (how cool is that?!) or the fact that the word ‘Trump’ is bleeped out in Season 4. Jacobson and Glazer are here for the good times, they’re here for the ladies and the outcasts and they shout their mantra “Yaas Queen” in a voice that awakens everything that is great about being a woman. Being a twenty-something year old woman is dirty, messy, funny and most of the time you get it wrong, but if you want to feel less alone get yourself acquainted with Abbi and Ilana. They’ll look after you. ‘Year of the Woman’ is a new weekly feature to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of women receiving the vote in 1918. Although restricted to women over 30, the vote is a landmark in UK history and we want to commemorate this. Each week we want one writer to discuss a show with particularly empowering, bad-ass or strong female leads; think Olivia Pope, Daenerys etc.

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Monday 12 February 2018


TV culture

Will these shows ever end? We demand renewal! Charlie Isaac explores TV that has long passed it’s sell-by-date Lucy Lillystone revives those shows shut down way too early Forever T times there is a definitive ‘jumping the shark’ moment, such as Brian Griffin’s much-maligned death on Family Guy, or indeed Fonzie literally jumping the shark on Happy Days back in 1977. Sometimes it is due to the loss of a crucial actor, such as Steve Carell’s departure from The US Office. And sometimes, the writers just seem to run out of good ideas, for instance the mess that was the second half of Twin Peaks season 2, and countless sitcoms throughout television history.

We live in a world of producers with no motivation to give up lucrative gigs

Image: YouTube


n a perfect world, when a series has naturally run its course, the writers would always have the guts to bring it to a close. When the jokes become stale and the storylines repetitive, they would call it a day with some dignity left intact. However, we do not live in a perfect world; we live in a world of producers, writers and actors with no particular motivation to give up lucrative gigs in the notoriously fickle entertainment industry, and studio executives who are really just looking to turn a profit. A show overstaying its welcome can take many forms. Sometimes, new storylines are perpetually piled on top with each progressive series ad nauseam; for instance, The Walking Dead’s seemingly endless variations on ‘desperate people try to survive against both zombies and each other’. Some-

But all these pale in comparison to the worst offender; a show that has not only overstayed its welcome, but done so for over 20 years. I am, of course, referring to The Simpsons. The animation, once eclectic and bursting with creativity is now soulless and verging on uncanny valley. The plotlines, once both fresh and timeless, now feel stale and forced. And the jokes, once multi-layered and often pure genius, have largely been reduced to lazy one-liners and cringe-inducing cultural references. Yet with Nielson ratings (if not critical ratings) as strong as ever, The Simpsons shows no signs of ending anytime soon. In the (slightly paraphrased) words of the show itself: “Stop, Stop! It’s already dead.”

Celebrity Big Brother

End of The F***ing World

Channel 5


COURTNEY (F)ACT Courtney starred in Little Mix’s “Power” music video with fellow Drag Race stars Willam and Alaska

Image: YouTube

People of all ages, races, sexualities and genders have been able to relate to some part of the series which has rarely been possible in past series. With the same fun we see in other series of Big Brother, this series has been in touch with real issues and that’s what makes it stand out from previous runs. Laura Bolden

Agent Carter

Firstly, Agent Carter. Starring the beautiful Hayley Atwell, Marvel’s Agent Carter got cancelled after its second season. Not only did we lose a kickass female lead with the ability to inspire young girls but we lost what could have been a potentially interesting show for the back story of the MCU. What’s worse is that this show ended on a dreaded cliff hanger with the *spoiler alert* shooting of Jack Thompson. Fans forever will be left wondering ‘why?’ ‘who?’.

Another much loved but cancelled show is Sense8, a series about mentally-linked characters, exploring pivotal ideas of homophobia, transphobia, class and race. Sense8 deserved more than it got.

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3


The Verdict

There are too many series out there to delve into that got cancelled way too soon, but with shows like Supernatural lasting beyond their sell by date, it makes us question why shows with potential are cancelled while shows that are mediocre at best are still going. Let’s hope, in the future, shows we all love will stay and continue to make us emotional with every episode.

Random Reviews

The Kindness Diaries

Comedy Central

Image: YouTube

nd of the F***ing World is a slightly disturbed, eccentric version of any teenager’s hormone-induced inner thoughts. It portrays the warped love story between two mismatched teenagers: James, a self-claimed psychopath who aims to kill Alyssa, a mouthy, out-spoken teen, in order to ‘finally feel something’. The story starts when the couple run away from home together and find themselves in disastrous situations, including a murder, robbery, a near rape, blowing up a car and a dead dog. The show also approaches very teenage, very awkward everyday situations like periods, awkward fumbling sex scenes, and snarky miscommunications. The amusing commentary that runs over their interactions, exposes a sense of vulnerability, something truly endearing that allows the viewer to empathise with otherwise slightly odd, psychopathic characters. This especially applies to Alyssa, who at the beginning I wanted to violently slap around the face, before I came to the uncomfortable realisation that she is pretty much my 16-year-old self (minus the murder). Her inner thoughts contradict her mouthy dialogue: “I’m going whether you come with me or not,” she demands to James, before immediately thinking, “Please say yes.” The mismatched juxtaposition of what she thinks and what she says is so teenager yet also so human. Director Jonathon Entwistle pans out on an open, rural landscape and somehow manages to Americanise the British southern suburbia by filming the long, open roads reminiscent of Into the Wild. Equally as beautiful, is the soundtrack which has some absolute bangers from Janis Ian, Bernadette Carol’s Laughing on the Outside and Fleetwood Mac. This combination of rural landscape and Stevie Nick’s eye-wateringly beautiful voice makes interaction between these two confused delinquents something you can’t stop watching. Sophie Schnieder

Finally, let us not forget about Forever. This show lasted all of one season and for fans like me who found not only the actors phenomenal but also the plot line intriguing, frustration was a familiar friend when the cancellation was announced. What’s more, like Agent Carter, this show ended on the biggest cliff hanger! How will Henry react now that Martinez knows his secret? I guess we will never find out.


Channel 4

Image: YouTube

ociety today has become undeniably politicised. With important conversations occurring in every part of life, it was no surprise when Celebrity Big Brother announced this series would focus on Women’s rights to celebrate 100 years since women were given the right to vote. Starting the series with a mix of strong women from every area of the public realm meant we were instantly watching intellectual discussions that covered everything from equality to sexual harassment. It has been refreshing. We watch reality television for mindless entertainment but this series has introduced important topics into public discussion, and there is no denying that has been a good thing. For me, it has been Shane J (Courtney Act when she is in drag) that has made this series. I might be bias due to my love for Ru Pauls Drag Race, but there is no denying that his ability to educate other house-mates whilst still having fun is amazing. The editors of this series have been part of a complete injustice by painting him as a villain for confronting Ann Widdecombe’s often old fashioned and ridiculous views. It’s not often you see a drag queen challenge an ex-politician over their views; I am glad that the producers made this possible.

V is becoming an integral part of people’s lives. However, sadly, they are not infinite in their run. Lists of cancelled TV series plague the internet, reminding fans that every show has its limitations. Nothing screams disappointment more than realising your favourite show will no longer be gracing your screens. Here are a few favourites that were cancelled way before their time.


Image: YouTube

Image: YouTube


uPaul has returned to screens as RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 3 has started. If you’ve heard of Drag Race but are unsure of what All Stars is, you’re in for a treat. All Stars is a popular spinoff show where they re-invite popular queens from previous seasons who didn’t win. Whoever wins All Stars gets $100,000 and their name in the Drag Hall of Fame and gets to be a drag superstar in their own right. Drag Race is a fun show to watch if you need something light-hearted but addictive. The queens all have very strong personalities, so you get more emotionally attached each week until they are either sent home or end up winning. Whilst the show makes you laugh, you are also able to take them seriously as artists and learn the struggle that comes with drag; a lot of them have troubled backstories, which makes it much sadder if they are eliminated. Each episode starts with a mini challenge, such as ‘reading’ other queens, or making puppet impressions of each other. It then moves on to a main challenge which is for the remainder of the episode, which could include an acting performance or an intense dance routine. After judging, the two worst queens are against each other to ‘lip sync for their lives’, and whoever does the worst in the lip sync leaves. However, in All Stars there is a twist, as the two top queens ‘lip sync for their legacy’ and whoever wins the lip sync wins the challenge and $10,000, plus they get to eliminate the girl they choose from the bottom two queens. As the same as the previous season, some eliminated queens in upcoming episodes may return as RuPaul assures them they’ll be able to get their ‘Ru-venge’ on the person who perhaps unfairly sent them to ‘sashay away’. If you love the original Drag Race and had a favourite queen who didn’t win, watch All Stars as they may be on the show and could have another chance to win. Sophie Hicks


eon Logothetis decides to embark on a journey across the world with nothing but his yellow motorbike and the clothes on his back. This mini series shows an individual who decided to test the kindness of other people for food, shelter and petrol to fuel his expedition across the continents. Even though it’s awkward to watch at times (watching someone ask strangers “can I spend the night at your house?” and get rejected doesn’t get less awkward the more times you see it) it’s an easy, feel-good show if you’re feeling like watching something that doesn’t require too much attention. Leon’s secretly loaded, so on his journey he gives various gifts to some of those that help him out which absolutely melted my heart, and that’s what really made the show for me. Whilst it’s quite predictable, and all of the episodes follow a very similar plot, the moral of the show is a good one, and perpetuates that age-old belief that those with the least give the most. I wouldn’t however recommend watching it when you’re hungover (if like me you get weirdly emotional at those times) because you will end up roaring your eyes out at the part when he pays for the education of a homeless man he encounters in Pittsburg. Overall it’s not a bad show, but it’s nothing ground breaking; it’s an interesting show to watch when you need a little faith in humanity but it won’t show you anything you haven’t seen before. Gabriela Szczepanska

‘Random reviews’ is a new weekly piece in which one brave writer is assigned a random Netflix show, using a generator. What show will it be next week?

@thecouriertv @Courier_TV


culture film Film Editors Helena Buchanan, Dan Haygarth & Christopher Wilkinson

Golden Oldies Jason & The Argonauts (1963)


ome say it’s Casablanca or Citizen Kane. I say it’s Jason and the Argonauts that’s the greatest film ever made’. A bold statement from one of the greatest actors in recent years, Tom Hanks, but it’s difficult to argue when you watch this cult classic. Over the holidays I was tasked to find adaptations of Greek myths, and what else than to re-visit such an important piece of cinema. It’s a film I watched when I was very young, as my dad showed me all of his childhood favourites, so it was a treat for us both when we sat down and watched it.

A wonderfully faithful adaption to the classic take of the hero Jason The story: a man called Jason journeys across the ancient seas of mythological Greece to find the Golden Fleece, so he can claim his rightful throne. A wonderfully faithful adaptation to the classic take of the hero Jason; not only does it stay close to the original events, but presents the magic of the myths in a beautiful way, combining the real locations that capture the look of Greece perfectly, and the stop motion effects by Ray Harryhausen. One of my favourite aspects of the film has to be the remarkable casting of Herakles, Nigel Green, known for his tall and commanding physique. Compared with Dwayne Johnson’s portrayal of the hero, Nigel Green focuses more on the humanity and compassionate side of Herakles, creating a relatable character and putting emphasis on the relationship between him and Hylas, rather than the strength and heroic nature of the mythical figure.

The most thrilling aspect of the picture is the stop motion Although the script is quite basic and the acting is questionable in some cases, the most thrilling aspect of the whole picture is the stop motion effects. Made in 1963, CGI and special effects were hardly existent, so enter Ray Harryhausen; a pioneer in stop motion effects, a genius in bringing myths and legendary creatures to life. As the Argo sails on its quest to the Golden Fleece, Jason comes across many mythical creatures, such as the Harpies and the Hydra, and not to forget the iconic skeletal warriors. If you’re a lover of Greek Myth, fantasy or cinema history, this film is a must-see. If an icon like Tom Hanks rates it so highly, its definitely worth a watch. Jimmy Athey

the courier Monday 12 February 2018

The most anticipated films of the coming year Want to know what to look forward to this year? Joe Holloran gives us the cinematic low-down


s the awards season continues, film critics and fans alike look back over the best of cinema in 2017. Now, let us look toward to what we can expect over the next eleven months. From big summer blockbusters to ignored indie flicks, hopefully there will be something in this article to catch your eye. Let’s let the big hitters out of the way first. February 16th sees the arrival of the latest addition to the already vast Marvel cinematic cannon with the release of Black Panther from Creed (2015) writer/ director Ryan Coogler. Coogler will be the first African-American to direct a big-budget Marvel superhero movie, which will hopefully combine the usual action scenes with some of the powerful dialogue the director brought to Creed. This will be followed in on May 4th by Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2 on May 18th and the potentially awful Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6th. So, if you’re not yet tired of the superhero trend, then 2018 is looking good for you.

27th, in the much delayed sixth instalment in the Mission: Impossible franchise. The long-awaited and anticipated sequel to the brilliant 2004 animated movie The Incredibles will finally arrive on June 15th. Other animated offering for the young at heart include Isle of Dogs on March 23rd and Wreck It Ralph 2 in November. These big budget blockbusters and others such as Alex Garland’s highly ambitious Annihilation and Gary Ross’ re-imagining of Oceans 8 will fill the TV screens with ads, it is important not to forget the little guys that might pass us by. First up is the new stop-motion flick Isle of Dogs directed by ‘King of the Hipsters’ himself, Wes Anderson and out on March 23rd. Strangers: Pray

At Night and the similarly titled The Little Stanger will battle it out for the title of best horror movie of 2018, while The Miseducation of Cameron Post by the finest director working today; Desiree Akhavan, which was a major hit at Sundance back in January, will surely have a limited outing in the UK at some point in the coming months. So, if you see only one blockbuster and one indie film this year I would recommend Solo: A Star Wars Story and Isle of Dogs be the films to choose. Everything Wes Anderson does is done with care and looks stunning, while Solo has Donald Glover as a young, smooth-talking Lando Calrissian. What more could you want from a movie than that?

A new stop-motion from ‘King of Hipsters’ Wes Anderson If Sci-fi is more your thing then you will already be checking ticket sales for the upcoming young Han Solo movie from Lucasfilm/Disney, imaginatively titled Solo: A Star Wars Story. Fans fears about the film will be confirmed or alleviated come the film’s release on May 25th. Some other big budget films to look out for include; Stephen Spielberg’s upcoming adaptation of Ernest Cline’s 2011 best seller Ready Player One, in which Tye Sheridan, Simon Pegg and others attempt to discover a special ‘Easter egg’ within a VR game. That film is scheduled for release on March 29th. Pegg will return to the big screen again on July

Oscar nominations for Best Actor and Actress Pablo Charro de la Fuente tells us everything about the contenders at this year’s Oscars


n the 23rd of January the Academy announced the nominees for the 90th annual Oscars. The Shape of Water led all nominees with thirteen nominations, including Sally Hawkins for best actress in The Shape of Water. I don´t understand the attention that this movie is receiving, considering that it´s just another idealised portrayal of the current vogue of the second half of the 20th century. Hawkins is one of the few highlights of this film with an enjoyable but toneless performance. On the other hand, we have Frances Mc D or m a n d for Three Billboards Outside E b b i n g , Missour i. There is no doubt that she is going to receive the award for Best Actress with this performance. Her role in this film, playing a

mother who wants justice for the murder of her daughter, perfectly suits her. She managed to bring an undaunted countenance into her performance, adding the right amount of strength and determination. Indeed, it´s the imperceptible moments of fear and regret that make her execution memorable and worthy of an Academy Award.

I think that Daniel Day-Lewis is the actor that has most chances of winning I am especially pleased to see in this film that the industry is writing new and exciting female characters. Apart from this, in this category Saroirse Ronan for Lady Bird and Margot Robbie for I, Tonya are also nominated. I haven´t watched them both yet but I´m very interested in watching Robbie performing the tragicomic life of the figure skater Tonya Harding. Last but not least, Meryl Streep does not disappoint in The Post but I am still waiting to watch her in a film where she is worthy of her forth Academy Award.

Regarding the Oscar award for Best Actor I can´t firmly say who is going to win. To begin with, I can understand the nomination of Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out but he has no real chances. In fact, I think that Daniel Day-Lewis is the actor that has most chances of winning thanks to his performance in Phantom Thread. Day-Lewis plays a dressmaker who falls in love with a waitress, and that will have to learn how to live with her. The complexities of the character dealing with this relationship could bring him the Oscar for Best Actor. Although, the distinct portray of Churchill vy Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour could snatch the Oscar from him. However, the nominated actor that I would truly want to win the statuette is Timothée Chalament. His powerful performance in Call Me by Your Name shows intimately the heart-breaking moments of the first love of a young boy. The script helps Chalament to keep the beauty of the subtlety in his character and to maintain the ambiguity at all time. I hope I´m wrong when I say that the Academy is not going to consider the nomination o f Chalament in contrast with the consolidated careers of the actors above, but we will find out...

the courier


Monday 12 February 2018

PhantomThread (15) Dan Haygarth reviews the new film from Daniel DayLewis and Paul Thomas Anderson


n 1950s London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) run The House of Woodcock, creating dresses for members of high society. Their tailored lives enter a state of disorder when the obsessive Reynolds meets a waitress named Alma (Vicky Krieps), who becomes his muse and love interest. Daniel Day-Lewis’ previous collaboration with his Phantom Thread director Paul Thomas Anderson, the 2007 masterpiece There Will Be Blood,, saw the method actor win his second Oscar for Best Actor. Here, in supposedly the final film before his retirement, Day-Lewis gives arguably his finest performance in one of the greatest films of his career. Unpredictable and alluringly pernicious, the English actor’s brooding intensity is matched perfectly with this perturbing and unnerving thriller. Even with Day-Lewis’ performance, Much of Phantom Thread’s success must be attributed to Anderson’s direction - the film is a technical marvel. Combined with Jonny Greenwood’s brilliantly disturbing score and acerbic performances, the sumptuous cinematography creates constant tension. Surprisingly, no director of photography is credited, as writer-director Anderson leads a

Den of Thieves (15)


collective cinematographic effort in place of his regular collaborator Robert Elswit. Anderson handles this with aplomb, leading the viewer through a number of immaculate, sweeping locations as well as creating an inescapable sense of claustrophobia when required. This comes to a head during an acutely shot and incredibly noisy breakfast scene, which is met with a tumultuous reaction from Day-Lewis and is as nerve-racking as any scene from the past twelve months. As well as Day-Lewis, the film boasts a fine cast. In a less showy role than that of Reynolds, Lesley Manville is superb as Cyril. Her friction with Alma develops the triangle at the film’s heart, while her delivery of several cutting one-liners provides welcome humour. As Alma, the film’s catalyst, Luxembourgish actress Vicky Krieps gives an assured performance opposite the

two seasoned performers and is unfortunate to be the only member of the film’s leading trio not to be Oscar nominated. Far from quelled by the talent and star power of the leading man, Kreips has excellent chemistry with Day-Lewis and takes the opportunity to exhibit her extensive ability. If this is to be Daniel Day-Lewis’ swansong, he will have departed from acting in perhaps the most stylish and accomplished possible manner. His second collaboration with Anderson has produced a brilliantly nuanced, beguiling performance and a film that ranks among the director and star’s very best. Much like Reynolds Woodcock’s dresses, Phantom Thread is elegant, exquisitely produced, and has much more to it than meets the eye.

Roman J Israel, Esq. (12A)

Winchester (15)



film culture

Column 2 Electric Boogaloo

Before Sunset (15)



hristian Gudegast’s Den of Thieves is a stereotypical cops ‘n’ robbers thriller without all that much thrill. ‘In Los Angeles, a bank is robbed every 48 minutes’, so the opening credits of Den Of Thieves claim. Ex-convict Ray Merrimen (Pablo Schreiber) and his experienced gang of criminals intend to add to those statistics by “robbing the only bank that’s never been robbed”: the LA Federal Reserve. It’s an ambitious heist that police chief ‘Big Nick’ (Gerard Butler) and his ruthless team intend to stifle. Director Christian Gudegast pits Schreiber and Butler against one another in a contest that aims to emulate Pacino and De Niro in 1995 heist hit Heat. Gudegast intends for the audience to be torn between these two opposing camps, however the lack of character development leaves you caring little for the fortunes of either. Pablo Schreiber (Orange Is The New Black) is certainly the stronger of the two, with Butler struggling to convincingly convey Big Nick’s softer side. Straight Outta Compton’s O’Shea Jackson Jr. provides a competent performance as the most likeable ‘baddie’, while 50 Cent tends to mumble through many of his lines – not that this is an issue as there’s plenty of dialogue that ought to be cut anyway. The almost entirely male cast makes Den Of Thieves very macho, and an air of homophobia and misogyny lingers across the entire film. The women who are granted screen time are placed in secondary roles as domesticated wives, strippers and pole-dancers. Ultimately, Den of Thieves is exactly what you expect: a high-octane crime thriller that spits out some dramatic action sequences alongside all the usual stereotypes, and pales in comparison to 2017’s Baby Driver. If it’s a fix of Los Angeles chaos you’re after, you might be better off staying at home and playing Grand Theft Auto instead.

he empty cinema could have been taken as foreboding. Coupled that with the fact that this movie has barely been advertised and that nobody is talking about it, probably because of the clunky title (which no one can remember) and expectations were not set high for Dan Gilroy’s newest drama. However, after the first couple of scenes, which are undeniably dull, the film finds its footing and establishes itself as a niche legal drama with bags of originality and a compelling plot that’s perfect for our times. Denzel Washington trades his cool persona to play Roman; an awkward genius defence attorney who tries to stand by his ideals of social justice in a world ruled by greed and prejudice. Denzel adapts so brilliantly that it’ hard to believe he’s the same leading man from all those gangster epics. He certainly earned his best actor nomination, and may well have saved the film as, without Denzel’s stage presence, it could have been a very flat affair. Carmen Ejogo plays Maya, a volunteer activist contrasted by Colin Farrell’s Beemer driving big shot George Pierce. Both represent the primary forces in Roman’s life, pulling him between a lowincome lifestyle of seeking radical change, and a high flying fuck the little guy style of lawyerism. The characterisation is lazy; Maya wears a bandana so she must be an anarchist, and George’ slicked back hair and trim suit mean that he’s a bastard. But overall, Gilroy presents a sharp critique of the American legal system and society at large that’s so on the nose it borders satire. Everyone can have a good legal defence, if they can afford it. The system is rigged to scare defendants into guilty pleas to avoid the mess of a proper trial. Dead homeless people can’t even be assured a real funeral without Roman stepping in to save the day. It may be bleeding heart liberal cinema – it’s still a great movie.

cepticism is always healthy when a ‘based on true events’ title card introduces a horror film, a genre in which the relationship to the truth is usually strained. At its most honest, horror stretches the truth, and at its least it fabricates events entirely, but this doesn’t matter when everything works. Unfortunately, this cannot be said for Winchester. The real Sarah Winchester was the heiress to the wealth of the arms-dealing family she married into, who, following personal tragedy, led to believe that the ghosts of those killed by Winchester rifles haunted her California mansion. To dispel the ghosts, she used the (arguably) ill-gotten Winchester fortune to build endless extensions on her mansion, filling it with rooms designed to confuse and entrap her demons. How the makers of Winchester managed to squander the atmospheric possibilities of this source material is astonishing; what is left is a formulaic jump-scare festival that side-lines any interpretation of Sarah’s complex emotional damage in favour of being jolty. Jump scares can be effective (The Descent, The Conjuring), but when they become the sole method of horror it smacks of laziness on behalf of the filmmakers. These scares, designed to illicit an immediate reaction, ruin any semblance of creepiness the film created. Having a CG ghost abruptly pop up every five minutes to go ‘BOO!’ becomes exhausting quickly; I found myself yawning between jolts, which, given the short runtime, is a depressing achievement in itself. While the possibilities of adapting the fascinating ‘real life’ story are wide, Winchester’s cardinal sin is wasting something that could have been interesting, but instead stuffed every conceivable orifice with jump-scares in lieu of nuance, atmosphere and the creepy Gothic sensibility it deserves. Winchester stands as an excellent example of how not to make a ghost story, and is instead glacially paced and arbitrarily jumpy.

Sebastian Ward

Steven Ross

Finbar Oliver

f you’ve never heard of Richard Linklater’s ‘Before’ trilogy… ahem, before this article, let me give you my often-used anecdotal soundbite. They are the Lord of the Rings of the Romantic Comedy genre. The immortal praise I bestow upon this triumvirate of moving picture majesty will only be understood only if you embark on the great journey, young Frodo. However, I’m about to put my cards down on the table. The sequel and Malcolm in the middle of the franchise is my favourite, and I’m here to explain why. Before Sunrise set the scene, you see. Two people who don’t know each other decide to spontaneously get off of a train at a random stop and explore a city, inevitably incurring the most idyllic, romantic and stimulating evening of their lives. The first movie is the highlight reel, and it’s a gorgeous exploration of human intimacy, but this is also a core reason why the middle child supersedes its ancestor. You see, Before Sunset actually unpicks the honesty of love. Whilst Before Sunrise indulges in romance and ends up a masterful unconventional rom-com, it only smatters the viewer with tension and fear that the star-crossed lover’s connection might not be as concrete as the perfect night portrayed. In the sequel Linklater shows an appreciation for the truth and throws a number of spanners into the works, in turn wrenching his vice grip on your heartstrings even tighter. You see, love is not that simple, and we all know this. There are tribulations we all face in pursuit of the core thing necessary to our happiness. Distance, monogamy, ambition. The dynamism of the human brain presents issues, and coincidence and karma can be nefarious gargoyles that conjure missed connections or perfect strangers. In Before Sunset we learn that the fabled and promised meetup never occurred, and our two protagonists passed like ships in the night, becoming embalmed in their jobs and inevitably, new love and family. Jesse is a successful novelist, married with a son, his magnum opus focusing on their fateful night. Celine is less tied down but still committed, a flittering activist with a long-term photojournalist boyfriend. A chance encounter lets the pair reconcile and air the disparity bubbling under the structure of their new lives, a necessary vent that lets them dwell on their rose-tinted past.

The sentiment of this concept is so gorgeous, so perfectly realized and shot against the backdrop of Paris, its many architecturally stunning rue’s and rivers providing the environment as the sun goes down on their lives as naïve lovers. 9 years and its many connections and loves lost and found can dramatically change a person, and the idea of a fateful encounter with another all those years down the line is unequivocally relatable in the hearts of all of us. Before Sunset is a melancholy masterpiece, a treatment of love so honest and palpable your heart will race in tune with its characters. Tissues at the ready. Jordon Oloman

the courier Monday 12 February 2018 Arts Editors Scarlett Rowland and Carys Thomas


Is awarding rewarding? A

What’s On: It’s No Job For A Nice Jewish Girl @ Alphabetti Theatre, 13 Feb, 7:30pm

ists. However, naturally, paired with this patriotic concept is the danger of exclusivity and simultaneously overlooking foreign contributions to the arts, which are, it goes without saying, invaluable to the development of creativity wherever you are. Most recently, award ceremonies have been a great way to bring public attention some very important political and social issues- take the allblack-clad A-Listers at the Golden Globes promoting the “Time’s Up” campaign. Awards ceremonies in the arts are often in the social headlines and making the wider community aware of current affairs. The winner of 2017’s Turner Prize, Lubaina Hamid’s artwork promotes awareness of the legacy of slavery and colonialism, and the ongoing effects it is still having on today’s political climate, and she made history by becoming the first black woman to win this prestigious award. However, for an award that’s been running annually for 33 years, the fact that she was the first black woman is remarkable, and questions whether the very racism she brings to light in her artwork actually manifests within the arts industry itself. On top of this is the fact that the only reason she was able to win this award is because the restriction of eligibility for the award of being under 50 was only lifted in 2016, allowing the 63 year old to succeed.

Awards ceremonies have been a great way to bring public attention some very important political and social issues Some would argue that awards such as these feed the ego of an industry already brimming with people who certainly have no shortage of people

Life Drawing @ Cobalt, 15 Feb

Chilled life drawing in a relaxed environment. No judgement; no pressure, no teacher - just nice music and drawings

Bomberg @ Laing Art Gallery 17 Feb - 28 May David Bomberg (1890 – 1957) is nowadays recognized as one of the 20th century’s leading British artists.

@TheCourierArts @thecourierarts



n a time when our socio-political climate so strongly resembles Theresa May’s saggy arse cheek, it’s important for people to take their anger and dejection and channel it into something productive. Something like politically rebellious art, maybe?

It is important that artists politically comment on sexual harassment and use art to show injustice within society The Guerrilla Girls are a group of anonymous feminist artists from New York City, whose work fights to tackle racism and sexism in the art world. The group maintain their anonymity by donning gorilla masks and going under the pseudonyms of dead women artists. In a time of Weinstein, Trump and Woody Fucking Allen, where sexual harassment is rife but also being subjected to mass-exposure, it is important that art and artists politically comment on such issues and use their art to highlight injustices within society. To top it all off, their work is exceptional. Crossmedia collage with confrontational, thought provoking statements proudly plastered on. The Guerrilla Girls, Women’s March and arts groups like Girl Gang are all fantastic examples of how we can use our voices and creativity to fight back against or supposed leader’s soggy arse cheeks – maybe even against a few of her policies, too.

Image: Flickr

Amy Baird reviews an in depth exhibition on Cumbrian trees


he Great North Museum is holding another temporary exhibition, The Long View, and if you haven’t already done so - it deserves

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Exploring cultural and generational shifts, religion and sexuality, this bold new show asks what happens when we realise mums don’t always know best.


The Long View @ Great North Museum

Award-winning solo stand-up comedy show from the writer of “An Insomniac’s Guide To Ambulances” exploring the drive to fit in, with a bit about being a pop star.

So Many Reasons @ Alphabetti Theatre, 14 Feb 7:30pm 15-16 Feb 9:30pm

telling them how great they are. You only need to watch Alex Turner’s mic-drop at the BRITs to realise that. Indeed, the existence of these awards has been brought into questions by those within the industr yMu m ford & Sons after having won Best British Group at the BRITS said that it ‘didn’t really mean anything’, and that ‘making music a competition is silly’, but that they were grateful. And it’s true- once you’ve got your name on one of these shortlists, you’re pretty much sorted for your career. Which is another excellent function of these awards- they put otherwise unknown and overlooked artists into the limelight. Deservedly so? Here is where the real difficulty lies- who are we, or in fact any other art critic around the world, no matter how qualified, to judge such a subjective field?

arts culture


Ally Wilson discusses the worth of awards & prizes within something as subjective as the arts

wards in the arts- some of them have been around for hundreds of years. And why shouldn’t they? They’re essentially a celebration of books, pictures, films, albums, plays, that have been sometimes, years and millions of pounds in the making, and are certainly worthy of recognition. they can be a lifetime’s worth of work, and therefore its only fair that some people earn a life-changing achievement. In a similar way, these awards have the potential to highlight areas of industries which you otherwise might not even consider- when you sit down to watch a film, do you think initially think about the screenplay writer or the costume designer?. Awards such as the City of Culture are great ways to get the government (who seem otherwise particularly reluctant to do so) to invest in the arts industries within cities struggling to engage their citizens, and these kinds of awards are particularly effective as they leave long-lasting marks on the cities in question. For example, 2017’s winner, Hull, have now got permanent arts companies and hubs across the city as part of the award’s legacy, and we hope to expect the same from Coventry in 2018. This culImage: Wikimedia Commons tural identity can also be felt on a national level, as is demonstrated by organisations like BAFTA and the BRITs, which concentrate on British productions, promoting local creativity, and supporting our very own home-grown art-


a visit. The exhibition is put together and presented, on a very personal level, by Rob and Harriet Fraser who have spent two years visiting, photographing, sketching and being inspired by seven ‘remarkably ordinary’ Cumbrian trees. In turn, the exhibition, introduces each tree encapsulating its setting and location alongside the Frasers’ impressive photography, sketches, personal musings and poetry. Aptly suited to the exhibition space, the seven trees span the entire wall length of the Great North Museum, providing the visitor with a visually attractive, colourful and no short of impressive ‘Long View’ of the exhibi-

tion. Another personal touch is that each tree’s section of the exhibition is identified by a plaque made of the same wood type. The plaque includes the tree’s identifying name, co-ordinates and altitude. After being introduced to the visitor, the trees are collectively considered in a sculptured piece of artwork. The sculpture consists of seven sections, ordered according to the way the Frasers walked between the seven trees; each section relates specifically to one tree. Additionally, each section is made from the same wood type as the tree it relates to, meanwhile, the sections width corresponds to the walking distance to that tree, and the height reflects the highest point of the walk. ‘The Long View’ focuses on the importance of walking and pausing during our hectic schedules; acknowledging the environment’s role in allowing us to do this and to feel peaceful.

Image: Flickr

The exhibition also depicts how the Frasers temporarily transformed each of the seven trees in relation to a colour of the rainbow and the Indian philosophy of the Chakra system. The idea is to invite the visitor to think about something familiar in a new way.

The exhibit focuses on the importance of pausing during our hectic schedules Additionally, the Frasers also examine seven trees situated in Newcastle’s city centre - at least one will be familiar, the willow tree in the Armstrong quad of the university campus. This transforms the exhibition; as the visitor recognises the trees it allows for a more personal reflection on the constant nature of the trees we pass during our day-to-day lives, as the Frasers write ‘leaves whisper while the city shouts’. ‘The Long View’ exhibition at the Great North Museum: Hancock is on until 4th March and can be found near the special exhibitions hall.

PHOTOBOX Galentines



here should be more celebration of friendship. With all the songs about love I have yet to find my friendship anthem. Romantic love is wonderful but most relationships come and go. It’s the friendships that last. This photograph is my small anthem to friendship, and to one friend in particular. We met at the beginning of the year but she has so integrated herself into my daily life that I have started to talk like her, and one of my friends from home thought we were dating. I took this picture of my galentine during one of our many impromptu photoshoots, where she always makes me look far better than in real life. Thanks to my gal for being the backbone of my Instagram, the willing recipient of daily meme tagging, the cheerleader for all my pursuits and the listener to all my woes. I’m grateful to have a friend like you.


culture gaming Gaming Editors Gerry Hart, Georgina Howlett & Richard Liddle

Top 5 most romantic video game locations

Monster: Hunter World game review

Jacob Stimson dives head first into Capcom’s next-generation dinosaur murdering simulator

As well as this there is the gathering hall, where you can interact with other players through chat, stickers, or even arm wrestling (something which I am still yet to master). You can even make a private lobby for you and your friends too!

Image: Public Domain Pictures

The series has always looked threatening for new players to enter, but World is the most accessible game yet

5. Rapture - Bioshock Somewhere… beyond the sea. The Objectivist microcosm of Rapture seen in the Bioshock games is mostly filled with terrifying, druggedup masquerade murderers and sociopaths alike, but by golly if it isn’t steeped in a certain je ne sais quoi. Watching out the ocean doors at the decaying beauty of a utopia that could’ve been for a few moments is enough to make the heart soar. The human spirit, eh? Makes me wanna just set up a table in the chaos, glass bottle and a rosé. Now pour the wine, would you kindly?

4. Ash Lake - Dark Souls If we ignore the later From Software games and just focus on the masterpiece that started it all, you can find many locations that, once civilized, could be absolutely gorgeous for a wine and dine. Ash Lake’s agoraphobia-inducing seabed, with the great hollow spires rising to the sky, is like something from an impressionist painting. There’s fresh clams (with legs) an immortal dragon butler (everlasting) and dragon scale slabs to replace nouveau-gastro hipster plating. Oh, the Hydra, darling? Don’t mind him, he’s no bother.

3. Altissia - Final Fantasy XV With its gorgeous, layered architecture and unfortunate penchant for sea serpents (a theme?), Final Fantasy XV’s Altissia is the perfect place for a romantic gondola ride with 3 of your best friends. After a long day fighting eldritch beasts in the coliseum, relax for a dinner meal with your other half. Hey man, get a caricature drawn. Order some phoenix down cocktails. Just for the love of god, make sure the composer doesn’t play Somnus, or this fettucine is gonna get way saltier than it needs to be.

2. Meriloft - Broken Age Floating cloud city? Check. No Darth Vader? Check. Now you can truly relax. Slip on some cloud shoes and bask in the tangerine glow of the sky as you and your partner settle in, looking down on the heathens from your sky restaurant. Best thing about this one besides the gorgeous views and comfortably indoctrinated townsfolk are the great amount of birds. Fork drops off the table? The whoopsy-bird service gets it straight back on the plate for you, sir. Partner suspiciously falls to their doom mid conversation about the benefits of Scientology? No questions.

1. Temple – Super Smash Bros. Melee

Alright hear me out. By now, you and I should both know I had no idea where this was going when I started writing this, but this one makes sense. I’m thinking we get a nice sturdy wooden table underneath the archway. Keep throwing poke balls till we get the cute ones to be our waiters (Wooper essential). Gorons in the kitchen whipping up that Rock Sirloin. Jigglypuff is singing in between falcon punches to her ribs. Yoshi is up for the devilled eggs starter with optional mouth-to-plate delivery. Trust me folks, there is nothing more romantic than soft Kirby vore to finish up a dinner meal. What does that mouth do? Let’s find out. Jordan Oloman

Image: Flickr

the courier Monday 12 February 2018

Image: Richard Liddle


t’s been nearly six years since a Monster Hunter game was last on a home console, with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the Wii U, and clearly they’ve been missing out from what Monster Hunter World gives the player. The game revolves around a single looping mechanic. You go hunt a big monster, you use the parts you cut off from them to make bigger,better weapons and armour, so you can then go hunt an even bigger monster and repeat all over again. While this sounds repetitive, it certainly doesn’t feel it. With over 30 large monsters to hunt, each coming in different sizes and difficulty, you have plenty of different creatures to kill, or capture. And with 14 different weapon types, you have many ways to hunt. The story of the game is nothing to shout about,

but still is enough to keep you slightly curious. It revolves around some very strong monsters, known as Elder Dragons, migrating to a new land, and you need to find out why. This leads you to tracking the monsters, killing monster and so on. It spans around 40 hours if you count the time it’ll take you to hunt in between story based quests, so you should have a while before all you’re doing is hunting what you want to hunt. The real joy from the game though is the cooperative aspect. During any time in the game, you can go online and join in hunts with anyone, anywhere in the world. This can be through just setting up a lobby and having people join, or answering special requests called SOS Beacons, which a player can send out if they’re struggling and can call some other hunters to come help.

One of the biggest problems the Monster Hunter series has always had is accessibility. With 14 weapons types, many different armour and weapon combos to use and all the environments to explore and learn the aspects of, the series has always looked threatening for new players to enter. But World is the most accessible game in the series’ long-running history. With easy to understand tutorials you’ll be able to learn what everything in your main camp does. And the training arena gives you a nice way to learn combos with the various weapons, and even gives you examples to try out and start you off. The UI and inventory can still be daunting, especially when you have a big red dragon trying to shoot fireballs at you and you have to try scroll through a bar of items with your square and circle buttons while avoiding damage. It’s a bit hard. Overall, the game could be considered a masterpiece almost. The same gameplay that has made the series great has been enhanced with the power of a console, compared to the old 3DS, and the sheer size of the game (its maps are all absolutely huge and stunning) coupled with the replayability of every hunt makes it a must buy on PS4 or Xbox (and PC when it releases in the fall as well).

Insert caption here: Why subtitles matter Errol Kerr discusses captions in video games and highlights the important role that they play S ince the dawn of videogames, text guidance has been crucial. Prior to the development of the advanced graphics we’re used to today, early text adventures would provide you with a description of an environment or instance, and text input would be required to carry on. If there was a door, you’d need to tell the game to ‘OPEN DOOR’ to progress, for example. Archaic, yes, but simple things could be done incredibly well; type in ‘EXAMINE’ when referring to an object and it can be discussed in the meticulous kind of detail only text could provide. As graphics developed beyond this, and once we developed story-heavy games with decent graphics, subtitles became essential before voice acting. 1994’s Super Metroid, for example, used very limited amounts of voice acting in favour of text, saving more space for gameplay. However, as time has progressed, use of subtitles and captions in games is becoming less and less of a focus.

Games such as Mass Effect, The Witcher and the Elder Scrolls series almost require text I remember playing through Destiny at launch with closed captions on, and realising that whilst the main gameplay is subtitled, interactions with NPCs in the hub-world of The Tower was completely lacking. After realising this, I decided to play through a handful of games with subtitles or closed-captions enabled, and found a few intriguing things. Captions often don’t match the voice acting. Usually this doesn’t impact the story much, but language choices are obviously important in developing a character. Often this is within games translated into English, and it seems that the voice and text crews make mistakes. Series such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Resident Evil are privy to this. Another huge note is that it’s not just Destiny that ignores captions. Other AAA games do the

Image: Gerry Hart same; Grand Theft Auto’s phonecalls don’t provide captions even when you turn subtitles on for everything else. I find it easier to read and game than listen and game – I’m more focused on the screen than the audio – and this has thrown me off more than once.

I still think captions are an afterthought for most companies It’s a shame that as graphics and gameplay have advanced, keeping small things in such as text has been removed, and it seems that subtitles have taken a back seat. Mind you, there’s one huge genre that’s still doing well – partially because it has to – and that’s in the RPG genre. Games such as Mass Effect, The Witcher and the Elder Scrolls series almost require text, not only for your choice of character to speak, but as a method to communicate everything to the player. RPGs are

still ridiculously text heavy – not that that’s a bad thing, just go play The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and that’ll prove it’s wonderful, but it gets one better: within Fallout 4, especially once you install mods for text choices, you get the ability to change the colour of your screen and your subtitles, meaning that each player can personalise the experience of reading provided subtitles.

Its a shame when considering deaf or hard of hearing gamers I still think captions are an afterthought for most major companies, which is a shame considering that deaf or hard of hearing gamers as well as those who don’t necessarily focus on audio are being pushed out of what can often be insightful moments of gameplay and story. So, do us a favour, Rockstar, Bungie and the likes? Please just remember to caption… everything.

the courier Monday 12 February 2018

What I’m playing: Slay the Spire Can Jack Coles overcome the dreaded RNG in this infamous card-based dungeon crawler?


usually don’t buy early access games. Key exceptions include Prison Architect and Kerbal Space Program, but I got those when they were already really popular. Slay the Spire is in the same calibre; hugely popular when not even fully released. The best way to describe this game is FTL: Faster Than Light with card mechanics from Hearthstone and the setting from Dungeon of the Endless. You ascend this “Spire”, which has a dungeon area, a city area, and a mysterious crystalline attic area. I’m not entirely sure what the story of this game is, as its approach to exposition is told entirely through random encounters and item descriptions, which are somewhat limited at this early stage.

The best way to describe it is FTL: Faster Than Light with card mechanics from Hearthstone From what content there is, it’s clear that the developers took a look at FTL and found a few improvements they could make to the non-combat sections. In FTL you could take an option that could either benefit you greatly or doom your run, with no indication of the relative risk of each. Slay the Spire says “bollocks to that” and gives you the percentage of success involved, as well as animating the text and providing drawings that make the random events a little more engaging. The main meat of the game is battles where you use cards as single attacks. You have energy which is used to play most cards (although some don’t even cost energy or can’t even be played directly). What’s more is that some cards are locked off until you play a few runs, so that you’re not completely swarmed by novel card mechanics from the get go.

Can Twitch compete with YouTube?

Images: Wikimedia Commons


Image: And you will die in those first few runs, mostly because you don’t have these powerful cards, but that’s how roguelikes work apparently.

While the RNG has reduced impact on a run, you can still go an entire game without seeing crucial cards Care has been taken to mitigate the RNG sword of Damocles that is a major bugbear to many roguelike players. In each level the map is revealed right from the off, so you don’t need to worry about whether or not you will find a shop or source of loot. You can choose to fight elites to gain relics (permanent utility buffs), or you can choose to

avoid them entirely to preserve as much HP as possible. Whenever you gain cards, you can pick between three instead of the “you’ll only get one item and like it” approach. This gives a much greater sense of autonomy than in other roguelikes; success can be attributed to careful planning rather than Brownian motion. There are some issues, of course. While the RNG has reduced impact on a run, you can still go an entire game without seeing any of the crucial cards that are practically required for a winning strategy. Also the final bosses represent a real jump in difficulty, so you need to be overpowered to stand a chance against some of them (Donu and Deca in particular have been a major headache for me). Having said that, neither of those are dealbreaking, and as I’ve already spent an embarrassing amount of time on Slay the Spire, it has my personal recommendation.

Alex Moore discovers an old classic and finds himself lost in a beautiful, demon-infested Japan


gaming culture


Okami HD gets a fresh lick of paint he original PS2 version of Ōkami in 2006 was a critical success, even winning IGN’s Game of the Year despite relatively poor sales. The 2012 remastered PS3 edition gave the next-gen players a taste of this cult classic in beautiful HD, yet again its commercial success failed to match the heights of its critical achievements. This may help explain why (until embarking on a recent nostalgia fuelled voyage through the best games of my childhood) I’d never even heard of it. What was this mysterious, gorgeous game constantly topping the lists of the best PS2 games of all time? I didn’t have to wait long to find out, as luckily Capcom released an even further improved edition in December last year for the PS4, PC and Xbox One. Steeped in Japanese mythology, the game sees the player take control of the sun-goddess Amaterasu in the form of a giant wolf, sent to cleanse the land of Nippon (Japan) of the demons unleashed upon it. Effectively a beautiful merging



of a Studio Ghibli film (Princess Mononoke springs to mind) and an episode of Bob Ross, Ōkami’s artwork, a blend of watercolour and traditional Japanese ink drawings, makes it one of the bestlooking games available.

Effectively a beautiful merging of a Studio Ghibli film and an episode of Bob Ross The game’s originality again shows itself through the Celestial Brush, a magical paintbrush which the player can use to their advantage. As they progress on their journey, Amaterasu learns a host of new brush techniques, which enable the player to do anything from rejuvenating cherry blossoms and drawing constellations in the sky, to making


powerful attacks and bombs which the player can utilise during combat. Often, the game seems more like an art therapy class than an action-adventure battle against evil. There’s little more tranquil than sitting back as the camera pans peacefully around a meadow whilst Amaterasu feeds a family of deer, or watching the land of Nippon spring back to life as the player rids it of the demonic curse spread in the aftermath of Orochi, the game’s main antagonist. As key gameplay mechanics, these actions grant Amaterasu praise, which the player can then spend to level up their abilities.

The tranquility can be broken at any second by the host of nightmarish monsters which roam the land On the other hand, just as in a Ghibli movie, this tranquillity can be broken at any second by the appearance of the host of nightmarish monsters which roam the land. Some of the bosses are particularly grotesque, yet this balance provides the player with a perfect dynamic and sense of achievement as they bring the world back to its former glory. The only slight downside of Ōkami HD has nothing to do with the gameplay, but only that it doesn’t always feel particularly HD. The game’s style makes it what it is, and the environments are still stunning, but it feels like some of the character models could have done with a little more work. Finally, if you get Ōkami, please don’t be put off by Issun, the irritating and slightly-too-creepyfor-a-12-rating (who obviously first appears from between a tree-sprite’s cleavage) inch-high artist who guides Amaterasu on her journey. You’ll get used to him eventually…

ocial media platforms are much like Tinder relationships (swipe left if the analogy is incomprehensible). There’s loads of pretty looking stuff and the closer we look the lower our self respect plummets, yet we always hold hope for a marriage made in heaven. If we’re lucky enough to find one we actually like, we engage with it a while before it kind of peters out into nothingness. Most often social media platforms are for talent exhibition and communication, which is then soured by a lack of quality and abuse. The question of why we use them at all is answerable through the response; ‘it’s just what you do isn’t it?’ - a sort of 21st Century first world problem (similar to owning an iPhone or eating Nutella - you know it’s wrong but life’s complicated enough). We use them until it’s time to give them up before starting the cycle anew. It may seem like cynicism but before we can analyse the significance of Twitch’s move to compete with the titanic platform of YouTube we need to have a frank look at what the content on social platforms really looks like, and the truth is it’s mostly time killing junk.

Most often social media platforms are for talent exhibition, which is then soured by a lack of quality and abuse In a mid-2017 conference call Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced that the goal was to get the same volume of viewing per day as YouTube. Netflix subscribers go through one billion hours of content a week - YouTubers go through that each day. Twitch, a Tube-similar live streaming platform and Amazon subsidiary, currently have fifteen million users watching one hundred minutes daily - way short of YouTube numbers. What it does have though is a niche corner of the market in live video game streaming. As a January report by Tech Crunch revealed, in spite of a boom in popularity on the game streaming feature YouTube Live, Twitch currently dwarfs its competitor with more than three times the monthly active users showing that, quote, “the money and the crowd are still at Twitch”. So with the news that Twitch are increasing original and on demand video content, can they transfer their monopoly on gaming over to video content also?

What Twitch does have is a nice corner of the market in live video game streaming The truth is YouTube’s status as an online institution is closer to that of Google or FaceBook. The staggering number of users per day would require seismic investment to pose real competition - and this isn’t a new problem for Twitch, as they’ve been touted as a YouTube alternative for years. Niche content will retain their standing, but aggressive expansion will require huge investment. In the flaky world of social media and streaming platforms, sustaining the integrity of their product and combating abuse will prove more valuable in the long run than Twitch. Becoming the institution of video game streaming keeps Twitch alive which is far more desirable than becoming the next MySpace. Callum Costello


science & technology

Are you Tech-ing the piss? Elon Musk’s Flamethrowers


f you were to analyse some of Elon Musk’s personal traits, comparing them with fellow billionaires, you may be quick to notice some similarities. From the technical innovativeness of Peter Thiel (Paypal), to the brash confidence of Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), the Tesla and Boring Company founder has acquired a somewhat cult following over recent years. One could account this to his zany personality, his plans to have humans living on Mars by 2024 is just one of his wide-eyed plans. Thus, it should be of no surprise that his recent ventures include selling $50,000 worth of black Boring Company caps, and launching his own Tesla roadster into space on his 230 foot high rocket aptly titled “The Falcon Heavy”. His most recent endeavour? Selling flamethrowers for $500. Yes, flamethrowers. The Boring company take a step away from its original function to provide underground tunnels to reduce congestion, and instead liken their marketplace to that of an equally quirky streetwear brand like Supreme. With regard to flamethrowers themselves, they are more of an oversized blowtorch, and are almost equal parts roof torch and air rifle. Therefore, it is perhaps fitting that the intervention of several customs agencies, forbidding the shipment of anything titled a ‘flamethrower’, have provoked Musk to change their name. Their new name? A myriad of increasingly snidey titles ranging from ‘Not a flamethrower’, to ‘Temperature Enhancement Device’, as Musk eloquently tweeted last Thursday in response.

Musk is essentially creating a stylised weapon Jokes aside, Musk is essentially creating a stylised weapon. The idea that anyone could distribute a device allowing for the projection of flames, albeit within a ten feet range, to customers is concerning. When the majority of these customers live in trigger-happy America, masked in its lenient gun laws, further concerns are raised. Some bookies at BetDSI have even placed predictions of mid-April as to when authorities will start receiving reports of misuse. In its small fire range, a measly tenth the distance of military-grade flamethrowers, the gun conveniently abides with California Law regarding the distribution of flame throwing devices. Once more, the device seemingly evades categorisation as a weapon, and appears more worryingly as a utility item. Yet, to place the creation in the field of utility would be somewhat undermining Musk’s real purpose of creating the flamethrower. For distraction. A distraction, that is, from the shortcomings of his main project, Tesla. In the whole of the fourth quarter of 2017, Tesla manufactured 2,425 cars, a minute statistic when compared to their goal of 5,000 cars produced per week. Furthermore, much like Musk’s propane-fuelled torch, Tesla is burning through an estimated billion dollars per quarter to maintain its construction of the ever-troublesome ‘Tesla Model 3’, to which has been plagued by numerous problems including the efficiency of its Gigafactory battery production. With all this taken into account, Musk’s side-project appears more as a clever PR stunt, a neat diversion from Tesla’s less than promising 2018 forecast. In this week, the Boring company have sold its 20,000 units of the flamethrower, raising an estimated $10 million for Musk to seemingly invest in his “personal hobby” of underground tunnel digging. However, with alarm bells ringing in the Tesla headquarters, the question begs as to whether some of the revenue could be allocated elsewhere. This being said, is Musk’s recent stunt enough to extinguish the trouble ahead?

Jack Gill

the courier Science Editors Jack Coles, Christopher Little & Ciara Ritson-Courtney

Monday 12 February 2018

Be my Valentine, mate

Humans are not the only animals to practice monogamy, explains Rowena Tylden-Pattenson


here’s always a section in Valentine’s Day cards that is dedicated to cute animals; picture two swans with their necks wrapped in a heart and you’ll know exactly what I mean. Swans are almost the epitome of monogamy in animals; an elegant bird that mates for life, the males one of the few species to help incubate eggs. In more recent years, science has discovered this monogamy is not just heterosexual in swans either; studies have shown that 20% of all swans are in a homosexual relationship. The only reason these paired males may mate with a female is to later steal her eggs to raise with their male mate after driving her away from the clutch. Male swan pairs have also been known to adopt abandoned clutches – very romantic, really (well not the stealing eggs bit). But monogamy in animals is not just distinct to swans; there are plenty of other animals that also present this trait. Around 90% of birds are socially monogamous, including barn owls, bald eagles and macaroni penguins. What could be more romantic than the mating displays of these birds; barn owls are brought gifts of dead mice by males to be rewarded with the sexual croaking of females, while macaroni penguins cackle and swing their heads from side to side in something called an ‘ecstatic display’. I’d definitely be happy with a dead mouse as a valentine’s day present (it’s probably more than what I’m getting currently!). But then again, I’m also an ecologist.

Many animals are no strangers to homosexual monogamy either A bird completely against the thought of monogamy is the humble dunnock. A small, drab British garden bird, dunnocks are easily overlooked. Perhaps that’s why they so happily partake in polygymy or polyandry, with male birds gathering flocks of females to mate with – or females sharing multiple males, depending on food resources available. They can also mate in a 10th of a second! But that doesn’t mean a female is committed to a particular male; females can ‘eject’ sperm from their cloaca;

rival males actively encourage this by pecking at the female. Apparently these dull birds are quite the sexual deviants. Many animals are no strangers to homosexual monogamy either, with around 1,500 species exhibiting this characteristic. Ninety per cent of sexual activity undertaken by giraffes is homosexual, including foreplay of up to an hour called ‘necking’, where animals rub their long necks against one another (and no, that’s not a euphemism). Female Layson’s Albatross, far-flying seabirds, have chicks fathered by males in another committed relationship, to then be raised by two females in a relationship. And many bottlenose dolphins are bisexual. Who knew?


they hit two, staying with their partners for life and producing a litter of pups every year. Equally sweet, beavers co-parent kits (that’s what baby beavers are called). In a beaver social unit, other adult beavers also take care of young beavers, in one big happy beaver family. But although there are all these weird and wonderful animals that are monogamous, only 3% of mammals are monogamous. I think that’s still enough to mix up the monogamy of greeting cards and their relationship with swans. Or maybe it’s just me that wants a card this year with a flatworm on it?

Only around 3% of mammals are known to form lifelong, monogamous bonds with their mate

Not all monogamous animals are quite as charismatic however. Under the sea, French angelfish make aggressive pairs, defending their territories. Potbellied seahorses have reversed roles in the breeding process, with males carrying the young through to birth. Females compete for their attention, with males selecting their mates. Some mateswitching occurs in other species of seahorse, but generally they seem to stay together for some period of time. But seahorses are still fairly attractive creatures to have on a greetings card. Well, let me present to you the Schistosoma mansoni flatworm. These parasitic flatworms use freshwater snails and humans as hosts. The flatworm penetrates through a human’s skin, normally at a hair follicle, with larvae moving into the lungs to feed on the blood there. Once fully matured, adults move towards the heart, forming pair bonds there and producing up to three hundred eggs a day. If that’s not romance, I don’t know what is. Too grossed out? Another fluffy one for you, then. Grey wolves normally find their life partner by the time

Fuellingadesireforchange Europe has reached a milestone in its use of renewable energies, explains Thomas Atkinson


s you may have heard, Europe’s renewable energy production has outstripped its coal-powered energy production for the first time. What does this actually mean? Well, according to a report compiled by two energy thinktanks – Agora Energiewende and Sandbag – wind, solar and biomass generation provided 679 terawatt hours to the European energy grid, whereas coal generation provided 669 terawatt hours. As you can see, the difference is hardly night and day but it is a significant milestone. Coal has traditionally been the stalwart of energy production in Europe, and indeed in the world. As anyone vaguely au-fait with the history of the North East will know, Newcastle and its surrounding areas were one of the biggest suppliers of mined coal to the UK from the 14th century until the 1960s. This is excellent news for the progress the continent is making with the rise of renewables. It should be noted, though, that the gross amount of CO2 pollution is predicted to have been lifted by 1% from last year. This is likely a blip caused by the phasing out of nuclear capacity coupled with an abnormally frosty winter in certain parts of the continent meaning demand was high. In the UK, however, demand has actually dropped by a significant 9%, despite continued economic growth. No-one is certain why this is happening, perhaps the years of energy saving campaigns are finally paying off. Demand has risen elsewhere in Europe, most notably Poland’s rise of 9%, leading to a rise in consumption of 0.7% across the continent. So, the cut and thrust of it is that we are seeing small, though significant, movements towards be-

coming coal-independent. But is this the whole story? Well, possibly not. The ‘renewables’ category the think tanks are using – ostensibly sensibly – includes biomass fuels. These include renewable incinerated waste like paper and biomatter. These are carbon neutral, as the new crops take in as much CO2 as the old ones released, however they have the effect of moving pollution to where the incinerators are – much to local angst. Also, despite a reduction in the usage of gas, it remains our go-to fossil power source; it makes up 19.7% of the power generation across the continent. We still rely heavily on ‘clean’ non-renewables like nuclear, which makes up 25.6% of generation. Part of the issue is the instability of renewable sources. We need something reliable we can switch on if demand outstrips supply. Gas looks set to continue to be our go-to backup fuel.

We still rely heavily on ‘clean’ non-renewables like nuclear power Gas generation is also problematic. Shale gas fracking is currently used to secure our gas supply, but it is not without its controversies. It should also be noted that the manufacture of renewable generation equipment is environmentally costly, so time is needed to allow benefits to be realised. This progress, though, is not evenly spread. Western and Northern Europe are moving towards total elimination of coal power in the next 4-7 years.

Eastern European nations are steadfastly sticking to coal, though. This could spell issues with realising reductions in emissions into the coming centuries. In something of a break of the pattern in Western Europe, Spain have issued a Royal Decree preventing existing coal generation facilities from closing in order that Spain can use indigenous coal, despite Iberdrola (one of the largest power companies in Spain) wanting to close its coal generators down.


Western & Northern Europe are moving towards total elimination of coal power in the next 4-7 years

If continued efforts are made to move to renewable sources, and work continues in developing methods of storing surplus generated energy from renewable source s , t here stands to be real benefits in terms of greenhouse emissions from these new forms of generating power.

the courier


Monday 12 February 2018

science & technology

Cloning is monkey business

Yi Min Ng duplicates their cloning knowledge and explains the next pair to follow Dolly the Sheep


ince the early 19th century, scientists have been interested in the idea of cloning – the process of producing genetically identical copies (a.k.a. clones) of a cell or an organism. Cloning is normally achieved via the technique known as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), which involves the process of moving the nucleus (the cellular compartment that holds the genetic materials of the cell) from a donor’s somatic cell (any cell in the body other than sperm and egg) into an enucleated egg cell (an egg cell which has had its cell nucleus removed). The year is 1970. An English scientist has pioneered research in nuclear transplantation and cloning by successfully creating a Xenopus laevis frog (even though the embryo reached only the tadpole stage). F a s t f o r -

ward to the year 1996. Dolly the sheep is born in Scotland. It is not the first cloned animal, but it is by far the most well-known. Dolly was cloned using SCNT and lived for around 6.5 years before she was put to sleep due to progressive lung disease and severe arthritis. Ever since Dolly, many other animals have successfully been cloned for various purposes.

Two baby macaque monkey clones are born in China being the first primate species to be successfully cloned Fast forward again to the end of the year of 2017, and two baby macaque monkey clones are born in China using the same (but refined) technique. Being the first primate species to be successfully cloned, the announcement of this successful cloning event has drawn interest from across the globe. The twin macaque monkey clones were named Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, which are derived from the Chinese words ‘zhonghua’ that carry the meaning of Chinese nation or people. The scientists who have created the clones are extremely excited with their success as they are hoping to apply the technique into creating genetically primates for biological or medical research purposes. But before we dwell on the discussion of ethics, let us take a look at how the twin macaque monkey are created using SCNT technique. After all, I am no expert in ethics. Similar to Dolly the sheep, in order to create Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, the technique required nucleus from a donor macaque monkeys somatic cell, a monkey egg cell that has had its nucleus removed and of course, a surrogate monkey mother to carry the embryo. The scientists have chosen to use nucleus taken from foetal monkey cells

as they have noticed that using nucleus taken from adult monkey cells can only produced offspring that survived for a couple of hours after birth.


The year Dolly the sheep was born in Scotland

Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua will be monitored continuously for their development, both physically and intellectually, by the scientists who have created them. It has been reported that the twin macaque monkeys are bottle-fed and are growing normally when compared to other monkeys of their age. The scientists also planned to further improve their technique and are expecting the creation of more macaque monkey clones in near future. While the successful cloning of macaque monkeys is a huge breakthrough for biomedicine, various concerns have also been raised. Some scientists are supportive of the idea as primates are close relative of humans and will make great animal models for biological, biomedical and even pharmaceutical researches. However, others are worried about the possibility of such technology being abused by people of ill-will into cloning human.

The technique required nucleus from a donor macaque monkeys somatic cell, a monkey egg cell that has had its nucleus removed and a surrogate monkey While it is highly possible that the technique can be refined into human cloning, maybe we should be hopeful that this refined technique can help us to better understand certain human diseases. And maybe, we will be able to improve and/or create more therapies for nasty diseases. After all, any good invention can turn sour if fell into the hands of a wrong person.

Lobsters have feelings too Word The boiling of crustaceans alive boils Scarlett Rowland’s blood of the Week: I Cephalopod T magine one day you are swimming around in the warm ocean oblivious to the next of the world, then you are stolen from your home, put into a tiny tank, and suddenly you are being dunked alive into a pan of boiling water. This is the reality that many crabs and lobsters have faced since someone decided they are incredibly delicious and miraculously do not feel pain. Recently however, research has become popular which shows that these creatures are in fact sentient and can feel pain. This led Switzerland at the beginning of this year to implement a new law requiring them to be stunned before being boiled. But why were we still boiling them alive anyway?

This was believed to be the most humane way of killing Initially this was believed to be the most humane way of killing since they were thought not to have a true brain. Furthermore, the harmful bacteria they have on their bodies can multiply quickly after death, so keeping them alive until cooking by boiling was deemed the safest way for humans to consume these crustaceans. However, when

research has shown that they release the same hormone as humans do when they feel pain, and when such evidence was shown over 10 years ago, maybe we should have stopped boiling them alive a long time ago. It’s highly disappointing that high end restaurants who would be able to afford stunning machinery continued to kill these creatures in such an inhuman manner.

Lobsters release the same hormone humans do when they feel pain While in my personal opinion it’s not okay to cause any harm or to eat any living thing – if you’re going to do it you should do it in the kindest way possible, so it is my hope that the rest the world takes Switzerland’s lead.


here comes a time in every young adult’s life where their legal guardians sit them down and ask some tough questions. What do you plan to do with your life? Why is a small balloon blocking the toilet? What is a Cephalopod? Well, my scientific friends, today you will be prepared to answer one of those three burning questions. Cephalopods are our mollusc friends who came to power during the Ordovician period, which was a long time (485.4 million years) ago. There are many fun types of Cephalopod. The octopus that predicted the world cup was one. Cthulu, throdog r’luhhor ah ehyeahog. Seeing as out of the two examples I have given both creatures are revered as gods, you’d be right in thinking that they are smart.

They have amazing dexterity, can use tools, and kill prey with surprising and often scary efficiency. Don’t let these guys near books, ok? Jordan Oloman


Could elephants stretch to the Moon?


hen The Courier has to ask its big questions they send for its most seasoned contributor (well the oldest) and I never let my lack of mathematical or scientific knowledge (specialist and general) stand in the way of investigating a bloody good story. So when they asked me to bust the myth of whether all the elephants on the planet stretched limb to limb could reach the moon I said “give me the ball coach, put me in the game!” These are the articles you dream of.

Elon Tusk told me that if such a job were needed they would be more than up for the challenge First I ventured to wild western Uganda and parlayed with one of the 450,000-700,000 African Elephants. We spoke, we smoked and we discussed the minutia of such an endeavour. Sure the African Elephant isn’t as limber as some of its Eastern brothers, but it’s as long as it is true, and the leader of the pack Elon Tusk told me that if such a job were needed they would be more than up for the challenge. Some simple rudimentary sums on the iPhone calculator told me that the collective length of our floppy eared African friends would reach 3,900km (measured at six metres long for a population of 650,000 because I’m an optimist #banivorytrade). Incidentally, this is just short of the length of the Tour de France, which Lance Armstrong told me felt like cycling to the moon, but he’s a liar and a cheat so I decided to discount his opinion.


The moon is an average of 384,400 kilometres away from the Earth

I took a cheap Ryanair flight from Entebbe to Wenzhou Longwan, and on the way I had a couple of complimentary whiskeys, the chicken option and I also bought a delightful

bracelet for the wife from duty free. I checked into the Ritz where my old friend Earl Grey was waiting for me downstairs at the bar. He’s a little older, little more bush in the tail, but his ears are mighty and his eyes kind. He told me that there are only 35,000-40,000 Asian Elephants left in the world today (nice one China #sponsoranelephant), but that those elephants, whilst pushing 6.5metres in length, can actually stretch to a cool 6.6metres. This is on account of their well-documented and historical engagement with the art of yoga (real yoga, where they balance on rocks; none of that new age capitalist rubbish). So when I did the sums on my abacus I came up with a length of 247.5km (37,500 elephants at 6.6metres in length) – which I believe is the same length as the Stagecoach Number 1 bus route in Newcastle, am I right commuters?

That’s what my questionable, unreliable and often offensive maths tells me Unfortunately that combined *length* of 4,147.5km is slightly short of the 384,400km required to make it from the Earth to the Moon, or at least that’s what my questionable, unreliable and often offensive maths tells me. Plus most of the elephants would die (#sad). Anyway, nice try liars - say it’s in Giraffes next time. It’s been good to get out the house, and thanks to The Courier for compensating my travel expenses with your tuition fees. Cheers folks! Callum Costello



the courier

Monday 12 February 2018

Puzzles Dictator Joey Barton Puzzles Editor Alex Hendley Puzzles Prize Consultant Courtney Strait Puzzles Copy Editor James Sproston





Last Week’s Solutions...


Issue 1362 quiz solutions:

Name that stadium: Allianz Riviera (OGC Nice)


1 End in hands (4) 3 Bruno Mars is dripping in it (7) 6 Super Bowl LII’s half time show (10) 9 UK’s fifth longest river (3) 13 Can’t resist a singalong (7) 14 Pay it or you’ll get kicked out (4) 16 Home of the Wanderers and Peter Kay (6) 18 Historical name for Cumbria, makes great sausages (10) 22 Medieval string instrument (4) 23 Division of the United Kingdom (6)



Hidden Stu Brew beer: Wheat Wanderer (Dawnstar, Whet, Feeble, Anton, Beatles, Twice, Aragog, Pantheon, World, Creed, Georgian, Barney, Muirhead)



Word pyramid: Sie, Ives, Sieve, Stevie, Festive 10



Festive films: Home Alone, It’s A Wonderful Life, Elf, Love Actually, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Gremlins, The Polar Express, Nativity


John Hurt has never played Santa


1 No place in particular (8) 2 A colloquial friend (4) 4 A big fat football blank (3) 5 Japanese rice wine (4) 7 Will help you stop (5) 8 A lion’s cry (4) 10 A very small circle (3) 11 Fastest bloke on the block (4) 12 _____ Dalglish, Liverpool legend (5) 15 Opposite of saved (5) 16 A proposition of law (4) 17 Not the biggest (5) 18 What we did before texting (4) 19 Tom ____, Animal Crossing star (4) 20 Common Welsh name (4) 21 Yoko ___, Japenese artist and widow of John Lennon (3)


2 3

9 7


































































































For Issue 1363 solutions, wait for Issue 1364 or contact your local Hendley

1 1 1 5



8 6


7 5 4


9 5

9 4 7

2 7 6

Difficulty: MODERATE




Can you use the clues given to discover the name of a sport to be contested in this year’s Stan Calvert Cup? 4 1





8 5

Puzzles Grand Prize It’s about time that the Puzzles Dictator, Joey Barton, used some of his Talksport payslip to give you, the fans, something back. You’ve given your all over the years, filling out Sudokus and working out cryptic picture rounds, and Mr Barton recognises that wholeheartedly. Bring in your completed puzzles page this week and collect your prize: whatever Joey has put in this box. Don’t miss out.

Clues... 1 Asian kitchens aren’t complete without one 2 A river has an unstoppable one 3 Kids and adults love them so 4 Workforce

5 Roughly 6 Defeat heavily 7 Somebody Told Me artist 8 Muscle, young cow


the courier


Monday 12 February 2018

Our VARious Touchdown masterclass points of view Our writers tackle the arguments for and against use of video assistant refereeing tech in football


Rebecca Johnson

The Video Assistant Refereeing (VAR) system was first used in the United Kingdom for the international friendly between England and Germany in November. Since then, after being used in the English FA Cup and Carabao Cup, VAR is already a hot topic of debate amongst English football fans. In Leicester's game against Fleetwood in January, Kelechi Iheanacho was awarded a goal using VAR, which had previously been ruled offside. However just twenty-four hours later, VAR was misused to wrongly issue Chelsea player, Willian, a yellow card for diving against Norwich. Already VAR is causing controversy not just in the UK, but abroad with players such as Gianlugi Buffon and Sami Khedira speaking against the use of VAR. In England, pundits such as Alan Shearer have described the system as "shambolic". Bearing in mind the system has only been used a handful of times since November, it feels as though people are quick to criticise the system. VAR needs time to mature in football, as it is still a relatively new concept in

international football, not just to the UK, it takes time for officials, players and coaching staff to adjust and learn how the new system works. Just because there have been a couple of mishaps operating the new system does not mean that VAR should not be used any further.

The pace of the game being broken is a small sacrifice for a potentially game changing incident to be reviewed Furthermore, although argued to slow the game down, review systems have shown a success in other sports such as cricket and rugby, so it is only right for football to follow fashion and employ a similar review system. The pace of the game being temporarily broken is a small sacrifice for a potentially game changing incident to be reviewed. VAR should continued to be trialled in the UK to amend any potential flaws the system currently has, it is far too early to dismiss the system entirely.

American sports take centre

VAR's introduction could make things easier for referees Image: Wikimedia Commons


Callum O'Callaghan

I am not completely against VAR but if it continues to move forward as it is now, it will be extremely detrimental to the sport. Firstly, it disrupts the flow of the game. A prime example was the 4th round FA cup game between Liverpool and West Brom. Jon Moss even left the field to check a video reply himself causing major disruption. The concept of VAR is much more successful in both codes of rugby partially down to the fact that the clock can be stopped so no time is wasted whereas it appears to be wasting a lot of time currently in football. The success of the technology in rugby is also owed to the fact that there is clear indication when the video referee is going to be used. In the case of rugby union, we are even able to hear the communication between the video ref and on-field ref. The lack of hand signals to indicate whether VAR is being used (unless the decision is changed) in football leaves people stood about clue-

lessly waiting for information regarding the decision. Another point to consider is that decisions are still opinion based. Referee’s call what they see and this could be different from one referee to another. This disagreement could occur in the same game between the on field and the video refs.

Jon Moss even left the field to check a video reply himself causing major disruption Ultimately, the sport needs to go all in or nothing. Although some outlines have been given as to when VAR can be used and when it can’t, they are vague and just seem to complicate things further. This leaves people disgruntled when potentially big decisions are passed over because VAR can’t be used in that specific situation. Football is, should be and always will be a sport that evokes strong opinions and disagreements.

Harry Parsons reports on the Eagles landing their first ever Super Bowl The Philadelphia Eagles took home their first ever Super Bowl win on Sunday 4 February at the US Bank Stadium in Minnesota. In just their second appearance at a Super Bowl they beat five-time champions the New England Patriots 4133 in one of the most spectacular Super Bowl finals in history with dozens of records being shattered. The Eagles thrashed the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Final two weeks earlier, displaying their razor sharp to the edge style of play. Despite this they still went into Sunday’s match as underdogs but managed to gain the first points and touchdown of the game when wide receiver Alshon Jeffery leapt majestically to catch and score the first seven-pointer in Minnesota. As half-time approached it appeared the two teams looked evenly matched, and you can't underestimate a comeback from the Bill Belichick Patriots. It was however Nick Foles' final touchdown of the second quarter that reasserted the hunger the Eagles had for victory with a catch that could have looked just as comfortable in the NBA as it did in the NFL. The Eagles lead 22-12 at the

end of the first half of play, as the Atlanta Falcons found out in Super Bowl 51 the Patriots could easily destroy that lead in the second half with the right offensive play. Nick Foles, the Eagles quarterback, shone through all four quarters of the game delivering nothing short of a magnificent display for the 100 million strong domestic TV audience and denying Tom Brady a record-setting sixth Super Bowl trophy. Belichicks Patriots have a knack of making up deficits in Super Bowl finals and in the fourth quarter looked as if they might do so, however they were halted by a final Eagles field goal which left less than a minute on the clock. It was by no means a poor showing from the Patriots with Brady, who turns 41 this year, in particular providing several outstanding moments of play. The Patriots ended the game with more points on the scoreboard than any losing team in Super Bowl history, but it still wasn’t enough to keep the Philadelphia Eagles from taking the Vince Lombardi Trophy home to Pennsylvania for the very first time.

Nick Foles was the Eagles' standout player of the match Image: Wikimedia Commons


the courier


Monday 12 February 2018

Cal gives Newcastle Stan Calvert lead Stan roundup AMERICAN FOOTBALL

Northumbria 8 Newcastle 26

Mark Sleightholm at Druid Park A massive run to the endzone from Newcastle’s Jono Coombes sealed their victory in the opening Stan Calvert fixture of 2018. The Raiders followed a somewhat turgid first half with a series of skilled touchdowns to dominate the Northumbria Mustangs to the tune of 26-8. The win set Team Newcastle off to a strong start to Stan Calvert ahead of the main run of fixtures in late February. 2016-17 was a difficult season for the Raiders, with a 52-0 defeat at Stan Calvert followed by relegation from the first division. The second division, however, has proved much more hospitable, and Newcastle went in to the Stan Calvert fixture as the unbeaten league leaders. The match was almost a distraction for the Raiders ahead of their crucial battle with Teesside the following week. Northumbria, meanwhile, were struggling in their BUCS league and faced a string of tough fixtures throughout February in their fight to avoid relegation. The first half saw stutters of brilliance from both sides, with an early touchdown by Newcastle matched by a race to the endzone by Northumbria, who followed up with a successful run in to earn the two-point conversion and take an 8-6 lead.

The closeness of points at half time was mirrored on the pitch, with neither side able to gain a significant advantage and the line of scrimmage sticking resolutely in midfield. An early second-half run by Matthew Gough faltered at the 30 yard line, but Tom Harwood and Matt Wilson successfully fought off the Northumbria defenders to progress forward to the 10 yard line. A ruckus on the ground almost gave possession to the Mustangs, before Dira Ejibe carried the ball over the goal line to put Newcastle back in the lead. Their attempt at taking a twopoint conversion was unsuccessful, keeping the score at 12-8. From here the Raiders pulled ahead and successfully fought off a series of Northumbria offensives. Their supporters, subdued until this point, began to celebrate tackles on the Mustangs, and were rewarded with a clinical touchdown from Wilson. Northumbria’s defense watched on in horror as Wilson ran unobstructed from the 30 yard line to give Newcastle another six points. The Raiders continued their assault into the final quarter. Northumbria were allowed no farther than the 20 yard line, and on their third down here Jono Coombes intercepted before running all the way up the pitch for another Newcastle touchdown, giving his team a 24-8 lead. Newcastle missed the conversion after again trying for the two points, but earned a safety just minutes later to take the score to 26-8.

Mark Sleightholm Sports Editor There may be nearly two weeks to go until the main Stan Calvert weekend but the first points are already on the scoreboard. Newcastle are currently in front thanks to their stunning American Football victory, although the second fixture of the competition - rugby union women's seconds - had to be postponed due to a frozen pitch. The varsity competion pits Newcastle and Northumbria against each other in a variety of sports. Named after Newcastle University's former director of sport, the competition has been won by Northumbria every year since 2014. Most of the action takes place next week, but there's still plenty to see unitl then. A full list of fixtures is available on the Courier Sport's website. Stan Calvert fixtures

12-19 February

M2 Rugby Union 10 Feb, 11am


M1 Volleyball

15 Feb, 6pm

Sports Centre

W1 Volleyball

15 Feb, 8pm

Sports Centre


17 Feb, 5pm



19 Feb, 10am


W1 Water Polo

19 Feb, 7:30pm N'bria Sport Central

M1 Water Polo

19 Feb, 9pm

N'bria Sport Central

Futsal ready for their big match Mark Sleightholm Sports Editor

Newcastle and Northumbria went head to head in the Stan Calvert kick-off event... literally Image: Mick Woodruff

stage on the Beeb

Egle Vaitekenaite talks Roller Derby World Cup

Not many British people might know about one of the most popular indoor roller staking sports in the United States. The roller derby, which is played by two teams racing against each other, emerged in 1935 in Chicago, Illinois. Because of the growing popularity of roller skating in the US, the activity started to convert into sport by the end of the 19th century, attracting many fans and enthusiasts who raced for the cash prizes. The first races were held on both flat and banked tracks, as people enjoyed the falls and spills of the racers. It became a more popular sport by the late 1930s and made its debut on the New York television in 1948. The roller derby hit its peak in 1972, where more than 50,000 fans came to see a game in Chicago. The contemporary roller derby is not so difficult to understand. The game consists of short matches called jams. Both teams have to select the jammer who wins the points, while lapping the members of the opposite team. There are three positions in the roller

derby: the jammer, blocker and the pivot, and the jams are usually two minutes long. At the moment, there are more that 4,700 roller derby clubs around the world. It can be argued that the roller derby is more popular among females as there are around 2,000 amateur female leagues worldwide. Another interesting fact is that roller derby is under consideration for the Olympic Games. For the first time in its history, the roller derby came to England to attract the fans and admirers of the sport. The Roller Derby World Cup 2018 took place in Manchester as the third World Cup so far. The championship, which took place in Event City arena from 1-4 February, attracted participants from 38 countries. For the first time it was available to watch via the BBC's website, reflecting the sports growing popularity this side of the Atlantic. The teams competed on four tracks, with the United Stated winning first place, Australia second and Canada coming in third.

Excitement is building among Newcastle’s futsal players ahead of their Stan Calvert match against a team two BUCS divisions higher. The fixture, at 5pm on Sunday 24 February, will bring the overall Stan Calvert competition to a close, and the futsal players are hoping it will introduce their sport to a new generation of fans. Newcastle followed their narrow 6-5 defeat in last year’s Stan Calvert finale with an impeccable BUCS performance, and they sit unbeaten at the top of their division, eagerly awaiting this year’s meeting with Northumbria. James Mckenna has been involved in the club since it’s foundation, and sees the Stan Calvert fixtures as an opportunity both to showcase how far the club has come and also to attract new interest in a sport that has traditionally been granted little attention in England. “We're passionate about futsal,” Mckenna explained. “When you're in a sport that you feel is undervalued, you naturally feel like you want to raise its profile. You want to share this thing that you've found that other people don't know about but you're sure they would like.” While the sport is often dismissed as a kind of 5-a-side, little more than a development or training tool for footballers, it is a crowd-pleasing sport in its own right. Mckenna described it as having “the rules and the technique of football, but it plays like basketball,” with a much faster pace than your standard 5-a-side kickabout. Played indoors on a hard court, but with a slightly smaller ball than 5- or 11-a-side football, futsal emphasises skill and efficiency with the ball, with futsal players having around a quarter of the space as an 11-a-side player. Futsal also allows rolling substitutions throughout the match. The club’s president, Tom Crozier, came to the sport via football, but got hooked and is now a committed futsal

player. The futsal club here grew out of the University's football club, only gaining independent status – and funding – two years ago. Since then the club's membership has expanded and they've managed to cut the umbilical cord and after a string of BUCS successes the lads feel ready to face their cross-city rivals in this year's Stan Calvert.

Stan Calvert is an opportunity to showcase how far the club has come Following a convincing defeat in Stan Calvert 2016 the team only narrowly missed out on victory the following year, running up their rivals to a 5-6 scoreline. This time round they remain the underdogs but are confident that their unbeaten BUCS season can give them the momentum as they face Northumbria, a team two divisions above them. Unlike Northumbria’s extensive futsal facilities and coaching team, Newcastle’s side have been heavily reliant on the expertise of PhD student Xavi Rodriguez Corral, who played futsal growing up in Barcelona and now takes on most of the coaching responsibilities for Newcastle’s team. Stan Calvert is not simple to organise, and once again the two universities were unable to agree on a grand finale, which leaves futsal and the netball seconds as the closing fixtures of the competition. From 5pm on the final Sunday Newcastle will host the netball while the futsal action takes place simultaneously at Northumbria's Sport Central. By this point the overall score is likely to be apparent, but this won't dampen the enthusiasm of Newcastle's team. Mckenna describes it as their “game of the season” and it presents a rare opportunity for them to test themselves against top-level opposition. Last year's futsal finale at Stan Calvert

saw nearly 1000 spectators; the secondhighest attendance at a futsal match in the country. The fledgling Newcastle, not used to playing such strong opposition, performed well but were 6-3 down with five minutes left on the clock. Crozier came out of goal as a fly keeper and helped his team bring the score up to 6-5. The game helped the club attract new support, but defeat by such a narrow margin has spurred club members on to fight even harder this time round. While most of the participants of last year's match have now graduated, the match and it's close finish still weighs heavily on the minds of Newcastle's futsal players, who vividly remember the finer details of their “free-flowing, attacking futsal” and have spent the past twelve months preparing for the rematch. Whatever the result on 25 February, the club's attention will then turn to ensuring a safe handover at the end of the year. With Corral’s time at Newcastle University drawing to a close the lads are concerned that coaching will be much harder next year. The Stan Calvert match is not just a way to change perceptions of the sport from a spectator's point of view, therefore; the club are also hoping to attract new members who can continue their good work and build the club up further.


February, the date of the Futsal men's first team's Stan Calvert fixture

Crozier in particular feels very fortunate that Corral and Mckenna were both around at the same time and were able to bring their previous futsal experience – from Catalonia and Kettering, respectively – to help establish the club and provide the initial enthusiasm required to get the ball rolling. The Stan Calvert match on 25 February could be their chance to keep that ball rolling for a long while yet.


the courier


Monday 12 February 2018

Two weeks, four wins: basketballers sweep WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Newcastle 1sts 96 Loughboro’ 1sts 86

Courtney Strait at Loughborough University The Christmas break must have been just what the doctor ordered, because the Newcastle University Basketball Club is heating up. In the first month back after time off during the holiday, the NUBC first teams have combined for an undefeated record in BUCS play. The Knights are gaining momentum at the perfect time, as playoffs are just around the corner. Though the regular season is coming to close in the next few weeks, the final road trips have featured some exciting matches across the country for Team Newcastle. On 31 January the Knights stole two victories from one of the nation’s BUCS point leader in Loughborough University. The women’s team started off the evening by taking down last years’ BUCS champion in dramatic fashion. The game featured a back and forth affair for the majority of the night, with Loughborough leading by ten at halftime. Team Newcastle kept their cool, though, and made huge plays when they most needed

them. Down five points with just over a minute to go, Knights newcomer Cassidy Sanders-Curry was instrumental in the comeback. Sanders-Curry hit a long three pointer to cut the lead to two, and then came up with a steal on the following posession that led to a Newcastle bucket with nine seconds remaining on the clock. The Knights made a strong defensive stand to end regulation time that pushed the game into overtime.


Overtime periods were needed to decide the match on 31 January

The first overtime mirrored the first four quarters, as neither team could gain a foothold or take a commanding lead. As the clock ticked down, the Knights pulled off another string of stops that pushed the game into a second overtime. Just as in the first overtime, the game was neck and neck until the final buzzer. Point guard Courtney Strait hauled in a rebound off a missed free throw and pushed the ball down the floor, pulled up and sunk a jump shot as the clock expired to put the game into — you guessed it — a THIRD overtime.

In the third overtime period the Knights took over. Strait, who had a career high 43 points on the evening, hit two three pointers and a string of free-throws to seal the deal and claim a well-deserved 96-86 victory. Though the Knights were playing shorthanded without one of their leaders in Noelia Quintas who is out with a concussion, every team member stepped up and pushed through fatigue to outwork a talented Loughborough team through 55 minutes of play. Team members Eleanor Goodwin and Amara Jackson showed fantastic poise throughout the game on both sides of the floor, as well as Grace Elliott who tallied double digit assists in the game. Head Coach Mark Elderkin said the Knights’ performance was one of the best displays of mental and physical toughness he had ever witnessed. Newcastle 1sts 69 Durham 1sts 68

at Queens Campus, Durham University The squad carried their momentum from Loughborough into their game 7 February, as they travelled to

Durham to take on a heated Northern rival. This game was especially important because the faceoff would determine playoff matchups in the BUCS Premiere North Division. Team Newcastle defeated Durham earlier in the season, so this game was for all the bragging rights and third place in the division. Similarly to the previous week, the game was not decided until the final buzzer and featured drama at every turn. Team Durham took an early lead on their home floor, as their athletic guards were able to push the floor for easy buckets. As Team Newcastle settled in they gained confidence and utilised impressive ball movement for easy shots around the rim. Off-ball movement from Goodwin and Jackson was, once again, a key factor in the Knights’ offensive success. Alongside Goodwin and Jackson, Elliott continued her consistent play, posing a strong force both offensively and defensively for the Knights. Her presence in the lane deterred the Durham offense throughout the night and her smart decision-making on offense helped push the Knights to victory. Strait contributed for Team Newcastle as well, scoring 27 points in the rematch.

The game was a neck and neck in the first half. The most Durham led in the first half was seven points, and despite giving up a barrage of offensive rebounds the Knights hung around and finished the half down by only two points. In the third quarter, Newcastle captured all the momentum. Buckets down the stretch from all five starters helped claim the lead and make it a double-digit advantage. But the game was far from over — in the final quarter Team Durham made a strong comeback and eventually took a one-point lead with one minute to play. In front of a lively crowd the Knights were calm under pressure and forced a steal with under twenty seconds left in the game. One of the team’s best defenders, Amara Jackson, pressured a Durham ball handler, knocked the ball loose, stole the ball and passed it down the court to Courtney Strait who finished the layup to put the Knights ahead by one, 69-68. Just like against Loughborough, Team Newcastle got a defensive stop as the clock expired to claim their sixth victory of the season. They returned to Newcastle to sole possession of third place in the league — the best regular season finish in programme history.

Courtney Strait directs traffic against Loughborough University Image: Patrick Wrencher

Mud, sweat and tears: NUAXC well prepared for Stan Calvert CROSS COUNTRY Toby Bryant at Brunel University

The terrain was challenging for the cross country runners Image: NUAXC

Months of bitingly cold training on the Town Moor, Gateshead track sessions in the hail and early Saturday morning hill runs culminated in BUCS 2018 for Newcastle University’s finest cross-country runners. The national competition this year returned to the capital, hosted by Brunel University. The course snaked around fields just off the M4 and included obstacles such as a river to cross. The day started with the women’s race as Newcastle University triathlete Zoe Macdonald was the first home for the University in a time of 25:46, placing 80th out of 718 competitors. Other notable performances came from Amelia Pettit, Susan Shiel-Rankin and Clara Pettit, all posting times of under 29 minutes. Next up, the fastest University cross-country athletes in the men’s A race. It was Leeds Beckett’s Alex Yee who was first across the line, despite the loss of a shoe in the testing river obstacle. Newcastle University’s Will Stockwell finished in a time of 39:04 whilst first-year Sam Hansen capped off his impressive debut season at the club with a time of 43:34. “I was pretty happy with my performance on the muddy course con-

sidering I prefer shorter track races,” Stockwell said afterwards. “It’s always great to see my friends from home at the national events. Brunel University offered a tame night out. I would like to thank my rock James Anthoney for his support.” Bradley Wilshere, Fregus Ingledew and James Anthoney made up the rest of the A team with an overall credible team performance. Credit must also be given to Sean Haycock, who stepped up to fill spaces left by injury, although his race was sadly cut short due to injury.

The course snaked around fields just off the M4 and included obstacles such as a river to cross Last to take centre-stage, on what was now an incredibly churned-up course, was the men’s B competition. Sean Hooker, Jack Holmes and James Whitmore all ran well with good results to match. It’s been another fantastic season of cross-country running as eyes now turn to the Stan Calvert races this weekend.


the courier


Monday 12 February 2018

Loughborough & Durham Edinburgh water polo foiled from fringes of victory MEN’S BASKETBALL

Newcastle 1sts 70 Loughboro’ 1sts 64

Courtney Strait at Loughborough University

It seems that away road-trips have been a good luck charm for the Knights, as the men’s first team followed in the women’s winning ways by topping both Loughborough and Durham — two teams that held higher positions in the division at the time. The men stepped up to the challenge in the evening finale 31 January against Loughborough. After a long bus journey, Head Coach Ian Hewitt had his team firing on all cylinders, featuring a methodical defensive effort against a number of Loughborough players who compete in the BBL for the Leicester Riders. Before the match Loughborough was the top ranked team in the league and was undefeated in divisional play. But the Knights had other plans for the evening, as first year Knight, postgraduate Patrick Wrencher led the way with a menacing performance in the paint. He pulled down double digit rebounds and scored a seasonhigh 31 points to pace Team Newcastle. On the offensive end, Thanasis Ioakeimidis ran the show for Newcastle, pushing the pace and showcasing a few flashy behind-the-back passes for assists. Joey Bennett and Zach Leal also were consistent offensive contributors for the Knights.

Newcastle was firing on all cylinders against the league’s top team Though Team Newcastle had a strong offensive outing, it’s their defence that led them to a 70-64 victory. Kingsley Pinda, Ioakeimidis and defensive specialist Jack Beresford shut down Loughborough’s top players and forced them into difficult finishes at

the rim, contested jump shots and constant pressure whilst handling the basketball. The Knights’ high energy on defence kept the opponent on their toes all forty minutes and helped spur their own offensive posessions. Despite Loughborough’s last minute attempts at a comeback, the Knights polished off the victory by chasing down rebounds, taking care of the basketball and hitting their free throws.


at Queens Campus, Durham University

The first minute of the match saw an assertive goal from Newcastle player Liz Kreek. This was followed by another soon after which brought the girls to 2-0. The score remained for the rest of the quarter. The Newcastle side began the second quarter with confidence. An Edinburgh goal at 5:33 was followed by Kreek’s third goal of the match just 17 seconds later. It was towards the end of the second quarter that Newcastle’s Ellie Churchill decisively redirected a crossgoal pass into the back of the Edinburgh net, an impressive move which contributed to her award of MVP. Further goals from Edinburgh’s Alexandra Bantock and Newcastle’s Georgia Bosworth took the score to 5-2 by half time. The third quarter of the match began with an Edinburgh goal from Bantock, but in the following minutes she was excluded twice for major fouls. Newcastle coach Andy Little called a timeout at the second exclusion to give his side the chance to execute a well-rehearsed man-up procedure. This ended with captain,

Point guard Romonn Nelson skies to the basket Image: Courtney Strait

Big Weekend of snowy success ORIENTEERING Alice Rea at Edinburgh On possibly the coldest Saturday morning this year, members of the Fell Running and Orienteering Club gathered at Central Station ready for the most exhausting but fun weekend in their calendar. For those that had never been to the Edinburgh Big Weekend they had no idea exactly what was in store; other than a lot of walking, running, and dancing. As the members had come to expect from previous years, three days before everyone descends on Edinburgh, the organisers from Edinburgh University release the final details and reveal exactly what they have prepared. In just over an hour, the train arrived in the Scottish capital, and as expected it was far colder than the ‘Toon’. Although many of NUFOC’s members were sleepless from revision or desperate completion of assignments, or worse, both, they arrived in Edinburgh ready to race! After arriving and replenishing their energy at the hostel, every member could not wait to set off onto their first event of the Big Weekend – the urban ‘sprint’ course. Due to low temperature and icy paths, the results were unfortunately voided, for the competitor’s safety. But if you think ice or freezing

weather was going to stop representatives from Newcastle University, then you’re wrong. Participating in the men’s open and women’s open divisions, team members navigated their way through different streets, levels, and estates. To make matters worse, some surfaces were covered in sheet ice, however that didn’t put anyone off. A sense of achievement ran through everybody as they finished their 16km or 12km journey through the notorious Greyfriars Kirkyard leading to the finishing controls, set up in the Hogwarts-inspiring – George Heriot’s School.

With limited visibility and in blizzard conditions, the orienteers’ navigation had to be spot on That evening was time for everyone’s favourite part of the weekend – the Ceilidh (Kay-lee) – a traditional Scottish dance that always gets everyone on their feet. As the weekend fell on Burn’s weekend, many of the Scottish orienteers donned their Kilts and addressed the haggis, before giving everyone a taste of the Scottish delicacy.

9 8

Sydney Isaacs at Sport Central

Newcastle 1sts 81 Durham 1sts 73

In their game against Durham on 7 February the men’s team claimed an 81-73 victory in similar fashion, using a smooth offensive attack balanced with a formidable defensive effort. Joey Bennett hit six threes in one of his best offensive performances of the season, as the Knights surged to a twenty point lead in the first half. Starters Ioakeimidis and Leal played big minutes for the Knights and, as usual, took great care of the basketball and helped push the tempo throughout the game. Coach Hewitt had the Knights prepared for Durham’s highpowered offence and did a marvelous job shutting down their key players — especially in the lane. Wrencher did a top-knotch job marking Team Durham’s post players and did not shy away from their physicality. Looking ahead, Team Newcastle has comfortable position of third place in the BUCS Premier North Division. Despite the result of their upcoming rematch against still top-ranked Loughborough, the Knights will retain third place heading into playoffs later in the month. Their final regular season game is Wednesday, 14 February. Though the game does not make a difference to the Team Newcastle’s overall position in the standings, another victory against a high-powered Loughborough team would serve as a fantastic momentum builder.

Newcastle 1sts Edinburgh 1sts

The next day was a traditional orienteering event that takes place on Arthur’s Seat. When they arrived at the start they took their customary group photo before heading out on the various courses. NUFOC had someone braved the longest and most technical ‘Brown’ course as well as members running the Blue, Green, Short Green, and Light green courses. All these courses vary in length, but the navigation skill required is still high. Each course took the orienteers to the top of Arthur’s Seat and had them zigzagging across before bringing them back down for a sprint finish. In previous years the weather has been clear and sunny but around 20 minutes into our races the snow began to fall and would only get worse. The orienteers’ navigation had to be spot on as they were orienteering in a blizzard and visibility was only a few metres in the distance. The features they were looking for became buried in snow and the ground was slippery and difficult to run on. They all made it back to the finish, having thoroughly enjoyed the test to their orienteering skills. Due to their later start times they were some of the only competitors to orienteer in those conditions, so everyone did really well to complete their courses. They were all shattered after the fullon weekend, so the train home was a quite one. I think its safe to say they all slept well that night!

Sarah Poyntz neatly placing the ball in the corner of the goal. Dominating play from the white-caps also allowed president Megan Lord to score before the end of the third quarter.

ELLIE CHURCHILL The center-froward has returned to the pool after recovering from injury last year. She has since proved an invaluable asset to the team

The final quarter of the match took on an increased pace and a turn for the unexpected. With players on both teams tiring, defences were compromised. Four goals in quick succession, three of which from Edinburgh’s Alison Tate, saw the score line turn from 7-4 to 8-7. Edinburgh allowed for no complacency in their rivals. Newcastle goal keeper Holly Jackson made some remarkable saves but with a minute and twenty-eight seconds to go, Edinburgh found their way past the Newcastle defence and equalised. With tension peaking amongst fans, the Newcastle team kept calm and confident. They fed the ball up back the pool to Kreek who once again produced an accurate shot and secured Newcastle their victory.



Mix1 v Teesside 1sts



M1 v M2 W2 v York 2nds

22-20 8-0


M2 v York 2nds M3 v Bradford 2nds W1 v Durham 1sts W2 v Sheffield 1sts


M1 v Edinburgh 1sts M2 v M3


68-29 63-58 69-68 43-52 84-135 135-106

M2 v Sheffield Hallam 2nds W1 v Durham 2nds W2 v Sunderland 1sts


M1 v Durham 2nds

M2 v Leeds Beckett 1sts M3 v York 1sts M4 v Hull 2nds W2 v Sheffield 2nds


W1 v Liverpool 1sts W1 v Manchester 1sts W1 v Durham 2nds M1 v Birmingham 1sts M2 v York 2nds W3 v York 1sts


M1 v Leeds 2nds M2 v Leeds Beckett 5ths W3 v Durham 4ths


1-1 0-3 1-0

W1 v Durham 1sts


W1 v Edinburgh 1sts W2 v Durham 2nds W2 v Leeds Beckett 1sts



5-0 1-2 1-2 3-1 0-2 2-3 5-3 1-2 1-5 3-2 12-0 4-8 6-6 1-3 9-8 4-11 4-13

Mix1 v Sheffield 1sts 1-1 Mix1 v Northumbria 2nds 3.5-2.5 Mix2 v Leeds Beckett 2nds 1-5


M3 v Leeds Beckett 3rds W3 v Sheffield 3rds


M2 v York 1sts W1 v Leeds 1sts W3 v York 3rds


W1 v Liverpool 1sts W2 v Durham 1sts W3 v Durham 3rds W4 v Hull 1sts

8-0 0-0 0-14 9-15 17-2 49-33 33-64 37-57 34-38





Birmingham ■



Northumbria ■



Newcastle ▲



Cardiff ▲



Notts Trent ▲


sport the courier

Monday 12 February 2018 Issue 1363 Free @Courier_Sport Sport Editors Mark Sleightholm, Courtney Strait, Tom Shrimplin, Sydney Isaacs & Matt Proctor

Hardly Athletic fall at first hurdle INTRA MURAL FOOTBALL 11s

SS Ladzio Hardly Athletic

4 1

Dan Haygarth at Longbenton Hardly Athletic have dined out on our underdog status in the short period since the club was established. Accused of media manipulation and using our pathetic performances to gain publicity, an impressive following was all that the team had to show for our first six months, which yielded zero points and a goal difference of minus forty-three. With the league season in tatters, all hope rested on a cup run. This was dashed swiftly as Athletic, languishing at the bottom of the bottom division, were pitted against SS Ladzio, the leaders of Division One. Dreadful name aside, Ladzio posed a truly terrifying threat to a defence that would make the partnership of Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams look competent.


Hardly Athletic’s goal difference puts them at the bottom of the bottom division

Despite the result of the draw, the relentless optimism of certain squad members did not wane. If I’d received a pound for every time the phrase ‘magic of the cup’ was uttered prior to the game, the club may have been able to invest in a top-quality striker. The signs were there for a thrashing of ungodly proportions. Ladzio had beaten Division Two’s Combined Honours 19-2 in their previous game and Athletic had endured a testing winter. Assistant manager James Bate departed for a three-month placement at PwC in Manchester and Athletic’s final match before the Christmas break had, naturally, resulted in another calamitous defeat. Lacking regular goalkeeper Danny Aspinall due to essay deadlines, an advert for a

Inside Sport today >>>

replacement was placed on Facebook group ‘Castle Leazes Ticket Exchange’ but produced zero results. It seemed that 6-foot-8 centre-half ‘Big’ Will van Woerden would have to deputise once again. Fortunately, upon collecting defender Henry Clark for the game, his flatmate Liam McGlinchey agreed to play in goal.

Wednesday 11’s Football Cup 1st Round Results Aftermath 6-1 Sevilla Depression FC Politic Thistle 5-0 Combined Honours SS Ladzio 4-1 Hardly Athletic Desmond Tutu FC 2-1 ManSoc Byes Accountington Stanley Agrics FC Boca Seniors Classic XI Dyslexic Untied Ecosoccer IngSoc Newcastle Medics 1 Newcastle Medics 2 Oxbow Lakers Pique Blinders Thundercats

Unbeknownst to me, McGlinchey had not played football since under-8s, making him a perfect fit for the team. Although striker Raff Marioni broke his season-long goal drought at long last, the game finished 9-2 to mid-table IngSoc and Athletic remained at the foot of Division Three. Hardly great preparation for the forthcoming cup tie. The new year and the game against Ladzio came around. Our team, lacking fitness due to the January exam period and the celebrations that followed, were not looking forward to the prospect of chasing the ball for the entire ninety minutes. However, the squad was buoyed as an impressive crowd of close Longto fifty descended on to witbenton Pitch 2, eager ness one of the m o s t mismatched games of football in the history of the game. Agrics FC and Boca Seniors striker Rory Langdon was brought in as Assistant Manager. Dressed in a tracksuit, Langdon’s vocal approach provided the squad with a necessary motivational yang to my besuited, continental and quietly tactical yin. Ignoring numerous suggestions to play at least

eight men at the back, Langdon and myself remained bullishly loyal to our tried and failed 4-2-3-1 formation. We hoped to drag Ladzio down to our level by attempting to play actual football. Despite being put on the back foot immediately, Athletic started the game well. Playing at full-back for the first time, Andrew Watson was calm on the ball and assured in defence, while Henry Clark and Callum Jackson stood firm at centre-half. The first nervy moment arrived when goalkeeper Aspinall, still unable to get to grips with the position of the sun, watched an opposition goal kick rattle his crossbar. He recovered well, making several incredible saves to deny Ladzio and keep the scores level. Inevitably, the First Division outfit took the lead from a corner and doubled their lead shortly before the interval. After an inspiring and insightful team talk, the unthinkable happened. George Yates won a free kick forty yards from goal and midfielder Ben Sangster stepped up. Reminiscent of Ronaldinho’s lob of David Seaman at the 2002 World Cup, Sangster’s controlled strike sailed over Ladzio’s keeper and sent the baying masses into rapture. A truly great footballing moment that will live long in the memory of all in attendance. Unfortunately, Athletic were unable to capitalise on the goal and Ladzio scored two more to crush the Division Three outfit’s hopes of an incredible upset. Numerous questionable referring decisions halted Athletic’s chances of getting back into tie and resulted in calls for VAR to be implemented at Intra Mural venues.

McGlinchey had not played football since under-8s, making him a perfect fit for the team As the game came to an end, Ladzio’s centre forward took the ball into the corner to run the clock down and was met by a thundering challenge from George Yates. Although we hadn’t won, we certainly got under their skin. Despite being knocked out of the cup, Athletic can hold their heads high. A superb performance, possessing more steel, and crucially, more footballing ability than they had shown before, shows promise for the remainder of the season. We go again.

STAN CALVERT OPENER The varsity competition is underway Page 36-37

Athletic’s Liam Mulligan makes an attempt for the ball Left: Manager Dan Haygarth suited up for the occasion Images: James Sproston


Four fixtures, four wins for Newcastle Page 38-39

MUDDY CROSS COUNTRY Treacherous conditions for NUAXC Page 38

Courier 1363  
Courier 1363