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www.thecourieronline.co.uk Monday 23 April 2012 Issue 1249 Free

TAKE ME OUT

Tom Nicholson learns the art of seduction

DID THE WIND SEE THE SURF? P.18-19

Lifestyle, p.14

VOLUNTEERS TO LIGHT UP OLYMPICS NEWS PAGE 3

Reviewed: Nicki’s Roman Reloaded Music, p.32

Multiple arrests after thefts in private halls A member of the security team at a Northumbria University student accommodation has been arrested on suspicion of burglary. The firm that runs Manor Bank accommodation, the UNITE Group, also operates the Magnet Court halls of residence on behalf of Newcastle University. A statement from Northumbria Police revealed that they were contacted on 9 April with reports that student belongings had been stolen over the Easter holiday. A 24-year-old man was arrested the same day. The Courier can disclose from an anonymous resident that missing items included mobile phones and laptops as well as a vast array of other high-value technological goods. Two 19-year-old women and an 18-year-old woman were also arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods. They were later released with cautions. Manor Bank charges students £145 per week over a 51 week contract, according to UNITE’s website. It is located near the Quayside beside the Tyne

Bridge and possesses 497 self-contained flats, shared between 4-6 people, as well as 29 luxury studio apartments, which include views over the River Tyne. Security-wise it boasts CCTV surveillance, swipe card access and an intercom system. However, testimonies have stated that the The firm that swipe card system runs Manor is often faulty and Bank accom- that members of modation, the the public can enthe premises at UNITE Group, ter will. also operates One resident the Magnet commented on Facebook: “I was Court halls doing a wash and of residence a homeless guy on behalf of walked in. It was Newcastle quite obvious that he was coming in University to nick clothes. He looked at me, went through the bin and walked out. Literally anyone can get in if they want to.” Residents had also discussed complaining en masse to the UNITE Group over a number of quarrels, besides the continued on page 7

No response or calls for mediation being made, a court date was set for Friday 13 April, costing Ogley a further £110. In attendance at the hearing, Ogley and flat mate Emily Wheeler, provided copies of all correspondence between Ogley and the landlord, including a list of all text messages both sent and received. Four witness statements, one from each former resident of the property, were also presented to the judge. Their landlord provided documentation that including an invoice from the company who had replaced the floors, stating that the kitchen and living room replacement floor had cost £750, the bathroom floor £950 and replacing broken doors £250. Speaking to The Courier Wheeler said:

“The judge almost didn’t let this invoice be used in court because it hadn’t been submitted before the court date. He also found it a bit ridiculous that the bathroom floor had cost that much. “We stated that we had not caused the water damage and that the doors had not been damaged enough to be replaced. In the end the judge decided that the damage had been caused by a leak that was not our fault, meaning that the landlord couldn’t claim any of the money he wanted from us.” Additionally, the judge ruled that the landlord had 30 days to pay the students the £1040 owed from their deposits, court costs and interest which had accumulated from their deposits, totalling continued on page 7

By George Sandeman News Editor

Students win legal battle over house deposits

By Helen Lam Online News Editor Four Newcastle students have won a legal battle against their landlord over house deposits. At the end of their two year tenancy of Doncaster Road in Sandyford, 21-yearold fourth-year Chemistry student Helen Ogley and her three flat mates were informed by their landlord that all deposits, totalling £1040, would be returned following the settlement of any outstanding bills. However, after the students made the payments they were told that they would be charged for the expense of repairing locks within the property.

Querying this claim, Ogley tried to contact her landlord but received no response via phone or email. Seeking guidance from the Student Advice Centre Ogley was then advised to take action to retrieve their money, the initial course of action being to write a letter to the landlord, No reply was received. Ogley then filed a claim at Newcastle’s Small Claims Court for the deposit money owed, at a cost of £70. The landlord replied to with counterclaim for £2500, citing compensation for the time he had spent defending himself. Further to this, he also claimed money for a water-damaged floor that needed replacing, which Ogley claims was due to a leak in the kitchen and bathroom.


News

2

Monday 23 April 2012

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

thecourieronline.co.uk/news

NEWS

BEJEWELD

Recycle your old jewellery to fund nurse training

ALCOHOL BAN

London Metropolitan University looks to ban campus drinking

7 9

COMMENT

The Courier

DOWN WITH THE KIDS

Participants from the British Council corroborated with the Ilmpossible group to help put Pakistani children into education. Photography: Jennifer Evans

11 Jen’s Journey of a Lifetime: Pakistan calling 12 SPORT

DEAR GEORGE

Oxbridge VCs lobby against tax relief

HIGH AGENDA

Should we legalise cannabis?

NOT SO GRAND?

Is the future of the countries’ biggest horse race in doubt?

40 42

INTRA MURAL FINAL Barca and Dyslexic set to clash for cup glory

By George Sandeman News Editor

Three weeks prior to the start of the Easter holidays Combined Honours student Jennifer Evans was informed that she would be participating in a British Youth Council-led trip to Pakistan. The trip involved working with the Ilmpossible group that seeks to spread awareness of the Pakistan government’s commitment to making education free and mandatory for children aged 5-16 in the country. Jennifer and five other participants departed London on 25 March, along with four British Council staff, for Is-

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

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lamabad. With little to no idea of what they were embarking upon in a country often primarily associated with al-Qaeda; Jennifer commented that they were somewhat anxious and apprehensive. On their first Monday in the country they met with the steering group of Ilmpossible who are also tasked with trying to motivate thousands of young Pakistanis into taking advantage of the available education opportunities. Pakistani children’s right to education is enshrined in Article 25a of the Pakistani Constitution but there appears to be little in the way of effective implementation of this legislation leading to reports that many children face problems accessing education.

Compounding this are social issues faced by young Pakistanis including instances where girls are not being allowed to go to school as well as institu-

education standards and attendance in Pakistan but their efforts have so far been concentrated solely on raising awareness of the issue and have sought

‘Ghost schools’ exist only on paper and there are no children but the teachers still get paid

tional problems such as ‘ghost schools’. The concept is uncommonly found in the UK but in Pakistan it consists of a school existing on paper, or occasionally in bricks and mortar, but where no children actually attend but the teachers get paid regardless. The members of the Ilmpossible steering group aim to drastically improve

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

to corroborate with the British Council to start effecting change. The British participants have all worked on similar social action projects with Jennifer having worked with the Citizenship Foundation and Barnsley YMCA. The aim was to understand the challenges and provide Ilmpossible with advice. Part of the trip included visiting 2,800 Pakistani orphans as well as an Afghani refugee school on our third day. The latter could be termed a ‘school’ in the loosest possible terms as it consisted of just four poles, a roof of corrugated iron and no walls. Jennifer commented that: “It was impossible to avoid the fact that something needed to be done.” Speaking about the experience Jennifer said: “The trip has encouraged me, together with the other young people of the British Youth Council, to attempt to promote Ilmpossible on a global level. “This will entail us working closely with members of the Pakistani community across England in order to garner further support for the young people Pakistan and hopefully achieve a nationwide standard of education whereby all young people from 5-16 are in school.”

The Courier is printed by: Print and Digital Associates, Fernleigh House, 10 Uttoxeter Road, Derby, Derbyshire, United Kingdom, DE3 0DA. Established in 1948, The Courier is the fully independent student newspaper of the Students’ Union at Newcastle University. The Courier is published weekly during term time, and is free of charge. The design, text, photographs and graphics are copyright of The Courier and its individual contributors. No parts of this newspaper may be reproduced without the prior permission of the Editor. Any views expressed in this newspaper’s opinion pieces are those of the individual writing, and not of The Courier, the Students’ Union or Newcastle University.


The Courier

news.3

Monday 23 April 2012

Free runners leg it to preOlympic party By Kat Bannon Editor Trust is a key component of any relationship. However, in the partnering of Hollie Johnson and Lee Tinnion, there are more than just hearts at risk of being broken. Boyfriend and girlfriend as well as circus partners, the Newcastle maths students have been picked to join a circus troupe which will perform around the North East of England as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Both members of the Circus Society they have backgrounds in free running and parkour, a type of free running, performing regularly in events around campus, such as last week’s Take Me Out and the International Festival of Arts (IFAM) at Northern Stage before Easter. Self taught until recently, when they’ve indulged in a bit of coaching, they first met on a parkour trip to France. They were inspired to get involved in the sport in a lot of similar ways, such as seeing documentaries about it on television. Hollie first started parkour aged 13, at that teenage stage when she “wanted something to do” and wasn’t content with what everyone was up to. Meanwhile Lee, having already been part of the ‘street scene’ when younger biking and roller blading, then moved on to parkour. Following that, joining the circus seemed a natural progression to stage three student as after spending years running through the urban landscape, leaping between man-made obstacles. Lee admits his mother used to worry

was a lot more scared than I expected to be, but it’s still really enjoyable.” This fear is understandable, as after all she is the one in the air, unlike boyfriend Lee: “In acro usually I’m the one on the floor, basing, so it’s not as bad for me in that way. But parkour does still get me once in a while when I’m pushing myself really hard. You’ve got to be confident in your ability.” Their relationship is definitely not a disadvantage to their performances. “I can tell if Lee’s in the state of mind in which he might drop me,” says Hollie. “It helps that we know each other so well, and know whether we’re being pushed too hard. “Obviously the trust is really important, and the fact that Lee can’t just walk off and go home if anything were to happen, as I’d be right behind him! “But obviously there are times when it’s hard and we’re tired and stressed.” “It’s helpful that we’re not in the same lectures, that would be pretty intense,” says Lee. The troupe has been recruited by Five Ring Circus, which runs circus clubs in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Stockton. They already have shows planned at events in Newcastle, Northumberland and at Stockton International Riverside Festival. Project director Helen Averley said: “Circus has got a great big range of activities. “We can bring a little bit of the Olympiad right to a very, very local area and I think that’s what we like the idea of, bringing something like that to unexpected places.” For both of them, this style of performance is something they’d really like to

MULTIPLE JUGGLING

“There’s a lot of aerial in our new routines and I was a lot more scared than I expected” about him when he first started parkour, but was less concerned about his circus performances. “I wouldn’t say she tried to stop me, she just told me to be careful,” he said. “She realised quite quickly that I had my head screwed on and I wasn’t going to do anything daft.” For Hollie, it’s slightly different: “I get scared quite a lot actually. There’s a lot of aerial in our new routines and I

Hollie and Lee are both seasoned parkour practitioners and will be part of a touring circus during the lead-up to the 2012 Olympics. Photography: Jacob Garthwaite

take with them into the future. Lee, who graduates this year, has been offered an apprenticeship with NotFit State Circus which entails a year’s training programme working on whatever shows they’re doing at the time. For Hollie, she’s still got a few years to go at Newcastle, but would love to go to proper Circus school: “Ideally this is something I’ll be doing in the future.”

Olympic torchbearers to set Tyneside alight By Harriet Sale On 15 June the Olympic torch will make its way around Tyneside as part of its 70 day journey all over Great Britain. Three Newcastle University students will carry the torch in the relay, along with a member and a retired member of staff. Town Planning student Amy Priestley and BioMedical Science student Gobinath Murugesapillai are the two

students representing the University after being selected from the Newcastle Torchbearer nomination scheme. The scheme was set up by the University in association with Samsung in an attempt to find the most deserving and inspirational volunteers. Amy said that it was “one of those ‘why not’ moments” and that having been selected from a field of “people who had all achieved and contributed so much, [it] was a very profound and surreal feeling.” Equally privileged Gobinath, from

Sri Lanka, is an INTO buddy, a scheme which helps international students settle into life at Newcastle. He said that it was such a rare opportunity to be involved with the Olympics that he “immediately seized the chance” and is “absolutely thrilled” at the prospect. The third successful applicant through the scheme is the University’s Pro-ViceChancellor for the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Professor Chris Day. He has said that he is “honoured”, “proud” and “surprised” to have been selected in this “once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Will Smith, who studies Computer Science, also expressed his amazement at being chosen to be part of the relay. He will carry the torch through Gateshead on the following day, after being nominated by Badminton England. After suffering from cancer, Will had his right leg amputated just above the knee when he was only ten years old, yet Will has had multiple national and international successes in singles and doubles para-badminton. He said that although “para-badminton isn’t a recognised Olympic sport

yet” to be involved in the Olympics in this way is “brilliant”. Barbara Gorton, who was nominated by her friend, was an Examinations Officer in the Medical Faculty and will also take part in the Olympic torch relay. The Olympic torch is still lit in Greece and is meant to symbolize peace, unity and friendship, as well as spreading the excitement of the games to the whole nation. The selected few will be part of 8,000 torchbearers that will carry the torch throughout the UK.


4.news

The Courier

Monday 23 April 2012

Who owns Newcastle? Ladhar

Soho

Key properties: Gotham Town, Sinners, The Den, The Lounge, Legends, Bar 42 (closed)

Madisons

Mohammed Ajaib

Mohammed Ajaib

Ladhar, which is owned by Baldev and Amarjit Ladhar, operates around 64 sites including hotels, restaurants and care homes. Ladhar has an annual turnover of more than £900,000. It has seven divisions: ● Ladhar Group Care Homes ● Flexible Support Options (FSO) UK - providing person centred services and support for people with learning disabilities ● The Galley - Coffee shops and family restaurants ● Ladhar Leisure - pubs, hotels and clubs ● For Your Eyes Only (FYEO) - gentlemen’s entertainment ● Ladhar Global Recycling - a paper/cardboard recycling company ● Ladhar Print and Design - printing and design

Fluid

Fluid Group

St James

Last month The Evening Chronicle reported that a health watchdog had found "unhygienic storage of medicine, failings to safely store some equipment and a lack of social activities for residents" - including medicine stored in the same fridge as bottles of urine.

Cosmic Ballroom Independent

Orchid Group Key properties: Bambu, Chase, City Vaults, Riverside, Attic (closed) In 2009, the Orchid group bought out 43 properties belonging to Premium Bars and Restaurants including Attic, City Vaults, Chase and (as it was then known) Blu Bambu. It is now the fifth largest pub/restaurant group in the UK.

Sam Jacks

Utopian Leisure

Apartment Group Tiger Tiger

Key properties: Floritas, Nancy’s Bordello, Madame Koos, As You Like It, Mr Lynch, Baby Lynch

The Gate

Novus Leisure

The Apartment Group have restaurants and pubs throughout the North East, and had an £11m turnover in 2010.

Label

Stonegate

Utopian Leisure

Sinners Ladhar

Key properties: Sam Jacks, Bijoux Utopian was formed by Bob Senior, a founder and former managing director of Premium Bars and Restaurants (which was later bought out by Orchid). Though based in Jesmond, Utopian Leisure owns properties in Newcastle, Durham and Ireland. In 2006, it merged with Tokyo Industries (see below) - but they split "amicably" in 2008 after disagreements between bosses.

Idols

O2 Academy

Blackwater bars

Academy music group

The Head of Steam Ltd Key properties: The Head of Steam, The Cluny, Cluny 2, Tilley's

Yates’s

Music specialists that own eight pubs. Currently trying to sell off LYH under the name 'The Tavern'.

Stonegate

Peter Bowlt

The Head of Steam The Head of Steam Ltd

Key properties: Bar 38, Flynn's, Lineker's (lost license)

Gotham Town

Bowlt's bars have attracted controversy: Lineker's lost its license last year after the company was struck off the Companies House register, while Flynn's almost lost its license in 2010 due to overcrowding.

Tokyo Industries

Fluid Group

Key properties: Digital, Tup Tup Palace, Tokyo

Key properties: Perdu, Fluid Bar, Quilted Camel, The Mushroom

Novus Leisure

Stonegate

Runs the Tiger Tiger chain throughout the country.

Owns lots of pubs, as well as Flares, Label (formerly Babylon) and Yates's

Ladhar

Powerhouse

The Lounge The Den

Pure Leisure Ltd

Ladhar

Digital

Tokyo Industries

Central Station


The Courier

news.5

Monday 23 April 2012

The Toon is renowned for boasting bars and clubs to suit any taste. But are the companies that own them as diverse as you'd be led to believe? Deputy Editor Elliot Bentley investigates who really holds the keys to Newcastle's nightlife So how does the Toon shape up? And how does it affect us? As you can see, despite a few big fishes no single big company dominates Newcastle. But this hasn't always been the case. Graham Hattam, who has over two decades' experience in Newcastle's entertainment scene and is currently the Student Union's Director of Commercial, told The Courier why revellers in Newcastle have it better than ever. “With the changes from the larger operators having a monopoly over the city centre, far more smaller groups with,

Monument

say, five or six pubs [have appeared] and what that’s introduced is a far more competitive marketplace - so the price point has dropped dramatically.” “Alcohol is now 88% cheaper than what it was ten years ago, across the country, and that’s all fallen into place when the monopolies commission came into force. So all these operators - the likes of Scottish Newcastle Retail, Whitbread at the time and a number of breweries that had retail units at the

time - had to dispose of their units.” Hattam warns that these cheap, competitive drink deals are unlikely to last, however: “It’s getting to the point now where the local authority are looking at the price point and are likey to start introducing a minimum price point and restricting volumes. So you know these units that do three trebles for £8 - what you’ll find is that they’ll start to restrict that.”

Venue

Keith Gibbon

Basement

Nancy’s Bordello Apartment Group

Manors

Ladhar

World Headquartes Independent

The Mushroom Fluid Group

Legends

The Cluny

Ladhar

Head of Steam

Who runs the nights? Promotion for nights out are carried out by separate companies such as StageOne-Events, Big Bad Robot, Uni-X and Mish Mash Events. They promote club nights and usually run the doors of the establishment, keeping all of the entry fee. The clubs then make their money on the drinks. It's also worth noting that the property owners don't necessarily run every establishment - they may lease the property to be run by another company, such as in the case of BrewDog, which has recently opened in a Ladhar property.

City Vaults

Orchid Group

Flares

Stonegate

Bambu

Orchid Group

Bijoux

Perdu

Utopian Leisure

Fluid Group

Floritas Madame Koos Baby Lynch

The Empress

Apartment Group

Leopard Leisure

Bar 38

Flynns

Peter Bowlt

Revolution

Peter Bowlt

Inventive Leisure Ltd

Quilted Camel Tup Tup Palace

Fluid Group

Tokyo Industries

Chase

Orchid Group

Tokyo

Tokyo Industries

Riverside

Orchid Group

Tyneside


6.news

Monday 23 April 2012

The Courier

Beloved motorbike stolen Abandoned bikes off after 9,000 mile Africa trip By Charlotte Bates A student who spent three months travelling across dangerous parts of Africa on a motorbike had it stolen on his return to Newcastle Jim Adams, a student at Newcastle University, travelled through the most treacherous parts of Africa for three months on his trusty BMWS650 Dakar motorbike, only to have it stolen when he got home. The daring student drove 9,000 miles of Africa from Cairo to Cape Town, through Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nairobi, Tanzania and Mozambique to raise money for brain tumor research. He travelled across 12 different countries, navigating his dependable bike through dangerous areas, including a place known as the ‘Bandit Country’ where just a week earlier other bikers had been robbed and shot. Surviving three major deserts dirt tracks and hostile environments between Cairo and Cape Town, Adam’s motorbike, nicknamed Pegasus, was stolen from his quiet home town in West Jesmond. “I loved that bike,” said the business management student at Newcastle University. After such a successful return it was an upsetting turn of events for Mr Adams. He describes how ‘the bike could have been stolen lots of times but nobody did’.

“On one stretch of desert from Ethiopia to Kenya, we were warned it was really dangerous and people had been killed.” Jim planned his charity motorbike ride last June with his a university friend Humphrey Wrey. The duo managed to raise £20,000 for a brain tumor charity, which Mr Adams chose after losing his grandmother to the disease. Pegasus, worth £2,500, had only just become road worthy again after its trek across the continent, when it was taken on a Sunday night. The student was shocked and appalled at the discovery that the bike had been taken from his house on Holmwood Grove, in West Jesmond. “When I woke up on Monday and realised it was gone, I was devastated. It cost £2,500 but it’s not the money, it’s the sentimentality. “I have so many important memories.” He suspects that it was a planned theft as “Those bikes are really hard to jumpstart so it must have been picked up and carried away.” As a finial plea, Adams asks the thief to come forward. “I hope someone will see this and realise how important the motorbike is and what I’ve been through on it. ‘If anyone knows where the bike is, please get in touch with the police.’ The student is even willing to pay a reward for any information about the whereabouts of his beloved two-wheeler. However, Jim may finally get some

answers, as police raids on homes with habitants under suspicion of stealing vehicles on Tyneside resulted in five arrests. The investigation involves twenty crimes in total. Cheif Inspector Peter Bent, Newcastle Area Command, said: “Following an investigation we carried out a high-profile operation aimed at targeting those suspected of being involved in theft and burglary across Newcastle and Gateshead. “Specifically, it follows a series of incidents where motorbikes have been stolen from the street, outside people’s homes, in car parks and from people’s garages. Jim was very optimistic after breakthrough was made in the case: “I’m still hoping to get my bike back in time for the summer. “The police have been great and I have been in regular contact with them, so it’s great to know they are making progress.” The raids took place in the Kenton, Fenham, Benwell and Scotswood areas of Newcastle. Men aged 21,18,17 and 15, with a women aged 37 were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal motor vehicles. The arrests follow an investigation into a number of thefts of various motor vehicles, including motorbikes, which had been stolen from various addresses in Newcastle and Gateshead.

ON Y’BIKE

Estates and Security are putting abandoned bikes to good use by sending them to those who need them in the Africa’s poorest parts Photography: Hannah Friend


The Courier

news.7

Monday 23 April 2012

to Africa By Hannah Friend In March, our on-campus security team celebrated the successful delivery of 200 abandoned bicycles to the charity Recyke y’bike. The social enterprise, also a registered charity, sells donated bikes at great prices to raise money for Africa. Last year they funded and provided three lorry loads of bikes to be taken to Africa. Ronnie Bryant, a University Police Officer, and Deputy Team Leader Kenneth Nott, both part of the campus security team, initiated a partnership with the charity in 2007. The scheme has received strong The charitable support from scheme ben- their manager Westwaefits students, George ter, Head of Unithe campus’ versity Security, appearance and endorsed as a positive solution and those in a campus-wide need in African to problem. countries The charitable scheme benefits students, the campus’ appearance and those in need in African countries. Bikes that are left abandoned on campus are commonly judged as unsightly and are deemed a security risk as they attract thieves for parts and regularly used bikes as well as taking up valuable rack space. However, there are protocols and guidelines in place to ensure bikes aren’t taken off to Africa on a whim. Abandoned bikes first get a sticker notifying the owner that they have 14 days to move their bicycle. Next, they are removed and kept in storage for three months to await collection by the owner. If no one reclaims the bike, it’s taken to Recyke y’bike in Byker where volunteer mechanics fix it up and sell it on, or ship it to Africa.

Out with the gold, in with the new: MAD recycle jewellery in aid of ‘Something about Mary’ campaign

GOING ALL THE WAY

Nick from NUSU’s MAD with Mary as she strives to gain her nursing qualification through the foundations help. Photography: MAD

By Hannah Friend The Newcastle University Students Union based MAD foundation is starting a new charitable initiative using your old jewellery to fund nurse training MAD’s new fundraising campaign, Something About Mary, is aiming to is aiming ‘to help advance education and alleviate poverty’ by selling jewellery

donated by students and staff. One of the foundation’s schemes has been supporting a young woman, named Mary in becoming a qualified nurse. Each year they raise £1100 to pay for her tuition fees. She is excelling through the course and is set to finish next year. After Mary completes the training, the charity hopes she will secure a job to support her family, and at the same

Mary, who have this same potential but lack opportunity and funding. The charity aims to support more women complete nursing training but this relies crucially on raising more funds. The MAD Foundation is a local charity based in Newcastle that helps people in some of the world’s poorest countries to help themselves, by working with them at a grassroots level to develop much needed community resources. The foundation are calling on all students to donate any unwanted items of jewellery or old watches. Everything that is donated is assessed for value and sold or recycled in the most profitable way, and nothing goes to waste. They will even greatly receive odd earrings and broken jewellery. To help all you have to do is get an envelope, fill it and put it in the post. This fantastic scheme is completely free to use and is environmentally friendly, even the donation envelopes are recycled. On Monday 23rd and Thursday 26th April the charity will be handing out envelopes between 12 and 2pm. You will find them at the top of the stairs in the union. Come and make a big difference with your unwanted jewellery, or find out other ways in which you can help. If you can’t make these dates, you can grab an envelope from the MAD office

One of the foundation’s schemes has been supporting a young woman named Mary... Each year they raise £1100 to pay her tuition time help others in her community. This would never have been possible without MAD’s support. But there are many more women like

(next to subway) anytime or request one here: http://jewelleryrecycling.org/ uk_envelopes.php.

“being students people Rats and robberies: Manor Bank residents’ anger at condition of halls might think you can’t win” continued from front page theft, particularly in relation to security. “Issues such as rat poo [sic] in people’s flats, rats running around the grounds... the fact our gate can be [easily] pushed open”. The unhappiness over the condition of the front gate resonated with other resident: “I recon [sic] we should all complain about the lack of security and ask for refunds because of the thefts and the fact you can just get in the building with no key, the gate has been unlocked for weeks.” The apparent lapses in security seem to extend beyond the perimeter and into the halls itself. One resident recalled “the [sheer] amount of times security have let me into my flat cos [sic] I’ve lost my key and they haven’t asked any questions.” At the time of printing, Newcastle University was yet to publicly express whether they will be reconsidering their association with the UNITE Group in light of these recent events. In a statement to The Courier, UNITE said that they had taken “immediate action and the information we were able to provide resulted in the identification and subsequent arrest of a suspect.” They also declared “thefts from our properties are rare and while we regret that this unusual and isolated incident took place, we applaud the quick and re-

sponsible actions of the UNITE team at Manor Bank.” Additionally they stated “providing a safe, secure home for the students who live with us is our utmost priority.” A Northumbria University spokesperson told The Courier: “The safety and wellbeing of our students is of paramount importance and we are working with UNITE to investigate these allegations.” The Facebook group set up by Manor Bank residents has acted as a forum for them to air their grievances.

They can climb up stairs and squeeze through literally anywhere, even toilets or showers One resident posted photos of rat droppings found in his flat on his return from the Easter holidays prompting further concerns that rats may be inhabiting the premises.

He commented: “They can climb up stairs and squeeze through literally anywhere, even toilets or showers”. Distress amongst residents is evidently high with one commenting: “Why should we pay rent and money towards the people who are robbing us?” Another student used stronger terms and described the accommodation as “poorly staffed not to mention the shitty laundry facilities... sick of the robbing c*nts.” Some residents have even taken to renaming the halls of residence as ‘Manor Wank’. Before the arrest was made public a resident proclaimed: “Manor Bank is a complete joke! There are quite a few people working there with master keys so it must be somebody in-house.” Police have stated that some of the stolen property has been recovered with items including, according to the Facebook group, jewellery, various iPods, Blackberry mobile phones and digital cameras. As part of plans to celebrate the end of term the Manor Bank residents are hosting a party parodying the problems they have experienced this year and are encouraging party-goers to come dressed as either a rat, robber or security guard.

continued from front page £66. Ogley remarked: “being students people might think you can’t win, but if you have all your evidence you can do. “Neither of us had any legal representation either, it was all done in the judge’s office, with just the judge, the

landlord, Emily and I so it was a more relaxed situation than I expected and a lot less scary.” If you’re having difficulties with your housing deposits or similar, you can contact the Student Advice Centre at student-adivce-centre@ncl.ac.uk.

Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes In 2004 the Government introduced a Housing Act with the aim of improving the private rented sector. One of the measures included within the Act was the introduction of mandatory Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes for all Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST) in England and Wales. The schemes guarantee that tenants will get their deposits back at the end of the tenancy so long as tenants meet the terms of their tenancy agreement and do not damage the property. The scheme also protects deposits paid by third parties, such as parents. Landlords have 14 days in which to safeguard the deposit from the day it is received and students are then able to contact schemes to ensure their deposit has been protected. University Accommodation and property let through the NUstudenthomes Property Management services are however not ASTs and therefore do not have to protect deposits through a protection scheme, so it is advisable to enquire about what processes they have for dealing with disputes about deposits.


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Monday 23 April 2012

Gay blood donation set for student conference By Clare Atkinson Northern Ireland Minister of Health Edwin Poots is facing a backlash amid claims of retaining the ban on gay males donating blood. The issue is set to be raised by student officials of the NUS-USI, which represents students in Ireland, at their annual conference in County Femanagh.

“We would call on the Minister for Health, Edwin Poots, to re-evaluate his position on the ban. “A person’s sexuality is not a predetermining factor on the safety of blood. The ban also perpetuates the myth that only some sections of the community are at risk from HIV. “For a ban to exist on gay men giving blood is an absolute disgrace as it flies in the face of equality and fairness. Think

The issue is set to be raised by student officials of the NUS-USI, which represents students in Ireland at their annual conference The ban used to exist in all parts of the United Kingdom, but has recently been abolished, to great acclaim, in all regions except Northern Ireland. There has been a significant outcry from Northern Ireland residents. Students in particular are keen to take action, as the debate surrounding gay men as blood donors has once again come into the spotlight. President of NUS-USI Adrianne Peltz stated that more equality was necessary across the society, adding “[we] will also be raising the issue of putting more pressure on the Health Minister to remove the despicable ban on gay men from donating blood, which has been lifted in other parts of the UK.

of the appalling message that this ban sends out. The fact that this blood donation ban is being lifted elsewhere but still exists here brings shame on Northern Ireland. “For the Government to fail to lift the ban would be scandalous. As well as this being a key equality issue, we also need more blood donors here and this is literally a matter of life and death for a significant number of people in Northern Ireland.” A spokesperson for the Department of Health stressed that by no means was the decision final, adding that The Minister of Health had “asked for further information regarding the level of risks.”

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The last gasp of barely veiled prejudice CHARLES BARRY COMMENT

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rom the 7 November 2011, following an announcement by health ministers for England, Wales and Scotland, gay men were able to donate blood if they had been celibate for at least 12 months. Previous practice had been that if you had sex with a man, regardless of how long ago, whether you used a condom or even whether you were actually infected with a sexual disease, you couldn’t donate blood. Gay men, in particular those who have one sexual partner and conducted safe sex, would now merely be categorised as the same risk level as men who have sex with prostitutes. In response, Newcastle University Students’ Union Council voted to lift our ban on allowing the National Blood Service into the Union. And that would have been that, if it hadn’t been for one small section of the UK that quietly didn’t follow the others on their long-overdue journey into the 21st century. Edwin Poots, Health Minister for Northern Ireland, announced in September 2011 that the province would not be lifting the life-

time ban on gay men donating blood, citing public safety concerns. As of last week, the ban is still in effect and Mr Poots said he was still to “make up his mind” on the issue. It is difficult to convey the boneheaded stupidity of Mr Poots’ decision. First of It’s really sad there is the that in this day all, obvious fact that and age the the Northern language of Irish blood supply will contain public safety can be twisted blood from Welsh so easily to suit English, or Scottish gay the agendas men who are of those preju- now allowed to diced against donate. Secondly, the increase in gay rights. risk from the Blood donachange in policy tion is a moral is completely negligible. enterprise A major study by Davidson et al. which was used by the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) to determine the wisdom of lifting the ban looked at data on HIV blood infections from 2005-2007. They determined that with the lifetime ban in place, there would be 0.227 HIV infections in the blood supply per million donations. With the new 12 month celibacy requirement, there would be

0.228 infections per million donations. In other words, lifting the ban would mean one new infection per 1000 million donations. Let’s now put those figures into perspective. Consider that in 2009/2010 there were 63,241 blood donations in Northern Ireland. Lifting the ban would mean that one extra HIV infection would occur in Northern Ireland every 15,812 years. Mr Poots has now had over six months to go to the nearest calculator and do the sums for himself. It is therefore extremely difficult to understand his decision in terms of anything other than simple prejudice towards gay men. It’s really sad that in this day-and-age the language of public safety can be twisted so easily to suit the agendas of those prejudiced against gay rights. What’s really interesting from the Davidson study is the fact that allowing gay men total freedom to donate blood (including subsequent improvements since 2007 in blood screening technology) would result in one undetected HIV blood infection every 21 years for the entire UK. Blood donation is in essence a moral enterprise. Donation is an altruistic act, a gift to an unknown person who is in need. Those in Northern Ireland opposing the lifting of the ban need to come clean on the true reasons why they think gay men deserve to be subjugated.


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Monday 23 April 2012

London Metropolitan University proposes alcohol ban on campus By Jake Unswoorth London Metropolitan University has announced it is considering banning alcohol in certain areas of their campus. The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Malcolm Gillies, unveiled the idea recently during a recent speech. He suggested that some members of the student population, in particular Muslim students, have a ‘negative experience’

Job Title: Server/Bartender Employer: Village Hotel Newcastle Closing date: 25.04.12 Salary: National Minimum Wage Basic job description: The Village Hotel Newcastle is holding a recruitment day on the 25th April from 3-9pm offering Bartender/ Server positions within their Buca di Beppo restaurant. Person requirements: Server - To be a success in this role, you’ll need to be passionate about food and have a confident and outgoing personality to deliver the service standards we demand. Bartender - You’ll need to be an experienced bartender, able to dispense drinks and mix cocktails, have a confident and outgoing personality to deliver the service standards we demand. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Student Brand Manager Employer: Ernst & Young Closing date: 30.04.12 Salary: £9.00 per hour Basic job description: We are currently looking for Student Brand Managers to be our campus representatives for 2012/13. You will: Develop our brand on campus, implement promotional campaigns throughout the academic year, use your existing network of contacts to identify opportunities to support our local marketing needs, use social media sites to interact with our campus networks, implement creative solutions and initiatives to build our brand on campus. Person requirements: We are ideally seeking students who are currently doing a Marketing or related degree, however we would consider applicants who can demonstrate a strong interest in marketing. Students must currently be studying at the university they would be promoting as an undergraduate, and will be in their second or penultimate year of study for the 2012/13 academic year. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Note Taker Employer: Clear Links Support Ltd. Closing date: 01.05.12 Salary: £10.61 per hour + £1.28 holiday pay per hour Basic job description: Clear Links Support is a specialist provider of academic support to students in higher education. A reliable degree-level Note Taker is required to produce an accurate, full and legible record of the content of lectures, seminars etc which are then to be given to the Client. The work is temporary-ongoing in nature, and a variety of hours will be available. Person requirements: Applicants must have completed at least 1 year of higher education study and be able to demonstrate clear

because of the excessive drinking culture at the University. Practising Muslims do not drink alcohol, and some believe that others drinking is immoral. However, it has been reported that some Muslim groups from the University have said that they have not asked for this change. While some would welcome it, they fear that it might cause segregation between the different races at the University which is not something they want. One of the key problems centres on the fact that

the alcohol ban would include university accommodation, and whilst banning drinking around the lecture theatres wouldn’t be opposed by many, the idea that University halls would be alcoholfree could put off many students. One student suggested that Muslim students happily take part in events where alcohol was being consumed by others, and that this was occurring p more and more frequently, resulting in a more integrated and happy University experience for many.

and legible handwriting, as well as accurate spelling and grammar skills. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne.

Bonuses Basic job description: Add some sparkle to your CV and become the face of Virgin at your University. We are looking for bright and motivated brand ambassadors in Newcastle to represent Virgin Media. The successful candidate will promote the brand and gain invaluable experience in lead generation, sales and marketing. There will be various hours available to fit around studies and social life. Person requirements: N/A Location: Newcastle upon Tyne.

Job Title: Male Personal Assistant Employer: Disability North Closing date: 08.05.12 Salary: £8.40 per hour Basic job description: A Male Personal Assistant is required to work 6 hours per week. The role will involve taking an elderly gentleman out in the community. You will provide a befriending role and social interaction so it is very important that you can initiate conversation and not be shy. There may be some personal care involved. Person requirements: Hold a Driving Licence and own car. This post is subject to references and satisfactory CRB checks. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Shop Floor Assistant Employer: ASDA Closing date: 27.04.12 Salary: TBC Basic job description: A Shop Floor Assistant is required to work 20 hours per week at the store in Byker. On the shop floor you have a great opportunity to welcome customers, talk to them, help them and make their shopping trip memorable. You also have an important part to play in helping us meet our sales targets, whether it’s by recommending a product to a customer or making sure the shelves are stocked with the things they want to buy. Person requirements: You’ll be expected to look the part through a smart appearance, and play the part in a friendly and professional way. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Female Personal Assistant Employer: Disability North Closing date: 11.05.12 Salary: £8.50 per hour Basic job description: A Female Personal Assistant is required to work 2-4 hours per week (Tuesday & Sunday - 2 hours per day) to support a cheerful, outgoing young woman with domestic tasks and occasional social outings, enabling her to maintain independence. You will be working in the Heaton area. Person requirements: Car driver preferred. Subject to CRB checks. This post is exempt from the Equality Act 2010, Schedule 9, Paragraphs 1 - 4. Location: Newcastle upon Tyne. Job Title: Brand Ambassadors Employer: Campus Industries Closing date: None given- Apply ASAP Salary: £7.00 per hour + Commission +

Job Title: Cashier Clerk x2 Employer: North Tyneside Council Closing date: 27.04.12 Salary: £15,444 - £16,440 pro-rata Basic job description: 2 Cashier Clerks are required to work 18.75 hours per week with North Tyneside Council. We are looking for enthusiastic individuals who will provide cashiering and clerical support within the Income Management Team which is part of the Revenue and Benefit Services at the Cobalt Business Park. Person requirements: We are looking for someone who is a strong team player. The candidate must be forward thinking, flexible, adaptable and be able to work under pressure to tight deadlines. Candidates will be required to have had at least one years experience with in a Banking or Bulk cash environment and to have experience in office based administration duties, with a good working knowledge of Exel and Word applications. Location: North Tyneside. Job Title: Marquee Labourer Employer: Collingwood Marquees Closing date: None given- Apply ASAP Salary: £6.50 - £7.50 per hour Basic job description: We are looking for a Marquee Labourer to work part-time hours. Your main duties include erecting and dismantling Marquees and associated equipment, loading and unloading, driving to and from site and working with a team erecting and de-rigging marquees etc. You will be working across the North East. The position involves working long hours including weekends and bank holidays. Person requirements: You will need to have good communication and team working skills and the ability to work hard. You must be physically fit as the work is manual and physically demanding which includes heavy lifting. You will mainly be working outside in all weather. Reliability and good timekeeping is essential. Location: North East England.

New £14 Million University set for library worries China following employees politician visit By Morgan Ayre Leeds University The University of Leeds is set to build a new £14 million library aiming to provide a better service for undergraduates. This will run alongside a £2 million renovation to the existing Edward Boyle library specifically for postgraduate students. The build will create 1,000 study spaces and could be completed as early as 2014. How e v e r, Un i v e r s i t y car parking space is limited and the loss of the Emmanuel Car Park to facilitate the new library has caused anger among staff who feel that design has been given priority over practicality. In attempts to reassure staff and visitors, a spokesman for the University has said the plans are in a very early stage.

Oxford sees drop in applications, but rise in private school potentials University of Oxford The general number of applicants to study at the University of Oxford has fallen, statistics show an increase in the numbers of private school and overseas pupils applying for places. The number of pupils from state schools wishing to study at Oxford has fallen by 240 while those from overseas are now making up over 30% of applicants. It is thought that the rise in tuition fees to £9,000 explains this latest trend. Oxford is making attempts to make access easier by granting fee waivers to the poorest students and has said that those who attend Oxford’s summer school are more than twice as likely to gain a place. This comes as many universities across the country are being scrutinised about the level of financial access they give out to poorer applicants. The Students Union is currently running a ‘Deal or no Deal’ campaign to combat the issue Photography: niaseembley and Lawrence OP(Flickr)

Queen’s University Belfast A student at the University of York Queen’s University, Belfast is ready to set up a new college in China for 1,000 students to study pharmaceutical science. This follows a recent visit from Madame Liu Yandong, a Chinese state councillor and the highest ranking female member of China’s Communist Party. The new college will be situated in the industrial Shenyang in the north east of the country, which has a population of around 14 million. It is expected that there will be 250 students enrolling for the four year degrees and they will be taught by staff from Queen’s and the China Medical University.

Police recover stolen museum artefacts Durham University

On Saturday the police recovered two artefacts totalling £1.8 million belonging to Durham University’s Oriental Museum, which were stolen on 5 April. Five suspects were arrested last week after they cut a three foot wide hole in the side of the museum and smashed the cabinets containing the Dehua sculpture and Jade Bowl. The suspects have been released on bail until June but police in Durham are still searching for Adrian Stanton and Lee Wildman who are linked to the crime. The museum was closed for a week after the theft but reopened on Monday with a museum spokesman adding that they would be reviewing their security.

Students warned about flasher University of Sheffield

Female students at the University of Sheffield were warned to keep vigilant following reports of a young man exposing himself in student areas. The man is said to be in his early 20s, Asian/ mixed race and has been targeting young women in the early hours of the morning. The University advised its female students not to walk home alone or to use public transport if necessary. Anyone with information is urged to contact South Yorkshire Police.


Comment

Monday 23 April 2012

The Courier

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

RITE OF PASSAGE? Some argue that smoking cannabis is less harmful than legal substances such as tobacco Cartoon: Joe_13 (Flickr)

Should cannabis be legalised? AMY SHIELDS

YES

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or most teenagers today, experimenting with cannabis is in many ways a rite of passage, something new to try and a way of rebelling. I am strongly against the use of recreational drugs, but nonetheless the criminalisation of cannabis is not helpful; its use is a social and not a criminal problem. Therefore a new

angle must be used in the approach to dealing with the drug problem that doesn’t leave people with a criminal record. Smoking cannabis is widely regarded in society as an acceptable and harmless activity. Most people try it once or twice and then leave it alone, never feeling in any way that they are committing any form of crime. In such a context, criminaliation is senseless; after all no one else is getting harmed, and essentially you are only damaging yourself. In these cases, prosecution is usually for possession, a minor crime that could ruin futures. In other contexts though, the situation is trickier. In areas of poverty where life prospects seem limited and gang culture is often prevalent, drugs such as cannabis are seen as a way of dealing with problems. Ultimately what is often more damaging is the criminal record these people end up with. Their life options are limited even further and it can

be even harder to get a job. This often then leads to a vicious cycle whereby feeling hopeless leads them back into drugs as an escape from their problems. Therefore, instead of treating cannabis users as criminals, there should be more of an effort made to resolve the underlying social issues causing people to turn to drugs. Steps should also be taken whereby those who have a problem can easily seek advice and their supply can be regulated by someone licensed and knowledgeable. Criminalising cannabis also clogs up our already overcrowded prisons, where they are only more likely to come into contact with dealers selling stronger drugs in an environment with no escape, as well as costing millions to the taxpayer. By legalising cannabis, a tax could be placed upon its sale that could, according to Liberal Democrat George Miles, net approximately ÂŁ2 billion a year. This is money that could facilitate educational and rehabilitation centres

which might actually give people hope and prospects. The Dutch have a completely different attitude to cannabis. There the drug is seen largely as recreational, whereas here I believe it is more a tool for subversion or escape. By bringing drug use into the public, as opposed to keeping it a private and secretive habit, it would be much easier to pick up on when a drug problem becomes serious. Furthermore, it would be easier for the government to regulate and control, and as the Dutch example has statistically shown, there has not been a massive increase in use due to legalisation. Legalising cannabis would by no means glamourise it. Instead the money wasted on prosecuting and imprisoning these people can be put to better use in rehabilitating those who need it, and educating others on the risks they are taking with their health and their futures.

KATHRYN RIDDELL

NO

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he debate surrounding the decriminalisation of cannabis has re-entered the news recently as Richard Branson, a member of the Global Commission on Drugs Policy, has been campaigning for legislation rather than continuing to criminalise drugs. Branson is not alone in taking this stance, with currently 23,200 signatures on an e-petition requesting a


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11.comment

Monday 23 April 2012

debate on the legalisation of cannabis in the House of Commons. However, against the image of a stereotypical student, I believe that cannabis should continue to be an illegal substance. The reason for the popular backing of legislation is mainly due to the common view that cannabis is a ‘mild’ or ‘harmless’ drug. ‘No worse than tobacco or alcohol’ is an argument often used. Yet, when tobacco and alcohol were first used, the side-effects and the consequences of detrimental health were not known. Tobacco was even thought to have healing properties. The problem with this is that once cannabis has been legalised, there can be no going back. Similar to alcohol and attempts of prohibition in America, once a substance has been introduced it cannot be easily removed, in spite of the health risks. And there has been plenty of research to show that this ‘harmless’ drug can have serious effects. As cannabis is usually smoked, there is a danger of lung disease, including cancer. Regular use has been linked to psychotic illness such as schizophrenia. Concentration and motivation can be affected with research linking high use with poor exam results. Additionally, despite claims that cannabis isn’t addictive, some users do get cravings and suffer from withdrawal symptoms if they try to quit. As well as costly health implications, there is no real way of knowing the consequences of legalisation in our country. After Portugal’s decriminalisation of drug possession for example,

Despite claims that cannabis isn’t addictive some users do get withdrawal symptoms there was an overall increase in drug use and the homicide rate rose, according to a UN Office on Drugs and Crime report. Legal cannabis could lead users which have never been drug users before, onto harder drugs and risk more lives. Cannabis itself could even become more dangerous. If legal, then the level of psychoactive chemical THC, which causes relaxation and hallucinations, would be regulated by the government. A black market could then be created which had higher levels of THC, to give users a stronger high. Instead of being a solution to drug dealers, elements of illegality and black marketing would still be a problem after decriminalisation. It is clear that this debate is not going to go away any time soon, but legalisation must be prevented to avoid its potential disadvantages. No matter what the supposed arguments for legislation are, surely nothing can be more important that preserving health and life, which are put in obvious danger with drug use and drug availability. Instead, focus should be turned onto suppressing illegal substances and reducing criminal activity, without legalisation.

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Unhappy future for Happy Meal kids RALPH BLACKBURN

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he year is 2020. David Cameron is still cutting benefits, saying it is essential to stick to the austerity programme. One Direction split up after an experimental sixth album, citing differences in musical direction. Harry Redknapp is knighted having led England in a victorious 2018 World Cup campaign. Oh, and half of Britain’s children are clinically obese. Whilst it is highly unlikely Cameron will be in power in 2020, One Direction will release six albums, or England will ever win a World Cup, children in Britain are currently on course for 50% obesity by 2020, as stated by organisations representing almost every doctor in the country last week. This statistic comes out quite pertinently in time with McDonald’s response to criticism regarding its sponsorship of the London Olympics. With obesity the “single greatest” threat to health in the UK, according to doctors McDonald’s sponsorship of the London Olympics appears foolish. Now there is nothing wrong with a Big Mac every now and then, but McDonald’s being the only branded restaurant in the Athlete’s Village is bizarre, and McDonald’s recent claims that their Olympics plan will actually make children healthier is absurd. The idea is that inside Happy Meals, kids will get ‘activity toys’ which will then count how many steps or jumps the child takes a day. I’m sure some children will measure how many steps they take, as they jump around the playground at break time. However I highly doubt any will come near to running three hours

TRULY RIDICULOUS Fast food chain McDonalds claim the Olympics may help to influence Children’s attitude to healthy lifestyles. Cartoon: Joe_13 (Flickr)

straight, which is approximately how long it takes to burn off the calories of a Happy Meal. If you think about it, McDonald’s partnership with the London Olympics is truly ridiculous. Arguably the most unhealthy corporation in the world promoting the assembly of the most athletic and healthy people across the planet. It is similar to Bernard Matthews promoting PETA or Fosters and Smirnoff sponsoring Alcoholics Anonymous. That the government did not block this deal is ridiculous, and you only need to look at the example of the tobacco industry to see the impact that stopping advertising can have. Cigarette consumption has dropped by 9% and

can save 3,000 lives a year in the long term. This week a YouGov poll found that two thirds of people supported using blank cigarette packets, which would further deter people from smoking. Despite this crackdown upon tobacco companies, the fast food market largely finds itself escaping the firing line. It is hard to imagine Jessica Ennis or Mo Farah heading for McDonald’s between events during the Olympics, however that is what’s being propagated, encouraging children to eat more fatty foods. It is such a bizarre implication that you would not be far stretched to say it was false advertising. Professor Terence Ste-

phenson, vice-president of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges said it was “most unhelpful ... people must be influenced by it.” It is hard not to agree with him, The Department of Health says it is taking action to combat obesity, however it has failed to be proactive and allowed McDonald’s to sponsor one of the biggest events in the United Kingdom of the last 50 years. In eight years time kids may still be counting the steps with their McDonald’s action toys, however they’ll most likely be clinically obese, hardly helping Britain compete in future Olympics, as the legacy of London 2012 will be lost by Britain’s poor attitude to health.

Tax relief ‘row’ another embarrassment JOE MATHERS

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eorge Osborne set out very clearly that in this budget he wanted to clamp down on tax evasion. This was in an effort to change people’s perception that the Conservative party are friends of the rich and also, more cynically, to increase government revenue. Unfortunately for the Chancellor, not all tax evasion is seen as unscrupulous rich people not paying their fair share in tax. A significant proportion of tax relief is money given to philanthropic causes. Now the great, good and many members of the Conservative party are teaming up to take on the Chancellor over this tax relief change. This is yet another negative headline the budget is producing almost a month later. However, this disagreement is crucial because Osborne and the Conservative party in general have been seen to be

friends of the rich and completely out of touch with the general public. This is due to the abolition of the fifty pence tax rate, pasty gate and the so called ‘granny tax’.

et. But the facts have been lost and the newspapers have been very successful at making the government look like an old boys club helping their friends.

This latest saga just adds to the impression that the Conservative party are the party of the rich

This latest saga just adds to the impression that the Conservative party are the party of the rich, and hits the government in its most vulnerable area. The government maintains that they are helping ordinary people with this budg-

This latest row is doubly embarrassing for the government, because part of Cameron’s Big Society project was encouraging philanthropic giving and allowing charities to expand and fill the gaps where the state had been.

Furthermore, the treasury knew that this may become a problem in the budget and the red book states that the government will: “explore with philanthropists ways to ensure that this measure will not have a significant impact on charities that depend on large donations.” Additionally, there seems to be a simple solution to this mess, which is adopting an American-style tax relief system, where there is a separate tax relief cap for charitable giving compared with other types of tax relief. But infighting between treasury ministers has meant that no agreement has been made, further adding to the joy of the newspapers. Cracking down on tax evasion was seen as a way the government could show that they were standing up for ordinary people. This tactic has completely backfired and they are now seen as hurting charities. Charities are seen by the electorate as doing fantastic work and are certainly much more popular than any government. For a government that doesn’t want to look like the pals of the rich or out of touch, this latest PR battle over the budget is a real balls up - and that’s being charitable.


12.comment THE NEWS THAT MADE ME EMILY RAE

#5 - Brick it I feel pretty. Oh, so pretty. I feel pretty and witty and gay... It’s hard to tell whether I am quoting West Side Story or Samantha Brick here. Daily Mail’s Samantha Brick this month faced a huge backlash after writing the article, ‘There are downsides to looking this pretty: Why women hate me for being beautiful’. With her name trending on Twitter and spoof articles appearing across the internet, many presumed it was a belated April fool’s joke. On first glances I thought it was one of those sensational headlines you read in trashy magazines (personal favourite: “My boyfriend went down on me and found next doors neighbour’s cat”). The Daily Mail’s motive behind the headline is a shameless attempt for mass website hits and publicity. In fact many comments on the article suggest she secretly wanted the publicity the article received aka the subsequent dosh involved for a few minutes of being the nation’s Donut Of The Week. Brick-brain begins by claiming she’s had unknown men give her bottles of bubbly on nights out due to the fact her ‘pleasing appearance and pretty smile made their day’. I’ve had the same treatment myself. An old bus driver once tapped me on the shoulder and whispered sweet nothings down my ear; “You’ve got crackin’ legs love”. It’s these kind of men you need to be wary of, Samantha. Next, she graciously admits she’s ‘no Elle Macpherson’ but then suggests other women hate her for no other reason than her ‘lovely looks’. This is the sentence that has faced the most controversy, due to her admission that she believes she’s attractive and the suggestion that women hate her because of it. I do feel sorry for Brick-brain regarding the numerous comments directed at her appearance. I am all for having confidence in one’s appearance, as it is confidence that is sexy and empowering, not the aesthetics. However, the claim that women hate her for her looks is ridiculous. The top rated comment on Brick’s article comes from Annie, Toronto; ‘Perhaps the reason that other women don’t like her is because she comes across as an unlikeable self-obsessed narcissist?’. I’m certain that all female readers will agree when I say that this claim is insulting. Women are not so shallow to base looks as a qualifier for friendship. Brick-brain also discusses how older women are ‘the most hostile to beautiful women’. Surely older women will have got their priorities right by that stage in life. Judging by my Facebook newsfeed (a true microcosm of the world) Brick has no need to worry about hostility amongst the young either. I find it highly amusing when young girls showcase a new DP to be inevitably followed by a comment like “OMG soo jealous of your figure you look amazing!” which is tailed by “noo way babes seriously look at yourself! YOU’RE the stunning one <3”. But I have to say my favourite quotes come from the end. At this point you do question Brick-brain’s money/publicity motive. ‘I can’t wait for the wrinkles and the grey hair that will help me blend into the background. .. then the sisterhood will finally stop judging me so harshly on what I look like, and instead accept me for who I am.’ Yeah, a right plonker.

Monday 23 April 2012

The Courier

BEST OF ONLINE RESPONSES RE: Facebook, time to sort your life out JohnDoe says: One click lock-down… I love how the media always misses this part out. One click makes everything in your past completely private and only visible to those you wish to share with, which for the majority is just your friends. Yes, the new privacy settings are worrying especially considering how it can affect your career prospects, but anybody with a modicum of intelligence can figure out how to put their profile under lock and key. Why does this never get mentioned? Education > fear.

RE: The Kony 2012 brand Nick says: I’m not fully in favour of everything KONY 2012 seems to endorse, but I can’t believe you just compared the charitable movement of helping overthrow a source of pure evil to the likes of Capitalism. Just because people felt moved or inspired by the video’s main message, does not mean we’re naively ‘buying’ into

POLL RESULTS DO YOU AGREE WITH IMPLEMENTING ‘CLARE’S LAW’ TO TACKLE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

YES

“WOMEN SHOULD BE PROTECTED’

53% NO

“IT WOULD VIOLATE THE PRIVACY OF SUSPECTED MEN”

47%

anything - the need to help others is something which stems from inner humanity, not something you can buy and sell. If this video had been created by a Ugandan as opposed to an American, would it still be getting as much worldwide coverage and branded in this way? Jack says: Nick, I found the video moving as well, I’m not suggesting that there is anything wrong with that. By “buying into” the cause I don’t mean in the metaphorical sense, but the literal sense – don’t feel the need to get a shiny bracelet with your own exclusive I’d number just because “everyone will think you’re an advocate of awesome”. Nath says: Couldn’t agree more with this article. It seems, as with everything, the audience are divided into the cynics and those who believe in KONY 2012. Had I heard about Joesph Kony before this video? No. But I know who he is now. I haven’t had to wear a bracelet to make a statement to others that I am this ‘advocate of awesome’ either. Their aim is to have Joseph Kony ar-

rested and made to account for his crimes this year – and I say good luck to them. Im aware of him now – but am I going to suddenly rally behind them until Kony is caught? No, probably not. I’m aware of lots of horrible things in the world and I wish I could donate to and support each and every one of them, but I can’t. I donate to the ones which have affected me the most – selfish? Perhaps. I help out where I can. But I don’t have the means or money to support everything as I have to get on with living my own life. Matt says: While I agree it’s very consumerist, if you’re looking at a means to an end it’s extremely clever. I’ll openly admit, as a politics student, I’d not heard of Joseph Kony. However, the way something like this generates awareness exploits 21st century culture for a positive. While their methods of dealing with the problem can be critiqued, I cant fault their clever exploitation of modern technology to bring the problem to light.

RE: Cryer sentenced to 240 hours of community service

Newcastle student says: The University should really make an example of him and chuck him out. He does not deserve to study at Newcastle and I think it is worth bearing in mind that in Newcastle there are a lot of international students and I wonder what message it says to them, if he is not removed from the University. Additionally, as a law student, he really should have known better. I feel that he has really shamed the reputation of Newcastle, and quite frankly it would be embarrassing as a student if he were allowed to complete his degree and graduate. University lecturer says: Clearly the biggest punishment he is going to suffer as a result of this case is the detrimental effect it will have on his career. No one may enter a legal profession with any sort of history like this - all employers have to do these days is Google someone’s name and it’s all there. Gossip will fade but internet files stay there forever. This should set an example to all students that the internet is more dangerous than you think, the smallest abuse can lead to very long term damages.


14.

The Courier

Monday 23 April 2012

Did it hurt when you fell from heaven? Picking up women - it can be tricky business for some, but big business for others. Tom Nicholson ventured to The London School of Attraction, founded by a Newcastle graduate, to pick up tips on turning from solitary singleton to sultry seducer

B

efore we begin, you should know that I am spectacularly poor at chatting up girls. Once the topics of our respective courses, hometowns and locations in Newcastle have been mined, I’m pretty much spent. On one occasion a girl mentioned that she’d seen a steam engine some weeks previously, and consequently I attempted to seduce her by wowing her with my knowledge of steam engines.

It might surprise you to find out that this didn’t work, and I suspect she only sat through my lecture on the relative merits of the Pacific A4 class and the A3 class, its close cousin, out of politeness. Either way, she made her excuses and left before we got to the finer points of boiler construction. It was perhaps with this form in mind that I was dispatched to London to meet a Newcastle graduate who now runs The London School of Attraction, a business which describes itself as “committed to giving men the skills and confidence to meet and attract beautiful women”, and take part in one of his sessions. Andrew and I arrange to meet at his flat in Soho. I’d half-expected a Peter Stringfellow-type figure to

meet me at the door; grey ponytail, gut straining against velour flares, medallion nestled upon grey chest hair. To my surprise, Andrew is a tall, eloquent, charming 28-year-old who graduated in 2005 with a 2:1 in accounting and finance. Speaking of finance, the price list for sessions is steep to say the least; options range from £95 for an hour’s tutelage to a seven-day package named ‘Intensive’, which includes seventy hours of one-on-one coaching for the eye-watering sum of £3500. This speaks to both the clientele which the LSA attracts and the demand for its services. Andrew tells me clients are ite typically professionals in struck by quomeone’s ly n e d d their late-twenties u s s I’m and early-thirties tion is. I’m int a non-existent a u it s e th d d – for example, ss a how o t up an actred to appear “six or a doctor and a h c to g in y te a diplomat in flat, tr been instruc” interested. s a h recent weeks o h w r a b f-ten – who don’t seven-out-o have much free time in which to meet women, and want to make the most of the opportunities they do have. Takers for the ‘Intensive’ course are rare, though Andrew does say that prices will rise as long as clients are willing to pay them. With an average of four clients a week coming to him for sessions of varying lengths that looks increasingly likely and he anticipates that “this could be a huge business in five years.” It’s not for no reason that companies who promise to improve one’s record with the opposite sex are viewed with some mistrust. Their mission statements tend to sound suspiciously Photography: Moises Bedrossian close to those pyramid scheme emails with titles like “AREA MOM EARNS $3000 A DAY WORKING FROM HOME!!!!” which circulate in the hope that a few poor saps will fall for it and invest. Aside from this, there was the concern that I’d be engaging in something akin to the dark arts. Pickup artists – that is, men who consider themselves highly skilled in meeting and seducing women – have a justifiably shady reputation, whether because the fact that practitioners are given to referring to women as either ‘game’ or by the number they score on the attractiveness scale out of ten, or because of the overwhelming air of cynicism which accompanies their endeavours. Andrew is keen to distance what he does from pick-up artistry, describing their approach as “immature”. “If you start hiding behind terms and treating it as a game it’s counter-productive,” he says. “In this area, you’re going to get the most success if you’re just open and yourself. What’s important is the sustainability of it... [pick-up artistry] becomes something you do when you go into a bar, whereas we think it should be something integrated into your personality.” Nor does the LSA website give off a particularly creepy air, relying mainly on solid common sense tips (e.g. talk to lots of girls and eventually one will fancy you) with only the odd diversion into questionable areas. One tip suggests that you should, upon arrival


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Monday 23 April 2012

I’d half-expected a Peter Stringfellowtype figure to meet me at the door; grey ponytail, gut straining against velour flares, medallion nestled upon grey chest hair. To my surprise, Andrew is a tall, eloquent, charming 28-year-old who graduated in 2005 with a 2:1 in Accounting and Finance.

at a bar, talk to five different groups of strangers ents (not the steam trains, the knowing-what-toon your way to get a drink. Most people would say-next). We start with a game of Mallet’s mallet. assume you were either drunk or mad, and at least If you’re unfamiliar, it’s like word association but two of those groups of strangers would be likely with more children being beaten over the head to greet you with pepper spray. This, Andrew tells with foam hammers. me, is a common fear – not the pepper spray per The idea is to get me thinking more creatively se, but actually having the guts to walk up to a girl and spontaneously, though the loss of four consecand hold the first five minutes of a conversation utive rounds doesn’t do much for my confidence. with her is, he says, “the hardest part”. From there we move onto a ‘simulation’, wherein Jessica, an actor, joins us. I will attempt to firstly get Jessica’s attention and Her role within the then into what Andrew calls “the golden five Once at King setup is to play minutes”. This time is crucial, he says, in ’s Cross, I dec the part of the establishing a rapport and showing out Andrew’s id e to try coaching for woman I’m to that you can carry a conversac o ncourse, I see real. On the u approach in The approach which I’m pper tion. a very pretty the ‘simulaencouraged to adopt is to c g o ir ffee and strid l sat drinking tions’ of social simply say whatever comes e o v e r “ to H ello-”, I begin s situations to mind, even if that’s “I , but before I it at her table. which form a can’t think of anything c a n say anythin else she smile central part of to say.” The reasoning is g s cu the sessions. that one is being absolutely up and leaves rtly, stands Firstly, Andrew asks genuine and honest rather . B u g g er. me a few questions about than hiding behind preconceived what I want from the coachroutines or tactics, and I would be ing, and what exactly I struggle with wholeheartedly in favour of it were it not for currently. As we don’t have all night, I go for the the fact that painful experience has taught me that main sticking points of actually approaching a girl whatever comes to my mind first is usually very and then sustaining a conversation that isn’t about boring (see the train fiasco). steam locomotion. To my relief, Andrew tells me On the basis that I blame my brain for getting these concerns are typical of the majority his cliinvolved and ruining my chances, after the first

introduction my plan is to just move my mouth and hope it forms words. “Right, so, say the bar’s over there” – Andrew indicates a blank area of wall – “and, in your own time...” He sits back on the sofa to observe how I do. I’m suddenly struck by quite how odd the situation is. I’m in someone’s flat, trying to chat up an actress at a non-existent bar who has been instructed to appear “six or seven-out-of-ten” interested, while Andrew sits and makes notes about four feet away. Feeling a bit nauseous, I walk toward Jessica, touch her on the arm and try an opening gambit Andrew suggested; I tell her that my friends are being dull and talking about work, and that she seems a much more interesting person to talk to. After remarking on how new the bar is, and asking if she’s been before, I’m already in danger of drying up. Fortunately, I get a second wind. “I’m quite enjoying the Hawaiian theme”, I say, waving vaguely at a printer, and we’re off onto Hawaii, its cultural exports, the fact that Edward VIII loved surfing. When that sputters to a close, we move on, somehow, to breaking in new school shoes and those weird machines which squish your feet to measure them. Andrew calls a halt after what feels like a terribly long time. To my great surprise, he says I was brilliant in showing my ease with leading the conversation. To my even greater surprise, he says that if I could replicate that with every girl I talked to, I’d be “phenomenally successful”. Me! A phenomenon! Ego suitably stroked, we try again, this time with the idea of taking the conversation away from simple fact-based chatter and toward slightly more fantastical waters. The idea is that by creating an imaginary space and then inviting your partner to talk about it and inhabit it with you, you create a strong bond quickly. However, the second simulation is much less successful than the first. I try a rather ham-fisted joke about astro-turfing London and filling in Trafalgar Square to make a massive boating lake which fizzles out and leaves me painfully aware of the sound of Andrew’s pen on his notepad. “Err...” Come on brain, please help. Panic sets in. I look around desperately for inspiration. Table? Can’t just say table, she’ll think I’m crackers. More scrib-

bling. Oh God. Think of words. I can’t think of any words. Scribble scribble. There’s a window in front of me. Could I survive a leap to freedom from two floors up? It’d be less painful than standing in front of a very attractive woman and gurgling like I’d suddenly been lobotomised, at any rate. Finally I fall back on the old standby of asking Jessica where she lives and what she does. Andrew stops us after a discussion of how hipsters are colonising Bethnal Green. Jessica points out that it might have been an idea to let her respond to my “Hello” rather than charging headlong into a garbled “HellomymateshaveleftIdon’twanttobealonec anItalktoyouplease”, which barely gave her time to breathe, much less return the greeting. Happily though, she tells me my body language is excellent – open, interested, with the right amount of eye contact. I didn’t even know I was doing anything particularly right. It makes me wonder whether they sometimes have clients who would deem it normal to stand, arms crossed, glaring with frightening intensity at Jessica a couple of inches from her face. Suddenly, the hour’s coaching was up and I had to catch my train home. As we had wound up the session, I asked Andrew a question which has plagued mankind for millennia: just how does one avoid the dreaded ‘friend zone’? “With difficulty” is the answer, it appears, but I was most pleased by the fact that while explaining the process of incrementally increasing the intimacy of contact between oneself and one’s partner, Andrew stresses heavily the importance of not pressing a girl who isn’t interested, of accepting that being knocked back is an unavoidable part of talking to women. In some pick-up artist circles, there is coaching on how to overcome a woman’s points of “last minute resistance”, for example when attempting to undress her or even later on in proceedings. The attitude that one can coerce a woman into sleeping with oneself is deeply sickening, and this is one of the key points at which Andrew’s approach differs from standard pick-up artistry: the latter is forceful, and almost entirely about the man getting what he wants from the situation; the former is more based on learning how to strike up conversation and seeing where the conversation takes you. The watchwords were always authenticity and sincerity, which makes a heartening change from the pick-up artistry which frequently seems utterly vile. Even committed pick-up artist Neil Strauss, author of seminal text The Game, admits that the techniques he uses “can lower one’s opinion of the opposite sex”. Far from being a ‘system’ with which to impress the other men in your circle, Andrew’s focus is much more on engaging properly with the woman one is talking to, and is a far healthier approach for it. Once at King’s Cross, I decide to try out Andrew’s coaching for real. On the upper concourse, I see a very pretty girl sat drinking coffee and stride over to sit at her table. “Hello-”, I begin, but before I can say anything else she smiles curtly, stands up and leaves. Bugger. So, I’m not quite Casanova yet, but the disappointment isn’t nearly as bad as I’d feared. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.

The London School of Attraction is based on Frith Street, Soho. Its mission is to help men develop the skills and confidence to attract beautiful women, offering a range of courses and one-on-one sessions


16.

Monday 23 April 2012

The Courier

When Ellie met Charlie... ...the culmination of a teen crush that never died

What happens when you take one 21-year-old, still yet to grow out of her fangirl phase, and introduce her to her idol? Enter Ellie Cropper, Busted devotee, fawning Fightstar fan, and serial Charlie Simpson stalker. So, when the heftily-eyebrowed wonder brought his solo tour to our very own Students’ Union, it was time to make one lucky obsessive’s dream come true

I

’d only said it on a whim. I never actually thought I’d ever have the chance of even exchanging a glance with my childhood crush, let alone have a genuine conversation with him. When the call from the Tour Manager came, part of me wanted to hurl my phone down a flight of stairs and run for the safety of Jesmond. Before I got the chance though, I found myself escorted into the bowels of the Students’ Union, unsure as to whether I was going to vomit spectacularly on arrival. I was told under NO circumstances was I to mention Busted - good job I asked. Mentally scrapping the ‘Miss Mackenzie’ joke, the door opened and I was suddenly very aware of how dirty my Converse were…

Very good, fifth night is it? Fourth night? No wait fifth night. No, sixth night. Yep, sixth night.

The table was a sea of exotic colour. Bemused, I ungracefully sat, taking a kiwi fruit with me as I went down.

But now it’s amazing, so money well spent I’d say, nice to see they’ve put a lot of money into it. Also, this whole area seems like it’s been built up. Sure has. Oh yes, have you tried an infamous treble yet by the way? Have you heard about this? Three shots of your desired tipple and a mixer?

Ellie: Ooo-eck, Charlie you do have a lot of fruit and veg… Charlie: Well you know His burgundy hoody perfectly complemented his light tan. He slumps into his seat, keeping his hood up, of course. Right so I’m not even going to mention your eyebrows, as I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about that. I am. He didn’t smile. I giggled, gulped and ploughed on. ...and I’ve got a lot of pressing things to discuss with you He chuckles and leans forward, in what I can only assume was a sly tactic to be closer to me.

I wouldn’t know what day it was either if I looked like you. We started in my home town, Ipswich, which is an awesome place. Then we played London pretty early on which was really good. Yeah, about half way through now and it’s been good fun so far. A piece of carrot shot out of his mouth. I wasn’t alarmed - if anything, impressed by how many he could get in there at once. Good stuff, but most importantly, what are your thoughts on Newcastle so far? Good, it just seems odd, I was just gonna say this venue was a big shit hole last time I came here, it really wasn’t that nice and I didn’t like it as a venue. How am I going to dig myself out of this? The star hates our venue! Well yeah it’s just been renovated. Good save.

He looks perplexed and frankly uncomfortable at the prospect. Wait, three shots of my desired, so, three shots of Jäger? Yep, right, Jäger it is, then you can have ones with loads of blue stuff that makes your tongue luminous. Hmmm. You should try one tonight...

Have you tried an infamous treble yet by the way?

So, how’s the tour going so far? He struggles to make enough room between the mouthful of carrot stick for an answer, and air, by the sound of it.

...when we’re on our date. Charlie eats three strawberries at once.

Sounds good, man. Anyway back to business, Young Pilgrim, new album, do you have favourite song to perform? Erm I dunno, like ‘Down Down Down’ is a great song to perform because all the crowd sing along to it and like last night I didn’t even sing it the crowd just sang the whole thing and that was really cool. I nod encouragingly, almost as pleased as he is.

Well I mean some of us know all the words to all your songs but hey ho... Oh lord, I didn’t say that did I? He glances nervously around the room. Ha. Oh and the new single ‘Farmer and his gun’ is really good too. Yeah I like that one. I mean I like them all really, especially the one with the line ‘Somehow Eleanor I know, that you are, watching me’…

...only realising afterwards how sarcastic I sound. Yeah, so it was just such a stressful day, but luckily we managed to get it all back but I mean we had such a lot to in a small amount of time and I knew what I wanted but luckily it all came together at the end. It certainly did. So Charlie, I’m gonna level with you here, some of your song titles are just a little bit morbid, you know, ‘Cemetery’ and ‘Thorns’- should we be worried about you? I wanted to laugh then, sorry, but ‘Cemetery’ isn’t actually a morbid song, it’s a happy song, just with a dark title. This is true, the title’s just, well, a bit scary. What was the other one you said? ‘Thorns’? Yeah, again happy song, with a really morbid title so… So that’s just your ‘thing’ really? Yeah, yeah yeah.

A piece of carr o mouth - I was t shot out of his n’t a impressed by larmed, more ho could get in th w many he ere at once

So which of videos did you enjoy doing the most then, do you think? Oh that’s a good one, erm probably the newest one because I didn’t have to do anything for it. The animation one. Good lad. Ha, no, but parachutes was a really fun one to make, I was really excited about… Ah, the happy box! I hope at this point he’d be hugely impressed by my knowledge. Yeah, yeah yeah. Clearly very impressed. I couldn’t wait to see how it was going to come out, because I had all these pictures in my head. It was really tough because we were fighting the light - the light was going and we hadn’t got it finished. And also the guy who has the job of storing the tapes accidently erased half of it. He never did, oh no...

I try really hard not to look directly at him for fear of fainting right there in front of him. Well, do you know what that’s fine. So, some of your inspiration for these songs of yours, Jackson Brown, The Eagles? I’m playing a Jackson Brown cover tonight actually. Oh brilliant! ‘Barricades of Heaven’ which is the b-side to the ‘Farmer and his Gun’ single. Do you want some fruit? Just dig in if you do. What an excellent chap. Oh thanks, I’m gonna have a carrot or two I think. Erm yeah so, if you had to choose


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Monday 23 April 2012

a song-favourite of all time what do you reckon that would be? Now THAT is a tough question... Yes I thought it might be. Well if I had to sum up the one song that affects me the most when I listen to it is a cover song by Nine Inch Nails covered by Johnny Cash called ‘Hurt’ and it’s just, it literally made me cry when I first heard it, or in fact about the first 3 times I heard it I just had tears in my eyes. It’s just the most, it just does something to you, really incredible. I’d say that was one of the best songs ever and then also Imogen Heap - ‘Hide and Seek’. Oh yeah I agree, great song. It’s just genius, and all her music is really.

about? I nearly got it, I think I know what I’m gonna get, just not when I’m gonna get it.

I’m not even going to mention your eyebrows, I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about that

I’m terrified by his passion. Definitely, OK so bit of a change of subject now. I’m gonna go random on you. He looks elated, so much so that he grabs another strawberry. Firstly I’m devastated someone has already asked for your thoughts on Marmite, as it’s a personal favourite and someone asked you in an interview before. Have they? They have, and you said you liked it... I do like it Glad we cleared that up then…

what I write with.

My name in huge letters would do fine… Well make sure you’re sure! Hey, you play LOADS of instruments am I right? Which of them do you find most rewarding? Yeah, I have the most fun playing the drums, but most rewarding? Guitar, because that’s

The guy’s a God. You come from a musical family don’t you? How do you think they would have reacted if you had a passion for something non-musical, for example being a policeman? Or a lollipop man? When I was five I wanted to be a fireman. Ah…. wonderful. Good grief, grief, Charlie Simpson... as a fire-

man?

Such a good answer.

I think Dad particularly wanted us to be a charter surveyor because that’s what he did and he was very disappointed when he found out that we all wanted to be musicians but my parents support me no matter what, man. Good to know, ay. Charlie, please tell me Fightstar will do some new stuff soon- it’s the best for angry days. Nice, nice.

Cat or Dog? Dog.

That is not an answer Charlie. How does it feel to be and I quote ‘the best looking man in Britain?’ Who the hell said that?

Marmite’s not my favourite but it’s good. You know what, I kind of just like butter and toast, just standard. Oh yeah, simple pleasures. I briefly imagine myself running down a white beach with a plate of buttered toast in slow motion. I mean I don’t even need a spread all the time. Well it’s not an essential, Oh wait before I forget, do you still have the mug Jonathan Ross made you? Nope. Crikey. Oh, I hoped you used it as a pen pot or a toothbrush mug? Afraid not, a fan gave me a mug with my name on it though, which is nice so I use that. Aw, wish I’d thought of that. What about this tattoo I’ve heard so much

Radio 1 or Radio 4? I’ve never listened to Radio 4 so it would have to be Radio 1.

I think you have a vampire-esque look about you, like Robert Pattinson. What do you reckon?

He looks at sound guy and laughs. How does that make you feel? Privileged? Knowing full well I made that up myself ten minutes ago... That is very nice for someone to say that. So modest. Well I mean, if you want to go into film... Oh yeah I do, have another carrot.

The question is, is that now your favourite toast topping would you say? Hmm, you know what’s really good? Sainsbury’s Belgian chocolate spread, Nutella I’m not a big fan of. Yeah, just too nutty. Yeah! Too nutty. I think I may have just ‘jinxed’ Charlie Simpson.

Brunette or Blonde? Blonde. Wow, you’re gonna break some hearts with that one.

I eagerly reach forward. I’m doing an independent British film called Everybody’s Going to Die, another happy ti-

tle. What is this obsession Charlie? I just don’t understand! Ha, but I love film almost as much as I love music so it’s just something for the future, I mean not now, or maybe just start doing bits and pieces but in the future I think it would be a great thing to do, when I’ve got kids I don’t want to tour anymore. How considerate. Acting? Nah I don’t ‘do’ acting. Funny, because I think you have a vampire-esque look about you, like Robert Pattinson. What do you reckon? Fine, let’s do it, I’ll be in Twilight Four. My life is suddenly complete! Yes! Right I’ve got some quickfire questions for you are you ready? Curry or Chinese? Curry. Ales or spirits? Ales.

Bowling or roller-disco? They’re both fun, but let’s say bowling. Peanut Butter KitKat- yes or no? No.

Mustard - yes or no? That’s a tricky one, wholegrain yes, English no. If you were to die tomorrow - God forbid what would you want as your last meal? My Mum’s roast dinner. Excellent. If you could go to any time period, which would it, be? Ooh what would it be, erm that’s a tough one, I think it would be... I dunno maybe the sixties, bit obvious or maybe.... So you’re not tempted by the Tudors or… Yeah maybe I could go check out Henry VIII, but then it would be quite good to go back and see Jerusalem... Fair enough. I’d like to see it all, man. Would you rather have a missing finger or have an extra toe? I actually have a webbed toe. Do you? On both feet or just one? Just one. What was the question? Extra finger or extra toe? Definitely extra toe, because I need all my fingers to play guitar. Having more fingers could make you super fast though... Anyway. Would you rather only be able to whisper or only be able to shout? That is a weird question. Think about this carefully. I just don’t even know where to start with that one. Shouting’s quite offensive isn’t it? Yeah, it is offensive and really annoying, so there we go. Would you rather spend the day surfing the internet or the ocean? Internet all the way. Would you rather only be able to watch films or only be able to listen music? This is a hard one for you isn’t it? Film, because you get music in film. What about if it was a silent film? He groans and I take the hint and go to shake his hand. Thankyou Charlie. Lovely to meet you. I think I may have actually run out of the room. Charlie’s manners were impeccable, and he was most welcoming and generous with his fruit and veg selection. We can all sleep easy at night in the knowledge that Charlie Simpson most certainly gets his five a day.


18.

Monday 23 April 2012

No likey, no lighty! Unless you’ve been living in a hole for the past two years, you can’t have failed to catch a few episodes of Saturday night favourite Take Me Out. Last Thursday, the Surf and Sailing Clubs hosted Newcastle University’s own spin on the show in the Students’ Union, complete with crude puns, somewhat temperamental buzz-out lights and our very own ‘Paddy’ in the form of home-grown comedy duo Marc Smethurst and Charlie Rowley. Emily Rae, Linda Guma, Catherine Davsion and Emma Oulton decided to play at being Zoe Hardman for the night and interview some of the contestants for all the gossip on their cringeworthy but brilliant one liners, dubious talents, and what the lucky couples really thought of each other... Catherine Hall

(and her date Ed Stephenson)

What are you studying? Catherine: English Lit Why did you sign up? Catherine: I’ve been single for four years and I’ve been looking for the right man. I’ve been going for the wrong guy and signed up for this show to meet a nice guy. Ed: I got recruited by George cause someone dropped out. How was your date? Catherine: It was good. I’m just a little under pressure to conform to the questions they’ve asked me under camera. We felt like we had to spice it up. Ed: I felt under pressure, a bit intimidated... by the camera. We got through it as a couple! Describe your ideal date: Catherine: Really simple, laidback. Drinks and maybe a meal. Ed: Flying to Dubai, drinks on the beach. Psyched about your big date? Catherine: Yeah we’re gonna go to Nando’s! Ed’s never been there. It’s my favourite place to eat.

Photography: Moises Bedrossian

The Courier

Grace Wilson

(and her date Guy Holt)

What are you studying? Grace: Maths Why are you in on Take Me Out? Grace: I was originally meant to be on the panel but then my friend, one of the organizers, went ahead and put me up as a contestant so I kind of had to go along with it. How did your date go? Grace: It’s been nice. We had some wine and chatted, then had to go up on stage. I felt a bit under pressure with the cameras filming in there, but it was good. What’s your biggest turn off ? Grace: When a guy takes longer to get ready than I do. Guy: Big women who wear very revealing clothing. Please don’t put that in! That was very superficial of me. People who sleep around. Why are you in on this? Guy: I had no idea I had been signed up for this until I got a text saying “Congratulations! You have been selected for Take Me Out,” to which I didn’t reply until I got another text after a week saying “Please reply.” At that point I thought “Why not got for it?”

Jack Nicholson

(and his date Ruth Coxon)

What are you studying? Ruth: Zoology Why did you want to come on the show? Jack: My friends applied for me! I came home one day and they kept laughing and eventually told me they’d filled in the application form for me. What was your talent? Jack: Singing One Direction’s ‘What Makes You Beautiful’. I was trying to act confident but it was really nervewracking. I’m not sure it went too well – I still had quite a few lights on before that... What was your was your first impression of Ruth? Jack: : I didn’t really see her! I was dazed by the lights.

Matt Lis

(and his date Jenny Hydman)

What are you studying? Matt: Marine Engineering (‘basically boats and fish’) Why did you want to come on the show? Matt: I’m looking for love – someone to fill the empty space in my heart! What was your first impression of Jenny? Matt: I was lost in her eyes... What was your talent? Matt: Singing in a sailor suit. I think the real talent was wearing a jumper and a jacket and not sweating under all of those lights! What kind of comments did you get from the girls? Matt: One of them said I looked too much like a school teacher. Jenny turned her light back on because she liked my turtleneck jumper. [Interrupted by Matt’s male friend, who keeps telling me how ‘amazing’ Matt is] Looks like you have a bit of a bromance there... Matt: Yeah, I’d say so. I have lots of fans!


The Courier

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Monday 23 April 2012

Humphrey Wrey

Ryan Collins-Thomas

(and his date Gemma Turner)

What are you studying? Ryan: Marketing & Management Why did you decide to go on Take Me Out? Ryan: I felt like half a man, and wanted to look for my other half. Gemma: Just for a good laugh. Are you pleased about your date tonight? Ryan: Chuffed. Gemma: Yeah. [Awkward pause] Yeah… What’s your best chat up line? Gemma: Wanna come back to mine? Ryan: I’m a bloody nice guy. [At this point a barmaid comes over and accuses Ryan of getting her into trouble a few nights ago when he apparently went up to the bar in Legends and served himself] What do you usually look for in a girl? Ryan: Girls who smell nice. Actually just girls who don’t smell bad. Were there any other girls who caught your eye this evening? Ryan:: I was too worried about it, so I didn’t really look at any of the girls. What’s your favourite date to take a girl on? Ryan: I’ve actually only ever taken one girl on a date before. But I like to go for a nice meal and then to a comedy show.

Mark Agnew (and his date Megan White)

What are you studying.? Megan: Psychology Mark: Politics and Psychology. How did you get involved with Take Me Out? Mark: A friend who was running it roped me into it. Megan: Oh cheers! Although I had a friend involved with the boating society who persuaded me to apply. Why did you leave your light on Megan? Megan: He’s tall, Scottish and handsome! It’s a great combination. The Scottishness was a big factor. Mark: Yeah I work hard on that. How was the mini-date backstage? Mark: That was actually my first ever date! I’m not sure why, I’ve never been too lucky with girls in the past. Hopefully it’s not my last! Megan: It was pretty intense, felt like I had to keep talking to keep the conversation flowing. Not due to Mark though! We just didn’t want it to look awkward and full of pauses on camera. If you could describe yourself as a superhero, who would you be? Mark: I’d choose Robin, the shittest superhero of them all. I’m definitely aiming for the sympathy vote here. Megan: I’d be Spiderman, because I’m clingy… Mark: Clingy?! Megan: Okay superman, because he flies.

Paddy(s) Names?

(and his date Rebekah Guntrip)

What are you studying? Humphrey: 2nd year Ancient History Why did you decide to go on Take Me Out? Humphrey:: My friends found out that it was happening and I was playing COD at the time so they signed me up. They kept asking me for facts about myself but I wouldn’t give them any so they made some up. I love Take Me Out though, I think it’s the best show on TV. Rebecca: I thought it would be funny. I’m a third year now so I thought screw it, I might as well. For your talent you ate a whole raw egg on stage. When did you first learn you could do that? Humphrey: It was just this summer. My dad did it first and then told me to. It was pretty disgusting but it’s not that hard. You just crunch it and eat the egg straight away so you’re just left with the shell, which doesn’t taste of anything. Rebecca, what’s your party trick? [She takes a sip of drink, and then squirts it through her teeth all over the room] I do that on nights out all the time. It always backfires on me though, as people get angry and throw drinks back in my face. How long have you been single? Humphrey: 21 years. What’s your usual pulling method? Rebecca: Rohypnol? Humphrey: I meet them in CCTV. That sounds awful but I do go to Students’ Union nights to pick up girls. Rebecca: I’m from Essex, so everyone thinks I’m easy.

Zoe Orme

(and her date Josh Batham)

What are you studying? Zoe: Archeology Josh: Economic How did you get involved with Take Me Out? Zoe: I got roped into it by a friend who promised I’d just be on the panel. Then someone dropped out and I was chosen as the replacement! Josh: All my flatmates said I had to do it, for some reason they thought I’d be perfect. I did question whether they had any ulterior motives. But it obviously worked – I was chosen by the second girl! Why did you leave your light on Josh? Josh: The first girl had a weird skill where she just drew a picture of her ideal guy. And she had short hair. Zoe’s talent was really cool; she played the Family Guy theme tune on the flute. Zoe: Except no-one in the audience could hear me playing! It was embarrassing and I’m planning to knock back the drinks to get over it. Why did you pick him Zoe? Zoe: I did have to turn off about 5 other lights. To be honest the whole crowd was shouting Josh’s name, how could I say no! How was the mini-date backstage? Zoe: We just sat and chatted about general stuff really. I think the conversation was a bit tame as we were prompted to ask more interesting questions like our view on monogamy and our favourite sex positions. Josh: Yeah it was a bit awkward, especially with a camera in your face but I’m really looking forward to the actual date. So what are your plans for the rest of the night? Zoe: Get absolutely hammered. Josh: That sounds like a good plan to me.

Charlie Rowley and Marc Smethurst What are you studying? Philosophy and Dentistry. How did you get involved with Take Me Out? We got asked as we’re both absolute legends (also we’re really involved in the Comedy society). What are the vibes like backstage? Well the guys and girls are kept separately and the guys seem mental! Jesus Christ some need to be locked up in a cage. There’s a lot of testosterone flying around and we reckon shirts will come off in the show! It might be a case of who’s got the best abs. Do the girls seem equally confident? Not at all! The girls seem really nervous and some seem to be regretting signing up to do the show. They seem to be drinking to persuade themselves they won’t make a tit of themselves. Who caught your eye in rehearsals? The girls all look pretty fit. There’s also a guy getting called “humpdog” Humphrey and in his hobbies he put “tending the land”. His special talent is eating a raw egg – shell included which always a guaranteed way to impress the ladies. We’re looking forward to him! Have you got any great puns to whip out on the show? Most are pretty dirty, like “let the pussy see the cat” and “let the pork see the sword”. We’re planning to get people to tweet in suggestions! Anything else? We’re performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 8:45 to 9:45 every night. Oh and follow us on twitter! @smethy and @rowleycomedy


20.lifestylesex&relationships

Monday 23 April 2012

The Courier

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

Seven deadly housemate sins

Top things to do... instead of sleeping Embrace sinners & embrace shame Go to sinners and lick the floor as punishment for thinking sleeping is an acceptable university activity.

See it, say it, blog it!

Decide to write a blog. Write and delete endless sentences that nobody will mind never reading, and then over-inflate your self importance until you genuinely feel that your insomnia-fuelled, halfformed thoughts will touch the hearts of

Playing the sexaphone

There is a massive difference between knowing it happens and hearing it happen through your wall at 2am. For example, I knew of a girl in halls that would have very loud, shall we say, ‘sessions’ with her boyfriend every time that he came to visit, that the poor girls living next to her resorted to pinning a note to her door saying ‘Please keep the sex noises to a minimum during anti-social hours.’ Instantly making her business common knowledge to anyone who walk passed her door. Well, until the girl hastily took it down. Sure it must have

Refusing to wash the dishes, blasting dubstep at 4am, never replacing the butter? Sound familiar? We selected the most often committed, and worst, of multiple occupancy crimes. Don’t think they’re a big deal? See if your flat mate agrees...

been embarrassing as hell for the girl but if it made her more considerate from then on I would say it was well worth it. Not only is it very disruptive (a woman was once given an ASBO after a particularly loud lovemaking session) but also it’s just common courtesy to be considerate of the people you live with, just like you wouldn’t leave the loo without flushing. If the tables were turned I bet you wouldn’t want to hear your neighbours going at it, particularly in the early hours of the morning.

Indiana Murphy

Being a ham-burglar

Aggravate those angry birds

There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning only to discover that the family-sized carton of fruit juice you had bought in preparation for the next day’s hangover, or that eight pack of sausages which you were going to devour for breakfast, have been stolen. What’s worse is when you realise that those who have taken it are, in most cases, people who are your friends and who know full well how much it annoys you! Of course, there is almost certainly never any malicious intent behind such an act, but knowing that at the time, the culprit was highly intoxicated, or that they ‘were going to replace it’ when

Get playing Angry Birds!

Parlez-vous what? Learn a language. Listen to audio podcasts in Italian until you’re so delirious that you

And now is the time to panic

they next ventured to a supermarket is hardly a comfort at 8am after a night of trebles. What’s more frustrating is that the perpetrator in question is often not subtle or discrete. They don’t take some juice, but rather the whole carton and they don’t have a few biscuits, but instead the whole packet, leaving the empty packet and crumbs scattered across the entire kitchen. If you find yourself reading this and have no idea what I’m talking about, the chances are, you are the one committing the sin! Matt Aspin

Illustrations: Daisy Billowes Worry. It doesn’t matter about what. Pick a topic over which you currently have no control, preferably a romance, essay deadline, or a combination of both (in which case worry about the fact that you’re sleeping with one On your way back home you find cash in The battle is won. You had just been innoof your professors) and PANIC. your pocket that your mum secretly gave cently painting your beautiful face for the you before coming back to uni. Some retail night with the colour nuances that matches therapy is in serious need as some nice your new treasure! Start computer creeping spring promotions are, like, begging for Guilty or not, at that moment your flatFacebook stalk your ex mate had took an important decision: your your attention! Can’t resist, can you? While boyfriend/girlfriend’s walking for hours and hunting for a prey heels would work well for a Sinners’ Friday sister’s boyfriend’s on the shops’ windows, your impatiently night out. ex-stepdad’s new anticipated and adored heels are now Sin, isn’t it? Well, may be the shoes really wife. When did holding the precious red ‘ON SALE’ label. did not have your name tied on their fancy modern families get so Your mind is already living the dream of spirituality. You can do it. Move on! complicated?! the long-awaited celebration, as the thing Luiza Stefanova that had always belonged to you is yours.

Not such a goody-too-shoes

Become a fridge forager

Tasteless tunes

Raid the fridge. You know there’s always a treat in there that you’re dying to eat! Just sneak down without waking anybody up and get nomming. Calories don’t count after midnight.

Take me out of here

Watch dating shows on iPlayer until you have fallen deeply in love with all of the contestants.

Live the dream...

Start a band. Make like Adam Young, of Owl City fame, and head to your parents’ basement with a laptop and a Postal Service album for inspiration.

If it is bad enough listening to your roommate going at it like a possessed cheetah shouting “Geronimo”, imagine how much worse catching the live show could be. Trust me when I say that some things cannot be unseen… Unless you have a kinky and perverted side in you, you will not enjoy running into your roommates caressing

Chunder blunder

Play changing rooms

Re-arrange your bedroom. Might sound boring, but it really does use up quite a bit of spare time. Illustrations: Daisy Billowes

Moment murderer

Emma Oulton

This is probably the messiest (and most disgusting) sin to commit as a housemate at university. With Newcastle’s renowned nightlife, many of us are bound to stroll in at early hours of the morning pissed off our faces. Those unfortunate students may have already experienced the unpleasantness of waking up to a flat covered in vomit, and those offenders are likely to have lied in a bed full of the mess too. Getting drunk and throwing up everywhere will definitely not

This housemate is easily recognisable by their bleary eyed stare and multiple ear infections due to prolonged headphone usage. Music, like clothes, is a very personal choice. Both are considered forms in which you can express yourself. However, with music, unlike clothes, sometimes you do not get to choose the type you want. Hearing your international housemate belt out their best Adele impression in the shower can be quite endearing, a constant dubstep beat accompanying your breakfast cereal, not so. This is one occasion when the bass dropping is faced with despair that the their loved one, or while they are releasing their tension in the toilet. Once you’ve seen Illustration: Lucy Burns their ‘happy ending’ faces, things will never be the same again! Just try to knock every single time before you enter a room, and you are guaranteed a scarred-free place in flatmate heaven. Maria Loupa

make you popular with your flatmates and it is more than likely that you have to clean up the mess. This sin is clearly not one for repeating, so you may want to rethink that last shot of tequila next time before you end up in this unfortunate and unhygienic circumstance. Lauren Windas

song is continuing rather than frenzy on the dance floor. The only way this housemate can be deterred is to start a song battle (think School of Rock). Select a song, preferably something genre-clashing and let the battle commence. They get louder, you get louder. You may lose the friendship of other housemates in the process but it’s a small price to pay for your eardrums intact. Whoever loses has to endure solely the other housemate’s choice of ‘chooooons’ for a week. Just be grateful they haven’t formed a classical violin quartet.

Selfish squatters

Emily Rae

Whether it be outstaying their welcome or disappearing loo roll, an extra body in an already busy house can cause tension. Weekend stays are perfectly acceptable, but when it’s every weekend or a long haul visit, an ‘adopted’ housemate may not be appreciated. With danger of all the other sins being committed by your loved one combined, this sin could be considered the worst of all. Perhaps one of the easier sins to commit – if your relationship is good then it’s sometimes hard to notice when you’re spending too much time together. In a student house, the line between guest and household member can easily become blurred. So at what point do you hint for him or her to start contributing to the weekly Tesco run? It may be a difficult topic to discuss and there is potential for friction and awkward confrontations but just remember: love is blind, but your housemates aren’t!

Colette Hunter


The Courier

Monday 23 April 2012

sex&relationshipslifestyle.21 Lifestyle Editors: Ben Parkin, Emma Balter, and Lauren Stafford Online Editor: Lauren Cordell in association with:

Blind Date Alex Brown, 2nd year English Language, meets Christos Mexias, 2nd year History

Tashin’ on in the Toon

Alex on Christos

Christos on Alex

First impressions? In the texts we shared, Christos was friendly, funny and not afraid to give me some background information about himself. I was impressed by his exotic heritage, but this made me worried that I would be plain and boring compared to him! We arranged to meet somewhere we both knew, which made us laugh at how equally poor our sense of direction is - but at least it gave us something in common.

First impressions? Not going to lie, I did some Facebook stalking before the date so I had an idea of what to expect and who to look out for on the day. We’d also been texting a few days previously so I had a rough idea of what kind of person Alex would be. When we actually met up I was impressed, he seemed very confident and that’s a quality I like in people. I’m normally quite quick to form an opinion of someone and he ticked all the right boxes at the beginning. Good fashion sense too.

Did your date make any romantic gestures? At the ice cream parlour, Archers, we both offered each other a bit of our own ice cream - fairly romantic and the way to my heart, as those who know me would tell you! Any striking conversation topics? We mostly talked about uni and what our courses were like, as well as how we find life in Newcastle. Chats about our home life popped in there too, although I discovered that Newcastle was Christos’ main home for now. We also talked about our favourite this and that (classic date banter!)

Did your date make any romantic gestures? Not really but in everyone’s defence we had to cut the date short, as his housemate called to say she’d locked herself out the house so he had to dash off to the rescue. Even though I was disappointed that he had to leave early it was nice to see he was actually concerned about others. Any striking conversation topics? In one of the bars we went to the people sitting next to us were having a loud conversation about childbirth which somehow we ended up getting involved with, as you do. From there the conversation jumped to regional accents, TV shows, and - somehow - The Wizard of Oz and the adventures of Dorothy. All in all it was quite a random conversation but entertaining nonetheless. We also ended up sharing stories of drunken states we’d got ourselves into and talking about our degrees.

Any awkward moments? In the bar we went to, we were sat near a table of drunken women and an awkward man who were talking about all sorts of weird things. They were getting louder as the wine poured and we couldn’t help but laugh and earwig on their conversation… and to their horror it became obvious! We all laughed it off though and just made friends with them. If you were to get married and have babies, what would you want your baby to inherit from your date? Christos seemed to know his stuff and had his feet on the ground, which I always think is commendable. From what I gathered, he had a clear vision in terms of what he wanted from his education and career-wise. His smile and taste of drinking establishments were good too, as I thought Soho seemed like a nice place and a wise choice. Did you open the ex-file? That was left well and truly untouched. At any point did you understand why they were single? Christos did mention living in Gateshead, away from the main student areas, so maybe he’s a little bit out of the area where like-minded people are on the doorstep. Were you tempted to lean in for a kiss? Unfortunately, as they say, there was just no ‘spark’ there for any of that. If you were to take them home do you think your parents would approve? He’d be chatty enough for my dad and polite enough for my mum so I definitely think that my parents would warm to him. They wouldn’t mind visiting him in his home country either! Marks out of 10? 5/10. Christos was a really nice guy to get to know, but if we met up again it would be as friends. The date itself wasn’t too bad and if nothing else, it was good to discover a new bar.

Any awkward moments? In all fairness, I don’t think we actually ‘clicked’ so we never ended up talking about any serious or romantic stuff. There was a prevailing sense of awkwardness which I felt unable to get rid of. If you were to get married and have babies, what would you want your baby to inherit from your date? Alex’s Hugh Laurie looks. Did you open the ex-file? No. Some things are best left unsaid, besides I don’t really think it’s a good conversation topic - it gives out the wrong impression and can create a very depressing atmosphere. At any point did you understand why they were single? We didn’t really have time to get into that. If I had to make an educated guess I’d say Alex probably hasn’t met the right person yet. Were you tempted to lean in for a kiss? If we’d stayed out longer I probably would have been but I didn’t feel the time was right before he had to leave. If you were to take them home do you think your parents would approve? With a bit of persuasion, I think so. Marks out of 10? 6/10.

Victoria Mole

Holding on to a hottie The different ‘stages’ of relationships, according to psychology, make them sound like grief, with the revelation that we’ll eventually notice flaws in our partner for the first time. Either the relationship will collapse as we know it, or we’ll make the decision to stay with the guilty human anyway because they’re worth occasionally falling in a toilet that’s had the seat left up. Chemistry alone is not enough if you plan on seeing someone for more than just a routine rendezvous in Riverside. You could have more sparks than Pikachu with a firework but it doesn’t guarantee that your personalities will click. If you’re dating Ryan Gosling and your anecdote about the time your best friend did the snake in Sam Jacks dressed as a crayon doesn’t even get a smile, he should be Donald Trump in your eyes. Like falling in love, chemistry is a mystery even to science. It’s arguable that pair bonding has the practical purpose of raising offspring but I challenge anyone to step forward and truthfully say that falling in love has really made their life more practical... If you can tick the boxes, the next most important thing is to be on the same page as someone. People don’t like to limit themselves (the existence of deep fried Mars Bars says it all really) so it’s always a mistake if people dive into monogamy before they’re really ready to do so. Some people need the freedom of being single to get a better sense of self and know what they’re looking for when they do decide to settle down. Others only need a couple of drunken encounters for the ‘been there, done that, now no longer need or, more importantly, want to do it again’. Most people eventually have a Russell Brand moment further down the line, hopefully with a different ending. If you’re already ready to make a commitment, always listen to your gut if you think you may be falling for the emotionally unavailable. It’s also understandable to feel threatened by the love interests of your partner’s past, especially if they have enough boobs between them to make a Confused.com advert. But this brings me to my next (and probably most important) point of being able to trust someone. Letting jealousy or insecurity make you suspicious or needy is the easiest way to push away someone you really like. If you do find it hard to trust people, the best advice is to take a relationship slowly. If, after taking the time to get to know someone, you still don’t feel that you’re able to be straightforward with each other then no amount of walks on the beach and bottles of bubbly will change that. Modern dating rituals are complicated enough and the double standard women suffer in the event of a stride of pride is reversed in the world of romance - it’s as though the housewives of the 50s are having their revenge with men now being the ones expected to tend to their girlfriend’s every whim. Chivalry and traditional gender roles have still been kept alive today because they make both parties feel good. I read an analogy once that people can be divided into radiators or drains; and so my last piece of advice - if you agree to go out with someone, make sure you think they’re hot...


22.lifestyle

Monday 23 April 2012

The Courier

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

The Lunchbox Revolution Shorthand Who? The Pilates Society.

Pilates Society

Pardon? The Pilots Society? Well don’t mind if I do... No, the Pilates Society. Pronounced Pi-lahteez. Ah... so no cute men in a pilot’s outfit? Well that’s a disappointment. No, more like women in leggings stretching. Go on... Pilates is a mat-based workout which improves your strength, flexibility and general fitness. So basically, Yoga. Wrong again! There are some similarities between Yoga and Pilates, as they both work towards sculpting the body and improving flexibility, but they are two very different things. One of Yoga’s aims is relaxation and to unite mind and body, Pilates is more of a physical workout focusing on your core muscles. Urgh, say no more, this sounds like it’s going to be too hard for me! Not at all! Pilates is a low-impact exercise programme: the motto is challenge without struggle. Not convinced... I am ridiculously unfit. I would die. The classes at the Pilates Society are mixed ability classes taught by professional instructors. They know your body’s limits, are good at evaluating your level and always adapt the class to suit everyone. Additionally, for each Pilates position there are hundreds of adjustments to make the exercise harder or easier, according to your level. Trust me, no one has died from it! Okay then. So if this Pilates is so great, why have I never heard of it? Pilates is not as long-established as Yoga is, but over the last 20 years it has conquered millions all over the world, including AList celebrities such as Jennifer Anniston and Madonna. Another reason why you might not have heard of the Pilates bomb yet is that it is a brand new society this year at NUSU. Ah well it’s about time then. But is that all they do at the society, just stretching and toning, stretching and toning...? Of course not! There are many social perks to being a member of the Pilates society. Regular social events are put on for members such as pub quizzes, bar crawls and lunch dates. Before Easter, Pilates organised a speed dating event right here at NUSU! Speed dating? Sounds like a blast. It was. And as rumour has it, Pilates classes on the beach are in the works for the end of the year. Sea, sun and Pilates, what more to ask for? To join or for more information email pilates-soc@ncl.ac.uk Emma Balter

It is suggested that students allow £25 -£30 for their weekly lunch budget. Times this by four weeks a month, and over the course of the year you are squandering away a significant chunk of that already measly student loan. What if you could eat a delicious and fulfilling lunch each day of the week for £10 a week? Read on: I want to achieve a lunchbox revolution. Join up with four other friends, whether they are friends from halls or your housemates. Each one of you prepares

Spanish omelette with spinach, parma ham and red pepper Price of ASDA shopping basket: £9.06 Ingredients: • 2 red peppers • 1 bag of fresh spinach • 1 pack of ASDA parma ham • 1 of bag potatoes • a dozen eggs • 1 red onion

a lunch each night of the week and by the end of the week you will have eaten a truly incredible spread. Not only will it cost you as little as £10, but you will have sidestepped the additives, the dangerously high salt content and the fat-boosting mayonnaise of the pre-packed sandwich. I am going to start you off with two inspirational ideas so that you will no longer have thatw depressing prospect of a soggy sandwich when your stomach rumbles in the lecture hall. minutes or until the top half is golden brown. 9. This recipe is really open to your input here. Add anything you have in your fridge, just use eggs, potatoes and onion as a base.

Roasted vegetable and feta couscous Price of ASDA shopping basket: £9.89 Ingredients: • 2 red onions, peeled and chopped. • 2 beef tomatoes • 1 pack of 3 courgettes • 2 aubergines • 1 pack of mixed peppers • fresh coriander or other fresh herb • feta cheese • 500g of couscous

1. Heat a frying pan on a medium heat with a generous lug of olive oil. 2. Peel and finely slice five large potatoes, chop up the red pepper. Add to the saucepan. 3. Cook the potatoes, onions and the red peppers gently for approximately 15 minutes until they are soft. 4. Meanwhile whisk up 10 eggs in a mixing bowl, season generously. 5. Cut up the slices of parma ham and add to the pan. 6. After a few minutes pour over the beaten eggs. 7. Cook for about 10 minutes on the hob and the bottom half of the omelette will be nice and golden. 8. Whack under the grill for a further 10

Restaurant Review Pasqualinos

1. Preheat oven to 220ºC. 2. Chop all of the vegetables into similar size pieces. Place all, minus the tomatoes, on a roasting tray and roast in the oven for approx 30 minutess. 3. Add the tomatoes and roast for a further 15 minutes. 4. Make the whole bag of couscous, according to instructions on the packet. 5. When roasted vegetables are cool, add to the couscous. Chop up feta and sprinkle the chopped coriander over the dish.

Eliza Barrow

Theatre Royal Grey Street NE1 6BR Tel: 08448 11 21 21

Boosting urban chic with a rustic edge (you only need to check out the chairs), Theatre Royal’s Pasqualinos of Grey Street provides a sophisticated break from the glaring lights of The Gate and been-theredone-that of Osbourne Roads pizza/pasta happy hours. Ideal for small groups and couples the low lighting mingles with jaunty tunes and walls decked in a sporadic collage of vintage artwork. Service comes with a smile and a wink, although also the kind you don’t mind seeing the back of (if you know what I mean). Despite how the student budget may not accommodate a night in even the Upper Circle all too often, there’s no reason you can’t pretend when two courses sit at £10.50 between 7.30-9.30, and it means you beat the rush, too. Although this particular menu doesn’t exactly provide a wealth of choice (nope, it’s not double-sided), it only takes a few glances to realise it’s for your own convenience. And that’s because everything sounds so mouth watering-ly tempting, as well as each description taking a good few minutes to digest thoroughly. Creamy and unbeatably smooth the cauliflower soup came topped with cauliflower and parmesan fritters (yes, we’d never heard of them either) that proved as tasty as their name suggested (fried cheese). An extra edge was provided by a black olive

tapenade. For the main, the braised lamb with butternut squash, courgette, barley and a herb crust was artistically arranged. The lamb fell apart easily, cooked to perfection, the sauce a sharp yet delicate accompaniment. Although butternut squash was a bit lacking in quantity for my taste the courgette was cooked to provide just the right amount of crunch. Roast coley fillet with polenta croutes, pancetta, spring onions and green peppercorn sauce was fresh to taste, but could perhaps have done with a slightly more generous dash of sauce. The thrice cooked goose fat chips were the perfect side, and will externally leave us unsatisfied with any kind of frozen bag or McDonalds equivalent for the near future. Finishing up was the blood orange parfait with rhubarb and a honey and mascarpone cream was sweet yet refreshing. As the only kind of rhubarb we’d previously encountered was in the raspberrycoloured twirl of a lollipop, we were tentative in the least, especially when slicing the slippery substance proved a two spoon job. Worthy the struggle, however, it was surprisingly sweet. So, if you’re looking to impress, even if that’s just yourself, head away from the too-often beaten student track and try something special at Pasqualinos. Ania Kurek

Opening times:

MondaySaturday 11am to midnight


The Courier

lifestyle.23

Monday 23 April 2012

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

#5 Pure Gym, printers and play.com

Penny Pincher

Rosie Jenkinson It’s been a long break away from uni and it’s back to the grindstone of revision, essay-writing and work. However, we’ve received our final loan payment of the year, so treat yourself to some of these deals without going back into your overdraft. • Go to the Toby Carvery website as they have some tasty offers at the minute. Get vouchers for 2 carveries for £10 and free ice cream with a carvery. Not valid on Sundays and running until the beginning of June, this may just be the taste of home that you need to save you from your stressed-out uni life. • There’s lots to feast on at Fenwicks! Visit this link http://bit.ly/I6QUrG to see three different offers available in the Newcastle Fenwicks department store: 2 for 1 American breakfasts at Northside Diner, 2 for 1 Afternoon Tea at the Terrace and Patio restaurants and two courses with wine for £20.12 at the Tivoli restaurant. Wine and dine in style without going into your overdraft! • Visit Ryman Stationery (located next to Thornton’s in the entrance to the new part of Eldon Square) and buy an Epson Stylus Office BX305F Multifunctional Inkjet Printer for only £35.99 (RRP £49.99). This is a great investment because as well as printing all your reading/essays, it also scans and photocopies (and faxes – but who really cares about that anymore?) This is a product that will last you through the rest of uni, and as printers are usually

pretty pricey to buy, so get this before it’s snatched up. • Play.com have a box set sale on at the minute. Get your hands on the BBC’s Sherlock series 1 & 2, or 90210 to get you through the last few weeks of revision!

Get back into shape

It’s time to burn off those Easter eggs that we’ve been feasting on to get us through the revision and essaywriting period. Pure Gym (located just a few minutes walk away from Gateshead Metro Station) is opening on 10th May, and you can pre-join online for only £10.99 a month, plus a £15 upfront joining free. This is a brilliant price for gym membership, and as this gym is open 24/7, you will always have time to make the most of it! Check out the website: http://www.puregym.com/gyms/ gateshead for further details. I’ll see you on the treadmill.

Illustrations: Daisy Billowes

Get your culture fix this summer With summertime approaching, invest in a National Trust membership and enjoy all the beauty and buildings the UK has to offer. Buy an annual membership online for only £18.75 when you pay by direct debit, and you save £6.25 off the usual price.

You’ve got problems! Dealing with a friendship threatened by an upcoming nuptial, a cider-stinking ghost on the floor above or a rabies-infested cat? Look no further, Uncly Monty’s here to help.

Uncle Monty, I have a terrible problem. I’ve been best mates with a guy called Gerald since the first day of Freshers’ Week, and since we’ve lived together this year we’re even closer. However, now he’s decided to ask his girlfriend to marry him, and

wants to move in with her next year. I’ve already lost a couple of people to partners who don’t let them hang about with their mates, but should I just get used to the idea? It’s a terrible thing when a significant other tears apart a friendship, but this is clearly a sensitive issue. While I’m all for grand and moronic gestures of commitment Gerald would probably have much more fun with you next year, so stepping in is an act of kindness akin to donating a kidney. You’ll need to be subtle about it though – if he catches on then he’ll be out of sight before you can say ‘conjugal bliss’. Start by telling him his girlfriend has dropped off something for him, and show him a portrait of the lovebirds you’ve created in blood and excrement. Once he’s unsettled, change the fiancée’s number in his phone to your own and send him a text saying something to the effect of “Soz had 2 go 2 australia 4 astronaut trainin. Goin mars 2morro LOL xxxx”. He might well cry for months but it’ll be a small price to pay to keep your mate for another year. I’m fairly certain that there is a ghost, or possibly ghosts, in my house. Sometimes I hear footsteps from the flat upstairs, even though nobody lives there. In the middle of the night, there’s groaning and thumping. Worse, some of my belongings have gone missing. A few times I’ve come back to find the house smelling of cheap

cider. How can I get rid of these spirits? I saw this film once where a woman contacted the ghost of her dead husband via the medium of pottery. Perhaps try sculpting something while wearing just your pants and see if your ghost shows his face. Are you on Mildmay Road in West Jesmond? If so then that’s probably just me and Crackers Alan mucking about, sorry. Well, I say ‘we’ were mucking about - I was, but Alan did genuinely think he was a ghost. He’d been awake for 114 hours by that point, bless him. If it happens again, just bang pots and pans around him and he should shoot out. Failing that, smoke him out. If that doesn’t work, he lives in mortal fear of Dick and Dom of ‘in Da Bungalow’ fame, so give them a ring. I’m sure they’re not exactly rushed off their feet these days. There’s a cat that lives outside our halls and sometimes comes into our flat for food and some tickles behind the ear. However, I think it has rabies and I’ve had to change my sheets several times after it’s puked all over them. Then again, it is absolutely adorable if you ignore the large patches of missing fur. What should I do? No idea pal. Take it to Animal Hospital and get Rolf to wobble board it back to health or something.

What’s Hot The Voice Two words: Danny O’Donoghue. A refreshing change from the theatre of the X-Factor as the judges focus purely on the voice of the contestant, hence the name. Having to fight for their acts ups the entertainment value of this programme as you see them bicker like children. Drawsomething This $120 million app is drawsome! You know you’re dedicated when you enter all the letters into a word solver website because your opponent’s finger painting representation is inaccurate. Not only does it remind you of your smartphone status, but it’s also a new interactive activity which involves creativity. Those who are less fortunate on the creativity get their work scrutinised on Facebook. Hipsters Everyone wants to be a hipster, because hipsters are different. This is a contradiction, which also fits into the hipster’s love for irony. You’ve nailed it if you wear glasses without a prescription, dislike everything mainstream (or at least reject everything mainstream in public) and are vegan.

Catching up on work Easter is over and deadlines are in the air. Remember that holiday resolution we always make about finishing all the work in the first week? That’s a lie. We finish our work (or, as some of the braver ones, start it) in the first week back at university. Titanic, BBC drama The ship sinks again, wow-wee. We only cried the first time because Leonardo sank anyway. It is extremely over-exposed and overtalked about; the world should have appreciated and moved on from the wreckage.

What’s Not

Nicole Stevenson

Illustrations: Daisy Billowes


24.listings23rd-31stApril

Monday 23 April 2012

The Courier

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

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

NSR Pop Up Gigs

Marrow Full Monty

Rounders

To celebrate NSR’s 15th birthday they are hosting a series of pop up gigs and acoustic live sessions in and around campus from 1-3pm, creating a huge buzz and show live music and student radio.

The Marrow Full Monty is back! And this time it’s bigger than ever! Expect the all the laughs and excitement of last year, but this time the teams have access to all the new tricks the new Students’ Union building can offer. For those of you who haven’t been before, we can only tell you to be ready to be entertained. All will be revealed on the night! Doors open at 7:30pm, be there early to secure yourselves a table and get the drinks in! Tickets are £6 in advance, £8 on the door. All proceeds are going directly to Anthony Nolan to help recruit more people onto the bone marrow register, enabling more lifesaving bone marrow transplants to take place. www. anthonynolan.org. Find event on Facebook for more info.

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

1-3pm Campus

Marrow Castle Leazes Clinic 6.30pm Castle Leazes

Give a spit, save a life! Sign up to the bone marrow register. Come along to sign up to the bone marrow register, it will only take you 10 minutes and you could potentially be a life saver! Just fill in a form and provide a saliva sample, it’s really that simple. If you want more information on donating, you can find it on the Anthony Nolan Website www.anthonynolan. org.

NSR AGM

Monday, 6pm The Venue, Students’ Union

NSR want to round up the year knowing how you think things have gone and what you’d like NSR to do next. It’s also your chance to vote in the various executive positions for next year. If you’d like to stand for a position get in touch with Nick at nsr.production@ ncl.ac.uk. Working with NSR is great for your CV and depending on your degree you may be able to use it a part of the Career Development Module.

7.30pm Students’ Union

Electrosuite 7.30pm WHQ

Featuring a number of resident DJs from Newcastle University as well as incredible headliners Plump DJs and Don Johnston, our next Electrosuite is not to be missed! There will also be an inflatable boxing ring at the event, and those who enter the tournament can win champagne, crates of Red Bull, tickets to see David Rodigan and a Golden Trophy! Free Rum & Coke will be available to everyone on entry to the event. Tickets to the event are £7 and discounts will be made for society/ group bookings. NUDJ members will receive discounted entry to the event at £4 and will automatically be added to the guestlist. (Membership can be bought online for only £5 for the year).

Immortalism

5.30-6.30pm Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building

Philosophical Society Lecture on immortalism by Mary Midgley, philosopher and writer. Current demands that we should ‘abolish involuntary death’ raise most interesting questions about both the possibility and the desirability of such a move. Free admission, no booking required. www.ncl.ac.uk/events

The Winter’s Tale

7.30pm Theatre Royal

Drake

7pm Metro Radio Arena

Grammy-nominated artist Drake, in the midst of his critically acclaimed Platinum sophomore album Take Care, chart-topping radio singles ‘Headlines’, ‘Make me Proud’ featuring Nicki Minaj and “The Motto” featuring Lil Wayne, four new Grammy nominations and sold out performances in South Africa, has announced details and dates for his 2012 tour, The Club Paradise Tour. It stops off in Newcastle this week at the Metro Radio Arena. www.metroradioarena.com

A tragic fairytale, The Winter’s Tale tells the mysterious and extraordinary story of a man consumed by an inexplicable jealousy that destroys his family, his kingdom and himself. www.theatreroyal.co.uk

Newcastle Racecourse From 5pm Theatre Royal

Why not go along to the first evening race meeting of 2012. Perfect entertainment after a hard day at work and a guaranteed great night out. First Race: 5.05 pm Last Race: 8.05 pm. www.newcastle-racecourse.co.uk

2pm Exhibition Park

Thursday Close the Coalhouse Door pre-show talk by Sam West

5.30-6.30pm Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building

Alan Plater’s play famously celebrates the spirit of the North East. Sam West, who is directing a revival of ‘Close the Coalhouse Door’, in a co-production between Northern Stage and Live Theatre, talks about this play which will run at Northern Stage from 13 April to 5 May 2012. Free admission, no booking required. www.ncl.ac.uk/events

Best of Scottish Comedy 8.30pm The Stand

Talk about doing what it says on the tin! Here you go, a carload of simply the best comics on the contemporary Scottish circuit. At least four acts on every bill with seasoned headliners joining forces with newer kids on the comedy block each month. Featuring Bruce Morton, Chris Forbes and host Susan Morrison. www.thestand.co.uk

‘TigerTiger’ Art Exhibition 6.30pm WHQ

For one night only eight third-year fine art students present their first exhibition. Taking place above WorldHeadQuarters.


The Courier

Monday 23 April 2012

23rd-31stAprillistings.25

C2 Editor: Aimee Philipson

Friday Marrow Med School Clinic

6.30pm The Boardroom next to David Shaw Lecture Theatre, Med School

Give a spit, save a life! Sign up to the bone marrow register. Come along to sign up to the bone marrow register, it will only take you 10 minutes and you could potentially be a life saver! Just fill in a form and provide a saliva sample, it’s really that simple. If you want more information on donating, you can find it on the Anthony Nolan Website www.anthonynolan.org.

JLS

7.30pm Metro Radio Arena

JLS’s success has been nothing short of staggering. Sold-out Arena and stadium tours. Five UK number one singles. Two multi-platinum albums. Four MOBO Awards. Two 2010 BRIT trophies. Catch them at the Metro Radio Arena this Friday. www.metroradioarena.com

Something for the weekend

Ghost hunt at Riverside

Looking forward to...

Sunday, 9pm-2am Riverside

Join the hunt! Erected in 1880 as a fish market that also housed the Town Court & the Mayors Chamber in a once hugely lively area also renowned for inhabitancy of lodgers & prostitutes. Sounds of laughter & murmured voices can be heard when closed to the public along with knocks & distinct footsteps throughout. Doors move by themselves, glasses smash & objects have been thrown from the upper levels. For tickets or more info visit www.spiritseekers.info.

Henry V

7.30pm Theatre Royal

Henry V marks the thrilling and deeply moving beginning of a journey that takes us from the corridors of Westminster to the fields of France in an evening of unforgettable power. www.theatreroyal.co.uk

Jeff Dunham

Saturday, 7.30pm Metro Radio Arena

Jeff Dunham is a genuine entertainment phenomenon with an international reach that includes record-breaking television specials, staggering DVD sales over 4 million (and counting), half a BILLION views on You Tube and series which have been the highest rated programming in Comedy Central history. Grab your tickets now! www.metroradioarena.com

COCO Charity Pub Quiz

Sunday, 7pm Francos Italian Restaurant

Come along to Francos in West Jesmond for the COCO society’s Pub Quiz. Tickets are £15 for two courses and raffle entry, with the chance to win an Ipod Touch.

Newcastle Graduate Recruitment Fair

June 11, 10.30am-4.30pm Bamburgh Suite, Level 4, Newcastle United Football Club

Come along and meet employers from a wide range of sectors offering immediate graduate positions, as well as organisations offering further study and training opportunities. A list of exhibitors attending the event will be on www.ncl.ac.uk/careers nearer the time.

Thoroughly Modern Millican Monday 30th April Mill Volvo Theatre

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

Candi Staton at Hoochie Coochie

Saturday, 10pm Hoochie Coochie

The incredible and hugely celebrated genius that is Candi Staton honours the Hoochie Coochie with a full live show. Recognised predominantly in the UK for her 1978 number one hit ‘Young Hearts Run Free’, which is still played on most radio stations today, Candi is known more so for her huge catalogue of songs and her writing of great hits for many other artists too. A veritable Dolly Parton of the Soul World, Candi is also know for hits from way back such as ‘In the Ghetto’ and later 90’s hits like ‘You’ve Got The Love’, recently covered by Florence and the Machine and taken yet again

Derren Brown Svengali 7th - 12th May, 8pm Theatre Royal

Dubbed a ‘psychological illusionist’ by the Press, Derren Brown is a performer who combines magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship in order to seemingly predict and control human behaviour, as well as performing mind-bending feats of mentalism. Following sell-out performances Derren hits the road again with the second leg of the tour that started in 2011 Derren Brown: Svengali. www.theatreroyal.co.uk


26.fashion

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

Monday 23 April 2012

what’sinyourbag? Hayley Bishop

Where is it from? Urban Outfitters

What did you buy? Galaxy print pencil dress

How much did it cost? £32

Where is it from? Motel

#7 Keeping style in your stride

A friend recently came to me and asked for some advice on buying what he described as a pair of ‘trendy high-tops’. He wasn’t sure what style to go for, where to start looking for a pair that reflected his style, or even if high-tops were actually what he wanted. Presented with a rather generous budget I relished the chance to trawl through various websites and magazines for him in an attempt to whittle the selection down to that perfect pair of sneaks. Footwear, as a whole, has grown hugely over the past couple of seasons and become a prominent feature of menswear in general. Previously, many people got whipped up into the storm that was the ‘high-top’, buying them without appreciating that there is a swathe of other designs on offer. In my search for this friend I uncovered a huge spectrum of shoe devotion available to those in the process of choosing their footwear. ‘Sneakerhead’ is a term widely used amongst the streetwear elite to describe a person that dresses themselves from their footwear upwards. Keeping their latest release sneakers in box-fresh condition, they scour the internet and blogs for the hottest designs from some of the most well-known brands. For devoted Sneakerheads there are several internet platforms on which to proclaim their knowledge and excitement for what they’re packing in the cupboard - but for your average gentleman, where on earth do you begin? For starters, I fully recommend doing your research. Don’t just head down into Newcastle and take in the selection on offer at JD Sports. Your first port of call should be Sneakerpedia (www. sneakerpedia.com), a Wiki for sneakers set up by Foot Locker a few years back. Users upload photos and share comments on different trainer editions, giving you a huge range of names and styles and making it easier to find the right phrases to put into your search engine when you find some treads that catch your eye. Alternatively, you can head to the mecca of sneakers in Newcastle, a hidden paradise of wallto-wall top-end trainers that you will struggle to find anywhere else. The Sneaker Lounge is the physical home of www.soleheaven.com, a more relaxed alternative to a regular store with friendly, knowledgeable staff, who not only know their stuff but are also good company. If you haven’t come across The Sneaker Lounge it’s about a mile outside of Newcastle city centre. As with High Bridge, it’s about time we all ventured out of our retail comfort zone. You’ll find them at Hoults Yard on Walker Street and you’ll certainly be glad you made the trip! Back to my friend who, unfortunately, had pressing dissertation matters and so chose to solve his menswear dilemma by paying an online visit to Size (www.size.co.uk), one of the most prominent footwear retailers in the UK. After hours of searching he realised that, in fact, high tops were not really for him. Instead, after a joint discussion, we agreed that a pair of Chukka Boot-style Vans would work much better as they could both be dressed up and worn casually. Whilst my friend gained a fresh new pair of kicks for summer, I gained the sad knowledge that I will need to earn a lot post-degree, if only to be able to afford half the items I had to resist buying!

Why did you choose this? “I work at Urban Outfitters in Newcastle so I couldn’t really resist this dress with my staff discount. The print is amazing and the mesh cutout sides are really quirky.”

How much did it cost? £48 Why did you choose this? “It was my birthday and I wanted a dress that was a bit different than my usual going out dresses. I absolutely loved the print, it was perfect!”

Fashionista’s Verdict? “With Coachella only just been and gone we can’t help but take a pinch of festival fashion and incorporate it into our summer wardrobes. Charlotte will be rocking the global trend head-to-toe this season in this Aztec-inspired slip. Accessorise with fringing, feathers and bright beadwork for a true tribal gathering.”

Fashionista’s Verdict? “This solar flare inspired bodycon teamed with Hayley’s furiously firey red hair will have her soaring straight to the top of best-dressed at her birthday! Pair with simple monochromatic accessories to keep all eyes on this cosmic creation and if you’re feeling a little more daring opt for a touch of rose gold instead!.”

On trend

High fashion in short

Topshop, £35

Hannah Walsh

What did you buy? Nara print mesh slip dress

Second Year Mathematics

Miles Freeman

The Courier

Charlotte Hadley

Media, Communication and Cultural Studies

Don’t let your wardrobe fall short of these sizzling summer buys found by Amanda Old

Warehouse, £45

Miss Selfridge, £28

Zara, £22.99


The Courier

stylingfashion.27

Monday 23 April 2012

Fashion Editor: Victoria Mole Online Fashion Editor: Rosanna Sopp

On budget Homemade accessories

Hannah Walsh explains how to add personal flair to your summer ensembles this year to perfectly match this season’s pastel palette

eed... n l l ’ u o wool What y thread or

Step 1

y mbroider · Pastel e in or tape · Safety p f scissors · A pair o n eBay) (found o silver ts n e m h Embellis ack spike studs in · screw-b chain (12mm) ches of brass ball · 12-15 in ne studs (4mm) · Rhinesto

Begin by cutting pieces of wool around 24 inches long with two sets for every colour. Combine and knot them together leaving a couple of inches stuck to tape onto a flat surface or pin to pillow. Now separate the two sets of colours and arrange into a mirror pattern with the outmost colours (peach) the same shade and work in.

Michael Kors watch, Links of London sweetie bracelet Modelled by Fiorella Margiotta-Mills

Step 3

Step 2

Step 4

Loop the peach under and back through the opening made with the green, and pull to the right to tighten.

Start on the left-hand side and make a forward knot over the second colour (green). To do this make a 4 shape over the second colour (green) with the first (peach).

Step 5

You should do this knot twice over every colour in the set on the left hand side. You will now have the outermost colour on the left hand side as green.

Step 7 Step 6

Again knot twice over each colour. Continue knotting to the left until the outside strand of wool reaches the middle. The outermost colour is now green, the same as the left hand side.

Loop the peach under and back through the opening it makes with the green, pulling to the left to tighten.

Using the same knot you should connect the two parts of the bracelet together, don’t forget you must knot twice!

Now move over to the right side and pick up the outermost colour (peach). Create a backwards knot by making a reverse ‘4’ shape over the second colour (green).

Step 9 The first chevron row is complete! Now continue braiding with the second colour, which is now the outermost colour…

Step 8

Step 10 The colour order is vital for the first few rows but after a short while the threads will just fall into place. Finish with a knot and then plait the reminding thread.

Step 11 Now for the exciting part, you need to choose what sort of embellishments you are going to use. On this particular bracelet I used a handful of press-in rhinestone gems. Use a marker pen and mark on where you want the gems to start. Make further points down the bracelet of equal distance. You can then begin to gently press the studs into the bracelet.

Step 12 Your dreamy pastel friendship bracelet is now complete and ready to go, you’re officially ready to accessorise your summer wardrobe!


The Courier

health&beauty.29

Monday 23 April 2012

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

Skinted

Handbag SOS

Top Five grooming essentials that prepare girls for any emergency mother nature might throw at her

Make-up Remover

For all your needs

Amy Macauley Rimmel 60 Seconds Clear Nail Polish (£3.69, Superdrug)

Vaseline Lip ThLip erapy (£1.80,(£1.80, Boots)Boots) Vaseline Therapy A handbag essential, whether you need to smooth yaway hairs, soften lips oryou moisturise A fl handbag essential, whether need to smooth chapped skin hairs, on thesoft go-this everything! flyaway en lipsdoes or moisturise chapped

Apart from the obvious nail emergencies, clear nail polish is brilliant for that event every girl dreads - noticing a hole in your tights just as you’re about to step out the door.

Face Wipes Simple kind to eyes eye make-up remover pads £3.99

skin on the go - this does everything!

Dove heat defence mist £2.71

Batiste Dry Shampoo On The Go Tropical (£1.49, Superdrug)

Kirby Grips (£1.49, Boots)

As well as allowing you that precious extra 10 minutes in bed, dry shampoo is also key to adding volume to flat hair on a night out, just make sure it’s properly rubbed in!

Amazing for any hair emergency, from getting your hair out of your face in an exam to making sure your messy bun stays in place, hair grips are also useful to hold a top together if you discover you’ve popped a button and are revealing just a little too much. Tresemme heat defence styling spray £4.69

Sensitive Skin Weleda almond soothing facial oil for sensitive skin £12.95

White Eyeliner (1.99, Natural Collection at Boots)

Haven’t gone to bed before that 9am lecture? A bit of white eyeliner applied along the water line will help you fake that wide awake look. If touching your waterline makes your eyes stream, just dab a bit in by your tear duct to achieve a similar effect.

Bogus Beauty James Brown london photo fabulous heat protection spray £7.19

Abi Heath searches for the truth in a sea of bad advice

Minted

Bargain of the week

Boots are currently running 3 for 2 across most haircare, skincare and beauty, so snap up three of your favourite products before the deal ends!

Putting avocado in your hair will give it volume and make it grow faster

Estée Lauder take it away total makeup remover £20.00

There are so many beauty tips behind making your hair big and long, unfortunately this is another bogus one. This nugget of advice will make your hair feel and smell pretty awful and won’t help its length. Unfortunately, more often that not, the best way to get long hair is to wait it out.

Slapping your cheeks will give you rosy cheeks

Best Beauty Blogs www.mesluxes.blogspot.co.uk www.agirlandabeautyblog. com www.msredsbeautyblog.com

Premium

Scrubbing your face with a toothbrush to remove blackheads The logic is there, as the bristles may work well exfoliating and trying to clean out your pores, but you run the risk of scraping off too many layers of skin. Plus, an exfoliation glove would work just as well.

Not only is this technique painful but you can break blood vessels. This causes very small thin red lines over your cheeks which are hard to cover up fully with makeup (take it from someone who has them naturally). They’re nearly impossible to get rid of permanently and trying to involves laser surgery. Blusher doesn’t seem too expensive now does it?

Rubbing alcohol on skin can combat an oily t-zone Using alcohol sounds painful and doesn’t do your skin any good, especially oily skin. That’s because rubbing alcohol will dry out the skin, so when you first apply it, it will get rid of the oil: short term solution. Eventually it will become too dry so your skin ends up producing even more oil to compensate. Square one. People with oily t-zones simply need to use skin products for oily skin.

Eye make-up

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

Value for money Boots Essentials cucumber eye make-up remover gel £1.42


30.arts

Monday 23 April 2012

The Courier

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

The book that... is worth read-cycling

Grace Harvey challenges the sceptics and argues why Moby Dick isn’t just for the classroom but is worth picking up again and again... We all have that one book we can trust to read and reread until it falls apart, and despite my ever growing bucket list of books to bash through, I can always find time for Moby Dick. Albeit a bizarre and seemingly pretentious choice of book to even pick up in the first place, I can’t help it. Not only is Moby Dick a book that never gets old, it’s the only book I’ve ever willingly read more than once. My first encounter with Melville’s epic was as a small and impressionable child. Having watched Matilda and realising I wanted to be just like her, I decided that Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl would no longer cut it, so I convinced my parents that Melville’s classic would be appropriate bedtime reading for a seven-year-old. Evidently this was too tall an order for a small child, and as both me and my parents quickly became bored and confused, the book was left to sit on the shelf gathering dust until I decided that I was both intellectually and emotionally prepared for the task ahead. But when that day came, I braved each page which was at times completely exhausting and no one really cares about a seventy page history of the whale. But as the old saying goes ‘no pain, no gain’ and Ishmael and Ahab’s mission to hunt the whale was truly gripping. Admittedly, the only reason I reread the book was that I apparently hadn’t really read it at all and missed half of the story. As I finished it for the second time, it was like reading a completely different book; I was completely mesmerised and have reread it most summers since. Yet I don’t reread it for its timeless qualities or because most hold it to be an epic statement about the changing world, full of metaphors, symbolism and all that literary hoohah, but because it is a charming and inspiring tale about a merry bunch of sailors who travel the world on the ultimate revenge mission. While I realise this makes me sound like an eight-year-old, it’s half the reason I continue to return to Melville in a bid to regain the sense of excitement and adventure university has slowly taken from me. It is genuinely impossible to describe the book, but if Pirates of the Caribbean and Mission Impossible were to ever exist as a book, it would probably look like Moby Dick - and who can argue with Johnny Depp? Whether you read it as America’s greatest treasure or as an adventure story, it’s impossible to not get washed up in Ishmael and Ahab’s heroic voyage into the unknown. Now it’s your turn. Join the debate and tell us what you think of Moby Dick at thecourieronline.co.uk/arts

Do you know the Gruffalo? Arts Editor Sally Priddle discovers that writing is work like any other with Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson

A

lthough some of you may not know the name, the likelihood is that you’ll know the work. Julia Donaldson, writer and playwright, may not ring any bells at first, but her international sensation The Gruffalo, brought to furry brown and yellow-eyed life by illustrator Axel Scheffler, certainly will. Admittedly, most of us are too old to have read The Gruffalo as children, but luckily, the recently adapted BBC cartoons have brought the joy of Donaldson’s books into our lives. Recently named the Children’s Laureate Donaldson has opened her own exhibition at Seven Stories called A Squash and a Squeeze: Sharing Stories with Julia Donaldson, in order to celebrate her contributions to literature. Visitors get to see her modern classics such as The Gruffalo, Princess Mirror-Belle and The Troll as well as explore the original artwork by her many illustrators - previously mentioned Axel Scheffler, but also Lydia Monks, David Roberts, Nick Sharratt, Karen George and Emily Gravett. I met Julia at the opening of her new exhibition and she was beaming about how the exhibition had turned out, particularly as it was part of the popular Seven Stories that encourages children to get in and enjoy reading, something Julia is very passionate about and has regularly campaigned for. “I am thrilled that my work, and that of my illustrators, is to be presented in such a stimulating and child-friendly way, with so many mini-words and activities. Because of my love of drama and song, I am particularly excited about the theatre and the juke box!” Julia’s exhibition is divided up into her numerous illustrators. Renowned for her good choice in artistic partner I was eager to discover how her selection process worked: “Well, sometimes I come up with

a story and it fits in with my cycle of illustrators, but sometimes I write one and it just doesn’t suit any of them so the search has to start. Searching for the perfect illustrator is a hard task, the book that I am releasing later this year I am doing with a new illustrator, Rebecca Cobb, and it took us two years to find her.” With such scrutiny going into every one of Julia’s stories, I expected her to be constantly working - but it turns out Julia sees work the same as everyone else: “Sometimes it is hard to get into a story, but I find it can be like cleaning when you get into it you just can’t stop. I can have an idea and although it might not work at first, I get so into it I become obsessed and I just can’t put it down until it is done.” Julia has been writing children’s books for way over a decade and has written over 150 books - published the world over - so one could assume she has her head completely in the clouds, in a world where creatures such as The Gruffalo can be invented. But Julia admits she is not much of a daydreamer: “I think of the usual things that appeal to children, like I have got a mermaid book coming out soon. Most authors I know love playing with the fairy world. I mean I am not saying that I don’t daydream, just not about giants and mermaids, I guess I am more just one of those people that are always in their own world.”

Julia Donaldson in her new exhibition ‘A Squash and a Squeeze: Sharing stories with Julia Donaldson

With a woman so influential in children’s literature, I wonder what was the most influential thing in her childhood? “I think it was the holiday place that we always used to go to as children, a big house in Wiltshire, it was a summer school of music for grown ups and although I never played any music, my sister and I and the other children used to play all through the grounds, explore the passages ways and all the parts of the house. Because we went there every year, it was so magical and it just kept me in touch with my childhood. Also because I grew up in London, the countryside was always so magical to me, it still amazes me and I haven’t lived in London for 18 years.” Julia talks about her childhood with such glee that it is obvious why she writes for children. She says she would always encourage children not to be in a rush to grow up - a message that I am more than happy to accept as I join in with the colouring in activities throughout the exhibition. Julia truly is an inspiration as she proves how one imagination can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

The cutting edge in contemporary Catherine Langley explores why one was not enough for the Baltic, which is why they’ve opened a new sister venue to nurture the city’s underground creative culture

T

he Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art on the Quayside is an image synonymous with Tyneside in the same way as other iconic Geordie landmarks, such as The Angel of the North or St. James’ Park. However, the Baltic now has a second home on High Bridge Street in the centre of the city, named Baltic 39. The new venue will exhibit the best in contemporary art, including smaller underground artists who haven’t before had a public forum for their work, as well as nurturing some of Northumbria University’s Fine Art students to become the Young British Artists of tomorrow. Baltic 39’s first show, Switch, is made up of works selected by north-eastern artist Phyllida Barlow who has herself already exhibited at the Baltic in Gateshead. This exhibition aims to explore “the notion of change in artistic practice and the role of the exhibition.” Switch therefore offers a plethora of different artistic media from film-making to photography and from drawing to sculpture, so there really is something to suit everyone’s tastes. Barlow adopted an unconventional layout of the work in an attempt to make visitors ques-

tion the gallery experience. “Rather than simply locating a studio situation within the gallery, the exhibition aims to offer its participants, both artists and audience members, a common arena in which to share, test and understand the performative complexities of artistic production.” The work on show is the creative output of 13 London-based artists, ranging from Fabian and Florence Peake (son and granddaughter of the famous illustrator Mervyn) who exhibit a sound based piece, to Iain Hales, a sculptor whose 2012 work The Sacred and Profane Love Machine will be adapted and rearranged throughout the course of the exhibition. Baltic 39 will also host special weekend events, giving alternative and new works a chance to be displayed, as well as one off performances that promise to bring all types of contemporary art from the quayside to the heart of the city centre. For anyone who is looking for some cultured procrastination from work, or even feels like dipping their toe in the world of art without being overwhelmed, this is your chance to really experience what Newcastle has to offer.


The Courier

arts.31

Monday 23 April 2012

Arts Editor: Sally Priddle Online Arts Editor: Lisa Bernhardt

The Dummies’ guide to

previews

Photography Ever wondered why your photos never look like the professionals’? Ok, maybe the experts don’t work after a bottle of wine and four trebles, but nevertheless Peter Fenech is here with some basic tips that will change your blur to brilliance. For today’s lesson, the key is composition.

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hilst it’s certainly desirable to have whatever you’re shooting perfectly still with great exposure, in reality this doesn’t often happen. Whatever camera you have, when taking shots you can apply what’s known as the ‘Rule of Thirds’ (it is a ‘doeswhat-it-says-on-the-tin’ kind of rule). It’s used by artists and photographers alike and it works like this: you imagine a grid of nine boxes on top of your photo, dividing it into three columns and three rows - a bit like a noughts and crosses grid. Now, what most people new to photography do is place their subject in the centre of the scene; it works but it won’t give you the most interesting shot. By centring everything it will give your image that ‘snap-shot’ feel. A better way of doing things is to position that subject along one of the imaginary lines or where two of the lines intersect, it may feel odd at first to shift your subject off-centre, but believe me it’s far more pleasing to the human eye. It’s example time: taking this landscape image (Marsden Bay, South Shields) I could have put Marsden Rock smack-bang in the middle, however, the almost-but-not-quite-symmetrical resulting photograph wouldn’t have nearly have been as interesting. Placing it towards the top-right means the curve of the beach and water lead the viewer’s eye to where I want them to look; the intended subject is actually more obvious. These lines in the image (imaginatively named ‘leading lines’!) are an important compositional element in themselves. Now that you have your subject on a third, look for something in the scene to lead your viewer to it. Roads and railings make great leading lines, as do things like crops tracks in a field and neatly arranged bands of colour in the landscape, visible in my picture. Another common error, particularly with landscape photos, is to cut out most of the foreground. A ‘pro-secret’ for landscape

Close the Coalhouse Door Northern Stage 13 April - 5 May

In an exciting co-production, Northern Stage and Live Theatre present a revival of Close the Coalhouse Door by Alan Plater. Based on a series of short stories by Sid Chaplin, the musical play celebrates the true spirit and courage of Northern England during the mining age, taking us on an exhilarating journey of disappointment and success as the public fight for the formation of the first unions. The dialogue is witty and sharp and the music, written by Alex Glasgow and inspired by Geordie folk songs, is cheerful and emotive, giving Northerners a real sense of pride. The show is littered with recognisable faces, from Coronation Street to the West End, and is directed by the much-celebrated Samuel West. Lee Hall, playwright and screenwriter best known for Billy Elliot, will also provide the piece with a new creative ending, allowing a thoughtful reflection upon landmark events such as the 1984-85 miners’ strike. The return of Close the Coalhouse Door once again serves as a memorial to its late playwright and promises to be as fun and powerful as its very first performance. Millie Walton

The Stand 1 May

Tom Stade: a man who turned up in the pouring rain in a somewhat grey Britain to a somewhat grey office to discuss the upcoming tour wearing not wellies, not even shiny office shoes, but open summer sandals. If such optimism in the face of April showers is not enough to persuade you that a night in the company of Mr Stade would be well worth it, it may help to know that Rhod Gilbert called the show “sublime….A rich comic experience. Wonderfully imaginative, original and hilarious.” The Stand, if you have not been, is one of the most friendly and unique comedy clubs around; the audience are welcoming, if somewhat fuzzed with alcohol, while the venue is small enough to be intimate and large enough to be comfortable. Tom Stade stormed the stage on both BBC One’s Live At The Apollo and Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and has added extra dates to his tour due to popular demand. He’s fast becoming a household name so I recommend you catch him now (whilst he’s affordable) and join his inimitable, offbeat world for a truly unforgettable night of comedy. Clare Deal

Propeller’s Shakespeare Theatre Royal 24-28 April

Led by director Edward Hall, this internationally-acclaimed ensemble, Propeller, return to Newcastle to stage two all-male versions of Shakespeare classics. First up is ‘The Winter’s Tale’, a tragic fairy tale that tells the mysterious and extraordinary story of a man consumed by an inexplicable jealousy that destroys his family, his kingdom and himself. With thrusting hips, flashing lights, sunglasses and fur coats, this is a raucous celebration of Shakespeare’s writing and its continuing dominance of twenty-first century drama. The second production, ‘Henry V’, guaranteed to be no less enthralling, telling the tale of the greatest British warrior in English folklore. Propeller leads us from the corridors of Westminster to the fields of France, taking us back to a time when nationalism was at its most dangerous and darkly combining comedy with tragedy. Propeller’s productions have received rave reviews in the past and their current efforts are no exception to this trend. With cheap student tickets up for grabs, this is your chance to realise why Shakespeare is still regarded as Britain’s greatest playwright. Rosie Tallant

reviews

Live, Love, Dance

I Dreamed a Dream

Despite my expectations of a university dance show, I can honestly say I was completely blown away by the Dance Society’s show ‘Live, Love, Dance’ which was not only brilliantly arranged but also showed off the range of talent that this uni has to offer. The street numbers were absolutely fantastic and ticked every box: they were tightly performed, unique and most importantly had a touch of humour that was appreciated by the entire audience. I have nothing but praise for the choreographers of this show and you would not know that they were university students as some dances were up there with some of the professional shows that I have seen. The Dance Society performed a diverse range of numbers and each was performed with enthusiasm and passion. It gave them a chance to show the public all the hard work they have been putting into competitions all year; it was evident why they have been so successful. Overall, the show was fun and demonstrated the diverse training and styles of dance, including an unexpected performance by the Irish Dance Society which was an original and fantastic addition to the evening. Sally Priddle

We’ve all seen the clip of Susan Boyle’s jaw-dropping audition for Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 that went viral. Now, in 2012, a musical based on her life celebrates its world premiere at the Theatre Royal. Many a cynical voice has mocked, but they will be quickly silenced once they’ve witnessed this uplifting musical. Susan’s life is indeed the almost trope-like ‘dream come true’ story. Growing up in a loving but strict family, she was bullied at school, lost her father and sister and had to take care of her ill mother, with singing being only a pastime until audition day. This beautiful story once again proves how obsessed the world is with physical appearance yet how little it actually matters. The marvellous Elaince C. Smith plays the lead role with an admirable passion that makes the songs (which were not specially written for the musical) take a step back and merely amplifies the focus on the characters which we don’t get very often in musicals. And what would a night all about Susan Boyle be without an appearance from the lady herself, singing her signature anthem ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ and gaining the standing ovations she truly deserves. Lisa Bernhardt

Northern Stage 12-13 March

shots is to make a big thing of the stuff between them and their subject; so in this case that’s the rocky beach and tide-line. The next time you see a landscape photo just look at how the photographer has picked out the layers. (You may be thinking how pretentious, but now you know to look you will notice it.) So that’s it, shoot your subject on a third and look for leading lines before pressing the button and you’ll make more than snapshots every time. Just remember though, rules can sometimes be broken; if the theory isn’t making a nice photo, try something different. The world literally is your oyster.

Tom Stade

Theatre Royal 23 February

The Lonesome West The Cluny 2 13-15 March

If one day I look back on my time at university, I won’t have many regrets - except maybe not having watched more NUTS’ shows. Staged in a very intimate atmosphere at The Cluny 2, Martin McDonagh’s tragic comedy tells the story of two everfighting brothers in the wilds of Ireland. There was no need for an over-the-top stage design because the life and emotion injected into the characters by the four actors would have outshone any set. Coleman and Valene Connor are two grown men with a childish draw towards conflict, who try to come to terms with their father’s death and their everyday problems. The actors managed to switch from moments of pure melancholia to hysterically funny scenes in a glance without losing any credibility. James Heaford played the stressed Father Welsh trying to stop the brothers from arguing and Frühreif Girleen (Gemma Ackerly) helps stir up this heartwarming tale. But the highlights of the evening were undoubtedly Will Sebag-Montefiore and Tom Dickson, the two brothers in a love-hate relationship. Their chemistry was captivating while their brilliant acting skills outshone many a professional actor I have seen. Lisa Bernhardt


32.musicreviews

Monday 23 April 2012

The Courier

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

Five reasons why... ... if Jessie J doesn’t just cut it out we’re going to have words. 1) Oversinging to the point that she sounds like she’s been harpooned While Jessie J obviously has pipes, I think we can all agree that the best use of them is not to take one syllable, grasp it by the hair, drag it across broken glass and smash its face into a bare brick wall until it breaks down, weeping for mercy. 2) THE VOICE There are a great many things wrong with The Voice – tedious emphasis on ‘authenticity’, will.i.am, disdain for ‘gimmicks’ (except for massive spinning chairs) – but Jessie J is probably the most irritating. I’m willing to forgive her for using the word “fantabalusive”. I kept my mouth shut when she got that hideous purple dip-dye. However, I cannot sit idly by and let her mouth along to whatever song is being sung whilst waggling her fingers and winding her neck roundabout. That she feels the need to gurn along is indicative of this seismically awful belm’s attention-seeking mentality.

Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded Nicki Minaj

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aving collaborated with artists ranging from Kanye West to Madonna, listening to a song without a Nicki Minaj feature is becoming an increasing rarity these days. However, does the world’s most schizophrenic entertainer deliver with her new solo effort, or suffer the dreaded sophomore slump? Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded was supposedly written to focus on the character of Roman Zolanksi - Minaj’s gay, male, alter-ego which she introduced in her debut LP Pink Friday. If this alone confuses you, opening track ‘Roman Holiday’ will only descend you further into madness - or at the very least give you a headache. The combination of a chorus sung in a ridiculous faux British accent, alongside lyrics ‘quack quack to a duck and a chicken too’ is topped only by an out of key sampling of ‘Come All Ye’ Faithful.’ Easy listening this is not. In an attempt to serve both her urban and pop fan bases, the album is quite clearly split into two parts. The opening half will please fans that have followed Minaj since her mixtape days, offering hard beats, ruthless lyrics and an impressive list of features ranging from former ‘Moment 4 Life’ collaborator Drake, to her own mentor Lil’ Wayne. Tracks such as ‘I Am Your Leader’ let Minaj do

what she does best, bragging about herself and smack-talking others. For those of you that are not a ‘believer’ then the consequences are too explicit to even be published. The latter half of the album engulfs itself in what can only be described as full-on pop. I can guarantee fans of current single ‘Starships‘ will also en-

Weapons

Electronic Earth

Welcome Home

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eralded by some critics as the band to help kick-start a new era in British guitar music, indie rock outfit All The Young certainly have a lot of promise to live up to. The four piece from Stoke-on-Trent, formally known as New Education, have taken a more mature approach to their debut album under their new moniker and may just be onto something. Comprising of brothers Ryan and Jack Dooley, lead guitarist David Cartwright and drummer Will Heaney, the band have managed to produce a record packed full of indie anthems that are bound to win them many fans. The first single from Welcome Home, ‘The First Time,’ is definitely worth a listen with its catchy refrain making it instantly memorable. Standout track ‘The Horizon’ has a slight Oasis similarity to it, yet their refreshing sound suggests that may not be such a bad thing. It will be interesting to see if they can maintain this encouraging start or whether they simply fade into obscurity like many other indie bands over the past four or five years. Whether or not the band can become one of the biggest success stories of 2012 remains to be seen, however they are definitely worth keeping an eye on. Can this be the year guitar music becomes ‘cool’ again?

Lostprophets 3) She’s a patronising bellend After breaking her foot last summer, Jessie J told everyone that she had “a different respect for people who don’t have legs”. Not content with patting amputees on the head, she decided to pat herself on the back. She continued: “Just after I broke my foot, I was in my living room and I put on Beyoncé’s ‘Save The Hero’, like, ‘If I’m not around, who saves the hero?’ And it made me realise, like, I need someone now. You give so much as an artist, you give, you give, you give.” On this evidence she’s so self-absorbed I suspect she’s made of seven or eight different types of sponge. As if this weren’t enough, her response to the riots last summer was to tweet that she was “off to the studio. If I can’t help physically. I’m going to write about it.” Admittedly, she had a broken foot, but surely she could at least strap a broom to the front of a mobility scooter. If riot clean-up duty was good enough for Ricky Wilson from Kaiser Chiefs, then by Jove it’s good enough for her. 4) ‘Laserlight’, a.k.a. the point at which Guetta reached the bottom of the barrel It’s not a compliment when David Guetta ropes you into something, since his recruitment approach seems to be ringing everyone in the phone book. It’s even less of a compliment when the track itself sounds like he cobbled it together at half past five on a Friday afternoon while desperate to shoot off early for a pint.

joy future club bangers ‘Pound The Alarm’ and ‘Whip It’ thanks to their almost eerie similarities. Minaj also attempts to explore her sensitive side with tracks such as ‘Young Forever’, which although solid, if not slightly generic, would be better off in the hands of a stronger vocalist. Overall, the album feels like Minaj has thrown everything she’s got at a wall just to see what sticks. Cohesive this album is not, but one cannot criticise her for trying new things.

Labrinth

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elsh rock sextet Lostprophets return for their fifth album Weapons, their first effort since splitting with their long-term label. It’s a record which mixes their classic fast paced rock, like the brilliant ‘A Song From Where I’m From’, with some slower songs like the acoustic ‘Somedays’ and the vocally-strong ‘Jesus Walks’ with a sound not too dissimilar to Fall Out Boy. Though the quintessential live anthem is still to be found in the bouncy ‘We Bring an Arsenal’ with its group vocals and simple shouted chorus, it’s this kind of track that Lostprophets do best. ‘Better Off Dead’, a classic “state of modern society” type tune, shows a new aspect to their sound, with a hard heavy chorus but broken down rapped verses, which works like a better version of Limp Bizkit, and impassioned lyrics like ‘I’d rather die standing than live my life on my knees’. The band also experiments well with synths on the album, which can be heard in the fast-rocking lead single ‘Bring ‘Em Down’. In conclusion, Weapons is a mix of classic Lostprophets, with some well worked new sounds. Where the album does suffer is that repetitive sound that can become a little similar, though there are some truly good tracks like ‘Better Off Dead’. Recommended download: ‘A Song From Where I’m From’ Tim Sewell

5) She’s not nearly as cool as she thinks she is Jumpsuits have been shown, time and again, to be unacceptable fashion pieces outside of a gymnasium. If they don’t work even on properly cool practitioners like Grace Jones and Anthea Turner, there’s no hope for Jessie J. It’s a sad indictment of her cool levels that she makes will.i.am look like James Bond. That’s will.i.am, the man who said, “I don’t have tactics; I got Tic-Tacs, ‘cos I stay fresh. Holla.” Holla indeed, will.i.am. Now hit her with a lead pipe and I’ll give you a fiver. Tom Nicholson

The album feels like Minaj has thrown everything she’s got at a wall just to see what sticks

lectronic Earth is the work of time, being Labrinth’s long overdue first album. Each song is reflective of a high level of quality control which is refreshing given the current music scene... oh hey, didn’t see you there David Guetta. There is no standardisation in Labrinth’s method, while he tends to get generalised with lazy pop stars who ‘make’ music like Model T Fords, Labrinth is trying something different. Electronic Earth reflects a perfectionist meticulously building a body of sound, mixing electric guitars, acoustic, beat box, motown, classical and even sounds of the wild. However despite his clear musical ability (boy knows how to create a hook and a beat) and passion, his lyrics are banal and meaningless. There is none of Plan B’s politics, no bigger message other than ‘we party hard’. And while it is no mean feat to create a wholly listenable club-centric album, the intense auto tuning makes the album feel too contained: especially on ‘Treatment’, preventing the song from tipping into cathartic realms as all emotion is lost in Labrinth’s voice. The intense production means the album is too finely tuned and thus at odds with the fun-party element he preaches. However it is this perfectionist nature which also means every song on the album could easily be released as a single. Recommended download: ‘Vultures’

Recommended download: ‘Pound The Alarm’

Jordan Lebbern

All The Young

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Recommended download: ‘The Horizon’

Matty Aston

Win: Swedish House Mafia tickets! Ever fancied hearing the sweet sounds of Swedish House Mafia somewhere other than the Sinners dancefloor? We have a pair of tickets to give away to Swedish House Mafia’s massive Milton Keynes show on 14th July - just answer the following question and you could find yourself in their possession! To enter, email the answer to the following question to c2.music@ncl.ac.uk

What is Swedish House Mafia’s new track called? a) Poodle b) Corgi c) Greyhound

Good luck and the lucky winners will be announced in two weeks in the final issue of the year.


The Courier

featuresmusic.33

Monday 23 April 2012

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

On the record

Preview:

Shake, The Cut, 2 May, 10pm, £5

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ednesday night in Newcastle has traditionally been monopolised by Legends and the sports teams’ nights out at Tiger Tiger, and these venues aren’t without their own unique, puke-flecked charms. However, if you’re not a fan of sticking to things or being vomited on by netball players, or just fancy a break from the standard David Guettabased fare of most clubs in town, this new night at the Cut may provide some salvation. Hard on the heels of the incredibly popular Hip-Hop Houseparties at World Headquarters, Shake promises “body-shaking party jams” from Wu-Tang Clan, Pharrell and Lauryn Hill to the Beastie Boys, Kelis and Dr Dre, as well as the best

Classic album Fresh perspective

of classic Motown and Stax R&B. It sounds like the playlist will be tailored very much toward crowd-pleasers, though with enough curveballs to please aficianados. Entry is £4 with a student card, drinks start at £1.80 and the club itself looks like a bombed-out crack den. If you need any more persuading, the Cut has already proved its pedigree by founding The Best Night Out In Newcastle™ in Dragnet on a Saturday, and Shake looks set to reconfirm its exalted status. And, to seal the deal, you can guarantee the absence of rugby ties.

Until last week, I had never listened to OK Computer by Radiohead

Tom Nicholson

Preview: Live at Leeds

Leeds, various venues, 4-7 May, £20

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ince Live at Leeds’ beginning in 2007, its yearly May Bank Holiday weekend festival set in the heart of Leeds has become the gateway to a summer of binge drinking, fast food consumption and trips around the country; the first stop in a summer of UK festivals. And what a way to kick off such a summer! Leeds is arguably one of the best cities in the North for music. And not just for the bands it produces. Anywhere can be a hub for great bands to emerge but if you surround that emerging talent with a community that cares and plenty of excellent venues for them to showcase their talents, you get something very special indeed. Live at Leeds is a celebration of that. Live at Leeds is spread across the May Bank Holiday weekend with Saturday 5th May being the main focus of the weekend. An all-day, venuehopping extravaganza, the city of Leeds comes alive all the city’s best venues open their doors to local and regional acts alike, with some travelling from abroad. Everything is run by Leeds-based companies, with even the council lending a hand,

SceNE:

Vinyl Jacket Delving into the explosive North East music scene every week to bring you your new favourite local band.

and shows the sense of community based around music that makes Live at Leeds exciting. This year, the acts are potentially the most diverse pick ‘n’ mix bag of bands they’ve had since it began. There really is something for everyone here. Headliners include Brit nominated electro pop songstress Marina and The Diamonds alongside twee indie pop septet Los Campesinos! and John Peel favourites, The Subways. Just from looking at the headliners you can tell this is going to be a diverse affair but the real treats are found else-

where in the line-up. This year we have Mercury nominated Ghostpoet, Scandinavian BBC Sound of 2012 shortlisters Niki and the Dove, Canadian folk maestro Dan Mangan and the wholly unique Alt-J. There are also plenty of local bands to whet your appetite including Ellen & The Escapades, Hunting Bears and Just Handshakes. The venue hopping of the festival adds its own little charm, taking you on a tour of some of

Leeds’ best venues. From the celebrated Brudenell Social Club, to intimate and friendly Nation of Shopkeepers to the beautifully interesting Holy Trinity Church (a gig in a church is a great experience although slightly weird when a little drunk with a pint of cider in hand) each venue offers its own charms. Of course, getting around the city, particularly to Brudenell, may involve a little bit of running/taxiing if you want to make it to your favourite act but think of it as a way to burn off all the fast food and alcohol you’ll probably end up consuming. Always a bright side! As well as this, you also have the Hangover gigs on Sunday and Monday as well as the Unconference, which focuses on the music industry itself, this year with speakers such as Sean Adams from Drowned in Sound and Colin Roberts from Work It Media ready to show you the inner workings. There’s even a football tournament on the Monday with some of the bands and companies taking part in the festival facing off against each other. Luckily, each year has seen the festival improve with the queues into venues more streamlined, the time-tabling improved so not all your favourite bands are on at the same time and the concentration of venues near the city centre. This, plus the fact that the festival has been blessed with glorious sunshine for the past two years and the atmosphere is always amazing - for £20 for the whole day, it’s easily the best value for money and a fantastic way to kick start your summer in style! Chris Taylor

Who are Vinyl Jacket? A group who craft diesel pop (pop with more gallons to the mile).

What was the first album you ever bought? We have great taste: Destiny’s Child’s Survivor, Spice Girls and Ronan Keating.

How do you all know each other? We all grew up in the same area, went to the same school, were in the same friendship groups. We did a bit of musical theatre stuff together too, and four of us even had a ‘punk’ band thing going on before Sam came into the mix.

What’s your favourite venue in Newcastle? It was The Cluny up until tonight’s show at NewBridge Project; here, they give you free-reign to individualise the space which is unique and actually great fun for the band.

What have you done with the band so far? Things kicked off properly last summer when we got asked to do Evolution Festival and Glastonbury. At the time we’d only just come into our own sound, so it definitely spurred us on more. Huw Stephens has also championed us and gave us a session at Maida Vale. Summarise the band in five words Intricate, off-kilter, festival diesel pop. Who are your musical heroes? Anything from Pharrell Williams to Mariah Carey, Jimi Hendrix to Jason Mrazs. Can we hear elements of them in our own music? There’s definitely no Mariah Carey to be found in our sound.

Who’s your favourite band on the Newcastle scene? SHIELDS: they’re just exceptional musicians and every song of theirs is mint. What’s next for the band? We’re on a UK tour in April and there’s a few festivals in the pipeline for summer. And then we get signed obviously! Where and when can we see you next in Newcastle? We don’t want to do too many gigs in our hometown because you need to make it special when you do them, so it might be a while.

Chris Haywood

Radiohead are one of those bands that I’ve always meant to check out but somehow never got round to. I’ve had them recommended to me by numerous friends and even once saw them live but I’ve never actually sat down and listened to one of their albums. So here goes, Radiohead’s seminal album: OK Computer. The first thing that struck me was how very experimental this album is. A variety of interesting instruments and electronic effects are used to produce a generally very “futuristic” sound. While the lyrics are generally abstract, they evoke a melancholy, dark, dystopian mood with several strong themes of anti-capitalism, discontent with modern British life and a general fear of where the world is heading. No song shows these themes, and the album’s experimentalism, better than ‘Fitter Happier’ - simply a monotonous computerised voice reading out “ideal” personality attributes that sound like selling points, over an old fashioned radio transmission and a creepy, largely piano backing track. It ends on the line: “a pig in a cage on antibiotics”. Scary stuff. The vocals are fantastic and are used almost like another instrument. The guitar is excellent, in addition to electric guitar there is frequent use of acoustic which surprisingly manages not to be drowned out by the heavy mix of instruments. The bass riffs are powerful and all these instruments combined with piano, electronic effects and more make a truly interesting and unique sound. I think my favourite track would have to be ‘Paranoid Android’ and not only because its title is a reference to the utterly fantastic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It is a fascinating song with many distinct sections that, despite having totally different feels, blend seamlessly into one amazing experience. The otherworldly vocals, fantastic riffs and mad lyrics all work together to make an unforgettable tune. In my opinion the album’s great reputation is well deserved. Not only is it an excellent listen but it is amazingly original and unashamedly weird. A lot of music, good or otherwise, retreads the same themes of love, loss and general life (or increasingly, in the pop music industry, random words strung together and presented as “partying”) so it was great to hear an album that expressed complex socio-political ideas and emotions, especially in such a strange and abstract way. Trippy, beautiful and masterfully crafted, this album is a must-listen for everyone who likes good music. Adam Bristow-Smith


34.filmfeatures

5

Monday 23 April 2012

The Courier

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

Top

Double take: Titanic

With James Cameron sinking to new depths in his 3D re-release of Titanic Emma Oulton Action Movie One -Liners discusses the ‘misguided’ criticisms of the summer blockbuster and why it’s still worthy of a watch

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‘Yippe Ki yay Motherf**ker’ Shakespeare couldn’t have put it any better. The immortal words that came from the foul mouthed New York City cop became the epitome of good guy/bad guy banter. John McLane’s poetically induced profanity was the ultimate smack down to menacing Hans Gruber.

Why see it in 3D?

Everyone drastically misunderstood the line ‘I’ll never let go’ and went on to forever parody the moment where she immediately lets go of Jack’s hand. She’ll never let go of her promise, jerks! Pay attention.

Whether you liked Titanic as much as I did or not, its 3D re-release is well worth a visit. Despite its running time of 3 hours and 14 minutes, it is the first 3D film that I left without a splitting headache. The visuals are stunning and rarely overdone despite the post -prodyction 3-D which has plauged many films as of late.. While the sheer size of the boat and the dramatic shots of water crashing down its reconstructed passageways are awe-striking, the particularly impressive shallow depths of the more intimate scenes still pack a hearty punch. The affect is often barely noticeable, but it sucks you into the action so effectively that you feel like you were in the room. In the room with Kate Winslet’s breasts. (See my blog, A Straight Woman’s Unhealthy Obsession with Kate Winslet’s Breasts). I give it an easy five star rating. Far from being the most overrated movie of all time, it is fast becoming the most under-rated. Despite its focus on mass death and slushy It’s pretty mainstream. It was the high- romance, Cameron was, and still is ‘the est grossing film in history for twelve man’ and on of the main reasons it did so years until another James Cameron well in the first place. So go down to the success story, Avatar.This does not go Gate, put on your 3D glasses, and prepare down well with hipsters. And being to be thoroughly disgusted by an 87 year a hipster has become pretty mainold Gloria Stuart discussing the most erotic stream. Which poses a conundrum... moment of her life , up until then at least.

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‘Always bet on Black!’ “Oh no he didn’t!” Wesley Snipes drops the race card on international terrorist Charles Rane. Trapped in the cargo hold of hijacked plane a special agent John Cutter tells Rane to count his chickens using a ridiculously cheesy Russian roulette metaphor. Only Snipes could have made this work.

3 ‘Consider it a Divorce’ Who needs all the hefty paper work and negotiations to resolve your marital issues? Arnie’s approach (bullet to the head) was much more efficient, but it only works if your wife has been conspiring to have your mind wiped and assassinated.

2 ‘Get away from her you bitch’ Who says only men get the truly badass phrases? This is one of the finest moments in the Alien series. Ripley in a proto feminist moment armed like a transformer and as fierce as King Kong on steroids showing Alien who’s the boss.

1

Apparently there were other people on the boat that James Cameron skimmed over to focus on the particularly attractive (and fictional) pairing of Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet’s breasts. I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. I cried enough without the tragedy of the 109 pairs of potentially equally nice breasts that fell prey to the iceberg that night (excluding those on the men, which rack up a shocking extra potential 1,347 pairs). Ha, rack.

The dark side of Disney Cinema of dreams? Not necessarily. Sam Summers takes a look over the Disney films that pushed the boundaries of bad taste.

Pocahontas (1995)

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Dumbo (1941

ce in the 50 years sin Having learned little ed tri ain ag ey sn Di Song of the South, ting some real world their hands at adap and again they ended up American History, all recognition. Here, sanitising it beyond e of the Native Amerithe horrific genocid nts to the murder of one cans basically amouher, whiter douchebag. douchebag by anot

Illustration: Hannah Scully

(1946) Song of the South

The Little Merm aid (1989)

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‘Do I Feel Lucky? Well, do ya Punk?’ In a very intense moment ‘Dirty Harry’ displays just how badass he really is by giving us dialogue our grandchildren will be quoting to their kids. Clint Eastwood seals the deal with the iconic line that needs to be engraved on his tombstone.

Luke Hearfield

Even though th this movie are e African-American crows in they do end uplazy, loud and mean-spirited, Their portraya helping Dumbo learn to fly. sive for its time,l would have been quite prog the leader, um, if they hadn’t gone and calleres‘Jim Crow’. Oh d dear...

is uses to re-release th the joy Although Disney ref en to t ge its lucky Br film in the US, we tale of an elderly black surprisingly upbeatwho spends his days singing plantation worker licking with his animated jolly songs and fro t’s just say that its historical animal buddies. Le been contested. accuracy has since

A lot of Disney with finding a heroines are obsessed to sit around wman, but most are content come. Not Arielaiting for their prince to her own hands ! She takes matters into a vagina. Oh, anand... sells her voice for d a man she’s ne Girl Power! ver met.


The Courier

reviewsfilm.35

Monday 23 April 2012

Film Editor: Chris Binding Online Film Editor: Hayley Hamilton

The Cabin In The Woods

This continues in not-so-standard horror movie fashion until one of the most surreal climax sequences that would give the elevator scene from The Shining a run for its money in terms of blood used. The poster for the film sees your standard horror movie cabin being twisted and distorted like a floating Rubik’s cube and is a pretty good metaphor for the film as a whole. Your expectations will be twisted around and thrown against a window. The Cabin in the Woods cleverly plays with the smugness of horror movie fans. It follows the formula of a horror movie, allowing those accustomed to the “Rules” to settle, but then suddenly flips it on its head and then the ride never ends.

T

here are that types of film that are so formulaic, if you just stuck to the basic structure and added whichever actors were popular at the time, you’d have guaranteed success. Those are romantic comedy and horror (although in the latter, you have to pull those actors limb from limb). Parodies on this formula have, for the most part, been better for horrors. You’ve had the Scream series, a postmodern love letter to the “horror rules”, the Scary Movie series and the fantastic Tucker and Dale vs Evil. The next addition to the postmodern dissection of horror movies is The Cabin in the Woods from two men who know a lot about the genre. Drew Goddard wrote the terrific monster movie Cloverfield and Joss Whedon wrote most of the well-loved Buffy The Vampire Slayer series, whilst both being huge fans of the genre itself. The Cabin in the Woods takes two perspectives. The main one is that of a group of five kids are getting ready for a vacation to the arse end of nowhere for a week of sex, drugs and skinny dipping. One’s your typical sexy girl, another’s a stoner (the scene stealing Fran Kranz), a jock (de-

Picture: Lionsgate

Thored Chris Hemsworth), a nerd and finally the innocent girl. But you know something’s not right with the formula when the jock is actually a sociology major and the innocent girl had an illicit affair with her college professor. Then we meet two white collar workers, Sitterson (the superb as always Richard Jenkins) and Hadley (Bradley

Whitford) tasked with doing “something”. Revealing their actual end goal is a huge spoiler but let’s just say the interactions between the two in their “office” are some of the funniest scenes in the film. Of course, it all hits the fan when the kids end up fiddling about with things in the basement and they get assaulted by grotesque evils on all sides.

Headhunters

Mirror Mirror

Blackthorn

VERDICT: Although the material used, that of slasher horror films, is not as relevant as it was with Scream, when the 90s was booming with the things, the satirical take on the genre is still a fast, entertaining ride that is surprisingly funny (well not really, because Joss Whedon wrote it) and just generally a fantastic ride from beginning to end. Chris Taylor

Battleship

Picture: Magnet ReleasingPic-

A

s the romantic gunslinger trope often lies on the borderline between fiction and fact, director Mateo Gil tempts the idea that America’s most famous outlaw, Butch Cassidy, didn’t die in a hail of gunfire as history tells it, but survived and lived out his days in exile. Exploring the aged figure from a personal angle with flashbacks, Cassidy’s grand return to a peaceful life is cut short when he is ambushed in the wilderness by a Spanish miner Eduardo Noriega, losing his horse, ‘retirement’ money and livelihood. Fortunately the miner, pursued by the authorities, claims to have stolen money from a villainous landlord and agrees to split it in exchange for his life. The two eventually travel across Mexico, meeting old friends, making new enemies and learning the darker sides of each other’s personalities along the way. In a similar style to the Coen’s No Country For Old Men, Blackthorn is slow paced but when violence occurs it is rendered incredibly powerful. Sam Shepard embodies the role of Butch Cassidy with fervour, as a tortured individual longing for solidarity. Noriega is also very convincing as victim and manipulative deviant, with a narrative twist creating a incredibly powerful standoff between the two actors As opposed to the patriotic ideology laced John Wayne’s of the past, Blackthorn’s protagonist presents an individual suffering from the loss of friends throughout the years, suggesting that to burn out in a hail of gunfire is actually a preferable fate to the long-term solitary violence laced life of a bandit. VERDICT: Exploring the aged figure from a personal angle with flashbacks to the past, Blackthorn is both slow paced and explosive, intimate and panoramic, offering a thought provoking meditation on the man, myth and American cultural landscape itself. Chris Binding

S

upposedly thrillers are to ignite a feeling of being thrilled. Pretty self evident really. However, only rarely does a film actually mange to grasp your attention so hard that you don’t want to miss a second of it. Headhunters doesn’t quite achieve this, but it does come close. For everything that’s great about this film it’s sadly let down by a few plot holes and unnecessary explanations. What it does manage to do is be both stimulating and darkly funny at the same time. Based on a popular book by Jo Nesbo, Headhunters follows the story of Roger Brown (Askel Hennie), a cooperate head-hunter by day, but moonlights by stealing valuable works of art and replacing them with fraudulent copies. His wife is none the wiser to his discreet financial hobbies and when he discovers he’s in large debt due to the luxurious purchases, he needs a large score to break even. That’s where we meet Clas, the highly suave business associate who just so happens to be the proprietor of a rare and valuable painting. But Clas is the wrong guy to mess with; turns out he’s an ex military soldier with a penchant for tracking. What follows is a brutal cat and mouse chase while Roger flees both the authorities and Clas himself. If the Girl With Dragon Tattoo trilogy is anything to go by to judge Swedish cinema , Headhunters concurs, as an adrenaline filled ride and a fictional, albeit semi true, account of the fraud, manipulation and financial transactions that occur in the high powered world of arts dealing, where artefects can claim lives. VERDICT: Headhunters moves with great pace, and does a great job of pulling the rug out from beneath your feet as you’re watching. The problem is there is a real lack of empathy for Roger so the end result feels unresolved. Luke Hearfield

T

he attempt to modernise fairy tales seems to be as old as the fairy tales themselves; some of them manage to put a refreshing twist on those classic stories, others… well, they sort of try too hard. One of the most interesting approaches to the tales of the likes of the Grimm Brothers is establishing progressive gender roles - frequently in the shape of the emancipated princess who slays the dragon herself. Mirror Mirror aimed at creating this very character with Phil Collins’ daughter Lily as Snow White, but sadly the film falls into the second category. Instead of a brave heroine, she merely comes across as a whining oh-soadmirable role model who picks up an epee at her whim. The story - well, you know it. There are a couple of clever twists, but in the end tender-hearted Snow White - surprise!- gets her guy. Apart from that, you’ve got the evil queen, marvellously and sarcastically played by Julia Roberts - the young, handsome and noble prince (Armie Hammer) who is called Andrew Alcott instead of Charming, but still ticks all the boxes of the latter; and of course the seven dwarfs who are little bandits and get their gold not from working in a mine, but from robbing everyone travelling through the forest. The costumes and whole visual arrangement are admittedly impressive, but that alone doesn’t save the film from being just another fantasy flick that takes as long to forget as to watch it. It’s not the fairest of them all. VERDICT: If you’re open to a modern take on fairy tales, you’ll enjoy this. Except for the highly unnecessary bollywood song during the end titles. An attempt to launch a music career? No. Just plain awful Lisa Bernhardt

I

t’s safe to say that I didn’t have high hopes for this film when I went to see it. I mean, a film based on a board game sounds ridiculous on paper, never mind on the big screen. Yes, it’s a game based on Battleships, one of the most boring games ever invented. How did they turn it into a film? They added aliens. Natch. Basically, while on manoeuvres in the middle of nowhere a navy fleet of battleships stumbles across aliens. The typical saving-the-earth stuff happens and they win. That’s pretty much it. There are some subplots going on with certain characters, but essentially it is the typical clichéd Hollywood saving the world story that we are all thoroughly sick of. One major problem is that the characters are thoroughly boring. Rihanna’s big screen debut basically consists of her shouting onomatopoeia a various intervals; Liam Neeson plays the same character he always does; and Kitsch takes the role of the typical anti-hero who I couldn’t bring myself to care about. They all run about spouting clichés with little or no characterisation, which brings me to another individual... I was genuinely surprised to find that this film wasn’t directed by Michael Bay, as his influence can be seen throughout. Same types of shots, same action sequences, same fetishizing of machismo and the armed forces. It’s very like a Michael Bay film, only much worse.Worst of all, unless I missed it, at no point does anyone say ‘You sunk my battleship’. Absolutely unforgivable. VERDICT: Phenomenally stupid, with clear influences from other (better) films. I get the distinct impression that the movie knows how ridiculous it is but doesn’t quite make the jump over to parody. Go see it if you have literally nothing better to do. You have been warned. James Marples


36.science&technologynews

Monday 23 April

The Courier

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

Liver let die

5 things you need to know

Scariest robots

Research to determine genetic links to cirrhosis in younger people

W 5

hat have George Best,Truman Capote and Amy Winehouse got in common? The answer is that they all died as a result of alcohol.

Roxxxy

Roxxxy Youtube

It’s a sex robot, so it’s a thing, that you have sex with, that kind of looks like a woman. It has been developed to be as realistic as possible, with real feeling skin, the ability to simulate orgasms and to partake in conversations. Yep. What’s so scary?: The people willing to pay $7000+ for it. To have sex with.

4

Petman

Petman Youtube

Built to test military gear for field use, this robotic man is six feet tall, can run, do press-ups, simulate breathing, and even sweat. It is essentially a robot soldier. The only positive is that it doesn’t have it’s own brain. What’s so scary?: It’s a headless robotic soldier. End of.

3 Morgui

Morgui Youtube

A robot deemed so scary it was banned from interacting with anyone under the age of 18. Looking like Terminator, the disembodied metal head has five senses and big bright blue eyes that follow people around the room. What’s so scary?: When you look at it, it looks right back at you

2 Telenoid R1 Telenoid R1 Youtube A limbless torso with a head. It can mimic the movements of a person via a webcam, and can be used to talk with family members overseas, or to teach children in the absence of a teacher… What’s so scary: It’s a torso with no arms or legs that blankly stares at you and talks with your friend’s voice.

1

CB2

CB2 Youtube

The CB2 is the scariest thing ever created. Built to mimic a child in order to better understand toddler development, this three foot baby with putty flesh rolls around all day screaming and making people consider if a quick death is the better option. What’s so scary?: Everything. Once you’ve seen it, you can’t un-see it. Mark Atwill

In 2008, there were a reported 6000 deaths in the UK from alcohol related liver disease alone, 50% of the total burden of liver disease; and it is occurring ever more frequently in younger adults. While it’s true that the occasional binge drinking session may not constitute the damage of 10 years of very heavy drinking, the correlation of quantity to disease is not so black and white. Only a proportion of moderate to heavy drinkers will ever develop cirrhosis of the liver, while some who drink far less may present with the disease. To figure out why this could be, a team under the supervision of Professor Chris Day - with the aid of Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust - has undertaken research into the role of genetic predetermination to the disorder. The potential impact of the novel research is extremely important, as Prof Day explained: “Nothing so far has been able to explain the unpredictability of why some people get cirrhosis and others who drink equal amounts don’t.” The research -which has gained international collaborators and financial backingwill require the collection of samples from 300 individuals being treated at the North East patients Newcastle Hospitals Trust and Plummer Court Drug and Alcohol Addiction Unit. A cross section of cirrhotic and non cirrhotic heavy drinkers will be analysed to determine the existence of any common genetic defect. It is hoped that the large sample number will eliminate the potential for contributory

Truman Capote, died of liver disease aged 59 factors like diet and lifestyle to artificially skew the data. Any underlying genetic cause of the disease, like other similar multi-factorial disorders will probably involve a number of genes each making a small contribution to an overall effect. This factor, along with the fact that such an extensive cohort study has not yet been performed, may account for the lack of definitive success in previous studies. Consequently, any discovery could have major implications for future clinical care and disease prevention. As Professor Day explains, “The lack of specific markers for diagnosis and effective treatment compound the burden of the disease. That is why this research is so im-

...this research is so important. The results will help us identify and treat the people most at risk from drinking.

portant. The results will help us identify and treat the people most at risk from drinking.” Over the last three years, the drinking culture of the North-East has contributed to an epidemic rise in alcoholic liver disease of 400% over the past 8 years compared to the national average of 61%. Furthermore the amount of hospital admissions for the disorder in those aged 31-34 has more than quintupled in the last decade. Part of the problem may be ignorance of the severity and regularity of the problem. In addition to preventative research, introspective consideration from younger people will be paramount in the future of this social issue. Mark Atwill

Now is the winter of our most content Graduate entrepeneurs invent money-saving winter-warming device

W

ith the rising price of fuel, many of us simply choose to do without when it comes to heating our homes. In a moment of inspiration during the particularly cold winter of 2010, two Newcastle post-graduates, Roland Glancy and Simon Barker came up with the idea for the Radfan, a device which efficiently circulates radiated heat around the room, increasing their effectiveness and thus reducing bills.

Speaking to the University, Managing Director of their new company and Radfan inventor Roland Glancy said: I came up with the idea because my wife was continuously complaining about being cold, even though the heating was on and the radiators were working. I realised that the heat was not getting spread efficiently. At the moment the air around the radiator gets warm, but that doesn’t spread around too well, especially in larger rooms, like your living room. The opposite side of the room often stays cold so you have to turn up the heating to get the full benefit and ensure your whole room is warmed. That costs money, especially with gas bills constantly increasing. The device I have developed will ensure the warmer air circulates around the room, meaning you don’t have to have the heating up so high. It could save the average household a substantial amount of money, which could be vital for those who live in fuel poverty or anyone keen to reduce their heating bills.”

The Radfan, www.radfan.com

One of the most difficult aspects of starting your own business is feeling alone and staying motivated

The budding entrepeneurs were initially buoyed after winning the Santander Business Incubation Award. The Radfan then went on to win them the top prize of £20,000 in the postgraduate category of the Santander Universities Entrepeneurship Awards in July 2011. This funding allowed the team to build a prototype, and make pitches to prospective investors in order to secure further venture capital, namely from the North East Angel Fund managed by Rivers Capital Partners which will help finally bring the Radfan to the market. Simon Barker, Technical Director of the company, said: “One of the most difficult aspects of starting your own business is feeling alone and staying motivated. The support of Newcastle University enabled us to keep going and helped us develop contacts that we could collaborate with to make the idea work. Winning the Santander competition was another real boost as that really accelerated our efforts to pitch for further investment.” Nick Keeley, Director of the Careers Service at Newcastle University, said: “It’s great to see all the hard work that Roland and Simon have put in is paying off. They’ve

taken full advantage of the support we offer our entrepreneurial students and graduates through our Rise Up scheme, and it has given them a head start to launch Radfan.” Ana Botin, CEO Santander UK says: “Students at UK universities are bursting with brilliant new ideas that only need a bit of support to materialise into a successful business. At Santander we are delighted that the money of the award gave Radfan that extra push that helped them get the product ready to be launched commercially. We wish these entrepreneurs a business career full of success” Roland and Simon’s story is inspirational, in that despite the climate of joblessness surrounding graduates, the right idea, and the right support can get a business started. Their advice to all wannabe entrepeneurs is to draft a business plan, and enter it in competitions as they did, as it is a great way of securing initial capital. They also re-affirm that total dedication is required, but if the inventor has belief in their product, this shouldn’t be an issue. The Radfan should be out in time for winter 2012. Lauren Tough


The Courier

featuresscience&technology.37

Monday 23 April

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

Technology

H

The science of sleep

My baby born

Can you choose your dreams?

ow often have you had a bad dream? Ever had the silent scream, or the kind where you can’t run? The kind where you’re falling?

In Michel Gondry’s psychotropic film The Science of Sleep, his protagonist Stéphane experiences his perception of reality blending with dreams, objects and ideas he creates consciously manifesting as tangible reality within his subconscious. In our world, dreams often seem to have little rationale and the closest we get to influencing events is through vague recognition of some random byte of stray nocturnal computation. Knowing this, is it really possible to customise a dream? Psychology professor Richard Wiseman certainly believes it is, and judging by his prestigious name, we should probably listen to him. Working with Japanese iPhone software developers Yuza for the past year, he has created an applica-

Picture this

Weird Science

tion that aims to create the perfect dream. The app, named Dream:ON, is free to download, and uses a set of pre-programmed dreams, like sunbathing on a tropical beach or taking a stroll in the woods. It sounds like it rolled out of Phillip K Dick’s typewriter, but all you have to do is select a dream and when you want to wake up; Dream:ON does the rest. The app uses the iPhone’s motion sensors to monitor your movements through the night, and in the last twenty minutes before you wake (if the software detects a lack of movement indicative of dreaming) it will initiate playback of a carefully crafted soundscape; birds chirping, waves lapping on the shore, rustling leaves - you get the idea. It’s novel science, it’s novel technology, but does it actually work? Sleep specialists claim that it may indeed be possible to influence a dream through sound, although the interpretation of the sound may vary with the individual (so that lying on a beach becomes being marooned on a desert

O

The Science of Sleep Warner Independent Pictures

island.?). However, assuredly the people working on this are very clever, so it might just be worth a try. Anything to stop the recurring dream about the monkey flying the plane. Those poor orphans. Mark Atwill

Koreaing towards katastrophe?

James Ricketts South Koreans ooze an air of nonchalance and political exhaustion in light of the North Korean rocket test failure, a step further in their ICBM weapons program

n 3 April, Analia Bouter gave birth to a baby girl. She was three months premature. Doctors couldn’t save her, and the tiny infant was pronounced dead from unknown causes after only a few minutes of life. Stricken with grief, the parents of the baby girl forced themselves to return to the hospital morgue 12 hours later to see her body. They needed closure.

The girl’s mother began to carefully unwrap the shroud the hospital staff had wrapped around the body, her pitifully tiny feet, her doll-like hands; a wriggle. She pulled the shroud from her baby’s face. A whimper. Her baby was alive. She had spent 12 hours in cold storage in a hospital morgue, but somehow, even after being pronounced medically dead, she was alive. Perhaps the most surprising part of the story is this: it isn’t a miracle, and this case isn’t unique. Instead it constitutes only one of several widely reported cases of babies in recent times whom were declared dead or stillborn only to later,‘miraculously’ return to life. Global headlines were grabbed in 2009, after a baby was born prematurely to a Paraguayan family, only to be declared dead and placed in a makeshift cardboard casket. After the father of the baby boy took the body home to prepare a hurried funeral, he heard crying from inside the box. He discovered his baby son, alive and screaming inside. In this instance, the doctor responsible was placed under investigation, but no misconduct was reported. More recently, in 2010, a baby boy – one of a set of twins; Jamie and Emily Ogg was born prematurely in Sydney. He had seemingly no heartbeat, and staff informed his mother Katie he had died almost immediately proceeding birth. However, she stubbornly refused to give up nursing her new-born son, and gradually, unbelievably, he was revived in her arms. He turned two last week. There seems to be a simple explanation for these cases, which are clearly only the more publicised in a longer list of events: the manner in which death is determined is not without flaw. Of course for the most part, once the doctor says you’re dead, it’s curtains. However, for some reason, the rules don’t always apply in some extenuating circumstances. These are not miracles. People, yes, even babies, who are dead cannot simply come back to life. The physical laws of energy and entropy prohibit any such occurrence. When this happens, they were simply not dead to begin with. Maybe it’s just a risk we all have to take when we come into this world, but if it’s something that can be improved, made more thorough, made more precise, would we really want to take risk with the lives of our own children? With our own? While you think about that, think about this. How many times has this happened, and not been discovered? Mark Atwill


38

Puzzles

Sudoku Medium

Hard

Wordsearch

Monday 23 April 2012

The Courier

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

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

Crossword

Across

1. Topic (5) 4. Environment (7) 8. Layer (7) 9. Soda water (5) 10. Cheap passage (8) 11. Sport (4) 13. Six feet deep in water (6) 14. Invalidate (6) 17. Artifice (4) 19. Glorious (8) 22. Torpid (5) 23. Quantities (7) 24. Aged (7) 25. Covers a wide area (5)

Down

1. Chores (5) 2. Sincere (7) 3. Outside (8) 4. Respectful deference (6) 5. Computer memory unit (4) 6. Latin American dance (5) 7. Diplomatic (7) 12. Famished (8) 13. Surreptitious (7) 15. Brilliant musical passage (7) 16. Bee house (6) 18. Velocity (5) 20. Measured portions of medicine (5) 21. Celestial body (4)

Hub Words How many words can you make from the letters in the wheel? Each word must contain the hub letter R. Can you find a 9-letter word and at least 20 other words of five letters or more avoiding proper nouns?

A work of art ANSWER APPLAUSE AUDIENCE BUZZER CHALLENGER CHAMPION CHOICE COMPETITOR CONTESTANT GUESS HOST KNOWLEDGE MEMORY PARTICIPANT PLAYER POINTS PRESSURE PRIZE QUESTION QUIZ RECALL RESPONSE RIGHT RIVAL SCORE SHOW SPEED SUBJECT THEME TIME TOPIC TRIVIA VICTOR, WINNER WRONG.

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

Middle

Room

First

Shoe

Pipe

Fog

Resort

Jump

Jet

Throat

Point

Cold

Brainteaser

If a camel is 5 years old, a giraffe is 6 years old and an elephant is 14 years old, how old is a gorilla?


39

Sport The Courier

Monday 23 April 2012

thecourieronline.co.uk/sport

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

Lancashire hoping to reign again

Sports Editor Colin Henrys speaks to some of last year’s County Champions ahead of the new cricket season For all of its critics, few who witnessed the final day of the 2011 County Championship could deny that the oldest first class cricket competition can still host plenty of drama and excitement. With the odds stacked firmly against them going into the final day of the season and their match seemingly heading for a draw that would have left them in second place, Lancashire turned the match and the title race around to win their first outright Championship in 77 years. After starting their 2012 season with a win in the Champion County match in Abu Dhabi, the red rose side gathered for their annual press day full of confidence that they could defend the title too, as leading players Paul Horton and Steven Croft explained to The Courier. Horton, the Sydney-born opening batsman, was an ever-present in last year’s success scoring more than 1000 runs, having moved to England as a teenager and broken through the club’s academy ranks. For the second season running he spent the winter months in Zimbabwe. “It was a good summer and nice to get some sun!” he joked, adding that as he played less cricket over there it was good to be able to spend some time relaxing too. “It’s a third world country so it has its experience as a whole, but it’s a lovely place with lovely people so I enjoyed it.” As a result of his winter he is confident in his form ahead of the new season, and told The Courier that he did not feel as though he would be under any added pressure despite the loss of former captain Mark Chilton, who retired in the summer. “In theory we [Horton and fellow opening batsman Stephen Moore] are the more senior batsmen now, but there is always pressure on top order batsmen to score runs. It doesn’t matter who gets them as long as someone steps up.” “I hope to go well over 1000 runs. I don’t have too many rigid targets on a personal level but

Getty Images

Lancashire celebrate their County Championship win last season, something which Paul Horton (below left) and Steven Croft (below right) believe they can do again this year. Photography: Getty Images

hope to convert more 50s in to big 100s. “Conditions will dictate how people do; to win a Championship the whole team needs to score runs.” Another big change in the summer is a return to their home ground at Old Trafford after spending much of their Championship-winning year at their secondary ground in Liverpool due to maintenance work, and the turning of the square by 90 degrees. Some pundits have predicted that the pitch will now be low and slow as a result, but these fears were allayed by Horton: “The wicket has been a bit dead but we can only play on what is provided. We played on it in some one-dayers [last year] but it got better and better and we’re another six months down the line now and new pitches are being laid. “I think the wickets will be fine. Last year we played on slow wickets because of conditions and a change of ground but hopefully now we can move onwards.” As for defending the County Championship, Horton is equally confident and denied that there is now added pressure on them to defend it. “We always want to win it. The only difference is the media – used to be can we win it, now it’s can we defend it. We were written off last year as a group of individuals, but how we view ourselves hasn’t changed.” Horton also spoke with confidence when asked about Lancashire’s chances in the one day

game too, after a near miss in the Twenty20 cup last season: “We have played consistently and came close. It shows that we’re there or thereabouts. Last year rain didn’t help in the [Twenty20 Cup] semi-final – we were probably favourites until the rain came.” If Horton’s confidence is admirable, he is certainly not alone amongst his team mates as was immediately evident from talking to Steven Croft. The Blackpoolborn all-rounder captained the team on several occasions last season and like Horton is confident of more success in 2012. While he did not spend his winter with an overseas club he too was confident after a good pre-season: “We’ve been in since November, the same as last season. We’ve worked as hard, if not harder. We also had the advantage of going overseas [for the Champion County match] and had a brilliant two weeks training there as well. “I’m fitter than last season and feeling good about my own form with bat and ball. “[This year] I hope to win a trophy and if I can contribute with a matchwinning catch, a wicket, runs – I’d take that. I’ve scored 3’500 runs in all competitions over the last couple of years so 2000 in a year would be good on a personal level. My biggest target though is that I want another trophy.” Asked if he saw himself as a future captain after his experiences last season, Croft told The Courier: “I think so. I didn’t think about it so much last year but being handed the captaincy was an honour for me and I really enjoyed it. When [current captain Glenn Chapple] is not around I’m happy to step in and it’s certainly one for the future.”

Alongside his contributions with bat nitely defend it. We’re a stronger team on and ball, Croft is also seen as one of paper – we’re all now more experienced the best fielders on the county circuit, and have added Naqaash [Ta- hir, and anybody who has seen his stun- from Warwickshire] and [Prince, ning catch to dismiss Michael Vaughan Ashwell South in a Twenty20 Cup match in 2009 will the struggle to have seen a better one. On African his fielding, Croft said: “Over the last few years since batsmen]. [head coach Peter] Moores “It’s a big boost that he joined, more work has been [Prince] is hopefully available for the full season. We done on it. It’s drilled into us. haven’t had that for the last He writes down stats and you few years. We hope to play can look at how many runs you can save. good cricket and if we play “If you add them over a numas well as last year we won’t ber of matches you can see how be far off.” many you’ve saved and if you take In the one-day game, a match-winning catch every other Croft also believes a title is game and a run out it obviously within their reach: helps your team. “We can get a trophy. It’s “As one of the stronger fielders my ambition to play in a you pride yourself in helping Lord’s final and hopefully we others to come through.” can progress to the Champions On that catch he confessed League. I think it’s what a lot of that he remembered it well: the lads want – it’s not unrealistic “He hit one over my head with the side we’ve got.” a few a balls before and Their defence of the County I thought I’ll have the Championship title got off to a next one. It was good bad start as they lost their first on a number of levmatch of the season to Sussex els – Lancashire verby ten wickets. Nevertheless, sus Yorkshire, a there is a lot of cricket to be packed house played between now and the end at Old Trafof September, and if Lancashire ford and it was can transfer their confidence into Pazza’s [Stephen performances on the pitch, they Parry’s] first would like to think that it will be wicket.” much less than 77 years until Looking ahead their next County Champito the defence onship win. of the County C h a mpi on s h ip, Croft echoed his team mates confidence: “We can defiGetty Images


40.sportfeature

Monday 23 April 2012

The Courier

Has the Grand National run its course?

After the death of two more horses at Aintree, James Docherty debates the future of the famous race Last Saturday once again saw tragedy at Aintree when two horses were killed competing in the Grand National. Pre-race favourite and Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised suffered a fractured leg at the Open Ditch running riderless and According To Pete also suffered a break after a fall at Beecher’s Brook. This now means seven horses have died in the last five years, six times higher than the average for steeplechase. Many animal rights groups have said the time has come for the race to change or stop being run due to this high risk of death or injury to horses. Certainly, this statistic alone is frightening, with horses not only dying from falls but also from exhaustion after completing the gruelling 4.5 mile course – currently the longest in National Hunt Racing. Campaigners against Horse Racing say the sport is inherently cruel. Horses lives are strictly controlled from before conception, with the danger of inbreeding present due to desires for strong bloodlines and sometimes natural robustness sacrificed for speed. Colts are then trained hard and forced to gallop and jump, with their weight carefully managed to ensure fair classification within racing. After this, they are run hard over courses, whipped when they start to tire and sometimes placed in events out of their ability range such as the National in the hope of a grand payday for the owners. If a horse consistently fails to perform, it runs the risk of slaughter for no reason other than not providing its owners with a decent return on capital. The supporters of Horse Racing point out the exact opposite of these claims, highlighting the strict regulation in breeding, controls in training and within races to prevent animal abuse. They also point out that horses, by evolution, love to run in packs and jump; with a fence refused irrelevant of demands by the jockey if the horse feels it cannot

make the obstacle. It should also be noted that Aintree itself has made many changes in the 173-year history of the event, with many coming in recent years. Indeed, Beecher’s Brook, the infamous dropfence that has been the undoing of so many favourites, is a scant representation of the original obstacle – all but levelled out and more a challenge due to the angle jockeys jump at rather than the height. Other areas of the course have been changed for the welfare of the horses, with controls on the number and ability of those allowed to enter and vast improvements in the facilities and procedures off-course to prevent horses overheating or exacerbating injuries. A recent notable change has also been the addition of bypasses for fences known to have injury risk, allowing horses that have fallen to receive immediate veterinary attention on-course before being transported back to the on-site surgery or on to Leahurst Equine Hospital. However, as needed as these changes were, deaths in sport should always prompt more investigation to minimise risk while retaining the spectacle of the event. Last year motorsport was shocked by deaths at the highest level in two consecutive weekends, with the new seasons underway and improvements to facilities and trackside management to mitigate the inherent danger. Horse racing should look at these and evolve their procedures to maximise the welfare of both horse and rider. Since most severe falls at the National occur in the early stages of the race, perhaps entries should be reduced further, with stricter controls on the ability of those allowed to enter. Horses that are showing signs of being unsettled during parade, such as Synchronised this year, should be checked thoroughly by race stewards and only allowed to race if it is certain they are fit both physically and psychologically. However, suggestions that the fences should be made easier would not

A horse unseats his rider at The Chair during the Grand National, as the race was once again overshadowed by the deaths of two horses Photography: Getty Images

only detract from the difficulty of what is the blue-riband event of British Horse Racing, but would also increase the speed between fences and therefore the risk of injury from a fall. The Grand National is a true challenge

Back of the net Video of the week

Testing times

1.) How many goalkeepers have scored in the Premier League, and can you them name? 2.) Of those goalscoring ‘keepers, who is the only one not to have finished on the losing side? 3.) Who were named as Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year earlier this month? 4.) Who were the goalscorers in the England football team’s last ‘B’ international? 5.) When was the last time a grey horse won the Grand National before this year?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZuwa7dYyTs

Ottawa Senators fall behind against Toronto Maple Leafs after a calamitous own goal by the keeper. As own goals do not get counted in ice hockey, the goal gets credited to the nearest attacker who at best merely breathed in the ball’s direction.

Tweet of the week

-Charles Dagnall - @sportdaggers “Good luck to all the county cricketers tomorrow in your respective games of cards. #lvcc ” (18 April) The former Leicestershire cricketer turned radio pundit spares a thought for his former colleagues as the rain severely disrupted the County Championship fixtures.

1.) 4 (Brad Friedel, Paul Robinson, Peter Schmeichel, Tim Howard); 2.) Just Paul Robinson; 3.) Alastair Cook, Tim Bresnan, Kumar Sangakarra, Glen Chapple, Alan Richardson; 4.) Stewart Downing (2), Alan Smith; 5.) 1961 (Nicolaus Silver).

Ice Hockey ‘own goal’

This week in sport University Sport - 25 Apr 1999: Newcastle win their third consecutive StanCalvert Cup trophy. Their 20-14 victory made up for a disappointing year. Intra Mural - 27 Apr 2009: Cheeky Ladies and Medics booked their places in the Intra Mural Rugby Cup Final with wins over Agrics 1 and Larrikins respectively. World - 27 Apr 1981: ‘Bigfoot’, the world’s first monster truck, is given a test drive in a field near St. Louis, Missouri.

in the world of horse racing. Those that have won it often become household names and millions are spent every year around the world by ordinary people who have little or no interest in equestrianism the other 364 days of the year.

Spot the ball A

B

C

To ban it would be an overtly radical solution to a problem; but it must be agreed that changes need to take place to control the threat of injury while also retaining the drama of a truly special race.

D

E

F

1

2 3 4 5 Send the correct coordinates of the ball to courier.sport@ncl.ac.uk to enter a draw to win a £5 Mens Bar voucher.

No winners in issue before Easter (football). The ball was in D4.


The Courier

intramuralsport.41

Monday 23 April 2012

Medics Seconds wrap up title with narrow win INTRA MURAL FOOTBALL DIVISION TWO

The Division’s top two went in to the penultimate game of the season with just two points separating them. A win for the Medics would secure the title, but victory for Forsyth would leave it in their own hands going in to the final game. Possession changed hands rapidly in the opening minutes as both sides looked to play through one another, before Alec Fogarty gifted the league leaders a corner with a mis-hit back pass. Having managed to head Guy Hindley’s first delivery behind, Forsyth’s defence failed to get a head on the second, allowing Medics centre-half Sid Parker to convert from close range and put the league leaders ahead. After the first goal both sides struggled to create chances as the worsening weather made playing conditions difficult. Boroussia moved the ball around well at the back but struggled to get anything in behind the league leaders’ miserly defence, whilst Medics’ number nine Chris Holt went close with a speculative effort which the wind almost diverted under the crossbar. Holt then caught a heavy elbow and had to be taken off to receive treatment. It was another corner that almost led to a second goal for the Medics, but Hindley’s perfect swinging delivery was headed just wide of the post by Holt’s temporary replacement Josh Davison. The league leaders then spurred another opportunity, this time it was Hindley who was clean through on goal but Forsyth goalkeeper Benjy Sewell did enough to put the forward off. As half-time approached urgency was evident in the Boroussia ranks as they began to commit more numbers forward, Henry Davis came close when he nodded the ball over the onrushing Morris, only to see the ball cleared before it could cross the line. Davis was in

Newcastle Medics 2nds 1 Parker 3

Boroussia Forsyth

0

By Rory Brigstock-Barron at LONGBENTON

Morris

Parker

Gardner

Needham

Mulchay

Mysko

Johnston

Hindley

Rammell

Seymour

Fogarty

N.Holt

C.Holt

Davis

Norman

Rose

Minshaw

Barnett

Pritchard

Turner

Bell

Sewell

An early goal from Sid Parker coupled with a terrific defensive display was enough to take Medics Seconds to a 1-0 victory over Boroussia Forsyth, sealing their position as Champions of the Wednesday Intra Mural Second Division.

the thick of things again when a jinking run down the right was followed by a cross that was just too heavy for Archie Le Sales to direct the header. The second half took a while to get going as both sides struggled to deal with the conditions brought about by the heavy rain. It was yet another Medics corner that lead to the first chance of the second half, and very nearly a second goal. Captain James Rammell’s ball in was headed on to the bar by Dave Gardner and Parker headed the rebound straight in to the arms of the grateful Sewell, anywhere else and it would have been a goal. The Medics were not settling for a one goal lead and continued to press for a second. A sweeping move from left to right ended with Rammell in space on the left of the box, but the captain’s powerful effort was deflected wide. At the other end Boroussia Forsyth were incensed when Will Pritchard was brought down by Gardner in the box; the referee who was well placed said no penalty. Frustration then turned to dismay for the trailing side as Jack Minshaw dribbled through a group of players to pull the ball back for Pritchard who fired over from no more than 12 yards. The miss was the peak of an edgy last 10 minutes for the Medics, or what captain Rammell described as “squeaky bum time”, as the leaders looked to see out the game and secure the title. They came close to doubling their advantage shortly before full-time when Sewell foiled Tom Needam who was clean through on goal. In what was a tight game it was the Medics defence that was the deciding factor, with very few openings being given to the opposition. Forsyth may have felt aggrieved to have been denied a penalty in a game that could have gone

Boroussia Forsyth were unable to stop Newcastle Medics 2nds securing the Division Two title Photography: Sam Tyson

either way and will wonder what might have been had they not gifted the Medics an early goal. The Medics Seconds will be buoyant going in to their last league game against Lokomotiv after their previous

League Tables

INTRA MURAL IN-BRIEF NETBALL

Wednesday 11-a-side Football

Division 2

Division 1 Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

Barca Law Na

11

8

1

2

46

15

25

2

Newcastle Medics 1sts

11

7

2

2

32

18

23

3

Henderson Hall

12

7

1

4

41

29

22

4

Dyslexic Untied

12

6

1

5

32

26

19

5

Crayola

Division 3

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

(C)

Newcastle Medics 2nds

13

11

2

0

47

10

35

(C)

Roman Villa FC

13

12

0

1

52

7

36

2

Boroussia Forsyth

13

10

0

3

42

18

30

(P)

Politic Thistle

14

11

0

3

46

21

30*

Pts

3

Lokomotiv

12

8

1

3

47

29

25

3

Shakhtar FC

14

6

2

6

23

22

20

4

Ecosoccer

13

7

1

5

51

32

22

4

NCL Galacticos

10

5

0

5

25

29

15

5

The Hurricanes

13

6

1

6

46

33

19

5

Brown Magic FC

13

4

0

6

31

33

14

6

Boca Seniors

14

5

0

9

36

41

15

6

Jesmondino FC

12

3

1

7

19

25

14

11

5

0

6

18

18

15

(R) Newhist FC

14

1

2

11

18

75

5

7

Newcastle Dynamos

13

3

0

9

21

48

9

(R) Aftermath

12

3

0

9

14

47

9

(R) Ar U Shavin A Laugh

14

1

1

12

18

67

4

8

Combined Honours

13

3

0

9

15

47

9

(R) Castle Leazes

11

1

1

9

12

42

4

Top Goalscorers

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

14: Jamie Hurworth (Barca) 11: Dave Edwards (Medics)

game with the third placed side was controversially abandoned. Avoiding defeat will ensure an undefeated Wednesday season on the back of also being crowned National Medics Tournament Champions over Easter.

Top Goalscorers 17: Josh Batham (Ecosoccer) 16: Adam Duckworth (H’anes)

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

Netball

Rugby Union

4pm-5pm

Division 1

Top Goalscorers

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

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

Mixed Hockey

Group A Pts

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Uni Hockey

Intra Mural W D L F A <<<<>>> 14 11 0 round-up 3 212 109

44

(C)

Agrics

7

7

0

0

16

4

21

2

Mansoc

14

10

1

3

164

90

42

2

Larrikins

6

4

0

2

23

6

12

25

3

Leazes Ladies

14

10

0

4

166

113

40

3

BioSci Hockey Legends

7

4

0

3

15

10

12

Net Assets

14

8

1

5

184

135

34

4

Oral Specialists

6

3

1

2

13

7

10

32

5

Law School

7

3

0

4

12

15

9

Team

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

1

Armstrong

8

7

0

1

290

40

35

(C)

2

Titans

8

7

0

1

219

43

30

3

Agrics 1

8

5

1

2

161

104

Pld

Pts

4

Southern Fairies

8

4

0

4

185

117

22

4

5

Larrikins

8

4

0

4

118

134

18

5

Biology Netball

14

7

2

5

137

126

6

Cheeky Ladies

8

3

1

4

133

179

18

6

CHS

14

4

2

8

141

144

20

6

Pink Panthers

6

3

0

3

7

18

9

7

Engines

8

3

0

5

98

150

14

7

Agrics B

14

2

2

10

94

172

12

7

MLS

6

1

1

4

5

12

4

8

Agrics 2

8

2

0

6

50

261

8

8

RRE

14

0

0

14

24

233

0

8

NUTS

7

0

0

7

4

23

0

9

Medics

8

0

0

8

46

272

1

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Team

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

(C) Netball Ninjas

12

11

1

0

178

73

46

1

Toon Raiders

4

4

0

0

16

2

12

2

Agrics

12

10

1

1

210

75

42

2

The Gunners

5

3

1

1

8

4

10

3

Polly’s Dollies

12

7

0

5

160

128

28

3

Green Sticks

4

1

2

1

9

6

5

4

Chem Eng

12

5

0

7

106

132

20

4

NUSSC

5

1

2

2

2

10

5

5

CHS

12

5

0

7

135

163

20

5

Black Panthers

4

1

1

2

5

9

4

6

NUSSC

12

2

1

9

64

150

10

6

Mojoholics

4

1

0

3

6

10

3

7

The History Girls

12

0

1

11 41

173

2

7

Combined Honours

4

1

0

3

7

12

3

This week’s Intra Mural Fixtures Football (All matches kick off at 2pm unless otherwise stated) Wednesday 25 April CUP FINAL - Barca Law Na vs Dyslexic Untied Longbenton 3G DIV TWO - Ecosoccer vs Lokomotiv Longbenton 1 - Boroussia Forsyth vs The Hurricanes Longbenton 2 DIV THREE- Borwn Magic FC vs NCL Galacticos Longbenton 3 Thursday 26 April DIV ONE - Castle Leazes vs Newcastle Medics 1sts Longbenton 3G (8pm) DIV THREE- Roman Villa vs Combined Honours Longbenton 2 (6pm)

5pm-6pm Team

Group B

Netball Ninjas secured their position at the top of the 5pm-6pm group after beating third place Polly’s Dollies 17-10. The result meant that Agrics’ 16-2 defeat of The History Girls proved to be in vain, as the Farm Girls had to settle for second place. Elsewhere, CHS beat NUSSC 15-9 but missed out on a place in the top four on goal difference to Chem Eng. Just two more goals would have seen them finish above them. In the 4pm-5pm league, Uni Hockey, who had secured top spot the week before, could not end with a victory after succumbing to a heavy 17-4 defeat against the Leazes Ladies. Biology Netball conceded a 15-0 defeat against Mansoc however, meaning that the latter took second place ahead of Leazes by just two points. RRE meanwhile lost 17-1 to Agrics B, to give the Farm Girls just their second win of the season, having beaten RRE 13-1 earlier in the season too.

RUGBY UNION Armstrong followed up their cup final victory against Agrics 1 with victory in their final league game of the season to secure the title. Going into the title decider against Titans, which had been postponed twice earlier in the year, the Titans had not lost a league match all season in attempting to defend their crown but trailed Armstrong on bonus points. Armstrong too had not lost a match, but having conceded a walkover defeat to Southern Fairies, it could have proved costly had they not beaten Titans.


42.sportintramural

Monday 23 March 2012

The Courier

Lawyers and Dyslexic set up final clash at Longbenton Foley and Hurworth keep Barca double dream alive INTRA MURAL FOOTBALL CUP SEMI-FINAL Barca Law Na

2

Henderson Hall

0

Foley (pen) 51, Hurworth 89

By Colin Henrys at LONGBENTON 3G

Wadhams

Ryan

Beahon

Allinson

Bagot

Foley

Valenzia

McKee Hurworth

Rakshi

Watson

McAllister Zafar

Decesere

Ingram

Tollefson

Scott

Warburton

Allsop

Jones

Alcock

Davies

Barca Law Na booked their place in the Intra Mural Wednesday Cup Final with a 2-0 win against Henderson Hall at Longbenton. The win keeps alive their hopes of a league and cup double, and two more wins in their final two matches of the season will see them emulate the success of the Medics last year. The match itself was one of very few chances and Mark Foley’s penalty early in the second half proved to be the key in separating the two sides before top scorer Jamie Hurworth wrapped up victory in the dying seconds for The Lawyers. Henderson Hall will feel aggrieved at the awarding of the penalty for Foley’s opener but in truth the better side won as Hendo lacked any real cutting edge in the final third, thus missing out on what would have been a third consecutive final. The penalty, awarded by a Mr S Catchpole, was certainly soft but in truth Barca could have had any one of several

given beforehand, all of which Catchpole had turned down. After seeing Dyslexic beat Aftermath in the first semi-final, both sides started cautiously on a very greasy 3G surface, and neither goalkeeper was tested in the opening proceedings. When chances finally did come they were potshots from distance that the Hall’s Rory Davies and Barca’s Paul Wadhams dealt with comfortably in their respective goals. The best chance of the first half fell to Barca’s centre-back Dan Allinson as he rose to meet a corner in the six-yard box but headed over the bar. Former Uni First team player Tim Rakshi had earlier had a shot well blocked, and just before the break had a big shout for a penalty turned down when Hall captain Matt Allsop felled him in the area. Catchpole deemed Allsop to have played enough of the ball however, and awarded a corner instead leaving the teams level at the break. The key moment came just five minutes after half-time though. The first penalty decision was justifiable, but when Rakshi was shoved over just minutes after the restart Barca Law Na were rightly aggrieved that it was not called a foul. It was probably still playing on Catchpole’s mind when Scott brought down Chris McKee in almost the next attack; this time the referee pointed to the spot. It was a decision that could have gone either way as Scott clearly played the ball but went through the man to get it, after McKee had expertly lobbed the ball over the defender’s head a la Paul Gascoigne at Euro 96, but was felled just as he shaped to volley the ball towards goal. Foley took the responsibility from the spot and made no mistake, despite Davies getting a hand to the kick on its way into the bottom left corner. From then on, Henderson Hall rallied as they searched for an equaliser with Ben Hooper coming off the bench and making some dangerous runs at the Barca backline. Sean Watson had a good one-on-one chance charged down well by Wadhams, and Allsop hit the bar from a free kick on the edge of the area with the Barca keeper well beaten. At the other end Hurworth had another penalty shout turned down when he was brought down after shooting narrowly wide from just inside the area, and the Barca striker was nearly on the scoresheet when his low shot swerved wickedly but was saved at the second attempt by Davies.

The match was very open throughout the second half with the Lawyers seeking to close out the match and Hendo searching desperately for an equaliser to no avail. Their performance was summed up however when Hooper took the ball into the area but put his pull back behind everyone with three team mates waiting in the area. Barca had several chances at the other end, with Davies getting away with handling a long-range back pass but then recovering to push a Rakshi free kick wide. Left-back Olly Ingram also shot narrowly wide from an ambitious shot from well out and Valenzia had a shot blocked on the line by Hendo sub Toby Carr. The Hall nearly levelled the match with just minutes remaining on the clock when Armani Zafar met a cross

at the back post just two yards out but shot over the bar and they were made to pay the ultimate price as Barca added a second in the last minute. A flowing counter-attack put Hurworth in the clear and the striker made no mistake, slotting low past Davies and wheeling away to whoops of delight. After the game, his co-manager Allinson reeled off several clichés to The Courier, claiming that while the penalty could be perceived to be a little fortunate, it was something that evened itself out over the season. On their chances of a double he stated simply: “We have two matches left, if we win both games we win the double but we won’t underestimate the opposition.” Cliché or not, the equation is simple. After a season in which off the field

headlines have taken the limelight, Barca stand just two victories away from a thoroughly deserved double on it.

ROUTE TO THE

FINAL

R1: Barca 1 - 0 Crayola

R2: Boroussia Forsyth 2 - 4 Barca QF: Barca 5 - 0 Lokomotiv SF: Henderson Hall 0 - 2 Barca


The Courier

intramuralsport.43

Monday 23 March 2012

Robson and Rose rule in the rain for Untied INTRA MURAL FOOTBALL CUP SEMI-FINAL Dyslexic Untied

3

Aftermath

1

Robson 24, 39, Rose, 90

Watts 78

By Simon Schofield at LONGBENTON 3G

Turner

Action from the Intra Mural Cup Semi-Finals at Longbenton. Clockwise from left: Former University first-teamer Tim Rakshi brings the ball down for Barca Law Na in a match in which he had two penalty shouts turned down; Henderson Hall’s Josh Alcock goes in for a sliding tackle; Dyslexic Untied drive forward in the rain against Aftermath; Aftermath rallied late on but their efforts proved to be too little too late as Dyslexic progressed to what is their first cup final for most of the current crop of players. Photography: Sam Tyson

Wilson

Buckley

Jones

Quinn

O’Toole

Shelton

Watts

Hodgson

Golzari

Eccles

Robson

Da Silva

Davidson

Wheelhouse

Jackson

Schofield

Hudson

Smith

Forster

Windle Fletcher

CUP FINAL PREVIEW Barca Law Na vs Dyslexic Untied

Wednesday 25 April, Longbenton 3G, 2pm League leaders Barca Law Na are undoubtedly the favourites ahead of Wednesday’s cup final. The Lawyers have already beaten Dyslexic twice this season, including a 4-2 victory on the 3G at the end of February and with striker and co-manager Jamie Hurworth leading the FIrst Division’s goalscoring charts, Untied will face a tough task keeping him at bay. Nevertheless, Dyslexic should not be written off so easily. Striker Dom

Robson has already scored six goals in the cup this season and the Reds have already racked up 19 goals on their way to the final. The key will be how they fare against Dan Allinson, Barca Law Na’s dominating centre-half who has been central to his side’s success this season even before taking over the captaincy from Josh Cryer after Christmas.

The Courier Sport Prediction: Barca Law Na to win 3 - 1.

Dom Robson proved his worth to Dyslexic Untied as he guided them into the Wednesday Cup final. Parallels can be drawn with Dyslexic Untied and Liverpool this season; both have illustrious histories, both have had tepid league campaigns, both have made the cup final, but whilst Liverpool’s forward line has struggled Dominic Robson has provided the firepower for Untied to make the final for the first time in four years. Untied were billed as heavy favourites after previously beating Aftermath twice in the league. It was to be another Dyslexic victory, a well taken first and a majestic solo run completed Robson’s brace in the first half with Rose adding a third to dash hopes for Aftermath who had got one back through captain Watts. Dyslexic as they have often done this season, managed to nullify opponents with swift passing and confidence on the ball. Apart from a speedy counter attack in the opening minutes Aftermath provided little threat to Dyslexic’s well-drilled back four. A goal-mouth scramble should have brought the first goal but Aftermath ‘keeper Turner clawed away Simon Schofield’s effort. Turner was in inspired form to keep out Robson and Ben Wheelhouse in the early stages, who alongside Schofield were criminally given too much space. A facial injury bloodied captain Watts after an aerial challenge, his absence whilst receiving treatment allowed Untied to pour forward but they failed to capitalise. Untied felt they should have had a penalty when Aftermath defender Buckley held Chris Smith at a corner but the referee waived play on. Growing frustrated the Reds finally took the lead after a surging run by leftback ‘Dave’ Davidson was cut back at the by-line to Schofield, who cleverly sold the defender to poke through for Robson who calmly navigated the ball past the goal line defenders. The game

was firmly in the hands of the leaders with gaffer Loz Jackson snuffing out any danger in midfield and providing the steel to Schofield’s silk. It was a lone moment of brilliance however which doubled Dyslexic’s lead, Robson picked up the ball from a Windle pass in his own half and proceeded to waltz around the Aftermath defenders as if the ball was on a string, before slotting home smoothly to rack up his sixth Cup goal this season. The management took a gamble on Robson at the start of the season who was late into the fold but with performances like this he’s repaying the faith shown and earning himself attention from several other clubs. The second half provided Dyslexic with the opportunity to extend their lead with chances raining in from all angles. Schofield found Robson who after turning his defender lazily shot at Turner, who was providing a one man barrier, and the rebound could only be dribbled wide by Wheelhouse who should have done better. Freddy ‘Ginger Prince’ Rose provided a useful cameo and set up ‘Foreign’ Tony and Robson who had their efforts turned away with a two goal cushion looking increasingly fragile. Dyslexic’s wastage was to buoy Aftermath whose only noticeable chance after the break was when Eccles was put through on goal but fired wide. Aftermath earned a free kick on the half way line through the dynamic left-back JP Quinn who was providing some ambition for the Mathemagicans. The ball was looped into the box, an intelligent knock back then found the onrushing Pete Watts who powered home into the bottom left corner, sending the support into raptures. This renewed belief was the direct opposite to Dyslexic who looked as if the energy had been sapped from them. It was to be a typical last ten minutes of a Cup semi-final with the underdogs seeking to equalise by pushing everybody forward and a nervy end ensued, the Reds just holding firm despite good pressure. Robson was guilty of spurning more guilt-edged chances, Jackson also ran the whole second half after latching onto his own lofted through pass only to be denied at his feet expertly by Turner once more. With the game entering its final seconds a Dyslexic counter-attack saw Schofield round the keeper and set up substitute Rose to find the back of the net and put the tie to bed to the relief of veteran captain ‘Torres’ Windle who couldn’t hide his delight: “We deserved to win, we were the better team. We looked a little lost after conceding but kept them out well after that. I’m just pleased for the lads, were going to go into the final without fear, we’ve got a great dressing room and with Dom putting them away we’ve got every chance.” With a big-money move rumoured in the summer a cup win could surely help keep Robson for a little longer.

ROUTE TO THE

FINAL

R1: Dyslexic 5 - 1 Castle Leazes R2: CHS 0 - 8 Dyslexic QF: Dyslexic 3 - 0 Boca Seniors SF: Aftermath 1 - 3 Dyslexic

The Secret Intra Mural Footballernt

ta s i s s A er g a n Ma

#16 Wrapping up

Although there’s still cup matches to be played, unsurprisingly we’re not in the mix, and the last ball of our season was kicked weeks ago. You may remember before the Easter break that despite the wildly (naively) optimistic hopes of our manager, we failed to secure survival in our division, and ended the season with a whimper, limping through our final three games without a win… Six months after suffering my careerending injury the NHS have finally got round to trying to fix it, even going that extra mile and making sure I woke up on my birthday in hospital after the operation. Thanks NHS. You (don’t) pay for that kind of service. My return to the bright lights of Newcastle has been delayed because of it, but at the time of writing I am pencilling in an appearance at my team’s endof-season black-tie soiree/emotionallycharged piss-up. It will be a fine opportunity to get a final glimpse at the squad of players, myself included, that promised so much at the beginning of the season, and delivered so little. We had a few laughs along the way, and despite our modest points total at the end of the campaign, I think most of the boys enjoyed themselves. There were some notable highs; our enigmatic striker assisting a goal between two trips to vomit in a bin at the side of the 3G pitch at Longbenton, some delightful trash-talking even in games we were being comprehensively thrashed in, and our player-manager RB getting to the byline and putting a cross in for the first time all season in our final league game, all spring to mind. Throw in a couple of morale-boosting wins, and its fair to say that even though we are set to be relegated, there have been some laughs along the way. What I can only imagine was an administrative error kept us up last season, after we finished comfortably in the bottom two. I don’t think I’m the only person who has their fingers crossed that we might see a repeat of such a dramatic escape this time round. Depending on space in the paper next week, this could well be my final column, so thanks for joining me for a season that has borne more resemblance to the plummeting feeling of a paragliding jump than the ups and downs of a rollercoaster, however much I would have loved to have used the latter metaphor. It’s been a ball… (See what I did there?)


44.BUCSsport

Monday 23 April 2012

The Courier

Magnificent Malins helps faultless NWR

Lebrecht and team continue their 100 per cent record in the BUCS trophy final with a convincing win over

WOMEN’S RUGBY UNION Newcastle 1sts UCL 1sts

19 10

By Phoebe Lebrecht at Richmond RFC Two trys from Holly Malins and one from Pat Lapierre guided Newcastle Women’s Rugby to a 19-10 victory over University College London in the final of the BUCS Trophy. On 28 March, NUWRFC arrived at Richmond RFC having had an impressive unbeaten season, with the weight of expectation on Captain Lebrecht and her team immense. The crowd wouldn’t have quite filled Twickenham but it was the largest contingency NWR had seen all season. This support filled NWR with hope and pride as they kicked off into the first half. From the off UCL put NWR under pressure. With strong tackling and opportunistic running they were stretching the Royals further than any had stretched them all season. Newcastle sat tight and made their tackles, however when UCL made a break down the wing the crowd’s heart sank. Thanks to trusty fullback Lapierre the UCL’s wingers’ glory was shot down with a slamming tackle in to touch. This was the first opportunity for NWR to touch the ball and UCL completely misjudged the ability of NWR’s svelte backs. Once the girls got their hands on the ball, the magic came. Like many women’s teams, UCL played a predominantly forwards game and one might think they expected NWR to respond similarly, but these Royals had more than that up their sleeve. With phenomenal running and excellent hands from the backs, Newcastle cruised their way up the pitch. Consistent strength in the rucks from diverse forwards allowed scrum half McShane to control the ball and play heads up rugby. Through a number of pick and goes and then some fancy footwork from outside centre Boyle saw Lapierre glide across the line to give NWR their first try. Lebrecht

converted to extend the lead. With the confidence of the first try, Charlotte Flint didn’t wait long before ripping the ball off UCL once more. Some steady play and quick decisionmaking from forwards Hannah Rosa and Sarah Bannon allowed NWR to advance up the pitch. Hooker Katie McEvoy, usually a loose cannon, found with someone in a headlock, was dominating the scrums. This gave NWR an advantage at every breakdown and with Malins at number eight they looked to use her strong running to cross the gain line. Once gone blind, the backs “jacked” it back and stormed into UCL’s 22’. A break from Lebrecht, one of her many “show and goes”, allowed centre Rosie Neal to take her fingers off before popping to magic no.8 Malins. Malins ran such a beautiful line that UCL stopped and gasped at her talent as she placed the ball across the line. Lebrecht’s tired legs just couldn’t handle the conversion. With the sun beating down on them NWR were tired and training in Newcastle hadn’t prepared them for severe dehydration and sunstroke. With a ridiculous number of three gingers on the team, the girls were feeling the strength of the rays. UCL on the other hand, a side much more used to the conditions, were keeping their cool despite the heat and were not happy to see themselves 12-0 down. Some tired missed tackles and silly mistakes allowed UCL to advance from the kick off and their Captain and number eight Trezise seized an opportunity throwing herself across the NWR try line. A missed conversion steadied NWR’s nerves. However UCL got a whiff of success and didn’t hold back. They received the kick off with hope in their hearts and soon were taking advantage of NWR’s tired defence. Constant pick and goes put the Royals on the back foot and with some quick running from their back three UCL scored again. An inexperienced 10 calmed the shaking limbs of NWR as UCL missed the conversion, leaving NWR with a 12-10 lead at half time. NWR took their 10 minute break to rehydrate and energize with oranges. A

team talk from Coach Scott reminded the girls that this was their game; he warned them not to underestimate the ability of UCL but pointed out where to crush their fun. UCL’s star player sat at outside centre so following Scott’s advise, Neal was determined she wouldn’t touch the ball for the rest of the game. Therefore every time UCL looked to play the ball out to their backs the poor number 12 felt the shoulder of Neal and tasted the bitterness of disappointment as she dropped the ball. A strong and low defence sent the message, ‘we are here to win’ from NWR and despite their tired limbs and cramping muscles, they pushed on. Some excellent support running from flankers Bale and Chintoh meant that NWR were breaking through left, right and centre. So unsurprisingly it wasn’t long before Malins crossed the line again. Lebrecht sealed the deal with a conversion, sitting NWR up 19-10. UCL, a more than respectable opposition, did not let their heads drop and impressively fought on. They parked themselves in NWR’s 22 and pressed on until they were practically on the try line. Some excellent defence saw NWR hold up an attempted try, a truly nailbiting 10 minutes for the apprehensive crowd. Another huge scrum from NWR saw them clear their lines and escape their danger zone. A nod from the ref told Lebrecht it was last play and she booted the ball into touch. The roars from both the crowd and the Royals meant one thing, NWR were the BUCS Trophy Champions 2011-12. A tough but enjoyable game was the perfect end to the perfect season, UCL were an excellent team and put up a real fight. Their hospitality and politeness was commendable and the NWR girls had a wonderful evening with them to celebrate. The win meant NWR achieved their goal of winning the treble; League, Stan Calvert and Trophy in the bag, the girls only have the 7s BUCS championships and the Old Girls annual match to come. Who knows, NWR could be bringing home another trophy - watch this space.

Ruthless blades prove too sharp for Liverpool

Victory over Liverpool in Northern Conference Cup final ensures no skirmishes on Men’s Fencing’s perfect season as they do the double

MEN’S FENCING Newcastle 1sts Liverpool 1sts

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By James Docherty at Lancaster Newcastle University Men’s Fencing defeated Liverpool in a tense encounter to win take home the Northern Conference Cup. Hoping to complete a perfect season, the Newcastle Men’s team set off towards Lancaster resplendent in their suits. After a journey across the Pennines where any team cheer was evaporated by the constant playing of Adele by the driver, possibly as a conspiracy by other teams to remove any Newcastle mojo prior to the match

starting, the team arrived and immediately distressed Liverpool with their sharp creases and elegant threads (except Dixon). Newcastle’s fortunes started well, winning the home team fight order but then being brought back to earth by Liverpool winning the weapon order. This meant Foil would start things off, with Sabre and Epee to finish. After a group warm up and a few empowering words from Captain Dan ‘Navy’ Grant, Newcastle raced out into a 5-2 lead after the first bout. This level of momentum was kept up by the entire Team of Andrew ‘Dixy Chick’ Dixon, Grant Turnbull and Rob Walker. Liverpool did mount an admirable fight back once they’d worked out how to deal with the quick feet and fast hands of the Newcastle team, but left themselves with too much to do, allowing Newcastle to take

the weapon confidently 45-32. Sabre has been Newcastle’s strongest weapon for the last few years, with the squad unbeaten. Liverpool, unaware of this provenance, proceeded to tear into the team and quickly open up a 10-4 lead. Dixy chick then took to the piste and, at Dan Grant’s signal, unleashed hell into Liverpool’s unsuspecting third fencer. With Usain Bolt inspired quickness, he rapidly reduced the deficit and finished the bout 15-14 up – keeping Newcastle faces smiling, particularly those of Sports Director Colin Blackburn. The match continued with Newcastle and Liverpool trading the lead like hedonistic stockbrokers, with Tom Patterson ably catching Liverpool fencers in preparation and Walker and Dixy Chick pushing forwards to take the second weapon. Liverpool however had other

plans and adapted their tactics, allowing them to eke out a lead and hold it until the end, taking it 45-39 and giving the Sabre Squad their first defeat this year. Seven points in the lead and with the loss of Sabre stinging, Newcastle started Epee as they had Foil, with victory in the first bout. Liverpool however had strength in Epee and answered back quickly, taking the next two bouts to place them 15-10 up and within two points of Newcastle’s lead. Mindful of this, Newcastle slowed their game and minimised the scoring opportunities presented. This change of pace unsettled Liverpool and Newcastle seized on their opportunity, pushing ahead and opening up a safe margin thanks to considered fencing from Rob Walker and Dan Grant, who safely pushed Newcastle to 38 points and overall victory.

Though this meant the last match was inconsequential, Liverpool were determined to win two weapons and did attempt to close the gap; though the skills of Dixy Chick that have been evident all season quickly nullified this endeavour into futility – taking the weapon 45-36 and with it crowning Newcastle as Cup Champions and holders of an unblemished record, leaving Liverpool huddled together in a corner hiding their shame and wondering where it had all gone wrong. Victory in the Cup secured a remarkable double for Newcastle who have dominated all that have come before them this season. A one-hundred per cent record in the league, promotion and now the cup victory makes the team one of the University’s biggest success stories of this academic year.


The Courier

BUCSsport.45

Monday 23 April 2012

to cup triumph

University College London at Richmond

NUSSC named BUSC Champions SKI AND SNOWBOARD By Chris Penrose in Austria

Captain Phoebe Lebrecht lead her side to victory once again against a valiant UCL side Photography: Rachel O’Neill

Newcastle too good for Liverpool in the final. Taking clear victories in both Foil and Epee to finish the season with a one hundred per cent record in all competitions Photography: James Docherty

Saturday 24 March saw 236 NUSSCateers descend upon Saalbach and Hinterglemm resorts in the Austrian Alps for a week of competitions hosted by the British Universities Snowsports Council (BUSC). On the Sunday, qualifiers for the male and female ski races took place in the morning whilst the Syndicate Shred ‘n’ Butter took place in the snowpark. All of NUSSC’s racers qualified for the week’s upcoming races and Brendan Watt took gold, Rachel Turner took silver and Hannah Maclean came fourth in the park on their snowboards. Monday brought the first of the BUCS eligible races in the form of the Giant Slalom (GS) with Heidi Parker breaking into the top 10. In the BUCS Snowboard GS, NUSSC’s snowboard captain Turner brought in the first BUCS points of the week in fourth place. In the afternoon, Freeze Pro-Shop’s Slopestyle took place in the park and once again it was the boarders who came out on top with Hamish Livingstone taking fourth and Hannah Parker and Turner taking second and third respectively. A re-arranged schedule meant that the skier and boarder-cross took place on the Tuesday morning. All of NUSSC’s racers gathered at the top to witness what we hoped would be an absolute demolition of Aberdeen’s so far unbeatable racer by Newcastle’s Martin Trotter in the quarter finals. Out of the blocks we were not disappointed as Trotter flew out down to the first corner with a five meter lead, only to crash and lose a ski in the softening snow at the second. It is testament to his efforts though that he still managed to finish the race in second on one ski but due to some time-saving efforts by the officials, only the top racer qualified. In the Snowboard-cross, Rachel Turner managed to salvage second place in a rather scrappy final from all parties. In the ski slalom on the next day, Heidi Parker finished fifth in a competitive field with sister Hannah Parker, El Presidente, coming in eigth. Newcastle’s best male skier on the day

Hamish Livingstone brought home two of NUSSC’s gold medals Photography: NUSSC

was Chris Penrose, who finished in thirteenth. Whilst the Ski Slalom was taking place, the Snowboard team dual slalom had started a little further down the valley. Duals are a form of relay race with Snowboard having teams of four and Ski teams of five, and are always exciting to watch. NUSSC’s board team of Laurie Tupper, Livingstone, Turner and Justin Owers came out on top, beating Northern rivals Manchester in a close final. In the ski duals later that day, the Seconds were unfortunately knocked out early on. The Firsts, consisiting of Alex Abbott, Hannah Parker, Phil Mckechnie, Penrose and Trotter, looking to go one better than two years previously saw off dry-slope rivals Southampton easily in the first round and came up against Loughborough in the final. Unfortunately, NUSSC lost 2-1 in a best of three race over the two parallel courses in what came down to a coin toss over which course each team would use first. Also in the afternoon, the Rome & Liberty Big Air took place with skiers

and riders flying off a huge kicker in the park to pull off some insane tricks. Livingstone pulled a huge Cab 540 out the bag to land himself first place and Hannah Maclean, nursing an injured knee, managed to take second place with her effort. On the last day, the Super-G (one step down from downhill) was cancelled due to poor snow conditions making it unsafe to run. The freeride competition, new this year, went ahead however with Newcastle’s James Jordan taking an excellent second place with a very technical run combining several drops and large powder carves on his, quite frankly ridiculous, 141mm underfoot Liberty skis. Livingstone once again took top spot on the podium thanks to his run. This was one of Newcastle’s most successful BUSC championships in recent years with the snowboarders taking the limelight. NUSSC were crowned overall BUSC winners taking home four Golds, six Silvers and a Bronze.


46.sportBUCS

Monday 23 April 2012

Two of a kind: Underwood duo too much of a handful for Exeter MEN’S HOCKEY Newcastle 1sts Exeter 2nds

4 2

By Sam Mawer at ABBEYDALE An Underwood brothers hattrick and a fourth from Kieran Borrett in the first half were more than enough to take Newcastle Firsts to victory over Exeter Seconds in the final of the BUCS PWC Trophy. Having only gained promotion back to North 1A the previous season, Newcastle have surprised everyone this year, narrowly missing out on promotion to the Premier division and reaching the final of the Trophy after seeing off a spirited Birmingham side in the semifinals. The team arrived at their hotel in Sheffield on Wednesday night full of confidence that they would become the first Newcastle hockey team to win the cup since 1976, but they knew they would be up against tough opposition: an Exeter Seconds team unbeaten all season, who had won the cup three of the last four years. The team were up bright and early on Thursday morning ahead of an early 10am pushback and arrived at the Abbeydale pitch in time to take in some of the atmosphere and get a good long warm up under their belt. The match started at a frenetic pace and carried on this way throughout with both sides aware of the importance of gaining an early foothold in the game. The first half-chance fell to Exeter, whose lively centre forward was able to produce a shot on target under pressure from a tight angle, forcing Malcolm Pritchard in the Newcastle goal to make the first save of the match. Newcastle responded well to this wakeup call and began to stamp their authority on the game, driven on by their ever vocal band of loyal supporters on the sideline and coach Mick Christopher in the dugout. With Kieran Borrett continually breaking down the Exeter attacks, the Royals were able to start playing the direct, expansive hockey which has characterised their season. Ben Gowing was cool in possession in the middle of the pitch, dictating the tempo and spraying the ball from side to side. The pressure soon resulted in the first penalty corner for Newcastle. A low flick from centre back Max Underwood was scrambled away by the Exeter goalkeeper but Underwood wasn’t to be frustrated for long. Winning another corner only minutes later the usual suspects of Gowing injecting and Sam Mawer stopping

worked like clockwork for Underwood to sweep the ball low into the left corner of the net, evading the stick of Andrew Miller in the Exeter goal. With a lot of hockey still to play Newcastle knew they could not afford to sit back and enjoy their slender lead. They continued to apply a full press on the Exeter backline and were soon rewarded when a slip by an opposition centre back allowed Ben Underwood, younger brother of first scorer Max, to take the ball on the baseline. Ignoring options square the young forward slipped the ball calmly underneath the goalkeeper to put Newcastle firmly in the driving seat. However, just as the Northerners sensed an opportunity to put the game beyond their opposition they were dealt a cruel blow when a previously comfortable looking defence led by captain John Colville were caught unaware by a snap shot from the top of the circle. The quick thinking Exeter forward was able to dispatch a low shot into the left corner, leaving Pritchard with no time to react. All of a sudden the game was thrown wide open and the Royals could have been forgiven for letting nerves creep

SAM MAWER

President and leftback Mawer called their win his “finest moment in his three years at the club”, and expressed his hopes that this is just the beginning for NUMHC

into their game. But the strong character and teamwork that had been present all season once again shone through and it was not long before their two goal lead was restored. A huge aerial from Max Underwood found vice-captain Hector Hall in behind the defence and the silky forward was able to drive towards the ‘D’ before once again releasing B. Underwood, who finished with aplomb, keeping his cool to target low under the keeper on the reverse stick. Sensing the game could be finished before the break, Newcastle continued to press and were almost rewarded when Hall again broke away before finding Borrett in the circle who was mightily unlucky to see his delicate reverse stick effort flash agonisingly wide of the post Newcastle were able to achieve the three goal advantage before the break as just before the whistle Borrett was once again on hand in the D, and this time the veteran midfield and twice player of the season made no mistake. The Exeter right back was having a difficult time and he was once again dispossessed by

Max Underwood gets Newcastle off to the perfect start. Photography: Andy Smith

Hector Hall who ran across the top of the circle before finding Harry Kempe. The fresher was able to pick out Borrett in a crowded attacking circle and although his first, diving effort was parried by the keeper the Yorkshireman was able to pick himself up and fire the rebound into the roof of the net to send the Royals into the half time break 4-1 to the good. The quick nature of the game meant a few words of caution were needed at half time from coach Mick Christopher and John Colville, who knew the tie wasn’t over. After the break Newcastle adopted a more defensive approach and an Exeter side who looked shell shocked in the first half began to dictate the game more and more. Exeter gained further confidence when an aerial from defence found their playmaker, whose ball into the circle was converted first time by a skilful striker who had been a thorn in Newcastle’s defence throughout. With a good 20 minutes to play it took a monumental defensive effort for Newcastle to close the game out with players continually putting their bodies on the line for the cause, yet despite a barrage of late penalty corners the Royals defence stood firm to hold on and claim a huge victory that will be remembered at the University for years to come. Vikki Lawrence of ‘Hockey TV’ called the achievement “Newcastle’s finest hour”, leaving the players and supporters alike to celebrate a win which seemed a distant dream back in September. After lifting the trophy Captain John Colville paid tribute to the efforts of his team in an interview with Lawrence, explaining; “In the first half we were exceptional, to go in 4-1 up at half time against Exeter is something I don’t think we ever expected. We knew it would be one of the hardest games all year and we were just happy to hold on in the end. It was a brilliant performance by all the guys”. Newcastle can now look forward to next season with real confidence. Much of the team will be staying together and new captain Ben Gowing will believe that after this performance his team will be able to mount another serious promotion challenge and fight to retain the trophy for another year.

Sibling rivalry: Ben Underwood, following his brother’s lead, celebrates the first of his two goals. Photography: Andy Smith

The Courier


The Courier

BUCSsport.47

Monday 23 April 2012

Cup and league double for Seconds NETBALL Newcastle 2nds Edge Hill 1sts

38 36

By Fiona Moss in PRESTON Newcastle University Netball Seconds came from behind against Edge Hill to claim the BUCS Northern Conference cup in a tight clash in Preston. Winners of their league. Promotion granted. The cup final. A win in this last match of the season would make a good season an outstanding one for the seconds. Fears of playing in the Easter holidays troubled the team, as questions over their preparation in the days leading up to the match loomed. But the girls organised themselves well and in the true spirit of a winning team. Playing on neutral soil, they headed to Preston. The start of the game was very tight, however their opposition managed to take the ‘edge’ at the end of the first quarter, leading by three. The second quarter saw scrappy play from the two sides, countless turnovers and rebounds. The heat of the final got to all the players and the captains were eventually called over to the umpire to ask them to calm their teams down. In the third quarter, Newcastle insisted on

staying on Edge Hill’s heels, however they could not reverse the score, trailing still by three going into the final quarter. The cup rested on the final fifteen minutes. The Seconds fought hard to level scores and took their opportunity when it arose, a tactical time out from Edge Hill not deterring the team but rather they seized the moment. When time was restarted, Newcastle were in possession. From here on out they went from strength to strength, making vital interceptions and holding their own. On the final whistle the team did not know that they have won until an invasion of the court by their well turned out supporters. The shooters must be commended, holding their nerve in the dying minutes, delivering the points when needed. But the whole team acted as a unit, fighting to the last goal, keeping their heads high and working hard together. Unfortunately the team will lose Laura Harvey, Emma Richardson, Allie Strang and Stephanie Blain next year. However, the remainder of the team will remain; captain Sassa Hamilton, Helen Jones, Lauren Barnett and Harriet Humphries. The success this week proves their success of the season was well deserved and all eight girls should be applauded.

Jubilant Netball Seconds rejoice after narrow victory. Photography: UCLAN

Pelly perfection puts Oxford to the sword in BUCS trophy final WOMEN’S LACROSSE Newcastle 1sts Oxford 1sts By Hannah Fisher in SHEFFIELD

10 3

A Player of the Match performance from Serena Pelly helped Newcastle University Women’s Lacrosse to a dominant 10-3 over Oxford University in the BUCS trophy final. Newcastle University Women’s Lacrosse has recently proved to be an unstoppable force that has yet to meet an immovable object. On the road to the BUCS trophy finals they have proved their worth, no more so than against arch rivals Durham, who crumbled at Cochrane Park twice in consecutive weeks against the superior Newcastle side. “Train hard. Fight easy” is the motto of this team and the girls boarded the coach to Sheffield on the eve of the final, fully prepared for whatever Oxford University had to throw at them. Some inspiring words from co-captains Antonia “Toto” Pollock and Abi Sands at the last supper before judgement day rang in the heads of the players as they turned in for an early night, ready to do battle for glory in the morning. The sun was shining as Newcastle stepped onto the pitches, but Oxford were nowhere to be seen. After the warm-up the team were frustrated to learn that half the Oxford players were stuck in traffic and were not able to make the start time of the match, which

was pushed back much to the frustration of the Newcastle coach, Dave Coldwell. Another 20 minutes passed and the decision was made to start play with a depleted Oxford side. Newcastle were quick onto the ball and came out with possession after the first draw, and a quick goal was scored to settle the nerves of an unsteady and tense team. However, this appeared to be the calm before the storm as Oxford, who had drafted in a goalie and were playing with just over half a team, were quick to reply with some excellent midfield movement and a great finish. Before the team could process what had happened, Oxford slotted away another quick goal, leaving the normally confident Newcastle extremely worried about what was about to happen when they were at full strength. And they were about to find out as the missing Oxford players joined

SERENA PELLY

Pelly’s forceful attacking runs and dominance of the pitch left Oxford on the back foot all game, deservedly earning her Player of the Match

the fray. Newcastle knew they were strong – they had beaten higher quality teams than the Oxford side, but the nerves were showing and confidence lacking. After some advice from Coldwell, the team stepped up a gear and levelled

Ladies Lacrosse celebrate their history-making victory. Photography: Hannah Fisher

9

the field with the score standing at 2-2. Suddenly, something seemed to change in the girls’ eyes and body language that would drastically alter the story of the next 50 minutes. What it was that inspired this change of attitude is unclear. Was it the large cohort of Newcastle supporters, who had travelled from corners of the country to cheer on their daughters in the biggest match of their careers? Was it the thought of the hours spent training in often questionable conditions to prepare them for the toughest physical and mental situations? Or was it simply the raw competitiveness and team spirit that emerges when any sportsperson sees what they have been working so hard towards

Won

start to slip from their hands? Whatever it was, it worked. It was almost hard to believe that the same Newcastle side as 10 minutes previously were on the pitch. The midfield defence was a wall that could not be penetrated even by the entire army of Oxford players, and they did not get so much as a sniff of the goal circle. Every ground ball was won and the goals began to build 3, 4, 5 and finally 6-2 by half time. Goal scorers included Antonia ‘Toto’ Pollock, Emily Cullen and Sarah ‘Lloydy’ Lloyd. Team Newcastle’s domination continued into the second half, and dreams of gold were quickly becoming more and more of a reality. The score and

the strength of the players continued to build, as Oxford began to tire but scored one last goal in the final minutes of the match. The whistle blew with the final score standing at 10-3, and Serena Pelly being named Player of the Match for her outstanding coverage of the pitch and dominance in attack. The team could not have achieved what they did without the fantastic coaching and support of Dave Coldwell, who all were immensely thankful to. The elation and celebration that followed was hard to describe, but it included tears, gold medals and a questionable volume of alcohol as Newcastle University Women’s Lacrosse made history.


Sport

www.thecourieronline.co.uk Monday 23 April 2012 Issue 1249 Free

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SKI AND SNOWBOARD, P44

INTRA MURAL SEMI-FINALS FOOTBALL, P42

Photography: Andy Smith

The joy of six: BUCS finals success for Team Newcastle By Colin Henrys Sports Editor Team Newcastle’s fantastic season continued over the Easter period as the Uni secured victories in cup finals across six different sports. Women’s Lacrosse Firsts, Men’s Fencing Firsts, Men’s Hockey Firsts, Netball Seconds and Women’s Rugby Union all won their respective knockout competitions at neutral venues up and down the country to cap what has been a successful year for many of them. The Women’s Table Tennis team were also awarded the cup after their opponents withdrew. Women’s Basketball, Men’s Rugby League and Women’s Football were unable to add to Newcastle’s impressive trophy count, falling at the final hurdle in their competitions, but it was nevertheless a highly successful Easter for Team Newcastle. For the Men’s Hockey Firsts, their win in the Northern Trophy final was all the more impressive as it followed their Conference Cup success last season. Goals from the Underwood brothers, Ben, who bagged two, and Max alongside a Kieran Borrett flick into the top of the net, helped them to a 4-2 victory against Exeter Seconds following an early morning start in Sheffield. After

Newcastle had raced into a 4-1 halftime lead, the result was never in doubt and allowed captain John Colville to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor Hector Hall by leading his side to knockout glory. Success in Sheffield was on the cards that day as Newcastle’s Women’s Lacrosse team comfortably saw off Oxford Seconds. The Royals’ 10-3 victory saw them add the BUCS Northern Trophy to their Northern 1A league triumph, filling them full of confidence of achieving promotion in the Premier Playoff, which starts this week. Team Newcastle returned to Sheffield the following Saturday too but were sadly unable to make it three wins out of three as the Women’s Basketball team lost to an impressive Southampton Solent first team. They went down 60-44 leaving them to settle for the silver medals. Nevertheless, the trophy cabinet was soon added to when news filtered through to the Uni that Leeds Firsts had withdrawn from the Women’s Table Tennis Conference Cup Final, meaning that Newcastle completed a league and cup double with a 100% record for the season. The following week’s finals were scheduled to be played in the North West and another double was added to

Newcastle’s honours board when the Men’s Fencing First team defeated Liverpool 129-113 in Lancaster, thanks to victories with the Foil and Epee weapons. Dan Grant’s side therefore finished the season unbeaten as a result. Over at UCL ar“Never before guably the best of have we seen all of Newcastle’s so many teams finals was played out as the Netreach the ball Seconds went BUCS finals, head to head with and more Edge Hill Firsts importantly win at the brand new Sports Centre. In them!” a match in which neither side ever built up a particularly big lead, Newcastle eventually edged the encounter 38-36. Unfortunately, an impressive season for the Women’s Football team, which saw them clinch the league title and stun Northumbria during their Stan Calvert Cup clash, ended in disappointment as they crashed to a 6-1 defeat at the hands of MMU Cheshire Firsts. The Rugby League Plate also ended in defeat for Newcastle as Filton College beat the Owls’ second team 38-32 in Loughborough. Newcastle’s trophy glut was soon over however as Phoebe Leb-

recht’s Women’s Rugby team reaffirmed their status as one of the University’s best sides by securing the BUCS Trophy against UCL in Richmond. Their 19-10 win in hot, exhausting conditions secured Newcastle’s sixth cup victory over the week, which added to the three runners-up finishes marks one of Newcastle’s best seasons yet. AU Officer Alice Holloway, who herself won a silver medal as part of the Women’s Basketball Firsts, was keen to reiterate this point, telling The Courier: “Team Newcastle has produced some outstanding results this year; never before have we seen so many teams reach the BUCS finals, and more importantly win them! “I can’t wait to celebrate this year’s successes at the AU Ball on Sunday.” Holloway finished by stating the importance of the results in the wider context of Team Newcastle’s overall BUCS placing: “Whilst currently 10th in the BUCS rankings and with some big competitions still to come, we could well be looking at a break back into the Top 12.”

READ EXCLUSIVE MATCH REPORTS FROM THE BUCS CHAMPIONSHIPS INSIDE

Photography: Sam Tyson

CAN LANCS MAKE IT TWO TITLES IN A ROW?

CRICKET, P39


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