Martin Whatson Fong Qi Wei Ksenia Schnaider
VV Brown Ones to watch Jess Morgan
Prague Cahnel at ‘The Hague’
Personal Airbags GTA V Charlie Murder
WIN One of three Ramones Books WIN A Razer Kraken Gaming Headset
06 The Hotlist 08 Martin Whatson
18 I am Knight
26 Qi Wei Fong 34 Ksenia Schnaider 44 Lucy Walker The Crash Reel
70 Fashionistical Antwerp
48 VV Brown 50 Ones to Watch In music
52 Jess Morgan
Art Life Minima Hotel Mango Tree
66 A view to a grill 58 Monty’s Wine Bar and Restaurant, London
>>>> WIN One of three
128 ‘If you like... The Ramones’ books
44 Lucy Walker The Crash Reel
Cover Martin Whatson by Erik Furulund
98 Skating on thin ice
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130 Kraken Gaming Headset
Beautiful furniture and lighting NOBLE DESIGNS www.nobledesignslimited.com Tel: 01753 655443
62 Recipe 64 Mango Tree
Welcome to the eleventh edition of Flush Magazine, which as you might have noticed confusingly has a number ‘10’ on the front cover. This is because when we did the very first Flush somebody (not me) thought it would be a good idea to call that number ‘0’. I thought I just would mention it as this space has been designated as an area for me to write something interesting and witty in and it’s not easy as you think. I’ve been trying for two weeks and the only stuff I had was something boring about the nights closing in and the clocks going back. Maybe the only sensible thing to do would be to just stop typ.......
68 Braconnier 70 Fashionistical Antwerp 80 Art Life Minima Hotel 84 Christmas in Prague 94 Chanel for everyone 98 Skating on thin ice 102 Skoda Rapid Spaceback 106 Renault Clio Dynamique 110 Vauxhall Adam
Thanks for stopping by!
114 GTA V 116 Charlie Murder 118 Eurogamer 2013 124 My Favourite Movie Let the right one in Pete Graham, EDITOR
130WIN A Razer Kraken Gaming Headset
CONTRIBUTORS Casey Bowers CJ Waring Sharleen Hunter Steve Clarke Matthew Cooper Amelia Harvey Ian Hughes Louise Ceridwen
128 WIN One of three ‘If you like... The Ramones’ books
Paul Martin Kara Mclean Jamie Reynolds Frank Turner Sara Darling Special thanks to Coleen Cahill and Mark Bromley
THE HOTLIST The stuff of life
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This retro alarm clock is so cool that if you’re late for work you can wind it back and the rest of the world will wind back too. Available in red or green from the Imperial War Museum for £10. www.iwmshop.co.uk
The delicious brainchild of wandering foodies, Adam & Karen Bake together with Andalucían chef Alejandro Sanchez, ¡Cho! perfectly captures the essence of traditional Spanish Gazpacho. My fav is the ‘Clasico’, refreshing, healthy and coming to a fridge near you. For more info visit www.chogazpacho.com
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Handmade by local artisans in Peru using authentic South American textiles. For every pair sold a donation is made to Amazon Watch, an aid agency dedicated to protecting the Amazon rainforest. Inkkas Rule! Now available at Urban Outfitters For more info visit www.inkkas.com
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Norwegian Would: Martin Whatson Norwegian born artist Martin Whatson takes inspiration from city landscapes and finds beauty in the derelict and condemned. After studying in Oslo and inspired by the work of Banksy and DOLK, Martin developed an interest in stencils and the street art scene.
For the past eight years his many solo and group exhibitions have seen him grow as an artist with both underground and commercial credibility. How many people can say that?
How did you get into stencilling? Who were your influences?
I’ve been following Banksy’s work from the very early 00’s, so he was my initial inspiration to doing stencils. And when I discovered the (now shut down) Stencil Revolution website I learned a lot on there and got the motivation to push my boundaries when it came to technique and style. Over the years I’ve been exploring in loads of different directions in stencilling to evolve to where I am today, mixing my interest in Graffiti with my love for quality detailed stencils and my hate for a city without colours, covered with advertisements.
What is the street art scene like in Norway?
Norway is a fairly low populated country so it is fairly small and many people in the Street art or Graffiti scenes know each other. Although ironically that actually results in some people going underground and hiding their identity.
Do you feel like the â€˜traditional â€˜ art world is more open to street art than they used to be?
I think Banksy helped to pave the way for all the rest of us, but artists like Basquiat, Blek le Rat and Seen built the roads by introducing art made with sprarypaint to the art world.
What have you get planned in the pipeline? The last year has been crazy, two solo shows, three print releases, multiple trips abroad and I’ve had such overwhelming feedback from people around the world, so I am planning to calm things down a little. Saying that I already have two more solo shows, one in Tokyo (currently running) and one in Norway in January. I’m also attending this years NuArt festival (www.nuartfestival.no/home) and have a couple more prints planned. I’ve started enjoying abstract art a lot more over recent years, so I have some projects I want to do but no big plans yet. I do I know I want to travel and paint as many outside pieces as possible!
Selling work can be hard for all upcoming artists, how did you make the transition from street artist to exhibiting your work in galleries? Honestly, I have always been doing stuff on canvas, but the big change for me was when Galleri-A, my Oslo gallery took me in. They have two group shows each year, and I kept putting stuff in those shows. After a while a few pieces sold and its been a slow steady rising curve since then. Before entering the gallery world I sold stuff online and participated in several international stencil shows.
To see more of Martinâ€™s Art visit www.martinwhatson.com
Catherine Kim has been making play actors garments and accessories for the last 15 years. One day a couple of years ago she was making clothes for a medieval play when her two sons (online medieval game fanatics) asked her if she would create for them an armour hoodie each.
I Am knight They became so popular she opened an online Etsy shop and in the last year has sold over 600 of each garment. Despite the growing demand Catherine, who is based in Seoul, South Korea still makes the clothes completely by hand and is now now branching out. Look out for an IronMan Hoodie design on the way soon.
Oxford sky blue, £135
To find out more visit www.etsy.com/shop/iamknight
Far East Panographies by Qi Wei Fong
Qi Wei Fong is an amazing self-taught photographer and artist living in the hustle and bustle of Singapore. His latest series of ‘Panographies’ combine time-lapse photography and graphic art styles to stunning effect.
Many of your photos are of nature or urban landscapes with few people in them. Is this your reflection of living in such a populated place such as Singapore? In a way, although street photography is popular in Singapore it hasn’t really resonated with me. I guess you can say it is more of a reflection on my personality than a reflection on Singapore, which is made of its people.
Do your Panographies take a lot of preparation? They are semi-planned. Usually I have a focal subject in mind when I collect my course images but the final artwork is created organically when I overlay my source files in digital post processing.
What is the best thing about living in Singapore? Safety. Itâ€™s safe, and I can shoot at odd times of the night without being overly concerned for my life!
Who are your heroes? I like to look at art from past Chinese & Japanese ink paintings, and also renaissance artwork - paintings and sculptures. I like more recent painters like Monet or Van Gogh. I like Van Goghâ€™s work in particular - dynamic and vibrant. Photographywise, probably Ansel Adams.
What makes you happy? My family. They are real troopers and frequently accompany me on my shoots.
To buy prints and see more of Qiâ€™s work visit http://fqwimages.com/time-dimension/
by Ksenia Schnaider
Taking inspiration from the iconic Soviet bodywarmer, Ksenia has carried the idea through the entire Autumn/Winter 2013 collection of quilting dresses, skirts, coats and t-shirts.
Photos by Yulia Zhdan Mode:l Veronika Terokhina @ KModels Agency For more info visit www.kseniaschnaider.com
Lucy Walker is an Oscarnominated documentary filmmaker (Wasteland 2010, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom 2011). Her latest work â€˜The Crash Reelâ€™ focusses on the story of Kevin Pearce, a champion snowboarder who suffered
THE CRASH a traumatic brain injury while in training for Olympic trials. The film explores the drive of extreme sports to complete ever more dangerous stunts and the familial impact that an injury like this can have. Interview by Kara Mclean
KM: It feels like there are three distinct parts to the film. In what order did it take shape? LW: The film story happened chronologically but I chose to start in the middle “in medias res” for structuring purposes, to start from the immediate build-up to the accident and then rewind to tell the whole story from the very beginning through to the ripple effect of consequences.
REEL I caught up with Lucy to find out more… KM: How did you get into making documentaries? LW: Well originally I wanted to make fiction films, but there have been more exciting projects that I’ve been able to get made in the non-fiction world. It’s an exciting time because the non-linear editing, affordable media and portable cameras mean that for the first time it’s possible to craft a very complicated documentary story. For ‘The Crash Reel’ I met Kevin at a retreat for Nike’s sponsored extreme sports athletes and thought that he’d make a great subject for a documentary.
KM: Kevin’s brother, David plays a pivotal part in the film. How did this come about? Was it the natural dynamic of the family that drew him to the centre of the story? LW: David is a remarkable young man who has Down Syndrome, which
he prefers to call Up Syndrome. I heard about how smart he was before I met him and he was part of the reason I thought Kevin would be so interesting to follow, that he had a brother with a disability like David. David is incredibly eloquent and also makes a habit of saying what everyone else is thinking, which is a phenomenal dramatic device as well as a great human gift to the people around him.
project is very sporadic, very part-time until you begin the editing, at which point they are completely consuming for months or years. I try not to start from a topic but from a story. The only KM: How does it feel to start a film exception to that is my film about when you don’t know what the nuclear weapons, Countdown to narrative journey will be? Zero, which was very hard to make. LW: In making documentaries this is If there is a story you can organically often the case. It’s nerve-wracking explore topics but in a much more especially in this case as I was worried cinematic, narrative way which I Kevin might have another crash prefer both as a maker and as a because doctors say that if he hits his viewer. “Topic” type films are hard head again he could die; his brain unless they have a fabulous story or will not be able to withstand any hook of some kind. more impacts. The way I think about it is that I don’t need to know what’s KM: Why do you think it is that going to happen, but I do need to people are less inclined to watch be sure that no matter what happens documentary at the cinema? Do it’s going to be sufficiently interesting. you think that people have an idea of stale documentaries from the classroom and don’t realise that the genre can be as astonishing as The Imposter, as heart-wrenching as How to Survive a Plague, or as explosive as Capturing the Friedmans? LW: Very well-put! It’s tough to make a genius documentary like the ones you mention, and there are a lot of less watchable ones out there, so I think audiences are rightfully circumspect. I get upset when I see one less compelling as I worry that every viewer who sees it will be less likely to take another chance on another doc, and conversely I get extra happy and grateful when I see a splendid documentary.
KM: Do you ever have more than one production on the go at once? LW: All the time actually, but the timelines are so long that each
The Crash Reel will be released in cinemas on October 4th, and will screen on Sky Atlantic in November. For more info visit www.thecrashreel.com
2 VV Brown minutes with...
After the wave of success that followed her debut record ‘Travelling Like The Light’, a million records sold and a chart topper in France, VV Brown shelved her complete second album and returned to the drawing board, both literally (she has her own fashion label VVVintage) and musically. ‘Samson & Delilah’ her new album is co-produced by Mercury Award winning producer and The Invisible frontman Dave Okumu. Welcome back VV!
SINGER : MODEL : DESI G N E R
a king. He is the most talented person I have ever met. He’s lovely too. FM: I can hear shades of Eurythmics/ Grace Jones/ 80’s electronica in your current single ‘The Apple’ are you a big fan of these artists and time? V V: Massive fans. Bjork included. FM: Does it reflect the rest of the record? V V: Its definitely embodies the same spirit and consistency. I am overwhelmed by the feeling of peace and contentment this album has brought. I feel I have found my spiritual self. FM: What happened to Lollipops & Politics? Why did you decide not to release it? V V: This is a complete new start. I’m a new artist almost. Lollipops and P was just not a reflection of who am. I had to follow my convictions. It was the scariest thing I have ever done. FM: Where are you and what are you doing? V V: I’m sitting on the sofa after cooking my love sea bass and pear with greens. I’m anticipating the arrival of the last part of Breaking Bad with a glass of pomegranate champagne. FM: Why is the new record called Samson & Delilah? V V: I love the story of over coming weakness which Samson most certainly did. When I made this new record with this transformation I was worried, but the music empowered me to follow through. I found my strength. FM: Was it a deliberate decision to go a bit darker with your sound or did it happen naturally? V V: I grew up and changed as a person. This is a pure sign of that change. FM: How hands on are you in the studio? Was making the new record an enjoyable process? V V: I’m very hands on. I have a home studio. As its my own label I have to be even more hands on than ever. Dave Okumu (producer) is
FM: Do you think modelling has been helpful to your music career? V V: It has contributed to awareness and fashion and music always go hand in hand. Visuals are so powerful with sound. I hope to contribute to fashion and continue in whatever capacity. I love my online store vvvintage.com and photography. I’ve just launched a new range of clothes, Holographic, designed by Mary Benson for VVV, black as a base, simple and fun, and whats exciting is we are currently stocked in Top Shop. FM: What have you learned in the four years since ‘Travelling Like the Light’ was released? V V: To not be so needy on the stage. Don’t crave the audiences love, respect that they know what they like. Relax and internalise everything. Be natural. Don’t be over the top and perform inwards with the right balance. VV Brown’s new record “Samson & Delilah” is out now. For more info visit www.vvbrown.com
Since releasing his debut album ‘The Music Of Joanna’ late last year, Jack Omer has been quietly plying his trade around the UK live gig circuit. The hard work is being rewarded with a support slot with US songstress Jenn Bostic on her UK winter tour (see his site for full info). Jack’s stripped back guitar and harmonica nod politely to Dylan and Ryan Adams but forthcoming AA side Joanna / Strange are the Ways released on 4th November is all his own work. www.jackomer.com
With good radio play and a new 3-track EP, UGLY, Vienna Ditto blend country, blues and gospel with primitive ‘voodoo electronics’ and clattering junk percussion. Featuring Hatty Taylor on vocals and Nigel Firth on everything else the EP is out now and available through Ubiquity Project Records and its free of charge too. ACE! www.viennaditto.com
The band with the best name since Rock of Travlota have also hooked up with THE coolest indie record label on the planet. Look out for single ‘Organ’ through Simon Williams’ Fierce Panda offshoot, Club Fandango on Nov 11th. Windswept Goth, Punk and Pop with Siouxsie and the Banshees sensibilities. They remind me of half drunk bottle of cider from 1982. Yes they are that good. http://desperatejournalist.bandcamp.com/
Ones to watch Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
Last January, the band with the best name since Desperate Journalist (see above) were invited to Yekaterinburg in Russia by the (real) Boris Yeltsin Foundation to spend six days meeting with friends of the ex-president and Yeltsin’s personal translator (who gave them seven bottles of expensive Russian vodka). The band have made a documentary about their life-changing trip called Discussions With Russians (out soon). Oh, their music is quite good too. www.sslyby.com
Once upon a time all bands had at least three people in them, nowadays bass players are seen as a luxury item, available for only top of the range pop groups. Luckily Drenge, two brothers from Castleton in Derbyshire make up for this aural shortcoming with guitar line so thick they could chop down trees. Lets hope they get on better than most Rock siblings otherwise their self-titled debut album out now on Infectious records could already be their last. www.drenge.co.uk
Dead Letter Circus
Australian Alt-Rock masters Dead Letter Circus’s second album ‘The Catalyst Fire’ has been cast free from its metal shackles onto the waiting world. After nine months recording with longterm producer and collaborator Forrester Savell (Karnivool, The Butterfly Effect) the record shows a growing maturity that should please the old fans and open the doors to a few new ones on the way. They ROCK! (literally) www.deadlettercircus.com
Richer Thinner Smarter
You may or not know it but Flush Magazine is actually based in Norwich. I’ve been gradually getting to know the area and thought it was about time we shone a spotlight on some of the talented musicians living here.
Jess Morgan is a fantastic Norfolk based singersongwriter with an amazing voice and a big pockets full of tunes. What I like about Jess is she’s just getting on and doing it; writing music, playing gigs and enjoying the ride. Do you come from a musical background? Yes, my Dad plays bass guitar and played in bands and things when we were young. There were always instruments lying around in the house while I was growing up. We had a Piano in the house too which I think always makes a bold statement about music, though my parents were never pushy. I’m self taught in all that I do but just recently I’ve started having some vocal coaching sessions with Sam at The Wharf in Norwich. I’m gigging so much these days that I thought I’d better start
looking after my voice. I’m actually really enjoying it and I look forward to my lessons a great deal. Why did you decide to record the ‘Richer Thinner Smarter’ EP in a much simpler way than before? I’ve made 2 albums - All Swell in Norway in 2010, that was on a bit of a wing and a prayer. Then ‘Aye Me’ in 2012, which was a similarly fragile affair as the album was gathered from
the ashes of a first attempt that crumbled! By the time I came to making ‘Richer Thinner Smarter’ I was keen to record myself in a calm and collected way focussing on just doing what I like doing best - playing and singing! Half of the tracks were recorded at The Old Merchant’s House on the South Quay in Great Yarmouth in a beautiful wood panelled room. Who would you say has been
the biggest influence on your style? I’m inspired by a lot of different types of music but in the more immediate sense by singer-songwriters. Some of the people I’ve had the honour of supporting over the past couple of years make good examples - Nels Andrews, Gren Bartley, Martin Simpson, Paper Aeroplanes, Gilmore and Roberts, Boo Hewerdine, Brooks Williams ...to name a few.
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Richer Thinner Smarter
Are you someone who is writing songs all the time? I always carry a notebook! Sometimes I’ll get the feeling like “I really want to write a song today” sometimes you know when you’re going to create something from start to finish because you’re in that kind of a mood. Whether its any good or not is whole other question! Other days I just want to work on ideas that have been kicking around a while and see if I can move them on a stage. What songs do you wish you had written? The Last Time I Saw Richard Joni Mitchell or Hurricane - Bob Dylan or May You Never - John Martyn You seem to play a lot of gigs, do you enjoy the traveling to different places? Yes I do. I very much enjoy the feeling of waking up in far away places. I like the feeling of being on my feet - with guitar in my hand without too many safety nets or luxuries! Its as
16/10 Up In The Gallery, Bath 17/10 The Fisher Theatre (tbc) Suffolk 24/10 Hot Numbers Cafe, Cambridge 25/10 The Barrel House, Totnes 26/10 Salisbury Arts Centre lunchtime show 26/10 Cafe Boscanova, Bournemouth 27/10 The Square and Compass, Dorset - lunchtime show 31/10 Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich (with Gilmore & Roberts and Philip Henry & Hannah Martin)
though the only thing that stays a constant is you and your songs. It feels like, for those few days of however long, I’m tapping into the often more romantic side of the tradition. You have kept your roots in Norfolk, do you ever see yourself moving to London and becoming closer to the mainstream record industry? I lived in London for a couple of years. I played out a lot. There was even a brief courtship with a major label. But neither London nor mainstream music put any fire In my belly. Besides - I ran out of money! I came home, moved into a house-share in the Golden Triangle and felt instantly more alive. Where is the best place eat in Norwich? I would say the River Green Cafe in Trowse. I think I’ve had everything off the menu and it’s all lovely. www.jessmorgan.co.uk
A View To A Grill
Breakfast with Bond at The Dorchester
For recognition of its appearance in the new 007 book ‘Solo’, the Dorchester Hotel in London is preparing a special breakfast consisting of “Four eggs, scrambled with pepper sprinkled on top, half a dozen rashers of unsmoked bacon, well done, on the side and a long draught of strong black coffee”. In the opening chapter of the new book, written by William Boyd and set in 1969, James Bond orders the very same breakfast at the Dorchester. No doubt moments before embarking on a top secret mission for her majesty’s secret service. You might want to keep this to yourself, but if you mention the word ‘Solo’ on arrival you’ll also receive a complimentary copy of the new book, or if you prefer a newspaper and menu from 1969 and an iPod filled with 60’s tunes to submerge yourself into the life of an International Spy. Plus, once a week, a table will be chosen at random and charged the original Grill Menu’s 1969 price, just less than £2.00.
Guest can go deeper undercover and request a full ‘Solo’ experience by staying the night and ordering ‘007 room service’, a full library set of the Ian Fleming Bond Collection with an accompanying martini nightcap. Remember though, to ask for it ‘Shaken, not stirred’.
Bond Breakfast priced at £32 per person including book. Bed and breakfast starts from £315, quote ‘007 room service’ for complimentary use of the Ian Fleming Library, and Martini nightcap (£14 per person). For more info visit www.dorchestercollection.com
Mamma Mia! Monty’s Wine Bar & Restaurant Review By Sharleen Hunter
When it comes to food, few things rank higher on my list than a good plate of delicious home-made pasta coupled with a glass of great wine. So a chance to visit the newly opened Italian hotspot, Monty’s Wine Bar & Restaurant based close to London’s Oxford Street, was just to good to turn down...
Upon entering, larger than life manager and Sommelier, Antonio gave us a warm welcome, guiding us over to a lovely booth with soft and very comfy seating. If like me and sometimes get a little overwhelmed when having pages and pages of dishes to choose from, you’ll be pleased with the streamlined one-sheet menu at Monty’s. To start, there’s a tempting selection of Cichetti, as well as Charcuterie which features a host of hams that have been handpicked from the farms of Italy and a selection of specialities. We opted for the Calamari Fritti with Tartare sauce, Scallops with Asparagus and
also the Foccacia and Carasau bread. The Calamari was fresh, with a lovely light batter. The Scallops were cooked to perfection and as for the Foccacia, Mamma Mia! All home made, it literally melted onto my tongue and despite vowing before my arrival to continue my bread amnesty, I quickly told myself that everything in moderation is fine particularly when it tastes this good! For the mains both my guest and I were torn between the Tagliatelle Beef Ragu and Parmesan and the Grilled Veal T-Bone Steak with Roast New Potatoes. As weâ€™d both agreed that it would be rude to visit an
Italian restaurant and not sample the home made pasta (coupled with the fact that it’s one of my favourite dishes), we decided to order one main each and simply share them between us. The Tagliatelle was beautiful (particularly when washed down with the Syrah Rose Weninger 2011 wine which was handpicked by renowned sommelier Antonio) and I will admit had me wishing I’d had the whole
main to myself. However, once the Veal arrived I was thankful to have the opportunity to try it and enjoy the best of both worlds. Again the meat was flavoursome and beautifully cooked. As we savoured the last morsel, although we were sad that we’d devoured it so quickly, this sentiment quickly dissipated when we saw the selection of desserts on offer. As well as being beautifully
presented, the Vanilla Panna Cotta With Wild Berries was rich and creamy yet light at the same time (sometimes Panna Cotta can feel heavy, but not so at Monty’s as stealing a generous spoonful or two from my dinner guest confirmed that this was utterly delicious). Being a lover of all things cakes and pastry related, I opted for the Amalfi Lemon Tart. This indulgently buttery delight had a good balance of lemon and the scoop of vanilla ice cream I ordered on the side was the perfect accompaniment. Naughty yes, but definitely a nice treat that’s worth saving room for! We very much enjoyed our experience at Monty’s. It wasn’t just the food that was pleasing - the price was refreshingly reasonable for a central London restaurant too.
Most starters were priced at £5.00 and mains ranged from £11-24. The menu lends itself well for all occasions - whether it’s a business lunch, after work drinks with a light snack or an evening meal. So if I find myself on a shopping trip in Oxford Street or out with friends and am in need of some Italian culinary replenishment, a visit to Monty’s for some home made pasta (and of course the fantastic Foccacia) would certainly be a good place to relax and refuel. Monty’s Wine Bar & Restaurant 52 Wells Street London W1T 3PR 020 7637 2666 For more info visit www.montyswinebar.com
Pearl and red Quinola lime-marinated
Mothergrain with courgette and mint High in protein, gluten-free, packed with amino acids, fibre, magnesium, calcium, Vitamin B6 and Omega 3s, and with a low GI that keeps you fuller for longer, quinoa is the fitness food for 2013 that everyoneâ€™s talking about (the UN has even declared it the International Year of Quinoa!).
Ingredients l Ingredients l 200g pearl Quinola l 50g red Quinola l 1 courgette l 2 limes l Fresh mint l Olive oil Method 1. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add the red Quinola. After 2 mins add 200g pearl Quinola. Once the 14 minutes have elapsed from putting in the Red Quinoa, drain and rinse under cold water. 2. While the quinoa is cooking, peel the courgette into thin ribbons with a peeler and marinate in the juice of the two limes and some olive oil. Chop the fresh mint. 3. Once the quinoa is cooked, mix in the courgette ribbons with the marinade and garnish with the mint.
mango tree By Sharleen Hunter
Dilemmas. Every day is full of them. Heels or flats? Wholemeal or white bread? Or in the case of a writer invited to review the award-winning Thai restaurant group Mango Tree, do I visit their European flagship Belgravia branch, or check out the more intimate dining experience in the famous Harrods Food Halls? Well to save you from the same dilemma I decided to visit both. First stop, Mango Tree, Belgravia. Since the restaurant launched in 2002, their Thai cuisine has gained critical acclaim, been featured on Gordon Ramsayâ€™s Best Restaurant and twice on Masterchef, so it had a lot to live up to. I was expecting both the food and service to be of the highest quality and my guest and I took a seat at the bar to soak up the sumptuous surroundings. Solid teak tables, exotic flower arrangements, very nice. We were a little early, so had time to sample some of their cocktails and browse the menu, and boy did we need it! There were more dilemmas to come,
Thai martini or Thai mojito? Decisions, decisions. In the end I opted for the Mango Tree fizz - a champagne cocktail with amaretto, fresh mango juice, champers and a cocktail cherry which went down a treat. Despite it being a Thursday all the sparkly silver upholstered chairs were taken and even with a full house there is
a cool buzz about Mango Tree. The corridor walls are adorned with photos of the likes of Jay Z, Will Smith and Jimmy Choo pictured with the owners. Yep. This place certainly seems popular. If you need a little help with the menu, make a beeline for the Ian Pengelleyâ€™s selection - a shortlist hand picked and highly recommended by Mango Treeâ€™s renowned chef. I went straight for the Mango Tree platter of chicken satay, Thai fish cakes, golden minced chicken purse and my personal favourite, the prawn spring rolls. Worlds apart from the greasy, stodgy versions served in some places, these were light, elegantly presented and very moreish. The goong mung korn - lobster tempura with medium spicy tomato sauce also deserves a shout out. The lobster was deliciously fresh and the batter perfectly light. I could have very easily devoured seconds! Still following the chefâ€™s recommendations for the main courses we opted for gae yang - grilled rack of lamb with mushrooms and gaeng phed ped yang pon la mai - a red curry with roasted duck, grape, pineapple and cherry tomatoes served beautifully in a pineapple bowl. A side dish I have
to give a special mention to is the mee pad - stir fried egg noodles. These were no ordinary noodles. I don’t know how the chef did it, but they were some of the best noodles ever. As I rolled home, reflecting on my experience I wondered how would Mango Tree Harrods compare?
Soon after I trotted off to Harrods (as you do) excited to see what the most recent addition to the group (this one opened in 2011) had to offer. Knowing that it was based in a Food Hall alongside a sister restaurant Pan Chai which serves a selection of sushi, sashimi and salads and therefore would be significantly smaller than the Belgravia site, I had expected the menu and experience to have less of a wow factor. However
the menu still offered plenty of choice and despite the smaller space (it’s set up like a comfortable sushi bar), it works perfectly. When it comes to food I’m a major fusspot, who doesn’t use positive adjectives lightly. But if truth be told, I could probably sum up my experience of Mango Tree Harrods in one word: AMAZING. Okay. Let’s discuss the Dim Sum Platter served with tom yum or wonton soup. Ladies and gentleman, take a moment to consider the prospect of lobster and coriander dumplings, foie gras and king scallop dumplings, or perhaps the prawn and gold leaf variety. With seven different types on offer, I challenge you to not devour every single one faster than a speeding bullet. Fancy something refreshing? Normally, I’m not one for salad. Dining out for me is about indulgence and enjoyment, so the idea of a few shoots or leaves peppered with some fruit or veg and nothing else doesn’t really do it for me. But The Som Tum green papaya salad with cherry tomatoes, snake beans, peanuts, dried shrimp powder and spicy tamarind dressing is something different. Served cold, it
was divine. At first I said I’d just try a few spoons as there were other dishes I was keen to save room for. However, a few quickly turned into several and before I knew it - poof! Don’t even get me started on the Black cod ob see-eew. When they describe it as a delicately baked black cod‚ they weren’t wrong. It fell away in my mouth and the sweet soy glaze with ginger and green onions were the perfect combination. Superb. And what of Pan Chai, the sister restaurant alongside Mango Tree Harrods? We opted for their signature sushi rolls - the Harrods Special. From fresh snow crab, to orange, black caviar and spring onions, it certainly was very special indeed and I would highly recommend it. Having had the best of both Mango Tree worlds, what’s my verdict? Well, the Belgravia branch ticks all the traditional restaurant boxes. Stylish, great menu, great service, great food. It’s ideal for everything, whether it’s a dinner date, lunch, cocktails or even celeb-spotting. The Harrods branch on the other hand is the perfect daytime pit stop if you’re shopping and need to refuel in a flash. It really is the ultimate in fast fine dining. Admittedly, there is a higher-end price tag to match, but this is Harrods after all and in this case, you really do get what you pay for. If you’re not sure where to go you could always consider trying both. Your taste buds will certainly thank you for it.
Mango Tree 46 Grosvenor Place London SW1X 7EQ 0207 823 1888 Mango Tree Harrods 87-135 Brompton Road Knightsbridge London SW1X 7XL 0207 730 1234 For more info visit www.mangotree.org.uk
Braconnier A Winters (T)Ale Ok, so it’s not quite hibernation time yet, but the clocks are going back and Winter IS coming. Don’t worry you just need to be ready. Try this warming cocktail idea from Badger Ales, it’s the perfect preparation for the inevitable upcoming inclemencies. The liquorice and damson flavours in Badger’s Poachers Choice combine with the Cognac and Mulled Spices, to create a delicious contemporary twist on that old favourite Mulled Wine. It might be cold outside, but inside you’ll be glowing.
Ingredients for Braconnier 25ml Cognac 2 heaped tsp brown sugar 1 tsp ground mulled wine spices ½ bottle of Badger’s Poacher’s Choice Gently warm on a stove and strain into pre-warmed halfpint glasses. Garnish with a clove-studded orange wedge. ENJOY!
ionistical Antwerp! If you love fashion or art (or both even) visit Antwerp. Right now the city is radiating creativity and artistic vibrancy from every street corner. Itâ€™s also less than three hours away from London via Eurostar, so you can be enjoying fresh mussels and a cold Belgium beer before your work colleagues have even checked their TV guide and done the washing up. Two acclaimed seats of learning in the city are currently having birthdays, the Royal Arts Academy in Antwerp is celebrating its 50th anniversary and to coincide with the occasion an impressive exhibition of work from past students is being held at Momu (The Antwerp Fashion Museum). Meanwhile not wanting to miss out the Royal Academy of Fine Arts is hosting an amazing retrospective exhibition at MAS city museum to celebrate its 350th birthday. There are special events happening right across the city from pop up shops to art installations and everything in-between. I spent a long weekend sampling the culture and enjoyed every minute of it.
A very brief history...
The Royal Arts Academy first came to International prominence in the mideighties when a diverse gang of Belgium fashion students nicknamed the ‘Antwerp 6 ‘ including Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester took London Fashion Week by storm. While different in styles and personalities their collective creativity put Antwerp firmly on the International fashion map and to this day it remains one of the top places to study Haute Couture . The course at the Academy is notoriously difficult to finish and many students are head-hunted before graduation. One of the ‘Antwerp 6’, the charismatic big-bearded Walter Van Beirendonck has kept close ties to the college and in addition to being a lecturer has helped put the amazing collection of clothing together. The exhibition runs until mid-Feb next year, for more info on the Royal Arts Academy at Momu visit www.momu.be
There must be an App for that
Technology is being used increasingly these days to enhance travel experiences and a must for all fashionistas heading to Antwerp is the ‘Fashion in Antwerp’ mobile App. By using the map function on your phone (iPhone and Android compatible) the App will allows you to select one of six different routes through a labyrinth of fashion in the city, ranging from funky shops to historical sites and exciting exhibitions. It will even help you to locate free wi-fi points. Routes include ‘The Birth of the Avant Garde’, to ‘Historical Costume and Clothing’ and ‘The Style Hunters Guide’ (pictured). As long as you download it via Wi-Fi it won’t drain your internet allowance either while you are on the trails, which is good to know. There is a wealth of info included, with videos from well known Antwerp Fashionista, photo galleries and mountains of information on every aspect of fashion in Antwerp, past and present. See below for links to download.
Happy Birthday Dear Acadamie
Founded in 1663 the Royal Academy of Fine Arts is celebrating its 350th anniversary with a number of exhibitions and cool art events across Antwerp. The main exhibition entitled â€˜Happy Birthday Dear Academieâ€™ is being held at the MAS city museum over by the docks. The collection, all from artists connected with the Academy over the last 350 years is a real testament, firstly to the curators for managing to source so much work and to get it into one room, and also to the legions of talented artists that have passed through the Acadamies doors. Henry van der velde, generally considered to be one of the main founders of Art Nouveau in Belgium studied here, so too did a popular Dutch artist named Vincent van Gogh, who enrolled in 1885 but left without completing his studies, something the college playfully delights in.
Meanwhile out on the streets there is more art to discover; “21st Century Outdoors!” is a series of pieces spread over a mile from eight former Academy students. The trail includes a water sculpture that longs to be kissed, a pop up bar that is also an art installation and a full size jet fighter seemingly dropped from the sky, its proximity to ‘real life’ strangely unnerving and thought provoking.
One of my favourite things is “Antwerp Icons”, a series of 10m high shipping containers (symbolic to Antwerp’s important shipping history) placed around the city featuring work from 12 iconic Antwerp designers. Photographer Ronald Stoops, make-up artist Inge Grognard and fashion designer Dirk Van Saene have transformed the banal functionality of the containers into objects of strange beauty. Check with www.visitflanders.co.uk for up to date information on exhibitions and events.
FOOD &DRINK Because of its cultural diversity Antwerp is FULL of funky bars and nice restaurants of all denominations. They also make the best chips in the world (just donâ€™t call them French Fries). If you are in the mood for a really good steak, try Bar Cesar (Lange Gasthuisstraat 12). There is a chilled first floor patio area with DJ and a delicious free Tapas selection after 6pm. If you fancy something traditional the place to go for mussels is Maritime where they are huge.
FOOD &DRINK In addition to the frites, we all know Belgium beer IS the best in the world too, when in Antwerp look out for local brew De Koninck. If you fancy a cocktail in a friendly environment head to Mama Matrea (www.mamamatrea. com) and ask for Vanessa. I found a very useful map with lots of good bars on http://bit.ly/antwerpbeer Not far from MAS is Felixpakhuis, a rustic restaurant / cafe / shop / workshop and events space converted from an original docks warehouse. Need a coffee? Head to Coffeelabs (Lange Klarenstraat 19), a place where the coolest nerds in Antwerp hang out on the artificial roof garden, write code and eat delicious home-made muffins.
Further Reading www.eurostar.com www.visitflanders.co.uk
‘Fashion in Antwerp’ App
Android http://bit.ly/andantapp iOs http://bit.ly/antandapp
www.momu.be www.antwerp-fashion.be www.mas.be/Museum_MAS_EN/MAS_ EN.html
Food & Accomodation
www.felixpakhuis.nu www.maritime.be www.idealabs.be/coffeelabs www.bar-cesar.be www.leopoldhotelantwerp.com
ACCOMODATION I stayed at the Leopold Hotel, 10 mins walk through the famous diamond district to the main train station and next to leafy Central Park. They have free fast Wi-Fi, comfy beds and a decent buffet breakfast. What more do you need?
Minima Hotel - South Australia
Next time you are in Adelaide make a bee-line for the the Minima Hotel, a chic 3-story boutique hotel near the outskirts of town. It’s just had a major refurbishment and with the theme of ‘creativity & creation’ artists from all over South Australia have turned each one of their 46 bedrooms into a unique piece of art.
Minima Hotel - South Australia
Rooms include ‘#01 Life’ which features a cartoon depicting life over the last four billion years; ‘ #11 Love’, a serene and whimsical creation in golden hues; or ‘#213 In Dreams’, a fantasystyle themed bedroom. Each once also has a 32” LCD television, an ultramodern bathroom and free laundry. However, despite the über cool decor and facilities, prices start from only $99. It’s like the sixties all over again, but with free Wi-Fi this time.
Minima Hotel 146 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide For more info visit www.majestichotels.com.au/minima-hotel
Prague Christmas in
If you’re thinking of skipping the Queens annual speech and compulsory family engagements this year, Prague’s beautiful Gothic architecture and Christmas Markets make it an ideal place to enjoy the festive period. There is a special buzz in the city, especially around the Old Town area and it reminded me of the tingly feelings I had on Christmas Eve when I was a youngster. The hot mulled wine (svařené víno) served from large tea urns certainly helps to brighten the corners too.
In Prague you will find Christmas markets scattered right across the city. Most are open daily and sell a variety of local and imported goods with the smaller markets tending to have more obscure (and interesting) items for sale. There is one in Wencelas Square (named after the good King himself) and another decent one in Jiřího z Poděbrad Square, directly in front of the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of our Lord. The Church is one of Prague’s best examples of 20th century architecture. Designed by Jože Plečnik and built between 1929 and 1932 it was inspired by Egyptian temples and early Christian basilicas. Its simple minimal interior contrasts dramatically with the opulent decadence of many other churches.
Prague Christmas in
Old Town Square
Once December arrives the Old Town Square in Prague becomes a hive of Christmas activity, the huge tree brought from the Krkonose mountains in the North of the Czech Republic dominates the area and dozens of stalls selling gifts and food occupy much of the floor space. The cold crisp air is filled with a heady cocktail of aromas, from barbecued sausages and TrdelnĂk, the hot sugar-coated pastries and the intoxicating, omnipresent mulled wine. The lights on the tree are switched on every night at 5.00pm while local musicians and school children perform Christmas songs and carols on the adjacent stage. There is a large Bethlehem scene, and an animal stable where children can stroke sheep, goats and a donkey. As darkness descends so do the crowds, but there are plenty of bars in the surrounding lanes to seek refuge in and to enjoy a cold Czech beer (when you need to warm up). Prague has an excellent tram and transport network and you can buy a ticket for around 50p that will take you up to five stops. Or you can get a day pass for 100ck (approx ÂŁ3.00) that is valid on all the subways, trams, and buses.
The currency is the Czech Koruna. Don’t make the mistake I made and get Euros from the post office to take with you, the Czech Republic is not part of the Euro Zone. Which is probably a good thing for them and food and especially drink is cheaper than the UK.
Just around the corner on the Old Square is Prague’s Astronomical Clock, built in 1410 it’s the oldest working example of its kind in the world. If you don’t mind the heights there is a lift to the top and the views around the square and across the city are stunning. The workings of the clock are very complicated, but its face has 24 numbers (as apposed to the usual 12) and shows the position of the moon, the sun and the signs of the zodiac too. To appreciate the engineering you can see a reproduction (speeded up) at this website http://bit.ly/ pragueclock (there is also a nice app for iOS). For the 600th anniversary they used image mapping techniques to project onto the front of the building to make it look like it was being destroyed and rebuilt, and to see the internal workings inside. You can watch the video here http://vimeo. com/15749093 it’s pretty cool.
Prague Christmas in
Originally the residence of the Princes and Kings of Bohemia, Prague Castle sits high above the city, ever gradually expanded since its inception in the 9th Century. In itâ€™s grounds are a large number of buildings including the mighty St. Vitus, St. Wenceslas and St. Adalbert Cathedral a building that was finally completed in 1929, over 600 years after they started work. The Castle is home to the Coronation Jewels and the President, Milos Zeman has a modest office contained within the grounds. When heâ€™s in the country itâ€™s not uncommon to see him pull up and walk inside. You can explore the grounds for free but there is an admission charge to enter the buildings. Something worth catching is the changing of the Guard ceremony that takes place every hour at the front gates. If you happen to be there at noon the ceremony also includes a fanfare and banner exchange. The ceremony has changed little in centuries.
Walk down from Prague Castle, stop off at the restaurant Konirna (http://www. konirna.eu/cs) for a spot of lunch and you’ll be fairly close to the Charles Bridge, one of Prague’s most famous tourist locations. Crossing the river Vltava, the first stone was reportedly laid by Charles IV on 5:31am 9th July 1357, a precise time chosen by the King because of his strong belief in Numerology, something that becomes more clear if you look at the date closely (1357 9, 7 5:31). His faith seems to be founded on something as over 650 years later, despite overcoming many difficulties, floods and repair, the bridge is still standing. Along its length are 30 baroque statues of saints, the most famous being Saint John of Nepomuk. According to legend the priest was thrown in the water in 1383 for refusing to tell the King his wife’s confessional, if you touch the statue it’s good luck and will ensure you soon return again to Prague. The story goes that when he was thrown in five stars appeared on a cross on the bridge. Touch the cross with your left hand and make a wish and it will come true. Simple as that! On the far side from the castle underneath the bridge you’ll find a boat cruise company (The Prague Venice), their long steam cruises allow a closer view of the exterior of the bridge and other landmarks along the Vltava such as The Metronome, the work of sculptor Vratislav Karel Novák that replaced the famous Stalin Monument. The tour guides are friendly and there are free refreshments on board.
Prague Christmas in
Czech food is generally good hearty fare with meat, dumplings and big portions the order of the day. For authentic Czech cuisine try Plzenska, situated downstairs in the same building as the Municipal House concert hall. The vintage dining room is decorated in the original Art Nouveau style from 1912 and there is live music and happy hour(s) from 3-6pm. Another place serving traditional Czech dishes worth trying is Stoleti, (http:// stoleti.cz) a small but cosy restaurant within walking distance of the National Theatre and the Charles Bridge. Their current menu includes Turkey Steak stuffed with brynza cheese, sour cream and roasted potato polenta (215ck) and they also have a decent vegetarian selection. To get a REALLY good view with your dinner visit Oblaca, situated 66 meters above
the ground in the Žižkov Television Tower (now renamed Tower Park Praha) from here you can see for miles. In the same building there is also a five star, one bedroom hotel 70 meters above the ground. www.towerpark. cz. Good luck getting the room though. A traditional Christmas day lunch in the Czech Republic consists of a starter of duck breast on a bed of pearl barley and a main course of carp fillet in breadcrumbs with a warm potato salad. If you fancy trying to cook it while you’re in town get in touch with the Culinary Studio, Ola Kala (www. olakala.cz), here you can make the recipes for yourself under the expert guidance of their chef. It’s really good fun especially if there is a group of you and all ingredients and alcohol is supplied.
For all it’s olde world charm there are still plenty of places in Prague to indulge in a spot of modern retail therapy should the urge take you. On the edge of the Old Town partly underneath the street level is Palladium, a large shopping centre featuring most of the popular retail and clothing outlets including Benetton, Guess and iStyle. There is also a really good food court on the top floor with 30 restaurants including Asian, US and independent Czech restaurants and bars. Try the fish soup in NORDSEE, it’s delicious and cheap too. http://www.palladiumpraha.cz
On the way to Sychrov you’ll pass the Skoda factory and virtually every other car you will see in Prague is a Skoda. Despite the company now being owned by the German VW, the Czech people are still fiercely loyal to their manufacturing industry. OUT OF TOWN
If you’re hiring a car, a good day trip destination approx 100km North East of Prague is Chateau Sychro. There is spectacular scenery en route and if you have longer the adjacent Chateau Hotel Sychrov has comfy beds and big portions of traditional Czech dishes to warm even the coldest of cockles. Built in the 17th century, Chateau Sychro was bought by the Rohans in 1820, a French family exiled by the French revolution. The Rohans made extensive additions to the
house, converting the small Baroque castle into a Chateau of neo-Gothic splendor. It houses more than 200 portraits of the family and French nobility and the interiors are preserved from the time of the families residence. At Christmas time the grounds are home to a lovely festive market selling locally made produce, along with Carol singing, falconry demonstrations and not surprisingly there is even the odd glass of mulled wine available. http://bit.ly/Sychrovcastle http://www.zamecky-hotel-sychrov
Prague Christmas in
Where to stay
I stayed at the comfortable Century Old Town hotel in Prague, it’s located just a few minutes from the Old Town square, the famous astronomical clock, and the Palladium shopping centre. It’s notable for its association with writer Franz Kafka. He worked here as a trainee lawyer when the Hotel was used as offices for a law firm. The “Felice” brasserie, is named after one of Kafka’s muses and there are many pictures and documents related to his time displayed on the walls. The comfortable rooms have high ceilings and original features and its location makes for an ideal base to explore from. http://bit.ly/centuryprague
British Airways, EasyJet and Wizz Air all fly direct from the UK, flight time is 1hr 45mins. FURTHER READING; There is a special microsite listing all the events happening over Christmas in Prague this year visit http://bit.ly/xmasinprague or www. czechtourism.com or http://bit.ly/xmasprague
CHANEL FOR EVERYONE Sara Darling headed to Le Hague to check out a new exhibition tracing the history of a true fashion icon, Coco Chanel. Coco Chanel was a fashion icon in her own right. A glamourpuss of the first degree, she was rarely seen without a cigarette and string of pearls to her death in 1971. Since the conception of Chanel, it’s easy to wear separates, trademark tweed and the subtle interlocking C’s, have turned the brand into a globally recognised and respected fashion house, which has created timeless looks for generations. The life and work of Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel is widely seen as a fairytale, with a Hollywood movie made in honour of her life. Born to an unmarried mother in a workhouse, and growing up in an orphanage from the age of 6, she fell in love with fashion, and was determined to transform her life into the glamour and glitz she had only dreamt about. Starting out as a hat designer, was not fabulous enough for Coco, and her foray into fashion grew rapidly into
opening boutiques in all the right places, and by the time Coco was in her early twenties, Maison Chanel was established in Paris. Maybe it was a post war effect, which made women want to appear more feminine, but her predominantly straightforward twinsets were a huge success. Coco led the field of design in her personal life too, by her chopping off her long hair and wearing a short bob haircut -placing her at the cutting edge of modern style. Her iconic collections from the 50s and 60s are as well recognised as she is herself. From her 'little black dress' immortalised on celluloid by Audrey Hepburn in ‘Breakfast at Tiffanys’, to her
CHANEL FOR EVERYONE
Chanel No5 1921
Dagjurk Gabrielle Chanel ca. 1960-1962
arguably most famous perfume No5developed in 1922, along with the 2.55 quilted handbag, her creations (and the celebrities who wear them) are From her ‘little black a groundbreaking formuladress’ immortalised which have spawned endless on celluloid by Audrey copies, but nothing can Hepburn in ‘Breakfast match up to the real deal. at Tiffanys’, to her To celebrate the legend arguably most famous of the Chanel, Fashion perfume No5- developed House, the curators of the in 1922, along with Gemeentemuseum in The the 2.55 quilted Hague have executed a handbag, her creations thorough history into the (and the celebrities history of the brand. With 150 who wear them) are items chosen to represent a groundbreaking Chanel Legends, with hero formula-which have pieces arranged in a timeline, spawned endless copies, remembering another of but nothing can match Coco’s quotes “You can be up to the real deal. gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty and irresistible for the rest of your life”, one can see how well things have aged, and note the classic cuts,
Handtas, Basisontwerp, Chanel, 1995
which are still reproduced today. Pioneering tweed, and raising awareness of the humble twin set, Coco Chanel was a designer who knew what she wanted. The collections were not designed to sell “sex appeal”, but by the lack of flesh on show and deliberate covering of knee and upper arms, stating, “nothing shows age like the tops of your arms. Cover them.” Each design provides a class and demureness. With each room organised with a theme, the spectator is taken on a trip throughout the label’s history, complete with information boards, facts and fiction and designer quotes for a fuller understanding. With much to dwell on, the final “photo
Broche, Robert Goossens voor Maison Chanel Paris, Jaren ‘50/jaren ‘60
Mantelpak, Gabrielle Chanel, Herst/winter 1959/60
Ensemble (jasje en jumpsuit), Karl Lagerfeld voor Chanel, Lente/zomer 1991
shoot” room was my favourite, as one is offered the chance to wear our own Chanel jacket and pose for a photo before leaving the exhibition- hashtagging this “Chanel for Everyone”. Karl Lagerfeld is not forgotten. As the designer responsible for carrying the brand from the 1980s into the 21st century, he has added a new dimension to the collections, in use of sequins, costume chains and varied lengths of hem, but he has remained true to the ‘classy and fabulous’ philosophy and continues to create sleek and covetable – if only a little more exaggerated, clothes for women of all ages. Karl himself is the first to admit that Coco “invented something tremendous: the Chanel suit- the female version of the two button suit” which started a “fashion avalanche”. His vision of the Chanel legacy is to produce contemporary, beautiful and wearable fashion “When you buy Chanel, you are buying an
idea, and this idea is now in a kind of collective memory”. Which begs the question, how many items of clothing are recognisable without a label or logo? Kaiser Karl continues on the quest to make understated, luxurious and sophisticated fashion, which is still instantly recognisable as Chanel. His designs are an unconscious nod to the genius of Chanel, which has been ingrained into popular culture, since popular culture began! With or without the adjoined C’s, his collections are consistently timeless, and a selection can be appreciated at this exhibition until February 2014. The exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag can be visited from 12 October 2013 to 2 February 2014. Address: Stadhouderslaan 41, The Hague. Flush magazine travelled to Le Hague by CityJet. CityJet offers up to 9 flights daily to Rotterdam from London City Airport. Fares start from as little as £99 return including all taxes and fees. For more information, reservations and to check-in online, visit www.cityjet.com or call reservations on 0871 66 33 777. For further information on visiting Holland go to www.holland.com.
SKATING LS L I R H T S T E E M Y T E SAF By Ian Hughes/epredator /Feeding Edge Ltd
The Pathfinder reduced any landing damage as they hurtled to the Martian surface with Vectran fabric airbags.
Ice Ice Baby Technology is usually connected to how we entertain ourselves. It is only through the application of technology that we would have an Ice Rink in our local town working and busy at the height of one of the hottest summers the UK has seen. We visited early one morning at the start of the school holidays, it was misty, quiet and very spooky inside. Next time on a regular Saturday afternoon it was more lively and vibrant. Somehow, whilst not even moving my wifeâ€™s skates went from under her and she was down on the ice
with a bump and our next stop was the A&E department of our local hospital. After a few hours in queues and waiting rooms, x-rays and some injections they pushed the broken wrist back into place and set it in a good old-fashioned plaster of paris style cast. We then had to return the next day where the specialist decided that it needed to be reset under a general anesthetic so she had to spend a night in hospital and ended up with a brand new old-fashioned plaster of paris cast. All very unpleasant, but it could have been a lot worse. The 6+ weeks of being in the
on thin cast proved very inconvenient too. So what could have stopped such a simple accident from happening? Apart from not going ice skating of course! Wrist guards are an obvious thing to use, and I would recommend them for all skating/ boarding sports.
Alpinestars Tech Air Race suit inflates in 50 milliseconds before a rider hits anything solid.
All a load of hot air
However it may well be that airbags are the answer. Or at least they may be in the future. We are used to the concept of an airbag in a car protecting the occupants by rapidly and explosively inflating when an accelerometer detects dangerous changes. What happens if you put the airbag on the person though? The first I noticed were on the MotoGP bike riders. The investigation and use of them started around 2001 and the technology and sensing has been improved over the years. Marc Marquez recently survived a 210 Mph crash. This was in no small part because of his Alpinestars Tech Air Race www.alpinestars.com suit which inflated in 50 milliseconds before he hit anything solid at Mugello. This spread the impact and reduced his injuries so that he was able to continue racing that weekend. This approach of multiple sensors detecting a situation and acting is already rippling down to products in the marketplace aimed at somewhat less speedy pastimes, but none the less dangerous ones. Whilst this is starting to get a bit like the foam filled car crash protection in Stalloneâ€™s film Demolition Man (and what were those three shells for anyway?) we are getting to the point of being able
to completely protect a large area with an air bag. The Mars Rover (and before that the Pathfinder) reduced any landing damage as they hurtled to the Martian surface with Vectran fabric airbags. Vectran is twice as strong as Kevlar and works better in the cold temperatures of space.
Closer to home Hovding have created a designer airbag crash helmet for cyclists. The interesting part of this helmet is that when it is not being an airbag crash
SKATING ILLS SAFETY MEETS THR
helmet it’s a stylish item of neckwear. It only becomes a crash helmet when it detects the cyclist is falling and due to to hit something. At which point it explodes into a large science fiction looking air spaceman’s helmet. It creates a protection point for the entire head and chin unlike most bike helmets that protect just the temples and top of the head.
Getting back to more wintery conditions airbags are starting to be used as avalanche protection too. These tend to be ones that the wearers pull on to inflate when they are in a risky position, or even already caught in an avalanche. The airbag in this case protects the persons head and neck from the weight of the snow and gives some space to breathe, but they also help float the person to the surface of the snowfall for rescue or escape.
Skating on thin ice cream We don’t yet seem to have inflating gloves that would have protected my wife’s wrist but I did wonder if we could have an ice rink that was solid to skate on but soft when you fell over. It needs the opposite of the properties of corn starch or Oobleck. They are soft until you apply force then they display their non Newtonian properties and become rock hard.
It appears there are such substances in principle that are harder at rest then soft when force is applied. Shear thinning or pseudoplastics alter their thickness in these conditions. Strangely canned whipped cream is one of these. We used a lot of whipped cream on The Cool Stuff Collective as I often had to “custard pie” willing participants in a slapstick style. As the cream is forced through a nozzle it sheers and it becomes more liquid like, it then reforms on the plate and holds structurally. Of course it deforms again very quickly when applied to a face, and tends to splatter everywhere. So could the good old fashioned custard pie be the answer for a new type of ice rink? One that takes the apparently comedic falls and deforms gently around the persons body? That may be a step too far for science and for fun of course. One of the reasons we do these things is because they have an element of risk. Would being too safe spoil the fun? For now I think we should stick to wrist guards don’t you?
Additional reading www.alpinestars.com www.hovding.com www.livescience.com/21536-oobleck-recipe.html Ian writes about the future on his website: www.feedingedge.co.uk, you can also follow him on Twitter @epredator
The Final THEY are busy people at Skoda. Over the coming years, the brand is set to overhaul its entire model range and expand into additional segments. The manufacturer says that, on average, one new or re-engineered model will be introduced into the market every six months. By Frank Turner
The latest is a new contender in the hatch pack, the Rapid Spaceback, and Flush Magazine was invited to its European launch in the area around Lake Garda, Italy. Featuring Skoda’s new design language, the Rapid Spaceback, a compact, five-door family hatchback, takes it cues from the Rapid. While the pair both sit in the same segment, the Rapid features a more saloon-like rear, while the Spaceback benefits from traditional hatchback lines. Although identical up to the ‘B-pillar’ (that’s the bit between the front and rear doors), the siblings have unique rear halves, with the Spaceback’s more
Frontier Skoda Rapid Spaceback
compact rear end packaging giving an even tauter, sportier look. In terms of dimensions, the Spaceback is 180mm shorter than the Rapid. The car has a fresh, elegant, yet striking exterior, with delightfully clean lines and smooth roofline, delivering a balanced and uncluttered impression. The inside story is one of a roomy, crisp interior that is well-appointed and features an uncluttered, purposeful dashboard treatment, with all itâ€™s controls falling easily to hand. Based on the interior of the Rapid, the Spaceback adds new trim and seat fabrics and a sporty three-spoke steering wheel. Driver and passengers are well catered for space-wise, for although the Spaceback has a shorter overall
length than its sister car, interior room is just as generous. The rear offers the largest legroom and headroom in the segment, while boot volumes are among the best in class. With the rear seats in position the Spaceback offers 415 litres of load-carrying capacity, while 1,380 litres are available with the rear bench seat folded flat. There are numerous handy storage areas and a clever touch is also a warning vest holder under the front seat. Many European countries now require drivers to have a reflective vest inside the car, so this is a useful feature if you are heading for the continent. The Spaceback has three trim levels, S, SE and Elegance, and specification levels across the range are generous, with all three fitted
with additional equipment over the Rapid. Air conditioning is standard across the line-up, along with curtain airbags, front electric windows and a height-and-reach adjustable steering column. The SE modelâ€™s features include alloy wheels, acoustic rear parking sensors, cruise control and a Bluetooth telephone connection, while Elegance models add, among other items, climate control, heightadjustable passenger seat and cornering front fog lights. The engine range comprises three petrol and two diesel units, with power outputs ranging from 86bhp to 122bhp, mated to manual or advanced DSG automatic transmissions. There will also be a Greenline version with CO2 emissions of 99g/km.
I drove the 1.2 TSI petrol and 1.6 TDI versions (thereâ€™s a 1.4 TDI too) with both manual and DSG gearboxes. The route through this particularly beautiful part of Italy took in motorway stretches to and from Verona airport and some deliciously winding country roads with tight hairpin bends. The Spaceback handled brilliantly, and the whole driving experience was a positive one. Ride is smooth and well-balanced, and the 1.2 litre engine is a revelation ... a little gem of a motor, delivering plenty of responsive power through the five-speed manual gearbox. I sampled the DSG transmission on the diesel version and it proved sweet, with seamless changes and well-chosen ratios. There is a range of personalisation design options, with panoramic glass roof and elongated tailgate glass. The Spaceback combines style with practicality and a big helping of driver appeal. Prices start at ÂŁ14,340, with deliveries from January 2014.
Renault Clio Dynamique
Review by Frank Turner The small car market’s a pretty big one. There’s no shortage of good little hatchbacks on offer, but one of the world’s most successful and definitive superminis is the Renault Clio. This distinguished car has won countless hearts down the years, and the all-new fourth generation model is likely to win many more, as I discovered on a weeklong road test for Flush Magazine. The Clio’s heritage includes the unmatched achievement of having been the only car to be voted Car of the Year on two occasions... first in 1991, at the time of its launch, and again in 2006, for the third generation car. And in the past 22 years, more than 11.5 million Clios have been sold in more than 115 countries around the world. The latest car has a sleek, curvaceous new design and offers five-door practicality, but with the low, sporty profile of a coupe (and the rear door handles are concealed to aid the coupe-look). A steeply raked windscreen adds to the dynamic
appearance, as does a reduction of the side glazed area in proportion to the bodywork. The car is longer and wider, sits lower to the ground and has a longer wheelbase than before but is 100kg lighter than its predecessor thanks to a comprehensive weight saving programme. The larger dimensions also make for an even more spacious and comfortable cabin. The interior is as inviting as the car’s exterior lines, the ambience heightened by the use of high quality materials, giving a premium feel, with a softtouch dashboard and use of black gloss finishes for some great detailing including air vent surrounds and the centre console. Exterior styling includes a black gloss rear diffuser, with the same finish for door mirrors and side door protection with chrome inserts. There’s practical appeal too, with lots of useful,storage spaces, a 60/40-split folding rear seat and a 300litre luggage compartment (extending to 1,146 litres with the rear seat-back down).
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Our Dynamique MediaNav dCi 90 S&S offered a wealth of equipment, with features including air conditioning, cruise control and speed limiter, key card entry with push button stop/start, a sophisticated tablet-style, seveninch touch-screen multimedia system including satnav, a fuel- and emissionssaving Eco mode function, Bluetooth, USB and hands free technology, automatic headlights and wipers, rear parking sensors, leather- trimmed steering wheel, three rear headrests, folding front passenger seat and front fog lights. The interior is a pleasant place to be, with comfortable and supportive seating, and it is easy to find your ideal driving position, helped by reach-andrake steering adjustment and seat height adjustment. There is a range of personalisation options, including five exterior decor packs, the same number of interior packs and two interior ambience packs (for the Dynamique S) which co-ordinate the colour of the dashboard with the upholstery and door panels. The driving experience is fulfilling, with assured handling and a diesel engine that excels, providing smooth power to the slick five-speed gearbox. My week
in the car saw a mix of twisty country roads, town driving and a motorway haul, and the Clio proved a pleasure throughout. Great looks, well-equipped, excellent fit and finish and a rewarding drive ... the Clio looks set to continue its reign as a benchmark supermini.
Tech Spec Make/model: Renault Clio Dynamique MediaNav dCi 90 S&S Technical: 1,461cc, 90bhp, four cylinder turbo-charged diesel engine with five speed manual gearbox.
Performance: 0-62mph, 11.7 seconds; top speed, 112mph. Fuel: 83 mpg (combined) Emissions: 90g/km Price: ÂŁ17,055
GLAM SLAM Vauxhall Adam Review by Frank Turner
AFTER several years of belt-tightening throughout much of the western world and serious dollops of other gloom besides, it’s good to have some fun and express yourself. On the motoring front, Vauxhall aim to put a smile back on our faces with the bright and breezy ADAM, a small, three-door hatchback that is extremely big on personalisation. Brimming with urban chic, the makers say there are more than a million different specification and trim combinations for this funky little car. Personalisation begins with the selection of one of three trim levels, ADAM Jam (fashionable/colourful), ADAM Glam (elegant/sophisticated) and ADAM Slam (racy/sporty) - our road test car being the last of the trio, a Slam 1.4i 16V VVT ecoFlex Start/Stop, to give it its full title. The next level of customisation comes with the addition of option packs, and from here the possibilities are virtually endless, with the choice of 12 body colours, 15 seat designs, 20 alloy wheels, three printed headliners and 18
interior decor panels, to mention just a few. For those wishing to sharpen their ADAM a little further, three option packs are available for each trim level: two-tone ‘Black’ or ‘White Pack’, flamboyant ‘Twisted Pack’ or the bold
‘Extreme Pack’. And for those wishing to go further still, there is a choice of three different decal packages: ‘Splat’ for the Jam, ‘Fly’ for the Glam and ‘ Stripes’ for the Slam. These can be applied to the mirrors, side and rear of the car. The large choice of wheels can be augmented, as some of the 18in designs can be changed again and again with the application of interchangeable coloured clips. Available in six different coloured sets, they lock onto the five spokes of the wheels.
There are lots of ways to personalise the interior, including the roof, which can be tailored with the application of printed headliners, one of which is backlit with LEDS. Three motifs are available, ‘Sky’ showing blue skies with white clouds, ‘Fly’ giving the appearance of falling autumn leaves, and ‘Go’ a chequered flag design (sported by our car). Then there’s ‘Starlight’, illuminated by 64 LEDs, giving the impression of a starry night sky. There’s lots of lovely standard kit, including electric climate control, DMB digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, cruise control, leather covered steering wheel, dark-tinted rear windows, LED daytime running lights and tail lights, and sports suspension. Options included a multi-colour interior light pack, tyre pressure monitoring system with individual tyre display and a VXR styling pack.
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Vauxhall Adam On the safety front, features include an electronic stability programme and six airbags. speeds, aiding parking. ADAM’s biggest technology highlight is ‘Intellilink’, an all-new infotainment system which brings content from the owner’s smartphone onto the car’s seven-inch colour touch-screen display, including personal playlists, photo galleries and phone books, plus Internet-based approved apps. The driving experience is engaging, with confidence-inspiring handling and a slick five-speed manual gear change to lay down the power from the 1.4-litre petrol engine. The ADAM feels at home around town, tackling twisty country roads and on the motorway haul, as I found on a 350-mile roundtrip. A City mode for the steering is a particularly useful feature... a flick of a switch increases power assistance at low
With its distinctive design, oodles of personalisation possibilities and pleasurable driving qualities, the ADAM is car to put a smile on your face.
Make/model: Vauxhall ADAM Slam 16V VVT ecoFLEX Start/Stop Technical: 1398cc, 87bhp, petrol engine with five-speed manual gearbox Performance: 0-62mph, 12.5 seconds; top speed, 109mph Fuel: 55.4mpg (combined) Emissions: 119g/km Insurance group: 6E Price: £13,770 (OTR)
gaming GTA V
by Henry McMunn
How often does a game live up to its hype? How often can technical excellence in a game actually result in a fun one? If the general sense of deflation and gloom about a month after GTA IV’s release back in 2008 taught us anything, it’s not to get too swept up in the prerelease excitement, and to keep your expectations grounded. This year’s release of Grand Theft Auto V has taught us to throw that caution to the wind. It’s a monstrously huge project, and a total blast to play. Even the first time you take a car
down the streets of Los Santos (Rockstar’s mockup of Los Angeles) with NWA pumping from the radio, it’s clear to see that GTA V’s astronomical budget has not gone to waste. The city feeling ‘alive’ is something all GTA titles have aimed for in their own way, but never so much as this; be it people jogging on the beach, gang-bangers hanging out at fast food joints, businessmen chatting over drinks at the golf course. It’s a vast and varied world they inhabit too, the world stretching out of the city into the desert plains and alpine mountains of San Andreas. It would be a shame, then,
if GTA V was filled with banal street crime, and thankfully this is not the case. A story told through the eyes of three protagonists (young gangster Franklin, disgruntled robber Michael and utterly insane Trevor) will have you stealing cargo planes, holding up banks, blowing up military ships and generally causing chaos across the land. Of course, outside of missions you’re free to do whatever you want. Grab a bike and cycle up (and down) the biggest mountain, fly a stunt plane under bridges, drive a Lamborghini into the military base and see how long you can stay alive – the world is yours in Los Santos. The main story clocks in at around 20-30 hours, admittedly a little shorter than standard Rockstar fare, but with the online world also opening up, it’s a far larger game than most could imagine. Joining crews with your friends allows you to co-operate heists and take on missions, while other players could initiate gang warfare. There’s a world of possibilities and untapped potential, with the goal of giving the entire Grand Theft Auto experience, but online. Every year, there’s a handful of
games which everyone simply has to buy – usually, they’re bog-standard FPS reiterations, but thankfully this year GTA V can join them. A sprawling, unforgettable adventure, the kind that only shows up once or twice each console generation. Developer: Rockstar North Publisher: Rockstar Games Rating: 18 Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
CHARLIE MURDER by Jamie Rodgers
Everyone remembers the classic 2D fighters. Streets of Rage, Turtles in Time, Double Dragon. Playing in the arcades, or at home with friends, frantically mashing buttons, hoping a fist connects with the right face. Well, imagine one of those games (say, Streets of Rage) decided, in its teen years to go through a rebellious stage, wearing torn jeans, raggy clothes and listening to Blood on the Dancefloor, Pierce the Veil and Sleeping with Sirens (Shoutout to my sister for giving me those band names), you’d and up with Charlie Murder, the latest project from Ska Studios. If you’ve played the usual 2D beat-
em-up games before, you’ll pick up the game straight away. If you’re new to the whole genre, you’ll still pick the game up straight away. Its pick up and play style will get you beating up hoards of zombie punks in no time. There is also the added mechanic of ‘RPG style’ gameplay, which many of you will have seen in games such as Borderlands, Torchlight, and many MMOs. The biggest pitfall that can occur with this mechanic is the need to ‘farm’; replaying an area at least 500 hundred times just to get that one decent jockstrap with +5 poison damage. In Charlie Murder, I never found a need to farm for loot.
Any items I pick up always proved useful, with either extra attack power, better elemental damage, or I was near enough to a shop that I could sell extra items. It’s handy for adding a little ‘modifier’ to the combat. Furthermore, with RPG elements, it includes a level up system, which luckily didn’t drag out gameplay with needless grinding for levels. Basically, it added to the experience, and wasn’t the ‘be all, end all’ of the game. A nice little feature I liked is the graphics. It’s rather cartoony and comiclike, with added grit. Imagine if Archie wore a spiked collar and dyed his hair green. It also makes the combat fell very meaty, like every punch connects with its respective target (i.e. the face). I bet if you added three more friends it could make the game insane, and very enjoyable (as you might have already figured out from previous reviews, I had to solo the game).
Charlie Murder has a wonderful drop in, drop out mentality, making it a great time killer, for when you really want to punch something in the face with your leather fingerless gloves that provide acid damage, while your teammate screams at a bunch of goons... both in game and in real life Available on the Xbox Arcade for 800 Microsoft Points For more info visit www.ska-studios.com
Eurogamer Expo If you‚are into gaming in any way, you have probably already pre-ordered at least one of the next generation consoles. You’ll probably already know your first, first-person shooter whether it’s the yearly appearance of Call of Duty with the new title Ghosts, or its potential usurper as must-haveshooter, Titanfall; you’ll know Ubisoft have their new blockbuster franchise primed in the shape of Watch Dogs, while their current hit Assassin’s Creed approaches its sixth console release. You’ll be aware that Microsoft have tied up some third-party titles for the Xbox One including Dead Rising 3, Ryse and the aforementioned Titanfall; while Sony have pushed their own studios to create new IP for their platforms, from Media Molecule’s Tearaway to Quantic Dream’s Beyond: Two Souls and reinvent successful franchises with Killzone Shadow Fall and infamous: Second Son. However, as recent moves from all the platform holders have shown, gaming isn’t just about the “AAA” and familiar numbered sequels. This year, more than any other, has shown that this is the age of the Indie - small teams that are bursting with talent and creativity. Here’s a run-down of the titles you should look out for.
- London 2013
Chroma Chroma was one of those games. In receipt of the Editors Choice Award from Eurogamer themselves by the Sunday, I could have quite happily sat and played this all day. Without any hint of what to do, aside from hastily scribbled keyboard instructions, I began playing this initially monochrome world. Remember those games that let you explore far enough, only to need a new way to get around? To have that suddenly click is a rare thing these days, Chroma manages it, mostly because it’s so unexpected you carry a light that casts shadows, those shadows can then be used at the press of a button by a ghostly version of yourself‚ this simplicity is the game’s genius. Created by Mark Foster, this simple joy of movement is
evident in one of his previous titles, Leaf Me Alone, and I sincerely hope that a full release isn’t far off. The wonderful pixel art is also a pleasure to behold - the basic black and white palette of the game is later enhanced by use of colour to draw the eye and the game hints at larger areas to explore, just tantalisingly out of reach
Teslagrad Nearby, another game had grabbed my attention, Teslagrad, from Norway-based Rain Games. I’d had my eye on this for some time having seen the beautiful art direction in several screens and much as with Chroma, I knew nothing of how it played until I had a hands-on at the Expo.It was love at first sight. The art direction is an absolute delight, from the
painted look to the wonderful animations in the lead (the way he pulls himself up onto a ledge after a jump for example). A puzzle platformer that might superficially recall recent hits such as Braid, but visually and in its gameplay has a distinctive character all of its own. Beginning with its puzzle solving, it uses electricity and magnets to manipulate platforms, levers and much else, in the shape of gloves worn by our young protagonist. And while I prefer a pad to keyboard, I never found myself at odds with the controls - it was an oddly liberating experience. Using the gloves to punch objects and through floors, I found myself experimenting with what was possible and so found that the game encourages this kind of exploration and puzzle solving. Fortunately I had the opportunity to talk to Rain Games’ writer Marte Haugsby He explains how the game unfolds
and what difficulties they faced telling it the way they have. CJ: I asked her how they found a way to tell a story without dialogue or text. MH: The story is all visual based. We try to tell the story by showing you things, not telling you things. CJ: Does that not make story telling that much more difficult and what was your role in that? MH: It is difficult and it’s a very interesting way of doing it, but doing it this way doesn’t interrupt your gameplay at all. It’s very smooth, we’re not stopping from seeing or doing some very cool things and while it was a challenge, I think we’ve done really well there’s a lot of visual cues and hints, so we don’t force the story down your throat while you’re playing, but it’s hard to miss! CJ: The visual clues I saw in picking up the gloves for
example, how much of that was down to you, or the designers? MH: A combination actually, as there’s no traditional text, all of the game relies on context clues. So it’s getting players trained to see those and picking up the mechanics as well. CJ: I also noticed on the menu screen, there looked what seemed to be an older fatherfigure, that you play as a young boy. Without giving too much away, is that a journey just for him, how does the story unfold? MH: Will say, as you start the game, the menu fades away and he walks into a house, so what you see in the menu is subtly setting up the story for later on. Then there is a huge time lapse where you fast forward into the present day - you can see as time flies by, the world is slowly changing and you can see some rather dramatic changes in how people perceive others and react to those changes. Right
from the start you get thrown in and immersed in this world! They’ve also been through Steam’s Greenlight process and while no firm date has been set they’re aiming for a release this year, on PC, Mac and Linux, through Steam, GOG and many others. Console wise, they’re looking at PlayStation 3 and Wii U, while a PS Vita release is also on the cards, music to my ears. Many thanks to Marte for taking the time to speak to me. This is a fantastic title and again, I would have happily played it all day.
Android Assault Cactus You like twin-stick shooters don’t you? Of course you do! And clearly, so do the nice chaps behind Android Assault Cactus, who travelled all the way from Australia. This isn’t a traditional shooter however‚ you are given the choice of four androids and can play with up to another three players, with a top-down
Indie Games Arcade cont.
perspective and waves of creatures and robots to destroy. This is as an original take on the bullet-hell genre as you’re likely to see. And quite frankly, is mental as it is fun - I don’t think I’ve laughed so much while playing a game, the intensity is insane and it can be hard to see just exactly where you are in all the mayhem, a well-timed weapon-change or power-up can clear the hordes in no time. Fans of the genre will find much to enjoy, however, while many of those games force you to move forward, backing away and keeping an eye on enemy movements and those all-important power drops are key to success. Even your best attempts will be played close to failure at any given moment and while the single player is
good, this is so much more fun with someone else to share the shooting with! The wonderful superdeformed art style and character design seals the deal for me, with the added flexibility of co-op and addictive gameplay into the bargain. The game is already out on Steam (try the demo), Sony have also confirmed it for the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. Something tells me, it’ll go down a storm on those.
Xenolith Described as an arcade smash‚ Xenolith certainly has the potential to be a most addictive gaming experience. I should really start with an apology‚ I was a little bit rubbish at this. Yeah, I was shattered from many days at the Expo, but I sucked hard at this game. At first. Once my stupid brain got a handle on the controls, it suddenly made sense and Snowbolt’s game began to look very attractive indeed. Much like Geometry Wars, you are restricted within a space and
must stay alert to approaching danger. It’s another shooter, but with a twist‚ enemy ships are of a particular shape and you must match your ship’s shape to theirs and then smash ‘em up by driving into them. Sounds simple, but the increased complexity of the waves of enemies means you have to think fast and it becomes even more satisfying as larger groups and waves appear.
onourable mentions should also go to two games that already have a full release. The first, Anima by outofthebit, is available now on iOS devices. Featuring an engaging and wonderful art style, the game is brilliant fun for two players simply tapping the screen
moves your character and shoots projectiles at your opposite number. Highly recommended! Mirror Moon EP meanwhile can be picked up on Steam. From the creators of first-person runner Fotonica, it’s another title that has received much adulation, I won’t ruin what is a fantastic experience, but as an explorer you set out on a journey across the galaxy essentially a needle-in-ahaystack hunt for a treasure that could be anywhere. Low-poly landscapes and an atmospheric minimal electronica soundtrack await you.
Not all the indie titles were in the Arcade, three of the best also featured on the PlayStation 4, starting with Resogun, from Housemarque, the chaps behind quality shooter Super Stardust HD on the PlayStation 3. Building on the ideas from the first title, this puts a spin on the familiar twinstick mechanic by placing the ship on a circular plane and allowing players to move and shoot in either direction. Useful, as enemies appear from both the left and right plus static enemies on the ground. It really tests your ability to multitask your aim and frankly, of all the games on show, actually looked like a nextgen title. It was a feast for the eyes and even though I died a few times, it never felt unfair,
clear what the object of the level was, the nice folks from PlayStation were there to point people in the right direction. One of those games that doesn’t require a huge number of buttons to play (three by my reckoning) it looks like being one of the launch highlights for the PlayStation 4. Speaking of odd, Octodad certainly took the award for that! Not just odd though, it was incredibly funny and it’s hard to control your laughter as you wrestle with the controls to keep Octodad looking as human as possible. The level on display required players to find a tux and get him to his wedding, without arousing too much suspicion. Easier said than done as the R2 and L2 control his legs, while his arms
more due to my own lack of experience with the game. I can’t wait to get my hands on the finished title. One of the odder titles that was always going grab my attention, Hohokum from Honeyslug, whose name may be familiar to PS Vita owners, as creators of Frobisher Says and mini title Kahoots. Announced at this year’s E3, it may well be the Vita’s Loco Roco’ visually unique and colourful, innovative but easy to pick up gameplay and wonderful music. It was also great to see people of all ages having fun with the title, even if it wasn’t always particularly
are on the analogs, it was the cause of much hilarity from both those watching and those playing the game. This is a sure-fire hit for the PlayStation 4. Their Indie 8 at E3 was the first many had an insight of Sony’s big push for indie creators, but they’ve been working very hard at this for a very long time and while reports circulated that representatives of all three platform holders made an appearance at the Indie Arcade, it was Sony’s Shahid Kamal Ahmad that was mentioned many times by those in the Arcade, mainly for his enthusiasm,
passion and knowledge. In many ways this past year or two has been a tipping point of sorts, with many indie style titles hitting the more mainstream platforms and gaining mainstream attention. The death of the mid-tier has allowed these games to receive much more coverage and deservedly so. The big three, to varying degrees of success, have all been courting these developers, although to my eyes, Sony is leaps and bounds ahead of the others all three of their consoles will feature new and upcoming talent, either exclusively or for a timed period, something the developers themselves really appreciate. Frankly, we’re experiencing somewhat of a Golden Age in game development so many have the freedom now to create and produce the games they want, it’s pushing the medium in new and exciting directions. This can only be a good thing. Don’t miss out.
Further reading eurogamerexpo.com Chroma iamclaw.com Teslagrad indiedb.com/games Android Assault Cactus store.steampowered.com/ app/250110 Xenolith snowbolt.com
My Favourite Movie
BY Louise Ceridwen
n I e n O t Righ I have to admit I have a slightly odd relationship with horror, being as I’ve never really been frightenened by it. ‘Hannibal’ by Thomas Harris is my favourite book because to me it is more than anything else, a love story. A gloriously damaged monster stalks a woman who charms and understands him. Ok, it isn’t your standard boy-meets-girl but when does anything ever pan out like that except in movies? In movies even the most vicious
monsters can be redeemed by love and usually by their polar opposite, a creature of innocence and purity. I love ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’, ‘Blade’ and ‘Interview with a Vampire’, but ‘Let The Right One In’, a daintily brutal Swedish film set in a lonely suburb of Stockholm wins my heart every time. I first saw it one cold, dark and rainy Autumnal evening. My local cinema was showing the film as part of a festival and the actual screening room reminded
“It’s forbidden to make one so young... so helpless... that cannot survive on its own.” and dwells in a world that isn’t all that hard to believe.“ me of the old gym where we did P.E at school when it was too cold to be outside. The chairs creaked, the floor squeaked and with no heating you definitely had to keep your coat on. I think the cold of the room actually enhanced the atmosphere as when the film began with snow softly trickling across the projection silently I was already in love with it. ‘Let the Right One In’ revolves around two main characters; Oskar is a clever but slightly morbid 12 year old boy. He’s bullied at school and lives with his mother in an apartment block. The arrival of a new neighbour (a girl named Eli) coincides with a bout of horrific murders where the victims are drained of their blood. The relationship between the two is sweetly macabre and complicated, they form a turbulent friendship and Eli encourages Oskar to face up to the bullies.They are so alike and yet so devastatingly different. The film becomes tale of Oskar learning to grow up and Eli relearning what it was like to be a child. In a dramatic sense she represents both sides of the coin; the innocent and a child-like monster. Her frailty is twinned with an ancient strength and violence. She reminds me of a quote from The movie “Interview With a Vampire” about Claudia: “It’s forbidden to make one so young... so helpless... that cannot survive on its own.” and dwells in a world that isn’t all that hard to believe.
Oskar is young and angelic, but has a damaged streak a mile wide, and seeks retribution for his pain. The 2010 American remake entitled ‘Let Me In’ was overly hollow in comparison and much is lost in translation: the 80’s setting seems forced and the New Mexico location is a poor setting compared to the eerie Isolation of icy Sweden. It will be interesting to see if the same fate will befall the forthcoming
My Favourite Movie
BY Louise Ceridwen
Right One In
‘‘For A Few Seconds Oskar Saw Through Eli’s Eyes. And What He Saw Was ..Himself. Only Much Better, More Handsome, Stronger Than What He Thought Of Himself. Seen With Love. For A Few Seconds.‘‘ ‘Oldboy’ remake as well. One of final scenes is where Eli rescues Oskar, and the camera focuses on his view of her face, just bright eyes in focus framed by the blurred edges of a face drenched in blood, but seen with love. I enjoyed the film so much I decided to read the book (by John Ajvide Lindqvist) which expresses the full extent of Eli’s past and her relationship with her, father‚ in a harsh unblinking light. The Film has these references delicately weaved into the story but they are easily missed if you haven’t read the source material and can also
come off as a little strange. An example of this involves my favourite quote from the book: “For A Few Seconds Oskar Saw Through Eli’s Eyes. And What He Saw Was... Himself. Only Much Better, More Handsome, Stronger Than What He Thought Of Himself. Seen With Love. For A Few Seconds.” In the film Eli pleads Oskar to just be her for a little while and her face becomes ancient, lined with years of immortality. It seems as humans we have the urge to find someone who understands us and accepts are true self however harrowing we may think that might be.
This is why I love Let the Right One In.
One of three ‘If You Like… the Ramones’ books.
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IN OUR EXCLUSIVE COMPETITION.
Patti Patti Smith Smith Gutter Gutter poetics: poetics: Along Along with with thethe Ramones, Ramones, thethe Patti Patti Smith Smith Group Group was was oneone of of thethe main main bands bands onon thethe early early New New York York punk punk scene. scene. (Photofest/© (Photofest/© Arista Arista Records) Records)
Rock ’n’ Roll High School Fun, fun: A hilarious send-up of late ’50s and early ’60s teen exploitation films, Rock ’n’ Roll High School remains one of the most beloved rock movies ever made. (New World/ Photofest) Pixies Wave of muti lation: The P ix define what some call co ies llege or alternativ e owes its very rock, a genre that e movement sp xistence to the punk arked by the (Photofest/© R Elektra Reco amones. rds)
Rolling Stones Street-fighting men: Without the Rolling Stones, there would be no Ramones and no punk rock. (Photofest)
Here he comes to save the day: Mighty Mouse and other cartoons helped shape the Ramones’ aesthetic. (Photofest/© 20th Century Fox)
Raw power: The Stooges were the biggest and most direct influence on the Ramones. (Photofest)
To enter our competition visit www.flushthefashion.com/win/ramones or email your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org Editors decision is final closing date is 20th November 2013 Good Luck! If You Like… the Ramones is published by Backbeat Books For more info visit http://bit.ly/ramonesbook
Win a Razer Kraken USB Gaming Headset
For gamers looking for a quality headset with reliability and great performance the Razer Kraken is the perfect choice. The construction of the Razer Kraken had a singular motivation â€“ durability to withstand daily abuse on the go, whether they are tuning out your daily commute or providing the soundtrack while you hit the slopes. Their light-weight design makes these headphones comfortable for hours on end. The ear cups of the Razer Kraken are foldable, making the footprint of these full-sized headphones extremely compact for maximum mobility so you can take them along anywhere you go. The Razer Kraken is outfitted with large 40mm neodymium magnet drivers tuned for crystal clear music in the high-and mid-ranges and packing deep bass for powerful lows, making them versatile music and gaming headphones.
To enter our competition visit www.flushthefashion.com/win/kraken or email your name and address to email@example.com For more info visit www.razerzone.com Winner picked at random from all entries, editors decision is final. Closing date 20th November 2013 Good Luck!
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