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Matthew Albanese Tera Melosa Eskil Zorch Ronningsbakken Betty Who



Miami Clumber Park Presidential Apartments

Blue Elephant Tiradito, Red Snapper & Donuts


WIN One of THREE Smooth Gorilla starter kits WIN An Occoclip速 4-in-1 iPhone Lens Clip

11 16

 ilitary M Precision Nigel Cabourn A/W13

06 The Hotlist 08 Eskil Ronningsbakken Between A Rock And A Hard Place. 16 Military Precision Nigel Cabourn A/W13

Mercado de Mariscos



Eskil Ronningsbakken Between A Rock And A Hard Place.

27 Matthew Albanese Strangeworlds 36 Ones to Watch In music 39 Tera Melos and Zorch 44 Betty Who 48 A Very British Cookbook 49 Cinnamon ring doughnuts with a Perry poached pear and hot chocolate sauce recipe 52 Noroor’s place Blue Elephant


A Very British Cookbook


WIN one of three Smooth

120 Gorilla starter kits

WIN an OlloclipÂŽ 4-IN-1

122 Lens for iPhone and iPod touch

68 South Beach Style 5 reasons to buy an Xbox One this Christmas


80 Beetle


Cover Matthew Albanese Strangeworlds

Beautiful furniture and lighting NOBLE DESIGNS Tel: 01753 655443




56 Mercado de Mariscos 58 Oven Baked Red Snapper

Because it’s Christmas I thought we should squeeze some more stuff into this edition to keep you going over the festive period. We have though, managed to avoid buying any snowflake vectors or stock photos of Father Christmas, so if you’re reading this in April hopefully you won’t be too confused. This intro is always the last thing to be done, so usually my brain is so frazzled that putting together a couple of coherent sentences becomes as challenging as explaining ‘The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus’* in a single tweet. We’ll be back in Feb with some more things to look at and read, in the meantime… Thanks for stopping by!

60 Miami spice! 66 Tiradito recipe 68 South Beach Style 70 The Betsy 72 Clumber Park 76 Presidential Apartments 80 Beetle Cabriolet 84 Range Rover Vogue 88 Kia Karens 92 Ford B-Max 97 Reel to Real 104 The Fifth Beatle – A Graphic Novel

Pete Graham, EDITOR

106 Batman: Arkham Origins 108 HTC One Max 112 Razer Deathstalker

CONTRIBUTORS Casey Bowers Sharleen Hunter Steve Clarke Phil Mottershead Amelia Harvey Ian Hughes Luke Lavelle


Paul Martin Jamie Reynolds Frank Turner Coleen Cahill Hugh McIntyre Vanessa Sue Smith Rob McSorley

1155 reasons to buy an Xbox One this Christmas 118 My favourite Movie – Four Weddings and a Funeral 120 WIN one of three Smooth Gorilla starter kits 122 WIN an Olloclip® 4-IN-1 Lens for iPhone and iPod touch

THE HOTLIST The stuff of life

The future is Orange

A wise man once said “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” This Jacques Thermo Plus reversible is the ultimate winter coat, it’s padded with goose down, fully waterproof and breathable. For wise men (and women) everywhere.


The Pulse is a hands free device that is definitely NOT designed for use while driving. A male stimulator of the intimate variety, the innovative design by Adam Lewis allows for use by couples too. Honest. £69.00 from

Christmas cracker

If like me, bowls of nuts magically appear in your house each Christmas you might be interested jn this über cool Robot Nutcracker from the science museum shop. Just whip it out and crack them with style. £19 from

of THREE Smooth WIN! One Gorilla Starter Kits


This is home-brewing without the hassle, just add water to this cider box from Victors Drinks, wait ten days and you’ve got 20 pints of clean, fresh tasting Apple Cider ready to enjoy. £20 from

Metallica Sweater:

It’s good to see Metallica, the band who once thought making a music video was selling out really getting into the spirit of this consumerism lark with such wild abandonment. This awesome Master of Puppets inspired holiday sweater is designed by Tony Squindo and the perfect winter warmer. $74.99 from


These delicious cooking sauces from London based artisan food producer Little Turban are available in Aromatic Bourbon Masala, Goan Coconut & Orange, Mughlai Qorma and Aromatic Makhani Masala flavours. They are free from gluten, additives, preservatives, and serve three to four people. They also have the best packaging since the original Vesta Curry. £4.95 from www.


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Eskil Ronningsbakken Between A Rock And A Hard Place.

From humble beginnings in a small Norwegian village, Eskil Ronningsbakken’s death-defying mixture of art and circus skills has led him to perform in over 100 countries, and to TV audiences in their millions. It’s been a challenging ride for Eskil along the way; from a child circus star, to suicide attempts and time served in prison. His story is told in a new book ‘On the Edge’ by Randi Fuglehaug. And he never uses a safety net. Performed by Eskil Ronningsbakken

How did you end up doing what you do? I’ve never done anything but balanced. Many people already know at a young age what they want most in life, but they’re usually raised in such a way as to deny their talents and follow the mainstream. I simply went for my dream and did what felt right to me. I knew when I was five years old what I was going to do in life. It has been a long journey, being faithful to my own feelings and intuition has been extremely important. I’m not trying to tell that everyone should balance at the edge of a cliff, but to be what they are made to be instead of what society expects them to be.

What was your first major ‘stunt’? My first major balancing performance took place at Preikestolen in Norway in 2001, 600m above the fjord. I performed a handstand then. Prior to this I had practiced for years on my own, at the circus and been educated at a German performance school (Staatliche Artistenschule Berlin) I also worked a lot on stage.

Performed by Eskil Ronningsbakken

Did you have one experience that made you think differently about mortality and danger? When my cousin died very young in an accident, that is when I first understood I had to realise my dreams and reach my goals now. I’ve been reminded of this several times during my life and especially when I later ended up in a bad car accident. One of the consequences was half a year spent in prison, for not being a responsible driver. Seeing another person lose his life and then later losing my own freedom for some time, forced me to think different. I believe mans greatest fear is not death itself, but not knowing how to handle the unknown.

When you are balancing, what are you thinking about? How much mental preparation do you need? Its 50% physical and 50% mental. I start every project envisioning an image, I see clearly what I want to do and my target, before I undertake any kind of action. Then next - months or up to a year of training. Safely on the ground first and then step by step, higher and higher. The mental and the physical preparations always go hand in hand. I never allow one of them to run faster than the other.

Performed by Eskil Ronningsbakken

Performed by Eskil Ronningsbakken

Do you feel nervous beforehand? I always feel a bit nervous before I balance and that’s absolutely normal for any human being. If I happen not to be nervous at all, then I can’t perform, because I’ll then be totally unprotected. On the other hand, I am trained to be in control of my fear. Fear doesn’t control me. I’m not terrified by the thought of death, but at the same time I’m trying to not fall over the edge. The goal is to create art and of course to survive. On the other side, to separate from the comfortable for a while gives me a whole new impression of the unknown.

Do you think there is an after-life? Yes, given that humans are energy, we’ll most likely turn into a different state after this.

What do your family think of about your stunts? I was quite energetic as a child, so they have got used to it over the years. Accepting it 100% is only possible if you understand and respect that this is my greatest passion. Sometimes people ask me when I’ll stop doing what I’m doing. I simply can’t stop loving in the middle of an act, when the act is my life.

You can buy Eskil’s book here

Military Precision Nigel Cabourn A/W13

Over the last 40 years Nigel Cabourn has collected more than 4,000 pieces of military clothing and this continuing obsession is clearly reflected in his first ever foray into Womenswear. For the new collection Nigel worked closely with his design team at their base in the chilly North-East of England, taking classics such as the Everest Parka and Cameramen Jacket and re-modelling them perfectly for the female body.

100% Cashmere Duffel Coat, Mallory Tweed Jacket

Great Coat Harris Tweet and Cashmere Roll Neck and Leggings

Double Breasted Jacket / 100% Cashmere Duffel Coat 100% Wool Shackelton Roll Nook / 100% Cashmere Knitted Dress and Leggings

Cameraman Jacket, Cayote Trim on Hood

100% Cashmere Duffel Coat / 100% Cashmere Dress

Cameraman Jacket with Cayote Trim on Hood / Workwear Jeans with Braces 100% Cashmere Lewis Fairisle Jumper

Sheckelton Roll Neck and Duffel Coat both 100% Cashmere

For more info visit Photos by Alex Telfer

Great Coat Harris Tweet and Cashmere Roll Neck

Matthew Albanese

Strangeworlds In 2008, a spilled container of paprika became the inspiration behind Matthew Albenese’s first ever ‘Strangeworld’, a miniature mars lunar landscape. The diorama began an artistic obsession for the New Jersey based fashion and ‘table top’ photographer and he’s since used more spices, food and found objects to create and photograph a series of amazingly realistic un-real landscapes.

Ice breaker Q: Was there one thing or inspiration that gave you the idea for creating Strangeworlds? A: There are many different elements that had to come together over time for the idea of my first landscape to develop. My childhood love of special effects in film and use of miniatures, sci-fi and photography as art. Being an only child afforded me a lot of time alone to sort of get lost in my head and my own imagination. I always knew that in order to be truly happy I would have to pursue a creative career.

Tornado Q: How many scenes have you built in total? Are any based on real places? How long does it take approx to make a scene? A: Im not even sure how many I have created at this point. Im pushing about 30, some of which don’t make it to the finish line. Basically I will rework something until I am satisfied. The more intricate and elaborate scenes such as “How To Breathe Underwater” and “Dead Little Things” can take up to 7 months.

Q: What is the most challenging part of creating a scene? Which is your personal favourite? A: The most challenging part is making the transition from building the diorama to photographing it. The camera is a very unforgiving thing, it exposes everything, the good and the bad. I takes tremendous precision and patience to get it right. And I NEVER get it right the first time. It’s also what makes it so rewarding in the end.

Aurora Q:When you are creating a new piece, what is the process, do you have a clear idea of how it will look when it is finished? Is the work a natural extension of your personality? A: First I look at many different photographs of something and pull them apart, picking and choosing what I want to exist and what I don’t. Then I come up with a concept, I have a great deal of control when it comes to setting the atmosphere of the piece, but still I never can be sure exactly how it will turn out in the end. The path I take varies each time, I know at least for me that the work has to examine something personal. My feeling. My life. My relationships. The best of it all and the worst of it all. The more honest I am with myself the more others seem to be able to connect with the work as well.

Wildfire Q: How did the Strangeworlds book come about? A: My book happened as a direct result of my work being seen at the Museum of Art and Design (MAD) in NYC. The editor of Lazy Dog Press, a really cool and innovative independent publisher in Milan presented me with an truly amazing opportunity. The book is everything I could of hoped for because of just how well it showcases my work and my process.

For more info on Strangeworlds visit and

Peggy Sue

Brilliant Brighton three-piece / indie / folk / blues / rockabilly outfit, Peggy Sue release their third album, ‘Choir of Echoes’ on January 27th through the equally brilliant Wichita Recordings label. It’s been over two years since ‘Acrobats’ their last ‘proper’ record and if new track ‘Idle’ is anything to go by it promises to be bigger and better than ever. Catch them on tour in early 2014

Cerebal Ballzy

According to Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, Cerebal Ballzy “are probably the coolest band in the world at the moment”. Mind you, he would say that, they’re signed to his label, Cult Records. Playing very loud modern hardcore/ punk like it’s going out of fashion, if you missed them on tour in November don’t worry, they’ll be back again in the New Year. Check out “Better In Leather” from their (as yet) untitled new album and make up your own mind.

Silje Leirvik

Silje Leirvik is a talented Norwegian songwriter so new she still has all her wrapping left on. Her forthcoming album, ‘Endless Serenade’ is released on Dec 16th and sees her experiment with a magnitude of musical textures inspired by artists as diverse as The Doors, Fiona Apple and Tom Waits. For more info visit

Ones to watch Rue Royale

Last seen supporting Damien Jurado at the wonderful St Pancras Old Church in London, Anglo-American duo Rue Royale have clocked up over 100,000 miles in the last six years, playing shows all over Europe and the States. Their latest record ‘Remedies Ahead’ is a glorious slice of folk-pop Americana that will make you feel sad and happy at the same time.

Lisa Redford

You might not realise it but Norfolk is a hotbed of new musical talent. Take singer-songwriter Lisa Redford, a regular on Bob Harris’s BBC2 Radio show, after three years living in New York she’s headed back to Norwich for some real culture. Think Aimee Mannesque vocals and soothing chilled out melodies. Definitely one to watch in 2014.

Velour Modular

With a name like a new-age shelving system, Velour Modular is in fact a collaboration project between French singer Guilhem and London based Spanish producer Hektagon. According to their press release they share a love of Kuedo’s melodic synth motifs, the bubbling electronica of Seekae, the spacious, hallucinatory elements of Clams Casino and wrap it all in a Mount Kimbie haze. Just what I was going to say. Check them out here velourmodular

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with Tera Melos and Zorch by Casey Bowers

Tera Melos and Zorch both come from L.A. indie label, Sargent House. A label, that has been on my radar since they put out Fang Island’s debut back in 2010. And with 3 Sargent House bands on my top 13 of the year, it’s a testament to SH’s knack for recognising, supporting, and keeping interesting, cool, and talented acts.

Tera Melos are a Sacramento experimental rock trio whose mega-brilliant X’ed Out shocked long-timers and wowed new fans with its sunny singing and tight rock chops. Zorch are a pair of intergalactic reptilian synthniks (based out of Austin, Texas) whose debut zzZZorch made a sweet, whacked out, joyful noise as instantly alive sounding as their video setup is fun and trippy. Touring together late this year, the trio and duo crash landed one night in Columbus, Ohio to play a phenomenal show, (check FTF for the review) but not before Tera Melos talked The Simpsons, simplicity, and evolving a sound, while Zorch waxed about default weird bands, going meta, and David Icke.

Tera Melos Flush Magazine: Your reputation for The Simpsons-related super-fandom proceeds you, so I’ve got to ask: Who are your favourite peripheral characters from the show? Nick: Mine would have to be Martin Prince. The episodes with Martin are usually my favourite. I could do with some more Martin on the show. John: I like Otto, the bus driver. Nate: I would say Jasper. The guy with the beard. He’s Abe’s friend. FM: Yeah, cool. Do you think that the show and that world are representative of original content?

FM: So, X’ed Out’s more straightforward sound came about naturally? Nick: Yeah, we always like to write different music and we usually want to make it something cool and unique. When our brains linked up with everything we were doing for this album, it was really this awesome thing. FM: It was something of a landmark for the band too, right? Adding vocals to the mix - it’s another layer. Nick: It’s different than learning to play, being a kid, and being 22 or 23, - it’s a different vibe and it’s more thoughtful now. Nate: Do you know The Evens? It’s Ian McKaye (Fugazi, Minor Threat) and his wife (The Warmers). We saw them at an art gallery in L.A. and it was really great. Probably one of the best shows I’ve seen. It lead to this realisation that music can be that simple and wonderful. Nick: We were really immersed in writing and it focused us and reminded us that we can still have fun and keep that fearless factor. FM: You can hear that looseness/ comfort/confidence on the record as a result but I think you’re winning over new fans with those Beach Boys/ Beatles vocal vibes on Sunburn,

Are Tera Melos? Nick: That’s from Redddit, right? (Nods) Yeah, I think if the band was a web post on Redddit, we’d definitely be big, bold O. C. It’s bitten us on the ass before, but it’s not a conscious thing.

Now we see 21 year-old female fans as opposed to just guys. We went from one extreme, being a “band’s band” to making something everyone can enjoy. The fact that there are female music fans who appreciate our music (pauses), we don’t want to take that for granted. Weird Circles, Tropic Lame... Nick: Well, I was shaky about the vocals and attempting to sing those melodies was different. I wanted to be sure whatever I did vocally tied up with whatever we were doing as a group.

FM: Are you surprised by how well tying it up has been received? I read where you’ve experienced an influx of female attendees to your shows... Nate: We are just surprised and happy when any human likes our music...EVER. Nick: Yeah, it’s weird. Now we see 21 year-old female fans as opposed to just guys. We went from one extreme, being a “band’s band” to making something everyone can enjoy. The fact that there are female music fans who appreciate our music (pauses), we don’t want to take that for granted. Tera Melos on tour in the UK in Feb, for more info visit http://teramelos.

Zorch FM: It’s hard to think of a band or artist in 2013 that has a more interesting and unique sound. I know you guys get the blanket “experimental” label... Sam of Zorch: Or weird. We get the default ‘weird’ label a lot. Most times it’s like Flaming Lips. Zac: Or Animal Collective. Sam: Yeah, or Primus, if you know nothing about music. FM: (laughs) Or Dan Deacon, if you do? Sam: Yeah, we enjoy Dan Deacon and I think that’s because we’re coming from a similar place, musically. Zac: We pull from the modern

minimalists and heavy synth dudes like Terry Reiley, and Steve Reike. FM: So, what do you think is the best description of your music? Zac: Really rhythmically primal, but sophisticated. Sam: Like cavemen doing hardcore theoretical physics. FM: That sounds proggy. Sam: Well, we’re music nerds. I really dig the early Terry Reiley keyboards and 70s prog-rock drums like early Yes. Zac: I think there are elements in Zorch that are harmonically similar to early 70s prog. FM: I think it’s hard to pin down. On the record, there are songs where the drums and vocals sound live as can be and unfiltered and other times where everything sounds like it was made on a distant planet with alien technology. Sam: That’s cool. Every song has 60 samples or more that are spread out.

FM: 60 samples? Zac: They all come from us playing in the studio. Sam: We’re studio rats and out of these improv sessions, we’ll end up recording hundreds of drum tracks or keyboard/synth parts or vocals live and cut up our composition to make those samples and flesh out songs. Zac: It’s a microcosm within a microcosm within a microcosm. FM: That’s pretty meta, but the album doesn’t have a coldness to it of which that level of process implies. Sam: Yes, exactly. It’s very meta. We should sound electronic, but not cold. Zac: There are parts we want to have that are warm, live feeling and other parts we want to sound like nothing you’ve ever heard before. FM: Fittingly, your song lyrics range from the sweet to the surreal. What do you attribute that to? Sam: Just YouTube craziness. Zac: Craziness in general. Sam: In Austin and all over Texas, you hear a lot of talk radio. People

like David Icke with his lizard people conspiracy theories and Alex Jones, who is more like Glen Beck or Limbaugh. Zac: But Icke’s pseudo-science is a big inspiration. FM: For me, there’s an other-world party vibe to all of it. And even though the Top 40 pop world is at the opposite end of the spectrum, that’s something I could see them latching onto. Do you have any interest in that? Zac: I don’t know, but we’ve been listening to the new Katy Perry in the van and it’s pretty good. Sam: I enjoyed it. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars FM: Nice, a glowing Katy Perry review from Zorch. Read more of Casey’s music features, reviews and interviews on our sister website, Flush the Fashion

A Very Short Engagement.

Betty Who

Interview by Hugh McIntyre

The viral video seems only to be growing in strength. The power that a must-watch has these days to catapult an unknown into stardom is unparalleled, and it is levelling the playing field for artists around the world. Someone like Psy wouldn’t have achieved anywhere near the level of success he did with “Gangnam Style” (no matter how catchy it may be) without an equally amazing video to accompany. Betty Who is the latest singer to go from blogosphere buzz to worldwide sensation. A man named Spencer Stout uploaded a video of a choreographed flash mob he arranged for an elaborate proposal to his boyfriend Dustin at a Home Depot in Salt Lake City, and within a few weeks the video had accumulated over 10 million views. Spencer and Dustin became viral stars, Betty signed to RCA, and “Somebody Loves You” -the incredibly catchy and upbeat single from Betty that soundtracked the entire thing--took off. The rest, as she says, is history. Betty! How has the last two months or so changed your life and where you’re going? It’s been absolutely insane. I have always known where I wanted to end up, but I never knew how I was going

to get there. More than anything I’ve been sitting back and watching everything happen and saying “Oh, that’s how that goes”. I’m sure you get this a lot, but can you tell us how this marriage proposal happened? I didn’t even know about it until I was watching the video. Spencer (the man proposing in the video) emailed my manager and said “Hey, I’m making this video where I’m proposing to my boyfriend”, and my manager said “Yeah, sure, why not”. Months later Spencer emailed and said “I just put the video up on YouTube, wanted to make sure it’s okay”, and my manager was like “Yes!” Then he showed me the video and I was crying! The rest is history. What your initial reaction to the video?

I was sitting with my hairdresser, watching it and crying while I was sitting in this public place. I wept a lot that day. I still actually can’t watch that video without crying. I feel very passionately about that video. Was that the song you intended people to hear first? Each song to me has a meaning and a purpose in my life emotionally. Business-wise “Somebody Loves You” is the first song that my producer and I made that felt like me. It’s fitting that it’s the song that everyone has heard. Is it your favourite? To be honest, “High Society” is probably my favourite song on the EP, and it’s also a crowd favourite. It’s nice for “Somebody Loves You” to be getting the attention it deserves as a song, but I am excited to be putting

out new music. I only have four songs out there, and that’s not a lot! You’re from Australia..are you living there now? No, I’m living in New York now. I grew up in Sydney and moved to the States when I was 16. My mom is American, so I’m an American citizen. I think I identify as an Australian artist because people always hear my accent and ask where I’m from--the initial “I don’t sound American” so I’m Australian by default. I still call Australia home, but I also call America home. I very much identify with both. [With her deal at RCA] Do you know if you’re going to be a big writing partner at first, or they want to get something out there quick while its hot? We’re definitely focusing on the

momentum we have right now. We don’t want to lose that, and I think everyone at RCA is smart and knows that’s the way to go. I’m working on my first LP now. I’m just starting to finish and wrap up the sound for now. That was fast! Were you working on it before or did you sign to them and you’ve just whipped it out? I had already made a second EP’s worth of music -another 4 songs that were ready to be released. Then that video went viral and I said “we need to spend more time on ‘Somebody Loves You’”. Then I signed to RCA and they were like “Ok, we really need to spend more time on ‘Somebody Loves You’!”. While they’ve been spending time on that song I’ve been working on the LP. I wrote a couple more songs with my producer since then and put them on it. We had a lot of the material ready, so it’s fine. What would you describe your sound as or who would you compare yourself to for someone that doesn’t know you? The most accurate description someone told me once was if Passion Pit and Katy Perry had a baby. One band and a person that I love so much and admire. I’ll take that.

Are you reaching for the Katy Perry strata or are you more interested in being underground? I want both. I think that’s the beauty of my style of music. It’s not top 40 only, it’s also indie pop. There’s a part of it that’s not just a song made for radio. There’s so much more that goes into my music. I very much intend to build my fanbase in an indie way and then end up with radio as a byproduct, not because it’s a pop song that RCA heard and just said “It’s a pop song so let’s send it to radio.” Can you tell us some bands or artists that you’re listening to that we may not know that we should all listen to? The band King. It’s three girls Two of them went to Berklee [where Betty who went], so I heard about them through Berklee. They’re living in LA and have an EP out and a single they’re intending to release in the spring. It is some of the best music I’ve heard in a long, long time. The Foy Vance EP is beautiful. That’s amazing. @bettywhomusic (viral video)

A Very British A few editions ago in Flush #8 we interviewed Iqbal Wahhab, who after successful beginnings at The Cinnamon Club founded Roast, a restaurant in the heart of Borough Market, London specialising in serving the very best of traditional British food. Now in a new book, Roast head chef Marcus Verberne is sharing some of the wonderful recipes that have helped the restaurant become such a success story over the past eight years. Roast: a very British cookbook contains over a hundred recipes and is a dedication to two simple philosophies; sourcing the best possible local ingredients and to letting the natural flavours and textures of good food do the talking. The result is delicious, fussfree delights like toasted crumpets with poached eggs, Bath pig chorizo & sweetcorn; pan-fried gurnard fillet with clams in cider & wild boar pancetta; anchovyrubbed, hay-baked leg of mutton with parsley & caper sauce and roast chicken with sage-roasted squash, smoked bacon & creamed sweetcorn, just to name a few. In addition to ‘pick up and go’ recipes, there are also step-by-step photographic illustrations and QR codes linking to online tutorials with Marcus guiding you through the more unfamiliar operations, such as opening a live scallop of carving large joints.

Cookbook This recipe from the book is a perfect Christmas indulgence and they taste fantastic!

Cinnamon ring doughnuts with a Perry poached pear and hot chocolate sauce (12 doughnuts) by Marcus Verberne The inspiration for this dessert came when I was enjoying ‘churros’ at Thomasina Miers’s restaurant, Wahaca, in Soho. Churros are South America’s answer to doughnuts. The batter is squeezed straight from a piping bag into hot oil, where it’s fried until crispy then tossed in sugar and served with a rich chocolate sauce. Poached pears and chocolate are a beautiful partnership, and served alongside a hot crispy doughnut and a generous dollop of whipped cream, they complete this irresistible dessert. William pears are probably the best to use for the poaching due to the fact they are a bit smaller than Comice or Conference pears, and present well. However, if you can only find large pears, use half for each plate. Remember, the doughnut is the star of the show and the pear its ‘Debbie McGee’, not the other way round. Try to find a good Perry for this recipe, rather than settling for a commercial pear cider. The Perry won’t be quite so sweet and will have a more natural pear flavour. Ingredients 100g caster sugar, plus about 200g to coat the doughnuts 1 tsp ground cinnamon 2 eggs 100g soured cream 1 tsp vanilla extract 350g plain flour 21/2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 1/2 tsp salt

whipped cream to serve For the Perry-poached pears: 500ml Perry 100ml water 6 ripe Williams pears 300g caster sugar For the chocolate sauce: 150g dark cooking chocolate, chopped into small pieces 150ml double cream

Method To poach the pears, pour the Perry and water into a saucepan, just large enough to hold the 6 pears standing on their ends. Add the sugar, but don’t heat yet. Poached pears should always be started in cold syrup. Peel the pears leaving the stalk attached. Remove the core with a corer or melon baller, leaving the pears whole, and place them in the saucepan. If they are not submerged, add some more water and a little more sugar to just cover. Place a disc of baking parchment directly over the pears and bring them up to a gentle simmer over a medium heat. Don’t boil the pears or they will overcook and become mushy. The cooking time will depend on the size and ripeness of the fruit. The harder the pear, the longer it will take to cook – 15–25 minutes should be enough time. Check for readiness with a small knife and allow to cool naturally in the poaching liquor. Reheat gently in the liquor when ready to serve. Preheat your deepfat fryer to 170ºC. Mix about 200g of caster sugar in a dry bowl with the ground cinnamon. For the doughnut dough, beat the sugar and eggs together in a clean bowl with a whisk, until light and fluffy. Gently fold in the soured cream and vanilla extract. Sift the dry ingredients into the mixture and fold together to form a ball of soft dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface for about 6–8 minutes. As you knead you will feel the dough becoming more elastic. This is what you are trying to achieve. If the dough isn’t worked sufficiently, when

the doughnuts hit the hot oil they will develop cracks as they swell. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface, to about 1cm thick. Using a 7cm round biscuit cutter, cut out 12 circles. To create the hole in your ring doughnuts use a 2cm cutter. Test the mixture by putting one of the small circles cut from the middle of the rings in the fryer to see if it cracks. If the test doughnut cracks, knead the dough for a couple more minutes. For the best results fry the doughnuts straight after they’ve been cut so they don’t develop a dry crust. Allowing them to dry out could also cause them to crack as they cook. Deepfry the rings for approximately 11/2 –2 minutes on each side. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the doughnuts from the fryer and drain them briefly on kitchen paper. Toss the doughnuts in the cinnamon sugar to coat them. Serve hot. Meanwhile, make the chocolate sauce. Place the chocolate in a heavy-based saucepan with the cream. On a low heat, warm the cream until the chocolate starts to melt into it. Stir constantly until a smooth rich sauce is achieved. Serve while still hot. ENJOY!! Roast: a very British cookbook is published through Absolute Press priced £25 (hardback) Roast is at The Floral Hall, Stoney Street, Borough Market, London, SE1 1TL

Noroor’s place

Blue Elephant Imperial Wharf London Review by Sharleen Hunter

It was a chilly Sunday afternoon when I headed to the renowned Thai restaurant, Blue Elephant in Fulham. After navigating through the thick match day traffic spilling from the nearby football ground I was definitely looking forward to escaping the hustle and bustle of London’s streets. Thankfully the post roadrage tension melted away as soon I stepped through the doors. Blue Elephant was warm, tropical and inviting. The combination of exotic flowers, lush plants and dark wooden flooring and tables, plus the welcoming ambience somehow gave me the kind of chilled feeling I get when I’m on holiday. In fact, if I didn’t look out the windows, it may have been easy to forget that I was actually in London.

The grand surroundings and riverside views of the Thames may not quite be comparable to a Thai beach, but when it comes to eating out in London, it’s definitely a welcome bonus - particularly I’d imagine on a warm day when you can take full advantage of the outdoor seating and dine by the river. The choice of authentic Thai dishes is pretty extensive. There are multiple menus to choose from which have been created by world-renowned chef, Noroor Somany Steppe: Memories of Siam Tasting Menu (which reflect the Siam region), Thai Cooking of the Past, Thai Cuisine of Today, Thai Kitchen of Tomorrow and a Vegetarian Menu. The accolades Noroor has won

as a result of her authentic Thai cuisine prowess are extensive (and displayed on the walls leading down to the loos). She has a reputation as one of the most creative chefs in Asia. I couldn’t wait to try her food. Starters? We went for some lovely Blue Elephant Spring Rolls from the ‘Thai Cooking of Today’ menu and the seashells fresh king scallops which were sensational. Taken from the ‘Thai Cooking of Tomorrow

menu’, the fresh scallops had been marinated with green peppercorns butter then grilled. The result? Pure deliciousness – what’s more, each scallop came exquisitely presented on it’s own individual seashell served with a side serving of crispy seaweed. Style and substance. For mains we opted for the beautifully aromatic Free Range Chicken Green Curry (‘Thai Cooking

of Today’) which my very fussy guest lapped up in minutes. As a prawn lover, I was immediately drawn to the Wild Catch Black Pepper Prawns (Thai Kitchen of Tomorrow menu). The plate arrived and was filled with giant and very juicy prawns which had been stirfried with garlic and black pepper, then topped with crispy organic lemongrass. You definitely have to love black pepper if you order this dish as it is in plentiful supply. The portions are generous, but I was still ready and raring for dessert. Always keen to try something new, I made a beeline for the Sodsai which are leaf type parcels of steamed rice pudding with a mouthwatering crunchy coconut filing inside. Hard to explain, but very easy to eat, if you visit give them a go. If you struggle to choose just one dessert, fear not as the ‘Kanom Thai’ enables you to try four of their most popular dishes. Invariably when I’ve come to the end a good meal I start thinking not only about when I can visit that restaurant again but also begin wishing I could cook dishes like that

myself. In this case Blue Elephant also have a range of curries, pastes and sauces tastefully displayed for purchase near the exit to help recreate some of your favourite Blue Elephant dishes at home. And you don’t have to pine for their Phad Thai if you’re heading off on your hols either as the restaurants are now in 11 countries and counting, including Bangkok, Paris and Dubai. Since they launched in 1980, Blue Elephant really have established themselves as the international masters of Thai cuisine. All in all I had a lovely experience at Blue Elephant. Good food, attentive staff, tropical atmosphere. What’s not to love? Next time I need to escape the hustle and bustle of South West London to indulge in some authentic Thai cuisine and a holiday to Thailand isn’t an option, I’ll know just where to go.

Blue Elephant The Boulevard Imperial Wharf Townmead Road London SW6 2UB Tel: +44 20 7751 3111

“Mercado de Panama City’s Seafood Market

by Vanessa Sue Smith

Greetings from Panama! After living in Europe for the past six years I think I’ve just about culturally adapted to this part of the world by now, but my roots never cease to call back ‘home’ again.

I try to plan at least one yearly visit to my home, the Miami Beach of Latin America: Panama City. I come back to see my family and friends, enjoy the warm weather and the gorgeous beaches, re-visit and make new memories; but one of the things I look forward to most forward is the food. Panama is a blessed country producing all sorts of exotic ingredients. The variety of fruits and vegetables locally grown that you can find here is just amazing, there’s always something new to try out and flavours to discover. One of my favourite spots and


a must-visit every time I come to Panama is the “Mercado de Mariscos”, fish market. There are two reasons for this: 1: If you’re looking for the freshest fish in town, this is THE place to find it. This market is located right next to the Municipal Pier, providing fresh seafood from very early in the morning every day of the week. Panama is a country surrounded by 2 oceans so it’s no surprise to find several types of fish (red and white snapper, tuna, sea bass), shrimps (when in season), octopus, lobster, etc., all inexpensive, fresh and with the unique flavour only the oceans around here can give.

2: This is also the spot to savour the tastiest local “ceviche”. This is a seafood cocktail which can be made from fish (sea bass), shrimp, octopus or a combination of everything. The fish is marinated together with some pieces of onion in lemon juice acid enough to cook it, a local delicacy worth trying out (see Carlos Torres’s recipe in this edition) . During this last visit, I bought a couple of fresh Red Snappers, which I decided to prepare using a technique called “cooking in an envelope”. I learned it recently while watching an old Jamie Oliver cooking show and it hit me as the ideal method to cook seafood. What I love about this technique is how the food cooks on its own vapours and juices; it will maintain its original flavour but it’s also complimented by the seasonings which are absorbed beautifully.

Oven Baked Red Snapper bell pepper strips, lemon slices, onion rings and a pinch of salt (if you have any hot sauce at home, feel free to add some drops). Close the envelope and place on a baking tray. Do the same for the rest of the snappers.

For this recipe we will need Red Snapper (4 pieces) and will start by marinating the fish in a combination of: Juice of 2 lemons 2 tablespoons soy sauce 5 chopped garlic cloves 1/2 chopped onion Handful of chopped cilantro 1 tablespoon cumin Salt and pepper to taste l



In a deep container, combine all of the above and mix together with the red snappers. Pour some water over it until everything is covered. Leave to marinate overnight. T he day after we can get them ready to go in the oven. The idea is to create a closed envelope from aluminium foil by folding the sides. Prepare one envelope for each red snapper.  lace the marinated fish in the P middle of the envelope and garnish it with some extra parsley,


 re-heat the oven to 220째C and P bake for 30 minutes.


 emove and open the top of the R envelope a tiny bit and bake for 10 more minutes. This is just to reduce the juices that have come off and dry up the fish some more.


T he resulting Red Snapper is juicy, has gained all the flavour from the seasonings, is soft and easy to eat.

If you have access to fresh seafood, please enjoy it in the most natural way possible; and if you ever visit Panama, go check out this market and treat yourself to what our oceans have to offer. Enjoy!

Read more from Vanessa on her brilliant website


Forget Crockett and Tubbs, these days Miami’s South Beach area is a hotbed of artistic activity, Architectural wonderment and fantastic culinary delectations.

With Mirka from Miami Culinary Tours as our guide we explored the diners, bars, cafĂŠs and hang-outs popular with the locals in South Beach, experiencing delicious Latin American and European flavours along the way.

The Anglers


We began our South Beach Miami Culinary tour at The Anglers, 660 Washington Ave. Along with The Betsy, The Anglers is one of the top Hotels in Miami’s South Beach district. Unlike many of its Art Deco neighbours the Hotel was built in a ‘Mediterranean Revival’ style in the

30′s by Architect Henry Maloney. It’s famous for being one of Earnest Hemmingway’s favourite hang-outs while in Miami (when he wasn’t fishing and writing) and the Hotel’s restaurant has, in recent years become equally well known. Their Chef, Carlos Torres was born in Colombia and since moving to Miami with his wife has carved out a serious reputation for producing excellent Nuevo Latino Cuisine. I was lucky enough to try his Tiradito, a Peruvian cousin similar to dishes like Ceviche and Sashimi, the scallops are ‘cooked’ by the marinating process in the lime juice. Together, the citrus juices, coriander, sweet potato, onion and scallops combine to make a dish amazingly light, and zing-ingly delicious - the perfect palate cleanser (check out our exclusive recipe at the end of this feature).

Miami spice!

Bolivar Next stop was Bolivar (661 Washington Ave), a small cafe / bar serving the best Latin cuisine, including many Columbian and Ecuadorian dishes. We tried the deep fried Beef + Potato Empanada’s with plantain, shredded chicken and some incredible Hogado pepper sauce (only $7 too). Also recommended for sharing is the Tapas de ‘Bolivar’ (7 items for $29). A great place to watch football (or soccer), there is free wi-fi and live music several nights of the week too. To truly appreciate this South American experience at Bolivar, a cold glass of Aguila beer is almost compulsory.

Davids Café Open 24hrs, seven days a week, Davids Café (1058 Collins Avenue) proudly boasts the best Café con leche (sweet Cuban coffee) on South Beach, and this friendly hole-in-the-wall is something of a local institution. Owned and run by the Gonzalez family, the ‘street food’, steaks and dishes created by husband and wife team Alfredo and Maria are based on traditional Cuban cuisine, and they must be doing something right as its been here for the last 37 years. Aside from the amazing sweet Colado coffee, try a stuffed Yucca, only $2 and perfect to grab and go.

Miami spice!

Jerry’s Famous Deli Probably the best known establishment on our tour, when we first walked into Jerry’s Famous Deli (1450 Collins Ave) they were showing an episode of Seinfeld on the TV in the corner and I wasn’t sure whether it was some sort of strange tribute restaurant to the New York comedian. I was wrong, it’s actually an excellent open all hours diner with a traditional Jewish bakery attached. The gorgeous Art-deco building is huge, so is the menu (and the portions). The perfect place for the morning after the night before, or even the night before. If you are heading to the beach pop in and grab one of their Rugelach’s a traditional Jewish, Eccles Cake-type sweet pastry.

Blocks Pizza/ Deli A new edition to the Miami ‘foodie’ scene, Blocks (1447 Washington Ave) is owned by a passionate foodie, an Australian born Serbian called Eugenio. The pizzas are really good, but the locals come here for the ‘Panouzza’ or ‘Love Pockets’, a flat-bread type pizza base filled with sweet or savoury delights. We tasted the sun dried ‘Hippie’ pocket; sun dried tomatoes, feta, spinach, pesto and kalamata olives. Apparently the dough is sooo good because it’s made using live yeast that is over 200 years old! A definite highlight of our tour and if you are really nice, he might even let you take some home with you.

These are just some of the places we visited on our MCT tour, a word of advice - don’t have breakfast! Although the food we tried was only small portions, we did try ALOT. Our friendly guide Mirka not only gave us the low down on everything food related in South Beach, she also had an intimate knowledge of everything from the history of the Art-Deco buildings to the gossip about David Beckham and the Versacé mansion. The award-winning tours leave daily at 12 and 5pm, and last for approx 2.5hrs for more info visit

Tiradi Ingredients 2 each U-10 Scallops 2 oz Reduced Passion Fruit Juice 1 oz Freshly squeezed lemon Juice 1 oz Sweet Potato Diced 1/4 Avocado Diced 1/2 oz Red Onion, Julienned 1/2 oz Red Jalapeño, Sliced 1 Lemon, Zested 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil 1/4 oz Corriander leaves 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt Method l Start by reducing 12Oz of Passion fruit juice until it turns into 2Oz of Syrup. Set aside and let it cool down l Small dice the sweet potatoes and then steam for about 10 min. Set them aside in the cooler. (They will need to be cold when serving) l Infuse 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil with the lemon zest at low heat for 10min. l Slice scallops and place them in a cold mixing bowl and add 1Oz of lemon juice and the passion fruit syrup (prepared earlier). This will start the cooking process of the scallops. l Add the red julienned onion, diced sweet potato, diced avocado, jalapeño slices and cilantro leaves to garnish. Remember - 2 pinches of salt should be added at the end to taste – l Mix it all and place them on a plate, tiradito style. ENJOY!!


by Carlos Torres, head Chef at The Anglers Hotel, South Beach Miami

South Beach Aside from the fantastic food and beautiful people, some of the best Art Deco buildings in the world can be found in the South Beach area of Miami. For thirty blocks from Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue there are approximately 960 historic properties dating from the mid 1920’s.

Originating in France, the style is instantly recognisable by it’s bold, geometric shapes, perfect symmetry and bright pastel colours. At the time it was ultra-modern and glamorous, extensively used in Ocean liners, Theatres and Hotels. In the aftermath of WW2 it’s popularity wained and the style was felt by many to be too

‘gaudy’ in less auspicious times. By the mid 1970’s, South Beach was in a period of decline and many of the buildings were under threat as developers looked to cash in on the areas potential real estate value. However, thanks to the campaigning of Barbara Baer Capitma and her son John (both passionate Art Deco


fans) the Miami Design Preservation League was set up, and many of the derelict or run down buildings have now been restored to their former glory. The area is on the National Register of Historic Places and if you are planning to visit South Beach, their office, the Art Deco Welcome Center should be your first port of call. Situated on 1001 Ocean Drive (across the road from the Clevelander Hotel) they have lots of information and books, they also organise guided tours around the district. Visit for more info

Another important building in South Beach is the infamous Versacé mansion (1114 Ocean Drive) and apparently it’s the third most visited house in the US (even though you can’t actually go in). If you are looking to buy something in the area be warned, prices are high. It’s just sold for $58 million.

T he

B etsy If you’re planning to stay in South Beach for a few days, you can’t do much better than The Betsy, a boutique Hotel on Ocean Drive with 61 rooms, a swimming pool, Raw Bar and Sushi, BLT Steakhouse and spectacular views across the Pacific Ocean.


he Betsy’s restrained colonial style architecture was actually designed by L. Murray Dixon, the same man responsible for a great many of the Art Deco Hotels in the area. In some ways next to its brightly coloured neighbours, the understated-ness allows the Hotel to stand out even more. Originally called ‘The Betsy Ross’, recent renovations have seen the ‘Ross’ dropped, and architectural updates combined virtually seamlessly into the existing features. The guest rooms are modern and contemporary, with a TV in the bathroom mirror, cool coffee maker and wi-fi, but they still retain a stylish classic feel with ornate desks, ceiling fans and beautiful lamps. Every room has a select library of books, and each night a poetry bookmark is placed on every pillow. The ones left for us had tiny flower seeds implanted into them, so you can take them home and

plant them in your garden too. The Sferra linen used on the beds is chosen for the companies philanthropy work as much as it is for it’s high quality feel, and where possible the owners of the Hotel actively support fair trade and ethical products. Not to mention the Arts community in Miami, where The Betsy plays an important role in local artistic and musical events, exhibitions and festivals, including the ever-growing Art Basel festival every December There are regular displays of work in the public areas, when we stayed a collection of previously unseen Beatles and Stones photos by Bob Bonis, the US tour manager for both bands were adorning the corridors. Since April 2012 the Hotel has had a permanent ‘Writers Room’ a throw-back to some pre-war hotels where guests were able to recorded memories and send them home. These days a steady stream of writers, poets and playwrights are invited to stay in return for giving readings of their new material in the Hotel. You can see a list of past and future visitors here www.betsywritersroom. com To awaken your senses, at 6am each weekday morning there are free yoga sessions on the rooftop terrace, and regular live music in the lobby bar most evenings. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the black latex roof in the über chic B Bar either, it’s brill. In what can be a hectic part of Miami at times, The Betsy Hotel is a veritable oasis of calm and good taste. We will be back.

The Betsy Hotel, 1440 Ocean Drive, South Beach, Miami For latest offers and information visit Flights We flew to Miami from the UK with United Airlines. For more information on the latest deals and prices visit Parking We used APH (Airport Parking and Hotels) to look after our car at the airport while we were away. They picked it up from the drop off point and were there to meet us on our return. A lot less hassle than paying for park and ride for a similar price. You can also combine with a hotel stay the night before. For more info visit Car Hire We hired our car from www. Great service and all inclusive price with no ‘extras’. More info For information about travel, accommodation and events happening in Miami and the rest of Florida visit or follow @visitflorida on Twitter

Weekend Escapes

Clumber Park Looking to get away for the weekend?

The Park

Clumber Park is an area of natural beauty just a hop and a skip from Worksop, Nottinghamshire in the very heart of England. Its 3,800 acres of protected woods and parkland were originally the country estate of the Dukes of Newcastle, but now under the ownership of the National Trust. You can hire bikes to explore the many nature trails and it’s a haven for wildlife of all kinds; Longhorn Cattle, Jacob Sheep and rare birds including Nightjars and Redstarts. During the warmer months camping is available and during the Summer it’s the BBQ and frisbee capital of England. Amongst the tree lined avenues

and vast woodlands is a stunning lake, Gothic-style ‘cathedral in miniature’ chapel and walled Kitchen Garden. Besides the plants shop and restaurant there are numerous play areas for the kids and a superb

Discovery Centre that has informal lessons and workshops where they can just turn up and get creative. My daughter loved the ‘mini-beasts’ and wild art sculpturing sessions. Across the park there are different events happening throughout the year, everything from drive-in movies to cookery demos. Over Christmas ‘Magical Woodland by Lantern Light’ evenings take place every weekend, with the woods filled with elves, lighting effects, sounds and who knows, possibly even Santa? Tel 01909 544917 or visit for more info.

The Hotel

Perfectly positioned after a long day exploring the park is the Clumber Park Hotel & Spa. Literally just across he road, The Beatles stayed here once on the way to a gig in Leicester in 1963. I know this because there is an autographed menu on the wall in the restaurant. I’m not sure what they had to eat, but I imagine these days Ringo would go for the delicious Marinated Garlic Chicken I had in the Normanton Inn part of the Hotel, sooo moist and juicy. Unfortunately with Paul (McCartney) being Vegetarian he’d hav to skip my partners Thai Seafood Red Curry with Noodles and Pak Choi; full of mussels, salmon and

Weekend Escapes

Clumber Park

whitefish. His loss, not ours and if you visit, try it. There is a decent choice and prices are pretty reasonable too, with most main courses around the £10-12 mark. There is also a slightly more formal dining option where breakfast is also served called the ‘Courtyard Restaurant’. We didn’t eat in there this time, but I heard good reports from another couple staying at the Hotel. The Hotel (as you might guess from the name) is a thriving Spa, used as much by locals as it is by Hotel guests it’s a friendly place to hang out, grab a smoothie or go for a swim. Besides the treatment rooms there is a sauna, steam room and cool outdoor jacuzzi that is the ideal place to sooth those aching feet after a day at the Park. My partner had a ‘visible difference’

facial and came out glowing and an ever-changing range of treatments awaits. The beautician also recommended a list of products that would help her with her daily beauty routine, without giving her the hard sell, which was nice. Rooms are bright and comfortable

and there are weekend break room and Spa special offers always available, currently there is a choice of an invigorating “Walk on the Wild Side” Walking Break, costing £79pp, including dinner, bed, breakfast, free entry into Clumber Park (National Trust) and the Walled Gardens, and use of

the hotel’s Pathfinder Guides. Also on offer are an Anytime Treat Spa Break, a Family Getaway, and the hotel’s popular “Friday Freebie” or “Lazy Sunday Afternoons”. Full details can be found on their website www.clumberparkhotel. com or telephone the hotel on 01623 835333.

SLEEP EAT WALK SHOP DROP A suite at the Presidential Apartments in the heart of Kensington is the perfect base for any last minute Christmas shopping expeditions into London. The Apartments combine the convenience and services of a regular hotel with the home comforts (washing machine, cooker, big TV etc) of a rented property. So you can pop down the road and grab breakfast from one of the many great cafe’s close-by, or if you’re feeling lazy call the 24hr concierge and let them look after you. There are suites or full apartments available for up to four people and the emphasis is on luxury without the ‘luxury’ pricetag. Situated on a quiet leafy street just minutes away from Earls Court tube, prices start from £170 per night.

Presidential Apartments


Great food at Maltby St Market

And for Dinner...

Secret history of food tours

You can’t stay in this part of town without booking a table at one Once you’ve shopped your heart out, why not drop the of London’s best fish restaurants, bags and head out on a brilliant ‘Secret History of Street Kensington Place in Notting Hill. To Food’ tour? The 3 hour culinary trip organised by Emma tempt you even further this bright Parker from Coutours leaves the Presidential Apartments and airy eaterie has just launched on Saturday Mornings at 10.00am visiting some of a new menu featuring dishes that London’s best foodie hotspots. Included in the £28 price is are perfectly designed for sharing. a chance to sample some of the eclectic and delicious Choose from platters of smoked dishes you’ll discover along the way. fish, small plates of West Mersea oysters, giant grilled prawns or Cornish For more info on the Presidential Apartments call mackerel rollmops. All fresher than (020 7373 4040 fresh and mouthwatering-ly delicious. It’s not as expensive as you think either and you can grab a 3 course To book a Culinary tour visit lunch for just £20. Kensington Place 201 Kensington Church St London W8 7LX 020 7727 3184 www.kensingtonplace-restaurant.

Kensington place

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Beetle-Mania Beetle Cabriolet 50s 1.4 TSI 160PS

I LOVE the styling on the Cabriolet 50s 1.4 TSI, its DNA contains the fun and romance of what originally made the Beetle such an icon of popular culture. It holds a special place in the heart of millions (including me); Herbie Goes Bananas, Bug Rallies; all curves and character, cute and friendly. I even liked the ‘New Beetle’ that popped up in 1997, even if it did look like a military vehicle from a bad sci-fi movie.


Beetle-Mania Beetle Cabriolet 50s 1.4 TSI 160PS

Ok, so I know it’s not the ideal time of the year to buy a convertible, even in the middle of Summer the British weather doesn’t always afford many opportunities to feel the wind flowing in your hair. When it does though, a Cabriolet really comes into its own and the 50s is up there with the best around. Press the button and the mechanical roof folds away quickly and smoothly in just 9.5 seconds, it will also come up again on the move at up to speeds of 31mph, which is useful if you are stop / starting around the city and it starts to rain. Even roadtesting the car in late Autumn I was able to go ‘topless’ quite a few times and its decent heaters keep Inside there is a retro styled travellers in the front nice and warm dashboard with stopwatch even if it is a bit nippy ‘outside’. and lap timer (very useful when looking for a parking You don’t have to be Sherlock space at the supermarket), Holmes to realise the 50s has while on the outside, cool 17-inch something of a 1950’s feel to it. No doubt inspired by the success of the Orbit Black alloys and sexy chrome mirrors. In contrast there is also a Fiat 500’s old-fashioned stylings, VW modern, new fangled touch-screen have added some subtle classic sat-nav / DAB stereo /media player touches but resisted the temptation thingy, plus a Fender, eight speaker to go too overboard. Visually 400 watt output system with subthe car is lower, and wider than woofer in the boot (£525 extra) which previously, the rear lights are bigger is seriously loud. The ‘Salsa Red with and squarer and its curves have Black Vienna leather upholstery’ an almost Porsche-ness sexiness to them. It looks fantastic in black and seats are great for long journeys and you’ll get plenty of admiring glances there is plenty of room upfront to spread out. In contrast, the rear seats from petrol and non-petrolheads are a teeny bit cramped especially alike everywhere you go.

if you’ve got long legs. Boot space is pretty good though and enough for a family of four for the weekend. Without extras this car still comes incredibly well equipped; front and rear parking sensors, air-conditioning, ABS (Antilock Braking System), ASR (traction control) and heated front seats (to name a few) come as standard. Add to this a 3-year / 60,000 miles warranty, plus top crash safety ratings and the £24,895.00 (otr) starts to look like really good value for your hard-earned money. On the road the Cabriolet 50s offers a good balance between city and motorway life. It will bop around in town or stick happily to the fast lane with minimal driver fatigue. Although more of a cruiser than a racer, if you want to put your foot down it will shift - not jaw-droppingly so, but fast enough to get you into (and out of) trouble. The 1.4 litre engine will give you 41.5MPG (combined), CO2

emissions of 158(g/km) and a top speed of 128mph. The brakes are firm and if you are sensible it handles admirably in most conditions and situations. Although it may be a slight pastiche in terms of what a 50’s car is (or was), VW should be applauded for making the Cabriolet 50s such fun. It definitely has character, and that’s something every motoring journalist in the land will tell you we need more of these days. I just wish they had gone for it a bit more and retrofied it to the max. Even so, in a sea of Grey, the Cabriolet 50s still stands out a mile. Beetle Cabriolet 50s Edition 1.4-litre 160 PS 6spd manual Engine capacity (litres /cc) 1.4 / 1390 (4 cylinders, 16 valves) Power output (PS @ rpm) 160 @ 5800 Top speed (mph) 128 0-62 mph (seconds) 8.6 Fuel economy (mpg) Urban 32.1; Extra-urban 50.4; Combined 41.5 CO2 emissions (g/km) 158 (Euro5) Insurance group 22 On the road price - £24,895.00 For more info visit

En Vog ICONIC is an often over-used word, regularly applied to all manner of things which do not merit it. The same can be said of many people too.

But, in the motoring world, the epithet is certainly richly deserved by one particular model of car, which I have had the privilege of driving for Flush Magazine. It is the latest Range Rover... imposing, impressive and, as I found in a week-long road test, providing a peerless driving experience. I can still remember the original model arriving on the scene 40or-so years ago, and loving the blend of go-anywhere toughness and handsome, distinctive lines. Today’s car is a massive progression from its earliest forebear - especially in the field of luxury - but retains that awesome off-road ability, and that unique and winning mix of style and substance. I can testify to the Range Rover’s ability to tackle challenging terrain after driving one on a demanding off-road course in the Worcestershire countryside. With an expert driver by my side to provide some knowhow, the car tackled mud, rocks and deep water with ease, while conveying its occupants in cossetted fashion. Admiration? Yes, with a capital A.

There was no opportunity to try out our test car, a Vogue SE with 4.4-litre V8 diesel engine, in such conditions, but, then again, there was no need. After all, I had already had a generous introduction to the Range Rover’s powers over the rough stuff. So I soaked up a week of luxurious Tarmac travel, revelling in the big


Range Rover Vogue SE 4.4L SD V8 REVIEW By Frank Turner

car’s smooth swathe of power, delivered in silky fashion by the eight-speed automatic gearbox, while enjoying the elevated driving position and the overall feeling of effortless, masterful capability. I liked the lines of the previous model, but the latest incarnation is more handsome still, with a clean and elegant shape which is derived

from a fresh, new interpretation of the marque’s design cues. There’s a smoother, more streamline profile, and the manufacturer says it is the most aerodynamic Range Rover. Inside you are treated to tasteful luxury, meticulous attention to detail and first class comfort... I felt like quitting the house and moving in. Finest, supple, hand-finished leather sits alongside high quality real >

En Vog wood veneers in a well-judged marriage of beautiful textures. And there’s push-button everything, from seat adjustment (front and rear) to powered split-tailgate. There are also some glorious touches which bring a smile of appreciation. The interior ambient mood lighting, and puddle lighting that casts the words ‘Range Rover’ in its beam are just two that spring to mind.

My test car had some great optional features - rear seat entertainment system with touch-screen remote control, sliding panoramic roof and 1700-watt audio system among them - but the Vogue SE specification gives new meaning to the word extensive. Features included dual view functionality for the dashboard’s central eight-inch touch screen (the front seat passenger can watch TV on the move - and listen via wireless headphones - but the driver is unable to view (how do they achieve that?), heated seats both front and back with climate and memory features for the front, rainsensing widescreen wipers, rear view and surround cameras and front and rear park distance sensors with visual display, heated windscreen, xenon headlamps with LED signature


Range Rover Vogue SE 4.4L SD V8

lighting, automatic levelling and power wash, large armrest box with cooling feature, keyless entry and start system, soft door close, and much, much more. But the Range Rover is not just a handsome face and rugged abilities. It’s also a technical tour de force, as the world’s first SUV (sports utility vehicle) with a lightweight all-aluminium body contributing to a 420kg weight-saving over the previous model. And there’s a ground-breaking next-generation version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response System, which analyses the current driving conditions and automatically selects the most suitable vehicle settings, among lots more advanced technology. Yes, being dubbed a motoring icon is fully deserved ... this is a car that achieves so much in so many ways.


Make/model: Range Rover Vogue SE 4.4L SD V8. Fuel: 32.5mpg (combined) Performance: 0-60mph, 6.5 seconds Top speed: 135mph Emissions: 229g/km Price: £84,720 inc VAT OTR (exc options)

TOGETHERNESS. It’s a comfortable feeling, especially being surrounded by loved ones - family or close friends. So let’s hear it for the latest Kia Carens, a car which, with it’s ultra-flexible seven-seat configuration, is surely conducive to the T word. And you can enjoy that togetherness in rather stylish fashion. Review by Frank Turner

The all-new, third generation MPV has bags of room and practicality, plus a generous helping of good looks. As I found on a week-long road test for Flush Magazine, it’s a versatile and handsome package that works so well on so many levels. The five-door car’s lines are dynamic and distinctive, and there are premium touches which include chrome exterior door handles, LED indicators and kerb lights. Inside you will find abundant head, leg and shoulder room in all three rows of seats (Carens models are seven-seaters throughout the range). There are three individual sliding and reclining centre row seats and two separate seats in the rear, all of which fold flat for a great variety of passenger/load-carrying

configurations. The front passenger seat also folds flat to allow very long loads to be carried. The cabin is a pleasant place to be, with classy materials and sophisticated detailing, soft touch surfaces, black high-gloss panels and chrome accents. There’s intelligent storage space aplenty, including a cooled glovebox, centre console box, second-row under-floor storage, front and rear door storage large enough to hold drinks bottles, and front seat-back pockets. Those seat backs also have fold-up tables with cup-holders, and there are cupholders in the second and third rows. The centre seat of the middle row folds to form a table. Kia models are always wellequipped, and our car, a Carens ‘2’ 1.7CRDi, boasted loads of features, including privacy glass for rear windows and tailgate, LED daytime running lights, projection headlights with levelling device, cornering function, welcome and follow-me-home feature, rain-sensing front wipers, electrically adjustable and heated body-coloured door mirrors, leather and chrome trimmed gearshift, leather trimmed steering wheel with function controls, cruise control and speed limiter, six-speaker audio system with RDS radio/CD, MP3 disc compatibility and USB and AUX ports, Bluetooth with voice >

music games cars life art culture food gadgets travel

recognition and music streaming, dual automatic air conditioning with ioniser, automatic defogger system (very rapid as I found on autumn mornings!), all-round electric windows and reversing sensors. There’s also great attention to detail, with small features that make a difference to everyday motoring life, including ignition keyhole illumination, two 12-volt power sockets, a conversation mirror, plus a luggage net and hooks for the load area. Safety features include plenty of clever technology. For example, there is hill-start assist control, which prevents the car rolling backwards during uphill starts by maintaining brake pressure until the driver touches the accelerator, while the high-level brake lamp at the rear has an emergency stop signal which causes the light to flash during sudden braking to warn following drivers. My week with the Carens saw a good variety of driving conditions, from twisting country roads and motorway sections to busy town traffic, and the car took them all in its stride. The willing diesel engine is well mated to the easy-changing

six-speed manual gearbox (there’s a six-speed automatic transmission too), while ride and handling feel comfortable and assured. To cut emissions and fuel consumption, there is an intelligent stop-go system. The Carens is a well-thought-out MPV with bags of usable features and it’s a rewarding drive, all topped with a prodigious helping of style.

Tech spec Make/model: Kia Carens ‘2’ 1.7 CRDi Technical: 1685cc, 16-valve, four-cylinder diesel engine, with six-speed manual gearbox. Performance: 0-60mph, 12.6 seconds; top speed, 112mph Fuel: 60.1mpg (combined) Emissions: 124g/km Price: £20,595 OTR

Take it to the


Ford B-MAX 1.6 Review by Rob McSorley

Even if you think you know nothing about Ford’s baby-B-MAX you’ve probably seen the TV Ad where the guy dives through from a great height through a car and into a swimming pool below? Well that is the B-MAX.

It isn’t actually the first time a manufacturer has got rid of the usual central B-pillar. Back in 1983 Nissan had a bash with the Prairie and more recently Mazda with the RX-8. But it’s never been done on a car this small before, and crucially a car that has to meet such strict crash safety regulations. After all, who would put their kids into the back of a car that will collapse when impacted side-on? Not me.

If you strip away all the fancy marketing spiel, the B-MAX is basically a taller, slightly longer Fiesta. But not by much. It’s only 13cm longer and 12cm taller and is still a good 30 cm shorter than the bigger Focusbased C-MAX. It also shares the same platform – including wheelbase – and engines with the Fiesta. You would think it would be a hideous looking creation but actually they’ve done a pretty good job. If you imagine an S-MAX that shrunk in the wash you wouldn’t be far off. All the familiar Ford styling cues are there; angular lights, prominent

Take it to the

B-Max Ford B-MAX 1.6

arches, a rising waistline and attractive 17 inch alloy wheels on the car I had. Panther Black paintwork is also highly recommended. Inside is again heavily Fiesta influenced, with a stylish, modern looking layout with sporty dials and plenty of gloss black and chrome effect trim. The material quality is generally OK but nothing more, with lots of hard plastics dotted around. The Sony stereo is the only annoyance with its plethora of buttons scattered everywhere but once you familiarise yourself with the controls it gets easier. Usefully you sit a little higher than you would in a Fiesta which means you get a better view of outside.. Considering the cars compact dimensions space is good, two stocky 6-footers will be perfectly happy in the back behind front passengers of the same size although there isn’t really room for a third across the bench. The boot is also a useful size and shape offering 318 litres – 42 litres up from the Fiesta and an adjustable boot floor makes for a flat load bay with the back seats folded. The passenger seat can also be folded enabling impulse buys of up to 2.34 meters in length to be transport back from your nearest IKEA. Getting in and out of the rear is simple, both rear doors slide right back out of the way and the front doors open wide giving unrivaled room to manoeuver thanks to that missing B-pillar. The seatbelts are also relocated to the outer edge of the front seats so won’t

get in your way. Those sliding doors are a boon in tight parking spaces. Usually you would never had thought that B-pillars really get in the way but once you try a car without them you wonder why all manufacturers aren’t at it. It isn’t without its drawbacks though. Ford had to build the strength provided by a traditional pillar into the leading edges of the front and rear doors. Ultra-high-strength Boron steel and complicated double latches have also been fitted so that the B-MAX could scoop the same 5 star EURO NCAP crash rating as its rivals which includes side impact collisions. It results in front doors that are pretty heavy and when shut the pillar they create is quite wide which limits over-shoulder visibility. The car I sampled came fitted with a 1.6-litre diesel unit co-developed with PSA Peugeot Citroen. It churns out a modest 94 bhp and 215 Nm of torque through a 5-speed manual gearbox. When fitted to the B-MAX it can be a little clattery at times but feels much more sprightly than its 13.9 second sprint to 60 mph would suggest. Power delivery is smooth enough but you do find yourself stirring the gearbox frequently to keep it on the boil – you won’t mind though as the 5-speeder has a crisp action making it a joy to use. With underpinnings lifted straight from the Fiesta the B-MAX handles much

£18,895 is quite a hefty sum to fork out for a car of this type but it’s worth noting that the model you see here is an all-singing-all-dancing Titanium edition. Oddly it isn’t very well equipped. Standard features include cruise control, 16 inch alloy wheels, Sony DAB radio/CD with Ford SYNC, heated front windscreen and automatic lights and wipers.

better than it needs to. Admittedly there is a touch more bodyroll but most probably won’t notice. The chassis is beautifully balanced and agile making it easy to tackle corners with real verve. The steering too is as near to perfect as you will find weighting up nicely with crystal clear communication as to what the front wheels are doing. Grip levels are also high thanks in part to Ford’s Torque Vectoring Control making the whole driving experience a real hoot. The ride is firm ,but soaks up bumps and potholes calmly even on the optional 17 inch wheels of the example I tested. For such a small car refinement is also first class with unwanted noises being outside right up to motorway speeds at which point the diesel unit also tended to settle down.

Tech spec

Price as tested: £21,540 (£18,895 ex options) Engine: 1.6 8v 94 bhp – 0-62 mph: 13.9 secs Maximum Speed: 108 mph Economy: 60.1 mpg (urban) 78.5 mpg (extra-urban), 70.6 mpg (combined) Emissions: 104 g/km (Band B) – VED (12 months): £0 Dimensions: Length: 4077 mm – Width: 1751 mm – Height: 1604 mm – Wheelbase: 2489 mm *data from Ford UK For more info visit

My test car had upgraded 17 inch alloy wheels, part leather and heated seats, front and rear parking sensors with rearview camera, a panoramic roof, and metallic paint which adds up to an additional £2,445. Ford also charge £200 for Active City Stop which automatically brakes the car if an obstacle is detected at lower urban speeds. Running a 1.6-litre TDCi B-MAX is unlikely to break the bank as it’s good for 78.5 mile per gallon combined and is free to tax but not exempt from Congestion Charges. It is worth noting that Ford’s excellent 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine is also available in the B-MAX.


Ford’s hard work engineering the B-pillar into the doors has paid off. In conjunction with sliding rear doors, access to the rear is nothing short of brilliant especially when fitting car seats (of which I do frequently). The doors are a little heavy and create a noticeable blind spot but this fails to detract from their ingeniousness. Beyond this the B-MAX is smartly designed inside and out, great fun to drive, comfortable, refined and cheap to run when fitted with Ford’s 1.6-litre diesel engine. It’s only let down by a little diesel clatter a lower speeds, some fussy ergonomics and a lack of standard equipment. Still the B-MAX is the most convincing microMPV out there especially if you enjoy driving.

reel to real

Want to make a Christmas Number one?

Ian Hughes/Epredator/ Feeding Edge Ltd

Make some noise

When I was 8 years old we had a (now rare) piece of technology at home called a reel-to-reel tape player. For those of you who have never seen such an archaic piece of equipment it contained two large open spools and a small magnetic tape wound around the spools. A motor unwinds one spool to the other whilst passing it over a magnetic head. That picks up the minor magnetic differences on the tape, passes it to an amplifier and sounds come out. Simple. I was fascinated by it, and in particular by its mechanical interface. Gears and motors were controlled by push and pulling levers


reel to real that gave a very satisfying clunk when pushed into position. Very different to the smooth touch interfaces we have today. It allowed you to play back shop bought tapes, but you could record things onto tape too. It gave me the opportunity to make some interesting electronic noises at a very early age. My friend Jamie and I decided to record an improvised Sci-Fi play, inspired having watched Star Trek. We would record the dialogue onto the tape, passing a microphone between us and have regular clunky pauses (as it takes a fraction of a second to reach the gear lever and for the motors to stop). We soon found the neutral selection which then meant you could manually rewind a a few centimetres of tape to cut out the mistakes or end of conversation delay, mistakes etc. We didn’t realise it but we were actually doing live inline editing. Then we hit upon the idea of making a pinging laser noise by making a sound into the microphone and manually spooling the tape past the recording head by hand whilst making a noise into the microphone. Generally this made an awful noise as we made the mistake of trying to spool slowly to capture the sound, which meant when we played the quick laser zap noise. it turned out to be using way more tape and became a slow droning electrocution sound instead. Still we had our live editing technique to have another go and author the right sound. Above all it was great fun. We lacked the ability to make proper music so we just sung weird sounds as a “modern” theme tune too.

All that scratching is making me itch We had ‘records’ too of course, vinyl platters that spin under a small needle that picks up the variations in the pattern imprinted on it and made pleasing noises (or otherwise for parents in the age of Punk in 1977). I remember hearing about a new fangled way to make music using existing records on a BBC news report. A very posh accented news reader tried to communicate how people in America where using a new technique to create new sounds using existing vinyl called “scratching”. Strangely they didn’t play any, or if they did it did not sink in at the time. My

brain jumped to a completely wrong conclusion about what this was. My assumption was totally based on how I was using the reel to reel to make sounds. It was possible with the tape to wipe areas, to record over new layers, to mix sounds live and end up with finished result. I somehow thought scratching

meant a read/write vinyl surface. So you pushed down on the record and changed it live and left it physically changed just like my tapes. Oh, how I was wrong. The vinyl and its mechanics, the physical nature of the medium meant it could become a live performance instrument. Far more exciting than just being able edit in the studio. It has also become a cornerstone of popular culture. Once I found out (that didn’t take long once I thought about it) I also realised I should not make assumptions on new technology and trends based solely on how I think it should work. Next along the line for me was being able to use cassette tapes and a record player in the very popular tower systems we had in the 80’s. I never managed to get the 2 decks that has become the DJ’s main instrument but I did get to play around with scratching and cutting a little bit. Taking a vinyl record and using the pause and record on the tape deck to change what we had been given by an artist and have some fun with it. Not having the internet though these were very insular experiences with just tolerant close friends getting to hear it. My favourite creation was based on Roland Rat, Rat Rapping. I was aiming for a Paul Hardcastle “19” effect, I was close (in my mind anyway). Whilst my obviously “wonderful” remix is long lost the original Rat Rapping can be found online. Go take a look, and remember rap was still new to everyone and kids TV is there to mess around with popular culture too. That was the 80’s folks! If only I had Soundcloud then to save that tape for posterity.


reel to real Now! That’s what I nearly call music Synthesizers were all the rage in the 80’s too. Suddenly electronic generated music and instruments became very affordable. Having things like a keyboard that could simply record a sound and play it back at different pitches was really exciting. Also home computers opened up a whole new way to make sounds. Editing software was very basic but you could, if you were a programmer (which I

am/was) write a specific program to play a tune. I did a version of Elvis’ Wooden Heart complete with words and graphics on the C64. (Not very Punk but I had the sheet music for some reason and I was a Rockabilly) One particular application that stuck in my mind that I really enjoyed was not so much an edit suite but a live performance tool on the Amiga (Commodore’s computer that came after the Vic 20 and Commodore 64 in the late 1980’s). It was called Instant Music. You can see the title is attractive to a would-be, but not quite musician with an interest in computers. The program (I nearly said App!) played tunes in a sequencer style. Notes were dots on a grid that passed by various instruments. The clever piece was that you used the mouse as an instrument. Moving the mouse up and down played higher and lower notes. This was a very analogue feel in a digital age, taking me back to my reel-to-reel experiences. The very cool bit though was you could get it to only play the notes that were in tune with the music and the key that it was being played in. Certain notes fit with certain tunes. Even without much musical interest most people

will hear or feel discord in music. It was a very rewarding experience, and felt very live. It allowed musical expression in a genre straight away. It was instant, but of course it makes you appreciate those real musicians that can just do things, chose the right notes themselves. Nothing replaces that.

my iPhone. There are lots of similar apps but this one attracted my attention. It lets you take any tunes from your library and load them up. Having loaded one you can pick a second tune, but it will process the tune and work out the speed or beat of the song. It then lets you play one song and fade and mix into the other blending the two but they sound the same pitch and speed. It is very subtlety making these changes. You get to isolate parts of a tune and keep them looping letting the other track advance. There are a stack of other things you can do but this took me back to the creativity of the reel to reel. It is a live inline editing. Of course now having recorded something you can share it with the world. So my mash op’s Bang Bang and Robbie Williams and Dizzie Rascal I Believe called “Bang, I Believe in Mash” made it onto Soundcloud.

Mix it up, Edit it Down

Zip forward to present day. We have some utterly amazing pieces of technology to help us enjoy music and musical creation. I am by no means a musician, it is something that I still aspire to. Some of the things that are available now are a joy to tinker with though. It is probably as far as I will get, but who knows there may be a way to write a christmas number one or get in the charts after all. I recently installed Tracktor DJ “Touch the Groove” on


reel to real Perfect Isolation

When it comes to editing performed music there is another amazing application, that I have only really tinkered with the demo of. It is called Melodyne made by Celemony. One of the key things this can do is some very clever mathematics and software engineering. It is able to look into a complex piece of already recorded music, with multiple instruments and sounds and isolate individual parts and notes. You can literally reach into a tune and move a single note. Most editing software is about the original source, each track is recorded separately, it may have even been recorded digitally. That makes it easy to adjust and remix. However an already recorded and mixed piece of music is like mixing multiple colours of plasticine together. You never get back to the pure colours you

started with. Melodyne does the musical equivalent of reaching into the streaky coloured mess and let you adjust and edit it. Reflecting back on my reel to reel editing this sort thing would have been an fantastic addition to play with. Once a couple of sounds are mixed on tape thats it. No going back! You can only add or completely wipe it and start again.

Now Rock it out!

Finally though, the pinnacle of software and music for me is the latest edition of Rocksmith. It is called Rocksmith 2014, it’s Rockband and Guitar Hero taken one step further. Plug your real electric guitar via USB into the console or the laptop and the real version of real tunes present their notes to you scrolling past. You play the right notes and it detects you are getting good and adds more notes, levelling you up. It is a fantastic, fluid and dynamic learning experience for specific tunes. The real star for me though is what is called Session Mode. I cannot understate how brilliantly cool this is. (Ubisoft are not paying me to say that either!). In Session

Mode you pick from a wide variety of instruments and styles it then shows you your scale on screen. i.e. the notes that work and will sound in tune quite like Instant Music did back in the 80’s. The band are completely silent to start off with. You then place you fingers on strings, push down on the frets and strike the strings. As you do the band start to join in. This is not just a static backing track triggered by you starting to play. Each instrument and player in the band responds to how you play. Loud and fast, they join in loud and fast, slow and quiet likewise. They also throw in their own little improvisations. For the would-be musician in me this pretty much passes a melodic version of the Turing test. If a conversation with a computer cannot be told apart from a conversation with a human then an artificial intelligence has been created. This feels like a real band. Here the music is of course domain specific, there are parameters. There are going to be ways to break it and confuse it. However for me it is almost witchcraft. It removes my tech brain in favour of a blues/rock/ indie/jazz guitar player brain. It lets me experiment with music, get completely immersed, to play a real live instrument. I have learned an awful lot in a very short

time about what works, what goes, what doesn’t. Names of scales and musicology that would never normally come across. I have gone from ‘Reel’ to ‘Real’. So now can I go and create a christmas number one? Probably have to wait until next year for that!

More Info: RockSmith Celemony/Melodyne: Tracktor: and… Rat Rapping - Roland Rat: Ian Hughes is on twitter @epredator The future can be found on his website

All We Need Is (to show) Love The Fifth Beatle - a graphic novel Review by Steve Clarke

The concept of a muse in the creative arts of any medium, is a powerful entity. Where a tangible beauty can be woven from etherial threads of multitudinous and diverse inspiration. Sometimes the muse may be a singular being, a collective of figures, or even a body of work. And every so often, possibly birthed in a Norwegian Wood, all of the above. Broadway Theatre producer Vivek J. Tiwary’s most recent/perpetual muse comes in the life, love and music of The Beatles, that little known band from Liverpool, whom musical seedlings of humble origin, were lovingly/ intuitively nurtured by their manger Brian Epstein, and from such sustenance, blossomed into the redefinition of modern music. Tiawry’s love has manifested in the

Sometimes the muse may be a singular being, a collective of figures, or even a body of work. And every so often, possibly birthed in a Norwegian Wood, all of the above.

form of a graphic novel, written by himself and focusing on Epstein’s life and belief in the fab four. Having spent years peering behind the curtains of shows around the world, Tiwary clearly relates to the magic that the audience sees/ experiences, whilst actually being aware of all the mechanisms spinning around behind the scenes to make mirrors shine, and the smoke flow. Another aspect of this knowledge is that success is built not only with creative ability, but determination, respect, belief and love. All these qualities came in the form of Epstein, for many, including Paul McCartney, considered him to be the Fifth Beatle. In as much as inspiration can come from wonderful places, it’s the human condition that we are potentially equally affected (if not dominated) by our fears, apparent failings and insecurities. As a gay man living in a world where he was demeaned a criminal for whom he loved/wanted to love, Epstein evidently had a huge amount of love to give, but which was cruelly

suppressed by a very grey time period. The colour of the rainbow flag still had many dark clouds to break through. Escaping into a world of creative beauty, development and exploration in the form of The Beatles, but mentally scaffolded with a heady mixture of ever increasing amounts of prescription drugs (to treat his apparent ‘condition’), the historical odds were unfortunately stacked against Brian, with the audible creak of his mental support from early on. But before that collapse, he had to change the world. It is a great thing to acknowledge our inspirations, but it is something entirely wonderful to turn that into another work of beauty as in the case of this graphic novel. Clearly a labour of much love, beautifully illustrated by Andrew C. Robinson and Kyle Baker,

the images and words flow like a river of song throughout the whole book, just like the Mersey bringing life to Liverpool and the world beyond. Though there are also some darker serious themes behind the beauty, we are thankfully living in a far more tolerant time than that era, though there is still some way to go yet. Despite those myopic times, the words and images are not there to cast judgement, but overflow with love and understanding and vision, a world that Brian surely wanted to be in, and that’s why he gave us The Beatles. The Fifth Beatle, The Brian Epstein Story is published by M Press, a division of Dark Horse Comics. For more info visit @fifthbeatle on Twitter


Batman: Arkham Origins by Luke Lavelle

I loved the previous two brilliantly executed Batman releases, Batman Arkham Asylum and Batman Arkham City, but when I heard Warner’s had replaced developers, Rocksteady with their own in-house studio in Montreal I had some worrying reservations. The new game is a prequel, set back in time before Arkham Asylum with a younger Bruce Wayne donning the batsuit to bring justice and peace to Gotham’s Streets. By using his tricks and extensive

combat moves, ‘Bats’ tracks down Gotham’s most prolific villains; from Black Mask to The Penguin, Bane, not forgetting the Joker, plus some lesser known villains getting a mention or appearance through various spots in the campaign. Bad guys do bad things and Batman (you, yes you “are” BATMAN) glides in to kick butt, solve mysteries and save Gotham from it’s never ending perilous state. The amazing Combo System from the previous Arkham City still remains, with colossal

combinations and deadly special combos in close combat, right through to the dramatic predatory moves available whilst you prey from the shadows. Gadgets make a return too with firm favourites, Batarangs and Batclaws back on the scene. Riddler Trophies are now known as Enigma Datapacks, strewn across the city for Bats to retrieve and gaining achievement in the process. The Batcave and Batwing are new, complete with an interact-able butler Alfred. The Batcave offers a place to rest and train, with maps and numerous tasks available to perfect your free-flow combo skills & silent take-downs. If you take a ride in the Batwing, you can fast travel to certain drop points in the divided sections of the city. Unfortunately expect there to be a hell heap of lag (even if you’ve installed the game), a flaw that detracts somewhat

from the cinematic pleasure of the experience. Overall, Game Montreal have done a reasonable job of replicating Rocksteady’s good work, with the city still very much the same as before/in the future (it’s confusing, I know) and there are some great plot twists that I won’t spoil for you here. Disappointingly though, instead of creating or innovating they’ve played it safe, and Arkham Origins is a slight carbon-copy of past releases only with repetitive side missions and a less gripping storyline. As a result, for all it’s good points Arkham Origins is an opportunity missed to further enhance this glorious franchise. Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, PC. Developed: Warner Bros. Game Montreal Published: Warner Bros. Games For more info visit



Headroom Sibling Rivalry Expectations for the HTC One Max were high even before it landed on my doormat, mainly due to the success of it’s little Brother, the HTC One. The ‘Max’ however, with its 5.9 inch screen and front facing stereo speakers, is a different kettle of fish and certainly not one for the faint hearted. My first impressions are good, the brushed aluminium exterior is well crafted, the back of the device is curved (like it’s little brother), and there is also a slot for expanding the memory (via SD Card). However, the only physical buttons (power and volume) are almost flush with the side of the phone so finding the right one can initially be a bit tricky. There is a couple of touch-style buttons too. I didn’t think you needed these anymore but HTC still seems to like them. One for ‘back’ and the other is the ‘home ‘button. First switch on (Dat bootsound!) It’s LOUD! Despite the volume it’s very crisp and clear. One thing that did strike my curiosity was a little black square on the back under the camera lens, but more on this later...

Jellybean The ‘Max’ is running Android 4.3 with HTC’s sense bits and adaptations on top. Stock Android is already good, but HTC go to great efforts to integrate social networks and their own backup and security type stuff into their phones. They can’t resist tweaking some things, e.g. the ‘Dialer’, ‘Email’ and ‘Contacts’ to fit with their own style and some of the changes are welcomed. Take the keyboard for example, the predictive text is great and all the buttons show

Reviewed by Phil Mottershead

email, SMS and social networks. These update during the day and are good for when you want to just gaze at your phone for a bit. It’s filled with the people you know and what’s going on with them, so it’s very handy. Despite using lots of resource intensive pictures and animations it doesn’t lag, although I’m still undecided if I would use it very much long term as my main home screen. One Vision I tested the lovely 1080p screen with an episode of Top Gear in HD. It is gorgeous (the screen, not Jeremy), bright and crisp, and if you’re going to have a full HD screen on a phone, the bigger the better for me. The speakers on the One series are probably the best sounding around at the moment, more bassy than you would expect, they also handle the high tones well. Be warned, when it ‘boots’ up, or if the alarm goes off, the noise will scare the life out of you, I promise.

their long press alternative so typing is very quick. On the other hand, others seem to be done just for the sake of it, maybe to keep the boffins busy between tea breaks. The first boot-up starts off the setup process. Once you are connected via Wi-Fi you’ll have the option of logging into a million-plus social networks and email boxes. This kicks the Max info life. The default home screen, BlinkFeed is made up of tiles from across your gallery,

So that little black square I mentioned earlier, it turns out this is a fingerprint scanner. I set it up for 3 different fingers, one to unlock, one to open the camera, and the other to start navigation. It does acknowledge the different fingers well enough and the technology is great, but actually getting it to recognise me the first time was a bit tricky. It could probably do with being in a better position too. Say Cheese Shooting in HDR mode brought added depth to my photos and the phone has all the filters and effects you’d expect from a high-end device like this. I took a couple of low light pictures (when most people take


was excellent and lasted longer than any phone I’ve tried. I was able to do a day’s work and come home with my battery still at 50%. And I consider myself to be a heavy user. Size is everything So in summary, the One Max is fairly well designed, has great battery life and good premium software. Probably the main issue for some people will be the same thing that others love about it - the shear size. A big screen is perfect for video / web browsing / productivity, coupled with the front facing speakers - the trouble is it’s heavy and won’t fit into all pockets. If you can cope with using both hands the HTC One Max gets pretty much full marks everywhere else and is definitely ‘One’ worth checking out. pics) and these came out very well, although it’s still not quite in the same league as a decent digital camera. There is also ‘Zoe’ mode. This can help you make videos of some of your snaps. Another cool feature on its little brother, and here again is the Infra-red Transmitter. With the help of the TV app you can control many of the devices you have at home. TV, Sky, DVD players, home theatre. The list goes on. Useful, if like me you can never find the remote. I’m also glad to report that although it’s non-removable, the battery life

Tech Specs - HTC One Max Screen: 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.9 inches BoomSound dual front stereo speakers microSD, up to 64 GB Internal Memory: 16/32 GB, 2 GB RAM 4 MP Camera For full specs visit www/smartphones/htc-one-max


Finger Flickin’ Good Razer Deathstalker - gaming keyboard For those who ‘game’, (which I’ll assume is most of the people reading an article about a gaming keyboard), Razer are one of the big fish out there. The Deathstalker is actually the first Razer product to meet my fingertips, and I must say I’m rather impressed. It feels more like a laptop or Mac keyboard, which Razer claim means less distance to travel per keystroke and therefore more efficient killing power whilst gaming. Elitists might argue that a mechanical keyboard is better for gaming, however,the chiclet keycaps on the Deathstalker are very effective. So, other than the fancy lights, and a couple of odd-looking symbols above some keys, some of you might be asking; “So, what makes this a GAMING keyboard?” Well my friends, it’s down to the software. The Deathstalker is designed to run using Razer’s Synapse 2.0 software allowing you to re-program the entire keyboard to any arrangement you please. This means no more awkward stretching to reach that ONE key

you always seem to need midbattle, and no more fiddly commands in games that have a set control system. You can play things how YOU want to, but be warned, it does take some time to set up. Other brands I’ve used in the past have often had a list of pre-defined set-ups for popular games, which Synapse 2.0 seems to be lacking. Potentially this could make things fiddly for those with a little less know-how. As well as being able to program the keys, you can program macros,

Reviewed by Dave Whitehead

Tech specs: l l l

l l

Green LED Backlit keys 1000Hz Ultrapolling F ully programmable keys with on the fly macro recording Razer Synapse 2.0 enabled Dedicated Gaming mode



 nti-ghosting capability for up to A 10 simultaneous key presses Fixed wrist rest

System Requirements: l l

PC with USB port Windows / Mac OS X

Deathstalker, of course, delivers here. Once activated, “gaming mode” deactivates several keys on the keyboard. Most importantly, the windows key. Ever been mid-fight and accidentally hit it? It’s a life or death mistake, which you can now avoid, thanks to a simple disable. You can also choose whether Alt+Tab and Alt+F4 get disabled too (both potentially game-ruining key combinations if pressed mid-game.)

enabling a whole assortment of keystrokes assigned to a single button. Very handy if you’re always pressing the same combinations of keys. Macros can also be recorded “on the fly”, which is a nice touch. Another MUST-HAVE feature is a “gaming mode” button, the

The Deathstalker is Razer’s MID RANGE offering and is sturdy, comfortable and adaptable. True, if you’re prepared to spend more there are better on the market, but at £69.99 (or 0.000000001p per punch) it is excellent value for money. Razer Deathstalker expert keyboard - mid-range gaming keyboard - RRP £69.99 For more info visit



reasons to buy an Xbox One this Christmas

Hooray! The Xbox One is here and just in time for the last post to Santa Claus. If you’re still looking for a good reason to put one on your Christmas list, ACE gamer Luke Lavelle has come up with five.



reasons to buy an Xbox One this Christmas


The Power of the Cloud

With games becoming more advanced, so the servers and technology behind them must adjust to meet ever increasing demands. The Cloud offers both developers and players the freedom of hosted gaming, better matchmaking and a broader more equal playing field than ever before.


Apps- olutely Fabulous

The Xbox One features a vast amount of apps coupled with a built-in Bluray player, Sky ’s live TV and the use of Snap! a new feature allowing gamers to game and sports, movie or music lovers to watch & listen to their favourites simultaneously with a simple voice command. If you’re stuck on certain parts of a game you can browse the web and get help too.



Bundled with a shiny new Kinect device, this revamped piece of hardware has much improved recognition sensors for greater accuracy, making it a powerful aid for gaming, entertainment, and if you jump around long enough, even weight loss.


One plus One

Smartglass is great on the 360, and with Xbox One you’ll have even more control. You don’t even need a Windows tablet or phone either, downloading one of the Apps will turn your Android mobile or iPad into a connected companion device, adding multi layers of additional interactivity and content.

and finally... The Games

The list of essential Xbox One games grows daily and with the extra processing power available, developers are really flexing their polygon muscles. If you’ve seen or played Forza 5, FIFA 14 or Battlefield 4 on the new console, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you’ve got kids ‘Zoo Tycoon’ (Frontier Developments) is something they will love and potential Call of Duty replacement, Titanfall coming in early 2014 is expected to be HUGE.


You can follow Luke on Twitter @luke_lavelle Look out for Xbox One game reviews in 2014 on our sister website, Flush the Fashion For more info on the Xbox one visit

My Favourite movie by Amelia Harvey

Four Weddings Love Is All Around

It’s hard for me to pick an absolute favourite film because it depends on the sort of mood I’m in. Sometimes I want a musical like Moulin Rouge, sometimes I want to laugh with Animal House or sometimes I want to lament the world with Fight Club. However, one film I can always enjoy is Richard Curtis’ 1994 movie, ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’. Never has a movie made me laugh so much but at the same time broken my heart. Despite it’s low budget (made by the then, newly established Film4 offshoot of Channel 4) it became the most successful British film of all time and earned an Oscar nomination for

‘Best Picture’. It’s the film where Hugh Grant first honed his charming, bashful, English stereotype. A character he’s since used to great effect in many other movies. In contrast, Kristin Scott Thomas chainsmokes in the corner wearing black like a British Marla Singer, her wonderfully bitter singleton represents what many of us feel at the sight of a happily in love couple. The supporting cast of the quirky Scarlett (played by Charlotte Coleman, whose career was tragically cut short in 2001) and the main source of comedy, Tom (played by James Fleet, practicing for his role as village idiot Hugo in The Vicar of Dibley) more

The comedy may be lightweight, but I dare anyone to not laugh at Rowan Atkinsons priest making a nice mess of the vows at wedding number two. The real humour and skill comes from the audience recognising the people and the situations. The tragedy is also pronounced. John Hannahs reading of WH Audens, Stop All Clocks‚ at ‘the funeral’ is iconic, there is no wailing or

and a Funeral than hold their own. The show is stolen by John Hannah as Matthew and the brilliantly over-the-top Simon Callow as Gareth, the unspoken often unnoticed love between the two males is underplayed in way us Brits seem to do best. Directed by Mike Newell (who went on to direct Donnie Brasco and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) there is more realism in this film than any of Curtis’ later British Rom-Com’s. Few people have had two men fight in a fountain over them, nor have they fallen in love with a movie star in real life, but many have felt the impending doom of being single while everyone around us gets married or pairs off.

people throwing themselves at coffins, only the realism of quiet sobs and a subtle joke at the back of the room. For me, the main storyline romance between Hugh Grants bumbling Charles and Andie McDowells, mysterious American Carrie is the least important plot point. Hugh Grant is almost the bad guy in some ways, his fumbling Englishman is laughed at by the characters in the same way the audience do. Four Weddings is a film about friendships, leaning from your mistakes and growing up. Beautifully written, skilfully executed and something we all can relate to. Just don’t get me started on that Wet Wet Wet song.

WIN one of three Smooth Gorilla starter kits What do you get the man who has everything? Trimming or removing body hair is becoming increasingly popular for guys who want to look their best with their shirts on and off. Back hair presents a real problem for the hairier amongst us who, until now, have only been able to remove it with an embarrassing visit to a salon for an expensive and often painful waxing session. Now however, thanks to Smooth Gorilla, they have the option of removing back hair in the privacy of their own bathroom in a quick, effective and pain free way. Smooth Gorilla’s new application system enables a specially formulated hair removal cream to be easily applied, meaning men can be back hair free in under fifteen minutes.

HOW TO ENTER We’ve got back hair removal starter kits and an additional box of back hair removal sachets to give away to 3 lucky readers. To enter our competition just visit www.flushthefashion. com/win/smooth-goriilla Alternatively to enter you can also email your name and address to smooth at flushthefashion dot com Usual Terms and Conditions apply (see FTF for full details). Editors decision is final. Closing date, 20th Jan 2014

Plus!! During Dec & Jan all Flush Magazine readers can receive 10% off all orders using the promotional code FLUSH10 For more info visit


an Olloclip® 4-IN-1 Lens for iPhone and iPod touch

Four creative options in less than an ounce.

We all take photographs with our mobile phones, and often the results can be a bit disappointing. Olloclip® have just unveiled a new 4-IN-1 quick connect lens suitable for the iPhone and iPod touch. The device attaches easily to your phone and is a brilliant tool to help take better photos and be creative in the process. The Olloclip® 4-IN-1 offers the following additions to your shooting capabilities: Fisheye lens – captures approximately a 180° field-of-view. Wide-angle lens – nearly doubles the iPhone’s normal field of view. 10x macro lens – 10X magnification with a 18mm focus distance. The 15x macro lens – 15X magnification, with a 12mm focus distance. With olloclip®, your mobile phone becomes a window to the world, and mobile photography/videography enters a whole new realm of possibility.

The Olloclip® is compatible with all iPhones (4 onwards) and we have one up for grabs. To enter our competition just visit Alternatively you can email your name and address to (tell us what kind of iPhone you have). Usual Terms and Conditions Apply (see FTF for full details). Editors decision is final.

Closing date 20th Jan 2014. Good Luck!

CONTACT Editor: Pete Graham Art Director: Dawn Li For advertising enquiries, call 01603 387120 or email:

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Flush Magazine Issue #11  

Interviews, art, new music, fashion, game reviews, cars, competitions, food, travel and more.

Flush Magazine Issue #11  

Interviews, art, new music, fashion, game reviews, cars, competitions, food, travel and more.