Jo Peel: Painting The Town Blue Simon Woodroffe on Yo! Home
Coastal Cities, Vintage Norwich Josephine and & Brighton Justin Young from Belles the Vaccines
One of three Endomondo Workout Jackets & a Gemini JoyTAB
Ian Hughes: The Future of Fitness & Ouya
Life is a stage Yo! Home
06 The Hotlist 08 Life is a stage Yo! Home
14 Jo Peel
Fashion The Darkside
20 Brighton Rocks 22 The Darkside 28 Vintage Class 31 100% Design Justin Young
44 Justin Young 48 Coastal Cities 50 Ones to Watch
Song Saa 66 Island
52 Josephine 56 Giuseppe Mascoli 58 Grilled Punmpkin Soup with Rosemary
101 Endomondo 31 100% Design
Workout Jackets Competition
102 JoyTAB Android Tablet
72 Jaguar F-Type
Cover Jo Peel
BAGS THAT REALLY WORK Dedicated pockets and compartments for your iPad or laptop, phone, pens & keys. A unique ID number to help reunite you with your bag if lost. Durable fabrics/leathers that withstand daily life. Whatever your work/style needs, knomo has it covered, a bag that really works.
WELCOME I’ve always campaigned for a 40% Summer, 40% Autumn, 10% Winter and 10% Spring calendar in the UK, but despite my best efforts I’ve never been able to persuade Mother Nature to go along with the idea. It’s that time of year when the Suncream is packed away and once glorious BBQ’s are wheeled creakily back to dusty sheds. Garages stock up on Anti-Freeze and Xmas tinsel spreads into shop window displays like jolly poison ivy. I love Autumn. Because it’s so ﬂat where we live in Norfolk you also get the most amazing sunsets this time of year. They’re like something from an African Savannah and it’s easy to picture lions and gazelles darting alongside the A47 heading west towards Norwich. I’ve tried to capture them many times with a camera, not the wildlife, the sunsets. You’d need a really big net to capture a lion. Or for that matter, a really good camera. Thanks for stopping by,
60 Simply Fish 66 Paradise Sweethearts 72 Jaguar F-Type 76 VW CC 80 Chevrolet Spark 82 Postcard from Cologne 84 Rockband Blitz 87 Tritton Pro + Headset 88 D’Ouya wanna play? 92 Virtual Athletes 98 App of the month Endomondo 100 Competition Endomondo Workout Jackets 101 Competition JoyTAB Android Tablet 102 My Favourite Movie The Godfather
Pete Graham, EDITOR
CONTRIBUTORS Amanda Penlington Amelia Harvey Casey Bowers Chris Leddy Dave Whithead Hana Karlasen Hannah Duncan Ian ‘Epredator’ Hughes Jamie Reynolds Karen James-welton
Lois Foulger Luke Lavelle Natasha Coyler Henry McMunn Natasha Lunn Phil Blaney James Martin Samuel Law Steve Clarke Vanessa Sue Smith
FLUSH Magazine 2 Old Bank House Acle, Norwich Norfolk NR13 3DY T: 01493 753968 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE HOTLIST THE STUFF OF LIFE
Most crisps are fried or baked which makes them high in fat (which is bad). Pop Chips are ‘popped’ using only pressure and heat, giving them a unique texture and taste (which is very good). Huge in the US and now available over here, they don’t taste like a ‘diet version’ either (which is even better). www.popchips.co.uk
The Bogeyman Lets face it, kids can be pretty gross sometimes. I know, I used to be one. Designed to be situated next to the bed, Booger Monsters are a bit like those signs you see at bus stations - to dispose of your chewing gum, except these are for kids to dispose of their, ahem... bogies on. Available in a range of fun designs, there is a Booger Monster for everyone. www.boogermonsters.com
Curves in all the right places For the last 70 years the Mateus wine bottle has been an icon to millions of wine lovers everywhere (including Jimi Hendrix and Fidel Castro). To celebrate their anniversary, they’ve given it a brand new look. The Mateus range consists of the Rosé Original, a drier Shiraz Rosé and my personal favourite, the Sparkling Brut Rosé, crisp, light and delicious (and only £5.49).
One of three David Andersen designed Endomondo workout jackets.
Harry Potty For the Harry Potter fan in your life. The 31-Disc Collection contains 4 hours of Never-BeforeSeen Material, interviews, behind the scenes features, production sketches, a Horcrux locket prop replica, all the movies on Blu-Ray & DVD, a Hogwarts Map and a hard bound ‘Harry Potter Catalogue of Artefacts’. Over 37 hours of material in total. Sounds like a great way to spend the weekend.
The Pink Pound(s) Buy a pair of shoes with pink on them during October and Shoes of Prey will donate £15 to the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Charity. Now you have two good reasons to buy a pair. Make your own on their website www.shoesofprey.com
Flat Packed Space is always a premium when you are camping. This new collapsible kettle from Outwell is a brilliant space saving idea for your next adventure. It looks good too! Visit www.outwell.com
Win a JoyTAB 9.7 Rev2 Android tablet.
When it comes to innovation and thinking ‘outside of the box’, there can’t be many other people as innovative and mould-breaking as Simon Woodroffe. With Yo! Sushi he changed the way we eat, and with YOTEL he re-invented staying away from home. Now with YO! Home, Simon is bringing a touch of James Bond style theatrics to our living spaces. At ﬁrst glance his latest project could be just another one bedroom apartment, but with the ﬂick of a switch, the room transforms from a master bedroom suite into a sunken sitting room or cinema. Flick another and the walls move and your ofﬁce is now another bedroom. Press another and there is your kitchen and dining room, all encapsulated into the same space. Whether Yo! Home can solve housing shortages is another matter, but if you invited a date up for coffee, I am sure they would be suitably impressed (and closer to the bedroom). We caught up with Simon on his good old fashioned Chelsea houseboat.
Was there a single ‘lightbulb’ moment that inspired the YO! Home concept?
Soon after YO! Sushi opened and we had YO! to Go delivery and YO! Below the bar I started thinking what ﬁrst a hotel would be, and from that inkling came YOTEL. >
> I was lucky enough to get upgraded to ﬁrst class on British Airways and woke up thinking that this transforming bed could be YOTEL. I would say that seed spurned YO! Home too, to which I added the mechanics of stage scenery. It’s a world I knew ﬁrst from my early days as a stage manager in theatre and then designing stages for Rock Shows in the 70’s and 80’s. There are 12 mechanics in YO! Home, and as we built the ﬁrst prototype I had more ideas in my head, and each one had a lightbulb moment.
Will the homes be a lot more expensive to buy than a regular apartment?
The reason people like me get new things started is that we don’t have a committee
to account to. Search all the parks in all the world and you won’t ﬁnd a statue to a committee, so I haven’t even costed YO! Home yet, but what I do know is that when built on a scale the cost especially in large blocks, amortised and mass produced it will not be so signiﬁcant in perspective of land cost and building cost. Earlier and smaller developments will be more expensive as is the way for early adopters of a new concept and what I have always aimed The YO! Brands at what I call ‘providing for everyone what rich people have’. A bit like Limos and handbags... More than that, if the actual build costs are 5 or 10 or even 15% more than a conventional build that is more than compensated for by the useable space gained, the furniture provided and the fun to be had!
Could there be any safety issues for young children with things changing and walls moving in and out?
Well, like climbing frames and slides, these houses could be a lot of fun for young children. It’d be a good way to be a popular parent. Luckily modern safety systems are developed to deal with this sort of stuff. Mind you, I wouldn’t be leaving a six year old of mine home alone with a moving wall, but then neither would a family of the 1890’s have left their children alone with electricity!
Is the idea to build Yo! Homes into existing spaces or purpose built properties?
YO! Homes will initially be new build blocks of apartments or reﬁts. For example, late 70’s ofﬁce blocks which have the ceiling height (by then data ﬂoor were being put in). But in time I believe many of these techniques will be available as ‘furniture’ whether that be from the Conran shop or from Homebase!
Finally, What is your favourite dish on the Yo Sushi menu?
Firecracker rice and spicy tuna gunkan are two of my long term favourites, but truth be told I am a sushi lover through and through.
beautiful designs for life ���������������������������� www.jizaro.com
For more info on all of Simons projects visit http://yo.co.uk
What or who inspired you to start painting?
For me it was just a natural progression from drawing to painting and another way to visually communicate ideas. I am inspired by everyday occurrences and with paint my intention is to bring to life the things that could easily pass by un-noticed.
How did you make the transition from being a painter to people actually buying your art? It actually happened the other way around! I used to draw in sketchbooks, only after encouragement did I put some screen prints in a gallery to sell, I started painting to experiment with new media and was lucky enough to sell my ﬁrst canvas straight away.
Where does your interest in Urban Decay and Construction come from? I’m fascinated by cities and by people. All Cities tell stories and I’m interested in the way that a place can evolve. It was never deliberate, but I think I see a beauty in destruction and dereliction.
You use a combination of spray paints and acrylics, how do you go from an idea to a ﬁnished work? I layout a composition in spray paint and layer up the colour until I’m happy with it, then I like to work into the canvas with more considered brushstrokes and reﬁne the painting until I feel that it is complete.
A member of the word famous Scrawl Collective, artist Jo Peel’s work is becoming increasingly in demand, not only in the UK but with dealers in New York, Japan and the Hong Kong urban contemporary art scenes. Finding beauty in urban decay and construction, her work can be found on the sides of buildings, in Hotels, at festivals – all over the place. She even does the odd painting.
What advice would you give artists looking to sell their work?
If you believe in your work and keep true to yourself I think that helps, but I guess in the beginning it’s just a case of persevering and not giving up. It might sound easy, but really it isn’t! After the ﬁrst painting sells, it takes a lot of hard work and a lot of effort for very little return.
How did you get involved with the Scrawl Collective?
Ric Blackshaw of Scrawl Collective ran a pop-up gallery in Carnaby street and took a chance with me as a new artist, by putting my work alongside more established Scrawlers. It went well and I have been working with Ric ever since.
I’ve got a lot of projects in the pipeline but most are either un-conﬁrmed or highly conﬁdential! I can tell you that they will involve a new animation, if you want to know more you’ll have to subscribe to one of my social media sites.
For more info visit www.jopeel.com
WHITE IS THE NEW BLACK From their base in Stockholm, Sweden, Unit Portables have taken Scandinavian design ethics we already know and love and come up with these stunningly iconic and practical customisable laptop bags.
In addition to the original 5 colours, the bags are now also available in Classic Royal Blue or the gorgeous Retro White.
Unit 01 (£59.99 RRP) for either 13” or 15” laptops with strips of heavy duty material that feature sewn in loops and solid poppers to allow you to add, remove and fully customise your Unit Portables bag with Unit 02 - a tough polyester pouch with zip, designed to carry your computer cables and accessories; and Unit 03 - a 15cm x 15cm version designed to hold your phone or wallet. Simply arrange the units to suit your lifestyle! Available to purchase separately (£24.99 RRP) is Unit 04 - a protective, padded sleeve specifically for an iPad or other tablet, which also features the built in handle design, allowing you even more stylish portability. Attach to Unit 01 or simply use on its own.
For more info visit www.unitportables.com Available to buy at Urban Outfitters
BRIGHTON ROCKS SEPTEMBER’S WEATHER NEARLY MADE UP FOR THE REST OF OUR SUMMER. FASHIONISTA NATASHA COYLER HEADED TO BRIGHTON SEAFRONT WHILE THE SUN WAS STILL SHINING...
This look is cool and quirky, just right for a summer day near the coast! The patterned leggings are right on trend, and the plain denim shirt helps ensure she gets the mix of pattern just right. The colour scheme sticks to greys and blues, so the beige of the bag breaks it up a bit and adds edge to the outﬁt. Love it!
Zoe THE CASUAL Top: ASOS Leggings: Primark Bag: Vintage store Shoes: Vans
Megan THE SMART-CASUAL Top: Topshop Skirt: ASOS Shoes: Urban Outﬁtters Bag: The Lanes in Brighton For a day by the seaside, you want to look on-trend, yet also have your own edge to the outﬁt. This does just that. The dip hem skirt is perfect, as is block colouring – one aspect this outﬁt does perfectly. It creates a statement and has standout yet not in an attention seeking way. The mix of colourful bracelets and Aztec bag add personality to the outﬁt, and I love the roman sandals she is wearing as an ‘unﬁnished’ ﬁnish.
This outﬁt takes girly and vintage and mixes them together for a quirky and personality-ﬁlled ﬁnish. Melissa is wearing a vintage-look shirt over a dress, adding her own personal touch. The high collar is very in at the moment, as is layering and prints, so this outﬁt ticks a lot of boxes. The thick cut of the sandals and the oversize earrings help break up the outﬁt and add a bit of a tougher edge with a very effective result. This is a beautifully eclectic look ticking a lot of boxes for current trends. I love it!
Melissa GIRLY GIRL Shirt and dress (worn as a skirt) from Topshop, Bag from Zara Sandals from Dorothy Perkins.
THE DARK SIDE BY GEORGINA ANDERSON
A FAR CRY FROM THE CLASSIC STYLES OF PRADA AND GUCCI, THESE FOUR UP AND COMING DESIGNERS HAVE DRAGGED THEIR AUTUMN/WINTER ’12 COLLECTIONS KICKING AND SCREAMING FROM THE DARKEST DEPTHS OF THEIR IMAGINATION.
EVERY ONE OF ELEANOR AMOROSO’S DECIDEDLY DREAM-LIKE GARMENTS ARE MADE METICULOUSLY BY HAND. SHE BEAUTIFULLY COMBINES DELICATE FRINGING, ACCURATE PLAITING AND SOFT FUR TO PRODUCE GORGEOUSLY ELEGANT DRESSES WITH A DARK EDGE. USING A MONOCHROME PALETTE, AMOROSO TWISTS, HANGS AND WRAPS FABRIC AND TRIMMINGS TO FORM INTERESTING SHAPES, LINES AND SLEEK SILHOUETTES. CHANNELING THE ANCIENT ART OF MACRAME AND CLEVER USE OF COPPER PIPING, HER A/W12 COLLECTION ECHOES SOMETHING A MODERN DAY MORTICIA ADAMS MIGHT WEAR. FOR MORE INFO VISIT: ELEANORAMOROSO.COM
BAARTMANS AND SIEGEL
BAARTMANS AND SIEGAL MAKE BEAUTIFULLY TAILORED MENSWEAR WITH A HYPER CONTEMPORARY EDGE. THEIR STYLE IS SYNONYMOUS WITH SHARP BRITISH TAILORING COMBINED WITH A HINT OF ECLECTICISM AND DISTINCTIVE FLAIR. THEIR A/W12 COLLECTION TOOK INSPIRATION FROM THE 1970S CADBURY’S MILK TRAY MAN AND HIS SARTORIAL STYLE AND MYSTERY ENCOMPASSING OVERSIZED OUTERWEAR NIPPED AT THE WAIST, PASTEL PANELED CASUAL TROUSERS AND A LUXURIOUS BLACK FUR COAT TO BOOT. FOR MORE INFO VISIT: BAARTMANSANDSIEGEL.COM
THE NEW YORK MENSWEAR DESIGNER IS MOST ACCLAIMED FOR HIS UNIQUE SILHOUETTES AND ARMOURINSPIRED DETAILING. HAVING DESIGNED FOR THE LIKES OF LADY GAGA AND THE SCISSOR SISTERS, ASHER LEVINE IS QUICKLY MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF AS FASHION’S NEWEST REBEL. HIS A/W12 COLLECTION IS A CACOPHONY OF KHAKI GREEN PARKAS, HEAVY BLACK OUTERWEAR AND UTILITARIAN SEPARATES. THEY ALL CARRY HIS SIGNATURE ATTENTION TO DETAIL IN THE FORM OF EXPOSED ZIPS, COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF THICK WOOL AND DISTINCTLY PRIMAL TEXTURED LEATHER. FOR MORE INFO VISIT: ELEANORAMOROSO.COM
by Norwichâ€™s Fabulous Miss K
Fashion Styling: Fabulous Miss K www.fabulousmissk.co.uk www.fabulousmissk.co.u www.fabulousmissk.blogspot.com. www.fabulousmissk.blogspot.co Hair and Make-up: Lucy Barnes www.lucybarnes.com www.lucybarnes.co Model: Kelly French Photos: Stephen Plumb All clothes clothes: Fabulous Miss K collection except silver and black jacket and brown velvet dress Retreat Vintage: FB Retreat vintage
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We went to the 100% design exhibition to find designers and products to feature in Flush Magazine. As it turned out there was enough talent at the show to write a book on. Here are some our favourites...
FORM IN VOID Secco stool (Cardboard and plywood) Launched at the 100% Design show Sept. 2012 Price: ÂŁ329 www.forminvoid.com
JIB DESIGN STUDIO JiB design studio is the new studio of Je-Uk Kim, an experienced designer in many fields from architectural projects to furniture and exhibition design. Intensely considered, his ideas on composition and proportions result in original innovative products (like this wallpaper). For more info visit www.jibds.com
BARK FURNTIURE Jonathan Walter and Lakshmi Bhaskaran, are the husband and wife team behind Bark Furniture. Based in Bude, north Cornwall, the Kustom Collection is inspired by â€œfifties Americana and the dramatic detailing used by car customisers. The strong visual motifs used in this highly skilled craft form the foundation of this collectionâ€?. For more info visit www.barkfurniture.com
KONTEXTUR SOAP DISH Enough Ugly. More Pretty. For more info visit www.kontextur.com
JDD FURNITURE Founded by designers Joseph Duffell and James Mercy, Joint Design Direction (or JDD Furniture) make furniture that not only looks great, but is made using sustainable materials from local suppliers within a 5 mile radius. Left: The Norah Line - A secluded space for a silent moment. Above: Bill - JDD @100% Design Exhibition 2012 For more info visit www.jddfurniture.com
LIQUI DESIGN These lamps from British furniture designers Liqui look to me like three-dimensional versions of one dimensional objects. I canâ€™t wait to see the sofa and TV to go with it. www.liquidesign.co.uk
YOUR AUDIENCE AWAITS...
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HARD DAYS NIGHT. Words and pictures by Amanda Penlington
In two years London quartet The Vaccines have gone from one of the most highly regarded up and coming guitar bands on the small venue circuit to a headlining slot at London’s O2 arena. Whilst their debut album What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? put them firmly on the map, their follow-up Come Of Age went straight in at number 1 on the week of its release. The band’s success is borne out of relentless hard work – they’ve only had a few days off in the time that they’ve been playing together. I caught up with frontman Justin Young to reflect on the band’s meteoric rise, the importance of loyalty, and what he would do if I could grant him a day off.
Justin, you’ve just announced a headline show at London’s O2, how does that feel?
Pretty surreal to be honest. But exciting. I played there in 2008 on my own. I was shaking so much I couldn’t play my songs. I didn’t think I’d headline it in a million years. So to do it with The Vaccines 5 years later blows my mind.
Is it somewhere you’ve watched other bands?
Absolutely. Lots. And it’s where all the reunion tours go too isn’t it – Led Zeppelin, Queen. It’s a massive thing. Even just last year we supported Arctic Monkeys there and I wouldn’t have believed it if you’d told us we’d be doing it.
I know you collect postcards from every town/city you play. What do you do with them? (I have visions of a very large Vaccines scrapbook that you carefully add to every night on the tour bus).
Mine unfortunately are just scattered all over the place. I’m quite messy.
I’ve seen you jump into the audience at various smaller venues. You even crowdsurfed your way out of Camden’s Barﬂy last year! Now that you ﬁll bigger places, do you miss playing grubby little rooms above pubs?
We don’t need to miss it really, we do it so often. We’ve done 3 pub shows this summer in the UK alone. And we play different size venues all over the world. I think I’d miss it if we didn’t though. It’s where rock ‘n’ roll belongs. You look people in the eye at gigs and I know you’ve got a good memory for faces, how does it feel to see the same people coming back to see you again and again? For me THAT is the most important thing: continued emotional investment in what we do. Loyalty is one of my favourite qualities in human beings. I love that we mean more than just a drunken night out to people. That’s fun too, but I want us to mean so much to people and I think coming back again and again is a sign that we DO to those people. So it’s very special to us.
Talking of hobbies, I heard that you like to cook in your spare time. What’s your speciality?
I don’t cook! I think a couple of the others might. But I don’t think I could boil an egg... Maybe boiling an egg would be my speciality.
You’re probably the hardest working band that I know. If I were to give you a day off tomorrow how would you spend it?
I’d go watch back-to-back ﬁlms in my local cinema. If you were going to give me a weekend though I’d go to Italy.
Let’s talk about the music. On the single releases from the new album you are all taking it in turns to front the B-sides, how did that idea come about?
I just thought it was important that people got to know every member of the band creatively. I ﬁnd it really interesting that none of the B-sides on their own sound like The Vaccines, but they all have components of the band. I think it shows people what we all bring to the table creatively.
Tell us about the recording process for Come Of Age – I know you prefer to play songs live, rather than record separate parts. Have you ever nailed it on the ﬁrst take, or does it take a while to get it right? Sounds are the time consuming part. And then it’s just about getting the right energy. We used the ﬁrst take of ‘I Always Knew’ (which is also the band’s next single), but it took probably 4 hours to get the right guitar sounds. So it’s never simple.
You’ve been quoted as saying that ‘Change of Heart Pt. 2’ could have been a country rock song with folk song lyrics. Do you think you’ll ever radically change the direction of the band’s sound? I’m not sure it will radically change. But I hope it will constantly evolve. We never meant to be a ‘guitar band’. It just happened. I didn’t even own an electric guitar (when The Vaccines started). And a lot of our songs are written in a more intimate way than they are performed. I think the lyrics in ‘Change of Heart’ just sounded like story telling to me.
How did you choose the songs on your EP of cover versions? Were they always favourites of yours? No grand plan, we just picked some songs we liked. I think we’ll do another one.
Talking of other musicians, if you could recommend an album for our readers to check out what would it be?
I just heard the Mikal Cronin record. I really like that.
‘Nobody’s Hero’ became ‘Teenage Icon’, ‘What’s Your Perception’ became ‘Wolfpack’, and I still mistakenly refer to ‘Under Your Thumb’ with its original title ‘European Sun’ – why the changes? That last one - I ALWAYS mistake it. I still don’t know its name. I suppose when you come to make the record you look at the way everything ﬁts together; like a puzzle. You only really see what ﬁts when you start putting it together.
The original line-up was you, Freddie and someone else. So there’s someone out there whose life has turned out quite differently from yours and Freddie’s. If you weren’t in The Vaccines what would you be doing now? He’s actually coming on tour with us soon. I won’t tell you in what band or on what tour. I’d still be a musician I hope! It’s just something you do.
I’ve asked you a lot of questions Justin, but if you could ask your musical hero anything what would it be?
I thought you were dead?!?
It’s good to know that in 2012 there are still youngsters sitting in their bedrooms learning chords, writing lyrics and experiencing the highs and lows of being in a band. Coastal Cities are a bunch of like minded individuals doing just that. While it’s still early days for the High Wycombe teenagers, their songs are gloriously out of step with this decade and their vital signs are good. I caught up with lead singer Declan before he got too famous to interviews. HOW DID THE BAND COME TOGETHER?
Well, we were all in the same year together at school, so we were all friends or acquaintances to begin with. I guess we really all came together in our last year at GCSE’’s, we all had similar musical tastes and had been playing instruments in various forms for a long time, so the band more or less grew out of that.
WHO WERE THE PEOPLE THAT MADE YOU WANT TO BE IN A BAND AND SOUND LIKE YOU DO? As a band we have a wide variety of different music tastes. I guess at ﬁrst we were
really into bands like Bloc Party or Two Door Cinema Club; contemporary indie bands. But as time went on, we began to get inspired by different styles of music. Post-punk, disco, house music, surf rock, new-wave and even some ambient artists like Aphex Twin. I guess we just try to take the bits we love from our favourite artists, what inspires us; and through that, create something of our own.
YOU’VE BEEN ABLE TO RELEASED MATERIAL YOURSELVES, BUT AT THIS POINT IS GETTING A RECORD DEAL IMPORTANT TO YOU? I guess getting a record deal would be the ideal thing, we’ve had lots of offers but it has to be
something that is right for us. Until then we’re happy with what we’re doing and we have a really good group of people behind us. We’re just looking forward to the future, playing shows, recording more material, getting stronger in our songwriting and getting our music out to people who enjoy it, through ourselves or any other method, be that a record label or not. We try not to plan too far ahead because you never know what’s going to come round the corner
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE TRACK?
We have a large selection of songs, some on tape and some to be recorded soon. We play most of them live but it’s hard to pick out one song in particular because it’s like choosing “Which child do you love the most”. Each of our songs brings something different to the table and that’s why we like them so much. I think we always try to out-do our previous material with new songs, so I guess whatever song we’re working on at the time is the one we’re enjoying the most. If that makes sense?
IF YOU COULD CHOOSE ANYONE WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO PRODUCE YOUR ALBUM? Errrm... that’s a tough one as there have been some really great producers. I guess some names I’d drop would be Martin Hannett, Brian Eno, Tony Visconti or Phil
Spector. I don’t know how it would turn out.. but they have produced some really astounding material, and hey, it’s all fun and games, right?
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST MOMENT AS A BAND SO FAR? There have been LOTS of amazing moments. That feeling of accomplishment when you walk off stage at the end of your set. It’s like a high. But there are other things too like recording, or when we do video shoots or go abroad and see other countries... I guess all these things are like a montage of “best moments”. We really enjoy what we do.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS TIME?
Hmm, well we’ll all be 23. What do most 23 year old’s do? Ha-ha. I guess hopefully we’ll still be writing music and doing what we do now. You never know how things pan out, but if we keep working hard then I’m sure by then we’ll be able to accomplish great things. I guess we’ll have to see. Coastal Cities are Declan (guitar/vocals), Sean (guitar), Lewis (drums), Dan (bass) & Will (keyboards) For more info on Coastal Cities visit http://wearecoastalcities. bandcamp.com
Pic by Sara Driver
Jim Jarmusch and Jozef Van Wissem
My favourite ﬁlm director (ever) and the most famous lute player in the world have made a record called The Mystery of Heaven and it’s out November 13th. It’s fair to say Radio1 are not going to put this on heavy rotation, but it’s strange hypnotic dream like noises are quite unlike anything else you will ever hear (and are brilliant).
Nigel Godrich is probably best known as the ears behind Radiohead, recently he’s been stepping out from behind his nobs and jumping on stage, ﬁrst with Flea and Thom Yorke and now with vocalist Laura Bettinson and Joey Waronker in Ultraísta, to create “exquisitely crafted electronic kraut-pop”. Their ﬁrst single ‘Bad Insect’ is out on Oct 15th. http://soundcloud.com/ ultra1sta/ultraista-bad-insect
Jack is on tour in during October and Nov across the UK to promote his third album, (incidentally produced by the highly sought after Martin Terefe and The Suppliers) Before the Storm. The talented singersongwriter has had a busy year and will ﬁnish it performing with Jools Holland at the Royal Albert Hall. www.jacksavoretti.com
One’s to watch
Another brilliant band that is impossible to ‘google’. The alternative hip-hop heroes from Cincinnati, Why? release their ﬁfth full length album, ‘Mumps, etc’ through the consistently good City Slang label on October 8th. They’ve been working hard as it follows on from the limited edition vinyl and online stream of ‘Sod in the Seed Ep’ released back in August. See them live in October, I was just thinking, wouldn’t it be cool if they went on tour with The Who.
Charlotte Hatherley’s new project is decidedly different from her last one as guitarist with Irish indie legends Ash. Striking out on her own as Sylver Tongue, debut single ‘Creatures’ is dark inventive electronica with a pure pop underbelly. Look out for her on tour with Bat For Lashes in Oct and November. For more info visit http://sylvertongue.com
If you were (or are) a fan of any of these bands, Teenage Fanclub, My Bloody Valentine, Sugar, Dinosaur Jr – you will LOVE new Witchita records signing, Cheatahs. There is an EP (The SANS EP) on the way and chances to see them on tour in the UK with labelmates The Cribs in October and November. It’s like 1994 all over again. http://soundcloud.com/ wichita-recordings/cheatahsthe-swan
TONIGHT, JOSEPHINE. AN INTERVIEW BY HANNAH DUNCAN
Think, husky soul voice crackling out under the needle of a record player. Born to a Liberian mother and Jamaican father, born and raised in Manchester, Josephine isn’t what you would consider typical of the Manchester music scene. Raised in a caldron of cultures, there is sunshine in her songs, with the drizzle of the North ever looming in the background. Her debut album Portrait is released in October, and already she has shared the stage with Michael Kiawanuka, Paulo Nutini and supported Jimmy Cliff while still in her teens. She comes across as grounded and down to earth, but with that undercurrent of conﬁdence that she is exactly where she was expecting to always be. Writing music. Hannah Duncan: If you had to pick one stand out moment on the album what track would you choose? Josephine: I’d probably choose A Freak A. It was one song I wrote it in the middle of the album process. My producer Leo worked on the track with me, and production wise it just all the elements of the style came together. HD: Opening track, When We Were Trespassers gave me goose pimples. There’s a sad innocence to the song. Lyrically is this quite a personal song to you, does it make you feel exposed? J: Wow, Erm thanks! Not exposed really. I mean you can be personal to a point, there’s a danger in over personalising things as well. For me it was a very simple and direct song to write, very naive subject matter because it’s about being a kid more than anything. HD: You’ve been playing from a very young age, how did the record ﬁnally come about? J: There were so many phases to it to be honest that it never felt like a real appearance, and it was like “Wow, this is it”.
I did a few showcases up in Manchester and lots of gigs in London. From that, my label appeared a good few years ago, so I’ve known them for a while and it was a gradual process of getting to know all the guys over various gigs. Then came the stage where we wanted to put something out. HD: Did having that time and space and getting to know the people you were working with help your writing process? J: Yeah, there was a lot of space. I didn’t have any interference label wise which was brilliant obviously. I was just left to get on with it and when they were at the point to put the album out we’d chat about what would make the album, what we should put out as a single. So I just keep making things and they’ll say “Right, we want to release this”. So it’s been a really a nice process. HD: Your vocal style is quite different to what we’re hearing in the music scene right now. Do you feel you have a unique sound? J: That’s a difﬁcult question for me I think, in my own head I don’t sound different. For me I sound like the people I listened to growing up or like everybody else. People come back to me say that I sound really different. If I do sound distinctive or different then you know, that’s great, obviously it’s great to be picked out in the crowd. There are so many people out there, and so many voices. I listen to the radio sometimes and I think is this so and so or is it another person. So if people instantly think “That’s Josephine” then that’s fantastic.
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J: Oooh, I don’t know. It’s really weird because during the past ﬁve years of gigging, I’ve come across so many female artists, so many musicians that play guitar, piano. You know, writing their own songs and doing their own thing. To me it actually feels like there aren’t enough. There are so many bands, but only ever a handful of female singers. Whether they’re doing their own thing or otherwise. So for me it always feels like – Wow, there’s so many on the gigging scene but so few are getting that exposure. HD: What new music have you embraced the past year or two? J: Last couple of years I’ve really got into Beck, Vampire Weekend and Eels (pause) that’s all quite American isn’t it? More current in the UK, I really Spector, they’re really cool. I really like Jessie Ware as well. I dart around lots of different artists and can just listen to one song from each, really like to keep it broad. HD: What’s been the real highpoint in your musical journey so far? J: This is a real high point for me actually, getting things released. I got the vinyl for the ﬁrst single the other day and that was amazing. Having the album ready to go, the downloads are there ready for pre-order. This is just amazing because I haven’t ever been at this point before. All ready to go, all the artwork is done. HD: The album doesn’t sound typical of what we’ve come to expect from the Manchester music scene. Do you think it’s growing up with inﬂuences like Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade? Or is something in your personality that is sunnier than the Manchester weather? J: Hmmm... I think it’s more my character, because I like to write upbeat songs. I used to write quite maudlin things but I think that was quite a natural consequence of playing guitar and listening to a lot of folk music. I think initially it’s easier to play downbeat things. So as I developed, writing more upbeat songs deﬁnitely sat better with me. There’s also a lot of slow to medium tempo stuff on the album as well. I actually write better when I’m happy, so I suppose that’s reﬂected in the album. HD: 2012 feels like a year for female musicians with the likes of Lucy Rose, Lianne La Havas, Mary Epworth and you. What do you think?
HD: Did you lovingly pour over the sleeve notes? J: Yes! I just can’t wait. There’s a limited edition mint green vinyl, getting that was just great. I absolutely love it – I carry it with me everywhere. HD: Sounds like a hugely positive time for you right now, do you ﬁnd yourself writing more so you’re almost ready to record the next LP? J: I’m getting down a lot of ideas but the problem with everything going so well is that I’m always really busy. There are loads of gigs, photo shoots, recording videos and travelling loads. I’d like to be getting more down on paper but I think there’s a time for it when I can take a couple of weeks out and get some writing done. Josephine’s debut album Portrait is released on October 8th. P.S Mint green vinyl sounds extremely sexy.
Giuseppe Mascoli: Rising to the top
When it comes to Pizza, Giuseppe Mascoli is something of a legend. His passion for authenticity and unique dedication to the art of pizza making can be tasted at his hugely successful Franco Manca pizza joints in Brixton, Chiswick and Westfield, London.
Nothing but the best will do for Guiseppe, from the authentic Neapolitan wood burning stoves, to the organic tomatoes from Italy, and ﬁnest mozzarella made in Somerset at Greens Organic Farm under strict supervision from Giuseppe’s personal cheese expert. After the taste, for me one of the best things about his pizzas is the price, head down to Brixton Market and the most expensive one on the menu (Tomato, Cured Organic Chorizo and Mozzarella) is only £6.95. Take that Pizza Hut. I caught up with Giuseppe to ﬁnd out more...
How long have you been making pizzas? I started when I was a kid, the ﬁrst time I loaded in a wood oven was in Positano standing on a chair.
What is the secret to good pizza?
Long of dough, let it rise a ﬁrst time for at least 12 hours. Development is very important.
What is your own personal favourite pizza?
I think that tomato, garlic, oil and oregano (also called Marinara) is the key pizza. The ingredient and the crust cannot lie.
What is the perfect wine to accompany one of your pizza’s?
White for me. either Asprinio, a very light wine from Aversa, or a Cortese from the Tortona area which is a bit more ‘ﬂavoury’. Avoid overfruity wines and stick to grapes like Trebbiano, Grenache, Falanghina, which also have some acidity to help washing the palate. �
Do you have any plans to open any other restaurants in the near future? Not at the moment, but if a good chance comes my way I will do it.
Is the perfect pizza better than sex? If it existed, possibly. But perfection is rather boring in both.
If you want to learn how to make the perfect pizza head down to Franco Manca in Chiswick on the 8th October, 12th November or 10th December at 4-6pm where they will be holding a series of special pizza masterclasses. Booking is essential and includes making your own pizza. For more info call the restaurant on 0208 747 4822
Grilled pumpkin Autumn is just around the corner and with it the start of the pumpkin season. Here in Belgium it’s already being sold on markets and in little kiosks in the street. Pumpkin is known as a powerful anti-oxidant vegetable. It is rich in beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, aiding the body’s regeneration system and slowing down the ageing process. This vegetable has a particularly sweet and soft taste, so I decided to combine it with ingredients that would enhance its properties.
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 3 SERVINGS): ● 385g pumpkin (peeled and chopped in cubes) ● 125g chestnut mushrooms clean and in slices (you may also use white button mushrooms) ● salt and pepper to taste ● Rosemary ● Olive oil ● 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth ● 3 1/4 cup coconut milk METHOD 1. Start by cooking the pumpkin cubes in boiling water for 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water. 2. Remove the pumpkin cubes from the water and combine with the mushroom slices. Here comes the key part of this recipe, we’re going to season these with some salt, pepper and rosemary to then grill them. I seasoned them with 1 tablespoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of pepper and 2 tablespoons of rosemary.
3. Distribute this seasoned pumpkin and mushroom mixture in a baking tray and bake them in a preheated oven at 220oC for 15 minutes. This step will make the mushrooms and the pumpkin adopt the rosemary taste and scent, you’ll love its smell. 4. Once baked, combine the mushrooms and pumpkin mixture with the vegetable broth and coconut milk in a soup pot. Cook to a low temperature for 5 minutes and then make a cream out of it with the help of a hand blender. 5. You’ll notice a predominant rosemary scent and a very soft and delicate taste and creamy texture, perfect to enjoy on a chilly Autumn afternoon with some crusty bread.
CATCH OF THE DAY
Hannah Duncan discovers something fishy going on in Camden.
f you want a ﬁsh restaurant reviewing then I’m your girl. I was born in the ﬁshing town of Brixham in Devon, where the only McDonald I’d heard of owned a farm and our idea of takeaway was ﬁsh and chips or whelks in a pot with a slice of bread and butter. I have a palate raised on seafood and I take it very seriously. I have lived in London for a long time now and in a city that has everything to offer I frequently turn my nose up at the freshness of produce, the fatness of monkﬁsh and size of scallops. I have been spoilt – restaurants back in Brixham have their menus dictated by what they’ve picked up from the trawlers. It’s that fresh. Enter Simply Fish on Camden’s Inverness Street in London. This new collection of restaurants are supplied daily by it’s own merchants in Looe, Cornwall (look out for launches in Chiswick and St. Paul’s). Fish is boat fresh and from a sustainable source. Head Chef, Sherif Hassan has worked alongside Terence Conran and Marco Pierre White. But his childhood was spent working in the ﬁsh markets of Cairo and his love for edible
sea creatures has remained with stints in the Savoy ﬁsh section and Sketch. Here Sherif keeps it simple. Which this ﬁsh snob believes is the best way to serve. You simply pick your ﬁsh, how you want it cooked, an accompanying sauce and a side dish. So you could have a simple baked Sea Bass with Citrus anchovy butter and a mixed salad for £12.50. For those looking for comfort food you can order up a ﬁsh ﬁnger sandwich with fries. They’ve not overlooked the current London trend for small plates, so if you want to try a few dishes you can dip in. Of course carnivores
and vegetarians are catered for but limited. We sank our teeth into tempura prawns with thick and gloopy hot chilli sauce, smoked mackerel pate, smoked salmon and ﬁsh cakes. I need to resist the urge to make a joke about the huge pink chunky things we had in our mouths. But to make jest would be to take away from the perfectly peppered king prawns, I couldn’t get enough of them. Bearing in mind I’d eat cockles for breakfast so have a stomach built for this food, the only thing I didn’t enjoy was the Crab bisque (think a warm crab Bailey’s, an acquired taste).
Simply Fish are bucking the trend for burger bars that seem to be popping up once a week in London, and they are making fresh ﬁsh affordable. Even if you’ve never ventured away from cod and chips this is a great place to start a love affair with some healthy old Omega 3.
Simply Fish 4 Inverness Street Camden, London NW1 7HJ http://simplyfishcamden.co.uk
CHOCO LOTTA Do you have a sweet tooth? Eurochocolate, the wonderful Perugian chocolate festival takes place from Oct 19th28th. Now in its nineteenth year, other Italian cities have copied the event, but this is the original, biggest and still the best with over a million visitors every year. More than one hundred and thirty manufacturers attend the nine day event, from the smallest independent boutiques, to the biggest names in Cocoa, bringing with them more than 5000 different chocolate products. Many of them use the festival to showcase new ranges, and more importantly... give away free samples! The event is huge and there are all kinds of things going on, parties, chocolate sculptures, a chocolate Spa, even health seminars (did you know chocolate has many health beneďŹ ts to people suffering from rheumatological diseases?). There is even chocolate themed nightlife. If you are thinking of heading to the festival, accommodation can be thin on the ground, but there are still some great to be found nearby (recommended by Essentially Italy).
PROMOTION Hotel Santa Maria degli Ancillotti
This hotel provides the ideal place to relax and unwind in classic Italian countryside, yet still within a few kilometres from the sights of Umbria – Assisi, Perugia, Todi, Spoleto and Gubbio. With 8 rooms, a lush garden offering plenty of private corners to relax, a pool and hydro-massage tub and a fantastic restaurant. For visitors wanting to have access to the facilities of the hotel but looking for more privacy, the hotel also offers Villa Palombara and a group of apartments (sleeps from 2 - 4). Location: Assisi 10kms, Perugia 15kms Hotel from: £135 per room per night (sleeps 2) and apartments from £288 per week (sleeps 2) For more info visit www.essentialitaly.co.uk
SWEETHEARTS Song Saa is two amazingly beautiful islands off the coast of Cambodia. Translated as ‘The Sweethearts’ it’s been developed by an Australian couple, Rory and Melita Hunter – experienced renovators on the mainland.
Since buying the island they’ve been meticulous in their vision and Melita’s skill as a sculptural artist is visible throughout. In addition to the twenty seven individual villas there is an overwater restaurant, a champagne bar and a separate Spa accessible only via a wooden walkway. It’s a perfect place to watch the sunset with your very own ‘sweetheart’.
For a seven-night stay at Song Saa, prices are from ÂŁ4,557 per person based on two sharing and includes ďŹ‚ights, transfers etc. For more info visit www.clevelandcollection.co.uk
THE NEW JAGUAR F-TYPE EFF-ORTLESS
Wow! The new Jaguar F-TYPE is here. Unveiled at the recent Paris Motor Show, the two seat convertible sports car is all about the driving experience. Jaguar have drawn on every one of their 75years experience producing motor cars to build the F-TYPE. According to Jaguar’s Global Brand Director, Adrian Hallmark ‘Jaguar has a rich sporting bloodline stretching over 75 years, and in the F-TYPE we’ve re-ignited that ﬂame. The F-TYPE isn’t designed to be like anyone elses sports car. It’s a Jaguar sports car – ultraprecise, powerful, sensual and, most of all, it feels alive! If it drives as good as it looks they could be on to a real winner.
JAGUAR F-TYPE Top speed: 186mph (limited) 0-60 mph in 4-2 seconds 3.0 litre v6 supercharged petrol engine (340PS and 380PS) 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol (495PS) Price from: £58,000, F-TYPE S:£67,500, F-TYPE V8 S: £79,950
VOLKSWAGEN CC GT 2.0 TDI (170PS) BLUEMOTION Reviewed by Rob McSorley
Have you ever met your girlfriend’s sister only to discover that not only is she prettier but has a better body and is a snappier dresser? I felt exactly the same when I first clapped eyes on Volkswagen’s recently refreshed Comfort Coupe or CC to you and I.
Here is a four door saloon based on the same underpinnings as the humble but hugely competitive Passat but clothed in more svelte bodywork. As part of its mid-cycle nip & tuck Volkswagen have dropped the Passat nameplate in a bid to distance the CC from its sister car. But is the CC just a Passat in drag or is it a different beast as VW would like us to believe? Visually the CC couldn’t be more different thanks to its raked back windscreen and much lower rooﬂine. Every body panel is unique to this model and is all the better for it. The front proﬁle has lost a little of the original cars uniqueness mainly because of the new default corporate grill and headlight shape buts it still has plenty of presence. Changes at the rear are more successful with new darktinted LED light units that are sleeker than before. Inside will be familiar to Passat owners as the main dash and switchgear are carried straight over but this is no hardship as its well styled with high quality, sophisticated materials throughout in true VW tradition. The seats are as superbly comfortable as they look; the car I drove was trimmed in sumptuous Nappa leather. Equipment in top GT spec is more than generous with heated and cooled leather seats, three-mode adaptive chassis control (which alters settings from normal to comfort or sport), cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, front fog lights and rear-window tinted glass. On the road the CC is a thoroughly competitive steer with decent ride comfort and high levels of reﬁnement making it perfect for long commutes. Those attractive 19 inch alloy wheels however highlight the chassis’ weakness when tackling pockmarked country roads but this can be remedied by switching the electronically adjustable dampers (standard on GT spec cars) to Comfort. Powering our car is Volkswagen’s really rather delicious 2.0 litre TDi diesel engine in 170 bhp formatted >>
383g washed beige linen Gram is all about making sophisticated sneakers. We create shoes that ďŹ ll the gap between sneakers and traditional shoes. Our roots lie in Scandanavian design aesthetic; design with clean lines and attention to detail. Each model being unique in its own simplicity. The brand is centred around the concept of weight, with each show being named after its weight in grams. At Gram we love shoes, in particular shoes you can wear at the ofďŹ ce as well as on the night out. The brand started in 2005 and is based in Stockholm, Sweden.
VOLKSWAGEN CC GT 2.0 TDI (170PS) BLUEMOTION
to the equally impressive DSG - dual clutch gearbox. As expected with 258lb ft of torque from just 1750rpm making swift progress is a doddle. 60mph appears in just 8.6 seconds with a top speed of 137 mph - on private roads of course. Thanks to the ultra-sophisticated gearbox which switches cogs in the blink-of-an-eye the power on offer is alway easily accessible. This can be enhanced further by selecting Sport mode. For a coupe the handling on offer is respectable with well managed body roll and plenty of grip. Through challenging corners the CC feels agile and composed most of the time but ultimately lacks the feedback that keener driver love so much. The DSG gearbox also removes the driver’s connection with the action made worse by steering that is over-assisted lacking the pinsharp responses of a Mondeo for example. Accommodation compared to more traditional coupes with the CCs extra pair of rear doors is a real bonus. Space inside is however more restricted; legroom is as generous as the standard Passat but the rakish rooﬂine robs rear passengers of headroom to the point where anyone approaching six foot will struggle. Boot space is also down from 565 to 452 litres, but by coupe standards is still very good. The opening however is much smaller so loading bulky items won’t be quite so easy but then again the CC isn’t intended to be a load lugger. At a shade over £30,000 the CC commands a £4000 premium over its conventional saloon sibling but given the unique style on offer it isn’t to be sniffed at. Its nearest
competitor is the Mercedes CLS which kicks of at £47,000 making this particular car seem like good value even after you factor in the less prestigious badge. Fuel economy is also worth a mention, 45.6 mpg around town and 61.4 mpg extra urban.
Volkswagen’s CC is a good example of how you can turn an ordinary saloon in to a much more exciting and appealing product. It may not serve up the driving thrills of a traditional coupe or the cabin space and practicality of a saloon but it sits in a rather alluring middle ground between the two. In GT trim equipment and comfort levels are very good. The engine and gearbox combination I drove is also one of the best around with a near perfect blend of ultra-low running costs and rapid performance making the CC well worth a look.
Volkswagen CC GT 2.0 TDI (170ps) BlueMotion Technology DSG 4dr Technical Data Price as tested: £30,280 Engine: 2.0 16v 170bhp 0-62mph: 8.6 secs Maximum Speed: 137mph Economy: 45.6mpg (urban) – 61.4mpg (extra-urban), 54.3mpg (combined) Emissions: 137g/km (Band E)
Chevrolet Spark 1.2LT Chevrolet recently signed a major sponsorship deal in the UK with the mighty Manchester United football club, as part of the arrangement the first team were able to take their pick from the current range of Chevrolets. Interestingly, in order to protect his younger stars, Manager Sir Alex Ferguson would only allow the players over 25 years of age to pick the most powerful models.
As it turns out, despite being slightly less glamorous than a brand new Corvette or Camaro, 21 year old striker Danny Welbeck could do a lot worse than choosing a Chevrolet Spark for popping down to the Trafford Centre in. On the Road As a nippy, round-towner the Spark is perfect, it’s compact, light, the suspension is nice and soft and the ride is smooth. It will weave in and out of lanes quicker than you can say ‘ﬂat back four’, and while at higher speeds the ﬁve speed gearbox is a tad on the jerky side, it’s a compromise that you will have to make in virtually all of its competitors too. The car comes with either a 1.0 or 1.2 litre engine, (the model I tested was the 1.2LT) both have four cylinders and the 1.2 will also scoot briskly along the motorway quite comfortably. If you are a sensible driver, only sharp inclines and potential overtaking situations will expose it’s power shortcomings in normal use. Features The budget Spark+ 1.0 litre comes without central locking and starts from £8,745.00. It does however include air-con and ISOFIX child seating mounts to the rear seats. Safety is paramount for Chevrolet and front, side and curtain airbags also come as standard. For those with more cash to spare, £10,695 will buy a top of the range LT, a car suitably more endowed with additions including Alloy Wheels, USB connection, an excellent Six Speaker Stereo, Electric
Wing Mirrors. If you need them, Rear Reversing Sensors are £155 extra. Inside For a small car space is good, and there is room for 5 adults to withstand reasonable distances without too much discomfort. Driver headroom is excellent and so to is all round visibility. There is a slight plasticky feel to the interior, but it looks durable enough to withstand scufﬁng from everyday use. The steering console and controls are suitably modern and are all close to hand. A biggish LED screen at the top however only seems to let you know when your seatbelt is on or not and could have been optimised more effectively, even if it was only to show the time. Looks The Spark has ‘secret’ rear door handles nicely disguised higher up the body, this keeps the busy lines of the car consistent. Visually, it somehow reminds me of something from
a Transformer movie. It’s curvy, but pointy too and comes in some distinctively, erm, distinctive colours. It has to be said it takes a real man to buy a car in ‘Pearl Pink’, and I did get a few amused looks from passers-by during my road-testing period. I actually grew to like it, and from early mornings to Autumn evenings the unusual, undeﬁnable shade seemed to change slightly every time I looked at it. It also comes in a very distinct ‘Cocktail Green’ which, should it venture across your sightline will pop your eyes out clean from their sockets instantly. For those people who like to blend in more subtly, (Summit) White is also available. Overall There are lots of decent small cars around at the moment and competition is stiff. The new Skoda Citigo and VW UP!, the Fiesta, Kia Picanto and the Hyundai i10 are all excellent.
The Spark is good enough to join that list and what it lacks in power and reﬁnement, makes up for in aesthetic youth appeal. Price-wise there are cheaper, but a big selling point is a Warranty that includes ﬁve years servicing, and roadside assistance. It’s fairly low emissions (119g/km of CO2) mean Road Tax will be free in the ﬁrst year and just £30 thereafter. Plus, insurance premiums will be low enough for most young drivers to afford, whether they play for Manchester United or not. Chevrolet Spark LT 1.2 5 Speed Manual Transmission Power output: 81 PS (60.0 kW) Fuel consumption: urban 42.8mpg / extra-urban 67.3mpg / combined 55.4mpg CO2 Emissions: 119g/km Top Speed: 102mph
For more info www.chevrolet.co.uk
A Postcard from Cologne Games Editor, Henry McMunn packed his bag for Gamescom to play some new titles coming our way...
Doom 3: BFG Edition Square Enix were reluctant to show off too much of Absolution, although considering how Hitman is not well-suited to a pick-up-and-play situation and rather favours strategy and immersion, it’s understandable. Unfortunately, that does mean we were only treated to a small ‘Contracts’ mission, in which Agent 47 is tasked with killing two targets in a crowded map, and getting out of there with as little hustle as possible. It involved a bit of stealth, a tiny bit of shooting and use of the series’ signature disguising system (all of which works just as you’d expect), but really all we viewed was a graphical update to 2006’s Blood Money. Considering the brilliance of Blood Money, I’m a firm believer Absolution will be just as great an experience, though Square Enix have yet to give us any solid
Rambo: The Video Game Considering how the ‘BFG Edition’ is quite literally just Doom 3 with new and improved graphics, we weren’t buckling our seatbelts for anything too innovative, and nor did we get it. What we did get, however, is a great reincarnation of an FPS horror classic. The new visuals and sound design really feel like they ’re doing what the original technically couldn’t, and the addition of 3D has been implemented well enough to take you right into the action. Wait for Doom 3: BFG Edition to bring back all those horrible memories went it’s released this month.
Between this and the recently revealed PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Sony seem to be taking a leaf or two out of Nintendo’s book of fun when it comes to game design. While All-Stars mimics the classic Smash Bros style, LBP Karting is an obvious riff on Mario Kart, though you’d have a hard time convincing me that’s a bad thing. Combining the bouncy gravity, playful theme and charmingly childish visuals with the tried-andtested combat racing design works just as well as it sounds. Although the controls could use a little sharpening, it’s early days yet, and kids and adults alike are set for some quality time come November.
What we did get, however, is a great reincarnation of an FPS horror classic. The new visuals and sound design really feel like they ’re doing what the original technically couldn’t
Before going into the booth to get a chance to play Rambo: The Video Game, I noticed some strange things about it. Firstly, the booth was tiny, surely only big enough to fit in two screens. Secondly, they weren’t showing any gameplay or screenshots outside of the booth, and instead repeating clips from Rambo III. Confused, I reassured myself that it was probably quite early days in development, and didn’t want to be giving too much away. I soon found out that it wasn’t because Rambo was playing hard to get. It was because Rambo: The Video Game is absolutely awful. Demonstrated with two motioncontrol joysticks, the game goes for an old-school arcade feel by being totally on-rails and having the graphics and presentation of a game that was made at least ten years ago. Rambo is one of my favourite action heroes of all time, but sadly here he’s been given very little dignity at all, with stale battle set pieces, horrific accuracy and aiming controls, and a bizarre incarnation of Gears of War ’s active reload system. All in all, there’s no better way to say it: Rambo: The Video Game just does not work. Give this one a miss.
Read more gaming news and reviews from Henry and our other Gaming writers on Flush the Fashion, www.flushthefashion.com
Little Big Planet Karting
For those about to rock…
Reviewed by Chris Leddy Rock Band Blitz is an odd one. To take away the one thing that made Harmonix’s previous titles in the franchise what they are seems like one of the strangest manoeuvres ever witnessed in the games industry. However, as it turns out giant plastic instruments aren’t the only thing that make a Rock Band title rock. Rock Band Blitz throws players into an eclectic world of rhythm-based scoreboards and no doubt fist fights with your friends after they beat your score on ‘J esse’s Girl’ for the fifth time. The game-play is a more complicated than Rock Band and rather than relying on the peripherals previously associated with the RB franchise, this time you’ll be using your PS3 or Xbox360 gamepad. It’s hard to describe the game-play, your goal isn’t to hit as many notes as possible it’s to get the highest score, this can be done by raising your multiplier on each instrument track before the checkpoint, which in turn raises the overall multiplier for the whole song, now to raise each track’s multiplier
you have to hit notes, but the entire time you have to be aware of every track, otherwise you’ll be missing out on some huge scores. The game also features a list of un-lockable power-ups that make it much more interesting, each with an odd quirk that will allow you to score higher in certain places, or to just have a little fun. Ranging from knocking a pinball around on the tracks whilst you play, the longer it stays on, the more points you get. There are also more basic power ups such as instrument multipliers allowing you to gain more points for playing a specific instrument more. There’s a lot of tactics to Rock Band Blitz, you’ll find yourself playing specific songs six or seven times just trying to Gold star them. Rock Band Blitz comes with 25 tracks built in, it also incorporates your entire Rock Band catalogue – so all of your DLC and any of the games you own too, as long as you’ve imported them through to Rock Band 3. This works both ways allowing you to then play all 25 of Rock Band Blitz tracks on Rock Band. Whilst all of the tracks aren’t the huge rock/ metal hits that you might crave, the pop tracks
If you’re willing to give Blitz the time it needs to settle in, you’ll find yourself hooked - and even If you don’t, you’ve just gained 25 tracks for your Rock Band library, it’s a win-win really.
are still catchy, and at worst a lot of fun to sing. Amongst the roster you’ve got: Queen’s ‘Death on two legs’, Maroon 5’s ‘Moves like Jagger ’, Rick Springfield’s ‘Jesse’s Girl’ and Foo Fighter ’s ‘These Days’; along with 21 other tracks that will keep you thoroughly entertained. Not only that but 25 DLC tracks for Rock Band would set you back 4000MS points, which translates to about £34.27; considering Rock Band Blitz costs a meagre 1200MS points or roughly £12.00. Blitz will take time to click, it took me a few hours, and within those first few hours you’ll find yourself questioning the move to arcade themed gameplay. When it does you’ll be addicted, especially If you opt in to link it to your Facebook account, and take the challenge feature, allowing you pit your scores against your friend’s. Without the necessary peripherals,
comparing RB Blitz to the traditional game is unfair, whilst it features the songs and quirky interface that Rock Band splashes around it’s more akin to the likes of Audiosurf. Perfect for anyone that not only enjoys rhythm based games, but fancies a bit of a change from the general instrument vibe, If you’re willing to give Blitz the time it needs to settle in, you’ll find yourself hooked - and even If you don’t, you’ve just gained 25 tracks for your Rock Band library, it’s a win-win really.
Available on Xbox live and PSN. No multiplayer, only scoreboards. Price: 1200ms points / America $14.99 / UK £9.00 For more info visit www.rockband.com
Pro’s and no-con’s
Tritton Pro + Gaming Headset Reviewed by Henry McMunn
If there’s one thing that’s clear from the get-go about Tritton’s new Pro+ headset, it’s that they don’t use the term ‘Pro’ lightly. Everything about the new, rebuilt model of the AX Pro looks and feels like the real deal – and for roughly £150, it delivers on all sides. For those gamers looking for a step-up from the £40-£80 range of headsets, you could do a lot worse than shelling out for the Pro+. Sporting a slick white and black colour scheme, with orange LEDs in the earcups and leathery pads, the Pro+ isn’t just great to look at, but remains comfortable even on the more lengthy gaming sessions. It’s a firm, weighty fit, though once you find out what’s under the hood, it’s easy to understand why it’s quite so hefty. Eight separate audio drivers deliver some seriously powerful sound, which on some games with particularly explosive audio (we had
great success trying For the price of a professional out Battlefield 3 and quality gaming headset, you’re Borderlands 2) can prove to be almost terrifyingly not getting anything less – and absorbing. she’s quite the looker. The 5.1 surround sound is certainly noticeable, with directional noise and getting a balance with the game being fantastically accurate – an area audio isn’t always easy, but this aside I had found Tritton’s earlier Detonator it’s pretty problem-free and teamchat model had not quite succeeded in. was certainly viable. Front, centre, back and bass speakers Tritton’s new Pro+ continues to show are all individually adjustable, and Mad Catz are delivering some of the none disappoint. finest peripherals out there. For the price of a professional quality gaming I was particularly curious to find out headset, you’re not getting anything how well the voice chat sounded on less – and she’s quite the looker. the Pro+, coming from a pair of Turtle The Tritton Pro+ from Mad Catz is Beach cans which had done a superb job on this front. The Pro+’s detachable now available and is compatible for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. Go to microphone arm was a little clunky at first when trying to fit it in, and I was at first slightly concerned about its lack of pop shield; but fortunately this for more info visit turned out not to be necessary. Voices www.madcatz.com might often sound a little too bassy
D’Ouya wanna Bringing a new games console to market is not something you can do on a whim. Sony spent tens of millions of dollars before launching the Playstation back in 1994, and Nintendo and Microsoft spent similarly huge amounts on the Wii and Xbox respectively. Now with the help of the fundraiser website Kickstarter.com, a brand new console, OUYA has been given a huge lease of life. After theinitial funding target of $950,000 was reached, the project went on to raise a staggering $8.5 million dollars from over 60,000 backers...
They aim to launch the console onto the market for less than $100 early next year, and with many top publishers looking to release big titles through the OUYA at low prices, it could potentially turn the games industry on its head. If that wasn’t enough, perhaps more exciting is that the developer kit for the console is free, so you can build your own games, publish, and sell them to gamers direct, quicker than you can say ‘Angry Birds’. I spoke to OUYA founder Julie Uhrman about her plans to take on the big boys...
Where and when did the idea for Ouya originate? I grew up playing games on TV. I think I felt like—and I don’t think I was alone in this— that the game industry has experienced a ‘brain drain’ in recent years. Some of the most creative minds in game making
For more reviews visit www.flushthefashion. com/tech
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have abandoned console development for the comparative ease of developing for mobile platforms. I wanted to lure them back to the television with a console that was more developer friendly. That was the ﬁrst germ of the idea. When I saw a device built on Android, it occurred to me that perhaps I could base a console on Android.
Why do you think the Ouya Kickstarter campaign caught the public’s attention so much?
What’s not to love? OUYA promises a great variety of games at a great price: The console and controller cost under $100 and every game is free-to-try. On top of that, it’s beautifully designed by famed designer Yves Behar. People will be proud to display it in their home. Within the development community, OUYA caught ﬁre because it seeks to resolve many of the common obstacles developers face in developing games in the current console environment. With OUYA, developers can wave farewell to the roadblocks of bringing a console game to market. Anyone can make a game: every OUYA console is a dev kit. No need to purchase a license or an expensive SDK. It’s built on Android, so developers already know how it works. Because it’s a straight revenue share there are no licensing fees, retail fees, or publishing fees. It also means that Ouya and Android phone/tablet development can be hand in hand so ‘Indies’ have a way to position “console” and “handheld” SKUs of each game if they choose.
Your original target was $950,000 how much difference is the $8 million+ going to make to your development plans? The tremendous OUYA support means people
TECH D’Ouya wanna play? want this console. The majority of our backers invested in the OUYA console, and they’ll receive their console on launch day. What the Kickstarter support allows us to do is show the world that people want to see OUYA hit the market as much as we do. Once we exceeded the initial target (which would allow us to develop our console from functional prototype to product on the market), we decided the additional money would be put towards pleasing our two constituencies: game developers and game players. For developers that means increased functionality and features, for gamers that means content. We may even help fund exclusive games built for OUYA—this is something that beneﬁts both game makers and developers. �
How easy will it be for people to publish and sell games through Ouya? Our goal is to make it as easy as possible to publish and sell games through OUYA. To do that, we are removing the barriers developers have faced in creating games for the current console market. So I guess the best way to answer this is that we want OUYA to be the easiest platform to publish for.
Will there be free games available?
That’s up to the developer. But—for a game to be available on OUYA we have one rule: there must be a component of the game that is free to play or free to try. What this means is that there will at least be a free demo, or you’ll be able to play the entirety of the game for free but may have access to additional items, upgrades, or other features that come at a cost. For developers, free to play means that they can set their own prices. Developers know best: There is no better way to sell a game than to have folks that have actually touched the game share glowing reviews with their friends.
By allowing some form of free play, we’ll help them do just that. The only reason you used to pay for games before playing them is that you couldn’t try them at the store before you brought them home – it’s a relic of an old way of doing business, and one of the many things about the games business we plan to change. We want gamers to pay only for the games they love. A ‘free to play’ model works when everyone (gamers and game makers) beneﬁts from directly rewarding amazing games.
What is going to be the most challenging part of the project?
This is an ambitious project but we are ambitious people. We’re very conﬁdent that we can deliver on our goal to bring OUYA to market in March 2013. That said, there are always surprises that pop up as companies actually execute against their plans. Our goal is to be as ﬂexible and quick to respond as possible, allowing us to adjust when needed and move forward quickly. We feel good about what we are doing, in part because it’s not just a great idea — we’ve put a fantastic team in place who have succeeded with efforts such as this in the past.
When do you hope to have the first machine shipped? In March 2013, the ﬁrst consoles will ship to Kickstarter backers around the world. Those who pre-ordered from www.ouya.tv after Kickstarter closes will receive machines beginning April 2013. www.kickstarter.com/proﬁle/ouya
WITH THE LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES AND PARALYMPICS HAPPENING THE PAST FEW MONTHS HAVE BEEN MASSIVE FOR SPORT. BEHIND THE SCENES ALL THESE EVENTS HAVE FEATURED ELEMENTS OF ELITE SPORTS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. BY IAN HUGHES / EPREDATOR /FEEDING EDGE LTD
For example, the marginal gains team for the TeamGB cycling applied a technical focus to the equipment used, and discussions raged regarding the technical advantage (and rules) around the carbon ﬁbre blades used by track legends like ‘Blade Runner’ Oscar Pistorius. Such inspiring occasions will inevitably lead to more people trying sports out, and for the home athlete there are some very accessible technology trends that add motivational and even game based features to physical exercise. It’s interesting for me as technology actually led me into a very active pastime, which in turn led me to yet more interesting technology. It may be a journey that other people also realise is worth taking. It also shows the evolution, and removal of many barriers to a rich and healthy life. Oh yes, let’s not forget levelling up and scoring points too!
I would never have considered myself overly sporty, no great surprise for a gaming-techgeek stereotype. I’ve had moments of applying myself to physical workouts though. Back in the mid 90’s I decided my desk bound ofﬁce job (constantly programming), was not going to help me enjoy my ﬁrst skiing holiday. I also knew that going to a gym wasn’t going to be the sort of
experience that I would particularly enjoy. So I got hold of a VHS video tape (google it, if you are under 15) of All-American ﬁtness guru, Tony Little (left) and started following the programme. Being on analogue video tape it was always a bit annoying having to rewind to the right point in the tape each time. The tape gave a reminder of technique, which is important in weight training, but was really a pace counter. A little bar ran across to show you 15, 30 and 45 seconds. Although it lacked variety, it was actually very enjoyable. It became part of my daily routine. It was very low tech, but it was a start. I also decided to go cycling and this is where the tech involvement started to ramp up. The early web helped me discover a heart rate exercise formula. How could I resist something that would let me use technology when out riding a bike? The formula (The Karvonen Method) is to measure your resting heart rate, then to calculate your maximum heart rate which is 220 minus your age. This gives you a heart rate range. Within that, percentage bands indicate the sort of affect you are having on your body, and when and where you are either over, or under performing. So I popped into a local shop and purchased a heart rate monitor. This was an elasticated chest band containing the sensor which was paired with an LCD watch that showed the current heart rate. I didn’t stop there. A further addition to
the whole tech mix was not a simple speed distance bike computer, but a GPS tracker that measured all sorts of things including elevation. So I hurtled around country dirttracks maintaining my heart rate at the scientiﬁc optimum, whilst logging lots of GPS data. Yet I still did not consider myself sporty! This was a science project. It helped me a lot with those ﬁrst skiing holidays, though I found I hated skiing and was not well suited to it mentally. I didn’t totally give up though and took to snowboarding instead, which is much better. The VHS weights routine gradually faded away after a couple of years as work and family life changed. The cycling also became a bit more infrequent.
BACK TO THE FUTURE - ZOOMING FORWARD NEARER TO NOW
A few years ago I swapped my corporate commute for my own home consulting business. It meant I could adjust my working day and times to ﬁt whatever I needed to do. It took a little while to mentally adjust and realise that it should include some physical activity. I knew I wanted to do something, but I needed to be using some technology so that I could explore the experience and beneﬁts of it whilst also working out. Killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. Then along came Xbox Kinect. I got early access to it on the second series of The Cool Stuff Collective. In case you have been under
a rock and don’t fully appreciate what the Kinect does, it is designed to be plugged into the Xbox 360 home game console. It consists of several sensors, cameras, infrared and audio ones. It is able to recognise a human standing in front of it and determine the location of their arms, legs, body and head in realtime, and also know how far away those points are. So unlike a regular camera this sees in 3D and can process that as data. It has created many new game genres, generally involving some degree of physical activity from gentle arm waving to full dance moves. When I actually got to use it for real in the studio I couldn’t wait to take it home for more serious exercise activity. Things that my previous VHS tape experience did, could be enhanced. Showing a virtual trainer, adjusting in realtime to the actual activity, scoring, counting etc. When I got my own Kinect I dived straight into Ubisoft’s Fitness Evolved. A set of exercises, challenges and goals that adjusted to your abilities (which, when I started were sorely lacking). It can see you doing the moves, give visual feedback and cues about timing, and corrections. You also never have to wait for a tape to rewind! You gain achievements and badges too. It was fortunate I had spent a few intense weeks getting ﬁtter as suddenly on the TV show I was faced with some tough ‘on the road’ features to ﬁlm. I was thrown into indoor skydiving in the morning then indoor snowboarding in the afternoon. Both of which I survived. Once again though, I lapsed for a few months, however, the seed had been planted. The UFC Personal Trainer for Kinect was released in June 2011. UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) is a mixed martial arts full contact ﬁghting event. UFC trainer took some of the traditional gym exercises, and created a very intense set of routines,
but also threw in some more aggressive combat moves, kicks, knees and punches. I had always pondered taking up some form of martial art, and this seemed a good taster. I bought the game, did the ﬁrst exercise evaluation and realised I was way more overweight and unﬁt than I had ever been. I probably already knew this, but now my Xbox was telling me! It was a physical shock to the system. This was certainly not a “game” the routines were a mix of stamina, strength and speed. I stuck with it every morning for over 9 months. No matter how much you do, there is always more. It becomes difﬁcult for anyone to work without a goal. Getting ﬁt can mean a lot of things. I wasn’t actually getting bored, but I felt I needed more to focus on.
THIS IS WHERE VIRTUAL MEETS REAL
In January 2012 I saw a leaﬂet for a martial art, one that was modern, non competitive and suitable for both adults and kids. This was Choi Kwang Do http://choikwangdo.com and in particular South Coast CKD http://www. southcoastckd.co.uk . So I went along, with my ﬁve year old son and met Sabumnim Webster. I knew that whatever we did I was ﬁt enough, and having practiced punches, kicks and knees for months with UFC Trainer I might have a chance not to feel inadequate. As it turned out that would not have been an issue as Choi Kwang Do is a martial art that is about self improvement, rather than
aggressive comparisons to fellow students. It is an ever evolving art, it’s only 25 years old, not afraid to include new techniques and is very focused on the science, physical and psychological, of self-defence. The school owners and instructors use technology to analyse their own techniques. This includes using video and software originally designed to analyse golf swings. Given some of the easily accessible technology that got me into the art in the ﬁrst place this has got me even more interested in what we can do. Now both our kids are enjoying our regular trips to the Dojang
WALK (OR RUN) THIS WAY
One of the simplest pieces of technology around is the step counter. Step counters have typically been small devices with LCD screens, now however, the step counter has evolved into a much more connected device. The Nintendo 3DS, as well as being a dedicated handheld gaming system actually counts all your physical activity, as it includes a stepper based on its accelerometers. The motivation for using a stepper is usually only for exercise. Nintendo turn that concept on its head a little. The more steps you do the more coins you get to use in some of the games. This actually encourages you to take the 3DS with you in your pocket, when you would otherwise just leave it at home. Each day when I walk the kids to school I pick up
the 3DS on the way out of the door. Another interesting move has been by Nike. They’ve been making trainers with steppers in them. The rise of internet connectivity and social media led to the sharing of individual performance data and activity. Of course people don’t wear trainers all the time so they have developed a functional fashion item called the http:// nikeplus.nike.com/plus/products/fuelband. This active device is worn as a bracelet/ watch and tracks all your activity. It has coloured LED indicators scoring you to your target and a matrix display to show time and text. The Fuelband connects to smartphones and computers to send activity, which then hits the social web. The aim is to measure whatever sporting or motion activity occurs Individuals can set their own targets based on their sport. An offshoot of the Nike measurement system is the deﬁnition of Nikefuel. This is an attempt at a standard measurement of any activity in any sport. After all, steps only apply to running or walking. Nikefuel lets people compare activity with friends across different sports. Really it’s just another motivational tool, the psychology of effort is often harder than the actual effort itself. Game elements like Nikefuel, when also shared with like minded friends, give an extra element to focus on. Nike have not restricted themselves to physical devices though. Coming very soon
is the Nike+ training application for Xbox using Kinect. Lots of training and tracking, as with UFC and Fitness Evolved, but with the scoring of the activities as, you guessed it, Nikefuel. Smartphones are loaded with sensors and also tend to have GPS. This has led to some clever developments around exercise and in particular running. Endomondo is used by millions of people worldwide (see our App of the Month) and Zombies, Run! http://www.zombiesrungame. com is a story based training app. It uses the principle of knowing how far and fast you run relative to yourcurrent position. This is used to trigger story elements and mini challenges for you via your headphones. So rather than just running with some tunes your run is interspersed with narrative. You learn more about the story by running, you reach certain targets in certain times to impact that story.
I LIKE TO MOVE IT MOVE IT
At a virtual worlds conference I was introduced to an unusual gaming controller called Blobo www.bloboshop.com. This small coloured ball is connected via Bluetooth to some mini games on a PC or Mac. The Blobo has accelerometers in it, so it knows what is happening to it. Is it thrown up in the air? Is it spinning? It senses pressure so it can be squeezed. It also, as it turns out, acts as a stepper counter. The dynamic this brings to a game activity is subtly different from a PS3 Move, Wiimote or Kinect. If you play the basketball game you have to throw the Blobo straight up in the air and catch it again. Real world physics is involved. The controller leaves your hand. My Blobo came from a Finnish company, but I discovered, via some serendipitous crossing of information streams on my blog, the core of it was developed by a company local to me. Quarternion Technology had developed the Blobo. They have another more sports focused product called the BPMPro http:// www.quaternion-tech.com/quaternionprojects/bpmpro/. BPMPro is a low cost consumer technology
based motion sensor. It is designed to be attached to the body, usually more than one is applied. It then uses precise measurement of acceleration and movement during a technique. When put in context of a particular set of motions it then can use software to feedback to the user the qualitative elements of the move. One example is of a forehand swing with a tennis racquet. The rotation of the body from the hip, the following movement of the arm have BPMPro sensors and also a sensor can be placed in the racquet. This can be mapped to the ideal torsion model of the human body to maximise the technique. The technology is also aimed at physiotherapy, helping people to perform the right movements at the right pace. As you can see instrumentation and feedback of the data, either for scientiﬁc purposes or for fun and motivational reasons is very powerful. Activities are physical, but the data is creating virtual representations. These representations are starting to be shared, typically as scores. However there is a natural link to virtual worlds and virtual environments. If we are honing a sports technique with someone else or with a group and we can’t all be in the same place at the same time, yet we have lots of instrumentation data, then naturally we should use live virtual world technology as part of the mix.
A project well on the road to this sort of interaction is The Coaches Center http:// thecoachescenter.com . I have been involved in this as an advisor for a while as I think the principles of combining sports and virtual worlds is an ideal platform for people to understand the power of virtual worlds in communication. Sports are games, but not really regarded as games. The technology is game technology, but not really for playing. The Coaches Center is a Unity3d web based experience. It provides a shared virtual environment. It is initially aimed at sport coach education. All sports coaches at all levels take certain classes and certiﬁcations. Often they have to travel and spend time away at shared education sessions. This takes coaches away from their athletes and clubs. If instead the coaches can gather in shared virtual spaces, discuss and participate in the course then more time can be spent on the sport and less on travel. Once people start to interact online in virtual environments, around a subject they are passionate about (as sports coaches are, many are volunteers!) new models emerge. The Coaches Center provides virtual ofﬁces for coaches, they they can personalise and invite people into their ofﬁce. In the environment it is possible to place posters, videos and information on boards in the rooms. Your avatar can be adorned with
clothes related to your sport. Likewise larger convention centers provide bigger gathering spaces online. A virtual environment can allow visualisation of data as a shared experience. In the future feeding in of live physical performance data into the environment would let a coach the other side of the world offer their guidance to an athlete. I would let a physiotherapist offer live feedback to someone recuperating at home without the need for travel. None of this removes, or replaces the need to be physical, to meet and work together instead it augments that. It adds a beneﬁcial set of tools to the mix. For me, going to a Choi Kwang Do session at my Dojang, with the family collaborative atmosphere is important. Training with different people teaches you different things every time. Choi Kwang Do allows for us to go and train at any Dojang anywhere in the world. Imagine if, with advances in easily accessible technology, I am able to get expert human feedback on my techniques from places I can’t get to visit physically. Where the data is also able to be analysed to provide some automated feedback too. Measuring acceleration of a punch, counting the number of kicks performed. Each of these can enhance an individuals improvement without making it competitive, yet still have the offer the scoring numbers that something like Nikefuel provides for additional motivation.
EXPERIMENTATION AND MOVING UPWARDS AND ONWARDS.
This could seem a little way off, but in reality we have all the pieces. I decided to try a little experiment. Initially I tinkered with an Arduino based accelerometer hit counter that could be embedded in a punchbag. Then I decided to try something more advanced. I used the freely available Tryplex toolkit http://code.google.com/p/tryplex for the Mac’s quartz composer and the Synapse opensource Kinect interface http://synapsekinect.tumblr.com. This let me plug my Xbox Kinect into the Mac and try out some Choi Kwang Do moves getting live feedback on the screen, seeing myself as a wireframe with individual joints highlighted. I then fed that (in this case as a youtube video) into my ofﬁce in The Coaches Centre. I also used the whiteboard to put up some Korean terminology for the moves as text. If you were logged in and invited to my ofﬁce we would all be able to see the same content, discuss and adjust and swap moves. At a time when everyone is so inspired by the Olympics and Paralympic heroic sporting endeavours at London 2012. I think it is fair to use the Choi Kwang Do motto. “Pil Seung!” (Certain Victory!) to apply to the beneﬁts this easily accessible technology is going to have on society in the future. Roll on Brazil!!
ENDOMONDO Ok, so you’ve just been watching the Olympics and are all ﬁred up ready to get ﬁt again. You’ve promised to reduce the takeaways to just one night a week and have located that old pair of trainers from the back of the cupboard. It’s 6am on Sunday morning, you open the front door to start your ﬁrst jog around the park in years. The fresh morning air is tickling your nostrils, but as you take your ﬁrst few steps down the path an overwhelming sense of dread hits you. But wait, don’t panic, help is at hand. If you have a smartphone with GPS capabilities, Endomondo is the perfect motivation tool and companion to enhance an otherwise daunting exercise routine. The free App will track all of your sports data (how far you ran, where you went, how long it took, calories used etc, etc) enabling you to closely monitor your performance levels and challenge your own performances. It also allows you to share your results with your friends on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and to meet new people with like minded achievable goals. Along with a growing number of Endomondo related gadgets, there are lots of initiatives being set up with commercial partners. Eg, Left Lane Sports were recently offering the ﬁve people who burned off the most calories in Sept $100 each, and there are lots of promotional offers and codes for money off all kinds of sporting gear and products. Endomondo is suitable for virtually everyone, from athletes aiming towards Brazil 2016 to couch potatoes looking to lose a few pounds, regain lost conﬁdence and feel healthier. For more information on Endomondo visit www.endomondo.com or search in your phones App store for ‘Endomondo Sports Tracker’
OF THE MONTH
Weâ€™ve teamed up with Endomondo to give away three brilliant workout jackets designed by David Anderson to keep you warm, dry and safe while out and about. See overleaf..
One of three Endomondo Workout Jackets We’ve teamed up with Endomondo to give away three brilliant workout jackets, designed by David Andersen to keep you warm on cold days, but light enough to fold up into it’s own pocket. It also has reflective details on the neck, back and chest so it’s ideal now the nights are closing in. To enter our competition visit www.flushthefashion.com/ win/endomondo or email your name and address to endomon email@example.com Editors decision is final. Closing date: 20th November 2012
Good luck! For more info visit www.endomondo.com
WIN A JoyTAB 9.7 Rev2 Android tablet The JoyTAB 9.7 Rev2 is a powerful and sturdy tablet PC from Gemini devices. Powered by Google’s Android Operating System, unlike an iPad (and most other tablets), it has built-in USB and HDMI ports allowing connection to memory sticks, external drives, and is especially cool for connecting the tablet to a HDTV. With over 360,000 Apps (and growing) in Google’s PlayStore including Maps, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Ebook reader (Adobe Flash supported) Angry Birds, there is plenty to explore.
Key features of the JoyTAB 9.7 Rev2: ● 9.7” Capacitive touch screen ● 1Ghz ARM Cortex processor ● 1GB DDR3 RAM ● 16GB storage (upgradable to 32GB wjth Micro SD card) ● Ice Cream Sandwich operating system ● Front 0.3 megapixel camera / rear 2 megapixel ● 5 hour battery ● Micro USB port, Mini HBMI socket, Micro SD ● Built in Mic / Stereo headphone jack ● Gyrascope ● Wi-Fi
For more info visit www.geminidevices.com/joytab10v2.html
To enter our competition to win a JoyTAB 9.7 Rev2 visit www.flushthefashion.com/win/gemini or email your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org Editors decision is final. Closing date: 20th November 2012
MY FAVOURITE MOVIE by Dave Becker
April 23, 1984. That was the day I saw, for the very first time, the greatest motion picture ever made...
Do you have a favourite movie? If so, email mymovie@ ﬂushmagazine.co.uk
It was just after Easter, and I was off from school. My Aunt and Uncle were in from San Francisco, and my parents decided to drive them down to the casinos in Atlantic City for the day. Seeing as I was only 14 at the time, the law said I couldn’t tag along, so I was left at home, alone and desperate for something to do. At some point, I remembered my father had recently taped The Godfather off cable. Faced with an entire afternoon that needed killing, I sat down and popped that tape into the VCR. Prior to this initial viewing, I knew very little about The Godfather. So, with no idea of what was to come, imagine how I reacted when John Marley pulled down his bedcovers, revealing what remained of his beloved horse, Khartoum? I’ll tell you how… my heart leapt into my throat! Never before had I been as shocked by a ﬁlm as I was by that particular scene, on that particular day. It was a deﬁning moment in my growth as a movie buff, and a memory that’s just as vivid now as it ever was. The story opens at the conclusion of WWII, as the Corleone family, a New York criminal organization under the leadership of Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), is struggling to keep pace in an ever-changing world. When the Don refuses to do business with Virgil Sollozzo (Al Lettieri), primarily because that ‘business’ is the distribution of illegal narcotics, it sets in motion a chain of events that will result in an attempt on the Don’s life, putting
the Don temporarily out of commission. Before the smoke settles, two of his sons will have ascended to power as head of the family: ﬁrst Sonny (James Caan) and then his younger brother, Michael (Al Pacino). Sonny’s a bit too hotheaded for the top spot, and his temper will lead the family ﬁrst to war, then to tragedy. But Michael, a returning war hero, quickly proves he possesses the calm and reserve such a powerful position demands, becoming the heir apparent to a vast criminal empire. The Godfather is chock full of one memorable sequence after another. I’d venture to guess that, if you ask ﬁve fans of the ﬁlm what their favorite scene is, you’d get ﬁve completely different answers. From the wedding that kicks off the movie to the violent montage that ends it, The Godfather weaves a tale so unforgettable that it will remain with you well after the ﬁnal credits roll. It is not simply a masterpiece; it is the king of masterpieces, the perfect marriage of performance, imagery, dialogue and direction the likes of which I have never seen before and likely will never see again. For me, The Godfather is the pinnacle of the motion picture art form, the culmination of everything a movie should be. If The Godfather is not a work of art, then art does not exist.
Dave Becker writes a daily ﬁlm blog entitled ‘2,500 Movies Challenge’, located at www. dvdinfatuation.com
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