The Crucible / Field Music / Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief / A-Trak
Features.Short Fuse. Competition Help SuTCO Mask the Greek Chorus Do you have a creative streak? Then Sheffield University Theatre Company invites you to take part in an exciting mask designing competition! Later this semester SuTCo will be showcasing a performance of a new and innovative comedy play called Immaculate and the costume requires a number of masks for the mock Greek Chorus. The company has a number of designs already but they need one more and are looking to the students of the university to get involved and help them out.
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The design can be absolutely anything. Ideas so far include a Mask of Zorro, an extravagant feather-coated mask and one depicting Wayne Rooney’s face. Could design something even more original, imaginative, and funnier? The winner will receive a mystery prize as well as having their work displayed on stage and their name in the production programme. The deadline for entries is Saturday March 6 so get designing!
Send entries to theatre. firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Immaculate Mask Competition or deliver them by hand to the SuTCo office (through the Film Unit office on the finance corridor). Good luck!
Happy New Year from good old Fuse director Chris Columbus), the film is packed with stars, including Pierce Brosnan, Steve Coogan and Uma Thurman, as half of Hollywood seem to make a cameo. Screen editor Peter Walsh went along to the press conference and press showing for the new release to find out if it has the right ingredients to step into the blockbuster void that the last Harry Potter film will leave. A-Trak, aka Alain Macklovitch, is FrenchCanadian former DJ wonderkid. Whilst still a teenager he had won many illustrious DJing awards, including being the youngest ever DMC World Champion and being the first DJ to win five World Championships.
Editorial Welcome back and happy NewYear Hello, welcome back and happy New Year. It may seem incredibly belated for such well-wishing, what with it be February and all, but as this is the first issue of Fuse for 2010, it is our first opportunity to do so and we shall take it. So what are Fuse’s New Year’s resolutions? Well, as we haven’t been in our current format for that long, we won’t be making wholesale changes. Instead we are just going to try and continue with what we are already doing: providing you with a great mix of interviews, features and reviews from realm of entertainment and arts on a local, national and international level. So let’s start this week as we mean to go on. Covering the local aspect, Arts editor Richard Scott went along to the newly reopened and refurbished Crucible theatre to find out where the millions have been spent. We are extremely privileged to have such a prestigious and important cultural landmark (and the venue for some classic snooker matches) on our doorstep and it is surely necessary for every student to visit at least once whilst at Sheffield, particularly now it promises to be more audience-friendly and comfortable than before. On the national side, there is an interview with Sunderland siblings David and Peter Brewis, otherwise known as Field Music, who will be playing at Fusion on Sunday, February 28. Having gone on hiatus to pursue other music projects, Field
What are Fuse’s New Year’s resolutions?
Field Music are feeling a bit under the weather. Music are back together Those of you who don’t with a new and ambitious have a pre-teen younger double album (Measure). brother are probably Ffion Thomas chats to the unfamiliar with massiveduo about coming back selling children’s book together and embracing series Percy Jackson & their slightly more dodgy the Olympians, the first of classic rock influences, such which, Percy Jackson & the as AC/DC and Aerosmith. Lightning Thief has been Bringing the international turned into a film. In the touch to Fuse are A-Trak and books, Greek mythology is Percy Jackson. fast-forwarded to the 21st
century and, naturally, New York where the eponymous Percy learns that the myths are non-fiction and that he is actually the son of Poseidon. Sniffing the opportunity for a big earning franchise to replace the Harry Potter movies (coincidently the film is directed by Philosopher’s Stone
Since then his career has continued to include some exceptional and interesting highlights, such as being enlisted as Kanye West’s tour DJ and co-founding his own label, Fool’s Gold, with Nick Catchdubs. As his stature as a musical marvel keeps on growing, Emily Dawkins caught up with the man before his recent showing at Plug to talk about his past, present and future as a global superstar DJ. Beyond the feature pages, we still have all the reviews and our listings guide to what’s going on in and around the city. So even if you’ve already given up on all your good intentions for 2010, we will endeavour to stick to our resolution for your benefit.
A new dialogue on Sheffield’s dubstep Clubbers’Guide Subtitle Corporation
When is it on and how often is it Once a month on the fourth Saturday of the month. But there are occasional oneoff events as well.
Name of the night Subtitle. Tagline Sheffield’s best dubstep night.
like minded individuals who wanted to create a night to rival and better the other dubstep nights in the city.
Who runs it A combination of Kraschenbern, Deefer and J-Bug (Corporation and Subtitle residents), and Mark Akid and his <20hz Crew. Basically, a bunch of
Where is it Corporation. Door Tax £5 for advance tickets which are available from Spaceman, Golden Harvest, Airy Fairy and Rocky Horrors and online at www. corporation.org.uk.
What type of music will be playing Dubstep, but occasionally there’s some d’n’b and jungle too.
Who’s lined up for the future On Saturday, March 27 there’s Kromestar, and LSS Crew and on Saturday, April 24 there’s a special Circus Records takeover featuring Doctor P, Flux Pavillion, Cookie Monsta and Funtcase.
Standard attire/Uniform Everybody’s an individual. Whatever floats your boat. Who’s it for Party people. Ethos/Motto A good time for good people. General Info The night started back in December 2008, and originally took place on Thursdays every fortnight or so. Then in the summer
of 2009 it was moved to a bigger r o o m , and to Saturdays. Expect a friendly environment, the best DJs and the biggest tunes Who’s played in the past Bar9, Crissy Criss, Sukh
Knight, Scandalous Unltd, Stenchman, Heny G, Bluebear, Emalkay, Flux Pavilion, Rob Sparx, Rubberdub Crew, Afterdark Crew, Seven, Vandal AKA, Squire of Gothos, Deadbeat, Autograff, Kidnap Kid, to name a few.
Recommendations for other nights Bassface, Liquid Steel Sessions, Feedback, Dark Crystal, Dubcentral, Bad Taste Records, and anything <20hz is involved in. Next event Saturday, February 27 with Cluekid and DJ Grimaz.
GoodFellas and bad attitudes InHindsight GoodFellas Director: Martin Scorsese GoodFellas. So huge they named a pizza franchise after it. But let’s not kid ourselves; we’re in the presence of cinematic royalty here. Twenty years after its release, let’s look back at one of the most influential gangster movies of the ’90s, perhaps ever. A decade since 1980’s Raging Bull landed a haymaker on world cinema, film master Martin Scorsese had been struggling to replicate the unanimous critical acclaim garnered by his bold, brutal and beautiful exploration into the sadomasochistic life and career of Jake LaMotta. For many however, GoodFellas was Scorsese’s magnum opus, his finest work, an epic mobster tale to dethrone The Godfather itself. That’s right, it’s that good. Now, anybody that places a movie on the same pedestal as Francis Ford Coppola’s archetypical mafia epic is risking a good lynching. But once that dust cloud settles, understand that GoodFellas really is a dark horse in the ranks of cinema’s all-time greats. Every so often a film sets a benchmark for its genre. The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II did it. In 1990, GoodFellas raised it that little bit further, and it’s often a long time before it
gets raised again. GoodFellas sees the perfect cinematic marriage of Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro from Raging Bull returns once again in aid of Scorsese. De Niro delivers a characteristically charming, yet unpredictable and violent turn as mob veteran and master thief Jimmy Conway. Joe Pesci, however, blows all others out of the water with his hilarious yet terrifying portrayal of Tommy, the psychotic gunman. His Oscar-winning performance is as startling and discomforting as any over the last 20 years. It’s an ingenious blend of humour and menace, one that countless directors have since failed to replicate. Ray Liotta’s performance as Henry Hill depicts the remarkable rise and fall of a gangster with humour, violence and anger, whilst never losing his human touch. The audience will watch with awe as the amiable ego, ambition and playful lust of a 21-year-old mobster deteriorates before their eyes, mutating into a paranoid, cocaine-abusing love cheat.
GoodFellas. So huge they named a pizza after it The plot is your typical gangster story: family values; crime; adultery; respect; blackmail; and
a ridiculous amount of cocaine. But no movie has delved deeper into the personal conflicts of a man growing up through the mafia; how the grand, ‘ragsto-riches’ lifestyle corrodes through friendship, marriage and family. GoodFellas also managed to avoid all of the gangster flick clichés that the world has become accustomed to… no cats or mandolins here.
Joe Pesci blows all others out of the water The main source of brilliance? GoodFellas is a true story. As the original story came straight from the horse’s mouth (or rat’s if you‘d prefer), the resulting screenplay is a fascinating, realistic and exceptionally accurate depiction of mafia life. Scorsese’s decision not to include an original soundtrack but instead use 30 years of popular music was masterful. Hits from the likes of Aretha Franklin and George Harrison create an uncanny sense of reality amongst the mayhem. The juxtaposition between music and (often extremely graphic) visuals is amazing. The finest example of this? The moment De Niro’s Jimmy decides to ‘whack’ his accomplices to the infamous riff of ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ by Cream. But the question is has
The Fuse team’s thoughts
yours. If, however, you are a disappointed reader of NME or Q, then pick up a copy and enjoy.
Fuse can’t... bring itself to care about awards season. The BRIT awards; the Oscars; who cares. The right people never win. Sometimes they aren’t even nominated. Our personal taste differs massively from those of the judges. We know what we like and we don’t need an award to validate our preferences. Fuse hates... 3D cinema. Despite James Cameron’s best efforts, it’s not as immersive as he believes. Apart from the odd bit of falling debris in the foreground or some unnecessary pointing from actors, most of the screen content now seems further away. And the glasses give you a headache too.
Fuse is... planning on getting a more rounded student experience by adding some culture to our nights out. Sheffield Theatres’ A Night Less Ordinary offers under26s the chance to get their hands on recession-friendly free theatre tickets. Good news for the bank balance and the mind. Visit www. sheffieldtheatres.co.uk to find out more.
Fuse is... also looking forward to a number of film releases this year but there is one in particular we are giddy with excitement for (like the child we were when we saw the first one): Toy Story 3. Without sounding like we have an impotence problem, we have missed Woody. However, we definitely won’t be seeing it in 3D.
Fuse is... looking forward to all the (hopefully) amazing albums set for release this year. We have already had some great LPs so far from Hot Chip, Vampire Weekend and Yeasayer, but over the next few months there will be new releases from Gorillaz, The Streets, MGMT and, if we all keep our fingers crossed, The Strokes.
Fuse wishes... a very happy birthday to The Stool Pigeon. The fantastic, free and independent music newspaper celebrates its fifth birthday in its latest issue, which you can pick up from various stockist across the city as it’s out now. If you’re a dedicated fan of The Pigeon, you probably already know this and have already bagged
Fuse heard... the news about producer Tim Goldsworthy leaving hipster New York electro label DFA Records... or has he? Reports are still a bit sketchy and the truth a little hard to come by as all involved parties seem to be failing to communicate with each other. Let’s hope the bickering stops and Goldsworthy returns to the label he co-founded.
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Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci: GoodFellas but poor lighting.
anybody managed to knock this cinematic behemoth off its throne as the Don of gangster movies? Scorsese himself has tried gallantly to beat his third and most recent masterpiece. The Departed and Gangs of New York earned tremendous praise and numerous accolades, but there would always be the same whisper… ‘They just aren’t as good as GoodFellas.’ Even his 1995 follow up, Casino failed to live up to GoodFellas, despite the reunion of Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. Other directors have released impressive gangster films since. 1997’s Donnie Brasco boasted a faultless Johnny Depp alongside mafia veteran Al Pacino. However, the traditional theme of the Italian-American mafia seems to have died out. To answer the question: No. Nobody has made a gangster film with as much quality, freshness and flair as GoodFellas since its release 20 years ago. Many come close, but somehow I don’t see modern filmmakers succeeding amongst the current priorities of lush visuals and pretty boy leads over pure grit and plot. To ’whack’ GoodFellas, a director will have to do the same thing Scorsese did to The Godfather. Embrace it, learn from it, but most importantly, don’t be ashamed of looking to the past. After all, original isn’t always best.
Time to Back Trak Emily Dawkins joins A-Trak to talk past successes and future sounds.
When you were awkwardly hitting puberty, or playing Nintendo and going to Scouts, one boy was winning competitions worldwide and doublehandedly working on his future from the basement of his family home in Montreal. After winning three different world championships at the ripe old age of 15, and remaining DMC World DJ Champion for five years in a row, you might wonder how things could get any
better for DJ A-Trak. But with two stadium tours as Kanye West’s DJ, a place at the top spot in the UK dance charts with house legend Armand Van Helden and a coveted FabricLive mix under his belt, things show no sign of changing pace. It all started when the thirteen year old Alain bought a second-hand pair of turntables with his Bar Mitzvah money. Encouraged by his older brother David (the moustached half of the elecrofunk duo Chromeo), he fast-tracked his way to success through his serious talent for cutting, scratching and blending. We were lucky enough to steal a few minutes with him before he played at The Plug on Saturday, delivering an outstanding 90-minute spectacular of hip-hop, electro and everything in between.
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‘When I was 13, all I wanted to do was scratch’
Back in the day, who first inspired you to start scratching? Well, I first started to DJ when I was 13, and I was purely interested in scratching, all I wanted to do was scratch. I was listening to hip hop records, and all the people I could hear scratching over the top were my main influence… DJ Premiere, Jazzy Jeff and P Rock. Once I started learning a little bit more about scratching and the DMCs and stuff, that’s when I started to hear about DJ Qbert, Mix Master Mike and Rock Rader. Then I met DJ Craze, and we started to partner up and did a lot of the competitions together. So those were, mainly for the first days of my career, a big influence. [Laughs] But really, that was a long time ago now. Has your brother been a continual influence for you?
Yeah, definitely, but that was a little different. My brother and I worked really closely at first – this was a long time before Chromeo, way before Chromeo. He was always making music and he was always a producer, in bands, y’know. So as my older brother, he saw me pick up this skill really fast and he motivated me to start practising a lot more seriously. He gave me guidance and stuff like that; for sure, he was a lot of help.
‘My style is in the junction between hip-hop and electronic music’ You’ve spanned decades and genres with your career – if somebody wanted to start to get to know your sound, where would you tell them to start? Erm, I mean I’m originally a hip-hop DJ and now I play a lot of electronic music… The junction between those two is what describes my style. Somewhere between electro and hip-hop, with a very fast moving and technical take on DJing. Scratch DJs obviously have a routine to a certain extent; you can’t create that kind of magic off the cuff. Now you’ve moved away from purely scratching, how much of your sets are improvised these days? I improvise a huge part of my sets now. Typically what I’ll have is an intro that’ll be ready beforehand and then I’ll have a few more technical parts that I’ll also have ready in advance. That might be two or three parts that are more involved technically, and then the rest of the set is just put together on the spot. You’re famed for your collaborations. Do you have any projects coming up?
A big part of 2009, and the success of 2009 for me has been [A-Trak and Arman Van Helden collaboration] Duck Sauce. We’ve been working on some new songs that I’m really happy about also, so there’s going to be some more new releases this summer from us. There’s some other collaborations and more bits of stuff coming soon which I haven’t announced yet – so you’ll have to wait and watch for those. Nice, there’s something for us to look forward to. So imagine your house is on fire and you have time to grab three records from your entire collection – what would they be? I think that’s one of the most difficult questions for a DJ, it’s always different each time I answer. I guess I would have to say… Daft Punk’s Discovery, Kanye’s first album The College Dropout, and Stevie Wonder’s Original Musiquarium. That’s for when I want to relax a little more, I’m not gonna just listen to beats the whole time after my house has burnt down. So what’s the future for Alain Macklovitch and Fool’s Gold Records? Ah, well there’s lots of fresh music to keep an eye out for. Fool’s Gold is great, yeah, the whole labels going great. There are lots of bits coming out soon, it will probably take a while for my next album, probably not until next year. At the moment I’m working on a new mix tape called Dirty South Dance Vol. 2, the follow up to the first one I did three years ago. So yeah, that and Duck Sauce, keep an eye out for new releases. And I’ll be back out doing festivals all summer. So you’re not giving too much away then, we’ll have to keep our ears to the ground to find out more. In the mean time you can check out A-Trak’s blog, Fat Free Since 1982, or get listening to Dirty South Volume One.
Grecian Potters With Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief challenging Harry Potter to the mythology franchise crown, Peter Walsh meets the director and cast to talk gods, green pants and Greek myths.
ou may not recognise the name, but director Chris Columbus has reasons to be cheerful: “I’m very happy with the film, very happy with the visual effects, and very happy to say it’s nothing like Harry Potter!”. Coming from the man behind the Goonies, Gremlins, and most importantly the first three Potter films, these statements ring extra heavy. The film in question is Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and the film’s proximity to the ever present Potter franchise is a clear cause for concern. Following a young social outcast, living in a hellish domestic environment, our hero discovers he’s of significant ancestry, and destined to great things in an alternate society of magic and make-belief. You’d be forgiven for mistaking that for the synopsis to Philosopher’s Stone, but for all its initial similarities The Lightning Thief sets off in a bolder direction by leaving Potter’s wands and wizards for the infinitely more awesome Pantheon of Greek mythology. Based on the bestselling
books by Rick Riordan, Percy is a hyperactive, dyslexic school kid stuggling to find his way in the world. While on a school trip to the museum, Percy’s substitute maths teacher turns into a supernatural winged fury and attacks him. His best friend Grover and his teacher Mr Brunner step in at the last minute, revealing their true forms as a satyr and a centaur respectively, leaping to Percy’s help. Which is to say that one turns into a half goat, and the other into a half horse. Ex-Bond, and recent Abba warbler Pierce Brosnan took
More sure footed than Potter’s first foray onto the big screen.
number two and picture n u m b e r three, it got better. I learned a lot. There was a certain method in being a little obsessive with the visual effect, to the point they became seamless with the actor’s performances.” The film lives up to his ambitions, with the impressive melding of man and monster working to great effect. While the overexcited acting of the young cast clashes with the hammy character performances from the veterans, the thick and fast nature of the action keeps the film gliding along. A lighthearted sense of humour, and sly references to Greek mythology’s darkest chapter give the film a nuance lacking in the early Potter films. For all his protestations at the parallels viewers will draw from The Lightning Thief’s closeness to the Potter series, the film benefits from being free of the baggage of expectation bestowed on the bespectacled one. The story’s basis on the brilliance of Greek myth gives the film a solid foundation, and for it’s unsure moments, Percy Jackson’s filmic debut remains more sure-footed than Potter’s first foray onto the big screen. Hopefully the start of what could be a very promising franchise.
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on the unenviable role as the teacher with a horse’s arse. High-end visual effects were key to bringing this spectacle to the big screen, which is not to say that Brosnan didn’t find it a challenge. “Come the reality of the day I had to get onto fluorescent green painted stilts and put on the blue tights. You have to be a bold man to do this, especially when you’re on set amongst 200 young people who are very buffed and eager to strut their stuff!” Newcomer Logan Lerman is cast in the role of the plucky but bewildered Percy, struggling to come to terms with the fact that his long-gone father is the Greek god Poseidon, played by Kevin McKidd of Trainspotting and Rome fame. Being the demigod son of the Lord of the Seas makes him a prime target for those with a grudge to bear against Poseidon. Add to this a shady conspiracy to steal Zeus’ lightning, and the burden of blame for the crime is what rudely awakens Percy to the mythological world around him.
His biggest foe is Hades, witheringly played by Steve Coogan in the role of aging rock god-cum-Lord of the Underworld. He kidnaps Percy’s mortal mother and drags her to the afterlife, promising to release her only in exchange for the lightning. His refuge in the fantastical Camp Half-Blood is short-lived, and Percy is eager to find the lightning to help bring his mother back to the mortal realm. On his journey he’s accompanied by his satyr and guardian Grover, as well as by the headstrong Annabeth, daughter of the powerfully goddess Athena. The young trio’s adventure sees them confront a phalanx of Hollywood stars filling the roles of the Gods and the Gorgons. Alongside Coogan and McKidd, the weighty role of Zeus is played by Sheffield’s own Sean Bean, giving a heavy British representation to the lords of the Greek Pantheon. Each actor brought their own little regional twist to their roles, with McKidd reflecting that “I suppose I have that Scottish/Celtic fieriness Poseidon might be aquatic but he’s quite fiery in the film.” English Coogan was, perhaps unsurprisingly, self-deprecating about his turn in the film noting that “I played Hades as a neurotic, self-obsessed, narcissistic character. If that makes me British, so be it!” Along the way we get Rosario Dawson popping up as the sultry Persephone, living with Hades in an underworld beneath, where else but Hollywood, and Uma Thurman gives a brilliant turn as the snake-haired and pertifying Medusa, stuck in a decaying garden centre in southern state USA. The stars flash by in a flurry of parts, interspliced with some impressive digital monsters which harass Percy and his crew every step of the way. Columbus came to The Lightning Thief with the full knowledge of how precarious working in full CGI environments could be, and his experiences with the Potter films were instrumental to this. “The first film was a little creaky but as we went to picture
Pastures New “I
wish I could change and make new rules, and love myself better,” comes the yearning call of ‘In The Mirror’, the opening track of Field Music’s new album. It’s the introspective mantra of an individual, but one that also serves as a manifesto for the reincarnation of this Sunderland band.
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‘It was always the intention that we’d do another Field Music record’
Having released their eponymous debut in 2005 and its follow-up, Tones of Town, in 2007, Field Music decided they needed to get something out of their systems. Branching out into solo projects - David Brewis as School of Language and Peter Brewis under the moniker The Week That Was - the albums released were positively received. Now they’ve come out the other side to continue their work as Field Music and release their third album: again eponymous, but this time subtitled (Measure). And the time apart has certainly made a difference. Whilst their previous releases were notable for their brevity, (Measure) is a double album that spans well over an hour and traverses new musical ground for the Brothers Brewis. “It was always the intention from really quite early on that we’d do another Field Music record, to have something that was stylistically varied, where the character of the
album comes through within its variation, rather than in a coherent binding together of the tracks,” says David Brewis. “The idea is like, this time, Field Music is this new thing where we can do whatever the hell we want, so let’s do a record where we do whatever the hell we want. It felt like there were no stylistic boundaries, and really that feeling was what led us to feeling that, yeah, we could do this again.” There’s no doubt that this is reﬂected in the musical output of (Measure). Any fan of old-school Field Music may be somewhat taken aback by the ‘70s rock styling of tracks such as ‘Let’s Write A Book’; however, it’s born of a desire to relish inﬂuences without shame. “The process of touring for both the solo records has improved our playing to a great degree, and that gave us more conﬁdence to try things, and also to be a little bit less embarrassed about lots of the things that we like. I mean, we both really like rock music and I don’t know that that particularly comes through on our ﬁrst couple of Field Music albums.
‘We like Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and AD/DC and this time we’ve let it come out’ “So there was a sense this time that we like Led Zeppelin, and we like Aerosmith, we’ve got a soft spot for AC/DC, and we’re going to let that come out. There’s plenty of things about those bands and the records
The Brothers Brewis have reconvened for another outing as Field Music. Ffion Thomas finds out more.
Field Music performance, but one that won’t forget their previous incarnation’s output of catchy, concise indie-pop songs vocally marked by the Brewis brothers’ Mackem accents.
‘Live, it feels like we’ve become a lot more dynamic, we have a lot more options’ “Now we’ve got a back catalogue, we’ve got quite a lot of songs to choose from. The gigs have been great so far, we haven’t really kicked off in a very intense way yet, but it feels good. “It feels very different from Field Music live in the past because we’ve got different people in the band and for the ﬁrst time we’re doing Field Music gigs as two guitars, which is very strange, but in a good way. “These are the ﬁrst Field Music gigs since 2004 with a bass player. It just feels like we’ve become a lot more dynamic, we have a lot more options with what we can do. “Me and Peter have always had a problem with coming to terms with not being able to recreate the records on stage, and now it’s a little bit different in that I think we’ve just accepted that they’re very different art forms, playing live and making a record. They’re very, very different things, so we should embrace what’s good about live music when we play live, and not worry about it the rest of the time.” Worrying seems to be something that Field Music have cast aside; they’re all the better for it.
Friday February 19 2010
they made which are pretty embarrassing, and kind of terrible and unjustiﬁable in this day and age. However, there’s loads of things about those records which are absolutely great, so just being embarrassed about it seems like a bad reason not to take what we can from them.” A patiently realistic record label in Memphis Industries also helps in this respect. Field Music might never have mass appeal – a prospect made even more unlikely with the release of (Measure) – but with a modest fanbase accepting of change, there’ll always be an audience. “We feel like because we’re not a national venture with very high expectations of sales, we can do whatever kind of music interests us. “And yeah, lots of people won’t like it, and lots of people are going to say the album is too long, and that’s totally ﬁne. We’re very much resigned to that, completely don’t mind, but we can make completely crazy music because that’s what we do.” Inevitably, however, the hectic juggling act of touring, promotion and keeping one’s sanity means that the band’s side-projects have been forced onto the backburner. “For the moment, all thoughts are with Field Music, but it’s very difﬁcult to know how you feel about something, especially when we’ve got quite a lot of touring coming up. At the moment, it feels like, “oh, Field Music’s great!”, but once we’ve done three or four or ﬁve months of touring, we might not feel the same. At the moment it just feels like whatever we need to do, we can do within Field Music.” A re-shufﬂe of the band’s lineup means that the forthcoming tours of the UK and USA will showcase a different kind of
Feature.The Crucible Relaunch.
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a s ta g e t o p l
On a tour of Shefﬁeld’s Crucible theatre, Richard Scott talks to Executive Director Dan Bates about the vision behind the venue’s £15.3million refurbishment. The lobby of the Crucible Theatre is deceptively quiet as Dan Bates takes a seat across the table. In the back rooms manic preparations are underway for the theatre’s headline performance of Henrik Ibsen’s sharp political satire An Enemy of the People. “You wouldn’t guess – it seems very calm up here right now,” Dan says. “It’s not how I prefer it – I like it when it’s busy and vibrant.” As Executive Director, Dan is looking forward to re-launching the Crucible after two years of redesign and
refurbishments, a project which has cost £15.3million and brought much anticipation both in the national press and the world of theatre. The opening of the Crucible in 1971 regenerated the city’s struggling arts scene and put it on the map as the home of a renowned production house. Now 40-years-old, it has become iconic to performers and theatre-goers alike and is a national tourist destination. “It’s a building that people have loved, and for such a long time. People are
desperate to get back in here. We had a series of very successful housewarming events in November last year, including an audience with Sir Ian McKellan.” McKellan has been a long time supporter of the Crucible, having taken part in the theatre’s opening entertainment in 1971 in a performance of Chekhov’s Swan Song with Edward Petherbridge. I ask Dan what he believes the essence of the Crucible experience is for audiences, and how the refurbishment has tried to improve upon that. “What is wonderful about the Crucible is that, because of the thrust stage, you are never more than 22 metres from an actor. Now that sounds quite a lot when you say it, but once you’re in there it feels very intimate. It is a classical space, and the actor is under a lot of scrutiny. You can’t ﬁll that space with a massive amount of staging or props. It’s a lot of pressure for them, but in terms of the relationship between audience and actor it is an exciting space. “In terms of improving the experience, we’re going to make them feel looked after, and treat them in a way they haven’t been given before. We’ve been working with another theatre company, Dead Earnest, doing plays about customer service, and all of our staff have been through that training. We’ve taken over the restaurant just opposite in Tudor Square and called it Crucible
‘The relationship between the audience and the actor in this space is exciting.’
The Crucible Box Ofﬁce.
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l ay t h e pa rt
new logo has been designed, inspired by the building’s angular seventies design aesthetic. Performers have access to expanded dressing facilities, so they no longer have to race through backstage passages from the other side of the building to reach the Studio stage. The Green Room provides a canteen and break room for members of the cast and crew. A state-of-the-art rehearsal suite has been built that can also handle
technical details like lighting, and which will also be able to host workshops, poetry readings and other events. Out front, the reception and box ofﬁce have been extensively remodelled to let in more light, outﬁtted with a plush new carpet, photography prints and contributor artwork. On one wall an eight-line poem stands out in metal, contributed by the late Harold Pinter to the Off the Shelf Festival’s ‘Text in
the City’ project. Called Laughter, its provocative imagery curtailed previous plans to project the poem on the outside of the building. “The money invested has gone toward bringing the theatre’s image and the facilities it offers to audiences and performers up to date, while preserving the iconic features of the building’s heritage. That has been a challenge: the Crucible is an important architectural building because of the thrust stage and the seventies design. It is also listed by English Heritage and we aren’t allowed to touch some things, like the concrete walls along the stairs in the lobby.
The reherseal suite can also be used to test stage lighting.
“What we have done is make it much more accessible and comfortable for audiences. We’ve improved access for disabled customers and performers by putting in lifts and ramps. The old theatre was also notoriously uncomfortable, and we’ve put in new seating and a cooling system. Sustainability is also a feature – we’re much more energy efﬁcient, and have used recycled materials. The panels of the box ofﬁce are made out of recycled
An Enemy of the People debued on February 16th. Photography by Sam Bennett. Auditorium photo courtesy of Shefﬁeld Theatres.
‘We’re going to treat audiences in a way we haven’t done before.’
£10 notes.” The thought and passion that has gone into the re-envisioning of the building is evident in the enthusiasm of the Crucible’s management team, and that enthusiasm has also been met by the theatre’s supporters in and outside of the city. Of the £15.3million raised for the project, £300,000 came from donations. ‘We also raised money by selling off the chairs, and pieces of the old carpet. Lots of people wanted a piece of the theatre’s history. They could choose whether they wanted a clean piece or a dirty piece – some people wanted the cigarette burns from the eighties, when people were allowed to smoke during the snooker. One man bought enough to carpet his hallway.’ So what does Dan see as the Crucible’s mission after its two-year hiatus? “To me it’s about making sure we can do great art. The work we have on stage between the three theatres (the Crucible, Lyceum and Studio) is exciting and the performances are very diverse. “This week we had older and younger people in the audience for Stomp, and it’s nice to see a performance like that appealing on all levels. An Enemy of the People is a show that is not often done, because it has a big cast. It’s also amusing, and very topical right now – all about political cover-ups.”
Friday February 19 2010
host our audiences. er Shefﬁeld cutlery not many places you eally.” rium is closed to us Enemy of the People are taken on a tour he Crucible’s second e, which offers a encounter between dience members. A
Above: The Crucible entrance. Below: The Studio Theatre.
Melodramatic pantomime Album Lightspeed Champion Life is Sweet! Nice to Meet You Since achieving acclaim as part of art-trash-discopunk marmite band Test Icicles, Devonté Hynes has gone on to receive a much less contentious level of praise under the moniker of Lightspeed Champion. Life is Sweet! Nice to Meet You marks his second official album release (amidst countless bootlegged recordings which Hynes gives away whenever he feels like it) and he continues his transition with simple country-tinged indie-pop gems, likeable
Dev Hynes delivers picturesque images of all things sweet in the world. commercial as more disappointingly is not an traditional girl bands, it angry musical criticism is hard to see what niche of broken society and its Plastiscines are attempting hooded, knife-wielding to fill with this record. It is teenagers. Plastiscines not outright sugary pop, nor The band is not without About Love does it have the attitude of a certain stylish, Alexa vintage Courtney Love. Chung look-alike factor; However, a touch of always a bonus in the maleEuropean glamour is orientated world of rock certainly evident in tracks music. Loud, guitar-fuelled girl rock such as the sunny, radioTheir high cheekbones, is flourishing across the friendly ‘Barcelona,’ which sultry eyeliner and artfully channel, if Parisian quartet is already filling indie club dishevelled fringes Plastiscines’ latest album, dancefloors. certainly do the Plastiscine About Love, is anything to go Many of the album’s girls no harm. Image is by. Written mainly in English tracks are quite formulaic, all-important. As stated in with occasional French, it choruses often involving ‘Bitch’, one of Plastiscines’ could render many of the nothing more than the catchier offerings, “I’m a songs fit for Eurovision. relentless repetition of one bitch / But people look at However, the line over and over again, me.” instrumentation is slick until the lyrics are thoroughly and the riffs are powerful embedded in your brain like Lizzie Palmer and catchy. a giant, bloody axe. The original Plastiscines, Despite being slightly all of whom were at school more Girls Aloud than riot together first met bassist grrrl, Plastiscines are pretty Louise Basilien at a angry. Libertines concert, and the The reasoning behind Nedry influence is clear. this is not immediately Cleaner-cut than the apparent. ‘I Could Rob Condors darker, edgier Vivian Girls, You’, screams the title of but not as glossy and the opening track, which
Friday February 19 2010
Nedry’s debut release Condors utilises the latest expanding musical fad (aka dubstep) in an attempt to distinguish itself from the rest of the stale and repetitive aspiring electronica that plagues the internet. It’s a bold move from the relatively unknown London three-piece, but one that is certainly helping to gain them some attention. One of the most striking aspects to the release is lead singer Ayu Okakita’s vocal style which can most clearly be described as like
a breathy Björk being pulled backwards through a rift in the space-time continuum. As interesting as this may sound, the ghostly wail tends to become trying after a while and will almost certainly find itself featuring in your next nightmare. What makes things interesting, however, is how Ayu’s voice becomes an instrument in itself as it’s looped and distorted to such an extent that it no longer sounds human. Björk impressions aside, Condors is by no means a standard electronica release, there’s a very eclectic mix present throughout, suggesting that Nedry have yet to define themselves. This lack of pigeonholing results in the band constantly swaying between airy, chilling, relaxed electronica and passionate, 65daysofstatic-esque fuzz-laden tracks such as ‘Scattered’ with the occasional hint of funky baselines added in for good measure. Together with the almost clichéd interjection of penetrating dubstep bass and you’ve got a potent mix; but it is a mix that feels all too varied to ensure your attention is secured for long enough.
charisma and wit. Often melodramatic, Life is Sweet… plays out as if it could be a staged musical, recounting tales of Hynes’ loves from the past, present and future in a typically optimistic but often self wallowing manner. This is encapsulated perfectly in the almost pantomimic ‘The Big Guns of Highsmith’. “Hurts to be the one who’s always feeling said” cries Hynes, before a retort in the chorus of “Oh, just stop complaining!” in a ‘He’s behind you!’ fashion. Even the short instrumental intermissions feel as though they are part of the dramatic act: playing as the curtain falls and through set changes as the characters prepare for the next scene. It’s all soaring soundscapes and
orchestral strings as Hynes’ Don Quixote valiantly moves on towards his next heartbreak. One of the standout tracks ‘Sweetheart’, has enough Ennio Morricone about it to have soundtracked a Sergio Leone epic; and Hynes himself has enough melancholic charm to have been in the Shangri-La’s (Although, a little too much testosterone). The eccentric Lightspeed Champion has produced an incredibly solid album showcasing a plethora of influences, from the Edwardian piano intro to ‘Big Guns of Highsmith’, to the lounge jazz inclined ‘Smooth Day (At the Library)’ to the classic rock guitarwork of ‘Middle of the Dark’ setting the benchmark for 2010.
In a way it’s refreshing to find a band at such an early stage who stay defiant against being labelled but the mystery of it all can occasionally become frustrating.
such as “I get ten thousand hugs / from ten thousand lightning bugs”, and it’s hard to dispute Young’s sleep deprivation when you consider that he tries to pass this off as good song writing. The music, however, can prove euphoric when it’s at its best; both ‘Fireflies’ and ‘Vanilla Twilight’ provide uplifting melodies punctuated with earpleasing effects. Perhaps if Ocean Eyes were to keep up this standard by offering some variation in its tracks, or even if Young sang about anything other than being tired, there would be a reason to recommend his work. After a few songs however, the sheer repetitiveness of Young’s musical sugar high will prove bittersweet, and you’ll quit for fear of audio diabetes alone. Let’s be honest, the only reason Owl City is currently popular is because The Postal Service aren’t making a new album anytime soon. With this in mind, do yourself a favour and play ‘Such Great Heights’ on repeat for 40 minutes. It won’t get dull as quickly as Ocean Eyes does.
Album Owl City Ocean Eyes
Anyone who’s listened to the charts recently will have heard Owl City’s ‘Fireflies’ at the top spot, and mistaken the harmonious synthesised beats and sweetly soft American accent for the music of a certain electronic side project from 2003, before realising their error and sighing disappointment. For the sake of judging Ocean Eyes on its own merits, however, the obvious Postal Service comparison will be initially avoided. Adam Young, the sole musician behind Owl City, produced Ocean Eyes during long, insomnia-stirred nights in his basement. Sickly-sweet lyrics depict his sleeplessness with lines
Owl City’s Adam Young: Not as good as The Postal Service.
A ray of northern sunshine Live The Sunshine Underground Plug 9/02/2010 Four years and many demo tracks later, The Sunshine Underground are back with their second album, Nobody’s Coming To Save You. The night saw the Leedsbased band playing a nearfull capacity Plug. They were preceded on stage by support act Cosmo Jarvis, who provided a lighthearted, upbeat set and impressed those who were willing to listen. Hitting the stage with lead single and new album opener ‘Coming To Save You’, The Sunshine Underground set the tone for a lively set and a solid performance. Beginning with a mixture of tracks from
the two albums, they then proceeded to play songs predominantly from the second album.
The Dawn Chorus charm Monday night’s crowd.
Esben and theWitch The Harley 9/02/2010
Photo: Paula Goodall self-absorption just came to be seen as enthusiasm. The band’s intelligent and intricate melodies led to a reception from the crowd that only served to spur them on further. Esben and the Witch ended with a melodramatic storm of a song that left the crowd chanting for a second encore. Rosie Rogers
Live The Dawn Chorus The Harley 15/02/2010 The Dawn Chorus, a band from Portsmouth that’s been gathering quite a buzz from the likes of Steve Lamacq with their brand of folk rock, brought a nine song set that never let down. After an instrumental introduction, ‘Guilt’ began, and if people weren’t paying
Wellington attempt to sing a cappella, with the crowd singing back to him word for word before the rest of
the band kicked in and the crowd kicked off. The crowd peaked again at the end of the band’s
attention before, they sure were by the end of it. The combination of some classic alt-country with very fast shredding (courtesy of lead guitarist Neil Elliot) transformed the piece into a hooking experience. Not all was a display of loud music, as a slow, introspective moment came with ‘Schumman’, a song about the classical composer and his wife Clara. With sweet lines like “Oh, they say that I’m insane/ but darling they’re blind/ If I’m crazy/ I’m crazy for you”, the song was a real gem to listen to, showing another layer for a band capable of balancing quiet moments with loud intervals. Current single ‘Carnivalesque’ got a good reception, featuring a haunting sound that certainly didn’t detract from the pace of the gig. When all was said and done, The Dawn Chorus displayed great musical skills while providing good entertainment (and a few ringing ears).
hair and broad Yorkshire vowels. With seven band members in total counting a mildly eccentric collection of two female lead vocalists, The Eden House included an ex sound engineer for Pink Floyd and a violinist old enough to have fathered the rest of the band. It seems that rather than setting out to create something as unconventional as their appearance, these musicians have assembled over a love of slightly bland, psychedelic and prog-tinged goth music. That is not to say that The Eden House’s set was comprehensively dull. In fact, it contained many small triumphs. Amandine Ferrari’s voice was both soulful and powerful, soaring majestically into the chorus of ‘All My Love’, while at other times softer, dark and brooding. She won over the crowd not only with her singing voice but also with her witty
Samuel Valdes Lopez
brand of charming French banter. Ferrari and fellow female vocalist Valenteen’s voices complemented each other nicely, as the latter’s was of a far more delicate nature. Their fresh approach to sharing vocal duties involved leaving the stage alternately, whilst weaving enchanting harmonies elsewhere. Sadly however, there were too many numbers which dragged on for a good ten minutes for no obvious reason. The song-writing was of a high calibre, but often included mid-sections made up of a semi-psychedelic wall of sustained and plodding guitar sequences, sequences which did not develop sufficiently to merit their inclusion. Bar the oddities of their appearance though, they are just not all that captivating and ultimately a bit forgettable. Alex Burgess
Live The Eden House Corporation 11/02/2010
Brighton-based musicians Esben and the Witch lived up to their much-awaited expectations when they played at The Harley. Wetting our appetites prior to the main act, Double No No pulled off an acoustic set which transported the audience to an eerie desert, filled with grunge and country sounds that left you thirsting for just that little bit more. Similarly, Sian Alice Group played to their usual standards, combining passionate echoing melodies and abstract crescendos. Those aside however, the true stars of the night had to be Esben and the Witch. Tackling the challenge of playing after two bands with female singers,
Esben dodged the risk of blending in or sounding too monotonous. Their dramatic beats vibrated through the audience and reconfirmed the fact that this band is undeniably worth seeing live. Playing popular songs such as ‘Marching Song’ and ‘Skeleton Swoon’, the group created a vortex of gothic electronica that travelled around the room and hit us from all available corners. Immersing themselves fully in the haunting and desolate sound in which they create, it at times seemed as if they were more into their music than anybody else was. However, after a few songs, lead singer Rachel Davies’ catchy rhythmic voice had successfully flirted with the minds of those listening to create a sinister but playful composition that turned this presumption around. What was not instantly liked became loved and their
Highlight of the night was undoubtedly ‘Borders’; the first verse saw vocalist and lead guitarist Craig
While sound techs readied equipment and positioned obligatory cans of lager on guitar amps, Corporation began to progressively fill with a collection of middleaged goths and mettlers. Not a student in sight, but a plethora of greying mohicans punctuated by manifold piercings, slightly tatty leathers, copious facial
Friday February 19 2010
Craig Wellington provides crowd-pleasing anthems.
hour-long set in the single song encore, which, after an extended intro, fan favourite ‘Put You In Your Place’ was played, finishing with the crowd bouncing and chanting the hook line “I’m on top but you’re trying to stop me now.” The big beats and effects that are mastered so well on record were transferred just as powerfully on to stage. Also, something else worth admiring was the strength of Wellington’s voice, especially on new album tracks such as ‘Spell It Out’ and ‘Change Your Mind’. The overall performance was strong and energetic, providing great entertainment for the fans. Although The Sunshine Underground have the capability of playing larger venues, they themselves prefer playing to smaller crowds and with this show, as is often the case, this does provide a better gig.
Maths scream down The Harley on February 6. Photo: Sam Bennett
Saturday February 20 Zombieland (dir. Ruben Fleischer, 2009)
6pm - Comment, Interval cafe bar email@example.com
Forge Press & Forgetoday.com Section meetings
Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenburg go on a road trip to find a zombie-free sanctuary in this unusually funny zombie film, with a special appearance from Bill Murray. What could go wrong?
6pm - Sport, The Source computer area firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday February 22 5pm - Fuse (Music, Arts, Screen, Games), Satpal Ram meeting room email@example.com 5.30pm - News, Satpal Ram meeting room
Thursday February 25 5.30pm - Features, The Gallery firstname.lastname@example.org Monday March 1 5pm - Lifestyle, The Gallery email@example.com
This tense and exciting war film has proved its excellence with nine Oscar nominations. It follows some of the bravest US soldiers on their daily mission to disarm all manner of explosive devices. Saturday February 27 Fantastic Mr. Fox (dir. Wes Anderson, 2009)
Sunday February 21 La Haine (dir. Mathieu Kassovitz, 1995, subtitled)
Film Unit Listings
Sunday February 28 Trainspotting (dir. Danny Boyle, 1996) What more needs to be said about this British classic? Danny Boyle of Slumdog fame directs Ewan McGregor as Renton, the heroin addict trying to kick the habit. Wednesday March 3 35 Shots of Rum (dir. Claire Denis, 2008, subtitled)
All films are shown at 7:30pm in the Students’ Union Auditorium. Tickets cost £2.20 and are available from the box office and Union shop. Get in touch with Film Unit: firstname.lastname@example.org Friday February 19 Where The Wild Things Are (dir. Spike Jonze, 2009)
wit and a host of famous voices it has been said that it is an animated Royal Tenenbaums - never a bad thing.
The best French film of the ’90s. Vincent Cassel stars in this stark black and white look at Parisian race riots. An absolute must-see.
Wes Anderson’s wonderful adaption of the Roald Dahl classic is definitely a kids’ film made for adults. Featuring classic Anderson
A subtle yet poignant French-language drama examining the unique relationships between a set of friends. Director Claire Denis assembles a superb cast who all give stunning performances.
Wednesday February 24 Antichrist (dir. Lars Von Trier, 2009)
Spike Jonze’s visually stunning adventure inspired by the popular children’s book will truly capture your imagination. Listen out for Karen O’s excellent soundtrack.
Not for the light-hearted, this film goes deeper than the intense violence that made it famous. Made to overcome director Lars Von Trier’s depression, it takes a look at the nature of death and grief. Friday February 26 The Hurt Locker (dir. Kathryn Bigelow, 2009)
Friday February 19 2010
Forge Radio schedule Mon
8 - 9am The Monday Breakfast Show
8 - 9am The Tuesday Breakfast Show
8 - 9am The Wednesday Breakfast Show
8 - 9am The Thursday Breakfast Show
8 - 9am The Friday Breakfast Show
9 - 10.30am Heal Your Hangover
12.15 - 1.30pm 3 Girls Multiple Laughs
9 - 10.30am The Amy and Polly Show
9 - 10.30am Bizarre
9 - 10.30am Georgie and Charlie Gatecrash
9 - 10.30am Dale Wetter
9 - 10.30am The James and Tom Show
10.30am - 12pm Happy Monday Show
10.30am - 12pm What a Wonderful World
12 - 1.30pm The Noble Morton Sessions 1.30 - 3pm Gus and Sam’s Hour of Power (and 30 minutes) 3 - 4.30pm Harry Horton
4.30 - 5pm The News Session 5 - 6.30pm Eve 6.30 - 8pm Monday Like This 8 - 9.30pm Sports Desk 9.30 - 11pm Morgi Music
Listen online at www.forgeradio.com, in the Union or at The Edge
11pm - 1am Gutter Radio
10.30am - 12pm Unplugged
10.30am - 12pm The Matt and Sam Show
12 - 1.30pm The Pid and Imo World
12 - 1.30pm 100 RPM
1.30 - 3pm A Little Bit of What You Fancy
1.30 - 3pm Hannah Summersfield
12 - 1.30pm Something for the Week
3 - 4.30pm Film Unit Round Table 4.30 - 5pm Cricklewood 5 - 6.30pm Jed and Jen
3 - 4.30pm Fuse 4.30 - 5pm Blue Like an Orange 5 - 6.30pm PG Tips
6.30 - 8pm Forge Loves
6.30 - 8pm The Chris Conway Show
8 - 9.30pm Trance-4-Nation
8 - 9.30pm Chris’s Chillout Session
9.30 - 11pm Beats and Pieces 11pm - 1am Tom Bowles
9.30 - 11pm Dubstep Forward 2-Step Backward 11pm - 1am Ready Steady Crunk
10.30am - 12pm That Friday Show 12 - 1.30pm The Mandy Show
1.30 - 3pm Ed and Guy
1.30 - 3pm Ready for the Weekend
3 - 4.30pm Walk Talk
3 - 4.30pm Taut Ladies
4.30 - 5pm The News Debate Show
4.30 - 5pm Your Sport
5 - 6.30pm Don’t Upset The Rhythm 6.30 - 8pm Brewing Up Trouble 8 - 9.30pm Kristi Genovese 9.30 - 11pm Off The Beaten Track 11pm - 1am Musical Meanderings
10:30 - 12.00am The Punchline 12 - 1.30pm The Saturday Meltdown
5 - 6.30pm Schubert Lemon
3 - 4.30pm Owen in Rock
6.30 - 8pm 1337
4.30pm-5pm Mike and Ed’s IntraMural Round-up
8 - 10pm Liam White
5 - 6.30pm The Globetrotter 6.30 - 8pm Soon I Will Be Invincible
6.30 - 8pm Straight Outta Crookesmoor
8 - 9.30pm The Shrimps present...
9.30 - 11pm The Soundclash 11pm - 1am Bedrock
3 - 5pm SRA Chart Show
1.30 - 3pm The Cultural Implosion
5 - 6.30pm The Melting Pot
8 - 9.30pm The ‘Lovely’ Show
1.30 - 3pm Sunday Snews
9.30 - 11pm Keyboard Cats 11pm - 1am Under The Bed
Love, literature and legacy
Film The Last Station Out Now
At initial glance The Last Station appears to be a film which will demand the full attention of the mind as well as the eyes. At first glance the audience could anticipate an intellectual journey infused with intense and serious drama. Taking an outstanding cast (Helen Mirren, James McAvoy and Christopher Plummer), and the focus of the film is on the final months of Leo Tolstoy’s life, the highly celebrated Russian author who brought us the tragic love story Anna Karenina, And the drama certainly exists, yet the density of it is combined with unexpected and approachable light hearted entertainment, creating a pleasant and harmonious blend of comedy and tragedy. With previous creations One Fine Day and Restoration, director Michael Hoffman’s roots in comedy and period drama are evident.
DVD Whiteout Out Now
mostly frozen? If you paid money to watch a film that bombed after two weeks of solid advertising, then perhaps they have a point in spelling everything out. Unfortunately the director’s ‘tell don’t show’ principle persists throughout the film, especially during one scene in which the investigative team attempt to deduce what happened with the aforementioned Russians. “Here’s a body, he’s been shot in the head,” Beckinsale breathes moodily, because a corpse with a bullet hole in his skull is not quite obvious enough. The titular whiteouts we are told are periods of extreme weather conditions in which visibility is severely impaired by the snow. One might have thought someone would have suggested that
Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren in their leading roles that earned them both an Oscar nomination. a manner echoing that of Masha (Kerry Condon). emotion, predominantly formality, but is nothing a child, as her husband Valentin’s nervous youthful love. These emotions are original. The film is an casually saunters away in demeanour addresses cushioned by a constant entertaining watch and annoyance. Her nomination Masha in an awkward and backdrop of elegant piano embodies no obvious for Best Performance by an embarrassing manner that and violin melodies. flaws, yet the cast is clearly Actress in a Leading Role at is laughable, producing an The music coupled with crucial and without Mirren the upcoming Oscars from atmosphere we can see random landscape shots the excitement it contains this film is justly deserved. and feel. Valentin noticeably of the stunning Russian would diminish. Even The struggle of ageing gains assertiveness and countryside between scenes with the emotion fuelled and ever changing love self-assurance as the creates a classic image, like performances, The Last is juxtaposed with the film develops, and this something out of an Austen Station just isn’t striking blossoming love between is gradually guided by adaptation. enough to have that edge. Valentin, Tolstoy’s commited McAvoy. This makes for an secretary (McAvoy) and The film is driven by appropriate and safe Sarah Holland setting extended chase scenes in these blizzards, during which the only distinguishable features between the characters are Beckinsale’s cheekbones (mercifully immune to frostbite), would be unwise. The plot is equally baffling and incomprehensible, concluding anti-climatically after not really explaining anything at all. After the earlier drudgery of constant exposition, we’re left hanging with a million questions. Who was the killer? What were their motives? How did they know everything? Where did they get the jelly beans? Did Kate Beckinsale ever finish her shower? Oh well, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. Whiteout should be condemned to an icy tomb. Lisa Harrison
Film The Bet Out Now
Of course there’s the love interest, the genuine, warm and beautiful Tory, who predictably attempts to steer Will back in the right direction. Yet even her charms are not sufficient to help Will withstand the myopic forces of greed and competition and, as in the classic movie cliché, Will jeopardizes all that is really important to him. The film doesn’t play Will as the archetypal uptight, private-schooled fraudster but rather presents him as a sympathetic, down to earth, ‘say no to drugs’ guy from a modest background The film captures the illusive glamour of Sydney’s corporate world and juxtaposes the financier’s seedy and exclusive worlds. It’s a heady life for a young man and one can see how the seductions of such a lifestyle may seem to be worth the daily stresses of the financial sector. The main question of this story, centres on moral
choices and determining what matters in life. We’ve been here before of course, but the question is one that is at the heart of the human condition and so will surely remain a movie staple. As the narrative progresses, and the camera movements moved more jerkily from scene to scene, I found myself riding the plot as if it were a roller coaster ride. The camerawork seemed to reflect the dynamic, unstable nature of the stock market, and at a subconscious level reminded us that in seconds an individual can quite literally lose everything. On the whole, definitely worth sitting in with a cuppa when nothing else is on, but not a film worth sacrificing a night at the Union for! Unless of course, your normally friendly bank is giving you some serious grief and you want the vicarious pleasure of pay back. Elizabeth Elliot
If you’re not sick to the back teeth of hearing about the deceptions of the banking sector, and no doubt Hollywood’s finest are working overtime on this topic, this power-driven Australian drama/thriller may be just what you need to distract you from the overdraft and the far off student loan repayments. Shot at some of Sydney’s most picturesque locations, with a screenplay from a writer with first hand experience of the system, The Bet follows the story of an innocent but likeable stockbroker Will, who like many victims of both ego and the stock market, slowly crumbles beneath the weight of a 100,000 dollar bet against an all- too charming banker, Angus. Within minutes of the film Will’s gullibility and misplaced confidence are revealed by his wide-eyed look and his hasty hunger for competition. The wager, which he initially interprets as a ‘piece of piss’ slowly turns into an obsession, even to the point of morphing into the embodiment of the seedy high-paid bankers we love to hate. Gordon Gekko has returned, only this time he’s more loveable and a lot less smart.
Friday February 19 2010
Whiteout could easily be condensed into three little words: straight to DVD. It’s 30 Days of Night meets every slasher movie in existence; Scream on ice; I Know What You Did Last Winter. Based on an awardwinning comic series, the storyline follows US Marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) working in an isolated research post in Antarctica, as she attempts to solve the mystery of the continent’s first murder case and thus confront the betrayal which haunts her past. Before getting to the nitty-gritty of who-acutallydunnit, the film diverts to some casual xenophobic stereotyping (Russians are inevitably vodka-swilling evil-doers) and the most gratuitous shower scene in recent film history. All handily produced within the first five minutes. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time for them to introduce and explicitly injure the only black character in the entire film. Flat exposition is the name of the game as factoids from Antarctica For Dummies appears on screen. Were you aware that Antartica (not unlike the cast) is very white, and
The film guides us through how the radical religious movement Tolstoy created lead to estrangement from his wife. We are led through how the passion they once obtained suffered as a result of his sexual abstinence, and how starkly contrasting political and religious views can challenge love and place strain on a once effortlessly blissful marriage. The audience is led away from Tolstoy himself, who is presented convincingly as a humble and unpretentious genius by Plummer, and invited to observe the relationships around him. The Last Station is, rather surprisingly, a film about love and conflict, not intellect or authorship. The despair and emotional turmoil felt by his wife of 48 years is conveyed with perfect passion by Mirren. She struggles with frustration to comprehend Tolstoy’s abandonment of his aristocratic wealth and status for a life absent of material things. Mirren steals the show as her stubborn, dramaqueen embodyment of Sofya generates some powerfully dramatic scenes with hints of comedy. Plates are smashed and she falls to the ground in
Mass appeal for fans
Multiplatform Mass Effect 2 360 and PC
Mass Effect 2 is a sequel. While this may seem like a statement of the obvious it is vital to understanding what makes this game great. Bioware isn’t just cashing in on a successful intellectual property, they’re writing the next chapter in an epic story. As such anyone trying to break into the series with this game will find themselves well out of their depth. Events from the first game are referenced constantly and it would be difficult for a newcomer to understand or care what’s going on. For returning players however this is the most enticing feature. The game allows you to import your completed Mass Effect save file so that
The first Assassin’s Creed game had some problems; there was little variety in the tasks and missions you could do and this went hand in hand with repetition. So for some the game was not fun and something of a letdown; others however had an appreciation for it. There was repetition and the rota of possibilities left something to be desired, however the free-running mechanic was phenomenal; and where were you free running? During the third crusade in Jerusalem. This was such a daring and different setting for a game
system that will give you the option to perform actions whilst another character is talking or doing something. Appropriate icons will flash up for either paragon or renegade but you have no idea what your character will actually do. Even those most devoted to one particular alignment will find themselves tempted again and again by the siren call of the flashing icon and the possibility of seeing Shepard do something awesome. A particularly interesting example of this is when an enemy is in the middle of shouting a rant in your direction before the camera pans down to an explosive gas tank below him and then slowly panning back up with the renegade icon flashing. You’ll find your finger moving of its own accord. The previous game focused heavily on setting up the facts and figures of the game; a strong plot drove you from start to finish. Mass Effect 2 appears to be more about characters, relationships
This game has some shocking developments. and a general sense of mates. This is especially getting to know the people troubling with the nature of of the universe. This can be consequence in the game. seen in the wide array of The emphasis on hard celebrity voice talent, chief choices in the game among them Martin Sheen has returned with moral (Apocalypse Now and The quandaries which will West Wing) as the Illusive have you tearing yourself Man, and the much more apart inside each time you detailed romance options. choose, especially since These romance subplots they’ll presumably affect are incredibly well handled Mass Effect 3. These and you’ll find yourself choices don’t even fall getting more attached than easily into the paragon and you expected to your team- renegade system. All this
and for me it completely paid off. Combined with an interesting and original story, despite some flawed mission structure, I thought it was a great game. A couple of years on the sequel has emerged and I was ready to step back into my assassin boots and run across roof tops in order to get to, what I was hoping, a more varied world. However, the creators have not simply added some more variety and tweaked gameplay, instead they have recreated renascence Italy and turned it into a momentous land of opportunity. You are now retracing the steps of your ancestor Ezio as he hunts down people who have wronged him and his family, whilst uncovering conspiracies leading deep into noble Italian society and the Catholic Church itself. This is far more than
another free-roamer or Parkour sim acting as a vessel for a fairly interesting story, it has shown what an adventure game should really be and boasts a huge number of optional missions, collectables and puzzles that give a nod to Dan Brown as well as creating new depth in the way you control your character. As you run along the old streets and rooftops you see so many opportunities around you and different ways to take on each one. It always feels like there is a bountiful supply of truly fruitful opportunities everywhere. It is an absolute pleasure running through this recreated Italy, especially when the cast includes people such as Leonardo da Vinci. The game is big and the story itself will take a while to complete; the variety
of solutions you have to every problem presented should stave off any stale implications of having a long story. It is however quite easy to mediate this variety when spending time exploring the world on your own and completing side missions. So this game has some serious flaws; you can find yourself skipping most side missions once the new economic system has your home town generating enough money, simply because you don’t need to do them anymore. As well as this the new inside tombs, which are strangely reminiscent of dungeons in other adventure games, can often be hampered by crippling camera angles. Still, I completely fell in love with the game; it’s a joy to be immersed in renaissance Italy while really expanding the
Friday February 19 2010
Assassin’s Creed 2 360 , PS3 and PC
your choices and actions from the first game can influence your experience in the new one. This sense of continuity strengthens the roleplaying experience and while in many areas this is superficial it is still more than most other games offer. The gameplay has been streamlined eliminating the mako driving sections from the first game, cutting much of the character customisation, equipment and loot systems as well as drastically reducing the number of minor sidequests. Bioware’s focus is squarely upon combat and dialogue in this outing. Fights are a lot more entertaining than they were in the previous game with each class now having a unique skill which often drastically alters the way you approach encounters. Individual powers also feel more potent and using them tactically appears to have a greater importance in keeping Shepard alive than before. New to the series is a
Assassins know how to give one whole of wedgie.
story from an interesting idea into an impressive saga. After thoroughly enjoying the additions and improvements made to the first game it thrills me to think what is yet to come. Daniel Rowbotham
Retro Fire Emblem:The Sacred Stones GBA
In Sacred Stones, aka Fire Emblem 8, you play as Princess Eirika and her twin brother Prince Ephraim, heirs to the throne of Renais. The adventure starts when Renais is invaded and conquered by the Grado Empire. Eirika escapes and goes on a quest to find her brother so they can retake their kingdom. An epic story on a grand scale, although it may sound suspiciously like the plot of another Fire Emblem game you’ve played. Or in fact all of them. Branching story arcs, bonus dungeons and a choice of promotions for each of the many new classes give Sacred Stones a high replay value. Fire Emblem games are notoriously merciless. If a character dies, they are permanently gone. Opportunities to save properly are limited. Potential new recruits tend to start out as enemies, capable of killing you before you can stand close enough to talk to them and only
culminates the final suicide mission in which any and all members of your team, including Shepard himself, could die depending on your actions. Overall Mass Effect 2 marks an excellent midpoint for the series and if you’ve played the first game you should definitely pick this up. If you haven’t then consider picking that up before trying this gem. Brendan Allitt willing to talk to the one person you didn’t take onto the battlefield. Sacred Stones is slightly more lenient as there are opportunities to level up outside story battles. This makes it a good game for people not as familiar with Fire Emblem’s nastier habits. The music can be a little repetitive as so many stages have the same music but the tracks fit the mood well and are pleasant to listen to. Graphics are not this game’s strong point. Because there is a large map with as many as eighteen characters on your party and even more enemies, the sprites need to be fairly small to fit on the screen, making them hard to see. Overall, a good, solid, handily portable strategy RPG. Just don’t play it in a lecture as you may end up yelling and screaming at it. Harriet Lowe
Stockholm Syndrome Theatre Stockholm Drama Studio
The setting: an idyllic looking couple, just a few days before a supposedly perfect holiday to Stockholm, Sweden. The soothing sounds of nature and the loving description of each other sound perfect, but little thoughts (like remarking on an ugly moth inside their house, an omen, perhaps) invade their minds, derailing their rose-tinged descriptions of life with each other. SuTCo presented Stockholm, the one-act play by renowned writer Bryony Lowery. Directed by Selina Thompson (who admits ‘it’s a bit of mental play’), it deals with how a pristine, perfect looking couple show their blemishes when you stop to look a second time, and even worse, how those blemishes are cracks leading to faults below the surface. Although there are more people on stage (in the form of four nagging implike negative thoughts called “Us”), the show is carried completely by lead
‘Us’ and them: nagging thoughts torment Beth Grant and Stephen Hall (right). actors Beth Grant and Stephen Hall. They describe their seemingly perfect relationship in the third person, sometimes knowing the future (reminding themselves about the trip to Stockholm), sometimes stuck in the longing of the
present, with questions sandbagging any efforts from the other one to communicate. All smiles are forced. Surely there is no coincidence with a play called Stockholm? The first connotation in the
atmosphere was not in short supply. The comedians were genuinely funny and provided an enjoyable night out. For the Jester Society, really the only way is up. Amy Patricia Smith
Comedy Justin Moorhouse, Yianni Agisilaou and Tom Craine. The LibraryTheatre
Gallery Code:Craft + Hybrid Art and Science Millennium Galleries and Persistence Works
off, growing in size to fill up a plasma screen. In the foreground you can see a Windows XP message box reading: “Updating your computer is almost complete. You must restart your computer for the updates to take effect. Do you want to restart your computer now?” You’ve got to admit that’s quite funny. As with the projected piece mentioned above, some are interactive. Obzork is an “uncomplaining singled-celled creature” (with two eyes) who lives on another plasma screen. You can tickle and manipulate Obzork with a computermouse on a nearby table. In response the critter, created by Golan Levin, changes expressions, colours, and wiggles a little. It was pretty cute. The second exhibition offering of the day was Hybrid Art & Science. This exhibition deals with art that is about, or relates to, science. It includes some unusual pieces; collages made by patients recovering from bowl cancer and Hondartza Fraya’s Constellations natural looking images made from interference in TV reception. The gallery also featured a video from the University of Sheffield’s own Dr. Dawn Walker, Dr Daniela Romaro, Dr Alireza Fazeli, and PhD student Mark Burkit. The video was a 3D simulation of the sperms’ interaction with the fallopian tube, creating an illusion which
can only be described as ‘trippy’. On the walls there are charcoal drawings of foetuses that are about to be miscarried. The artist - Lizz Tuckerman – is a clinical geneticist-comeartist who spent 16 years investigating recurrent miscarriages, i.e. the loss of three consecutive pregnancies. It affects one per cent of the population, 50 per cent of cases with causes unknown. Looking at the little people in their womb induces powerful emotive feelings for the subject of the artwork, fittingly titled Nearly but not Quite. Overall, the exhibitions were an unconventional experience; I invite anyone to give either exhibit a visit. They’re free after all. Simon King
Samuel Valdez Lopez
Comedian Moorhouse played at the Jester Society. even if the subject is not the up that really sets him most original. apart. A typical northerner, Tom Craine stumbles onto his references to his home the stage like an excitable, county of Lancashire draw if somewhat overgrown, hissing from one audience boy. His middle-class member, provoking a goodaccent perfectly suits his humoured tirade against self-deprecating humour, Yorkshire-folk. It is this and clever moments of focussed anger which darker anecdotes and the comedian seems to asides make his set simply excel at. Rants later in the side-splitting. His intelligent set rip into our country’s humour is at time slightly compensation culture, highbrow (references to focussing particularly on Emily Davidson anyone?) the people in adverts on and is perhaps best suited daytime television. These to the intellectuals in the pieces are scathing and crowd. funny and they successfully The final act of the evening whip both the comedian is the reasonably well- and the audience into a known Justin Moorhouse. frenzy of laughter. You may remember him as Despite not being Young Kenny from Phoenix situated in a conventional Nights, but it is his stand- comedy venue, in the end
Code: Craft is an interesting exhibition focusing on the use of computer programming as a medium for artists. At the end of a single room exhibition, two people walked in-front of a projector. Their shadows, detected and fed into a computer projection, created fireworks of colour and movement in the projected image as they moved across, flailed their arms, and interacted. “Processing-based generative digital animation,” that’s what it’s called. At least that’s what was written next to the piece, and it is interesting. The artist/programmer designs the software based on the laws that artists use to create images of organic things. The result; a tree made of artificial brush-strokes branches
programming is always appreciated these days. It is always fascinating to see the darker corners of love and relationships, whether to avoid them or to confront bad memories, which, like the darker actions this play shows, are best dealt with at the moment before they destroy everyone involved.
Friday February 19 2010
The Jester Society, described by its founder as ‘an exciting new comedy night’, doesn’t look like your typical comedy club. Walking into the Library Theatre, house lights on full and looking very much like a ‘sparsely attended lecture’ (as compere Yianni Agisilaou describes it), you do not get the feeling that you will be rolling in the aisles with laughter. But first impressions can be misleading and just a few minutes into the show it’s clear that small numbers and an inappropriate venue don’t stop the laughs from coming. Agisilaou immediately creates a rapport with the audience, making the scattered crowd gather in the first four rows. The trick works, serving to create a more jovial atmosphere. Agisilaou’s observational comedy, delivered in his indomitable Australian manner, is hilarious and sets the tone for the evening. His focus on his experience as an Australian in England, a sea of cultural differences and accents, is well-written and observant
audiences’ mind is probably Stockholm Syndrome, the dependence relationship between a captive and their captor. But here, who is the captor? Therein lies the brilliance of the play (and the harsh, stark reality it portrays): as in any
destructive relationship, the role of hostage is a revolving (and revolting) door. The production is pretty well made; minimalist, but with the bare essentials to get through. Some props might have bordered into being superficial, but they actually did play a subtle part in the play. If there was any problem, it was the audio, as a couple of songs were a bit too loud, drowning out the dialogue (not much, thankfully). At the end, questions linger in the air, hovering like vultures around a dying animal. Why is she so suspicious? Why won’t he talk to his parents? Perhaps the most important question is: Is this the end of the fight or just another step to a final conflagration? Perhaps not the most romantic play to see, but then again, a bit of counter-
Digital fun at Code: Craft.
Fuse.listings Friday February 19 - Thursday March 4 2010
The Trouble With Boys @ The Raynor Lounge; 10pm; £3 This one sounds absolutely bloody brilliant; girl-vocal pop, all night long. Think 1950s/60s girl groups, and all those that draw influence from that time. Amazing.
Aurel Klimt @ Showroom; 6pm; £6
Nocturnal - An Exhibition by Brown Owl @ The Forum; 8pm; free entry Darren J Topliss, aka Brown Owl, has been designing and illustrating fancy posters for gigs and clubs in Sheffield for the past two years.Sink a pint, buy some art, and enjoy the music provided by the OK Crayola DJs, amongst others.
An Evening of Poetry with Kwame Dawes @ Fusion; 7pm; £4 - 7 adv Kwame Dawes is a poet, playwright, novelist, actor and producer, and is extremely influenced by Jamaican rhythms and textures. He performs his poetry here in association with the Off the Shelf Festival.
The Woman in Black @ Lyceum; 7:45pm; £13 24 adv
Big Tuna: Bullion + Debruit + Illum Sphere @ DQ; 11pm; £4 Wonky hip-hop is the order of the day, and the many special guests are propped up by DJ sets from Jack Opus and The Raspberry Armadillo.
Ponyo @ Showroom; 8:10pm; £4.60 Ponyo, a goldfish princess, just wants to be human. She enlists five-year-old Sosuke and seeks help from the greatest powers in the ocean in a bid to restore balance to the mystical world they live in. The latest film from animator Hayao Miyazaki features the voices of Tina Fey, Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett, amongst others.
Egyptian Hip Hop @ Bungalows & Bears; 8pm; free entry
The name’s a bit of a misnomer, but this alarmingly young Mancunian foursome have been making a lot of people go a bit giddy and say nonsensical things; such as “post-8bit doss-wave”. We don’t know what that means either, but they are quite fun on the ears. Na Zdrove! @ Penelopes; 9:45pm Na Zdrove!’s first 2010 outing brings Drunken Balordi along for the party, too. Head their way for Balkan aural delights, and a good bit of brass.
Bit of a treat for film curiosos, this, as the Czech animator shows a selection of his mystical animations and divulges the secrets of puppetry and new media behind their making. A Q&A session follows the screening. Noisettes + Tiffany Page @ 02 Academy; 6:30pm; £14.30 adv One of 2009’s most ubiquitous bands call in at the Academy on their 13 day UK tour, and take the inoffensive newcomer Page along for the ride. Laidback Luke @ Plug; 10:30pm; Laidback Luke’s international jetset DJ lifestyle has taken him to Brazil and Marrakech in recent weeks. And now to the exotic confines of Plug. Splendid.
Give It A Go: York Viking Festival; 9am; £12 adv York is certainly pretty, but today it’s got battle drills, weaponry displays, and a Viking market. Even better!
Amelie @ Showroom; 6:10pm; £3
Swan Lake @ City Hall; 3pm; £12.50 - 29.50 adv
Take your tissues along for Tchaikovsky’s romantic tale of the enchanted Princess Odette, Prince Siegfried and the evil Von Rothbart, as presented by the Russian State Ballet of Siberia.
Ahead of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s newest offering Micmacs, the Showroom gives you another chance to see his wonderful 2001 comedy on a big screen. Audrey Tautou shines in the role that made her name as both an actress and style icon. So So Modern + Silent Film Project @ The Harley; 8pm; £4 adv Math-rockers So So Modern have got a new album out, so they’d probably quite like it if you went to check them out.
Susan Hill’s masterclass in shit-your-pants theatre has been terrifying West End audiences for over twenty years. One for the braver among you; dare to be scared. The Last Station @ Showroom; 5:55pm; £3 Captain Von Trapp, the Queen, and Mr Tumnus all star in this Oscarnominated account of the dramatic final year of author Leo Tolstoy’s life. Helen Mirren has already bagged herself one Best Actress award for her role as Tolstoy’s wife will she make it two? A Single Man @ Cineworld; 8pm; £5.40 Another Oscar buzz film here, with Colin Firth playing a grief-stricken gay professor in former Gucci designer Tom Ford’s first directorial feature. Julianne Moore also stars.
Xiu Xiu + Blood Oranges + Urgent Talk @ The Harley; 7:30pm; £7 adv Jamie Stewart’s experimental art-rockers will be supported by some serious Yorkshire talent, as the Kill Rock Stars stalwarts play in support of new release Dear God, I Hate Myself. Youth In Revolt @ Odeon; 8:50pm; £4.80
Michael Cera is on familiar territory here by playing a teenager who’s not so great with the ladies. His character, Nick, comes up with a bad boy alter-ego in order to impress the girl of his dreams, Sheeni, but all goes awry...
New Young Pony Club + The Invisible + Laurel Collective @ Bungalows & Bears; £3 adv
Firstly, who knew that New Young Pony Club still had a career? Secondly, the real attraction here is The Invisible. They’re quite great. Go see. Girls - A Solo Exhibition by Lord Bunn @ The Old Sweet Shop The illustrator displays over 30 canvasses in his first solo show.
Covert vs Grounded presents Pete Tong + The Others + Jack Opus + Arie @ Plug; 10:30pm; £5
65daysofstatic DJ set + Blakfish + These Monsters @ Bungalows & Bears; 8pm; free entry Uneven Blonde promotions brings hometown wonders 65daysofstatic in for a pre-world tour DJ set. The band will be ably backed up by live sets from Birmingham’s Blakfish and These Monsters.
Neil McSweeney @ The Boardwalk; 7:30pm; £5 adv
Futures + Ship To Shore + The Rookie League @ Corporation; 7pm; £5 adv Futures used to be known as Tonight is Goodbye, but that’s all in the past now as they grace the Corp stage.
An Enemy of the People @ The Crucible; 7:30pm; £14.50 - 17 adv
Spike Milligan’s Adolf Hitler: My Part In His Downfall @ Lyceum; 7:45pm; £13 - 22 High comedy and tragedy collide as we follow Gunner Milligan and his jazz quartet, showing how humour, music and comradeship enabled a hapless bunch of young men to prevail against the Nazi war machine.
Give It A Go: Ghost Walk; 7:30pm; £4 Scare yourself silly with a tour around Victorian Sheffield and discover its murky secrets.
Micmacs @ Showroom; 8.40pm; £4.60 - 6.90 Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s latest effort has Bazil seeking retribution against the arms dealers who manufactured the bullet lodged in his brain, accompanied by a peculiar gang of misfits.
The Sheffield-born singer songwriter has just supported Richard Hawley on tour, and plays a hometown gig at the legendary Boardwalk to promote of his recent second album Shoreline.
Pete Tong takes to the decks in Plug’s main room, whilst Room Two welcomes dubsteptweakers The Others for their first ever Sheffield date. There’ll also be local DJ talent sparking up the dancefloor. SuTCo: Bedroom Farce @ Drama Studio The blurb says: Four couples, three bedrooms, two celebrations, one blazing row and an illicit kiss (or two). SuTCo perform the Alan Ayckbourn farce all week. Offbeat’s 13th birthday @ The Raynor Lounge; 9pm; £3 Offbeat marks its entry into adolescence with its annual mix CD swap. Bring a CD, get one back; simple. Expect lo-fi, C86style indiepoppunk, and loads loads more.
The Last Laugh @ Memorial Hall, 7pm; £16 adv
Al Pitcher, Bobby Sparkler, Keith Carter as Nige, and Eddy Brimson are on the bill for tonight’s dose of mirth.
First Aid Kit + Sam Airey @ Bungalows & Bears; 7pm; free entry
Lovebytes Present - Code:Craft @ Millennium Gallery; 11am - 5pm; free entry A specially-curated show by local digital arts organisation aims to show how artists are exploring and exploiting computer coding to produce stunning visual art using the latest digital technologies. Running until June 16. Field Music @ Fusion; 7:30pm; £8.50 adv Fuse’s interviewees (see pages 6 - 7) return to the live stage and have three albums worth of musical pickings to choose from. New album (Measure) is out now.
The Crucible is reopening - hurrah! And the team behind it sure know how to begin with a bang; the star quality of Anthony Sher in an Ibsen play. Grab your chance to see one of the year’s big theatrical events. Swedish sisters Klara and Johanna Soderberg have finally got around to releasing an album proper after 2008’s fine EP Drunken Trees. The duo will be joined by anti-folkster Sam Airey. World Snooker Championship Qualifying @ English Institute of Sport; £5 Who will make it to the Championship proper in April? Pop along to the English Institute of Sport any time this week to see balls being potted, and the like. All the technical knowledge you need right there in that last sentence. Yeah.
Chipmunk + Tinie Tempah @ Plug; 7:30pm; £7 adv 18-year-old Chipmunk has already got MOBO awards tucked under his belt at the age where most of us might have scraped a pass in GCSE Music. Fancy that. Give It A Go: Intermediate Tap Dance @ Drama Studio; 7pm; £2.50 Refresh your school days’ tap skills by joining Dance Soc for an hour of step ball-changes and all that jazz. Proper tap shoes not essential, apparently, so what’s stopping you?
Rose Melberg + The Middle Ones + Plouf! @ The Red House; 8pm; £5 Daisy Daisy Does promotions presents a rare UK solo show by serial band member Melberg. She’s been in too many to mention, and is wonderfully prolific.
DD/MM/YYYY + Mice + Bleaklow + Pirouettes @ The Harley; 8pm; £4 adv Pronounced ‘Day, Month, Year’ (bless the internet for this nugget), the Canadians are brought to you by Small Ideas, the Uni’s Alternative Music Society. Exploding Poetry @ Bank Street Arts; 10am - 5pm; free entry
Capitalism: A Love Story @ Showroom; 8:30pm; £4.60
Michael Moore turns his camera onto the corporate world, as he digs the dirt on various insurance scams, money laundering and corporate thievery.
Poet Noel Williams was Bank Street Arts’ first writer in residence. In his most recent work, Noel has been collaborating with visual and sound artists, testing out ideas and prototypes for poetry objects and environments, which both complement his work and challenge or reinterpret its reading.