Slow Club / Sheffield gaming / Sheffield cinema guide
Short Fuse. In Hindsight: I’m Not There
FUSE GUIDE: SHEFFIELD MUSIC SCENE
Friday September 17 2010
Fusion and Foundry
For all his celebrity, Bob Dylan often frustrates. Whether going electric at the Newport Folk Festival or continually playing obscure set lists to young festivalgoers simply wanting to hear ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’, he rarely straightforwardly satisfies. The same could be said about Todd Haynes’ 2007 film I’m Not There. Compare it to the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic, Walk The Line, which follows the more predictable plot line of musician-gets-his-break, musician-becomes-a-star, musician-ruins-himselfwith-drugs, musicianultimately-redeems-himself, and the differences are stark. I’m Not There is a film written by and for Dylan buffs. For those not familiar with the basics of the film, writer/director Haynes saw Dylan’s identity as too transient for a single actor and instead enlisted six, of differing ages and sexes, to take on phases of the folk artist’s life and career. These phases are fictionalized, with his name
appearing only once in the opening credits. The freedom of this approach is what really makes I’m Not There fun, as the film cuts from a mockumentary of ‘Jack Rollins’ (Christian Bale) as protest song Dylan to a surreal black-andwhite recreation of D.A. Pennebaker’s 1965 Don’t Look Back starring druggedout ‘Jude Quinn’ (Blanchett) as a surprisingly convincing electric Dylan. The best aspects of I’m Not There lie in its details; a hazy cameo from weedinduced Beatles, abstract images from Dylan songs stuffed in the backdrop of ‘Billy The Kid’ (Richard Gere)’s psychedelic Americana, making it a film that rewards previous Dylan knowledge. Though not easy viewing, a film that recognises and thrives on Dylan’s ephemeral ‘lives’ perhaps succeeds in truly capturing this artist who has remained as frustratingly elusive as ever over 50 years. Stephen Lloyd
Conveniently placed within the Students’ Union, these two adjacent rooms will undoubtedly be one of the first stops in any fresher’s induction to the Sheffield music scene. There is a different club night for almost everyday of the week and they are nicely varied. From the bass-heavy dance music of The Tuesday Club, to the live bands of LiveWire, and the cheesiness of Pop Tarts; there is something for everyone.
The large main stage is perfect for the big name acts that regularly attend this venue. The high ceilings make Academy cooler and more comfortable than the average sweaty nightclub, meaning that you can dance all night without a care.
A renowned venue with a proud history of live music. Quality artists continue to grace the stage to this day. Club nights are also popular; the music is the same chart pop as everywhere else, but the atmosphere makes it a nice alternative to similar nights elsewhere.
It might be on the small side but DQ has some of the city’s best weekly and monthly club nights.It tilts towards more specialist dance music genres with nights covering dubstep,
electro, techno, breaks, bassline and grime. Club Pony and Threads are two particularly popular nights.
Rock music and variations thereof, including metal, hardcore and punk is the main agenda here and the bands that play here tend to fulfil those requirements. Skool Disco on a Wednesday is popular but the music switches to pop and sing-
Has three rooms and plenty of variety, although it is at its best as a dance music venue. Foam parties and headphone discos make going out feel a little more fresh, and a generally decent selection of music helps
This huge venue gets only the biggest acts that can fill the 13,500 capacity.
Bungalows and Bears; The Harley; Frog and Parrot
Go past any one of these bars on an evening and you can almost guarantee some cool music will be drifting from the door. And not just small local bands, but real, bona fide musicians. Plus, unlike the other venues on this list, you can get a beer that isn’t 90 per cent water.
COMPETITION: Plug’s 5th Birthday Fuse Guide: Steel City Arts The iconic Chase and Status return to Plug on September 25 to mark the 5th birthday of the well-loved Sheffield haunt - so prepare to be ripped to shreds by the immense beats that will undoubtedly be dropped by the duo. Also on the bill are kings of grime Tempa T, Martelo and Maverick Sabre. Remember to drink responsibly. Fuse has 3 pairs of tickets to give away to this banging event – in order to enter the draw, email music@forgetoday. com by midnight on Thursday September 23 with your answer to the following question: In an electrical plug, what is the name of the blue wire?
The Crucible - The superb thrust stage puts the audience on three sides of the action, allowing for total immersion in the production. Go see - Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Sept 16 - Oct 23). The Lyceum - The place to go for your favourite touring shows. Set in a glamorous 19th century building. Go see - Comedy duo The Armstrong and Miller Show (October 5 - 6). SuTCo - Who needs the professionals when our own students can put on such a good show at the University’s Drama Studio. Go see - Those cheeky students The History Boys
Last Laugh Comedy Club The Raynor Lounge is the place to be on a Sunday night, especially if award winning student improvisers The Shrimps are onstage. Their quick wits will amaze all who see them perform. Go See - Master of the one-liners Stewart Francis (Oct 16). (Oct 27 - 30).
City Hall - Has hosted many a famous name in comedy over the years. Many more are sure to come. Go see - Irish comic and host of Mock the Week, Dara O’Briain (Oct 2 - 3).
Millennium Galleries Four individual galleries under one roof; some with permanent exhibitions. A treat with every visit. Go see - The Metalwork & Craft Gallery for a real taste of Sheffield’s steel past. They have lots of knives.
Q&A: The Ratells As a young band from South Yorkshire, how have you developed an original sound?
androgynous talk-of-thetown Janelle Monae, it is both eccentrically different and brilliantly similar to everything they’ve done before. Mythical imagery, combined with schizophrenic album artwork will never get old. Like Skeletal Lamping on magic mushrooms. Fuse went... to see a preview event for the Off the Shelf festival of reading and writing which begins in Sheffield next month. There was a live reading by Simon Armitage who recited some of his poetry, a reading from Seni Seneviratne, and some rapping as well as spoken word from Ashford Coe. There were also free hot beverages (which are always a bonus) and we got to schmooze with the literati
Where did the inspiration for your name come from? A friend of ours once told us about an interesting species called ‘honey badgers,’ and encouraged us to check out some wildlife videos online. They’re absolutely fearless - they literally eat pythons for breakfast. Anyway, we decided we wanted to be called The Honey Badgers but found that a small band in Scotland had already got the name. Not deterred by this small setback, we headed straight to the mighty
of Sheffield. Fuse is very excited about the festival which is set to take over Sheffield next month - do you dare try out your chances on The Poet Factor?
Fuse thinks... that Sally Hawkins is one of the best British actresses around, and cannot wait to see her play the lead role in the upcoming cinematic tale of
Wikipedia, found the Latin name (Ratel) and added another ‘L’.
different acts, which have probably inspired us even more.
What is your favourite musical act to have come out of Sheffield?
What can people expect from your live gigs?
I suppose it’s a slightly cliched answer, but simply because they were one of the first bands I truly latched onto when I was younger and really dedicated myself to, it has to be Milburn. Nothing quite like losing such a great Sheffield band, and the same goes for Little Man Tate. But it’s great to see their members still performing in other
Recently we’ve been going through a slight change of sound, a step away from our older material towards something new, slightly more dancey. We have three new tunes that we plan to debut at our Plug show on September 17th, and we know it will be a great atmosphere. Where would you most like to play if the possibilities
women’s liberation, Made in Dagenham. Will her sweet, cockney charm that was so wonderfully present in Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky translate into this new role as a 1960s Dagenham Motors employee, fighting for equal pay? Fuse looks forward to seeing her and the rest of the Essex sisterhood smash through the glass ceiling. Fuse has… planned ahead for Halo Reach. Previous entries in the series have been instrumental in the demise of many personal relationships. With each instalment we tell ourselves we’ll just lock ourselves away and hammer single player in a weekend, whilst not allowing ourselves to get sucked into multiplayer.
were limitless, money and distance no object? After some gigs I think we feel like we have played the most unusual or crazy venue possible, then we roll up at the next one and realise we were very wrong. We’d love to go out to America, although that’s not very unusual. A couple of us would definitely love to play in Russia. Just some tiny bar gigs, where there would be some old staunch Communist in the back, drinking vodka like it was water. Lizzie Palmer
Unfortunately, we then wake up drooling about a month later, vaguely remembering that fateful phone call we got from our better half last night. We recall something about “I’m leaving you”, but we were too busy fuming about the 13-year-old American boy tea-bagging our lifeless avatar corpse to pay much attention. But no, this time around (moved by the Pope’s visit to the UK) we’ve told the better half we’re “taking holy orders”, and relocating to a seminary “without phones, or any means of connecting to the internet” for a month or two. Fuse can tell you now, it will be totally worth it.
Fuse loves... everything about False Priest, the sparkling new album from everyone’s favourite featherclad band, of Montreal. Featuring collaborations with Solange Knowles and
We do enjoy our Soundclash nights, but more often than not we’re found in the Frog and Parrot on Division Street. It’s a brilliant bar, and Liam, the Saturday night DJ, always plays some cracking old tunes. As far as the daytime is concerned, I think we’re actually the greenest city in Europe, meaning we’ve got a great deal of woodland, and great places for walks, so why not? A nice, relaxing afternoon in the Frog and Parrot isn’t
too bad either.
Friday 17 September 2010
I think one thing that helps us to try and set ourselves apart from other bands is that we are always on the lookout for great gigs, particularly in Sheffield. Some of our best ideas come from listening to all genres of music, seeing other bands live. When we really like the feel of a certain show we try to blend some of the best ideas into our own songs and performance. We’re always looking to improve.
Which hang-outs in Sheffield do you most recommend?
SHEFFIELD CINEMA GUIDE
When the madness of Intro Week finally takes its toll, head to one of Sheffield’s fantastic cinemas and relax until the headache goes away. Words: Ashley Scrace & Alex Sherwood Pictures: Alex Sherwood
Friday September 17 2010
Shef f ield’s biggest cinema is also the biggest of the Cineworld chain, boasting 20 screens which show all the latest releases and some old classics. Each screen showcases unparalleled picture and sound quality with superior audience comfort thrown in too. Screen sizes range from a mere 70 seats to over 700. Yet regardless of size, plenty of legroom is offered across the board. Cineworld Sheffield is the premiere venue for film lovers – but often only those who have a bulging wallet and endless patience. A trip to Cineworld demands at least a tenner. Tickets tend to be pricey (especially for a 3D film) and catching the tram there will set you back another £3.50. Then comes the food, which is likely to hit the region of five quid alone. And that is assuming you get to see your desired film anyway. The biggest cinema also produces the biggest queues and sell out screens, so pre-booking is advised. Student Admission: £5.40 (an additional £1.50 for 3D films) Price of large popcorn and drink: around £6 How to get there: Jump on the tram at the University stop and head towards Meadowhall. Alight at Valley Centertainment; from there you can’t miss the big cinema-shaped building.
The movie equivalent of a rabbit run, Sheffield’s Odeon cinema is a sprawling underground labyrinth which shows the latest releases on 10 fairly sized screens. Conveniently located in the city centre it is often the cinema of choice for many. Tickets tend to be a little cheaper than other major chains; the booking system is simple; and it never reaches full capacity which means you can always see what you want. But with expensive refreshments and unhelpful staff it is tough to see why it is so popular, especially among students. While it may not happen across all screens, a terrible experience can be had here. Many screens are cramped, dirty cubby holes which offer film quality which ranges from bad to abysmal. Yet balance the
bad with the good and you may have a decent venue – albeit one desperately in need of renovation. Student Admission: £4.80£5.40 (depending on times). Add an extra £1 for 3D films. Price of large popcorn and drink: £6.60. How to get there: From Broomhill you can take the number 52 bus down to Arundel Gate; The cinema is on the other side of the road, next to O2 Academy.
Housed in a building that used to be a car dealership, the cinema is known for promoting all things arthouse and indie. They normally show smaller, independent releases and classic films. Sometimes big movies, but only a couple of weeks after the general release date. Every year they host the widely acclaimed documentary film festival Doc/Fest; and horror movie celebration Celluloid Screams will be sure to have you cowering in your seats this Hallowe’en. There are also lots of special visits from filmmakers, who you can quiz after their film has been screened.
The Showroom is small. There are only four screens, with space for up to 250 people in the largest, so the selection can be a little lacking; but it is never that busy so it’s unlikely that you would ever have trouble finding a row of free seats. Refreshments are not cheap, even for cinema standard; but they do offer an interesting choice of ice cream flavours, including ginger. There is also have a nice bar/restaurant, but again it may be a little pricey for most student budgets. Student Admission: £4 all day Sun-Thurs. £4.50 day, £5 eve Fri-Sat. Price of medium popcorn and drink: £5.30. How to get there: The Showroom is a minute walk from the station, up past the shiny watery wall. From Broomhill, the 52 bus goes down to Arundel Gate; from there you can walk down past Sheffield Hallam University.
Away from the bustle and screaming children in the larger cinemas comes this little gem in our very own Union. Film Unit originally formed in the fifties but has existed in its current
auditorium form since 1996. Over 100 films a year come to Film Unit. Wednesdays are the day for foreign and arthouse films while Friday and Saturday flicks are typically mainstream hits, and on Sundays there’s old favourites. The auditorium seats up to 400 people and often proves popular among students because of the films it shows and the price – which just over two quid a ticket. But it’s not all good, especially in terms of competing with other cinemas. The whole unit is run by volunteers and has only a limited budget. Therefore the films are never new. Often they are the best of the crop from the past season, but do not expect to see your films here first. Yet that is a small price to pay for what is an enjoyable night of film. Take your friends, bring your own food and watch something typically enjoyable – all for a few quid. Student Admission: £2.20. All tickets £1 during Intro Week. Price of medium popcorn and drink: Non-applicable. No food sold. How to get there: Follow the signs to the auditorium in the newly revamped Students’ Union.
If you manage to make it around the marathon of shops that is Meadowhall without curling up into a quivering ball of exhaustion, then this cinema might be a nice place to give those poor feet a rest. You may really want to treat yourself and splash
out on the VIP seats. They are amazingly comfortable, but you will obviously pay a bit more for the luxury. The screens are a decent size and all the big, new releases are shown. But with Cineworld just a couple of tram stops away, this cinema has got to be a last resort for real film fans. Student Admission: £4.45 Mon-Thurs before 5pm, £5.30-£5.90 other times. Price of large popcorn and drink: around £8. How to get there: Vue is located in the Meadowhall shopping centre. You can catch the tram to Meadowhall from the University tram stop.
The first few weeks of Uni can be taxing on the brain and bank account. It may well be that the thought of an expensive excursion to a far away cinema is the least enticing prospect after such a crazy
week. In which case, the safest bet is to gather up your housemates and bond over a favourite movie in your flat. If you can reach a consensus on the choice of movie then you might just get along fine. You can watch any one of the incredible DVDs from the collection that you have amassed as a flat. You’ve got three copies of Anchorman between you. That makes it three times as good. Student Admission: FREE… Well, not including the cost of the DVD and student accommodation. Price of medium popcorn and drink: See what deals your local 24/7 shop is doing. You know the one, it rhymes with ‘Shmelect and Shmave’. Failing that, ‘borrow’ some from your housemate Dave. How to get there: Go out of your bedroom door, turn towards the living room, step over anybody passed out in the corridor and you’re there. Voila.
PeeRing Through the cracks How do students put on a show at one of the worlds biggest arts festivals? We find out. Words: Alexandra Rucki
it amongst the cast and crew.” But how does a student theatre company go about securing a place in the line up of such a famous arts festival?
“There’s a big buzz about playing a festival like that” “The brilliant thing about the Fringe is that anyone can perform, so we were in the same programme as all these ridiculously well established theatre companies and comedians,” says chair Todd Baker. “It just takes a bit more planning than we’d bargained for. You have to register with The Fringe Society, book a venue and arrange publicity. “I think one or two of us were a little under prepared about the administrative hoops we’d have to jump through, but if it’s something
big buzz about performing at a festival like that, with the whole city on board it’s a really nice place to be. “And on our last day around 40 people came to watch, which for a student show with a minimal, almost non-existent budget and limited publicity resources, is pretty good.” This is also quite an achievement considering that most of the company had never been to the Fringe before, with only a handful of the cast having visited previously as a spectator. “We were all quite inexperienced and brand new to it. It was the first time any of us had ever done anything like this before in terms of being actively involved hands on,” both explain. And in spite of their inexperience to the festival, O’Connor reckons SuTCo outperformed the other student companies he watched at the festival. “I suppose it’s subjective...
but I think in terms of quality of performers I certainly didn’t see anything any better from a student company.” The pair also state that financial commitments were needed in order for Cracks to go ahead. Performing at the Fringe can also rack up quite a heavy bill, with it costing around £1000 to hire a venue as well as the cost of having to pay for the rights to put on a show.
“I also got personally asked to leave a show once” “It’s not cheap but well worthwhile. For professional companies it is probably not a massive outlet, but for people like us who rely on the union and money out of our own pockets it’s not something to take lightly financially. “It’s a big commitment
– personally and for the group.” But surely with 18 students let loose in Edinburgh the group must have some behind the scenes tales to bring back to Sheffield? “We took over a performance once at three in the morning and took it in turns to go out and perform. “I also got personally asked to leave a show once for speaking my opinions a bit too loudly!” Rob says. On top of this the SuTCo lot got into a strange minibus, took part in openmic nights, went to see as many shows as possible and got confused for climate change protestors. SuTCo chair Todd has thoroughly caught the ‘Edinburgh bug’, and hopes that the company will be able to take another production to the festival next year. “Only next time we would organise it more in advance, and put on something that we’ve not previously done at the University Drama Studio.”
you’d done before putting something on is quite simple.” Following in line with the Fringe’s tradition of performing in unconventional venues, the theatre company had to make do with a converted conference room to stage Cracks, which they say was a far cry from the comforts of the University Drama Studio. “We had to downgrade it due to the facilities there, and scavenge props from various places as well as some new cast members. “We had to have a week of rehearsals to shape it for Edinburgh, so it probably looked a lot different visually to how it did in Sheffield.” The cast also had to deal with a varied turnout of audience numbers. On one day, Rob says, only five people turned up to watch in a venue that could seat 170 people. Not that this affected the group’s morale: “There’s a
Friday September 17 2010
onsidered to be the world’s largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Fringe festival sees thousands of performers descend onto the city every year, ranging from big names in the world of entertainment to unknown acts aiming to develop their careers. This year 18 members of the Union’s Theatre Company (SuTCo) joined the line up and put their acting skills to the test in Cracks. It was last October whilst directing Cracks at the University Drama Studio when director Rob O’Connor first had the idea that the play could be taken to the Fringe: “I went with a group from SuTCo last year, and got a feel for it and felt like I wanted to go back. He adds: ”I’d seen that it wasn’t really that difficult to get a show up there, although it turned out to be a bit more difficult than I thought. “It was during the first run of Cracks that I thought wouldn’t it be nice if we could do this in Edinburgh, so we had a chat about
letâ€™s fall back in love From Rotherham to San Francisco, Slow Club share their journey along the path to success.
Friday September 17 2010
Words: Lizzie Palmer
harles Watson is perfectly at ease amongst the shabbily hip surroundings of the Moshi Moshi headquarters, just off East London’s Hackney Road. We first met at the Leeds Cockpit in October 2008, as Slow Club prepared to open for Omaha eccentrics Tilly and the Wall. As Watson puts it, “that gig feels like it was so much longer ago.” Now, as they frequently sell out chic London venues and tour the four corners of the globe, Watson and sweet-voiced band mate Becky Taylor have admittedly grown somewhat distanced from their Rotherham roots.
mass proliferation of new festivals across the UK, as many seem to be moving away from traditional idea of getting hammered in a field with 30,000 other people to the aggressive sound of commercial radio-friendly chart music, and towards a more lo-fi, relaxing kind of weekend. Slow Club have this year been absent from Glastonbury, but have performed at lowerkey festivals such as Canterbury’s Lounge on the Farm, and Summer Sundae, which is based around Leicester’s De Montfort Hall. “I think that was definitely the best festival experience,” says Watson of the Leicester extravaganza. “We somehow got this great slot right before Roots Manuva, and it was the two of us on this ridiculously massive stage. I mean, The Beatles played there.” Last Christmas Slow Club charmed Islington’s Union Chapel, a Victorian gothic church which doubles as a venue for all kinds of musical artistry. “It was the second time we’d played there, and we’re doing the Christmas show again this year. It’s becoming kind of a thing, which is cool.” It seems that the setting for a show is allimportant. “In a place like that the acoustics are great, especially for slower songs the vocals just rise up. I like massive rooms, that make the music travel…” He thinks for a moment. “I don’t think sound technicians like them so much.” On the general subject of unusual gig venues, Watson remarks that “We played a library once. It just sounded a bit shit. Dead.”
“Bus drivers are definitely a lot chattier in Yorkshire”
The band’s latest CD offering was the festivethemed EP, Christmas, Thanks for Nothing which featured the sweetly sharpedged ballad ‘It’s Christmas and You’re Boring Me’ among other similarly bittersweet anti-carols. “I don’t think we’ll be doing another Christmas EP this year, although the last one was a lot of fun. It’s a great way to just be writing and recording, without worrying about album deadlines and release dates,” says Watson. “We’ve listened to an endless number of Christmas albums […] it was certainly good to know that Bob Dylan was on our wavelength.”
Friday September 17 2010
“I was listening to around twenty minutes of Neil Young a day”
The follow-up to 2009’s Yeah So is expected to be finished by the end of this year. “It won’t sound massively different, people who enjoyed our first album will find it familiar. We’re not bringing out an industrial techno album, so don’t worry.” “I don’t feel like it’s a dramatic change of sound because our style has been evolving slowly. But then again, we have both been experimenting with different ways of recording,
listening to different kinds of music and trying new instruments.” Watson’s enthusiasm for the music of a certain Canadian rock legend is impressive. “That performance at Glastonbury in 2009 just did so much for me – I think after it I was listening to around 20 minutes of Neil Young a day, which is a lot of Neil Young.” “He’s made an album every year since like, ’68. He’s just punk.” True. “What else have I been listening
to? Lots of Wave Pictures, and Hot Club de Paris – their new stuff is brilliant.” The band plan to return to Sheffield in November, to play a show in celebration of the Leadmill’s 30th birthday. “It’s always been a dream to headline the Leadmill,” says Watson. “It’s where I first met Becky. Well, we kind of knew each other a bit, but it was when I kept running into her that we realised we were both doing the same kind of thing.” “It’s really weird now
walking past the Green Room on Division Street, and thinking that we used to play there at least twice a month.” Maybe they should go back to their musical beginnings on the Devonshire Green; after all, Slow Club will always have an enthusiastic fan base in their South Yorkshire home. “It might be fun, for a Christmas gig or something. I used to love going to the Green Room in the middle of winter. They properly crank up the heating, it’s great.”
“It’s like I have two homes,” he muses. “We’ve been here in London for around two years now and have so many great friends, but whenever I get off the train in Sheffield it’s like breathing a sigh of relief.” He is noticeably nostalgic about living in the Steel City, which was not without its own unique glamour. “I used to see Jon McClure [Reverend and the Makers’ eponymous front man] in the kebab shop all the time.” How is the band’s London life different? “I don’t really think there’s such a thing as a massive northsouth divide. Bus drivers are definitely a lot chattier up in Yorkshire […] but I think it’s just as friendly in London – it’s welcoming because there are people from everywhere; it’s such a diverse city. If you’re nice to people they tend to be nice back, wherever you are.” Once Sheffield’s best kept secret, the band have broadened their horizons significantly in 2010, playing dates in the USA, Australia and Japan as well as all over the European continent. “Everywhere has been great, but I think touring with Camera Obscura in Australia stood out – it was amazing. A different world. I just love travelling and seeing different places.” Slow Club have also toured extensively in America, showcasing their sound at the achingly cool SXSW festival in Texas. “There was a place actually called Slow Club in San Francisco,” Watson remembers. “We went up and told them that it was also the name of our band, and they’d heard of us, and told everyone on their mailing list that we were in town. It was brilliant. They gave us Slow Club cocktails…which by the way were amazing.” This summer has seen a
Feature.Gaming in Sheffield. Annoyingly, games cost money. To help soften the blow of this nuisance, we have scoured Sheffield and documented the cheapest, easiest ways to game.
Words: James Garrett & James Wragg Pictures: James Wragg
Possibly the most accessible and unifying type of game is that of the board. Not only can anyone pick up a pair of die and play a board game, but the harrowing and often unpredictable effect university life can have on one’s wallet means they are a perfect alternative to their costly computer-based cousins. Plus, they can be surprisingly involving. Whilst almost everyone will have played Monopoly or Risk in their childhood, revisiting them with a more sophisticated mindset can reveal just how complex they are. Sure, a large portion of any dice-based game is down to chance, but good players can learn how to stack the odds in their favour. It’s also fascinating to see how people change when put in a game situation; your most generous and loveable friend can become
a ruthless money-grubbing leech before your eyes. Of course, you’d be silly to actually buy a board game new. Monopoly costs around £20 in stores these days, which isn’t particularly great value considering it’s a system that lets you alienate and antagonise your friends whilst hoarding an imaginary fortune. You can do that for free and get bonus accommodation in the local mental hospital to boot. Rather than buying new, the best places to pick up board games are charity shops. If you live in Broomhill there’s an adequate Oxfam on Fulwood Road, whilst a more central Oxfam can be found on Matilda Street (just along from Plug). An even cheaper option would be to scout out your local pubs, as many will have a stash of games to play throughout the daytime.
fun, outdoor activities are a great option. Paintball centres for example are close to Sheffield and are great way to spend a day and if you like doing it, inflict some pain on your friends. A quick search on the internet will reveal that many centres will do some good deals for groups and are
under an hour drive away. One of the benefits of going to a place like this is the variety you can experience, paintball centres now offer different ways to play the game such as capture the flag, a standard elimination match or an attack and defend scenario, meaning that for your money you get a nice choice of what you can get up too. If the game takes to your fancy and you reckon you and your friends are pretty good at it, you can sign up to competitive league games or enter a tournament. What better way is there to prove just how good at it you are, than humiliating your opponents with a convincing win? If you want something even more realistic, something where you can use military weapons to inflict pain then you definitely want to check out the world of airsofting. Similar to paintballing, there are differing game types and the matches are played on large open areas. The key difference though is in the realism of the game. Fancy running around like a headless chicken whilst shooting people with a shotgun, you can, although in terms of your life expectancy it’s probably not advisable. Or perhaps you have always seen
yourself as the stealthy one of the group, the guy that’s never there and vanishes as quickly as he is seen. Well here is a game that will finally let you wear that awesome camouflage gear you’ve seen in Call of Duty, sneak around with your favourite sniper rifle and fire a pellet into some poor victims, unsuspecting chest. Outwitting your opponent and proving an asset to your team is always a plus. Another benefit airsofting has over paintballing is that when you are shot, and being shot is inevitability in games like these, you are not out of the game. Unlike paintballing where a hit on you means you have to leave the game and wait for it to finish, airsofting just gives you a time out. Wait for five minutes then re-enter the fray, to further add to the experience, certain players on the team will be dubbed as medics, if one of them comes to your aid when you are down, you can continue instantly. If though, you are feeling nostalgic and want something that you can do regardless of the weather you can check out Laser Quest. There has got to be someone you know that went to a party at Laser Quest when they were a kid so why not do it again? It’s competitive, painless but most importantly it’s fun.
hands on a Mega Drive with some Sonic games or, better yet, Bomberman, you’ll be entertained for weeks. On the other end of the scale, it’s possible to get an Xbox 360 fairly cheap if you split the cost between housemates – with four or five friends you could end up paying a measly £20 each. The best place to go in Sheffield for budget consoles would be The Moor; the shopping strip just south of Sheffield Town Hall. Both Playtime (playtime. co.uk) and Gamestation (gamestation.co.uk) have stores located there. CEX, opposite HMV nearer the centre of town, offers a more corporate alternative. Otherwise, you could virtually venture to Ebay. co.uk and enter a bidding war. But that would involve getting up before noon to sign for the package if you win, and we all know that’s not going to happen.
There is a different way to pass time with a laptop other than constantly refreshing Facebook and waiting for someone marginally tolerable to pop up on ‘Chat’ so that you can delude yourself into thinking you’re not alone in your vacuous clicking. No, I’m not talking about YouTube or Failblog. No, not Spotify either. And oh god, definitely not that, what would your mother think? I’m talking about free games. Honestly, I thought you’d have guessed it from the header. The internet hosts a huge array of ‘freeware’ titles available to play or download, no hassle. If you’re looking for something quick and simple, try Canabalt (http:// bit.ly/AmfTB). Though the game makes use of only one button (jump), it can quickly become exhilarating as your nondescript character builds speed and hurls himself from rooftop to rooftop, running from the amorphous enemies which are only ever glimpsed as hulking silhouettes in the background. For more of the same thing only with an entirely polarised aesthetic twist, try Robot Unicorn Attack (http://bit.ly/d4am53). I have only one thing to say in regards to this masterpiece of our time: “ALWAYS, I WANT TO BE WITH YOU, MAKE BELIEVE WITH YOU...”
Ahem. For something a little more challenging, Spelunky is simply fantastic (spelunkyworld.com). To descend into the depths of this pixelated platformer with your trusty trilby and whip (any similarity to persons living or dead, etc.) is not only to hark back to a time when cursed Aztec gold was just as exciting as laser guided rocket launchers, but to a time when gameplay was as challenging as it was rewarding. Indeed, throughout the 16 stages of Spelunky you cannot save your game, and must instead rely on your ability to internalise the gameplay mechanics and hone your reactions. It’s as replayable as it is addictive. For those with a higherend laptop, VALVe’s new Alien Swarm game (http:// bit.ly/8Ynmrn) is available free to anyone who installs their distribution software, Steam. It’s a third-person cooperative shooter, so be sure to enlist your friends, too. Think science-fiction Left 4 Dead. For more freeware titles, check out our freeware games article back in Fuse #20 (http://bit.ly/9Vhs36). Failing that, there’s always Farmville – then you don’t even have to leave Facebook. Although I suppose it does cost the hefty price of your immortal soul.
first person shooters you should definitely check it out to test your skills against some fellow students to see how good you really are. SLUGS then are a great introduction into gaming in Sheffield. If you don’t feel like sitting indoors or you want some exercise whilst having some
of which are excellent for solo play; Metal Gear, Final Fantasy, Gran Turismo and Grand Theft Auto all started off as Playstation exclusives and suit the console well. The Nintendo Gamecube, whilst lacking in third-party support (i.e., most of its games were developed in-house by Nintendo) is hands down the best lastgeneration machine for split screen multiplayer. Mario Kart: Double Dash, Super Smash Bros. Melee and an assortment of Mario Party games make the system perfect for a household of diverse individuals with varying skill levels. The Xbox is not to be overlooked, however, with a strong assortment of shooters to its name including the first two Halo games. The downside is that Xbox Live has recently been cut off for the ageing console, limiting it to splitscreen multiplayer. Of course, there are plenty more consoles knocking about. If you can get your
Friday September 17 2010
Friday September 17 2010
The SLUGS society (slugs. union.shef.ac.uk) is great to get involved with for people who enjoy casual and competitive gaming and who want to make some friends in the process. The society is very easy to get involved with and has a good number of members. If you think you’re a bit of a pro at some
Lacking in funds? Perhaps that nice and shiny (oh so shiny) Xbox 360 slim isn’t for you. What you want is a wonky Gamecube which groans like a wounded tiger when you press its somehow-mouldy power button. Though the assumed unpleasantries associated with second hand gaming matter little when you consider the price; most last generation consoles (that’s the Gamecube, Playstation 2 and Xbox) are sold for under £20 now. Considering the huge (and not to mention cheap) back catalogue of games for each console, buying second hand games is great value. Think about it this way – you could pay £100 for a television licence and watch the BBC explain to you over a plethora of channels and through a vast array of programs that the world is dying, humans are shit, Phil Mitchell is an ‘ard b’stard and it’s all bloody funny as long as there’s a laughter track -or you could spend a quarter of that and just blow your friends’ balls off in Halo. The best second hand gaming platform is really up to your tastes. Sony’s PS2 probably offers the widest selection of games, many
Surfing the Void Polydor
KATY PERRY Teenage Dream EMI
Friday September17 2010
If you’ve heard One of the Boys, Katy Perry’s debut album, then you’ve pretty much heard Teenage Dreams. The only difference is that the few witticisms present in her debut - a more understated, flirty humour – are missing. With lyrics stuffed full of innuendos that lack any attempt at subtlety, Katy Perry’s shrill, auto-tuned voice is layered over generic electronic beats, song after song, all of which sound very similar. One positive comment to be made is that Perry has songwriting credits on most of the tracks, showing that she at least has expressed some participation in her album. Unfortunately, this really
brandon flowers Flamingo Mercury
doesn’t appear to be anything much to be proud of. A look at the lyrics of ‘Peacock’ for example, displays the already highly criticised line: “Are you brave enough to let me see your peacock? / Don’t be a chicken boy / Stop acting like a bee-otch.” She then repeats “peacock-cock-cock” ad nauseum, beating the already tired joke relentlessly to death. Yes, she sounds like she’s referencing genitalia. Hilarious. It seems, judging by this album that Perry is all about the persona of the sexual tease, and not much else. This theme runs tiresomely throughout Teenage Dream, but just comes off as kitsch and childish. Snoop Dogg’s part in ‘California Gurls’ (and since when was ‘gurls’ an accepted spelling?) is clearly an attempt to be edgy, but just comes off as another missed shot – much like her strange reference to
Radiohead in ‘One That Got Away.’ Some of Perry’s darker, more serious tracks appear to be more enjoyable, such as ‘Circle the Drain’ and ‘Who Am I Living For?’, but only in comparison to the headache-inducing noise of the earlier tracks. The electronic beats repeat themselves song after song, the only difference being the childish lyrics that Perry half-raps, half-sings over the top – “Think I need a ginger ale / That was such an epic fail,” in particular being reminiscent of a fourteen year old’s attempt at MySpace poetry. If you have enjoyed Perry’s work so far, then there’s very little doubt that you will enjoy this album as well. But with this record it is fair to say that Perry has certainly shown her worth – of which there seems to be very little. Teenage dream? More like a teenage nightmare.
After three number one albums, a handful of top twenty singles and years of tours The Killers have earned their break, but energetic front man Brandon Flowers can’t take his foot off the pedal. His debut solo LP is merely a continuation of The Killers’ sound, rather than the journey into the unknown you’d hope, and in many ways expect to see from a musician whose shackles have just been cut. Perhaps that can be forgiven when we consider many of these tracks started life as songs for his old band, but even then there is nothing here that is going to outshine the likes ‘Mr. Brightside’ or ‘Smile Like You Mean It’. ‘Crossfire’, the record’s lead single, is as good as it gets. The music on Flamingo conveys Flowers’ beliefs with more conviction than
his work with The Killers, particularly his religious views, but at times the lyrics cross the line from personal to preachy. Take for example ‘Only The Young’ where Flowers quotes part of the Lord’s Prayer before moving on to a tale of redemption. Flowers has also seen the album as an ideal place to sing the praises of his home town, Las Vegas. You might be able to stand the bombardment of gambling imagery, but the sickly-sweet opening track ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ may just be a stretch too far. At points it feels like Flowers did try and experiment but restrained himself too much, resulting in some unusual songs. ‘Jacksonville’ is the most confused track on the record, which sounds like Pet Shop Boys have had a stab at writing some country
Body Talk Pt. 2 Island
The long awaited evidence of just what the Klaxons have been up to in the last three years falls disappointingly flat, in an album that appears to have been overcooked and overthought. Three years on from their hit debut, Surfing The Void is a far more experimental album, characterised by layer upon layer of apocalyptic guitars, and a strikingly different sound. Klaxons have clearly tried to distance themselves from the fledgling ‘new rave’ scene - gone are the glow sticks and luminous paint,
and in their place comes an altogether darker sound, moody yet admittedly quite listenable. Opening track ‘Echoes’ establishes the murky atmosphere that embodies the album. However, as quickly as Klaxons appear to have hit on something ghostly and enlightening, this new, darker sound becomes somewhat monotonous by the fourth track. Without the catchy melodies and charm of their first record, it is fair to say that the ‘void’ is left begrudgingly unfilled. Tim Wood
Body Talk Pt. 2 is the second offering from Swedish artist Robyn’s three-part album. From the start, she reminds us of exactly why her original mix of electro-pop with a club sound was so inspiring. More upbeat than its predecessor, there is still room for personal and emotionally-charged lyrics. In fact, Robyn herself likened the albums to expressing herself through her own diary. Stand-out track ‘Hang With Me’ is the poppiest on the album, and is perfect as the first single. Another standout is ‘Criminal Intent’, with its dirtier feel and police
siren clips. Though slightly reminiscent of Britney Spears’ ‘Piece of Me’, the humorous lyrics of Robyn’s defence to the judge after her ‘arrest’ is sheer genius: “I admit I can get somewhat X-rated on the floor / But your honour how’s that something you get incarcerated for?” Is it possible that his track could indicate a new R&B direction for Robyn in the future? Body Talk Pt. 2 is a strong dance music album destined for success, but one can’t help but miss the warmer, touching tone that lies beneath. Sarah Mokrysz
Singles. The seemingly infinite recording capability of Kylie Minogue continues, with her electronic and euphoric new single ‘Get Outta My Way’. The trademark repetitive chorus and floor-filling beats will ensure that this song echoes down the aisles of Tesco for years to come. Like many of Kylie’s newer offerings it is not particularly original but will inevitably make the top 40. Also blaring from club speakers over the next few months will be Tinie Tempah’s latest offering, ‘Written in the Stars’. Politically-minded lyrics
(“I’m just a younger, fully ba-lack Barack”) and a nottoo-annoying, pleasantly melodious chorus make it a tune worthy of a dance. After all, Tempah is “a writer from the ghetto”, and who in the world can begrudge him that? Seemingly strangers to the musical ghetto are
Newcastle-based artists Let’s Buy Happiness, who are soon to release their double A-side single, ‘Six Wolves/Woodrings’. The songs are typical of their genre (floaty, DIY indie) featuring whimsical vocals, harmonised melodies and a distinctly lo-fi sound. Both tracks are a soothing listen, with ambient guitars building to an Arcade Firestyle climax, but are sadly altogether too forgettable. Recommended for your bedtime soundtrack. Lizzie Palmer Read more singles reviews online www.forgetoday.com
music. However, amidst the preaching and patriotism there are some great moments: ‘Jilted Lovers and Broken Hearts’, with its insistent beat and beautiful guitar lick is an early highlight and, ‘I Came Here to Get Over You’ also shines. Sam Bolton
Count the Rings Souterrain Transmissions
8/10 Produced and recorded by multi-instrumentalist Adam Baker in his own Terpsikhore studio, Count the Rings is the newest offering by Annuals, a band that avoids any easy classification. It is tipped as a collection
of B-sides and unreleased songs, but don’t let this deter you, as the album feels pretty tight. Some songs are as powerful as A-sides, and, maybe, even better than previous offerings. Stand-out ‘Always Do’ is a sweet, nostalgic song that displays Annuals’ music at its catchier. They are however, a deceitful bunch. The album seems at first to be harmless pop (with lashings of salsa),but they always insert high-impact
surprises. ‘The Giving Tree’ might innocently appear to be folk number. However, all is abandoned after a few seconds, flexing a mix of drum & bass, trumpets and dreamy ‘70s pop. ‘Hot Night Hounds’ also unexpectedly boasts a prog rock finish. It’s this style of experimentation that make this record an enjoyably chaotic, memorable collection. Samuel Valdez Lopez
Reviews.Live music. FLORRIE
The Forum Wednesday September 15 Singer, model and session drummer for the likes of Girls Aloud, 21-year-old Florrie has not wasted any time in her short career. Despite her initial appearance as another sugary pop act, it seems that there is slightly more beneath the surface. “I’ll start with a fact,” muttered Jeremy Arblaster, the man behind opening act Secret Diaries. “The Earth actually has three or four moons.” His onstage chat sadly did not improve a great deal , but his set was quite intriguing.
Belonging very much to the ‘one-man-and-hissynth’ genre popularised by the likes of Four Tet and Atlas Sound, Secret Diaries’ own brand of ambient background music was a pleasurable listen. It was only when he ventured towards the dancier end of the spectrum that the electronic sounds began to grate slightly. Arblaster’s jungle rhythms and synthesised chords were slightly too Ibiza-esque, and the excessive volume of the pounding drum machine meant that no glass item in the room was safe. The dimly lit Forum quickly filled up as Florrie took to the stage wielding a pair of drumsticks alongside her microphone. The performance was tight, the melodies catchy
and although there was nothing particularly out of the ordinary about saccharine pop songs such as ‘Give Me Your Love’ and ‘You Wanna Start Something’, impressive drum solos displayed the artist’s genuine talent as a percussionist. Although much of her music was very repetitive and embodied a somewhat manufactured sound, the crowd were full of energy, and Florrie was in her element as she pounded the cymbals. Her drumming talent is clearly what sets her apart from the hundreds like her, and like any business-savvy independent musician, she realises that originality will be the key to eventual success. Lizzie Palmer
FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS
Plug Friday September 3
like the lazy, rich sounds of early Bruce Springsteen jams. Blue rhythms and sharp hooks dominate the music while Morgan’s Brooklyn ease carries off a proper old school hip hop style, which is always enjoyable if a little basic. Gigs by older, established bands are almost always more enjoyable than their younger counterparts - it is overall a more nostalgic experience for everyone concerned. Even without knowing their material well, FLC are so charismatic and entertaining that it doesn’t matter. An enthusiastic reaction to Morgan’s Flying V guitar late into the show proved how well loved the legendary band are by their fans. This highly entertaining gig was all about nothing more than some excellent performers on stage, having a great time and exercising their talents as classic showmen. Dan Phillips
Picture: Lizzie Palmer
Wednesday September 15
Fans of extreme metal have been waiting for this historic tour, double-headlined by Cephalic Carnage and Psycroptic. Support act Ionic Dissonance deserve a special mention among the five bands on the bill. The Canadians played an intense
set of technical deathcore, stirring the crowd into a frenzy and setting an erratic pace in anticipation of the headliners. The more traditional death metal institution Psycroptic provided a counterpoint to the crazy, jazz-tinted behemoth that is Cephalic Carnage. They thundered through a blistering setlist, largely made up of killer material from their new album, Ob(Servant). Psycroptic’s coheadliners, renowned for their ability to complete stunningly complex and increasingly bizarre studio albums did not disappoint.
Showcasing both old and new material, starting with the thunderous, pit-inducing ‘Endless Cycle of Violence’ and including new track ‘Raped by an Orb’, the band have shown us once again that they can combine pure ferocity with a humour rarely seen in modern metal. Ultimately, the tour has combined the best elements of death metal, from the experimental and strange to the relentless brutality of the traditional, covering all the bases in between. We can only hope that the tour circuit spits out more of the same in the future. Daniel Coen
Gallops make an impression at the Forum on Division Street Picture: Nick Abdul
CEPHALIC CARNAGE + PSYCROPTIC
Friday September 17 2010
Fun Lovin’ Criminals are the kind of band you may know of, but at the same time have no idea what they’re actually like. They’ve been going for near enough twenty years or so now (yes, the early nineties actually was that long ago) but for a certain generation they remain faintly ambiguous. Everyone knows ‘Scoobie Snacks’, but not much else. Their live show, however, proves that with a great band, you don’t need an encyclopaedic knowledge of their catalogue for the show to be enjoyable. For Fun Lovin’ Criminals, this is largely thanks to the irresistibly charismatic presence of front man Huey Morgan. Perhaps better known
now as the presenter of his superb 6Music show on Sundays, Morgan is an absolutely magnetic performer on stage. Half way to parody, he permanently dons a half-open shirt and gold medallion. This is clearly a look that would make anyone else seem to be nothing more than a cheap lothario, but like a proper rock star Morgan gets away with it, channelling the coolest man alive rather than an escaped psychiatric patient. Musically, the band straddle a kind of easy rock meets hip hop line, which looks horrible on paper but actually sounds pretty good. Morgan is a fine blues guitarist and his laid back lead often takes the band into a territory not so distant from New Jersey legends The E Street Band - not a bad thing at all. With more members, you could easily suspect that Fun Lovin’ Criminals could produce something a little
It is obvious throughout the film that this tiny speck in the great expanse of the American Midwest is as poor as they come. Run-down caravans litter the fields; burned-out shacks mark the spot where
a crystal-meth lab has gone horribly wrong. Everyone is loosely related, however, the sense of family only extends as far as a begrudging loyalty, broken as soon as trouble looms on the horizon.
Ree is met with an icy reception wherever she goes. Her extended family know something about Jessup’s disappearance but remain tight-lipped. as she pursues her aims she loses none of her character
defining determination even when others turn so violently against her. Newcomer Jennifer Lawrence plays the heroine brilliantly. She looks like a young Renée Zellweger, but forget the overly gooey Bridget Jones persona. Lawrence’s steely reserve helps to set this film apart from other movies about strong women. Yes, there are tears, but they only come at a point where she is forced to do something that no normal person should face. Ree’s unflinching nature mirrors that of many characters in their morally decrepit world. But none more so than her uncle Teardrop. Actor John Hawkes brings what is surely a career defining performance as Jessup’s tough brother. The air becomes palpably electric whenever Teardrop walks into a room. In no way does Winter’s Bone disappoint. Crisp, washed-out visuals, brilliantly menacing performances from the supporting cast, and a wonderful new star in Jennifer Lawrence. Winter’s Bone deserves all the accolades it gets. Alex Sherwood
through foster homes, illegal boxing matches and dingy nightclubs – again suffering abuse throughout. Yet Kevin remains resilient, and it is this ability to stand tall which means he eventually prevails. Rupert Friend’s lead performance is astonishing. Through the scenes of violence, drama and occasional jubilation, he creates a wholly believable character. In the film’s prologue we see the real-life Kevin talking about the movie. It becomes apparent that every mannerism, sound and behaviour is exact and precise. The supporting cast are mostly strong too. Natascha McElhone’s portrayal of Kevin’s evil mother, Gloria, is arguably comparable to immortal villainous females such as Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, or Annie Wilkes from Misery. However, in the shadow of the lead couple, the
remaining characters feel wooden and clichéd . Many of Kevin’s caring foster parents come across sugary and false; the other boys on the estate are the typical ‘chav’ types; and Kevin’s gangster associate, Terry (David O’Hara), seems merely a copy of an eighties Mafia boss archetype. Another criticism is the flow of the movie itself. At times, the grainy convoluted
story simply jumps from one scene to another. Overall this feels like a list of bad experiences rather than a plot, all of which seem so overwhelmingly unbelievable you would be forgiven for thinking it could all be false. But that is the point of the film. It’s hard to believe that someone can have a life so horrific and disappointing but still come out the victor.
Yet Kevin does, and it is his triumph over the unrelenting horrors which owes to the movie’s success. It’s not just a simple ‘good over evil’ tale. Thanks to perfect casting and an incredible lead performance The Kid becomes a captivating journey which embodies themes of isolation, desperation and hope. Ashley Scrace
the really interesting side to the release will be the success or failure of the young upstarts Illumination Entertainment against the giants of Pixar and DreamWorks. The plot follows nefarious criminal mastermind Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) and his plot to pull off the most dastardly heist ever recorded. He is going to steal the moon. Of course, things do not go as planned when a new, younger villain, Vector (Jason Segel), whips the allimportant shrink ray from under his nose. Gru manages to adopt
three cute orphan girls with a view to exploiting their cookie sales as a way to infiltrate Vector’s lair. His intentions are purely evil, but that cold heart is inevitably melted by the charming trio. The animation is really wonderful, similar in style to Pixar’s The Incredibles. Think bright colours, explosions, interesting character design and big, detailed sets. Sadly, the voice acting is a little more hit-and-miss. Steve Carell gives a truly awful and unfathomable eastern European accent, but it is thankfully balanced
out by the excellent voiceovers from the three young girls. Agnes, the youngest, is easily the cutest thing since Squirt the turtle in Finding Nemo. Come October children across the land will be screaming: “IT’S SO FLUFFY!” It seems that Pixar will always be the leaders in the field, championing story over style in every feature they have released. But Despicable Me takes a decent pot-shot at the big boys, and future projects will be viewed with a curious eye. Alex Sherwood
Dir: Debra Granik
Friday September 17 2010
THE UK FILM COUNCIL: A LOAD OF SCRAP
One big piece of summer film news was the scrapping of the UK Film Council (UKFC). After ten-years of funding some excellent British films – including Bend It Like Beckham, Gosford Park and The Constant Gardener inevitable cuts spelt the end of the group. Yes, it may be considered a wise move by some. The UKFC is a group which has remained relatively unknown and seemingly useless to most. It does not help when film producer Lord Puttnam merely describes it as a vague “glue” to the film industry. It does sound a little flimsy. What is the point of “glue”? It sticks things together rather than moving things on. But this is just a bad analogy. The UKFC is more like water: It is a fluid group with clear, fast moving objectives – to encourage creativity in British cinema via funding and talent spotting. By dissolving the UKFC, what message is the government sending out to British filmmakers? That there’s no hope? No money to fund films? And remember, the UKFC part funds the British Film Institute (BFI) – you know, that group which holds the innovative, thought provoking London Film Festival. While the BFI is unlikely to die too, splitting the otherwise tandem groups is bound to have some effect. We’ll see in time what the consequences are. But if Clint Eastwood himself steps up to save the council then it must be a cause worth fighting for. Ashley Scrace
Winner of this year’s Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, Winter’s Bone has a high level of expectation to live up to. But this bleak tale, which epitomises the antithesis of the ‘American dream’, has a warm heart that shines through the coldness. Based on the novel of the same name, the story follows the life of 17-yearold Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence). Ree’s worries are not those of a normal teenage girl. There is no fretting over who to take to the prom, but rather she must find a way to care for her two young siblings and their mentally ill mother. They scrape by on fried squirrel and charity from neighbours. But when the Sheriff (Garret Dillahunt) informs Ree that her drugdealer father, Jessup, did not attend a court date, she is forced to search for him before their house is taken as bail money.
Dir: Nick Moran
8/10 Based on a true story, Nick Moran’s second film is a harrowing, excellently written journey through the life of a boy who suffers terrible abuse only to come out a better man. A ten-year-old Kevin is locked in a small room by his parents. There’s no television; no toys; not even a bed. A wooden cell is all that Kevin has, upon which he scribbles his thoughts and dreams. On the outside his mother (Natascha McElhone) sees Kevin as little more than a punch bag – his body battered and bruised by her cruelty. Kevin is eventually taken away by social services, but a mistake in their care sends him spiralling through a decade of terrible events as we follow him
Dirs: Pierre Coffin, Chris Renaud, Sergio Pablos
6/10 This autumn heralds the breakthrough of a new name in the world of computer generated animation. No, not just Gru, the villainous hero of Despicable Me, but rather the company which is bringing it to us. And while the film is a fun, family-oriented adventure,
Reviews.Games. Starcraft 2 PC
9/10 It seems recently that Blizzard can do no wrong. With popular releases such as World of Warcraft, the previous Starcraft and Diablo under their belt they have successfully established themselves as the games company which continually sets the bar higher and higher. Simply put, Starcraft 2 continues the tradition. The games campaign is superb from the start. The player takes control of the human faction known as the Terrans, while the other two factions in the game, the Protoss is only available at certain parts and the Zerg is unavailable to play at all. But don’t let this deter you; the campaign is full of variety and really gets you involved in the game. Superb voice acting helps you to get immersed in the games story and the ability to upgrade units after missions helps to convey a sense of accomplishment. Furthermore the ability to make a choice that affects
parts of the story during the game gives it great replay value. Choosing to do either option A or B could produce different outcomes and alter the enemies that you will face. At around 15 hours long the campaign does provide you with a lot of entertainment but if you think it will prepare you for the online aspect of the game you would be wrong. Very wrong. The game’s online play is where it excels; the ability to play with friends and crush random players around the world never gets old but don’t expect to win every time. In the game’s online section you can choose to play as either of the three factions, this offers variety and the challenge to master different ways of engaging the enemy. As you would expect each faction has its own strengths and weaknesses and only by playing as each one will you learn how best to utilise them. The game offers a good variety of maps with as many as 12 people competing in one game, this ensures that combat will be intense and means you have to think fast in order to survive. If you feel like a less
intensive match you can always play against the computer and set the difficulty yourself but if you want to demonstrate just how good you are at the game a quick ranked league match will let you do this. For those die hard fans of the game, Blizzard also added the ability to create new maps and new modifications that add to the game; again this adds to its replay value. Another of Starcraft 2‘s great assets is that it looks
Metal gear solid: peace walker PSP
Retro game If writing about music is like “dancing about architecture”, where does that leave us with writing about video games? As an English Literature student, I have to acknowledge that words aren’t the right medium to evoke an experience so defined by actions. The key to a great video game is in fact in making
this connection between player and protagonist, via interactions, so fluent that it cannot easily be explained. Grim Fandango achieves this by uncompromisingly drawing you into its wonderfully bizarre world, a blend of the Mexican land of the dead, film noir cinema and the off kilter perspectives and logic of dreams. You play as Manny Calavera, a travel agent for souls making their way to the final underworld, in pursuit of a beautiful missing (skeletal) woman. This is a game defined by subtlety, both in terms of its humour (how does
a skeleton smoke? Or, for that matter, remove stockings seductively?) and its puzzles, which are often obscure enough to drive you to the edge of distraction, but always keep you coming back. Instead of an overly intrusive interface, the player must rely on their own observation to solve puzzles - watching, for instance, for a telltale movement of Manny’s head when he spots an item of interest, increasing the sense of achievement. Too often modern video games rely on hiding their mediocrity behind visual gimmickry, but Grim
holidays. It’s a vast game. The storyline (tauter than usual, thankfully lacking Kojima’s flabby storytelling) shoves Big Boss into Costa Rica in the 1970s with his army of mercenaries-forhire. You’ll take control of both the former and the latter as you slowly build what will later be known as Outer Heaven. Both soldiers and vehicles can be captured and converted to your side, and research and development teams can be assembled to create new and improved weapons for your arsenal. But the focus of the experience, as always, remains the fundamental gameplay tropes of the Metal Gear series. Slipping behind, holding up and dispatching enemies remains as satisfying as ever – just as that ominous exclamation mark above an enemy’s head still incites the same deep-rooted panic as it did 12 years ago. Indeed, despite Snake
and his cohorts adopting MGS4’s slick style of movement, there’s a simplicity to the game’s compact levels which seems to hark back to the original Metal Gear Solid. It’s extremely satisfying. Unfortunately, Peace Walker is a game crying out to be played with dual analogue sticks, but the limited button layout of the PSP means camera and aiming control are awkwardly mapped in all of the control schemes. There is also the peculiar omission of online multiplayer, meaning cooperative or competitive play require a certain amount of social interaction. But overall Peace Walker is a superb purchase. With a fully-fledged and fullyvoice acted campaign, over 100 varied bonus missions, a complex and rewarding army-building system and local co-op support it’s a wonder how they managed to fit it all on a UMD. James Wragg
Fandango’s simple yet eerily beautiful backdrops are some of my most powerful memories of video games; a waterfront at night beneath the inaccessible mystery of an airship, a street carnival, floats gently bobbing in the breeze, warmed by the lazy evening sun, elegant art deco skyscrapers soaring out of view. Just because the limitations of the software restrict what the player can do, there’s no reason not to make where they can’t go hauntingly enticing. Josh Wilson
Be sure to keep an eye on our gaming blog as well (http://bit.ly/c9BWB9), where we’ll happily engross you in our inane rambling. If you want to get involved, contact with us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org with any ideas, reviews or just general chat about games that you want to share. James Wragg James Garrett
On the whole then Starcraft 2 is a fantastic game to play. It offers variety and it achieves the holy grail of gaming by being accessible to newcomers whilst still providing the experienced with a great challenge. With new content for the game in the pipeline and users adding to it every day, it looks like Starcraft 2 has established itself as the RTS game that everyone should own. James Garrett
Friday September 17 2010
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is the Pokémon of the PSP. Except, rather than the game gradually breaking your will until you are left an empty husk of a person, contorted in a foetal ball amidst your own leavings and staring at a Pikachu with bloodshot eyes as a crack addict would savour the last remnants of their Mostly Talcum Powder, Peace Walker leaves you a nervous wreck obsessing over your collection of muscular commandos and violently jerking alert whenever you hear your phone going off (usually a text from your friends saying they’re ‘worried about you’). I lost weeks to Peace Walker in the summer
and sounds great. You don’t need a high end specced computer to run it, although if you do you are in for some eye candy on some of the games animations. A game however is never perfect and Starcraft 2 is not an exception; the drawback of using one faction in the campaign is annoying and there are some occasional hitches whilst using the battle net system such as always being needed to log in, in order for achievements to be recognised.
Games are a form of escapism sorely needed in a demanding and often stressful student lifestyle, regardless of whether you’re playing solitaire in a moment of sleep-deprived reflection in the IC, or reducing a small child to tears with your unmatched power and skill in Call of Duty multiplayer. This year we want to encompass the full breadth of gaming experiences available in Sheffield and truly make this slice of Fuse a page which everyone can enjoy. Whether you’ve got a half-broken laptop which struggles to browse Google, a sleek new Xbox 360 or even just an urge to play something mindless, this page will cater to you. ForgeToday.com is host to our latest news, reviews and features. Most recently we got a chance to get our hands on (or off, as it uses no controller) Microsoft’s latest gadget, Kinect (http://bit.ly/dhqVxI) and we’ll be keeping the site updated with content from the student community over the coming semesters.
Reviews.Arts. SPAMALOT Lyceum
8/10 King Arthur’s legendary search for the Holy Grail is perhaps most famous for being used as the inspiration for a variety of poems, films and classical music. Now the tale has been translated into musical comedy Spamalot by exPython Eric Idle, basing the production on the medieval spoof film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The musical is made up of a mish-mash of original Monty Python sketches alongside new material, to the delight of both old and new fans. Starring James Gaddas (Bad Girls, Coronation Street) as King Arthur, the actor provided nonstop hilarity throughout his whole
Teatopia Millennium Gallery
Friday September 17 2010
Teatopia takes a small and sweet look back at the history of tea in Britain including all sorts of tea minutiae you can think of and then some. There are all the basics like tea cosies, pots, cups (including a Siamese twin cup) and tea trays. There is even a little exhibition called Teaphemera, dedicated to little bric-a-brac curiosities that are quite droll. All these trinkets have been collected from all around the world, with one very interesting teapot featuring an intricate carving of Macbeth. Some of the designs have been made exclusively for Teatopia, including little felt cups made by Sheffield children. There is also an exclusively designed tea towel for the exhibition by Sheffield illustrator Geo Law, which is conveniently available to purchase in the museum shop. As well as exhibiting the different tools of the trade, there are blurbs of
performance. He managed to keep a straight face for most of his time on stage, apart from when having to ad-lib to a sketch with the knights who say “ni!”, much to the audience’s amusement. Todd Carty, played the part of the King’s long suffering servant Patsy, breaking out of his character in EastEnders with more success than his attempts at figure skating on Dancing On Ice. As The Lady of the Lake Jodie Prenger showed she wasn’t fazed by having to poke fun of herself, and her booming powerful voice was perfect for the role of comedy diva, although sadly the part did not allow the actress to fully develop her comedic capabilities. The production was fastpaced, brash and eccentric, and followed the format of a pantomime rather than a musical.
information mostly of how (and why) porcelain came to be used as the material of choice. The exhibition offers insight as to how tea was once a sign of status, requiring sometimes little tea caddies (think of them like “safes”) to jealously guard the expensive leaves of tea. But besides all the bits and bobs of nostalgia, there are some conscience raising bits, mainly in the form of a single panel and a short, silent film about the process of collecting tea leaves in Ceylon. A few thoughts are given about Fairtrade, which doesn’t feel preachy, but might dampen the spirits. One particularly interesting observation is about how porcelain was a precious commodity due to its scarcity and how this yielded the creation of knock off pieces to appear more opulent, which explains a bit about how society still tries to keep up with its neighbours. The exhibition covers pretty much all that there is to know about tea, but does veer away from the oldest controversy: should you put the bag before or after pouring the hot water into a cup? Samuel Valdes Lopez
But it was decidedly cleverer than your average pantomime, managing to of squeeze in a silly walk John Cleese style here and there. The performance was only short; lasting a total of two hours including an interval, but the musical would have lost its nonstop guffawing quality if the punch lines had been dragged out. The shows finale ended with a rendition of ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’, encouraging the audience to sing along with the words provided on a screen, but who really needed them? Spamalot exemplified that the silly humour of Monty Python’s Flying Circus has managed to live on beyond the 70s, and holds a timeless appeal that can be adapted to all formats. Alexandra Rucki James Gaddas leaps into the role of King Arthur in Spamalot.
FOR THE BIRDS Site Gallery
6/10 “I am for the birds, not for the cages in which people sometimes place them.” When John Cage said this, it playfully implied that music was a political tool. For The Birds focuses on the avant-garde composer’s words and looks at the handful of artists whose
Western Bank Library
6/10 Mervyn Peake is best known for his gothic trilogy Gormenghast, but the multi-talented artist, poet and playwright was also involved in creating a series of illustrations for a 1946 publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Alice allows spectators a glimpse into the enchanting
work has arguably been a social phenomenon. The exhibition looks at how music can both bind and exclude society, in particular social and historical circumstances, and is essentially an eyeopener into how music can be interpreted in different ways to different people. Whether it’s Haroon Mirza’s metaphor for the paranoia of Muslim extremism or Emily Bates’ exploration into vulnerability and isolation, the works,
which include short films, all break the so-called rules of music. Luke Fowler’s film portrays the Scratch Orchestra, which encouraged amateurs to keep a ‘scratch book’ and participate in improvised performances. One member found she could play the patterns she used for weaving, while another recognised how the style of ‘fluid music’ never had the opportunity to solidify. Founded by Cornelius
yet somewhat sinister world of Peake’s drawings and original sketches, with it being the first time the images have been available for the public to view. The pencil sketches of the recognisable figures of the March Hare and the Mad Hatter give an insight into the process of recreating the characters of Wonderland. The slightly piggyfaced sketch of the Duchess personifies
Carroll’s descriptions from the novel and presents Peake’s style to be quirky, exaggerated and comical. But standing alone apart from the novel the sketches look altogether sinister, making it questionable as to whether they would be suited to illustrate a children’s book. Accompanying each image is a quote taken from the novel, showing where Peake has drawn his inspiration from. Collaborating with
Cardew, it was a curious journey which changed people’s approach to music. Justin Bennett’s film on the other hand is an entertaining and intimate delve into the negative effects of audience participation. Most of us would be quite stunned if our favourite band stormed off stage because we clapped during one of their songs, but for Karlheinz Stockhausen saw applause as an insult. The film shows how he refuses to play after his 70 minute long composition is interrupted by members of the audience who attempt to clap and sing with him and a heated debate follows. People shout and swear and claim that an experiment cannot be achieved if people do not have the right to react. The exhibition may seem a bit confusing at first, with no clear layout, and hidden rooms which lead to other pieces of work, but once you take a few minutes to digest all of the films’ commentary, it begins to make sense. Music doesn’t have a clear-cut rule book and should be interpreted in different ways, and what may symbolise unity to one person can be seen as a rude privacy invasion to others. Kristi Genovese
the archive is Peake’s son Sebastian, who offers insight into the background story of each illustration as well as some charming childhood tales on his father. At the end of the exhibition a slideshow features which is made up of photographs of an ageing Peake, as well as other bits of artwork by the artist and captions about his life story. The exhibition is a compelling collection of artwork, which puts forth a less innocent Alice in Wonderland post-World War II. Alexandra Rucki
Friday September 17 2010
Want to write for Music, Games, Art or Screen? Are you a photographer or artist? Come along to our meetings to get involved in Fuse. Anyone is welcome to join the team at any time during the year. We promise we wonâ€™t bite.
Week 1 - Tue 5pm, Dainton LT1 Weeks 3, 5, 7 & 9 - Tue 5pm, Hicks LT2
Slow Club / Sheffield
gaming / Sheffield cinem
Fuse.listings Friday September 17 - Thursday October 7 2010
The Ratells @ Plug; 7.30pm; £5 These Sheffield lads are barely out of secondary school, but their post punk indie pop has crowds buzzing every time they play.
Strangeways @ Bungalows & Bears; 8.00pm; free Angular guitar riffs meet erratic drum beats and then collide dramatically with distorted vocals; this is Strangeways. Whether this London band are named after the prison in Manchester is unclear, but let’s just hope they don’t keep their energy ‘locked-up’ on the night.
Whirlow Hall Farm Fayre @ Whirlow Hall Farm; 10.00am; £4
Inglourious Basterds @ SU Auditorium; 7.30pm; £1 Quentin Tarantino takes on the Third Reich with a merry band of Jewish Nazi hunters. Cue extended scenes of clever dialogue, followed by everyone getting shot. Classic Tarantino.
Tubelord @ The Harley; 8.00pm; £5 ‘Mmm something smells good, what’s that?’, ‘Why, it’s a yummy little dish of alternative rock served up by London band Tubelord.’ At least, that is how the conversation would go if they were chefs. Instead Tubelord just make fun, energetic music. Which is probably better anyway.
The Hurt Locker @ SU Auditorium; 7.30pm; £1
Sci-Fi Comic and Card Fair @ Showroom Cinema; 12pm; Free There’s going to be all sorts of science fiction fun, including comics, Manga, graphic novels, film merchandise, trading cards and much more. Or just come and watch Trekkies fight over a William Shatner figurine.
Dog show (including dog agility), falconry, Hype Street Dance School, face painting, disco, farmers market and of course donkey rides; that’s almost too much fun for one day out. Martin Dawes from the Sheffield Star writes, ‘You know the summer has ended once Whirlow’s Farm Fayre is over’. Sad, but oh so true.
Two Door Cinema Club + We Have Band @ Leadmill; 7.00pm; £9.50 Art-pop trio Two Door Cinema Club team up with the synth-heavy hipsters We Have Band for a night that is sure to excite those of an indie persuasion. So slide into those skinny jeans, do up that top button and go see what all the fuss is about.
Allo Darlin’ @ The Red House; 8.00pm; £5 What do you get if you mix a pair of Australians with two English blokes? You get the wistful pop music of Allo Darlin’. Check them out before they head Stateside.
Fri 24 Up @ SU Auditorium; 7.30pm; £1 Pixar take us on another amazing adventure, this time with Carl Fredrickson, a feisty old widower who flies his house to a far away land. Cheeky Boy Scout, Russell, inadvertently joins the expedition, and what follows is a heartwarming alternative to the classic buddy movie. Covert Soundsystem presents Krafty Kuts @ Plug; 10.30pm; £3 Three time winner of the Best DJ award at Breakspoll; you know Krafty Kuts can provide a quality night of electro madness. Plus loads more electronic beats from the Covert Soundsystem DJs to keep you dancing.
Rolf Harris: A Life in Art @ Smart Art Galleries; 10am; Free Celebrating his 80th birthday with a special exhibition of paintings and sculptures. The creative talents of a true television legend. Avatar @ SU Auditorium; 7.30pm; £1 The biggest, most expensive, most ‘3D-ish’ blockbuster of all time. There’s more computer graphics than you could shake a (joy)stick at, but it is impossible not to be drawn into the alien world. Plug 5th Birthday with Chase & Status @ Plug 10.30pm; £5 The two kings of DnB/ dubstep crossover will be in Sheffield to help Plug celebrate its birthday.
Young Guns @ Fusion; 7.30om; £10 Black hoodies? Check. Blistering drum fills? Check. Soaring rock guitars? Check. A winning formula for the likes of Lostprophets. Young Guns haven’t managed to pull off the same success - their latest album reached #43 in the charts - but fans of the genre should count them worthy of a look. 500 Days of Summer @ SU Auditorium; 7.30pm; £1 Tom, a greetings card writer and hapless romantic, falls in love with his dream girl. But a lot can happen in 500 days. Interesting visuals and a great soundtrack make this rom-com feel fresher than most
Offbeat @ Raynor Lounge; 9.00pm; £3 The only place to get your fix of undeplayed indie, pop and punk.
Fiction + Age of Consent @ Bungalows & Bears; 8.00pm; Free An odd juxtaposition of styles is coming to Division Street. Age of Consent are an electronica group with slightly gloomy Kraftwerk vibes. Fiction are an all the more cheery affair. Delivering bubbly three minute pop songs; full of guitar riffs, synths and cowbells. One or the other is bound to get you dancing.
GIAG Chocolate Tasting @ Cocoa; 7.00pm; £5 Let the lovely ladies from Cocoa chocolate shop take you on a journey into chocolate. You’ll explore the wonders and secrets of chocolate, and find out more about its history and creation. Taste the divine chocolates and truffles in this cosy shop which is stuffed to the brim with sweet delights
Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick @ Boardwalk; 7.30pm; £12.50
The Tuesday Club @ Fusion & Foundry; 11.00pm; £8.80 The very best in underground clubbing since 1998. TTC favourites Scratch Perverts are here once again bringing us DNB, Dubstep and Crack House to jump around all night to. There really is nowhere better to be on a Tuesday evening.
These highly regarded musicians have been in the business of traditional folk for 50 years. Carthy actually taught Scarborough Fair to Paul Simon. The two complement each other perfectly, with Carthy on guitar and Swarbrick playing fiddle; they pick out sweet melodies from the world of folk and traditional British music.
Sheffield’s 36th Steel City Beer & Cider Festival @ Cemetery Park; 5.00pm; £2 With over 100 real ales plus an expanded range of ciders, perrys, bottled continental beers, country wines and soft drinks. Bigger marquees than ever before house the live music that will keep spirits high into the night. food avail throughout (choice of outlets).
Kano @ Plug; 7.30pm; £12.50
Secret Affair + The Purple Hearts @ O2 Academy 2; 6.30pm £14.50 The relatively short lifespan of the original Secret Affair line-up (1978-82) had a sizeable effect on the Mod-revival scene of the time. Almost 30 years later they are back. They may look older, but the music stays the same.
Schindlers List @ SU Auditorium; 7.30pm; £2.20 A sobering masterpiece from director Stephen Spielberg which tells the true story of a German factory owner who saved the lives of 1200 Jews during the Holocaust. Unforgettable performances from Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Sir Ben Kingsley.
GIAG Contemporary dance @ Goodwin Sports Centre; 8.30pm; £2.50 This class is for all abilities and welcomes beginners. The class consist of a warm up followed by a short dance and sequence, which introduce the styles and techniques of contemporary dance.
GIAG Streetdance @ Goodwin Sports Centre; 3pm; £2.50
Havana Rakatan @ Lyceum Theatre; 7.30pm; £10 A dazzling dance spectacular direct from Cuba. Cha-Cha-Cha!
Iron Man 2 @ SU Auditorium; 7.30pm; £2.20 In the first Iron Man movie, billionaire playboy Tony Stark built a kickass superhero suit to fight terrorists. In this, the blockbuster sequel, he must protect the people he loves from the villains that have harnessed the same technology. Robert Downey Jr is on fine form in this fun-filled action romp with a hearty splash of humour.
Dara O’Briain @ City Hall; 8.00pm; £19.50 The popular host of Mock the Week comes to Sheffield as part of the Grim Up North Comedy Festival.
It took the Best Picture Oscar from Avatar, and snagged Best Director for James Cameron’s ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow. Ouch. A nerve-racking insight into the last tour days of a US bomb disposal squad in Iraq. Jeremy Renner puts on a sterling performance as the crazy new team leader who refuses to play by the rules. A must- see for only a quid.
Steel City Ghost Tour @ Sheffield Town Hall; 7.30pm; £5 As one of the safest cities in the UK, is Sheffield really scary? Well, the South Yorkshire police can’t protect people from ghosts, and this tour goes right to where they live, in the most haunted parts of Sheffield. Ok, so maybe that is scary.
In 2004 underground grime superstar Kano turned down a modelling job for Hugo Boss because he wanted to focus on his first tour. That same confidence has carried Kano towards a new album, packed with big-name collaborators like Chase & Status, Hot Chip and Wiley.
Let The Right One In @ SU Auditorium; 7.30pm; £1 Two awkward Swedish children find friendship and love form a strong bond between them. But she is a vampire capable of horrific acts of violence. A chilling, yet, electrifying alternative to the Twilight Saga.
Live @ SOYO; 8.00pm; Free The eclectic jewel in SOYOs midweek crown. Dedicated to all things LIVE! Promoting the wealth of Sheffield’s up and coming musical and performing talents! resident DJs Nick Pears & Hey Sholay! Resident illustrator GEO LAW displays and creates live artwork during the night. Over the last year the SOYO Live stage has played host to some of the best unsigned talent Sheffield has to offer.
Come and enjoy this lively streetdance class. Whether you’re a complete beginner or have danced since you could walk, then this is for you! The class is taught by an experienced teacher and you will learn the basics of poppin’, lockin’ as well as street routines. Whether you want to get fit, love dance or want to learn some new moves to impress your friends, then come along and join in the fun,
Manic Street Preachers + British Sea Power @ O2 Academy; 7.00pm; £26.50 Manic Street Preachers plan a return to their classic rock roots with new album, Postcards From A Young Man, set for release this September. British Sea Power have gained a large fanbase by supporting such greats as Interpol and The Flaming Lips. Listen out for the indie dancefloor staple ‘Remember Me’. Dogtooth @ SU Auditorium; 7.30pm; £2.20 Three teenagers are confined to an isolated country estate that could well be on another planet. Having invented a brother whom they claim to have ostracized for his disobedience, the
Paul Heaton + Liam Frost @ The Leadmill; 7.30pm; £16.50 English singer-songwriter Paul Heaton is most famous for his roles within The Housemartins and The Beautiful South; and for writing hits such as ‘Rotterdam’, ‘Don’t Marry Her’ and ‘Perfect 10’.
Thur 7 Cherry Ghost @ O2 Academy 2; 7.00pm; £10 Epic and heartfelt indiepop tinged with hints of country, folk and Americana. This Bolton group are touring off the back their new album.
Rich Hall @ Lyceum Theatre; 8pm; £15.50 Looking like a Pearl Jam roadie, Rich is a master of absurdest irony. As a stand-up, he has visited the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and performed at comedy clubs across the world.