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CONTENTS 4 6 8 10 12

Welcome To Birmingham How to Avoid Students Johnny Foreigner Welcome To Wolverhampton Bohemian Jukebox

14 22 24 34 36 41 42 46 62 66

The Mighty Boosh How To Make Money As A Student The Twang’s Guide To Birmingham Maximo Park Poppy & The Jezebels Guide To Shopping Jeremy Walmsley Secret Wars Bands In Education Competitions Editors

Editor-in-chief: David O’Coy Marketing: Kerry Thomas Contributors: Garreth Akerman, Jonathan Baker , Jon Bounds, Katy Brown, Michael Claydon, Heather Connor, James Rampton Dominic Haley, Selina Jervis, Nikki Johnson, Luke McNaney, Daniel Newby, Poppy & The Jezebels, Frances Philips, Seeds and Slobodan, Cassie-Philomena Smyth Photographers: Darklens, Steve Gerrard, Brid Rose Jade Sukiya, Cover: Lajla Toullec IIlustrators: Paulo Arraiano, Newtasty, Jeremyville Lewes Herriot, Joe Murtagh, Kari Modén Fused Magazine, 315 The GreenHouse, Gibb Square, Gibb Street, Birmingham, B9 4AA tel: 0121 246 1946 Facebook: Fused Magazine Group DISCLAIMER

Reproduction of all editorial/images in any form is strictly prohibited without prior permission. Fused cannot be held responsible for breach of copyright arising from any material supplied. Views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily the publishers. All unsolicited material submitted should be accompanied by a S.A.E. © fused 2008.


welcome to birmingham

WE KNOW THAT YOU ARE AT THE BEGINNING OF YOUR STUDENT JOURNEY BUT WE DON’T WANT YOU TO LOOK AT THIS AS JUST A STOP-GAP BREAK WHILE YOU ARE STUDYING. We want you to embrace West Midlands life so behold the words of Katy Brown whose love of and knowledge of the area is second to none. Gaze into our crystal ball … So peer in to the future - against all the odds, you’ve survived three odd years of lectures, notoriously horrific halls of residence and escaped, miraculously, with only mild liver damage. You’ve got your degree certificate under one arm, the obligatory snap of you grimacing in your graduation mortarboard on your parents mantelpiece and you’re now facing the terrifying title of ‘a young professional’. After settling into Britain’s Second City and making it your own, you’ve probably come to realise that Birmingham is a bit more than ‘awroight bab’ …and you’d be right. (Furthermore, you no doubt twigged within approximately 0.87276 seconds of arriving at University that returning to live with the parents in Bognor Regis was a far from appealing prospect. The perks of having your washing and meals sorted far outweighed by queries as to whether drinking your bodyweight in Cherry Lambrini before a night out was sensible, as opposed to standard). And why wouldn’t you stay in Birmingham? Regeneration has ensured that it is a truly vibrant city - and


a young persons’ too; with over a third of the population under the age of 25, it has secured its place as one of the youngest cities in Europe. With your hectic (ahem) lecture schedule soon to be replaced by the 9 to 5, Birmingham offers a real opportunity to develop your career in a variety of industries. Over to Jason Norris, Birmingham Future’s Graduate Apprentice for the city and, following his relocation from Durham University, a new Brum devotee… ‘There are so many corporate companies based within the city limits, but also the small creative sector organisations which means that there are opportunities for all levels of Graduates’. Indeed, network groups like Birmingham Future allow you to mix with some of the most influential people in the city, a definite advantage over other locations….And lest we forget the creative and cultural community of smaller organisations, adding not only to the vibrant personality of Birmingham, but also £1billion to the region’s economy. It is these career opportunities that result in around 20,000 students a year staying in the city as their place of work, meaning that a sense of young community remains long after your Student Discount expires. With your first paycheque burning a hole in your young professional shaped pocket, it’s on to more important things, predominantly, how to spend your hard earned cash…and if you regard shopping as a viable hobby

then you’ve come to the right place. First and foremost, you couldn’t mention retail in Birmingham without a reference to Bullring Shopping Centre, 5 years old in September, and offering over 26 football pitches worth of shops, boutiques and restaurants in the centre of town. With the infamous Selfridges building bringing the iconic yellow carrier bags and everything from Krispy Kreme to Dior to Birmingham for the first time outside of Manchester and London, the building has become synonymous with both Birmingham’s regeneration and shopping offer. Indeed, Birmingham has been named the top shopping city outside London’s West End for the fourth year in a row, with 1000 shops in the city centre alone. And it’s not all big brands and high street haze - there are some fantastic independent retailers available, including Disorder, the ethical ‘anti-brand’ designer boutique which BBC 2’s Queen of Shops, retail guru Mary Portas, declared as ‘one of the cleverest small retailers I have ever seen’, whilst down in Digbeth is the Aladdin’s Cave of all things vintage in the shape of Cow, or Vintage Warehouse. Boasting clients including Klaxons, The Horrors and Hot Chip, the shop isn’t called a ‘Warehouse’ for nothing expect 500 square metres of vintage sequins, dresses and more handbags than you’ll ever have time to dance around, and enough plimsolls, checked shirts and jeans to clothe the entire Birmingham Academy band listings for a year. At least. Walk a further 5 minutes to the Custard Factory on a Saturday and Sunday and you will be

rewarded by the Flea Market, bringing that little bit of bohemia (and, more importantly, bargains) to your weekend shopping experience, with an eclectic mix of the bizarre and beautiful. As your social life moves from mid-week fun to weekend blowouts (unless you think your boss will be impressed by a raging hangover constituting your most impressive contribution to the company), it’s time to embrace Birmingham’s newly burgeoning nightlife… With Digbeth’s Rainbow offering the pick of nights out, you’ve got Lee McDonald, who took over the venue in 2007, to thank for a truly diverse and innovative choice of promoters. Bringing 6 summers worth of experiences from Ibiza and having hosted his night Below everywhere from car parks to strip clubs, The Rainbow has recently hosted The Prodigy, The Presets and Erol Alkan. Its latest project, the adjoining Rainbow Warehouse and purpose-built Beach is an 800 capacity venue that has brought that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to Birmingham’s nightlife, as well as ensuring that revellers have had to learn, pretty quickly, how to throw shapes whilst balancing on the sand covered dancefloor. With the winter months seeing The Beach transform into a fully heated garden complete with Astroturf, this railway-arch framed venue is only going to get bigger and better…. For further fun and frolics, other nights of choice include Bigger than Barry, Hott Date, any Chicks Dig Jerks affair and the Custard Factory’s eclectic

listings. For pre-drinks, The Sunflower Lounge is still the venue for a 60s inspired tipple, whilst Bacchus, bringing the worlds of Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt to the the basement of the Burlington Hotel has to be seen to be believed. And don’t forget the city’s very own rock ‘n’ roll cocktail bar Island - where you can sip Pina Colada’s and catch bands most nights. With two impressively sized music venues in the shape of Barfly and Birmingham Academy along with the independently owned Factory Club, with its eclectic mix of nights that includes everything from Drum ‘n’ Bass to Babyshambles, the Second City now boasts not one but two home-grown acts, to add to the somewhat acquired tastes of Black Sabbath and UB40...step up Editors and The Twang who, thanks to Birmingham’s Zoot Music Management, have seen the city placed firmly on the music map. Editors boast a Birmingham native in bass player Russell, whilst the rest of the band are honorary Brummies who all chose to live here after graduating. They have seen their debut album, which has sold 500,000 copies to date, nominated for a Mercury Music award, whilst second album ‘An End Has a Start’ reached Number 1 in the UK charts. The Twang boast a full star Birmingham born and bred line-up, and these Quintonites have seen their album reach Number 3.

Nan’s favourite, Jasper Carrott) putting Birmingham firmly on the map, the city has gained a palpable increase in kudos, credibility and, ultimately, confidence. Add into the mix the vibrant and diverse arts programme on offer for your more highbrow days (seeing the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra perform at the Symphony Hall or Birmingham Royal Ballet wow the Birmingham Hippodrome are definite ‘to do’s) or, for the more energetic of you, the news that Birmingham has staged more major sporting events than any other UK city, Birmingham really is a place to be proud of. If your chosen sport is based more around the challenge of how much you can eat, then the culinary chance to sample the cuisine of 27 different countries on any one night is certainly appetising. It’s these, amongst countless other highlights, that with the continually developing and improving face of the city means that previous reference point of Spaghetti Junction is now laughably irrelevant. Birmingham is an enviably exciting but ultimately manageable city in which to live and work, offering the best of the capital in its inimitable, inspiring way. It seems that the design and mass market of an ‘I Love Birmingham’ t-shirt could be a viable way to pay off your student loan… Words: Katy Brown. Image: Jade Sukyia

With names like these (as opposed to previous mascots such as your


How to keep away from students when drinking in Birmingham SO YOU ARE OFFICIALLY A STUDENT BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU WANT TO HANG OUT WITH OTHER STUDENTS ALL THE TIME. You might want to get away from the union bar and do what non-students do. So here to give you some tips is the man behind Birmingham It’s Not Shit – hail the wise words of Mr Jon Bounds. Students are annoying; they sit around in groups wearing clothes that the NME tells them are cool, quoting The Mighty Boosh whether they understand it or not, and have endless conversations that are inextricably pulled towards them all listing their fucking A-Level results. You don’t want that sort of thing putting you off your beer, so here’s where to go for a pint in Brum without seeing the skinny-jeans of anyone doing a degree in Meeja Studies: The Mailbox, Royal Mail St, B1: Students are poor, one way to keep away from them is going somewhere “exclusive”. The Mailbox isn’t really exclusive, it tries to be but anywhere that has a Cafe Rouge and a Nandos isn’t trying too hard. It is a posh Nandos, though. It’s almost guaranteed that there won’t be any students sipping the champers in Bar Epernay — this bar does have a touch of exclusivity. The sandwiches have berries that you’ve never heard of snuggling up to little-known European cheese, beneath a wedge of crusty brown. Sitting astride the rotating baby grand in hockey team jerkins sipping a half of lager would be frowned upon.


Bull Ring Tavern, Digbeth, B5: Fear of the working class is another trend shared by students. Even those that are working class feel embarrassed at whence they came. The rough words of those that work in hi-vis, the slightly damp beer-mats (or beer-mats at all, they’re a dying breed) or a jukebox with something other than Shine 8 on it, frighten the hell out of your average stude. The Bull Ring Tavern is a wonderful place, where real conversations flow. The Square Peg, Corporation St, B4: It is, they tell us, the longest bar in the World, but don’t let that fool anyone. It’s very rarely open all the way down - the staff will leave unsuspecting students standing hopelessly at “closed” portions, waiting in vain for a Wetherspoon’s beer-and-burger deal. It always used to be a little bit rough too, and a “hard pub” is not a place for a student. About eight years ago I was showing a new housemate round the city, she was not a native, and I was showing her the bright lights of town. Being student types, no night out would be complete without going somewhere cheap first to get drunk, so this Saturday night, we were up the bar in the Square Peg. I was just warming her with tales of how Brum wasn’t as bad as it was painted, when without warning the guy next to us picked up his pint and glassed the next guy along. Now, this wasn’t accompanied with the usual ruckus that precludes a glassing — no shouting or even raised voices, he simply weighed his options, weighed the glass, took a last slurp and slammed it into the side of the bloke’s head. The most laid-back glassing I’ve seen.

Of course there was a tussle afterwards, but the bouncers bundled them both outside (and obligatory leave-him-he’s-not-worth-it woman), to sort it out amongst themselves. Swift reaction from the bouncers, the same ones that had stopped me going in a few months before due to me wearing ‘sports colours’. I pointed out to them that it was a Brooklyn Dodgers baseball shirt and I was unlikely to run into a load of rival fans, they let me as long as I “stood behind a pillar”. Later that night I did have a row with a baseball fan in the ‘Rock Cafe’ on Paradise Circus. Church Tavern, Church Rd, B42: Students are attracted by the bright lights, particularly when they’re flashed at them at 50p-a-shot discos with antipodean names and nights where Hawaiian shirts are encouraged. So, why not go the opposite way and head for some subdued lighting, and piped music: a place where napkins over your shirt to battle gravy are de rigueur? A trip to the suburbs, where all that is nice and quiet lives, far away from the edgy city centre and you’ll find yourself at The Church Tavern in Perry Barr. As an added bonus the pub plays host to a Wacky Warehouse, so it’s mainly full of divorcee dads with nowhere to take their kids early evening. By 9pm it’ll be just you and the bar staff, apart from the middle aged bloke dressed as Spiderman and clinging to the chimney. Check out Jon’s other recommendations and nuggets of information on the very witty website. Illustration: Momorobo


Is Birmingham a good place to be based? For a small touring band like us, it’s perfect. We’re rarely more than four nights away from home and it’s near enough to the centre of the world (London) to commute for music business stuff. For a student I dunno. You sure you shouldn’t have gone for Liverpool?

What did you study ay college / uni? Between us we’ve attended every Ndip Pop Music course in the city. We didn’t learn much but it certainly encouraged us to work even harder at what we were doing. We all forsook Uni in favour of band stuff which, in retrospect, was pretty unnecessary.

What’s the best Chippy / Balti / Kebab shop in Birmingham? I don’t know if we’re that qualified, we’ve been touring since January! However, Bombay Spice in town is open late and super friendly, but there are places in Sparkbrook that are better if you want to mission it. Salt’n’Pepper in Digbeth does the best chips but it’s a dangerous place after dark, and all kebab shops seem to be of varying quality. If you see a queue, it’s probably good.

How was student life for you? Learnt how to skin up and what drinks not to mix. College was fun the teachers/lecturers seemed as bored and flippant and drunk as the students. We mostly went to Snobs, each other’s shows or the nearest bit of grass near the college. What’s the best-kept secret in Birmingham? Rhiannon Jones’s band photography; the musical legacy of the Flapper and Firkin - The Starries and Distophia; the fact that we used to have the greatest scientific library in the world till some chavs burnt it down about 200 years ago; that there is a nuclear war proof bunker under the Rotunda. What advise would you give to new students just moving into the area? Always haggle your fare in taxis; choose Resurrection and Panic over Snobs and the Academy; find one of the parks near Selly Oak and go picnic in it; sort a dentist out NOW.


What do you miss most about Birmingham when you are away? Our friends. Knowing where the nearest Subway/Tesco/Greggs is. Not having people take the piss out of the way you speak, and, when we’re burning ourselves in hot countries, the shitty grey weather and the smell of rain on the pavement. It’s a Friday night, you’re in the City Centre and gagging for a drink. Where will we find you and where’s best to avoid? Flapper and Firkin is nice and friendly, Sunflower Lounge and Island Bar are good when you can sit outside, but nothing beats sitting in Pigeon Park with your own booze in summer. Anywhere on Broad Street is good for chavfights, though its calmed down a bit recently. Moseley, the last real village community, is good as long as you have a high scenester tolerance.

Who are your fave Brummies? Matthew Boulton - Long dead industrialist with big heart, invented clean factories and worker insurance and refused child labour. William Haywood - Also dead, formed the Birmingham Civic Society to try and give us buildings we could be proud of. Probably rolled in grave over Bullring and emitted ghostly hollow laugh when his New Street Station refit plans get used 100 years later. Murray Walker- I grew up listening to his voice every other Sunday and he was born down the road from me. George Dixon - Another long dead and Birmingham by politics rather than birth. He pioneered the idea of technical colleges, and having students learn by doing stuff instead of reading about it.

Shaun Walsh - Indie nightclub owner, slight legend. You’ll probably meet him. Where’s best for a hungover breakfast? Aha we totally know this one! Leslie’s Cafe on the Pershore Rd in Selly Park. The rest of my band (and loads of muso/arty peeps) live around it and visit religiously. What 3 bands should people check out whilst they’re here? Blakfish are half tech metal and half blood brothers. Shocked Elevator Family, when they’re not being too lacksadaisical to be doing gigs, are BRILLIANT. Sunset Cinema Club have a library of songs so good we get jealous everytime we see them. Johnny Foreigner’s single ‘Salt, Peppa and Spinderella’ is out now on Best Before Records. Catch them live at The Yardbird in Birmingham on the 8th October. Illustartion: Lewes Herriot


welcome to wolverhampton

AS BIRMINGHAM GETS EVER SHINIER AND MORE CULTURALLY DIVERSE, THE CITY OF WOLVERHAMPTON IS OFTEN DISMISSED. It’s easy to forget that, while Brum has the likes of the immense Custard Factory et al, Lady Wulfruna’s home has some choice dives at which you newbie students can burn the midnight oil. Studying at Wolvo Uni itself? Inevitably, you will be (or should be) taking full advantage of the SU bar. Expect dirt cheap drinks around the pool table, a variety of themed nights to suit different musical tastes and, no doubt, some special surprises to welcome freshers. When paying one mere pound for a pint gets a bit boring, you can find plenty of watering holes away from the uni. Unsurprisingly, Wolverhampton is home to that great British staple, a JD Wetherspoons, but leave it to the old men who look like your seedy uncle (and probably are). I challenge any brave soul out there to finish off one of Vodka Revolution’s famous chilli shots; anyone who doesn’t want to breathe fire for a week can instead enjoy a menu of yummy, albeit pricey, cocktails and shots.


Number one location for any self-respecting student has got to be Royal London. Post-lecture, you can take your books (?!) and revise with a pint and friends on the comfy leather sofas but my advice is save your money for Tuesday’s legendary ‘Quids In’ night. Of course, with prices to make your wallet/purse happy, you’ll have money to spare for the weekend, when you’ll be pressing up against all the other hot young things in your mission to get to the front of the packed bar. It’s a tad ‘sceney’ but everyone’s friendly and it’s a great meeting point to start your Friday/Saturday night. If you favour a seat over cool points, there’s a Varsity directly opposite that offers a similar, but less frenetic, ambience. Post-pub, there’s a ridiculous amount of dancefloors to suit the ‘alternative’ crowd. Planet, while a bit of a hovel, is Thursday’s go-to place with a £10 unlimited-refill cup deal. C4 and Canal Club could be the same place if it weren’t for the latter’s location above, well, a canal. Opt for Canal’s electro room on a Friday night; in fact, dance fans would do well to investigate the listings, as student faves Pendulum and Groove Aramada have both played in the past year.

Looking for more big names? Civic Hall rivals Brum’s Academy for musical talent (Travis, Goldfrapp and the Fratellis are playing in coming months) but make your own mark at either Cheeky Monkey or Blast Off, the venue’s two major club nights. The former is a guilty pleasure cheesefest, the latter an indie party stuck in a decidedly Britpop past – both are good for a boogie. Finally, how about a bit of culture? The Lighthouse Media Centre has its own art gallery and a cinema showcasing decidedly non-mainstream fare. Alas, it also has its own bar (sensing a theme here?) upon which the ‘it’ crowd descend on a Friday night for cheap wine and rock ‘n’ roll. Trying to remain upright on the cobbles – it’s in a courtyard – is just one of the unique thrills 2008’s freshers have to look forward to. Words: Luke McNaney Images: Darklens


Bohemian Jukebox

AS NEWCOMERS TO THE AREA, STUDENTS LOOKING FOR ALTERNATIVE SOUNDS MIGHT BE PLEASANTLY SURPRISED TO FIND THAT THE FOCAL POINT OF THIS MUSIC ISN’T IN THE CITY CENTRE. Catch a number 50 bus near Moor Street station and after 15 minutes you’ll be in the suburb of Kings Heath, in the Bohemian Quarter. The Hare & Hounds sits in this leafy location, and every second Tuesday the pub is host to Bohemian Jukebox, where you can be one of the first to catch the best in new local and touring Post-Folk, Anti-Folk and Alt-Folk songwriters and bands. Bohemian Jukebox is the Birmingham event of choice for newly signed acts on folkesque Indie labels from all over the UK, Canada and the USA who are playing their first tours. The night has played host to such names as Scott Matthews, Toby Goodshank, (The Moldy Peaches), The Smoke Fairies, and The Voluntary Butler Scheme. The events also support Birmingham signed songwriters such as Richard Burke, Fox, and James Summerfield. What sets it apart from other acoustic nights? Ben explains:

the boundaries of what ‘folk’ might be and they have the songs, but we don’t welcome songwriters who are front-men for rock bands to come along and play an acoustic set. We’re also book Indie bands that have twee leanings, as they that can offer something a little different to the run-of-the-mill sound of Indie, and there aren’t many places for them to play. Somewhat bizarrely, we’re unlikely to book hard-core folk acts that would be the mainstay of folk festivals such as Cambridge, as we’re not too hot on Traditional folk! Every six months or so, we’ll also hold an ‘Electronica Special’, because we recognise there’s a demand from audiences to hear electronica bands in an intimate setting, because they are songbased, so they are better suited to playing away from the usual dance-floor setting. We also welcome student bands, and we’re excited about booking some from the new influx of students that are coming this autumn. So, drop me a line!”

“Well, for a start it’s not an acoustic night! The events are specifically for acts who are playing in and around the borders of the folk genre. In essence this means that we’re keen to promote any acts that have strong songwriting at the core of what they do. It’s not a case of booking any person who plays an acoustic guitar. If you think about it, acoustic music isn’t a genre: it’s an arrangement of instruments. So we’ll book Misterlee who are a band made up of a singing drummer who sends his kit through an echo machine, backed by

Bohemian Jukebox has run over 150 events over the last five years, and is followed by many a blogger, which is testimony to it’s strengths in presenting the best in folkesque acts. So, come along and be part of the happenings!

an electric guitar and an electric viola, because they are pushing

com/bohemianjukebox /


Bohemian Jukebox runs every two weeks on a Tuesday at: The Hare & Hounds (Venue 2), High Street, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 7JZ. Doors 8:30pm £4/£3 NUS. / myspace.

THE MIGHTY BOOSH IF THERE WAS ANY DOUBT ABOUT THE IMMENSE POPULARITY OF THE MIGHTY BOOSH, the wonderfully compelling and original comedy double act comprising Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt, that was removed earlier this summer when tens of thousands of fans congregated at the Hop Farm in Kent for the inaugural Mighty Boosh Festival, featuring Noel and Julian’s band performing alongside such rock legends as the Charlatans and Gary Numan. The screaming hordes of Boosh-istas had come to pay homage to their heroes. But it was not just “civilians” who revealed themselves as enormous fans of the Boosh. Noel takes up the story. “For the finale of the Festival, people from all the other bands were going to dress up as our characters. But there was a curfew at 11pm and we ran out of time before the finale. Tim Burgess from The Charlatans, who was going to dress up as the


Mod Wolf, was so disappointed. He looked like he was going to cry. It was like saying to a kid, ‘you can’t go to the zoo, dad’s car’s broken.’ He was devastated!” So Tim Burgess, and millions of others, will be delighted to hear that there will many more opportunities to see The Mighty Boosh this autumn. Over the coming months, Noel and Julian are embarking on a major national tour. It is the must-have comedy ticket of the moment, and the show, which will feature “up to 30 or 40 per cent music” promises to be an absolute blast. I predict a riot.

share the stage with a range of characters from their TV show, that has enjoyed three hit series on BBC2 and BBC3. The duo are taking a break from rehearsals to give us a sneak preview of the sort of treats they have in store for you this autumn when they return to the West Midlands. Noel and Julian are that rarity - a double act who are as funny off stage as on it. They enjoy a special chemistry which you just can’t fake and to which audiences immediately warm.

Julian proffers a taster of what joys we can expect during the tour. “See Naboo the During the tour, Vince Noir (Noel) - a naturally Enigma and his cape of wonder. Look on in cool dude who has the rare ability to look hip wonder at Bollo, the ape that dreamt he was even while dressed in a sparkly silver jumpsuit a man. Discover what mysteries lurk in the teamed with giant platform shoes - and Hitcher’s hat. Marvel at the Moon as he Howard Moon (Julian) - a nerdy jazz– soothes with his idiot wisdom. Expect punks obsessed square with a wardrobe consisting and yetis and monsters with elbow patches, of beige polo necks and matching cords - will in a psychedelic meteorite of music and

hails from Yorkshire. “It’s so instant. You get a reaction straight away. Having spent a lot of time making television recently, you hunger for that immediate response. It’s great to find out what people think of your material right away rather than months or even years later. You can improvise as you’re going along, which is a real thrill too. Live work is incredible, and when it goes well, nothing can beat it.” Noel and Julian have been performing together since they started setting out on weird and wonderful journeys together upstairs at a north London pub in the late 1990s. They have come an awful long way in the last decade, and in the past couple of years their popularity has reached a new level. The Boosh have gone stratospheric. “It has been amazing,” says the always flamboyantly dressed Noel, the astonishment clear in his voice. “The only way I can measure it is by the people who come up to us in the street. It used to be just cool kids, but now it’s cab drivers and chavs, which is great because it means you’re appealing to more people. In the past, when I got into taxis, the cabbies would always ask, ‘who are you?’ Now they immediately say, ‘the Mighty Boosh!’ Chavs come up to me and say, ‘that show is sick.’ It doesn’t sound it, but apparently that’s good! They don’t stab me, so that’s fine – ‘don’t touch him, he’s on telly’. When you dress the way I do, it’s great to have things like that to save you!”

mayhem.” It is perhaps the most eagerly awaited live comedy event of the year. But don’t just take my word for it. Reviewers have been queuing up to praise The Mighty Boosh. The NME has called them, “the funniest comedy double act in Britain.” The Times has enthused that the show is, “charming, audacious and genuinely innovative”, and the Telegraph has dubbed it, “a beguilingly trippy comic universe, overwhelmingly fun for fun’s sake.” The Observer has raved that it is, “a triumphant spectacle, one of the most joyful shows around.” The Sunday Telegraph, meanwhile, has concluded simply that the Boosh is, “the funniest thing you will see this year on stage, television or film.”

The Boosh appeal especially to youngsters. “Kids really like because there are lots of visual elements to it,” reflects Noel, who is 35 and from London. “It’s one of those programmes kids tend to like more than their parents. It’s like with music, if a parent says, ‘that band is awful!’ their kids will immediately go out and buy all their albums!”

So just why have the duo struck such a chord with audiences? “The Boosh is pure escapism,” observes Noel. “Stuff like The Office is great, but people know where it’s coming from. When I was young, I used to watch The Goodies or Spike Milligan, and I had no idea where it was going. We try to create a world that people can get into and love. My favourite programmes -like Monty Python or The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - conjured up their own worlds. Once The pair, who won the Perrier Best Newcomer you’d entered them, you could go where you Award in 1998, are certainly very excited pleased. We aim to do the same thing. We about returning to the live arena for the first put in all sorts of different elements - music, time in two years. “Live comedy gives you animation, loads of characters. It’s never too a particular buzz,” beams Julian, 40, who narrow. We’ve never stopped ourselves doing

anything on the Boosh.” Julian underlines that it only works because of the inimitable chemistry that Noel and he create. “I’m sure we’ll do things separately in the future, but it really works as a double act. As individuals we’re very different, and that’s crucial to our success. I have another friend who is a lot more similar to me, but the Boosh’s spark comes from the fact that Noel and I have very different interests. You yoke us together and that generates a real creative friction. We can take the mick out of each other’s delusions. We’ve created a universe we love, and it’s fascinating to bring all sorts of different ideas to it. Difference is very important to us.” The creative well shows no sign of drying up any time soon. Noel and Julian are bursting with new ideas. The duo, who first broke into broadcasting in 2001 with The Boosh, a sixpart series for Radio 4, have a book coming out in the autumn and are hoping to work on both a movie and an album next year. The pair will remain popular because they never rest on their laurels. They are always searching for new ways to make us laugh. “This business is quite ephemeral,” Julian concedes, “and you have to maintain a healthy cynicism about it. There is a ‘flavour of the month’ aspect to it, so you have to keep moving on and mutating. We’re never precious about work, we never say, ‘right, that’s it, that is the crystallised form of the Boosh.’ We’re interested in constantly trying different things.” Noel chimes in that, “it’s vital to keep changing. If we kept doing the same thing, we’d soon get bored and the audience would say, ‘we’ve seen that – next!’ Fortunately, there are loads of new places to take the Boosh. We’ve never had a day where we’ve said, ‘we haven’t got any ideas today’.” I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. Can you? For your chance to win a pair of tickets for the Boosh’s dates at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall on the 6th November see the competitions page. Words: James Rampton Illustration: Joe Murtagh (



Fashion Trends by Frances Philips

ets biker look s a farmer me This season ha ery where ev is nk pu ft mud. So but with less pman are of Topshop/ To and the likes £100, treat (Jacket a off it g llin definitely pu lt £30, Jacket be d de ud St 5, Blue dress £4 8, Bag £35). £65, Shirt £2 from trousers ason is a must, Leather this se s £8 Primark), ve glo er ath to jackets (le farmer or tar tan with fabulous complimented shirt £30 ed od ho d (checke style checks Burton). 4, bag (right) dress (right) £1 m Red checked hat (above) fro d ke ec Ch . ark £6 from Prim Burton.

street scene

Birmingham's a hotbed of great bars and shops but don't just take our word for it. On your behalf we scoured the city looking for hot young blood that would tell us the things you need to know. So taking on the words of their wisdom go forth and explore...

Coral Murphy (17), Sales Assistant Favourite shop: Cow Vintage Describe Birmingham in a sentence: Dirty!

Aaron (35), Store Manager Favourite bar/pub: Anywhere with friends Favourite shop: Cow Favourite Birmingham band: Black Sabbath Birmingham’s best kept secret: Cow Vintage Describe Birmingham in a sentence: Grey, Industrial, changing

James Blincow (23), Denim specialist for Topman Favourite bar/pub: Sunflower Lounge/ Bacchus Bar Favourite club/club night: Hott Date at the Rainbow Favourite shop: Any charity shop Favourite Birmingham band: Mirror! Mirror! Describe Birmingham in a sentence: Best charity shops are in Harborne and Moseley.

Laura (24), Marketing & Events Coordinator Favourite pub: Rainbow Favourite club night: Bigger Than Barry (at The Rainbow) Favourite shop: Urban Outfitters / Cow Vintage Favourite Birmingham band: The Electrilikkers Birmingham's best kept secret: Warehouse Cafe


Aimee (19), Barmaid/ Student Favourite pub: Rainbow Favourite club night: Drop Beats Favourite shop: Asda Favourite Birmingham band: Untitled Musical Project Birmingham's best kept secret: Rainbow/ Hott Date Sundays Describe Birmingham in a sentence: Arty

Adele (18), Student Favourite bar/pub: Scruffy Murphy’s / Subside Favourite club night: Subculture at The Academy Favourite shop: Topshop / Oasis Market Favourite Birmingham band: GBH Birmingham’s best kept secret: Ladywood Rockabilly Club Describe Birmingham in a sentence: Boringham

Interviews by Heather Connor & Garreth Akerman. Photos by Brid Rose

Keiran Duffy (23) Singer in Untitled Musical Project / Undertaker Favourite pub: Briar Rose - it looks posh but is really a dirt cheap Wetherspoons. Cheap booze, cheap food - there’s no real need to go home. Favourite club/club night: As long as they serve alcohol long into the morning, I’m not really fussed! Rainbow put on some good nights. Favourite shop: Spar. Four cans of Fosters for £4 mmmm. Favourite Birmingham band: 2nd best band in Birmingham Johnny Foreigner. Birmingham’s best kept secret: To me Birmingham is like a cheap whore or an old girlfriend, she has no secrets.

Nikki (18), Bar staff Favourite bar: Subside Favourite club night: Subculture at The Academy Favourite shop: Topshop Favourite Birmingham band: Drongos For Europe Birmingham's best kept secret: It hasn't got any secrets! Describe Birmingham in a sentence: Dull


How to make money as a student Avoid Charity workers The devil’s children - if Hitler pumped man fat up Satan’s backside, a concoction known to man as a charity worker would be born. Otherwise know as a douchebag. They wear red and green jackets with ‘Save the Children’ imprinted, have purple pubic dreads and Rage Against the Machine t-shirts. These freaks are bullies. They will Work in a trendy shop in town stop you in the streets, screw up your day and pick on the venerable Send in your C.V. - what have you got to lose? You’ve got style, a Toni youth – a.k.a. students. Show these swine’s whose boss. Show no & Guy hairdo, you need the money. Brilliant, well done, you’ve got mercy. They will bleed you dry otherwise. the job…hurrah! Raise a toast. Now you work for the niche market, Keep walking…oh crap they’ve seen me. Don’t panic…keep calm. selling re-issued ‘vintage’ clothing, sex tip books and bacon shaped Worker: “Can I stop you for a sec sir?” plasters. Awesome. The money’s rolling in. £5.50 an hour, that’s Student: “Not today governor.” enough for a pitcher of beer down the ‘union’ and a copy of Zoo Worker: “It’ll only take a minute; I’m not after your money.” magazine every hour. Student: “Yes you are.” Money earnt: £5.50 an hour plus a gain in social status. Worker: “Thanks for telling me what I don’t do!” Backchat is best as they don’t expect it. My advice is carry garlic Work in a student bar cloves, a cross and run. If I want good karma, I’ll help an old lady This one’s a killer - serving vodka sours to chavettes in high-heels and cross the road. Not by funding his boss’s new freaking Ikea desk for jocks wearing diapers because the football team think it’s hilarious. the office. Listening to Green Day and the freaking Kaiser Chiefs all night long = Money saved: £8 a month. Hell on Earth. Money earnt: £6 an hour, however a loss of sanity may occur. Interest free overdraft This is a godsend. Get out of shit-creak card. It’s basically free money Selling Drugs so don’t sweat it. It’s the true meaning of student life. If you’re asked This will boost your street cred. Keep it gangster, you’ll get money, what your intensions are for the overdraft tell them it’s for “living respect and honeys. Kinda like Scarface if he was a scrawny twenty- expenses”, they’ll fall for it. year-old middle class white guy. Keep it minor though, it’s not some Money gained: Up to £2000 of free money. Cuban drug run, selling smack may get the feds or your tail. We are here to let ends meet, to buy flapjacks when you get the munchies Follow my advice and you’ll have dollars in your wallet and Snakebites and to buy the occasional Nike Dunks from the ‘independent’ shop in aplenty. Go forth and enjoy. the name of keepin’ it real. Words: Jonathan Baker esq. Money earnt: £20 an 8th. Illustration: Kari Modén/ Peppercookies THEY SAY THAT THESE ARE THE BEST DAYS OF YOUR LIFE, THAT GOOD TIMES ARE AHEAD…BUT REALLY? Troubles are close, the money situations getting low but fear not throughout his three years at Uni Jonathan Baker learnt there are many ways to rinse your dollar and here are his tips to saving the pennies.


the twang’s guide to birmingham BIRMINGHAM - JEWEL OF THE WEST MIDLANDS. Just over one million happy citizens live within its geographical boundaries but we want you to know it has more to offer than just curry-houses and Glam-Rock bands. So in an effort to convey the face of Brum to you new students, we decided to ask local boys, The Twang what they made of the city. There really could be no better guides on our journey around the Second City than - the best thing to happen to Birmingham since ITV brought Gladiators to the NIA. These five gentlemen have recently been taking the nation by storm with their own blend of baggy tinged indie rock. Think Primal Scream jamming with Mike Skinner and you’d be somewhere in the vicinity of their greatness. What the Twang doesn’t know about Birmingham isn’t worth knowing, so read closely and soon you too will be living the life of a Birmingham rock star… Eating in Birmingham - Birmingham has its fair share of eateries where visitors and residents alike can tackle the local cuisine, below are some important things to bear in mind when dining Brummy-style


HP Sauce Saunders: I used to work at HP sauce. HP has like this spring underneath so it has its own water and now it’s gone over to Holland it’s all going to go down hill. Phil: Chuck HP away and I can deal with just red sauce on my sandwich. John: I have HP sauce sandwiches…I fucking love it! Saunders: Could I also mention Fruity? I’m a big fan and my Dad would kill me if I didn’t. Best Kebab shop Saunders: Neelam’s. Phil: I have to be really fucking scuttoed for a kebab, and Neelam’s is on the way home. Saunders: To be fair, you’re going to pick somewhere you know. Phil: Yeah, you don’t really go out kebab shop hunting…although obviously some people do. John: Nelaam’s is shit. I bought a kebab there once, I ate two pieces of meat, threw it in the bin and got a Chinese. Every weekend I wake up and there’s a Neelam’s in my fridge and it goes straight in the bin.

Best place for a Balti Phil: Haweli in Bearwood.  It’s fucking amazing. Saunders: Yeah, the fucking size of the naan breads, man … [apparently they’re as big as manhole covers]. Phil: Thing is, I didn’t know it existed for ages; I only went there a couple of years ago. Saunders: Yeah, you don’t notice it, it’s been there for 24 years and I went to all the shitty ones. I’m not naming names because I don’t want to get chopped up, but then you find it and you’re like ‘Haweli’s The shit!’ Phil: Also I was once took to the College of Food, which I thought was gonna be terrible and a bit weird, but it was ace and only costs about a tenner for a full slap up four course meal.

Subbuteo… John: He could…he doesn’t have to play out-field, he could just play the goalie. Simon Le Bon Phil: Our guitarist has this funny story about Simon Le Bon, he was in Santa Fe and he tried to pull his missus, but she wasn’t having any of it John: He told us he was too suave for Simon Le Bon, and she would never choose Simon over him, and two minutes later she dropped him! Is the Brummie accent sexy? Phil: Cat Dealy’s is, Ozzy Osbourne’s ain’t. Depends on the face it’s coming out of I guess like all accents.

Best place for a hungover breakfast? Phil: My mom’s.... aka Pats Cafe but for the rest of ya’ get ya’ self to a Wetherspoons - they do a cracking fry up for about two squid. Best Local Band Phil: Us! Nightlife - Living in the UK is all about getting shitfaced, and the Saunders: For me it’s the Priory Band. people of Birmingham are no exception, so this section might hold John: The Priory are getting a bit of interest, which is sweet because particular interest to you. they are a great fucking band. Phil: We like The Scarlets too. Best place to drink Saunders: Untitled Music Project…they’re a good band. Phil: Oh, there are loads of ace pubs; I like it down the Arcadian, Phil: The Ripps, they have an album…hang on, aren’t they from Cov? man. Saunders: I like the Tap and Spile, I do. Great fucking atmosphere, So to end I’ll quote Telly Savalas, whose frankly bizarre guide to the great after hours boozer, if you think every where’s shut and you can’t fine city of Birmingham, sort of inspired this one, (seriously, check face a dance or ra-ra-ra in your ear, go to the Tap and Spile no trouble out if you don’t believe me). “So long, and its open till five in the morning. Birmingham. Here’s looking at ya’”. John: I quite like this one…[where we are sitting during the interview]. The Twang’s second album is due out in January 2009. Catch their Saunders: Where are we? DJ set on the 18th October at Birmingham’s Barfly as part of Ben Some random guy: The Goose on Bristol Road. Sherman’s ‘Best of the Festivals’. Saunders: Oh, I thought it was the Varsity. Photographs: Steve Gerrard Words: Dominic Haley Best place to romance girls/boys. Saunders: Snobs… (Deep thought). I’ve got a missus, but if you’re single it’s Snobs. In fact any indie club, Snobs or the Sanctuary. John: Anywhere there are birds. Phil: Ask our drummer… Shopping Phil: Swordfish is the best record store ‘cause to be fair to them they do try and support the unsigned bands from the area and I like seeing little shops stay open - it’s like a ‘fuck you’ to the big guns. A2 is probably the best clothes shop and of course Selfridges but I guess if you’re a student you’re best going to the rag market and getting yourself some flares - I reckon they’ll be coming back in a few years. As for beer try and pull a rich fuck, steal it or go to Asda. Culture - Birmingham is nothing if not cultured; our great city has produced some of the pillars of modern music, art, and literature. Ozzy Phil: Ozzy Osbourne? He’s a funny fucker, that man’s a right mad cunt! Saunders: Anyone who snorts a line of fucking ant’s man, he’s a legend, a right funny fucker. John: I wonder if Ozzy could play football? Saunders: Ozzy can’t play football, have you seen him walk? Phil: He could play Pro Evo…? Saunders: With the size of his nails he couldn’t even play


Fashion Trends by Frances Philips

shirts covering this season layering for men is a must. Polo Layering for women is always a key look but jackets (leather from Howies ) - covering checks - covered by £20 polo blue pale the as (such shirts polo and creative clashing the better (checked layers more the Fraser) of House , Howick jacket £199 from shirt £35 from Howies ). ile skin shoes £35 from Howick, House of Fraser. Crocod White and blue Rugby shirt £39, red stripe shirt tion. Connec French from £55 Bag office. from £54.99


As well as the Chav vs. Ravers theme, they’ve also had a Beach party, Geek Chic, Bling and Wild West. “The point of having the theme nights is to just make it all fun and different; makes more of an event of it and stops things going stale,” says Kieran. “The key to any vibrant scene is variety so that people have a choice.”

Unfortunately, Barry is not a real person – if he was, he would certainly be knee deep in lady love - but not many people of flesh and blood can boast as many friends as he's got as we enter the heaving Rainbow Warehouse - especially so many beautiful, sweaty friends. It's like walking into a Skins promo, with people jostling for prime positions on podiums, as others lay slumped on settees having a little sleepy time.

Well Barry certainly excels in that; just looking around us in the Warehouse amongst the writhing, glistening bodies are men at work beautifying the walls. Despite all the drunken revellers, Trav and his crew are busying themselves doing live art using the warehouse walls as a canvas, which, when you take a moment out of dancing and drinking to have a look, are simply remarkable.

As preened girls bounce next to swaying rudeboys, and nu-rave heroes share cigarettes with Britpop throwbacks, all united in the pursuit of a good night, you begin to wonder why all nights aren't like this. And how Bigger Than Barry managed to get it so right and dominate so completely. “Well it started out as a free Christmas party in 2006 at the Ben Johnson,” explains promoter, Kieran McInerney. “Bobby and Sam [co-promoters] just played tunes they liked, maybe selfishly, but the crowd loved it!” “It’s just dirty, mucky, filthy, grimey, nasty dirt…with a little bit of Indie,” says Sam, lead singer of Birmingham band, The Scarlet Harlots. “We had a few there after that and it just grew. By the third one we had Shitdisco dj’ing and it was a ‘Chavs vs. Ravers’ theme for that Barry and everyone dressed up – but it’s not a lot of effort though, cos really we’re all pikeys anyway!”

But aside from this, Bigger Than Barry are creating a network of diverse nights to add to this variety of which they are such fans. October sees the debut of Rag & Bone, a monthly indie night also setting up it’s squat in the Warehouse. “It’s time for indie ravers to rock out the warehouse, ennit?” says Bobby Barnes, who’s been busying himself with bringing the club night to Leeds, Nottingham and soon Sheffield too, as well as bringing a little midweek distraction to the kids at Wednesday night’s Funtime Club. Busy boys, but they’re all about love and harmony with nothing but praise for other promoters in Birmingham, such as Naked Lunch, Chicks Dig Jerks, Vinyl Is… and Oh My Gosh. “It’s just about raising Birmingham’s profile, and being positive about everything and everybody – positivity is the key!”


Hipster Bingo With a heady schedule of Fresher’s parties and a jampacked timetable to deal with chances are you will be running around like the proverbial for the first few weeks. But as you begin to get in to the swing of things and life takes a slower pace we’ve got something to keep you busy – welcome to Hipster Bingo.

But aside from Birmingham, Barry has been making friends everywhere, boasting a fine back catalogue of repeat offenders returning like an ill-gotten rash, including Tapedeck, Toddla T and Tomb Crew. “It’s the best party I’ve played in the UK this year,” raves Toddla T.

they do a night in. It’s the best party we’ve ever played, full stop!” And looking around, I think everyone else would agree. With the October’s party, The Ku De Ta, dangerously close to splitting at the seams with Rusko, Zed Bias, Toddla and Martelo being announced just for starter course, the fat man is getting fatter, only proving the old adage: BIGGER IS BETTER!!

“Everyone loves exactly the kind of music we play, so we’d play here every week if we could,” enthuses Nick from London based Words: Cassie-Philomena Smyth Tomb Crew. “There aren’t enough garage Photos: Jade Sukiya nights and Barry seem to destroy every venue


There are no hard and fast rules to Hipster Bingo but try and follow these tips: 01. Only one hipster per person (i.e. if you spot the ironic moustache first then your mates have to spot another person with the moustache before than can mark theirs off) 02. The loser buys the drinks – easy! Check off the hipster traits on a night out with your new buddies and see who completes their card first.

If Duff trainers (£50-60 from Duffs) and neon colours (Duffs tee £20) float your boat then this is a trend you should be following. With Skateboarder Louie Barletta (Barletta trainers £55 from Duffs) as the face of Duffs, colour and quirky street styles are definitely a must for this season. Green polo £19.99 from Republic, Blue and white jacket £16 from George at ASDA.

Fashion Trends by Frances Philips




What’s your favourite pie? Duncan: I like Shepherd’s Pie or Cottage. Archis: Chicken and Mushroom. Good choice. Can you tell the difference between Shepherd’s and Cottage? D: Well, one’s lamb and one’s beef, right? Yeah, I’d probably be able to tell but I like both, that’s the thing, I do like both. Paul as an ex-tutor what advice would you give new students? P: Try and find out what aspects of your course you are most interested in and then focus on them otherwise your studies can get pretty boring. Also, reading books is a privilege and you won’t get as much chance to read as you do at university. What did you study? P: Linguistics, drawing and art history at Newcastle University followed by an MA in The Americas, also at Newcastle. How was student life there? P: There were a lot of posh students! It has quite traditional values, which is both good and bad, but I met some of my best friends there. It’s a beautiful, down-to-earth city. Does it matter what grade you get in your degree? P: Not as much as tying what you do on the course to a future career/vocation. At the end of the course, you can feel like a ship without its anchor unless you prepare... If you could make the music video of your dreams, who would be in it and whatwould it involve? A: I don’t think we’d be in it! I’d probably get a double Steven Segal probably! D: I like that Dee:Lite video, you know that ‘Groove Is In The Heart’ video. Something like that with Bootsy Collins with his big star glasses. Yeah, I’d probably try to remake that video. What’s the strangest rumour you’ve ever heard about yourselves? A: That we’re ’art rock’.

would you put at the to and who’d be at the bottom? A: Hmmm, well we have been out with a few who like a drink, like The Blood Arm and Art Brut - they love a drink. D: Razorlight seem quite composed but I heard one of them is a bit of an alcoholic! The Cribs, they get pretty wasted they’re up there. And the least rock ‘n’ roll - I think probably the Kaiser Chiefs - they always seem really sensible. A: Primal Scream - they’re pretty rock ‘n’ roll. D: Yeah, Mani bought us some drinks and we went out with him and stayed out really late partying with him and the rest of the guys. Bobby Gillespie was off somewhere else, but I saw him wondering round at five in the morning. But yeah, probably Kaiser Chiefs are the least rock ‘n’ roll but who else? A: You know that band Phantom Planet? The ones who sang that ‘California’ song? A: Yeah, they’re not very rock ‘n’ roll. Ha! Well that’s not really the scoop I was looking for! (Laughter) D: Well, Fields Music are good, but they’re not very rock ‘n’ roll. So where do you fall in? D: Well, we like a drink and we do go out quite a lot, but I don’t know. We’re probably just above midway, maybe rising up a bit. But it’s all a bit cliche, so whatever we do we try not to do it under that banner and just let it happen. Well you seem like quite a well-read band. If you were to write your own personal biography, what would it be called? D: Hmmm, well Archis likes to sleep a lot, so it might be something along those lines. A: I don’t know I’d probably just call it ‘Sorry’. D: Paul has a nasty habit of keeping people waiting all day, so his would probably be something like ‘Still Waiting on Me’ or something like that. I don’t know, what would mine be called? A: ‘Derby’ or ‘Derby Lad, Made Good’ or just ‘Ay up, Duck’.

Well how would you describe yourselves then? A: Varied influence indie rock.

What advice would you give someone starting a band whilst at university? P: Stay instrumental.

(Laughter) Not really as snappy though! D: I don’t know, it’s weird. We get misquoted quite a lot. I know it’s annoying for Paul ‘cos lyrics are always being misquoted. I don’t think we’re big enough for bigger rumours to go round.

And finally when can we hear some new Maximo Park music? P: We’re working on the new record right now and it should be finished by Christmas, so look out for it appearing in your local record shop early next year.

Seeing as you’re quite well toured by now, in your experience on the scale of rock ‘n’ roll excess, who

Words: Cassie Smyth Illustration: Newtasty


Shopping with Poppy & The Jezebels

THEY MAY NOT BE OLD ENOUGH TO GO TO UNIVERSITY QUITE YET BUT WHEN IT COMES TO FASHION FINDS FUSED’S FAVOURITE ALL GIRL GROUP POPPY & THE JEZEBELS HAVE EARNED THEIR MASTERS IN THE FINE ART OF LOOKING FABULOUS. Able to give any seasoned fashionista a run for their money what these girls lack in age they truly make up for in shopping knowledge. When it comes to scouring the streets of the Wild West Midlands these girls know all the best places to pick up the vintage pieces and hot trends. Top Banana in Kings Heath is like a vintage convenience store. It’s only about 5 minutes away from where we all live and it’s really nice to pop to on a rainy afternoon. The owner, Keith, will even make you a cup of tea if you’re lucky! We’ve all had a myriad of exciting items from this store – here Mollie finds her 80’s sequined numbers and a gorgeous sunray pleated 70s frock. Poppy has picked up multi-hued snakeskin


platforms and Dom the most amazing capejacket. Just jump onto the 50 bus from the city centre and ask for York Road! While we’re in Kings Heath we should mention the charity Shops where, to be honest, great finds are increasingly rare but can still be found. Kings Heath’s Hare and Hounds pub holds a vintage clothes fair each month and the same stalls can also be found in Moseley’s Old Post Office (also on the 50 bus route) on alternate weekends. 60’s Sunglasses, new-old stock Bay City Rollers Jumpers and Jean Muir originals have all been tracked down here! Back into the city, Disorder is a wonderful boutique on Needless Alley just off New Street - we discovered it recently and felt stupid for not finding it earlier. The stock

was a pair of amazing psychedelic floral tights for Amber’s birthday and we haven’t looked back since. A fabulous yellow and black striped Blondie-esque dress is worn by Mollie in our video for UFO. We’ve also picked up great Westwood influenced playsuits in clashing checks.   Ahhh... the Rag Market. This always sparks fond memories of traipsing down the aisles as children - coma-inducing sugary drinks, fascinating drug-related ephemera, dodging the riotous crowds. Nowadays we still frequent the newly redone Rag Market, but on a different mission - checking the fabric stalls for cut-price fake fur and dance fabrics. The make-up stalls often have glittery mascara and fake eyelashes under the hardened nail varnish. Fancy an obscenely cheap Chanel-mimicked

rotates constantly so there’ll be something new every time. One of a kind designer pieces, reconstructed vintage, Perspex jewelry – it is all there. Our first purchase

handbag or a velvet mouse keyring? We sure do, and they’re all here. We often say a trip to the Fancy Silk Store

makes us feel like a kid in a candy shop, there’s every kind of fabric you could imagine. We can literally spend hours in here agonizing over the right fabrics for our next stage outfit. At the Underage Festival we fashioned our frocks using material from this very shop. Amber and Poppy bought some lovely metallic paisley material, Dom turned some polka-dotted gold Lurex into the skirt of her dress, and Mollie goes for some bright gold fabric accented with neon-pink flowers.

in and attempt to pull apart the tightlypacked rails of colour-ordered outfits but don’t blame us if you come out weeping and empty handed. 

If we’re honest, the ‘yellow shop’ (Cow) on Digbeth High Street is something of a mixed bag. It appears here purely on the basis that we can never resist a look inside and we know that you won’t either. If you’re good at dodging the shoulder-padded horror of a million clown-appliquéd jumpers, you’ll

The Flea Market at the Custard Factory, especially the Sunday Flea, is a treasure trove of 20’s-style headdresses and 80’s pop collectibles. We’ve been countless times now and have formed some firm favourites - Sheena Holland makes amazing headwear and jewellery using vintage jewels and exotic feathers. She recently custommade Poppy a glam ruff with yellow feathers dipped in silver and .her prices for such pieces are incredibly reasonable. A stall called ‘The Wonder League’ sells Cyndi Lauper bubblegum trading cards, Adam & The Ants badges and burger-shaped CD cases! What more could you ever need?

find the occasional fun-fur coat or plastic necklace. If you have a boyfriend that would like a cowboy shirt or pair of jeans whilst eschewing the Topman standard, drag ‘em

The designer / printer who goes under the moniker Carp 111 is a more elusive stall holder, but if you spot him he does the most brilliant hand screen-printed t shirts with

overprinting front and back, in a similar vein to the original Seditionaries stuff yet avoiding all the clichés. Purchases include a white t-shirt swarming with neon green flies... If you come from anywhere outside of central London, where you’re all spoiled by their flagship store on Oxford Circus, then chances are that you’ll find Birmingham’s Top Shop in the Bullring to be a cool step up from the one in your hometown shopping centre. It’s a great, inexpensive place to pick up bits and pieces to mix with your vintage finds. People who turn their noses up at Top Shop now would have done the same to Biba or Bus Stop in the seventies... so look after that gold bomber jacket!   Love Poppy & The Jezebels x   Look out for Poppy and the Jezebels single ‘Rhubarb & Custard’ released soon on 7inch vinyl and download.



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Fashion Trends by Frances Philips



Jeremy Warmsley “I WANTED TO GET A PERM WHEN I WAS 17 YEARS OLD,” CONFESSES AN UNLIKELY LOOKING, JEREMY WARMSLEY. “Thought it would’ve been a really good idea. Didn’t go through with it though…”

studying philosophy, people used to ask me if I was gonna kill myself, like they’ve got a strange idea that philosophy students wear all black, smoke a lot of cigarettes and drink gin, but quite a lot of them have gone and joined the army.”

Looking every bit the mild mannered academic, it’s not surprising that he studied Philosophy at Cambridge University. “It’s funny, when I was at school I was into maths, computers and things like that, but when I was 16 I realised that a) I had no particular aptitude for it and b) I had this weird cataclysmic change in what I wanted to be with my life and realised I didn’t want to be a computer programmer at all and there were much better things I could be doing with my life. And once you’ve done science A Levels, there’s not a lot else you can do at university expect for science, or maybe philosophy, so I snuck in the back door. And it turned out to be really interesting.”

Warmsley relocated from London to Cambridge for University, much like thousands of students every year. “For me, moving away was very good. My family travelled a lot when I was little, by the time I was 7 I’d lived in 4 or 5 countries. When we eventually came back to England, I was quite withdrawn and sheltered cos of moving around a lot. I never really poked my nose outside of my immediate environment, so for me to move away and live with new people was really good for me.

“I think that going to university is like being released from a lunatic asylum into a halfway house, you know? You have the freedom of the modern world, and you can go off and do things and meet people However, there’s not many vacancies for ‘Philosopher’s Wanted’, but and invite them back to your room and whatever, but at the same time Warmsley had already thought about that. “Well my plan originally was you get to go home and get your clothes washed for a good 2 or 3 to put an advert in Loot saying ‘Got A Problem? I’ve Got A Degree In months.” Philosophy, I’m Good At Problems, I Could Help You…’ Though when you’re at uni, everyone has their poor meal, and It’s a shame this whole music thing took off then! “Yeah, I was gonna Warmsley was no different, making what he called Pot Luck Slop. “It charge about 20 quid an hour, but then things just started taking was just everything that I had left over in a frying pan with spaghetti. off, so I never got to get things going with that,” explains Jeremy. I I mean, we’re talking like maple syrup and brandy, I had some funny sympathise with his situation, it’s awful when life gets in the way of ideas about cooking!” your dreams, isn’t it? “But being serious,” he continues, “ studying Jeremy Warmsley’s second album ‘How We Became’ is out 29th philosophy had an incredible effect on the way I see the world and a September. beneficial effect, even though it has no obvious practical applications it doesn’t mean it’s something that’s not worth doing…that said, it Cassie-Philomena Smyth was a terrific waste of time and money! Also the other thing about


Secret Wars WHEN PEOPLE WRITE ABOUT SECRET WARS, THEY USUALLY MENTION THINGS LIKE ‘THE UNDERGROUND GRAFFITI BATTLE’ – a slight cliché but Secret Wars is far from that, it’s as original as it gets. This is the who, where, why and when courtesy of artists Seeds and Slobodan - but remember, keep it a secret… Started in London just a couple of years ago by founder Terry Guy a first series of eight artists went down deep in the valleys of Shoreditch. Hype was giant in the London ‘art crimes’ scene and the wars phenomenon began to spread like wild fire. As year 2 began, we met Terry and another fine fellow by the name of Ian ‘Cutterskink’ White who had started a round in the Rainbow pub in Digbeth, Birmingham – a regular haunt of ours.

demo’s and friendly battles at festivals and various nights. Cutterskink was called to Switzerland to begin a European arm. Brum was in need and we got asked to take over and our lives have never been the same since. It was on - we picked up and ran with the first Birmingham series. It was fierce too, with some mighty artists taking each other down until the Kungfo Vs. Newso final. A big night that was too large for the pub, and was therefore housed at the Rainbow’s sister venue The Warehouse.

Now at this point I guess I should explain how these ‘battles’ work. Each artist is armed with a selection of Edding pens, drawing black on white only. They have 90 minutes to out-do their opponent with The first midlands heat was on, the artists had a lot to prove after the nothing but the visual. Two judges and one crowd vote (with the initial London series and prove it they did. As it began we loved it, cheers read by a decibel reader) to decide the winner. Go big or go as local arty types it was THE night to be at. Artist pals of ours were home - that’s exactly what Newso did on the A-board trailer (aka the entered into the battles and the Rainbow venue was off the hook, it LML Plinth) on the night of our first final to claim the £500 prize and a always went on well into the night and the crowd was amazing. Secret big box of goodies - not to mention the associated acclaim of being Wars was all about atmosphere. the champ. Series 1 in Birmingham was epic, giant, massive. The battleground for midlands illustrators was in full effect. Then as the whole thing was exploding, and a Southampton series began, Terry and the London crew were all over the place doing So now the platform grows and grows. Wars are being set up


worldwide and here in Brum series 2 is underway. This time we go bigger and better, 16 artists, 2 battles each night, a £1000 prize and much more goodies up for grabs. Secret Wars in each area has it owns flavour, and ours is meaty. The beef gets barbequed every month at the Rainbow and the whole venue is opened up with DJ’s in the front and back and our resident turntable legend Jem Atkins makes sure heads nod into the early hours. Artists are all working towards the final in March 09 which will once again take place in the warehouse. To find our more about Secret Wars and see when rounds go on visit / secretwarsbrum. Birmingham we love you. Seeds


This is by far our favourite key trend for A/W 08. Live outside the box (straw hat £30, Neon sunglasses £2 Primark) and wear all your favourite items together. Mix biker with farmer with girly-girl with your own personal touch but most of all make it fun (skirt £55 from ASOS, white and black dress £50 from Topshop). Red jacket £55, green blouse £35, tights £6, hat £25, jumper £50, bag £25, white boots £75 all from Topshop. Clutch bag £29.99 from River Island, Blue shoes £30 from Dorothy Perkins. Fashion Trends with Frances Philips


bands in education ESTIMATING THE NUMBER OF BANDS FLOATING AROUND UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES ACROSS THE COUNTRY WOULD SURELY BE THE TOUGHEST STAB-IN-THE-DARK AROUND. In such places of artistic and academic venture, there has to be several thousand names grasping at Britain’s monotonous roll-call of female singer-songwriters, and probably the odd drug-fuelled Libertine strutting around his union’s stage in trilby and skinny-tie. Bands invented from this pound-a-pint world of learning maybe have more of a chance today than ever before of making ‘it’ but when ‘it’ arrives, is it often more than a test-drive of fame, taking gigging for a quick spin and putting studio-time through its paces, but lasting as long as your average sandwich course? Dilemma number one for budding yet directionally-inept acts has to be their education, and the return of the age-old, Joe Strummerfavoured poser, ‘should I stay or should I go?’ However, the success of math-rockers Foals in taking the ‘quickest route out’ approach, lane-changing from education to the world of indie, should influence an excessive minority to do the same at some point in 2009. Lead Yannis Philippakis and keyboardist Edwin Congreave both ditched high-end literature studies at Oxford in 2006, and within eighteen months had a top three album. Impressive, as not only did they achieve a dubious, NME-certified ‘worldwide smash,’ but they also cost Jane Austen a couple of extras for her readership, and this writer is always biased enough to take pleasure in that. However, without an anti-romanticism agenda clouding judgement, the band appears to have matured similarly to a fine Stilton in their short time of tertiary-level tuition. They smell strongly of the sweaty, darkened rooms of campus life, but hold your nose, bite right through them, and they taste just magnificent. Single Mathletics seems perfectly moulded for our topic, with its splicing of algebraic guitar rhythms and lyrics that reminisce upon that dull ‘Something from the 1860s’ lecture they probably never went to. Maybe Foals are teaching that just a hint of education is enough to launch anyone into a seasoned-to-taste music career.

Judging by this, sticking out your University years surely can only carve into a band an over-ripened adulthood, losing touch with the financially-rich yet much-maligned ‘scene’? Not so. Leeds’ Hadouken are hard-hitting Nu-ravers, self-confessed ‘grimy Indie limeys,’ a massive hype of beats and buzzwords. They may appear to carry all the cultural capital of a Club 18-30 week, but hit any credible dancefloor to discover the listening public have spoken otherwise. Their cheese has hung and matured a la Foals, but along the way developed an addiction to semtex and cider. University seems to have degenerated these musicians into the dizzy pre-schoolers they once were. For Wolverhampton’s Ripchord, progress from playgrounds to studios has been a long fall down the perilous cliff of teenage years, littered with unsettling line-up rotations, thanks to those inconsiderate enough to further themselves onto degree courses. This makes the foursome’s early material all the more astonishing, where Phil Wallbank and James Sullivan show an instrumental telepathy that only comes from climbing trees and bunking off double Maths together to jam in a tree-house. The band even chooses to pay homage to their co-habited misspent youth in the video for single Backstabber, fittingly filmed at niche Wolverhampton venue ‘The Varsity.’ There will forever of course be those willing to go the safe route of an artistic education. The Kate Nash’s of Britain are all too easily packaged by conservatoire institutions, but the rough-and-tumble world of the true Pot-Noodle-consuming, afraid-of-the-bath student can only leave a musician with the scuffed-up mindset able to give them a toughness. This needed, of course, for the modern journey of well-fought record deals and disruptive 6/10 reviews from The Guardian. So take the trip, try it for size and you might not even need your ‘first.’ After all, there’s always the danger something simply brilliant may occur along the way. Words: Daniel Newby Illustration: Jeremeyville


Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

THESE MISSOURI INDIEPOPSTERS SOMEONE STILL LOVES YOU BORIS YELTSIN ARE DESTINED FOR GREATNESS, BUT THEN THOSE OF YOU THAT WATCH THE OC ALREADY KNOW THAT (the SSLYBY song ‘Oregon Girl’ was featured recently). We dropped singer Phillip a line to ask him about his student days What and where did you study? I studied journalism and art at a small, semi-competitive liberal arts college in Missouri. It’s called Drury University. How was student life there? Sometimes dismal and sometimes incredibly fun. I wanted my college to be like Berkeley in the 60s, even though I’m not a hippie or anything.


What do you remember about your first day at college? I somehow made out with a girl in her dorm room. Then I couldn’t get a girlfriend the rest of the year.

When you were a student what did you want to be when you graduated? I was too scared of the future to decide.

What advise would you give to new students? Take karate. That was my favorite class.

Where you ever a crusty/ Goth/Raver? No, but I tried to date one.

Does it matter what grade you get in your degree? I still don’t know because I never applied for a serious job. I think self-initiative and not having a terrible personality is more important than anything else. If you weren’t doing what you are now what do you think you’d be doing? Making action and adventure movies.

Did you ever go to a foam party? I wish. No one has foam parties in Missouri. What advise would you give someone starting a band whilst at Uni? Find a good singer and people who are more musically talented than yourself. That’s what I did. Did you work whilst a student?

Yeah, I worked in the library. I somehow got fired 3 times. Did you enjoy the student social scene? Sometimes. There were a lot embarrassing frat guys and sorority girls at my school, so it took a while to round up a good group of friends. Then things got better. We ate lunch together everyday and had dance parties. What was the most memorable time you had whilst been a student? Dancing to the Outkast song “Hey Ya” over a hundred times. Why do people hate students? I don’t know. I’ll ask my friends in the band Harry and The Potters.

I NG PP O H S E N I L ON SHOPPING. YOU EITHER LOVE IT, OR HATE IT. Doesn’t it annoy you when you drag yourself around a busy, bustling, sweaty store only to go home empty handed? How would you feel if you could cut out all that unnecessary hassle? Great? The answer is simple - Online Shopping. But of course you know about that already so rather than tell you what you already know we’ve scoured the net on your behalf to find those sassy young entrepreneurs that, have not only picked the most stylish of products to sell, but have also managed to do it with some flair. Forget ASOS and Amazon – use our guide and not only will your new mates be craving to get in on your stylish action but you will also be able to avoid buying rubbish that you really didn’t want… By Nikki Johnson

Kings of Neon Cleverly named as Kings of Neon, this online store sells men and women’s plimsolls with vivid, fluorescent and very cool designs. Suitable for absolutely anyone, it has shoes to fit all tastes - from the very girly to those fancying an 80’s revival. And not only this, you can customize your own. Fans of Kings of Neon include Foo Fighters and Radio 1 DJ Fearne Cotton. Price range: From £24.99.


Threadless is a site that embraces t-shirt and hoody lovers. With eccentric, often humourous styles they suit all different kinds of personality. Prices come low and each t-shirt or hoody is designed especially for the site. Designs are put on the web, people vote on them and then they go to print, which makes them unique to the store. These tees are available in various colours and are very appealing with their artistic and creative designs. Price range: From around £6 upwards.


Let The Kids Dance Men looking for cool, stand-out-from-the-crowd clothes should check out Let The Kids Dance designer tees, hoodies and vests. This new Wolves based clothes line enables those fashionista boys to wear items not seen elsewhere. The collection itself has five main designers who use bold images and patterns that adopt a contemporary twist. There is only a small collection but it is growing and with the insider knowledge you can be a step ahead of the rest. Price range: £15 - £45.

Nora Does Nora Does is an online boutique with a difference. Local to the West Midlands it specialises in designer plush toys, prints and other collectibles. Made up of a concoction of artists from all over the world, the collection consists of a massive range of products including mugs, badges, stickers, and even a poker set. Quirky, cute and uniquely collectible, this site is great for those hunting for presents. Price range: Around £3.50 - £100.

Temporary: Secretary For those girls looking for adorable accessories and clothes check out Temporary:Secretary. With everything from ice-cream cone hairgrips and gingerbread men earrings to floral, dainty skirts and peep toed shoes, Temporary:Secretary is bright, colourful and extremely cute. Offering a great range of affordable (most items being under £10!) products, this site is all about putting the smile back on their customer’s faces! Price range: Around £3 to £45.


Denim has grown up. Th e key look th smar t st yle is season is (waistcoat wearing de £25, straples nim in a Using such s dress £40 a casual fabr from Mango ic co ). m bined with well and ad a smar t shap ds a twist to e works ex regular jeans If smar t denim tremely . isn’t for you, do not fret collection (w as Republic omen’s shor ha s a stone wa ts £19.99, m casual. shed en’s jeans £2 9.99 ) keeping Indigo play denim suit £40 fro m Warehou se.


Fashion Trends by Francis Philips

shopping When it comes to shopping Selina Jervis is a girl that knows her stuff. As a fashion blogger her site is a treasure trove of what’s hot, and if that isn’t enough, she is also a regular contributor to the Birmingham Post’s website. Here Selina picks out the best stores for your fashion finds… BULLRING The heart of Birmingham is the Bullring, much more than a shopping mall. Holding the flagship stores of Topshop, H&M, Mango and every one you could imagine, it’s the indoor shopping central. Be sure to marvel at the Selfridges side covered in convex silver discs and indulge in the food floor or the designer concessions. Take advantage of Borders to flick through magazines and look out for events and promos near St. Martin’s Church. The infamous Bull statue is a meeting place for many on the weekend but during weekday mornings it’s a calm and spacious shopping experience. PRIMARK You may only head to Primark in need of fluorescent tights for the latest dressing up night or maybe you love a fast fashion fix; Birmingham’s store won’t disappoint! Three floors of cheapie goodness, the main hubbub on the ground floor around the racks (or mounds) of puffball and patterned dresses, replenished almost every day. Notorious for very few small sizes and on a Saturday is a nightmare of prams and hungry shoppers but unless you have sharp elbows, this may not be your cup of tea. If seeing someone in the same outfit is a scary thought, take advantage of the £1 boob tubes as skirts or the bargain underwear.

OASIS MARKET If Primark makes your stomach turn, Oasis Market may be your alternative haven of stalls and corners appealing to all different vibes and subcultures. Many can claim their piercings to the studios here and it’s the home of clothes, boots and bongs from goth to rockabilly styles. Check out the cheap yet sweet makeup and false lashes and Beadesaurus with thousands of beads for homemade jewellery. The strong incense smell will guide you round the many floors, don’t get lost! BULLRING MARKETS With bargains in all areas, the Bullring Markets could be saviors after a hard spend in the Bullring. Situated just behind, there are in fact three markets; the rag market, the open market and the indoor market. They all house hundreds of stalls selling fabric to fruit to fancy dress. Buzzing with friendly callers and bargain hunters, a student highlight is the tights stall with patterns you wouldn’t have thought existed! PEOPLE As independent boutiques go People is a gem. Most of the clothes for sale are simple and stylish and usually end up with a waiting list of fashion followers trying to get hold of them. You will always manage to find something that combines up-to-the-minute fashion mixed with an individual touch all helped by the very friendly owners. Because their ranges are small you’ll find something new everytime you go in and won’t have to worry about stepping out in the same outfit as anyone else. They also do a neat line in gorgeous accessories and homewares.

The Black Country translator kit NOW THAT THE BLACK COUNTRY IS ON THE ORDINANCE SURVEY IT IS OFFICIAL – IT REALLY DOES EXIST. For those of us that were born here (here being Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sedgley, Tipton, etc) we battle with being tagged a ‘Brummie’ (and no we are not the same), we get the constant piss taken out of our accent and if that isn’t enough we have to deal with the continual Noddy Holder references at Christmas time and being called a ‘Yam Yam’. So now that you have committed to making the Black Country your home for the next 3 years we wanted to give you some tips. The Black Country folk are a friendly bunch (much more so than our Brummie neighbours) but as not to offend them when they approach you for a chat we figured you might need a little help. The Black Country dialect is odd and one of the last examples of early English spoken today which can be traced back to Middle English and for the uninitiated it could prove fatal. Fused’s top Black Country sayings: Black country: Am yow alroight bab? Translation: How are you my dear? Black country: It’s a bostin day ay it? Translation: Isn’t it a lovely day today? Black Country: Dun yow weemin wan a whyin? Translation: Would you ladies care to join us for a glass of wine? Black Country: It wor me, I dae do it. Translation: It wasn’t me officer I didn’t do it. Black country: Doh forgit ya coot and puss. Translation: Don’t forget to pick up your coat and purse. Black Country: Got a fase like a bag’o bosted sponners. Translation: She didn’t have the prettiest face I’d ever seen. Black Country: Frig me this tayists like hospice. Translation: This drink doesn’t taste very nice. A breakdown: Dun = Do Bin = Been Yow = You Bostin = Very good Ay? = What? A’du = How are you? Ahr = Yes Cor = Cannot Cocka = Indearing term Laff = Laugh Bonk = Hill Ta-ra-a bit = Goodbye Kaylied = Drunk Fizog = Face Lompy = Mad Tay = Tea Cowin’ ell = My goodness Y’om soft = You are silly Faggits un pays = Faggots and peas So there you have it - pronouce you’re A’s as O’s (e.g. hand to hond / man to mon) and you’ll fit in just fine. Make sure you have your translations at hand - at least for the first few weeks. Good luck ar kid.


h Tickets Might y Boos Win a pair of tickets to see the Mighty Boosh’s sold out show at Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall ( on 6th November. Come with us now, on a journey through time and space, to the TOUR of The Mighty Boosh! Yes, that’s right, we are offering you lucky people a pair of tickets worth £50 to see the new live showing of the Mighty Boosh. Featuring the weird but wonderful Noel Fielding, as the effervescent Vince Noir and Julian Barratt as ‘man about town’ Howard Moon as well as the kooky Shaman Naboo and sidekick gorilla Bollo, and not forgetting the random musings of the moon. You are well and truly in for a wild and crazy adventure. It is a sold out show and so your only chance of seeing them is by winning this competition.

Ginch Gonch Undies American underwear label Ginch Gonch has given us a truckload of Ginches to giveaway. We’ve got £50 worth of underwear for a boy and the same for a girl from their new Load’n and Dump’n collection – that is a lot of pants. It’s a brand new collection that is not even in the shops yet but when it is you can buy them from Selfridges, House of Fraser, and

gadgets from have given us a USB Mix Tape and a quirky little bottle opener and we are offering you the chance to win them. If you find it difficult to let go of the old school then the USB Mix tape is for you. It looks like an old fashioned blank cassette tape with a USB stick ready for you to load all your favourite tunes (or essays if you want to be really dull). Worth £19.95, it holds up to 1 hour of high quality digital music, just like a cassette used to. Add your songs, write your playlist on the little card attached to the tape, then all you have to do is plug it into a Mac or PC and you’re well away. We also have a keyring bottle opener to give away. It is cheekily disguised to go amongst your house or car keys so no-one can accuse you of being an alcoholic. And that is not all if you go on’s website and put in the promotional code Fusedmagazine you will get £5 off anything you purchase over £20 – bonus.


£100 of Topman Vouchers

Topman is increasing its student discount throughout September and October to a whopping 15% and to celebrate they have given us £100 worth of vouchers to spend in store on absolutely anything. Topman is always up to date with the latest in men’s fashion, whether it is vividly printed t-shirts you need or a pair of bright white plimsolls, you can get the lot with this prize. So take advantage of those discounts and why not just go ahead and spend spend spend! Shop online at

Paul Mitchell Hair Set Prize With all the hard living you are going to be doing as a student we want to make sure those beautiful tresses of yours don’t get damaged so we are giving you the chance to win a Paul Mitchell hair set worth over £40! We have two sets to give away which include Paul Mitchell’s Colour Protect Daily Shampoo and Conditioner, and a Locking Spray as well as a very stylish bag to keep them all in.

Tickets for the British Ski and Snowboard Show From the 31st October to the 2nd November the British Ski and Snowboard Show comes to the NEC and we’ve got 5 x pairs of tickets to giveaway. You can get the chance to have a go on the practice slopes, learn the basics or brush up on your skills and get tips from the top board experts and see their displays in action. There will be appearances from BBC Ski Sunday presenter and former British Ski Champion and Olympic Skier Graham Ball as well as 2010 winter Olympics hopeful Zoe Gillings to give you some advice on how to make Team GB. You will also get the opportunity to have a free lesson with an instructor from John Nike Leisure sports as well as watch a mind blowing mid air freestyle demonstrations from World and Olympic Champions.

£250 Ben Sherman Shopping spree Following the summer festivals, people of Birmingham are in for a treat with bands coming together to do a ‘Best of the Festivals’ night and we have an amazing shopping spree to help you stand out from the gigging crowd! Courtesy of cool Britannia label Ben Sherman Little Man Tate and Twisted Wheel are set to do a one-off night with support from The Dykeenies, New Street Adventure, Computer Club and a DJ set by the Twang on the 18th of October at Birmingham’s Barfly! Not only this, if you go into the Ben Sherman store in the Bullring, a special ticket offer of 4 tickets for the price of 3 is on! More info is at: To get your gig look courtesy of Ben Sherman and gear yourself out with the most top-notch of autumn/winter outfits see the entry details below. How to enter Email your name, term time address, date of birth and phone number to Put the name of the competition you are entering in the Subject box. Deadline for entries is: Midday on 15th October, 2008.

editors CURRENTLY RIDING HIGH AS ONE OF BIRMINGHAM’S MOST SUCCESSFUL MUSICAL EXPORTS, EDITORS HAVE COME A LONG WAY SINCE PLAYING THEIR VERY FIRST GIG IN COVENTRY FOR FUSED. As the one true Brummie of the band bass player Russell Leetch offers up some of his recommendations on Birmingham.

What advise would you give to new students moving to the area? Only eat one curry a week. They are amazing but are a tad unhealthy. That’s a good start.

What’s the best-kept secret about Birmingham? Shady Bard - they still need to be heard by more people.

Where do you buy your music from? I still really like the Polar Bear in Kings Heath, Swordfish is pretty good and I enjoy getting vinyl from the Vinyl Exchange.

Is the Midlands a good place to be based? For us, yes it was. We were tucked away and we worked at our art. We had fun and made friends with many people.


What advise would you give someone starting a band whilst at Uni? Do something from the heart. Don’t follow fashion. Believe.

What’s the best Chippy / Balti / Kebab shop in Birmingham? Chippy: Dad’s Lane Fish Shop,

Stirchley. Balti: Kababish, Moseley. Kebab Shop: Hi Tyde, Kings Heath. It’s a Friday night on the town - where will you find you? You’ll most probably find me in Moseley at Patrick Kavanagh, Fighting Cocks, Bull’s Head or the Prince of Wales. It’s very rare I actually go into town. The Rainbow is most probably the best.

Is the Brummie accent sexy? Fuck No. What do you miss most about the area when you’re off on tour? Balti’s. Who are your fave Brummies? Adrian Chiles J R Tolkien Steve Winwood ELO George Cadbury Dexy’s Midnight Runners

Best place for a hungover breakfast? Well I do cook exceedingly well and so usually do it myself

What 3 local bands should we be checking out? Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin.

but I would say The Cross in Moseley.

Illustration: Paulo Arraiano

Fused - Student Issue  
Fused - Student Issue  

Special Edition Student issue