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4 ● News

Monday 11 February 2002, gairrhydd

gairrhydd Editorial The election season is now upon us, as you will probably have noticed with the appearance of posters around the Union and academic departments. It seems like it was only a few months ago when this years executive were elected in a flurry of publicity and tension, and here we are again looking forward to finding out who will be running the Union next year. However, it is a shame that not all the positions in the up-and-coming NonSabbatical elections are contested. The Non-Sabbatical’s play an important role in the Union, as they devote their time to campaigning on issues that matter to all students, such as LGB issues and Black and Ethnic Affairs. And even if there is only one candidiate running for the positions, it is still important that you vote in the elections, because if you feel that the candidate isn’t up to the job, you can use your right to RON the candidate and re-open the nominations to more candidates. It is especially important that you vote in these elections because the Union has invested in a new electronic voting system, that will hopefully make voting a lot easier and will hurry through the election results on polling night. Democracy is something that is very close to the heart of the Union, as we are represented by the executive and they have been chosen to speak on behalf of all students. It is vitally important that you choose YOUR representative for the following year, so therefore I am urging all students to exercise their right to vote and make that choice on polling day.

A good Blair day? by Mark Cobley

TONY BLAIR came to Cardiff on Sunday to deliver his message on the NHS and other public services. Addressing the party’s

spring conference at the Cardiff International Arena, Mr. Blair laid out Labour’s plans for the future. He said, ‘We have four main objectives. Firstly, to maintain economic stability with no return to Tory boom

BLAIR: Booed by members of Unison

and bust. Secondly, to combat social division and inequality. Thirdly, to invest in and reform our public services, and fourthly, engagement not isolationism with Europe and with the rest of the world.’ Blair launched attacks on the Conservatives over their policy of reducing public expenditure to 35 per cent of GDP. He said it would mean £60 billion worth of cuts to public services. He also accused the Tories of painting a false picture of the NHS. The Prime Minister said, “They are now mounting a campaign to denigrate, mock and belittle the NHS in the public’s eyes,until people give up on it altogether.” Blair set out his reforms for the public services, in

‘Rings’ piece of Welsh history by Charlotte Lyon A LITERARY debate has opened over the connections between Wales and The Lord of the Rings following the phenomenal success of the recent film adaptation. Actress Cate Blanchett was quoted this week admitting Elvish [the language spoken by the Elves in the epic novel] is “similar to Welsh”. She has raised the question of just how much of Tolkien’s masterpiece was inspired by his love of the country and and its language. Dr Carl Phelpstead, lecturer in English Literature at Cardiff,

admits there is an element of Wales in The Lord of the Rings. “Sindarin contains some features of Welsh in its phonology and mutations of the beginning of words. However the other Elvish language Quenya is much more influenced by Finnish.” He continues, “Tolkien was a professor of Anglo Saxon and Medieval English and there are hundreds of other influences in his work from Germanic and Spanish, to Scandinavian and Old English as well as Welsh.” Dr Phelpstead reveals, “His poetry especially was developed from an interest of Old English. It does not

rhyme but contained alliteration that was a characteristic of Medieval English poetry. The Ents, the name of a race of large talking trees in Tolkien’s books appropriately comes from the medieval word for ‘giant’. Tolkien, although a great novelist was first and foremost a linguist. Dr. Phelpstead explains “Tolkien even as a boy had a penchant for inventing languages. He would invent one, such as ‘Primitive Eldarin’, and then create characters to speak them and narratives to surround them”. It was exactly through this process that the great trilogy was born.

Film Club Last week’s premier of the Gair Rhydd film club was a great success, with more than 80 people turning up to see a special showing of Grosse Pointe Blank. This week, we are giving students the chance to see The Cider House Rules on the big screen. Just turn to the FILM pages in GRiP to find out how to take part in this exciting event. LORD OF THE RINGS: Similarities between Welsh and Elfish

some cases including publicprivate partnerships. “Values are timeless,” he said, “but means of achieving them are not. We are committed to a free health service. How we achieve that objective does not matter.” However Mr. Blair did not have it all his own way. When Charles Clarke, Chairman of the Labour Party, spoke about publicprivate partnerships, it attracted boos from some sections of the crowd. Unison members attended the conference under a campaign to Keep public services public. On the same day, a TUC and Plaid Cymru-sponsored rally in support of 87 Caernarfon strikers protesting over wage cuts made its way to the CIA. Plaid accuses Labour of failing workers.

New system is appealing by Dominic O’Neill THE BODY of university vicechancellors Universities UK has finally agreed to set up an independent complaints procedure for students. They said it was time students had a totally objective body to appeal to if they felt the university did not resolve their problems satisfactorily. The new scheme will deal with accusations of harassment, discrimination and every possible gripe against the university apart from those concerning academic judgement. The National Union of Students has welcomed the idea, urging it to be completely separate from the universities. NUS Vice-president Brooks Duke said they were looking for a “fairer, faster scheme which is publiclyfunded and accountable.” Cardiff Students Union Officer for Academic Affairs Ian Hibble commented, “The new system will create a level playing field, removing the ability of the university to use its strength and greater resources to overwhelm the student.” He continued, “It would put education on the same footing as the other public services and ensure malpractice is easily highlighted”. Together with last week’s decision to compile an annual national survey of students’ opinions of their teaching, the developments have been hailed as a huge step towards students having a greater say in their own education. The new annual teaching survey will mean students review the quality of their lectures and seminars, enabling prospective students to get the inside view of the individual institution. Chief Executive of the Quality Assurance Council Peter Williams said, “We are making excellent progress towards a sensible approach which will serve student’s needs better than the existing process”.

News ● 5

gairrhydd, Monday 11 February 2002

The Week In Print Band claim audition fix rumour is Hear’say by Gemma Richards THE POP group Hear’say have vehemently denied accusations that the auditions to find a new band member were fixed. The quartet were forced to start searching for a new troupe member after Kym Marsh turned her back on the band. Hear’say rocketed to fame following the success of ITV’s Popstars programme. It was far from plain sailing however for the fivesome with stories rife of arguments between band members and a tailing off of the success they enjoyed after starting out. The band has never recreated the magic of the early days in which they boasted a record breaking single release and even appeared alongside Hollyoaks characters Max and Mr Cunningham at last year’s Cardiff University Summer Ball. The bands newest member 23-year-old Johnny Shentall walked in to a storm of

controversy when it was suggested that the auditions to find the new member were a sham. It is rumoured Shentall had already been lined up to replace Kym on the basis of his unrivalled pop credentials. Johnny cut his teeth as a member of throwaway pop act Boom!, has performed as a backing dancer with Hear’say and is also engaged to Lisa of the late Steps. Hear’say have hotly denied that auditions attended by thousands of hopefuls were a set up. Solicitors acting on behalf of the band said that “The auditions were open and anybody could apply. The decision was hard but we all decided that Johnny was the best person”. Band member Suzanne was unsurprisingly sycophantic about her new colleague and said “Johnny is an all-rounder, he has the right look, he sings well, dances well and is perfect for the role”.

South Wales taken by storm by David Lindsell HUNDREDS OF Welsh homes, businesses and schools were flooded last week as rivers burst their banks in the worst downpours in years. Transportation was disrupted throughout the country with railway services cancelled and the A465 blocked by a huge landslide. Engineers took over five days to clear the mess, removing slurry and installing rockfill near the top of the slope. The Welsh Environmental Agency increased the number of flood warnings to 14 towards the end of the rains, with some communities being put on red alert – the highest state of danger. Monmouthshire was the worst affected area, with the rivers Wye and Monnow overflowing. Around 20 families were evacuated from their mobile homes in the region. Councillor David Waring had to visit Monmouth Riverside Park caravan site on Sunday night to persuade flooded residents to leave. He said, “The emergency services have been using rubber dinghies to get into the park and collect people”. The town of Crickhowell, home to royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke, was turned into a veritable island by the River Usk. The owner of the town pub, Elaine Baker commented, “We only refurbished the pub two years ago after it was damaged in a fire. We had brand new furniture and curtains. Now I’m wondering what’s going to happen next”. For newspapers, the focus of the storms

SOUTH WALES: Scene of devastation

were the Welsh fans trying to return from the rugby over the Irish Sea from Dublin. After being thrashed 54-10 in the game, fans faced more disappointment as their escape was blocked by stormy seas. John Rowlands of the Environment Agency said: “We are talking about the forces of nature here. For every individual it affects, these floods are extremely traumatic.” The Welsh Assembly has rejected warnings from experts that more defences were needed to prevent future floods.

Got a cold or the flu? Blocked nose, sore throat, headache, aches and pains.....

Rogue trader runs up $530 million debt By Dominic O’Neill THE ALLIED Irish Bank revealed last week that a ‘middle ranking’ worker from Baltimore, North Eastern USA was at the centre of a £530 million scam. The fraud is the biggest banking upset scandal since Nick Leeson’s Barings Bank dealings in 1995. But similarities between the flamboyant Leeson and John Rusnak, married father of two and “Mr Middle America” end there. The trader for Allfirst Finances, a US subsidiary of Ireland’s biggest bank, was apparently a regular churchgoer and an “upstanding member of the community,” according to neighbours. He is now in FBI custody helping agents with their investigation. While it is unclear whether anyone has benefited from the dealings, Mr Rusnak personally ran up millions of dollars of debt during an 18 month period, attempting to account for the payments by creating

fictitious deals. The company called his deceptions a “complex, determined fraud done on the basis of conspiracy”. Meanwhile, AIB executives have suspended four other members of staff for their role in covering up Rusnak’s dealings. Chief Executive Frank Bramble commented, “This was an isolated incident by an individual who found a way to crack our internal control systems. If his actions had been properly followed this fraud would have been detected very early on.” He continued, “This guy was not in any way a star trader. He wasn’t earning massive bonuses.” Mr Rusnak, absent all weekend, was last seen leaving his $500,000 house last Tuesday accompanied by FBI agents. AIB officials have assured shareholders that they can cover the £530 million losses. The bank’s annual profits will fall by 60 per cent and shares had dropped by 23 per cent soon after the revelations.

Have you got time to help us with our research at the Common Cold Centre? If yes, please telephone 0500 655398 (Freephone) or come to the Common Cold Centre. You will be compensated for your time and travel by a cheque payment at the end of the study

Common Cold Centre

Cardiff School of Biosciences, Off Park Place, near the Tower Block Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm

Programme until Thursday 14th February 2002. Please ring the information line for this weekend’s listings.

Oceans 11 (12)

Advance Screening - Thursday Only 11.55 1.00 2.40 3.30 5.20 6.10 8.00 8.45

Training Day - (18)

Shallow Hal - (12)

Gosford Park - (15)

11.55 3.00 5.50 9.10 Late Night Show - Fri & Sat only 12.00

11.30 2.30 5.30 8.40 Late Night Shows - Fri and Sat only 11.30

11.00 2.00 5.00 8.00 Late Night Shows - Fri and Sat only 11.10

Just Visiting - (PG)

Vanilla Sky - (15)

Black Hawk Down - (15)

11.00 1.50 3.50 5.50 7.50 Late Night Show - Fri & Sat only 10.00

Long Time Dead - (15) 11.50 2.20 4.40 - Daily except Thu 7.00 - Daily except Wed & Thu 9.20 - Daily except Wed Late Night Show - Fri & Sat only 11.40

Senior Citizen Club Thursday Morning Pretty Woman Starts 11.00 Ends 1.00

Monsters Inc. - (U)

(10.15 - Sat and Sun only) 11.00 11.55 12.45 1.30 2.30 3.15 4.00 5.00 5.45 6.30 8.00 8.30 Late Night Shows - Fri and Sat only 10.30

11.05 - Daily except Thu 2.00 5.00 8.10 Late Night Shows - Fri and Sat only 11.10

Mulholland Drive - (15) 11.00 - Daily except Sat 2.00 5.30 8.30 Late Night Shows - Fri and Sat only 11.30

Lord Of The Rings - (PG) 11.40 3.50 7.30 Late Night Show - Fri & Sat only 11.10

The Princess Diaries - (U) 12.00 - Sat and Sun only

11.00 - Daily except Sat & Sun & Thu 2.30 5.40 - Daily except Thu 9.00 Daily

Harry Potter - (PG) 11.15 2.50 6.00

Monsoon Wedding - (15) 9.10

Rat Race - (12)

11.00 6.30 9.20 - Daily 1.30 4.00 - Daily except Wed

UGC Kids - Sat mornings Dinosaur Starts 10.00 Ends 11.30

From Hell - (18)

11.20 2.40 5.40 8.30 Late Night Shows - Fri and Sat only 11.30

Any screening £2.95 for students with valid NUS Card.

gairrhydd, Monday 11th February 2002

Letter of the Week The writer of this week’s Letter of the Week wins a week’s work experience in the GR office. But only if he wants to. Dear Gair Rhydd, In response to Patrick White's letter (“It’s No Joke”, GR711), I would just like to say – get a sense of humour man! I'm sure I wasn't alone in finding the Osama Bin Laden Joke you printed ("Why did OBL cross the road? He didn't, there are no roads") quite funny. This doesn't make me morally depraved and printing it doesn't make Gair Rhydd ignorant or insulting. Afghanistan is a serious issue and it has been covered in several serious articles in GR over the last few weeks. One joke does not mean that the paper doesn't take it seriously and enjoying the joke doesn't mean that I don't take what's happening in that country seriously. All good satirical humour is based on a grain of truth. Afghanistan really doesn't have a proper infrastructure right now because of the turmoil it's faced in recent years! Rather than being ignorant of these issues, anyone reading this joke would surely be reminded of them. Humour always helps us deal with tough situations, sometimes in a way that much "serious" journalism cannot. Yours faithfully, Darrell Chart 3rd year Journalism Lettersdesk says: Thank you, Darrell, for your understanding. Just because we print a few Osama Bin Laden jokes, it doesn’t mean we are in any way belittling the problems of the world. After all, laughter is supposed to be the best medicine. Honestly, we really don’t go out of our way to offend people. Well, not all of the time.

Plaid Policy Dear Gair Rhydd, I should like to reply to the points made by Mick Bates in his recent letter. The principle behind Plaid Cymru's policy on student support is that education is a right not a privilege. Thus it should be available and accessible to all regardless of age and background. Our policy is for: i) Local authorities to pay tuition fees and ii) The re-instatement of a grant system, paying according to need. In the National Assembly, the Labour/Lib-Dem Coalition has

failed to put forward an alternative to the existing iniquitous system. Yet while student debts mount and school buildings go unrepaired, the Coalition has managed an underspend of over £150million on Education, Economic Development and Health. Meanwhile, the UK government is considering the introduction of a 'Graduate Tax' during the next three years. Plaid Cymru opposes this too, as once again it treats education not as a right but as a privilege. Yours, Owen John Thomas AM Plaid Cymru

Ladies, All The Ladies Dear Gair Rhydd, In response to the letter "Bastard Male," (GR 710) – Thank you B.C, we were all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view, but could you please save your breath, in future, for your inflatable girlfriend – I doubt anyone else would touch you with a barge pole. Having experienced a bastard-male myself I have now come to realise that being a manhating bitch gives me more satisfaction than he ever did. I am quite happy to enter into a battle of wits with you, however it seems unfair to attack an unarmed person. For years women have suffered men's emotional incompetence, however with women's social and intellectual liberation came a realisation that, yes, all men are bastards. This may to you seem like a generalisation, however I have no doubt that the female population of Cardiff would agree. Although women do not carry such emotional fuckwittage, our flaw is that we take pity on sad and pathetic men such as yourself. I don't mean to be rude but you're just insignificant, so I turn my attention to a more deserving kind – long suffering ladies. Ladies – in the words of William Shakespeare, feel not alone and be assured; "Sigh no more ladies, sigh no more, Men were deceivers ever". Yours pityingly, H. D. Lettersdesk says: Of all the antimale responses to the letter in question, this was perhaps the least expletive ridden and therefore most printable. All this hate – it leaves a bad taste in the mouth. The belligerent attitudes on display are all well and good, but it’s not very constructive, is it? Disrespectful male bastards, menhating bitches...for pity’s sake, people, we are living in the 21st Century, can we not move towards some sort of sexual harmony?

LGB Gripes Dear Gair Rhydd, Eventually exhausted by the contemptible tone of James Knight’s articles in the Non-Sabb News section, I am compelled to write in and make my displeasure known. Mr. Knight takes for granted what he calls the "notion of how liberal the UK is when compared to other countries". When compared to most other countries in Europe, the UK is the most shamefully conservative about the "LGB issues" (as he so patronizingly calls them.) So the patronizing way in which he encourages lesbian, gay or bisexual international students to flock to his fatherly embrace is utterly illfounded and frankly nauseating. Since taking up the position of LGB officer last September, Mr. Knight has relentlessly showed every even faintly homosexual person in the country with his rants about how awful and torturing it is to be gay. He is, in the worst kind of way, just trying to be a victim, whilst inviting others to be unnecessary victims with him. Being gay (or not) is merely a fact, not a burden that requires one to be treated specially or patronized by someone who doesn’t know what he is talking about. Somebody stop him now. Yours, Daniel Barnes

A Royalist Wr i t e s Dear Gair Rhydd, Firstly I’d like to commend your piece regarding the Queen’s plans for her Golden Jubilee, entitled “Jubilant Queen in Wales”. I was particularly impressed by its respectful tone; unexpected from a liberal-left paper. One correction though, would be that she is not touring to “muster declining support for the monarchy” – there is no evidence for this assertion. Rather the

Letters ● 7 monarchy continues to be honoured in the hearts of our people and from around the globe (consider Australia’s recent referendum.) She is a truly great ambassador for Britain and I trust students will reflect, during the coming celebrations, on our glorious Monarch’s distinguished record of public service dating back to the premiership of Winston Churchill. I further hope that our Student Union will invest the time, money and passion to mark this occasion in a befitting manner. Unfortunately, though, there does exist an ignorant minority in our community who aren’t aware of the monarchy’s crucial role, not least in acting as the rock of our constitution and hence democracy. Mael’s letter last week highlighted the annoying, and I might add, dangerous factor of Welsh Nationalism and indeed all those opposed to Unionism whether from Ulster, Scotland or England. Our politically neutral Head of State unites us against those who seek to divide us and leave Britain bare for the European to gobble up. God save our Queen. Yours, Hywel Carr 2nd year politics Lettersdesk says: Hywel, you’ll be pleased to know that your letter has prompted much debate in the GR office. Are we really a liberalleft paper? Well yes, if you mean by that that we oppose tuition fees, and in general believe that the government should strive to make further education as financially viable for the student as possible. But then that is hardly surprising; we are, after all, a student newspaper run by students. But, other than that, we try not to attach ourselves to any political orientation. All our articles are written by independent journalists, and hence there is no real ideological coherence from article to article, from week to week. But we are certainly not raving Royalists, and the article in question merely gave the details of the Queen’s impending tour in as neutral a tone as possible.

Please send your letters in to us at Gair Rhydd, Students’ Union, Park Place, CF10 3QN or preferably e-mail SSUGR1@CARDIFF.AC.UK. Gair Rhydd will attempt to print any letter sent in, but apologises for those that do not make it in due to space restrictions. The views expressed in these letters are usually not those of the newspaper or the editor.


Here we go again. Completion times: Less than five minutes - Genius. 5-15 mins - Impressive Geek . 1530 minutes - Averagely Brainy. More than an hour – give up now; you are stupid. No conferring. Your time starts now. ACROSS: 1. Worthwhile financially (9) 8. Not so much (4) 9. Bruise (9) 10.Emerald ____, Ireland (4) 13. Talking bird (5) 16. Animal of the giraffe family (5) 17. Alternative name for a snow leopard (5) 18. Composition for nine (5) 19. Brusque (5) 20. Bring to bear (5) 21. Of the monarchy (5) 24. Fine sediment (4) 27. Vegetable delicacy with succulent shoots (9) 28. Injure by rough handling or clawing (4) 29. Old-style weighing machine (9)

DOWN: 2. On top of (4) 3. Mechanical repetition (4) 4. Irritable (5) 5. Flower of the pansy variety (5) 6. Employees of a company (9) 7. Girl with a torch in a cinema (9) 11. Disgusting (9) 12. Loquacious (9) 13. Pit worker (5) 14. Child’s nurse (5) 15. Temporary for paying guests (5) 22. Start (5) 23. Mexican succulent plant used a the base for Tequila (5) 25. Misty, vague or indistinct (4) 26. Sound of a happy cat (4)

Get your answers to the gair rhydd office before Wednesday and the winner will be announced in the next issue. Only one correct solution reached us by the deadline, the author of which was Dan Keel. Clever boy. Come on up and collect your prize. 711’s solution: ACROSS:7.Cavort; 8.Augury; 9.Lox; 10.Phobia; 11.Incise; 12.Sum; 14.Embed; 17.Apart; 19.Unpeg; 20.Mince; 23.Olden; 26.Ore; 28.Effort; 29.Negate; 30.Hat; 31.Grieve; 32.Rotary. DOWN: 1.Fathom 2.Hobble 3.Atlas 4.Maxim 5.Eggcup 6.Eraser; 13.Upper; 15. Ban; 16.Due; 17.Ago;18.And; 21.Inform; 22.Clover; 24.Legate; 25.Extort; 26.Other; 27.Entry.

Name:_______________________ Email:________________________ My ideal dinner date would be. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .because:____________________ ___________________________________________________________________

This week’s winner wins a meal for two at Chillies Restaurant and Takeaway


Tafarn Rugby Special Saturday 16 February 2002

Italy v Scotland KO 2pm England v Ireland KO 2.30pm Wales v France KO 4pm ÂŁ1 a pint on selected lines 12-6pm


Competitions ● 09

gairrhydd, Monday 11 February 2002

The ultimate in...


Bar Wars: Attack of the Proles C

forsaken the teachings of TV Go Home? Judge for yourself. This week Warner Vision have infiltrated Blag Towers with a cargo of videos of C4’s elimination show, Bar Wars – Exposed. This is a reality TV show set around two beach bars in Kavos. Each bar is staffed by a single-sex team of aggressive loudmouths selected on the basis of how irritating they will be to the viewing public and each other. When the stress of living on a tropical beach and sleeping with random pissed sixteen year old jailbait scum every single night in an orgy of Check the lists below and if lager-fuelled self abusive your name appears, you’ve hedonism gets too much for the cast, the cameras won a prize! Hurray! are there to capture it. Rife with ‘dirty tricks, BT phones sabotage, back-stabbing, bitching and sexual These ring pieces have all infidelity’, Bar Wars – won a BT telephone. Well Exposed sounds like most done you.

rikey, Blagging is definitely becoming a bit conventional. Seems to me that we’re getting away from our edgy alternative roots here and slipping inexorably into the dread abyss of Light Entertainment. As I look at next week’s prizes – more alcopops and a copy of the Jim Davidson biography – my heart trembles with an unknown fear. Have I

The Winners Circle

Robbie Beaumont Daniel Hawkins Bill Beattie Anne Parsons Yamuna DeSilva

gairrhydd Drop your answers in to the Gair Rhydd office on the fourth floor of the Students’ Union. Or you can send them to: Gair Rhydd, Cardiff University Students’ Union, Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3QN Alternatively, e-mail your answers and contact details to: gair_rhydd@ Win this stuff or I’ll give it to the poor.

people’s experience of living in halls. I can testify that this kind of harrowing bitchfest is far more palatable when set in an exotic location with bikinis. At least, that’s my recollection from watching bits of the series over a cheese toastie after an evening spent discussing Dostoyevsky down the gentlemen’s club. Ah me, our lives are truly like dust in the wind. As Bill and Ted would say. Come, come my friends and win this bounty for I, Papa Blag, have decreed it so. If a shaved monkey in a sarong can win a pile of cash and some short-lived fame for posing behind a bar and getting off with whomever the director demands, why don’t you take the risk and enter to win a copy of this video? It’s not like I’m asking for much! All you have to do is answer the question!

Ministry of Blag H ere at Blagging we favour consistency over originality. And there is comedy to be found in repetition. This is why the Ministry of Sound’s Annual 2002 is still available to win, courtesy of the inestimable That’s 62 tracks from peeps such as So Solid Crew, Basement Jaxx and Roger Sanchez, condensed, decanted, boiled for twenty minutes and served hot for your pleasure. Long live nusonline, that’s what I say. Bloody good people.

Win The Annual 2002 Where did Ministry of Sound host their New Years Eve party? A: B: C:

The Dome The Gnome Some bird’s house

Replyright quickwise comphole wingood.

Win a Bar Wars video If they did Star Wars Big Brother, who would you vote out and why? Answer you shall, yes.

BAR WARS: Ooh, I’m scared.




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FILM Cast their eye on Monsters Inc

ARTS Preview Roberto Zucco

MUSIC Stingingly review The HIves

Dante Peaks Games review the action packed Devil May Cry on the Playstation 2 Sahara Hotnights • Cooper Temple Clause • Shallow Hal John Goodman • Girl Power • M a r tin Tinney Galler y Inside: Get There! The ultimate guide to Cardiff and beyond!


02. Get There

Newly interactive and more pointless than ever: it can only be Get There!

04. Books

Books guru D.C provides some insightful comments about some up-andcoming literary releases.

05. Arts

Arts preview the latest offering from the Sherman, Roberto Zucco and Act One look at the year ahead.

06. Games

Games go gameshow crazy and review Championship Manager Quiz and the old favourite, Family Fortunes.

08. Music

Music don’t condone the dangerous pastime of jumping off speaker stacks and breaking bones as they review The Hives.

ell hello, children, and welcome once again to Get There, the only page that looks the same every week but is in fact W different! This week, we review absolutely nothing, interview no-one

and read sod all. What we can do, though, is offer you the finest set of listings known to man and promise, wherever possible, to annoy the ‘Games’ editor. And remember, gang: Get Hip - Get There!

Another sprightly week in the Welsh capital. Access to road transport would be of assistance as the Around the Bloc tour begins (and ends), yet there’s plenty to tempt you out in the downpours if you’re destined to be confined to the city.

Fun Factory @ Solus 9pm-1am, free. Thousands are led astray as the Spring semester continues.

Tuesday 12/02

Tuesday 12/02

Union Monday 11/02

Candy @ Solus 9pm - 1am, £2.50 Launch night for the Union’s long-awaited new garage, hip-hop and R+B night. DJ Spoony guests to offer that credibility factor. Should be worth a look, kids.

Wednesday 13/02 Jive Hive @ Solus 9pm-1am, £2.50. Watch with pity as hundreds break their pathetic New Year’s pledge to abandon drinking excessively.

Thursday 14/02

80’s Nite @ Solus What more can you say really? 80 pence a pint (selected lines only mind!) and a veritable plethora of cheesy tunes to remind you of the primary school discos of yesteryear.

10. Film

15. TV Guide

Saturday 16/02

Far funnier than it has any right to be- it’s the Gair Rhydd TV guide!

GRiP Editor Sarah Hodson GRiP Editor Mike Parsons Arts Lizzie Brown and LaDonna Hall Books D.C. Gates Film Jonathan Steven Games Chris Faires Music Gemma Curtis and Maria Lane Get There Neil Krajewski TV Listings Charlotte Martyn, Some tramp, Nick Harrison GRiP needs your help! We are overworked and losing our minds. Visit our media penthouse on the 4th floor of the Union or • E-mail • Hear us speak 029 2078 1434/6

Universal @ Liquid 9.30pm-2am. Student night, £1 a pint. Live Music @ The Toucan Club See Live Music. Obviously. DJ Mix Selector @ Sam’s Bar £2-£5 entry. Great for anybody who likes watching stoned 17 year olds attempt to mix. Come Play @ Emporium 9pm, £3 entry with many drinks offers Solus exile, Disco Stu, joins the party to offer an array of funky disco and chart classics. Retro Night @ The Roxy Free entry. Retro music played in a club, one presumes. Oh, the joys of blatant sarcasm! Vodbull UK @ Zeus 8.30pm, £3 entry offers early start and yields cheap vodka and red bull.

Friday 15/02

Film review Monsters Inc. and the politically incorrect ‘gross out’ film, Shallow Hal.


Get There

Lashtastic @ Solus 9pm-1am, £2.50. ‘Mega’ party night, the popularity of which is assured regardless of what I write here. The ultimate meeting point for the months when it’s too cold to trawl around the urban expanse that is Cathays!

Flirt @ Solus 9pm - 1am, free In a gesture to reward your loyalty, the Union offers you the chance to spend another craazy night in the presence of a host of ‘Dance anthems’.

Sunday 17/02

Java @ Seren Las 7.30pm, £1 Laid back sounds, wine and food. Decide on their order of importance for yourselves.

Clubbing Monday 11/02

Rational Thinking @ The End... 8pm-11pm. Though I’m not one to spread rumours, a little bird told me that every person that goes to the End for a night out turns into a complete twat by the next morning. Not sure if it’s true, but worth considering, eh? Big Jugs @ Bar Med ‘Til 11.30pm. Ugly, sad and single? This night’s for you! Guru Vibrations @ Berlins 9pm-2am. Soul, funk, hip-hop and, er, 80’s. NUS only. Why bother? One Mission @ Cafe Calcio 8pm til late. Cracking night, cracking venue. Cheese on Toast @ Cuba 9pm-2am, Free b4 10pm. Better than Zeus. MAD @ Dylan’s 8pm-1am. Rated Cardiff’s best by Zeus, you only need stand outside and look what’s next door to find out why. Exit Club 8pm. Free entry before 9.30pm. Gay venue. Chart and Dance. Original, eh? Student ‘Night Fever’ @ Flares Til 2am. £1 drinks all night. Suggs hosts edition of crap karaoke quiz show in Cardiff theme pub. Possibly. Salsa Classes @ Latino’s Classes from 7.30pm, disco 10pm til midnight. Surprisingly good fun. All abilities catered for.

Electromagnetic @ Clwb Ifor Bach 9pm-2am. Positive vibe hop-hop / pre-gangster rap / battle breaks / electro funk. Absolutely splendiferous night, worth two quid of anyones money. Which is just as well, as that’s what it costs to get in! Tonight featuring DJ Mass. Rock Inferno @ Clwb Ifor Bach (Top Floor) 9pm-2am. £2.50. Ifor Bach complies with convention and offers its own prescription of metal for the masses. Hoochy Koochy @ The Emporium 9pm-2am, £1 b4 10pm/£2. Student madness, courtesy of the amusingly named Jockstrap 5. Salsa night @ Cuba 8pm-2am, £4. Salsa classes from 8pm, disco afterwards. Great fun with a really friendly crowd. School Disco @ Liquid From N-Trance to this. Go Figure! Pulse @ Zeus Teens, tunes and terror. This week with corporate sponsorship as an added deterrent. Alternative Beats @ The End... 8pm-11pm. Another night of total pish at The End, with ‘choons’ from the naffly named DJ Pete the order of the day. Exit Club 8pm. Free before 9.30pm. Gay Venue. Chart and Dance. Who’d have thunk it?!? Singles Night @ Life Looking for love? Try this. 2-4-1 Night @ Flares Does what it says on the tin. Badly. Offya Face @ Metros 9pm-2am, £2 b4 10.30pm. Alternative NUS night. Its sweaty, its smelly, its dingy and its actually great fun! Karaoke @ Reds Has it really come to this? Apparently so, as the bastion of utter crap that is Reds launches a karaoke night. It is hard to think of anything worse, with the possible exception of drinking neat napalm. Or going to Zeus. Latin Dance Party @ The Toucan 8.30pm-2am. Latin music, dancing, party vibe. Obviously. Alternative @ Sam’s Bar £2 - £5. Live music from local bands plus alternative indie and retro from resident DJ’s. The Magnificent Bar @ Bar Med Everything £1.50 all night. Beware that this fact alone might not justify the name magnificent.

Wednesday 13/02

The Cheesey Club / The Milky Bar / Popscene @ Clwb Ifor Bach 9.30pm-2am. £2/£2.50 after 11pm. A veritable melting pot of great music, local rivalries and Welsh music celebrities. Spread out over three floors, its technically possible to get through the whole night without seeing a single member of Tommy & the Chauffer, but highly unlikely. Student Night @ Bar Ice 9pm-2am. Late bar, drinks promotions, painfully average. Shooters and Slammers Party Night @ Bar Med Theme night, where you get to shoot the retarded fuck-wits that drink here with a large gun, then slam their heads repeatedly into the bar. Maybe. SL2 @ Liquid 9.30pm - 2am, £2 before 11pm After Jason Donovan last week, this is going to be something of a come down. However, ‘On a Ragga Tip’ got played in the Union recently and tonight, for hopefully the last time, you can see it performed before your very eyes. Cross the Tracks @ Cuba 9pm-2am, free entry. New(ish) night, with the Hustler seal of approval. Soul, funk and Old Skool are the order of the day. Sounds good, and the flyers are ace. Check it out.

Down to It @ Berlins 9pm-2am. I’d rather not, thanks. Ever. Uni-Sex @ Club X 10pm-2am. Gay Venue. Student Night, worth a mention if only for the highly amusing name. Toucan Acoustic Sessions @ Toucan Club 8pm-2am. Open mic, hosted by Little Miracle. Entry gets you into the chilled DJ happenings in the downstairs lounge, too. Perfect for a relaxed midweek night out. The Boogie Box @ Flares Karaoke. ‘Nuff said. Latin Night @ Life Bar Cafe 2-4-1 drinks offers and dancing. National Student Night @ Evolution 9.30pm-2am. Carlsberg £1, all spirits £1, all other drinks £1.50. Simple, but no doubt quite effective. Wipeout @ Reds Bob Monkhouse hosts popular daytime quiz in Cardiff bar. Maybe. Handbag 120 @ Zeus 9pm-2am. Utterly evil.

Thursday 14/02

Student Night @ Bar Ice 9pm-2am. Late night bar and drinks offers. Hard House @ The End... DJ Jomec does the honours. Disco Inferno @ Zeus 9pm-2am, £3/£2 NUS, 70s stuff. Disco Inferno, eh? Really just a chance for all the fuck-wittages who go here to get used to what Hell feels like. Because that’s where they’re all going to end up. Truly, truly horrific. Big In Japan @ Clwb Ifor Bach 9pm-2am. The coolest Japanese thing this side of Banzai. Cracking tunes, cool clientelle and a permanent in Clwb Ifor. Corking night all round. Plush @ Emporium £3 /£2. Anything with a groove, says the press release, and they’re not far wrong. Sexy, sassy and really too good for a Thursday, Plush truly is a top night for those who like their R ‘n’ B, garage and house slinky and sexy. Of course, if you’re a big Sisters of Mercy fan, you should give it a miss. From the Hip @ Incognito 8pm-1am. House and Dance. Old School Funk @ Is It? Cafe. Bar. Place Open til 1am. Yup, readers, you read it correctly! An ‘Old Skool’ night in this cum-bucket of a wine bar. Not exactly street, is it? Soul Power @ Liquid 9pm-2am. Soul and R & B, with Trevor Nelson every other week. A more extensive, and far less effective, version of Plush. Free Hip Hop Party @ Toucan With Ruff Style and likely to be marvellous for reasons beyond the entry fee. Spellbound @ Metros 9pm-2am. 2-4-1 cocktails, metal early on, then indie classics. Arrive after 11pm, then, and it should be a right laugh. Hooray! Cabaret @ Minsky’s Show Bar Cabaret is the order of the day, usually courtesy of camp men dressed as women. Great fun, actually. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Noel ‘All Man’ Sullivan of Hear’Say used to work here. Nudge nudge, wink wink etc... Student Night @ Oz Bar 9pm-1am. Dance music, £1 entry. Probably shit. Karaoke @ Reds 9pm-2am. Great. Alternative Student Night @ The Roxy 10pm-2am. Another night clinging on to the word ‘alternative’, as if it makes any piss poor cobbled together event worth a look. It doesn’t. As The Strokes sort of said, This Is Shit. Critical Breaks and Ascension @ Clwb Ifor Bach (Top Floor) 10pm-2am. Drum and Bass and Old Skool, £2.50 Featuring Dj’s Active, Toffster, Dexter, MDJ and Raj.

Friday 15/02

Precinct @ Clwb Ifor Bach 10pm, £8/£6. DJ Die is joined by Dynamite MC. Roots Manuva appears to offer a DJ set. Sounds as promising as ever Bar 150 @ Zeus 9pm-3am. Favourite party choons and games. US Garage @ The End... 8pm-11pm, With DJ Gavin. Great. Fever @ Barfly DJ Mike with a selection of indie classics. Not bad at all, actually, if a bit cramped. Oh yeah – watch you don’t get your ear bitten off walking home, either. Chaos @ Metros 9pm-3am, alternative student night. No dress code, cheap booze and good tunes. Tops!


Get There

Got Carter!

+ Exit + Sammo Hung @ Barfly 8pm, £6 Indie collective prepare for the release of their debut album with another visit to the city. They are joined by Newport nu-metallers, The Kennedy Soundtrack, and the rather fabulous Sammo Hung.

Jon Carter + Plump DJS

Friday 15th February @ Emporium, 10pm - 4am £10 NUS. Opening night for Bugged Out at Emporium brings two names to the city with the promise of three hour sets from both. The genre-hopping promised by the promoters should yield much in the way of excitement. Carter made his name in the Heavenly stable with Monkey Mafia and is something of a celebrity thanks to Radio 1 breakfast these days. Plump DJs are emerging re-mix favourites. More information including details on how to obtain advance tickets (it may be that popular!) is available at REscape vs Evolution @ Evolution 9pm-2.30am. £5 or £4 NUS. Brash and brassy house night, with a liberal sprinkling of? Its not a sodding wrestling match, people, its a frigging disco! Cool House @ Las Iguanas 9pm-1am. US & UK house. Funky, if a little cramped, house night. Not quite up to scratch as a club venue, but as a stop off en route to somewhere bigger, this fits the bill perfectly. Exit Club 8pm, free entry before 9.30pm. Gay Venue. Commercial chart and dance. Again! PLAY SOME DIFFERENT SODDING MUSIC! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! Get Down and Groove @ Flares Til 2am. Funky disco says the press release. A bit crap says Get There. You decide. Moda @ Rajah’s 8.30pm-midnight. Groovy pre-club night. Self styled Cardiff ‘legend’ Dave Grooveslave does his bit. Which isn’t necessarily a recommendation. Twin Scene @ Reds Not sure what is more shocking, the actual piss-poor nature of this club, or the fact that its full every night. Whatever, it’s still a big pile of poo, and as such should be given a wide berth. Heavy Metal @ The Roxy 10pm-4am. £5. Unsurprisingly, heavy metal. Actually very good at what it does, though. The Mothership Convention @ The Toucan 8pm-2am. Live funk, and mixing madness courtesy of Kris Jenkins, Bones and Dave Grooveslave. Well good, actually. This week, D’Booga run the show, with ‘the most chilled out funk in the galaxy’. There we are, then! Lisa Lashes + Guy Orandel + JFK @ ROAR, Vision 2K. No special album launches this week just the incomparable pleasure of house and trance in Vision. Jon Carter + Plump DJS @ Emporium 10pm-4am, £10 See above.

Saturday 16/02

Fever @ Barfly 10.30pm-2am. Indie classics and lager. Expect a lot of contrived ‘dancing’ and that not very funny Limp Bizkit version of Faith. Not at all bad, though. Deliciously Wicked @ Berlins 8pm-2am. Repulsively awful would be a more accurate description. Deep Heat @ Club X 10pm-4am. £4-£7. Gay venue. 6 rooms, 3 floor

Wednesday 13/02

Mclusky + Midasuno + Opium @ The Rooms, Georgetown, Merthyr Tydfil £3 Mclusky begin their promotional jaunt for their forthcoming Steve Albini produced second album of agitated punk- rock with an appearance on the Around the Bloc tour. Worth the trek into the valleys I suspect. Hub Ush + Fillmore + Safehouse @ Barfly 7.30pm, £3

Thursday 14/02

balcony, games room & garden terrace. Well worth a look! The Big Party @ Dylan’s 8pm-1am. The party sounds like a great idea. Sadly,it’s in Dylan’s. Funky Techno @ The End... 8pm-11pm, with One Mission DJ’s. At last! A night at The End that isn’t shit! The ever reliable One Mission crew do what they do best – make people smile and dance! The Betty Ford Guest List @ Metros 9pm-3am, £3 b4 10.30pm. Top alternative night, with tunes courtesy of the great and the good of Cardiff’s indie scene. More leftfield than other Metros nights, the crowd and the music are slightly older and slightly cooler. Weekend Madness @ Bar Cuba 10pm-2am. £2/£4. DJ Andy Loveless. Twin Scene @ Reds Same as Friday, only more expensive! Hooray! Glam Night @ The Roxy 10pm-4am. £5. Expect an orgy of all things glam. Apart from Gary Glitter, of course. And Jonathan King. Or that bloke from Slade... Steve Boyd @ Emporium 10pm onwards L’America club night. Desire @ Zeus 9pm-3am. A night so unimaginably bad, I refuse to waste a witty comment on it.

Live Music Even without the gleaming Ice Rink, the space between Barfly and Clwb has began to brighten once again. Much pleasure to be found on the streets providing you’re prepared to look for it..

Monday 11/02

Jazz Attic @ Cafe Jazz 8.00pm, £1.50. Open mic for Jazz players, with resident rhythm section. Whether you use your fingers, blow, suck or just like to watch, you’ll be welcomed with open arms. Possibly. Easyworld + Dopamine + Clipper @ Barfly 8pm, £3 Easyworld escape the perils of supporting ‘the Clause’ with a headline shwo of their own.Go and convince them that their effort was worthwhile.

Tuesday 12/02

Cooper Temple Clause + The Kennedy Soundtrack

Mountain Men Anonymous + Dark Bazaar@Clwb Ifor Bach 10pm- 2am, £4 Continuing the theme of special sets, Dark Bazaar offer a ‘singerless set’. After Mountain Men’s splendid post-rocking debut album from last year, this is likely to be another tremendous evening. Who needs Xplosure? Sexy Vegas Superstars + The Candys + Sublimation @ Barfly 7.30pm, £3 Apparently, Gair Rhydd helped to found the Sexy Vegas Superstars. Go and find out whether we should be proud of what we spawned. The Mountaineers + Tommy and the Chauffeur + Jaded @ Blackwood Miners’ Institute 7.30pm, £3. Another installment of the Around the Bloc tour for those unable to wait another few days for the next Tommy and the Chauffeur show.

Friday 15/02

Ben Jason + Delta @ Barfly 7.30pm, £5. Tuneful bearded duo return to the capital to serenade the selected few with gentle melancholic melodies. Pulse @ The Wharf 8pm, FREE. Mothership Convention @ The Toucan Club 8pm, £5 / £5.50 No listings available as we went to press, but Fridays at The Toucan are usually top drawer. Call the venue for details, or just turn up on the night. Chances are, it’ll be good!

Saturday 16/02

Estella + Mim Twm Llai @ Clwb Ifor Bach 10pm, £5 Welsh language night in all likelihood.

Sunday 17/02

Acoustic Jam @ The Toucan Club 8pm, FREE. A chance for all budding songsters to get up and show off their wares, which is usually a good thing.

Arts Standing proud of the city’s diversity and committed to mixing people young and old, Get There brings you a selection of arts events worthy of your time this week.

The Cherry Orchard @ Welsh College of Music and Drama. Performances daily from 13th-16th February. £1 NUS Those noble students across the road put together their own interpretation of Chekhov’s classic. Adam Bloom + Marty Wilson + Noel Britten + Julia Morris @ The Glee Club, Cardiff Bay. 14th -16 February, £5.50 NUS, 8pm. Another reason to visit the Bay as the Glee club continues to offer a night of emerging stand up comedy. The programme promises 2,000 gags in twenty minutes, go and find up who’s up to it. Reduced Shakespeare Comedy present ‘The Bible’ @ Sherman Theatre, £9 NUS. Performances on 13th-14th February Expensive, but likely to be very entertaining. Roberto Zucco @ Sherman Studio. Performances from 9th - 16th February, £4.50 NUS Welsh College of Music and Drama students make the trip across the road for a night of film-noir Tarantino esque dramatics.

Societies Involved in a society? Keep us informed of your forthcoming events and we might find you an exec for next year.

Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Society EVERY WEDNESDAY (BEGINNING 31st OCTOBER) Come along to the weekly meeting, in meeting room three of the Student’s Union. Everybody is welcome, and things start at 8.30pm. For more info email


EVERY TUESDAY Lessons take place in Solus. Advanced / Intermediate: 6pm-7pm. Beginners: 7.10pm-8.30pm.

Student Action for Refugees

EVERY THURSDAY Meetings at 7pm in the TV lounge (3rd floor of the Union)

SHAG Drop In

MONDAY, TUESDAY & FRIDAY 1pm-4pm in the Student Volunteering Centre.

Gair Rhydd

ALL DAY, EVERY DAY! Come and write for Gair Rhydd! Meeting times 2.15pm on Wednesdays for GRiP and 1.15pm Monday for all things news and sport. So writers, designers, photographers and general gimps come on up! We need young blood to replace our wizened old hacks.

Culture Shock Urban Safari

9PM-1AM WEDNESDAY 13TH FEBRUARY SEREN LAS Tickets cheaper in advance Members £1.50 Non-members £2 Urban beats, Live performances, Modern Rhythms

Still showing at cinemas in Cardiff

MEAN MACHINE Starring: Vinnie Jones Cert: 18 Advertised everywhere from the Barfly’s toilets to prime time television. Vinnie stars as a football team coach in a prison dominated by intrigue and corruption. Could be exactly the same as Lock Stock.. but we’re not ones to deprive Guy Richie of another million. Never let it be said in polite company that Vinnie has been typecast without good reason!

LORD OF THE RINGS Starring: Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchet, Ian Mckellan Cert: PG Much feted adaptation of the Tolkein novel. Frodo Baggins, a Hobbit battles against the Dark Lord Sauron to save his world, Middle-earth, from the grip of evil. Three hours of escape approximates to about a pound an hour; buy the book afterwards and fill some more time. Remember: they spent millions making this just to entertain you!

ROCK STAR Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Mark Wahlberg Cert: 15 Feast your eyes as Hollywood provides us with a glimpse into 70’s rock. Wahlberg stars as a man who cultivates an unhealthy obsession with Judas Priest. His dream is fulfilled when the band invite him to join the group, yet the tale ends in sorrow with which Aniston is no doubt connected. Listen, someone, somewhere is screaming, ‘Hollywood, leave “the Priest” alone.’ Follow their advice and stay clear.

RAT RACE Starring: John Cleese Cert: 12 Donald Sinclair (John Cleese) owns the biggest, snazziest and flashiest casino in Las Vegas. To entertain some of his wealthiest patrons, he creates the most original high stakes game that sin city has ever seen. Six contestants. One $2 million jackpot. The rules? Get there first. There's greed, speed, and a whole lot of bad driving in this race with so many funny bits you’ll be laughing from start to finish.

EVIL WOMAN Starring: Jack Black, Jason Biggs, Steve Zahn Cert: 15 The tribute band theme emerges once again. This time, the idol is the more familiar face of Neil Diamond. Biggs is seduced by an evil woman, so powerful his friends find themselves compelled to rescue him from her clutches. Sounds hopelessly moronic and probably is. Neil Diamond though is, probably, marginally superior to Judas Priest.

gamesreviews g


Grave new world


used as currency to buy other orbs with different powers or new attack moves and power ups for your weapons. Some other beefier weapons are available throughout the game. 2000 YEARS ago the lord of the underworld The controls have been well thought out and invaded the earth. His armies destroyed all in become instinctive after a little while, although the their wake, until a devil repented in the gameplay and its development from Resident Evil underworld. The dark knight Sparda rose up and is apparent. The difficulty of the game increases defeated the lord of the underworld, driving his gradually during the game building up to the final forces back into hell. Now, you play Dante, the battle. Completion of the game unlocks extra son of Sparda, a half human with devil blood difficulty levels. running through his veins. It is said that even a The sound is flawless and creates a perfectly devil may cry for mercy at his feet. Unknown to crafted atmosphere. A gripping, tension-building him, the dark lord has risen again and Dante, like soundtrack bursts into heave rock during the fight his father, is destined to stop him. Dante is led to sequences as your heart pumps like a rabbit on Mallet Island where the dark lord is amassing his heat and then it fades away with the adrenaline powers. Here, Dante must fight his forces back to the relative calm. (marionettes, spiders and other baddies) and So far Devil May Cry appears to be perfect, stop the invasion. and it nearly is, but there are a few things that On first impressions the games intro sequence could have been done Devil May Cry appears to be better. Firstly, perfect... but the biggest problem the biggest problem is the is annoying camera angles camera angles. The cameras are fixed, so as you pass into a is typically Capcom, building on the FMV that new area of the screen the angle changes, and established the story of previous games like so as you are looking from somewhere else the Resident Evil. It is nice and fluid on the whole but controls change. This is particularly annoying the characters have a tendency to appear a bit when you’re surrounded by the bad guys, as the rushed and pixelated around the edges. angle changes and for a second you don’t know At the start of the game Dante is armed with which way your backside is, at which point the twin handguns and his father’s sword. Using bad guys have ripped you to shreds. This is combinations of his weapons he lays the evil to where the guns auto-aim comes into its own – rest. When an opponent is killed they drop red letting your guns know where you are before orbs, the number of which depends on how you’ve quite caught up. At least the camera is a creatively you dispose of them, these can be

bit further away from you so the field of view is much better than in Resident Evil. Secondly, although the graphics are a beauty to behold there are a few rough edges here and there. Then again I am arguing about cosmetics because that’s all I can find to say. This game is almost faultless. Devil May Cry is a pleasure to play, but it will

in no way shape or form provide you with hours of gameplay, taking about 10 hours to complete. But those hours are a truly rewarding experience, so there’s replay. Definitely more for those of you who prefer a hundred metre sprint to the marathon. It has lived up to the hype and then some. If you have a PS2 then you’ll need this. Chris Pietryka

Rise of the Robots Retrosexual



O ON lads, admit it, the most fun thing you did with your old remote controlled car was to crash it into anything that didn’t move fast enough. Be it the wall, garage, another car or next door’s cat. The sound of it cracking into things always brought a certain satisfaction. So for some, hitting middle age and having too much money gave them an excuse to build bigger and more lethal toys. Hence Robot Wars was born. The BBC have taken this little programme and milked it for all it was worth and then some, several times a week on BBC2

and several times daily on BBC Choice. So it was inevitable really that it would eventually land on the Playstation 2, and land it has with a thud. As we have seen before with the likes of the Who Wants to be a Millionaire, TV to game adaptations don’t tend to live up to the hype surrounding them. They tend to be repetitive, dull, uninspiring and have a shelf life shorter than a manufactured band of popstars. So is Robot Wars: Arenas of Destruction the exception and not the rule? Read on. In the game you create your own team and build a robot to battle in the arenas of the world. The game has stayed faithful to the show and all the old favourites are present and correct .The graphics are good and the game progression is logical with prize money targets needing to be reached to open the next arena. An excellent touch is the inclusion of voiceovers and commentary

from Jonathan Pierce (the guy from the TV show!). So far so good. Then you start playing and realise the robot you start with couldn’t beat an omelette. So all the money goes on improvements so you can only enter the basic competitions and win small prizes. However, once you start winning the game swiftly races along opening new arenas like the rooftops of Japan and a North Sea oilrig. Unfortunately, that’s where the praise ends because what looks like a great game with lots of potential is let down by the most important of gaming characteristics– the gameplay. The controls are sluggish and unresponsive and it feels like driving though tar. When you are in a battle with more than two robots the game suffers a slowdown to rival any old 486 PC and similar can be said for the changing of the menu screens. It’s impossible to skip the battle intros so after the 20th rendition of ‘3, 2, 1, activate’ you want to punch the screen. The commentary from Jonathan Pearce is varied and accurate however, as it responds to what the robots themselves do and not what they do in relation to each other, for example, you could be on different sides of the arena facing opposite directions and if you use your flipper you’ll hear something daft like ‘ooh he just failed to get under with that attack!’? Damage is depicted via the medium of bits of bodywork dropping off and disappearing, and the PS2 randomly decides when you’re immobile. To make matters worse the judges are as bent a nine pound notes. Is it too much to ask to have energy bars!!!? Overall the game looked nice but was disappointing in all other aspects and you’re left with the feeling of ‘what if..’. Stick to watching the TV show, or even better, watch Scrapheap Challenge. Chris Pietryka

SLEEPWALKER (1992) Ocean: C64/Amiga

MAYBE ITS because Games' insomnia still hasn't gone that Ocean's sonmabulist based platformer is booted up again. Sleepwalker was actually made for Comic Relief, and unlike most things made for charity – well intentioned but with shallow use – it was actually very good. You controlled Ralph, a dog, watching over his sleep walking master Lee. For some reason, this had to be done in a variety of themed levels, and not just outside his room. If Lee were to come into contact with water, oncoming cars, or peanut shooting elephants, he would wake up. Ralph must clear the obstacles in his way to safeguard his route to the exit. This is done by 1) smacking things with a great big stick or 2) kicking Lee up the jacksie. Or preferably both. Oddly enough, young Lee is never disturbed from his sleep by said kicking – something Games has no explanation for. It certainly wakes up my housemates when I touch... But anyway, Sleepwalker is great. Its original, (though Pikmin uses a similar idea, as did Lemmings), its fun to play, and there is a definite comic sensibility from the slapstick. The graphics show their 8-bit restrictions although Ralph is well animated.The levels, although themed, show lots of imagination. Chris Faires Sleepwalker can be found on a emu site near you.

arts reviews

Dressed to Kill

Roberto Zucco

Sherman Theatre Welsh College of Music and Drama


HE WELSH COLLEGE of Music and Drama are presenting their production of Bernard Marie Koltes’ play Roberto Zucco from February 8-16 at the Sherman Theatre. It is the only performance of the year in which third year and post graduate students team up to produce high quality entertainment. Roberto Zucco is a modern colourful play, based on a real life murderer. It questions what is good and evil, with the killer Zucco being described both as ‘sweet’ and also as a ‘dangerous murderer’. Everything in the play is twisted around

to challenge orthodoxy. Zucco explores the idea of morality. He is quite an antihero, forcing the audience to apply their own judgement to different situations. In one scene, Tom Lewis, who plays the girl’s brother sells his sister to a pimp and whilst doing so, claims he is just a “victim of evil”. There is a keen sense that responsibility for actions is being avoided here. The play can be compared to Popcorn by Ben Elton, recently produced by the University’s acting society, Act One, as it humanises murder and shows how we can blame others for violent behaviour. Darkly humourous and influenced by Brecht, Roberto Zucco was written whilst Koltes was dying of cancer and can be seen as his last comments on life. It has similarities to the hidden demons of Ibsen’s work and also the gratuitous violence of plays by Bond. According to its

director, Jamie Garven, “It is dark but funny and puts the audience into a moral maze”. Asked how they had enjoyed the making of the play, Antonio De Gregorio alias Robert Zucco and all the cast members agreed that it had been hard work but that they had enjoyed the imaginative process, exploring the many ways of portraying a character and the ability to improvise. Jamie Garven, a freelance director for twenty years has been involved with many productions for the Sherman Theatre, including House of America and Macbeth. He says he values college funding as it means he can choose the itinerary of productions performed. Plans for future productions by the WCMD include Phedre by Racine, the musical Assassins, Disco Pigs and Saved by Bond. Watch this space. Elizabeth Ireland

Act One’s Spring Diary

Theatre Anarchy: All Day Breakfast with Geri and Tom : A Completely Improvised Play 19th - 23rd Feb at 7.30pm Cwrys Theatre THEATRE ANARCHY IS Act One’s first improvisation troupe. Their new production is a completely spontaneous chat show, of the ilk seen every day on morning TV. Using audience suggestions for inspiration, our improvisers will create characters and situations before your very eyes. Unlike conventional scripted theatre, there is an element of spontaneity and unpredictability that will make this show a unique and exciting experience for the performers as well as the audience.Tickets now available from the Union Box Office Getting into Drama School 27th Feb at 6pm. Watch this space for location. FOLLOWING OUR SUCCESSFUL accent and stage combat workshop comes the drama school day. If you’re thinking about a career in theatre or perhaps auditioning for drama school then this is the perfect workshop for you. An experienced professional from the Welsh College of Music and Drama will be on hand to offer constructive advice and answer any questions you may have.

Directors Day 2nd March THIS IS THE perfect opportunity for anyone who is thinking about directing either a play or a film to find out more about what is involved. All of the current directors will be on hand to give a brief talk on their own experiences, as well as answering any questions you may have. If you want to propose a play for next year then we strongly advise you come to this.

The Wind in the Willows 6th - 9th March Heath Hospital Theatre ‘BELIEVE ME, my young friend, there is nothing, absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats!’ Kenneth Grahame’s classic riverbank story about the adventures of Ratty, Mole, Badger and the magnificent Mr Toad is brought to life on the stage in Alan Bennett’s wonderful adaptation.

Arts News SIT UP AND pay attention to this drama club set up by those clever bods down at the New Theatre. Re-act is free to join and once you’re a member you’ll be entitled to some seriously good discounts on plays put on in one of Cardiff’s premier theatre venues. Aimed at students aged between 16 and 25, benefits include drama tickets often available at just £3 and regular introductory sessions to each play. Up and coming plays this season include To Kill a Mockingbird, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and Godspell, among many others. To find out more and join the free drama club, call the re-act hotline on 029 2087 8574. What are you waiting for? If theatre is your bag baby, or you’d like it to be, get on that phone!

04 Charles Burton Martin Tinney Gallery Windsor Place


HILE NOT NECESSARILY one of the best known Welsh artists, Charles Burton is certainly one of the greatest. Since winning the Gold Medal for Fine Art at the National Eisteddfod at the age of 25, he has appeared in the public eye sporadically, but at no time during the past fifty years has he stopped exploring and enquiring, absorbing lessons from artists of every age and idiom. These eclectic influences are evident in his exhibition Paintings and Drawings, which features a vast amount of work completed over the last couple of years, despite some having been begun in and continuously worked on since the 1950s. Burton uses a variety of mediums and sizes of canvas in his work, from the huge Cypriot Cloth and End of Term, both oils but on canvas and panel respectively, to the tiny Male Nude and Female Nude, both oil and canvas. However, it is his explorations of the genre of still life, using ordinary pieces of crockery against the backdrop of a table such as Five Ceramic Pieces and Roman Jug and Egg, breathtaking in their stark simplicity, that succeed in creating a genuinely dramatic effect. As a very private painter, it is perhaps fitting that there are very few personal pieces included in the collection. However, the one still life featured, executed in chalks and completed in 1954, is invaluable in that it provides a glimpse of the man behind the name and the painter behind the work, both of which are very welcome. Jane Eyre

Writing to reach you


HIS WAS A one-off event by the Six Women Poets to mark the Academi Cardiff International Poetry Competition 2001. Academi is an organisation dedicated to the promotion of literature, and the event was held with the aim of recognising the role of poetry in modern society, and raising its public profile. The evening began with the winner, Tiffany Atkinson. Her Snapshot of Belfast is a moving, skilfully written piece that handles current issues with an ease belying her youth. Despite her amateur status, she gave a compelling performance, and set a high standard for the Six Poets to match. Fleur Adcock, the first to read, centred much of her performance around poems about the recent death of her mother. However, if poems about death started off being emotive and involving, this changed during the course of the evening. It is a tribute to Gillian Clarke’s ability that her poem about the Paddington rail disaster towards the end of the evening got a good reception, despite the audience being by now almost immune to images of mortality and tragedy. Her trademark ability to combine humour and pathos was present throughout her reading and she stood out as the star of the night. Carol Rumins gave an interesting, thoughtful performance, and proved her talent by anonymously winning Third Prize of the Poetry Competition. Grace Nichols and Liz Lockhead livened up the second half of the evening by expanding the range of subjects and cultures being presented in the poems. Nichols’ captivating work on her native Ghana and her adopted British culture is almost chantlike in its simplicity, and the poems written during her time as poet in residence at the Tate offer fascinating new perspectives on traditional works of art. Lockhead injected some much needed culture into the evening with poems like the laugh-out-loud Aunties, and Spinster, a witty and painfully perceptive monologue about single women. The only disappointment of the evening was Selima Hill’s performance, which was awkward and over-staged. The poems themselves were uninspiring. Their only real merit lay in their being an example to the younger poets as to how not to write. That, however, is a lesson they should not need. While the Six Poets gave entertaining, skillful performances, I don’t think I was alone in thinking the best performance was by the young unknown, Tiffany Atkinson. She is the voice of modern poetry that we want. Katy Price


Sound of Silence

08 almost funky edge. A guitar riff not a million miles from Destiny’s Child’s Bootylicious and a hip-swivellingly groovy vocal mantra are welded together amid metallic sparks of sound; you’ll find your feet dancing of their own accord. Rejoice, for the first Great Dance Single of 2002 has arrived. Alex Macpherson

THE HIVES Hate To Say I Told You So



(Spacemen Records/Arista)

SUPER-COOL Scandinavians The Hives are here to show the world how to rock with the opening track from their Your New Favourite Band compilation album. Originally released on their 2000 album, Veni Vidi Vicious, Hate To Say I Told You So is three minutes twenty seconds of razor sharp guitars, vitriolic lyrics and fuck-you attitude. It’s reassuring that 25 years on from the birth of punk, there are still bands like The Hives, wielding big rusty musical chainsaws and taking no prisoners. Class. Rob Jackson

REALLY, IT’S everything you would expect from Spiritualized – vast layers of sound with a thick layer of vocals melted over the top, a quick brass section and strong melodic hooks. But that isn’t to say it’s not a stand-out single – in fact, this is a perfect single. It’s almost a pop song; up-tempo, easy chorus, in as near a sing-a-long style as you could wish. Beautiful, yet concise, it’s practically sublime; it sounds like a Sunday afternoon in the sunshine, and there aren’t many better things in this world than that. Abbi Shaw

THE BEST INTENTIONS 22Down/ Heart Throb/ Slow Fall



IAN BROWN: fool’s old...

IAN BROWN Whispers (Polydor)

FOLLOWING UP the superb single F.E.A.R was always going to be tough but Ian Brown has come up smelling of Stone Roses. Whispers is a fresh, laid-back track with enough originality to keep it out of the Top 10. Phew. Some of the backing sounds rather like a naff accompaniment to an ITV drama advertisement, but luckily these are interrupted by a few Chemical Brothers / Groove Armada beats often enough for you to get John Thaw off your mind. Katie Brunt


WELSH NU-METAL that could do with sounding less like Lost Prophets. They’ll obviously suffer from such comparisons, but they at least share the LP’s slick, mainstreamaimed sound. These tracks sound thoroughly British with their Mansun choruses and East 17 middle-eights, but it’s the high-speed riffing and rapping that keeps them interesting. Mat Croft

PINHOLE Breaking Hearts and Windows EP (Thrill City)

OVERWHELMINGLY USELESS and flaccid indie punk pop from a similar kindergarten for no-hopers to the ones that taught Midget and Gel that one day they’d have a future beyond The Evening Session novelty single slot. Serial bigmouth John Robb produced this EP, so whilst it’s insignificant in it’s insignificance, he’s bound to have an exaggerated justification for these insultingly dated onesingle-wonders. John Widdop

RELISH Heart Shaped Box (EMI)

BEFORE YOU get excited, this is not a brave attempt to re-record and re-define one of the greatest songs Kurt Cobain ever wrote, just a mediocre band releasing a mediocre single that coincidentally has the same title. An attempt at a funky bass and wah intro, a half alive metal riff and a singer sounding a bit like the successful one from Take That. Nothing about this song grabs you by the balls and

demands your full and undivided attention, it’s just dull, not bad, just dull. Rob Jackson

BEN CHRISTOPHERS Leaving My Sorrow Behind (V2) AND THE deluge of winsome, acoustic guitarclutching troubadours continues. Wolverhampton’s Ben Christophers isn’t your average bland Harcourt clone, though. Present and correct on Leaving My Sorrow Behind are a remarkably expressive voice with incredible range (and, impressively, the ability to sing in falsetto without conjuring up the ghost of Jeff Buckley), a whirling dervish of a melody reminiscent of Mansun’s Wide Open Space in sheer verve, and trip-hop flourishes worthy of Massive Attack. Uncluttered and expansive, yet always firmly grounded, it’s an enchanting slice of space-age soul which heralds the arrival of a major new talent. Alex Macpherson

LIKE BEING pushed home in a shopping trolley with a traffic cone on your head, or like a spotty 17 year old doing a wheel spin in his mum’s Micra to try to impress the ladies, it’s not big and its not funny. It’s been done before and no doubt it’ll be done again with an equally distinct air of tedium. This triple A-side is comprised of boring guitar chuggaluggalugga from a band who claim their biggest influence to be Nirvana. Now there’s a revelation. As captivating as counting the number of gravy granules in the packet, but without the prospect of enjoying the aforementioned product with pie and mash, there's really no point bothering. Andrew Davidson

LLORCA WITH NICOLE GRAHAM Indigo Blues (F Communication)

A NICE enough mood piece to play in the background as you cool down after a hard night out. The strong beat contrasts with the mellow vocals and easy listening lyrics. This piece of music won’t offend anyone but neither will it do much to impress. Adam Lewis

MOUSE EAT MOUSE Hush Nou / Cubismo (Star Harbour) SOMETIMES WE have to wonder just why the fuck people bother to release certain songs.

TIMO MAAS To Get Down (Perfecto)

LAST YEAR, superb reworkings of Muse, Fatboy Slim and Kelis turned Timo Maas, with his fiery brand of pitch-black hard trance, into one of the most in-demand remixers around. To Get Down, his first single in his own right, still sounds as if it’s been created in a blast furnace, but the demonically frenetic pace of his previous work has been replaced by a lighter,

Yes, the band obviously have a sense of humour, but no, this isn’t a laughing matter. Mouse Eat Mouse have certainly created a new form of music. The system is to have a two second long guitar riff, repeat it for four minutes and have a Glaswegian poet informing you, in spoken word, that ‘we need to cull’. Please forget the name Mouse Eat Mouse. Dave Gibson

SAHARA HOTNIGHTS: didn’t you used to be B*Witched? LEFT: BEN CHRISTOPHERS: and Grannny’s curtains


SWEDEN ISN’T renowned for its great rock bands and Sahara Hotnights aren’t going to change this fact. They have a simple pop rock style and the song bounces along with the kind of fun that only a girl band could produce. It is very easy to listen to and their sound is quite like Republica. Similarly, they may have a few good songs but they’re not really going to set the world alight. The single is obviously aiming for a chart position, which is why it’s so annoyingly poppy, but the b-sides suggest that they may produce something worthwhile. Anthony Lloyd

DILATED PEOPLES Worst Comes To Worst (Capitol)

THE FIRST single to be taken from their new album Expansion Team, Worst Comes To Worst is a bright and breezy slice of feel-good hip hop. Featuring a lovely string/ surf guitar melody line and quality tight rhymes this could finally be the track that propels California’s Dilated Peoples into the limelight they deserve – after working so hard underground whilst similar acts like Jurassic 5 and the Quannum Projects team have received the attention of both the critics and the public. Whilst not quite as good as the John Barry sampling Work the Angles from first album The Platform, the heavy rotation of both the song and the video should ensure that many people have a little ray of Californian sunshine in their hearts this spring. Andy Parsons



THE COOPER TEMPLE CLAUSE See through this and leave (Morning Records) BASED ON the packaging alone this album is a must have – it doesn’t matter what the music is like. Having a photo album, complete with random pictures makes it the best music purchase all year. It’s just a bonus then that Reading based TCTC have produced an interesting record which combines all the musical influences which have played their home festival, plus a little extra Stoner rock, Techno and Pink Floyd. This heady mix has produced some great songs, like Kill All Music and Panzer Attack, but it also creates rather duff tunes like Amber that just feel dull and uninspired. Great lyrics and passionate guitars help some tracks to move and do feel inspired, however too many songs lack the drive to keep the whole thing moving. TCTC definitely break into new ground but they lack focus, by the end of the album you feel you haven’t gone anywhere. They break down the wall but refuse to go though the hole. The music is all irrelevant anyway, buy this album for its covering, everyone else will. Brendan Rainford


Cooper Troopers THE SOUNDTRACK OF OUR LIVES Behind The Music (Telegram Records)

LAST YEARS retro guitar pop revolution (epitomised by the incredibly over rated and over hyped Strokes) is still opening doors, and the latest band to take advantage of the birth of this cool are Swedish six piece The Sound Track Of Our Lives. The fact of the matter is actually that we in Britain are incredibly slow. TSOOL, like their Scandinavian brethren, The Hives, have been honing their sound for a few years now in their home territories, their debut album getting them voted best newcomer back in 1996 at the Swedish ‘Grammies’. But fear not, eight years since their conception, and with the release of their third album, Behind The Music, the world is finally taking notice. Album title and band name say it all, the 15 tracks of Behind The Music are shamelessly jammed full of pointers and musical references to the last 35 years of pop that have guided and moulded their lives, it is their musical heritage. The riffing 70’s rock of bands such as Bachman Turner Overdrive, Free on Sister Surround and 21st Century Rip Off nestles in next to the late 60’s psychedelia ramblings of The Flood, Mind The Gap and Broken Imaginary Time (an astonishingly beautiful tune). The list is almost endless, The Stones, The Beatles, and early Staus Quo all get a look in. At times, the lines between influence and plagiarism get a little blurred, the drums and ‘shoop’ intro of Keep The Line Movin’ is more than reminiscent of The Beatles Come Together, but in the bigger context of things, it’s forgivable. Refreshingly carefree, catchy and almost unashamedly ‘un-cool’ in its folksy retro stylings, Behind The Music is a great statement of intent. It’s taken us eight years to find The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, now they’re here, it would be foolhardy for anyone to ignore them any longer. Rob Jackson

LHB Tell ‘em who we are. (Telstar)

THIS FIRST release from alternative dance duo Giles Barton and Lee Wilson-Wolfe acts as a hors d’oeuvre to what might later be

accomplished. Whilst at times the production on tunes like No Transmission is overly clinical and would sound more at home on an Alex Stewart single, the high points of the record by far outweigh such blunders. Clearly influenced by the (recent) Primal Scream and the Chemical Brothers these boys too have a part to play in the future of indiedance crossovers. Not that this is by any means a rehash, you understand. Oh no! It’s creative euphony which promises brilliant forthcomings in the ever-growing genre of cut and paste home-grown dance music. That is, provided someone buys it, of course. Andrew Davidson

VARIOUS ARTISTS No Apathy (Dock Rad)

IT’S BEEN raining for about a week now without stopping. Cathays is a mess of puddles and minor floods that will soon cause detours if the authorities can find any ‘stop / go’ signs in their emergency cupboard. No one can be bothered to leave their houses to see local bands. I’m not claiming that Dock Rad records are some kind of meteorological prophets from the east, but the timing of this CD; featuring 15 local Welsh acts ranging

from the ridiculous to the insane, and back to the ridiculous before an hour’s up, is suspiciously perfect. In recent years, the best way of distinguishing a bad Welsh act from a good one is by looking at the subject matter of the songs. For instance, the Super Furries are great and write songs about their hamster Stavros and South American Goat Monsters. This kind of insider knowledge helps you sort the rough from the smooth on this CD too (apart from the instrumentals, but let’s not get pedantic here), Hence Nicky Wire, Your (sic) a Liar, a half poem-half lament about how the price of food and drink at the Manic Millennium was a bit pricey, is possibly the most ludicrously genius song on here. Elsewhere we plunge into the court of the kings of miserable moody gits. Skep, who despite singing Ghost Town-esque ragga funk nonsense in the style of a Welsh Morrisey (no, really) in their live sets, instead manage to mumble and groove simultaneously on the rather wonderful Bam Bam, sadly not a song about Barney Rubbles son in The Flintstones, but about ‘stuffing Ibiza’ apparently. Okay then. Obviously as it’s a compilation album, it’s only a matter of time before the inevitable duff tracks. So here’s a quick run-through: Pep Le Pew provide indisputable examples of how Welsh hip-hop is the most ill-considered idea since.. well, since English hip-hop. And can go away. Metahead sound like a useless version of The Crystal Method who themselves sound like a useless version of the Chemical Brothers, and Bench sound like a useless version of Zero 7, who are just plain shit. But these are minor quibbles. For every coffee cream, there’s a couple of strawberry creams, and several ones you’ll eat anyway. There’s the cupboard under the kitchen sink lunacy of Teflon Monkey, the wonderfully camp “Ooowahha...” by Mc Mabon, the Dubstar / PJ Harvey pleasantries of V, and the last track, Sketches of Splott by Frank Naughton goes beyond regular sanity and into the unventured territory known as ‘influenced by Twin Peaks and the souls of several dead dub and jazz musicians’, whilst still being named after a district of Cardiff. It seems a suitable closing track – unfathomably inventive yet beautifully hypnotic. The Welsh may suck ass at rugby, but even their unsigned bands can tackle the rest of the UK. John Widdop

California Screaming FU MANCHU California Crossing (Mammoth Records)

AS FU MANCHU have been churning out their sun-drenched Californian surf rock since the mid 90s it’ll be interesting to see how they fit in with the current American rock scene. They’ve gone about it in exactly the right way, by doing things precisely their own way and ignoring everybody else. The fact that the ‘Fu play music around the themes of cars, surfing and the laid back lifestyle they enjoy, along with their refusal to acknowledge any other contemporary acts (no childish disses here) adds to the feeling that FM are one of the most genuine rock acts around. Their sound is a less cartoony Offspring on a comedown. While remaining heavy enough to encapture the essence of rock and roll, the laid back vibes of a Californian beach sunsoak this record. The cover image of a surfboard laden set of hot wheels providing a resting post for two bikini-clad ‘surf babes’ provides a perfect backdrop for every song on the album. Listening to it makes you want to leap into the picture and tear down the highway, blonde hair cascading in the wind around your wraparound Oakleys. Thinking Out Loud possesses the strongest of a montage of consistently dudetastic (the only word to describe it) riffs, which makes this record such a good choice to convert your Celine Dion loving girlfriend to the world of guitar rock. The Wastoid makes you feel like you’ve pulled off the last page of ‘Advanced Guitar Playing for Surfers’, and the drumming could serve to permanently alter your heart rate if you played it loud enough. It’s impossible to dislike such genuine, laid back catchy party rock. If you could buy a surfboard with an in-built CD player, they’d throw this in, it’s Kurt Cobain riding a wave with The Offspring looking on, smoking pot on the beach. It’s exactly how rock music should sound. Jamie Fullerton

FU MANCHU: your mamma too...



Dir: Peter Docter PG, 92 mins


id you ever wonder what the monsters in the closet got up to when they weren’t scaring the bejesus out of kiddies too young to know any better? Me too. According to Monsters, Inc. the new computer animated offering from Pixar, they inhabit Monstropolis, a thriving metropolis of the most warped monstrosities to ever walk the Earth. The monsters aren’t a bad bunch, in fact they are actually scared of children whose screams they need to provide power for their city. Blue-and-purple-furred Sulley (voiced by John Goodman) is the company’s top scream-getter, as well as their ‘Scarer of the Month’ for 11 months running. While staying on late for work one night, Sulley is horrified when he inadvertently lets the adorable human Boo (Mary Gibbs) into their world. For Sully and his lime green one-eyed side kick Mike (Billy Crystal) this is a disaster as escapees from Earth are looked upon as toxic hazards. With Monstropolis on red-alert, the softhearted Sulley tries to find the portal through which Boo travelled whilst his love for the little girl grows. The sophistication of the computer animation has come a long way since 1995’s Toy Story. Directed by Peter Docter and David Silverman, the films’ meticulous animation makes every strand of hair and piece of fibre look nearly three-dimensional

and more like the product of Claymation than computer animation. A thrilling climatic chase sequence though a swinging conveyor belt of closet doors is a noteworthy visual triumph, whilst the human characters are, as in Shrek, kept somewhat caricaturized. Lovers of Toy Story and A Bug’s Life will be appreciative of Pixar’s fourth computer-animated film, as it contains great characters, snappy pacing and great humour broad enough to satisfy kids and adults alike. The voices are top-notch, with Goodman and Crystal playing two diametricallyopposed co-workers and room mates, Steve Buscemi as the oily Randall and Gibbs’ baby-talk is a delight to the ears. Pixar does it again

Fat Club SHALLOW HAL Starring: Jack Black, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jason Alexander Dir: Peter and Bobby Farrelly 12, 113 mins


ome would say The Farrelly brothers’ unique sense of humour hit a peak when Ben Stiller ejaculated onto his own ear in There’s Something About Mary. Since then, they have been groping around within a world of advanced schizophrenia (Me, Myself And Irene) and incest (Say It Isn’t So) which wasn't pleasant for anyone involved. With Shallow Hal they have gone in the other direction. The direction where the term ‘gross-out’ ceases to exist and the term ‘romantic comedy’ takes on an entirely new meaning. Most people will know Jack Black as the scene-stealing record shop assistant in High Fidelity and he carries a little of this character into Hal, particularly within his epileptic dancing moves. Therefore it is all the more surprising to find him, complete with beer belly and receding hairline, playing the romantic lead. In an opening flashback sequence Hal’s father, a reverend no less, gives his son some advice in his delirious near-death state, by telling him to only go for the “hot young tail” with amazing “cans”. Cut forward to present day where Hal and his best mate Mauricio (Jason Alexander) are hanging out in clubs trying unsuccessfully to pull the sexy ladies. They both have

with Monsters Inc. creating pure movie magic with its seamless animation, cheery execution and witty storytelling. Although is

doesn’t quite reach the heights of either Toy Story film, Monsters Inc. is still one of the better family films you’ll see all year and has a mortal lock on landing a nomination in the Oscars’ first ever feature-length animation category. So even if you have issues with ‘kids films’ still go out and see this. It’s one to keep an eye on. Jane Eyre

certain issues – Hal, for one, considers Britney Spears to be “too muscular” and Mauricio is about to dump his girlfriend for having an index toe that is marginally longer than her big toe. However a chance encounter with a self-help guru in a lift gives Hal a miraculous new perspective on life. He is hypnotised so that he only sees peoples’ inner beauty, or as his pal Mauricio puts it, he receives “beer goggle laser surgery.” Almost immediately, Hal begins scoring with some eager beauties (or “rhino’s” if you will, again eloquently put by Mauricio) that he would not have given the time of day before. He then meets Rosemary (Paltrow) and instantly falls in love, as he only sees our Gwyneth, not the three of her that everyone else does. This paves the way for plenty of sight gags and misunderstandings as, for instance, Rosemary orders half the menu before her chair collapses beneath her weight, much to Hal’s bewilderment. All of these gags involve the thin Gwyneth, as the Gwyneth in the 300lb fat-suit version is held back until the end, rather unusually for a pair of directors who are renowned for showing anything that will generate a laugh. Before that, they quietly build up a ‘Shrek-style ‘don't judge by appearances’ theme, with an ‘ugly vs beautiful’ argument that sways from borderline offensive to so saccharinesweet it will have you gurning into your popcorn bucket. Black moves into his first leading role with ease and his relationship with Paltrow is almost believable, but the key to the directors’ comedy lies in visual gags, and in Shallow Hal they are few and far between (most are shown in the trailer). Consistently amusing, but never hilarious, the movie tends to be unsure as to whether what it is saying is actually that funny, and the message at the centre is alarmingly sentimental for a pair of filmmakers who invented the term ‘gross-out’. Howard Calvert


f someone mentions John Goodman, you cannot help but think of his character Dan in the massively successful sitcom Roseanne. For nine years, Goodman portrayed the working class man to perfection and often overshadowed Roseanne herself, and it is through this role he achieved international recognition. He was born in 1952 and raised by his mother and brother after his father died. In 1975 he moved to New York to act. After acting on the stage for a while, he took small roles in big screen productions in the early 80s, including a minor part in the Coen brothers, Raising Arizona and the part of Coach Harris in Revenge of the Nerds (1984). But it wasn’t until Roseanne that Goodman became a household name and was the introduction he needed for bigger parts in the movie industry. Goodman impressed many with his comic talents in Roseanne and he has used these talents in films as well. In 1991 he took the title role in King Ralph, playing the common American who becomes King of England when the whole Royal Family dies. Although a slightly outlandish storyline, Goodman plays the part brilliantly. Also in 1991, he took the part of a travelling salesman with a secret in Barton Fink, which was a role that was better received, and he played the exterminator in the creepy Arachnophobia. He also demonstrated his dramatic abilities too, and received critical acclaim for his role as the famous baseball player Babe Ruth in The Babe. He has also been praised for his role of Detective Sherman in Sea of Love (1989). In 1993 he took the lead role in Matinee, as Lawrence Woolsey, a film promoter in this sendup of exploitation films. Perhaps his most successful film, where he played the lead role, is as Fred in The Flintstones, where he is utterly convincing as the good-natured oaf, bringing the cartoon character to life alongside Rick Moranis as Barney Rubble. He even manages to ‘yabba-dabba-do!’ This film was a summer blockbuster in 1994, grossing $37 million in the first weekend. As well as loving movies and acting, he is also very musically talented, along with Dan Akroyd and Jim Belushi, he has formed a newer version of the Blues Brothers (1998) and performs frequently in New Orleans. In 1997 he starred opposite Jim Broadbent and Hugh Laurie as Ocious P. Potter in The Borrowers; in 1998 he starred in The Big Lebowski with Jeff Bridges and Steve Buscemi; and in Martin Scorcese’s Bringing out the Dead (1999). One recent smash, was his role in Coyote Ugly, as Violetís dad. As well as appearing in films, he also lends his voice to animated films. He lent his voice to Disney for The Emperors New Groove (2000) as the llama herder Pacha and as the voice of Sully in Disney’s Monsters Inc (2002). He has shown he can do almost any type of film and whatever he does next is bound to be a success. Kate Shaw

Actor Profile: John Goodman

MONSTERS INC Starring the voices of: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi, Mary Gibbs, James Coburn




White Lightening In association with


150 people packed screen six at the UGC last week for the launch of the Gair Rhydd Film Club, munching on free popcorn thanks to UGC and KPMG. The fun continues this week with The Cider House Rules. Join the Gair Rhydd Film Club for free by taking along the voucher below and get in for just £2 every week. Wednesday @ 2pm.

et in rural Maine in the mid 1940’s, The Cider House Rules is a heart warming story which teaches that

destiny is uncontrollable, however much you fight it. During a period where abortion are illegal, St Clouds Orphanage provides a haven for expectant mothers who either want to leave a baby, or get rid of one. Homer Wells (Tobey Maguire) is the oldest unadopted resident of the orphanage, and is taken under the wing of Doctor Larch (Michael Caine), who teaches him with the invaluable knowledge of medicine. Like most young adults however, Homer feels he needs to experience life for himself and goes instead to be ‘of use’ in an orchard picking apples for a cider business. Here he falls in love with the beautiful Candy (Charlize

Theron) and fills the gap of her boyfriend (Paul Rudd) who is away at war. It is in the simple apple picking business, so different from the toil of life in the orphanage, that Homer learns the valuable lessons of life, love and a sense of belonging. It is clear to see why the John Irving novel became and instant success as a film. The heavy subject matter is tastefully conveyed and the love story allowed to shine through. The Cider House Rules is set to bring tears to your eyes and leave you with the feel good buzz. Kate Dorsett –Bailey. You can’t miss the opportunity to see this classic film on the big screen, this Wednesday at 2pm at the UGC Cinema in Cardiff. Join for free on the day with the form to the right.

Free Tickets

The weekly film competition is back for 2002. We have five pairs of UGC Cinema tickets to be used any time, even at the Gair Rhydd Film Club. To win just answer the following question and drop us an e-mail at with “Film Competition 712” in the subject box. Simple eh? Jump to it!

What is the name of the actress pictured to the right who is in the Gair Rhydd Film Club movie, The Cider House Rules?

Membership Application Name:................................................. E-mail:................................................ Mobile:................................................

COMING UP: Almost Famous, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Traffic, Hannibal, The Thin Red Line, Schindler’s List, The Wild Bunch

Non-Sabbatical Elections 2002

Election Special

Welcome to the Non-Sabbatical elections Otherwise known as ‘Everything you need to know about the Non-Sabbatical elections but were afraid to ask’

By the Returning Officer, James Sommerville

Aren’t the Non-Sabbaticals pretty unimportant?

Absolutely not. They are responsible for representing a particular group of students here at Cardiff. As well as proposing and seeing through to fruition policy and events, they form the majority of the executive committee of the Union along with full-time sabbatical officers. Many if not most of the decisions made by the Union are made or ratified by the committee. Non-Sabbs are VITAL to the well-being of the Union.

How long to they serve for?

Non-Sabbatical Officers serve for one year.

Why bother having elections if only one person is running?

These positions are each for a very important executive position, so just because only one person is going for it doesn’t mean they deserve to get it. Every candidate runs against RON – to Re-Open Nominations. Although no candidate has never yet lost to RON there is always a first time. Have a read of the manifestoes and, if you don’t like what you see, vote RON.

When will the remaining positions be filled?

see and vote for the candidates running using the simple interface. Votes are now counted using the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system rather than the old, less democratic First Past the Post method. This means that you order the candidates in terms of your preference rather than simply choosing one. In the event that no candidate gets a clear majority of first choices then the least favoured candidate is eliminated and their second choice votes re-distributed. This continues until someone is the clear winner. This system is favoured by the Electoral Reform Society and is considered very fair. While it won’t really affect voting in these elections, it will most likely have a huge effect on future contested elections.

Vote Now!

Remember, your Union will be run by these people. By voting you are showing that you care, and also showing the University and other outside organisations we are a strong and vibrant Union, and worthy of the support they give us, including financial assistance. A poor turnout may mean that YOUR club, society, welfare support, bar, shop and nightclub may be affected in the future.

Where can I vote?

You can vote between 9am and 5pm in the following places • The Union (1st and 2nd floors) • The Graduate Centre • Trevithick (the JCR) • Maths Building Cybercafe • Glamorgan Building Coffee Shop • Redwood Building Cybercafe • Humanities Coffee Shop • Aberconway Snack Bar • Tower Building Cybercafe

There will be a by-election after Easter for the remaining positions of Students With Disabilities Officer, Mature Students Officer, You can also vote between 5and 7pm at the following Halls Athletic Union Vice-President, and IMG Chair, and any position where RON wins. • Aberdare Hall (Reception) • University Hall (Refectory) How do I vote? • Talybont (Social Centre) Voting will be done using our new Electronic System on PCs around Campus When will the results be out? (see below). You’ll need to show your University card to one of the elections staff, There will be a count on the night of the 14th, and the results will be announced in who will then log you on to the system. You’ll then be able to select positions and the Gair Rhydd.

ABOVE: The old system of paper voting has now been replaced with a new high tech system. ALSO: Jubilant scenes at the election count

Who is running this year? Seven candidates have put themselves forward for the non-sabbatical elections, which are happening this week. The irony – each are running for a different position. The candidates are listed below Position Postgraduate Officer International Affairs Officer Xpress Radio Station Manager Welsh Affairs Officer Athletic Union Vice President Black and Ethnic Affairs Officer Women’s Officer

Candidate David John Manning Natasha Amaradasa Hiten Vaghmaria Geraint Brython Edward Alexander Menary Freena Ayesha Chawdhry Melanie Whitter

Proposed Mel Whitter J K Jolly Holly Jones David Thomas Tom Glenister K Khattak Hannah Baker

Seconded Carys James Sally Mills Ben Clifton Fflur Owens Adam Crispin J K Jolly Lucy Lillim

Voting 13th and 14th February


Do you have a few hours to spare?

If so, we have vacancies on our projects working with children with Learning Difficulties.

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with Duracell plus AA batteries while stocks last

Volunteering opportunities are available in both educational and play settings. Gain invaluable experience for your CV and have fun! All expenses are paid!

To find out more, call in to the Student Volunteering Office, 3rd Floor SU, next to the Games Room.

Tel: 029 20 781472 E-mail



The Gair Rhydd Features Section Free Word 712

What’s love got to do with it?

As February 14th approaches, Felix Inman strides forth in an annual rant about the commercialised holiday fond to too many. Pity the poor bugger


lap me and throw me to that angry bunch of wild boars dribbling in the corner as I reveal an only occasionally unveiled side to my columncharacter – the cynical one, paternally inherited I might add, to alleviate any responsibility on my behalf. Cynicism, that wonderful characteristic full of snide remarks, quashed hopes, battered dreams, all joining together nicely to point at that other warming word, ‘realism’. But then Madame Dictionary points at quite a different range of definitions: believing the worst of others – especially that all acts are selfish, showing contempt for accepted standards – in particular of honesty and morality. Well hey, whatever the meaning, I’m afraid dear reader, that I’ve momentarily joined the ancient Greek sect that scorns all worldly things. The reason for my lapse into despair is due to the endearing-to-the-masses fact that Valentine’s day is upon us. That sunshine-filled day where unsuspected lovers unite by the help of a card complete with over-used clichés, where full-time lovers grow closer for one magic minute then fall out ‘cause the male entity hasn’t been up to indulging in the madness of mass consumerism and bought the female a heavily-priced accessory, and where the population of singletons are forced to either endure the loveydoveynesss of organised national romance with a casual ‘humph’, or are inspired with the entertaining idea of wallowing in that vast pool of self-pity. Whatever happens, I refuse to be a player in this union of smut. Okay, so my history is void of receiving any relatively ahh!-worthy cards, flowers or chocolates. But even if I had, the cards would have been forced to collect dust under the dog’s basket, the flowers fed for a week then left to wilt, and the chocolates, well, if they weren’t Cadbury’s then I’m sure they would have

grabbed the attention of the brown and white pleasure waiting patiently in the basket. As far as I’m concerned, inkeeping with the general flow of this article, all the above efforts display an exceeding lack of imagination. Valentine’s Day, and all its paraphernalia, the language and symbolism of love, seems to enforce all the gender stereotypes and convention of l’amour heterosexuel. According to popular stereotype, it’s all about heartfelt romantic gestures and sacrificial offerings at the altar of true lurve. Cards are carefully selected for their apparent meaning, anonymous messages are cautiously composed, envelopes sealed with loving slobber, and sensuous bundles of flowers are either picked to start up or re-affirm a love affair. If this seems to be what gets one’s heart racing then excuse me while I blow myself over. If gift-giving is fiscal-foreplay then how many frickin’ women are not being satisfied? You seriously can’t escape the tempest of dissatisfaction and complaints emanating from the lips of females with regards to the impotence of their partners in choosing the right present. That’s not about love is it? Nah, it’s about proving to the love in question that your wallet’s obese, that your imagination’s un-worked, and that any kind of spontaneity is firmly controlled. Again and again I hear women in a flummoxed frenzy over what to buy, how much they ought to spend, and what to do with the day they’ve been blessed with by the national calendar. Men don’t seem to be too consumer-minded with this particular event, and generally spend more on gifts for Mother’s Day than they do on February 14th. For the people who have lost love, haven’t found it, or just cannee be arsed to search, they are left to sit in that dark corner of the bar, excluded, praying for the smooching to cease so life can return to it’s down-beat normality. And it always does. For those few relationships that bloom after

enduring this day, the commitment to follow spells V Day apathy. People get bored. But like Christmas and Easter, every national day has its roots, which over the centuries turns into legend, then into myth, then to a non-specific point when no one knows what the hell they’re celebrating or why, but all doubt is swept away under that colourful umbrella of tradition. Does anyone know why this day exists? I don’t. All I have is a string of amorphous tales, combining both Christian and Roman tradition who talk of Saint Valentine the Beheaded. Tradition dictates to us the story of a priest alive in the Roman Empire before Christianity was permitted. Yet, some legends believe that he wasn’t a priest but a young man who helped Christians escape the torture common in Roman prisons. Both traditions claim Valentine was arrested and sent to Rome, where he was imprisoned and became headless. Then other legends maintain that the first valentine was sent during his life. At the eve of Valentinus’ execution, he was said to have written a letter to a young girl who had brought him food whilst he was banged up. He wrote her a message and closed the delightful note with ‘from your Valentine.’ Random sources say that Valentinus was executed on February 14 around AD 270. Another quasi-convincing tale rants on about

Emperor Claudius who forbade marriage ‘cause his men wouldn’t go to war if it meant leaving their loved ones behind. St Valentine married people in secret and when Claudius discovered this betrayal, Valentine was put to death. Whatever the legend, they all end in decapitation, so take you pick. Further research reveals that in the middle of this month, Romans celebrated the feast of the goddess Februata Juna. During this feast, Roman virgins placed their name in village public urns. Bachelors then drew names to determine their blind date for the coming season. This day was also believed to be the first day of the mating season of birds. Legend, however, is silent on how this managed to evolve into the commercial nightmare of today. So there you have it. The dilapidated history of the day fond to many, ignored by fewer, and detested by not enough. Try to withstand it whatever the weather, as I’m sure you will. Well I’ve had my diatribe of sceptical wank and I feel refreshed. You see, cynicism is the hard shell coating my hope-filled centre. So now I’ll take my leave but will present you with a gift of reassurance – when I see a randy magpie flapping around fertile nests, I’ll be sure to salute it, raise a glass and trundle amorously on home to my lover.

“If gift-giving is fiscal-foreplay then how many frickin’ women are not being satisfied?”

FocusFocusFocus INSIDE FOCUS THIS WEEK: A day in the life of a law student • Lonely hearts at Valentines • Exercising is the new black • Celebrity gossip •

Focus • 12

Gair Rhydd Monday 11th February 2002

Are you lonesome tonight?


February 14th may provide some of you with some sweet loving, but for many people it’s a lonely time. More young people are using lonely hearts columns and this Valentine’s, Melanie Harrison questions why ...

uperman seeks his Lois Lane (aged between 20 and 28). Interests: flying, first aid and comics. Come and help me save the world! Have you ever written something as

cringe-worthy as this in order to find love? If so you, apparently, are not alone. It is true that many of us have never dreamed of putting an ad in the newspaper which proclaims to all and sundry that we are looking for that special someone or ‘soul mate.’ But clearly some people have ventured into those areas of dating where GSOH (Good Sense Of Humour) and WLTM (Would Like To Meet) become commonly used phrases. And it also appears that there has been a dramatic rise in the number of eighteen to twenty-five-year-olds applying to lonely-hearts columns. These young people do not want to be alone; very few people do, especially with the surplus of images, songs, and books telling us it is unnatural to be single. So perhaps while flicking through a glossy issue of Elle, or browsing the internet these people have decided to change their lives as quickly as it takes to change their hair colour. There must be something to be said for the columns otherwise people would never have resorted to them. Think about it seriously for one moment – not being dragged on cosy ‘double dates’ with friends of friends, no fuss, no need for catching the eye of some drunkard across the Solus dancefloor. Just simply write a few (hopefully) truthful words about yourself and watch the replies and nights out roll in. But what are the real bonuses of meeting a partner in this way? A trip down the Union on a Wednesday evening is not a bad or particularly unusual place or time to pull someone you like the look of. Indeed the majority of students try this method on a regular basis. But is this the foundation for a lasting relationship? What dating agencies and lonely-hearts columns can provide that nightclubs generally cannot are people with an instantly similar outlook on life, similar interests and the right level of attractiveness all wrapped up in a made-to-measure date. Perhaps

to some young people, lonely hearts equals neediness, love and respect rather than just lust and one night stands. If increasing numbers of people like us are using dating services, it must mean that it is not just the really hopeless ones who recognise the benefits. It means making a concerted effort to hook up with different blokes/girls that you wouldn’t necessarily come into contact with if you stayed inside your own social group. It means taking a scary step into the unknown. Maybe this in itself is an attraction. It is no longer just the domain of divorced single parents, but also of slightly shy young things looking to meet people in a controlled atmosphere. However, it is, as everybody knows though few are likely to admit, human nature to lie or ‘dramatically conceal the truth.’ Just as the estate agent’s ‘compact’ means ‘cramped’ and ‘spacious’ means ‘draughty,’ the same is true of the small ads. People tend to ‘overlook’ their faults. Sad though it may seem, the people advertising in the lonely hearts are likely to have baggage, or be people who cannot be taken at face value. On the other hand, meetings with anyone anywhere can be like this because many people have hidden depths. However, in the columns you could be lied to twice, on paper and face to face. Secondly, surely introduction agencies/columns have a sad/bad reputation for a reason? Dodgy weirdos can and do prey on unsuspecting lonesome folk. Admittedly chatrooms are regarded as the lowest of low places to meet a date and agencies tend to have security guidelines, but they don’t hold your hand all the way. You would be better off gathering a few mates and hitting the town to find a more relaxed and less dubious catch. Also, of course, statistically few of the people who meet on a ‘blind date’ stay together anyway. Call me a cynic, but it is true, Cilla being the prime example. Youth (and university) is about putting yourself forward, getting out into the real world, having the guts to put your neck on the line and make a prat of yourself asking Mr or Mrs Gorgeous out. So join a society or club involving something you are interested

A day in the life of... In an attempt to investigate the truths behind the myths and stereotypes of Cardiff’s student population and to play the investigative journalist, Stephanie McIntosh spies on the diligent entrepreneurs, the slackers or the honest hard-workers. And to start the proceedings, perhaps the most perplexing breed of all, the law student


y first encounter of Cardiff’s law hopefuls is a confident young fellow called Dean. He fits quite easily into the stereotype with his arrogant, loud-mouthed manner, complete with “insightful” comments such as, “Law and Medicine are the only worthwhile degrees.” He informs me he is destined for a big money job, and intends to achieve this even if it does mean he puts in ten hours of reading for every tutorial. It is hard to believe that people like this exist, but surely this is not the typical template for a law student? I decided to attend a lecture to find out. Throwing myself in at the deep end I trundled along to the highly-inviting 2pm ‘Trust’ module. This is a compulsory subject, reflected in the full attendance of the lecture theatre. I looked around me and was informed by those sitting close by of the various social groups within the theatre. There are the Law Society ‘Rugger Buggers’ with their smelly

aftershave and shirt collars starchily turned up. The ‘Bimbos,’ overly made-up but pretty ladies in tight trousers and even tighter tops. And finally the ‘Keen’, those who rush to the front middle seats knocking over unsuspecting students in their sprint for the favoured positions. It is interesting to note there are no stylised indie kids, goths, skateboarders or gold be-jewelled townies. Everyone is inoffensive, classically dressed. These people are here to learn. The lecture itself is only an hour long, although it felt as if I had been sitting there for at least ten years. The lecturer, who looks disturbingly like a frog (not helped by his brown and green colour coordinated outfit) leaps about the lecture theatre rapidly dictating ‘this section’ and ‘that case’, waving his red laser pen at any student who may have gone into a coma. There is only one word for this lecture. Boring. I left the theatre with a growing sense of sympathy for the students, as I watched them

in, hell even come and write for Gair Rhydd. These are noncontrived, natural ways of finding the right someone, people with your own interests. They might already be right under your nose. People read small ads to have a laugh. All that ‘Cupid’s arrow,’ ‘snugglebunny’ mumbo jumbo is neither impressive nor genuinely heartfelt. It is funny. Everyone prefers (and deserves) a face-toface introduction. Declaring yourself as a lonely heart is as good as saying ‘Don’t touch me with a bargepole because other people haven’t.” The truth is that the majority of us like people that others are interested in. The reason that the popular people are so popular is that they act as if they have lots of friends. Lonely hearts does just the opposite, even if the person is not desperate and unpopular. Being in a relationship with someone who you trust and care about is desirable, but it’s ultimately better to wait for or even actively seek this in the three-dimensional world, than to plump for any old second best you read about in the local newspaper. And what’s so bad about being single anyway? More money, more time for friends and shopping, sports, drinking and having fun. This is what really matters.

What would you put as an entry in a Lonely Hearts Column? In the name of investigative journalism we’ll be putting an an advert in a local rag to check out the talent in South Wales. What should we put in? Email us at : The winner gets...well nothing, except out eternal gratitude and maybe some respect if it’s vaguely amusing.

Best lecture: Press and Media Law Worst lecture: Land Law Society: Inns of Court - Annual ball, trip to Dublin, “swanky parties” (their words!) What Law Students say About Themselves: Hardworking, confident, witty(!) clever, competitive. What Others Say About Law Students: Arrogant, diligent, focused, posh, ruggerbuggers. vigorously shaking out their writing arms in attempt to regain circulation. I decided to check out cliquey world of the law library afterwards, only to discover that most of the students in the theatre have beaten me there, their noses pressed to over-sized law books a look of confusion and desperation on their faces. The library is sectioned off into three parts, group work, quiet and silent. As I walked through the latter I’m sure I was given distasteful looks, as if I am an alien invading their planet. Those who do talk to me give me a mixed outlook on law degree life. Some give me useful hints on which lectures are so confusing you must attend and those you can afford to skip (there are some slackers after all). But in general I am told you really have to visit the library everyday to keep up, a minimum of three hours is advised.

This concept seem strange to me, seeing as they have an average amount of lectures a week (8-12 hours) and a relatively easy-going five or six essays a term. I ask myself, do law students really need to work this hard or do they just like looking busy? Today’s law students are yesterday’s kids that used to say they wanted to be a lawyer to impress their teachers, so perhaps this mentality has stayed with them into university. Or perhaps I’m being too hard on the poor mites. I certainly was struck dumb by the endless stream of dictation the Trust lecturer churned out, and don’t envy those left to make sense of it. One honest lad said to me “Most of us law students think our course is harder than it actually is. It’s really just a hell of a lot of reading through large and boring books.” If this really is the case, then hats off to them. They’re welcome to it.


n a freakish attempt to achieve something in my life, I decided to join a fitness class. Having carefully selected one at an appropriate level of fitness (beginners) I trotted eagerly off to Park Place to book it, only to find my plans had been scuppered by those mysterious people who are actually organised enough to book a week in advance, as opposed to three minutes before the class. However, undeterred I determined to book a different session. I emerged with triumph some minutes later having booked myself in for ‘Funky Pump,’ a rather cool and hip sounding workout. Later that week I arrived with the necessary accessories: friend (so as not to appear a loner), water bottle (with cool sports top), carefully selected outfit, and energy tablets (in case of faintness or nausea, highly likely with my postChristmas cholesterol levels). I gave in my ticket and glancing at the list of classes realised with a sickening jolt that ‘Funky Pump’ was an advanced level class for ‘those who are after something a bit more challenging.’ The sinking feeling in my gut deepened when I entered the room to find a skinny and athletic looking crowd of girls in spray on lycra tops and shorts. Feeling rather shabby in my trackies and polo shirt I was glad I had bought the requisite friend, who was sporting similar attire. Before I had time to change my mind and make a run for the door, the instructor entered, wheeling an abandoned Tesco trolley, instantly making me homesick for Talybont, my former home of revelry and student fun. Inside the trolley was an assortment of weights and everyone walked over to them and picked out two. Then the torture began and I didn’t have a chance to look back. At first I just laughed in disbelief but soon stopped when I glanced around at the room to find that everyone else was perfectly executing the complicated routine of ‘Step, turn, grapevine, lunge, jump, left, kick and rotate.’ On the second try I mastered the step and then the jump, but in between was a blur and before I knew it we were onto the next routine. I avoided my friend’s eye, because I could feel the helpless giggles welling up at my fumbling attempts to

Is belly gonna get you? Focus • 13

Gair Rhydd Monday 11th February 2002 learn the steps. Escape crossed my mind as I glanced at the clock to find with a rising panic that only two minutes had passed out of the scheduled hour and fifteen, but steeling myself I decided to stick it out for a bit longer and put it down to one of life’s experiences never to be repeated. After a while I began to loosen up and the steps came more easily. I found myself striving to be as toned and fluid as the lycra-clad goddesses in front of me. I really tried for about half an hour and then exhausted looked at the clock and realised it was still only ten minutes into the class. I ashamedly went and got a drink from my sports-top-state-of-theart water bottle and ended up swearing at the damn thing because the lid was stuck and I had to drink from it like a normal bottle after all. Feeling rather deflated I looked at my friend who was doing depressingly well and had started chanting ‘left, right, lunge and turn’ under her breath. Before my very eyes she had become one of the ‘higher beings.’ And then to my growing delight I noticed someone in the opposite corner of the room who actually appeared to be doing worse than me. She couldn’t master the basic ‘v’ step, which I had got perfectly in the first five minutes. With a sigh of responsibility I decided it was my duty to get back out there and show her how it was done. An hour later I was grey with fatigue and sweating like George Bush when asked to name the capital of America. And still it went on. We were on the stomach crunches (more flop than crunch) when I finally gave up with only five minutes to go, I lay there on my expertly crafted air mat and stared at the ceiling with a serene smile on my face. I closed my eyes and relaxed into the mat. It was over! The sense of relief and exhilaration that I felt may go some way to explain the extraordinary actions which I took after the class, actions which I can still not account for and will probably forever remain one of life’s mysteries. I walked out of the room and actually booked the same class for next week. Might see you there in my new disguise as a toned lycra goddess.

Even the laziest of us can have a laugh a doing exercise, as Nicola York found out at ‘Funky Pump’ aerobics at the Park Place Gym

Being overweight can have serious implications for your health. Martyn Edwards takes a look at the student lifestyle and asks how we can all get a little bit trimmer


eing ‘fit’ doesn’t just mean that you can enjoy getting your bum pinched on the way to the bar...Picture the scene: late September 1999, a young man trying to look windswept and interesting is hauling a lava lamp and a suitcase full of sock, pants, pornography and a speculative pack of condoms up a Talybont staircase. It’s his first day at university and he weighs a sprightly 12 stones and six pounds, resembling something of a young Cliff Richard in his early days as an amateur tennis player. He’s never smoked, never had a proper kebab and he’s never surpassed more than seven pints in a single night out. Now fast-forward, two cigars and the night is very young. He’s on the phone to his girlfriend giving her a slurred rendition of “Horny.” He weighs 14 stones and five pounds and, fed up with the after taste of kebabs from the night before, he’s progressed instead to a Ramons’ super-mega breakfast the morning after. He doesn’t think to stop and ask himself “Where did it all go wrong?” I feel compelled to make this sorry comparison between two defining moments of my life as I struggle to come to terms with the aftermath of a Christmas that went very much Pete Tong in terms of what are now two of my New Year’s resolutions – to drink less and to watch what I eat. Did I overindulge myself this Christmas? Is the Pope a Catholic who shits in the woods? It was with some relief then that I turned on the TV and caught episode two of the new docu-soap Fat Club and saw people who were certainly far worse-off than I. A very, very fat man had just broken the steps of a swimming pool that the larger-than-life volunteers were ‘exercising’ in, and was subsequently being patted and reassured by very fat man one and very fat man two.

The first thing I asked myself was “Are the people that made this programme taking the piss?” I mean, even if it was good TV, surely they are just exploiting very, very fat people for the sake of a cheap laugh and to generate half-hearted sighs of sympathy from viewers. This is not to say, however, that being simply overweight in comparison to being obese isn’t a problem or damaging to a person’s health because it certainly is. Recent Government figures showed that that up to 43 percent of men and 32 percent of women in Britain are overweight. Fat Club aside, the problem is that apart from potentially motivating the small majority of seriously obese Britons who might have been watching the programme, it only served to put the rest of us semi-porkies into a comfort zone. At the end of my first year in university, I took stock of myself. Yes, I was chubbier than I had been when I’d arrived fresh-faced the previous September but I thought that once I got used to the lifestyle then the excess baggage would be magically shed and I would resemble some sort of caterpillar becoming a butterfly. The problem was, and still is, that all students form part of a subculture, whether we like it or not, and as students are given the freedom to behave badly. We are almost expected by everyone to treat our bodies like a branch of KFC rather than the temple that it’s supposed to be. I do think that university is a learning curve where we can experiment with drink and drugs, where we learn to cook, clean and look after ourselves. The problem is that we begin to form bad habits and if they go unchecked, they will come back to haunt us in later life. Being

overweight can cause loads of problems – intense strain on your knees and ankles, back problems and the really scary one, heart disease. I personally don’t want to have to have an operation forty years down the line where heart valves or capillaries that used to belong to one Mr Porky.A.Pig Esq. are used to replace some of my own. So what is the answer? It’s a tricky one and if I knew it completely then I’d be living in a big white house in California with my own home-shopping channel, flogging dodgy gym equipment and overpriced nutritional shakes that look like a diarrhoea sample in a glass. There are hundreds and hundreds of books, videos, web-sites and magazines that really only regurgitate the same snippets of information. I trawled through some of the best and came up with the list of top three tips below that will hopefully lead you to a life filled with increased happiness, sex, fitness and a nice warm glow. So save your money and read on: 1. Let’s deal with the hardest first – CUT DOWN ON ALCOHOL. Although famous lard arse John Travolta cut all his portions in half to lose 5-6 stones, most of us are not in the same league as Travolta was (he’d allegedly binged his way to 21 stone). If we cut our food intake in half, many of us wouldn’t actually be eating anything. So the reason for that little mound of fat snugly resting below all our respective nipples is the old table-to-hand-to-mouth and swallow exercise. For those of us who don’t come from Bangkok, that just means drinking alcohol. How you cut down depends on you; only you know how much you can drink and therefore, only you know to what extent you should moderate. 2. It doesn’t get any easier folks – EXERCISE.

Gyms are great places: women in spandex, men in silly little shorts and machines obviously designed by an astro-physicist with a sense of humour. For those of us who are new to this keep fit malarkey then ‘cardiovascular’ is not an STD but a form of exercise that makes us red faced and out of breath and no, we are not back in Bangkok territory. Running, cycling, swimming, or brisk walking for about 20 minutes at a time is good for keeping your heart, lungs and other purple internal bits healthy, as well as helping you to lose weight. Sport does not just give you an opportunity to pull and make friends, is also great exercise. So next time you are in the Union have a look and think about joining a club. 3. EATING – A tricky one this. We all need vitamins, minerals, protein, fibre, marrow bone jelly and even a little bit of fat in our diets for our bodies to work. Most supplements tend to be expensive so basically try and eat some fruit or veg every day (and no, five portions a day does not mean five raisins or five peas). Eat a bit of meat, cheese, eggs, or milk and try and manage some pasta, rice, bread or cereal. Basically, everything in moderation. Like anything else, it will take time and a lot of patience. Try to set yourself realistic goals and to incorporate exercise into your schedule without sacrificing lectures or other commitments. If you do go out on the piss, do so less frequently and more as a reward for sticking to parts of the diet or exercising hard. It’s more of a case of finding a reasonable middle ground between being a Jim Royle and a Geri Halliwell, and it is worth remembering that people differ greatly in how easily they lose or put on weight.

Focus • 14

gairrhydd 2001-2002

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Gair Rhydd Monday 11th February 2002

POPSCENE: According to Abbi Shaw, it’s all gone a bit French in pop, and here is what she thinks of it


ince the dawn of pop, Britain has been at the front of the market. We have raised and nurtured a veritable multitude of dubious talent, each act more sparkly and glittery than the one before, and this is one of the things that makes this country great. The rest of the world muscled in, most notably the Americans, by transforming the humble popstar into a multimedia extravaganza. But we forgive them everything, even N*Sync, because they gave us Britney. Australia made its own Popscene via the medium of Neighbours – just take a moment to think that this soap spawned Natalie Imbruglia, the fabulous Kylie and Jason, and the not-very-popular-here-butonce-in-Top-of-the-Pops-magazine boyband Human Nature. Europe undoubtedly has its own pop music, but we don’t have to listen to a great deal of it, because ours is better. Occasionally we have touches of Nordic rock infiltrating the system with The Wannadies, The Cardigans and Fragma, but generally speaking, that’s because they’re prettier than us. One thing that we never get to hear, that does somewhat distress me is the absence of Japanese pop in the world charts. It really is the best, is Japanese pop. My point here is, that we, the English-speaking universe, have dominated the pop market since time began. And the reason I am addressing this matter at all is that it has come to my notice that our dear popsters are just not satisfied with

having conquered this universe. Oh no, now, they want more. This season, pop will mostly be conducted in French. The French aren’t particularly fond of our pop, it appears. The reason for this does not seem to be that they have their own, better pop. It is, as far as I can see, based on little more than a rejection of it on the grounds that it is not in their language. A valid point or not, they have spurned our glorious pop idols in favour of, well, Celine Dion and Tina Arena, both of whom returned to their native linguistic tendencies when they realised that we in these pop-advanced countries can quite honestly do without their ridiculous warblings. So, to try and rescue this desperate state of affairs, our own stars have begun to pander to this closed market by recording their songs in the Gallic tongue. Robbie Williams began the trend, for he is the trendsetter of our generation, by releasing a version of Supreme in French, for the French. I believe it did quite well. Geri Halliwell, one of the best imitators this world has to offer us, released a French version of Calling, and then, following hot on her heels like the well-trained show dog that she is, Victoria Beckham’s new single will also have a French version to accompany it. So, what with our foremost pop people pandering to the rest of the world by making their fans unable to understand a word they emit, should we all run off, brush up our GCSE French, and prepare ourselves for

massive doses of sludge-filled ballads, shunning Britney, A1 and Ronan for their lack of multi-linguistic abilities? Of course not. Fear not people, I have a plan. We get a group of Japanese schoolgirls, dress them as cyber-punks and teach them a reactionary and very post-modern musical diatribe written entirely in Welsh. They’ll obliterate Robbie, I tell you. Nonsense aside, however, I am quite worried about pop’s desire to leave our shores and harbour itself across the channel as if it were on some tricky tax excursion. Don’t leave us, pop, we do need you. We love our American and Australian pop, but quite honestly, we need our British noise, as it keeps the wheels of this country turning. And if you do leave us, and make a dramatic success in France, you know what will happen, don’t you? Celine Dion would come here, in your stead, to fill the gap in our market. And that would be lamentable.

Tara gets ski high In an attempt to report some celebrity news Daniel Barnes considers the greatness of Tara PalmerTompkinson and what a tragedy Darius’s loneliness is


he hottest celebrity news this week is so hot that it is nearly ice-cold. To begin with, Tara PalmerTompkinson is taking a skiing holiday next week. She announced this whilst on This Morning, reviewing a new collection of stockings and suspenders, which sent John Lesley into paralysis. Fortunately, we are deeply interested in what Tara is and isn’t doing with her life. As a socialite, it is her job to basically hang around and get in the news, usually by proxy, when somebody has taken too many drugs and got too crazy. But it’s nice to know what she is

doing in the world. You too can follow her every move on her wonderful and thrilling website We love her and she is the best woman in the world. The auditions for Kym Marsh’s replacement in Hear’Say took place in a ditch in Brixton this week. Of all the good-looking sublime young hopefuls who stood there waiting to catch a glimpse of the plastic popsters themselves was Gair Rhydd’s very own music editor Gemma Curtis. Having auditioned, she was disappointed to be unable to attend the recall on Monday due to a prior engagement. The funniest thing about the

auditions was that Hear’Say themselves walked down the line of hopefuls and gave a much sought after yellow ticket for people who fit the pre-decided ‘look’ for the new member. This is exactly how Nazi Germany started, as Basil Fawlty said, people making sweeping judgements based on their useless prejudices. Having been kicked out of the Pop Idol, Darius has admitted that the pressures of fame have only served to highlight his loneliness. The only woman in his life is his mum, but he is looking for a girlfriend now and hopes “the situation will change soon”.

What grinds me down...

This week Rev Charles considers the MMR issue in the first of a series of articles on things which, to replicate a phrase, grind him down With all the recent hubbub about the ‘controversial’ MMR vaccine, I have decided that England has, quite possibly, lost itself in a pseudo-American mist of medical hysteria. The percentage of children receiving this vaccine has steadily decreased by around 10% over the last 9 years (from c.85% to c.74% ), and this has, of course, caused an inevitable decrease in the percentage of population immunity. This directly leads to an increase in the number of cases of the diseases (Measles, Mumps & Rubella), which can cause serious health problems if not death. The so-called ‘Herd protection’ is becoming less effective as fewer children are immunised. It seems that over-protective mothers are whipped into this extreme paranoia by the media (people like me, but who don’t have – or are least not studying for – a biomedical degree), and attempt to choose the lesser of the two evils,

as they become aware of the situation. The predictable increase in cases (mainly in London) is partially down to idiotic reporters illegally obtaining confidential information about the Blairs’ son, Leo. The MMR vaccine has been available in England since 1998, although it has been available abroad since the late 1980’s, and the main culprit for all the media hyperbole is Dr Andrew Wakefield, of The Royal Free hospital, London. His research in 1998 into twelve autistic children, which he believes reveals a link between MMR and autism, has been rejected by the British Medical Journal (BMJ), and British Chief Medical Officer (both in 2001). Why could this possibly be? Did he test twenty thousand patients? Ten thousand even? Five hundred then? Nope. However, he has begun lecturing in the US on the contraindications of the triple live MMR vaccine - and has been well received. Typical.

There are 500,000 autistic people in this country - that is one per 120 people (1 in 33 in America). I am afraid, Dr Wakefield, unless 1/2 million children have been born in the UK in the last 3 years, that not all of these cases were due to MMR. In fact, most of the 500,000 people are not children, let alone anyone who has had the vaccine. Once one examines this whole ridiculousness, it is plain to see that while MMR may trigger diseases in some children, there is a fundamental genetic factor which determines the children’s susceptibility in the first place. This is followed by socio-economic factors (diet, habitat etc), and MMR administration is at the bottom of the list. I conclude with an old adage, do not believe everything in the papers, my little cherubs – including this one, of course!

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17 ● Sport

gairrhydd, Monday 11 February 2002



Match report by David Williams

WHEN WALES were dismal against Ireland in October, it was described as a one off. When Argentina humiliated the Dragons in their own lair, it was an upset in a meaningless match. But after the Lansdowne Road horror show, shell-shocked supporters offered no defence of their side. Ireland’s 54-10 defeat of Wales was total and absolute. Graham Henry though was resolute after the drubbing; “We work well together as a PRESSURE: Harris and Henry (Right) both feel it

group of people and the preparation and build up for this test match was excellent. We just didn’t seem to get the rub of the green.” Right-winger Geordan Murphy started the rout with only five minutes gone, capitalising on a defence splitting pass from David Humphreys. Pre-match optimism from the travelling thousands had already been dented when key line-out jumper Chris Wyatt limped off at the first throw. He was soon joined on the sidelines by young hopeful Jamie Robinson, but by that time Wales’ chances of winning were being blown away on the Dublin wind.

Punished Graham Henry must be sick of the sight of Humphreys. The Ulster stand-off punished Wales in Cardiff, and he was no less sympathetic at the famous Dublin ground, as Wales continued to infringe in the scrum and offer unforced errors. Stephen Jones chalked up three points with a solitary penalty, but a close-range try from debutante Paul O’Connell kept the deficit growing.

And indeed the points margin continued to widen after the interval as Murphy scored his second.

Ruthless Man of the moment Jones offered some hope as Wales finally pieced together some effective back moves, the Llanelli number ten forcing his way over the line. But the luck of the Irish proved as true as their passion, Hickie thanking the bounce of the ball for his score, leaving the Welsh fans to turn their attention back to the Guinness.

Mirroring the Cardiff match, Ireland scored three tries in the last ten minutes, showing the same kind of ruthless mindedness that only England normally possess. The 44 points margin is only second to the 51-0 hammering by France in 1998 in Wales’s record championship losses and skipper Scott Quinnell knows that the game against les bleus in a week will be a must win for Wales; “ The game against France in two weeks time at first looks very daunting but we must look to our inner belief and inner selves and look forward to that game”.

Chris Wathan wields the axe after Wales capitulated against the Irish last weekend. Who represents the future of Welsh rugby?







15. Kevin Morgan

5 Has been consistent over recent games but is far too weak in the tackle this time. SAFE

14. Mark Jones

5 Not the right game for the Scarlet speedster. If shown space could fly for Wales. SAFE

13. Andy Marinos

5 Has potential but Bateman, Storey, Taylor and Leigh Davies are all better. SCRAP

12. Iestyn Harris

3 Will be a great player eventually but needs shelter ready for 2003. Put in the A’s. SCRAP

11. Dafydd James

4 Bridgend’s form not helping the Lion. Experienced player who knows where the try-line is. SAFE

10. Stephen Jones

5 Indecisive where Wales vitally needed an influential spark. Good club player but thats it. SCRAP

9. Rob Howley

5 Couldn’t perform behind pathetic pack. Nevertheless, still one of the world’s best. SAFE

1. Spencer John

2 Outscrummaged, out-thought, outdone. Club player dangerously exposed on higher stage. SCRAP

2. Robin McBryde

1 Disgrace. SCRAP

3. Chris Anthony

4 Possible future for the Newport man but lacked any real impact. Better players available. SCRAP

4. Craig Quinnell

3 Tried and tired formula of big hits. Not fit enough, poor handling and thinks he’s a centre. SCRAP

5. Ian Gough

5 Was ineffective in line-out but mainly due to McBryde’s abysmal arm. Good squad man. SAFE

6. Nathan Budgett

4 Virtually absent. There is an abundance of good back-rowers, Budget is not one of them. SCRAP

8. Scott Quinnell

6 No doubting SQ’s class but Wales’ game plan is too dependent upon him. Suffers as a result SAFE

7. Martyn Williams

6 Showed glimpses of prior form but still lazy in the defence. Sinkinson in better form. SCRAP








Sport ● 18

SHOULD HENRY HAVE GONE? Chris Wathan argues yes, but Jeff O’Sullivan thinks not


ales was left feeling strange on Sunday, no doubt

about it. Normally, it's instinctive for fans to reel off a barrage of excuses to defend the honour of their beloved team, whenever said team get soundly beaten. Bad pitch, poor visibility, luck of the bounce, we're going through a bad patch, injuries, the list goes on and on. Yet Welsh rugby fans offered no such excuses on Sunday. And that is why it was right for Graham Henry to go. The thousands that endured the torrid travel to the Emerald Isle also endured the worst performance by a Welsh team for some time. There were no excuses. It was that bad. There is only so far the individual players can take the blame in such situation before the burden can lie firmly upon the shoulders of the management. And that time has come. Yes, the luck was against us. Yes, key players were injured before and during the game. But when every single player underperforms to the extent that was evident on Sunday, there are more deep-rooted problems than any excuse can justify. It is a far cry from the crest of a wave that ‘The Great Redeemer’ arrived on from his native New Zealand. The momentum that carried Henry's Heroes into the World Cup – via victories over England,

France and the Springboks – faded as Grannygate and the press took a stranglehold upon Henry's untouchable position. The mystique of Henry as Wales' saviour was lost as performances dipped, passion died and he deliberately got himself embroiled in the politics of the national game. The reason behind Henry's original countrywide popularity was mainly due to his neutrality as a foreigner, something that was lost as soon as the words "provincial rugby" left his tight-lipped mouth. The only thing holding his position as the country's number one was his coaching reputation, something that – no matter how Wales performed – would always remain intact. Yet this myth was again brutally exposed by the illfated Lions test where both his tactics and manmanagement were publicly questioned. Indeed the Irish game last October is the only time I remember the home crowd booing their national side. This was not done because we were beaten but because the ‘hwyl’ had not been there. Most Welshmen would give anything to pull on that red shirt and when a coach fails to inspire his players to that level of desire something is drastically and undeniably wrong. There are no excuses. Thank you Mr Henry, but you were right. It’s time to go.



H A M B O L I C , disjointed and noncommittal. How better to describe the woeful Welsh performance in the opening match of this season’s Six Nations at Lansdowne Road? A second consecutive record defeat at the hands of rugby behemoths Ireland in but four months.Who’s to blame? Undoubtedly, the Irish were superb. David Humphreys was excellent and his back-line inventive and incisive. And Wales? When Chris Wyatt limped off the pitch early on, the lineout ceased to function. The referee objected to Welsh scrummaging throughout, and the backs, well... There are immediate and serious issues to be addressed. The apparent dearth of on the field communication is worrying, the lamentable show of technique against the Irish was unacceptable at this level and the lack of any discernable game plan was shocking. The forwards, away from the set-pieces, which themselves were horrible to watch, were completely ineffectual. Rucks and mauls were not cleared out and the use of offensive runners was nullified by the constant lack of support. To persevere with the, as of yet, ill equipped league convert Iestyn Harris against a resurgent Ireland was folly. So, it is clear that the blame for this latest debacle lay with the man at the top of the Welsh coaching tree, Graham Henry. The sooner the £250,000 man was back on the plane to

Auckland, the sooner everything would be rosy in the nation’s rugby garden. Vice-chairman of the WRU, Less Williams, in the Western Mail the day after the disastrous events in Dublin called upon Henry to do the honourable thing and fall on his sword. This perfectly illustrated the attitude of the union’s general committee to the Kiwi coach. However, Scott Quinnell, Henry’s captain, was ready to voice his support for Henry. This juxtaposition demonstrates a pertinent point. Whilst Henry retained his players’ loyalty, Mr. Williams and his ilk, men at the very root of Welsh rugby’s dilemma wanted yet another scapegoat. The domestic set-up in Wales is an unmitigated shambles. The game is run in a fashion more akin to a colliery brass band than the multimillion pound concern it actually is. The odd hybrid that is the Welsh-Scottish league doesn’t even command a major sponsor and the new Celtic league is at best a missed opportunity. Henry, despite admitting his own culpability, was never the problem. The inability of those who run the game to come to terms with professionalism is and will continue to be. Graham Henry is a worldclass coach with a proven record, but he was hamstrung from the start. If Welsh rugby is to prosper there has to be cooperation, drive and imagination. Seeking Henry’s resignation was contrary to the best interests of the sport.


gair rhydd sport

gairrhydd, Monday 11 February 2002


It has been agreed by both parties that Graham will leave his position this week

Do I not like that...

THIS WEEK WE ASKED STUDENTS IN THE UNION WHAT THEY THOUGHT ABOUT HENRY. Write to us at Gair Rhydd Sports, Students Union, Park Place, CF10 3QN, email

Comment of the Week Edward John, Geology 3rd Year “It’s a shame, he’s a great coach, and proved it with success before hand. I believe his selection of squads was restricted, too many pressures on him from

the Cardiff based press to pick the big names rather than the in-form players. And whoever comes in will suffer the same pressures. There desperately needs to be something done about the structure, perhaps playing fewer games”.

A Sad day for Welsh rugby?

Welsh structure let him down

Shaun Williams, Politics 2nd year “The teams has not been playing well for far too long now so I suppose he had to go. But he has done a good job overall. I respect him for that. He’ll be a tough act to follow”.

Dafydd Steel, Maths 2nd year “It was a very naive and controversial decision by the management. I’ve had enough of it all”. James, Geology I feel very sorry for him, it’s

not his fault and whoever replaces him will face the same structure which ultimately cost Henry his job. He was probably one of the best coaches in the World but it was hard to stay after the Dublin result. GR Sport: The overwhelming consensus amongst Welsh fans was that he was hard done by. Funny how there was a media frenzy to sack him. Fickle again?

GR Sport will almost certainly print your letter, so start writing and get your views read by fourteen thousand people. The views expressed in these letters are not necessarily those of the newspaper or the editor.

Sport ● 19

gairrhydd, Monday 11 February 2002

First fitness boost for Bluebirds BLUEBIRDS BOURNEMOUTH CARDIFF CITY

1 3

Nabil Hassan

KAV: Notched like the legend he is. OOH AAH

CARDIFF CITY got their promotion campaign back on track with an impressive 3-1 victory at the Fitness First Stadium, last Tuesday. Graham Kavanagh, Robert Earnshaw and Willie Boland grabbed the goals that lifted City to within two points of the play-off places. More importantly both Earnshaw and Gordon came through the match with no reaction to their recent hamstring injuries. And with Peter Thorne almost back from a long-term ankle injury City could have all four of their first choice strikers fit for the crucial promotion run-in. The Bluebirds were always in control of this game and never looked like coming away with anything other than three points. The first goal was classic Cardiff. A sweet passing move which started on the half way line ended with Jason Bowen whipping in a curling cross for Graham Kavanagh to head home for 1-0. Cardiff further increased their lead when Robert Earnshaw headed home a Graham Kavanagh corner. The Bluebirds continued to press and could have gone further ahead if it wasn’t for some superb saves from The Cherries keeper Gareth Stewart. City never looked in danger of conceding with Daniel Gabbidon and Scott Young coping well with a lightweight and lacklustre

Bournemouth attack. Two became three just after half time albeit through controversial circumstances. Bournemouth keeper Stewart appeared to have handled outside the area although replays clearly show he was inside his box when he made contact. The situation was further confused when referee Crick awarded an indirect free-kick apparently for a back pass. Whilst Bournemouth argued their case Earnshaw passed quickly from outside the area to Willie Boland who struck into an empty net for 3-0. It was the type of goal that has often gone against City this term and it could prove to be a huge turning point in the Bluebird’s season. In fairness to the Cherries the floodgates could have opened but they battled hard and in fact pulled one goal back with 15 minutes of the game to go. It was all the south-coast outfit could muster though and the Bluebirds emerged as worthy winners as the referee blew for fulltime. Only 350 fans made the trip to Bournemouth for the game and they were rewarded with a master class performance which underlined that City are still chasing a play-off slot. Bluebird’s boss Alan Cork reiterated this at the post match press conference. He said: “If we put together a decent run then we could still make the play-off’s.

“Games are starting to run out now and we really need to start winning more games. “We’ve been really inconsistent this season, now is the time for the players to show the fan’s why we invested so highly in them.” Cork was also not worried at the lack of away support for his side blaming the long drive for the poor attendance. He said: “It’s not an easy place to get to, it took me five hours and not many fan’s are going to make that type of journey for a midweek game”.

DAI IS DISGRACED by Michael Pearlman

DAI THOMAS, the former Cardiff City forward, was disgraced last week when he was jailed for his involvement in the violence in Cardiff’s cup game with Leeds. Thomas 26, was jailed for 60 days and has been banned from all football grounds in Britain for the next six years. A spokesman for Cardiff City stated that Thomas is effectively banned for life, unless he can “prove he is a changed man.” Thomas from Caerphilly, was caught on camera throwing an advertising hoarding from the pitch at Leeds United fans. His defence lawyer Mr Costley admitted Thomas has suffered a total “fall from grace”.

Flintoff turns hero for spirited England CRICKET Matt Greenhill AS ANDY Flintoff took his shirt off and waved it victoriously in the air, he had proven that he does in fact have the stomach to battle and compete under difficult circumstances and high-pressure situations. An impressive performance with both bat and ball had seen Flintoff emerge as England’s hero as they stole the final one-day international against India in Bombay and consequently tied the six games series 3-3. After a winter of being slammed for at times erratic and cheap batting, Flintoff produced a superb display of patience and guts to score 40 in 22 overs. In doing so, the Lancashire allrounder helped to steer England out of trouble from yet another batting collapse to reach 255 all out when at 174-7 things looked desperate for Nasser Hussain and his men. Not content with this, Flintoff then helped to bowl India all out with just one ball remaining and six runs spare and finished with bowling figures of 38-3. After such an inspirational performance it was fitting that Flintoff had the honour of bowling Javagal Srinath, India’s last batsman, which lead to the jubilant English celebrations. After winning a rare toss, the England captain Nasser Hussain elected to bat and although the opener Nick Knight went for a duck, England created a good platform by reaching 88 for two and then

172 for three thanks to a contribution of a magnificent 95 and 41 by Trescothick and Hussain respectively. Cue collapse, for after such a solid start England then lost four wickets for a mere two runs and were left reeling at 174 for seven with India now seemingly in control, of the match and the series. The stage was set for Flintoff to prove his critics wrong and indeed he did with some impressive batting that got the struggling England ship off the rocks into deeper, more secure waters with a more competitive total of 255 all out. “Flintoff batted better than he did for his fifty the other day,” declared the jubilant captain Hussain. “He and Darren Gough got us up to a total we could protect. We messed up because we should have got 300, but we put it right.” Indeed, with such an admission it was evident that England would have to make up for a minor blip in the batting with some good penetrative bowling. However, as India strode confidently to 155 for three it seemed that despite all the efforts of England’s bowlers, a total of 255 just did not look secure enough. Victory was beginning to appear a formality for India as they found themselves just 70 runs short with 14 overs remaining and seven wickets still at their disposal. However, in a style that would be familiar to the England team, it was India’s turn for their batting to crumble thanks to some great bowling by Vaughan, Caddick and of course Flintoff.

All of a sudden India were 238 for eight and then 250 for nine. Flintoff was then thrown into the depths of the tension and pressure with the immense task of keeping India from scoring 11 runs off the final over. To England’s delight Flintoff met the challenge head on by snapping up India’s final wicket off the penultimate ball which left England respectably sharing the highly entertaining one day series. Hopefully such a performance by Flintoff will enable him to shrug off any self-doubt that might have been accentuating from recent criticism. Just as importantly England can now travel to New Zealand with confidence and a belief in their ability to reign victorious despite all odds.

FLINTOFF: Played by far the game of his life

3 A’S ATHLETICS Anna Mitchell THIS PAST weekend Cardiff was playing host to what was for many the first athletics outing of the new season. For the first time the 3 A’s Championships were held at UWIC’s indoor stadium. The meeting enabled the athletes to gauge their early form in a season that includes the Commonwealth and European Championships. The weekend saw an emergence of new talent and the resurgence of some more familiar faces. In the 200m 16 year-old Amy Spencer, who this year earned the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award, became the youngest holder of a British senior title since 1980 when she won in a time of 23.74 seconds. Unlike the majority of winners in Cardiff, Amy is focusing her season on the World Junior Championships later in the year. In contrast Colin Jackson is looking forward to competing for his third Commonwealth Games title in the 110m hurdles in June. The crowd favourite, who competes for Brecon Athletics Club, easily won both his heat and final and is now contemplating whether

to race in the European Indoor championships. Earlier Jackson had been given the go ahead by the Athletic Association of Wales to compete as a representative of Wales in this years Commonwealth Games. The world record holder had initially been declared unable to compete in the games because of his non-participation in last years Welsh Championships. Other wins included Jason Gardner’s narrowest of victories over Mark Lewis-Francis in the 60m with Cardiff’s Christian Malcolm coming in third. Malcolm, along with Jackson, Darren Campbell and Jamie Baulch all train at UWIC’s impressive facility as part of Linford Christies ‘Nuff Respect’ team. Before the start of proceedings Sally Gunnell, presenting the action live on the BBC, was given a tour of the stadium by Campbell, who also resides in Cardiff. Many of the athletes competing at UWIC can been seen again at the Norwich Union Grand Prix in Birmingham on 17th Feb. There Jackson will face some tougher competition from the likes of arch rival Allen Johnson and reigning Olympic Champion Anier Garcia of Cuba.

Sport ● 20

gairrhydd, Monday 11 February 2002

Solid stuff from UWC HOCKEY Nick King

Seconds secure Scottish grudge KORFBALL Neil Blain THE CARDIFF KORFBALL team managed to avoid any potential away blues in Edinburgh last week, performing well across the board. For the Cardiff ’s firsts the day began instantly with a hardcore battle with Nottingham, both teams displaying excellent scoring averages. Impressing throughout, UWC prevailed 6–5, with long shots from Sharon Quick and Emma Farrow. Two more speedy goals from Captain Pete Christensen – who was subsequently crowned top goal scorer – finished off Leeds University conclusively. A dull 1–1 draw with Lancaster ensured that the firsts won their group and would safely proceed to the latter stages of the tournament. Cardiff’s seconds started the day equally well, gaining an immense 2–1 victory over Edinburgh, a tense 3–3 standoff with Cambridge and a 1–0

win over the Scottish St Andrews, with significant efforts from Steph Rhymes and Siân Hunt. Unfortunately, both teams lost their first games in the second section of the tournament, which immediately denied them the chance of victory. The firsts were trashed 5–1 by Edinburgh while the second team was embarrassed 5–2 by Nottingham’s Old Boys. However, this meant that both teams were then drawn against each other, and the resulting grudge match saw only John Gullick break the deadlock to allow the seconds a much sought after 1–0 victory. The firsts went on to defeat Birmingham with two amazing shots from the team’s new hard hitter, Matt Cook. Birmingham’s coach, Tom Brady, who also coaches the British Student Squad, commented after watching Cardiff, they "were easily one of the best teams there and will be a threat to all at the national championships". Cardiff finished sixth and seventh to prove his words.

The first BUSA game of the term produced a decent result for the gentlemen of the 4th XI, holding a welldrilled and ringer-packed Swansea 2nd XI to a 2-2 draw. The game started at a frenetic pace; Swansea benefiting from a greater number of matches played and higher levels of fitness as a result. Swansea moved the ball around at pace and showed good movement up front; Hayes and Acheson were aware to the threat and broke up attacks to redistribute the ball around the pitch. Milnes and Johnson soaked up the pressure at left and right wing-backs but the Swans were the first to score from a rebound, calmly lifted over the stranded Moody. Cardiff were suffering from a lack of authority in midfield but as the game went on Stockall and the returning Fraser-Harris began to intercept more and more of the play and stamp their authority on the game. A slight tactical rethink by the Cardiff captain saw a few changes of position, and an increased sense of urgency as the team collectively tuned in and concentrated on the task in hand. A swiftly taken free hit resulted in a

direct cross from man-of-the-moment Russell Drewe, appearing up front alongside 4th XI stalwart and general sharp-shooter Joe Green, the latter blasting the ball past the Swansea keeper to send Cardiff into the break all square. As the game drew on, Cardiff ’s superior manpower, in the form of five substitutes, started to tell. It was not long before Smith combined well with Clapworthy and Gough to set up Joe Green again who snatched his second and put Cardiff ahead. The pace was still hectic and mainly end-to-end stuff. A final break by Ed Smith could have sealed the game as he went through one on one, but it was foiled by a brave save from the Swansea Captain come keeper. Late on, the resilient Moody was beaten to tie the now scrappy game at 22, although he had easily stopped twelve short corners and faced 30 shots overall. His solid performance showed commitment and inspired the players in front of him. The 4th XI achieved only their second draw of the season; they have lost once in BUSA to UWIC 2nd XI and remain unbeaten in their Saturday league. This is a huge achievement for the most successful hockey team in the club this season.

NETBALL Rosalind Sack BOTH CARDIFF University Netball sides returned from trips across the border with two wins out of two. The first team built upon last week's win against rivals UWIC with a 54-35 win against Exeter. The Devon side proved less than demanding opposition for Cardiff still buoyed from last week's satisfying performance. Charlotte Essex in defence was crowned man of the match in a victory that maintains their championship challenge. The seconds journeyed to Bath, securing a 47-24 win to virtually ensure their qualification to the next stage of the BUSA championship. Yet some personnel changes by Bath tightened the game with Cardiff narrowly entering the first quarter break 12-7 ahead. Cardiff settled after a number of changes and began to press their attacking dominance, extending their lead by 13 goals. Cardiff's game came into its own come the final quarter, and the result ended convincingly.

Harriers lifted in Belfast ATHLETICS Jenny Hawkins ON FEBRUARY 4 the UWC Harriers braved the bogs at Queens University in Belfast, to compete in the BUSA Athletics Championships. Wellies were the order of the day, as the rain of the previous week meant that conditions were extremely tough, and the race was as much about manoeuvring through the mud as actually running. In all there were fourteen competitions with university representation. Phillip Tugwell set the team off to a good start in the

men's short 4km race and Hannah Mulcaster put in a strong performance in the women's 3km race. In the men's 10km long course race, Gavin Knight excelled himself, coming 44th out of 180 competitors. He was followed by Dan Carthy, Ivan Wall, Paul Jones and Jeff Kettle who bravely persevered to finish well despite a nasty spike injury. Overall the team came 16th out of the 31 universities. In the girls race, Ellie Debenham achieved an impressive position of 44th whilst Zoe Hansen, Gemma Small and Jenny Hawkins followed behind. The group attended an awards ceremony to commemorate their battling performance, but also to pay credit to Loughborough who – unsurprisingly – won the men's race for the seventh year running.

Canoeists make waves Anna Mitchell

AFTER A successful autumn semester, Cardiff is set to host the University of Wales Canoe Polo weekend, an exciting event given the impressive credentials of the teams involved. This event will prove another in a string of canoeing trips organised by this burgeoning society. For many, the Freshers trip to Cosmeston water sports lake was their first opportunity to paddle on open water, and the day allowed them to put into practice the skills which they had been practising in the indoor environment of the swimming pool. A trip to the River Wye at Symonds Yat provided another opportunity for the clubs new members to practice on open water. Experienced canoeists then got the opportunity to visit the river Rhondda in the valleys. Known for particular rapids and drops this river was an ideal learning ground for the paddlers who already had one year’s experience with the club. As we approached the more

difficult drops and rapids, we established safety ropes and cover ready for the first time paddlers, with the general advice for them to ‘paddle like mad’. Although the club is more known for its white water activities, it also has a large presence at the Welsh National Canoe Polo League, now the only university with two teams in Division One, and two teams in Division Two. With the opening of Cardiff Bay for water sports and activities, the Welsh Polo League organised a demonstration day in the bay, with Cardiff University competing. Although faced with strong opposition, the team managed to put up a strong defence against a large number of GB squad players. Later in the term, all four teams played their first games of the Canoe Polo season. Both teams played well, displaying considerable skill and ball handling, with both teams finishing the tournament near the top of the division. Finally, the last event of the term was probably one of the most popular, the annual trip to Llandysul

in west Wales with slalom competitions against Swansea, Bangor, Aberystwyth and Cardiff Medics. Large amounts of rainfall in the proceeding week meant that the river was running providing plenty of opportunities for the more daring paddlers. On a mission to display hardcore paddling enthusiasm, Cardiff won by their sheer grit and determination to catch some waves. Hopefully the up and coming Wales Cance Polo Weekend will provide other opportunities to excel.


BUSA: All the latest BUSA action

Gair Rhydd

PLUS: Graham Henry resigns Free Word 712

Monday 11 February 2002

Awesome Wells to rescue WATERPOLO

Joanne Ford CARDIFF UNIVERSITY mens’ water polo team won their group to qualify once again for the BUSA semi-finals in a month’s time. The quarterfinals held at Bristol University saw Cardiff facing Swansea, UWIC, UWE and the host team, who with two England internationals were expected to provide the toughest test for the reigning BUSA champions. The opening game saw them facing Welsh rivals Swansea, and after Cardiff took an early lead there was only ever going to be one winner, as they eventually cruised to an 11-1 victory, with captain Mark Taylor scoring six goals. A game against UWE usually means a comfortable win, but with England international, Craig Figes in their team, the UWE side were not going to be a pushover. In the first half Cardiff looked nervous, despite taking the lead. They struggled to contain Figes and at half time held a shaky 53 lead. Inspired by Dave Taylor, who finished the game with five goals, and two goals from Andy Crayford, Cardiff looked full of confidence in the second half as they produced a 12-4 victory. The result flattered UWE and

only wayward finishing by Cardiff kept the score down. The next game against Bristol would see the winners finish top of the group. Cardiff had the better of an entertaining first half, but couldn’t establish the convincing lead that their performance deserved and could only take a narrow 4-3 advantage into the second period. What followed can only be described as thrilling. Cardiff took a 5-3 lead and looked to be strolling to yet another victory. However, confidence turned to complacency and a classy Bristol side punished individual errors to reduce the deficit to 5-4. A visibly rattled Cardiff side then lost inspirational fresher Charlie Hinder, when he was ejected from the game for his third major foul. A dubious penalty, which was retaken after Bristol had missed the first one, levelled the score at 5-5. In the last minute Bristol stunned UWC by taking the lead, and it looked as if Cardiff’s long unbeaten record was coming to an end. That is until Ben Wells completed a hat trick by bouncing the ball under a helpless Bristol keeper. Cardiff had the better of the chances, but neither side deserved to lose a game that was a superb advert for the sport. This meant that Cardiff went

Above: UWC prepare for an epic battle with Bristol University

into their final game knowing that they had to beat UWIC by six goals or more to win the section, and qualify for the semi-finals as one of the top seeds. UWIC were easily beaten in the Welsh Universities competition, so Cardiff were able to use the game to rest some of their more experienced players. The sports college were effectively beaten before they entered the water as they approached the game with such a negative attitude, they produced a timid performance that must rank as one of the worst ever in this stage of the

competition. Cardiff once again outclassed their local ‘rivals,’ with a 15-0 win, which included a Mark Taylor hat trick, and two goals apiece from Dave Taylor, Oli Newcombe and super-sub John Holland. With their last minute comeback against Bristol, the men’s team once again proved they are very difficult to beat, but they will need to improve when they meet tougher opposition in the semi-finals. Nick Murch said “ We played well but individual errors cost us against Bristol. Hopefully we won’t repeat them in the next round”.


2 3

Nico Algieri from Carmarthen

CARDIFF’S FIRST XI travelled to Carmarthen on a surprisingly sunny day last Wednesday to play a fixture that was expected to be easier than most. Captain Paul Lawrence faced a difficult task of selecting a team, from a highly consistent squad of players, to face the under average opposition. The pitch left a lot to be desired but the play was impressive despite the tricky surface. The game kicked off with Cardiff playing with the wind, which brought a slight advantage. Carmarthen were always going to make

it a scrappy game and were physical from the start. Cardiff began impressively with constant pressure around the opposing penalty area. Mike North and Andrew Bird ran the show throughout with some great battles in midfield, and some excellent support from Nick Johnson. Carmarthen did not respond well to this pressure and their frustration showed when their number 11went in two footed on Jamie Ham who stood strong. The pressure paid off mid-way through the first half when Lee Hart powered home a header to put Cardiff 1-0 up. Not long after, slack defending by Cardiff led to an equaliser from Camarthen. Spurred on by some impressive runs by Matt Kay and Phil Patel, Cardiff moved forward again with force. North threaded through new striker Niko Algieri who forced the keeper to parry to the feet of Phil Patel who finished cleanly to put Cardiff 2-1 up. The second half began much the same as the first with the most of the play consisting of slide tackles from North and Bird. Cardiff were impressive but again a defensive error provided Carmarthen with yet another equaliser. Frustrated from their mistakes Cardiff

piled on the pressure with the ball hardly leaving the Carmarthen half. Piercing runs from Jamie Clarey and Phil Patel combined with crosses from Andy Myles and Matt Kay could only lead to a goal. It came near to the end of the game when Clarey switched play to the right towards Patel who then provided Algieri with a fantastic pass into the box. Algieri managed to turn and hit the winner into the bottom corner to provide Cardiff with their first win of the new year.










Badminton I





Swansea II

BadmintonW 1-8





BasketballW 57-75


Fencing I




Hockey MI



Hockey MII


Hockey MIII

Hockey MIII


Bristol II

Hockey WI



Hockey WII



Hockey WIII



Netball I






Cranfield Aberystwyth

Squash M I



Squash WI



Tennis W



Volleyball M



Volleyball W 3-0


PIC: Tristan Thomas Above: UWC build another attack

INSIDE: WRU says goodnight to Graham Henry


gair rhydd - Issue 712  

gair rhydd - Issue 712

gair rhydd - Issue 712  

gair rhydd - Issue 712